Gatvol! It’s not Freedom Day but ‘Frustration Day’

“Sidikiwe! This Freedom Day, we are not free. Instead, we are frustrated, frightened, and forgotten by the government,” says One South Africa Movement (OSA) Chief Activist, Mmusi Maimane.

This is the day when the country commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held in 1994. The OSA leader says Freedom Day is not what it should be.

Addressing his people at the movement’s Freedom Day Rally in Mfuleni, Cape Town, Maimane decried the denotation of Freedom Day raising fundamental issues that currently affect the country.

Said Maimane: “Twenty-eight years ago, marked the most significant date in the history of our country. Millions of South Africans, with the simple mark of a cross on a ballot paper, joined billions of people across the world who participate in democracy by electing governments through the democratic will of the majority.

Maimane says Freedom Day signified the start of what should have been a collective journey towards the dream of a united, non-racial, and prosperous South Africa for all but all that is null in this day.

He says the country was well on its way to achieving real and meaningful freedom but “today, the story of South Africa is starkly different”.

Said Maimane: “We built houses, roads, and toilets.

“We created new jobs and saw a vibrant, growing economy that was leading the developing world. We adopted and championed one of the strongest and most progressive Constitutions the world had seen. We held regular free and fair elections and stuck to term limits for those in elected office and we made progress dismantling the untruths that we were told about each other for decades prior.”

Maimane says South Africa now has a galvanising force that unites the people across race, age, class, and creed.

“It is that we are frustrated! We are fed up,” said Maimane.

Crime, corruption, joblessness, weak leadership, and lack of resources are the issues that continue to frustrate South Africans when they were initially promised a free South Africa for all.

Maimane said South Africans have given up on the system and politics of this country.

He said: “This tells us that despite having almost 50 political parties on the ballot, most South Africans feel unrepresented and without a voice. South Africans have abandoned politics because politics have failed them.”

This country ruled by dividers and looters is not the South Africa we deserve, according to Maimane, the South Africa we deserve cannot be constructed using old methods of democratic engagement.

“To build a feasible, credible alternative we need to develop a democratic high ground. The democratic high ground will be the strategic focal point for all those who are committed to the cause of creating a harmonious multi-racial and equitable society,” said Maimane.

Maimane says South Africa cannot and will not be saved by ignorant politicians or anyone else who chooses to turn a blind eye to the history of this nation and instead tries to revise the history.

“Now, 28 years after the dawn of democracy, we dare not leave our country in the hands of dividers and in the hands of looters. We must come together and construct the society we know our children deserve,” said Maimane.

“Our children deserve better; this is not what people sacrificed their lives for.”

Sharing similar sentiments is the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who also feels this day is not worth celebrating.

Malema said ‘democracy’ has failed the people of South Africa, mostly women.

He argued that women are not given a fair chance of existence in this country. According to the EFF leader, women are objectified as they are sexualised for opportunities, hence the high number of unemployed women in this country.

Meanwhile, the Jacob Zuma Foundation says this supposed “Freedom is fake”.

Foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi wrote on Twitter: “What Freedom? What justice?”

His concerns arise, in particular, from the developments of former president Jacob Zuma’s corruption and arms deal trial.

Manyi says, Zuma was first jailed without a trial, denied the right to appeal, and then denied the right to mitigate the sentence.

His review application was ignored, and his medical parole was deemed “free time”.

Zuma is currently recovering from a health scare that saw another postponement into his arms deal and corruption case alongside French arms company, Thales.

“The foundation is not celebrating this day,” it said.

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