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Letters Newspapers   2018



Seldom has an opinion piece reflected such confusion and ignorance as that penned by Ebrahim Harvey (Daily News,December 19) in which he blames neo-liberal policies for the socio-economic mess that has materialised under the ANC.Contrary to what Harvey claims, if neo-liberal policies had been properly implemented, the country would not be in the retarded condition that now prevails. For neo-liberalism calls for deregulation, privatisation, free trade, reduced government spending and minimal government interference.
In every respect those neo-liberal principles have been hobbled. Stringent labour laws along with ever-evolving BEE regulations have choked free trade, employment prospects and foreign investment. Privatisation is opposed by trade unions and the SACP. Bloated government at every level has made reduced spending impossible.

Added to that is the ANC’s prioritisation of cadre deployment and demographic representivity which has resulted in the sacrifice of competence and efficiency in service delivery. Allied with that is corruption and nepotism on a scale unprecedented in our history which facilitated state capture and the theft of over R 500 billion.Thus, it is laughable for Harvey to blame the absence of proper housing and sewage disposal in townships on neo-liberalism when it is obvious that corruption and incompetence are the real causes of such shortcomings.

He would also do well to inform himself of what township service delivery protests are often about. The late Professor Lawrence Schlemmer established that they are dog-fights over the patronage system as ANC factions squabble to secure priority in fleecing municipal contracts. (RW Johnson, How long can South Africa Survive? 2016, p. 57).

Although Harvey appears not to understand neo-liberal economics, beyond hinting at a “social democratic character,” he fails to spell out what economic policy should be applied. However, in that he would like to see the ANC “rehabilitated,” as he puts it, he obviously favours socialism which the ANC has always embraced. In which case, he clearly is ignorant of the monumental failure of socialism in the USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, Mozambique and Tanzania under Nyerere to name a few stellar socialist records.

The Mercury




Hypocrisy reigns as regards vicious, anti-white statements and the lack of punitive action against them. Two years after he stated that whites should be "slaughtered" at some future date, Julius Malema remains untouched by the law. Now we have one Andile Mngxitama of the ultra-racist Black First Land First prescribing the killing of five whites for every black person killed.  The response by the political establishment is verbal reproach and exclamations of "concern."  How pathetic! Yet Vicki Momberg is in prison not for having threatened to kill black people but for uttering racist remarks. There is a huge difference between the racist rhetoric of Momberg and the intention to massacre on a genocidal scale as expressed by Malema and Mngxitama. If law and order means anything in this country, then one of two things must occur: Either Vicki Momberg should be instantly released from prison.

Or Malema and Mngxitama should be imprisoned -  for an indefinite period. If we are sincere about wishing for  peace, security and prosperity, then the likes of Malema and Mngxitama and their ilk cannot be permitted to threaten that prospect.



The Mercury


In attributing the increase in racial outbursts to the use of social media platforms, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) ignores a critical factor that provokes racism (Mercury, December 11).

Racial prejudices lurk in all population groups, whether by nature or nurture. In finding that racist remarks emanate particularly from whites, the HRC ascribes that tendency to what it calls “the spectre of apartheid.” Although that may  be part of the cause, it is not the sole cause.

What needs to be considered is the context of the structures and strictures within which white people find themselves today. In that demographic representivity is prioritised at all levels of employment, promotion and procurement, notwithstanding claims of non-racialism, society has been re-racialised.  Skin colour has replaced proficiency as the key criterion in job occupation.

RW Johnson observed in his book How long can South Africa survive? (2nd edition, p. 241) that the  gross incompetence and inefficiency encountered in daily life as a result of people occupying positions for which they are neither capable nor qualified is fuelling racist comments. The negative image which accrues as a result provides sustenance for racist mindsets.

Much of that could be remedied by the implementation of merit as the only criterion in all employment aspects. Greater proficiency would engender a more positive image and, therefore, act as a deterrent against hurtful racial remarks about other population groups. As the 2019 election approaches, it is significant that only the Freedom Front Plus is bold enough to espouse merit as one of its key principles.



Sydney Morning Herald


Only if one believes in globalism and the erosion of the sovereignty of nations can the UN’s Global Compact on Migration be hailed as a “victory," which sections of the media are proclaiming.

By seeking to criminalise criticism of mass migration and to normalise it, the UN Compact and its adherents aim to blur the distinction between legal and illegal immigration. Moreover, by promoting the idea that people claiming to be refugees should enjoy a range of rights in countries where they have never previously set foot, is nothing more than a subversion of the sovereign rights and laws of nations.

To claim, as UN representative Louise Arbour does, that those opposed to the UN Compact are practising “a culture of exclusion” and that they are adherents of the “far right,” is a red herring. No self-respecting nation seeks to have its culture and heritage subdued and subverted by those whose language, culture and religion are foreign to their own. Only the globalist elite led by Macron and Merkel welcome the obliteration of their respective national cultures.

Besides the cartels that are funding caravans of migrants, the UN is promoting a Tower of Babel conflict that is already resulting in deep social division and confrontation throughout Western Europe. The UN Global Compact on Migration amounts to a declaration of war on nationalism and nationhood. The Australian government is to be commended for declining to support the UN's chicanery.




 Alhough Ebrahim Harvey displayed boldness in attempting to right-size the historical image of Nelson Mandela (Daily News, December 12), he might have delved a little deeper in producing his critique.

In his book titled The Prince and I, the late Mario Oriani Ambrosini was outspoken in deconstructing the Mandela myth. Between pages 265 and 268, Ambrosini stated the following:

·        Although a civil war raged in KZN, Mandela delayed meeting Chief Buthelezi for a year after his release. When they did meet, Mandela failed to implement the agreement to hold joint meetings to pacify violence-torn areas. As a result the bloodshed continued with the loss of a further 1000 lives.

·        In 1995 Mandela admitted during a parliamentary debate that he gave the order to shoot unarmed Zulus who gathered outside the ANC’s Shell House HQ in Johannesburg on March 28, 1994. Fifty Zulus were killed and 180 injured.

·        Mandela allowed the ANC to defy a court order on behalf of the families of those killed in the Shell House massacre.

·        While Buthelezi was a minister in Mandela’s cabinet, Mandela requested former SADF General Constand Viljoen to prepare a plan for the SA Army to take military control of Ulundi and to impose martial law in KZN. Viljoen declined the task.

·        From the time he became President, Mandela built a financial empire around his persona so as to ensure that he had control of all marketing of his name and face from medallions to T-shirts.

·        The Mandela Children’s Fund has never disclosed its financial information or been publicly audited. The Fund has produced very little in terms of expenditure on children. Also lacking is any visible sign of it conducting any social work beyond tokenism.

·        The controversial arms deal began during Mandela’s presidency.

·        Mandela never presided over a single cabinet meeting. They were run by Thabo Mbeki.

Ebrahim Harvey is certainly correct in stating that Mandela was no saint.


The Mercury

FAILURE OF THE TRC'S VISION - posted 4 Dec 2018
Revisiting the purpose and findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on the twentieth anniversary of the submission of its report (Mercury, December 3) is well and good. However, the impact of that report tends to be diminished when contextualised within the history of the past twenty years.
The purpose of the TRC was twofold: to catalogue the suffering experienced under apartheid and the wrongdoing that was inflicted; to chart the way forward to reconciliation and “a better life for all,” as the ANC phrased it. The TRC succeeded to some extent on the catalogue, although it trod lightly around ANC human rights violations in their camps and the violence within KZN in the 1980s. But to what extent has the TRC’s vision found traction since 1998?
Much is made of police brutality before 1994. Yet when statistics are compared, the result is disquieting. Between 1963 and 1985, there were 74 deaths in police custody. But between 2006 and 2011 there were more than 4,000 deaths in police cells (Daily News, March 4, 2013). Professor RW Johnson noted in his book How long can South Africa survive? (2nd edition) that “torture and maltreatment have skyrocketed” under the SAPS (p.177).
Crime has reached tsunami proportions with 57 murders perpetrated every day. Unemployment has surged from 3,4 million in 1994 to almost 10 million. Joe Slovo’s promise of an initial million new houses remains unfulfilled as informal settlements mushroom around all towns and cities. The political murders which characterised the KZN landscape in the 1980s continue to this day. More people are mired in poverty than ever before. Corruption and dysfunctionalism is rampant at all levels of government. Two thirds of municipalities are bankrupt. Seizure of control of the key organs of state has been exposed.
Instead of the reconciliation the TRC envisaged, a blame game has taken root in an effort to divert attention away from the failed state of government with the charge of “racism” hurled at those who criticise the state of affairs.
Have those who suffered the pain of the past earned the mess that now prevails?



The Mercury


According to a report in a Sunday newspaper, the DA ‘s chief whip in the National Assembly, John Steenhuizen, may find himself demoted because he does not hold a university degree. That outcome could arise if DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango’s policy that senior office holders in the DA should be university graduates is agreed to.

The potential dilemma Steenhuizen faces would never have arisen if the DA embraced the principle of merit. A university degree is no guarantee that a person is better suited to a position than one without a university degree. PW Botha was not a university graduate yet he was acknowledged as a competent parliamentarian and administrator.

But the DA’s obsession with transformation, which is just a code word for racial representivity, has much to do with the direction in which Mncwango appears headed. If Steenhuizen is demoted as a result of Mncwango’s policy, the DA would relegate a highly experienced and competent representative whose abilities as DA caucus leader in the eThekwini council were widely respected long before Mncwango appeared on the scene.



President Trump is waging a shrewd and cunning game in touting Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.His support has some significant possible spin-offs.

First, given the already fractured and fragmented situation within the Democratic Party, support from arch-enemy Trump can only exacerbate the fault lines running through the Dems.

Second, if Pelosi clinched the post of Speaker by means of Republican support, it would not only increase the tensions within Dem ranks but oblige Pelosi to be more compliant in supporting Republican proposals.

Third, by promoting support for Pelosi, Trump is signalling a bipartisan approach to the political road ahead which is not only good for the country but which defangs his critics’ claim that he is the major cause of division in America.


The Mercury

EULOGISING IDEOLOGIES - posted 2 November 2018

The generous half page spread in the Mercury of October 22 eulogising Eric 'Stalin' Mtshali of the SA Communist Party raises an interesting issue:
if eulogising members of discredited, failed ideologies like communism is worthy of such indulgence, then why was Pik Botha's association with the discredited and failed ideology of apartheid not afforded a similar half-page spread?

Regardless of who Eric Mtshali was as a person, he was staunchly associated with an ideology that imposed tyranny and terror wherever it prevailed. Yet Mtshali was proud to have the nickname 'Stalin - man of steel,' despite the fact that
Stalin was responsible for the deaths of over 30 million people in Russia through jackboot collectivisation of farms, enslavement and a network of gulag prison camps. Stalin, as with all communist leaders, outlawed democracy and the five freedoms - speech, press, religion, association and assembly.

Given Mtshali's embrace of communist revolution, the epithetic, bourgeois bouquet writer Vusi Shongwe bestows, is bizarre and inappropriate. John Donne, HW Longfellow, Yeats and DH Lawrence whom Shongwe cites, represented social outlooks and values which communism marked for overthrow and repression. In that opinion pieces on deceased apartheid figures like Pik Botha reflect ideological reproval and historical context, the same criteria should also apply in cases of fallen adherents of communism.




The claim by the Establishment media that press freedom is under threat as a result of President Trump’s suspension of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press pass (Daily News, November 9) is humbug and fake news.
What your report did not mention is Acosta’s adversarial approach to Trump. He did not rise to ask a question, which is what reporters are supposed to do. Instead, his opening words to Trump were: “I want to challenge you on one of the statements you made during the campaign.” Press briefings are about an exchange of information not about attempting to indulge in rancorous debate.
Acosta displayed unprofessional aggression and disdain towards the President, the White House Press Secretary and an intern. In rebuking him, Trump sought to instill a tone of decorum in the proceedings. Unfortunately, Acosta and CNN have an antipathy towards Trump that commenced in 2016 and has become their full time obsession. None other than former CNN host Larry King recently stated that “CNN stopped doing news a long time ago.”
The fact that Trump devoted 90 minutes of his time to that press briefing indicates that he appreciates the role of the press and is not posing a threat to the first amendment. What he rightly objects to is the likes of CNN who abuse the first amendment to run a slander campaign and to propagate fake news.


The Mercury


With reference to Professor George Devenish’s article in the Mercury of November 9, the re-racialisation of South Africa has been going on for over 15 years.

In October 2006, in a letter to the then Leader of the Opposition, Tony Leon, I pointed out that demographic representivity is not stated in sections 9 and 217 of the constitution (nor is applicable in section 195). In his reply dated 26 October 2006, Tony Leon fully agreed and forwarded my letter to Adv Paul Hoffman SC of the Centre for Constitutional Rights.

Unfortunately, since then nothing further developed. Moreover, since Leon’s time the DA has embraced what it calls “diversity” and implemented it in a fashion that closely patterns demographic representivity.

From that perspective, Prof Devenish indulges in wishful thinking if he thinks that  there could be a shift away from racial representivity should a coalition government involving the DA come into being as a result of the outcome of the 2019 election.

Only by embracing the principle of merit can the baasskap practice of demographic representivity be terminated. Grand apartheid ended more than 25 years ago. Its unconstitutional reinstatement by means of demographic representivity makes a total mockery of the principle of non-racialism


The Mercury


Media exuberance at the Democrats' performance in the US mid-term elections (Mercury, November 8) does not quite measure up to what actually occurred in that while the Democrats made gains in the House of Representatives, they lost ground in the Senate.

First, there was no Democrat "blue wave." Obama, the Clintons, Oprah and Joe Biden failed to ignite and energise Democrats in the way Trump did with rallies of tens of thousands of Republicans.

Second, the Democrats' takeover in the House of Representatives with 32 new seats was a modest Republican loss compared with the 60 seats Obama lost in his first mid-term and the 54 seats Clinton lost in 1996. Added to that,
it should be pointed out that 40 Republican congressmen retired, so their seats were contested by new faces.

