Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The New American: "Genocide and Communism threaten South Africa"





Written by Alex Newman - 24 October 2012

Along a highway on a grassy hill, thousands of white crosses — each one representing an individual victim of brutal farm murders, or plaasmoorde in Afrikaans — are a stark reminder of the reality facing European-descent farmers in the new South Africa. One of the iron crosses was planted last year in memory of two-year-old Willemien Potgieter, who was executed on a farm and left in a pool of her own blood. Her parents were murdered, too — the father hacked to death with a machete. Before leaving, the half-dozen killers tied a note to the gate: “We killed them. We’re coming back.”

The Potgieter family massacre is just one of the tens of thousands of farm attacks to have plagued South Africa since 1994. Like little Willemien’s cross, many of those now-iconic emblems represent innocent children, even babies, who have been savagely murdered, oftentimes after being tortured in ways so gruesome, horrifying, and barbaric, that mere words could never adequately describe it. The death toll is still rising.

Like countless South Africans, Andre Vandenberg has lost multiple relatives to violence in the so-called “Rainbow Nation.” In separate incidents, according to Vandenberg, a motorcycle exporter and former military man who now lives in the United States, two of his female cousins were brutally and repeatedly raped in front of their husbands. One of the women was pregnant with the couple’s first child. All five victims were murdered. After sodomizing and killing the husbands, in both cases, the ruthless attackers raped Vandenberg’s cousins again.

Enduring the horror for hours, one of the women was eventually shot. The other had a tire filled with gasoline put around her neck and set ablaze — the agonizing punishment known as “necklacing,” which was once commonly meted out to black opponents of the predominantly black African National Congress (ANC) now ruling South Africa in an unholy alliance with the South African Communist Party (SACP) and an umbrella group for labor unions. Nelson Mandela’s wife, Winnie, was known for publicly supporting the barbaric act. Nobody was ever arrested in connection with those two farm attacks.

Before Vandenberg lost his cousins, his father was killed by a truck driver in a suspicious accident. The drunken suspect, apparently a respected figure within the ANC, was arrested at the scene. However, under pressure from the ANC, the killer was released on $100 bail. Again with help from the ANC, Vandenberg said, the driver fled and was never prosecuted for the killing. No explanation was ever given by authorities, despite repeated appeals for answers.

After being deported back to South Africa from the United States over an alleged failure to report a change of address, Vandenberg’s brother was killed, too. Within a year of his arrival, he was brutally murdered. Witnesses watched the murder unfold and told police, but as has become typical, nobody was ever prosecuted. A male cousin of Vandenberg’s, meanwhile, was shot in the chest while being robbed. And as is often the case, the murder was labeled an “accident” by authorities.

“It’s racial crime,” insisted Vandenberg, an Afrikaner descendant of Dutch settlers, in an interview with The New American. “The ANC people are using genocide — they’re pro-genocide. Long term, they want all the property that belongs to the whites.” The black-led ANC-communist regime is “twice as racist” as the former white-led apartheid government ever was, he added. And along with its supporters, the South African government is willing to do “anything” to accomplish its goals.

When top ANC government leaders, including South African President Jacob Zuma, chant about exterminating whites, “some people think they’re just singing songs,” Vandenberg said, becoming visibly uncomfortable at the thought of it. “But I think they’re very serious about that. That’s why we have all the farm murders.... What they do, their followers will follow.”

In its defense, the ANC regime points out that crime affects all South Africans; and it is true, the country has one of the highest murder rates in the world — blacks, whites, people of Asian origin, and others are all terrorized by it. 
But respected independent experts who have investigated allegations of anti-white genocide in the Rainbow Nation have concluded that the government is not being honest about the wave of genocidal murders. The ANC’s national spokesman declined repeated requests for comment.

Genocide

Following a fact-finding mission to South Africa in July, Dr. Gregory Stanton, head of the non-profit group Genocide Watch, announced his conclusions: There is an orchestrated genocidal campaign targeting whites, and white farmers in particular. 
The respected organization released a report about its investigation shortly afterward. On a scale the group developed to identify the phases of genocide, South Africa has been moved to stage six: the preparation and planning phase. Step seven is extermination. The eighth and final stage: denial after the fact.

Among the startling discoveries, long known to South Africans and analysts monitoring the powder keg, was evidence pointing to the ANC regime itself. “There is thus strong circumstantial evidence of government support for the campaign of forced displacement and atrocities against White farmers and their families,” Genocide Watch leaders said in their report, entitled Why Are Afrikaner Farmers Being Murdered in South Africa? “There is direct evidence of SA [South African] government incitement to genocide.”
According to experts and estimates compiled by citizens who track the killing spree, at least 3,000 white farmers in South Africa, known as Boers (from the Dutch word for “farmer”), have been brutally massacred over the last decade. Some estimates put the figures even higher, but it is hard to know because the ANC government has purposely made it impossible to determine the true extent. 
With the total number of commercial farmers in South Africa estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000, analysts say as many as 10 percent have already been exterminated. Even more have come under attack.

It is worse than murder, though. Many of the victims, including children and even infants, are raped or savagely tortured or both before being executed or left for dead. Sometimes boiling water is poured down their throats. Other attacks involve burning victims with hot irons or slicing them up with machetes. In more than a few cases, the targets have been tied to their own cars and dragged along dirt roads for miles.

The South African government, dominated by the communist-backed ANC, has responded to the surging wave of racist murders by denying the phenomenon, implausibly claiming that many of the attacks are simply “regular” crimes. Despite fierce criticism, authorities also stopped tracking statistics that would provide a more accurate picture of what is truly going on.

In many cases, the murders are simply classified as “burglaries” or even “accidents” and ignored, so the true murder figures are certainly much higher than officials admit. The police, meanwhile, are often involved in the murders or at least the coverups, multiple sources report. 
A white South African exile living in the United States told The New American that when victims are able to defend themselves or apprehend the would-be perpetrators, many of the attackers are found to be affiliated with the ruling ANC or its youth wing.

Experts are not buying the government’s coverup. “The farm murders, we have become convinced, are not accidental,” said Dr. Stanton of Genocide Watch during his fact-finding mission to South Africa. It was very clear that the massacres were not common crimes, he added — especially because of the absolute barbarity used against the victims. “We don’t know exactly who is planning them yet, but what we are calling for is an international investigation.”

Indeed, most unbiased analysts concede that the thousands of brutal killings and tens of thousands of attacks are part of a broader pattern. And according to Dr. Stanton, who was also involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and has decades of experience examining genocide and communist terror, the trend points toward a troubled future for the nation.

