For my non-Afrikaans friends and followers, I just said (in a very crude Cape Town way) “you don’t tell me (what to do).” This is something that is said when someone tries telling you what to do and you vehemently oppose it.
– Martha, do pull your skirt down and stop running like a boy.
– HA AH MUMMY JY SÊ NIE VIR MY NIE (No mother, you do not tell me how to behave)
This is an example of the way in which this phrase can be used. Now, I joke a lot, however this is actually very serious.
I’ve remained largely quiet (not opinionless) on the Secrecy Bill, Protection of State Information Bill, the preferred government terminology. I actually thought many people were reading way too much into it. Believe me, I have read Orwell’s 1984 and it is one of my absolute faves, however I did not think we were as bad as that dystopian society. I have since changed my mind.
If this bill is passed in its current form, then even this blog may be deemed illegal! I have not even spoken out about my marriage to President Zuma and I would be gagged, and not in the way he usually likes it. Any new Arms or leg deal, new government rapes, golden handshakes, golden showers, security guards getting promoted to ministers, misspent funds and misspent youths. It will all be fair game to have one arrested for mentioning it.
However, I did my characteristic eye roll when the media came out in full force and protested outside Parliament last year with black tape over their mouths to show how they felt about potentially being muzzled. It was a great sentiment and lots of people wore black in solidarity. I was over it because of the passion showed when it came to their own cause when we have other big issues that are not protested as often. I suppose it would dilute the effect, but you get the point. I hope.
What I’m trying to say in my usual long winded way is that if this Bill goes through and is passed, no longer will we be able to say “Jy sê nie vir my nie” in a big way. We would be reduced to clandestine secret codes and under-the-table messages. Uhm… 1984/ Die Weiβe Rose/Apartheid SA anyone? I really want to believe in my government, but this is one overlooked issue that cannot be ignored. So I hope that we can all keep giving the finger and running our mouths as we should. Let’s start here. Go on, raise your finger and don’t let anyone tell you what to do, especially government.
<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>