Constitutional Hill

Affirming their own moral inferiority

The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) styles itself as “the sole and authentic representative of the progressive traditional leadership of South Africa” because it is aligned to the ANC. The organisation aims to promote and protect traditional leadership, traditional customs and practices and the heritage of the 18 million South Africans who live under the authority of traditional leaders.

However, perusing their website, one cannot help but wonder whether Contralesa (pictured below) is not also spurred on by the far less noble goal of self-enrichment. Contralesa thus complains that traditional leaders are being discriminated against:

Traditional leaders of all ranks, i.e. kings, inkosi (chiefs) and inkosana (headmen), are, like politicians in government, public office bearers.  They are entitled to be remunerated in a manner commensurate with their responsibilities and status. The truth, however, is that in this regard traditional  leaders are discriminated against. The best that they receive is a basic salary without the concomitant allowances such as medical aid, motor vehicle  allowances, pension benefits, etc. Due to lack of uniformity in the manner in which provincial governments treat the institution, some traditional  leaders have been provided with motor vehicles, while others have not. Needless to say, this gives rise to resentment and annoyance on the part of  those who do not get this form of support.

Kings and Queens currently earn over R900 000 a year, while other traditional leaders earn between R180 00 and R650 000 a year. Not being provided with a free vehicle at taxpayers expense must therefore cause serious financial hardship for traditional leaders, but not to the extent that they are not prepared to engage in robust engagement about important issues of the day (other than the salaries and benefits paid to them by the taxpayer).

Last year The House of Traditional Leaders, packed with the members of Contralesa, submitted a proposal to the Constitutional Review Committee of the National Assembly to amend section 9 of the Constitution. This Committee, set up in terms of section 45 of the Constitution, has to review the Constitution annually, but in the past 17 years they have rejected every single proposal made to it for the amendment of the Constitution out of hand. The Committee is chaired by Nkosi Sango Patekile Holomisa, who also happens to be the President of Contralesa.

At this year’s committee sittings, most proposals were again dismissed, but not the proposals to change the property clauses and those concerning the abolition of the prohibition to discriminate against gay men and lesbians. The House of Traditional Leaders suggested a redrafting of the Bill of Rights so that it would in future be legal to discriminate unfairly against gay men, lesbians and other sexual minorities, and the Review Committee decided to refer this matter (along with the proposed amendments to the property clause) the political parties represented in the National Assembly for discussion and consideration.

This means that the various Parliamentary caucuses of political parties represented in Parliament will soon have to decide whether they support unfair discrimination against people they might believe are not like them, or whether they will affirm their commitment to non-discrimination and the respect for the human dignity of all South Africans, the very bedrock on which the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution is founded.

The decision of the Committee not to reject this dehumanising and insulting proposal out of hand (as it has done with all other proposals over the past 17 years) suggest that Holomisa believes that it is completely reasonable to ask political parties to consider whether they support unfair discrimination against fellow South Africans and whether they believe that it is necessary to endorse the denial of the human dignity of fellow South Africans.

Given South Africa’s history, this is a shocking move. The apartheid government believed that some people were sub-human because they were black or female or gay, lesbian, transgendered or intersexed and enforced a dehumanising set of laws to give effect to this belief and to try and affirm their supposed superiority as white men. But in the very act of enforcing this kind of discrimination, they affirmed the opposite, namely their own moral inferiority.

As a direct response to this history of dehumanisation the drafters of the Constitution, endorsing the view that all human beings possess an inherent human dignity and are therefore of equal moral worth, prohibited unfair discrimination against individuals regardless of their race, sex, gender or sexual orientation.

The House of Traditional Leaders, on the other hand, seems to believe that some of us are not fully human and that it is therefore imperative that the state should be allowed unfairly to discriminate against us merely because we happen to be emotionally and erotically attracted to members of the same sex and because we do not conform to a specific notion of “normality” created and perpetuated by white, colonial missionaries, a norm ironically and tragically adopted by traditional leaders infected with the ideas of South Africa’s colonisers.

It might well be that traditional leaders are not aware that their support for unfair discriminatory measures against gay men, lesbians and other sexual minorities stem from the colonial encounter and that their fear of (and disgust towards) us stem from their internalisation of the values of the colonial master. It might also be that they are not aware that such fear and disgust often stem from an unacknowledged or unwitting anxiety about their own sexual identity.

But the drafters of our Constitution knew that equality is indivisible and that one cannot truly affirm the human dignity of all if one endorses unfair discrimination against a marginalised and oppressed minority merely because such a minority is viewed as different from oneself (or from who one believes or pretends one is).

The fact that the Committee has decided not to reject this deeply reactionary proposal out of hand, suggests that some of its members endorse inequality and prejudice and support an imposition of uniformity and the concomitant suppression of all difference. It suggests an intolerance of those who do not conform to gender or sexual stereotypes or to some other non-existing or ephemeral norm, created and perpetuated to enforce the continued dominance of patriarchy. Either that or the members of the Committee are prepared to flirt with these notions so roundly rejected by the drafters of our Constitution and by the ANC in its constitutional proposals for short term political gain.

In Minister of Justice v Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Equality Justice Albie Sachs noted that: “the success of the whole constitutional endeavour in South Africa will depend in large measure on how successfully sameness and difference are reconciled.” He continued by warning:

Equality means equal concern and respect across difference. It does not pre-suppose the elimination or suppression of difference. Respect for human rights requires the affirmation of self, not the denial of self. Equality therefore does not imply a levelling or homogenisation of behaviour but an acknowledgment and acceptance of difference. At the very least, it affirms that difference should not be the basis for exclusion, marginalisation, stigma and punishment. At best, it celebrates the vitality that difference brings to any society.

The acknowledgment and acceptance of difference is particularly important in a society like South Africa where perceived racial differences were used to oppress the majority of citizens. As Sachs pointed out:

The development of an active rather than a purely formal sense of enjoying a common citizenship depends on recognising and accepting people as they are. The concept of sexual deviance needs to be reviewed. A heterosexual norm was established, gays were labelled deviant from the norm and difference was located in them.163 What the Constitution requires is that the law and public institutions acknowledge the variability of human beings and affirm the equal respect and concern that should be shown to all as they are. At the very least, what is statistically normal ceases to be the basis for establishing what is legally normative. More broadly speaking, the scope of what is constitutionally normal is expanded to include the widest range of perspectives and to acknowledge, accommodate and accept the largest spread of difference. What becomes normal in an open society, then, is not an imposed and standardised form of behaviour that refuses to acknowledge difference, but the acceptance of the principle of difference itself, which accepts the variability of human behaviour.

Those who believe that it is reasonable to debate whether some South Africans should be afforded equal concern and respect, are likely also those who believe that the state has a right to impose a standardised form of behaviour on all of us in order to eradicate all forms of behaviour which do not conform with what a small group of pampered patriarchs believe is acceptable (or in their financial interest). This is a small group of powerful men who might well believe that all outward manifestations of love and emotional affection that do not conform to what  they believe is in their interest must be suppressed in order  to retain and expand their power over what they believe to be their subjects: younger men; all women; and homosexuals.

The proposals must still be debated, but the very fact that it will be debated is dehumanising to those of us who must now wonder whether people like Holomisa believe that we are subhuman and therefore deserve to be unfairly discriminated against, vilified and (followed to its logical extreme) eventually raped and killed. Ironically, some of us will recall the depraved immorality of the patriarchal enforcers of apartheid and will know in our hearts that by the very act of raising this issue, the members of the Committee and the House of Traditional Leaders are merely affirming their own moral inferiority.

  • Brett Nortje

    You chops!

    Piss-poor lot that they are, politicians are elected to public office.

    Where are my Afrikaner traditional leaders?

    “Traditional leaders of all ranks, i.e. kings, inkosi (chiefs) and inkosana (headmen), are, like politicians in government, public office bearers. They are entitled to be remunerated in a manner commensurate with their responsibilities and status.”

  • ewald

    @Prof: I find it rather surprising if not bizarre that this Holomisa is the CHAIRPERSON of the CONSTITUTIONAL Review Committee..Do you know how or by who he was appointed/elected and on what ‘expertise’ basis?

    Also, most proposals were again dismissed apart from the two you mention, do you know if that decision is reached by voting or consensus? I see on http://www.pmg.org.za/node/16985 that the NA (National Assembly?) component is divided 7 ANC and 7 for the other parties, but for the NCOP (National Council of Provinces?) it is 6 ANC and only 3 for the other parties. What to make of that ‘imbalance’ and implications for the decisions they make?

    Thanks!

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    More UBUNTU!

  • gc_wall

    Constitutional protection for difference extends equality without prejudice. It is the understanding with humility. When humane behaviors are ignored or disrespected the sanctity of the perception is lost to weaker cynicism. Universal principles are the hallmark of intellectual success. Arbitrary application of principle is a demonstration of moral failure, but its always done as if for a noble purpose.

  • Gwebecimele

    Lets hope Shilowa, Ignatius Jacobs and others will also share some light in this matter given their previous provisions.

    http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2012/05/04/sanral-under-fire

  • Gwebecimele

    provisions=positions

  • Gwebecimele
  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    “It might well be that traditional leaders are not aware that their support for unfair discriminatory measures against gay men, lesbians and other sexual minorities stem from the colonial encounter”

    LOL. Please do not spoil the good and very necessary image of the Noble Savage.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    What would be the position of [gay] racist White men when it comes to the other untouchable noble cause of “fair discrimination”?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, I am corralling a group of well-connected friends here in CT on Sunday afternoon to establish a local branch of Friends of the Youth League (“FOYL”.) Knowing that you remain an loyal Friend of the Adult League, I was wondering whether you would see your way to fly down and give the founding committee a bit of a “boost”? We will meet over light snacks in the lobby of the Cape Grace at 14h00, and will thereafter move to one of the conference room near the business centre.

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 4, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hey Dworky

    “a local branch of Friends of the Youth League (‘FOYL’.)”

    Sorry but I have been invited to the launch of the Friends of the Women’s league (‘FOWL’) which I’m hoping is also happening at the Cape Grace and moving to one of the rooms later.

    Next time maybe.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Moral inferiority?’ What a confusing accusation from a moral nihilist.

    Here’s the problem with PdV’s argument: exclusion, intolerance, and marginialisation are inevitable outcomes of this debate. Either traditional Africans will be allowed to govern themselves in accordance with their beliefs– a hard won right– or the sexual liberationists will. But the two are mutually exclusive and therefore cannot occur simultaneously. PdV just happens to come down on the side of discriminating against traditional Africans because his sexual desires (an equally ignoble motivation as that of which he accuses the traditional leaders of) run contrary to their beliefs.

    ‘[sexual liberationists] on the other hand, seem to believe that some of us [traditional Africans] are not fully human and that it is therefore imperative that the state should be allowed unfairly to discriminate against us merely because we happen to[show opprobrium of those] emotionally and erotically attracted to members of the same sex.’

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 4, 2012 at 14:47 pm

    Hey Dm,

    “What a confusing accusation from a moral nihilist.”

    True dat!

    Do tell us more about UBUNTU in your usual non-confused way, especially in the context of “the hard won right” of traditional Africans, whoever that may refer to.

    Late you can tell us how those rights were hard won.

    Take your time – I’ll make some popcorn to enjoy while I watch your comedy.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    ozoneblue
    May 4, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Hey OB,

    Wanna watch a strip show!

    Even Dmwangi will be impressed.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/05/04/racist-tweet-model-stripped-of-title-by-fhm

  • Pierre De Vos

    Dmwangi, you are confused. There is no unfair discrimination against “traditional Africans” where the state is prohibited from unfairly discriminating against those whom some “traditional Africans” despise just as there is no unfair discrimination against men where those men are prohibited from killing those they disagree with. The ban on unfair discrimination does not prohibit “traditional Africans” from believing what they wish and from arranging their lives accordingly and hence does not constitute discrimination. It merely prohibits the state from imposing this particular view on society as a whole, just as the state is prohibited from sanctioning the rape and killing of unpopular individuals or members of minority groups. In any case, the essentialistic postulation of a universalised “traditional African” view is nonsense. There is no such view, just as there is no such universal “white” view or a universal “gay” view. Hardly all black South Africans are homophobic. Neither are all black South African men sexist. Claiming that they are, is reactionary as it denies the uniqueness of every human being and the possibility of moral agency, which, one assumes, you believe only white people are capable of having.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 4, 2012 at 14:47 pm

    Dm,

    “Either traditional Africans will be allowed to govern themselves in accordance with their beliefs– a hard won right”.

