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War, Uninterrupted

South Africa

EDITORIAL

War, Uninterrupted

epaselect epa09788916 Ukrainian citizens and supporters demonstrate against the war in Ukraine at Piazza Dante in Naples, Italy, 27 February 2022. Russian troops entered Ukraine on 24 February prompting the country's president to declare martial law and triggering a series of announcements by Western countries to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia. EPA-EFE/CESARE ABBATE

In these heavy times of war and mayhem, we can only offer the best of our analysis and reporting so that there can be, at least, a modicum of comprehension amid senseless actions.

There are times when the work of journalists comes front and centre; where the public relies on our work and that of our colleagues around the world to bring the truth to your devices and into your homes. In South Africa, those times have most recently been covering the Zondo Commission, our officials’ numerous corrupt acts, the thousands of articles about the pandemic, and the climate crisis and how it is affecting us, from water shortages to Eskom.

We came into 2022 expecting certain developments — the evolution of Covid-19 into an endemic disease, the fallout of the Zondo Commission and the critical phase in the fight for the ANC’s soul, enormous issues that could, on their own, alter the trajectory of our nation.

What we didn’t fully anticipate covering is the horror of war. We know that millions of you are coming to us each month for clarity on what’s happening in the world; you’re coming to us for truth. 

It’s the truth that we wish we could make less painful to read, or horrifying to see. Unfortunately, in these heavy times, we can only offer the best of our analysis and reporting so that there can be, at least, a modicum of comprehension for this senseless war.

We have all seen images and reports of Ukrainians leaving their homes, abandoning the lives they have known in pursuit of the basic human needs of shelter and safety. We have all witnessed, from afar, fathers leaving their children and their wives and sons leaving their mothers to fight for their freedom and the future of their country. 

Every rung of their human hierarchy of needs is being challenged, without the luxury of choice. 

Cyberattacks are now the weapons of war, pursued by cartoonish villains in grey offices many thousands of kilometres away. It seems unfathomable that the truth could be silenced and that all we would be left with are the fiery wings of propaganda. Fighting this silence are the journalists at the forefront of the war, risking their lives to bring the truth to the world. 

The truth is not a luxury; it’s a right 

Acts of war awaken the moral conscience of the entire global community. War asks us to choose what is right and fair, and what is acceptable behaviour between human beings.

This war is happening for one reason: Putin’s pursuit of ultimate personal power, wrapped in apocalyptic prophecies of the world being a better place once he’s done with looting. He has dictated the Russian trajectory for 25 years to capture a lifetime of unlimited power.

South Africa has lived through its own State Capture. Our one-time leader was willing to ruin the country and its hard-won democracy in pursuit of power and money.  

The real media were instrumental in bringing it to an end. Our journalists uncovered the extent of the capture and they are still uncovering the true extent of it. There is also the small matter of persistent corruption and incompetence still plaguing the state. 

We understand that you are busy. You have a life. You don’t always have time to read every news article. But that shouldn’t mean that you don’t need us to keep doing our jobs. 

You don’t need a hospital every day, but on the occasions you do, you’re going to want to make sure it still exists. That’s why you pay not only your taxes, but your medical aid. 

Just more than three years ago, Daily Maverick was on the brink of closure. 

We had to make a choice: do we erect a paywall or do we simply ask those who can afford to pay to contribute to do that so that everyone in the country can have access to our journalism? We chose the latter, because we believed in our readers and in the quality of the service we provide. With 12 million people currently unemployed in South Africa, we simply cannot silence the truth for them. Of our readers, 17,000 (less than 0.3%) contribute to keep us going, so that everyone can benefit. If you, reading this now, are one of those 17,000, we are deeply grateful for your support. 

Today, we’re asking all our readers to make a choice: to support our work in the way your economic means allow. It is up to you how much you contribute. 

By signing up to Maverick Insider, you’ll get a host of benefits, including monthly Uber vouchers to the value of R200, inclusion in our Insider expert database, a 10% discount in the Daily Maverick Shop (among others) and, most importantly, the knowledge that you are part of South Africa’s elite, whose contribution is keeping South Africa’s quality media going — and in times when we all need quality journalism the most.

Our Maverick Insiders amplify our voice so that our journalism will be heard loudly when the country needs it to be. Please, Become One. We NEED YOUR HELP. 

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