“Things of this sort are what I have seen before in other genocides,” he said of the murdered white farmers, pointing to several examples, including a victim’s body that was left with an open Bible on top and other murder victims who were tortured, disemboweled, raped, or worse. 
“This is what has happened in Burundi; it’s what happened in Rwanda. It has happened in many other places in the world.”

Speaking in Pretoria at an event organ­ized by the anti-communist Transvaal Agricultural Union, Dr. Stanton also lashed out at the effort to dehumanize whites in South Africa by portraying them as “settlers.” The label is meant to paint Afrikaner white farmers — descendants of Northern Europeans who arrived centuries ago, some as far back as the 1600s — as people who do not belong there.

“High-ranking ANC government officials who continuously refer to Whites as ‘settlers’ and ‘colonialists of a special type’ are using racial epithets in a campaign of state-sponsored dehumanization of the White population as a whole,” Genocide Watch said in its latest report. “They sanction gang-organized hate crimes against Whites, with the goal of terrorizing Whites through fear of genocidal annihilation.”

It is the same process that happened prior to the infamous genocide against Christian Armenians in Turkey, Stanton explained. The dehumanization phenomenon also occurred against the Jewish people in Germany under the National Socialist (Nazi) regime of mass-murderer Adolf Hitler, well before the Nazi tyrant began implementing his monstrous “final solution.”

Unfortunately, South Africa might be next in line. “Whenever you have that kind of dehumanization … you have the beginning of that downward spiral into genocide,” Stanton noted, adding that the situation in South Africa had already moved well beyond that stage. The next phase before extermination, which began years ago in South Africa, is organizing to actually carry it out.

“We are worried that there are organized groups that are in fact doing that planning,” Stanton continued during his speech. “It became clear to us that the [ANC] Youth League was this kind of organization — it was planning this kind of genocidal massacre and also the forced displacement of whites from South Africa.”

Genocide Watch first raised its alert level for South Africa from stage five to stage six when then-ANC Youth League boss Julius Malema began openly singing a racist song aimed at inciting murder against white South African farmers: “Shoot the Boer” and “Kill the Boer” were some of the lyrics. Described by the anti-genocide group as a “racist Marxist-Leninist,” Malema has also been quoted as saying that “all whites are criminals” and threatening to steal white farmers’ land by force. He said the farm murders would stop when Africans of European descent surrendered their land.

After the calls to genocide made international headlines, the South African judiciary ruled that the song advocating murder of whites was unlawful hate speech. Genocide Watch moved South Africa back down to stage five. Incredibly, however, the president of South Africa, ANC’s Jacob Zuma, began singing the song early this year, too.

“We are going to shoot them with the machine gun; they are going to run; you are a Boer [white farmer]; shoot the Boer,” the South African president sang at an ANC rally in Bloemfontein in January, an incident that was caught on film and posted online. Since then, the number of murdered white South African farmers has been growing each month, according to reports. Other senior government officials, meanwhile, have openly called for “war.” South Africa is now back at stage six.

“This is the kind of talk that of course is not only pre-genocidal, it also comes before crimes against humanity,” Dr. Stanton said, urging everyone to remember that they are all members of the human race. “Those who would be deniers, and who would try to ignore the warning signs in this country, I think are ignoring the facts.”

There is also increasing “polarization,” where the target population — white farmers in this case, and even moderates of all races — are portrayed as an “enemy,” Stanton explained about the march to genocide. And that phenomenon is ever-more apparent in South Africa today, with the situation starting to spiral out of control.

Meanwhile, the South African government is stepping up efforts to disarm the struggling white farmers — stripping them of their final line of defense against genocidal attacks. As has consistently been the case throughout history, of course, disarmament is always a necessary precursor to totalitarianism and the eventual mass slaughter of target groups. In fact, arms in the hands of citizens are often the final barrier to complete enslavement and even extermination.

“The government has disbanded the commando units of white farmers that once protected their farms, and has passed laws to confiscate the farmers’ weapons,” Genocide Watch noted on its website in an update about South Africa posted in July. “Disarmament of a targeted group is one of the surest early warning signs of future genocidal killings.”
Even mere possession of an “unregistered” or “unlicensed” weapon — licenses have become extraordinarily difficult to obtain, if not impossible — can result in jail time. And in South Africa, especially for whites, prison is a virtual death sentence, with widespread rape and HIV infections being the norm.

Those who do surrender their guns may find themselves defenseless in the face genocidal terror — again, a potential death sentence. South African exiles who spoke with TNA said that many of the guns confiscated from whites by officials have later been found at the gruesome murder scenes of white farmers.

The United Nations defines genocide as “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.” The term also includes actions other than simply wholesale slaughter, though. According to the UN, among the crimes that can constitute genocide are causing serious harm to members of a specific minority group; deliberately inflicting conditions on the minority aimed at bringing about its destruction in whole or in part; seeking to prevent births among the targeted population; and forcibly transferring minority children to others.

South African Sonia Hruska, a former Mandela administration consultant who served as a coordinator in policy implementation from 1994 to 2001 before moving to the United States, told The New American that many or even most of those conditions have already been met — and any single one can technically constitute genocide if it is part of a systematic attempt to destroy a particular group. “Acknowledge it. Don’t deny it,” she said. Other activists and exiles agree. Meanwhile, Hruska and other experts say that the government is encouraging the problem, actively discriminating against whites, and in many cases even facilitating the ongoing atrocities.

“Forced displacement from their farms has inflicted on the Afrikaner ethnic group conditions of life calculated to bring about its complete or partial physical destruction, an act of genocide also prohibited by the Genocide Convention,” Genocide Watch said in its most recent report. “In our analysis, the current ANC leadership also publicly uses incitement to genocide with the long-term goal of forcibly driving out or annihilating the White population from South Africa.”

Of course, not all South Africans — especially city dwellers — are convinced that there is an ongoing genocide in their country, or even that one may be coming. The vast majority of blacks and whites would simply like to live in peace with each other.

However, virtually everyone who is paying attention agrees that without solutions, the precarious situation in the Rainbow Nation will continue to deteriorate, going from bad to worse, sooner rather than later.
Communist Threat: Land, Mines

Behind the genocide lurks another issue that is inseparable from it — the ongoing communist effort to completely enslave South Africa under totalitarian rule. In fact, aside from white supremacists, who have seized on the problems in the Rainbow Nation to spread hate against blacks, most activists believe the stirring up of racial tensions is not an end in itself. Instead, it is a means to the ultimate end of foisting socialism on the nation while eliminating all potential resistance.