    Like so, ne?

    He admitted in court last month that the two children were his, but said Dakalo was his wife … .

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/girls-rape-probe-bungled-1.1289296

  • Dmwangi

    ‘In any case, the essentialistic postulation of a universalised “traditional African” view is nonsense. There is no such view, just as there is no such universal “white” view or a universal “gay” view. ‘

    I agree with this. I was employing the term ‘traditional’ to distinguish those Africans whose sexual mores are ‘traditional’ from whose are not. I was not using the term monolithically for all Africans.

    ‘There is no unfair discrimination against “traditional Africans” where the state is prohibited from unfairly discriminating against those whom some “traditional Africans” despise.’

    You are begging the question. Traditional Africans do not believe that showing moral opprobrium of homosexual acts is ‘unfair discrimination.’ Sexual liberationists do. Hence, the reason why a debate exists. My point is that you are guilty of exactly what you accuse the traditional leaders of: you want to stigmatise, marginalise, exclude, discriminate against, impugn, not tolerate, etc. people who want to do likewise against homosexual acts. I have no problem with you doing this because you believe you’re right. Likewise, the traditional elders believe they’re right. The moral inferiority of either group will be determined by who exactly turns out to be on the right side of the issue. If indeed, prohibiting moral disapproval of homosexual acts is akin to prohibiting murder, theft, rape, etc. you will be proven just. If on the other hand, prohibition of moral opprobrium of homosexual acts is akin to proscribing disapprobation of murder, theft, rape, etc. you will be proven incorrect.

  • joeslis

    Prof:

    “At this year’s committee sittings, most proposals were again dismissed, but not the proposals to change the property clauses …”

    While you have dealt extensively in your post with “the abolition of the prohibition to discriminate against gay men and lesbians”, I’m waiting for you to reveal what this committee had to say about the property clauses. I mean, for Pete’s sake! Why is this even up for discussion? Not this property clause nonsense again! Those are sacrosanct, are they not?

  • Dmwangi

    To put in simple terms:

    If homosexuality is immoral, there can be no injustice in proscribing it (though there couldbe strong prudential reasons for allowing it). If there is nothing immoral about it, it could be unjust to make it unlawfu/show moral disapproval/etc.

    See now, what the debate hinges on?

  • Dmwangi

    PdV:

    I refer you to the writings of Stanley Fish concerning ‘tolerance.’

    You’ll like him. He’s quasi-post-modern.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    LOL @ Minister Chabane and Cabinet!

    It sure looks like they are smoking some serious shit.

    Chabane said Cabinet expressed serious concern about the reported high-level cases of crime and police officers involved in wrongdoing. This was an affront to the confidence and trust people should have in the safety and security of the country.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Cabinet-condemns-police-spat-20120504

    Cape Town – Cabinet should not be expected to discuss the saga around newly-appointed police crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli, Minister Collins Chabane said on Friday.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Dont-expect-Cabinet-to-discuss-Mdluli-minister-20120504

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Meanwhile back at the ranch …

    (Dmwangi – this includes you!)

    Traditional leaders told to cut boozing

    Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini yesterday appealed to those traditional leaders who often got drunk to reduce their alcohol intake while working on his rural development plan.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/05/04/traditional-leaders-told-to-cut-boozing

  • Dmwangi

    Maggs:

    Excellent example. PdV tells us it’s ‘unfair discrimination’ to prohibit acts which he considers self-regarding. Tough to see how that doesn’t fall in this category.

    We communitarians, on the other hand, have no problem prohibiting drunkenness if it is polluting the moral ecology. (Although, again prudential reasons might make it unwise.)

    So would it be ‘unfair discrimination’ to make a law prohibiting drunkenness in a society with a high rate of alcoholism? According to PdV, yes because the state cannot impose its view that drunkenness is bad on those who disagree. Teetotalers would still be free to ‘believ[e] what they wish and arrang[e]their lives accordingly’–as they pass by the drunkards in the street.

  • sirjay jonson

    Dmwangi: My mother always said if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything.

    I’ll say this much though, about your earlier comment, and perhaps my remarks are neutral in nature, since I’ve had to control myself not to post more cutting remarks.

    You make me sad, discouraged, even despondent.

    You don’t deserve the Democracy you have.

  • Dmwangi

    On PdV’s view, it is ‘unfair discrimination’ to prohibit drunkenness among pregnant women (even given the problems some coloureds communities have on wine farms) or from preventing ppl from consensually selling themselves into slavery.

    Those whose beliefs contradict this are still free to organise their lives any way they wish (i.e. carry all the social costs of destructive behaviours) but may not interfere with others’ ‘autonomy/freedom’ to willingly enslave themselves via contract or impulsive desire.

  • sirjay jonson

    I have one question for you Dm. Perhaps you can explain to me how intolerance for other people’s non criminal behavior brings about peace and harmony in our social order.

    You are also probably not aware that American research (which undoubtedly you disdain) reports that one in every six people, both male and female, has homosexual or bisexual interest? So how does oppressing this ‘one in six’ minority (and remember they are people) benefit a mutually harmonious society?

    Or is it just a matter you support the idea of force to insure others behave as YOU decide?

  • sirjay jonson

    There are those who support human rights, and there are those who don’t. Its actually our greatest global struggle.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘You are also probably not aware that American research (which undoubtedly you disdain) reports that one in every six people, both male and female, has homosexual or bisexual interest? So how does oppressing this ‘one in six’ minority (and remember they are people) benefit a mutually harmonious society?’

    I would question the accuracy of this ‘research.’ but let’s suppose it’s true. Now let’s suppose one in six has a biological predisposition to alcoholism. Does that mean I should encourage, or refrain opprobrium, of that person acting on this desire? I should think not.

    ‘I have one question for you Dm. Perhaps you can explain to me how intolerance for other people’s non criminal behavior brings about peace and harmony in our social order.’

    At one time slavery and apartheid were ‘non criminal’ behaviours. Was intolerance of them wrong?????

  • zdenekv

    Chickens coming home to roost I am afraid.

    Talk for years how moral norms are relative to culture or discourse ( and that we should adopt ironic attitude towards moral norms and their purported normativity ) –as people like De Vos love to –and sooner or later the entire notion of moral objectivity has to be seen as a type of joke or illusion; morality with the idea that respecting other people as moral equals is a colonial imposition.

    If this is true –as the white elite opinion insists- then why not think that gays are not moral equals to heterosexuals ? Since moral truth is relative to culture then gays are not equal for Africans .

    This is inevitable.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘If this is true –as the white elite opinion insists- then why not think that gays are not moral equals to heterosexuals ? Since moral truth is relative to culture then gays are not equal for Africans .

    This is inevitable.’

    Can’t speak for all Africans but the view I’m advancing– without actually endorsing, you’ll notice– distinguishes between homosexuals and homosexual acts. Difficult to see how I’ve in any way intimated gays are not moral equals. In fact, it is PdV who claims ‘traditional’ Africans are morally inferior while simultaneously rejecting that he is being intolerant, marginalising, discriminating, etc.

    Point is, intolerance of what is wrong is, in principle, not unjust. The debate hinges on whether homosexual acts are in fact wrong. His nihilism precludes him from disproving they are.

  • zdenekv

    P. De Vos:

    “It might well be that traditional leaders are not aware that their support for unfair discriminatory measures against gay men, lesbians and other sexual minorities stem from the colonial encounter and that their fear of (and disgust towards) us stem from their internalisation of the values of the colonial master. .”

    This is confused. Thinking that gays must be treated as equals is based on imported ideas ( reflected in our constitution ) which can be traced back to 18th c European enlightenment.

    These sorts of ways of thinking about equality are committed to universality and so colonial imports actually totally repudiate the sort of discrimination the traditional leaders are eyeing .

    Interestingly, another colonial import if of more recent vintage , is the position from which De Vos is arguing which sees morality as being relative to culture / ideology ( on display here for ever ) and a type of illusion.

    So what we have here in other words is the traditional leaders simply making moves which have been legitimated by people like De Vos who have argued now for some time that the enlightenment view with its universality is crap and a lie.

    As I said this is just comeuppance.

  • joeslis

    @ Dmwangi

    “At one time slavery and apartheid were ‘non-criminal’ behaviours. Was intolerance of them wrong?”

    Surely you’re not serious, putting homosexuality on a par with slavery and apartheid?

    Are you by any chance unwittingly anxious about your own sexual identity? Or are you just morally inferior?

  • Dmwangi

    Zdenek:

    ‘These sorts of ways of thinking about equality are committed to universality….’

    Depends how we define equality doesn’t it? And in terms of what? Dignity? Nature? Human value and worth? And are we talking here of homosexual acts or persons of a predominantly homo-erotic orientation?

    Thought experiment: is it possible that all persons, including homosexuals, could lead lives of fulfillment and well-being without any homosexual acts ever being committed? If so, it would seem to follow that they are not essential to anyone’s flourishing.

  • zdenekv

    Dmwangi

    “His nihilism precludes him from disproving they are.”

    Totally agree . I am making two points. First I want to say that years of making attacks on morality ( or moral language at least ) from the post modern premises has indeed problemitized moral discourse ; has debunked it to some extent . The language which we use to talk about justice which permits us to make the point that human rights are universal etc has been debunked to some extent in parts of academy and elsewhere in our culture.

    And second it is this that explains why traditional leaders– in my opinion– make the moves they make.

    And why shouldnt they ?

    What is amusing ,and shows lack of self awareness, is De Vos complaint which implies that there is something wrong with not taking equality seriously ( as the traditional leaders are getting ready to ) and at the same time not taking it seriously himself since he advocates taking ironic stance towards all values.

    Hilarious because this is our elite opinion.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 4, 2012 at 16:57 pm

    Hey Dm,

    Did you hear that our government is imposing a limit on salt in prepared foods?

    Eish, let’s hope they don’t ban curry spices – me and 1.2 billion other coolies will be really, really pissed off.

    Maybe the traditional leaders will do well to prohibit obesity while they contemplate other ways of extracting money and resources from the state.

    p.s. You make a good point about “intolerance of what is wrong …”.

    What is wrong, for South Africa at least, is that which is inconsistent with our constitution.

    We should be intolerant of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation because that, believe it or not, is contrary to our Bill of Rights.

  • sirjay jonson

    Since you haven’t answered my question Dm, perhaps I can put it more simply.

    Is it intolerance or tolerance which produces the greatest conflict and drama? Or is it intolerance or tolerance which produces the greatest harmony?

    And further: what do you wish for South Africa, drama, or harmony?

    You speak morality, I speak ethics. Knowing the difference takes significant introspection.

  • sirjay jonson

    So called morality, or more precisely moral attitudes, is concerned mostly with the behavior of others, and subsequently attempting to enforce said beliefs. Ethics is concerned with the behavior of oneself and relates to self discipline.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘And why shouldnt they ?

    What is amusing ,and shows lack of self awareness, is De Vos complaint which implies that there is something wrong with not taking equality seriously ( as the traditional leaders are getting ready to ) and at the same time not taking it seriously himself since he advocates taking ironic stance towards all values.’

    Yep. And you’ll notice he quickly wanted to differentiate between the ‘traditional’ leaders, who are under colonial influence (and patriarchy, which also stems from colonialism), and blacks who ‘have moral agency’ i.e. one’s who tolerate homo practices. I could just as easily– and more credibly– argue that Africans who agree with his views regarding homosexuality are the ones really under colonial/neo-colonial influence and the traditional leaders’ views are much less adulterated with European thought. But he could never admit this because it would undermine his notion that all views are equally valid/reconcilable.

