Constitutional Hill

CAR: President Zuma’s attack on the dignity of all citizens

President Jacob Zuma and the version of the ANC he currently leads are, for obvious reasons, not great fans of the Latin maxim “veritas liberabit vos” — the truth shall set you free. There are many recent examples of this disdain for the truth (and the disdain for ordinary citizens this represents), but nothing illustrates this fact more clearly than the manner in which our government is dealing with the crisis arising from the killing of several of our troops in the Central African Republic (CAR).

When a government believes that its own actions are justifiable and that the vast majority of citizens will support it if they knew all the relevant facts relating to a specific event or action, it will have nothing to fear from telling its citizens the truth. But when a President and the members of the party he leads know that their intensions are dishonourable and that the support of voters could not be guaranteed if those voters were told the truth, that President and the members of the party he leads will invariably try to hide the truth, attack the patriotism of those who ask for more information, call into question their motives and invoke national security in order to avoid having to face up to their own dishonesty and questionable motives and actions.

When a President and the governing party have nothing to fear, they will trust the citizens of that country enough to play open cards with them. An open, transparent and essentially honest government respects the inherent human dignity of ever citizen — whether that citizen is a tenderpreneur, a teacher, a taxi driver, an informal trader or a social grant recipient. For ordinary citizens, it is profoundly empowering when a President and his government display such honesty. This is because through such honesty the President and his government signal their willingness to treat all citizens as individuals with an equal moral worth, capable of making informed decisions about who they are, how they wish to live and what is best for them and their children. It signals a relationship of trust between citizens and those servants temporarily elected to govern citizens.

Conversely when a President and his government are deceitful or when they attempt to hide the truth from citizens, it reveals their disdain for ordinary citizens and for the democratic process. For such a secretive and dishonest government, citizens are not fully human: they have no right to ask questions or to be informed about government actions. Neither do they have a right to take part in debates about the wisdom of individual government policies or actions or to try and influence such actions to prevent the government from making more deadly mistakes in the future.

Citizens are treated as chattels — good for working at minimum wages in the mines, cleaning the streets or earning money for big corporations and the government who taxes these corporations. In such a quasi-democracy, the President and his government will promise not to wage war on their obedient corporate servants as long as pesky citizens do not demand to be treated with the honesty and respect that every human being deserves as of right.

Unfortunately, the cynical speech delivered by President Jacob Zuma at the memorial service for those of our soldiers who died in the CAR, suggests that President Zuma does not respect the human dignity of ordinary South Africans. Neither does he respect the right of citizens to take part in the democratic process. In his speech President Zuma stated that:

The problem in South Africa is that everybody wants to run the country. Government must be given the space to do its work of running the country to implement the policies of the ruling party that was voted into office by millions of our people. There must also be an appreciation that military matters and decisions are not matters that are discussed in public, other than to share broader policy. No country discusses its military strategy in public in the manner in which South Africa is expected to do in this country. Those who are engaging in this game should be careful not to endanger both the national interest and the security of the Republic while pursuing party political goals.

In a democracy in which the human dignity of all are respected, citizens do not only exercise their democratic rights (as individuals imbued with an inherent human dignity) once every five years when they vote for the political party of their choice. In his magisterial Doctors for Life judgment, former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo affirmed that democracy requires more than “allowing” citizens to vote every few years. Rather democracy also includes a participatory aspect, as citizens in such a democracy co-run the country with the government temporarily elected to serve all citizens. Quoting from a General Comment of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Ngcobo stated that:

Citizens also take part in the conduct of public affairs by exerting influence through public debate and dialogue with their representatives or through their capacity to organise themselves. This participation is supported by ensuring freedom of expression, assembly and association.

Firmly placing this right to participate in the affairs of the country and to influence the manner in which we are governed in-between elections within an African and South African context, Ngcobo continued:

The idea of allowing the public to participate in the conduct of public affairs is not a new concept. In this country, the traditional means of public participation is imbizo/lekgotla/bosberaad. This is a participatory consultation process that was, and still is, followed within the African communities. It is used as a forum to discuss issues affecting the community. This traditional method of public participation, a tradition which is widely used by the government, is both a practical and symbolic part of our democratic processes. It is a form of participatory democracy.

In response to demands for more clarity, President Zuma now claims that ordinary citizens have no right to ask whether the government we elected acted correctly when it sent our sons to die in a foreign country for one of the various — often conflicting — reasons provided by different members of our government at different times. Neither, apparently, do we have a right to ask questions about the vague and often contradictory statements made about the reasons of the deployment of South African troops in the CAR.

As far as I am aware, citizens have not asked our government to reveal details of future military actions that could endanger our troops. Revealing such plans would obviously not be appropriate. But that is not the issue here. Ordinary citizens are asking why troops were sent to the CAR and for some honesty about what had really happened when rebel forces in that country killed 13 of our soldiers.