The issue of land distribution, which has become one of the key drivers of the downward spiral, is among the greatest concerns. The white minority in South Africa still owns much of the land despite ANC promises to redistribute it to blacks. But the redistribution that has occurred — as in neighboring Zimbabwe — has largely resulted in failure, with redistributed farms often failing quickly while producing little to no food.

Despite the atrocious track record so far, extremists, including elements of the ANC-dominated government, are now hoping to expropriate land from white farmers more quickly, with some factions even arguing that it should be done with no compensation at all. And the communist agenda here, as in virtually everywhere else where forcible land redistribution has been adopted, has even broader goals than just enriching cronies.

“Whatever system of land tenure is adopted in South Africa, the communists — in the long run — have in mind to take away all private property. That should never be forgotten,” Stanton warned, noting that he has lived in communist-run countries before. “Every place you go where communists have taken over, they take away private ownership because private ownership gives people the power — the economic power — to oppose their government. Once you have taken that away, there is no basis on which you can have the economic power to oppose the government.”

Of course, this would not be the first time a similar tragedy has happened in southern Africa. When Marxist dictator Robert Mugabe seized power in Zimbabwe (formerly known as Rhodesia, once one of the richest countries on the continent — “the breadbasket of Africa”), he began a ruthless war against the white population and his political opponents of all colors.

The country promptly spiraled into chaos and mass starvation under the Mugabe regime when the tyrant “redistributed” the farms and wealth to his cronies, who of course knew nothing about farming. The regime butchered tens of thousands of victims, and estimates suggest that millions have died as a direct result of Mugabe’s Marxist policies. Many fled to South Africa.

Whites who refused to leave their property during the “redistribution” were often tortured and killed by the regime or its death squads. With Mugabe still in charge, the tragic plight of Zimbabwe continues to worsen today. But the mass-murdering despot is still held in high regard by many senior officials in the ANC.

“As a group, Afrikaner farmers stand in the way of the South African Communist Party’s goal to implement their Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist New Democratic Revolution and specifically the confiscation of all rural land belonging to White Afrikaner farmers,” Genocide Watch officials noted in their most recent report.
Beyond land, there is also the mining sector, which is crucial to keeping the rapidly deteriorating South African economy afloat. With the recent labor unrest and miner strikes focusing international attention on the “Rainbow Nation,” there are still more questions than answers. What has become clear, though, is that at least certain factions within South Africa’s ruling elite are seeking to exploit the crisis to advance the cause of nationalization.

Politicians and aspiring powerbrokers seized on the escalating crisis — multiple gold and platinum mines were idled because of the ongoing strikes — to whip up hysteria for political purposes, analysts said. In mid-September, over a thousand soldiers were deployed to support an embattled police force, as the ruling ANC regime and its communist partners sought to blame business for the tensions.

The ruling alliance consisting of the ANC, the South African Communist Party (SACP), and the Conference of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) implausibly claimed after an inquiry that mining companies were to blame for the chaos: “It is therefore our considered view that employers have an interest in fanning this conflict to reverse the gains achieved by workers over a long period of time.”

According to the ruling alliance, the mining businesses were deliberately stirring up union rivalries to suppress wages and benefits. However, credible analysts largely rejected the allegations as preposterous; the firms in question have already lost huge amounts of money as many of their mines remained shut down because of the strikes. Stock prices plunged, too.

Meanwhile, multiple communist agitators within and outside the ANC renewed their calls to nationalize the mines. The move, however, was hardly a surprise. Consider that even before seizing power, state ownership of the sector was established ANC policy. “The nationalization of the mines, banks and monopoly industries is the policy of the ANC and a change or modification of our views in this regard is inconceivable,” Nelson Mandela said in a 1990 statement from prison.

They are still at it today. Marxist agitator and former ANC Youth League boss Malema, famous for corruption, inciting genocide against white South Africans, and demanding that the regime nationalize virtually the entire economy, inserted himself at the center of the growing labor unrest. He called for, among other schemes, nationwide strikes and the nationalization of the whole mining industry.

After Malema was expelled from the ANC earlier this year, the suspiciously wealthy communist racist — he lives far beyond his means and was recently charged with corruption — has started to attack South African ANC President Zuma, a polygamist and fellow open communist who also regularly sings the infamous hate song calling for the extermination of whites. After strikers were killed by police last month, Malema, apparently upset that Zuma had not sunk South Africa into total communist tyranny quickly enough, said, “How can he call on people to mourn those he has killed? He must step down.”

Observers, even those within South Africa’s ruling alliance, however, suggested the unrest was actually being carefully orchestrated by power-hungry elements within the communist-backed ANC itself. 

Even top officials within the alliance are suspicious about what is going on. According to COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini, for example, Malema supporters within the ANC were hoping to plunge South Africa into deeper chaos to solidify their power. “We also understand that there have been certain individuals behind him who are funding this for their own political ambitions,” Dlamini said. “Julius Malema may be the point person running at the front, but we know that there are big guns behind him.” And big money, too.

Dlamini said COSATU was “very angry” that unsuspecting mine workers were being used as pawns by opportunists, sometimes even being killed in the process. “This is a systematic, orchestrated, long-time plan that is unfolding now,” he added. “The ANC as the ruling party shouldn’t be afraid to be bold, condemn and expose.... The ANC must continue to identify and deal with those who fund this chaos.”

Communists, of course, have historically been known to create the superficial impression of internal division to further their agenda while collaborating together behind the scenes the use of strategic disinformation, as defectors have called it. Obviously, there are occasions when would-be communist despots fight among themselves as well. It remains unclear what, if anything, may be going on outside of the limelight between the ANC, the SACP, and other totalitarian forces working to crush individual liberty and all resistance within South Africa.

Other analysts attributed the expanding labor unrest to widely different causes, ranging from anger over the ANC regime’s lawless corruption to genuine grievances about dangerous working conditions and low pay at the mines. Tribal tensions have also been cited as playing a role, though just how significant is difficult to determine.

Numerous observers have attributed the violent tensions to rivalries between the ANC-linked National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is the largest member of COSATU, and its increasingly influential rival known as the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). Some experts said the crackdown on protests was an effort to quash the AMCU before it further splintered workers’ support for the ruling ANC-SACP-COSATU alliance.

Critics have accused the AMCU, which touts itself as anti-communist and has long criticized the established powerbrokers for corruption, of fomenting the unrest. The South African Communist Party even called for AMCU leaders to be arrested after the incident, and among the ruling communist establishment, fears about the renegade union are reportedly growing.

