Things fell apart: We would have been better off without Zille’s infatuation (colonialism)

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“For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.” (Helen Zille, circa 2017)

 

I ordinarily do not have the energy, inclination or desire to engage with Helen Zille’s utterances. It is a futile exercise. She lacks the insight to understand the deleterious effects of her ideological leanings.

 

Even here I intend not to dwell on her comments (Zille elaborated her vitriol in this Daily Maverick piece) instead I make a critique of some of the responses to her comments.

 

I am rather disturbed by an array of commentators who are, on the surface chastising Helen whilst, implicitly accepting as immovable truth the core thesis of her tweet rant.

 

My reading of her core claim is that colonialism brought about industrial (roads, water infrastructure) and social order (judiciary) that are inherently better than what prevailed and that could not have been possibly developed by Africans in the absence of the arrival of the eternal visitors from the Netherlands and England.

 

I do not accept this assertion. I find it telling that so many people can accept it with virtually no evidence and little interrogation. In an imperfect analogy it is, for me, similar to person A raping person “B” and then telling her that he has given her the best debut sexual experience possible. “B” cannot now have a chance to have a sexual debut of her choice and thus there is no way of disproving the callous assertion but that is hardly proof of A’s statement.

 

There is absolutely no reason to assume that Africa would have under-developed (whatever that means) without the painful interaction with the hostage takers that were the colonizers.

 

It is regrettable that we have never bothered to study the psychopathic drive that made some men want to travel the entire breadth of the globe terrorizing others, voraciously acquiring senseless amounts of wealth whilst inducing intractable levels of trauma and suffering.

 

The intellectual pollution spread by colonial and apartheid masterminds and their apologists requires critical thinkers to debunk and demystify the fallacious remarks that are easily accepted as given truths. For this purpose I challenge you to read any or all of the following: Chinua Achebe (whose title I have altered), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Decolonisation of the mind, Bantu Stephen Biko’s I write what I like, Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the oppressed, Thabo Myuyelwa Mbeki’s speeches on the African Renaissance, Na’im Akbar’s papers in African Psychology, the seminal Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois…

 

Biko in particular left African folk with the arduous task of gifting the world with a more humane face. A commendable aspirational dictate that is made the more difficult by the world’s continued perception of Africa as not being a worthy student never mind a suitable teacher. What then can Africans do if the world is not a willing learner?

 

 

 

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A commoner’s guide to appointing ministers

As we approach the elections I present to you alternative criteria for selecting ministers in the new cabinet. We are exasperated with the current selection criteria (popularly referred to as cadre deployment). It has brought us the (dis)honourable Dina Pule, who used our cash to indulge her boyfriend with an around the world trip. We have had to watch on as Fikile Mbalula munificently awarded our tax money to a team that lost in the CAF champions league because he was proud of their performance There was also that whole Beyonce fiasco. To quote footballer Lerato Chabangu, “Mbalula is a bunch of a loser”. What of the Minister of State Security whose own wife was convicted of drug trafficking? It is time for change. Comrades, citizens, fighters and democrats vote for whoever you want, or spoil your ballot, or rather enjoy the public holiday by staying at home, but allow me the chance to prescribe how we appoint ministers.

President: Must be able to sing, shake hands with other dignitaries and angrily rebuke anyone who commits the treasonous act of accusing the president of any misdoing.

Deputy President: Must be forgettable, be available to head committees set up to review the findings of commissions of inquiry. NB: Potential candidates cannot be better at singing and handshaking then the president-elect.

Minister of Finance: The appointed candidate must have a positive bank balance, excellent credit record and have very few friends. Must be a loyal and reliable Stokvel member.  The candidate must not be currently blacklisted.

Minister of Transport: Must have a Code 14 driver’s licence. An eye test will be completed instead of the boring old constitutional oath.

Minister of Women, Youth, Children and people with disabilities: Must be a woman of child bearing age with at least one disability, preferably not an intellectual disability. We will not discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation or religion.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Candidates will be asked to recite a poem explaining why it is better to teach a man how to fish than to give man fish. Candidates will also be asked to write a paper discussing the following: If money does not grow on trees where is that paper-like substance that Madiba’s face is printed on acquired from?   