Not only do South African citizens have a right to ask these kinds of questions, they have a patriotic duty to do so. A failure to hold the government accountable and to demand some transparency would dishonour our troops and would make us all complicit in the attempt by President Zuma and his party to turn us into chattels with no inherent human dignity and no agency to decide for ourselves whether our government did the right thing or not.

The urgency of the matter is highlighted by the fact that we now have two directly contradictory statements from the Presidency about the deployment of troops in the CAR. When additional soldiers were sent to the CAR earlier this year, the Presidency stated that:

The employed members of the SANDF will assist with capacity building of the CAR Defence Force and will also assist CAR with the planning and implementation of the disarmament, demobilisation and re integration processes.

But this week at the memorial service President Zuma changed his story, stating that:

When the security situation in the CAR deteriorated in the late 2012, our government made an assessment that resulted in the deployment of 200 additional troops in the CAR as a protection force for the trainers and the military assets that were already in that country. These additional soldiers were not trainers. They were not deployed to train but as a protection force for the trainers.

It is difficult to see how both these claims can be true. The latest statement says nothing about our soldiers assisting with the demobilisation of rebels. It also explicitly states that the soldiers were not sent to assist with capacity building (or training) of the military. This obvious contradiction suggests that our government has not been honest with us about the real reasons for deploying more troops to a country in the middle of a civil war.

We are now told that our troops were sent to protect the trainers training the CAR military. But the SANDF itself admitted that our soldiers might have protected business assets. Who is lying? And how can it be treasonous to ask such questions? Moreover, if this new version is true, why was it so important to continue training the CAR soldiers involved in a civil war in which rebels expressed animosity to our presence there? What happened to South Africa’s previously stated commitment not to get involved in the internal affairs of another African country unless sanctioned by multilateral agreement by the UN or the AU?

Claiming that when citizens raise such questions they are potentially endangering the security of South Africa and of our troops, rob citizens of their dignity and of their democratic rights. It treats us all like minor children in a patriarchal and authoritarian household. But most of us do not live in that R200 million Nkandla homestead, but rather in a vibrant participatory democracy. If President Zuma does not like this, he can always retire to his security bunker at Nkandla.

  • meriamerai

    Important phrase here: “…government temporarily elected to serve all citizens.”

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Zuma is above the people of South Africa, above parliament, above the courts, above the Constitution.

    He can say any kak he likes and piss-all can and/or will be done.

    The “version of the ANC he currently leads” as you call it, Pierre, are a fucking disgrace to all of us and to those who gave their all for what would have been the world’s finest constitutional democracy.

    So JR – what do you say will happen to those who sent our people to give their lives for the interests of a few well placed crooks?

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    p.s. Jackson Mthembu on the Redi Thlabi show this morning admitted that he is clueless about who in the ANC has business interests in the CAR.

    So according to his own version he is unable to speak truth to power.

    Poor Jackson, trying to defend the indefensible!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ PdV

    “[If] the support of voters could not be guaranteed if those voters were told the truth, that President and the members of the party he leads will invariably try to hide the truth”

    Pierre is right. Hard experience has taught the ANC that our people will not tolerate being lied to. (Just look at how the masses rose up as one when it turned out that Mr Zuma was lying about Nkandla!)

    I thank God every day that we have an INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL, and WELL-INFORMED citizenry, who will not hesitate to vote against the ANC if they feel it has betrayed them!

    Thanks very much.

  • Maggs Naidu – Dunno what you granny has to do with it but …! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    April 2, 2013 at 17:34 pm

    Dworky,

    President Zuma has taken note of your concerns.

    But has pointed out that your political immaturity is noted.

    In our country the president is elected by parliament.

    Then the president can do what the fuck he likes.

    So the lesson for you is “That is how a democracy works”.

    And the subtext is “If you don’t like it, you can go tell your granny.”

    Eish, I think that’s rude but if you need to know more, the Chief Whip will explain.

  • joeslis

    “verities liberabit vos”

    Actually, it’s “veritas vos liberabit”. Or should that be “veritas liberabit De Vos”?

  • JR

    Maggs -

    “So JR – what do you say will happen ..”

    It pains me to tell you that absolutely nothing will happen. Nothing. Or, to put it more succinctly, SFA.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Amtruza

    @joeslis this one “Veritas vos liberabit” it is a Latin Vulgate.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, you (and even JR), may be right is saying that NOTHING will happen to Professor Zuma. But you can be sure that the ANC will be heavily punished at the next elections. South African voters are not STUPID!

  • joeslis

    Amtruza:

    “this one “Veritas vos liberabit” it is a Latin Vulgate.

    Sorry, mate, you have it the wrong way around.

