Umjindi Eye: Struggle for democracy is remembered today

Today is a holiday. It is a Freedom Day. I enjoy holidays as much as anyone. They give me a good excuse to avoid working and to do so with a clear conscience.

It is easy, however, to take liberty for granted and to misconstrue just how difficult it was to gain freedom 22 years ago.
The struggle for democracy was long and costly. Many lives were lost.

A mere 22 years ago South Africa was a different place, but it has been completely transformed.
I know we members of the Fourth Estate have been frequently accused of reporting a story of glass half empty instead of half full, by the ruling party, but as watchdogs for the community it is our responsibility to keep our leaders on their toes.

It is not that we are doing so with the intention to destroying their images or discrediting them.
We are doing so because we want them to do better and we want the community to be kept abreast about developments in their spheres.

It is a disgrace in this time of democracy to hear scandals of missing funds, unfinished projects though they have been funded, jobs for pals and tender corruption.

As much as we see the progress that democracy has brought to this country, what is hurtful to any journalist is to see injustice done to others.

Yes it is through this democracy that today we see multitudes of schoolchildren of all races and hues, who happily walk together on their way to school. This freedom can be seen in our townships and residential areas that now boast electricity, decent houses, sanitation, water, clinics and schools.

To me Freedom Day is one of the best South African holidays, both for what we celebrate and how we celebrate it.
Therefore, today is about paying tribute to all the people, irrespective of race, of this rainbow nation for their role in the liberation struggle.

Richard Nkosi

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