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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The people want the IFP back

This is a long, but very interesting read.  I have said this many times before, that South Africa needs more leaders like Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

ButheleziFrom Politicsweb, by Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi:

 

The people want the IFP back - Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Mangosuthu Buthelezi

16 December 2012

President says his party's past warnings have been vindicated

2012 ELECTIVE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY ON THE THEME "CONTINUING WITH THE STRUGGLE FOR OUR ECONOMIC EMANCIPATION WITHIN A CRISIS SITUATION BOTH INTERNALLY AND IN OUR COUNTRY" PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS BY PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

Ulundi: 15 December 2012

On the centenary of the founding of the oldest liberation movement on the African continent, and on the eve of Mangaung, the IFP gathers to take some important decisions on the road ahead. We have laboured in South Africa for almost four decades, and have met with opposition at every turn; for the IFP constantly holds a light to the truth in our country, and shows what should be, what could be, and what is so patently wrong.

But we don't bite at the heels of the ruling Party. Our presence is enough to rile deficient leaders, and ignite hope in a despairing people. For wherever our country's leadership has lost direction, the IFP holds out the moral compass and points to true North.

True North is the fact that our liberation struggle is far from complete. True North is that our country has become mired in corruption and self-interest, which threaten economic freedom. True North is our people's utter disillusionment with a democracy that cannot offer equality, employment or unity. The IFP has never played the propaganda game, but we have been on the receiving side of many lies, vilifications and attack. In the midst of it all, we stand as the voice of reason.

In this present moment of South Africa's history, as the ANC stands poised again to impose a President on our country, and as every assessment, survey, index and report confirms what we already know - that South Africa's leadership is failing - the IFP must fulfil its role. Our role now is not that different from the role we have played for 37 years, under diverse circumstances. In the time ahead, we must remain the voice of reason.

Thirty seven years ago, Inkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe â" the National Cultural Liberation Movement was the voice of reason calling for the unbanning of political parties and the release of political prisoners, when an Apartheid Government drove divisions between South Africans. We were the voice of reason refusing so-called independence for KwaZulu, when the nationalist regime sought "separate development" and the loss of citizenship for millions of black South Africans.

Thirty five years ago, Inkatha was the voice of reason in the midst of the ANC's campaign to make South Africa ungovernable. We built 6 500 schools, while the ANC encouraged young people to burn them down. Thirty three years ago, Inkatha was the voice of reason speaking out against economic sanctions, the campaign of disinvestment, and an armed struggle that would wash our country in blood, while the ANC's mission-in-exile shaped a new daily hardship for our people.

Twenty nine years ago, Inkatha was the voice of reason calling for the end of the ANC's People's War that was claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent people. Twenty two years ago we were the voice of reason refusing to allow a democratic dispensation to be negotiated bi-laterally without the presence and contribution of every political representative. Twenty years ago, we were the voice of reason insisting that a Bill of Rights be contained in our democratic Constitution, and that provinces be given autonomy so that the people could finally govern from the bottom up.

Eighteen years ago, the IFP was the voice of reason, insisting that labour legislation be designed to allow maximum flexibility in the labour market, to ensure that both employment and productivity would flourish in the new South Africa. Ten years ago, the IFP was the voice of reason calling on Government to roll out anti-retrovirals to all pregnant women to prevent HIV transmission to their new-born babies, just as we were doing in KwaZulu Natal.

Five years ago, the IFP was the voice of reason warning that corruption was rotting our country like a fish, from the head. This year, we have been the voice of reason calling for a debate of no confidence in the leadership of our country's President, because undelivered textbooks, teachers' strikes, Marikana, tenderpreneurship, scandal, corruption and a failing state are not what we fought a liberation struggle to achieve.

South Africa is in a terrible state. Our politics is deeply troubled by power-plays and self-enrichment. Our economy is wracked by recession and inappropriate policy. Our society is burdened by poverty, criminality and unemployment. Our people suffer the daily indignities that accompany poor service delivery, and the daily loss of hope that accompanies empty promises. We are still a country of inequalities.

This is not the country we struggled for 100 years to reach. And the ANC of today is not the liberation movement of 1912. There is a nexus; for the further the ANC moves from its founding principles to become this party of corruption, self-enrichment and self-interest, the further South Africa will move from being a country of freedom, unity and hope.

What stands in the way of this downward slide? The voice of reason. The IFP.

We were born of the same founding principles that birthed the ANC in 1912, but we remained true to those principles as the ANC began to take a different route. As the ANC has evolved into a massively rich, massively selfish machine for the elite, the IFP has stayed true to the founding principles of the liberation struggle. Thus, as our struggle continues, the IFP carries the true legacy of liberators and freedom fighters. Within the IFP, all that was good about the past continues, and all that is good for the future remains.

But as we stand, facing the crisis of our nation and the fullness of our responsibility as the voice of reason, the IFP must carve out space to decide on its own way forward. This is that time. This conference is the opportunity for the IFP to secure our footing on the road ahead, for the sake of our nation, for the sake of our Party and for the sake of redirecting our struggle towards genuine freedom for all South Africans.

Friends, we have faced a very turbulent time. The fact that we are meeting only now, when we should by rights have met in 2009, is a clear indication of the troubles we have faced since the last national elections in our country. I want to remind us of the words of former President Nelson Mandela, who admitted in public in 2002 that the ANC has pursued an agenda of destroying the IFP ever since 1979, when the ANC first abandoned the principle of non-violence and found that Inkatha would not follow suit. Mandela said, "We have used every ammunition to destroy (Buthelezi), but we failed. And he is still there. He is a formidable survivor. We cannot ignore him."

I am reminding us of those words today, for it would be a serious miscalculation on our part if we supposed that the plot of the ANC against the IFP is a thing of the past. "We cannot ignore him", Mandela said. In other words, we cannot set aside our goal, believing that Buthelezi no longer poses a threat to the ANC. There is no question in anyone's mind that the IFP still poses a threat to the ruling Party. While journalists and analysts, often for suspect reasons, like to pen the premature obituary of the IFP, the ANC has never written us off.

The plan that they hatched to finally destroy the IFP after 2009 caused chaos in our midst. Let us remember the events of the past three years; not to cry over spilt milk, but to remind ourselves afresh that the opposition we have faced for 37 years is not about to diminish as we enter the third decade of democracy. The road ahead for the IFP is not going to be easier. The ANC has not given up its fight against us, and it is joined now by the NFP who has its own bitter bile to spread.

I wish to thank our Deputy National Chairperson, Mr VB Ndlovu, for setting out so comprehensively the history of the split in the IFP, the formation of the NFP and the evidence of the ANC's involvement as the primary driver. We have remembered the events of the last three years. Confronted with the evidence of the ANC's involvement in the ructions, I did not remain silent.

I spoke in the National Assembly during the State of the Nation Debate in February 2011, laying out all the evidence and plainly asking the ANC why it was still pursuing this agenda of destroying the IFP. No one in the leadership of the ANC, not even the President himself, contradicted my accusations in Parliament, beyond some howling from the benches and the President taking exception to my speaking so frankly about a conversation he deemed private between the two of us.

In that conversation, in July 2010, the President of the ANC, Mr Jacob Zuma, advised me to step down, because of the divisions in my Party over my leadership. When I think back now to that conversation, I marvel that the President has not taken his own advice, considering the depth of divisions within his own party over his own leadership.

I did not take the President's advice because, as I explained to him, my Party elected me and my Party retains the prerogative to ask me to stay or leave. It is amazing that the President of the ANC thinks he can dictate to the rank and file of the IFP who should lead this party. That is for you to decide. That decision will be made here, in this venue, today.

Today, all those gathered in this marquee will decide the fate of the IFP. It is up to you, the rank and file of our Party, to decide whether the IFP will continue on its upwards trajectory and go into 2014 much stronger and much louder, or whether the IFP will be handed to the ANC/NFP coalition on a silver platter to finally destroy and relegate it to history.

Let me tell you in no uncertain terms; those are the options. The IFP is not going to fade away. We are either going to become dramatically stronger, or dramatically weaker, based on the result of today's election.

The results of by-elections since May 2011 clearly tell us that the people of South Africa want the IFP to return in strength in 2014. Support for our Party is growing again. There is great dissatisfaction with the ANC/NFP coalition, but people have not been staying away from the polls during by-elections, as if there is no one they felt happy to vote for. They have been coming to the polls in impressive numbers, and casting their votes for the IFP.

