2019, I’m waiting. Let’s you and I be friends
2019, I’m waiting. Let’s you and I be friends
All that we are arises in our own thoughts. So with our thoughts my dear friends, we are the creators of our world.
The power lies with us…
So it makes sense to invest your energy where your power is doesn’t it – invest the energy in you
Happy Tuesday Beautiful People. Let’s create ourselves a Beautiful World 🌍
🙏🏾 On this beautiful spring morning, one strong beating heart. I am part of this world.
No identity, no background narrative, no defining label.
Not a woman, not a mother, not a child, nor a sister. Not a partner. Not a friend. Not a teacher or a colleague. Not a student. Not a runner, surfer. Not a biker. Not a divorcée or anything else.
Nothing but essence. Just the awareness behind my emotions. Nothing more than the awareness behind my thoughts.
And that is enough.
I am enough.
I am a fallible human being and my opinions are just my opinions. I fully trust my heart though and this morning, both my heart and my mind are in coherence after I read this article on News24: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/dont-be-scared-of-the-land-debate-malema-tells-whites-20180728
This situation that the majority of ordinary South Africans are tolerating is not only nonsense but it is highly dangerous! I think it’s time we start collectively holding our leaders accountable.
Julius Malema is an outright racist. And he isn’t afraid because we are giving him permission to be a racist. So we are also accountable. Nothing good has ever come or will come from labeling people – and he does that all the time, to gain popularity from the majority vote. He constantly reminds us South Africans of our racial difference to gain popularity for his political cause and gain.
I ask myself what tangible good thing has Julius done for South Africa? Anything anyone? One little thing? I can’t think of anything.
He stirs, using racist arguments all the time. He is very intelligent and he is dangerous. He manipulates. He knows precisely what to say to get an emotional response and he uses this outcome (or support) to further his own objectives.
Good South Africans – do we really see parallel planes in what Julius wants to do for our country and what Madiba did? I don’t. I don’t see someone that wants to build our country or is genuinely interested in the wellbeing of all our people.
I see an angry, bitter and fiercely intelligent man who has a destructive agenda. I see someone who fuels division in the country along racial lines with hate speech under the guise of wanting to relieve the suffering of the people. I don’t see someone who really cares about the people. Anyone seen him visit an old age home or a school? Raise funds for cancer or aids research maybe? A bursary for an underprivileged kid maybe? Nada… He only cares about himself and his own political agenda. He is only interested in ‘getting back’ at the ANC for mistreating him. The media gives him airtime and then he uses the unhappiness of the unfairly treated majority to openly pick on the minority. Hey…. Wasn’t there a guy in Germany in the 1940s who did the same?….
Let’s not label each other by the colour of our skins. We’ve come through too much South Africans to allow anyone to trick us into believing that is ok again to be racist. It’s not ok. It will never be ok. In our history, there are thousands who sacrificed their lives or spent years in prison in the fight against racism – Thousands paid the price – let us not forget that. What is happening now is Julius has come in an is undermining all that sacrifice by telling people that racism is ok. It’s not really racism if it Black against White this time is it, no?
Let us not be blind and let us build. What are our values? What do we value? …. Equality? – yes. Education? – yes. Decent living conditions for all South Africans? – hell yes.
South Africans let us be mindful of this – mindful of what our good core values are and let us not allow any person to use us by impressing their personal agendas on us, thereby eroding our core values. We have a beautiful country and beautiful people of all different races in our country which is precisely what makes us beautiful. This is our strength. That is the South Africa I want for my children. Let’s say an unequivocal NO to hate.
Happy Monday ya’ll. Let’s do this.
So yes, I am being incredibly brave, and the truth is I am not at all scared of my own opinion. Opinions are dynamic evolving things and for now this is mine.
