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Letters Newspapers  2016

.The Mercury

GLOBALISM AND NATIONALISM           posted December 31, 2016

Although the thrust of the Mercury’s December 29 editorial headed “Year of the grim

reaper” concerned the demise of celebrities, by its inclusion of references to “populist

right wing sentiments” in the US and Europe, it obviously regards such developments

in the same “grim” vein.

 

With Trump’s inauguration due shortly followed by elections in Holland and France in March

and May, respectively, where the Establishment political structures  face critical

challenges, 2017 promises an avalanche of politically “grim” news in terms of the

Establishment’s mindset.

 

What is significant is that the Establishment press, which includes the Mercury, never

refer to “left wing sentiments” although they abound in Establishment parties headed by

the likes of Obama and Merkel. Yet anyone who stands up for his or her nation, like Nigel

Farrage in the UK or Marine Le Pen in France, is branded “Far Right.”

 

This, of course, is the result of politically correct parlance which George Orwell would

have termed newspeak for propaganda.

 

If journalism is to be credible, it needs to distinguish between globalism and nationalism.

Nationhood is as old as the Bible. The more globalism and excessive immigration threatens

national sovereignty, the greater the outcry will be from those who value nationhood. This

has just been emphatically illustrated in the US where more than 60 million voters endorsed

Trump’s slogan “Make America great again.”

 

The political pendulum is swinging back strongly  in the direction of conserving national

borders, values and cultures. That is reality and it is also the reflection of democratic will.

Instead of trying to disparage the trend, get with the programme!

The Mercury

  

THE PARALYSIS OF GOVERNANCE            - posted 17 December 2106

 

The protracted legal manoeuvring over a period of nine years involving

judge Nkola Motata’s drunken driving conviction highlights the paralysis

of governance that afflicts this country under ANC (Mercury, December 15).

 

Closure of his case should have followed immediately after he was

convicted and fined R20,000 for drunken driving in 2007. From a purely

ethical and professional standpoint, Motata should have been disbarred.

After all, he had violated the ethic “as sober as a judge.”

 

Instead, Motata has played the system for nine years at a cost of R16 million

to the taxpayer. One would expect a judge to be a person of integrity and

respectability.

 

But in accepting R16 million for doing no work, Motata has not only

sullied the image of the legal profession but has demonstrated that with

the right political connections, there is no substance to the adage printed

on the title page of the 1996 edition of the SA constitution: “one law for

one nation.” [Curiously, those words do not appear in the tenth anniversary

issue of the constitution booklet].

 

 

DAILY NEWS

 

ZUMA UNFIT TO CELEBRATE CONSTITUTION                posted 8 December 2016

 

 

The fact that President Jacob Zuma is to lead the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s

constitution (Daily News, December 6) defiles the occasion.

 

Having been found  by the Constitutional Court to have  failed to defend, uphold and protect the constitution,

Zuma has no business in celebrating its anniversary.  For him to attempt to extol its virtues is nauseating hypocrisy.

 

Clearly the man has no sense of conscience and is devoid of credibility. His continuation in office is an insult to all who regard

the constitution as the supreme law of the land.

 

The Mercury

 

 

DA’S REPORT CARD: “D” for DISAPPOINTING       -         posted 7 December 2016

 

At this time of the year, the DA usually issues report cards on the performance of the

governing structures. Whilst undoubtedly several of my former colleagues have been

beavering away diligently in their wards, however, as a collective entity and as the official

opposition in the Council, the DA’s public profile in Durban’s daily press has been sparse.

 

That reality does not give credence to the DA’s claim that it works between elections.

It is also strange given the fact that the election on August 3 saw the DA’s representation

in the eThekwini Council increase from 43 to 61 councillors.  Yet in terms of political visibility

and volume, its footprint has not appreciated exponentially.

 

As the major opposition, the DA should be critically and proactively engaged with issues by means of opinion

pieces and press letters. That means taking the initiative. But since September 22 when the

Mercury published a report on the ‘war of words’ between DA leader Cllr Mncwango and the mayor,

nothing further has emanated from the DA’s Council leadership.

 

Why has there been no critical engagement with issues such as the following:

* the extravagance of the 2022 Commonwealth Games;

* the mayor’s ongoing abuse of ratepayer money by way of press advertisements;

* the mayor’s various claims as to the achievements of her first 100 days in office;

* infrastructure developments such as the proposed desalination plant or the promised Bluff

   beaches upgrade;

* the ongoing political implosion within the ANC and its effect on governance;

 

For all the caucusing and meetings to which the DA subjects its councillors, not to

mention the numerous directives from its provincial office, there surely must be

other issues worthy of public importance and debate.

 

The DA’s slogan in the recent local government elections was “Change.”

But unless there is constructive criticism and the parading of alternatives, change will not

gain traction in the minds of the electorate. So, in terms of its performance

since the August election, the eThekwini DA’s report card rates only a “D”-  for disappointing.

  

The Mercury

 

ZUMA’S ANTICS PROMOTE BANANA REPUBLIC STATUS            posted 1 December 2016

 

 

From the daily press reports of Zuma’s bids through manoeuvring, plotting and  posturing to remain in power,

the one thing that seems to have escaped all the constitutional experts and those who routinely gloat about

the virtues of our constitution is that it is not the supreme law of the land.

 

In March this year, in a unanimous ruling,  the Constitutional Court found that Zuma had failed to uphold and protect the constitution with regard to the Public Protector’s recommendations on Nkandla and as such was in breach of his

oath of office. (See the opinions of experts De Vos and Trengrove).

 

Although for different reasons, Richard Nixon, John Vorster and David Cameron all resigned office because theircredibility and integrity had been damaged or destroyed. None of them was guilty of using vast sums of publicmoney to build a private domain.

 

The fact that Zuma has failed to do the honourable thing and resign and the fact that his party has decided that,regardless of the constitution, it will decide his fate, makes it very clear that South Africa under the ANC is not a constitutional democracy. Zuma’s insistence on clinging to office reflects the nature and character of a bananarepublic.

 

Section 83(c) of the constitution requires the president to promote the unity of the nation. Ironically, Zuma is

succeeding very well in that respect because has united people across our diverse social and political landscape in demanding his resignation.

 

The Mercury

 

HYPOCRISY AND IRONY OF CASTRO EULOGIES            posted 29 November 2016

 

In the wake of their ferocious opposition to Brexit and to Trump, the eulogies for departed Cuban dictator,

Fidel Castro, from the Establishment press and those who call themselves liberal, while not surprising,

are indeed ironic (Mercury, November 28).

 

Mark Lowe, a lifelong liberal and proponent of democracy and human rights, manages to gloss over the

Castro’s tyranny by saying that he “did his best, as he saw it, for his country.” Really, Mark? So one-party

state repression, firing squads and gulags for opponents and dissidents, the flight of one million Cubans

into exile, the arrested state of Cuba’s development adds up to “just a shade of grey” in the Lowe lexicon.

 

Castro’s “doing his best” included becoming a billionaire whilst his subjects experienced equality in poverty.

That “living a simple life” as Lowe claims, meant a life of debauchery, mistresses and luxury, as witnessed by his personal bodyguard for 17 years, Juan Sanchez (New York Post, November 27). That “doing his best for his country” included banning

 

Christmas between 1969 and 1998. That the man painted as a simple folk hero had 37 women and children massacred

in the Florida Strait on July 13, 1994 as they tried to escape his tyranny.

 For the Mercury to state in its editorial that Castro’s “selflessness” inspired “the true meaning of humanity” is a monumentaluntruth. Unless, of course, the Mercury regards systematic repression and one party-state despotism as reflecting “the true

meaning of humanity.”

 

However, the greatest irony that arises from the Mercury’s November 28 editorial is that it sees nothing amiss in Castro’scommunist minority rule. Yet it abhors the minority rule of apartheid in South Africa where at least there was press freedomand judicial independence, two freedoms Castro denied Cuba.

 

Thus, it is absolute hypocrisy to eulogise Castro’s minority communist dictatorship whilst simultaneously condemningminority white rule of South Africa.

 

DAILY NEWS

 

PROSPECTS FOR KING GEORGE V’S STATUE ON CAMPUS -      posted 23 November 2016

 

Nathi Phetha of the Economic Freedom Fighters claims that the removalof the statue of King George V from the Howard College Campus of UKZNwill be his priority along with renaming buildings with colonial names

(Daily News, November 22).

 On February 5, 2016, I received an email from the Director of Communicationsof UKZN, Thembikile Simelane, responding to my inquiry as to why the King George V statue remained in a vandalised state. I was assured by Mr Simelane that “the restoration of the statue would be a priority” as it was regarded as

“an important part of the history of the University.” The email I received was also

copied to the Vice Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld. One trusts, therefore, that the vindictive attitude of Nathi Phetha towards theheritage of UKZN will not be permitted to gain traction and that other student groups representing the DA and the IFP will oppose the EFF.

