I did not blog for three weeks and now I have readers asking if I am alive which is kind of nice. To explain, I was busy with marketing my company and books and getting the books into paper, I will blog on that when it is done. In the meantime I followed a news story where the ability for readers to make comments below the news articles was taken away. This led to an immense outpour of anger and frustration and calls of censorship and a lot other ridiculous statements from them. It was insightful to say the least.
As an author I had my fair share of such comments about my books, mostly telling the world I cannot spell and am too stupid for words. In fact I write so badly I must be for real (whatever that means) and am a “kaffr boetie” and a lot more. On one memorable occasion I got emails from a fellow, a former police and army member. He admitted he never actually read my Mean Streets autobiography and yet he had a lot to say about it, all negative and it started with accusations in dodging national army service. A senseless point discussed in the book since the police killed 90% of terrorists. What did I dodge? The right to stand guard at Oshakati? I was as a Flying Squad member in more shootouts than any national serviceman and by the way, seven times on the border. Then that I started my legal career at a very well-known human rights law firm representing, at the time, Mr Mandela and the who’s who of the ruling party (yes I met them all). This apparently makes me a lesser Afrikaner and so it went on, from this fellow who ran to Australia, it is ironic and when I offered to give him the books for free, to read, he said he will “delete” them as they come in. Real kindergarten arguments. Paradoxically, 90% of my clients are Afrikaners unable to pay for my services, I try to help as I did with the three legal books and other articles on law and business I give away for free. Oh and then the books are anyway rubbish unable to sell, so they must be given away for free. As you can see, you cannot win against such trolls and ignoring them is better but so hard to do. After a while I stopped reading reviews and comments as it hurts, no matter how thick skinned you try to be, it hurts to read such crap.
So I was not the least surprised to see the news website, one of the biggest in South Africa, deciding to cut this privilege and close the comment sections. Remarkably, a place like the BBC also does that, no comments allowed. You read the news and that is it and except in exceptional circumstances you cannot sprout your views and I have to say, I agree with that. You may then ask, why read the comments if they are such crap in the first place and they are, 99.9% of the comments are from boring and sad people venting their anger at life. Well, with my books I read them to learn, to improve as an author, I know I am not perfect. But I learned nothing, I just got upset and then wisely concentrated on the hundreds of nice emails I got from readers across the world (yes, I saved them). I read the news comments to get a feel for the public’s feelings on the subject but alas, it was the usual crap of “bring the death penalty back” or “it is Apartheid’s fault” or “let us hate the police, the army, the navy, the government” and so it went on. Nothing constructive and with trials, legal matters, the absolute ignorance of the commentator was simply amazing, and then funny and then worrisome in the extreme.
I also wonder, if not “hiding” behind a false name, would they be so willing to sprout such hatred and foolishness? I say “hiding” because it is extremely simply to trace such people down. As such I traced someone down torpedoing my books from the side, another liberal idiot (all families have such clowns) that did not actually read the books either, it is just personal and the nasty comments made me feel good. It is always nice to bother a liberal enough to stoop to such levels and as they say, “take it from who it comes.”
I am not writing this blog to gain your sympathy for my abuse, nah, that is expected in writing. You will never keep everyone happy and some just have to criticize everything, probably a short man syndrome and I mean length where it matters, yes, figure it out, it is not height, it is size. I warned so many times that freedom of speech is limited by law. What you publish on the internet may become your worst nightmare. Hate speech is not allowed and with reason, it helps nothing, gives no solution and it is a crime. Be careful what you publish, I say again, that name you hide behind, means nothing, you can be traced easily and yes the intelligence agencies do so, all the time.
You cannot blame the websites to say “enough” and to cut the moaners off. Why are you reading a news website, I wonder. To get the news, hopefully accurate and hopefully neutral so you can make up your own mind, the rest is nonsense. What do you care what I have to say unless you pay me to advise you? This is not censorship, is an utterly predictable course of action when abuse becomes the norm and one I agree with. And I can take it further. Does it not say in the Bible that if your brother did you in, see him in private first, and then with two others and lastly with the entire church? Yes, you may say to me now these people are not Christians, why would they bother in following the Word of God? That my friends, is my point since every one of these moaners confesses to be “Christians” and yet they are peculiar, none of their writings shows any goodwill, love or even a desire to be different from the world. Yep, I said enough. Figure it out. I cannot but I am sure God can and will, one day. It is written.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a practicing commercial law attorney for eight years. He also wrote several books on business, law, counter terrorism and security issues. He is a widower and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.