Over lunch yesterday, my best friends and I had a great conversation and engaging debate, which got me thinking about the content of this blog post. Who knows how it started, talk about cheese and beer drifted into a conversation on societal inequalities, and an opinion was expressed that education is the key to change (this I agree with) however a continuation of this sentiment is that education should be free (and this… I most vehemently disagree with).
Nothing can ever be free. Not even love. Everything in life costs something. The love from even your mother comes at a cost to her. If it did not, it would not be so powerful. Anything and everything that is worthwhile in life comes at some sort of sacrifice. So hold on …..wait, before I become too philosophical, let’s backtrack because I think my friend/s meant in the more practical sense. The example of Sweden was offered as a model for free education. Very practical yes….. and IMNSHO, very ridiculous yes! It is outright insane to compare South Africa with Sweden. Sweden is a very socialist country, because they can afford to be socialist. As in literally (they have the money) to afford to be socialist. Their basic human rights are taken care of – in South Africa ours are not. Without that, any plight to educate will be futile.
Education is more than studying from a few books, writing a few research papers, getting a degree or three or seven. It is not the cognitive abilities of our society that will fix our problems, it is our metacognitive abilities that will do this. Our thinking about our thinking. The foundation for our metacognitive abilities is only fertilized through socialisation. You can be smart, but a sociopath at the same time. And those fuckers are absolutely no good to society.
It is at grassroots that we must foster development. The past is in the past. Yes I was not popular with my friends for saying that, but I will stick to my guns.
We have what we have. Now – the present. No actions now will undo what was done. There is always the option for vengeance (….yes peoples that what it is – call it whatever else you want to now, but know that it is vengeful to 20 years ex post facto lash out now for something that was not addressed). AND vengeance stagnates growth #Fact. Again IMNSHO, there is no difference in looking at this from a personal point of view. Let’s say I had an abusive husband…. treated me like dirt, emotionally disempowered me, the shit beat me to pulp regularly and verbally lambasted me for years…you get the story. We got divorced – and we each got our settlement. A settlement we agreed upon. Some years later I am unhappy because my life still isn’t going according to the ideal I thought it would – so now I want to go back and take more of what I feel is rightfully mine. It’s driven by emotion…. and yes THAT is vengeful. While there would be some comfort to be gained from vengeance – it’s comfort that is short-lived and short-sighted.
Education is the key, but redressing the more basic problems in society is needed before an attempt at educating the nation will be successful. Academic degrees won’t make us a better or more caring society – and that’s actually what we really need. Not more educated people, more caring people! We need to address those needs first. Higher education (HE) is a luxury, when security, health care and basic education is so severely restricted as it is in our country. One has to actually respect the ingenious way certain politicians use the thought, the notion of HE as a carrot, which they dangle in front of the masses, getting them to believe that is the solution. It’s really clever.
A note of education…. UCT and MIT have a comprehensive selection of MOOCs which are freely available. Surprise, surprise….there are cost free options to educate oneself! However perhaps because current “paid for” university education seems more “prestigious” … the politicians would have us believe that it is key. Sadly MOOCs cannot be fully utilised without basic needs such as a safe learning environment. Besides that, the throughput in general is not good…. Why?, again IMNSHO because it is free – so the quality of what is offered is not on par with a paid for face to face course. It takes time, energy and resources to develop and offer educational content that is worthwhile – Anything that is free, is not worth as much as something that has come at some sort of sacrifice. Why should education be different to food? It would sound outrageous and ridiculous if people demanded free food from the government, wouldn’t it? Why doesn’t it sound ridiculous when people demand absolutely free education? Or does it……
Anyway, I could go on and on and on, but enough of this already. Time to get on with my jobs – coincidentally, one of them is being an open education practitioner (For example I use YouTube to make educational resources available for free for any/all students who need help with stats) …. so I have nothing else to prove. My views on educating people, and facilitating public access to educational resources is clear. But as a whole, South African society – we are not ready for Fees to Fall.