    And it’s uncomfortable for him politically, I think, to be a white professor criticising traditional African culture so he has to create the canard that it’s not our actual culture but we appropriated it from Europe. Wild stuff….

  • sirjay jonson

    If I may add: Morality appears to deal with body functions (sex being the most obvious concern, largely thanks to controlling religions) whereas ethics is about principles. Human rights falls under the heading of ethics, not morality.

  • zdenekv

    @ P.De Vos :

    “As a direct response to this history of dehumanisation the drafters of the Constitution, endorsing the view that all human beings possess an inherent human dignity and are therefore of equal moral worth, prohibited unfair discrimination against individuals regardless of their race, sex, gender or sexual orientation.”

    You just dont seem to get it. If all values are ideological or true only relative to culture or discourse , as you obviously believe and advocate on this blog then to say that all human beings possess inherent dignity is a claim true only relative to culture or discourse or some ideology or other .

    In other words it may be true for me but not for you .it all depends where you are culturally and otherwise situated. Dont you get this yet about your view ? One immediate and obvious upshot of this way of thinking about values is that gays do not possess dignity if my culture and traditions say they are not fully human or are intrinsically evil or what ever.

    For me, then, gays are not equal even if they are equal for you. Again as I pointed out if this is the way things hang together as far as values are concerned then dont be surprised if the traditional leaders argue that they are right to question the received view which says that gays are morally equal to non gays.

    They have learned the lesson you have taught them.

  • Dmwangi

    Maggs:

    ‘We should be intolerant of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation because that, believe it or not, is contrary to our Bill of Rights.’

    Isn’t there something in that document of unimpeachable moral absolutes about the right to practice one’s culture?

    Sirjay:

    ‘Is it intolerance or tolerance which produces the greatest conflict and drama? Or is it intolerance or tolerance which produces the greatest harmony?’

    It’s a meaningless question since tolerance/intolerance are two sides of the same coin. E.g. I would have to be tolerant of the intolerance of others–apartheid, slavery, etc– in order to be right in your eyes. Must I tolerate those intolerant of laws against rape, murder, theft? Should Jews have tolerated Hitler’s intolerance? Are you intolerant of racism?

    You must be intolerant of some things in order to have a civilized society.

  • sirjay jonson

    Well Prof: there’s a long and winding road ahead. As John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ encouraged the world to consider a global society without conflict, whether from personal, racial or religious bigotry, interactive soap opera dramas, or national and internal conflicts; just possibly our great grandchildren will get there.

  • Dmwangi

    Sirjay:

    Should we be tolerant of arithmetic errors too? Perhaps you’d tolerate your banker miscalculating your balance to your detriment. I would not. I’d not tolerate it at all. I might even punish him (correct him).

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Sirjay:

    Should we be tolerant of arithmetic errors too? Perhaps you’d tolerate your banker miscalculating your balance to your detriment. I would not. I’d not tolerate it at all. I might even punish him (correct him).’

    But then, I’m one of those backward, intolerant, traditionalist Africans.

  • Dmwangi

    Forgot morally inferior too.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Dmwangi
    May 4, 2012 at 19:31 pm

    Dm,

    “Isn’t there something in that document of unimpeachable moral absolutes about the right to practice one’s culture?”

    Absolutely!

    And well done on catching up with our Constitution – that’s more than many South Africans (including “traditional leaders”) seem to have done.

    Here anyone can do anything they want, say anything they want, practice anything they want – provided of course it’s not inconsistent with our Constitution.

  • sirjay jonson

    With respect Dm, I speak of tolerance and intolerance, as mentioned earlier, in the context of non criminal behavior. Apartheid was criminal behavior. The glorious Constitution we have, which I recognize is not as respected by the majority as I suggest it should be, is the exemplary answer to such criminality. It is apparent that you don’t recognize this, or others like you who would oppress minorities under the self inflated ego of personal judgement. I have little tolerance for criminality such as exhibited daily by many of our corporate businesses or your inglorious ANC.

  • Dmwangi

    Sirjay:

    ‘Apartheid was criminal behavior.’

    Huh? Can someone please explain to Sirjay that apartheid was quite legal.

  • Dmwangi

    In fact, it was created and sustained by a complex set of laws.

  • sirjay jonson

    Dm: the fact that Apartheid was legal in South Africa or sustained by a complex set of laws didn’t make it legal in the eyes of the world. And yes the eyes of the world are for various reasons, mostly the racial question, always on South Africa.

    You have heard of international law, right?

  • sirjay jonson

    Under international law, apartheid policies are unlawful, criminal. They fall under contravention of human rights. Like julius you probably fail to recognize how much the free Democratic world which respects Internation law, having judged apartheid criminal, played their very valuable part in freeing the people of South Africa. I know, I know, I’ve heard it often enough, only the ANC freed South Africa. Bullshit.

  • sirjay jonson

    I’m off now Dm, my lady is calling. Nice chatting. Cheers.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 4, 2012 at 19:51 pm

    Dm,

    “In fact, it was created and sustained by a complex set of laws.”

    Interesting point.

    It was endorsed too by many of the developed countries.

    But that’s entirely another matter.

    The issue under discussion is (or should be) that our law makers are tolerant of what is clearly inconsistent with our Constitution.

    ANC MPs in particular should hang their heads in shame – this is more disgraceful than Mbeki’s AIDS denialism.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Jacob Zuma’s strange republic

    No two recent events better illustrate the poverty of political leadership in South Africa than the reinstatement of Lt-Gen Richard Mdluli as the police’s crime intelligence head despite a raft of charges and allegations around him, and the casual way in which the African National Congress (ANC) and labour federation Cosatu last week “agreed” to delay e-tolling in Gauteng for a month while government lawyers were arguing in court that such a delay would be a disaster.

    This is President Jacob Zuma ‘s strange republic at work, a place where politics trumps principle, the reputations of the state and its officers are of little account and where no price is too high to pay for the re-election of Mr Zuma as head of his party this year and of the country in 2014.

    Is the president laughing at us? The police force leadership is in tatters as his man, Lt-Gen Mdluli, acquires new powers at a dizzying speed – one day it is control over VIP protection (all the police who guard ministers and can thus tell him who they’ve been seeing), the next he becomes the only policeman in the land able to sanction a wire tap. South Africa’s credit rating is being directly threatened by Mr Zuma’s leadership on the Sanral issue. He must have sanctioned the party-union meeting despite knowing his finance minister would be left humiliated by any decision to delay the start of e-tolling.

    http://business.iafrica.com/businessday/792805.html

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    “More important, Cosatu’s wily general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, knows it too.”

    he he. We notice the compulsive reflexive need to manufacture new villains, the “populist”, the majority, the”wily” COSATU.

    The show goes on but it ain’t over until the capitalist regime that rules the world has collapsed and the fat lady sings.

    VIVA. AMANDLA.VIVA.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    http://business.iafrica.com/businessday/792805.html [and neoliberal media]

    “Nevertheless, the toll road concept is unpopular across class groups in Gauteng, and just days before the e-toll gantries were scheduled to go live on May 1, Cosatu strong-armed the ANC into “discussions” on the issue with the threat of a national strike. With not even a pretence of differentiating between party and state, the ANC caved in and announced that the launch would be delayed by a month for further consultation.”

    So lets try and guess who have their arms firmly planted up the arse of the business day media.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    More of the same.

    “Similarly, while it is abundantly clear that the inflexibility of the labour market is preventing businesses from hiring more young people in particular, this does not suit Cosatu’s agenda of defending existing workers’ rights at all costs. Hence its loud opposition to the proposed labour law amendments that are now before Parliament.”

    Lets not forget what this is really about. Cheap labour same as 1922.

  • ewald

    Anyone else who can shed light on this? (I guess Prof has been distracted by the other issues emanating from all this:))

    @Prof: I find it rather surprising if not bizarre that this Holomisa is the CHAIRPERSON of the CONSTITUTIONAL Review Committee..Do you know how or by who he was appointed/elected and on what ‘expertise’ basis?

    Also, most proposals were again dismissed apart from the two you mention, do you know if that decision is reached by voting or consensus? I see on http://www.pmg.org.za/node/16985 that the NA (National Assembly?) component is divided 7 ANC and 7 for the other parties, but for the NCOP (National Council of Provinces?) it is 6 ANC and only 3 for the other parties. What to make of that ‘imbalance’ and implications for the decisions they make?

    Thanks!

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    LOL @ the DA!

    Name dropping is sooooo last century – even Dmwangi and zdenekv now know that.

    Whenever a person – especially a ‘celebrity’ – utters the ‘k-word’ or another racial epithet they take us further away from the values of reconciliation espoused by the great Nelson Mandela.

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=296359&sn=Detail&pid=71616

  • Zoo Keeper

    Professor

    With all due respect, you have missed the real threat in these proposals.

    I’m afraid your, understandable, anger at the very mention that gay and lesbian rights should be debated has clouded your vision. That is a smokescreen, and a proposal that will get very short shrift.

    Forget about it, its simply a wild goose chase.

    It is in the other proposal, property rights, that the traditional leaders have a real humdinger going.

    You see, individual property rights is a direct threat to the hegemony of the traditional leader. Nothing destroys serfdom like private property ownership. Vast swathes of our rural folk live on land without title and subject to the authority of their chief, who controls the title. They are serfs, unable to unlock the value of the land they till and subject to eviction should they displease the chief.

    Trust me, the provisions of ESTA are hopeless, and especially in their case.

    Just pre-1994 the entire Kwa-Zulu homeland was transferred into a trust run by the King in the single largest piece of land theft in our history. At a stroke, all those rural Zulus lost the chance to own their own piece of Africa, and are now wholly dependent upon their indunas’ goodwill for continued security of land tenure.

    So, by doing away with the property clause, the chiefs hope to stave off the threats from the DA side of the fence who are looking at freeing up rural land and giving all their subjects their own title to the piece of land they occupy, thus destroying the chiefs’ raison de etre and their ability to rule. If enough hope is given to those rural poor then each little chief may face his African Spring. Thus it must be nipped in the bud as fast as possible.

    It is impossible to have a strong democracy without powerful protections for private property, which is why the chiefs desperately want this threat to their existence removed.

    Focus Prof; keep your eyes on the target…

  • Lisbeth

    @ Zoo Keeper:

    Thanks so much for bringing up the property conundrum, for which I’ll be forever in your debt.

    Exactly which property clauses has the Constitutional Review Committee decided not to dismiss? I don’t see any property clauses in section 9 of the Constitution.

    I’m also wondering why the good people who drew up our Constitution omitted dealing with the pre-1994 KwaZulu homeland transfer: the one you rightly call “the single largest piece of land theft in our history”.

  • Zoo Keeper

    @ Lisbeth

    Section 9 would be gays and lesbians (I think, don’t have a copy to hand), the property clauses would be those protecting property a bit further down the Constitution – clause 25 if memory serves.

    Private property, and the robust protection of it, is inseparable from democracy.

    Every single democracy has been borne, and survives, on the back of private property.

  • Lisbeth

    @ Zoo Keeper:

    “…- clause 25 if memory serves”

    This one?

    25.(5)
    The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.

    That is the only one which doesn’t mention “in order to address the results of past racial discrimination”. A bit vague, though, don’t you think? One would have hoped for a little more explicitness.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘The issue under discussion is (or should be) that our law makers are tolerant of what is clearly inconsistent with our Constitution.’

    Yes. I wonder if the CC (including Brother Mogoeng), the institution which the documents says is the final arbiter of its interpretation, believes the Constitution contains no right for traditional Africans to proscribe sexual acts we believe are a threat to our moral community and culture. If so, the litany if sexual practices that must be ‘tolerated’ is quite long and disturbing.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Dmwangi is right.

    “Gayness” is largely a COLONIAL imposition, an affliction of WHITISTS. Liberal “human rights” should not be abused by NGO’s to undermine traditional African values. Roughly translated, UBUNTU means: “I am a person through another person – of the opposite sex!”

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 5, 2012 at 19:49 pm

    Hey Dm,

    Who are “traditional Africans”?

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Who are “traditional Africans”?’

    Africans who have traditional beliefs.

