YOUTH BEMOAN THE PASSING OF THE STATE INFORMATION BILL
By: Gift Nyamapfene
The Umbilo Ward 33 youth said, during community freedom day celebrations at Resistance Park, they were unhappy with the passing of the Protection of State Information Bill by the National Assembly.
“I will fight against every policy that seeks to stop me from expressing my art and my music and undermine my opinion,” said Mandla Matsha, member of Afrogong drumming group.
Other young people also rebuked the bill and called for action towards preserving the country’s freedom during the event.
“The truth can never be suppressed,” said Tumelo Khoza, a poet based in Durban. “As much as several legislatures can be passed, there will always be poets and journalists who will tell the truth regardless of the consequences,” she added.
The controversial law dubbed “the secrecy bill” by the media was passed by the National Assembly on Thursday and now waits to be signed by President Jacob Zuma into law.
Paul David, brother to the recently deceased struggle stalwart, Phyllis Naidoo who was honored at the event, expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s reluctance to take heed of the public’s criticism and voices.
“This is what Phyllis used to say, that just because we went to the struggle does not mean what the government does is always right,” said David.“The liberation struggle was the first phase of the fight for freedom, but the struggle is not over. We won public freedom to vote for the people who we want to represent us in government but at the same time, our individual freedoms in the freedom charter have to be respected.”
Seniors at the event said that the youth will meet great challenges in the fight to conserve their rights. Charles van Heerden, who was an Anglican priest during apartheid in South Africa, believes that young people in his community do not have much interest in the freedom they have and some do not even know the details of the bill.
“This will go a long way to destruct them from fighting to conserve the constitutional freedoms,” van Heerden said.
Thabo Kadikadi, administrator for the ward councillor said, “Security is first priority, but as young people, we will always be critical of the government.By being critical, we help the government make decisions and we become the masters of our destiny.”