So the dire situation we find ourselves in in Cape Town at the moment is severe drought conditions. Consequently the municipality has imposed very strict water restrictions, meaning each person should use no more than 87 litres on average per day. That is intended for personal hygiene, drinking, cooking, washing clothes and any other household cleaning. 87 litres is not much.
An average shower uses 22 litres of water per minute. Thus a 2 minute shower is 44 liters which is slightly more than half my daily water ration. A toilet flush is 9 litres, so add 2 flushes and I’ve already used 62 litres! Then there all those seemingly small amounts that all add up. Let’s say 4 cups of coffee, washing the dishes, cooking rice or pasta, washing my hands two or three times a day. My 87 litres is used up in no time.
For the most part Capetonians have started realizing the severity and seriousness of the situation. Fortunately we’re a pretty resourceful bunch too. In my household, we reuse the water from washing dishes to water the plants. We shower with buckets in the shower, and then use that water to flush the toilet. Besides this, we subscribe to the commonly heard phrase, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”, and we ask all our visitors to do the same. Similarly, when I visit my friends’ houses too – this is a common understanding – we’ve all adopted this water saving habit.
It surprises me that more people don’t subscribe to the same philosophy in the public restrooms that I’ve been to. The things is, we are all impacted by this drought – so in my opinion there is nothing embarrassing about not flushing the toilet in a public place if you’ve only wee’ed. It baffles me how selfish some people still are – so aware of themselves, that they would risk us all reaching Day Zero, as opposed to letting other people see their urine! Craziness. Thankfully, it’s only a handful of people who continue to be selfish and ignorant. I hope they’ll catch a wake up soon, stop being so proud and selfish and the hopefully with all our collective efforts we can avoid Day Zero.
Day Zero is term that we more and more commonly hear being referred to. That’s the calculated day when our dams run completely dry. When that happens, every Capetonian will have to stand in a security guarded queue for a daily ration of 25 litres of water! To give you an idea of how much that is, see picture below of a 25 litre jerry can (or aspirator is the term used to refer to this container in a laboratory) positioned next to an ordinary sized coffee mug. Not much water uh… But that’s all we going to get per day for cleaning ourselves and homes, drinking, cooking and even flushing the toilet! That sounds insane but that is indeed our reality. Reality bites.
So currently no potable water may be used for cleaning anything outdoors such as a vehicle or even watering plants. A while ago I realised that I can collect the most water when it rains from my downpipes (from the gutters) because of the large surface area of the house’s roof. It’s much more effective that just leaving a container in the middle of the garden, hoping to catch some rain. Those containers are never filled to capacity with rain water – despite me trying that numerous times.
So until now I have been using two 25 litre buckets to catch the water from my downpipes when it rains. There’s three problems with that though. Problem one is each bucket just contains enough water to water all my pot plants once. So in a week without any rainfall then my plants suffer. Problem two is those buckets don’t have lids so if it’s a really hot day after the day it rained, the contents of one of those buckets evaporates before the water is even used. Problem three, on the day it rains, the 25 litre buckets overflow – meaning I could of actually harvested more water if the container was bigger….. hmmmmnnnn think think think.
Auspiciously, I’ve now come to a decision which is hopefully is going to be the solution. Today (with the help of my Dad…. Thank you Daddy), I purchased two 240 litre wheelie bins (the type usually used for household refuse). I opted for the unusual colours red and yellow to avoid my neighbours mistaking either of my new bins as their own! Anyway, these bright bins are now strategically placed to catch any rain water that falls on my roof.
Keeping my fingers tightly crossed for rain sometime soon. My plants are feeling it – looking terribly sad. I believe a little rain has been forecast for Wednesday so I’m holding my breath hoping this new idea works. Who knows, with some luck I might catch enough water to top up my Jacuzzi! That’s another thing we not allowed to do…..top up pools and Jacuzzis. If my plan is successful however, take a guess where our Din Din club’s Christmas (Jacuzzi) party is going to be…..