The unequivocal message is that the people want the IFP to return. They want the IFP to come back stronger. Since May 2011, we have won by-elections in Mtubatuba, in Ulundi and in Nongoma, where we increased our percentage of the vote. In June we won in Nqutu and increased our percentage by almost 20%. In August we won in Umtshezi, and also took uPhongolo from the NFP. In September we won in Nongoma and increased our percentage of the vote. In November, we again increased our share of the vote in Nqutu. Ten days ago, we took Hlabisa from the NFP, we won KwaMashu, and we took Nkandla, the hometown of the ANC President away from the ANC.

That is the kind of support the IFP is getting. There is no mistaking the message from the electorate, that the IFP is wanted, needed and supported. We are back on an upward path.

For this, I want to thank the people in this marquee. Thank you for keeping faith with the IFP through the turbulent times of the past three years. Thank you for not being led astray by promises of tenders, jobs and money. Thank you, too, for embracing the Roadmap strategy, and for supporting this blueprint for our future. Thank you for mobilising our supporters and for getting the message of truth out to our people, to contradict the many lies against us. Thank you for ensuring the IFP's survival and for placing us again on an upward path. Your hard work and commitment to the IFP has not gone unnoticed. You are the true heroes and heroines of the IFP story.

Ours is a story that has been written over 37 years, through great hardship, danger, sorrow and loss. It is written in the words of lives; lives lost, but also lives transformed. For through all the hardship that has accompanied South Africa's story, the IFP has brought hope and help into countless homes.

I am intensely proud of the IFP's legacy. I have walked through our country in all these years, meeting the people we serve and taking their hand so that together we could build and grow and develop. I have seen destitute mothers empowered to grow food for their families. I have seen young people equipped with skills through the education and training institutions built by the IFP. Even today, I hear from South Africans who write to thank me for what we did ten, twenty and thirty years ago, because it changed their lives.

I have seen babies live because the IFP found a way to provide anti-retrovirals, even when an ANC led Government told the Constitutional Court it couldn't be done. I have seen breadwinners start businesses with the financial assistance of the KwaZulu Finance Corporation, which we established here when no one else would lend money to impoverished people. I have seen teachers supported and families held together. I have seen one generation after the next take up the cause of the IFP, not because it was the party of their parents, but because it is their own Party. The IFP serves the needs of today.

I have also seen legislation amended, bills being opposed, policy created and skilful debate within the National Assembly, in our Legislatures and the National Council of Provinces. I have seen small victories being won in municipal councils, and great victories being won at the national level. I remember the IFP giving our country a Bill of Rights. I remember the IFP giving our country provinces. I remember the IFP taking Government to court, and winning.

I have a lifetime of memories of the IFP and I am deeply proud of this Party. It has thus been painful for me to grapple with the needs of the Party, as I entered the twilight of my life, for anyone who has done and seen and served as much as I have, for as long as I have, surely deserves to rest.

It has been my intention for several years to retire and to hand the Party over to a younger leadership. You will recall that twice I announced my intention to retire, at our Conferences of 2004 and 2006. But twice our Party unanimously called on me to remain. I serve at the behest of the Party and thus I remained.

In 2009, knowing that I intended to retire, our National Council passed a resolution requesting that I remain at the helm of the IFP until such time as we could ensure a smooth leadership transition. That resolution reads as follows â" "The IFP National Council met in Ulundi on 24â"25 October 2009 and unanimously adopted the following RESOLUTION: National Council⦠urges Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi to continue to remain the unifying leader of the Party and to ensure a smooth and democratic succession transition when the time is ripe, and will appreciate his consideration of the matter." The National Executives of the Women's Brigade, the Youth Brigade and SADESMO confirmed this request.

I have been grappling with this decision for three years, for as much as I would wish to hand over the torch of this Party to a new generation of leaders, I have been hesitant to leave a burning house. The discovery that the fire was lit by our old opponents, the ANC, made a decision more difficult to reach.

Time and again I have said that my decision on whether or not to accept your request that I remain at the helm to oversee a smooth leadership transition, will only be conveyed at this Conference. Now is the time for me to pronounce on the matter.

You know that our Party has been engaged for several months in promoting the Roadmap strategy prepared by our former Secretary-General to assist me to make this decision. We have done that simultaneously with an audit of all our branches, for we discovered that not all the "Friends of VZ" defected to the NFP and some bogus branches remained. Not only that, but we found that some 3000 membership booklets had disappeared along with our defected members, who were now signing up bad-faith branches to send bad-faith delegates to Conference.

The old plan was still afoot to disrupt this Conference; this time to foist on us leaders with whom I would find it difficult to work if I agreed to oversee the transition. Our opponents hope that even if I agree to continue, I will resign in frustration, leaving the Party under pliable leaders that can easily be manipulated from outside our Party.

We saw, as we presented the Roadmap strategy to our various districts, that there was general support for the Roadmap and recognition across the board that this is the blueprint for our strengthened future. But, to my great disappointment, the District of Zululand emerged as the only voice of dissent. My own district rejected the names proposed by the National Council for the leadership of the IFP. National Council engaged these leaders, even postponing conference yet again, to give them time to properly discuss matters with their constituents.

I regret to report that it became evident that a slate was being used to disrupt the Roadmap strategy and to foist a different leadership on the IFP. I was surprised to see Mr Dladla's name come up again and again for the position of National Chairperson, when Mr Dladla had publically withdrawn from the Party earlier this year to attend to his business interests.

Mr Dladla became quite concerned when he heard his name was on this slate, and he spoke to Mr Gwala, Ms kaMadlopha-Mthethwa and myself expressing his bitterness that his name should be used to divide the Party. Mr Albert Mncwango and Mr Khawula, whose names were also put forward on the slate, have both expressed resentment that they were not approached in advance, and both of them have publically said they will not stand for nomination.

But some people have sown great confusion among our supporters, telling them that the National Chairperson automatically becomes the President of the Party if anything happens to the President. That is simply not true. We are a democratic organisation and the question of leadership will always go to a vote, as required by our Constitution. Based on the will of our Party, we have embraced the amendment of our Constitution to include the position of Deputy President. That too should allay any concerns and clear up any confusion.

There should, indeed, be no reason to oppose the Roadmap strategy or to reject the names put forward by National Council for leadership positions, other than the nefarious desire to play into the hands of our enemies. I have embraced the Roadmap strategy as the right extraordinary measure to bring us through such extraordinary times. I therefore consider the leadership proposed by National Council as part of a package. I would like to retire. But I will accept the request of National Council that I remain to oversee the leadership transition, if I am enabled to work with these people. I do not see the point of swimming against a tide that we can stop right here, right now. But I am willing to swim if I am swimming with a likeminded team.

Friends, we have enough opposition without opposing ourselves from within. The IFP carries a heavy responsibility as we leave this Conference to fulfil our role as the voice of reason in a turbulent time. We must leave this place united, with one vision, one voice and one shared purpose. The IFP has an important role to play. Don't be fooled into thinking that the IFP is wavering or indecisive. We are not alone in facing troubles in the present political landscape. In fact, we are not even alone in having postponed conference for so long. Due to its fierce internal battles, the ANC was forced to postpone conference in this province several times, the NFP did it too, and the DA is having to do it with their Youth, who are struggling to choose leaders at branch level.

Clearly things are changing in the political landscape of our country. There are some things that never change, like the ANC bussing people into wards in which they do not live to vote in by-elections. Those sorts of shenanigans have been going on in very election since 1994, and the IFP has repeatedly approached the IEC urging investigation and redress. Little has come of our complaints. But there are other aspects of politics that are changing rapidly, for the worse.

Personal enrichment has become the order of the day. In the midst of all the tenderpreneurship and self-enrichment, corruption is gaining pace in South Africa. I have been sounding the alarm on corruption for several years. More than five years ago, I called it a national crisis. But things have only become worse, and corruption has led to political violence. Analysts explain that poverty and the hope of positions that will open doors to power, and tenders, are driving political killings.

The ANC has seen such internal conflict that the General Secretary of its alliance partner, COSATU, has said, "Political killings are so commonplace in KwaZulu Natal, that we can no longer blame them on IFP warlords, because it's an inside job." Mr Vavi now has a death threat hanging over him, for the leadership battles in the ANC have been far more vicious than even the IFP experienced. In a party as rich as the ANC, there is much at stake when it comes to leadership elections.