Minister of Arts and culture: The candidate must be able to spell the word: hymn. Must not be a better singer, of any hymn, than the president-elect.

Minister of Sports: The candidate must be able to beat FC Barcelona with Arsenal FC on FIFA 14, with the game difficulty set to legend.

Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs: Must be able to write a 2000 page essay contrasting spring and mineral water.

Minister of Home Affairs: Must have an original South African identity document. The candidate must be able to recount the names of all the border posts, without peeking at a cue card.

Minister of Health: Must have worked at a hospital. The candidate must be familiar with the scientific names of the first line of antiretroviral pharmaceuticals.

Minister of Basic Education: Can spell, read and write. The candidate must have a Code 10 driver’s licence for the purposes of delivering textbooks.

Minister of Higher education: Can write a 3000 word critical essay on the similarities and differences between communism, socialism and capitalism. The candidate must have attended an institution of higher learning.

Minister of Correctional Services: The candidate must not have a criminal record.

Minister of Human Settlements: A suitable candidate ought to be able to deliver the following phrase with a straight face: “Housing opportunities”.

Minister of State Security: Must at least know the security code to his/her partner’s cellular phone.

Minister of Energy: The selected candidate must be able to dance to “Wuyu Wuyu Y-Tjukutja” without letting the energy subside.

 

All candidates must be skilled in the art of creating acronyms that have a life span of 5 years.

 

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Honey Pot (Manna from taxpayers).

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People be hating on Pres. JZ like he votes himself into power…

2014 elections: A look at the opposition.

I write this in a state of mourning. I washed my hand this morning. I study at a hospital so washing my, right, hand is not the real reason for my moroseness. I attended Amambazo- The musical. When I was exiting the gents’ room, the lead singer of the Grammy-award winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo greeted me. Needless to say, I was in there for a number one, not a number two, although number one does deliver a boatful of number two. I digress. Let us start again.

 

Citizens, fighters, and members this is about you. We are headed to the polls in 6-8 months time. Worry not, your food parcel and free T-shirt are on their way. A friend and I think it is a real pity that the DA does not deliver food parcels from Woolies.

 

The theme for next year’s elections: Education-Economic Freedom-Transport system-Anti corruption-Inequality-Healthcare-Non-Service delivery-and some other stuff.

 

Never before have the people been this gatvol with the ruling ANC. Marikana, E-tolls, Mining sector challenges, Guptagate debacle, Nkandlagate debacle, illegalities in the Police ministry, absurdity in Intelligence, lack of basics in Basic Education, I could go on and on but I do not want to be labeled a ‘clever black’ spewing vitriol that is opposite-of-the-positive.

 

This is not about the ANC, okay it is but it is not. Think of it as analyzing the Soweto Derby but principally looking at how the opposition, Orlando Pirates, fared in the game. In a nutshell, if there is so much dissatisfaction with the ruling party who is offering a ‘better life for all’?

 

We have 230 political parties in SA. Most are irrelevant and do not deserve scrutiny. We have 13 parties currently represented in parliament. We have a confused party called South African Communist Party that is represented in parliament, is lead by hard-core capitalists who cannot spell socialism to save their bourgeoisie lives, which does not participate in elections. We have 19 parties who have registered with the IEC in the last 9 months. Just imagine, you still carrying one unplanned pregnancy and 19 new potential presidents have emerged. Of the nineteen, we will look at Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Ramphele’s AGANG SA (AGANG) and the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP). The others are a waste of time, money and votes, but liberal democracy allows it so it is, very much, okay. If this is getting depressing kindly, join the DAGGA Party. They, much like everyone else, promise a post-election high. If you vote for the DAGGA Party, they will legalize cannabis. Depression and anxiety will return back to where they came from. Eight joints a day they say.

 

The IFP, NFP, UDM, PAC, AZAPO, ACDP, Freedom Front, FF+ and COPE et cetera are all not coping. Let us not waste too much time on them.