Specifically, dear aimless, thoughtless, uncaring and unruly protesting CPUT student… What the hell are you thinking!? You and I are connected in the sense that we both belong, not only to humanity – but the higher education institution known as the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
It is an undisputed fact that our university is the underdog, both in resources and in reputation when compared to the others in our geographical area, the Western Cape in South Africa. The only thing we can boast about is we are the biggest. We are the biggest though, an result of amalgamation of two technikons and a handful of colleges – which in itself means we aren’t sure of our own identity. But this path, this “identity” you are leading us to adopt is just downright wrong. What you are telling the world to believe about us is wrong. You are wrong – not by university level thinking standards – just plain old common sense. We are not what you are reflecting, and it has no place at university – any university. You do not belong with us.
This above dear CPUT student, is plain criminal. That bullshit idea that you convey, that these actions you’ve taken (aka causing this kind of damage) is a way to get your opinion articulated, is screwed up. Period.
You and I know, this is merely one incident, insignificant compared to burning buildings and cars – something you’ve also done, which is arguably far worse. These cars dear student, do not belong to the university though. These cars are the personal property of people trying to etch a decent living for themselves and their children, just like you and your parents.
I admit, I don’t know what it’s like to go hungry and have to study for a test. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a rural environment and then at tertiary level have to adjust to living in the city. I do actually know what it’s like to be taught in a language that is not my first language. I do actually also know, what it’s like to move to another city, from Cape Town to Pretoria in 1995, I would argue two completely different cultures. To feel isolated and alienated, homesick for the first 6 months in a place where I just did not fit in.
Also I know what it’s like to sit in a class and have the lecturer refer to “you people” (me being one of “you people“), a marginalized group of students who were expected to fail. In 1995, I was expected to fail simply because of the colour of my skin. (This incident among others…. one being walking home from class one night when three policemen in a marked police vehicle verbally sexually harassed me – a lone coloured girl, simply because who is going to come to the aid and defend a lone coloured girl in the middle of Pretoria city in 1995… come now. It’s just the way it was). I didn’t even tell my family about it – what was the point? Shit happens.
Besides that, I also know what’s it’s like to have to get a loan to study, knowing that when I get my eventually earn that degree, I’ll spend years paying that debt off. My point is adversity is no stranger to me. I admit, maybe you think that still, I was buffered – because true story I have a supportive family, but dear student…. with this little insight that I do possess, I boldly am telling you is that you have no right. You have absolutely no right whatsoever to threaten me and try to intimidate me or any other staff and students at CPUT, because of your inadequacy. Yes… I said it, your inadequacy, not ours.
We all have a choice, and we all have the right to stand up for ourselves. You dear student have crossed the line though – because you are selfish. You have taken only your needs and your situation into account and assume it gives you the right to bully the staff and other students. It does not!
You feed off fear and tension. I will no longer empower you with that.
Well that’s according to Paula Marais, the publisher who has taken responsibility for Rainbow Nation Navigation: A Practical Guide to South African cultures. Actually, I personally don’t believe Paula is such a bad person – she just did what in my opinion all human beings do, whether they willing to admit it or not. We stereotype.
I’m not sure why though, probably driven by potential financial gain, did she think she was going to get away with it, without being on the receiving end of some backlash. Most of us just stereotype others in private conversations or in various forms of personal communique.
Admittedly, I would have loved to see what she wrote about other cultures, to judge for myself if she was just being blatantly racist towards coloured people, or if she really applied the same idiotic mentality throughout and misrepresented other cultures too. I unfortunately can’t get hold the book because it’s been withdrawn by the publisher.
Look the point of this blog is not to blast the lady. I did a bit of research before I started writing and I found an audio clip where she apologised and told her side of the story. She explained how she is making amends and then stated that she has been ridiculed and even threatened as a result of the book. Me…., I accept her apology although based on some of the excepts from the book that I found I still feel I have justification to blog about the incident and say “Really Paula Marais and Co., what were you thinking?”
