ADDRESS DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF FREEDOM DAY
27 APRIL 2013 AT MOTSWEDI
Nineteen years ago people stood in meandering queues to vote for freedom and democracy. The question is whether South Africans are free and feel they live in a democracy.
Freedom requires active and responsible citizens. Every South African should be entitled to the rights in the Constitution:
Those elected must be accountable, transparent and responsive regarding all they do.
It is not enough to elect people and sit back to wait for another election. We must on an on-going basis demand more from our representatives in government.
Be active citizens in your communities, province or nationally. Make use of your constitutional rights individually and collectively. Make submissions and representations whether written or oral. Support those who call for services but equally important air your concerns constructively, in the media, council legislature.
In reflection it cannot be good that 19 years in democracy our hospitals have turned into places where patients go to die without exception. Patients at are being raped, men are made to wear women’s pyjamas at George Mukhari Hospital because “diaparo tsa banna ga di teng“. This is scandalous.
Poor service delivery in the North West is a concern. Roads between Wolmaranstad and Schweitzer Reneke are deplorable. Pressurise the North West provincial government. The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee has to be called to account on the Koster-Lichtenburg Road.
It is a shame that we still have buckets used for night soil in some areas in this country and in the North West in particular. In freedom people don’t have to be using buckets to relieve themselves.
ICASA has to be called to order how can they allow Top TV to show pornography?
Police brutality knows no bounds. While there has to be law and order but the supposed law enforcers break the law at every turn. Is it proper that 19 years into democracy we should have people killed at Marikana last year, is it proper that Andries Tatane died at the hands of the police and the court found no one guilty for his death when in clear view all saw police shoot him? Is it Freedom that Mido Macia was dragged by police in their van?
Freedom does not mean that our soldiers have to be sent all over Africa without clear MOU as has been the case with the young men who died in Bangui, Central African Republic. We must seek answers in a free democratic state.
The continuing looting of state resources by people close to government goes on. As we speak PetroSA is reeling in the grips of a R1billion scandal. Some well connected people tend to grow rich at our expense while services we are entitled to are not being performed. We are not free yet.
In a free and democratic country we do not need draconian laws such as the recently passed Protection of Information Bill commonly known as the Secrecy Bill. If that is signed into the statutes of the country we can as well forget about coming to know about Nkandla expenses. We can forget about getting information about the scandals surrounding how some people connected to high places get rich even before they worked. That piece of legislation is even far harsher than the apartheid laws were. South Africa is gradually drifting towards what contained in 1948.
It is interesting when SADTU has come to realise that they have been duped and taken for granted but I must hurry to state that we differ with them when it comes to raising a woman’s underwear saying it befits the errant minister. We maintain that let us differ in dignity.
People in the North West must make noise and demand to be treated like other provinces. This is the only province that has no flight facilities. The Mmabatho and Pilanesberg airports are rotting because of disuse while the Umtata airport is being rebuilt somewhere (Zuma used the Mmabatho Airport to and from Botswana)
There is a silver lining though somewhere. Those who delight in writing SMSes insulting people will be in for a high jump. Recently a court ordered someone to pay R350 000, 00 to another person because he had insulted and threatened him in sms message. (Read Sowetan 26 April 2013)
As responsible people we should not be like dumb driven cattle. We should be heroes in the strive. We must stand up, speak out and take risks if need be. We should not allow the province to be called by the name of a person. Like it is being mooted in some circles that it will be called Moses Kotane Province. That should happen over our dead bodies.
Civil servants have to serve people and not the ANC or its adherents. Trevor Manuel is right on that one. Those who want to fraternise will civil servants blame him for saying that.
While we have problems in the party, it will be wise for those outside to make their way inwards as the door will close. People should not be fooled to say there is some gigantic person who will blow out people as if they were candles. In a democracy where there is freedom we have to exploit all avenues. It is in the interest of all to support the ideals of the party and not an individual.
No one is above the law in a democracy. We saw it happen even in government. No one is mercury either.
One wise man said Se okwang ga se botlhale. It is strange that in these days one can be swinging like a pendulum between political parties. Floor crossing has long been done away with yet some still find it fashionable and cut deals at the OR Tambo International Airport Hotel. In the spirit of freedom and free political activity let them go but they must bring back all money of the party and Youth League that was entrusted to them. Monna o nkgang o nkga le ditsagagwe.
We have undertaken to live up to the precepts of the Constitution of the party among which is to promote equal opportunities to all. No area, region, place or even province can claim absolute monopoly of hosting party events. There are no no-goareas in a free democratic country. We shall hold our meetings and other occasions at all available and accessible venues in the Republic of South Africa.
The equal opportunity story should not be construed as referring to seats in legislatures and councils. It also refers to positions in the party. No one should claim permanent status or position in a democratic party where elections for positions have to be held regularly. The current National Executive Committee is aware that their mandate expires in January 2014 or the party may bring the elections forward as we head for the General Elections next year. No one has a guaranteed position in a democracy!
In our effort to live up to the calls of the Constitution of the party this NEC is doing all their might to eliminate all forms of discriminations based on race, colour, culture, religion or sex. The UCDP is the only party that is still striving to have people of other races. Where are the white people that were in this party? Bring them back. This is not a regional or provincial party.
It is a disgrace when a leader of some regional or provincial party is brought in to resolve differences in the UCDP when his party is stagnant after he stole some sitting councillors from the party. One wonders how he can be brought in mediate and even stealthily approach officers of the provincial legislature.
Transparency should be the order of the day
I want to remind those people that whatever happens they will find us, those loyal to the United Christian Democratic Party, in the party even if the decision goes the other way.