By Martha Gatt
When on that fateful Monday afternoon, I heard about Daphne’s assassination I realised that although shocked to the bone, I wasn’t surprised. But I felt hugely responsible.
In all honesty, possibly at an unconscious level, I had been expecting this. In this country of ours, over the past four years and seven months, Government has gone to every extent to undermine the institutions by populating them with individuals who are either incapable by default, or by design, to perform their duties. The message being given was that, so long as in accordance with the piper’s tune, wrong doing was tolerated. In contrast, it was becoming more and more evident that standing up for what is right was tolerated less and less. What we knew was going on bore deafening witness to the reality of this country. And so much more was going on with us knowing.
Daphne had been raising the alarm for months on end, even years, about the downward spiral which our country has got caught up in. And so many of us were reading her, from the comfort of our homes, from the safety of our anonymity. She was out there in the open, the only soldier on the front line. Every body else was admiringly watching from a comfortable distance – what were we expecting? That she would win the war single-handedly? The extent of evil was bigger than her, and it has now engulfed her. Her son Matthew’s message was a piercing scream to my ears: “The last person left standing is often a journalist. Which makes her the first person left dead”.
We have let down our hero miserably. It is now too late for Daphne and her family – she has given her life for this country while we stood watching. But it is not too late for our country. And we are still here. We owe it to her to continue what she started; we owe it to our country, to ourselves, to our children.
Let us all step out of our comfort zone to be a peaceful force in favour of goodwill, good governance, transparency and the truth in this country. Only then can we hope to save ourselves, and to do justice to her who paid with her life.