Leon Louw Columnist

In a democratic society, can government collude with citizens to abuse and undermine the freedoms ordinary South Africans died to ensure? Unfortunately, it can. How? By picking on controversial issues that get people hot under the collar. Governments worldwide have found that it is easy to get support for state intervention on issues such as tobacco and liquor. And they have readily embraced the consequence that, once in place, such measures open the door for increased interventions in other areas that go far beyond the need to protect, for example, nonsmokers. In other words, picking on red herring issues such as smoking and drinking, allows the state to take the steps that eventually lead into your home to determine what you eat (limits on the amount of salt, sugar and caffeine allowed in foods are in the pipeline), what you buy (Local is Lekker), and perhaps with whom you sleep (as in the bad old days of apartheid).Nelson Mandela wrote in Long Walk to Freedom that "freedom is ind...

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