SOUTH AFRICA is only the second country in the world to adopt the preamble to the declaration of human rights, that goes “We the People…” thus setting as apart from other states that use God or Athiesm, to define their creation. Fundemental to this democratic tradition is the belief in secular humanism and the seperation of Church and State.
Unfortunately the so-called Anti-Terrorism Act aka the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act (ProConDTRA), makes no allowence for the protection of our Bill of Rights against politicians, judges and lawyers — those who would dilute freedom to the status of a tampon-advert.
Then there’s RICA the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act, forcing mobile companies to install snoopware and allowing government spooks to tap into cellphone conversations at will. Our right to privacy is enshrined in article 14 — “Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have the privacy of their communications infringed.” No longer applicable?
Then there’s FICA — Financial Intelligence Centre Act that not only makes it harder for druglords to launder money, but also makes it easier for organised crime and big business cartels to locate and harass ordinary citizens, who may be blackmailed or forced into protection rackets etc. Section 14 of our Bill of Rights no longer applies.
Do you trust the people storing information that they are not going to snoop without the authorisation of a judge? Do you trust politicians to protect our rights? Do you trust anybodies word on freedom? Rights are not privileges that can get taken away. But if we are not vigilent, we will forget that we ever had rights to begin with.
Anyone interesting in joining an ONLINE VIGIL for our Bill of Rights, whose 10th anniversary hasn’t been noticed by a nation caught up in the Zuma Saga, post comments below. Maybe somebody will put up a web-page or two?