Friday, 14 January 2011 13:32


TREE TRIBUNAL Photograph by Delwyn Verasamy / 2point8

Late last year, in response to the furore around freedom of expression, national security and the media tribunal mooted by South Africa's ruling party, poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers and Les Perkes prepared a statement that was installed on the orange trees between Eastgate and Ellis Park in downtown Joburg (wrapping the trees was part of the land-art project AAW! did with artist Strijdom van der Merwe for the World Cup 2010).

The South African National Editors Forum assisted us to find a printer who would print the statement - one word per tree - and Media24 came to that party too, for which we are forever grateful. Of course, the posters (on thin newsprint) were installed on the windiest day in South African living memory ... okay it's an exaggeration but it was a bit windy ... and so the Tree Tribunal lasted in its entirety for about 3 hours, instead of the hoped-for 3 days. Such is life, it was blown away. Here is the statement, online forever maybe unless they invent a wind app and we have weather online.


You can say what you like
But don’t ask difficult questions
Like where’s my money?

Why do they want to keep secrets?
They must have something to hide

How do you hide luxury?
Sit on it maybe
Throw a blanket
a security blanket
A lie

Listen to clever people
Spread the beautiful word
Read the trees smell the roses

Rape is an issue of national security
Does that mean I cannot talk about it ever?

Fine but
It’s fine!

Do not waste time people
People are not cows (moo)
We can’t be herded unless
There is a sale on

There is more to life
Uxolo (peace) is somewhere else
And i’m tired of going on
And on and on and on about
The same issues

Whatever you believe
You are your own saviour
Remember milk eggs toilet paper
Bread and butter

All we need
is a
Lot less greed

Last modified on Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:23