This new trend in political killings has affected all parties, and the IFP has not gone unscathed. But we have been cushioned by our long-cultivated culture of non-violence, respect for life and discipline. IFP members and leaders have been lost, but to violence from outside our Party. Today, let us remember the men and women of the IFP who have fallen victim to political conflict. These lives cannot be restored by any amount of tears.

We remember today our slain victims, and all those who have paid a heavy price for supporting the IFP in the face of our enemies. We remember Mr Makhathini, Induna Biyela, Councillor Thembokwakhe Emmanuel Xulu, Ms Celiwe Shezi, Mr Bongani Lushaba, Mr Siyabonga Dlamini and Mr Sihle Biyela. There are many others whom we remember today, and we salute them again. We cannot forget more than 400 IFP leaders who were killed during the people's war and thousands of our members who perished in that war of attrition.

We continue their work as we strengthen the IFP to fight against corruption, unemployment, poverty, disease, crime, poor service delivery, poor leadership and under-development. For years the ANC has claimed to be the representatives of South Africa's oppressed and struggling people. But after eighteen years of democracy, with all the money of the State available to them, the ANC has done far too little, far too slowly, to assist the people they claim to serve. Some analysts have pointed out that the ANC has a vested interest in keeping the poor poor, uneducated and dependent, for this is their voting block.

If that is true, it is a despicable truth, for our people are suffering terribly. The aim of the IFP has always been to uplift. We have helped people to rise out of their circumstances, through education, partnership and shared efforts. It can be done. So why is the ANC not doing it?

Wherever I go, I listen to people and I hear their hearts' cry. I have heard disappointed ANC supporters calling the ANC "cruel" when it appears just before an election, and disappears just as quickly. I have heard rural communities cry that they cannot go to the city and pull electricity back to their homes, but must just sit and wait for Government. I have heard people ask why in a democracy there are private hospitals for the rich and community clinics for the poor, private schools for the rich and mud schools for the poor, private security for the rich, but only one policeman to protect 425 ordinary South Africans.

People are not fools. In fact, when Eskom proposed another 16% price hike, every year, for the next five years, an ANC MPL said in the media, "I hope the ANC does not send me to sell this to my constituency, because I am not convinced. Then how can the public be convinced?" Why does the ANC keep trying to convince us to accept more and more hardship, as though it were acceptable? Why are things acceptable to the ANC leadership that are completely unacceptable to the rest of South Africa?

Think how often we all took exception to the rantings of the former ANC Youth League President, Mr Julius Malema, who rammed the nationalisation of mines down our throats and scared away international investors, while the country's President did nothing to contradict him. Mr Malema insulted everyone, from the leaders of the opposition, to white South Africans, to big business, banks, industry, the international media and even Government Ministers. But the leadership of the ANC said nothing. Ahead of the 2009 elections, Mr Malema brazenly threatened to invade my home at KwaPhindangene and recruit my wife and children to the ANC. The ANC leadership said nothing. Malema called me a factory fault of the ANC, and the leadership said nothing.

But when Malema made the mistake of insulting Mr Zuma, it was all over for him, and he is now being investigated for fraud and corruption.

Nevertheless, the nationalisation of South Arica's mines is still on the agenda of the Mangaung conference that begins tomorrow. Why is the ANC still discussing this issue when it insisted this is not Government policy? If it becomes ANC policy, it will become Government policy, whether we like it or not, whether it is good for the country or not. It's not about the good of the country anymore. It's about the pockets of a few at the top.

We have all judged for ourselves how we feel about our taxpayers' money being lavished on President Zuma's house in Nkandla just as his term is drawing to an end. Hundreds of millions have been spent on so-called improvements, like a helipad and security fences. Of course when the DA announced it would visit Nkandla to inspect these improvements and see for itself how the President is spending our money, the ANC was up in arms about it. It was fine for Malema to invade my private home, but not okay for the DA to visit Nkandla to exercise its oversight role as the largest opposition Party.

There is a growing sense that the ANC has something to hide. This emerged as we fought against the Protection of State Information Bill, popularly known as the "Secrecy Bill". Across the spectrum of civil society, industry, the academia, the media, the religious community, traditional leaders and political parties, the Secrecy Bill has been vehemently rejected. Yet the ANC has ignored the dictates of democracy and is set to introduce legislation that the whole of the country has rejected.

On the impetus of fighting the Secrecy Bill, all opposition parties represented in Parliament have come together in a Multi-Party Opposition Forum. We came together to hold joint rallies, demanding that the voice of the people be heard and respected when it comes to the Secrecy Bill, and all other issues of governance.

Put in its simplest form, the Secrecy Bill is a way for the ANC-led Government to silence media reports on corruption, so that corrupt leaders can get away with whatever they want without having to worry about the spotlight of public scrutiny. Thus, out of the joint opposition to the Secrecy Bill, the Coalition Against Corruption naturally evolved. The fight against corruption united us. Never before has one single threat to our democracy united a diverse opposition. This speaks of a new era in politics; one that we must explore further.

The Democratic Alliance has spoken publically about a closer partnership among opposition parties, although they have not formally approached the IFP for discussions. I am sure you will also have heard statements by the Honourable Mr Lekota, the Leader of the Congress of the People, intimating that the opposition must now extend its cooperation as a united front against the ANC. I think many people would watch such an alliance with interest to see whether we could indeed topple an increasingly corrupt and self-interested ruling party. We in the IFP are not new comers to such coalition politics. We did have a coalition for democracy with the DA, under the leadership of the Honourable Tony Leon in 2004. Although some people in both parties were enraged by the fact that coalition did not give us the results we were hoping it would give us, it did not sour the good relations we built between Mr Leon and myself. And this is a road I travelled extensively when I worked with Mr Oliver Tambo - the leader of the ANC mission-in-exile until 1979. Before that in the very dark days of apartheid we cooperated with my two friends who led the Progressive Federal Party Mr Colin Eglin and Dr van Zyl Slabbert. We even had joint rallies against the tri-cameral system. Before that I was very close to those great freedom fighters; Alan Paton and Helen Suzman. And in spite of the Improper Interference legislation during the dark days of apartheid, which prevented members of different races belonging to one Party, I led the South African Black Alliance with the Coloured Labour Party. The Reform Party - an Indian Party led by my friend Yellan Chinsamy. And the Dikwakwentla Party led by Mr Mopeli of Qwaqwa and Inyandza Movement led by Mr Enos Mabuza of KaNgwane. So coalition politics is not a new game for us in the IFP. We have to think very carefully if and when the time comes to consider another travel along that road.

I received a very warm letter from the leader of the DA in Parliament, Ms Lindiwe Mazibuko complimenting me for the cooperation that has taken place between opposition parties during this year.

On the road ahead, those discussions will no doubt come, and we will engage our members accordingly. The IFP is a democratic organisation that has always sought to identify and act on the genuine will of the people. What we know for sure is that the people of South Africa do not want a country in which learners score 13% for maths in their Annual National Assessments, while the Minister of Basic Education quibble over the usefulness of school inspectors. Our people do not want a country that is consistently sliding down the ranks on the International Corruption Perception Index, to the point that we are now ranked 69th most corrupt out of 176 countries, having dropped 15 places in just two years.

Does the ANC even understand how to get our country out of this mess? How can the President declare they will create half a million jobs by a certain date, and then proceed to shed more than a million jobs instead? Does the ANC have such a poor grasp on economics and the needs of our country? Is it incompetence, or intentional mismanagement?

Why did the ANC ignore the insistent calls for a Youth Wage Subsidy to encourage employers to employ young South Africans? More than 50% of our youth are unemployed. 7.5 million South Africans are out of work. Something must be done. When President Zuma instead suggests a job-seekers' grant, one cannot help but think of what the analysts say: â˜Keep them dependent and in need, and they will keep voting ANC'.

Our people need jobs. They need education. They need electricity. They need protection from crime. They need leaders they can respect. They need help getting ahead in very difficult circumstances so that the opportunities of a democratic South Africa will not simply be pretty words on a tattered poster.

When the ANC doesn't know what to do about a problem, they throw money at it. Your money. They have seen the growing problem of food security, which the IFP has been warning about and working to solve for thirty years through support to small scale farmers. The ANC's solution? Send a parliamentary delegation to Brazil and Chile for 15 days to learn how they support small scale farmers. The trip will cost R1.2 million. The ANC has seen how state assets, like South African Airways, constantly need multi-million Rand bailouts. For years the IFP has said privatise the airline. But the ANC's solution? Send a delegation to Australia for seven days to learn best practices in managing state assets. That'll cost R737 000.

