Captives of the past

Every time we're confronted by the pitiful sight of a coterie of rugby fans wielding the old South African flag, we're reminded of how important it is for all of us to live up to the ideal of freedom of expression.

Every time we're confronted by the pitiful sight of a coterie of rugby fans wielding the old South African flag, we're reminded of how important it is for all of us to live up to the ideal of freedom of expression.

This is irrespective of whether we agree with the political sentiment expounded by the flag wavers, who should be thankful that they are free to express their antiquated political views today.

And, obviously, we don't expect the bigots to contemplate the implications of their racist actions while they hanker after the nipple of apartheid privilege from which they happily suckled for so long to the exclusion of the majority of the people of this country.

The irony is that they remain blissfully oblivious of the benefits of the constitution of the democracy at which they thumb their noses - but which protects their right to vent their racist venom.

That they do not provoke an iron-fisted reaction from the state to their undemocratic actions further illustrates the emphasis on human rights that underpins our democracy.

It would be pointless to remind them that many people laid down their lives so this political dispensation could become a reality.

Wielding the old flag may be an attention-seeking act of desperation by a minority facing the inevitable, rather like a drowning man clutching at a straw.

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