Third, the fact that the Republicans consolidated their grip on the Senate is an historic outcome for a mid-term election. With a run-off election due in Mississippi on November 27, which the Republican Party stands to win, it should have 54 seats in the Senate.

Fourth, there was an attempt by left wing billionaire George Soros and his fellow travellers to buy the election by injecting hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Democrat candidates. Republican election spending was modest in comparison.

Fifth, Trump has unified the Republican Party whereas the Democrats are fractured and fragmented. Radical socialists like Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff will prove very difficult for prospective House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to rein in and to subject to a disciplined policy programme.

With the Republicans in the Senate solidly in support, Trump will be able to continue his foreign policy initiatives and any further Supreme Court appointments without hindrance. But for the House Democrats to accomplish anything, they will need to work with President Trump.



MERIT WILL REDUCE RACISM - posted 28 October 2018

Placed below Mercury's front page masthead is the statement "Racism stops with me." But in attempting to stop racism, it makes sense to establish what is causing racism. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Besides the racial prejudices lurking amongst all population groups, whether by nature or nurture, the accusation of racism seems to be particularly focusedon whites following the Penny Sparrow and Vicki Momberg cases. As I argued on September 5 in these columns, racial outbursts from whites need to be considered within the context of the structures and strictures within which white people find themselves today.
The architect of our social and economic structures is the ANC. By practising demographic representivity, which is not what sections 9, 195 and 217 of the constitution advocate, the  ANC has prioritised cadre deployment in all levels of government, state owned enterprises and through BEE. Besides re-racialising employment, promotion and procurement, despite claims of non-racialism, the ANC government, wittingly or unwittingly, has legitimised the outcomes of incompetence and kleptocracy.

As RW Johnson stated in his book How long can South Africa survive? (2nd edition, p. 241), dealing with so-called officials, in many cases, requires walking the pretence that they are proficient in their jobs, when the opposite is often apparent. Such experiences are fuelling racist outlooks and comments. There can be few people reading this who have not felt frustration and resentment at having to deal with incompetence by someone whose position was acquired purely through political connectivity and racial demography. The consequences of this jobs- for- black- pals policy is that at all levels of government, governance has collapsed or is near to that stage. Billions of Rands are expended on remuneration of many who have neither proficiency nor professionalism.
This ugly situation is the result of ANC policies. Whilst there are certainly those within government structures who are competent and whose role is sincerely appreciated, the image of government as a whole, is negative. And therein, unfortunately, lies a great deal of the provocation and derivation of racist mindsets.
To improve the proficiency of government and consequently minimise racial outbursts, merit should be
the only criterion in job allocation. As the 2019 election approaches, significantly only the Freedom Front Plus has made merit one of its key principles.


The Witness


It is disappointing to see The Witness (October 25) echoing the same story of despair and pity as the mainstream media concerning the so-called 'caravan' of migrants seeking to enter the US.

Never shy to criticise and question the Trump administration, somehow that journalistic investigative spirit has failed to question how it is that, seemingly spontaneously, thousands of people leave their homes and belongings and join a 2,000 mile trek to the US.

Where are the questions as to who is paying for this? Who organised it? After all, a support system and logistical planning must be part of such a large exodus of people. Surely those aspects are the most important part of the story and not just the outpouring of pity?

The reality of this issue is that it is an organised invasion of the US. Criticism of Trump for denying it entry into the US has no moral or legal foundation.It is simply part of the ongoing, nauseating attempts to demonise Donald Trump and the millions of Americans who believe in firm borders and legal immigration, unlike the Democrats who want open borders and Hillary Clinton, who in 2016, stated that the US is not a country but a hemisphere to which all are free to enter.



SOCIALISM PROMOTES RUIN - posted 23 October 2018

In carrying the comments of SACP member Blade Nzimande and the marxist Dlamini Zuma at the funeral of their comrade 'Stalin' Mtshali, the Daily News of October 22 has reminded us that as long as the bankrupt, dinosaur policy of socialism is promoted, South Africa can look forward only to equality in poverty.

The entire Soviet Union collapsed because of the inherent inability of socialism to promote economic growth and to alleviate poverty. Cuba remains mired in an arrested state of development thanks to58 years of socialism. Currently Venezuela is plumbing the depths of economic misery because of socialist coercion. Brazil has wised up to the fallacy of socialism by rejecting it in its presidential election.

After 24 years of ANC/SACP socialist policies, it should be obvious that that ideology does not deliver economic growth and poverty alleviation. If it did, then how is it that the unemployment rate has grown from 3,6 million in 1994 to almost 10 million? If socialism was the answer, how come the likes of Blade Nzimande and his elitist comrades prefer private hospitals and private schools to the rundown state versions?

For Nzimande and his ilk to claim that socialism is the panacea for the mess they have inflicted on South Africa is downright hypocrisy and falsehood. Socialism is synonymous with degradation and ruin.



The Mercury


In that the Mercury, like the rest of the Establishment media, has a negative opinion of the Trump administration, the Reuters report published on October 19 on the looming US mid-term elections was typically biased and unbalanced.

The conclusion which that report promotes is that the Democratic Party is a knight in shining armour poised to rid America of a rogue president who is defiling democracy. The unvarnished reality, of course, is that the Reuters' report is nothing more than Democratic Party propaganda masquerading as informed opinion.

Since Trump took office the so-called Democrats, as the representatives of the globalists and their George Soros bankrollers, have been pursuing a perverse agenda to resist, delay and demonise all Trump's reforms. Nowhere was that wanton attitude more evident than in their conduct during the Kavanaugh hearings. For the most part the antics of the Democrats have been to distort truth and promote red herrings. The Mueller probe into Trump's alleged collusion with the Russians in the 2016 election is an expensive joke. In 18 months, Mueller has failed to find a shred of evidence on Trump. Allegations of waste by the Trump administration are another red herring. His administration is not only leaner than Obama's but he has stripped away volumes of Obama red tape regulations.

Not surprisingly, the Reuters report is silent on the Democrats intention to raise taxes, impose socialism and to have open borders so that the riff-raff of every stripe can flood into the US. Not surprisingly the Reuters avoid noting that under Trump, the US economy is booming with GDP exceeding 4%; unemployment at its lowest in 50 years; four million fewer people are on food stamps. The biggest tax reform in US history amounting to $1,5 trillion has sliced corporate tax from 35% to 21%; over 6 million new jobs have been created. And what of Trump's defusing of North Korea's nuclear threat? Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama were never able to walk that talk.

For the Reuters to claim that Trump has "attacked democratic institutions' is nauseating hypocrisy. The reality is that the Republican Party is the party of law and order whereas the Democrats have embraced mob rule. That was violently and vividly evident with Kavanaugh's confirmation. Recently it has escalated to official endorsement of physical violence and anti-social conduct towards Republican office holders. Former Attorney-General Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton have both endorsed what she euphemistically calls "incivility" towards Republicans. If anything, it is the Democrats who are defiling democratic practice, even demanding voting rights for non-citizens in their frenzied quest to defeat Trump.

Pejorative reporting is only going to tarnish the credibility of the establishment media and diminish its


The Witness


Nowhere has the influence of the media been more significantly demonstrated than in the process involving Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as a US Supreme Court Justice.

That influence is reflected in the letters by Elizabeth Tweedie and AB Modak in The Witness of October 11, which, it would appear, now accepts any claim of sexual molestation by women is credible, regardless of the evidence or the lack of it. The upshot of that emotional mindset is disregard for the principle of innocent until proven guilty and that all men are sexual predators.

In arriving at their conclusions, did Tweedie and Modak consider the following?

* That Dr Ford could not remember whether her alleged rape by Kavanaugh took place in 1982 or 1983;
* She was unable to state either the location of the alleged attack, how she got there and how she got home;

* Her best friend denied ever being at such a party or having seen Kavanaugh there;
* Kavanaugh's diary for both 1982 and 1983 shows he was out of town on the occasions Ford thinks he attacked her;
* Ford has refused to make public the polygraph test she took in July and cannot remember who paid for it and whether it was videoed or not;
* Ford claimed in testimony that she fears flying and initially declined to travel from California to Washington. But her travel record shows she is a frequent flyer.
* Mrs Mitchell, the special sex crimes prosecutor of 25 years experience who questioned both Ford and Kavanaugh at the Senate hearings, stated that given Ford's inability to provide substantial evidence, her case would not have qualified for criminal adjudication.
* Sixty five women have come forward and attested to Kavanaugh's cordial and courteous dealings with women including his former girlfriends.
* Seven FBI probes of Kavanaugh did not turn up a shred of evidence regarding sexual misconduct.

Elizabeth Tweedie claims that either Ford or Kavanaugh is lying. Neither one was lying. Kavanaugh faced the charge of perjury if he was lying and disbarment. As for Ford, whilst one sympathises with what she claimed occurred, her mistaken identity of Kavanaugh has been crudely exploited by the Democratic Party for political ends.


The Mercury


Democrat senator Chuck Schumer's description of Brett Kavanaugh's elevation to the US Supreme Court as one of "the saddest moments in the history of the Senate" (Mercury, October 8) is correct but for none of the reasons Schumer contends.

The protracted and squalid process to which Kavanaugh was subjected has been termed a "national disgrace" by 93% of Americans polled, responsibility for which lies squarely on Schumer's so-called Democrats. From the moment Kavanaugh's nomination was announced, Schumer pledged to oppose it. For three months his colleague,Dianne Feinstein, sat on a letter she had received from a Dr Ford alleging that Kavanaugh had sexually molested her in 1982 or 1983, she could not recall exactly. Just when the Senate's role of adjudicating Kavanaugh's eligibility was nearing an end, Feinstein produced the letter.

What had been a job application up until that point then turned into a vitriolic character assassination ordeal unprecedented in the history of appointments to the US Supreme Court. For Schumer now to claim that Kavanaugh "lacked the temperament" to be a Supreme Court Justice is contrived nonsense. Kavanaugh's robust defence of his integrity and his family in the face of the unsubstantiated claims by Dr Ford have nothing to do with temperament, as Schumer avers. How else was Kavanaugh supposed to have responded in the face of false accusations which were being deliberately exploited for political ends?

Thanks to the obfuscating and delaying tactics deployed by Schumer and his ilk along with the George Soros- sponsored far left wing fanatical demonstrations, violence and intimidation transcended the peaceful right to freedom of speech and the right to dissent.

The real loser in American politics is liberalism. Previously it resided in the Democratic Party. But sadly it has now been replaced by extreme intolerance and socialism.




                                                        By Duncan Du Bois

 The front page headline of the Daily News of September 28 stating that “corporal punishment breeds violence” is flagrant nonsense.

Society was not beset by violence when corporal punishment was standard practice in schools. On the contrary, respect for law and order, decency and values were a hallmark of those times. Thus, it is sad to note that more than twenty years since the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, teacher societies are investigating “alternative methods.”

Having spent 34 years in high school classrooms and been in charge of the drafting and updating of codes of conduct which exclude corporal punishment, experience showed that such discipline structures are ineffective against hard core serial offenders. Letters of warning, disciplinary hearings, suspensions, community service, counselling, threats of expulsion have no effect on deterring such refractory elements. Records of paperwork are no deterrent. Those who routinely disrupt, threaten, steal, vandalise and violate are not intimidated by the proliferation of paper on their record files.

Expulsion is neither a threat nor a reality. Requiring provincial authorisation, it is dependent on the decision of officials who invariably are loathe to authorise expulsion and who have no sense of urgency. One such district official boasted that he had turned down hundreds of applications.

Of course, unwittingly, schools have become the showcases of society’s ills and dysfunctionalism. Bereft of parenting and upbringing, often the products of child-headed households, increasing numbers of youngsters in schools today have no sense of routine and decorum. Consequently, they resent and defy order and conformity.

Classrooms have become arenas in which the undisciplined do as they like regardless of what the teacher says. And they know they can get away with it because the system is loaded in their favour. Teaching under such conditions is reduced to a minimum and often made impossible. Instead of serving as transmitters of knowledge and understanding and being mentors, in many schools, teachers have become hostage to anti-social elements that dominate, disrupt and intimidate.

I was once told to F-off by a learner after repeatedly asking him to desist from shouting across the classroom to his mate on the opposite side and who routinely failed to bring any books to school. At a subsequent disciplinary hearing concerning the incident, he was given a five day suspension which made no difference to his arrogant  and unco-operative attitude.

If schools are to regain their status as centres of learning and as custodians of civilised values, teachers need to recoup their roles as the kings and queens of their classrooms. School management together with governing bodies need to be able to expel unruly, violent elements. Authority needs to be devolved to the teaching profession.

Learners need to know that there are finite and final boundaries and that corporal punishment applies to certain misbehaviour and misdemeanours. Such punishment should be administered only by a few senior staff members and appropriately recorded. That system worked in the past.

The elastic extent of liberal tolerance is responsible for the rot that besieges the fabric of society and the rise of social deviance. Respect for law and order has declined through the failure to uphold law and order and the emergence of anything-goes norms. Excessive tolerance produces chaos and from there it is a short step to anarchy.

Proverbs in the Bible makes four references to the disciplining of children by means of corporal punishment which may be summarised as: spare the rod and spoil the child. The Bible also shows that when God’s word is ignored or defied, suffering and ruin follows. The crisis of indiscipline that besets the education process in many state schools today is the result of the absence of uncompromising disciplinary boundaries which have come about through the enactment of facile liberal legislation.

Given the breakdown of family life, the role of schools is more critical than ever before in instilling moral and civilised values – in loco parentis – namely, substitutes for parenting. If schools were permitted to play that role, as they often did in the past, it would have a positive effect on youth and reduce the tendency towards violence.

                                      ---------------------- Du Bois is an independent post-doctoral researcher


The Witness


The Witness is to be commended for presenting a positive angle on South African history in considering Richard Steyn's newly published work on the country's first prime minister, Louis Botha (October 1).

With the proliferation of books focusing on what is called 'struggle' history and those associated with it, the perception that has been advanced, wittingly or unwittingly, is that nothing of merit occurred before 1994.

