Truths of the past linger in the present
WRITERS, now use your pens. The ink from your handwriting could represent truth in its irrefutable form.
Deep down in your soul rests the truth, a missing, essential ingredient that should be mingled into the ink ready to paint images of social phenomena.
These days the typewriter seems to have disabled the writer from being a critic whose prophesies either alert society to a straying from the truth or expose measures to keep it suppressed.
Very disappointing was the script written for the celebration of Human Rights Day in Sharpeville last week.
The Sharpeville massacre, it should never escape us, should be credited to the PAC.
However, the ANC, as the ruling party and part of the forces that fought for freedom, should be commended for co-ordinating the commemorations of this day of enormous historic significance.
This co-ordination extended to various political agents a platform to celebrate the successes of our liberation and critically reflect on the failures.
At the height of the struggle for freedom, the ANC ’ s strength came from its ability to reflect critically.
Not much came in the way of an honest reflection on this occasion.
To crown it, even the so-called opposition seemed to have at best aligned their speeches to the script from Luthuli House, and at worst strived to outdo the writers there.
One doubts, though, if this is what the ANC really needs, let alone what democracy requires.
It steered away from condemning the continued used of lethal force against people exercising their right to protest
In chronicling this historychanging day, neither Robert Sobukwe nor the movement he led – the PAC – was given the deserved recognition.
Interestingly, friend and foe extend this kind of recognition to Tata Mandela.
Sharpeville and Sobukwe epitomise two inseparable sides of the struggle against social injustice, so it ’ s absurd to celebrate the one without mentioning the other.
The gathering in Sharpeville last Friday celebrated the defeat of the marauding pre-democracy evil forces that needlessly mowed down people, but it also carefully steered away from unflinchingly condemning the continued use of lethal force against people exercising their constitutionally enshrined right to protest or differ.
For instance, the similarities between Marikana and Sharpeville are inescapable.
Andries Tatane ’ s brutal death at the hands of the security forces mirrors that of Steve Biko.
Clearly, we have not dealt with the forces and dynamics that spewed calamity at Sharpeville or Langa if we still have Mothutlung and Relela.
It ’ s not to say these phenomena shouldn ’ t or couldn ’ t have occurred.
Nothing can be guaranteed in a fast-changing and complex modern society.
The least a people can do – and this is what is depressing – is to: frankly acknowledge, sincerely condemn and institute genuine measures to address the problem.
The ruling party should have seized the opportunity during the commemorations to admit honestly that things should have been handled more humanely.
The author is a political commentator.
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