    Let me ask: is there anything in the Constitution even addressing sexual practices or does it only speak of sexual orientation?

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 5, 2012 at 20:43 pm

    Dm,

    “Africans who have traditional beliefs.”

    What are those “traditional beliefs”?

  • Dmwangi

    ‘What are those “traditional beliefs”?’

    They are beliefs, or syncretisms, that can be traced to memes originating in Africa.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 5, 2012 at 20:57 pm

    Dm,

    That sounds impressive.

    It may even be so.

    Are you able to list a few (or all) of the most significant or relevant “traditional beliefs”?

  • Dmwangi

    Yes. (Although it would be unreasonable to ask for an exhaustive list.)

    Some predominant traditional African beliefs you’ll find widely embraced throughout the continent:

    1) importance of family, clan, community. Individualism and self-identity are defined in terms of relationships, not the ‘autonomous’ atomism of the Western tradition

    2) Dualistic concept of the Self– both material and immaterial. As opposed to Western idea of materialism.

    3) Virtues are cultivated socially. E.g. Respect for elders, being hospitable, etc. As opposed to Western conception that each individual contrives his own meaning and carries out his life’s project independently

    Other salient beliefs would be importance of God, ancestors, nature, etc.

  • Clare

    Dmwangi

    ‘Yes. I wonder if the CC (including Brother Mogoeng), the institution which the documents says is the final arbiter of its interpretation, believes the Constitution contains no right for traditional Africans to proscribe sexual acts we believe are a threat to our moral community and culture. If so, the litany if sexual practices that must be ‘tolerated’ is quite long and disturbing.’

    I hope you are preparing to lead the police contingent that will hide in cupboards, under beds to catch all those engaged in immoral sexual practices. You might even find some out of work ex-policemen who have some experience in this circa 1980.

    I also hope you are supporting discrimination against women (of course, not men) who fall pregnant before marriage, get divorced or, heaven forbid, demand equal pay for equal work?

  • Dmwangi

    ‘I hope you are preparing to lead the police contingent that will hide in cupboards, under beds to catch all those engaged in immoral sexual practices. You might even find some out of work ex-policemen who have some experience in this circa 1980.

    I also hope you are supporting discrimination against women (of course, not men) who fall pregnant before marriage, get divorced or, heaven forbid, demand equal pay for equal work?’

    Let’s not jump to conclusions, Clare. I’m just engaging in argumentation.

    But I’d point out you’re conflating two logically distinct things: laws and enforcement.

  • Dmwangi

    But actually Clare brings up an interesting point: Is it, in principle, unconstitutional for traditional Africans to regulate and enforce ANY boundary of sexual norms?
    For example, most traditional Africans would recoil at the thought of a father-daughter coupling. But sexual liberationists argue that so long as the daughter is an adult and both parties consent, it must be ‘tolerated.’

    Maybe one of our fine constitutional jurists can tell me how far legal hostility to traditional African norms of sexuality this principle extends .

  • Michael Osborne

    Dmwangi, I can only wish that more Americans, the vanguard of what you call the “west,” embraced the “materialism” you see as characteristic of the west. Instead’, a large majority claim belief in God and reject Darwin. Also, many Americans seem to share the homophobia you attribute to traditional Africa. Why would that be?

  • Dmwangi

    MO:

    Where to begin….

    1) Accepting Darwinian evolution does not logically commit one to materialism.

    2) I do not attribute homophobia to traditional Africa. I merely claim that traditional African sexual mores are incompatible with the vision of sexual liberationists viz. anything goes so long as between consenting adults of any number. It is the highly atomistic Western approach which says that persons should never have to subordinate their desires to communal notions of good.

    3) America is an extremely individualistic culture. It also embraces the sexual liberationist view (in fact, I think the term sexual liberation started in America, though I’m not certain); see Hollywood, American media, music, etc.

  • Dmwangi

    America seems quite happy to export its pornography all over the world.

  • Dmwangi

    And who was the first to threaten Uganda with sanctions when it was debating an admittedly odious law against homosexuality?

    And why does USAID spend billions on ‘sexual education’ and related ‘family-planning’ programs in African countries? Are they spending this money because they want to strengthen and promote traditional African sexual norms???

    No. They want to promote their views with respect to sex, family, gender, abortion, etc.

  • Dmwangi

    Everyday we see more and more Western NGOs bringing the pink mafia into African countries. These groups were never in Africa before. Don’t tell me the West is not actively trying to undermine traditional African notions of sexuality, gender, family, etc. They recently spent millions trying to codify their views in Kenya’s new constitution. And where did the majority of the ‘advisors’ who helped draft SA’s constitution hail from???

  • Dmwangi

    We might even ask: how do some of these things end up in the Constitution (at least according to the ConCourt) and survive the amendment process when polling shows 90+% of the population oppose them???

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 5, 2012 at 21:27 pm

    Hey Dm,

    Well said with perhaps two exceptions.

    The less relevant one being that you seem to define African Traditions as integral to what western culture is not. But that’s another discussion.

    More importantly in none of what you consider the most important of traditional beliefs is anything which could lead to (or so influence) the view that homosexuality is “a threat to our moral community and culture”.

    If anything the traditions which you listed are more inclined to respect for/appreciation and protection of individuals – it is more likely then based on what you suggested that traditional Africans will respect a persons sexual orientation.

    The essence of what you said is consistent with our Constitution.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Dmwangi

    An interesting conundrum regards the prohibition on discrimination on sexual orientation and freedom of association.

    There is a natural tension between these rights to some degree. Whilst you may not discriminate on sexual orientation, why can’t you refuse to associate with those of a different bent? Can gays validly refuse to associate with heteros, as much as heteros may validly refuse to associate with gays?

    Personally I think people should be able to refuse to associate with others on grounds they deem fit. In the employment sphere this will not fly, but on a personal level, I think it has merit.

    Methinks horizontally this could be an interesting debate. Vertically between the State and the citizen I think its a non-issue as the State has not option but to refuse discrimination on all grounds (unless you’re a white male in which case S36 applies to your entire existence).

    As for “traditional” Africans, please. Africa is a massive continent home to a multitude of cultures and norms, some of which may be more permissive than others. Rather keep it more identifiable – traditional Zulu for example.

    I think its pretty far-fetched to speak for an entire continent’s worth of culture.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Zoo Keeper
    May 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

    ZooKy,

    “I think its pretty far-fetched to speak for an entire continent’s worth of culture.”

    Dm’s listing is pretty broad – it’s unlikely that a single culture anywhere in the world would not comply.

    Anyway – on practical terms, how would Dm or you “validly refuse to associate with gays”?

    Dm (and other homophobes here) are, for example, voluntarily associating with PdV.

    Would homosexuals be required to wear some kind of “gay identifier”?

    Or perhaps should the standard greeting when meeting some new, be “Nice to meet you, except if you are gay!”

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    May 5, 2012 at 20:57 pm

    “They are beliefs, or syncretisms, that can be traced to memes originating in Africa.”

    “*memes*”

    Dear God, now you are channelling Dawkins and the Selfish Gene?

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    Please note Dmwangi, PSEUDO SCIENTIFIC BULLSHIT warning:

    “Potential lack of philosophical depth

    In his chapter titled “Truth” published in the Encyclopedia of Phenomenology, Dieter Lohmar questions the memeticists’ reduction of the highly complex body of ideas (such as religion, politics, war, justice, and science itself) to a putatively one-dimensional series of memes. He sees memes as an abstraction and such a reduction as failing to produce greater understanding of those ideas. The highly interconnected, multi-layering of ideas resists memetic simplification to an atomic or molecular form; as does the fact that each of our lives remains fully enmeshed and involved in such “memes”. Lohmar argues that one cannot view memes through a microscope in the way one can detect genes. The leveling-off of all such interesting “memes” down to some neutralized molecular “substance” such as “meme-substance” introduces a bias toward “scientism” and abandons the very essence of what makes ideas interesting, richly available, and worth studying.[27]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme#Potential_lack_of_philosophical_depth

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    May 6, 2012 at 1:20 am

    “1) Accepting Darwinian evolution does not logically commit one to materialism.”

    Very true. We as social and moral philosophers should be highly suspicious of *scientific* efforts to kill the concept of God by reducing it the haphazard and coincidental side-effect of the lower order biological processes.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Maggs, its a philosophical question.

    I can see how the right not to be discriminated against may operate against the right of freedom of association in the employment and state sphere. However, I do believe that a person, Dmwangi for example, refuses to associate with a gay or lesbian person, then Dmwangi may validly refuse.

    So for example Dmwangi invites only heterosexual folks to his house, a homosexual may not complain that he is not invited to Dmwangi’s house. It is at that level that I believe there is real tension between the two rights where freedom to associate may possibly have the upper hand.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Zoo Keeper
    May 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    ZooKy,

    Dm does not, on a practical level, want to disassociate himself from gay people – as I noted above he voluntarily engages on Pierre’s blog.

    He would also have a right to making it known that only heterosexuals are welcome in his home.

    But I doubt that Dm would reject homosexuals in his business dealings nor is it likely that Dm would put on his business letterhead and/or business card that he will not do business with a gay person.

    Freedom of association is more complex than simply wanting to associate with whomever we want.

    A soccer club may well choose to have only heterosexuals as members – provided that it does not participate in public space.

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Dmwangi

    “Where to begin …”

    Perhaps begin by explaining why, despite the social liberality of many of its elite institutions, homophobia remains rampant in the U.S.A., despite the fact that America represents the apogee of the “West.” (Recall that, not too long ago, a California referendum banned gay marriage.)

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Hayibo!

    “Once you take them (gay people) to a spiritual healer they tell you it’s because some ritual hasn’t been performed.

    “But when the rituals are done the person starts to behave like other people in society. I don’t know how it works for people in other cultures and those who live in urban areas.”

    http://www.citypress.co.za/SouthAfrica/News/Stop-protecting-gays-traditional-leaders-tell-ANC-20120505

  • Dmwangi

    @MO:

    ‘(Recall that, not too long ago, a California referendum banned gay marriage.)’

    Yes, and apparently it was quickly overturned by a homosexual judge. My sources tell me that California has a large black constituency which disproportionately disfavours homo marriage and that was a big reason the referendum initially passed.

    Please demonstrate that homophobia is ‘rampant’ in America. Save for maybe a few exceptions, America continually demonstrates its among the most sexually permissive countries in the world.

    Maggs:

    ‘Dm’s listing is pretty broad – it’s unlikely that a single culture anywhere in the world would not comply.’

    It has to be since we’re talking about a billion ppl and thousands of ethnic groups. However, there is definitely distinctly African features that tend to be common across the continent. Hence, the entire field of study known as African Traditional Religion/Belief (it even has journals!).

    ‘If anything the traditions which you listed are more inclined to respect for/appreciation and protection of individuals – it is more likely then based on what you suggested that traditional Africans will respect a persons sexual orientation.’

    Yes, traditional Africans respect orientation (although respect for individual preferences is tolerated only to the degree it promotes communal flourishing). What we’re talking about is not orientation but conduct. With that in mind, can someone now answer my question:

    Is it, in principle, unconstitutional for traditional Africans to regulate and enforce ANY boundary of sexual activity between consenting adults? Because the principle laid down thus far by the sexual liberationists, means we must tolerate not only homosexual practices but orgies, adult incest, exhibitionism, etc.

    I’d like someone to identify a rational limiting-principle?

  • Dmwangi

    MO:

    My sources also tell me that there was an American NGO lobbying the Kenyan gov during the recent constitutional debate to make ‘genital reassignment’ surgery a human right. Now I suppose you’ll say what’s the big deal since these kinds of things have been a part of African culture since time immemorial but….

  • Dmwangi

    ‘“The last time this issue was discussed was about same-sex marriages. Most of the people in the caucus were opposed to it, but then Luthuli House and the leadership instructed us to vote for it.”’

    Yep. 90+% opposed.

