IT WOULD be naïve to expect that the curtailment of some of the freedoms we take for granted would announce itself with rolling drums. That is why the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
The past few days have suggested that we keep our eyes peeled on the prize that is our freedom. The week started with the ANC Youth League using questionable resources to tap into affairs of a journalist who, in their opinion, had committed the cardinal sin of writing about the affairs of its president Julius Malema.
It is neither here nor there whether the Youth League's facts have merit. What is of concern is that the party has used its proximity to state and institutional power to further its own short-term agenda of intimidating journalists who might in the future want to reveal dirt on the party.
It is no small matter when a ruling party affiliate is able to tap into what otherwise should be private affairs of civilians and gets away with it.
While we were getting to terms with this shocking scenario, it was reported that the Presidency had banned lobby group Equal Education from gathering in the gardens in front of the Union Buildings. It is cold comfort that the Presidency only relented after the group launched a court action challenging the highest office in the land.
For a party that rallied around its leader when they believed that those opposed to his ascendancy abused state institutions, the ANC's complicity and indifference to these abuses of power is course for alarm for all those who value freedom.