Our newspapers are full of the big figures spent by the ANC in trying to solve problems that the IFP warned about years ago. Our Party has been right there with solutions and answers, but we have been ignored. In fact, when the ANC took over the governance of this province in 2004, they shut down teacher training colleges and halted development projects for no other reason than that they were birthed by the IFP.

This hatred for the IFP is not new to the ANC. They have cultivated it over almost four decades. I am therefore placed in a very difficult situation when the King of the Zulu Nation, King Goodwill Zwelithini, calls on us to declare that there is reconciliation between the ANC and the IFP. How can I do that when I know that reconciliation has been muscled off the agenda under the present leadership of the ANC? It would be hypocritical of me, as a Christian and as the leader of the IFP, to pretend that reconciliation is complete when even now there are threats to my life and the insults against the IFP continue, unabating.

Even now the ANC plans to change the name of Mangosuthu Highway to Griffiths Mxenge Highway, even though I did not name the highway personally, just because it irks them that I should be remembered at all in this province. That is not an indication that they want reconciliation.

I have pursued reconciliation with the ANC for decades. I have spoken peace and called for negotiations and steered our people away from bloodshed. You have heard the history from our Deputy National Chairperson, of how we formed the 3-a-side, 5-a-side and 15-a-side committees to pursue reconciliation, and how our efforts were continually foiled.

You have heard how President Mbeki offered me the Deputy Presidency, which was torpedoed by the ANC leadership in KwaZulu Natal, by Mr Jacob Zuma himself. You have heard how the ANC engineered the split in our Party, and you have seen how they side-lined the IFP in the celebration of the centenary this year, as though the IFP played no part in the liberation struggle of our country.

How can I stand and say that reconciliation has been achieved? We are at a disadvantage, for the ANC has vast sums of money at its disposal and believes it can still destroy the IFP. Our great advantage, and our greatest asset, is the genuine will of the people. For decades the ANC has been abusing this concept of "the will of the people", using it as an excuse for everything the top leaders of the ANC want to impose on us.

But behind this tactic of declaring "the will of the people" lies the knowledge that the genuine will of the people, loudly expressed, has great authority and impact. I want to challenge you, as the leaders of the IFP, to claim back what has been misappropriated and abused. Claim back the authority you have as "the people". Learn how to draw together in numbers, in an organized effort, to make a united statement that cannot be ignored. Take back the right to express the genuine will of the people, rather than merely expressing the discontent of our nation.

Today, I ask you to strengthen the IFP. Through your vote and through discussions, I ask you to place the IFP on a steady footing as we navigate the road ahead. The IFP must go through a transition, while remaining the Party our people are again calling for and recognising as the voice of reason. We need to walk through our leadership transition with our legacy intact, for the sake of our Party and the sake of our country. South Africa's liberation struggle continues. Let us strengthen the liberation party that still retains the moral compass and remembers the principles of 1912. Unity, inclusivity, non-violence. That is the legacy of the IFP. Through the IFP, may it become the legacy of South Africa.

Aluta continua! The struggle continues!

Issued by the IFP, December 15 2012

Sunday, 2 December 2012

South African farmers fearing for their lives

from The Telegraph:

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Click on extract above to read full article at The Telegraph.

Monday, 26 November 2012

How Zuma spends UK aid

from Daily Mail:

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Click on extract above to read full article

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Where did it all go wrong?

 

za_no_justiceBy Bheki Dungeni:

Monday, November 5, 2012

After much reflection and consideration on quite a number of things happening around, this notion eerily crossed my mind, and for the first time I began to ask myself questions I had never asked before. But one question that overshadowed most of them was this simple, yet so complex inquiry: Where did it all go wrong?

Also, I have to admit, I had made a pact with my ‘journalistic gods’ that I will keep away from anything ‘political’ for some time, but thanks to our ‘gifted politicians’, I was forcefully stirred out of my peaceful slumber.

If the recent events are anything to go by, I believe millions, if not billions of people all over the world have noticed that something is amiss, and whatever it is, it is not only jeopardizing unity among all, but it has left South Africa rattling along the rancid edges of what many tend to call a ‘point of no return’.

This piece does not set out to conclude on anything, but to try and find answers to this rather perplexing question. Where did it really go wrong?

Would it be for the fact that a party that has been in existence for over 100 years, and has run the country for the past 18, has fallen victim to the evil forces of profligacy? Or is it because the ideologies set down when South Africa attained her independence remained merely inscriptions within the pediments of the Freedom Charter, and did not see the light of day? How about maybe the country took a left turn, when it was supposed to turn right (Led by the one and only)?

Well, to begin with, I would love to refer you to a statement from the President of South Africa himself, which did not only leave me gob smacked, but truly dismayed. I have never been one to point a finger at the other, but after that sentiment the President put out, I felt like pointing a finger all the way to his heart. Probably poke it even, and assess if it’s still in touch with the world around it or not.

“Let us solve African problems the African way, not the white man’s way,” President Jacob Zuma was quoted saying, at the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in Parliament.

I would love to quote the rest of it, but truth be told, my heart would not allow me.

Maybe we would like you recap a bit, Mr. President, and go back a little bit, because it certainly seems it’s a lot easy for political leaders nowadays to forget things as is it for some of them to bid for a ‘four-legged’ Buffalo (Would have made sense if maybe it had two. Rare-breed).

When did it all suddenly become a question of doing it the ‘white man’s’ way or the African way? When did all the principles and tenets penned down in the Freedom Charter wash down the drain? Was it not you Mr. President who has been advocating for unity among South Africans; black, white, Coloured, Indian, Chinese or any other race?

It is truly sad, if not disheartening, that the man at such an echelon in the governing house would truly utter such words, especially when the country is grappling with multitudes of conflicts that are simultaneously boiling with each and every day. If that statement, Mr. President, is not racist, then we all didn’t get the memo. Probably we were in a different train going somewhere else, where we never got to see words like ‘racism, prejudice and segregation’. You would certainly be forgiven to think that such political views brandish nothing but conceit.

I have a suggestion, Mr. President. Why not let the ‘white man’ have what is his then? Let him have his sky-scrapper buildings that he ‘brought’ into the land, and maybe we can all finally cram up in caves, crevices, and mud-huts that we seem like we ‘truly miss’ so bad. How about giving back his suits that you always seem cooped up in every time you appear at conferences and conventions? Or your stylish ‘blue-light’ convoy that is entirely a ‘white man’s’ creation?

Let me not even mention the iPad, which you tap on and touch with ease, warmed by the beauty of civilization, technology and now the digital world. I’m sure you will do just fine counting your cows, goats, sheep and corn fields using stones and your fingers. Oh, wait, you wouldn’t even know how to count because it was the same ‘white man’ who taught you all this, and today you’re telling the people that ‘lawyers will not help you’?

My message is simple: I think it’s time people woke up from their dreams of going back into the primitive world; where animal skin, feathers, traditional beer, five or more wives and walking barefoot would be the style of the day. Let’s enjoy it as a culture and tradition, and celebrate it forever and ever if we have to. But let’s not try and undo the road to civilization, because surely by trying to bring it all back together is like trying to undo a whole two to three centuries.

You would die before even starting on such a journey, Mr. President. We have already been influenced by many different cultures. We have already taken the leap into civilization and left the ‘dark, stone-age’ days behind us. I am sorry to break it down to you, but as bad as it may seem or sound, especially to the older generation, its either we fight it (whatever it is we are fighting), or make it work for everyone else. Well, I wouldn’t take the first option, as we have already seen what fighting has done. Who would want to relive Apartheid?

Five words: Get on with the programme

Honestly, has it not crossed your mind that South Africa is probably one of the only countries in the world that is still blaming the ‘white man’? How long will it go on and when will it end?

Again, thanks to our forever-opinionated Comrade Blade Nzimande, the barrel of the gun has suddenly shifted to the media now. He claims South African media is ‘unfair and unbalanced’. ‘Unfair and Unbalanced’ in what way, I ask myself.

Like I said, it certainly seems easy to forget for many politicians in the country. It seems it is easy to remember animal skins and ‘spears’ from the 1800s, but pledges set down merely 18 years ago vanished with the blink of an eye.

Was it not the same media that was at the forefront of atrocities back in the day when the country was fighting apartheid? Was it not the same media that chased after riots, marches and uprisings in townships, to show the world the plight of the people? Soweto and Sharpeville, anyone?