 

The official opposition is the Zille-led DA. They are growing! Zille’s clumsy rendition of the late Brenda Fassie’s memorable songs is having an effect. The response of black people has gone from “I love you ANC, wena DA leave me alone you want to beat me again” to “eish ANC is not good to me these days, now that he has money. Maybe I must listen to DA, eish mara better the devil you know…”. On a serious note, the DA’s ‘Know Your DA’ campaign is a failure on two, important, counts. 1. It leaves you not knowing your DA. 2. It leaves most, non-upper middle class people, alienated. So much for know your DA. It is rather difficult to know and become intimate and whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears with DA when he calls you a refugee. Nonetheless, I expect the DA to remain the official opposition. I hope, for their sake, they do not lose Western Cape whilst pursuing Gauteng. The DA will need to become a whole lot more black before blacks can accept it as a solution. In this regard, they must be clear on where they stand on issues of BBBEE and Affirmative action. I sincerely hope I added enough ‘B’s’. Importantly, perhaps more importantly to many South Africans, the DA must be clearer on where they stand on grants.

 

AGANG SA members call themselves citizens. Now I do not mind Juju’s beret-clad militants referring to themselves as fighters because the implicit message is that non-members and non-sympathizers are non-fighters. This is no insult. However, when members of a political party call themselves citizens I am confused. Are non-members not citizens or perhaps are we members whether we know it or not? I like Ramphele as a person, and dare I say it I even like her as a leader at times. However, I think her campaigning is a bigger mess than what Mathews Phosa aptly refers to as the bit of a cover up of the irregularities at Nkandla’s home of the nation. Ramphele lacks credibility on key issues. When estimates suggest that, more than half your wealth is amassed via BEE deals you are not the person to tell people that this policy must be scrapped. Even if your views are, factually, correct. When you say you want to tackle inequality, proudly broadcasting that you are a millionaire is not the way to go about it. You limit the number of people who will listen to you to the same middle class group that the DA is fighting for. Without food parcels, flimsy policy ideas, groupthink passing as innovative ideas your prospects do not look good. Ramphele will be the first to warn against this, but as things stand the party is far too much of a one-woman show. Her personality overshadows the party’s ideals. With all that said, I look forward to having a parliamentarian who is not on a leash that leads to Luthuli House but has credible struggle credentials and intellect. We have missed intellect in our leadership since Thabo was recalled, haven’t we? In fact, we have missed it so much I saw a bizarre theory try to come to life. The theory suggests that since Thabo Mbeki did not complete his two terms he is constitutionally eligible to stand for election. It further adds that he will stand as the candidate of a united opposition. This is wishful, albeit elucidatory, thinking!

 

I include the WASPS for one reason. They are not significant in the numbers game however, the fact that some workers are so piqued at the trade union movements that they would rather start their own party must ring alarm bells for COSATU and the trade union movement at large.

 

This piece would be incomplete without talking about the Julius Malema led EFF. By the time, we vote he may be in jail reminiscing about the days of ANCYL conference parties and EFF’s birth. EFF is clear on policy, or rather the broad outline. Juju’s target market, disenfranchised youth will vote for him, if they register to vote. The IEC is aiming to register two million new voters. A large number of youth are poorly skilled, unemployed and sometimes are unemployable. Now why must they not jump on a train that promises land and honey and manna? Napoleon once said, “A leader is a dealer of hope”. Julius must turn up the rhetoric. However, he must be wary of potential damage of his populist statements, such as when he puts the death penalty on the table for rapists with “uncontrollable libido”. His statements may serve to alienate him from the middle class, which he will need if ever he avoids going to prison and the subsequent terminal illnesses people get there. The EFF fails by calling middle class black people coconuts. It is hard enough selling a revolution to people who do not need it. It is disingenuous to insult them in the process.

 

Let me offer a brief and somber summary. The ANC is not in a good shape. However, it has the minds and the machinery to win the upcoming elections comfortably. Most of the opposition parties are a waste of votes. By this, I mean they weaken the opposition. An ideal position would be fewer parties sharing the vote with narrower margins of difference. Just picture a DA-Western Cape, EFF-North West, ANC-KZN, ANC-GP, and AGANG-EC… The competition will divert some of the attention from bulging stomachs to the mouths of the masses. The opposition is likely to be lead by the DA. AGANG SA and EFF will kickoff relatively well. Their ability to stay on will depend on their ability to metamorphosize beyond the identity of their leaders. I look forward to the 2019 elections, which I think will be much more crucial to the direction this country will follow.