The chaos has been ongoing since early this year, but it exploded and entered into the international headlines in August after dozens of striking miners were killed in what has since been dubbed the “Marikana massacre.” Police, who were reportedly fired upon by armed demonstrators, returned fire, killing more than 30 people.

Top government officials — many of whom have personal stakes in the situation including shares in the mining firms — have vowed to crack down on the strikes. Proud communist revolutionary Jeff Radebe, the “Justice Minister” in the ANC regime, said at a September 14 press conference that authorities were intervening because the mining industry is crucial to South Africa’s crumbling economy. “The South African government has noted and is deeply concerned by the amount of violence, threats and intimidation that is currently taking place in our country,” he told reporters, warning that anyone taking part in “illegal gatherings” would be “dealt with” very swiftly. “Our government will not tolerate these acts any further.”

Critics of the harsh response warned that raids and use of force against miners would likely contribute to further unrest. Perhaps that is the desired outcome, with anarchy helping to pave the way for police-state measures. While the crisis was growing, however, Marxist genocidal forces seized the opportunity to unleash an even larger bloodbath.

A newly formed U.S.-based group of human rights activists and South African exiles known as Friends 4 Humanity, founded to raise awareness about the genocide of the South African minority, told The New American at the time that the number of racist attacks and murders against Afrikaner farmers had surged dramatically amid the labor unrest. There were at least 30 documented attacks in the first two weeks of September — many resulting in multiple murders.

Since the beginning of 2012 we have noticed that murders increased to approximately one every second day, with some victims as young as six months,” said Sonia Hruska, the former Mandela consultant who is also a founding member of the new organization. “However, since the start of the mining unrest it has now escalated to as much as at least one attack a day with multiple fatal victims.”

Impeding the Plan

The New American magazine warned readers almost two decades ago that the ANC leaders of the anti-apartheid movement and their foreign backers, despite the establishment media’s bogus claims, were deliberately plotting to condemn that nation to communism. The signs were all over the place — literally. For example, Nelson Mandela made a public appearance in front of a giant hammer and sickle with SACP chief Joe Slovo. Now, after almost 20 years of patient waiting, that conquest appears to be nearing its final phases as anti-communist whites are slaughtered to make way for a collectivist “utopia” ruled by the ANC and the SACP. Troublesome blacks were exterminated by the ANC and its allies before 1994.

Among South Africans and foreigners concerned about the ongoing problems and a looming calamity, however, there is a wide range of thoughts about what should happen.

Dr. Stanton of Genocide Watch promised the Afrikaners that he would visit the U.S. Embassy and bring the issue to the attention of world leaders. However, he also urged them not to give up their guns and to continue resisting the communist “ideology” espoused by so many of the political and party leaders that now dominate the nation’s coercive government ­apparatus.

So far, efforts to garner the attention of the “international community” appear to have been largely unproductive. The Dutch Parliament, though, narrowly defeated a recent bill calling for the government of the Netherlands to investigate and help combat racist violence directed at Afrikaners in South Africa by offering expertise and judiciary support while helping to preserve threatened basic rights, such as freedom of the press. Despite failing to pass, the effort was taken as a sign that world opinion may be changing, albeit slowly.

Activists are also calling on European governments and the United States to immediately begin accepting especially vulnerable white refugees from South Africa as a high priority. There are less than five million whites left in the country, about 10 percent of South Africans, down from almost a quarter of the population decades ago.

Analysts say that giving them asylum may prove tough politically — partly because it could expose the myths of Nelson Mandela and his communist ANC being “heroic” so-called freedom fighters.

Even if it were possible, millions of white South Africans would refuse to leave the land of their forefathers anyway, at least at this point, knowing that if they left, the Afrikaner culture and language may disappear forever. “Up to a million people have already emigrated, almost as many as left Lebanon during the civil war. However, mass emigration would mean the demise of our nation, together with our unique language, history, literature and culture,” Pro-Afrikaans Action Group (PRAAG) chief Dan Roodt told The New American. “You must also remember that to most of the Western countries, we represent unwanted immigrants, despite being educated, law-abiding and Christian. Despite being persecuted, very few actually get political asylum as the mass media still portray South Africa as a model democracy.”

Like a significant subset of the Afrikaner minority, Roodt wants his people to have their own autonomous homeland in Southern Africa, a proposal that the ANC regime rejects out of hand. “Many of us want to stay and fight and turn the tables on this anachronistic left-wing, racist regime,” explained the controversial Afrikaner advocate.

Other South Africans hope the international community will intervene to protect persecuted minority groups — either militarily if the downward spiral continues, or at least through sanctions and diplomatic pressure. 
More than a few sources who spoke to The New American said foreign action is a necessity: They view South Africa as a sort of “canary in the coal mine.” The Rainbow Nation might be the first to go, but Western civilization, they say, will not be far behind.

Unsurprisingly, the establishment press has barely reported a word about the looming potential catastrophe in South Africa. However, there is hope: Activists say that if Americans get involved, even just helping to raise awareness, a bloodbath of apocalyptic proportions may well be averted.

It will certainly not be easy to roll back the blood-red tide of communism and genocide in South Africa. The roots have been firmly planted, nurtured by Western governments and communist tyrants for decades. 
But for South Africans of all colors, and for humanity itself, activists insist that the battle must go on. It will.  

'War is upon us' - South African Civil Society Information Service





War is Upon Us

by Richard Pithouse - 30 Oct 2012

to the fragrance of lemon blossoms
and then to the ultimatums of war

- Pablo Neruda, Right Comrade, Its the Hour of the Garden, Isla Negra, Chile, September 1973

When COSATU and the Communist Party have to rely on the police and their stun grenades, rubber bullets and, by some accounts, live ammunition to force their way into a stadium against the opposition of striking workers it is clear that their assumption of a permanent right to leadership is facing a serious challenge from below. 
It's equally clear that the ruling party and its allies intend to force obedience rather than to seek to renegotiate support or enable democratic engagement, that the police aren't even making a pretence of being loyal to the law rather than the ruling party and that this is the way that Blade Nzimande likes it.

The misuse of the police to defend the authority of the ruling party in Rustenburg is no exception to a broadly democratic consensus. In fact it has become a routine feature of political life. At the same time as the drama was unfolding in Rustenburg on Saturday a meeting with technical experts to discuss a plan to upgrade the Harry Gwala shack settlement on the East Rand was summarily banned by the police on the grounds that it was a 'security threat'. 

The settlement is in urgent need of services as basic as water and refuse removal but millions have been spent on a pavilion in memory of Oliver Tambo adjacent to the settlement. As the ANC's role in the struggles against apartheid is memorialised that memory is simultaneously desecrated as it is mobilised to legitimate the increasingly violent containment of popular dissent.

