Banana Republic

Every day there is more and more evidence that our masters do not view themselves as accountable to citizens. There are two examples in the Mercury of October 28, 2008 which show that quite well.

The first example is local and has been mentioned in these pages before. The municipality has now declared that the report is too sensitive to be disclosed to the public. Deputy information officer Joseph David came out with that statement. Overpayments to security companies could hardly be a matter of national security and so, to my mind, there are only a few possible reasons why our employees (the municipality) should be refusing to publish a report on what happened to our money. I don’t like the thiught of any of them.

The other story in the paper concerns a so-called blue-light incident in which motorists are forced off the road to make room for official motorcades. Over the years, motorists have been threatened with firearms and have, on a few occasions, been hauled out of their cars and beaten up. I have seen a couple of these convoys, which roar past at great speed past with tinted windows [surely illegal] and blue lights flashing. Never to my knowledge has anyone been brought to book for assault or intimidation or have the VIPs within been asked to account for the strongarm tactics and dangerous driving of their escorts.

The particular incident mentioned in the paper took place in Johannesburg and involved vehicles belonging to the presidential protection unit. The convoy consisted of at least six black vehicles led by two Johannesburg Metro Police Police vehicles. At least one of the officers in the convoy was seen brandishing his weapon at motorists. The president was out of the country and his deputy was not in Gauteng province. The head of the presidential protection unit, Tau Thekiso, would not say who was being driven in the convoy and Johannesburg metro police chief Wayne Minnaar apparently didn’t know, in spite of the fact that his vehicles were escorting the convoy.

We will not have any sort of democracy until our officials are made to be accountable to us!


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