 The likes of Phetha need to appreciate that everything around them is a product of past effort and dedication.

Which is why the Preamble of the Constitution exhorts all to “respect those who have worked to build and develop our country.”

 Phetha and his cohorts need to wise up to the fact that they can’t create a different past. In any case, their

sole purpose as tertiary students should be diligent application to their chosen studies so as to improve

their future prospects.

QUESTIONING THE DESALINATION PROJECT               posted 23 November 2016

 

According to a report in the Mercury of November 21, a desalination plant is to be established in the Bluff headland areaas a pilot project. Although there is nothing untoward  in a project to test the feasibility of a desalination plant,  committing to desalination as a means of addressing water supply ought to be questioned.

 An article in the Mercury on March 6, 2014 noted that desalinated water would cost double that of the Umgeni water tariff.Also of note is the large amount of electricity required for such a plant. Although the proposed demonstration model ispredicted to use 30% less energy than conventional desalination plants, the phrasing of that claim does not mean that water

thus produced will be cheaper than Umgeni water.

 A desalination plant built in Brisbane has been in mothballs for several years because the supply of water from naturalsources has been more than sufficient. But to keep that plant idle costs Brisbane’s ratepayers $15 million a year and has resulted in a 13% increase in the city’s water price ( Brisbane Courier Mail, March 3, 2015).

 With plans to build a dam on the Mkomazi River, which would boost Durban’s water supply substantially, and bearing inmind the liability of  Brisbane’s desalination plant, Durban should be very cautious about committing to desalination as a means of sustaining water supply. It should also be appreciated that droughts are not continuous but are part of ourhistorically proven weather cycle.

 

INDIANS VOLUNTEERED FOR INDENTURE         posted 18 November 2016

 

Imraan Buccus’ cynicism regarding the procrastination in erecting

a monument in memory of the indentured Indians who came to

Natal  is fully justified (Mercury, 17 November). However, his claim

that indenture “was not a process of free choice or free will” is inaccurate.

 

Well- known authority on the history of Indians in Natal, Surendra Bhana,

has stated that the recruitment of indentured labour “was determined by

who was available and those who were available were generally the victims

of forces beyond their control” (A Study based on ships lists, UDW, 1987, p. 84).

 

The forces to which he refers were the ryotwari and the zamindari. Under the

ryotwari system, the individual land occupant paid tax directly to the state. But

the five acre plots were, on average, uneconomic and as a result many peasants

became indebted to money lenders.

 

The zamindari system, although community-based, subjected each tenant to taxation

so as to meet the community’s tax obligation. Again, aside from the vagaries of trying

to make a living from the land, peasants were driven into the hands of the money-lenders.

Land tax paid by peasants was fixed at 50% of the value of their crops (Natal Mercury, 15

October 1891).

 

Thus, the tax system, debt, famine and escape from the rigid caste system were all factors

why individuals volunteered for indentured immigration. It is a sad reality, however,  that there

was much abuse of indentured Indians on Natal sugar estates as regards quality of food,

accommodation, medical treatment and hours of work – and that such conditions were worse

in Fiji and Mauritius.

 

But of the 152,184 Indian immigrants who came to Natal between 1860 and 1911, when

indentured immigration ceased, only 23% returned to India. On completion of their five or

ten year indenture contracts, the others stayed.

 

The Mercury

 

TRUMP PHOBIA                                                    -  posted 16 November 2016

 

Despite her qualifications and academic record, Alleyn Diesel’s attempt to promote fear and loathing

about Donald Trump (Mercury, November 15) lacks credibility and traction.

 

She states that the trouble with democracy is that the majority is usually wrong. If Hillary Clinton had

won the presidency would Alleyn Diesel still hold that view? I doubt it.

 

Her implication that Trump’s rhetoric parallels that of Hitler and that as a result America risks being

swept along a totalitarian path, is not only typical Trump phobia but also reflects a poor grasp on how

the US political system works. There are substantial checks and balances between the legislative and

executive branches of government which ensure against presidential despotism. Trump will not be able

to make treaties, declare war or even appoint ambassadors without the consent of two-thirds of the Senate.

To finance any of his policies, he will have to have the support of the House of Representatives where despite

the Republican majority, Trump is no favourite.

 

What is particularly galling about Diesel’s remarks is her  view that Trump’s slogan – make America great again –

should be “more honestly interpreted as make America white again.”  That same kind of perverted

thinking was thrown at Tony Leon in 1999 following his “Fight Back” slogan which his detractors claimed

meant “fight black.”

 

If there was any credibility in Diesel’s assertion that Trump was anti-black, then Dr Ben Carson, a black American

neuro-surgeon, would not be a Trump supporter who is being touted for a position in Trump’s cabinet. In any

event, the African-American vote Trump received was double what Mitt Romney achieved in 2012. Oddly enough

Hillary Clinton did not receive the same African-American support as Obama did in 2012.

 

Disparaging Trump is easy but doing so without taking into consideration circumstances in America and what

Hillary Clinton endorsed, hardly builds a credible argument. Rampant emigration is a major cause for concern in Europe

and the US. Countries have borders; hemispheres don’t. Trump wants America to retain its status as a country. Hillary

Clinton, a globalist like Alleyn Diesel, wants open borders and for the US to become part of a western hemisphere open

to 600 million other people. She also wants to allow in 500,000 Syrian refugees – never mind the Isis factor.

 

Under Obama the number of Americans on food stamps has risen from 32 million to 47 million; the economy is stagnant;

the capacity of US armed forces has slumped to what it was in 1940; Obamacare is neither affordable nor popular.

Yet Hillary Clinton promised more of the same. She failed to address the loss of blue collar jobs which cost her the key

states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

 

From the decay of its inner cities and its  crumbling 1950s infrastructure to its stuttering economy and job losses to the

appalling Kerry/Obama nuclear deal with Iran gift-wrapped with $150 billion, there’s a lot wrong with America that the

globalism of Hillary Clinton and the likes of Alleyn Diesel can’t fix.

 

The Mercury

 

Sir

 

THE FARCE OF WARD COMMITTEES            - posted 15 November 2016

 

Despite their complete failure during the Council term which ended on August 3,

eThekwini mayor Gumede is now promoting the election of new ward committees,

again using ratepayer money to pay for advertisements in the press each of which

cost R35,000.

 

As far back as 2008, the conclusion reached in the  Local Government Bulletin (Vol. 10,

No. 1 and No. 2) was that ward committees do not work. These are the reasons:

*First, they are purely advisory. They may not hinder or interfere with the mandate which

the elected ward councillor achieved.

*Second, in that their agendas comprise decisions already taken by the Council, their

ex post facto opinions are pointless and futile.

*Third, the claim that ward committees represent the relevant stakeholders of a community

is utterly risible. Nobody can compel members of civil society to make themselves available

to sit on a ward committee. Volunteerism cannot be prescribed.

*Fourth, as a result of the above, ward committees have become nothing more than extensions

of political party structures packed with cadres at the ratepayers’ expense.

 

As such ward committees constitute a costly and superfluous additional layer of local government.

With 110 wards in eThekwini, with each ward committee comprising ten members, each of whom is

paid R1,000 per month, amounts to  R1,1 million per month or R13,2 million per year, all courtesy of the ratepayer.

 

During the last “elections” for ward committees, not only did electoral fraud occur in most wards in terms

of candidates’ residence, but the turnout in most cases was less than what a quorum for a school governing body

election might require. On the Bluff, for example, despite a re-run of the “election” only 59 people voted out of

18,000.

 

The ward committee exercise is not only an expensive farce, devoid of credibility, but it is also an attempt

to supplant established voluntary organisations within society. It is surprising that the DA which claims to

be frugal about the public purse goes along with this nonsense.

 

 

The Mercury

 

Sir

 

TRUMP’S WIN – A VICTORY FOR FREE THINKING                posted 12 November 2016

 

Like the experience of a mega hangover, the harvest of consternation of the mainstream media

and many of its subscribers at Trump’s election, is both amusing and revealing, as the Mercury’s

letter page of November 11 illustrates.

 

Dredging up the negatives of Trump’s past and claiming that votes for him endorsed racism

shows the alarming extent to which people have been conditioned by the media’s onslaught

against Trump. A truly Orwellian situation.

 

Yet those same critics were silent about Hillary Clinton’s background and what she stands for.

Their silence reflects the extent to which the media failed to cast a critical eye on her.

What that amounts to is the extent to which people who call themselves educated and well-informed

succumb to shepherding.

 

Yet those same people, who also claim to be democratic,  have great difficulty in accepting

opinions contrary to their own, whilst simultaneously endorsing change. Indeed, a fine illustration

of how illiberal some liberals can be.