The one except I read which wasn’t so bad was: “Coloured People also have baby showers. If you’re invited to one of these‚ then here are some hints: – Hand-me-downs are acceptable gifts‚ although in the younger generation‚ this is becoming rare.” Really…….
I’m almost 40 years old, and even if I tried to remember how many baby showers I’ve been to or organised, I could not, there were so many. Yet I honestly cannot recall hand-me-downs being doled out, not even once. There may have been, since I did not make mental notes of this with scientific rigour, but for the life of me I can’t remember second hand toys, clothes or toiletries being passed off as a stock standard gift.
Another excerpt reads: “There’s a little (unacceptable) thing called ‘vat en sit’‚ which refers to a man moving in with his girlfriend and‚ often‚ letting her pay for his expenses. In some cases the girlfriend falls pregnant. She then returns to her mother and makes peace with her (usually by apologising). The girlfriend moves back in with her and then has the child‚ She then leaves the child with the mother and returns to the boyfriend.” What? Really…read that again. Because I had to read again to make sure that I read that properly.
Now that’s a part of the book just ruffles my little coloured feathers. That’s not satirical Paula Marais and Co. That’s just plain rude, in addition to racially typecasting that to the coloured community. The behaviour you refer to exists yes, but is not exclusively coloured. The actor Jack Nicholson as example.
That being said I don’t know if she just implies it’s only more common place in the coloured community than that black, white or indian community. I do however know from my 40 years of personal experience, there in not a single person that I can think of in my community or in my circle of coloured friends that did that.
Then another:“In spite of their friendly and welcoming nature, coloured people can be quite defensive about their culture and identity. They feel they always stuck in the middle between other cultures” This one makes me wonder, did she pay her interviewees to say things that they thought would be entertaining even if it does not make sense? Like what really? I tried understanding what that meant. I wondered what has being friendly and welcoming have to do with being defensive about our culture? Aren’t most people on the planet friendly and welcoming but if you said anything untoward about their culture they take offense? Or did she mean coloured people feel the need to defend their culture if you say something random about them… I only have a M degree in Quality. Maybe when I have the PhD I could possibly make sense of that.
I could do a review of all the stupid excerpts I read, but that’s boring, and I’m over Paula Marais and Co. already. I’ll end up negating each one so I’ll just mention one last one because this one is rather hilarious. It reads: The youths are very concerned about appearances and they like to show their money by wearing it in the form of designer clothes or lavish jewelry. This is in stark contrast with many people of the older generation who are frequently seen in their slippers. Some women go a little further than this and can be seen wearing nightgowns till late in the day”. The only nightgown I have is one I bought 14 years ago for when I went into hospital to give birth to my son. The only other time I wore it again was when I went back into hospital to give birth to my daughter. I better check if I still have it, so I can start wearing it again. Or perhaps I’m just not a coloured woman after all – because I don’t personally relate to any of this.
Jokes aside, truthfully I am getting a little tired of how racist we all still are. No one particular South African race, – we all are racist. I recently referred to someone as white, when a friend pointed out to me that I did not have to use the colour of his skin to describe him in the context of our conversation. I was trying to describe his behaviour which I perceived to be haughty, but So true – it wasn’t necessary. I’m guilty of that. I’m not suggesting we be overly sensitive about this but since then I have become more aware of it. There comes a time in everyone’s lives when you need to make a conscientious decision to stop the racism and practice it. Like stopping smoking – it won’t happen unless you have the will to do it.
Besides that, I suspect we also accuse people of being racist when they really are just bad people. If someone says something nasty and it’s directed at someone of another race we say that person is a racist. But I think there is a case to be made for some events where racism is just a symptom, not the root cause of bad or nasty behaviour. I’m referring to Riaan Lucas’s racist meme after Joost van der Westhuizen passed away. I don’t know the guy but I believe that he probably kicks his dog, and yells at his neighbour and won’t give the coloured kids who accidentally kick their ball into his property their ball back. His meme was in really bad taste, but more than it being racist it was downright unfeeling and disrespectful to Joost and his grieving family.
