By: Daily News
POLITICAL analyst and University of South Africa (Unisa) Professor Tumi “BB” Senokoane said South Africa was fast becoming a military State reflecting the Apartheid system which opposed freedom for all.
Senokoane spoke to the Daily News on Monday of his concerns about what he described as an attempt to silence voices raising genuine issues around the government’s failures.
He said the monitoring of people’s interactions on social media was a serious concern that everyone needed to worry about. His concerns included the silence by academics and the media, and he argued that they were intimidated about speaking on issues affecting the country.
“Many writers, scholars, academics and journalists are afraid to put their views on paper, social media, or anywhere because our president has warned us to think twice before we write or press the button on our phones and computers.”
Speaking on the deployment of the military, he said: “The last time I experienced the deployment of soldiers, was in the apartheid era.”
Echoing Senokoane, Professor Sipho Seepe said: “The deployment of naked power and brute force is a clear indicator of weakness. It is not proof of power. Power is with the people and not with the military.”
On the missing voice of the academics and media silence on the challenges the country was grappling with, Seepe said: “This is because a majority of them are in the pockets of politicians with deep pockets.”
Professor of Economics Chris Malikane said: “The more telling thing is that the people as a whole are cowed into silence for fear of being labelled counter-revolutionary or insurrectionist, thereby inviting arrest.”
Approached for comment, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, said: “Ramaphosa has on several occasions explained his decisions on the deployment of the army, also deployed last year to assist with our containment of the pandemic. Recently, the army was deployed to attend to an unprecedented attack on our democracy and economy.”