The collapse of the ruling party's hegemony on the mines in Rustenburg is not the first time that the ANC has lost control of a territory where it once took its right to rule for granted. In early 2006 the ANC was, despite a large police presence and a large contingent of supporters bussed in from elsewhere, unable to go ahead with a rally to be addressed by S'bu Ndebele, the then Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, in the Kennedy Road shack settlement in Durban. 

Some years later the ANC eventually took that space back with the open use of violence organised through party structures with the support of the police. But despite the announcement, made by a senior SACP member, that the state had decided to 'disband' the movement that had won popular support in Kennedy Road, and despite tremendous intimidation and the gross misuse of the police and the criminal justice system to try and effect this ban, that movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo endures. The rupture in Rustenburg may also cohere into an enduring force. And there will be more ruptures to come.

There are important respects in which the politics developed in and around Marikana is very different from that developed in and around Kennedy Road seven years earlier. But one of the things that these two points of rupture do have in common is a firm insistence on the right of people in struggle, people who have decided to take their future into their own hands, to speak for themselves. 

This shared suspicion of authorised forms of local representation, and the consequent desire of people to represent themselves where they live and work, could, along with other points of connection, ranging from familial links to a shared experience of repression, provide common ground for linking struggles in urban shack settlements and on the mines. It has, in itself, no predetermined political character but, amongst other potentials, some of which could well be marked by a dangerous counter-brutality, the rejection of the ruling party's local mechanisms for sustaining political control does carry the possibility for a renewal of democratic possibility.

The path that winds from Polokwane to Kennedy Road and on to Marikana and Nkandla and then up, past the reach of our gaze and over the horizon, is not taking us towards anything like the kinds of societies imagined in the Freedom Charter or the Constitution.
The only visible transition on offer is one in which liberal democracy is increasingly replaced with a system in which the political class is treated as if it is above the law, the state is openly used as an instrument for the political class to accumulate rather than to redistribute wealth and power and people engaged in certain kinds of popular dissent are treated as if they are beneath the law. Police violence, including torture and murder, as well as state sanction for political violence by ANC supporters and political assassination have all become familiar features of our political life.

And powerful figures and forces in the ruling alliance from Jacob Zuma to Sidumo Dlamini, the Communist Party, MK veterans, SADTU and others are openly speaking the language of war. They may say that the war is on the enemy within, enemy agents, neo-liberals, imperialists, criminals, enemies of the national-democratic revolution and counter-revolutionaries but what they really mean is that they do not intend to accept popular dissent as legitimate or to engage it through democratic institutions.

Instead it is proposed that dissent be dealt with by the police and on occasion the army, as well as counter-mobilisation that aims to destroy rather than to engage and which is already often armed, and, in Sidumo Dlamini's view, MK.
War, generally not the war of open manoeuvre that we saw in Marikana and which we've seen, although with nothing like the same degree of murderous intent, in shack settlements across the country in recent years but rather the scattered, often secretive and frequently highly territorialised violence of low intensity war, of counter-insurgency, is upon us. The Kennedy Road, eTwatwa, Makause and Zakheleni shack settlements have all experienced this since Polokwane.

The figures in the ANC that talk of a return to principled leadership have no material base from  which they could make a serious attempt to challenge the capture of the party and, thereby, the state by factions that are both predatory and authoritarian. For this reason their discourse functions, irrespective of their intentions, to legitimate the party rather than to organise or represent a last ditch attempt to save it.
And, with the exception of the metal worker's union, Marikana has marked the end of COSATU's claim to democratic credibility and moral authority. If there is to be a renewal of democratic possibilities it will have to be undertaken against the ruling party and its allies.

Popular struggle against a post-colonial state is a very different thing to a national liberation struggle against an internationally discredited form of domination. But the time has come when we have to, like the generations that confronted the end of the illusions in postcolonial states elsewhere, face a future in which defeat of democratic and progressive aspirations is the most likely outcome of the ruthless intersection between elite nationalism and capitalism. And while there are some examples of popular struggles in the postcolony that have attained some critical mass in recent years they have also, as in Haiti and Bolivia, had to confront serious limitations. There is no easy route out of this crisis.

Nonetheless it is clear that the only viable resolution is one that includes the majority of us. This could take the form of an authoritarian and even quasi-fascist response to the crisis. But it could also take the form of a democratic project that seeks to move beyond the liberal consensus that reduced democracy to voting, court action and NGO campaigns and to build the political power of the dispossessed from the ground up. 

But if an insurgent project of this nature is to have any enduring success it will have to understand that the line dividing the political from the economic has been drawn to sustain both privilege and exclusion and that wealth, power and the structures that sustain them need to be subject to serious critique. This would put such a project at odds with most of the media and civil society as well as the ruling party making it, to say the least, a risky endeavour. But if political empowerment doesn't translate into material empowerment – into land, housing, decent incomes and decent education – it will be little more than a detour on the road that has already taken us from Polokwane to Nkandla with our journey marked out in a steadily accumulating record of intimidation and blood.

The challenges that confront us are tremendous. But when war is announced there are only two real choices – to resist or to submit. The urgent questions that we have to confront are these:  What will be the nature of our resistance and how will we carry it forward?  

Friday, 26 October 2012

Institute for Security Studies: "SA in economic and political decline"


(Excerpts from Institute for Security Studies article)

                                        South Africa: 
          The economic and political decline of the country

Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis (CPRA) - Pretoria
CPRA Daily Briefings
Week   41
Thursday, 25 October 2012


On 20 October 2012 the influential international magazine The Economist led with an article titled ‘Sad South Africa: cry, the beloved country’.  In the article the author asserts that South Africa is on the decline both politically and economically and is at its worst point since the birth of democracy in 1994.

The article points out that the deterioration in the quality of education over the years has had devastating consequences. According to the World Economic Forum, South Africa ranks 132nd out of 144 countries for primary education and 143rd in science and maths. 

It is estimated that only 15% of children can read and write at the minimally prescribed levels by the age of 12. 
The South African education system is ranked as being among the worst performing in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. 
As a result, inequality and unemployment have worsened. 

The South African Gini Coefficient, which measures income inequality, was 0,59 in 1993 and increased to 0,63 in 2011. Poor education has limited the ability of the country to create jobs and the official unemployment rate has increased from 20% in 1994 to 25% in 2012. 
The real unemployment rate, which also includes those who have given up looking for work, is closer to 40%.