How about the same media that afforded people like Nelson Mandela a platform to share their views and hopes for South Africa with the world? Who filmed him and followed him around? It surely wasn’t CNN, BBC or Sky News, was it? If you know the history of media houses in South Africa, you would certainly know that most of them haven’t changed much. Some of the media houses and companies that covered the uprisings during apartheid days are still the same that are in existence today. What’s new?

Probably what Nzimande means is media houses should only cover events where the ANC is about to hand over keys to 50 new RDP house owners in the communities, sidelining the millions that are squeezed into townships and shacks, and have been waiting for houses for years now. Maybe what he is suggesting is that media houses should get VIP seats at their dinner tables, and leave thousands of mine workers striking, marching and slaughtering each other around the country in the name of ‘better salaries’? Probably what he means is that media houses should come ‘dance’ and dine with the ruling party at their galas and conventions, and neglect protesters burning down libraries, streets lights, infrastructure and stoning cars in Khayelitsha because they demand better housing, better services, water and electricity.

Well, I got news for you, because the same media that you invited to the ANC 100 years centenary celebrations will be the same media that will stretch its arms to cover the millions of rands in tax money that the party is channeling into its coffers day in day out. It will stretch its arms to dig up allegations and reports about arms deals, corruption, money laundering and ‘tenderpreneurship’ in the country.

If it has ample space in its hands, it will be the same media that will be the first to know that the Presidents nephew’s car was hijacked while his bodyguard was waiting for some KFC somewhere in the land, while workers at ‘his mine’ go without salaries for months. How about being the same media to capture sterling HD pictures of ‘Rolex’ watches precariously dangling on the wrists political demagogues claiming to be at the realm of the ‘poor’.

It will be the same media that will be the first to catch a glimpse of thousands of books and stationery dumped somewhere in Limpopo, while students suffer at schools and go for months without them. How about being the first to know that the man at the top of the governing house is getting married for the umpteenth time, thanks to the ‘middle-class’ tax-paying citizens of South Africa ‘cordially sponsoring’ the weddings?

There is no need to sugar-coat things here, or is there a need to compile reports in favour of one against the other. That, my dear comrades in the political spheres, would be tantamount to unethical, ‘unfair and unbalanced’ reporting, as Nzimande put it. It would certainly be uncalled for, especially when political heads have proved to everyone that their chosen path is theirs and theirs only. Should it go unchallenged? I don’t think so.

Well, thanks to the media, the country now knows that the President wanted, and still is probably going to use more than R200m taxpayers money for the ‘upgrading’ of his ‘homestead’.

Thanks to the media, the country now knows that government officials get charged of different crimes but never face the dock, as cases get ‘miraculously’ dropped, and to some extent, courts peculiarly burn down somewhere in Polokwane.

Oh yes, thanks to the media, the country now knows that police were involved in the bombing of a correctional services vehicle, killing people and wounding more than a dozen, because they wanted to help criminals escape.

Without the media, this country would be in the dark. But, most importantly, it wouldn’t be in the dark as it would be without the ‘white man’s’ technology. (Let’s be honest, a mere fire wouldn’t light up Johannesburg the way its glistening lights at night do today).

With that said, I am certainly looking forward to another long vacation from politics, and go back to enjoy the beauty of the world without ‘politics’ breathing down my neck, and hopefully I will wake up on the other side of Mangaung. Honestly, It seems it has become one big circus where, if Julius Malema is not swindling tenders and money somewhere, Mr. President is busy trying to convince the world that everything is okay and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. For now, all I can say is let’s brace ourselves people, and simply hope nobody is going to dance themselves out of their ‘red’ neckties come December.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A letter from a Zimbabwean to Julius Malema

malema condomVince Musewe

16 October 2012

Vince Musewe says country's mineral resources are controlled by the Chinese and Zanu-PF (not the people)

Letter to Julius Malema on Zimbabwe

If uncollected rubbish dumps, lack of running clean water and a dilapidating infrastructure inspire you Julius, then I suppose you should relocate to Harare.

Greetings to you Julius. I am sure you will note that this is my second letter to you on the same subject matter.

I understand that you visited my country Zimbabwe recently, and that you continue to be inspired by how ZANU (PF) has decimated our economy and its potential. Well, Julius, I dare say that your standards are obviously not that high and I forgive you for that. You see, this is the case with most black Africans; all you have to do is look throughout Africa to realise that the black man, left to his own devices, has dismally failed to raise his standard of living despite having all the resources he needs.

Your country, South Africa, is currently suffering from the same disorder and events in the Limpopo province, where you come from, certainly do not inspire me. Shouldn't you be rather spending your energy there to get things right?

There are historical reasons for that I think, the main one being that coming from poverty backgrounds, black Africans do not really demand or expect much from their leaders. You see Julius; there is just something about us black people and our standards. They are just so low and your inspiration from the Zimbabwe situation proves that to me. By the way, Julius, I forgot to ask you whether you had electricity at the wedding you attended because on that day, I didn't.

If stinking uncollected rubbish dumps, lack of clean running water and a dilapidating infrastructure inspire you Julius, then I suppose you should relocate to Harare. I have a perfect spot for you where you can, once again, get inspired using pit latrines as some of you do now in a developed South Africa. I understand that this is also the case in Limpopo, where some infrastructure is in bad shape even after some black owned companies were paid to do the work to repair it. I am sure you are aware of that. That hardly inspires me Julius.

I am an enthusiastic believer in economic transformation and the ownership of our economies by the majority and not by international monopolies and oligopolies who are to me, the new colonialists. On that point I fully agree with you. However, that does mean that I should accept a substandard life style. I don't know about you Julius, but I note that you aspire to live in Sandton (the taxman willing) and not in Thembisa as most of your brothers and sisters do (not that there is anything wrong with living in Thembisa).

I don't know whether you are aware that Zimbabwe does not actually control its mineral wealth? These have been dished out to the Chinese and to ZANU (PF) cronies some of who are reported to be now building mansions there in Durban. We don't even know where our diamond revenue is going Julius, can you believe that? I guess that inspires you Julius.

You no doubt, will also be inspired by our agricultural revolution (as you would call it), where now we cannot even feed ourselves and must import maize from Zambia. Yes Julius we in Zimbabwe now "own" those farms but they are useless and lying idle.

Julius, in Zimbabwe, we even own closed factories and shops, we own our own airline which is grounded, we own all our state enterprises that are facing closure because of mismanagement, we own steel mills, power stations, railways, mines; hell you name it Julius and we own it. But all that we own is either underutilised, in a state of disrepair or being driven to the ground through corruption or mismanagement. That's inspirational Julius, isn't it?

My advice to you Julius, is to use this "sabbatical" that the ANC has forced upon you wisely, and study and improve yourself. You do have some good arguments on how we must begin to ameliorate the condition of black Africans. You however, need to sharpen your thinking skills.

Africa needs future leaders who are educated, principled, who have integrity and are sensitive to the dynamics of the environment that they operate in. If you by any chance aspire to be one of those, good luck, but I can tell you that will not get that from coming to Harare to insult our intelligence. You seem to have a unique gift of persistently doing that.

Julius, economic freedom in this lifetime is possible, but only if we insist on high standards of leadership and delivery. Nationalisation will not achieve that economic freedom, nor will violence, greed and corruption. Fighting for higher wages is like a slave, fighting for a daily tea break; it will not fundamentally change the economic relationships in South Africa.

I shall be in touch with you again soon, and we may perhaps sit down and inspire each other on the need to develop both our countries and come up with new economic models. Let us rather spend our energies on that, don't you agree?

Finally I encourage you to choose your friends wisely Julius, because the tide is turning and true economic freedom is coming soon to Zimbabwe. Real economic freedom Julius, which you might want to be once again inspired by.

Sincerely,

Vince Musewe

Your comrade in the economic struggle to free Africans from dictatorship, incompetence and poverty.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist currently in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Loyalist

from News24 Voices, by Thabo Seroke:

CaptureI’ve often suffered the misfortune of being called “a mouth piece for the enemy”, usually by people who claim to be ANC loyalists. As a relatively young South African, who has spent most of his conscious years in our cancerous democracy, maligned by constant promises of transparency, accountability and competence, I quiver because I had no idea who this enemy is. I have unfortunately allowed the term to occupy most of my thoughts and I have reached several conclusions.

The enemy here not only represents white South Africans who are obviously unsatisfied by the direction (or lack thereof) of the country but equally opinionated Black, Coloured or Indian South Africans who share similar sentiments.