 

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is named after imbazo-axe. An axe is only a tool. So is political power. You can vote for a party/person who will use their axe to murder. Alternatively, you can vote for a party that will use the axe to chop firewood used to nourish a fire that will ensure that the roads are lit, learners do their homework in illumination and pots are kept eternally burning. Not just on days when a non-Woolies food parcel is thrown your way! 

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Sigh!

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Economic Freedom cannot possibly come in your life if you argue for a revolution. This is a misnomer. I admire the ignorant altruism though. Aluta continua!

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Yes we can pick our leaders. H.L. Mencken said it best. “People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard.”

A mental status examination of the African National Congress.

We are eight months away from the 2014 elections that will ensure that the African National Congress under the leadership of Dr Reverend Professor Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma lead national government until 2019. Allow me to offer a mental status examination (MSE) of the African National Congress at this poignant moment. Wikipedia, Ja Ja I know we ought not to use it, describes the MSE as follows “a structured way of observing and describing a patient’s current state of mind, under the domains of appearance, attitude, behaviour, mood and affect, speech, thought process, thought content, perception, cognition, insight and judgement”.

Biographical details:

Name: Mr. ANC (In the words of the Women’s league president, Angie Motshekga’s,  words “We are not feminists”)

Age: 101

Date of Birth:  08 January 1912

Marital Status: In a polygamous marriage (Married to SACP and COSATU)

Mental Status Examination:

Appearance: Neatly dressed in expensive designer clothes, green, yellow and black coat with a tint of red. Mr. ANC walks with two feet up (sic. Animal Farm)

Behaviour: Disorganised (“ANC leaders charged with leading Western Cape Poo(faeces) protests”.
Speech: loquacious (Prof Zuma speaking to Journalism students was quoted by the M&G saying “when I am in South Africa, every morning you feel like you must leave this country because the reporting concentrates on the opposite of the positive”).

Mood: hyper-manic (See picture below)

Affect: Incongruent (Phiyega: “We are not sorry”, “Well done to the police”, after Marikana massacre in which 44 South Africans demised)

Thought Patterns: Illogical, Grandiose delusions? (“We are the champions of the Freedom Charter” juxtaposed with “Nationalisation is not ANC policy”. And now for the classics “The ANC will rule until Jesus comes”; “We want three thirds in the 2014 elections” said President Zuma”).

Intelligence: Meeting the criteria for the Dunning-Kruger Effect (Google it but in a nutshell it is the phenomena of not knowing that you do not know. Exhibit A: Trevor Manuel not anticipating the miners disgruntlement when he delivered a Ruth First lecture which was interrupted. Exhibit B: Phiyega firing Gauteng police chief Major-General Mondli Zuma on the day of his appointment.

Suicidality and Homicidality: ANC infighting is allegedly fatal at times. On the 25th of February 2013 ANC’s North West deputy chair China Dodovu was reportedly arrested in connection with the killing of the ANC’s regional secretary Obuti Chika. Killing your own chanas or  chinas is suicidal behaviour comrades. On the subject of homicidal behaviour the jury is out on Marikana. What of Candith Mashego-Dlamini, the Mpumalanga MEC of health, who failed to intervene when 30+ black children were killed in botched circumcisions?. She reportedly said this was because she is a woman and in her culture her gender does not allow her to intervene? {Just imagine if those children’s skin was melanin deficient}

Insight and judgement: Poor (We will establish a commission of inquiry to explicate the reason for being diagnosed as having poor insight and judgement. We will not rest until this matter is clarified.)

Differentials:

Multiple Personality disorder (traits of communalism, socialism, capitalism, liberalism and neo-liberalism)?

Dementia (Alzheimer’s type with disorganized behaviour)?

Mental Retardation?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Protective factors: Mr. ANC is very resilient having persevered following divorces with PAC in 1959, COPE in 2008 and EFF in 2013.

Disclaimer: No public funds were used in the creation of this satirical piece. However if you would like to contribute to a campaign to purchase an EFF beret for the National Commissioner feel free. Any person who has followed a trial in which the defense and prosecutors have employed different mental health practitioners will tell you that professional opinion is not always unanimous. If you disagree with me we will assume you are a professional with a different opinion. This disclaimer legitimizes opinions that are at odds with my opinion. @Hlaudi ‘Matric for what’ Motsoeneng and Prof Zuma I think this can be classified as good news.