 

In terms of the parameters of opinion, the fact that over 57 million American voters did not

succumb to the sustained, virulent media  onslaught against Trump and refused to be

swayed by its opinion polls, constitutes a major victory for free thinking and the belief in an

alternative to the Clinton platform.

 

For the Establishment media and its uncritical adherents, Trump’s election should serve as a massive

wake-up call and a turning point in terms of credibility.

 

Whilst that is as unlikely as a leopard changing its spots, one thing is guaranteed: as a man of action

Trump is going to give you plenty to write as he sets about making America great again. It will

be interesting to see whether his detractors will be able to recognise and acknowledge that.

 

DAILY NEWS

 

 TRUMP’S WIN                    posted November 10, 2016

 

Like the rest of the fawning Establishment media, Independent Newspapers endorsed Hillary Clinton

as US president. So the headline in the Daily News (November 8) likening a vote for Trump with one

for the old National Party simply reflected what has been a sustained, caustic media campaign against

Trump.

 

But now that Trump has shattered all the polls and redefined American politics, the credibility of the

Establishment and its media is in a shambles. Nationalism is the new direction. A majority of American

voters want to see America great again. A majority of British voters want to see the UK freed from the EU’s

shackles. Globalism, which Clinton and David Cameron embraced, has been rejected.

 

Beyond Clinton and the Democratic Party, the real loser in America’s election was the Establishment – Wall

St, Washington and the mainstream media. Those who Clinton called “deplorables” have struck back.

Now they are writing the agenda. Hopefully the Daily News and the rest of the Independent Newspapers stable

will concede their prejudice and, in the spirit of democracy,  exercise some objectivity towards America’s political

 

 

 

The Mercury

 

INCITING GENOCIDE                                posted 9 November 2016

   

The statement attributed to Julius Malema that he is not “calling for the slaughtering

of white people, at least not yet,” (Mercury, November 8) goes beyond being racist.

It is blatant incitement to perpetrate genocide.

 

It also confirms what was circulated on the internet ahead of the 2014 election, that

the EFF is anarchistic and vitriolic towards whites. His beating of the land issue drum is no different

from what Mugabe did in Zimbabwe – with catastrophic results.

 

Malema’s rhetoric also goes beyond hate speech. If any white person made such remarks

he would be mercilessly assailed. Just look what happened to Penny Sparrow for her

remark about “monkeys.”

 

Malema’s party should be banned by the IEC and its parliamentary representation terminated.

The press should also stop referring to him as “Juju,” as if he is some cute hero when what he

propagates is malignant in the extreme

 

Daily News

 

Sir

 

WHERE IS ETHEKWINI’S ECONOMIC STIMULUS?      posted 28 October 2016

 

Conspicuous by its absence was any reference to economic stimulation

by local government in the front page story of the Daily News of October 27

concerning the plight of business in Durban.

 

If the new administration at City Hall was serious about its ambition for

Durban to become the most liveable city, it should be first in line to offer

some form of stimulus to resuscitate the local economy. eThekwini

municipality could cut business some slack by reducing  its hefty

service charges in, for example, town planning and construction.

 

In any event, here’s an example of how that was done from a report in the

Natal Star of 5 December 1857:

‘We congratulate our Town Council on accomplishing the reduction of the

Borough rates from one shilling to eight pence in the pound (33%) on occupied property

and the reduction of the rate upon freehold land to two pence in the pound. The

Council have been enabled to do this partly in consequence of the income

from leases of land...’

 

Is eThekwini up to the challenge?

-

 

DAILY NEWS

 

Sir

 

UKZN: LAWLESSNESS HAS TRIUMPHED                -posted October 22, 2016

 

There’s another side to the ongoing vandalism and violence at UKZN: it shows that

despite every constitutional precept and volumes of laws, lawlessness prevails.

 

The primary duty of government is to maintain safety and security. But for weeks

on end rogue elements who claim to be students have torched, trashed and

terrorised UKZN and succeeded in closing it down.

 

The ANC boasts about having brought the FW de Klerk government to the negotiating

table through violence and intimidation. It boasted then about making the country

ungovernable.

 

Now the ANC is hoist with its own petard: what it once preached, it now can’t control.

On the second day of student protests at Kent State University, Ohio, in May 1970

after students had set alight a building, looted shops and broke windows, the mayor

declared a state of emergency. The national guard was called in.

 

A state of emergency should have been declared at UKZN months ago. Tough, no-nonsense

security would have stopped what has become an orgy of vandalism and destruction.

But, alas, lawlessness has triumphed. There can be no greater indictment of a government

that allows that to occur.

 

 

The Mercury

  

HISTORY WITHOUT CONTEXT IS PROPAGANDA            posted 21 October 2016

 

As as an academic Imraan Buccus should know that without context

attempts at historical reconstruction deteriorate into propaganda.

Unfortunately, his account of the role of Samora Machel (Mercury, October 20)

is devoid of context.

 

Cataloguing the attacks by the SA Defence Force (SADF) on Frelimo and the ANC in Mozambique

in the 1980s is misleading unless it is contextualised within the circumstances which

prevailed at that time. The Cold War between communist and anti-communist forces

had intensified in Southern Africa. Communist adherents had made it very clear that

their goal was a communist South Africa. Fighting apartheid served to mask their real

intentions.

 

By allowing Mozambique to become a springboard for communist guerilla attacks on

South Africa, Machel placed Mozambique on the receiving end of SADF raids. In war

people get hurt and killed.

 

The other aspect of context which Buccus’s article lacks is that there were atrocities on both sides.

The SA government’s detention without trial of which Biko and many others were victims, murders

of the likes of Rick Turner, the horrific fates meted out at Vlakplaas.  Machel and Frelimo were hardly

angels of mercy as they imposed the jackboot stamp of marxist oppression on Mozambique.

Atrocities in ANC camps in Angola and Tanzania are well documented.

 

Those ugly conflicts were reined in and stopped through the efforts of De Klerk and Mandela.

But those who eulogise Samora Machel should be grateful that South Africa has rejected his

ideology of a one-party state dictatorship.

--------------------------------------------------------

 

DAILY NEWS

 

Sir

 

OUTRAGEOUS  HYPOCRISY                        -  12 October 2016

 

Nowhere in the report on the arraignment of so-called students arrested for public violence and arson

(Daily News, October 11) was there a single shred of a sense of shame or remorse on their part.

Instead, there was defiant pride topped by arrogant demands to be released because of academic

commitments. What outrageous hypocrisy!

 

Reference to Bonginkosi Khanyile’s so-called brilliance as a student is rendered meaningless by his

violence and arson. Besides, the academic endorsement of which he boasts comes from and is

measured by the very institutions he callously and violently vandalised and sought to break.

 

The plea that if incarcerated these louts will lose scholarships and be unable to prepare for exams

is utterly risible for by their actions they have forfeited any claim to sympathy or consideration.

Besides, thanks to their violence and arson they have disrupted  academic life and adversely

affected the lives of thousands of genuine students.

 

The only justice these louts deserve is to be jailed for ten years without parole and barred from

tertiary institutions for life. Their ilk needs to recognise that civilised society rejects perpetrators

of violence and vandalism. Society also needs a reality check: excessive tolerance leads to anarchy.

 

 

DAILY NEWS

 

MAYOR’S MIS-USE OF RATEPAYER FUNDS        posted 27 October 2016

 

On the 24 October eThekwini mayor Gumede featured in two advertisements -

each almost a quarter of a page in size– one in the Daily News, the other in the

Mercury.

 

The advertisements concerned candidates for the 2016 matric exams

and conveyed the mayor’s best wishes. Whilst one does not question the

mayor’s sentiments, the question that arises is why ratepayers’ money should

be funding an exercise which is not a Council-related business. Education

is a provincial matter, not a local government one.

 

Each of those advertisements cost R32,389 – almost R65,000 on an exercise

that, it would seem, has more to do with political profile than with education.

A few days before those advertisements, mayor Gumede splurged a similar

sum of ratepayers’ money on sentiments concerning the passing of a ‘struggle’

hero. Again, that had nothing to do with local government as funded by ratepayers.

 

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan has instructed local government councils to rein

in expenditure. His words don’t seem to to have been heard in eThekwini.

 

 

The Mercury

 

Sir

 

MEDIA’S ANTI-TRUMP BIAS IS A RED HERRING                           posted 14 October 2016

 

The unified Establishment media frenzy to destroy Trump has everything to do with deflecting scrutiny

away from the baleful shortcomings of Hillary Clinton.

 

By dredging up incidents of Trump’s immoral past and making them the focus of the election, the media

are sparing Clinton and the gullible electorate from the  dark policies which she advocates. The worst

amongst her policies is to declare the US  part of an open border hemisphere. That policy would

enable 600 million people who live in the North/Central/South American zone free movement into the

US.