  • sirjay jonson

    Listening to Cape Talk golden oldies, as we do as a family weekly, on weekends and holidays while braai’ng.

    http://www.capetalk.co.za/onair/tunein/tunein.asp

    Then went to Unisa streamed radio today at

    http://www.unisafm.co.za

    An utterly amazing diatribe against Zille and Tutu at Unisa student radio, black accent, almost unbelievable the vitriol so intense; this speaker’s hatred has no place on public radio.

    Thie level of sycophantic, misguided ignorance and personal self interest expressed as hatred, and encouraging hatred in his diatribe at Unisa today is unacceptable.

    What is an educational radio station doing misinforming and indoctrinating their listeners by allowing such biased commentators to issue hate speech, allowed I assume because they are young ignorant students yet unaware of the inaccuracies of life.

    Also disappointing is that such proponents of ignorance and hatred are biting their noses to spite their face. Otherwise, a station worth listening to occasionally.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Johannesburg – The ANC has summoned a group of opinion formers to brainstorm ways to woo white Afrikaans speakers.

    A team of high-ranking leaders from the party is scheduled to meet the group of about 70 white and coloured Afrikaans speaking academics, church leaders and representatives from cultural organisations in a closed meeting on Tuesday, May 8.

    The meeting will be the start of a process to find out why white Afrikaans speakers feel alienated from government processes and the ruling party.

    Although the ANC isn’t selling its Afrikaans Dialogue Summit as a vote-buying exercise, there has been concern about the party bleeding support in minority areas. ‘

    Wonder if they invited Brett?

  • Zoo Keeper

    @Lisbeth

    Its Sub-S1 which is the target if I am correct. The protection against arbitrary deprivation and compensation for expropriation. With that out of the way, the citizens are at the State’s mercy.

    The State can point to ESTA for Sub-S5, but ESTA does nothing except introduce confusion on land title, the opposite of what is intended.

  • Dmwangi

    Maggs vs. Julius Kambarage Nyerere

    ‘If anything the traditions which you listed are more inclined to respect for/appreciation and protection of individuals-’

    ‘”Having come into contact with a civilization which has over-emphasized the freedom of the individual, we are in fact faced with one of the big problems of Africa in the modern world. Our problem is just this: how to get the benefits of European society — benefits that have been brought about by an organization based upon the individual — and yet retain African’s own structure of society in which the individual is a member of a kind of fellowship.”‘

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Dmwangi
    May 6, 2012 at 16:12 pm

    Dm,

    “It has to be since we’re talking about a billion ppl and thousands of ethnic groups.”

    In your post (May 5, 2012 at 21:27 pm) you list three important “traditions”.

    Show one cultural society anywhere in the world that is demonstrably different.

    Traditional Africans do not have the authority or power to “regulate and enforce ANY boundary of sexual activity between consenting adults”.

    Here’s one for you. Zuma claimed that it is unAfrican “to leave a woman in the state of arousal unsatisfied” (or thereabouts) – is it, according to your understanding of African traditions, true????

    If so, would you bonk every and any woman who you think is in a “state of arousal”?

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Show one cultural society anywhere in the world that is demonstrably different.’

    I already juxtaposed three African cultural dispositions against Western ones.

    ‘Traditional Africans do not have the authority or power to “regulate and enforce ANY boundary of sexual activity between consenting adults”.’

    So I guess we must tolerate father-daughter coupling the public sex orgies??? Seems like a strange reading of the Constitution but if true, I predict you’ll have a hard time convincing my traditional African brothers to accept such a legal prescription.

  • Lisbeth

    @ Zoo Keeper

    “With that out of the way, the citizens are at the State’s mercy”

    Next thing we know is that elections will be abolished. Most probaby before 2014.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Here’s one for you. Zuma claimed that it is unAfrican “to leave a woman in the state of arousal unsatisfied” (or thereabouts) – is it, according to your understanding of African traditions, true????’

    Given she is your wife (or one of your wives) and barring physical incapacitation or some other extraordinary reason, it is my understanding as well.

  • Ivor

    Phase two of the NDR, it seems, is in full swing. Nationalise all the resources and cement an intolerable moral framework with discriminatory policy and legislation.

    I’m starting to think that a large portion of the ANC leaders believed the Apartheid struggle, to not be one for freedom, but one for control.

    The Constitution is viewed by the ANC as a temporary compromise. Make no mistake about that.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Nationalise all the resources and cement an intolerable moral framework with discriminatory policy and legislation.’

    Interesting point. But Sirjay think we must tolerate the intolerable. Kind of puts him in a paradox.

  • Ivor

    @Dmwangi

    Would you be insulted if a proposal lands on the committee’s desk, asking for the abolition of the prohibition to discriminate against the cultural beliefs of traditional leaders?

    I’m not gay, but I believe Hillary Clinton was right when she said “Being gay is not a Western invention, but a human reality”.

  • sirjay jonson

    Dm: I have never suggested tolerating the intolerable. What I have suggested is tolerance for differing views, different lifestyles, different cultures. Somehow we must come to terms with differences between us, between our beliefs and actions, and the acceptance of these as long as they meet within the laws designed around human rights. I suggest that these various needs must be adhered to as designed by the Constitution to balance all our needs. You know as well as I do, that many folks act in what we accept as a criminal fashion which is not fulfilling the needs of others, but of themselves.

    With respect to differing cultures, for example, in Canada dealing with aboriginal culture, that culture is accepted and promoted with one criteria, it must meet Canadian law, that is… murder, theft, corruption, fraud, spousal abuse does not meet Cdn law, therefore the law of the nation, Canada, trumps the values and tribal law of a culture which in self and limited interest does not promote human rights for their own people.

    How can you stand by the reality that under tribal or chieftain demand, their people do not hold title for example. To support these chief’s approach is to support elitist dominance over the vulnerable citizens they are determined to control for their own benefit. Its absurd, makes no sense if one thinks about the needs and vulnerabilities of their ‘subjects’, and it is contrary to the freedoms that 1994 and the resultant Constitution delivered.

    Constitutional law is designed precisely to deal with these issues in a way that meets the needs of the majority, as in meeting the needs of all citizens, as long as these needs are rationally legal within the context of individual human rights.

    Why is it that our Constitution is so revered around the world?

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele
  • Dmwangi

    ‘I’m not gay, but I believe Hillary Clinton was right when she said “Being gay is not a Western invention, but a human reality”.’

    Quoting Hillary Clinton will not help MO’s argument. Moreover, I have not denied that there are Africans who have homo-erotic desires. I don’t know why this distinction is so hard to understand: there is a difference between orientation (internal) and conduct (external).

    ‘Why is it that our Constitution is so revered around the world?’

    It is revered mostly by Western legal scholars. Are the guys in South Sudan busy studying it? Any other African country looking to ratify a Constitution? Doubt it.

    ‘therefore the law of the nation, Canada, trumps the values and tribal law of a culture which in self and limited interest does not promote human rights for their own people.’

    That is your opinion of their culture. Why does your opinion allow you to impose your ideals on them?? Perhaps they have the same opinion of CDN law. Should not their customary law then, trump?

  • Gwebecimele

    The sky has just fallen in France and GREECE.

    The citizens have spoken, expect tax of up to 75% for the wealthy on income greater than 1 Million Euros.

  • sirjay jonson

    Well Dm: Perhaps you might consider that the countries which ‘revere’ the South African Constitution as the ‘best Constituion in the world’, are the most successful countries in the world. Have you considered this?

    Is it perhaps that you don’t care about the success of South Africa, but only that of the black man, regardless of the cost of all of us who are not black in pigmentation, while our blood, all of us, still runs red. Likely this is so in your belief, I gather from the thrust of your comments.

    Ask yourself, do you care about all the people, black, brown, white, or only for those who carry the biological pigmentation you share.

    If its blacks only, well globally you lose. The modern maturing world cares about all people. Modern mature and cultured folk don’t think in terms of color, pigmentation, they think more so of class, accepted ethics, levels of education, financial balance, even spiritual development. Thus you find that most of the help given to Africa comes from the world which is both civilized and (forgive me here) white, western. What a shame, right. Perhaps its in charity you should prove yourself.

    Grow up, travel the world, there are far more important issues than who gets what tender in South Africa, or who hates the whitey, the Indian, the colored.

    Actually, all of you who promote black superiority (juju for example) are a joke to thinking beings, but also a worry to most of the world, since you seem to choose senseless violence and destruction over dialogue.

    Join the world community. You’d be surprised. Its actually beneficial.

  • b

    DMwangi: I understand the appeal of “tradition” as a way of retaining cultural identity in the face of colonialisms old and new; but as people have already noted, in reality South Africa has many traditions, and those traditions have never been static. (the fact that there has been room for same-sex relations in many pre-colonial African cultures is another whole conversation…). There have always been people who have questioned aspects of their own traditions, and your idea of what is “traditional” is not accepted by all black South Africans today. Meanwhile, of course, traditions are not always positive; slavery was traditionally part of many societies, African and non-African, and I hope we can agree that slavery is something we’d like to leave in the past. So one has to balance a respect for tradition in the name of cultural integrity with a sense of ethics. The key ethical question for me, always, is, does this cause suffering and harm? And I have yet to hear a convincing argument for homosexuality causing harm. All that talk of harm to the moral fabric of society is incredibly vague, and essentially circular; homosexuality is wrong because we think it’s wrong and you haven’t got the right to tell us it’s not wrong. What causes harm to the moral fabric of society is homophobia-families punishing and throwing out their gay children for something they can’t help, adults looking the other way as children bully each other using homophobia as a weapon, forcing people to lead lives in which they have to lie, hide, and suppress their sexuality (a recipe for depression and suicide), violence against gay people, and the “corrective rape” of lesbians. Isn’t the defense of the vulnerable and the striving for a more equal society a better South African tradition to support?

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Well Dm: Perhaps you might consider that the countries which ‘revere’ the South African Constitution as the ‘best Constituion in the world’, are the most successful countries in the world. Have you considered this?’

    Calm down. Your hyperbolic rhetoric is amusing but doesn’t advance the dialogue.

    The key word above is success. You have a particular view of flourishing. Traditional Africans do not share this view. I look at countries like Canada, US, UK, etc. and, while there are a few nice qualities there, I do not see ‘success.’ You’re measuring ‘succes’ in superficial, material terms:

    ‘To measure a country’s wealth by its gross national product is to measure things, not satisfactions.”

    –Julius Kambarage Nyerere

    We should ask ourselves why so many in these ‘successful’ countries require anti-depressant medications, die alone in geriatric homes, have so much divorce, family breakdown and crass consumer materialism. That may be ‘success’ for you. But not for Africans.

  • Dmwangi

    Now I read of all this epidemic of adolescents in Europe and America committing suicide.

    Unthinkable in Africa.

  • Dmwangi

    B:

    You are the first here to present a serious argument. As you’ll see in one of my initial posts, I said the debate turns on whether homosexual acts are, IN FACT, not by tradition or perception, immoral or not.

    I have not sketched an argument yet about whether they are. We got sidetracked with revisionist historians claiming homosexuality is compatible with traditional African beliefs. Anyway, one place to begin is to ask if homosexual acts are conducive to human well-being. I would suggest looking at its public health consequences as well as the anatomical and emotional harm suffered by its practitioners. That might not be dispositive but it’s a good starting point.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 6, 2012 at 18:58 pm

    Dm,

    There is no authority vested in “traditional Africans” to impose what they think is acceptable. We have laws and state agencies to deal with violations. People are not legally authorised to arbitrarily decide what is and what is not legally acceptable and, further, to impose that on others.

    Name a single culture which runs contrary to the three traditions (or even one of those) you listed earlier – not a broad nebulous statement. Anyway, I note and accept your concession that Traditional Africans respect people’s rights to their own sexual orientation.

    You’re being evasive re “Given she is your wife” – the woman in question was not Zuma’s wife and you know (or ought to know) that. The relevance to the topic under discussion is that there is the tendency to make up “traditions” or “culture” for narrow and selfish reasons. Unpacking it tends to show those for what they are – blatant lies.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘There is no authority vested in “traditional Africans” to impose what they think is acceptable. We have laws and state agencies to deal with violations.’

    Of course. We’re not talking about anarchy here. But on your account, traditional Africans are constitutionally barred from passing a law proscribing consensual adult incest.

