Dubul’ Ibhunu

Apr 20, 11 Dubul’ Ibhunu

Posted by in Culture

Advocate George Bizos, a renowned Senior Counsel at the Johannesburg bar, was once involved in a trial where he had an opportunity to cross-examine the late leader of the AWB, Eugene Terreblanche. Spurred by the North West’s heat, Terreblanche became thirsty while he was testifying. The Court Orderly had not placed water on the witness stand. Advocate Bizos SC was ably assisted by a young black attorney.  She took the glass which was being used by Advocate Bizos SC, with the intention of pouring water into the glass and giving it to Tereblanche. Never the type to miss a golden opportunity such as this one, Bizos stopped her from using his glass and directed the young attorney to instead use her glass to quench the parched throat of the racist. Wedged between the necessity of lubricating his throat and his racist convictions, Terreblanche sat staring at the glass for a long while as he did not want to drink from the same cup as a black person.  Something had to give.  However, one can never undermine the lengths to which an extremist will go, to defend his principles.  Terreblanche was no exception. He eventually lifted the glass to his face and literally poured the water into his mouth without the glass even touching his lips. And so, Bizos led Terreblanche to a personal cross-road. A cross-road that all South Africans need to arrive at and are being led to by none other than Julius Malema and the Afrikaans interest group, Afriforum. This is the point at which we test out ideals, somewhat like we did at CODESA, except this time with a common set of beliefs that we have agreed to as our yardstick. The legalities of this matter are simple. The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression. However, this right to freedom of expression is limited by the hate speech clause, which expressly carves hate speech out of the constitutional guarantee of free expression. Hate speech is defined as “an incitement to violence against a defined group of people”. This makes sense. A democratic...

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Somewhere over the Makhaza Toilets

South Africa is in desperate need for a viable opposition party.  The ANC has not bathed itself in glory and it has not delivered to the people who stood under the banner of the black, green and gold at the worst of times.  The Congress of the People bubble has officially burst.  With the embarrassing infighting, public spats, and nauseating clichés about divorce papers being thrown about, it has become abundantly clear that COPE is exactly the evil that it was trying to escape from in the ANC. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been the official opposition since 1999.  During this time, it has managed to consistently grow its share of voters in various elections, and is now governing the Western Cape.  This is a major success.  However, the DA has not managed to cross the threshold and become a serious threat in the other provinces and in the race for the presidency.  Let’s face it, we have yet to hear a speech from Luthuli House beginning with the words “Comrades, the revolution is under serious threat from the opposition.” I do not need to mention the dangers of a democracy where the ruling party’s national elective conferences are more determinative of the direction which government will take than the elections themselves.  South Africa desperately needs the DA to come to terms with the fact that a bad ANC is not necessarily a good DA. To avoid this, South Africa needs the DA to stand up and take its position as a viable opponent to the ANC.  The only way it can succeed in this is by actively pandering for the ANC’s constituency – the majority of the country: the lower and middle class black people.  It has not done this.  I do not claim to represent any of these constituencies, but the Makhaza Toilets issue shows some key reasons why I will never vote for the DA. A brief background for those of you who do not know what happened.  In 2007, the...

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