 

With drug cartels in Mexico and the FARC terrorists of Columbia, one has to ask if Hillary Clinton has

lost her mind.

 

Another of her outlooks is her contempt towards the Catholic Church and evangelicals. How does that

square with the Christian basis of America’s Founding Fathers?

 

Trump personally has a lot of negatives but at least he is addressing what issues Americans are concerned

about: the tax code, Obamacare, trade and jobs, immigration and borders, ISIS and terrorism, US military capability.

Hillary avoids those issues because her posturing on them is the same as Obama’s which is why he is so

unpopular.

 

Extramarital dalliances and infidelities, unfortunately, have been part of the American presidency since

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809). He had an open relationship with Sally Hemmings, a coloured slave.

Warren Harding (1921-1923) carried on with a string of women in the White House. FD Roosevelt conducted

a lifelong affair with Lucy Mercer, his wife’s social secretary. JFK’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe

and many other women is well known. Lyndon Johnson kept a mistress in the White House despite

his marriage to Ladybird Johnson. And we all know about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

 

The Establishment media’s attempts to make Trump’s moral shortcomings the cynosure of political focus

is a cowardly red herring and a dereliction of their duty to operate as a free press.

The Mercury                   

29 September 2016

 

 

EDITORIAL ON WINNIE MANDELA WAS DEEPLY FLAWED

 

In that objectivity is the enduring aim of The Mercury, the editorial of September 26 eulogising Winnie Mandela failed to uphold that principle. In that her legacy is undoubtedly ‘tarnished,’ as you politely stated, and ‘should not be burnished in the revision of history,’ why then were references to her incendiary incitement of the 1980s ignored along with her double standards of identifying with the poor whilst she lived beyond her means in Gucci-style luxury? 

No analysis of the life of Winnie Mandela can be complete without reference to her blood-thirsty, racist exhortations during the 1986-1988 period when she and Peter Mokaba incited violence and mayhem with their mantra ‘Kill the farmer, kill the Boer.’ To what extent could her rhetoric have motivated the killing of more than 1,200 farmers since then?  

Nor can her promotion of that unspeakably barbaric method of execution, the ‘necklace,’ be omitted when she stated: ‘With our matches and our necklaces we will liberate this country.’ There were more than 800 hapless victims of necklacing. Would any of their families regard Winnie Mandela as an ‘icon?’  

Your editorial praises Winnie Mandela for giving hope to the inhabitants of the ‘shanty towns.’ Yet since the ANC came to power the number of informal settlements has mushroomed countrywide. There are more

informal settlements and far greater poverty today than before 1994. Therefore, attaching some kind of credit to Winnie Mandela for poverty alleviation is misleading.  

Role models are exemplary people whose record merits replication. Objectively viewed, having Winnie Mandela as a role model is not in South Africa’s best interests.

 

Daily News

 

27  September 2016

ABSENCE OF A RESOLUTE ACTION FUELS CAMPUS ARSON

 

Whilst all law-abiding and responsible people express outrage at the ongoing anarchy

and arson that now rules certain university campuses (Daily News, September 27), what

needs to be appreciated is that the perpetrators of that violence and their fellow travellers

are impervious to moral suasion.

 

As such, the limp-wristed response of both the Government and the university authorities is simply

fuelling their anarchy. Only resolute action can halt this deplorable destruction and disruption of

the halls of tertiary learning. If such a stance had been employed at the outset, we would not be

reading of the latest depredations by what are erroneously termed ‘students.’

 

Mass arrests and immediate expulsion of all those involved should have been the route taken

coupled with the deployment of specialised riot squad personnel empowered by the declaration

of  campus-wide states of emergency. But instead of being proactive in the face of hooligans

and anarchists, those in authority have been merely reactive. Instead of law and order calling

the shots, the anarchists are doing so.

 

A further blunder on the part of those who claim to be in power is their willingness to negotiate

with the perpetrators of violence. What should have been made very clear is that free university

education is out of the question and that inflationary increases in fees are unavoidable. That is

an incontrovertible economic reality.

 

Finally, the deafening silence of alumni organisations, academic professionals and political party

spokesmen simply adds to the whole invertebrate response of those who style themselves as

the custodians of civilised values.

 

WHY TRUMP IS CONTROVERSIAL                -posted September 19, 2016

 

The primary reason Donald Trump’s presidential bid is controversial is not because of his

brash and occasionally blundering character. It is because he is not part of the Establishment

that has controlled US politics, the mainline media and the Ivy League academic institutions

for over a century.

 

Thus, Ismail Moolla’s fear (Daily News, September 15) that Trump as president would continue

along the same lines as Bush and Obama, is unfounded. Indeed, that is precisely why there

is a frenzied anti-Trump chorus involving all the mainline print and electronic media supported

by a range of Establishment figures from Kissinger, the Bushes, Colin Powell to the Clintons,

Hollywood and the Bernie Sanders Left.

 

That is why a campaign of character assassination is directed at Trump. He is  assailed as a vulgar

buffoon, a misogynist and one who is temperamentally unsuited for high office. The Establishment

is terrified of the prospect of Trump in the White House over which they would have no influence.

 

Despite the negative slander of the Establishment, polls show that Trump’s support is growing.

There are two reasons for that: the tired pastiche of faded feminism of Hillary Clinton whose own

record as Secretary of State was undistinguished and whose policies replicate much of what has

made Obama unpopular.

 

The second and more compelling reason is because 40% of Americans loathe political correctness,

failed welfare programmes, fiscal incontinence and feeble foreign policy. They want fundamental

change. They want to make America great again by putting America first in terms of jobs, investment,

overseas interests and to reinstate American values that are being destroyed by rampant immigration.

 

ZUMA: ANC IGNORES WHAT IS BEST FOR SA  -  Natal Mercury - posted 11 September 2016

 

The proclamation by Zuma henchman, Ace Magashule, that his boss and the ANC have

no intention of abdicating their grip on power (Mercury, September 9) shows the extent

to which the ANC pays lip service to democracy and the constitution.

 

According to Magashule, “there is no way that people can just come up and say Zuma must

resign. They have no right to do so because the structures of the ANC always decide.” So there

we have it:

*Despite the Concourt having found that Zuma  violated his oath of office and the constitution;

* Despite well-placed ANC stalwarts urging Zuma’s departure;

* Despite a growing groundswell of opposition to his occupation of the presidency;

* Despite the  massive electoral backlash against the ANC under Zuma on August 3 – the man

and his toadies insist that their in-house political structures trump the findings of the Concourt

and public opinion.

 

Magashule’s  fulminations indicate that he and his ilk are in denial of reality. It’s the sort of

truculence spouted by banana republic apparatchiks. What he fails to appreciate, however, is

that by refusing to deal with the elephant in the room, Magashule and company are setting

themselves up for an epic fall in the 2019 election.

 

There should only be one consideration for the ANC, namely: what is best for South Africa.

Acres of newsprint and volumes of evidence point unswervingly to the ineligibility of Jacob

Zuma to continue as president. By failing to appreciate that reality, the ANC has not only lost

its moral compass, but shows that it is unworthy of being entrusted further with the right to

govern South Africa.

.

 

Like Mugabe, the ANC has only one ambition – to cling to power by all and any means

regardless of the consequences for South Africa.

It’s time the Mercury got its head out of the sand and recognised that reality.

 

The Mercury

 

TIME TO RECOGNISE THAT THE ANC IS A SPENT FORCE            posted January 11, 2017

 

Despite the overwhelmingly pervasive evidence of the demise of governance under the ANC,

the Mercury seems to have succumbed to the eyes wide shut syndrome in terms of its editorial

of January 10.

 

Attempting to contrive future hope from the ANC is like hoping to derive nutrition from a rotten carcass.

Nonetheless, the Mercury trots out the view that we are “a democracy underpinned by a constitution based

on the rule of law.” De jure that is true. But the de facto reality is that the NEC of the ANC has become the

highest law in the land. They have stated that only they will decide on whether Zuma continues as president,

despite the finding of the Concourt that Zuma has violated his oath of office.

 

Given the fact that the ills that torment South Africa today are the result of the dysfunctionalism and corruption

that has taken root under the ANC, it is futile to expect the “reigniting of the economy.” Reform is impossible

from the disorganised, faction-riven ANC whose antics and inactions are responsible for the need for reform.

 

The time is overdue to recognise  that the ANC after almost 23 years in power has become the same spent, corrupt

force that the National Party was after 46 years in power. No credible case can be made to present the ANC as

the only source of South Africa’s salvation.

 

Instead  it is time to recognise that South Africa’s redemption from the mess the ANC  has made of it lies in the

embrace a new political configuration based on a coalition of participants which put South Africa first and are

free from discredited populist and marxist ideological moorings.