    Here is a very specific statement: Western culture basically accepts Mill’s harm principle. As my quote from Nyerere shows, Africans do not. Individual preferences can be subordinated to communal notions of good in African culture– even if they don’t meet the strict harm principle test.

  • Dmwangi

    We can continue later….

  • Gwebecimele
  • b

    Dmwangi: Still no good argument proving the inherent harm caused by homosexuality, I’m afraid-and you have not yet addressed the harm caused by the homophobia you espouse. There is no anatomical harm caused by sex between men, or sex between women. If you are harboring some dodgy ideas about the harm caused by anal sex, you might want to remind yourself that men and women engage in more of it, statistically, than men do with men (at least in the USA). There is no psychological harm caused by being gay: the harm is caused by other people’s homophobia. Gay people whose parents and communities support them aren’t the ones committing suicide. No psychologist who respects the wealth of evidence available would claim otherwise. And I presume when you mention “public health” you are referring to AIDS. The disease spreads through unprotected sex; that is the issue, not who is having sex with whom.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 6, 2012 at 21:36 pm

    Dm,

    “But on your account, traditional Africans are constitutionally barred from passing a law proscribing consensual adult incest.”

    Only parliament may create law.

    And laws have to be constitutionally compliant.

    “Traditional Africans” may not pass laws, no matter how valid, relevant or appropriate their thinking may be.

    Re “Individual preferences can be subordinated to communal notions of good in African culture” – that’s probably true anywhere in the world.

    Sometimes that can translate into really idiotic laws – for example see http://itthing.com/100-weird-laws-from-around-the-world

  • Dmwangi

    Maggs:

    Still, on your account, if Parluament passes a law proscribing consensual adult incest, it is unconstitutional.

    B:

    Unfortunately, it’s unclear those things are true. Some light reading that runs contrary to your statement about homosexual psychological health and comparable rates of STIs and physiological problems.

    Anon. (1995): Lesbians use more mental health care. The Dominion (NZ) Nov 1, 14.

    Bailey, J.M. (1999): Commentary: Homosexuality and mental illness. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 56, 876-880.

    Bell, A.P.; Weinberg, M.S. (1978): Homosexualities. A Study Of Diversity Among Men And Women. Simon and Schuster, New York.

    Carlat, D.J.; Camargo, C.A.; Herzog, D.B. (1997): Eating disorders in males: a report on 135 patients. Am. J. Psychiatry 154, 1127-1132.

    Ellis, D; Collis, I; King, M (1995): Personality disorder and sexual risk taking among homosexually active and heterosexually active men attending a genito-urinary medicine clinic. J. Psychosom. Res. 39, 901-910.

    Fergusson, D.M.; Horwood, L.J.; Beautrais, A.L. (1999): Is sexual orientation related to mental health problems and suicidality in young people? Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 56, 876- 880.

    Gonsiorek, J.C. (1982): Results of psychological testing on homosexual populations. In: Homosexuality. Social, Psychological and Biological Issues. (Eds: Paul, W.; Weinrich, J.D.; Gonsiorek, J.C.; Hotvedt, M.E.) Sage, Beverly Hills, California, 71-80.

    Gonsiorek, J.C. (1991): The empirical basis for the demise of the illness model of homosexuality. In: Homosexuality: Research Implications for Public Policy. (Eds: Gonsiorek,J.; Weinrich, J.D.) Sage, 115-136.

    Herrell, R.; Goldberg, J.; True,W.R.; Ramakrishnan, V.; Lyons, M.; Eisen,S.; Tsuang, M.T. (1999): Sexual orientation and suicidality: a co-twin control study in adult men. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 56, 867-874.

    Kalichman, S.C.; Dwyer, M.; Henderson, M.C.; Hoffman, L. (1992): Psychological and sexual functioning among outpatient sexual offenders against children: A Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) cluster analytic study. J. Psychopath. Behav. Assess. 14, 259-276.

    King, M.; Bartlett, A. (1999): British psychiatry and homosexuality. Brit. J. Psychiatry. 175, 106-113.

    Laumann, E.O.; Gagnon, J.H.; Michael, R.T.; Michaels, S. (1994). The Social Organization of Sexuality. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Matthews, R. (1997): Game theory backs crackdown on petty crime. New Scientist 156(2078), 18.

    Pincu, L. (1989): Sexual compulsivity in gay men: controversy and treatment. J. Couns. Dev. 68(1), 63-66.

    Remafedi, G.; French, S.; Story, M.; Resnick, M.D.; Blum, R. (1998): The relationship between suicide risk and sexual orientation: Results of a population-based study. Am. J. Publ. Health 88, 57-60.

    Riess, B. (1980): Psychological tests in homosexuality. In: Homosexual Behavior: A Modern Appraisal. (Ed: Macmor,J.) Basic Books, New York, 298-311.

    Ross, M.W. (1988): Homosexuality and mental health: a cross-cultural review. J. Homosex. 15(1/2), 131-152.

    Rotello, G. (1997): Sexual Ecology. AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men. Dutton, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, UK.

    Saghir, M.T.; Robins, E. (1973): Male and Female Homosexuality, A Comprehensive Investigation. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore Maryland. 335 pages.

    Sandfort, T.G.M.; de Graaf, R.; Bijl, R.V.; Schnabel (2001): Same-sex sexual behavior and psychiatric disorders. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 58, 85-91.

    Saphira, M.; Glover, M. (2000): New Zealand lesbian health survey. J. Gay Lesb. Med. Assn. 4, 49-56.

    Seligman, M.E.P. (1975): Helplessness – On Depression, Development And Death. Freeman, London.

    Socarides, C.W. (1995): Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far. Adam Margrave Books, Phoenix, Arizona.

    Valleroy, L. A.; Secura, G.; Mackellor, D.; Behel,S. (2001): High HIV and risk behavior prevalence among 23- to 29- year-old men who have sex with men in 6 U.S. Cities. Poster 211 at 8th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic

    Infections, Chicago, Feb. 2001. http://64.58.70.224/2001/posters/211.pdf.

    Welch, S.; Collings,S.C.D.; Howden-Chapman,P. (2000): Lesbians in New Zealand: Their mental health and satisfaction with mental health services. Aust. N.Z.J. Psychiatry 34, 256-263.

    Whitehead, N.E.; Whitehead, B.K. (1999): My Genes Made Me Do It! Huntington House, Lafayette, Louisiana.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 6, 2012 at 22:12 pm

    Huh?

    “Still, on your account, if Parliament passes a law proscribing consensual adult incest, it is unconstitutional.”

    I’m not sure how you arrive at that.

    Parliament may create laws – Traditional-anyone may not create laws.

    Laws only become effective if those are not unconstitutional.

    It’s only the Constitutional Court which may decide whether a law is unconstitutional.

    “Brother Moegeng” may stand on his head and whistle through his elbows about Ubuntu and other nonsense, but it’s the majority of quorum that will decide.

    Anyway – see Gwebs posting (May 6, 2012 at 21:39 pm).

  • Pierre De Vos

    I have always thought the “moral fabric of society” is something one uses to make a wedding dress out of.

  • Brett Nortje

    Dmwangi says:
    May 6, 2012 at 16:52 pm

    I realised I made a mistake posting under this blog as soon as I did it.

    Pierre became an active participant in the assault on my constitutional rights so I do not see why I should care when his are raped. Thank you for trawling me back in.

    All your post shows, my dear mwangi, is that to the ANC there is no such thing as an objective reality.

  • Brett Nortje

    Dmwangi says:
    May 6, 2012 at 17:37 pm
    Maggs vs. Julius Kambarage Nyerere

    Why do you not give us a comparative analysis of Tanzania and Tanganyika?

    Here’s one that irks me: When hunting was banned in Tanzania in 1973 there were …….. elephant.

    When safari operations were allowed again there were …… elephant?

  • Brett Nortje

    Dmwangi says:
    May 6, 2012 at 19:01 pm

    Very interesting point.

    Isn’t female genital mutilation an African tradition?

  • Brett Nortje

    Dmwangi says:
    May 6, 2012 at 21:05 pm

    Really? Give us the statistics for black kids in South Africa who hang themselves?

  • Brett Nortje

    Dmwangi says:
    May 6, 2012 at 21:36 pm
    “As my quote from Nyerere shows, Africans do not. Individual preferences can be subordinated to communal notions of good in African culture”

    Good point. For my next amazing trick I am going to use your rationale to build a hypothetical case that Africans should have been kept out of government for another 200 years – hindsight being an exact science, remember?

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Brett Nortje
    May 7, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Hey G,

    “For my next amazing trick”.

    I got an amazing trick for you – you wanna see it? :P

    Anyway – it’s emerging that this stuff about “traditions” and “culture” is being used as a smoke screen for people to justify their bigotry. As Dm unpacks his views, there is very little to support for it.

    You raise a good point about genital mutilation of girls – “traditions” and “culture” can if allowed to get out of hand can lead to horrendous consequences – the sati practice in India, rape of virgin children to cure AIDS, killing of victims of rape in Middle Eastern countries and so forth.

    It’s good that the ANC has spoken up against the silliness of Holomisa – he should be fired.

    “Then [he] goes and spoils it all, by saying something stupid like …” (thanks Frank Sinatra)

    Johannesburg – Press clubs must revisit their membership criteria and reflect on the role members should play, ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said on Sunday.

    They should also “conduct a frank discussion on the desirability of having politicians as members”, Motshekga said in a statement.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Press-clubs-must-revisit-membership-ANC-20120506

  • Brett Nortje

    A large part of ‘African culture’ appears to be made up by patriarchs like mwangi as they go along – and it is self-serving.

  • Brett Nortje

    Hey, Gwebecimele – despite our hopes for her Sindi appears to know which side her bread is buttered…

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=296587&sn=Detail&pid=71616

    Parliament needs to interrogate Mdluli affair – Kohler Barnard
    Dianne Kohler Barnard
    06 May 2012

    DA MP says portfolio committee on police has to hold the SAPS to account

    DA to pursue special parliamentary hearings on Mdluli despite unilateral rejection by Chair

    The Democratic Alliance (DA) will continue to pursue its request for subjecting the ongoing saga regarding Crime Intelligence Head Richard Mdluli to proper parliamentary scrutiny. The necessity of such hearings is compounded by revelations of a second secret service slush fund and a reported‘pledge’ by Mdluli to assist President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

    The DA does not accept the Police Portfolio Committee Chairperson Sindy Chikunga’s unilateral rejection of our request for a special parliamentary hearing as reported in the media.

    While this decision has not yet been communicated to me in writing, the DA maintains that it is not within the powers of the chairperson to unilaterally make such a ruling. We also disagree with the reasons advanced for denying the request, which include the assertion that the “committee was not a court of law and so it could not do anything”.

    I will accordingly at the next meeting of the portfolio committee put a formal motion to the members on whether special hearings should be undertaken. It is up to the committee in its entirety, as required by National Assembly Rule 202(1), to vote on this matter.

    It is well within the powers of the committee to undertake such an inquiry as it is equipped, in terms of National Assembly Rule 201(c), to monitor, investigate and enquire into the functioning, organisation, structure, staff and policies of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

    The committee, according to section 56 of the Constitution, is also entitled to summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, or to produce documents; and to require any person or institution to report to it.

    The DA maintains that this debacle has significant implications both for the credibility of the police and for national security, given Mdluli’s high-ranking position in the intelligence services.

    The South African public has for the better part of a year been faced with continuous revelations of how the alleged conduct of Richard Mdluli has damaged a number of key state institutions. These include the SAPS, the Hawks, the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence and the National Prosecuting Authority.

    Too many questions remain unanswered for this matter not to be thoroughly examined by Parliament. The alleged involvement of both Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and President Jacob Zuma is cause for particular concern.

    The portfolio committee must take this opportunity to display its commitment to holding the SAPS to account. It must exercise its powers and ensure that the South African public receives a full explanation on the Mdluli saga.

    Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, May 6 2012

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Brett Nortje
    May 7, 2012 at 9:30 am

    G,

    “A large part of ‘African culture’ appears to be made up by patriarchs like mwangi as they go along – and it is self-serving.”