The first study of Botha since Johannes Meintjes 1970 biography, Louis Botha - A Man Apart is, therefore, a timely and welcome reminder of the need to view the past through an objective lens, as Helen Zille has tried to contend. Of course, those bent on wall-to-wall condemnation of the entire pre-1994 period will note that it was Botha's government which enacted the Land Act of 1913 the legacy of which the country is grappling with today.

However, beyond the role Botha played at Versailles, as excerpted from Steyn's book, Louis Botha, like George Washington, faced the difficult task of trying to forge a common political ground between different and diverse colonies. Besides unifying the civil service and establishing national administrative departments, Louis Botha's key aim was to cultivate reconciliation between English and Afrikaans-speaking whites.
Also forgotten is Botha's magnanimity in releasing Zulu king Dinizulu from prison because he believed Dinizulu had been unjustly treated by the Natal colonial judiciary for his alleged role in the Bhambatha rebellion. On Botha's orders, Dinizulu was granted a farm near Middelberg along with an annual pension of £500. Louis Botha is an overlooked and under-studied figure in South African history whose experience and challenges remain relevant.




For a party that advocates land seizures, whose members have indulged in the trashing and burning of university campuses and whose leader favours the slaughter of whites at some future stage, the lengthy article by Floyd Shivambu of the EFF (Daily News, September 20) glorifying the totalitarian regime of Cuba elevates hypocrisy to a new level.

In heaping praise on the Cuban regime for liberating South Africa from what he calls "nonsensical colonial apartheid oppression and repression," Shivambu conveniently ignores the fact that what he despised about South Africa before 1994 are the very measures under which the people of Cuba have been living for 59 years.

It beggars belief that Shivambu can find virtue in a regime in which democracy is outlawed, which prohibits dissent and freedom of expression, which practises arbitrary arrest and detention, which denies access to human rights groups, which tortures political prisoners and which has subjected an entire population to economic hardship and stagnation for nearly six decades..

If life under the dictatorship of the Cuban communist party was as rosy as Shivambu proclaims, then he should explain why over 500,000 Cuban have fled the island since 1960 - 54,000 in 2016 alone.

History without context degenerates into propaganda which is what Shivambu's diatribe amounts to.




The Witness


In his Heritage Day message (The Witness, September 25), DA leader Maimane urges people to "negotiate their future." Although that is a sensible approach, giventhe cultural diversity that exists, his appeal needs to appreciate that the future can never be divorced from the past.

Fundamental to heritage is the fact that it provides identity through context. It is natural for each generation to enquire about its heritage in order to qualify its identity. Harking back only to the early 1990s and the Codesa talks, as Maimane advises, is meaningless without the context of what preceded it.

Unfortunately, Maimane's perspective on heritage is a very jaundiced one as we saw with his dogmatic denouncement of the entire colonial and white-ruled periods in 2017 when Helen Zille attempted to suggest, objectively, that those periods did contain some positives. So when Maimane invites discussion about culture, depending on one's demographic affiliation, it would seem that terms and conditions apply, despite the exhortation in the preamble of the constitution that respect is accorded to all those who have contributed to the development of the country.

In that Maimane exaggeratedly claims there is a "class and racial war" within South Africa, he needs to appreciate that politicians have exacerbated that situation by ignoring the differences that are natural and inescapable amongst the different population groups. This is particularly evident in the pursuit of employment, procurement and promotion policies which adhere to demographic profiling - better known as affirmative action.

As long as the DA embraces such discriminatory views and policies, its slogan of '"one South Africa for all" is disingenuous and will not negotiate a better future. If Maimane is sincere in wanting to minimise class and race differences, then the DA needs to revert to its liberal roots and embrace merit as the arbiter of its aims.



The Mercury

- posted 18/9/18

Outgoing Cosatu leader S'dumo Dlamini's rejection of what he calls the "neoliberal tendencies" of President Ramaphosa (Mercury, September 17) needs to be seen within the context of Cosatu's policy priorities for 2019.

Those priorities were published in Business Insider on September 12 and are thoroughly marxist.


* They call for an end to the licensing of private hospitals and for the establishment of state-owned pharmaceutical companies.
* They demand that 50% of private retirement funds be invested in State Owned Enterprises (like Eskom). * That tax on companies be increased to 50%.

* That estate duty on all estates be increased to 50%.

* A total ban on scab labour during a strike and the total shutting down of any company hit by a strike.
* The establishment of a state bank to grant interest-free loans for women and township co-operatives.
* Punitive taxes on the export of capital and the repatriation of profits by foreign companies.
* Nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.

As they have in the past, Cosatu has indicated that it will not contest the 2019 election as a separate entity but will partner the ANC. Unless Ramaphosa has tremendous reserves of political will to ignore the failed ideology which Cosatu promotes, South Africa can expect only further economic decline and failure should the ANC win the 2019 election.



The Mercury


Two articles in the Mercury of September 14 make one wonder what has happened to logic and common sense.

The Concourt's ruling that a so-called struggle song which "rejoiced" in inflicting physical violence ("hit") on a "Boer," whilst "offensive," was not necessarily racist although it was "inappropriate."

The question that appears not to have been asked is that of motive.Are we to assume that lyrics which target a particular racial group, whites in this case,and which express joy in punitive action against that group, are harmless and sung with no more malice than a traditional nursery rhyme like "Oranges and Lemons?"

The response of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) to the Concourt's findings suggests otherwise. "Struggle songs are part of who we are....Any limitation on this right is a limitation on the right to freedom of speech," a Numsa spokesman stated. In other words, malice towards whites in so-called struggle songs remains in place. Yet, amazingly, such lyrics do not constitute hate speech.

The article by doctoral candidate Anine Kriegler argues that the main reason crime is so bad is because of socio-economic inequality. Research, she insists, supports this claim and posits that respite from violent crime will occur only when we become a "more equal society." The insulation of such ivory tower theorists from reality is breathtaking.

Social inequality is a reality worldwide with the US as the most glaring example where one percent of the population owns 40% of everything. Yet despite that reality, in 2016 there were only 17,250 murders in the US which has a population of 325 million. In contrast, the latest statistics show that 20,336 murders have occurred in South Africa which has a population one-sixth the size of the US.

Kriegler's social inequality case is absolute humbug. During the Great Depression in the US, when more than 25% of Americans were made destitute, there was no spike in violent crime.Violent crime will recede only when capital punishment is reinstated. Imprisonment is no deterrent to murderers. Instead the tsunami of violent crime reflects the failure of liberal measures in punishing criminals.


The Witness


The outrage and hand-wringing at the release of the latest crime statistics adds nothing
to deterring the tsunami of violent crime that prevails (The Witness, September 13).

The reactions of the different party spokesmen on the subject read like a stuck record.Police minister Bheki Cele feels the police "have dropped the ball." Maybe, but then the SAP have been hobbled by incompetent leadership as a result of political agendas.

IFP spokesman Narend Singh's call for a national dialogue on crime prevention is a step
in the right direction but only if it recognises the need for constitutional reform. Whilst more policing and improved investigative capacity may put the bite on crime, until there is the will to deny murderers the right to dignity, the right to life and security of person - sections 10, 11 and 12 of the constitution - deterring violent crime is not going to be effective.

For too long too many have indulged in proclaiming the merits of our constitution. They enthuse about its moral order yet seem blind to the contradiction that murderers are constitutionally entitled to the right to life, dignity and security of person which they denied to their victims.

Rights that are not respected should be forfeited. Terms and conditions must apply. It is absurd in the extreme that perpetrators of murder should be afforded the very rights they denied to those they killed.The claim that the constitution cannot be amended to make provision for the death penalty is humbug. No constitution is cast in stone. If section 25 of the constitution can be changed so can any other section.Besides, the relationship between democracy and the constitution is a two way street. In that that latter is premised on the will of the people, then it needs to keep in tune with the will of the people.

So let's have a national dialogue or a codesa on violent crime. Let's recognise that only by confronting murderers with the prospect of losing their lives for their deeds that violent crime can be deterred and true justice can prevail





If historians of the future have to rely on the so-called mainstream media and its mindset to determine current trends they will be mistaken. A report in the Daily News (September 11) on the recent election in Sweden provides a case in point.

In many European countries, as the British Brexit vote showed, voters are increasinglydemanding the defence of national sovereignty. Their demands are twofold: rejection of the emasculation of sovereign power by the European Union and resentment at the colonisation of their countries by immigrants whose culture, race and religion is completely at odds with European norms.

Nationalism is what those voters are endorsing. Yet the Daily News, like other mainstream media, persists in calling such voters 'Far Right.' Strangely one never reads about the 'Far Left.' Globalists, socialists, communists are the Far Left, but their true branding is masked by the use of  labels such as 'liberal' and 'progressive.'

Just as communists and their fellow travellers are Far Left, the real Far Right comprises Fascists and Nazis. It is, therefore, wrong and unacceptable to label folk who want to preserve national sovereignty and cultural homogeneity as 'Far Right.' Support for the Brexit vote came from both sides of Britain's political aisle and included well-known leftist figures like Lord David Owen. Let's have an end to this distortion of political values.


The Mercury


Whilst in agreement with Judge Thumba Pillay's appeal for an overhaul of parliamentary representation (Mercury, September 11), the electoral system also merits review

As it stands, all citizens over the age of 18 have the vote in determining who holds power in South Africa Inc. Thus, the vote of an unemployed person, who pays no tax and is a beneficiary of state welfare, has the same value as a person whose taxes the government depends upon to fund welfare and to run the country.

As things stand in South Africa, a minority of tax payers, fewer than 10 million, funds a growing majority of non-taxpayers - more than 17 million. Obviously such a situation is not sustainable in the long term as former Finance minister Trevor Manuel has pointed out. Nonetheless, that vast number of welfare- dependent voters is exploited by communists and socialists in the ANC to remain in power. As history shows, the success of socialism has always been to promote equality in poverty and mediocrity. The growth in unemployment from three million in 1994 to over nine million is proof of the failure of socialism to alleviate poverty.

Thus, we need an electoral system which will promote better governance by strengthening the role of stakeholders in the economy of the country. In such a system everyone would have a single vote irrespective of their status. Additional votes would accrue to taxpayers based on the extent of their contribution to the SA Revenue Service. That would promote transparency and accountability in revenue collection and ensure that those with actual stakes in the economy had a greater and fairer measure of influence in policy making. Political parties would be obliged to tailor their policies and the quality of their representatives to reflect the democratic wishes of such an electorate.

Rising tax revenues would enable those in power to expand employment opportunities thereby progressively reducing unemployment and dependence on welfare. It is a win-win system because of the benefits of improved governance for all, while seriously curbing the cycle of poverty and the practice of those who exploit it for failed ideological and selfish political reasons. In short, systems based on merit promote upliftment, whereas mediocrity ensures stagnation and worse.


The Mercury

THE SS K- of 1893 - posted 1/9/18

David Sumpton (Mercury, August 31) is correct in stating that ships plying our waters in colonial times frequently had African names including the now offensive K-word.

The British Colonial Steam Navigation Company had several ships one of which was called the SS K-. It was a 2,736 ton steamer and regularly plied between Durban and ports in India. Clearly its owners saw nothing untoward or offensive in the name they gave their ship or saw any distinction between that name and the other African names of their ships.

The Company regularly advertised the destinations of its ships in the colonial press which included the Natal Mercury. Attached is one such advertisement announcing a voyage of the S K departing from Durban on August 24, 1893. It appeared in the Mercury on August 21, 1893.



The Mercury


As passionate and sincere as George Devenish is about improving race relations, none of the suggestions and remedies he proposes (Mercury, August 30) is viable on account of historic, demographic and political realities.

On the positive side, the vast majority of South Africans get along with each other. This is attested to daily in millions of social interactions. We are interdependent. Take a day in your life and consider to what extent, irrespective of your race, you interacted with and were dependent upon someone of a different race to have provided you with a service, directly or indirectly and reciprocally.

So at which level does the rainbow relationship come adrift? The answer is obvious. It has always been at the political front. In the past politicians stoked the fears of the swart gevaar. Nowadays it is about white monopoly capitalism and the white theft of land. Certainly there needs to be land reform and as it stands the constitution makes provision for that. But because of the allure of power, past white exploitation is being mined to sustain political ascendancy.

Unfortunately the hand of history weighs heavily. Post colonial Africa has been dominated by forces that have always represented the extremes of the political spectrum. The political landscape in South Africa is no different. Faced with a challenge to its left from the EFF, the ruling ANC has opted to neutralise that political threat by adopting its opponent's policy of expropriation of land without compensation.

Political ambition is poisoning race relations. Attempts to undo the legacy of the past are proving more divisive and rancorous than apartheid itself. To expect race relations to improve and to prosper is naive when minorities, especially whites, find themselves politically demonised, marginalised and vulnerable because they are white.

Although non-racialism is constitutionally and officially pronounced as policy, minorities are acutely aware that demographic representivity is pursued, despite the fact that it is unconstitutional. Healing the racial divide is never going to happen as long as this situation prevails; where eligibility for employment and promotion is determined by racial ratios - 9% in the case of whites - and where merit counts for nothing. Further aggravating and alienating white sentiment is the flagrant, unpunished, racist rhetoric of Julius Malema and his exhortation to slaughter whites at some future point.

Thus, for all his sincerity in seeking to promote a harmonious racial dispensation, George Devenish's appeal fails to appreciate the psychological conditions under which whites exist. As a fifth generation settler of 1850 in Natal and as rooted as I am to South Africa, it is extremely saddening to witness the progressive decline of every aspect of this country. There is not a single factor or element that has improved since 1994. And the greatest barometer of that reality is the value of the Rand. At worst, before 1994 it traded at R2.25 to the US dollar. Now we are told that when the Rand trades at R14.30 to the dollar it has "strengthened." The value of the Rand reflects the banana republic status to which this country has been reduced.

With the exception of crude ranters like Vicki Momberg, when white people like the unfortunate teacher at Westville Girls High and Penny Sparrow before her, resort to racially hurtful terms, as unacceptable as that is, such outbursts need to be seen within the context of the structures within which white people find themselves today. Put bluntly, prospects are far from encouraging. No wonder young white people are emigrating at an increasing rate.


