Burning Gangster State: An Attack on Press Freedom

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Even though it has been obviously apparent for some time that the ANC is a cravenly corrupt criminal cabal, this once admirable liberation movement has evidently not lost the capacity to shock with its awfulness. And shocking is the operative, if still highly inadequate, word to describe the antics of the ANC Youth League at a book launch last Tuesday. The book in question is Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s Gangster State, which details the labyrinthine and extensive layers of malfeasance perpetrated for many years by Orange Free State Premier and ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule. Instead of debating Myburgh’s contentions, or seeking legal redress if they thought his work unfairly libelled Magashule, a group of loutish brutes stormed into the Sandton branch of Exclusive Books and aggressively disrupted proceedings. These “activists,” many wearing ANC t-shirts, forced the event to be cancelled and tore up copies of the book.

These rabble-rousing degenerates were not members of the racist fascist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which has been responsible for many violent protests in the past, nor Black First Land First (BLF), a similarly racist outfit that has threatened and intimidated journalists, but affiliated with South Africa’s ruling party. To take matters from the sublimely deplorable to the terrifyingly grotesque, those Youth League savages have threatened to arrange a public book burning. That is right, these cretinous monsters are literally seeking to ape Nazi tactics. One could here evoke the famous poem by Heinrich Heine, composed almost a century before the Nazis rose to power, including the lines about how burning books eventually leads to burning people, an observation which would prove tragically prescient, to highlight the dangers such actions pose for civilized society. This reference, no doubt, will be lost on a group of illiterates who claimed not to have read Myburgh’s book.

The chilling effect that this outrageous stunt could have on journalism is potentially far-reaching. In fact, ominous signs are already emerging as evinced by the news that the V & Waterfront in Cape Town decided to cancel a book launch scheduled at the Exclusive Books there over security concerns. The author has rightly denounced this cowardly capitulation to thuggery and demanded that the management be held accountable for its spinelessness.

To the immense credit of CapeTalk, the leading talk radio station in Cape Town, they stepped into the breach and hosted the launch at their offices, as well as featuring a live interview with the author the following day. They should not have had to do this, of course, but at least some people understand that the stakes are immensely high in this struggle over press freedom and that there should be adamant resistance against any further attacks on this book in particular, and investigative journalism more generally. Wanton malfeasance and shameless plundering has become routine for the ANC, in fact it could be said to be their raison d’etre at this point, therefore all attempts to expose their vast criminality needs the urgent support of all concerned citizens.

In partial mitigation, one might point to the ANC releasing a statement criticising the Youth League’s actions, but a few weeks ago the party dubbed Myburgh’s book “fake news,” which expresses their real attitude to the many serious allegations contained therein. The book’s title is most apt, as South Africa has indeed become a gangster state under the ANC, with Ace Magashule merely being a particularly egregious example of a far more extensive process of putrefaction. After all, this is the same party that allowed Jacob Zuma to plunder trillions from taxpayers for nearly a decade, and even now has taken no serious steps to have him criminally prosecuted. Instead, this disgustingly vile figure, positively demoniacal in his multifaceted evil, was included in the party’s initial list of candidates in the upcoming elections. Actions, as ever, speak the loudest of all in testifying to someone’s authentic character.

In less than a month, South Africans will go to the polls, an election some have described as the most significant since 1994. What happened on Tuesday is a kind of horrible cherry on an already egregiously awful cake, as the ANC has now proven itself to be a vicious enemy of press freedom over and above its already well established record of incompetence, criminality, racism, negligence, murderousness, stupidity, detestation of free speech, and authoritarianism. Whatever better impression of the ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has created among some people, it is all a sham and a charade amounting to little more than a desperate public relations exercise to salvage the unsalvageable, to dress a psychopathic madman in a nice suit, or perhaps put lipstick on a foetid long-decaying corpse.

As Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane, once said, “we don’t have a Zuma problem, we have an ANC problem,” perfectly summing up the central cause of virtually all South Africa’s woes. At this point it is abundantly clear that the ANC truly is the enemy of the South African people, who on May 8th have a choice of whether or not to accept and further empower this incessant onslaught that will only make the country poorer, more divided, less free, and prevent it from solving any of its many serious problems, or to chart a different course. Unfortunately, past actions being the best predictor of future ones, I strongly suspect that the ANC’s grotesque rule will continue unabated, with all the baleful consequences this entails. After Tuesday’s horrific events, do not dare claim you were not warned, as Heine’s words remain as relevant today as they were when he first penned them nearly two centuries ago. Remember, burners of books are never just destroying mere sheets of paper, but are attacking fundamental freedoms without which no society can claim to be remotely civilized.

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