Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The wings of a prayer for Eugene de Kock

Eugene de Kock 
Three nights and three days to go until the final decision regarding Eugene's parole!  

It has been a long struggle, with excitement interspersed with great disappointment, with emotions raging within our souls from anger to compassion, from impatience to feelings of hopelessness, but always we have stood up one more time than we fell down.  
This has been the longest and most emotionally challenging cause I have taken on in my life.  I started out on this journey alone, because I could not find a single person who would run with such an unpopular subject.  

I now find myself amongst the most compassionate group of people on earth.   I find myself witnessing a miracle, being in a group that has not been equalled in terms of being apolitical and non-racist - a group that is so diverse and yet stands together with a single voice and one single goal; to free Eugene de Kock.  If it were not for Eugene, I would not have experienced being part of this miracle.  

My wish for Eugene is that he experiences freedom in all its forms, and that he has enough of everything he needs when he comes out.  May his life be filled with enough love, laughter, food, shelter, human companionship, sunshine, nature and, may he learn to trust again.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank Eugene for his life, for the sacrifices he made to ensure our safety during those years.  I want to thank him for his integrity, for telling the truth and for showing us the characteristics of a real warrior and a true gentleman.   And finally, I want to thank him for his life ... it is his life that gave me my passion back when I got sick.  It is his life that gave my life purpose.  It is his life that has made me fight as hard as I have for mine.  

The final answer to Eugene’s freedom will be given by the Minister of Justice at 09h30 on Friday 20th January 2015.  While we all live with cautious optimism that his answer will be the right one, there is still many a slip between the cup and the lip
If the answer is NO, I will continue to fight.  But if the answer is YES, then my job is done.  A good leader knows when to step down.  I hope that I have been a good leader.  It will be time for someone else to pick up the baton and run with it for a Presidential Pardon.  I will continue to do what I can to make the pardon a reality, but some new blood, someone with more energy, someone who is not restricted by illness and who can travel and do what is needed, needs to take the lead.

Eugene, may your life continue to inspire.  As one of the many supporters of your freedom, Sydney Mhlongo told me, “A free de Kock may become the greatest ambassador of peace across the world, teaching people about hatred and how dangerous it is. This is the man who went through it all. Jail will never give him an opportunity to change a world suffering from racism.  Free him to teach us to free ourselves from racism”.  

May your life be forever blessed, Eugene.  My gratitude and love always, Dianne 

Monday, January 26, 2015

You have to be brave to call my mother old!

My mother, at 81, was at her yoga class when she said, “I have heard nothing from the Neighbourhood Watch.  They had their meeting last week, but not a word from them”.

“Did you put your name down to help?” asked one of the ladies.

“Yes, but only for when they were short of someone to go on duty”, she replied.

“Well, I heard that they were not going to take you because you are too old”, piped up another of the yoga ladies.

“If you think I am too old, you can piss off!  And if they think I am too old they can piss off too!  See if I give a shit what goes on in the neighbourhood now.  The whole neighbourhood can piss off!  I will look after only what is in my own yard”, my mother fumed.

With that said, my mother furiously stomped her way back home.  By the time she got there, there was already a message from the secretary of the Neighbourhood Watch on her house phone, apologising that they did not mean to say that she was too old to help.  Needless to say, my darling mother refused to call back.  When she phoned me with this news, she told me that the secretary and the entire neighbourhood could fuck off and if the neighbourhood was in trouble she would not lift a hand because they considered her “too old”. 

The next day, around 7am, the chairperson of the Neighbourhood Watch was banging on the door.  With many apologies he tried to calm the situation down. 

 “Now you listen to me!” she said angrily, “I can do a hell of a lot more than most 50 year olds”. 

“We do need you.  Please don’t get upset”, she was told.  

That afternoon she got a call to say that she would be on duty once a week from midnight to 2 am. 