The Mercury


Tony Leon once presciently stated that "standards would be lowered to you." Daily the accuracy of his prediction finds fulfillment and is exemplified by the plea that several so-called students be pardoned for their acts of public violence and arson so that "they can lead normal lives" (Mercury, August 27)

One can only speculate as to what the writer of this plea, Hendrick Makeneta of the Education for Social Justice Foundation, means by "normal" and the irony of his request. He seeks to have charges dropped for deeds that were shamelessly and willfully committed and which seriously disrupted the academic lives of entire campuses. The deeds involved the torching of buildings, wanton destruction of equipment and theburning of part of the Howard College law library. One of arsonists, Bonginisi Khanyile, stated that he was "proud" of the fact that following his example, students on the Pietermaritzburg campus of UKZN had torched a building (Daily News, October 11, 2016).

To add insult to injury, despite being on a full bursary of taxpayers money granted by the KZN premier's office, Khanyile and his ilk demand that tertiary education should be free for all. In a normal society, such acts of anarchy do not go unpunished and cannot be pardoned. For Makeneta to attempt to argue that his clients "did not anticipate that their actions would lead them to jail," besides being risible, raises the question of the perception his clients have of what constitutes "normal" conduct.

Given the track record of how violations of the law are dealt with, Justice and Correctional Services minister Masutha is likely to grant Khanyile and his fellow arsonists amnesty from prosecution thereby further affirming Tony Leon's dictum on declining standards. But what needs to be appreciated is that excessive tolerance ultimately results in anarchy





The fulmination of the political Establishment and press at President Trump's expression of concern for the plight of South African farmers and the ANC's decision to expropriate land without compensation is not surprising.

No amount of anti-Trump hysteria can divert attention from the basic facts of the situation:

* the rate at which white farmers are being murdered since the ANC came to power is
without precedent in a peacetime dispensation and an appalling tragedy;

* the uncertainty and negative speculation around the issue of land reform is entirely the fault of the ANC as a result of its failure to address the matter over the past 20 years and its decision to capitulate to the incendiary populism of Julius Malema by endorsing the policy of expropriation without compensation.

For the ANC the chickens have come home to roost. During its so-called struggle years, the ANC never lost an opportunity to run to the UN and the US government to lodge protests about the apartheid government. Through its lobbying it succeeded in having sanctions and disinvestment applied. Yet now that it is being exposed for failing to halt the ongoing murder of white farmers and for wanting to seize land without compensation, the ANC cries foul play. What comes around goes around.
When it suited the ANC, it promoted US interference in South Africa. Now the ANC must swallow the same medicine.

In noting the published reaction of opposition political parties, it is significant that only the Freedom Front Plus expressed a responsible and informed opinion about the possible consequences for South Africa in terms of the AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) agreement. The official opposition DA declined to comment (Daily News, August 23). Its silence on Trump's critical concern makes one wonder.



The Editor
The Washington Times


The fulmination of the political Establishment and media at President Trump's critical concern for the plight of white South African farmers and the Ramaphosa government's decision to expropriate land without compensation is not surprising.

No amount of anti-Trump hysteria can divert attention from the basic facts of the situation:


* over 1,600 white farmers have been murdered since Ramaphosa's African National Congress (ANC) came to power in 1994. Such a situation is unprecedented in a peacetime dispensation and an appalling tragedy;

* the uncertainty and negative speculation around the issue of land reform in South Africa s entirely the fault of the ANC as a result of its failure to address the issue constitutionally over the past 24 years.

For the ANC the chickens have come home to roost. Before 1994, the ANC never lost an opportunity to run to the UN and the US government to protest the apartheid government.
Yet now that it is being exposed for its inability to control crime and for imposing banana republic tactics, the ANC cries foul play. When it suited the ANC, it promoted US interference in South Africa. Now the ANC must swallow the
same medicine.

The most critical aspect of this whole sorry saga is that the future stability and viability of South Africa is actually premised on the security of its minorities. By demonising and marginalising white, Indian and mixed race minorities and accusing them of stealing the land, the lot of the majority will not be improved. The history of post-colonial Africa shows that wherever minorities were marginalised and persecuted, the economic well-being of those countries declined. Nowhere has that been more tragically illustrated than in Zimbabwe.

By attempting to define the future through the lens of failed, populist ideology, namely land seizure, the Ramaphosa government risks destroying South Africa. For the reality is that the welfare of the majority depends on the security of the minorities. The Trump Administration is to be commended for being the first in the US since 1994 to take a critical line against the failings of black rule in South Africa.


The Mercury

posted 23/8/2018

Imraan Buccus's opinion piece (Mercury, August 22) expressing concern over President Ramaphosa's pandering to populism on the land question is a refreshing departure from his usual socialist offerings.

Buccus rightly states that the focus should be on urban rather than rural land.The fact that 92% of the recipients in land restitution cases have opted for the cash value of the land they claimed, exposes the falsehood of populist rhetoric that an agrarian revolution is imminent.

In 2013 the World Bank warned that developing countries should prepare to house an additional 2,7 billion people between 2013 and 2050 as migrants move in unprecedented numbers from rural areas to pursue aspirations in urban areas. That trend is a distinct reality in South Africa as indicated by the mushrooming of informal settlements around urban areas.

It is disturbing, therefore, to note that for all his business savvy, President Ramaphosa feels a virtuous economic cycle will evolve by handing over rural land to the poor. Is he blind to what occurred in Zimbabwe?

The root of the ANC's posturing on the land issue is its adherence to the discredited communist ideology found in its 1955 freedom charter. The charter's assertion that "all shall have the right to occupy the land wherever they choose," besides being unconstitutional, is an invitation to anarchy. In sanctioning land expropriation without compensation, the ANC is attempting to adhere to the charter despite the folly of such a policy in terms of food security and its massive, negative economic and investment consequences.

What commentators on the land issue appear to have neglected to date is that the future stability and viability of South Africa is actually premised on the security of its minorities. By demonising and marginalising white, Indian and coloured minorities, accusing them of stealing the land and imposing constraints on how much land (12,000 hectares) they can own, the lot of the majority will not be improved. The history of post-colonial Africa shows that wherever minorities were marginalised and persecuted, the economic well-being of that country declined. Nowhere has that been more tragically illustrated than in Zimbabwe. 
By attempting to define the future through the lens of failed, populist ideology, the ANC risks destroying South Africa. For the reality is that the welfare of the majority depends on the security of the minorities


Business Report

- posted 8 July 2018

The detailed analysis of the latest B-BBEE amendments and codes (Business Report, July 4) is such that it diverts attention from what the B-BBEE exercise really amounts to.

In putting an objective perspective on B-BBEE, it is absurd that a group that accounts for 79% of the population requires barriers to be erected against a white demographic minority of 9%, a coloured minority of 9,6% and an Indian minority of 2,4% in an attempt to claim economic security.

B-BBEE mocks the much-vaunted claim that South Africa is a non-racial society. In that context it is acutely more racist, prescriptive and discriminatory in regulating business and employment than such practices were under apartheid. With its entrenched demographic profile,B-BBEE is brazenly at odds with the constitutional notion of equality, irrespective of race.

The argument that the purpose of B-BBEE is to correct past imbalances in the economic landscape is a red herring. As Moeletsi Mbeki has noted,far from achieving that objective, B-BBEE is stifling the emergence of black entrepreuneurship. Instead it is creating a small class of wealthy black crony capitalists devoid of experience and expertise in initiating and
managing new business.

Compared with the economic elites of Asia, the beneficiaries of B-BBEE lack the driving ideology of entrepreneurship on which Asian business success is based. In contrast, B-BBEE promotes a culture of entitlement which, psychologically, can never prove proactive in generating economic growth. B-BBEE also perpetuates a mindset of victimhood, despite the fact that the most prescriptive aspects of apartheid had been abandoned by 1990.

Aside from being harmful to race relations because it is so glaringly, racially discriminatory, B-BBEE strikes a negative chord not only for the prospect of expanding a business but also in attracting foreign investment.
In that prescriptive labour legislation hobbles the prerogative of businesses to hire, fire and promote employees, B-BBEE is an archaic handbrake on the economic potential of South Africa.

Daily News


Saber Ahmed Jazbhay's stance on South African history (Daily News, July 5)appears to be ambiguous. On the one hand he exhorts the "study of our beloved history." But then he advocates erasing history by changing the names of streets and the cities.

Name changing as an attempt to erase the past is shortsighted and imprudent. It is also an insult to whoever is chosen as the name beneficiary because it amounts to a second-hand
tribute, like re-gifting. Yet Mr Jazbhay would have us believe that by renaming "Durban," the "thorns of the racist past" will be removed and, somehow, reconciliation will follow.

Besides renaming being a very expensive exercise, the "thorns" which Mr Jazbhay detests
would still be in evidence wherever he chose to look. Logically, then, he should advocate the demolition of all buildings that were erected in the "racist" era, starting with the City Hall and the GPO. Then he would need to clear out all statues and relics of those hateful times.
When he is done with that, he would need to cease using the English language - the medium of the "thorns" era he so detests.

The past can be reviewed and revised but it cannot be erased. Heritage and history provide context and identity. The significance of the present era would be lost without the history that preceded it.

By the way, Mr Jazbhay, Sir Benjamin D'Urban was never a governor of Natal. He served as Cape governor between 1834 and 1837.




The hazards the police face in confronting violent protests (Daily News, June 28) and their lack of resources provides insight as to why South Africa is succumbing to anarchy.

According to a report published in The Mercury on June 15, 2016, between 1999 and 2016 there were 67,750 protests staged which works out to 13 each day. Many of those protests were violent.

Based on that reality, police resources need to be capable of dealing with what is virtually a daily occurrence. But what also needs to be drummed into those  bent on violent protest is that their constitutional rights under section 17 to protest,demonstrate and picket are valid only in an unarmed capacity.

When protesters start throwing rocks, trashing property and endangering the lives ofthose whose task it is to uphold law and order, then violence needs to be confronted with equal ferocity. The thin blue line which the police constitute, should not be vulnerable or forced to retreat in the face of mob violence. If the police are unable to maintain law and order and to defeat violence, then what is the worth of other aspects of the Bill of Rights?

Public violence cannot be condoned or tolerated. Excuses about the lack of service delivery
and other social gripes can in no way justify public violence and assault on the police. Given the violence and looting that occurred at the Mooi River toll recently and elsewhere,
perhaps the time has come for the police to warn that in future they will treat violent protest
the way Napoleon did - with a "whiff of grapeshot." It cured anarchy in his time.


The Mercury


The report in the Mercury of June 26 that the ANC is shocked at the scale of corruption
in the country is as ludicrous as Satan saying he is shocked by sin.

While, of course, measures to remedy the corrupt state of SOEs such as Eskom, Transnet, SAA and Prasa are to be welcomed, responsibility for the tsunami of corruption that engulfs every aspect and level of  governance is entirely that of the ANC.

When ANC kingpin Smuts Ngonyama stated in 2008 that he "did not join the struggle to remain poor," he effectively proclaimed enrichment at the expense of the taxpayer as an acceptable pursuit. The same ANC bigwigs who now claim to be aghast at the extent of looting and corruption, observed a deafening silence during the Zuma years while their comrades not only thieved their way to obscene wealth but succeeded in state capture in the process.

For over 20 years we have seen incompetent, corrupt ANC members recycled and redeployed from one ruined state entity to the next. Worse still, we have seen the likes of Brian Molefe rewarded with millions despite the damage he did to Eskom. Wherever the stench of corruption simmered, ANC cronies were  to be found responsible. Yet real punitive action against those types is never forthcoming.

So, with an election around the corner, for the ANC suddenly to proclaim that corruption "goes against every value and principle for which the ANC fought" is completely bereft of credibility. With the exception of upright ANC members like Pravin Gordhan, the quip that ANC stands for African National Corruption,is undeniable.

Given the pervasiveness of corruption and looting that has occurred under the ANC , what the ANC should be shocked about is the hollowness of its historical claim to have delivered "100 years of selfless sacrifice." The burgeoning army of unemployed that has grown from 3,6 million in 1994 to almost 10 million is proof of the hypocrisy of that claim.




The proposal that History be made a compulsory matric subject has invited speculation
as to what the subject content should include and how it should be taught.

Since History embraces all branches of knowledge and experience, its inclusion in a fully
rounded education package should be automatic. But what has hurt the subject going back
more than a century is the content focus that has prevailed: political, ideological and military.

While, of course, the reigns of rulers, the causes and effects of wars and the making of
empires are necessary to provide context, such material does not necessarily appeal to the
average student. There are numerous other themes that should form a syllabus focus such as:.
health and medicine, exploration, transport, literary and musical, humanitarianism, industrial
development, environment, flight,electricity, trade and construction.

As has been pointed out, the content of a new South African History for high school would have to go beyond 1994. But there lies the difficulty: if such a package focuses purely on the political, it will degenerate into propaganda and be viewed as nothing more than a political prop for those in power.

Thus, an important challenge in shaping a new history syllabus is to ensure a wide focus of themes which educate the learner as to the extent of and challenges to progress in fields such as transport, infrastructure,industry, health, environment and education, albeit within the context of the political framework that prevailed before 1994.

The other challenge would be to examine how much of what was achieved before 1994 was allowed to deteriorate and decline along with greatly reduced safety and security and greater inequality. Such a History syllabus would prove instructive and serve as a touchstone for the next generation.

Mid-South Coast Mail


The recent rejection by Judge Yasmin Meer and her two assessors of a land claim involving 1,380ha in the Scottburgh area is to commended.

It is gratifying when the repository of history is utilised in establishing the facts. By consulting the record, Judge Meer's court was able to show that the claim of land dispossession between 1914 and 1940 by a group calling itself the Elambini community, was unfounded.

Settlement of the South Coast beyond the Mkomazi River began in 1858. In making grants of crown land to white settlers, the colonial government was careful to avoid the locations which Shepstone had set aside for Africans. Joseph and Thomas Landers established Renishaw and Maryland farms in 1858 in the area claimed by the Elambini. Between 1876 and 1882, Samuel Crookes purchased Renishaw, Maryland and Restalrig estates which became the nucleus of the Crookes sugar business.