 

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When the people say jump. How high do our elected representatives jump?

The dearth of leadership in South Africa

16 August 2013 marked the one year anniversary of the death of 34 black African miners who were shot by their police. The Marikana commission of inquiry is in session trying to piece together a credible story of what transpired. Allow me to uncouthly pre-empt the process and prophesize the outcome. Credible findings will point to a dire lack of leadership in the actions of the police, politicians and the business elite implicated in the most macabre massacre in democratic South Africa. My thesis proposes that the biggest crisis facing South Africa in 2013 is a dearth and death of leadership.

It is poignant that I write this at a time when South Africans follow with bated breath the long illness of Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela. This blog is titled Constructive Critique-ism, before I continue with this piece allow me to quote Mandela’s opinion on criticism. In a conversation with Ahmed Cathrada cited in Conversations with myself he says “You see criticism must be dignified. We must be factual, we must be realistic, we must be honest, but at the same time, you know, within a certain frame because we are builders”.

 

Trade Unionism

I will not entertain the Vavi debacle at great length. As far as I am concerned, which is not very far, the implicated lady is no Succubus. Let me save you an expedition to Google. Succubus is a female demon. Legend has it Lady Succubus is capable of descending upon a man while he sleeps and have sex with him. More pressing than Vavi’s urge to unzip his pants is the state of trade unionism in South Africa. Undeniably great strides have been made in attaining workers rights, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The efforts of trade unionists culminated in the adoption of labour-friendly legislation such as the Labour Relations Act, 1995(Act No.66 of 1995) and representation in bodies like National Economic Development and Labour Council. In the recent past we have witnessed multiple protests that make you question the negotiation abilities of the trade unionists. The emergence of  the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the Workers and Socialist Party are to a large extent a result of the workers’ illustrating their discontent with the leadership provided by the dominant trade unionists. Comments from prominent members of COSATU suggesting that the reason for the dissatisfaction is that there is a gap between leadership and members are worrying at best.

Education

The more Angie defends the state of education in South Africa the less we believe her. We are not convinced, even when Helen Zille joins in defence of the minister of basic education. The proof is in the proverbial pudding. Speak to any high school teacher in a school attended by poor black learners and they will tell you they receive Grade 8 learners who have not mastered basic reading, writing and math. Basically they do not know the basics but the Minister of Basic education is under the illusion that things are improving. Take it a step further and quiz a Social Science university lecturer and they will tell you that students reach university without the ability to write an essay never mind understand the difference between a discursive or descriptive essay.  When Jacob “Every day I’m shuffling” Zuma announced the fourth cabinet reshuffle in five years Angie’s survival was notable and seen by many to be unjustified.

The fish rots from the head

It is easy to write about the flaws of our president. He is an innocent man with 786 charges of corruption which are yet to be tested in a court of law. Four reshuffles of the cabinet in one presidential term resemble Chippa United’s chopping and changing of coaches. For those who are not admirers of the beautiful game Chippa United had 6 coaches in a single, 9-months long, PSL season and were unceremoniously relegated at the end of the last campaign. No such luck with President Zuma. The shocking lack of leadership in the current ANC elite will see him bounce back into parliament next year. Let me not bore you with my thoughts on Nkandlagate and other such scandals.

Epidemic proportions

A comment by Agri SA deputy president Theo de Jager went unnoticed by most of you reading this. According to the Sowetan he said “Since 1994, this government has not had to manage a drought. If it happens, the government will have to decide very quickly how the country’s resources should be used”. In accordance with Theo government needs a natural disaster to be spurred into action as all forms of communication with government has been to no avail. This exemplifies a defining and depressing trait of our leadership. Our leaders are reactive, not proactive.