  • Oupoot

    The CAR slaughter (over 500 casualties!) should sink any government in a true democracy. If JZ don’t want to step down: Impeach Zuma! If he cannot defend his actions and in-actions to “defend the Constitution” he should rightly be fired by Parliament.

    But we also know our Parliament will do nothing to impeach JZ. What are our rights as citizens? How can we, the citizens fire Parliament before their term is up and ask for new elections asap instead of waiting another 14 months?

    SA cannot afford another year of a JZ presidency. In less than 4 years he has taken the govt, thru its actions and in-actions, from not only waging war on White farmers, but black township dissidents, to mine workers and now even citizens of other African countries. For all we know, we will be at war with the USA by end of this year (e.g. through covert support to North Korea – far fetched but not impossible.)

  • Maggs Naidu – JR is right SFW will happen! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    JR
    April 2, 2013 at 18:50 pm

    Dworky – I know it’s you!

    Will the real JR please tell us what will happen.

  • Oupoot

    Freedom Day (27 April) is 3 weeks away. I propose that every SA citizen take to the streets that day to protect our freedom!! Whatever grievances each one of us may have, be it poor service delivery, corruption, right to know, education, high taxes, etc. We take to the streets in every town and every city with peaceful protests! Bring your placards and bring a blank one for a fellow countrymen.

    Our own version of the mass rallies similar to the anti-war rallies against Vietnam and Iraq in the US and Europe. Even better, the anti-Apartheid rallies of the early 1950s against the Pass system. We will only have ourselves to blame if through in-action, our govt is able to curtail our right to participate in govt.

    WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM!
    WE NEED TO TELL THIS GOVT THAT THEY CANNOT CURTAIL ANY OF OUR FREEDOMS!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ ANC Spokesman Jackson Mthembu

    “The Mail and Guardian has opted to play on the emotions of the public and undermine the price paid our soldiers in the interest of peace and stability in the continent. They are pissing on the graves of gallant fighters who put their lives on the line in service of our country and our continent.”

  • nkandlaZ

    Oupoot_ I’m with you Jacob is a confirmed buffoon and must go. Just hope the ICC catches up with him oneday

  • JP Farrell

    The biggest problem that has become something of a refrain of Zuma and his thugs that we should leave the government “to do its work of running the country to implement the policies of the ruling party that was voted into office by millions of our people”.

    “Vote and shut up!” is the message, while Zuma thinks that the ANC was elected simply to implement ANC policy for the following 5 years, unhindered. Actually it was voted in to govern for the good of the people, and not just to implement party policy, and that means listening to the people as life in SA evolves with the times.

    How we were all sold a lemon when our electoral system was agreed to. The Party is not going to impeach the head of the Party, so forget impeachment of the President of SA/ANC.

  • JP Farrell

    Oupoot, I’m not an organiser, but if you tell me where to be in Cape Town, I’ll do it.

  • Truth

    Not to be out-done the ANC also released a statement stating that the SANDF was employeed to amongst others, assist with peace keeping. The day after that the Minister of Defence was interviewed on SAFM, and she emphetically stated that the deployment had nothing to do with peace keeping.

    These people are lying to us, taking avery one of us for granted.

  • Gwebecimele

    In South Africa we are very good at identifying our our problems but where we fall flat is implementing solutions and understanding dependencies. As for prioritization, is CAR our biggest problem at the moment?

    With our ADT, Private schools, medical aid etc then Rape, education, health, inequality are not issues for the elite.

    Why should starving, poor masses march for CAR? What is the benefit for them, for or against?

    Do we want peace in AFRICA so that our Shoprites, MTN etc can operate freely?
    Government might be giving contradicting explanations for the deployment but our constitution gives them the power to decide. Taking back some of these decisions to parliament will not yield any different results.

    This is just a good political football but it doesn’t change the price of bread.

  • Gwebecimele

    How different are these thieves from our corrupt politicians.
    I will not be suprised that half of them are part of the noise of how wrong things are in this country.

    http://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-economic-trends/just-how-many-of-sas-rich-are-sarsregistered

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    The DA’s frequent tactic of relying on the courts to get the executive (or ruling party in the legislature) to act in a certain way has finally worn thin. When he dismissed the High Court application, Judge Dennis Davis warned against the politicisation of the judiciary.

    He said: “Where the Constitutional boundaries are breached or transgressed, courts have a clear and express role. And must then act without fear or favour. There is a danger in South Africa, however, of the politicisation of the judiciary, drawing the judiciary into every and all political disputes, as if there is no other forum to deal with a political impasse relating to policy, or disputes which clearly carry polycentric consequences beyond the scope of adjudication.”

  • Zoo Keeper

    JR

    What? “SFA” – How can you of all people resort to acronyms on us? This is a sacred place where you can say the word “fuck”.

    Are you a victim of creeping political correctness?

