So last week when I wrote an article about my girlfriend being hijacked, somebody comments and asked why SA's law enforcement agencies do not seem to be curbing or preventing these violent crime incidents?
My thoughts on your question are as follows, and two reasons come to mind:
1) Because they are unable to curb or prevent violent crime
2) Because they want the country to be or at least appear to be becoming ungovernable.
Of course, one would have to really wonder why reason 2 might apply... except if for example you would need to "justify" a crackdown on societal or democratic freedoms.
Surely I am exaggerating? I don't know, am I?
Asking myself this question, I am confronted with several interesting facts.
At the top of the list is the detail that something like this is beginning to happen right now with the pending reintroduction of media censorship.
How did this happen? Well let's see - back in March last year President Zuma addressed the Rhema Cult, if you remember - and offered to "discuss" gay civil rights and abortion with "conservative" (I.E. religious fundamentalist) Christians - effectively creating the impression that gay rights were being placed on the bargaining table to win the meager minority votes of the wing-nut section of the hardware store. If you recall, a little while after that, Oom Ray and his Southern-baptist buddies started a group called the NILC (aka "Zuma's God Squad") in order to co-operate with government in "restoring the morality" of South Africa. Funnily enough, this "restoration" ostensibly entails the rewriting the SA Constitution to exclude the dirty immoral pink folks and their inconvenient human rights. The fact that the NILC leadership consisted of 4 ANC MP's and received blatant logistical support from the ANC government, and their eye on gay rights, was exposed at the time by the Mail & Guardian.
Simultaneously we have seen another right-wing conservative group on the rise on the political scene - Erroll Naidoo's Family Policy Institute, which is nothing more than a front for the US religious right's interference in South African affairs. This group, based in Cape Town, monitors Parliament and Naidoo makes annual trips to the USA to attend "Values Voter summits" with the Family Research Council - a recognized homophobic hate group which has been acting as his mentor.
Over the past year, Naidoo has begun to influence local politicians - as reported in his FPI newsletter, he brags having influenced the minister of Home Affairs to call a conference on the thorny issues of prostitution and censorship in the media. The aim of this co-operation is to institute new laws to ban all pornography in public media and to exclude its availability in public places. Now I don't know what your tastes are, but I'm not fan of porn. I detest it - but what this man is suggesting is the affectation of people's civil rights and tantamount to nothing less than treating adults like truant children. And of course, nobody - NOT ONE public figure has as yet spoken out on the clear connection between such a law and the fact that this move would in fact reintroduce censorship back on the scene in South Africa. Does nobody object to being told what they are allowed to watch? I do. If I feel like watching something, I will damn well watch it. Why does nobody else seem to feel that way?
Oh yes, and once pornography has been banned in order to satisfy a vocal conservative minority in the country, how long before the government, now clearly obsessed with what is moral and what isn't (despite the frightening amount of house-cleaning they need to do first in order to avoid finger-pointing) starts to decide what other "undesirable" facets to individual choice and freedom of expression can be slotted in under the new Censorship Laws? With people like Naidoo around to encourage, poke and prod them, it doesn't leave much to the imagination, does it?
Before long porn may be banned in all public media and in public places, and as Naidoo wants it - adults will be unable to legally watch porn in the privacy of their own homes but will have to watch it in strictly controlled environments (presumably so the poor innocent kiddies won't accidentally stumble upon a scene which is not "family friendly"). Not long after that, the term "porn" may be modified (ala Lulu Xingwana) to include things some people view as "contrary to nation building" such as gay people kissing or hand-holding on TV, not long after that it may include any gay characters in TV/movies (such as the recent heated mud-slinging session over the "Generations" character) and after that, gay people being gay in public, and lastly a more direct attack on the human and civil rights of the pink community in the Constitution.
And of course I think he will succeed. Why? Because nobody seems to give a shit. Pardon my Klatchian, as Terry Pratchett would say. Nobody is interested in politics. And why should they be? Politics is a dirty business. We see corrupt politicians in the news every day - the government is riddled rotten with them. But perhaps this is the stereotype we have become used to in this country over the past fifteen years?
Now while you might think that Naidoo is a bit of a nosy-parker with a prissy hairdo and that he might be just one of those irritating people who goes around sticking his finger up people's noses and who wears his underpants too tight - and somebody nobody listens to - he has achieved one victory this year. That's right - the man you think nobody pays attention to has already scored one for his side. Annoying, isn't it?
Remember the talk about the DSTV porn only channel? Scrapped. Why? Because he got some of his lunatic supporters to write letters to DSTV to tell them why "God" opposes their idea. I suppose they must have asked him and got him to sign their petition (I have never met this God they claim to own and keep in their back pockets - but if I do one day, I will ask him if that was his signature.) Despite the fact that DSTV is a subscriber only service, with limited access and this channel would have to be specifically subscribed to by consenting adults, despite the fact that with DSTV, you can password-protect your channels and prevent your kids from watching porn using access control - and despite Naidoo publicizing his malicious campaign to police what you can or can't watch - nobody bothered to stand up and write positive letters to DSTV. Which is why they scrapped it.
You see, the whole story reminds me of that saying - the one that goes: "evil is allowed to triumph when good people do nothing." Remember that one? How about another one? Plato this time, who said: "Those who are not interested in getting involved in politics will be ruled by their inferiors". Still think it is "cool" to say "I'm not interested in politics"? Hmm?
People like Naidoo and McCaulley who simply want to wave their fingers down at others and lay down the law, have no moral high ground to do so - but they are the ones making the most noise and doing all they can to further their nefarious schemes to strip people of their freedoms and civil rights. Funny that the rest of you are content with sitting idly by and letting them. Yes, partying is more fun, isn't it?
Watch Errol. He hates gay people - he has even told the media he hates gay people. He has written many letters and articles to prove it too, defaming our community, declaring open war on us, and laying out his desires and intentions to strip us of our civil rights - and he has proved his sincerity by attacking our constitutional rights in every way he can. Will he achieve it? Do we want to find out? How far will he get? How far will you allow him to go?