Perhaps the greatest indictment of leadership in present times is the ‘Pooh revolution’. No this is not a plagiarism of how Winnie the Pooh interacts with her or his friends. Unfortunately not! The Pooh revolution refers to an innovative, inimitable or downright shitty form of protest that is gaining momentum and stench. Pioneered in the Western Cape young people, alleged to be ANC Youth leaguers, collect human excrement from portable toilet containers and toss it at politicians, municipal buildings and even the Cape Town International Airport. Talk about taking ‘smear’ campaigning to a whole new level. The grievances are legitimate, people are unhappy with living in squatter settlements without proper sanitation, service delivery is slow. The form of protest on the other hand borders on mental retardation. Ask yourself the following questions. Who thought of this plan and was satisfied with it defining their legacy? Which cadres volunteer to collect the ‘ammunition’? What is the content of conversation while you drive from the squatter settlement to the airport with the human excrement in your car? Following the event, what is accepted as a good outcome? A lot was said about the leadership of Julius Malema when he was the ANC Youth League president. However infuriating he may have been he never endorsed such lunacy.  He has instead acted within the law and started his own party, Economic Freedom Fighters, and is campaigning for revolutionary changes within constitutional and democratic processes. Good luck to him and his new set of comrades. Sushi for all. Amandla! Asijiki!

Who to look up to:

A shining beacon in this current leadership crisis has come in the form of one Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His constitutionally aligned and morally correct decision to publicly admonish homophobia is commendable. Regardless of what your religious or traditional leadership tells you Tutu is correct and the constitution tells us so!

In the quagmire of desolation and adversity arose a giant, born in Qunu, with the audacity to not only hope for but promise and deliver political freedom. Thus it is fitting then that we look to what Mandela described leadership to be. In a letter to Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela Mandela he wrote “Internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being. Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve others – qualities which are within easy reach of every soul – are the foundation of one’s spiritual life”. I will contend that the assertion that these qualities are ‘within easy reach of every soul’ is a great over estimation of human potential by Dr Mandela. However the least our leaders could do is to try, or even pretend to try…Image

“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this”. Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

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Allow me to postulate, I think Mandela would much rather we adopt his values and magnanimous leadership as opposed to honouring him with bank notes. 

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Julius Malema: Self proclaimed Commander-in-chief of Economic Freedom or nefarious opportunist? The jury is still out.

The Animal farm in the African National Congress.

Please do not misunderstand me I am in no way insinuating that the leaders of this historically rich movement are pigs or more generally animals. Not at all. The comparisons I am about to draw your attention to, like George Orwell’s initiative use the reference to animals in a metaphorical manner. Thus the working middle class are not horses but these taxpayers are in essence similar in character to Boxer, the hard working horse in the book. To further emphasise this point  let me dare and compare Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela to a pig. No not in the yummy bacon manner nor the dirty we can’t even eat that manner. I compare Dr Mandela to Old Major who is an iconic figure in the story of animal farm and represents wisdom and integrity, values that his successors ought to look to strive towards and uphold.

The metaphorical comparison contrasts the Freedom Charter stipulations of June 26, 1955 agreed upon by the ANC, South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress with the social, economic and political realities of contemporary South Africa. To any Americans reading this blog post the Freedom Charter is as iconic as your very own declaration of independence.

The story of animal farm which as we all know was a metaphor of the Russian revolution tells the tale of animals in Mr Wilkinson’s farm who revolt against the oppressive farm owner, chase him out and take over the farm. Once the animals gain control of the farm they soon establish utopic rules which are unfortunately not adhered to. In fact the rules are actually altered by the pigs that become leaders who start to embody the expelled farmer much to the detriment of the farm animals who endure further oppression.

The original seven commandments, their own constitution or charter, at Animal farm were:

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
  2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  3. No animal shall wear clothes.
  4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
  7. All animals are equal.

No. Relax. I am not blogging to say you must stop drinking alcohol or killing fellow comrades/councillors because even animals see these actions to be wrong and dumb. The ANC comparison comes later. Three of the seven rules in animal farm changed under the stewardship of pig Napoleon. Changed to suit the wishes of Napoleon and his fellow elitist pigs who no longer acted like other animals; prancing around walking on two feet and wearing suits nogal. The italicised words were added to the commandments:

  1. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
  2. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
  3. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.

Eventually the commandments were replaced with the overarching and all-encompassing single maxim stating all “animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.