  • Zoo Keeper

    JZ was very clear when this broke that SA’s involvement is partisan. He even described the Seleka rebels as “bandits”.

    if we were really peacekeeping the language would be very, very different. The soldiers would be wearing blue helmets to distinguish them so the participants don’t fire upon them. APCs would be painted white and in the event of a fight between Seleka and CAR forces, the SANDF would be passive.

    This is clearly not the case. the testimony of the soldiers shows that important interests were at risk and soldiers were sent to fight and die for individual wealth.

    JZ’s latest attack is simplistic and attempts to shut down debate and enquiry based on bullying. JZ’s position is intensely ironic given his latest outburst.

    JZ is the head of civilian oversight of the military. He represents the civil society’s control of the military and for that the civil society needs to know everything that the military is doing and why. The nitty-gritty of the “how” is a different story as that comes down to battlefield strategy and tactics. Secrecy is paramount at that, much lower level. But at the higher level – the “what and why” – JZ is way off.

    Unfortunately, not enough people in Soweto, Diepsloot, Khayalitsha etc, are pissed off with these blatant lies. JZ knows this which is why JR will always be right – sweet fuck all is going to happen. Parliament will accept whatever JZ says as the Gospel. End of story.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    “The DA’s frequent tactic of relying on the courts to get the executive (or ruling party in the legislature) to act in a certain way has finally worn thin.”

    Gwebe is right. We did not struggle to be ruled by judges. The DA must win power (ha ha!), by contesting elections, like everyone else!

    Thanks.

  • Gwebecimele

    Is this another Jub Jub??

    5 vs 13 CAR can be here? Life is cheap in SA.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Drunk-lawyer-mows-down-5-pedestrians-20130403

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Wasn’t it that awful AIDS denialist, the wanna-be dictator & recalled contrarian, that ‘intellectual dissident’ Thabo Mbeki who said a few years ago that “Jacob Zuma and his backers have no respect for the rule of law, and would be unaccountable to the constitutional dispensation the ANC had put into place if they came to power”?
    ‘Haec olim meminisse iuvabit’ hmm?

    I love the description of an honest government given at the beginning of this article, but does it exist anywhere in the world & can’t we send our politicians there for some training?

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    Double speak!!! Who signed the CAR deal in the first place? Lekota himself, may he should share with us the intended benefits and whether they were realised.

    http://www.thenewage.co.za/90149-1007-53-Zuma_breached_the_constitution_Cope

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma is a sovereign President sort of like an Emperor but more powerful! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Hands up anyone who thinks that Zuma can be pulled into line!

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    If that is Davis’ attitude he understands constitutionalism and living in a Rechtsstaat where the rule of law is paramount as poorly as the Nkandla peasant.

    Gwebecimele says:
    April 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

  • postman
  • Gwebecimele

    THERE YOU ARE.

    Opportunity for DA to fight its shadow.

    http://ewn.co.za/2013/04/03/Parliament-to-discuss-CAR-mission

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele
  • Lisbeth
  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    @ Lisbeth

    Surely Lekota can answer this one.

    “There are a host of strategic questions that need to be asked including whose interests is the deployment serving and how did we end up supporting a dictator, against the grain of our Constitution,” Martin said. “Where else have you seen a country get embroiled in a war that cannot be defined?”

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Brett, it seems that, in the U.S. at least, the idea that we agree upon — making it mandatory that everyone owns a gun — is catching on! (See below.) May I assist you in lobbying for this measure here, and for the recognition that funding for guns for the masses is a socio-economic right?

    http://www.bdlive.co.za/world/americas/2013/04/02/small-us-town-passes-law-requiring-residents-to-own-guns

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    Thanks for the heads-up, Gwebes. I’ve posted the link to our lists. Lets manufacture some outrage!

    Gwebecimele says:
    April 3, 2013 at 16:06 pm

    http://www.beeld.com/In-Diepte/Nuus/Dan-skiet-jy-n-inbreker-20130319

    Dán skiet jy ‘n inbreker
    2013-03-19 21:19
    Philip de Bruin

    Mag jy ‘n inbreker wat jy in jou huis betrap summier doodskiet?
    Philip de Bruin het die kenners gevra.

    Die kort antwoord is: Ja, jy mág ‘n inbreker in jou huis skiet en
    selfs doodskiet.

    Maar met dié antwoord saam kom ‘n norring regsreëls en
    regsbeginsels wat ook weer in ‘n paar woorde saamgevat kan word:
    wederregtelikheid en die redelike mens.

    Prof. Tom Coetzee van Potchefstroom, wat sy doktorsgraad in
    strafreg verwerf het en lank as streeklanddros waargeneem het,
    stel dit só:

    “As ‘n lid van die publiek bewus word van ‘n inbreker in sy huis,
    of dit nou in die dag of die nag is, en so ‘n inbreker betrap,
    wéét hy mos dat daardie inbreker nie daar is om ‘n koppie koffie
    te kom drink nie.

