Greed has replaced ideals of freedom

THE 16th anniversary of freedom begs the questions are we a free society, have the ideals that so many people fought for been realised and is the idea of the freedom of 30 years ago still the same and relevant now?

We need to be honest about these questions as a society and a country. It's unfortunate that some people are starting to believe that we have already reached the promised land.

So many things are being taken for granted. The scourge of apartheid seems to be regarded only in material terms. Suddenly people want the scars of oppression to be shelved in the archives of history.

People's dignity and values where trampled on for 300-odd years. Discrimination and racist tendencies were not isolated events, but an acceptable way of life and a law of the country.

We need to engage in broader and proper discourse, whether the struggle for freedom that gave birth to great leaders such as Robert Sobukwe, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Sol Plaatje, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, JL Dube, Chief Albert Luthuli and OR Tambo, among others, has been neglected or are we still on course to achieving a truly free society.

The trappings of power and close proximity to big capital has created another layer of society, which excludes or includes people, on the basis of resources. It's slowly turning into an each one for himself and God for all set-up .

The state has become the biggest wealth creator for so many people. I am beginning to think the ideals of freedom in the true sense of the word has been replaced by personal greed in most spheres of society. We are still fuelling the oppressor and oppressed mentality.

Kiekie Mboweni, Nkowankowa