Manje uKhongolose ungenaphi la?  Well the Freedom charter and to a large extent the South African constitution promulgated by President Nelson Mandela on December 1996 represent the first set of commandments in SA as Animal Farm. See below some of the propositions of the Freedom charter:

  1. The people shall govern!
  2. The people shall share in the Country’s wealth!
  3. The Land shall be shared among those who work it!
  4. All shall be equal before the law!
  5. The doors of Learning and of Culture Shall be open to all!

The list is exhaustive and thus I will not exhaust it. We have not officially rewritten these ‘commandments’ as did the animals under the dictatorship of Napoleon, such a vark. However I feel that the current social, economic and political reality in SothAfrica has inadvertently altered these commandments as follow:

  1. The people shall govern but 4000 delegates will vote for leadership.
  2. The people shall share in the Country’s wealth if they know the right people.
  3. The Land shall be shared among those who work it sometime in the future just don’t talk about expropriation and nationalisation, you will scare of investors.
  4. All shall be equal before the law unless they are terminally ill with that illness called life or have a yearning to be the president.
  5. The doors of Learning and of culture Shall be equal to all but some will get Toyota quality whilst other’s enjoy Rolls Royce educational opulence.

Allow me to justify my claims. I. Unless you are going to Mangaung, the decision of who will be president of the people’s movement the African National Congress and later the president of the republic, lest the so called Democratic Alliance win LOL I am kidding, will be made on your behalf.

II. The businessinsider.com website places us as the second most unequal society in the world. Namibia‘s GINI co-efficient of 70.7 trumps SA’s 65.0 whilst the USA comes in at number 39 with a GINI of 45.0. In a nutshell there is an inequitable sharing of resources and profits in our society and policies such as Black Economic Empowerment and failures in Education and Labour policies have served to exacerbate the problem. Do not despair. If you know the right people you can magically shoot from oblivion into the mix of the high rollers. No education required ask the SABC boss who has no matric. To mimic Trevor Noah: An education for what? Matric for who? Not even woodwork pho?

III. With the exception of the now expelled former sometimes current ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, the ANC is as mum about the fact that Black African South Africans were forcefully and violently removed from land they occupied and pushed towards the homelands and the forever despicable townships as the Democratic Alliance. Are the people sharing land equitably? The answer is a resounding no. I will not discuss the Lenasia removals or the construction work being done in the president’s home; let us wait for the commissions of inquiry to take their course.

IV. All shall be equal before the Law. I have two names for you. Jackie Sela-Elibi and Schabir Shake, Shake the hand of those you advice. Until they die I will use a phrase one generally sees in social networks: Enough said!

V. The Freedom charter called for quality and accessible education. This one infuriates me most. In her justification of the Annual National Assessment results that indicate, amongst other atrocities, that our Grade 9s score an average of 13% in Mathematics the minister of education who has a Master’s degree in Education made a bewildering statement. I know my friends might think this is a product of my imagination so I will quote Minister Angie “I’m a minister I don’t deliver…” Motshekga. She said “You cannot compare bananas to apples, a Rolls Royce with a Toyota”. According to the City Press this was her analogical explanation of why Government schools cannot be compared to private schools which are, I assume, the Rolls Royce. What then happens when the Toyota learner and the Rolls Royce scholar seek jobs and/or university acceptance? This to me amounts to the rubbishing of Mandela’s take that “…it is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor…”. Clearly not old man. Not in that Toyota. I wonder what model we referring to? If it is 13%  it may just be a Toyota Cressida.

Enough reading now let us look at some pictures.

Capture

 

It did not take long for the pigs to adopt the ways of their former oppressive masters. If we accept that the maxim first asserted by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” then we must heed the charter’s call for the people to govern.

 

freedom charter

 

Aluta continua!

 

Capture II

 

Does it not say something about all the people sharing the wealth of the country?

 

Toyota_Cressida_MX83_Rotiform_02

 

 

 

 

I recently posted a status on one of the social networks asking what car would suit government if it were a person based on their performance…
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Generally speaking the majority of sober minded South Africans love the African National Congress.  We find ourselves hoping and wishing that this prestigious movement does not turn on its own people. I found this picture on someone’s Facebook profile and was angered by the fact that someone designed it but angered more by the fact that we can no longer claim it is blasphemous or completely inaccurate. Let the following words by Dr Nelson Mandela be an inexorable prophecy: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another”.