------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

The Mercury

 

LAND REFORM IMPERILS FOOD SECURITY                posted 4 January 2017

 

The article on land reform by  Nhlanhla  Mndaweni (Mercury, January 3) is deeply flawed

because it ignores three key issues: food security, the utter failure of redistributed farms

and the fact that most land claim beneficiaries are not interested in farming.

 

Boasting that 1,2 million hectares of land have been transferred to land claimants and beneficiaries

while the state has acquired farms totaling a further 300,000 hectares, Mndaweni is curiously silent

on the productivity of those lands. The reality is that 90% of farms redistributed have failed and reverted

to subsistence farming or to becoming squatter camps. (See: RW Johnson, How long can South Africa survive,

p. 171).

 

The aim of “equitable distribution of land ownership,” therefore is a misnomer and a no-brainer. Previously

self-sufficient in food, South Africa now imports much of its food as a result of the progressive marginalisation

of food-producing commercial farmers. Ideologically drive land reform is imperiling food security.

 

Writing in Business Report on May 27, 2016, John Kane-Berman of the Institute of Race Relations quoted Land Reform

minister Nkwinti as stating that 92% of land restitution beneficiaries opted for financial compensation rather than land.

Gwede Mantashe, ANC Secretary General, was quoted as concurring with the views of the Land Bank that young people

are not interested in farming.

 

Against that background, Mndaweni’s enthusiastic attempt to promote further distribution of land is dangerously misguided.

Not only should security of land tenure be assured – so our remaining productive farmers can get on with feeding us without

the threat of losing their farms – but as is stated on the IFP’s policy website, “food farming land should be allocated to

farmers with proven skills.”

-----------------------------------------------------

 

The Mercury

 

GLOBALISM AND NATIONALISM           posted December 31, 2016

 

Although the thrust of the Mercury’s December 29 editorial headed “Year of the grim

reaper” concerned the demise of celebrities, by its inclusion of references to “populist

right wing sentiments” in the US and Europe, it obviously regards such developments

in the same “grim” vein.

 

With Trump’s inauguration due shortly followed by elections in Holland and France in March

and May, respectively, where the Establishment political structures  face critical

challenges, 2017 promises an avalanche of politically “grim” news in terms of the

Establishment’s mindset.

 

What is significant is that the Establishment press, which includes the Mercury, never

refer to “left wing sentiments” although they abound in Establishment parties headed by

the likes of Obama and Merkel. Yet anyone who stands up for his or her nation, like Nigel

Farrage in the UK or Marine Le Pen in France, is branded “Far Right.”

 

This, of course, is the result of politically correct parlance which George Orwell would

have termed newspeak for propaganda.

 

If journalism is to be credible, it needs to distinguish between globalism and nationalism.

Nationhood is as old as the Bible. The more globalism and excessive immigration threatens

national sovereignty, the greater the outcry will be from those who value nationhood. This

has just been emphatically illustrated in the US where more than 60 million voters endorsed

Trump’s slogan “Make America great again.”

 

The political pendulum is swinging back strongly  in the direction of conserving national

borders, values and cultures. That is reality and it is also the reflection of democratic will.

Instead of trying to disparage the trend, get with the programme!

The Mercury

  

THE PARALYSIS OF GOVERNANCE            - posted 17 December 2106

 

The protracted legal manoeuvring over a period of nine years involving

judge Nkola Motata’s drunken driving conviction highlights the paralysis

of governance that afflicts this country under ANC (Mercury, December 15).

 

Closure of his case should have followed immediately after he was

convicted and fined R20,000 for drunken driving in 2007. From a purely

ethical and professional standpoint, Motata should have been disbarred.

After all, he had violated the ethic “as sober as a judge.”

 

Instead, Motata has played the system for nine years at a cost of R16 million

to the taxpayer. One would expect a judge to be a person of integrity and

respectability.

 

But in accepting R16 million for doing no work, Motata has not only

sullied the image of the legal profession but has demonstrated that with

the right political connections, there is no substance to the adage printed

on the title page of the 1996 edition of the SA constitution: “one law for

one nation.” [Curiously, those words do not appear in the tenth anniversary

issue of the constitution booklet].

 

 

DAILY NEWS

 

ZUMA UNFIT TO CELEBRATE CONSTITUTION                posted 8 December 2016

 

 

The fact that President Jacob Zuma is to lead the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s

constitution (Daily News, December 6) defiles the occasion.

 

Having been found  by the Constitutional Court to have  failed to defend, uphold and protect the constitution,

Zuma has no business in celebrating its anniversary.  For him to attempt to extol its virtues is nauseating hypocrisy.

 

Clearly the man has no sense of conscience and is devoid of credibility. His continuation in office is an insult to all who regard

the constitution as the supreme law of the land.

 

The Mercury

 

 

DA’S REPORT CARD: “D” for DISAPPOINTING       -         posted 7 December 2016

 

At this time of the year, the DA usually issues report cards on the performance of the

governing structures. Whilst undoubtedly several of my former colleagues have been

beavering away diligently in their wards, however, as a collective entity and as the official

opposition in the Council, the DA’s public profile in Durban’s daily press has been sparse.

 

That reality does not give credence to the DA’s claim that it works between elections.

It is also strange given the fact that the election on August 3 saw the DA’s representation

in the eThekwini Council increase from 43 to 61 councillors.  Yet in terms of political visibility

and volume, its footprint has not appreciated exponentially.

 

As the major opposition, the DA should be critically and proactively engaged with issues by means of opinion

pieces and press letters. That means taking the initiative. But since September 22 when the

Mercury published a report on the ‘war of words’ between DA leader Cllr Mncwango and the mayor,

nothing further has emanated from the DA’s Council leadership.

 

Why has there been no critical engagement with issues such as the following:

* the extravagance of the 2022 Commonwealth Games;

* the mayor’s ongoing abuse of ratepayer money by way of press advertisements;

* the mayor’s various claims as to the achievements of her first 100 days in office;

* infrastructure developments such as the proposed desalination plant or the promised Bluff

   beaches upgrade;

* the ongoing political implosion within the ANC and its effect on governance;

 

For all the caucusing and meetings to which the DA subjects its councillors, not to

mention the numerous directives from its provincial office, there surely must be

other issues worthy of public importance and debate.

 

The DA’s slogan in the recent local government elections was “Change.”

But unless there is constructive criticism and the parading of alternatives, change will not

gain traction in the minds of the electorate. So, in terms of its performance

since the August election, the eThekwini DA’s report card rates only a “D”-  for disappointing.

  

The Mercury

 

ZUMA’S ANTICS PROMOTE BANANA REPUBLIC STATUS            posted 1 December 2016

 

 

From the daily press reports of Zuma’s bids through manoeuvring, plotting and  posturing to remain in power,

the one thing that seems to have escaped all the constitutional experts and those who routinely gloat about

the virtues of our constitution is that it is not the supreme law of the land.

 

In March this year, in a unanimous ruling,  the Constitutional Court found that Zuma had failed to uphold and protect the constitution with regard to the Public Protector’s recommendations on Nkandla and as such was in breach of his

oath of office. (See the opinions of experts De Vos and Trengrove).

 

Although for different reasons, Richard Nixon, John Vorster and David Cameron all resigned office because theircredibility and integrity had been damaged or destroyed. None of them was guilty of using vast sums of publicmoney to build a private domain.

 

The fact that Zuma has failed to do the honourable thing and resign and the fact that his party has decided that,regardless of the constitution, it will decide his fate, makes it very clear that South Africa under the ANC is not a constitutional democracy. Zuma’s insistence on clinging to office reflects the nature and character of a bananarepublic.

 

Section 83(c) of the constitution requires the president to promote the unity of the nation. Ironically, Zuma is

succeeding very well in that respect because has united people across our diverse social and political landscape in demanding his resignation.

 

The Mercury

 

HYPOCRISY AND IRONY OF CASTRO EULOGIES            posted 29 November 2016

 

In the wake of their ferocious opposition to Brexit and to Trump, the eulogies for departed Cuban dictator,

Fidel Castro, from the Establishment press and those who call themselves liberal, while not surprising,

are indeed ironic (Mercury, November 28).

 

Mark Lowe, a lifelong liberal and proponent of democracy and human rights, manages to gloss over the

Castro’s tyranny by saying that he “did his best, as he saw it, for his country.” Really, Mark? So one-party

state repression, firing squads and gulags for opponents and dissidents, the flight of one million Cubans

into exile, the arrested state of Cuba’s development adds up to “just a shade of grey” in the Lowe lexicon.

 

Castro’s “doing his best” included becoming a billionaire whilst his subjects experienced equality in poverty.

