Posts Tagged ‘right to know’

After a morning spent with “Right to Know” Campaign (in preparation for the English Olympiad), this is a response by Dayaan to the activity: “Write a letter to the President, expressing your concern about the ‘Secrecy Bill’.”


TO:     Chief Jacob Zuma
250 Million Rand Upgraded Private Estate
Shower Avenue

Dear Mr. President

I am your biggest fan; and I have a lot of respect for you Mr. President Sir. I confess that the preceding line was only to persuade you into actually reading this letter. In actual fact, I do not like you very much.

Regrettably, this letter is not about me sharing my opinions about you Mr. President. I do not wish to, and do not own enough ink and paper, to point out your gross incompetence; feeble cranium capacity; and lack of morality. No, this letter has a higher purpose Mr. President Sir. I wish to open your eyes.

I wish to open your eyes Mr. President, to the back door evils of the Secrecy Bill. Pardon me; the ‘Protection of State Information’ bill. I’m sure (well, I hope) that you are well versed in the alleged “threats to constitutional rights” and much favoured “National Security” arguments. I shall not bore you with the cries of the millions of Journalists, Civil Rights groups and the thinking citizens of this nation adamantly against this bill and everything that it stands for. We all hate nosy Journalists, and those high-strung communist heal-the-world organisations are just a bureaucratic pain in the budget. As for the people, they should know by now that the government knows what’s best for … the government. Right?

Open your eyes. This is about more than just the Bill. It is more important than the itching backs shouting to be scratched. More pressing than the anticipated corporate gifts to the Zuma fund. I promise you Mr President that if this Bill is passed, it will be a huge step back in everything we’ve worked for. In the name of the teachings of the Freedom Charter, I implore you, open your eyes.

Once you do this Mr. President, you will realise that, like my trickery in the beginning of this letter, like the story you spun those judges about the arms deal, there is more to this than what you’re allowing yourself to see. Our right to know is a small little freedom. But it’ll be one less freedom that we will have.

Please Mr. President Sir. You have the Power. Don’t let them take our democracy away.


Mogamat Dayaan Salie

Grade 12