The consequence of this is that in the last decade the country’s economy has only been able to secure an annual GDP growth of 2%, while countries north of the Limpopo River record an annual average of 6%. 
According to current projections Nigeria should surpass South Africa as the largest economy in Africa within the next decade. The article further points out that the ‘[e]conomic malaise and the chronic failure of government services are an indictment of South Africa’s politicians. Under apartheid, a role in the ANC was about sacrifice and risk. Today it is a ticket for the gravy train. Jobs in national and local politics provide access to public funds and cash from firms eager to buy political influence.’ 

With the ANC dominating in the polls and the lack of a constituency-based parliamentary system, South Africa is de facto a one-party state. 

The primary source of accountability comes from the judiciary, the media and civil society. For example, civil society organisations acting on behalf of the poor frequently have to turn to the courts to get the government to deliver services such as the delivery of textbooks, or to prevent the government from acting illegally, for example when it evicts poor people from their homes without court orders. It is for this reason that the ruling elite is hostile to these important democratic institutions and attempts to weaken and undermine them where possible.

As with many cases of open criticism of the political leadership of South Africa, the messengers were attacked. As it is not possible to argue with the facts in the article, which are well known, President Jacob Zuma first attacked the media for negative reporting. 

Later, on 21 October, the Presidency issued a statement in which he outlined the positive achievements of the past 18 years. 

Despite these successes, the article does point out that leadership is a key factor in the performance of the country during this turbulent economic climate. 
Under the leadership of President Zuma, corruption and the subsequent looting of state resources have become more blatant. 

The projected stagnation of economic growth coupled with high levels of corruption could have a deteriorating effect on the country’s economic situation. 

Although the ANC’s national conference at Mangaung may signify hope for a change of leadership, it is still unclear who will run against President Zuma for the position of ANC president. The current political culture within the ANC does not encourage competition and as a result there is no debate on what each candidate will bring to the party in terms of leadership. 

The perception that if a person runs against the President it means he/she undermines the ANC, only encourages division within the party. Although Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has been nominated as a presidential candidate, he has to date not accepted the nomination and no one is sure of his intentions. COSATU president Sdumo Dlamini has said that he could lose everything if he dared to run against President Zuma at the elective conference, emphasising the lack of appreciation for democratic practices among the ruling elite. Therefore, it is expected that President Zuma will be elected to another term as ANC president.

Many are hoping that President Zuma’s second term will be similar to that of former Brazilian President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Sliva, in which he focused on ensuring a positive legacy. In such a scenario President Zuma would be hard on corruption and crime and actively work to improve the situation in the country, rather than ensure the protection of politically connected cadres. 

However, unlike Lula, President Zuma faces pending corruption charges and his immediate family have become dramatically richer during his presidency. 
In addition, he used R238 million of taxpayers’ money to fund extravagant upgrades to his private homestead in Nkandla. 
This amount could have provided 3 600 families with low-cost housing, or paid the salaries of thousands of teachers, doctors and social workers. 

His complete lack of shame over such blatant extravagance suggests he is unlikely to act in the interest of the country any time soon.

It is undeniable that the country is currently in an economic and political decline.  

South Africans across the board are increasingly aware of this and there are moves afoot to start new political formations. Hopefully, this will lead to healthy political competition in the future when South Africans band together to hold their leaders directly accountable through the ballot box. 

The 2014 elections may present the first signs of this. It will, however, be important to carefully monitor the appointments made to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). 

There will be those in the ruling elite who will not want to risk being voted out of power and will be more than willing to rig the elections to maintain their undeserved opulent lifestyles. 

The End



Sunday, 21 October 2012

"ANC becomes the disease, not the cure"




(Article from Vancouver Sun)

Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress becomes the disease, not the cure

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun columnist October 16, 2012


South Africa seems no longer able to contain the contradictions and frustrated expectations that have been swept under the carpet since the country’s first freely elected government came to power in 1994.

With new elections due in 2014, there is increasingly evident public anger at the governing African National Congress (ANC) — the party of liberation from apartheid and white minority rule — over its failure to meet its pledge to provide a better life for all.

Instead, the ANC has become a deeply corrupt party of cronyism and patronage. Indeed, holding ANC positions in governments at all levels has become such a sure route to wealth that aspirants will murder to get them.

Last week, Reuters news agency reported that an internal ANC report states that in KwaZulu Natal — the largest of South Africa’s nine provinces and the home base of President Jacob Zuma — 38 party members have been murdered since February last year in fights for lucrative positions.

There are similar murderous contests among ANC members all over the country.
The spoils are enormous.

A potent image of the benefits of power now enraging many South Africans is that the equivalent of $27 million of government money is being spent on renovations to President Zuma’s private KwaZulu Natal home.

An auditor’s report from another major province, the Eastern Cape, in 2009 found three quarters of all government contracts went to companies owned by government officials or their relatives.
A report by the national Auditor General last year found 95 per cent of all municipal governments could not account for their spending.

Yet while South Africa has acquired this hugely wealthy and arrogant black aristocracy — and one of the widest disparities between rich and poor anywhere in the world — most of the country’s 50 million people live in the conditions of extreme poverty that marked the era of apartheid.

Despite a lot of talk and some accomplishments involving improved housing and social services, most South Africans continue to live in tin shacks without running water or electricity.

The health care system is a nightmare, and the school system is incapable of producing talent. The unemployment rate among young people is over 50 per cent.

By some estimates, about 65 per cent of South Africans live at what the United Nations calls levels of extreme poverty, even though this is the largest and most sophisticated economy in Africa.
And as has been seen in the last two months, even those with jobs often cannot make ends meet.

The strike at Lonmin’s platinum mine at Marikana in August by miners demanding a living wage has spurred a wave of wildcat strikes involving at least 100,000 miners across South Africa’s essential ore extraction industry.

The grimly compelling images from the Marikana strike were straight out of the worst years of apartheid, with police lobbing volleys of rifle fire on the strikers, killing 34.
The violence has continued, and the strikes have spread to the trucking industry and among municipal workers.

Predictions that South Africa belongs with Brazil, Russia, India and China as a future economic power are being re-thought fast.

The lack of response to the Marikana massacre by President Zuma and his government has reinforced his image as an ineffectual leader of an administration concerned only with its own bank accounts and assets.

Zuma, who came to the ANC leadership and the presidency in 2009, has been under attack from within the party for some time.

Most evident has been his very public fight with the radical former leader of the ANC Youth, Julius Malema.
Since his expulsion from the party, Malema has set up his own youth league, and his brand of direct activism — such as the forced expropriation of the remaining white-owned farms — assures him a strong following among young ANC members.

