Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
How a democratic organisation can become a tyrrany.
Elie Wiesel's electric words from his 1986 Nobel acceptance speech echoed so powerfully for me today, "Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." Today we learned that in the ANC:
You can violate your oath of office as the President, but you don't have to apologise;
You can put the grants of 17 million people at risk, but you don't have to apologise;
You can bankrupt the state broadcaster, but you don't have to apologise.
But if you speak out about these things... then you must apologise.
Today we saw how the party of Dr. Luthuli, Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela lost its soul. This is a party which was given breath for the following objectives outlined in its constitution:
2.1 To unite all the people of South Africa, Africans in particular, for the complete liberation of the country from all forms of discrimination and national oppression; 2.2 To end apartheid in all its forms and transform South Africa as rapidly as possible into a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country based on the principles of the Freedom Charter (Appendix 2) and in pursuit of the National Democratic Revolution; 2.3 To defend the democratic gains of the people and to advance towards a society in which the government is freely chosen by the people according to the principles of universal suffrage on a common voters' roll;
Democracy, Democracy, Democracy.
It sounds too good to be true. And today we learned that it can be.
We have lived in South Africa in a tyrrany of the minority.
Now we live in a tyrrany of the majority.
Today we learned that a fiendishly Machiavellian figure can use the rules and regulations of a democratic organisation to stifle dissent and end debate. We tend to assume that democracies are immune to such control and manipulation, but they are not. We forget that in 1933, another politician was elected in a democratic vote and with some shrewd maneuvering, became master of all he surveyed.
The ANC was founded to speak truth to a powerful silencing of the cries of human rights. But today, the ANC, with the complicity of all its leaders, has stated that they place their organisation, its rules and regulations above their own soul, their very reason for existence. Because democracy, the granting of a vote to every person, is not about the rules; the rules are an expression of its deepest roots: the valuing of every person and their G-d given voice to protest evil and to promote good. If the rules silence that voice, they suffocate the soul of democracy, it becomes an animated corpse capable of terrifying cruelty.
Today, the silence of the ANC; their silencing, is deafening for its oppression.