Sadly, these ‘loyalists’ are naturally oblivious to their own conditions brought upon by the people they constantly claim to be willing to die and kill for. They are usually readily available to cause havoc to any individual, group or opposition party because a large majority are unemployed and their occupation is protest, vandalism and disruption. They equate the relevance of these protests to the apartheid era, except this time, in defense of the very government that oppresses them.  They are loyal nonetheless to the leadership because they can be bussed in anywhere to stand in contention with something they hardly understand, if the know what it is they are against at all.

Even a greater number of them are the youth. The biggest victims in my opinion of this veiled democracy. They’re being crippled with flawed education but no chaos there; there are after all more pupils in classrooms now than in 1994. Quality is optional and out of gratitude, the loyalist accepts education that rates part of the lowest in world.

An even comical sign of loyalty was when the SACP and COSATU marched in support of Zuma’s administration, celebrating his success since taking public office. Ironically, now the constitution is an obstacle to our President’s agenda

They descend on you en masse wherever you are. The ANC women’s leagues, major loyalists, are willing to turn their backs on the people they should be standing up for. Last week our President, perhaps the only survivor of the Stone Age met with other traditional leaders who gathered in support of the Traditional Courts Bill. Out of loyalty, the ANCWL joined our tribalist Zuma in time travel by endorsing him for a second term, a step that will take women’s rights 600 000 years back.

The thing is, it is not necessarily just Zuma they support. Loyalists oppose every other opportunity for progressive change. It isn’t the ANC they were defending on Sunday when they stopped Zille’s intentionally dubious visit to Nkandla, they were purely just defending a man who can do no wrong in their eyes. This loyalty bears fruit, because it fast tracks the supporters’ position in the queue. When its time to dish up, such devotion is beneficial

This culture of crushing the voices of these ‘mouth pieces for the enemy’ will be the demise of our democracy. Should I be satisfied with incompetence, complacency and poor service delivery purely because I am a black person and owe my freedom to the ANC? Am I less of a black person for disagreeing with the party’s leadership?

Perhaps my loyalty changed when I stopped supporting the man and grew back to the party in hopes of restoring it to what it was almost a century ago. We often make the mistake of never finding the connection or distinction between deployed leadership and founding principles of a particular organization. If your loyalty has blinded you, I ask this, is this the vision of Luthuli, Sobukwe and Biko?

The common assumption is that if you vehemently oppose the manner in which an ANC led government does things and express your views in a liberal tone, you’re automatically labeled a DA member or counter-revolutionary.

It would be ambitious to the point of foolishness of me to describe the South African voter as independent, I mean we say we but are we really? As long as deferring from archaic, tribal rule is seen as a disdain of black heritage and back-stabbing the people who sacrificed their lives for the freedom we claim to have today, we cannot be independent.

The reality we face is that South Africa now has to deal with an inactive, unemployed and unskilled youth that is running out of patience and if the government still believes that all it expects from that youth are praise singers, they are sitting on a ticking time bomb. The amplified voices of these youths will one day speak out for themselves and they will be their own mouth-pieces, which will be highly necessary when testing their loyalty to the country and that will be true freedom.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER Thabo_SerokeY

Misguided loyalty will not help you or your sons”

Friday, 2 November 2012

Zuma wants ‘African’ justice

Why wouldn’t he?  It’s a quick fix to get rid of all his nasty skeletons.  You can read of some of them on our Twitter feed on the left.

from Times Live:

from The Sowetan
Also on front page of The Sowetan
 
President Jacob Zuma has tacitly endorsed the controversial Traditional Courts Bill, telling chiefs not to buy in to the legal practices of the white man.

Speaking at the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in parliament yesterday, Zuma said Africans had their own way of solving their problems through traditional institutions.

"Prisons are done by people who cannot resolve problems.

"Let us solve African problems the African way, not the white man's way," Zuma said, to cheers from traditional leaders.

"Let us not be influenced by other cultures and try to think the lawyers are going to help. We have never changed the facts. They tell you they are dealing with cold facts. They will never tell you that these cold facts have warm bodies," he said.

Zuma's view could be seen as an endorsement of the controversial Traditional Courts Bill, which has women's rights groups, the ANC Women's League and the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities up in arms.

Drafters of the bill have argued that it will offer the prospect of access to justice to 18million citizens who live in the rural areas.

But women's rights groups believe the bill will disempower millions of rural women by not allowing them access to the formal justice system when they have been wronged.

They believe this and other problematic provisions make the bill unconstitutional.

One of Zuma's ministers, Lulu Xingwana, who presides over the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, has been a fierce critic of the bill, demanding it be redrafted altogether.

When the bill was discussed in parliament in September, she said: "Let me remind you the constitution has an equality clause that supersedes custom. I plead with the National Council of Provinces not to pass this bill [because it] is an apartheid-era piece of legislation.

"It's oppressive to women and discriminatory . We don't think traditional courts should be allowed to impose forced labour. Why are we taking our people [back] to the dark ages?"

There had been "no consultation" with rural women, Xingwana said.

The ANC Women's League - which has endorsed Zuma for a second term - has also called for the bill to be recalled.

Zuma was adamant yesterday that traditional authorities had sufficient capacity to deal with legal matters affecting people under their jurisdiction.

"Our view is that the nature and the value system of the traditional courts of promoting social cohesion and reconciliation must be recognised and strengthened in the bill," he said. But he realised there were genuine concerns that the courts fell outside of a proper legislative framework.

According to Zuma, there was no need to involve external law-enforcement agencies in issues that could be solved by a chief.

He slammed Africans who had become "most eloquent" in criticising their cultural background.

"We are Africans. We cannot change to be something else."

Zuma also lashed out at critics of the government who, he said, continued to mislead the poor into believing "poverty was worse" now than in the apartheid era.

He said there was no factual basis to claims that the gap between the rich and the poor was widening.

"It is an absolutely wrong statement and has been repeated and we have almost come to believe it is true. It is not scientifically correct. It is a spin to criticise the democratic government."

Before 1994 the population of black people had not been counted and therefore any gaps in wealth could not be measured, Zuma said.

"It's a manipulation of the words to make us who are in a democratic country responsible for the sins of apartheid.

"It [the gap between rich and poor] has not been growing since 1994, it has been narrowing.

"Poverty was worser [sic] than what it is now. Fifteen million poor people get the [social] grant, which they didn't get before. If that's not closing the gap, what is it?"

Zuma urged traditional chiefs to do their part to quell violent wildcat strikes over service delivery and working conditions.

He said another Marikana massacre could not be tolerated.

But, he said, international commentators who likened such events to the violent apartheid days were unjustified.

"No, we will never go back to apartheid. In apartheid times the Marikana situation was a daily occurrence. People were being killed left, right and centre, and there was no one to stop it. It was a culture, the nature of government was different," he said.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Jeff’s response to Paul Harris

A letter from FNB’s Paul Harris to his mate “Jeff”, telling him not to be concerned about those in South Africa, had gone viral.  Many have responded to billionaire Harris, the kindest rebuttal being that from his elitist perspective, Harris has no clue about what the ordinary South African is facing or concerned about.  We first place Harris’ letter to Jeff and then Jeff’s brilliant response.  Lastly there is a rebuttal found without reference, but an equally excellent read.

from Business Day live, by Paul Harris:

Don’t stress about us in SA

paul harrisA letter from FirstRand founder and former executive Paul Harris to a concerned friend has gone viral. Here is an edited version:

Hi Jeff

HOPE all is well with you guys. I will drop you a line later with the family news but I would first like to respond to the e-mail you sent me attaching an article by Clem Sunter, which seemed to concern you about us here in South Africa.

You also sent me an article last year by Moeletsi Mbeki warning about the danger of an "Arab Spring" in South Africa. I often get e-mails like this from "concerned friends" worried about us, which is sweet of you guys. Of course we are concerned. Some worrying things have happened but we have been through and survived much worse in much more volatile environments. Including the Boer War, two World Wars, apartheid, the financial crisis without a bank bailout, the Rindapest, Ge Korsten and Die Antwoord!

However, for as long as I can remember there have always been people who think SA has five years left before we go over the cliff. No change from when I was at school in the sixties. The five years went down to a few months at times in the eighties!

But it seems the people who are the most worried live far from the cliff in places like Toronto, Auckland, London and other wet and cold places. Also from St Ives and Rose Bay in Sydney, Dallas and Europe and other "safe places" that are in the grip of the global financial crisis, which by the way is quite scary. Many of them have survived decades of rolling "five years left" since they left South Africa. So maybe they will be right one day!