That “living a simple life” as Lowe claims, meant a life of debauchery, mistresses and luxury, as witnessed by his personal bodyguard for 17 years, Juan Sanchez (New York Post, November 27). That “doing his best for his country” included banning

 

Christmas between 1969 and 1998. That the man painted as a simple folk hero had 37 women and children massacred

in the Florida Strait on July 13, 1994 as they tried to escape his tyranny.

 For the Mercury to state in its editorial that Castro’s “selflessness” inspired “the true meaning of humanity” is a monumentaluntruth. Unless, of course, the Mercury regards systematic repression and one party-state despotism as reflecting “the true

meaning of humanity.”

 

However, the greatest irony that arises from the Mercury’s November 28 editorial is that it sees nothing amiss in Castro’scommunist minority rule. Yet it abhors the minority rule of apartheid in South Africa where at least there was press freedomand judicial independence, two freedoms Castro denied Cuba.

 

Thus, it is absolute hypocrisy to eulogise Castro’s minority communist dictatorship whilst simultaneously condemningminority white rule of South Africa.

 

DAILY NEWS

 

PROSPECTS FOR KING GEORGE V’S STATUE ON CAMPUS -      posted 23 November 2016

 

Nathi Phetha of the Economic Freedom Fighters claims that the removalof the statue of King George V from the Howard College Campus of UKZNwill be his priority along with renaming buildings with colonial names

(Daily News, November 22).

 On February 5, 2016, I received an email from the Director of Communicationsof UKZN, Thembikile Simelane, responding to my inquiry as to why the King George V statue remained in a vandalised state. I was assured by Mr Simelane that “the restoration of the statue would be a priority” as it was regarded as

“an important part of the history of the University.” The email I received was also

copied to the Vice Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld. One trusts, therefore, that the vindictive attitude of Nathi Phetha towards theheritage of UKZN will not be permitted to gain traction and that other student groups representing the DA and the IFP will oppose the EFF.

 The likes of Phetha need to appreciate that everything around them is a product of past effort and dedication.

Which is why the Preamble of the Constitution exhorts all to “respect those who have worked to build and develop our country.”

 Phetha and his cohorts need to wise up to the fact that they can’t create a different past. In any case, their

sole purpose as tertiary students should be diligent application to their chosen studies so as to improve

their future prospects.

QUESTIONING THE DESALINATION PROJECT               posted 23 November 2016

 

According to a report in the Mercury of November 21, a desalination plant is to be established in the Bluff headland areaas a pilot project. Although there is nothing untoward  in a project to test the feasibility of a desalination plant,  committing to desalination as a means of addressing water supply ought to be questioned.

 An article in the Mercury on March 6, 2014 noted that desalinated water would cost double that of the Umgeni water tariff.Also of note is the large amount of electricity required for such a plant. Although the proposed demonstration model ispredicted to use 30% less energy than conventional desalination plants, the phrasing of that claim does not mean that water

thus produced will be cheaper than Umgeni water.

 A desalination plant built in Brisbane has been in mothballs for several years because the supply of water from naturalsources has been more than sufficient. But to keep that plant idle costs Brisbane’s ratepayers $15 million a year and has resulted in a 13% increase in the city’s water price ( Brisbane Courier Mail, March 3, 2015).

 With plans to build a dam on the Mkomazi River, which would boost Durban’s water supply substantially, and bearing inmind the liability of  Brisbane’s desalination plant, Durban should be very cautious about committing to desalination as a means of sustaining water supply. It should also be appreciated that droughts are not continuous but are part of ourhistorically proven weather cycle.

 

INDIANS VOLUNTEERED FOR INDENTURE         posted 18 November 2016

 

Imraan Buccus’ cynicism regarding the procrastination in erecting

a monument in memory of the indentured Indians who came to

Natal  is fully justified (Mercury, 17 November). However, his claim

that indenture “was not a process of free choice or free will” is inaccurate.

 

Well- known authority on the history of Indians in Natal, Surendra Bhana,

has stated that the recruitment of indentured labour “was determined by

who was available and those who were available were generally the victims

of forces beyond their control” (A Study based on ships lists, UDW, 1987, p. 84).

 

The forces to which he refers were the ryotwari and the zamindari. Under the

ryotwari system, the individual land occupant paid tax directly to the state. But

the five acre plots were, on average, uneconomic and as a result many peasants

became indebted to money lenders.

 

The zamindari system, although community-based, subjected each tenant to taxation

so as to meet the community’s tax obligation. Again, aside from the vagaries of trying

to make a living from the land, peasants were driven into the hands of the money-lenders.

Land tax paid by peasants was fixed at 50% of the value of their crops (Natal Mercury, 15

October 1891).

 

Thus, the tax system, debt, famine and escape from the rigid caste system were all factors

why individuals volunteered for indentured immigration. It is a sad reality, however,  that there

was much abuse of indentured Indians on Natal sugar estates as regards quality of food,

accommodation, medical treatment and hours of work – and that such conditions were worse

in Fiji and Mauritius.

 

But of the 152,184 Indian immigrants who came to Natal between 1860 and 1911, when

indentured immigration ceased, only 23% returned to India. On completion of their five or

ten year indenture contracts, the others stayed.

 

The Mercury

 

TRUMP PHOBIA                                                    -  posted 16 November 2016

 

Despite her qualifications and academic record, Alleyn Diesel’s attempt to promote fear and loathing

about Donald Trump (Mercury, November 15) lacks credibility and traction.

 

She states that the trouble with democracy is that the majority is usually wrong. If Hillary Clinton had

won the presidency would Alleyn Diesel still hold that view? I doubt it.

 

Her implication that Trump’s rhetoric parallels that of Hitler and that as a result America risks being

swept along a totalitarian path, is not only typical Trump phobia but also reflects a poor grasp on how

the US political system works. There are substantial checks and balances between the legislative and

executive branches of government which ensure against presidential despotism. Trump will not be able

to make treaties, declare war or even appoint ambassadors without the consent of two-thirds of the Senate.

To finance any of his policies, he will have to have the support of the House of Representatives where despite

the Republican majority, Trump is no favourite.

 

What is particularly galling about Diesel’s remarks is her  view that Trump’s slogan – make America great again –

should be “more honestly interpreted as make America white again.”  That same kind of perverted

thinking was thrown at Tony Leon in 1999 following his “Fight Back” slogan which his detractors claimed

meant “fight black.”

 

If there was any credibility in Diesel’s assertion that Trump was anti-black, then Dr Ben Carson, a black American

neuro-surgeon, would not be a Trump supporter who is being touted for a position in Trump’s cabinet. In any

event, the African-American vote Trump received was double what Mitt Romney achieved in 2012. Oddly enough

Hillary Clinton did not receive the same African-American support as Obama did in 2012.

 

Disparaging Trump is easy but doing so without taking into consideration circumstances in America and what

Hillary Clinton endorsed, hardly builds a credible argument. Rampant emigration is a major cause for concern in Europe

and the US. Countries have borders; hemispheres don’t. Trump wants America to retain its status as a country. Hillary

Clinton, a globalist like Alleyn Diesel, wants open borders and for the US to become part of a western hemisphere open

to 600 million other people. She also wants to allow in 500,000 Syrian refugees – never mind the Isis factor.

 

Under Obama the number of Americans on food stamps has risen from 32 million to 47 million; the economy is stagnant;

the capacity of US armed forces has slumped to what it was in 1940; Obamacare is neither affordable nor popular.

Yet Hillary Clinton promised more of the same. She failed to address the loss of blue collar jobs which cost her the key

states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

 

From the decay of its inner cities and its  crumbling 1950s infrastructure to its stuttering economy and job losses to the

appalling Kerry/Obama nuclear deal with Iran gift-wrapped with $150 billion, there’s a lot wrong with America that the

globalism of Hillary Clinton and the likes of Alleyn Diesel can’t fix.

 

The Mercury

 

Sir

 

THE FARCE OF WARD COMMITTEES            - posted 15 November 2016

 

Despite their complete failure during the Council term which ended on August 3,

eThekwini mayor Gumede is now promoting the election of new ward committees,

again using ratepayer money to pay for advertisements in the press each of which

cost R35,000.

 

As far back as 2008, the conclusion reached in the  Local Government Bulletin (Vol. 10,

No. 1 and No. 2) was that ward committees do not work. These are the reasons:

*First, they are purely advisory. They may not hinder or interfere with the mandate which

the elected ward councillor achieved.

*Second, in that their agendas comprise decisions already taken by the Council, their

ex post facto opinions are pointless and futile.

*Third, the claim that ward committees represent the relevant stakeholders of a community

is utterly risible. Nobody can compel members of civil society to make themselves available

to sit on a ward committee. Volunteerism cannot be prescribed.

*Fourth, as a result of the above, ward committees have become nothing more than extensions

of political party structures packed with cadres at the ratepayers’ expense.

 

As such ward committees constitute a costly and superfluous additional layer of local government.