    “Dit help jou niks om na die inbreker toe te stap nie en vir hom
    te sê: ‘Hallo, my naam is Tom Coetzee. Waarmee kan ek help? O, jy
    breek in? Nou beplan jy om my of my vrou of my kinders te beseer
    of te vermoor of te verkrag? Indien dit die geval is, wys my
    asseblief net gou eers jou wapen sodat ek ‘n soortgelyke wapen
    kan gaan haal om myself mee te
    verdedig.’

    “Teen daardie tyd is die huisbewoner lankal ‘n lyk. In ‘n land
    soos Suid-Afrika, waar die howe geregtelik kennis kan neem van
    die geweldige aantal inbrake in die land waarvan die meeste met
    baie ernstige geweld gepaardgaan, sal die redelike mens se eerste
    gedagte wees dat hy homself, sy vrou en sy kinders moet beskerm
    teen ‘n moontlike gewelddadige aanval.

    “Onthou dat wat ook al die huiseienaar besluit, hy letterlik
    breukdele van sekondes het om te besluit of hy gaan skiet of nie.
    Hy het nie die voordeel van regters en aanklaers wat later in
    gemakstoele by hul lessenaars rustig die feite kan oorweeg om te
    besluit of hy billik opgetree het deur die inbreker te skiet nie.

    “Dis in die meeste gevalle letterlik ‘n geval van dis jy of ek.
    Dit is waar die geykte regsreël inkom van die
    redelike-mens-toets. Die redelike mens sal in sulke omstandighede
    nie huiwer om sy eie lewe, sy gesin se lewens en sy eiendom teen
    die inbreker te beskerm nie

  • Vuyo

    Mr Gwebecimele is the worst form of sophist. I true propagandist and example of al the is wrong with our politics.
    The reality is that Lekota (notwithstanding that he is a pawn of the white elite) has disclosed already that the CAR agreement he signed was limited to training and should be disclosed to parliament. The Zuma administration has itself confirmed this, and on the presidents sole determination chose to expand on the mission, whilst misleading parliament. Then Gwebecimele suggests that this should be ignored as it has nothing to do with whether the poor are starving etc. What he ignores is that most of those soldiers who died are poor and working class, and joined the army solely because of their poverty. They died for no legitimate reason save to serve the interest of a tool of rich elites. They would not have been in that situation had they been born in Parkhurst and attended St John. They themselves killed hundreds of Africans, whose sole reason for being rebels and/or bandits was that they were not residents of Sandton and alumnus of Stellenbosch (Its a disgrace that Zuma would call them bandits, particularly in the light of the ANC’s own history).
    In essence, this Gwebecimele is a disgrace and mouthpiece of the plutocracy, whilst pretending he cares about social justice. His fortunate that capitalist values so dominate the media and body politic that the poison he spews will go unchallenged.

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    Next Vuyo is going to tell us it was wrong of the ANC to let Chancellor House scoop R900m of the top the moment Hitachi signed with Escom to build the Medupi boilers?

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    http://www.solidaritylegalservices.co.za/aurora-iii/
    Carte Blanche’s story on Aurora Gold Mine (8 May 2011)
    By Michelle Saayman on May 9, 2011

    Aurora III
    Date: 08 May 2011 07:00
    Producer: Joy Summers
    Presenter: Derek Watts
    Researcher: Susan Comrie
    Show: Carte Blanche

    Recently the NPA told Carte Blanche that no one was above the law. But does that apply to a nephew of a president, a grandson of Nelson Mandela, and the president’s private attorney? These men are the directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems and the miners who work for them believe they are untouchable.

    Wellington Ngubeni (Clerk: Aurora Mine, Orkney): ” What makes us furious is that we don’t know why the President has been quiet about [the] Aurora saga, because he is quiet like a dead person. He is the President because of us, but his nephew is destroying us.”

    Wellington Ngubeni, Jeanette Stevenson and Octavia Mojaki are just three of around 5 000 miners who have lost their faith in their bosses, Khulubusa Zuma, Zondwa Mandela, Michael Hulley and Thulani Ngubane.

    It’s a mafia soapie, says National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni.

    Frans Baleni (General Secretary: National Union of Mineworkers): “These directors must be prosecuted, especially when they splash money in parties as if it’s the end of the world. And if they are not punished history will judge this country very terribly.”

    Derek Watts (Carte Blanche presenter): “Cosatu calls Aurora ‘super exploiters’ and the NUM labels directors as ‘professional liars’ but it just seems that Aurora lurches from one crisis to the next without any accountability or consequences. ”

    The allegations against Aurora’s directors are damning: since they took over the Pamodzi mines in 2009, which were fully operational at the time, they have been accused of not paying salaries, making endless broken promises, misappropriating UIF and pension fund money and stripping assets of mines they haven’t paid for.