She managed perfectly well with her team mate and the search light.  In her two hour stint, they were called out twice and worked together with the police four times.   She, at her age, is probably more experienced at working for Neighbourhood Watch than any of the younger crowd.  She has been a police reservist, is a paramedic, can shoot a bull’s eye at  100 meters, can ride a 750 Honda bike and is qualified to do helicopter rescues at sea.   Age should not be counted in years, but by the willingness and ability to give assistance to humanity. Don't ever call my mother old.  She may just tell you to "fuck off!"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Open letter to President Zuma to pardon Eugene de Kock

Sunday, 25 January 2015
For Attention:  President Jacob Zuma
The Presidency
Email:  presidentRSA@po.gov.za

Your Excellency


We beg for a Presidential Pardon for Eugene de Kock, solely on humanitarian grounds. We are not excusing his actions, nor do we use it as motivation for a pardon. De Kock pleaded guilty on all the charges against him. He showed remorse and begged the affected families for their forgiveness, which he received from all but one. He accepted his punishment like a man of integrity and is not a danger to anyone in society.  We believe that a pardon will not only allow de Kock to live  his old age as a free man, but will also be able to contribute positively to the healing process of all South Africans which is absolutely necessary  for the prosperity of all who call SA home.  We further believe that such a pardon from the President will cement his prestige as world statesman.    This would be an act of humanity, from the heart of a great man and warrior.
While due process is taking place regarding Eugene de Kock’s parole, you are the only person who can set him truly free with a Presidential Pardon.   As Mandela himself said, there is no such thing as half-free.  You are either free or you are not.  Parole with conditions is half-free.
For the love of justice, compassion, forgiveness and for reconciliation of our land, I beg you to consider a Presidential Pardon for him.
Yours truly,

Dianne Lang 

Whoa!!! Mothers-in-law also have a story!!

The evil mother-in-law 

There are so many jokes about mothers-in-law, all of them sarcastically clever, biting and mean.  Oh, so not true.  

The stereo-type of the evil mother-in-law (MIL) puts all MIL’s into the evil pot.  That, therefore, puts all daughters-in-law (DIL) into the ‘never is at fault and constantly perfect’ pot.  Oh, so not true.

I have been a MIL to a son-in-law (SIL) and apart from a few arguments early on in my daughter’s marriage; I have always been treated with respect.  I respect him as the head of his home and the boundaries are clear.  I do not offer advice unless I am asked; and after 16 years of my SIL being in my life, I can honestly say that I love him with all my heart.  The greatest compliment I received from my SIL is that I am the reason for the wonderful wife he has.  

I never really thought about the relationship between MIL’s and DIL’s, until I became a MIL to a DIL.   Over the last seven years, I have spent, not hours, but days and weeks trying to understand my DIL and trying to find a middle road where we can both walk; where my son does not have to feel torn between two women.  Now, I am not only a MIL, but I am also a grandmother (GM), the distance between us has widened.   Every angle, every attempt to narrow the divide has been to no avail. 

Eventually I decided that enough is enough.  I know that it takes two to tango, so I began to research the relationships between MIL’s and DIL’s to see if there is something that I can do to make my feet dance in time to hers, so that neither of us step on one another’s toes or feelings.  I owe this much to my son.

My research has come up with the following five biggest mistakes a MIL can make.

