We must invoke real oversight over the laws governing this lockdown

If we don’t as citizens realise that the opposition, the executive and Parliament are complicit in undermining our freedoms, we will be left behind, writes Mmusi Maimane. Nobel Prize laureate and writer William Faulkner famously once quipped “we must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it”. As we celebrated the 26th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic election with Monday’s Freedom Day, these words ought to remind us of the incredible task that still lays ahead if we are to be truly free as a nation and as individuals in South Africa. We must appreciate that freedom is earned, through continuous and consistent practice.And that freedom must be defended using every tool at our disposal. Lessons from our painful history teach us that any threat to our freedom, no matter the justification, must be treated with caution and suspicion. There exists a stark contrast between that historic day 26 years ago and our situation today. While we were practicing our freedom then, today we are sacrificing it on an unprecedented scale in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.We have handed great powers to the executive, while an increasingly weak Parliament has all but abdicated its … Read More

Mmusi Maimane speaks out against ‘discrimination against Africans in China’

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane has spoken out about allegations of abuse and discrimination against Africans in China. In a video shared on Twitter, Maimane said the coronavirus outbreak must not be used as an opportunity to advance racism or discrimination. He also called on AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa to facilitate the repatriation of Africans who wish to return from China. Maimane and a number of other African leaders had written to Ramaphosa, asking ask him to launch an investigation into the discrimination allegations. . Nelson Chamisa from Zimbabwe, Zitto Kabwe from Tanzania and Bobi Wine from Uganda, among others, responded to reports that Africans in China were subjected to more evictions and Covid-19 tests, even when they were not showing symptoms. “There have been alarming reports of abuse of hundreds of African migrant workers, students and traders in the southern city of Guangzhou. This area is home to Asia’s largest African diaspora,” reads the letter. TimesLIVE reported last week that SA’s department of international relations & co-operation (Dirco) had urged Chinese authorities to investigate the allegations of racism. Deputy director-general of global governance and continental agenda of SA, ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, told SABC News that SA was deeply concerned. “We enjoy excellent, cordial … Read More

Poor and working class South Africans are becoming desperate.

One South Africa Movement South African Flag

The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is, without a doubt, the most disruptive moment our world has experienced since the 2008 global economic crisis. By disruptive moment, I mean an event, or series of events, that stops and alters established ways of operation or being. Despite the discomfort, anxiety and uncertainty, disruptive moments serve a particular purpose as they allow space for perspective and positive change. While the 2008 global economic crisis taught us that unfettered capitalism breeds irresponsible capitalism, the Covid-19 pandemic is showing us that the ever-widening inequality among the haves and the have-nots is becoming increasingly unsustainable. In our interconnected world, the survival and prosperity of every individual relies on the collective. Consequently, the health of a rich person is not removed from or irrelevant to the health of a poor person. COVID-19 IS DISRUPTING THIS AND PLACING OUR COUNTRY’S UNCOMFORTABLE REALITIES BACK IN PLAIN SIGHT AND FRONT OF MIND In South Africa, this tends to follow the adage of “out of sight, out of mind” as the elites avoid confronting our poverty epidemic. Covid-19 is disrupting this and placing our country’s uncomfortable realities back in plain sight and front of mind. Poverty, unemployment, inequality and injustice are staring … Read More

Maimane calls for action against ‘violent’ officers amid lockdown

‘No one deserves to be killed because they went to buy a beer,’ says Maimane Mmusi Maimane is the latest to weigh in on videos surfacing online of law enforcement allegedly acting without regard for the law. Over the weekend, videos of police and SANDF allegedly forcing residents to do exercise as punishment for not obeying the lockdown laws surfaced on social media. Another video showed police officials chasing a citizen from their own yard into their home. These several videos, sparking a heated debate online and transport minister Fikile Mbalula promised to communicate with forces on the ground about the alleged wrongdoings. Taking to Twitter on Monday, the One South Africa (Osa) leader called for order and pleaded with President Cyril Ramaphosa for the need to use minimum force against civilians. “The civilians are not the enemy. The virus is the enemy. This is not right. Let’s respect civilian rights and have all security officers observe the law. “Civilians who are cooperating with law enforcement, who are not posing a physical threat to anyone, who are not resisting arrest, should not be assaulted,” Maimane said. He claimed the security cluster was overreacting when dealing with civilians, saying: “No one … Read More