    [Briefing Parliament] Gideon du Plessis (Deputy Secretary-General: Solidarity): “This is the headgear [on screen] with the furnaces on the left… this is what is left. It is gone.”

    This was the story that Gideon du Plessis from Solidarity and Joe Montisetse from the NUM, presented in April to a Parliamentary portfolio committee specially convened on the Aurora debacle.

    [Briefing Parliament] Joe Montisetse (National Union of Mineworkers): “They are taking locomotives, headgear and all sorts of invaluable assets to sell them for their own benefit. And then that is theft and we are calling upon this house to assist in that regard.”

    Aurora has denied stripping the mines.

    [Briefing Parliament] Zondwa Mandela: “Ruthless organised syndicates operate with impunity…’

    They blame illegal miners. But the photos shown to Parliament indicate [on screen] this stripping is not the work of amateurs as a company called “Reclaim” dissects the headgear to leave this empty scene of destruction at the Daggafontein mine.

    [Briefing Parliament] Gideon: “They did not destroy a mine here, they have destroyed jobs!”

    Parliamentarians were appalled when they saw what the brand new Ndlovu shaft, Pamodzi’s showpiece, looked like just two years ago. Now you see it, now you don’t.

    Gideon: “This is where the headgear used to be. There were offices here, various buildings… you also had the furnaces here. And as you will see there is nothing left.”

    All that is left is a dangerous cavern.

    If there is an abyss of desperation these men at the hostels are in it. At Grootvlei, near Springs, the water and electricity has been cut, the toilets are a shock. On good days they have hot food, mostly their meals look like this [on screen].

    Workers direct their anger to Khulubuse Zuma known for his love of expensive cars.

    Man 1 (Miner): “He drives nice cars; I have nothing.”

    Two hours drive to the west is the Orkney mine in Klerksdorp. There is an inescapable feeling of sadness here. Cooking pots are empty here too. Ntsani Mohapi has been on the mine since the mid ’70s, he should be in line for a pension but that is all gone now.

    [Briefing Parliament] Gideon: “There are people who are crying, there are people who are dying because we deal with people who are lying.”

    As things stand hundreds of miners are still in limbo; millions are outstanding in salaries.
    Wives have left husbands, children have dropped out of school, people have been blacklisted. They can’t even claim UIF.

    Derek: “What has fuelled the anger of the workers is the donation of a million rand to the ANC by Khulubusa Zuma in the same week that one of the workers committed suicide because of financial problems.”

    SNIP

  • anton kleinschmidt

    CAR

    Debacle from the very start
    Marooned in Africa’s darkest heart
    Questions how this came to pass
    Hubris spurred “godlet” of Mars

    In a realm beyond their ken
    Kittens in a lions den
    Commitment made without due care
    Had no reason to be there

    Arrival of new “lord and master”
    Left brave troops to face disaster
    Fighting for irrelevant cause
    Brewed in plots behind closed

    Leaves our nation steeped in shame
    Our leaders played a noxious game
    At our expense on global field
    Created a most toxic yield

    As the squit got quickly deeper
    Required a global sewerage sweeper
    Stuff that caught up in the fan
    Could have been grounds for UN ban

    Time to get those soldiers out
    Accept that we have no real clout
    Faced with a most shameful rout
    Whilst our “leaders” strut and pout

    Although the right decision made
    Humiliation does pervade
    We have been shamed on global stage
    Thus were forced to disengage

    Thirteen lives were lost in vain
    Ponder all those loved ones pain
    This all goes against the grain
    Of the current inept reign

    Brings it back right to the roots
    Have become too big for boots
    Favour anything that shoots
    At behest of aging coots

    Time well past to find a curb
    On such actions; most absurd
    People have all lost all respect
    These leaders they must ALL reject

  • Gwebecimele

    Vuyo

    You might have the urge to defend Lekota but you do not respond to the simple question asked above here, What was the benefit to the country of training or protecting or peacekeeping Bozize regime? Only Lekota who signed that deal can answer that question.

    Let us assume the soldiers remained within the Lekota mandate what guarantee do you or Lekota have that they were not going to be killed.

    My view is that we should have never been there in the first place and we must not go back. Stop being a propangandist for Lekota.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Anton

    “These leaders they must ALL reject”

    Anton is wrong. Only the ANC can represent the aspirations of all our people. (Maggs will explain.)

  • Gwebecimele

    Vuyo

    Truth be told it is propangandist like yourself who told us that “SABC is the most credible news source” and blindly supported Mbeki while he was causing damage to the ANC.

    Till today you, Chikane and others pretend to be suprised why we are at crossroads.

    Read your comments below.

    http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/there-was-no-coup-to-oust-mbeki/

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    A POEM FOR CAR

    Anton, I earnestly implore
    Respect the choice of Head of State
    He must not be shown the door
    Stop the insults – before its too late.