I think if all South Africans just actually made an effort to be better people in general, then racism would go away. If there is enough goodness in us to truly treat each other with dignity, our own race groups and other race groups. Funny enough my PhD is on culture. The simplest definition I found of culture is “shared values”. Goodness and respect for others are values I think we can all share. I believe there is enough goodness in us South Africans to accomplish this yet.
…So I have the coolest friends in the world – true story. I always knew this, but a recent antic I got up to solidly confirmed this for me.
See, very late one night I accidentally sent a picture of my knickers to a whatsapp chat group that I am part of. The trouble stemmed from a recent update of whatsapp. With the update, when sending a picture from an iPhone, you select the picture, then you select the recipients. The name of the person who I wanted to send the picture to was on top of the list and group chat name was immediately under the name of the intended recipient, because I had communicated with the group shortly before chatting to this person. I selected the intended name, but my finger trailed and I accidentally selected the group chat as well. It was a mistake. Anyone who saw the picture would immediately recognise that if it was not intended for them. I suspect at first it must have seemed like a random picture without knowing the context.
The really interesting thing is though, I am positively sure if a 4 year old saw the picture, the child would think nothing of it. Yet the older you are, a natural phenomenon is that one’s imagination becomes more vivid due to one’s experience. An older person would start trying to contextualise that picture.
So this picture in question was of a black pair of lacy knickers (looked like the shape of a figure of eight), lying on a tiled floor. In the bottom right corner of the picture you can see three toes and a quarter of someone’s foot – but it’s clearly not my foot due to the colour of the skin. In the bottom centre, a finger shaped object that looks like the arm of a chair. And that was all that was in the picture.
Not pornographic. Very suggestive…possibly, if you let your imagination go. If you are inclined to let your imagination go, like my dear friends are, you might describe it as erotic#7, as they did. I do see how “mistake picture” could make many people uncomfortable. Not everyone has as much confidence as I have. Heck, two years ago I posted a pic on Facebook wishing all my South African friends Happy Heritage Day. By my standards the picture on the right here, which is on Facebook, is more risqué than the “mistake picture” on whatsapp – but again I guess it depends on each person’s comfort level.
Be that as it may, immediately after I sent the picture, and realized what happened, I regretted it. The horror struck me in the moments that immediately followed. I was emotional and terribly upset. I could not retract the picture. It was meant to be sent to one person only, but all the people in the group chat got it as well. But what was done was done.
The next morning shock was still setting in. No one on group chat had responded to the picture in the whatsapp group except one person from the group messaged me personally. Her exact words was “Bronwyn! WTH, the picture on **** chat?”. I responded by saying “Sorry it was a mistake”. She did not reply. I felt really bad, but shortly after that my friends rallied around me.
Now my friends…they are incredibly honest. First they said “Oh Dear! What have you done?” Then two and a half seconds later they started laughing and chirping me about it. The following day, when I saw them the first thing they asked me was “So do you at least have your knickers on today?” They have a knack of making light of the gloomiest situations. One friend admitted her own thoughts. She said she thought “I’ve gotta be there for Bronz….. Let’s think…. What would Margaret do?” This comment had us in fits and tears of laughter. To get that joke, one needs to know the story of Margaret and Chris van Wyk who were in a very similar situation. They’re a married couple and Margaret thought she sent Chris an intimate picture of herself, but she actually sent it to a whatsapp group of school moms.