But Malema — who at 31 has acquired a substantial real estate empire, wears lots of gold, drives opulent cars and likes to drink expensive Scotch — is hardly a poster boy for reform of the ANC.

Neither are the other challengers to Zuma’s leadership who are quietly but purposefully lining up ahead of the ANC’s national meeting early in December, when its presidential candidate for the 2014 national election will be chosen.

Chief among them is the current Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, 63.
He has good credentials for an ANC leader. He spent 10 years in Robben Island prison with Nelson Mandela after being convicted of membership in the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.

But while Motlanthe is behaving like a man who is a candidate, he has not come out and said so.
Also, he is just as much a member of the ANC’s corrupt ruling class as is Zuma.

Already some of the ANC branches in the smaller provinces have chosen to back Motlanthe at the December conference to be held at Mangaung near Bloemfontein.

But it will be the brigades of delegates from the big provinces that decide the issue, and for the moment it is likely that Zuma will get a second term as president.

What seems unlikely is that South Africa will get a second crack at the promise of renewal made 20 years ago.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Economist: "SA sliding downhill"



(Article from Times Live)

Articles in The Economist expressing the view that South Africa is sliding downhill might benefit the country, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said.

The magazine's latest issue includes an editorial on South Africa entitled "Cry the beloved country", and a report entitled "Over the rainbow".

They both suggest a failure of leadership in South Africa had resulted in the country sliding backwards since democracy was introduced in 1994.

According to the editorial: "Since Mr Mandela retired in 1999, the country has been woefully led," referring to former president Nelson Mandela.

The SAIRR said it was in broad agreement with both articles.
"The institute has read both reports and can say that the data cited by The Economist is broadly accurate."
The institute's deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, said: "The Economist reports will obviously have an impact on investor sentiment. In the short term the impact will be negative and will cause damage to the economy."

However, he predicted the criticism could help South Africa in the long term.
"In the long term, however, it will alert people, in government, the business world, and outside, to the need for urgent policy reform.

"What has happened in the weeks since the Marikana shooting, both in terms of ratings agency downgrades and the latest report from The Economist, is a much-needed correction in opinion about South Africa."
Some 46 people were killed in strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, near Rustenburg, in August and September.

A more realistic understanding of South Africa would lead to a more accurate assessment of its problems, Cronje said.
"Without dramatic shifts in policy it is no longer possible for the current government to meet the demands of actors within South African society," he said.

According to The Economist South Africa was "on the slide both economically and politically".
The editorial points out that the mining sector had been "battered by wildcat strikes, causing the biggest companies to shed thousands of jobs in the face of wage demands and spreading violence".

It said foreign investment was drying up, service delivery protests were "becoming angrier", education was "a disgrace", and inequality had grown.

It admitted the country had made some progress, such as in providing housing and welfare services.

"But the party's [African National Congress's] incompetence and outright corruption are the main causes of South Africa's sad decline."

According to The Economist it was problematic that: "Nearly two decades after apartheid ended, South Africa is becoming a de facto one-party state."

Friday, 19 October 2012

SA: Collapsing into a Failed State




(excerpts from an Intersearch article)



South Africa: Collapsing into a failed State

Contributing factors:

  • The number of people who are poor, is just too high (25.7 million people from a population of 49.3 million);
  • The number of people who depend on a state grant for their daily survival is not sustainable (13 million with the possibility of an additional 7 million);·
  • The number of people who are illiterate has become unmanageable (24% of adults over 15 years);
  • There is no solution for the number of jobless people. The most recent statistics indicate an official jobless rate of 25,3%. The real rate, according to the Bureau for Market Research at Unisa, has reached 41%. The figure used in the advertising industry for marketing stands on 63%.
  • The number of people with HIV/AIDS is terrifying, as it sucks the human capital from the middle sector of society (5.7 million people);
  • The large number of people who are going to die from HIV/AIDS may destabilize society eventually as it impacts on the productive middle sector of society (estimated deaths: 1 000 per day is the most recent figure available);
  • The number of Aids orphans is beyond the reach of Government and society (by 2015 some 5.7 million or 32% of all children will have lost one or both parents) and this fact in itself has the potential to disrupt the educational process;
  • The terrifying reality is that the number of people with the necessary human capital – the expertise and skills to support society and capability to pay taxes – is too few to carry the burden of the numbers in need. 5.3 million tax payers, with 1.2 million of them paying 75% of all personal and company tax.
  • In January 2010 the  disclosed in a statement that only 32 of the 970 sewage plants in the country are still functioning properly.
  • In a report to Parliament in February 2010 it was revealed that “when it comes to fresh water”, only 30 municipalities out of 283 have the capability to supply clean water to the inhabitants.
  • Parliament’s water affairs portfolio committee was told in July 2010 that “millions of litres of highly acidic mine water is rising up under Johannesburg and, if left unchecked, could spill out into its streets some 18 months from now. The acid water is currently about 600m below the city’s surface, but is rising at a rate of between 0.6 and 0,9m a day.”
The reality that 5 million taxpayers are already supporting a nation of close to 50 million, plus an additional 9 million from neighbouring countries, does not go down well.

...it is clear that the ANC government has landed itself in a severe crisis. 
However, as a statement it is not enough to carry any weight. Some very important contextual information is necessary.
How has this come about?
 Dysfunctional trends can be identified in society at large on three various levels with:
Over the past decade, the essence of good governance – the relationship between Government and the governed – has been eroded. 
Four election victories have provided the ANC government with a solid majority in parliament.
ANC cadres were widely introduced into the public service and serving whites were scattered abroad, to retirement villages and into silence. 

The whites who left the public service took expertise and skills with them, which was never replaced. 

