So harsh!

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By Kabelo Mollo

Two things have caught my attention in the last little while, and both have considerably raised my ire. The first was pretty straightforward, and that’s been the reaction to the death of former Apartheid leader and tyrannical lout Frederick Wilhelm De Klerk.

The many people who’ve suggested “We don’t celebrate another human’s death” clearly have short memories, or live in an alternate universe where we are indifferent to the passing of one of the bad guys. And let us be clear here, de Klerk was one of the bad guys. His reign of terror saw him hold a number of cabinet ministerial positions before finally ascending to the highest office in the land. His Damascus moment (if it ever came) was much too little, much too late, and yet still we count him among an elite group of Nobel laureates. A disgraced leader of an illegitimate apartheid regime as best described by fellow Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela.

The second is the seeming intimidation of media and broadcasting personnel in the Kingdom by those who are meant to protect. Our security forces can be overzealous at times, and more often than not the media will bear the brunt of their fury. It is unfortunate that a relationship that ought to be symbiotic is fraught with antagonism and distrust at the best of times. This is not to suggest that journalists are beyond reproach, far from it unfortunately, but this still doesn’t necessitate a heavy handed approach meant to instil fear.

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Unruly armed forces that are a law unto themselves are the Bain of any societies existence. It struck me this past week that Lesotho ranks highly on the unhappiness index. It was suggested not long ago that we have an unusually high rate of suicide in young men. Obviously this displeasure is caused by a number of factors, but never count out an unhealthy relationship with law enforcement as one of those factors. In a country where everyone is related to everyone, intimidation for higher ups leaves a rather bitter taste in the mouth.

Between the passing of de Klerk and the intimidation of the media it has struck me that despite my assertion last week, the year and all the madness associated with it is yet to end. Yet more could still happen in this crazy act called life. There are seven Fridays left of the year, which means seven more columns wherein I may find myself lamenting more ridiculousness. It’s a fool’s errand trying to keep abreast of all the madness going on around us. What with the pandemic maintaining its status as a pink elephant in every room we dare enter.

The debate will undoubtedly rage on with many revising and reducing history in hagiography that won’t require earnest analysis. Concurrently media personnel will continue to find themselves under the cosh as a result of power and ego driven civil servants asked to merely protect and serve their societies. These two things will continue to occupy column inches and social media chats, but whether or not resolution will actually be found, I very much doubt. It was as previously stated “the best of times, and the worst of times”.