Frightened ANC reacts just like the frightened Nats

17 February 2015 - 02:07 By The Times Editorial
Image: Supplied

It's the same script but it now features different actors.

The decision by the SABC not to air visuals showing the chaos before President Jacob Zuma delivered his State of the Nation speech is shocking - but understandable.

We understand that sometimes the new owners of a house tend to adopt the behaviour and mannerisms of the previous master.

Sometimes they even dust off the old laws that had been used to deal with them.

Writer George Orwell captured this in Animal Farm: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

Instead of finding solutions to challenges in parliament, the ANC decided to use the "rule book" and adopted the old "tactics" to restore order .

The jamming of cellphone signals, bringing the police into parliament, and the SABC deciding not to show visuals of the chaos tell us that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

It is troubling that the ANC is unable to show leadership despite its numerical superiority in the National Assembly.

Bringing in the police to deal with a political problem tells us that we are in deep trouble.

We have seen this before. The National Party government resorted to brute force and enforced news blackouts and other hardline tactics to keep the restless natives in check.

They tried every trick in the book to keep the system working but the people finally had their say and won their freedom.

We agree with former president Thabo Mbeki that what happened in parliament last week was "very troubling". He said one should not use "administrative instruments to solve a political problem".

If the ANC buries its head in the sand and continues on its current trajectory it will end up introducing laws aimed at individuals.

Remember the Robert Sobukwe clause and other ridiculous laws meant to block democracy?