Apart from the uncalled for action of Colonel McKenzie in 1906 at Umzinto, my research of the history of the South Coast between 1850 and 1910 shows that relations between settlers and Africans in Alexandra County were stable and peaceful. Settlers frequently complained about the fractured territorial integrity of the South Coast as a result of Shepstone's location system which accounted for 270,000 acres of African reserve between Isipingo and the Mzimkulu River.

African ownership of those lands was ring-fenced. Requests permitting white settlement on those lands were rejected. Of further interest is the dependence of white settlers on the production of maize by Africans until the 1890s. From that perspective, Judge Meer's finding in favour of Crookes Bros enables the continued development of South Coast to proceed after having been stalled on account of a false and protracted land claim.

In that one of the new criteria being proposed on land restitution is that of "use it or lose it,"
that criterion should be reciprocal. In other words, land claims that fail to reflect development within a window period should be forfeit and placed on the open market. It is not in the general economic interest either for frivolous land claims to disincentivise development or for previously productive land to fall fallow because of the inability of restored owners to develop it.




In his attempt to assert that capital punishment will not materialise in South Africa (Star, June 6), Dougie Oakes ignores the relationship between constitutionality and democracy within the context of moral order.

Given the increasing impunity of criminals and the lawlessness engulfing the country,public outrage at the callous murder of 9-year old Sadia Sukhraj in Chatsworth and 3-year old Courtney Pieters in Elsies River, has renewed demands for the reinstatement of the death penalty.

The standard response of those, like Dougie Oakes, is to cite the 1995 ruling in the Makwanyane and Mchunu case which saw convergent thinking amongst judges abolishing capital punishment on the grounds that it ran contrary to the precepts of a democratic constitution.However, what the adherents to this argument overlook is that whilst the working of democracy is premised upon the constitution, it is a two-way relationship. Constitutions are not cast in stone. They are subject to amendment at the behest of the people. After all, a democracy is supposed to be premised on the will of the people. In a democracy, supreme power is invested in the people.

So the claim that the constitution cannot be amended to make provision for the death penalty is humbug. Curiously, one does not hear the same people raising that argument now that the ANC has indicated that it may amend the constitution so as to expropriate land without compensation.

Given the cold-blooded and often barbaric way in which murders are committed, it surely is time to recognise that the perpetrators of heinous crimes are not deserving of sections 9,10 and 11 of the constitution which provide for the right to equality, dignity and life. Moreover, to afford such rights to them mocks the value of moral order. In other words, renders it farcical.

The trouble with constitutional rights is that terms and conditions are not applicable. Rights that are not respected should be forfeited. In committing murder, the perpetrator shows total disregard for his victim's right to life and dignity. It is, therefore, absurd in the extreme that the murderer should enjoy the very rights he denied his victim.

Typically, Oakes cites the harsh reality of death by hanging. Yet he is silent about the suffering of murder victims. While he seeks to premise his case on moral order and democracy, he is indifferent to the denial and violation of those rights where murder victims are concerned. Thus, there is neither logic nor justice in the argument that society owes a murderer the right to be treated with dignity and respect for his life.

Arthur Chaskalson's claim that "the greatest deterrent to crime is the likelihood that the offender will be apprehended, convicted and punished," has been eclipsed by the realities of crime in South Africa. Between April 2016 and April2017, some 19,000 people were murdered. That is 52 murders every day. With only 10% of criminal cases achieving convictions, Chaskalson's "likelihood" of deterrence is a disastrous failure. Moreover, the reality is that imprisonment is no deterrent.

Excessive liberal tolerance is paving the way for anarchy. South Africa teeters on the brink of anarchy not only as a result of poor policing but, in the main, because of the absence of an intimidating deterrent in the form of the death penalty.

The Mercury


Eulogies to what are termed "struggle icons" have become common place in Independent Newspapers, the one on Moses Mabhida (June 8) being a case in point.In terms of free expression, there can be no substantial objection to historic recollections just as the Mercury carries the series by Catherine and Michael Greenham depicting early twentieth century Natal. However, the difficulty with articles about ANC "struggle icons" is that they are purely eulogistic and, therefore, devoid of objectivity and context.

The only objective aspect of Vusi Shongwe's lengthy tribute to Moses Mabhida concerns his lament that Mabhida "would decry the present era where the moral compass ....has lost its bearings where an avowed distaste for individual possession of wealth has been replaced by a merciless contest in conspicuous consumption."Well said, Dr Shongwe, and too true!

But in acknowledging that Mabhida was an avowed Marxist-Leninist, does Shongwe really
believe that if Mabhida's ideology had triumphed we would be free today? The Soviet Union, with which he was closely aligned and enjoyed material support, prohibited democracy and freedom. Instead it coerced socio-economic mediocrity.

Also absent from Shongwe's tribute is the role of Mabhida as a hardline commissar within
the SACP. Although sympathetic to the ANC, Stephen Ellis in his book External Mission -
the ANC in Exile (2012), notes that Mabhida was a feared and powerful figure within the
SACP security apparatus and Central Committee. He was directly involved in repressive measures carried out in the notorious Quatro detention camp and the Shishita purge of 1979-1981. Executions and savage beatings were rife. Often victims were left tied to trees for days (pp. 154; 172-173).

The omission of such facets is at odds with Shongwe's account of Mabhida as an avuncular figure.History without context and attempts at objectivity degenerates into propaganda.

Regardless of the persuasion of past figures, unless publication thereof is reasonably dispassionate and objective, articles such as the one by Shongwe on Moses Mabhida constitute blatant propaganda.


The Mercury

GANDHI'S IMAGE   -   posted 8 June 2018

Whilst worthy of commemoration, the report on the 125th anniversary of Gandhi's ejectionfrom the first class compartment of the train at Pietermaritzburg station (Mercury, June 7),besides containing some factual errors, exemplifies how the selective exploitation of history can nurture an image. 

Unfortunate and regrettable though that train experience was, it was not the issue which galvanised Gandhi into becoming a champion of the rights of those subjected to discrimination. After spending nearly a year in Pretoria assisting his brother's merchant firm in a legal case, Gandhi intended to return to India. It was upon arriving back in Durban in April 1894 that he read of legislation to be introduced in the Natal parliament disenfranchising Indians. That news proved a watershed in his life. For the next twenty years he remained in South Africa championing the cause of Indians.  

However, the image of Gandhi as a crusader of rights is not quite as shiny as portrayed. His Natal Indian Congress, as historians Maureen Swan, Joy Brain, Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed contend, reflected the interests of the Indian merchant trading elite. In their book Inside Indian Indenture, Desai and Vahed note that Gandhi distinguished between indentured labour and free immigrant Indians. He regarded indenture as an issue of contract and bargain (p. 372).  

In an interview with the New Statesman on 13 November 1896, Gandhi made it clear that his notion of equality did not include all Indians and that he had no intention of paving the way for "coolies" to vote (Maureen Swan, Gandhi - The South African Experience, p. 63). As Swan points out, Gandhi's protestations  reflected a class rather than a race interest. Equally significant at that time, Gandhi and the NIC shared whites' prejudices towards Natal Africans (p.50).  

Gandhi's selective interest in acts of discrimination was particularly evident at the time of the inquiry into human rights abuses on Reynolds Bros estates in Umzinto in 1906. Along with the rest of the colonial press, Gandhi's Indian Opinion was silent in reporting and commenting on the appalling treatment of indentured Indians.  

To remedy the credibility of politically nuanced views of Gandhi, a source worth consulting is Desai and Vahed's book The South African Gandhi - stretcher-bearer of Empire (2016).


The Mercury


Transport minister Blade Nzimande's reasons for appointing failed former eThekwini city manager, Sbu Sithole, as the new head of the Passenger and Rail Authority (PRASA) ,once again, reveal why good governance eludes the ANC (Mercury, June 6). 

So poor was Sithole at his post as eThekwini city manager, that even the local ANC saw fit not to renew his contract. However, the real issue here is that of probity. Clearly, as Nzimande relates, inability to manage one's personal finances, is not a hindrance in eligibility for a top government post. In fact, as Nzimande sees it,it seems to be quite acceptable.  

Also very telling from the reported comments  by Nzimande is his absolute commitment to appointing a black person to the job. Here we see the failure of the ANC to walk the talk about non-racialism.There are many eligible Indians, coloureds and whites who could fill that Prasa post. Yet Nzimande discriminates against them and selects Sithole who could not run a municipality. 

With the exception of minister Pravin Gordhan who at least valuescompetence ahead of colour and comradeship, the likes of Blade Nzimande are condemning the country to ever-downward spirals of poor governance.



 Whilst one has deep respect for Professor George Devenish's constitutional knowledge and experience, the array of constitutional and moral arguments he presents concerning the death penalty (Daily News, June 1), nonetheless, raises the question of the relationship betweenconstitutionality and democracy within the context of moral order. 

In the wake of the callous murder of 9-year old Sadia Sukhraj, a petition to reinstate the death penalty has rapidly passed the 50,000 mark. Public outrage at the impunity of criminals and the increasing lawlessness which is engulfing the country, is promoting the plea to amend the constitution so as to provide for capital punishment.  

With respect, Professor Devenish should perhaps regard that petition with a little more gravitas instead of dismissing it as "merely an expression of public opinion." After all, ademocracy is supposed to be premised on the will of the people. In a democracy, supreme power is invested in the people. 

In that South Africa is a constitutional democracy, what appears to be overlooked is that while the working of the democracy is premised upon the constitution, it is a two-way relationship. Constitutions are not cast in stone. They are subject to amendment at the behest of the people. 

In marshalling his argument as to why the constitution is unlikely to be amended so as to provide for capital punishment, Professor Devenish cites convergent legal thinking. Foremostin those opinions is the view that capital punishment violates the right to equality, dignity and life - sections 9, 10 and 11 of the Bill of Rights Given the cold-blooded and often barbaric way in which murders are committed, it surely is time to recognise that the perpetrators of heinous crimes are not deserving of such rights. Moreover, to afford such rights to them mocks the value of moral order. In other words, renders it farcical. 

Devenish puts forward four specific arguments against capital punishment. First, in Arthur Chaskalson's view, execution is inconsistent with the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment as set out in section 12 (1) (e) of the constitution. Second, Chaskalson sees the imposition of the death penalty as being subject to "capriciousness" in its application. Third, the Concourt has found that retribution constitutes vengeance. Fourth, Albie Sachs has posited that capital punishment is an "illusory solution and as such detractsfrom really effective measures." 

Sachs' "effective measures" are not mentioned by Devenish. But what is clear is that imprisonment is no deterrent to the tsunami of violent crime. Professor Robert Blecker of the New York Law School  debunks the argument that retribution is equated with revenge. He stated in 2014 that whereas revenge knows no bounds, retribution  governed by what is proportionate and appropriate is not vengeful. 

Chaskalson's assertion that capital punishment is "degrading" and "cruel" is devoid of context and makes a mockery of any claim to moral order for the simple reason that it ignores what murder victims suffer at the hands of murderers. There is no logic in Chaskalson's view that society owes a murderer the right to be treated with dignity and respect for his life. Society is obligated only to provide a fair trial. 

Whilst it is true that 12 persons in the US were wrongly executed, to use that as a reason not to reinstate the death penalty is weak and evasive of the fact that the majority of studies in the US recognise the deterrent effect of capital punishment. See: Dr David Mulhausen, Heritage Foundation, 2014. 

The purpose of the petition seeking the reinstatement of the death penalty is to achieve justice. Arguing for a better criminal justice system and more competent policing would certainly help in bringing criminals to court. But as long as a murderer knows that his right to life, dignity and equality will be upheldregardless of the brutality of his crime, and that some legal quirk may mitigate his prison sentence, violent crime in this country will continue undeterred. 

The trouble with the constitution's provisions of rights is that terms and conditions are not applicable. Rights that are not respected need to be forfeited. In committing murder, the perpetrator shows total disregard for his victim's right to life and dignity. It is, therefore, absurd in the extreme that the murderer should enjoy the very rights he denied his victim. 

Seeking the reinstatement of the death penalty is not new. What is new is the extent to which support for the measure has grown. The people are appealing. The time for their representatives to wake up and heed what the people want is overdue. That is democracy. Being held hostage by the convergent, liberal views of a legal coterie is not just undemocratic. It is autocratic. Excessive liberal tolerance paves the way for anarchy. With murder and violent crime now a daily occurrence, to what extent is South Africa teetering on the brink of anarchy?




posted 30 May 2018

In attempting to dispute my argument that white privilege is a matter of history,(Daily News, May 21), Martin Gardiner (Daily News, May 29) appears to have difficulty in distinguishing between the faults of the past and those made since 1994 which have exacerbated rather than alleviated social inequalities.

While Gardiner rightly states that his generation benefited from white privilege,his theory that once privileged means privilege in perpetuity is a fallacy. Today there re white people living in squatter camps around Pretoria. There are many whites who are living on the margins of poverty. Having been a ward councillor until 2016,I encountered a great deal of poverty among whites in my Bluff ward. Moreover, the new job reservation rules that require demographic representivity, discriminate strongly against whites and other minorities. Gardiner's claim that the economy is "still very firmly in white hands," is also inaccurate. Only 14% of the wealth of South Africa is in the hands of individuals of all races. 38% is controlled by foreigners and 48% by institutions like banks and conglomerates.

In deploring the bleak social circumstances that face the vast majority of South Africans who are not white and contrasting that with the favourable circumstances he and his family enjoy, Gardiner's theory of adversity perpetuating poverty is challenged by the experience
of the Indian community.

Marginalised as settlers during colonial times and subjected to discrimination until 1994, through their own initiative and enterprise the Indian community uplifted itself from the servitude of the cane fields and achieved prosperity and success in many areas of life.
Most whites do not "go about their lives unchanged" as Gardiner claims. They are acutely aware of the collapsing state of governance and society that impacts on us all in a variety of ways. Those previously advantaged are no longer automatically privileged.
Living in a state of permanent self-abnegation because of the advantages his white skin has given him, is Gardiner's choice. But it is not going to alleviate the circumstances that prevail in the country or change the past.


The Mercury


It is remarkable how a deafening silence has descended over the difference between the R60,000 fine imposed on Edward Zuma for hate speech and the R150,000 fine imposed on Penny Sparrow for an offence, which, by comparison, was not in the same league as Zuma's.

For referring to black people on social media as "monkeys," Sparrow was the subject of withering press criticism. On social media she was the target of hate mail and relentless vilification. She lost her realtor job and as a seventy something grandmother, she is now destitute.

The key difference between Sparrow's and Zuma's racial comments is that hers were an extemporaneous rant on social media. But Zuma's took the form of an open letter which comprised pre-meditated, historically contextualised, anti-Indian and anti-white statements.

By referring to Minister Pravin Gordhan as a "corrupt cadre who thinks African natives are no better than being sugar cane cutters" and who regards" black Africans as "low caste k*****s who are sub-human," Zuma clearly harbours a deep, residual hatred of Indians, despite their role in the ANC's "struggle."

Zuma's antipathy for Indians in that open letter was directed just as bitterly against whites. Despite the "struggle" credentials of his fellow ANC comrade, Derek Hanekom, Zuma castigated him as part of a "racist, paternalistic minority" and "an enemy of the people" (Mercury, 23 May).

From those excerpts alone, one does not need to be a psychoanalyst to recognise that Edward Zuma has not come to terms with the preamble of our constitution which exhorts South Africans to be "united in our diversity" and the founding provision which stipulates respect for human dignity and non-racialism.

Yet despite the extremely racist nature of his written thoughts, Zuma has not been required to undergo counselling.Instead he has been commended for eventually accepting his party's plea to issue an apology to Gordhan and Hanekom. Moreover, he added insult to injury, by excusing himself from the court convened to rule on his race hate conviction on the basis that "he had other commitments to attend to."

If Zuma had a sense of remorse and a desire to show that he appreciates the gravity of his offence, he would have prioritised his court appearance ahead of his "other commitments." But by failing to be present in court and to personally accept the court's ruling, Zuma has invited speculation as to the extent of his repentence.
For far less, and in an emotional state having suffered a smash and grab experience, Vicky Momberg was sentenced to two years in prison. The outcome of the Edward Zuma hate speech case is a clear illustration that all are not equal before the law.



 ANC IS ITS OWN WORST ENEMY   - posted 24 May 2018 

Long after the communist seizure of power in Russia had crushed andexiled all opposition, so-called counter-revolutionaries were routinely blamed for instability and the failure of service delivery. 

The opinion piece by one Ndabezinhle Sibiya (Daily News, May 22), which purports to analyse political instability in KZN is a classic piece of communist disingenuity. 

Sibiya's claim that the division in the ranks of the ANC is the work of "the enemies of transformation" is utter nonsense. The instability within the ANC is entirely self-inflicted. Those divisions essentially are the result of allegiances that are split between the Zuma and Ramaphosa factions.  

Thus, Sibiya's attempt to blame so-called counter-revolutionary forces forthe mayhem within the ANC is a total red herring. The ANC is its own worst enemy.  

As for Sibiya's dream of transformation, his call for "communities to freely vote the ANC into power to ensure the return of the land to its rightful owners," has to be the most naive, ignorant and irresponsible appeal made in a country that is supposed to be a constitutional democracy. 

Just as Lenin and Stalin transformed Russia into a land of constant food and material shortages along with terror and coercion, it is clear from Sibiya's rant that his political vision would transform KZN into an economic wasteland.


The Mercury

PREJUDICED BY ANTIPATHY      -   posted 21 May 2018 

It is interesting how unfailingly the lens of marxism is able to interpret failure as success andto project residual antipathy as enlightened objectivity. In  that respect Imraan Buccus's opinion piece (Mercury, May 18) is a success.  

Buccus writes nostalgically about former president Kenneth Kaunda and "the journey Zambians have travelled in locating their country as one of the most respected political players on the African continent."  He also discloses his private joy of cycling along the arterial road in Durban North that now bears the name of Kenneth Kaunda.  

Unfortunately Zambia's history under Kaunda was not so endearing. Although Buccus says he is teaching democracy to young Zambian activists, his admired figure, Kaunda, was not so inclined. In 1966 Kaunda banned all opposition and declared Zambia a one-party state.  

He then nationalised all industries and businesses and set Zambia on a downward trajectory to impoverishment. Twice, in 1985 and in 1989, Zambia required IMF bail-outs, as a result of the dire straits into which Kaunda's socialism had plunged Zambia's economy. How that squares with Buccus's claim that Zambia is a "a respected political player," only a marxist can fathom. 

In rejoicing that NMR Ave is now named after ANC stalwart MB Yengwa, Buccus derides the repressive role of the Natal Mounted Rifles in earlier times. But he omits to credit the NMR for its role against Nazi oppression in World War 2.  

Brutality is abhorrent, irrespective of who perpetrates it. Undoubtedly, the NMR and Koevoet bear blame for instances of brutality. But if Buccus seeks credibility, he should also indict the SACP for its association with and perpetration of brutality. Instead he waxes nostalgically about the SACP which took its orders from the communist regime in Moscow that subjected  Russia to 73 years of tyranny. 

Possibly Buccus finds it cathartic to "sneer at the ugliness of the NMR building" each time he passes it. But in harbouring such residual hostility, he prejudices not only his ability to reflect objectively but also his credibility as a director of so-called political transformation.


The Mercury


As reported (Mercury, May 15), DA leader Mmusi Maimane is quite right to state that advancement will not be achieved by focusing on and blaming the past. Why, then, does he persist in making critical comments about so-called white privilege?

Whites were certainly privileged under apartheid. But the main props of apartheid-Group Areas, separate schools and job reservation - were abandoned by 1991. That was over a quarter of a century ago.

Since that time whites have lost whatever privileges they had. And whites born since
1994 are in fact less privileged than blacks because of affirmative action and demographic
criteria applied to employment opportunities.

Mr Maimane needs to explain how I, as a white, am privileged today. I pay rates and taxes. I face the same risks in terms of crime as anyone else. My costs of living are no different from anyone else. My rights under the constitution are no different from anyone else. My vote is no more significant than anyone else's vote. So where's the "white privilege," Mr Maimane?

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that by banging on about so-called white privilege the objective is to create a surrender complex. Whites are just nine percent of the population. It is impossible for that minority to uplift the black majority. Even if every white gave away half his property or income it would make no material difference to the mass of black poverty. In any case, there are whites today living in squatter camps; others are living on the margins of destitution.

This whole so-called white privilege issue is a misnomer and a red herring which the DA leader has copied from the ANC in a perverse attempt to gain black votes. The DA used to be very different from the ANC. Clear-blue water, they said, distinguished the DA from the ANC. Well, not any more. Until the DA formulates MERIT as its cornerstone policy, it will be seen as merely the moderate version of the ANC just like the old United Party was the moderate version of the National Party.

The Mercury


For politicians who have run out of road in resolving the issues that confront the country, the latest red herring in circulation is so-called white privilege.

Its promoters include bitter socialists like Terry Bell (City Press, May 13), the ANC, advocates of moderate anarchy like Julius Malema and, not to miss the red herring bus, Mmusi Maimane of the DA.

It is an historical reality that ruling classes always enjoy privilege.Therefore, there can be no debate that whites were privileged under colonialism and apartheid. But that's the past, It's gone. It's water under the bridge. No amount of hand-wringing can change that.

Instead, the question to be asked is: What purpose is served in demonising whites for apast they can't change and a new white generation that had nothing to do with life before 1994?
How does that promote nation-building and racial harmony?

Of course, politically, the answer is very obvious: whites are being made scapegoats for the
faults and failings of the new political rulers. That said, it is total claptrap to claim that white privilege has exacerbated black poverty and inequality. Here's why:

* ANC restrictive labour policies have discouraged wider employment practices and hobbled
economic growth. Whereas unemployment stood at 3,2 million in 1994, thanks to worldwide
sanctions and disinvestment promoted by the ANC, by 2017, after 23 years of liberated ANC rule, unemployment had grown to 8,3 million.

* Blacks have benefited hugely as a result of demographically based preferment policies on
procurement and employment at the expense of minorities.

* Whereas the civil service was once white-dominated, it is now almost exclusively black.

* Statistics show that blacks now outnumber whites in the high-end living structure.

* Cadre deployment and state capture has done nothing to benefit the army of black unemployed.

* Education standards have declined under the ANC to the point where Dr Mamphela Ramphele (widow of Steve Biko) has remarked that Bantu education was better than what schools under the ANC are producing. Poor literacy and numeracy, thus, has further disadvantaged employment prospects.

History shows that the marginalisation of minorities produces two outcomes: emigration and/ or self-preservation. Thus, minorities in South Africa are increasingly entrepreneurial because employment opportunities in government and in corporates are demographically limited by the new job reservation legislation.

Whereas minorities survive through their own initiative and enterprise, the biggest mistake the ANC has made in to promote the view that government is the source and solution for all social needs. Thus, socialist welfarism has now reduced 18 million to dependence on state grants for survival.

Black inequality and poverty existed before 1994. But its subsequent exacerbation and extenuation is entirely the result of the ANC's socialist policies.


The Mercury 


As exemplified by the Mercury's editorial of May 11, much of the outcry against President Trump's decertification of the Iran nuclear deal is based on false premises.  

* First, the Mercury's claim that the deal  was "a treaty" is incorrect. What Obama and Kerry produced was no more than an understanding with the rogue Iranian regime.It was not a treaty as it was never submitted to or approved by the US Senate as the US constitution requires of treaties.  

As such, Obama and Kerry tried to make US foreign policy by arrogant contempt for the constitutional separation of powers process. As such, Obama's Iran deal had neither legitimacy nor the force of law. In by-passing the constitution's treaty-making  process, Obama gave his successor every right to discard the deal. Thus, by calling Trump's action "childish," the Mercury displays ignorance and spite. 

* Second, it follows, then, that the claim that the deal was "not in the hands of a single country to terminate unilaterally," is unfounded. Officially, the US never approved the agreement. Thus, the claim that America's word is worthless, lacks credibility.  

* Third, in that the rogue Iran regime never actually signed the deal, renders all the anguishabout Trump's decision even more bizarre.  

* Fourth, the claim that Iran agreed to cut its enriched uranium stockpiles and that the UN Atomic Agency had full access to monitor Iran's nuclear programme, does not square with the facts. From the outset limits were placed on the monitoring process while weapons such as ICBMs were not included in the Obama 2015 deal. As result Iran has continued to develop its nuclear programme. 

* Fifth, the only part of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was comprehensive was Obama's donation of $100 billion to the Iran regime and the lifting of sanctions. But instead of using that money to uplift Iran's shattered economy, it was used to sponsor terrorism and to prop up the Bashir-al-Assad regime in Syria.  

* Sixth, what is completely overlooked by those lamenting Trump's decision is Iran's history of contempt for sanctions and UN resolutions. In 2014 Iran's Foreign minister, Javad Zarif, boasted that between 2005 and 2013, despite sanctions, Iran had continued to expand the number of its centrifuges which reached20,000  by 2015. Yet despite that history of contempt, Obama and Kerry gave approval to Iran's nuclear programme that was previously considered illegal, a deal which Obama described as his "major accomplishment." 

Although the Middle East is a volatile political cauldron, Trump's decision has been welcomed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain which fear the Iran regime. The squeeze of economic sanctions on Iran may facilitate regime change given the growing groundswell of popular opposition.  

Despite the howls of dismay that Trump was going to cause a nuclear war with North Korea, we now see North Korea talking about de-nuclearisation and even suggestions by Trump's critics that his handling of the issue puts him in line for the Nobel Peace Prize. Thus, Trump's decertification of Obama's Iran deal may yet have a virtuous outcome.




-  posted 12 May 2018

Complaints about poor service delivery are a daily occurrence. According to a study done in 2016, between 1999 and 2016 there were 67,750 protests -13 everyday (see: Mercury, June 15, 2016).

Invariably the cause of service delivery protests is not because of lack of resources. It is the result of political corruption, in-fighting, incompetence and indifference on the part of those elected to represent ratepayers, residents and taxpayers.

Right now in four provinces service delivery is being hampered because of politicalin-fighting. In North West a revolt has broken out over the ongoing corruption of its premier who treats the province as his private fiefdom. In KZN progress and servicedelivery is hamstrung by the violent divisions within the ANC, each camp seeking to gain poll position over the feeding trough of financial perks and spoils.

In the Eastern Cape, the city of Port Elizabeth is in gridlock because  politicians prefer to waste ratepayers money and time on trying to get rid of the mayor simply because,as the malignant Malema of the EFF howls,  he is white.

In the Western Cape, the city of Cape Town faces a similar handbrake on progress and functionalism because its mayor, who faces a formidable charge sheet of misdemeanorsand shortcomings, refuses to accept the termination of her DA membership.

Whatever happened to the dictum of Batho pele - which means: We serve?Whatever happened to the meaning of the concept:  public representative? No voter, regardless of party affiliation, ever voted for political gridlock.

The democratic process of which mantras and hosannas abound, is not mandated to produce a crop of power-hungry, greedy, self-serving representatives. It is thereto reflect the wishes of the people. In that respect, regardless of political affiliation,voters want competent management of the resources their rates and taxes produce.

 The courts should not be the umpires of political squabbles and dissent.Political parties need to have in place stringent codes of conduct which preventthe kinds of mayhem that is engulfing provinces and municipalities. And public representatives need to appreciate that because they owe everything to the voters who elected them, their focus needs to be 100 percent on their constituents.

 Before 1988, when the then National Party decided to politicise municipal elections,the election of councillors was based on community standing and perceived competence. Municipal shutdowns, gridlock along with the term 'service delivery' were unheard of.Time to hit the reset button.



Worldwide the promotion of tourism requires conditions that are respectful of law and order and that promise safety and security when accessing sites and attractions. Yet the commissar for Tourism, Sihle Zikalala, prioritises racial and gender representivity ahead of such considerations (Mercury, May 8). 

