Pierre de Vos, E-toll civil disobedience reveals lack of respect for democracy

The period of white rule and apartheid saw a long history of civil disobedience and indeed defiance, starting decades before the famous Defiance Campaign of 1952 and stretching through to the late 1980s.  Many people broke the law because it emanated from an illegitimate government that represented only the white population and passed laws that constituted oppression of the majority of the population.  I was one of those who was willing to link my future with the oppressed and pay the consequences. 

I do not agree with e tolling as a way of financing transport infrastructure, but i do not believe it is comparable to other situations that have warranted civil disobedience.  Indeed, we may even believe that the present government has lost a great deal of legitimacy that was earned in 1994, but that loss of legitimacy relates to far more substantial actions comprising, inter alia, violence, corruption and patronage that have compromised the constitutional order.   Consequently I am not prepared to defy e tolling.  I believe it is part of a wider problem in planning, that must be addressed in another way.  

We need to build mass organisation to advance an emancipatory vision that will reclaim our constitutional values that are being undermined.  E tolling, as Pierre de Vos shows, does not infringe constitutional rights and cannot be equated with the far more serious crises we face. 


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