With cadre deployment came a new governing culture where stealing from the state (the taxpayer) has become an accepted way of conducting government business. Relocating tax money for the personal enrichment of government officials by tampering with contracts, tenders and pay-offs have become an all pervasive source of additional income.
The ANC won political control of the country, but it lost out on the governing capability. By 2010 the ANC just does not have the governing capital to attend to all the needs of society. 
As a result, large areas of society have become void of any governing capabilities – in technical terms society has become governmentally empty. T
he ANC commands a sound political majority, but signifies no governing presence within the key functions of Government.
With this, the broad outlines of the failed state have also come to South Africa as the structures for good governance have become destabilised. When Government is in crisis, the whole of society will reflect the nature of the crisis.
Context of the crisis
South Africa has a problem with a variety of issues such as law and order, potholes, sewage, bad education – the list is almost endless. 
The real problem is not the pothole or the burglar, but the internal functional collapse of Government and society.
What kind of Future?
In terms of planning and decision making it is easy to fill a pothole, but how do deal with functional decay is a completely different challenge. 
The reader has to accept that there is no proven remedy or fixed solutions – the way ahead will be one of trial and error. Existing political perceptions and beliefs will have to be shattered and altered and mindsets will have to change. There is, indeed, not a very easy road ahead.
The ANC’s political victory in 1994 enabled it to introduce a new democracy in South Africa, as embedded in the constitution of 1996. That provided the ideological and political base for the introduction of the process of transformation.
What emerged was a numbers driven society where race percentages became the norm for appointment and position.
The immediate result was the corruption of society, as the whites with expertise moved out and “cadre deployment” took over. 
Political control became the dominating factor in society and capabilities were very often excluded.
What followed was a swift and dramatic decline of governing capabilities. 
Service delivery as envisaged in the constitution deteriorated rapidly, but it happened out of sight and was not immediately recognised. There was a sewage problem, but it was not linked to a decline of governing capabilities. For the sake of democracy, people looked the other way.
By 2010 the key functions of Government are all under severe pressure.
Then the electricity crisis of 2008 triggered a reaction. Every household was affected and the mismanagement and cover up of dwindling coal stock piles became common knowledge. 

This was followed by a flood of information about the status of dams and rivers that impacted on the supply of fresh water. 

Next to this, the sewage problem that had been building up for years suddenly showed its ugly head.
What paralysed the government of President Jacob Zuma was that it all happened at the same time.
What made this different? People were compelled to live with the situation. 
Being without electricity, using contaminated drinking water and physically living with sewage changed minds and attitudes.
As problems increased, government officials and services became more absent. The constitution promised a better quality of life, but Government left the people out in the sewage. A contradiction emerged in the political profile of Government: a clash between the political capital and the governing capital – a process of internal erosion. 

For decades people have been told that apartheid was to blame for everything and suddenly they discover the real culprit behind the council building – Government.
The country was still a major democracy, but Government’s inability to deliver was slowly penetrating society. A very large section of the population came to exist outside the confines and guarantees of the constitution. 
A small town where the sewage flows down Main Street is basically beyond or outside the protection of the constitution.

Similarly, the urban community that provides its own security and pays for it, is also beyond the protection of the constitution.


The result was the creation of alternative functioning structures. 

This was not motivated by a resistance against Parliament or an effort to push Government aside. The real reason was that a very specific need had to be addressed; otherwise a specific section of society could not survive.
As strange as it may seem, people started moving beyond the constitution for self-protection.
Farmers started repairing the national roads in their vicinity; otherwise goods to the market could not be transported. 
Parents invested in additional teachers in order to secure a future for their kids. 
In this process, a whole range of new functional structures in society have been created – with or without the consent or cooperation of Government. 

The eventual effect is that a large section of society is in the process of breaking away from government structures – and eventually from Government control. 


This is perhaps not so much anti-democratic as a-democratic, i.e. outside the democratic process, as it bypasses the formal structures and creates new ones when the need arises. 

The driving force at this stage is not the will of the people, but the need of the specific sector of society. In this process, the nature of democracy will eventually change.
Bypassing formal government will not occur if some disillusionment has not emerged in society. 
It is basically twenty years since formal discussions began to dismantle apartheid. 
Some form of resistance against the functional decay is inevitable. However, it is not expected in the form of a rebel movement or attempt to unseat Government by force.

Within the black community the present demonstrations and burning of council buildings may continue. Within the white community, resistance may take another form.
Amongst whites there is a complaint that they pay twice for everything. They pay tax for “security of person” (chapter 2 constitution), but they also pay for their own security. They pay for education and then directly pay for additional teachers; they pay for road maintenance and do the work themselves.

The bottom line is that this government is very expensive to keep around, with no benefits coming from it.
In reaction the next step may be a formal note to the minister of Finance and the Receiver of Revenue, demanding a tax discount for services promised but not delivered – and then delivered and paid for by the taxpayer himself. What could emanate from this is ground level emotion and indignation. 
The figures do not add up. 
This is one direction Government does not want to go. By 2010 the population has ended up in a total imbalance which the next election will not be able to rectify.
It is in the nature of governments, when things go badly for them, to start withholding information from the public.
The country must speak with “one voice”, with one government spokesperson and one official broadcaster. All this is supposedly, “good for nation building”. 

Any information that may threaten the position of Government may be questioned as “anti-democratic”. 
Very often, this is all lumped together under the nice, formal concept of “national security”. To the common citizen this may sound extremely dangerous and therefore needs his support.
Then the question emerges: what is secret and what not? 
There is much information that is freely available, not secret at all, that can directly threaten the position of Government, officials and ministers. 

Government is known to be sensitive to any photos of farm murders, statistics about crime and web pages that explain too much of what happens in the country.
Can Government prevent this flow of “dangerous” information, as the latest proposals of legislation from parliament attempted to do? The answer is short: No! It was possible during the Cold War. The Russians built a wall across central Europe to keep people and a free flow of information out.
In a technologically driven world every person with a cell phone (and camera), and computer on the desk has the immediate capability to send information all over the world. Every person with a cell phone has the capability to photograph potholes, schools without toilets, policemen asleep on the job and text messages about politicians who buy luxury cars and officials who are corrupt.
This implies that every citizen has the potential to send information, “dangerous” to the Government, abroad.
In this process, if this legislation is pushed for reasons that existed in the previous century, every citizen has the potential to become the enemy of Government. 
An effective withholding of information can only be done when all cell phones are confiscated and all computers smashed.
With its enormous political capital behind it, the ANC commands the voting power in parliament, but it does not have the doing power. 
The lack of governing capabilities may eventually result in the domino effect. 

Individual “problems” like sewage, clean water and education start interacting. The one affects the other and begin a self-driven process that leads to accelerated collapse. 


The most unthinkable result of the domino effect will appear when local government becomes so dysfunctional that citizens are compelled to take over services on a large scale and in this process government authority is pushed back to a few urban areas. This will signal the start of a new political system.
How will the decision maker finds his way through this complicated situation?
From 2010 and beyond the quality of expertise and skills of any company or organisation will determine its economic and social survival. 
What should be assessed here is the level of human capital.
Human capital in combination with other assets such as infrastructure provides the all important intellectual capital – the competitive advantage. Without intellectual capital very little value can be added to any business or society. A clear definition of intellectual capital is also imperative.
Without a clear assessment of human and intellectual capital, society will be unable to regenerate itself.
Dr. J.A. Du Plessis at Intersearch
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