1.      Assuming your DIL wants your advice.  From all the research, I have found that the biggest problem in all friction between MIL’s and DIL’s is unsolicited advice.  Not guilty!
2.     Thinking the mother-son relationship will not change after his marriage.  Guilty!  I have had to find a new mode of access to him and a new way of communicating.  I know that my role as mother has become redundant.  He is now a husband and a father.
3.     Offering to help out with housework or disciplining children.  Not guilty!
4.     Trying too hard to be nice.   Guilty as charged!  I have tried and tried and tried not to be the evil MIL; and always to say or do the right and proper thing. 
5.     Criticizing your daughter-in-law to your son.  Guilty!  Early in the relationship I would ask my son, “Why does DIL not smile or speak?” or “Is there something wrong with DIL because she seems so angry?”   In the last three years, I have stopped mentioning her name because no matter how innocent the question or comment, my son becomes defensive.  Criticising the DIL to your son is extremely damaging because he may bring up the topic with the DIL and she will feel even more resentful towards the MIL.  Unsolicited praise of the DIL by my son has become part of almost every conversation we have.
Research finds that the five biggest mistakes daughters-in-law make are:
1.   Being over-sensitive.   DIL’s can be very sensitive to anything their MILS say  
2. Taking a confrontational stand too quickly.  This does not happen with DIL because she does not talk to me.
3.  Expecting equal treatment.  DIL’s expect the MIL to take as much care about her career as she does her son.    
4.  Letting things slide at the start.   If you find that your MIL is interfering too much, or visiting too often, or offering too much advice, don't put off talking to her about it.  Set limits.   Bad habits become ingrained quickly. 
5.  Failing to put yourself in her shoes. A MIL is also a person with feelings and opinions.  To reassure her that she is a respected and important part of the family would go a long way to making life happier for all.
I used to think that daughters-in-law were the ones with the in-law problems and stories.  But, mothers-in-law have their share of stories too.   I have asked some of my friends who have daughters-in-law; most appreciate their DIL’s but a few have DIL’s from hell.   From asking others about their DIL experiences, I have come to the conclusion that there are a few things that I would love my daughter-in-law (and son) to know.
1.  Although my relationship with my son has changed, remember that I am still his mother. 
“Even though you are the woman in my son’s life now, be considerate of the fact that I used to be the woman in his life.  The most important thing you can do for me is to love my son unconditionally”.
2. Accept me for who I am.
“Accept my eccentricities and who I am.  You cannot ask a tiger why he is a tiger.  I am who I am.  It is my nature.    Make allowances for my illness.  Don’t use it as an excuse to stay away.
3. Please respect my age and experience.
 “It would really be nice if you could use a name when you speak to me and greet me when you see me.  A goodbye when you leave would also be nice.  I am not the enemy.  I could be a very good support system for when you need it”.  
4. Talk with me about hard things.
“If I have offended you, I may not know this. You have the freedom tell me what I have done if I have offended you.  Let’s both assume that the other is doing the best she can.  Don’t hold on to things from the past.  What is done is done and cannot be undone.  So let us not harbour resentment or guilt but move forward into a brighter future for the benefit of us all.  Children can have more than one grandmother, and they can also have wonderful relationships with both”.  
5. Remember, we are family.
 “Please include me in some of the family activities and traditions.” 
6. Communicate with me.
 “I wish I could pick up the phone and call you just to chat.”
7. Get to know me as a person.
“I am a person with feelings, passions and ideas. They are not just an extension of the man you married. Don’t compare me to your mother.  I don’t want to be your mother.  I only want us to feel comfortable and safe in one another’s company.  Try to understand me by putting yourself in my shoes.”
8. Express expectations clearly.
 “Please don’t interpret my desire to be helpful as criticism of you. I do not intend this.  It would help if you would tell me the best ways that I could help you.”

9. Help me know my grandchild.
Let us try to find different ways for me to get to know who my grandchild is.” 
10. Thank you!
 “You truly are the wind beneath my son’s sails, and one of the best mother’s I have ever known.  I really appreciate you for that”.
Most mothers- in-law want to connect with their daughter-in-law.  They want to find common ground. They want to know the DIL as an individual woman with feelings, beliefs, and ideas.  Even if it takes years, most MIL’s and DIL’s eventually do learn to love one another.   I want my DIL and I to appreciate one another, enjoy being together, and with time, to truly love each other.  I want our relationship to grow to the point where our emotional deposits into one another are equal.  I want to feel part of the family.   Please don’t shut me out. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The miracle surrounding Eugene de Kock

Ordinary South Africans are showing, once again, the miracle of standing together for the purpose of one goal. 

Come and join us ... see what it is like to be in a large group of completely diverse people, from every culture, creed, country and race ... where everyone speaks in harmony about compassion and a shared humanity.    The link is at the bottom of the page. 

This group has the greatest number of members of the SAPS, SADF, National Intelligence, SANDF, Correctional Services ... spies, double agents, and enemies on both sides of the struggle and from both the previous and current governments.   

The miracle here is that we can stand together, united by compassion. Eugene de Kock pleaded guilty, he has asked forgiveness, he is (as we all are) a product of the system in which we lived, and he has stated numerous times that apartheid was wrong.    He has been forgiven by the families of the victims; he has served his time with humility and integrity.  He was a foot soldier as were the thousands of young men and the few women who were involved in the struggle for freedom and those who were put in place to maintain the apartheid system.   It is not justice to allow one man to pay for the crimes of an entire government.  If one man was punished, then all should have been punished.  If one man was freed, then all should have been freed.  The irony of this is that the ANC negotiated every single political prisoner out of prison while the NP sent one of their own to pay for their crimes while they walked away with fat pensions and freedom, telling lies all the way that they knew nothing of Vlakplaas.   Keeping this man in prison serves no purpose.  He is not a threat to society.   There are thousands of compassionate reasons to free him, the most important one being that our nation will be freed from the shackles of revenge.  

Join us by clicking on the following link or copying and pasting the link into your browser: