RIGHT-SIZING THE MANDELA MYTH:
excerpts from chapter 66 of Mario Oriani-Ambrosini’s book The Prince and I (UK, 2017), pp265-268.
#1 Twenty of Mandela’s 27 years of imprisonment were spent on Robben Island. Five were in Pollsmoor prison near Tokai. The final two years were served in a villa amidst Paarl’s vineyards where he was waited on by servants and received dignitaries.
#2 Mandela did not preside over a single cabinet meeting – a point he admitted on several occasions. Mbeki ran the store.
#3 Negative aspects of his nine year public, political life:
#3.1 Although a civil war raged in KZN between IFP and ANC, Mandela delayed meeting with Buthelezi for a year after his release. When they did meet, he failed to implement the agreement to hold joint meetings in order to pacify violence-torn areas. As a result, the violence continued for a further five years and cost 1,000 lives.
#3.2 The Shell House massacre of 28 March 1994: in 1995 Mandela admitted during a parliamentary debate that he gave the order to shoot to kill unarmed Zulus who gathered outside the ANC’s Shell House HQ in Johannesburg. 50 were killed and 180 injured.
#3.2.1 In addition, Mandela allowed the ANC to defy a court order on behalf of the families of those killed in the massacre. The court order also required the ANC to surrender weapons held in Shell House for ballistic tests. That too was ignored.
#4 While Buthelezi was serving as minister of Home Affairs in Mandela’s government, Mandela requested General Constand Viljoen to prepare a plan for the SA Army to take military control of Ulundi and impose martial law on KZN. On account of the topography of steep hills and the valley leading to Ulundi, Viljoen pointed out that such a mission would be suicidal for any invading force.
#5 From the time he became President, Mandela built a financial empire around his persona to the point of registering his name and face as trademarks and controlling every product using them, from medallions to T-shirts.
#6 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 for children or other charities. Also no visible sign of its conducting any social work beyond tokenism.
#7 The Arms Deal: many controversial aspects relating to arms procurement were started under Mandela and concluded under Mbeki. The submarine purchase was justified as deterring the US from invading South Africa. Because of the exorbitant cost of the submarines, it was decided to forego the air-conditioning system which was thought unnecessary. This has resulted in maritime humidity oxidising and corroding the electronics.
International opinion has declared Mandela to be a saint and one of the greats of the 20th century. But his greatness should be premised not so much on what he did but on what he did not do. He did not pursue retaliation and violence against the white community. He embraced a philosophy of peace and reconciliation – although apparently not towards the Zulus.
Postscript: Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC’s 25 year plan: p. 211 of Ambrosini’s book.
“In brutal honesty, Ramaphosa told me of the ANC’s 25 year strategy to deal with the whites: it would be like boiling a frog alive…Being cold-blooded, the frog does not notice the slow temperature increase, but if the temperature is raised suddenly, the frog will jump out of the water. He meant that the black majority would pass laws transferring wealth, land and economic power from white to black slowly and incrementally, until the whites lost all they had gained but without taking too much from them at any given time to cause them to rebel or fight.”
The ANC have been in power 23 years. To what extent is the strategy on course?
-compiled by Duncan Du Bois, 26/10/17
BULLET QUOTES from RW Johnson's book How long can SA survive? (2nd edition):
"Ever since 1994 South Africa has lived in a sort of dream world in which it was possible
to believe six impossible things before breakfast (quoted from Alice in Wonderland). We have seen
all considerations of merit and ability disregarded in the cause of affirmative action. The highest
good in this new society was 'transformation' in which people were pushed to the front of every
queue on account of their gender, skin colour or political persuasion. Everything which could be
termed 'anti-transformation' was racist, sexist or reactionary. Demographic representivity was
seen as a good in itself. No society in world history has succeeded on this basis." - pp.240-241.
"Everywhere there is a huge amount of pretending. One has to pretend that people who are
hopeless at their jobs are good at them. That South-South trade is a good thing, even though it
has meant the annihilation of the South African footwear and textile markets by the Chinese. That
black economic empowerment was not just corrupt crony capitalism. That South Africa's steady
decline on every sort of index was due to 'apartheid inheritance.' That corruption under apartheid
was just as bad as under the ANC. One had to refrain from pointing out that many cabinet ministers
were obvious buffoons or thieves. One has to pretend that the dislocation of the black family is simply
due to apartheid even though it has worsened considerably since the end of apartheid. One has to
pretend that the state, the economy and the country were not failing." -p. 241.
"The ANC has become more chiefly, more tribal, a giant federation of political bosses held together
by patronage, clientelism and concomitant looting and corruption. This has created a political regime which is incapable of managing and developing a modern state." - p. 245.
"The South African state is already anaemic and rickety. The average calibre of cabinet ministers is
extremely low. Many seem to suffer from acute paranoia; some even believe in witchcraft. There is
very little co-ordination amongst the absurdly high number of ministries and really no strong drive
from the centre. As Goolim Ballim, Standard Bank's chief economist has noted: 'It's like a real life
showing of Home Alone - there are no adults in charge.' " - p. 234.
"Black majority rule in ANC hands has apparently proved correct all the dire predictions made about
black government by the old white right." - p 142.
"From a peak in 1993 labour productivity overall had declined by a stunning 41,2% by 2013.This trend -
strongly encouraged by the ANC's dependence on Cosatu - is simply disastrous. Nissan nervously notes
that despite all the subsidies paid by government, it now costs 20% more to make a car in South Africa
than in Thailand." - p. 159.
"Sadtu has been primarily responsible for the collapse of educational standards in black schools since 1994
but no president or education minister has been willing to confront the union. Instead the government does
whatever Sadtu says and even appoints its leaders to the cabinet." - p. 177.
"Similarly, the police have almost completely escaped from official control. Torture and maltreatment of
prisoners in police custody have sky-rocketed to a level far worse than under apartheid.... all meaningful
discipline has broken down." - p. 177.
[NB. Daily News, 4 March 2013: More than 4,000 people died in police custody between 2006 and 2011. Yet under
apartheid between 1963 and 1985 the number of deaths in police custody was 74].
BEE: "BEE schemes effectively give away 26% of [a company's] equity, thus diluting the holdings of all
other investors....It is hard to imagine the effect of such policy on any rational investor. Similarly Zuma has
announced that the government would use regulatory power to create a new class of black industrialists...
nowhere in the world have industrialists been created in that way..." - p. 187.
DA: "Under Helen Zille the DA has moved more and more in an ANC direction and shown a heightened
sensitivity to all the ANC's bugbears. In such a guise the DA would simply lack the guts and nerve [to govern]."
- p. 227
DA: "The government not only does not believe in appointment on merit: it actively denounces such practice
as 'racist.' Worse still, the once-liberal Opposition DA agrees. One simply cannot run a modern market economy
on that basis." - p. 242.
"The tragedy is that under its present leadership the DA has abandoned its decades-long commitment
to merit, not race. This betrayal of principle is likely to be harshly treated by future historians." - p. 243.
WHO IS DR IQBAL SURVE? - a summary of information taken from FIN24 - 28 June 2016: article by Terry Bell
-posted 5 May 2017
1] His claim to having had a close relationship with Mandela as his physician and friend:
There is no evidence to support Surve's claim. When queried by Bell about this, Surve declined to respond saying his Autobiography
would fully substantiate his claims.
2] Sunday Times, 15 December 2013: Suve claimed to have had an inspiring conversation with Mandela shortly before he died.
This is highly unlikely as Mandela was in a coma for quite a while before dying. Zelda La Grange, Mandela's trusted personal assistant,
has no knowledge of Surve and his claims to being close to Mandela.
3] Leadership magazine: 18 July 2012: Surve claimed a close relationship with Mandela and "personal interaction." Claimed he was part
of a team of doctors that cared for Robben Island prisoners.Dr Ingrid Le Roux was Mandela's personal physician when he was in Cape Town. Le Roux has remarked that she has never heard of Surve. Dr Mamphela Ramphele who also attended Mandela, has also commented that she has no knowledge of Surve.Dr Michael Pitt, Mandela's personal physician for 20 years has stated that Surve was never part of Mandela's team of doctors who were: Drs John Barlow, Michael Kew, Louis Geselter and Peter Friedland. A Dr Charles Niehaus used to accompany Mandela on travels.
Mandela was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison in 1982. At that time Surve was a junior medical student at UCT
When Mandela moved to Qunu inTranskei, he was cared for by Drs Dabula and Ramlakan; also Williams and Manga. The late Ahmed Kathrada denied any knowledge of Surve as being part of the inner Mandela circle.
3] Surve's claim to being a Fellow of the Cambridge University Institute of Sustainability. The University has asked Surve to desist from
claiming that credential as he was only ever an alumnus - not a Fellow.
4] Surve claimed that in 1989 Amnesty International awarded him for his role as a "struggle doctor."
Amnesty International has denied Surve's claim saying they have no such record and that the only SA recipient of their award was Mandela. It is also of note that in 1989, Surve was only a junior doctor.
5] Surve claims to have mentored the India Cricket team: In 1995 he was part of a medical team at the All Africa Games in Zimbabwe.
Cricket India denies ever having heard of Surve and that in any case their psychologist at the time was Dr Rudi Werbster.
6] His dismissal of Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois:
In reporting the death of Mandela in December 2013, the Cape Times provided a special wrap around four page eulogy of Mandela,
later cited by Time magazine as the best tribute published. But on its regular front page, its lead story was about the Public Protector
highlighting irregularities in the award of a tender to one of Surve's companies - Sekunjalo Marine Services. Surve peremptorily fired Dasnois as editor claiming she had demeaned the death of Mandela by not featuring it on the paper's front page. Several organisations came out in support of Dasnois including the SA National Editors Forum and the Right 2 Know campaign. In September 2014, Dasnois filed for unfair dismissal in the Labour Court. Surve denied that the Mandela story was the basis of his action against Dasnois.
Instead he cited falling circulation figures.In May 2016, in an out-of-court settlement Surve acknowledged that Dasnois had not disrespected Mandela nor that her conduct was motivated by racism.
7] Max Du Preez: In January 2015 Max resigned from Independent Newspapers as a columnist citing Surve's ANC support and his erosion of press freedom.
8] Helen Zille: On 23 March 2015, she announced that her Western Cape Administration was terminating its subscription to the Cape Times and stated that journalism
in South Africa was in a state of "crisis." Referring ro Surve's control of the bulk of the English-language press and his allegiance to the ANC, Zille expressed the view that the press had become part of state capture.
Based on the above, and on Surve's own description of himself as "one of the most influential businessmen and philanthropists on the continent,"
it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he is narcissism personified and that he experiences delusions of grandeur.
by Matt MARGOLIS and Mark NOONAN: published by Victory Books, 2016 (Margolis is an architectural developer; Noonan is a Navy veteran. Both are long time US bloggers) Book available from amazon.com also as an e book.
The book is reviewed by Dr Duncan Du Bois - What follows is a limited review of some of the 200 reasons the authors posit in making their case against Barack Obama. It is derived from 25 pages of handwritten, raw notes I made in a cursory read of this highly documented book which runs to 350 pages and contains more than 1,100 references.Continue Reading>>
The Principal Officer
Government Employees Pension Fund
SEKUNJALO LOAN -posted 17 March 2017
Given the daily concerns that arise over debt and bankruptcy, much of it the result of corruption,
I should like to know what is happening about the R800 million which was loaned interest- free to Mr Iqbal Surve
of Sekunjalo to purchase Independent Newspapers from Mr Tony O’ Reilly.
Of particular concern is that although the GEPF has a policy of investing in profitable businesses, Independent Newspapers
was not and is still not such a business. Surve paid R2 billion for the Company which, as business-savvy people
pointed out, was far too much for an enterprise that was losing subscribers and money.
What is also very obvious is that the GEPF loan has subsidised a business with very clear political leanings. So-called
Independent Newspapers under Surve has become openly supportive of the ruling political party. Yet the GEPF is
supposed to be non-political.
Besides appreciating your response to the above, could you also indicate whether Sekunjalo is repaying that loan and, if so,
how much has been paid to date and what is the duration of the loan?
Dr Duncan Du Bois
WHY TRUMP IS CONTROVERSIAL posted 24 September 2016
The news that lifelong Republican and former president George HW Bush is going to vote for Hillary Clinton is of great significance because it proves what some students of American politics have known for years: although they have different slogans, the inner cores of the Democratic and Republican Parties are two sides of the same structure, namely the Establishment.
The hysteria emanating from Establishment figures against Trump is precisely because as presidential nominee he has unhinged the Republican Party from its Establishment moorings and exposed the fraud that has been played out for decades in the name of democracy.
Establishment figures like the Bushes and the Clintons are globalists first and Americans second. Putting America first and make it great again is not part of the globalist agenda. Hence Hillary Clinton’s intention to ramp up immigration from the Middle East. What also sticks in the craw of the globalists is Trump’s success in appealing to working class Americans. It is the first time the Republican Party is the beneficiary of their support.
The Trump tsunami, like the Brexit vote in the UK, is a revolt against decades of Establishment and elitist domination. Historically, it demonstrates that national sovereignty cannot be sidelined and suppressed indefinitely as the demise of the USSR, 25 years ago, showed: after 70 years of subjugation, Eastern European countries returned to their national roots and boundaries.
PLANTATION NEWS: posted 15 August 2016
Having become a banana republic in 2015, the turn of events on 3 August 2016, it would appear, has unexpectedly provided South Africa with an exit route from the plantation.
The outcome of the much heralded local government elections which saw 12 ANC candidates assassinated during the course of the campaign, mostly in KZN, has dealt the ruling ANC a stunning blow. Not only did it see its majority decline from 62% in the 2014 election to just under 54% – in 2004 it achieved a 69% majority – but it lost control over three other Metro Councils: Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Johannesburg whilst its support in Cape Town, which it lost in 2006, was trimmed down to just 24%.
Despite spending R1 billion on its political campaign (mostly taxpayers’ money) and enjoying complete control over the state broadcaster, the SABC, the ANC failed to quell a groundswell of opposition and resentment. And all of this has happened on the watch of Jacob Zuma. As commentators have pointed out, the backlash against the ANC has demonstrated that democracy is alive and well in South Africa. For the ANC, the moment of truth can no longer be deferred: Zuma has to go. He should have gone long ago, of course, when the Constitutional
Court found he had violated the constitution and his oath of office. But it is more than that. The vote against the ANC is a desperate cry for service delivery and governance free from corruption. With 92% of municipalities financially hobbled, that needs no further amplification.
Banana republics usually lurch from bad to worse as they flounder in the plantation of despotism and corruption. But August 3 may just prove a turning point. Politically, it is a remarkable outcome because it shows that blind adherence to a liberation movement is not indefinite; that voters are capable of making a critical choice; that bribery, disinformation and slander are no substitute for service delivery.
As the country’s rulers, the ANC now face the embarrassing reality that they no longer control the country’s three major centres of power: the legislative capital, Cape Town (since 2006); the administrative capital, Pretoria and the financial capital, Johannesburg. Internally, the ANC is a mess. Its long term allies, the SACP and Cosatu bicker like cats in a sack, as Tony Leon once described them. Worse still, tribalism stalks its corridors. Zuma replaced Mbeki’s Xhosas with Zulus. KZN has long been Zuma’s fortress and as RW Johnson has remarked, South Africa has been run from Durban. But even that has changed. Chief Buthelezi’s IFP has emerged from August 3 revitalised. It captured six municipalities in KZN including Nkandla, where Zuma has built his R246 million abode with taxpayers’ money.
Divided, stunned and bereft of direction, to all intents and purposes the ANC has its back to the wall. However, this may also be a perilous moment for South Africa as these political brigands seek to ignore the winds of change and entrench themselves through unconstitutional means.Against them however, is the fact that they lack cohesion. Unlike Mugabe, they can’t count on military back-up and veterans. Moreover, the very diverse nature of the population rules out the possibility of them mobilising a solid phalanx of support, resorting to racist appeals, as Zuma did in the electioncampaign, having largely proved futile.
As long-standing journalist Peter Fabricius postulated (Tribune, 7 August), the ANC has served its purpose. The way forward is what is now happening in the Metros the ANC lost: coalition politics. Domination by a single party in a country with as diverse and disparate a population as South Africa’s, is neithera healthy nor a long term solution. The fact that opposition to the ANC has grown so dramatically after its 22 years in power is proof of that. In contrast, serious
opposition to the National Party only became apparent after it has been in power 33 years.
Coalition politics is tedious for those eager to exercise power because it compels them to acknowledge and to appreciate that size is not everything; that one-size does not fit all; that smaller, lesser players are also entitled to express their mandates. As such, coalition politics may serve to deepen democracy and to promote a sense of mutual respect thereby better reflecting the political landscape. That, hopefully, is how history will chart the years ahead.
SELFLESS STRUGGLE? posted 15 July 2016
The response by ANC candidate Faith Mjekevu to the inquiry as to why she was using municipal
vehicles for transport (Mercury, July 8) makes nonsense of the ANC’s boast of “selfless struggle.”
In referring the Mercury’s reporter to her party bosses for an explanation, she demonstrates
that her ilk are nothing more than apparatchiks who have no appreciation of how democracy
is supposed to function.
Worse still, Majekevu’s attitude illustrates the fact that the ANC makes no distinction between
party and state and treats state resources as if it owns them. Never before have Lord Acton’s words
been more clearly illustrated than what we encounter daily in this country: “All power corrupts and
absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
THE RUINED RAINBOW posted 13 July 2016
G Roberton’s melancholy picture of what has become of South Africa since 1994 (Mercury, July 12) is difficult to dispute
and will resonate with all who have roots in this country.
No matter where one looks, one is confronted by retardation and ruin. In none of the following has there been improvement
in quality and service: Eskom, Telkom, the Post Office, SAA and a whole string of SOEs (state owned enterprises), the Health system,
schools and universities, the SAP, agriculture, conservation and local government where 92% of municipalities are bankrupt. The Rand,
which before 1994 under sanctions and disinvestment traded at its worst at R2.25 to the US dollar, has declined by 700% in value.
As the country charts lower and lower standards, so it accelerates the emigration of skills and the flight of investment capital.
Already it teeters on the brink of junk status in terms of global business and investment. But for some that is a desirable outcome
because then South Africa can be recolonised with China and India as the most likely benefactors.
Squalor,neglect and decline have become the hall marks of those who boasted in 1994 that they were “ready to govern.” With
hindsight, that slogan should have read “ready to ruin.” Even the most optimistic must concede that South Africa has become
the land of the ruined rainbow
WHAT THE BREXIT VOTE REPRESENTS posted 11 July 2016
Whilst Ayabonga Cawe is correct in discerning that the Brexit vote signals a
rejection of an exploitative global system (Daily News, 30 June), its significance
extends far beyond legitimising what right wing parties have been advocating.
In essence the Brexit vote is a pervasive recognition and realisation that the
Establishment, as represented by mainline parties, academia, media, high
finance and Brussels bureaucrats, has chosen to ignore history’s most
consistent lesson, namely, the desire for sovereign independence and self-rule.
The Brexit vote shows that people of all stripes and classes, Tory, Labour and
Ukip and even 30% of Moslems according to Lord Ashcroft’s analysis, have
wised up to what the EU promises. They reject the establishment of a European
super state in which individual countries would become borderless vassals of
Brussels, lose the right to their own defence forces, their own criminal and taxation
systems and indeed the liberties of Magna Carta.
The Brexit vote, like Trump in the USA, has tapped into a deeply rooted scepticism
about surrendering sovereign controls to an international, imperial elite and a
fundamental distrust of the Establishment and all associated with it. After
decades of having its own way, the Establishment has encountered resistance
and rejection. The Brexit vote represents an awakening from a dangerous slumber
and heralds a re-think among other European states on their continued involvement
in the EU.
CYCLES OF HISTORY posted 29 June 2016
Twenty two years into the ANC’s tenure in office, a significant difference in the evolution
of political support is occurring compared to what was witnessed during the National Party’s
(NP) years in power (1948-1994).
With exception of the election of 1970, when support for the opposition United Party (UP) rallied
briefly, for the NP, the years from 1948 were marked by an upward trajectory of electoral support
which peaked in 1977 at 64%. The historical flipside of that, however, was the progressive decline
of opposition representation in parliament.
That process saw the extinction of the once powerful UP which had governed South Africa from 1934
to 1948 and the marginalisation of opposition both to the left and right of the NP.
Whereas it took the NP 29 years to reach its electoral peak, the ANC achieved that in just ten
years in 2004 . Since then the ANC’s electoral support has lost momentum and declined from its
peak of 69,9% to 62,15% in 2014. In contrast, the NP’s reversal in electoral support began in 1981,
after 33 years in power.
But in contrast with the era of NP rule, when opposition was mostly stymied, there has been steady
consolidation of opposition during the ANC’s tenure. After a poor start in 1994, opposition gained
traction with the establishment in 2000 of the DA which has national appeal and currently accounts
for around 25% of electoral support.
Also of significance are the regional pockets of opposition, such as the UDM and IFP, which have
survived not only ANC attempts to colonise them, but constitute durable building blocks in the
cobbling of a coalition of opposition to the ANC. That development never occurred during the
NP’s tenure which saw opposition still-born, marginalised or banned.
Thus, the evolution and consolidation of opposition structures just 22 years into the ANC’s tenure
suggests that our democracy is not only thriving but that the chances of the ANC holding onto
power as long as the NP (46 years) are not favourable.
ESTABLISHMENT HAS MISJUDGED HISTORY posted 29 June 2016
The almost universal denunciation of the Brexit vote by the Establishment media is not surprising,
the Mercury’s editorial titled ‘Dark times’ (June 28), being a typical example.
Despite the efforts of the Establishment media over many decades, promoting convergent thinking
on multiculturalism, globalism and integration on every level, it finds itself confounded by the Brexit
vote. All their threats of economic meltdown and attempts to deprecate national aspirations failed
to find traction. Shame!
But that’s what happens when you ignore history. Since biblical times it has been evident that one of
the most fundamental human yearnings and objectives is that of sovereignty. Aspirations for and defence
of sovereign independence, self-rule and nationhood have proved responsible for the collapse of empires
and the cause of wars.
The EU through Establishment organisations and political parties has shamelessly and stealthily sought to
extinguish the national sovereignty of European nations by locking them into trade relations and conventions.
In so doing the sovereignty of member nations has been progressively eroded to the point where their
national parliaments have surrendered 70% of the legislative powers to an imperial bureaucracy based in
Far from heralding ‘dark times,’ as the Mercury opines, the Brexit vote constitutes a blow for national
sovereignty and a turning point in the struggle against the repression of national aspirations and freedom
by an imperial world order.
President Zuma’s observation that no schools were burnt in 1976 invites speculation as to
what has changed since 1976 (Mercury, June 17).
Foremost, however, is the startling fact that none other than the head of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, by his
obervation, has broached the barriers that have been erected in appraising life in South Africa
before 1994 and actually found something positive to say about that much maligned period.
But in that the protest of the class of 1976 did not include burning schools, seems to point fingers
at what has gone wrong in liberated South Africa.
*Was there more respect for the process and goals of learning in those days, despite the inequalities
that existed under apartheid?
*Has the R23 billion spent on schools, of which Zuma boasts, and the fact that many schools are fee-free
produced a mindset of callous indifference?
*Has the fact that education standards have been in free fall since 1994 as a result of constant curriculum
changes, the exodus of good teachers and the increasing inability of schools to deal with hooligan pupil
elements bent of violence and disruption, not a factor in explaining why schools are being burnt?
*Is it not apparent that because there is no respect for law and order and only threatening rhetoric by
those in power that violent protest has become widespread? The Mercury of June 15 noted that there are
13 protests daily and over 67,000 have occurred in the past 17 years.
* Is it not ironic that the ANC, which once promoted the idea of making South Africa ungovernable,
by prioritising government as a milch cow for its cronies and cadres, has succeeded in rendering large
parts of the country ungovernable and anarchic?
The ANC is reaping what it has sown.
THE ARROGANCE OF OFFICIALDOM posted 13 June 2016
The corollary of a culture of corruption that goes unchecked and unpunished is the growth
of the arrogance of officialdom. The response of the Speaker of eThekwini municipality, Cllr
Logie Naidoo, to the inquiry as to why two ANC councillors continue to receive salaries
despite having been convicted and gaoled for murder (Mercury, June 10) is a case in point.
Cllr Naidoo asserts that his hands are tied because the Municipal Structures Act, in line
with section 47 (1) (e) of the constitution, states that ‘no one may be regarded as having
been sentenced until an appeal against the conviction or sentence has been determined.’
Besides the fact that leave to appeal against their conviction and sentence was
denied by the judge, Cllr Naidoo’s posturing on this matter is both evasive and negligent.
As Speaker, it is his duty as well as that of the City Manager, to uphold the ethical values
of public representation. In that regard they should have submitted a public report on the
cases of the two councillors. But that was never done.
The Public Service Act 103 of 1994 notes that upholding the Code of Conduct is critical in
combatting corruption and unethical behaviour. The Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000
clearly tasks the Speaker and the City Manager as the stewards of ethical leadership.
In that councillors are the face of local government, it is incumbent on Cllr Naidoo
and the City Manager to have dismissed the two convicted councillors in the interests
of respectability, integrity, good governance and plain common sense.
But by failing to do so and then lamely offering the appeals process as an excuse, Cllr
Naidoo and his party are not only eroding public trust in government but escalating
contempt for those in public office. And that goes for the MEC of Local Government
as well. Why has she been silent on this outrage? Why has she not intervened?
The claim that protesters resort to violence and arson through provocation (Mercury, May 31) beggars belief.
Arson, whether provoked or not, is unconscionable. Mitigating factors, terms and conditions do not apply. That
has to be the bottom line.
The violent trashing of university property, schools and other public property has occurred without police provocation. It has been
perpetrated deliberately and consciously. There can be no sympathy for elements who wantonly indulge in violence and vandalism.
Such conduct cannot be rationalised as a response to “immense desperation.”
During the darkest days of the 1930s Depression in the USA, when unemployment reached nearly 50% in some states, when relief providers
in the cities ran out of resources, the destitute did not resort to burning buses, schools and factories.
In the Pretoria area there are thousands of unemployed, destitute people of all races. Their plight is pitiful and hapless.
But they have not resorted to arson and violence despite their “immense desperation.”
Attempting to put a psychological spin on the perpetration of arson and violence raises the question as to what is next: legitimate
NO SYMPATHY FOR THE SACP posted 27 May 2016
The inordinate amount of publicity accorded the SA Communist Party which does not
contest elections as a political entity yet enjoys key positions of power in all three levels
of government, raises the question as to what kind of a democracy we have.
Of course, the democratic ideal of freedom of choice is anathema to communists. In
communist-ruled countries such as the former USSR, democratic choice was confined
to the communist party only. All other parties were banned.
In so-called democratic South Africa where the communists are unable to ban other
political parties, they have been given a backdoor to power, courtesy of the ANC.
Whilst other parties compete for votes, the SACP does not indulge in the hustings
(which would see them routed anyway) but prevails on the ANC for top political slots.
A win-win situation at the expense of democracy.
So it is with a feeling of schadenfreude that one reads of the dismay of the local
SACP at the ousting of their comrade Senzo Mnchunu as premier (Daily News, May 26)
and their claim that they are being demonised by the minister of Police. And as for the
so-called cracks in the tripartite alliance, suck it up! Having abused the democratic
system for ideological ends, the last thing the SACP should expect from anybody
Communists belong in the trashcan of history because of their association with the
greatest failed experiment in human history which accounted for more deaths,
brutality and misery than the combined tyranny of every regime in the past 2,000 years.
TRANSFORMATION IN SOCCER? posted April 29, 2016
Curiously the Mercury editorial of April 27 on the issue of demographic “transformation” in
major sports fails to mention soccer, an omission the minster of sport also made.
The Bafana team is routinely almost entirely black. Non-black players in
soccer club teams are few and far between. Where’s the transformation in soccer?
Or does transformation actually mean that, like the country’s demographics, a team
must be 80% black?
What ever happened to merit?
Kallis is quite right in condemning this obsession with race and the political
game that sport has now become. As a New Zealand correspondent,
Errol Millar (Mercury, 27 April) stated, with government imposed selection
of teams, it is doubtful that a national team will reflect the best of the
During the apartheid years, the cry was “keep politics out of sport.”
Ironically, in so-called liberated South Africa, politics in sport has become
“PRO-POOR” BUDGET FUNDING QUERIED posted April 17, 2016
Once again it is time for the tabling of eThekwini’s Budget and, as usual,
it is being hailed as “pro-poor” in its compilation. However, whilst it is
quite in order to consider the welfare of the indigent and less fortunate,
the funding of that welfare also merits consideration.
Part of the funding of the social package is supplied by the national treasury
but the bulk of the R3,370 billion, which the social package costs, is sourced
from ratepayers and business. The following figures provide an idea of the
extent of the welfare basket (p. 62 of the Council’s Revenue and Expenditure
Framework 2015/16- 2017/18):
*207,705 residential properties valued at less than R185,000 are rates exempt.
*520,074 households with property valued at less than R250,000 receive 9kl
of water free per month.
*109,284 households receive between 50 and 65kwh free electricity.
*559,566 properties valued at less than R250,000 receive free refuse removal.
*All informal settlements – nearly 500 of them- receive free refuse removal
and free water via standpipes.
*456,096 households are exempt from payment for the first 9kl of effluent
disposal. In addition many informal settlements are likewise exempt.
So whilst the Budget is certainly “pro poor,” the flip side of the coin is that
it is increasingly expensive for the minority who foot the bill. That minority
comprises 450,00 ratepayers and the business community who, through
rates and service charges account for 67% of eThekwini’s revenue. To
what extent is that situation sustainable? For, as Margaret Thatcher
famously declared, “the trouble with socialism is that eventually you
run out of other people’s money.”
Nonetheless,the distinct welfare tilt of successive Budgets and their
sustainability puts the claim that by 2030, “eThekwini will be Africa’s most
caring and liveable city” very much in doubt.
RULE OF LAW- A HOSTAGE TO AVARICE - posted 14 April 2016
The fact that it is up to ANC branches to decide whether Zuma goes or stays (Mercury, April 12)
provides further insight into the unseemly reality that in South Africa the constitution is not the
Of course, this is not really unexpected. Last year Zuma himself declared that he prioritised the ANC
ahead of the interests of South Africa. Such statements and standpoints leave no one in any doubt
that under the ANC South Africa has become a banana republic. In such dispensations lip-service
is paid to constitutions and High Court decisions. Parliament, when it is not being used as a rubber
stamp, is merely a farce to project an image of democratic engagement.
How we arrived at this situation is an account that has been widely experienced in Africa since 1960.
Liberation movements seldom transform themselves into organisations which respect constitutions
and democratic mandates. They invariably succumb to the allure of enrichment which is a euphemism
for looting. Some years ago a prominent ANC minister unashamedly declared that he did not join the
‘struggle’ to remain poor.
The rule of law in South Africa has become a hostage to the avarice of Zuma and the elite with
whom he has surrounded himself. If he goes, they go and none of them can afford that because
none of them has any sense of conscience.
History is against president Jacob Zuma’s attempts to dismiss the damning findings of the Constitutional Court and the
growing clamour for his resignation. The past 40 odd years provide several examples of prominent leaders who have resigned office,
in some cases over indictments far less damning than Nkandla.
Nixon’s resignation as US President in 1974 because of his implication in the burglary of the offices of the Democratic Party in Watergate did
not involve the misappropriation of funds as Nkandla does.
Willy Brandt resigned as Chancellor of West Germany in 1974 when it was exposed that one of his closest aides was in the pay of the
communist East German government.
In 2003 Eduard Shevardnadze resigned as president of Georgia after extensive public protests against his economic policies.
Gonzolo de Lozada, resigned as president of Bolivia for similar reasons, also in 2003.
Charles Kennedy resigned as leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat party in 2006 when it was disclosed that he had an alcohol problem.
Those who resigned for misappropriation of funds include:
Spiro Agnew as Vice President of the US in 1973 as a result of accepting bribes.
John Vorster as prime minister in 1978 and as president of South Africa in 1979 for his role in diverting R64 million from the
Defence budget to bankroll the Citizen newspaper.
David Blunkett, minister in the Blair government, in 2005 for violating Exchequer rules on funding.
Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank in 2007 as a result of a financial scandal.
The ANC’s old friend, Peter Hain, in 2008 as Secretary for Pensions over political funding of the Police.
All of the above submitted to public and political pressure and showed that they had some sense of conscience.
For his apparent lack of conscience in the misuse of R246 million of public money, Zuma and those in the ANC who support him are
are courting a monumental and indelible historical indictment.
SILENCE ON TREE MASSACRE AT CLAIRWOOD RACECOURSE -posted 9 March 2016
Quite rightly environmental groups and spokesmen ranging from South Durban
Community Environmental Alliance (Desmond D’Sa) to D’MOSS (Debra Roberts)
are critical of the loss of the green lung Clairwood Racecourse (Mercury,March 3).
Yet ironically they are silent about the massacre of the trees that once graced
the perimeter of the racecourse. There was absolutely no need for any of those trees,
most of them more than 80 years old, to have been removed.
Not only did they act as a screen around the racecourse, helping to deaden sound,
but they were part of an ecosystem which involved birds and insects.
The same tree massacre occurred in 1993 when the Bluff Drive-In site was transformed
into a shopping centre. If D’Sa and Roberts want to sound more credible in condemning
the depredation of our green environment, then they should be demanding that when
development takes place, it should be with minimal effect on trees and natural foliage
and that for every tree lost two new ones are planted.
One wonders whether the advertisement by the provincial MEC for Local Government
concerning our democratic right to elect new councillors to run our municipalities includes Durban in the light of the demands and threats by ex-convicts and criminals to be given city tenders (Mercury, March 4).
The brazen stance of this self-styled Business Forum is the result of the utter lack of enforcement which characterises almost every aspect of the management of eThekwini. Despite sabotaging service delivery in several areas, the city’s ruling elite saw fit to cave in to their demands (Mercury, February 23) by offering to train them in procuring tenders.
Just as one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, predictably the highwaymen have spurned legitimate means of enriching themselves in favour of immediate and outright
access to city contracts. The fact that the ruling party is being held to ransome is not surprising. After all, since 2014 we have witnessed the inability of the ruling party in the eThekwini region to govern itself with endless rounds of betrayal, denials and deceit. The fact that the response of the municipal spokesperson, Tozi Mthethwa, is to refer the issue to the ANC’s regional office is symptomatic of the prostrate and abject state of those entrusted with governing the city.
What comes around goes around. Before 1994, the ANC proved successful in getting the then ruling NP to cave in to their demands. So the cycles of history repeat themselves.
In medieval England, travellers were always relieved to reach the safety of walled citadels and towns because of the threats posed to travellers by highwaymen. But in 21st century Durban, it would seem, it is safe for the highwaymen to operate with impunity on the doorsteps of city hall. And yet we are told that by 2030 (it used to be 2020) Durban will be Africa’s most liveable city.
MIDDLE EAST INSTABILITY posted 19 February 2016
The unending instability in the Middle East was predicted in the Bible.
Genesis (16: 11-13) notes that Ishmael, from whom the Arab branch is derived, would be “a wild
donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him and he
will live in hostility toward his brothers.”
The Vice Chancellor
University of KwaZulu Natal
Dear Dr van Jaarsveld
KING GEORGE V STATUE
I was on the campus earlier this week and was appalled to see that the statue of King George V
remains in a vandalised state months after uneducated elements were permitted to
express themselves by daubing it with paint and slogans.
The fact that the statue has been allowed to remain in that desecrated state would seem to
indicate that your office condones what has happened, otherwise you would have ordered its
If the University agrees with the louts who desecrated the statue then it should go the whole way
and remove King George.
Then you might have to look at the bust of DG Shepstone in Shepstone building. After all, his family
was deeply associated with colonialism.
Kindly advise. originally mailed on 29 January 2016
SUBSIDISING POVERTY DOES NOT PROMOTE PROSPERITY posted 26 January 2016
The Mercury editorial of January 25 cites the race factor as playing a prominent role in denying access to prosperity. Whilst that is undoubtedly a factor, the fruits of the welfare state areequally relevant. It is a proven fact that poverty is sustained when it is subsidised. With some 18 million in this country on some form of social grant, there is little incentive to break out of the welfare cycle andstrive towards upliftment and prosperity. Worse still, the welfarestate encourages larger birth rates because of the additional benefits that accrue.
Thus, the humanitarian intentions in providing welfare grants are not matched by the outcomes. Upliftment will remain elusive as long as poverty is subsidised.
HOW DEMOCRATIC IS JACOB ZUMA? posted 18 January 2016
Romanius Zulu (Mercury, January 14) asserts that “Zuma has been fighting for democracy since he was a teenager.” Whilst he may well have had such intentions, the measures he uses and was associated with are difficult to reconcile with Zulu’s claim.
Certainly the Tammany Hall politics Zuma practices which have given his cohorts a licence to plunder as long as they stay loyal to him, his routine inability to account to parliament and the extent to which he defers to an unelected elite (such as the Guptas) stretches the idea of democracy beyond its most elastic limits.
But before 1994, his involvement with the ANC in exile bears not even a remote connection to democratic practice. As Stephen Ellis in his exhaustive study, External Mission – the ANC in Exile (2012), records, Zuma was associated with (and in certain instances implicated in) intrigue, deception, atrocities, torture, disappearances, executions and beatings as opposing elements within the ANC fought for control over the direction of their struggle.
RACISM IS A POLITICAL WEAPON posted 18 January 2016
Adriaan Groenewald’s heartfelt plea that racism must end before a united South Africa can emerge (Business Report, January 15) is doomed to besnagged by politics.
Playing the race card and demonising whites as racists is a critical part of the political weaponry of liberation movements. Mugabe still plays the race card against whites in Zimbabwe after 35 years in power and the fact that whites constitute less than one percent of the Zimbabwean population.
Of course, the likes of the recent Sparrow racist comment certainly help to sustain the absurd claim that racism is the preserve of whites. But even without such examples, the ruling party unhesitatingly resorts to racial kraaling whenever it feels threatened threatened or marginalised by opposing political forces.
The reality is that the cry of racism often has little to do with appeals for mutual respect decency. Instead, its purpose is to promote political solidarity and the maintenance of power. As such, it is both a red herring and a panacea against the flaws, failings and shortcomings of those in public office.
IT’S ROTHSCHILD – NOT RHODES! posted 29 December 2015
Those behind the Rhodes Must Fall campaign are barking up the wrong tree. If they are so outraged by the scholarships which Rhodes bequeathed, then they should be going after Rhodes’s banker – Nathaniel de Rothschild.
As historian Niall Ferguson points out, ‘it is usually assumed that Rhodes owned De Beers, but this was not the case. De Rothschild was a bigger shareholder than Rhodes himself. By 1899 the Rothschild stake was twice that of Rhodes,’ (Empire,p. 225).
Rhodes was no more than the front man of British imperial interests. Just as the British East India Company provided the premise for British rule in India, so Rhodes’s De Beers and Goldfields companies provided the business platform for the extension of British imperial interests in Southern Africa