    It’s true for all “cultures” and “religions”!

    Some aspects though are good.

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs, Confucius said: ‘He who sits on fence better have hand under balls’…

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Brett

    I am with Sindi on this one, she is being set up. There are people who are directly acountable for this mess and they are sitting on their hands.

    Just think of the following;

    Her committee has no power to charge, suspend , fire, investigate, audit or arrest Mdluli.

    She is a very smart lady and let us not abuse her. I can think of 3 or more individuals who should lead us on this matter if they take their jobs seriously.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Brett

    We have allowed a very strange role for Min of Police and we will pay dearly for it.
    Nqakula was not accountable for Selebi, Mthethwa for Cele ( including the leases) then why should Mthethwa now be responsible for any police matter including Mdluli.

    At least Sisulu is accountable for the Defence matters and does not allow her Generals to interact directly with other people.

    May be the ANC wil jump in on this one in a similar way to the tolls.

    We made our bed and its time to sleep on it.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Gwebecimele
    May 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Gwebs,

    “We have allowed a very strange role for Min of Police and we will pay dearly for it.
    Nqakula was not accountable for Selebi, Mthethwa for Cele ( including the leases) then why should Mthethwa now be responsible for any police matter including Mdluli.”

    You’re wrong!

    Nqakula was fired.

    (Even Mbeki was fired.)

    This police minister is a disgrace!

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Maggs

    Was Nqakula fired for a police matter or he was just redeployed?

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Gwebecimele
    May 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

    LOL Gwebs,

    “Was Nqakula fired … or he was just redeployed?”

    I didn’t think there is a difference for our Handbook blessed politicians! :P

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, let us leave aside our quibbles about Nqakula, Mdluli, road tolling,
    etc, for a moment – and focus on the FHM model “Jessica”, who used a derogatory term on Twitter.

    I still say that it is WHITIST RACISM that represents the main obstacle to progress in our country, and that is hindering TRANSFORMATION in the judiciary. For that reason, I say we should focus our attention closely on “Jessica” for the next week or so.

    Thanks.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele
  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 7, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Dworky,

    “I say we should focus our attention closely on “Jessica” for the next week or so.”

    I agree.

    Jessica pleads that she is young and she needs to learn – you are assigned to teach her. Milpark H/I?

  • spoiler

    I heard one of the Contralesa’s on talk radio this morning – it was like a time warp – His reason for wanting the Ch 9 rights taken away from homosexuals – it would encourage that sort of thing and in a few years SA would have no population.

    Its so backward its funny. Problem is we still have people like this in SA and we are paying a hefty price in salaries for the privilege.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Sorry Dworky – you lost out cos you were too slow!

    After a firestorm of controversy surrounding racist tweets, FHM 2011 Modelbook model Jessica Leandra dos Santos has decided to turn to life coaching to better deal with sexual harassment.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/entertainment/2012/05/07/life-coach-for-race-row-model

    But maybe you can help (ex?) Comrade Menzi – http://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/simelane-continues-his-fight-in-concourt-1.1290745

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Maggs

    We should help Menzi and others who are caught in political crossfire. The SAPS saga clearly indicates that there are instructions that no civil servant cannot obey.

    Just like the Arab youngsters we will soon realise that its one thing to remove an individual but entirely different to find a suitable replacement. The conveyor belt is geared to deliver perfect or worse off subtitutes.

  • Dmwangi

    @Brett:

    Long on rhetoric, short on substance– as usual.

    In terms of female genital mutilation, you seem to have skipped over the half-dozen or so posts in which I explicitly state that an action cannot be defended solely on appeal to tradition but must be argued for or against on the basis of moral facts. We were debating tradition because there are some rascals here who refuse to accept that African culture has any distinctive beliefs/features whatsoever. I’d appreciate if you read, ratiocinate, then respond, arduous as that may be for you.

    ‘Dmwangi
    May 4, 2012 at 16:08 pm
    To put in simple terms:

    If homosexuality is immoral, there can be no injustice in proscribing it (though there couldbe strong prudential reasons for allowing it). If there is nothing immoral about it, it could be unjust to make it unlawfu/show moral disapproval/etc.

    See now, what the debate hinges on?’

    Dmwangi
    May 6, 2012 at 21:13 pm
    B:

    You are the first here to present a serious argument. As you’ll see in one of my initial posts, I said the debate turns on whether homosexual acts are, IN FACT, not by tradition or perception, immoral or not.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Anyway – it’s emerging that this stuff about “traditions” and “culture” is being used as a smoke screen for people to justify their bigotry. As Dm unpacks his views, there is very little to support for it.

    “A large part of ‘African culture’ appears to be made up by patriarchs like mwangi as they go along – and it is self-serving.”’

    These are just unsupported assertions. All I’ve tried to show is that proscribing prohibition of homosexual acts (i.e. creating a right to engage in homosexual conduct) is something entirely alien to traditional African culture. I’ve never argued the rightness or wrongness on that fact alone. To do so what be akin to affirming the validity of Brett’s racism based on his cultural tradition.

  • Dmwangi

    Pierre De Vos
    May 7, 2012 at 8:07 am
    I have always thought the “moral fabric of society” is something one uses to make a wedding dress out of.

    I find this very telling. In your post about hunger/positive rights you wrote about the need for solidarity. How can we have solidarity and ppl willing to subordinate their individual interests for the common good, if we have no moral community? How are you going to convince whites to take a stake in their country– instead of more or less sitting on the side and whining (as distinct from those who engage in constructive criticism), contemplating emigrating– if moral community is a chimera? This country needs a sense that we come together in community for moral edification and not simply as contactarians who are fulfilling our personal satisfactions but have no responsibility for each other and ought be left to our own devices so long as we’re not directly injuring another.

  • spoiler

    Why does it turn on immorality? If you’re a prude, your version of what’s immoral is going to differ markedly to someone who is more open minded.

    The Contralesas appear to be of a prudish bent and on a path to a place where morality is more victorian than 21st century.

    I think this is why we have a constitution in the first place. To ensure that outmoded, prudish notions of the morality, are never elevated to law and forced on the population in general. Those who want to be prudish and backward are of course free to practice that in the safety of their own homes, as they clearly do already…

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Dmwangi

    “Please demonstrate that homophobia is ‘rampant’ in America”

    Dmwangi is right. I read somewhere that America’s so-called Bible Belt has been penetrated by raving catamites, bent on knitting a PINK BELT. Clearly, it is precisely this “gay” constituency that is pushing America’s African policy, which some call PINKISH IMPERIALISM, or, as I see it, HEDONISTIC HEGEMONY!

    Thanks.

  • Dmwangi

    @spoiler:

    One should not be surprised at such vacuous carp given who your teachers were but I’m afraid I am. It has nothing to do with ‘prudishness.’

    Constitutional principles are only valid to the extent they correspond to moral facts. Moral facts are objective and therefore the fact that perceptions of what are moral facts may differ betweens ‘prudes’ and the ‘open-minded’ is entirely irrelevant.

    We have a constitution in order to lay out how government will be organised and under what procedural norms it will function. It specifically codifies certain values because they are ‘moral facts’ hence, timeless, hence, even if some day the banning of racism is viewed as ‘outmoded,’ racial discrimination will not be tolerated and racial non-discrimination will be forced on the general population.

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Clearly, it is precisely this “gay” constituency that is pushing America’s African policy….’

    Who else would be asinine enough to demand ‘genital reassignment’ surgery be codified as a constitutional right? I’m sure taxpaying Kenyans don’t have any other priorities than to subsidise the already confused to become more confused.

    As I said how do some of these things survive the amendment process given:

    http://features.pewforum.org/africa/question.php?q=16

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 7, 2012 at 17:42 pm

    Hey Dm,

    “Who else would be asinine enough to demand ‘genital reassignment’ surgery be codified as a constitutional right?”

    Is there a Pedi word for hermaphrodite?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Dmwangi, I am not one of those who sees a bigot under every bed. Still, I wonder if the distinctly PINKISH hue of Washington’s African policy is not part and parcel of a RACIST program to reduce the number of black people on the planet, by promoting same-sex-sodomy from Cape Town to Cairo?

    Thanks.

  • Dmwangi

    Part of problem with this debate is extremism on both sides.

    As a traditional African, I would like to say to my fellow traditionalist brothers: ‘I agree with you. This thing is wrong. It’s against our culture. But we cannot tolerate violence or cruelty against homosexuals. We will treat it like we do many other moral ideals: we’ll discourage it, but as long as it’s going on discreetly what can we do? We’ll sort of turn a blind-eye to it so long as it remains out of public view.’

    The problem is that LGBTQ extremists cannot tolerate not publicly announcing their sexual escapades and demand that they have parades, marches, marriages, taxpayer funded lesbian insemination, public sex displays, etc. Honestly, I think some of the terribly regrettable violence we’ve seen against some homosexuals is the result of the public, in-your-face modus operandi of the pink mafia. Much of this could be avoided if it was kept a private matter– as sex should be.

    This won’t always work, especially in terms of family relations (father finds out his son his a homosexual), but it would help.

    The fallacy is the false dichotomy: we must either have full-blown publicly accepted sexual liberationist view or we must absolutely never tolerate any homosexual acts in our midst.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Dmwangi
    May 7, 2012 at 18:26 pm

    Hey DM,

    You have a point about “genital reassignment”.

    I could be a, er, rip off!

    Anyway – let’s start a movement to ban penis and breast enlargements, Viagra, cosmetic plastic surgery, sex toys and the like.

    WDYS?

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs, you’re not much of a magician….

    You’re still here?

  • Brett Nortje

    Dmwangi says:
    May 7, 2012 at 16:36 pm
    @Brett:

    “Long on rhetoric, short on substance– as usual.

    In terms of female genital mutilation”

    LOL! Resounding rebuttal, is what it was!

  • Dmwangi

    ‘Brett Nortje
    May 7, 2012 at 20:48 pm
    Dmwangi says:
    May 7, 2012 at 16:36 pm
    @BN:

    Hahahahaha!!!!! Your envy is clouding your ability to reason — and read.

    Was I supposed to defend FGM?? I thought it was just a bullshit red herring. If the point is that a practice cannot be defended by appeal to tradition, I thought I agreed with that when I said that to do so would be to affirm the validity of your racism which is rooted in mindless cultural adherence.

    If you really want to have a reasoned dialogue about FGM, please give universally accessible reasons demonstrating why it does or doesn’t violate some moral fact(s).

  • Brett Nortje

    Why should I replay the point after I’ve won it convincingly?

    You said African tradition was not to leave a woman sexually aroused and unsatisfied – I rebutted resoundingly (albeit subtly – overkill not being my way) by posing the question whether it was not African tradition to circumcise women to remove their ability to become sexually aroused….

  • Dmwangi

    @Dopey:

    ‘Why should I replay the point after I’ve won it convincingly?’

    Because you have yet to make an argument.

    ‘You said African tradition was not to leave a woman sexually aroused and unsatisfied – I rebutted resoundingly (albeit subtly – overkill not being my way) by posing the question whether it was not African tradition to circumcise women to remove their ability to become sexually aroused….’

    Nice try. But this is a non-sequitur.

  • Dmwangi

    Even if it was true, which it is not, that FGM was a predominant practice amongst African ethnic groups, aimed at preventing female sexual arousal, it does not follow syllogistically that a man could not have a duty to satisfy such arousal should a woman happen to become stimulated anyway.

  • Brett Nortje

    Lovely weather we’re having, isn’t it?

    Warm for May.

  • Dmwangi

    Just because a woman takes measures to prevent pregnancy doesn’t mean she has no duties to the child should she become pregnant anyway.

  • Brett Nortje

    Ek wonder wat vang daai Pierre aan.

    Jo, hy word lui.

  • ewald

    @Dmwangi @ spoiler says:
    May 7, 2012 at 13:20 pm
    I heard one of the Contralesa’s on talk radio this morning – it was like a time warp – His reason for wanting the Ch 9 rights taken away from homosexuals – it would encourage that sort of thing and in a few years SA would have no population

    Dmwangi do you agree with this Contralesa’s analysis?

