Muzzling the Nando’s chicken would be funny if it weren’t so serious:
the ANC Youth League’s threat to mobilise — get that?
— mobilise the people of South Africa to rise up against a manufacturer of spicy chicken takeaways is another worrying pointer to a near future that every true democrat must dread.
Oh come on, it can’t be the 1st of April again, surely?
“Cheap satire” is how ANCYL sees a Nando’s TV commercial which, it says, mocks its president, Julius Malema.
Nothing wrong with that — it’s the ANCYL’s view, it has been expressed, and it has a right to express it.
And we should all be prepared to mobilise to defend the ANCYL’s right to call the Nando’s ad “cheap satire”.
What is inapt in a democracy is the notion of rising up to quell that freedom.
What is about to happen to freedom of speech in South Africa? When the voices of freedom are stilled, the powerful carry on unchecked.
It is the road to an authoritarian future. We need, just as we did in the darkest days of apartheid, our cartoonists, satirists and more serious political commentators to point out the potholes in the road lest our freedoms fall into them and disappear.
This all follows the debacle over cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro’s lampooning of Jacob Zuma, and we have to worry: what does it all mean for the future of one of our basic freedoms, the freedom of speech?
The freedom to write unpalatable things?
My freedom to write what I write here, Pieter-Dirk Uys’s freedom to say what he and Evita Bezuidenhout say on stage, a TV company’s right to make fun of a politician or public figure in a TV ad, a cartoonist’s right to pillory:
Nando's 'Julius' ad canned
Cape Town - The ANC Youth League has persuaded Nando's to can its "disgusting" television and radio adverts featuring a puppet named Julius.
The league met with Nando's on Thursday, it said in a statement. "The ANCYL expressed our concern over the advertisement and requested Nando's to promptly withdraw the adverts in all television and radio channels.
"The ANCYL and Nando's have agreed that the advertisements should be withdrawn within 24 hours in all the television and radio channels they were aired," it said.
"Nando's will continue to properly advertise their products in a suitable manner, and disassociate the ANCYL and its president Julius Malema from their advertisements."
And we at least have the right to disassociate ourselves from your products.