Don’t silence my right to set things straight
I HOPE that this year, Africans who work for corporate media outlets and the SABC will not practise self-censorship to placate their bosses.
They should let information flow freely without hindrance so that those who feel aggrieved should not see the need to resort to social media.
John Swinton, a New York journalist, said: “There is no such thing as an independent press. You know it and I know it…”
Late last year, I reacted to a study on African people in a letter that was published in The Star of December 7. On December 13, a joint letter responding to my letter and signed by two professors and two doctors was published in which they said what I had written was not credible.
The following day, I provided proof of the dangers of vaccines and emailed my response, but The Star decided to halt the debate. My response was not published.
This is not only censorship but also a violation of my freedom of expression, which the constitution of this country guarantees to everybody. This laid bare the truism that freedom of the press exists only to those who own it.
The SABC continues to be biased in favour of the ANC and its alliance partners. All ANC events are covered live, just like their anniversary on Sunday. However, other political parties do not enjoy the same privileges.
The media and academic institutions continue to portray Nelson Mandela as an icon. What is an icon? Here is a dictionary definition of an icon: a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration. Mandela is also portrayed as a person who liberated South Africa. There is a special day set aside to celebrate him. His portrait is on South African currency.
Is Mandela a liberator and an icon? Two founding members of the Pan Africanist Congress who were on Robben Island, Zeph Mothopeng and Jafta Masemola, went to their graves maintaining that Mandela was a sell-out. In 1970, PAC founding president, Robert Sobukwe said Mandela was an opportunist.
There are books published long after those PAC leaders made their pronouncement on Mandela that corroborate these leaders’ observations.
One of those books was written by John Pilger – Freedom Next Time – and it has a chapter titled Apartheid Did Not Die. Mandela startled Pilger during an interview held after he assumed office, saying privatisation was the fundamental policy of his government. Pilger wrote: “Mandela, too, fostered crony relationships with wealthy whites from the corporate world, including those who had profited from apartheid.
“He saw this as part of ‘reconciliation’. Perhaps he and his beloved ANC had been in struggle and exile for so long they were willing to accept and collude with the forces that had been the people’s enemy”.
The second book is Lost in Transformation by Professor Sampie Terreblanche, who revealed that Mandela held secret meetings with Harry Oppenheimer at his Brenthurst estate, and later when they were joined by some ANC leaders, the meetings were moved to the Development Bank of Southern Africa and were held at night.
The corporate media and academic institutions have made up their minds that Mandela is an icon and a liberator. Their opinions are cast in stone despite palpable evidence to the contrary.
They feed this intellectual pap to poor students and bombard their audiences with propaganda. It’s going to take a sea of change and a radical paradigm shift in consciousness to put Mandela and the ANC in their right place as sell-outs and elevate the right liberators and icons such as Sobukwe, Mothopeng, Masemola, Steve Biko and Onkgopotse Tiro in their right and proper places. It is the task of the PAC and Black Consciousness Movement to perform that task once they are united. Kagiso
LIBERATOR OR SELL-OUT? Edmond Hlatswayo sits in front of a mural depicting Nelson Mandela, who several founding members of the PAC claim was an opportunist.