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    hehehehe.

    This week’s Dumbo prize goes to …

    Yusuf Abramjee of the NCP!

    The NPC said the ANC was “quick to jump to conclusions about our membership without checking its facts, even after [the NPC] stated publicly that politicians do not, and never will, qualify for membership”.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/National-Press-Club-slams-ANC-over-spat-20120508

    Expecting a politician to check the facts is comical!

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    ewald
    May 8, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Hey Ewald,

    “it would encourage that sort of thing and in a few years SA would have no population”.

    Maybe we should start a campaign to end the practice of having Chiefs on the grounds that soon we may have too many chiefs and not enough, er, Indians (?) – now that possibility would warm the hearts of Dmwangi, Manyi, OB, Idi Amin, Hitler, Brett (ok not Brett but I threw his name in just to annoy him).

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Hey Contralesa and Dmwangi – check this out!

    hehehehe – Judge Ledwaba is clearly not a “traditional African”.

    A woman who used to be a man obtained a court order on Monday against Home Affairs because, according to her ID book, she is still man. …

    Judge Aubrey Ledwaba ordered the home affairs director general to consider within 30 days Louw’s request to have her identity documents altered to reflect her new sex, and to inform Louw of his decision.

    Louw said she had undergone the necessary surgical procedures to alter her sex, and was still undergoing oestrogen therapy.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/05/08/home-affairs-ordered-to-make-he-a-she-in-id

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    And one for the road – the weakest link must go.

    The bells have tolled for thee, Comrade Alli. :P

    Nazir Alli, the CEO of Sanral, has resigned.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/05/08/sanral-boss-quits

  • Brett Nortje

    What I want to know is to whom the R70bn E-tolling surplus would have gone.

  • Brett Nortje

    http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=171188

    EDITORIAL: Lining pockets as the state collapses

    A picture is emerging of a public administration that is in a state of collapse across great swathes of South Africa

    Published: 2012/05/08 07:30:46 AM

    THE office of the auditor-general has been ringing increasingly urgent alarm bells over the state of management of South Africa’s public finances, particularly at the municipal level, for years. But the message has now taken on a note of helplessness and despair that is truly disturbing.

    A picture is emerging of a public administration that is in a state of collapse across great swathes of the country and — even worse — of a political leadership that is so preoccupied with securing its own position and access to state resources that it is either deaf to the warnings or indifferent to the consequences of failing to act.

    Having the auditor-general qualify audits due to poor accounting practice or a lack of attention to detail is always cause for concern but, if the political will exists, such things can at least be rectified by introducing new systems or through improved personnel management. The real problems come when governance is so poor that there is simply nothing to audit — where records are not kept, minutes of meetings and decisions are never made, employees are not qualified to do their jobs, and it is not clear who is responsible for anything.

    Such an environment of zero accountability is ripe for corruption and this is precisely the outcome that has resulted. It is no exaggeration to say that there are entire towns, and critical state departments, that are now in the hands of organised crime syndicates masquerading as public servants. Their sole aim is to loot, and creating a climate of general administrative chaos is an excellent smokescreen.

    Ever the diplomat, auditor-general Terence Nombembe used measured words to describe the “dire” situation at a Deloitte function in Pretoria last week. Things were even more serious than he and his colleagues initially feared, he said. The management of supply chains, service delivery and human resources, the security of government information, and the accuracy of reports were all deteriorating.

    But he sounded most despondent when reporting that his warnings are increasingly being ignored by the government. Audits are qualified year after year for the same reasons involving the same personnel and nothing is done.

    There are seldom any consequences for incompetence, mismanagement and even blatant corruption. And on the rare occasion a manager is fired, it is not uncommon for him to pop up later in a similar post in a different department or municipality.

    There is no getting away from the fact that the African National Congress’s (ANC) cadre deployment policy bears much responsibility for this horrific state of affairs. People who are given jobs because of their political clout rather than their skills, qualification or even potential to learn are difficult to get rid of when they mess up or steal, for precisely the reason they were bumped to the top of the short list in the first place. They are royal game, bearers of get-out-of-jail-free cards.

    Mr Nombembe complains that the reports he produces are not taken seriously, and he is not alone. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela warned recently that a “tipping point” had been reached, with corruption now endemic to both the public and private sectors, and threatening to “distort the economy and derail democracy”. This is despite excellent work by her office and other anti corruption agencies such as the Special Investigating Unit.

    They are simply overwhelmed, and as long as there is no political will to act against the serial offenders, the flood of new cases can only keep growing.

    Even the Treasury, which used to serve as a vital check on the abuse of public finances, is finding itself increasingly emasculated.

    The manner in which the ANC casually went over the finance minister’s head to reach a politically expedient agreement to postpone the launch of e-tolling in Gauteng is indicative of where the real power lies in South Africa, and why there is so little accountability for failures of governance.

    http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=171186

    STEPHEN GROOTES: From political thriller to political horror
    President Jacob Zuma faces a stark choice in the Richard Mdluli imbroglio

    STEPHEN GROOTES
    Published: 2012/05/08 07:30:44 AM

    THE furore around police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli and the implications it has for the future of South Africa and President Jacob Zuma is becoming one of the defining issues of this political moment. It is frightening enough to cross the line from political thriller to political horror.

    The claim is that Zuma is protecting a police officer accused of corruption and fraud, and possibly murder, so he can tap the phone calls of politically active citizens and ensure himself a second term as African National Congress (ANC) president. This is how a democracy becomes a police state. The issue could define Zuma’s presidency and even lead to its early termination.

    On Friday, the Cabinet issued a statement in which it called for an end to the “public spats” in the upper echelons of the police. While ministers wouldn’t say so explicitly, this was a reference to the furore around Mdluli. The reason for the Cabinet’s statement was reports of a tussle between Mdluli and several other top police officers, including acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and Gauteng police c ommissioner Mzwandile Petros.

    However, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane declined to be drawn on what had been said in the Cabinet meeting. It was pointed out that this issue had huge implications, as Mdluli has the power to tap phones. It was explained that Sports Minister (and ANC secretary-general hopeful) Fikile Mbalula, who was in the room at the time, could be one of those whose conversations were listened to.

    The best reply Chabane could muster was that “people have a right to be worried if they think things are not going well, they can worry”. It was not a heartening response.

    It appears ministers did discuss the Mdluli matter but did not make any headway. Perhaps the person chairing the meeting, Zuma, put the issue off limits.

    But this latest saga goes to the root of some of our biggest problems. Since the end of the Nelson Mandela era, our leaders have not appointed people because of their competence but because of their loyalty. Perhaps the first example was then president Thabo Mbeki ’s appointment of Bulelani Ngcuka as the first national director of public prosecutions. That decision poisoned the well. It created a political culture in which those in power feared that, should they ever be out of power, they could, like their forebears in Soviet Russia, find themselves in jail.

    Zuma has always felt that Ngcuka misused his authority in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate him, partly at Mbeki’s behest.

    This was the “political conspiracy” he referred to. In the end it was the “spy tapes” that clinched Zuma’s argument — that there was a discussion between Ngcuka and then Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy about the timing of the decision to charge him. This, combined with his feelings about the rape trial he underwent, will have given him a very strong appreciation of the power of controlling parts of the criminal justice system. This has led directly to Zuma’s current behaviour. He needs his fortress because, without his power, his freedom is in peril.

    But Zuma needs to play a careful game. Legally, there is nothing standing in his way should he wish to confirm the worst fears of his critics and appoint Mdluli as national police commissioner. But there are plenty of political reasons he should not do it and why he should publicly distance himself from Mdluli and his alleged behaviour.

    In September 2007, just three months before the ANC’s Polokwane conference, Mbeki suspended Vusi Pikoli as head of the NPA. It is now generally accepted that the decision was taken to protect then national police commissioner Jackie Selebi from prosecution. While Pikoli was not the main issue at the time, it must have been a factor in the minds of many of the delegates at the Polokwane conference. Zuma’s supporters claimed, quietly, that Mbeki was becoming a dictator and the Pikoli issue fed into that.

    Fast-forward to this year and the claim that Zuma is a dictator is one of the main arguments of his political opponents in the ANC. As the party emerges from its bruising ousting of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, the camp that appears to stand for “anyone but Zuma” is looking for any weapon to use against him. For Zuma to be seen to be promoting Mdluli to a position in which he would monitor Zuma’s opponents would embody the worst nightmare of those who claim to fear a dictatorship. It would be the clinching argument — the single fact that proves their claims.

    This would have two big implications. The first is that those who are currently not thinking of running against Zuma may be pushed to feel they must.

    Second, they may also feel that while Zuma was previously unbeatable, this is the weapon they need for them to emerge victorious.

    Whether this would be enough to tip the power balance in the ANC is hard to say. However, it would surely tip the balance for one the ANC’s biggest alliance partners, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, which refuses so far to say who it will back at Mangaung. But, for various structural reasons, it would be forced to fight any move towards a police state, which a top job for Mdluli would surely embody.

    Cosatu’s opposition to the Protection of State Information Bill is partly because of its concerns over democracy, but also because it knows it would not be able to operate as a union movement if whistle-blowers were muzzled. And should unionists fear their phone conversations are tapped, they will be unable to operate. This would have the effect of pushing Cosatu away from Zuma and into the opposite camp.

    Zuma has so far kept silent on the Mdluli affair. His track record shows that he generally acts only when he is forced to.

    However, his hand may be forced. The inquiry into the fitness for office of suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele should finalise its findings soon. If it finds Cele must be replaced, then Zuma may have to make a decision. He may prefer to delay that decision for as long as possible. If he appoints Mdluli immediately, the reaction would probably be just as quick and would give his political opponents enough time to mobilise ahead of Mangaung in December.

    However, the position is not one that should be left unoccupied for much longer.

    Zuma may be compelled to show his real intentions when he may prefer not to.

    All of these factors together show that, at this point, what may be best for the country may actually be best for Zuma as well.

    He should come out and publicly say that he does not back Mdluli. He should appoint someone else, someone seen as politically neutral, to the post.
    This would remove this albatross from his neck. He would be seen to be behaving democratically and thus he would be the main political beneficiary.

    And the country would, at last, have someone completely neutral and independent as national police commissioner.

    But Zuma’s problem is that, should he take the step of de politicising the police, he could then be vulnerable to a truly independent investigator. His corruption charges could return. This is now the political problem he faces: whether to take the risk of going ahead and facing the possibility of an internal revolt in the ANC by appointing Mdluli to higher office, or to depoliticise the police and hope he does not lose his freedom as a result.

    • Grootes, an Eyewitness News reporter, is a contributing editor.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Brett Nortje
    May 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Hey G,

    The claim is that Zuma is protecting a police officer accused of corruption and fraud, and possibly murder, so he can tap the phone calls of politically active citizens and ensure himself a second term as African National Congress

    From what I hear there’s spying and tapping of phones, email on many people and these are not criminals.

    Senior politicians, senior judges, journalists are targets.

    Expect blackmail and even murder to follow.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “Expect blackmail and even murder to follow.”

    With respect, Maggs, you are starting to sound like a whingy whiny whitist. There is no room for alarmism. We have the finest constitution ever thought of. I would support Cde Zuma again.

    Thanks.

  • Gwebecimele

    What worries me is that the ANC seems to be clashing with many (ANCYL, Cosatu, Media, Churhes, Courts, Business etc) except Blade.

    Members and supporters must stand up and do soul searching.
    In the meantime our Head of Intelligence is “fit and proper”

  • spoiler

    Thanks DM. So what you are saying is if the constitution is based on the moral fact that its wrong to discriminate against people based inter alia on their sexual orientation, then the Contralesas had just better fcuk right off, prudes or not, they are factually incorrect, it would appear.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma must go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 8, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Hey Dworky,

    “I would support Cde Zuma again.”

    You do that and I will send you to a zoo to sort out ALL the constipated monkeys.

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/back-page/zookeeper-aids-monkey-with-some-butt-licking-1.1291491

  • Gwebecimele
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