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    Democracy, transparency, “freedom of the press”/Media freedom, freedom of expression and many other freedoms are values that were vague in our minds while living under apartheid rule in SA. It was mainly the African National Congress that almost single-handedly struggled and finally won these freedoms for us. They presented these in a gift package wrapped (entrenched) in a liberal Constitution…. making it hard to reverse them. Even the bitterest adversaries of the majority party will grudgingly concede this. The thanks they receive from the liberated “masses” is firstly the sight of these freedoms in practice in a country of happy, free people. Of course the vote as well. Like F. Haffajee, most of us who grew up at that time learned to revere august things. Respect was a supreme value. We later learned that respect is earned. The fathers of our freedom had it right. Perhaps there was not enough attention paid on the ensuing generation. The clear thinking of the fathers seems to be gradually diluted and where somewhat understood, to assume a fuzziness without clear corners and edges that define its shape and form. There are only so many members. The rest are fluid supporters, majority makers who don’t even attend meetings. They freely allocate majority power to govern on trust. They in turn expect to be trusted. But no matter what happens, the road back to the days of media gagging is long and hard, and the fare expensive. And there is no more dwelling in that land.

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