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Kgosi’s departure is a huge sigh of relief!

Publishing Date : 08 May, 2018

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The chapter has come to an end for former Director of Directorate of Intelligence Security Services (DISS) Isaac Kgosi. His departure marks the end to a decade long career of the founding director of DIS and his battle with the media over wide ranging issues concerning governance, accountability and democracy.

As the world commemorated World Press Freedom Day this week, it is important to highlight that it was the media which has been at the forefront of the battle against evil in a desperate bid to defend our democracy as well as to protect our civil liberties. The euphoria that followed the announcement that President Mokgweetsi Masisi had taken the decision to relieve Kgosi of his duties as chief spy indicated just the extent the man had become a hindrance to our democracy.

Even though we are not sure of what really transpired behind the scenes, one thing that remains important is that Kgosi is no longer in-charge of the intelligence organ. Throughout his tenure at DIS, Kgosi has proved to be a threat to the country’s democracy. Many people, including politicians, both in the ruling and opposition have complained of constant surveillance from the intelligence.  Many in the BDP may not publicly admit, but we know that many question the very existence of DIS and its true purpose.

DIS had become rogue, and the more Kgosi stayed, the worst its state became. It has been used to siphon funds from public purses under the pretext of serving its mandate, while the true purpose of the DIS remained only a matter of speculation. People have lived under fear, real or perceived the fear was felt. People were worried about who was listening to their conversation. The tapping was rampant. People died mysterious deaths, in all these, DIS was at the centre. 

People do not want to lose their freedoms. People want to criticise their government without fear of retribution. People want to say what they want about government and sleep peacefully without hearing a sudden knock on their doors. DIS had become a centre of debate from the very beginning. Many people including former Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe , ex-cabinet ministers Keletso Rakhudu, Gus Matlhabaphiri as well as former ruling party secretary general Botsalo Ntuane opposed its formation. It is against this background that the fears expressed when the organisation was founded proved to be true.

Let us give credit where it is due, Masisi made a very important decision for this democracy by relieving Kgosi of his duties. It bode well for our democracy.  We applaud him for his gallantry and decisiveness. This may also be a sign that our new president is a good listener; therefore he is sensitive to the sentiments of people he governs.  

The role of media cannot be underestimated in the dethroning of Kgosi from his reign. Of course the final decision rest with Masisi, but the perseverance that has been shown by the media, even during the most difficult times, and even during the times when the lives of many journalists were in danger- deserve a standing ovation. The media does not fight using a sword. It fights using its words. It is this pursuit of truth, coupled with sense of patriotism that keeps this country’s democracy afloat.

The media will forever remain an integral part of the society, especially in a democratic set-up such as ours. Of course there could be some shortcomings here and there, but the role of media cannot be overemphasised.The most powerful tool that ordinary people need to equip themselves with against government is knowledge. People without knowledge would not be able to make decisions. It is the media which provides this knowledge to the public.

Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of United States once stated that: “If I were to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I will not hesitate to choose the latter.” The statement simply emphasise the significance of the media in any democratic set-up! 



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