A moral crisis defeats the purpose of analysis!

South African political analysts are working overtime, like ants at the site of a Coke Spill. Marikana, De Doorns, Lenasia or Mangaung used to just be another name on the map of Azania, I mean South Africa. Not anymore, not in 2012.

Hot topics have included the vacuum of leadership debate, analysis of the flawed second transition document, massacre not disaster dialogue, Nkandlagate or compounding matters of the compound or non-compound, information or secrecy bill, spy tapes and more recently the insult law. You could start a television series I tell you. It is political analysis paradise. To think I haven’t even started on Julius “I fight for the poor but give me sushi not Lucky Star Pilchards Malema”.

To cut a long story short the thesis of my argument is that political analysts, critics and the so-called opposition are all wasting their time with their analysis of contemporary South Africa’s political landscape.

Constructive criticism, or rather constructive critique-ism, has no place when those being criticised are fully aware of the situation and just lack the will power and desire to ensure remedy. In fact it is not in their interest, emphasis on the word: their. Why bother with an elaborate analysis of how a second bite of the cherry for the president-elect will merely lead to the maintenance of what President Mvuyelwa Mbeki refers to as “a dangerous and unacceptable situation of directionless and unguided national drift”?

Humour me and allow me to elaborate on this further. The point of analysing any situation is to highlight what is working, i.e. bravo on the response to HIV/AIDS, lament any blatant deviation from the agreed upon plan and offer recommendations for the future implementation of the policies and plans that the populace has agreed upon.

Now ‘as far as I am concerned’, this line ought to be referenced and credited to one Tshawe from Emzin’ Wezinsizwa, the current political context illustrates defecation on any alternative, advisory or cautionary views which are interpreted as counterrevolutionary and suspect and thus negligible regardless of their content.

Now I am not saying that those with the critical ability must stop writing or commenting. Not in the least, not while we still have access to information. Firstly this is a source of income for many and thus I cannot propagate for job loss, particularly not in the current economic climate with our credit ranking dropping to a paltry Baa1 rating.  Secondly and more importantly it is critical for analysts to ensure that the people whom the Freedom charter said shall govern know what is happening in their country. So as much as I have little faith in any analysis influencing the African National Congress delegate’s choice when faced with a ballot paper with different heads, big and medium-sized, I think people must know so as to vote with a perceptive conscience in the future. Mandy Rossouw of the City Press reports interviewing an ANC cadre who is quoted saying “Mandy, you know me, you know I’m a Zuma man through and through. But I can’t say anything about Nkandla, even I can’t defend it” . This information must guide us at the polls.

The ludicrous intervention by the supposed to be federation of the workers, COSATU, who are trying to convince Kgalema Motlanthe to rubbish the nomination of the branches and asphyxiate any remaining democratic light by opting to not stand against Prof. President Reverend Zuma at Mangaung, gives credence to my argument. The reason for this standpoint is not because Kgalema is not ready to lead or because his policies are inefficient but the crux of the matter is to preserve the Zuma administration. I cannot debate Zuma or Motlanthe policies because the fact of the matter, I will accept correction on this point, is that the ANC policy statement is voted on by delegates and not dreamed of by the leader. Thus just like we had a Zuma-led administration not offering drastic policy changes from the previous administration, bar a few policy name changes, I will opine and say Motlanthe would not change much in terms of policy unless he works on IMPLEMENTATION.

People can write and analyse, inquire and investigate corruption and blatant theft allegations against the leadership until they are blue in the face. Fact of the matter is gone are the days when ideas dictated which leader would triumph. The big idea has been settled upon and certified as it satisfies those it serves. ENRICHMENT: Politics of my stomach. Live like kings and queens, be it luxury flights with security planes or what Public Protector ma Thuli Madonsela refers to as “displaying a blank cheque attitude towards public funds”. The less said about palaces the better lest this page be banned much like the advert from the Fish and Chip company. Like this paper has argued. Talking about it right now will not bear any fruit. Let us live and leave it at that… for now!

 

Where to from here? Challenge me at your own risk!


 

Kwakuhle kwethu! If the allegations are true and this is indeed the work of taxpayer funds.

To Mangaung and beyond!