Thanks to the ANC's inability to curb and prosecute crime, KZN is under siege: Land grabs, rock throwing frombridges, sabotage and looting at the Mooi River toll, mobs that arbitrarily shut down construction sites, a stadium that is trashed, violent murders that occur daily, the most dangerous roads in the country with 111 people killed during the Easter recess. Such circumstances do not promote tourism.  

On top of that, the majority of municipalities, on which tourism depends for basic services, are bankrupt, corrupt and embroiled in looting exchanges between different factions of the ANC, some of which we now know are even uneducated.  

Tourism can thrive only in an environment that is secure and stable. The fact that Zikalala ignores those issues and instead obsesses about racial and gender quotas shows how out of touch he is with the realities of the tourist and hospitality industry. But then that is hardly surprising given the shambles that prevails in every aspect of governance under the ANC.


Business Report


Half the heading to the article by Karabo Mashugane (Business Report, May 2) is correct:
"The BEE codes are inhibiting..." But what appeared to promise some divergent thinking
on the subject of BEE, turned out to be more fine-tuning of what has become a runaway

Since its inception, BEE has become Byzantine in the plethora of regulations it imposes on
those engaged in trying to generate wealth and meaningful employment. The fact that BEE
and its expanded form of B- BBEE is not making any impression on unemployment and now, according to Mashugane, needs new layers of regulations to service the SME category should trigger alarm bells.

Here's why:

* BEE in whatever incarnation it exists, does nothing to promote black entrepreneurial skills
because it affords an easy passage to low-risk, soft option positions. In other words, by making positions available for blacks in white-owned companies, blacks are not being incentivised to create their own companies.

* As John Kane-Berman has argued (November 2009), the redistribution of posts and positions which is termed "empowerment," is actually disempowerment because it is not creating anything new while simultaneously allowing opportunities for independent black initiative to be lost. 

* BEE perpetuates the syndrome of victimhood and a culture of entitlement. Redistributing jobs and wealth based on victimhood and entitlement ,which some now claim must hark back to 1652,is simply a recipe for more poverty because redistributing wealth is not a substitute for economic growth. As such, BEE is part of a political agenda to marshal votes and to service the illusions of transformation. If BEE was the Government's answer to poverty, then why is the army of social grant recipients constantly increasing - now in excess of 18 million?

By shackling the business of wealth creation and productivity to the prescriptiveness of a social charter,BEE has not advanced entrepreneurship for blacks. Moreover, it has retarded job creation and has not incentivised foreign direct investment. Although at the outset of his opinion piece, Karabo Mashugane makes reference to the law of unintended
consequences, it is ironic that he fails to recognise its relevance to the whole concept of BEE.


The Mercury


Constitutional scholar, George Devenish, asserts that South Africa's socio-economic inequality is not due to the failure of the constitution but is a consequence of, inter alia, maladministration and corruption (Mercury, April 30). But given the way aspects of the constitution have been interpreted, Professor Devenish's view invites query.

Sections 9, 195 and 217 of the constitution refer to measures to be applied to achieve equality.To that end they note that such measures are applicable to "persons, or categories of persons,  disadvantaged by unfair discrimination." Nowhere do those provisions state or refer or specify compliance with the actual demographic profiles of national and regional populations. Instead they refer only to "broad representation."

Yet section 42 of Act 47 of 2013, the amended Employment Equity Act, requires demographic profiles to be taken into account so as to achieve compliance with the Act. In plain terms, that means racial quotas based on regional and national demographic profiles. Nationally those profile percentages are: 78,6% African, 9,6% coloured, 9,1% white and 2,7% Indian. Non-compliance by companies with those provisions may attract a fine of up to R1,5 million. In KZN, for example,with higher regional African and Indian demographics, percentages would differ.

Equality can be legislated but not its outcomes. Adherence to ideology, as the Employment
Equity Act requires, is no guarantee of socio-economic upliftment. In fact the reverse is true.
Apart from crime, maladministration and corruption, the biggest handbrake on economic expansion and emancipation is prescriptive legislation, now endorsed by the constitution, concerning the hiring, firing and advancement of labour and personnel. As such, it discourages foreign investment and disincentivises economic expansion. Thus, it would seem, the constitution is not promoting upliftment.

Exacerbating and perpetuating socio-economic differences is the welfare system which prevails. As Professor Devenish notes, some 19 million people are reliant on state welfare. But for many, the receipt of welfare does not incentivise them to improve their lot. For as the saying goes, 'subsidise poverty and you get more of it.'

Socio-economic inequality is a worldwide reality. In the USA, one percent of the population owns 42% of all financial and resource assets. But where inequality is most evident is in countries that implement
socialist policies. History abounds with evidence that socialism results in equality in poverty and mediocrity for the masses while the drivers of that ideology enjoy material luxury. The comfortable lifestyles of the SACP, Cosatu and ANC elites exemplify that.

Striving to improve the quality of life and opportunities is necessary and important. But striving to establish socio-economic equality is not possible unless one is prepared to lower stands and to institutionalise mediocrity which is what socialism delivers.
The Mercury



The claim by International Relations minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, that the Australian government is "misleading" its citizens who travel to South Africa about conditions here (Mercury, April 19) shows to what extent our rulers are cocooned in cotton wool. 

If the Australian warning is wrong about the high level of crime, robberies, the hazards of mini-bus transport, unroadworthy vehicles and poor service from the SA Police, then can the minister explain how come:

510 people were killed on the roads during the recent Easter season; over 1,700 died on our roads in the 2017/18Festive season.

more than 2,000  were fined for driving unlicensed or unroadworthy  vehicles during the Festive season; 

if crime is no big deal, why are there so many security companies?

if crime is not so bad, how come billions of Rand is spent on providing ANC politicians with bodyguards, elaborate security measures and Blue Light cavalcades?

that a mere 10% of cases handled by the SA Police result in convictions because of shoddy case compilation;

that the murder of farmers continues unabated at a rate that is unprecedented for peacetime conditions.

 Whether we like it or not, levels of murder, rape and crime in South Africa under the ANC are without precedent in our history.  By issuing warnings as to how things are in this country, the Australian government is simply being honest about the facts. Who does minister Sisulu think she is fooling by protesting against those warnings?





The report in the Daily News of April 11 on the dysfunctional state ofMariannridge Secondary school in many ways reflects the trend in education after 24 years of ANC rule.

Not only is the infrastructure of the school broken in terms of toilets, doors, windows and lights but vandalism is rife. Added to that, those who call themselves teachers are failing to lead by example in terms of punctuality, enforcement of dress code and etiquette. Instead, their union meetings take precedence over school attendance. Their apparent indifference has resulted in learners absconding, gambling, selling cigarettes and dagga.

A deplorable state of affairs indeed but sadly one that is encroaching on schools countrywide and which has manifested itself at tertiary level. So-called students who trash libraries and facilities on university campuses and technikons and, for the most part, get away with it, are setting the tone and the parameters of the future of this country.

What kind of society will prevail when their generation has grown up? What kind of offspring will they bring into the world given their own anarchic conduct?

As a retired teacher, there is no former colleague I know who would go back to teaching in a state school for any price. Worse still, of the younger teachers I know, most are disillusioned with teaching and its prospects.
The sad shambles of Mariannridge school portends South Africa's future.
No wonder emigration just keeps accelerating


The Mercury


 The press release by one Refiloe Nt'sekhe of the DA (Politicsweb, April 11), inter alia acknowledging the 25th anniversary of Chris Hani's death, should make everyone familiar with DA policy wonder where the DA is going. 

Nt'sekhe asserts  that the DA concurs with Hani's aim to promote the advancement of "our people." As Cope leader Terror Lekota asked in parliament: who are "our people?"

The DA has always claimed to stand for "all the people." So to whom is Nt'sekhe referring?Then Nt'sekhe stated that Hani did not see democracy as the end point of liberation but rather as a step towards social justice. As such, Nt'sekhe commits the DA "to work to realise his dreams."  

Clearly Nt'sekhe is very naive about who Hani was and what his dreams were because there is a world of difference between what Hani espoused  and DA policy on every level.  

Stephen Ellis in his book External Mission: The ANC in Exile (Johannesburg, 2012) provides a number of dispassionate facts on Hani. In brief, he was an outspoken, hard-line communist who as early as 1969 told the ANC that its leadership was "incompetent" and that they were a bunch of "careerists content to travel the world attending conferences" (p. 69).

A rigid disciplinarian, Hani was instrumental in tightening up repressive measures in ANC detainee camps in Tanzania (p. 156; 180). Such was his hold over the ANC that it was said that the SACP "had devoured the true idealism of the original Luthuli ANC" ( p.243). 

As an unreconstructed revolutionary, Hani and Mac Maharaj remained insurrectionists into the 1990s,dubious about the chances of a negotiated solution and worried where it may lead" p.283). In a broadcast from

Radio Freedom on 31 July 1986, Hani made it clear that social justice would only be achieved when all land, factories and mines were "given back to our people from which it was stolen" (Politicsweb, April 11).  

The South Africa Hani envisaged was one of soviet-type communism. For the ignorant, that means a one-party state with state control over every aspect of life and equality in mediocrity for the masses. The likes of Cyril Ramaphosa would never have acceded to power in such a dispensation. DA attempts to muscle in on ANC icons, as we saw with the deaths of Nelson and Winnie Mandela and now with the anniversary of Hani's death, lack credibility because they are so patently about political posturing and vote poaching. As for Refiloe Nt'sekhe,the DA leadership needs to ensure that its spokespersons are historically and politically literate. Studying Ellis's book would be a good start.



The Editor
The Mercury


From the lavish coverage afforded the death of Winnie Mandela (April 3), one might be forgiven for thinking that the Mercury had changed its name to the Winnie Mandela Times.

Underpinning that eulogistic coverage was your editorial. Apart from a fleeting acknowledgement that she was "a controversial figure at times" - on which you failed to elaborate - the Mercury' s sycophantic coverage of the issue was well summed up by its cartoon depicting the departed "icon" adorned with a halo.

This is not the first time that journalistic objectivity has been set aside. Other ANC "icons" have received similar treatment.Whilst it is perfectly reasonable to acknowledge the trials and tribulations Winnie Mandela experienced on behalf of the cause sheserved, in appraising her life, her dark deeds cannot simply be airbrushed from the record.

In the mid-1980s, she famously declared that "with our matches and our necklaces we will liberate this country." About 800 black people suffered the gruesome fate of necklace immolation. She and the late Peter Mokaba exhorted their followers to "kill the farmer, kill the Boer." Such intentions and exhortations served to inflame an already tense situation and can only be described as criminal.

In the late 1980s, as a thorough investigation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission revealed, Winnie Mandela and her soccer team were feared as gangsters and responsible for the murder of several people, among them the 13 year old Stompie Seipei and Dr Asvat Abu-Bakr.

In 2003 Winnie Mandela received a five year jail sentence based on 43 counts of fraud and 25 theft offences. The magistrate found that she abused her position as head of the ANC Women's League and defrauded dozens of poor folk (See: The Guardian, 25 April 2003). How this squares with the accolade that she was the "mother of the nation" is difficult to fathom.

Such misdemeanors - crimes, in politically incorrect parlance - cannot be simply be brushed under the carpet as inconvenient truths.Significantly, the poll conducted on News24 as to how Winnie Mandela would be remembered showed that 74% of those who participated
believed she would be remembered as "a law unto herself."



For most of the 24 years since 1994 it has been apparent that lip service is paid to the principle of non-racialism. Although the DA professes to embrace that ideal, by seeking to prioritise racial diversity in its structures (Daily News, March 26), it risks succumbing to racial nationalism and reviving what are supposed to be past, outlawed classifications.

Having had sight of the five page submission by DA MPs M Cardo and G Davis, they warn that by "replicating diversity in its own ranks," the DA risks institutionalising demographic representivity which would hardly distinguish it from the ANC. Indeed, the plea for racial diversity is simply a euphemism for racial quotas which is ANC policy. For the DA, a tipping point looms.

The responses of two black DA public representatives, Gumbi and Mncwango, serve to underline the importance of the warning Cardo and Davis pose. Both Gumbi and Mncwango show that they are mired in the pre-1994 tribal, racial, cultural identity syndrome. For Gumbi, the principle of fit for purpose and and ability in the allocation of positions and responsibilities ceases to be worthy if racial diversity is neglected or "left out," as he puts it.

By claiming that the model of liberalism, which espouses fair opportunity regardless of race, does not work in Africa, Mncwango reveals his true colours and the extent to which he is at odds with the liberal democratic core on which the DA was founded and which is also the essence of non-racialism.

Gumbi and Mncwango need to appreciate that the DA is not a personal benefit club but a vehicle that aspires to govern. Like a business, it needs to ensure that unless merit is prioritised, achievement is at risk.They also need to appreciate that they do not own the DA. It was formed long before they came along. If they want principles which are not part of its foundation, then they should form their own party or join the ANC.

The Mercury

RACE OBSESSION - posted March 18, 2018

If the Mercury's March 16 edition was placed in a time capsule for posterity to examine, the only conclusion that could be drawn would be that by 2018 South Africa had become a race-obsessed state.

Apart from the Classifieds and Legal pages and page 7, eight of the twelve pagesconcerned the race issue. Here's a brief summary: front page: white-owned sugarfarm torched by black protesters; page 2: Bill approved criminalising racial remarks;page 3: title deeds and black land ownership; page 4: land ownership based on race; page 5: racial discrimination against Gandhi 125 years ago; page 6: fury at Aussie
sympathy for white SA farmers; page 8: editorial on race and white farmers; page 9:op.ed articles on race in cricket and political parties.

Although officially non-racialism is proclaimed constitutionally, socially and politically,race obsession prevails and is as entrenched as it was before 1994. The reason for this is the ongoing restructuring of society on the basis of majoritarian representivity and profiling.Such social engineering promotes the law of unintended consequences: insecurity, resentment, resistance. In a word: racism.

In most of the articles cited above, focus on demographic identity ensures a corollary that is about racial disparities and differences. Distinctions and differences in multi-ethnic,multi-cultural societies are an inherent reality.

