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Die Student
I need some reassurance from you, Mr. President

Dear Cyril, (my parents did not raise me to address the President on a first-name basis but unfortunately this competition requires it. From now on I will call you Mr President.)

My name is Liebet Pretorius. I am a 21-year-old journalism student at the University of the Free State.

I am a proud South-African 

Liebet Pretorius
Liebet Pretorius

I have just completed my second year. I am a very proud South African. Thuma Mina, Mr President, Thuma Mina.

My friends and I have become political animals and follow politics since your inauguration. All of a sudden there seems to be hope amongst the youth.

On the one hand we are very positive but on the other hand we are worried about our future in this country.

South Africa is my home. I don’t know another place and I have no other place to go to nor do I want to.

I want to make a difference!

I so desperately want to make a difference in this country and that is why I am hoping to join the Fourth Estate soon.

I am however bombarded by negativity around me. Whether I watch the news or go on social media I am confronted with corruption, dishonesty and self-enrichment by people who are supposed to be our leaders.

In there, Mr President, lies my question. I dearly want to believe that you are the proverbial new broom that will clean this house we call South Africa.

Whether I watch the news or go on social media I am confronted with corruption, dishonesty and self-enrichment by people who are supposed to be our leaders.

I sometimes worry whether you have the political leeway to remove the rotten apples from the barrel. I am worried about our recent power-outages. I am worried about the price of fuel.

Lastly, I am worried about whether I will be able to find a job in this beautiful country of ours.

READ MORE: God chose you, mr. Ramaphosa

So here is my question: Can you guarantee the freedom of the press going forward? To me, the press was the instrument that showed up the corrupt and thievery in the recent years.

It is however disconcerting that a tax on the media are increasing.

Lastly, I am worried about whether I will be able to find a job in this beautiful country of ours.

Sure, I believe that the media should always act in an honourable and morally accountable manner but is it acceptable that some opposition parties name journalists by name and stoop to name-calling and personal attacks.

The SABC 8 is still fresh on my mind. I am sure, Mr President, you will recall the editorial meddling in the recent past.

It took eight brave journalists to stand up to the dictatorial management at the SABC that included banning healthy debate live on air.

Democracy

Surely, Mr President, what you and my parents fought for to gain a democracy cannot be scuppered by this type of interference. Our democracy is based on openness and honest debate. Our strength lies in our diversity; of course we are all different.

Is that not what made the Arch (Desmond Tutu) refer to us as a rainbow nation? Something beautiful and special. And oh-so true.

Mr President, please give me some assurance that our constitutional rights are safe in your hands.

Mr President, I am not someone who gives up. I am not going anywhere. I will make a difference in my community in whatever way I can.

READ MORE: Dear Cyril, let us serve with justice

Will society allow me? Mr President, please give me some assurance that our constitutional rights are safe in your hands.

I don’t want to sound like a doubting Thomas but dear Mr President, please give us a positive sign that we can focus on. Thuma Mina, Mr President, Thuma Mina.

Yours faithfully and the future of our country,

Liebet Pretorius

  • Liebet Pretorius (20) studies BA Communication Science at the University of the Free State. She specializes in media studies, psychology and sociology. She was born in Robertson, went to school in Pretoria and East London, and her family lives in Bredasdorp in the Western Cape.
  • Read the Afrikaans version of this letter here.

Meer oor:  Die Student  |  Bestecyrildiestudent  |  Studente  |  Mening
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