My message is, please don't stress about us in South Africa. We are fine. We are cool. We know we live in the most beautiful country in the world with warm and vibrant people. There are more people here with smiles on their faces than in any country I have ever been to.

Young people are returning in droves with skills and a positive attitude. Collectively we bumble along and stuff many things up while letting off a hell of a lot of steam (have you heard of a chap called Julius Malema?). Yet in between South Africans do some amazing things like win a few gold medals, big golf tournaments and cricket and rugby matches.

The South Africans I know get off their butts and do things to build our country rather than whinge from a position of comfort. We actively participate in projects that improve the lot of underprivileged communities. I would not trade for anything last Saturday in a hall full of 1500 African teachers singing at the top of their voices and demonstrating their commitment to improving education in their communities.

We have our challenges and surprises. The standard deviation of our emotions are set at MAX. You are never just a "little bit happy" or a "little bit sad". At one moment you can be "off the scale" pissed off or frustrated or sad or worried or fearful or depressed. The next moment you are "off the scale" exhilarated, or enchanted, or inspired, or humbled by a kind deed, or surprised by something beautiful. It makes life interesting and worth living.

We also have passionate debates about the future of SA. Helped of course by red wine which you must taste again because it is getting better every year! Clem makes a great contribution to the debate as others like Moeletsi Mbeki do. Russell Loubser, the former head of the JSE, made a feisty speech the other day that has whipped up emotions. Up to MAX on the emotions meter of the ANC Youth League whose campaign for nationalisation of the mines was attributed to people who have IQs equal to room temperature.

South African politics has always been volatile, we have opinions that could not be further apart and it evokes emotion on a massive scale. Interesting and stimulating for those that want to take it seriously but noise in the system to me. Fortunately we are rid of apartheid that would have definitely pushed us over the cliff. These are the birth pangs of a new and unpredictable democracy. So buckle up and enjoy the ride and contribute! That is the message I convey to South Africans.

Sad as it is, it is true that the South African diaspora has a largely negative influence on confidence in South Africa. It would not be a problem if their fretting about how long we will last before we go over the cliff was merely a reflection of their concern for us, their friends and family.

The problem is that it does impact foreign investment, which is important for economic growth. A person who is thinking of coming to visit or investing is often put off by listening wide-eyed to the stories of people who have gapped it.

As you know I host many foreign visitors and I have never, EVER, met anyone who has visited for the first time without being blown away by the beauty of the country and the warmth of the people. It is not for nothing that South Africa has the highest ratio of repeat visitors of all long-haul destinations.

So, Jeff, how can I help you stop stressing out about us? Maybe best is that you get exposed to some articles and websites that give a more balanced and uplifting perspective of South Africa. So please don't worry and if you get a chance, put in a good word for us.

All the best

PAUL HARRIS

* This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times

 

from Politicsweb, Jeff’s response found by David Bullard:

"Jeff's" response to Paul Harris

DavidBullardDavid Bullard

31 October 2012

David Bullard gets his hands on a leaked copy of the reply to the viral email...

Last week a letter from FNB's Paul Harris to his ex pat mate "Jeff" appeared on the Homecoming Revolution website. It then appeared as a filler piece in the Sunday Times Business Times section and the following morning was used to bulk out Business Day. It's now said to have "gone viral" which is just another way of saying that a lot of people with nothing better to do have e.mailed it to their entire address book.

Thanks to the services of a shadowy group of anarchists known as WikiLies we have managed to get our hands on a leaked response from Jeff to Paul Harris. Read on...

G'day Paul,

Jeez mate....If I'd known my e.mails to you were going to go public I would never have attached that jpeg of those two obliging dusky maidens who joined us both on my boat on Pittwater. One of the lads down at the yacht club told me that your e.mail to me appeared in some fish-wrap newspaper last Sunday and that I ought to respond because it paints me as a bit of a wowser.

I can take a hint and obviously it was stupid of me to send you copies of articles by the likes of Clem Sunter and Mbeki Jnr when it was perfectly obvious that you would have already read them. So I won't do it again. But what's all this stuff about often getting e-mails from "concerned friends" and telling us that it's sweet of us to care. I hope I haven't grown thin skinned after all these years in Aussie but I did find that a touch patronising old buddy. Those quote marks suggest that you doubt my sincerity which is definitely not the case.

I know you're hooked up to that Homecoming Revolution outfit which tries to persuade South Africans to bring their skills back home after they've qualified for foreign citizenship. Purely out of interest, what is the ratio of black to white South Africans that you're tempting back? It would be interesting to know because some cynical bastard once suggested that Homecoming Revolution's main job was to bring people back to fix up the mess caused by the new elite. In which case I hope it's working for you.

Now I know you've survived many things before like Ge Korsten (a joke...right?) and that your land is beautiful, you are all cool people and even manage to win the odd sporting event once you've persuaded your politicians that the team should be selected on talent rather than demographics. I also know that you have some top business brains there and that there are many hard working people in SA (I used to be one of them, remember?) but please don't accuse those of us who criticise SA's politics of whingeing from a position of comfort. And I'm afraid I had to reach for the sick bag when you started beating the drum about all the good works you do for underprivileged communities. So did Jimmy Savile.

You ask if I've heard of a chap called Julius Malema as if I've been going walkabout in the outback these last few years. We do have telly in Oz you know and broadband that is rather faster than yours so of course I've heard of this thieving layabout. And he worries me more than he seems to worry you.

You've come a long way since those days at Rand Consolidated Investments in the early eighties Paul. I see in the Sunday Times rich list that you are among the top 20 richest men in SA with a fortune estimated at around R2bln. Wow.....who would have thought? I know you live in a very secure complex with 24/7 guards and I am damn sure that your financial affairs have been cleverly structured to legally avoid paying any more tax than you really have to.

That's the privilege of the super rich and I don't have any problem with that. My problem is that I am not sure you are really qualified to speak for the average Saffer when you tell them to buck up and put on a happy face because they're all rainbow children. You're in the very fortunate position of having a lot more choice than the majority of your countrymen and I have no doubt that you have hedge strategies in place should your sunny optimism turn out to be misplaced.

Back in 2007 I recall that you spent R20 million on a campaign to get little Thabo to take crime seriously. I searched the internet and found this piece to refresh your memory. You were forced to withdraw that campaign after government threatened to pull accounts from FNB. It was a PR cock-up of note and to make things worse the rest of the business community put the boot in as well. You were accused of setting up in opposition to the democratically elected government. So it's hardly surprising that your backbone has taken a pummelling and that you are keen to make amends now. But writing complete claptrap and burying your head in the sand is no way to do it.

You claim in your e.mail that you have passionate debates in SA but you know that isn't the case. You know that all the leading newspapers depend on government advertising to survive and that they silence voices they find too strident. You also know that the SABC is a shambles and that Primedia are now seen by many in Gauteng as the national broadcaster. Their saccharine recipe for broadcasting ensures that those too critical of government are labelled un-South African or racist and are, from then on, excluded from the right to debate.

You ask how you can help me from stressing about South Africa Paul. Let me tell you. We ex-pats may sometimes give the impression that we think your politicians are a bunch of incompetent knuckleheads who couldn't pull a greasy stick out of a dead dingo's arse (to coin a local phrase). I assure you that we do this because that's how brand SA comes across after 18 years of freedom. There will be those who demonstrate schadenfreude but many of us still have family there and are genuinely concerned about Clem's 25% failed nation status probability.

What worries me most is that you are a leading business figure and yet you don't seem to be seeing the big picture. On the contrary you seem decidedly laid back and are simply hoping things will work out. I guess if you're worth R2bln and in your sixties then that's a luxury you can afford. What I cannot understand though is how pretending things are OK when they are so obviously far from OK is a good business strategy. Remember that ghastly Dealstream episode, not to mention SPJi and the vast losses in equity trading during your watch? How could you forget? The analysts suggested after the event that the losses could have been much lower if the problems had been recognised and acted upon earlier.

And that's all I'm asking Paul. Your country is being run into the ground by a bunch of commies who don't even support capitalism. How can you expect them to perform? And the amount that is disappearing out of the back door ought to worry you as much as it worries the rest of your less, fortunate countrymen. Kids don't get text books, pregnant women sleep on the floors of ill equipped public hospitals, tenderpreneurs keep the luxury car market buoyant but fail to build the roads they were contracted to.....it's a farce mate. And I won't even mention the succession of dodgy police chiefs you've suffered.