With 110 wards in eThekwini, with each ward committee comprising ten members, each of whom is

paid R1,000 per month, amounts to  R1,1 million per month or R13,2 million per year, all courtesy of the ratepayer.

 

During the last “elections” for ward committees, not only did electoral fraud occur in most wards in terms

of candidates’ residence, but the turnout in most cases was less than what a quorum for a school governing body

election might require. On the Bluff, for example, despite a re-run of the “election” only 59 people voted out of

18,000.

 

The ward committee exercise is not only an expensive farce, devoid of credibility, but it is also an attempt

to supplant established voluntary organisations within society. It is surprising that the DA which claims to

be frugal about the public purse goes along with this nonsense.

 

 

The Mercury

 

Sir

 

TRUMP’S WIN – A VICTORY FOR FREE THINKING                posted 12 November 2016

 

Like the experience of a mega hangover, the harvest of consternation of the mainstream media

and many of its subscribers at Trump’s election, is both amusing and revealing, as the Mercury’s

letter page of November 11 illustrates.

 

Dredging up the negatives of Trump’s past and claiming that votes for him endorsed racism

shows the alarming extent to which people have been conditioned by the media’s onslaught

against Trump. A truly Orwellian situation.

 

Yet those same critics were silent about Hillary Clinton’s background and what she stands for.

Their silence reflects the extent to which the media failed to cast a critical eye on her.

What that amounts to is the extent to which people who call themselves educated and well-informed

succumb to shepherding.

 

Yet those same people, who also claim to be democratic,  have great difficulty in accepting

opinions contrary to their own, whilst simultaneously endorsing change. Indeed, a fine illustration

of how illiberal some liberals can be.

 

In terms of the parameters of opinion, the fact that over 57 million American voters did not

succumb to the sustained, virulent media  onslaught against Trump and refused to be

swayed by its opinion polls, constitutes a major victory for free thinking and the belief in an

alternative to the Clinton platform.

 

For the Establishment media and its uncritical adherents, Trump’s election should serve as a massive

wake-up call and a turning point in terms of credibility.

 

Whilst that is as unlikely as a leopard changing its spots, one thing is guaranteed: as a man of action

Trump is going to give you plenty to write as he sets about making America great again. It will

be interesting to see whether his detractors will be able to recognise and acknowledge that.

 

DAILY NEWS

 

 TRUMP’S WIN                    posted November 10, 2016

 

Like the rest of the fawning Establishment media, Independent Newspapers endorsed Hillary Clinton

as US president. So the headline in the Daily News (November 8) likening a vote for Trump with one

for the old National Party simply reflected what has been a sustained, caustic media campaign against

Trump.

 

But now that Trump has shattered all the polls and redefined American politics, the credibility of the

Establishment and its media is in a shambles. Nationalism is the new direction. A majority of American

voters want to see America great again. A majority of British voters want to see the UK freed from the EU’s

shackles. Globalism, which Clinton and David Cameron embraced, has been rejected.

 

Beyond Clinton and the Democratic Party, the real loser in America’s election was the Establishment – Wall

St, Washington and the mainstream media. Those who Clinton called “deplorables” have struck back.

Now they are writing the agenda. Hopefully the Daily News and the rest of the Independent Newspapers stable

will concede their prejudice and, in the spirit of democracy,  exercise some objectivity towards America’s political

 

 

 

The Mercury

 

INCITING GENOCIDE                                posted 9 November 2016

   

The statement attributed to Julius Malema that he is not “calling for the slaughtering

of white people, at least not yet,” (Mercury, November 8) goes beyond being racist.

It is blatant incitement to perpetrate genocide.

 

It also confirms what was circulated on the internet ahead of the 2014 election, that

the EFF is anarchistic and vitriolic towards whites. His beating of the land issue drum is no different

from what Mugabe did in Zimbabwe – with catastrophic results.

 

Malema’s rhetoric also goes beyond hate speech. If any white person made such remarks

he would be mercilessly assailed. Just look what happened to Penny Sparrow for her

remark about “monkeys.”

 

Malema’s party should be banned by the IEC and its parliamentary representation terminated.

The press should also stop referring to him as “Juju,” as if he is some cute hero when what he

propagates is malignant in the extreme

 

Daily News

 

Sir

 

WHERE IS ETHEKWINI’S ECONOMIC STIMULUS?      posted 28 October 2016

 

Conspicuous by its absence was any reference to economic stimulation

by local government in the front page story of the Daily News of October 27

concerning the plight of business in Durban.

 

If the new administration at City Hall was serious about its ambition for

Durban to become the most liveable city, it should be first in line to offer

some form of stimulus to resuscitate the local economy. eThekwini

municipality could cut business some slack by reducing  its hefty

service charges in, for example, town planning and construction.

 

In any event, here’s an example of how that was done from a report in the

Natal Star of 5 December 1857:

‘We congratulate our Town Council on accomplishing the reduction of the

Borough rates from one shilling to eight pence in the pound (33%) on occupied property

and the reduction of the rate upon freehold land to two pence in the pound. The

Council have been enabled to do this partly in consequence of the income

from leases of land...’

 

Is eThekwini up to the challenge?

-

 

DAILY NEWS

 

Sir

 

UKZN: LAWLESSNESS HAS TRIUMPHED                -posted October 22, 2016

 

There’s another side to the ongoing vandalism and violence at UKZN: it shows that

despite every constitutional precept and volumes of laws, lawlessness prevails.

 

The primary duty of government is to maintain safety and security. But for weeks

on end rogue elements who claim to be students have torched, trashed and

terrorised UKZN and succeeded in closing it down.

 

The ANC boasts about having brought the FW de Klerk government to the negotiating

table through violence and intimidation. It boasted then about making the country

ungovernable.

 

Now the ANC is hoist with its own petard: what it once preached, it now can’t control.

On the second day of student protests at Kent State University, Ohio, in May 1970

after students had set alight a building, looted shops and broke windows, the mayor

declared a state of emergency. The national guard was called in.

 

A state of emergency should have been declared at UKZN months ago. Tough, no-nonsense

security would have stopped what has become an orgy of vandalism and destruction.

But, alas, lawlessness has triumphed. There can be no greater indictment of a government

that allows that to occur.

 

 

The Mercury

  

HISTORY WITHOUT CONTEXT IS PROPAGANDA            posted 21 October 2016

 

As as an academic Imraan Buccus should know that without context

attempts at historical reconstruction deteriorate into propaganda.

Unfortunately, his account of the role of Samora Machel (Mercury, October 20)

is devoid of context.

 

Cataloguing the attacks by the SA Defence Force (SADF) on Frelimo and the ANC in Mozambique

in the 1980s is misleading unless it is contextualised within the circumstances which

prevailed at that time. The Cold War between communist and anti-communist forces

had intensified in Southern Africa. Communist adherents had made it very clear that

their goal was a communist South Africa. Fighting apartheid served to mask their real

intentions.

 

By allowing Mozambique to become a springboard for communist guerilla attacks on

South Africa, Machel placed Mozambique on the receiving end of SADF raids. In war

people get hurt and killed.

 

The other aspect of context which Buccus’s article lacks is that there were atrocities on both sides.

The SA government’s detention without trial of which Biko and many others were victims, murders

of the likes of Rick Turner, the horrific fates meted out at Vlakplaas.  Machel and Frelimo were hardly

angels of mercy as they imposed the jackboot stamp of marxist oppression on Mozambique.

Atrocities in ANC camps in Angola and Tanzania are well documented.

 

Those ugly conflicts were reined in and stopped through the efforts of De Klerk and Mandela.

But those who eulogise Samora Machel should be grateful that South Africa has rejected his

ideology of a one-party state dictatorship.

--------------------------------------------------------

 

DAILY NEWS

 

Sir

 

OUTRAGEOUS  HYPOCRISY                        -  12 October 2016

 

Nowhere in the report on the arraignment of so-called students arrested for public violence and arson

(Daily News, October 11) was there a single shred of a sense of shame or remorse on their part.

Instead, there was defiant pride topped by arrogant demands to be released because of academic

commitments. What outrageous hypocrisy!

 

Reference to Bonginkosi Khanyile’s so-called brilliance as a student is rendered meaningless by his

violence and arson. Besides, the academic endorsement of which he boasts comes from and is

measured by the very institutions he callously and violently vandalised and sought to break.

 

The plea that if incarcerated these louts will lose scholarships and be unable to prepare for exams

is utterly risible for by their actions they have forfeited any claim to sympathy or consideration.

Besides, thanks to their violence and arson they have disrupted  academic life and adversely

affected the lives of thousands of genuine students.

 

The only justice these louts deserve is to be jailed for ten years without parole and barred from

tertiary institutions for life. Their ilk needs to recognise that civilised society rejects perpetrators

of violence and vandalism. Society also needs a reality check: excessive tolerance leads to anarchy.

