Yes you read that right. The Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance (JFSA) and the African National Congress (ANC)
I am in a bit of a reflective mood this morning. My personal belief is that we are so close to a definitive end to the Horizon scandal based on the new evidence that has come to light. I wondered why I have maintained such an interest in getting to the bottom of it despite no longer having any connection with POL. It really is all down to wanting to help others who have had injustices done to them.
If you read my blog on the contract recently and then have a look at Alan Bates’ description of his story on the JFSA site you will see a lot of similarities in the conclusions made. The difference though is that Alan reached his conclusions years ago and it has taken me all this time to come to the same ones. If it wasn’t for Alan’s tenacity in continuing the struggle for vindication we wouldn’t have reached the point we are at today. He managed to identify, long before Social Media, that there was indeed a common link of injustices done to SPMRs by POL. How he did that I do not know – you could liken it to Galileo trying to convince the world that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe. Alan maintained that tenacity to fight not in the hope but in the certainty that one day it would all end and he and his fellow alliance members would be vindicated.
Which brings me to the ANC. A long time ago, 25 years in fact – seems like yesterday – I lived in Cape Town. I had my own company selling PCs, Installing Networks and providing training. I was approached by a friend who was a Quaker. The Quakers were actively supporting the ANC at that time and they wondered if I would help them. They wanted to provide the Border Council of Churches (the front for the ANC at that time) in East London with computer equipment, PCs and Printers with training so they could produce their own propaganda. I volunteered to assist and drove up to East London with the equipment to install and train them. In the evening after setting up everything I was taken to dinner by a wonderful man called Smuts Ngonyama – who later became a senior Government figure.
In 1990 we (the privileged few) could see the changes that were taking place in the country. We could see that the ground was being prepared for what was to be delivered later. When Smuts made a disparaging comment about FW De Klerk at the table I made the one of the worst comments, the most insulting of comments, I have ever made. I suggested to Smuts that he should welcome FW with open arms and just ‘wait’ I said – it won’t be long – maybe just a year or two – until what you dream of will become reality. Smuts flew into a rage. What he told me next really altered my perspective on life forever. “Wait?” he shouted. “Wait? You have no understanding what our life is like. How we have been mistreated and how we are persecuted for the colour of our skin on a daily basis. If I cannot go to bed at night and dream that tomorrow will bring freedom then what is the point. I live for tomorrow I cannot wait any longer you stupid man”.
I am sure Alan dreams of the day his struggle ends and his efforts are rewarded. I bet you he hopes it is tomorrow. I do too. It may well be.