    Our country has a duty great
    To work tirelessly to defend
    The freedom of that dark and lonely state
    Now they clearly need a friend

    Whites care less for distant CAR
    But Mr Zuma knows his duty
    He’ll work hard, he’ll travel far
    (Don’t say its all about the booty)

    The white wing press is full of whinge
    Appeasing those of lighter skin
    Their graceless arts do make us cringe
    To write this way is just a sin.

    What is our task, you may well ask
    I’ll tell you straight, I tell you true:
    To heal our land’s benighted past
    Our mission is to spread U-BUNTU

    Now that we have joined the BRICS
    We must project our global power
    Whitists – please stop being pricks
    Don’t spoil our peoples’ finest hour.

    Thanks

  • BeHappyDontWorry

    If Pdv can deny that human attributes are largely determined by their genes,
    ie. race and gender, he can deny the following obvious explanation:–
    * Who previously mentioned Mugabe and the generals in the Congo & ‘mines’?
    * Probably the details are available from google.
    Apparently due to the potential need to act quickly, even in democratic states
    the chief of the defence force MUST be the elected president?
    So how can we ‘milk’ this situation?
    Also the fact that the military needs some essential ‘secrecy’ offers good
    opportunity for looting by those in power.
    That’s why ‘arms deals’ are marvelous opportunities for the controlling looters.
    Some years back, Indian journos set up a trap to record the India minister
    soliciting bribes for arms deals.
    —-
    Obviously a marvelous opportunity for the looting-controllers, is to use the
    military [over which they MUST have a free hand] to negotiate non-competative
    deals in CAR’s resources. It’s a win-win situation.
    The CAR dictator has control over the national resources, which his gang is
    incapable of utilising, and the ANC looters have control over their otherwise
    unutilised military that their electorate/fools are paying for. And the CAR
    dictator need military protection, and the ANC looters need resources to
    exploit, before the ability to exploit such resources have all emmigrated.
    It’s a marriage made in heaven! The golliwaogs aren’t stupid, you know.

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma is a sovereign President sort of like an Emperor but more powerful! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    April 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

    LMAO Dworky,

    You’re a nut (albeit a talented one).

    p.s. You and shithead should think of starting a satellite poetry blog.

    We can arrange sponsors.

    WDYSTT?

  • Maggs Naidu – Zuma is a sovereign President sort of like an Emperor but more powerful! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?
    April 4, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Hayibo G,

    “Date: 08 May 2011 07:00″

    Eish you are desperate man – nearly two years ago?

    Methinks that you are suffering from Traffic Jaminitis!

    :P

    http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/traffic-jams-can-cause-mental-illness-1.1495257#.UV1H3EoVF8E

  • Gwebecimele

    Clever Trevor Plan.

    “The plan proposes that the Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, will only decrease slightly from its current world-beating level of 69% (or 0.69) to an excessively high 60% by 2030. This long-term target (which Brazil has greatly surpassed in fewer than 10 years) is an embarrassment.”

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=367649&sn=Detail&pid=71616

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=367636&sn=Detail&pid=71616

  • Thomas

    This is what we get from our justice system, what a sham:

    Man to get R70k for time in jail

    April 4 2013 at 11:01am
    By ZELDA VENTER

    Pretoria – A Riviera man is set to receive R70 000 in damages from the police after he was locked up for about a week – first in a police cell and then in prison – for no reason at all and without being told what he was alleged to have done.

    Thys Hugo, who initially claimed R650 000 in damages, told the Pretoria High Court that he had a harrowing experience as his fellow detainees in a holding cell at the Pretoria Magistrate Court stole his ring and his shirt shortly before he was due to appear in court. He had to stand in front of the magistrate without his shirt and only with his trousers and jacket on.

    His nightmare ordeal started shortly before midnight on June 28, 2009, when he was phoned and asked to go to the Wonderboom police station, as his brother-in-law had been arrested.

    When he arrived there, the police searched him, took his shoelaces and locked him up in a cell. Hugo said nobody told him why he was being detained. He later heard that he was being accused of breaking into a house. Hugo said that when he appeared in court two days later he asked the magistrate where it is claimed he had broken into, but the magistrate could also not shed light on the issue.

    According to Hugo, he was detained in a cell with about 20 other detainees.

    “I did not sleep that night as I felt terrible. It was the first time that I have been detained,” said Hugo.

    He said he was not allowed to phone his family and they had no idea where he was.

    The case against him was postponed on June 30, 2009, to “establish his address”, but Hugo said he had already given the police his home and work address, as well as that of his parents and his girlfriend.

    He was then detained at the Pretoria Central Prison, where he said he was too scared to shower or wash as he feared his fellow inmates, who were hardened criminals.

    Hugo again appeared in court on July 7, when he was told that he was free to go home. No reasons for his detention or release were given.