 

 

DAILY NEWS

 

MAYOR’S MIS-USE OF RATEPAYER FUNDS        posted 27 October 2016

 

On the 24 October eThekwini mayor Gumede featured in two advertisements -

each almost a quarter of a page in size– one in the Daily News, the other in the

Mercury.

 

The advertisements concerned candidates for the 2016 matric exams

and conveyed the mayor’s best wishes. Whilst one does not question the

mayor’s sentiments, the question that arises is why ratepayers’ money should

be funding an exercise which is not a Council-related business. Education

is a provincial matter, not a local government one.

 

Each of those advertisements cost R32,389 – almost R65,000 on an exercise

that, it would seem, has more to do with political profile than with education.

A few days before those advertisements, mayor Gumede splurged a similar

sum of ratepayers’ money on sentiments concerning the passing of a ‘struggle’

hero. Again, that had nothing to do with local government as funded by ratepayers.

 

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan has instructed local government councils to rein

in expenditure. His words don’t seem to to have been heard in eThekwini.

 

 

The Mercury

 

Sir

 

MEDIA’S ANTI-TRUMP BIAS IS A RED HERRING                           posted 14 October 2016

 

The unified Establishment media frenzy to destroy Trump has everything to do with deflecting scrutiny

away from the baleful shortcomings of Hillary Clinton.

 

By dredging up incidents of Trump’s immoral past and making them the focus of the election, the media

are sparing Clinton and the gullible electorate from the  dark policies which she advocates. The worst

amongst her policies is to declare the US  part of an open border hemisphere. That policy would

enable 600 million people who live in the North/Central/South American zone free movement into the

US.

 

With drug cartels in Mexico and the FARC terrorists of Columbia, one has to ask if Hillary Clinton has

lost her mind.

 

Another of her outlooks is her contempt towards the Catholic Church and evangelicals. How does that

square with the Christian basis of America’s Founding Fathers?

 

Trump personally has a lot of negatives but at least he is addressing what issues Americans are concerned

about: the tax code, Obamacare, trade and jobs, immigration and borders, ISIS and terrorism, US military capability.

Hillary avoids those issues because her posturing on them is the same as Obama’s which is why he is so

unpopular.

 

Extramarital dalliances and infidelities, unfortunately, have been part of the American presidency since

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809). He had an open relationship with Sally Hemmings, a coloured slave.

Warren Harding (1921-1923) carried on with a string of women in the White House. FD Roosevelt conducted

a lifelong affair with Lucy Mercer, his wife’s social secretary. JFK’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe

and many other women is well known. Lyndon Johnson kept a mistress in the White House despite

his marriage to Ladybird Johnson. And we all know about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

 

The Establishment media’s attempts to make Trump’s moral shortcomings the cynosure of political focus

is a cowardly red herring and a dereliction of their duty to operate as a free press.

The Mercury                   

29 September 2016

 

 

EDITORIAL ON WINNIE MANDELA WAS DEEPLY FLAWED

 

In that objectivity is the enduring aim of The Mercury, the editorial of September 26 eulogising Winnie Mandela failed to uphold that principle. In that her legacy is undoubtedly ‘tarnished,’ as you politely stated, and ‘should not be burnished in the revision of history,’ why then were references to her incendiary incitement of the 1980s ignored along with her double standards of identifying with the poor whilst she lived beyond her means in Gucci-style luxury? 

No analysis of the life of Winnie Mandela can be complete without reference to her blood-thirsty, racist exhortations during the 1986-1988 period when she and Peter Mokaba incited violence and mayhem with their mantra ‘Kill the farmer, kill the Boer.’ To what extent could her rhetoric have motivated the killing of more than 1,200 farmers since then?  

Nor can her promotion of that unspeakably barbaric method of execution, the ‘necklace,’ be omitted when she stated: ‘With our matches and our necklaces we will liberate this country.’ There were more than 800 hapless victims of necklacing. Would any of their families regard Winnie Mandela as an ‘icon?’  

Your editorial praises Winnie Mandela for giving hope to the inhabitants of the ‘shanty towns.’ Yet since the ANC came to power the number of informal settlements has mushroomed countrywide. There are more

informal settlements and far greater poverty today than before 1994. Therefore, attaching some kind of credit to Winnie Mandela for poverty alleviation is misleading.  

Role models are exemplary people whose record merits replication. Objectively viewed, having Winnie Mandela as a role model is not in South Africa’s best interests.

 

Daily News

 

27  September 2016

ABSENCE OF A RESOLUTE ACTION FUELS CAMPUS ARSON

 

Whilst all law-abiding and responsible people express outrage at the ongoing anarchy

and arson that now rules certain university campuses (Daily News, September 27), what

needs to be appreciated is that the perpetrators of that violence and their fellow travellers

are impervious to moral suasion.

 

As such, the limp-wristed response of both the Government and the university authorities is simply

fuelling their anarchy. Only resolute action can halt this deplorable destruction and disruption of

the halls of tertiary learning. If such a stance had been employed at the outset, we would not be

reading of the latest depredations by what are erroneously termed ‘students.’

 

Mass arrests and immediate expulsion of all those involved should have been the route taken

coupled with the deployment of specialised riot squad personnel empowered by the declaration

of  campus-wide states of emergency. But instead of being proactive in the face of hooligans

and anarchists, those in authority have been merely reactive. Instead of law and order calling

the shots, the anarchists are doing so.

 

A further blunder on the part of those who claim to be in power is their willingness to negotiate

with the perpetrators of violence. What should have been made very clear is that free university

education is out of the question and that inflationary increases in fees are unavoidable. That is

an incontrovertible economic reality.

 

Finally, the deafening silence of alumni organisations, academic professionals and political party

spokesmen simply adds to the whole invertebrate response of those who style themselves as

the custodians of civilised values.

 

WHY TRUMP IS CONTROVERSIAL                -posted September 19, 2016

 

The primary reason Donald Trump’s presidential bid is controversial is not because of his

brash and occasionally blundering character. It is because he is not part of the Establishment

that has controlled US politics, the mainline media and the Ivy League academic institutions

for over a century.

 

Thus, Ismail Moolla’s fear (Daily News, September 15) that Trump as president would continue

along the same lines as Bush and Obama, is unfounded. Indeed, that is precisely why there

is a frenzied anti-Trump chorus involving all the mainline print and electronic media supported

by a range of Establishment figures from Kissinger, the Bushes, Colin Powell to the Clintons,

Hollywood and the Bernie Sanders Left.

 

That is why a campaign of character assassination is directed at Trump. He is  assailed as a vulgar

buffoon, a misogynist and one who is temperamentally unsuited for high office. The Establishment

is terrified of the prospect of Trump in the White House over which they would have no influence.

 

Despite the negative slander of the Establishment, polls show that Trump’s support is growing.

There are two reasons for that: the tired pastiche of faded feminism of Hillary Clinton whose own

record as Secretary of State was undistinguished and whose policies replicate much of what has

made Obama unpopular.

 

The second and more compelling reason is because 40% of Americans loathe political correctness,

failed welfare programmes, fiscal incontinence and feeble foreign policy. They want fundamental

change. They want to make America great again by putting America first in terms of jobs, investment,

overseas interests and to reinstate American values that are being destroyed by rampant immigration.

 

ZUMA: ANC IGNORES WHAT IS BEST FOR SA  -  Natal Mercury - posted 11 September 2016

 

The proclamation by Zuma henchman, Ace Magashule, that his boss and the ANC have

no intention of abdicating their grip on power (Mercury, September 9) shows the extent

to which the ANC pays lip service to democracy and the constitution.

 

According to Magashule, “there is no way that people can just come up and say Zuma must

resign. They have no right to do so because the structures of the ANC always decide.” So there

we have it:

*Despite the Concourt having found that Zuma  violated his oath of office and the constitution;

* Despite well-placed ANC stalwarts urging Zuma’s departure;

* Despite a growing groundswell of opposition to his occupation of the presidency;

* Despite the  massive electoral backlash against the ANC under Zuma on August 3 – the man

and his toadies insist that their in-house political structures trump the findings of the Concourt

and public opinion.

 

Magashule’s  fulminations indicate that he and his ilk are in denial of reality. It’s the sort of

truculence spouted by banana republic apparatchiks. What he fails to appreciate, however, is

that by refusing to deal with the elephant in the room, Magashule and company are setting

themselves up for an epic fall in the 2019 election.

 

There should only be one consideration for the ANC, namely: what is best for South Africa.

Acres of newsprint and volumes of evidence point unswervingly to the ineligibility of Jacob

Zuma to continue as president. By failing to appreciate that reality, the ANC has not only lost

its moral compass, but shows that it is unworthy of being entrusted further with the right to

govern South Africa.