Where different groups are in contention, tensions are guaranteed within a framework which promotes majoritarianism. Things could be very different within a framework premised on merit.


The Editor
The Mercury


The controversy over the election of a predominantly white caucus executive by the DA's eThekwini councillors has exposed the extent to which the notions of racial diversity and majoritarianism are at odds with the democratic process and the principle of fit- for- purpose job suitability and competence (Mercury,March 22 & 23).

Lost in this unnecessary uproar is the fact that the non-white majority of the DA's caucus
(45 of the 59 members) voted for the candidates they believed are the best suited asleaders. In so doing they prioritised competence and experience ahead of window dressing which results when, for the sake of servicing the notion of racial diversity,skin colour is prioritised over job suitability.

The Mercury of March 23 carries two reports on the dysfunctional state of local government as a result of incompetence and political party infighting. Both reports reflect the fact that preference for cronyism over the principle of fit- for- purpose capability has crippled service delivery and led to insolvency.

If the ideal of non-racialism is to be realised, then notions of demographic representivity and majoritarianism must be discarded. In that the predominantly non-white DA eThekwinicaucus cast their votes in favour of fit for purpose colleagues who happen to be white should be applauded as a victory for non-racialism and the democratic process.

Racial discrimination will never end until notions of majoritarianism and demographic representivity are abandoned. Moreover, there is abundant evidence proving that good governance suffers when those notions are prioritised.



The Mercury

- posted March 17, 2018

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, has described the response of the SA Foreign Ministry to the remarks of his colleague, Peter Dutton, on white South African farmers, as "over the top." The same and more applies to the Mercury's editorial of March 16.

While agreeing that the issue of expropriation of land without compensation is indeed "volatile," the Mercury's attempt to downplay the vulnerability of white farmers along with the cartoon it published depicting Australia as racist, is insensitive and inaccurate. For the record, anyway, Australia abandoned its whites only immigration policy in 1958.

Claiming that there is "no evidence to support the notion that white farmers are targeted
more than anyone else in the country" may have relevance in terms of broad statistics, but when contextualised your assertion lacks credibility. For nowhere during peacetime conditions has a particular sector of the population been subjected to such ongoing brutality
and murder.

The attacks on white farmers have been described as "not normal criminality" in that they their perpetration has frequently involved "brutal torturing in a most barbaric way." Yes, black farm workers have also been subjected to the same onslaught. According to Dr Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front of the 3,100 killings on farms since 1990, forty percent of the victims wereblack.

Despite the fact that statistics on this subject are disputed by the likes of Africa Check, there can be no denial of the vulnerability of white farmers to violent, fatal attacks. In 2017 alone, 71 farmers were murdered. Has the Mercury forgotten the reason for the country-wide Black Monday protest by farmers last October?

Although President Ramaphosa has decreed that land seizures will not be tolerated, by
irresponsibly endorsing the principle of "expropriation without compensation," he has initiated a Pandora's box of speculation and emotion.

Given the insecure state of white farmers, Australian minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton,
is not wrong in expressing sympathy for South African white farmers. In fact, he deserves
credit for recognising their vulnerability which is more than the ANC government has done
in 20 years.

It is also pleasing to note that Dutton's stance is supported not only by Australia's opposition
Labor party, whose Senator Kim Carr has endorsed Dutton's views, but that there is growing support from Western Australia to Queensland for a humanitarian approach to the plight of SA white farmers and severe criticism of the "do nothing " approach of SA politicians

(see: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 16 , Qld MP Andrew Leming).



The Editor
African Independent (This a new glossy magazine sent free to all subscribers of the Mercury)


It beggars belief that someone affiliated to Harvard University, namely, Emmanuel Akyeampong, whose post is that of Professor of African Studies, can credit Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere as having had "vision" which Africa needs to embrace.
African Independent does its credibility no favours by publishing such nonsense (issue 02/March/April 2018).

Clearly, Akyeampong has never read Martin Meredith's book The Fate of Africa: A history of fifty years of independence published by Public Affairs in New York in 2005. The book was acclaimed, inter alia, by the New York Times, Boston Globe and the Financial Times.

Here are the key facts regarding Nkrumah and Nyerere.Although, semantically, Nkrumah quarrelled with Nyerere over what socialism in Africa should be, his pursuit of it had the same disastrous outcome. Like Nyerere, he advocated the nationalisation of the economy. By 1966 there were 50 state owned enterprises in Ghana.They included: Ghana National Construction Company; State Steel Works; State Gold Mining Company; State Fibre Bag Corporation; Ghana Fishing Corporation; State Vegetable Oil Mills Corporation; State Farm Corporation; State Airline - p.185 of Meredith's book.

By 1966, the year Nkrumah was ousted in a military coup, all those enterprises were loss-making disasters and part of the reason Ghana was bankrupt by 1963 - just six years after receiving independence at which it was described as the 'jewel of Africa." State farms were staffed by Nkrumah functionaries who were agriculturally illiterate. Living standards had receded to what they were before 1939.(pp. 186-87).

Nyerere's embrace of socialism replicated the mass relocation of peasants that Stalin and Mao Tse Tung carried out in Russia and China - with the same disastrous outcomes.

In 1967, in the Arusha Declaration, Nyerere stated his intention of clustering Tanzania's peasant population into extended villages. The policy was called ujamaa and was intended to promote self-reliance. It was to be implemented on a voluntary basis. (Meredith, pp. 252-54) At the same time, Nyerere nationalised the entire Tanzanian economy - every aspect from banks to manufacturing and food production. By mid-1973 only some two million peasants had opted to live in the ujamaa villages. Impatient to see his collectivist plan fulfilled, Nyerere used coercion and brutality to herd a further 11 million peasants into his ujamaa paradise (Meredith, pp. 253-54).

By 1979, with 13 million Tanzanians effectively incarcerated in camps, mass starvation had become a reality since their communal agricultural efforts produced only five percent of the country's food needs.Food aid through the World Bank amounted to 200,000 tons. (pp. 256-57)

Between 1977 and 1982, national productivity in Tanzania declined by 33%. Living standards plunged by 50%. Whilst admitting that his socialist dream had not materialised, Nyerere remained adamant that socialism was the answer (p. 258). Under Nyerere, in the 1970s Tanzania became the world's greatest recipient of foreign aid - $3 billion (p. 259). Yet thanks to socialism,it had nothing to show for that aid and became one of the planet's most impoverished states.

From this cursory critique, it should be obvious that neither Nkrumah nor Nyerere can be regarded as beacons towards which Africa should chart its future. One hopes, in the spirit of audi alteram partem, that you will have the courage to publish this critique in the next issue of African Independent.




WASHINGTON TIMES/ Natal Mercury/ Daily News


Fourteen months after being defeated in her bid for the White House,Hillary Clinton's continued denigration of Americans who did not vote for her (CNN, March 13) exposes her not only as a very poor loser but as an opponent of the democratic process.

Although she may have won more popular votes than Trump - more than a million of which were found, subsequently, to be illicit - she was soundly defeated in the Electoral College vote by 306 to 232. Moreover, she failed to carry key Democratic states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania. When Al Gore lost his White House bid to George W Bush by a a few hundred votes cast in Florida in 2000, he conceded defeat and moved on.
But by her on-going denigration of the result of the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton shows herself to be shamelessly illiberal and politically psychotic. This was apparent when recently she claimed in a CNN report that Trump's victory was based on "backwards" voters and on people who were racists and sexists.
During the 2016 election campaign, Hillary referred to Trump supporters as "deplorables.

"She subsequently apologised for her remark. But the fact that she now attempts to denigrate those voters as "backwards" shows that her apology at the time was totally disingenuous. Indeed, her remarks about the choice her fellow Americans made can only be described as un-American.

Absent from Hillary's attempted critique about why she lost is any reference to why voters rejected her. That, of course, is no surprise, After all, self-abnegation is not within her capacity or that of the political elite.
In claiming that "America does not deserve Trump" and by deprecating the ideal of making America great again, Hillary Clinton and her ilk display an agenda that is undemocratic and contrary to the ideals on which the USA is based. For her un-American agenda, history has consigned her to the dustbin where she belongs.






In noting historically that blacks were the real victims of expropriation of land without compensation, the subtle message Dougie Oakes (Daily News, March 6) seems intent on delivering is that the same treatment is justified for current white land owners.


With expropriation of land without compensation now very much in the political cross- hairs,

historical references such as those Oakes cited, whilst valid and informative, seem motivated to heighten emotions and thereby build momentum to justify the scrapping of the relevant clauses of section 25 of the constitution.


The acquisition of land during colonial times, whether here or in Australia or America

was frequently through invasion and subjugation. From a 21st century perspective, it was 

harsh and unjust. But in seeking to rectify those wrongs, it is equally unjust to deny compensation to current land owners facing expropriation because of the wrongs of their forebears.


Two wrongs don't make a right.



 THE MALEMA/EFF MALIGNANCY        - posted 6 March 2018

"South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both," stated Oxford academic, Dr RW Johnson, on the cover of his book How long can South Africa survive. Added to Johnson's warning should be words to the effect that the politics of Malema's EFF spell utter catastrophe for South Africa. Malema's serial incitement of hate and denigration of whites and everything associated with the white section of the population, constitutes not only an outrage in terms of section 16 (2) of the constitution, but represents a malignancy which, if not excised, will destroy this country.

Whereas an insignificant individual called Penny Sparrow was legally, socially and financially eviscerated for a racist comment on social media, Malema has never been subjected to any such punishment for his November 2016 exhortation that at some future point whites should be 'slaughtered,' (Mercury, November 8, 2016). His latest promise to destroy "whiteness," referring to the white DA mayor of Port Elizabeth and his incendiary demands for the nationalisation of land and property have  destroyed the goodwill and hope that flickered briefly following the  accession of Cyril Ramaphosa to the presidency. The spike in white emigration applications are proof of that.

By endorsing Malema's motion for the expropriation of land without compensation, whatever spin Ramaphosa tries to put on it, the ANC have indicated their willingness to renounce a key aspect of the constitution. Moreover, they have shown that they prioritise political opportunism and populism above economic stability, investor confidence, political sensibility.and maturity.

For the DA which saw fit to co-opt the EFF as a coalition partner in various metros, high noon has arrived. Although there is merit in the adage that 'politics is the art of the possible,' the DA, which used to spurn the Freedom Front as sectional and racist and therefore unacceptable as a coalition partner, needs to eat humble pie for having set aside its 'values' so as to accept EFF metro support. As the saying, 'when you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.'

The EFF and its firebrand fuhrer are a cancer in the body politic that must be isolated and eviscerated if South Africa is to have a future worth experiencing.



The Editors


The DA's dilemma with its Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille, is entirely self-inflicted.
In that the DA prescribes rigorous probity tests for its public representatives, De Lille
should never have been accepted as a DA public rep.

In Biznews on February 2, veteran journalist Ed Herbst provided a comprehensive account
of De Lille's political history, which, as the following excerpts indicate, should have disqualified her from membership of a party which its leader, Mmusi Maimane, claims, prioritises "values" as one of its core criteria.

* In Die Suid-Afrikaan on 31 December 1993, De Lille rejected the Freedom Charter view that the land belongs to all who live in it, black and white. According to De Lille, black people had exclusive right to all the land.

* In media statements published on 16 February 1994, she encouraged whites to emigrate so as to make room for the black majority. In support of that statement and on several subsequent occasions, she voiced the slogan "one settler, one bullet" which she later moderated to "one settler, one air ticket."

* In response to the murder of American student Amy Biehl by youth members of the PAC, to which she belonged,
De Lille stated on 19 April 1994: "The youth of the townships have been deprived of democracy for 340 years. What other means do you expect them to use if they were denied human rights?"

* In a report carried by SAPA on 31 July 1995 she advocated land invasions by force.

* In 1998 she actually bussed in land invaders from Tafelsig in Cape Town to occupy a tract of land near Rylands estate (Cape Times,13 August 1998).

She was referred to by the Citizen newspaper and by the Sunday Times as Patricia De Liar following her eleventh hour volte face in endorsing the ANC's candidate for mayor in 2006 after assuring her ID party that she would support the DA's candidate. Despite her record of political values, she became the DA's mayor of Cape Town in May 2011.

The fact that the DA's investigation into De Lille's tenure as mayor has found, inter alia, dereliction of duty, unexplained loss of revenue, intimidation and mismanagement is regrettable in terms of the DA's claim to promote good governance. But the lesson for the DA in this sad saga is that values and principles are compromised when political expediency and opportunism are prioritised.


The Mercury

EDITORIAL COMMENDED posted 22 Jan 2018

The Mercury's editorial "An empire crumbles" (January 22) marks a refreshing and encouraging departure from its posture of the past year when it often attempted to navigate between the pro and anti- Zuma factions within the ANC.

The resolute approach of Cyril Ramaphosa in tackling the Gupta incubus and in cleansing the Augean stables of the detritus of misrule by Jacob Zuma and his cronies, emboldens all sections of society to embrace this virtuous cycle which has been so sorely needed.

It is to be hoped, therefore, that the pages of the Mercury will no longer feature the sycophantic discourses of Zuma toadies like Sihle Zikalala. Instead new voices, hitherto sidelined by the tendency to service those who held power, need to propagate the road to making South Africa great again.

As a line from Proverbs states: "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to the evildoers" (21:15).

The Mercury


Derek Bird (Mercury, January 2) rightly deplores the fact that no punitive action has been taken against minister Gigaba despite having perjured himself in court

In concluding that political bosses in ANC-ruled South Africa appear to enjoy different legal treatment from the rest of us, brought to mind how differently political bosses are treated in a First World country like Australia.

Recently Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was fined $250 for failing to wear a life jacket while mooring his dinghy in the shallows of the Parramatta river which flows past his Sydney home. He did not duck and dive in admitting his negligence. Moreover, the officer who wrote out the fine was not intimidated or warded off by a throng of bodyguards. And Turnbull did not resort to appealing the prosecution.

There's a lesson for the political mandarins in South Africa: practice equality before the law.




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