    Hugo, a panel beater, had by then lost his job.

    The court found the police only to be responsible for the first 33 hours of Hugo being locked-up.

    Acting Judge JJ Strijdom said the fact that the prosecutor saw it fit to detain him for another seven days in prison could not be blamed on the police. The judge, however, took into account that it was a humiliating and traumatic experience for Hugo and that his friend later teased him about being in jail.

    Pretoria News

  • Gwebecimele

    Thomas

    Yep and they want a salary raise.

  • Anonymouse

    Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    April 2, 2013 at 17:10 pm

    Zuma is above the people of South Africa, above parliament, above the courts, above the Constitution.

    - The King can do no wrong! Eh?

  • Chris

    Gwebecimele says:
    April 4, 2013 at 13:09 pm

    Who wants a salary raise? The acting judges? The panelbeaters?

  • Vuyo

    Mr Gwebe,

    Typical of a propagandist. You fail to deal with my concerns. The reality is that Lekota is as much a slave to capital as you are. The reality is that I care not about Lekota nor his allies or so-called opponents (they serve the same masters). Nonetheless, it was the ANC that blocked his citation of the bilateral memorandum in parliament today. They same apparent basis for the loss of thirteen lives. Why?
    You love having you cake and eating it too. The reality is that there’s nothing revolutionary of you for pointing out the hypocrisy of the ANC, DA or government. All serve monied interests. And so do you. What offends me is that you would dissuade vigilance from an affront against the working classes. You suggest that the killing of those who as a result of poverty would bear arms should be relegated to a non issue because “other issues are of pressing importance”. Injustice is indivisible. All are victims of the system that’s rendered and still renders you fat. This despite the potentate supposedly in charge from time to time.
    PS: I’ll defend Mbeki with pride, next to the potentate you’ve loyally supported (and still support) I consider him certainly to be on the side of angels. Funny thing, so do most Africans.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Vuyo is right. I will always admire Mr Mbeki for his strong ANTI CAPITALIST stance, and for keeping that uncompromising socialist Mr Manuel as his finance minister.

    (Although I see that Manuel has now changed his tune, foolishly saying that we can’t continue to blame APARTHEID for everything. How the mighty have fallen!)

  • Jama kaSijadu

    Now that Nkosi Nxamalala II has officially withdrawn us from the CAR, does he still have to come before Parliament & explain his infinite & unfathomable wisdom to the simpletons “who all want to run the country?”
    Defence Minister seems to have taken the bullet for him?

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    That’s why they call Manuel ‘Clever Trevor’, Dworky!

    It only took about 15 years for the penny to drop which places him considerably ahead of the rest of the ANC.

  • Maggs Naidu – Jesus spelled backwards sounds like sausage! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    April 4, 2013 at 23:45 pm

    Dworky,

    Manuel has finally realised that Helen Zille is responsible for the mess we find ourselves in!

    Not alone of course – she has help from Juju, Thabo “Dead Snake” Mbeki, Clever Blacks, hair straightening businesses, skin lightening businesses, dog walkers, …

    As our President Professor Zuma says – “the trouble with South Africa is that everyone [*looking squintedly at Min Manuel of course*] wants to run government”.

  • Gwebecimele

    Vuyo

    Fortunately I watched the sitting in parliament yersteday and your Lekota was exposed by the Minister that he is the first one who signed/provided VIP protection for Bozize despite him running around and claiming it was not on the original MOU. He signed and added it later while he was Minister and my “propaganda” stands he must explain to us why he did that together with your Mbeki.

    Needless to say that sitting was just a waste of our time , it achieved NOTHING.

    As for death of citizens or soldiers my views are well known. Similarily my “support for the plutocracy” is well documented in this blog.

  • Gwebecimele

    While the chairing of the committee was below par this article is not the true reflection of what happened in parliament.

    Maynier accused govt of lying but was caught selectively quoting a document he had by the Dep Minister, all questions including useless ones were answered. Lekota was exposed for being the first Minister to agree to provide VIP for Bozize.

    I do not support past, current or future deployment of our soldiers in CAR but we must not be misled by both govt and opposition parties.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2013/04/05/parliament-defence-meeting-a-disgrace-da

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    Gwebes, here is another interesting article on the subject:

    http://www.monash.edu.au/news/show/intruders-provoke-a-lethal-force-dilemma

    Gwebecimele says:
    April 3, 2013 at 16:06 pm

  • Zoo Keeper

    Brett

    The current conundrum about what to do when faced with an intruder is an extension of the policy in place in a number of places. Most illustrative is the UK. Here , they have narrowed down what can and can’t be done into such a small path that it is practically impossible to comply – almost any resistance will lead to prosecution.

    It has nothing to do with security of person and everything to do with keeping the population in check.

    Part of gun control’s octopus.