So please Paul, take off those expensive rose tinted specs of yours, smell the raw sewage and stop pretending you have a functioning government. Then I'll be only too happy to put in a good word for you when I get the chance.

See you later

Jeff

 

Another rebuttal found online

Billionaire banker says SA is “fine”, psychologists urge public to be gentle with him.

Psychologists have begged South Africans to be compassionate towards billionaire banker Paul Harris, after he wrote a letter announcing that the country was “fine”. “This is what happens when you live in the money-bubble,” said one. “It’s easy to be optimistic about South Africa when you can move to Monaco with the change between your couch pillows.”

Harris made headlines on the weekend after a letter he penned to a friend went viral. In the letter, Harris reveals that the country is “fine”, and assures his friend that “there are more people here with smiles on their faces than any other country I’ve been to”.

This morning the staff at his country seat confirmed that Harris, worth R2-billion, was more than qualified to speak about ordinary South Africans.

Indeed, Mr Harris has got his finger on the pulse of the common man,” confirmed his butler, Fotheringham. “The finger is made of platinum, so he doesn’t actually have to touch the common man, and I disinfect it every day, but still, he does it.”

Housekeeper, Mrs Shortbread, said that Harris often remarked on how all South Africans, regardless of socio-economic status, smiled warmly whenever they saw him.

Och aye, people just light up when he walks into a room!” she gushed. “Some might say it’s because he makes about R10,000 a second and they’re hoping some of that cash will rub off on them, but he prefers to think it’s because South Africans are just intrinsically decent.”

Kitchen maid, Elsie Kleintjoppies, said she had never seen Harris, but had seen pictures of him. “He’s a beautiful bearded man in a long white robe, with light shining out from his head and a lamb curled up at his feet,” she said. “He’s just so incredibly compassionate.”

Meanwhile, psychologists have asked South Africans to “be gentle” with Harris if they encounter him.

Remember, Mr Harris is a superb businessman, with a vast knowledge of finance,” said Dr Naas C. Cyst. “But that money has caused a delusion we call ‘Thinking You Know About How Other People Live’. Unfortunately when you’re super-rich, the scientific term for what you know about ordinary folks is ‘fokkol’.”  “Fokkol” is Afrikaans for “f-ckall”

He said that the public should not try to wake Mr Harris up from his “sleepwalking money-bubble”, but instead gently guide him to the nearest polo club where he could be reintroduced to his own species in a calm and nurturing environment.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Paid for loitering

from The Sowetan:

paid for loitering

Click to enlarge

Friday, 26 October 2012

The truth on the ANC and South Africa

Below is a 30 minute video compiled from news clips of which some are 30 years old.  It provides some insight into ANC ideology and how they intimidated moderates to follow them.  There are various comments from educated black people, one ex-ANC member, on the deceitful and murderous nature of the ANC.

Keep in mind that intimidation and attacks on other party officials remain part of South African politics today.  As does large-scale intimidation of voters through ANC comrades.

Please note that there are certain graphic parts of this video not suitable for young or sensitive viewers, as it contains brutal attacks on citizens.

Phiyega laughs as Marikana footage is shown

This is the type of individual who is National Police Commissioner in South Africa.  Then again, Jackie Selebi and Bheki Cele were her predecessors…

from News24:

Johannesburg - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega reportedly laughed and joked as footage of the killing of 34 miners in a clash with police was screened at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, The Times reported on Wednesday.

Phiyega reportedly joked with a state law adviser as a prelude to the killings was screened at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

Surrounded by her senior officers, Phiyega smiled as she watched.

It was only after screams of horror echoed across the room, as the footage was played without any warning, that Phiyega's "humorous demeanour changed to that of an ice queen, blatantly ignoring the wailing families", the report continued.

"...Phiyega stared straight ahead, ignoring a widow screaming at her for answers about her husband's death," the newspaper reported.

"Why did they do this? Why did your policemen kill my husband? What did he do?" the woman screamed at her.

Later she was seen comforting one of the widows of the two policemen killed ahead of the August 16 shooting.

Asked repeatedly for comment on why she did not help those upset, and what she had been joking about, Phiyega said: "I am not here for that. I am here for the commission and the commission only."

Bishop Jo Seroka, a talks facilitator for the miners, said: "She sat there laughing and did nothing. You would expect a sense of remorse and empathy which was non-existent."

- SAPA

Thursday, 25 October 2012

TAU SA rejects Zuma’s land reform proposal

I don’t think our president with his grade 3 education really cares.  And we will post a video later to show you why.  In that video, black leaders criticise the ANC and their ideology.  They offer some very sobering thoughts and facts.  Do make sure you take some time out to view it, even though it is the best part of 30 minutes.

For all that it’s worth, the Transvaal Agricultural Union has rejected Zuma’s ridiculous land reform proposals.

land reformfrom Farmer’s Weekly:

By Peter Mashala

President Jacob Zuma’s proposed land reform plan came under fire from TAU SA. In a statement in response to the proposed plan, TAU SA said Zuma's proposals are not feasible and may even be counter-productive in terms of food security.

The organisation said agriculture cannot assume government’s responsibility to handle social grants.  “Agriculture is an economic and not a socialistic activity,” TAU SA said.  It said Zuma's idea of District Reform Committees created doubt.  “To use production time for meetings, which will in essence be to the detriment of other landowners by identifying their land to be sold below market value, is unethical,” said TAU SA.

It said this could cause tension within communities as well as reduce food production.  “To buy land from whomever at 50% of its market value, amounts to expropriation or even nationalisation,” the statement said.  “Some properties were bequeathed from estates, which means widows and orphans will be affected,” TAU SA said.  The organisation said the proposal that commercial farmers who will participate in this project will qualify for BEE status and that their properties will be safe amounts to extortion.

"Help us to identify and remove other farmers and you're safe - farmers who may not have the ability to participate are thus running the risk to remain subject to erroneous legislation,” TAU SA said.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Zuma outlines new plan for land reform

zuma-noteThey can’t make the existing farms redistributed from white farmers work.  In actual fact the vast majority of commercially operating farms acquired from white farmers are destroyed within two years of being handed over to uneducated black farmers.  It has been reported on extensively, e.g. The Great South African Land Scandal.

The commercial farms not gobbled up by ANC cronies for self-enrichment is turned to dust in a few years.  Instead of addressing the issue of people being handed commercial farms they have no clue of operating, the ANC now envisage accelerating land reform by screwing white farmers further by only paying them 50% of the market value of their farms.  Sounds like a real solution.

from IOL News:

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma proposed a new land reform plan in Pretoria on Monday evening.

“This is an innovative proposal that needs to be tested,” he told the first annual general meeting of the African Farmers' Association of South Africa (Afasa).

The plan proposed a district-based approach to land reform and its financing.

“It proposes that each district should establish a district land reform committee where all stakeholders are involved,” Zuma said.

“This committee will be responsible for identifying 20 percent of the commercial agricultural land in the district and giving commercial farmers the option of assisting its transfer to black farmers.”  Does this mean that the current farmer should assist in the cost of transferring his land?

Implementation of this land reform proposal would include five steps.

Firstly, it would entail identifying land readily available from land already in the market; land where the farmer was under severe financial pressure; land held by an absentee landlord willing to exit; and land in a deceased estate.

“In this way, land can be found without distorting markets.”

Secondly, the state would buy the land at 50 percent of its market value.  It does seem so.  This, Zuma said, would be closer to its fair productive value.

The current owner's shortfall would be made up by cash or in-kind contributions from the commercial farmers in the district who volunteered to participate.  Maybe you understand the logic.

Thirdly, in exchange, commercial farmers would be protected from losing their land and gain black economic empowerment status.  So they either do this or the government takes by force.  Now where have we seen this before and how successful was that?  Oh yes, Zimbabwe, just across the border.

“This should remove the uncertainty and mistrust that surrounds land reform and the related loss of investor confidence.

Fourthly, a stepped-up programme of financing should also be created, Zuma said. This would involve the Treasury, the Land Bank, and established white farmers.

“The model envisages that the cost of land reform be spread between all stakeholders.

“It also envisages new financial instruments being designed for the purpose of facilitating land reform.” These could include 40-year mortgages at preferential rates for new entrants into the markets, as well as land bonds that white farmers and others could invest in.

The fifth step was increasing investment in agricultural research and development.

“We also need to use the investment more strategically.”

Zuma said the government looked forward to ongoing engagement with Afasa.

“So that we can develop and harness our vision for agriculture and food security together.” – Sapa