As we joked about it, I felt better and better. They teased me and asked 1001 inappropriate and ridiculous questions about the picture. They offered me first prize for being the village idiot and then told me their lives would be so terribly boring without my stunts. 48 hours from the moment picture was mistakenly sent, because we joked about it, my confidence started returning in a big way and stronger than before. I made the decision to “own my picture”. The advice one of them gave me was “Bronz strut it off”, and that’s what I’m doing
The reason why I think the way that I felt 48 hours after the event is significant, is because 24 hours after it I was probably at my lowest. For about 15 hours after I posted the picture, no one in the group chat said anything on the group. Then one person finally broke the ice with “Bronwyn!?” to which I replied “Oh dear, my bad. Sorry guys. Wasn’t meant for you”. That person replied with a thumbs up and I thought that was wonderful. It was a relief – case closed. However it was not case closed.
A mere 3 hours later, head person in the group chat left the group chat. Shortly after that the group chat administrator told everyone in the group that she would be removing everyone from the group and delete the group to remove unwanted media. Clearly this was a response to my picture. I feel that not only was it an overreaction which drew more attention to the picture, it also did not remove unwanted media. The only way to remove a picture from that was sent, mistakenly or otherwise, to someone’s mobile device is for that person to delete it from their device.
I guess they didn’t know that. I’m sure they know now, because whomever wanted the picture deleted from their mobiles would have had to do it manually. I am part of their new whatsapp group chat, but the entire chat of the old group is still on my mobile.
So this leads me to the interesting question that I have been pondering about since my own Margaret incident. My question is what liability do I have and what liability does anyone who accidentally received my picture have?
So I did a bit of quick reading. Please know I’m not a legal expert but reading a little more on Margaret’s case I found that News24 (2016:online) reported to have spoken to an associate attorney at Willem de Klerk Attorneys, Mr Hugo Homann about it. Mr. Homann said the people who shared the picture have some measure of liability. A second law expert they spoke to, Mr Ryan Ishmail from RC Ishmail Attorneys confirmed this saying if a person intentionally sends a photograph like Margaret unintentionally did, he or she could be charged with “flashing” under section 9 of the 2007 Criminal Law Amendment. I somehow don’t think a picture of my knickers constitutes flashing.
Mr Ishmail did however also state that the whatsapp group members could be charged with crimen injuria, which is unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another if they were to repost Margaret’s picture.
The Citizen (2016:online) confirms News24 (2016:online)’s report and stated that media experts they’ve consulted have said that the anyone who publicised her private photo would “definitely infringed her dignity … and her privacy”. Such individuals could face liability under the law. They added that would include anyone on social media who subsequently reposted it. They explained that the law makes it clear that if one republishes any statement or image that is slanderous, libellous or otherwise unconstitutional, one can still be held accountable for that, even though the publication of the content is second-hand.
Finally The Citizen (2016:online) reported that an expert they consulted from Shepstone & Wylie, Verlie Oozthuizen advised that in Margaret’s shoes, he would approach the police and lay a charge of crimen injuria “against the person who made the initial posting”. However, it would not necessarily stop there alone, as the thousands of people who subsequently reshared it could also face charges, though “down the chain [liability] becomes less and less strong”.
Very interesting indeed.
We staying in a changing society where the rules are grey and the lines are still blurred. We use our personal phones for work and other reasons. At many organisations, societies, schools and clubs people are expected to be part of communication groups – the predominant brand being whatsapp. Using a private devices for professional reasons exposes us to the real risk of unintentionally sending a message like I did.
It is not unusual to send someone a message by mistake. In most cases it’s unimportant and insignificant. But what happens if it is something more serious?
How clued up are we when it comes to dealing with such incidents? These will no doubt become more prevalent. I know that I know very little. Judging from their response to my mistake picture, the people who are in the chat group I’m part of know even less. And you?…….
News24. 2016. Margharet van Wyk’s privacy was invaded – law expert (online) Available from: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/margharet-van-wyks-privacy-was-invaded-law-expert-20160826 (Accessed 1 December 2016)
The Citizen. 2016. Margaret van Wyk goes out in public for first time (online) Available from: http://citizen.co.za/news/news-national/1267214/whatsapp-vagina-mom-goes-out-in-public-for-first-time/ (Accessed 1 December 2016).