Constitutional Hill

Law, politics and party disciplinary processes

Over the past few months President Jacob Zuma and other ANC leaders have complained about the courts interfering in the policy decisions of the executive, arguing that one can distinguish between legal decisions on the one hand (the realm of the judiciary) and policy choices and political decisions on the other hand (the realm of politicians).

This complaint probably stems from the fact that President Zuma, other Ministers, MEC’s, Mayors as well as the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) have all suffered embarrassing legal defeats before our courts over the past year. It is unclear why they have lost so often and so badly. One possibility is that they had received appalling legal advice from their advisors (or in the case of the President, from the Minister of Justice). Another is that they had failed to follow the sound legal advice provided to them.

This distinction between legal issues and policy decisions is, of course, difficult if not impossible to maintain. For example, clearly the President has a wide political discretion to appoint a man or woman of his choice as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). But if he were to appoint a convicted fraudster to that position this would be unlawful as the National Prosecuting Authority Act (passed by the ANC dominated Parliament) requires him to appoint a “fit and proper ” person as NDPP.

In such a case the court would have a duty (if called upon to do so) to enforce the law and would have to declare the appointment invalid. If the court did not have the power to enforce the prescriptions of any law, the law could be ignored and then we would potentially live in an anarchic and lawless state. But in declaring the appointment unlawful, the court would interfere with the policy choice of the President – albeit a choice that was exercised in a manner that flouted the law. In a case like that the distinction between policy and legal considerations would dissolve and would become meaningless — unless one really believed that law was not binding on the executive at all and that a court should therefore not ever have the power to enforce the provisions of a law that was passed by the legislature. Such a system would be akin to an absolute monarchy or a dictatorship in which the legislature would perform a symbolic function as a pretend-democratic chamber whose decisions would be ignored at will by the President.

But two recent decisions by the ANC and the DA do actually demonstrate the problem of purely political decisions masquerading as quasi-legal decisions. Purely political decisions recently instigated by Zuma and Zille have been dressed up as disciplinary cases in order to provide a fig leaf of respectability and legitimacy to the witch-hunts against the recalcitrant party members who have challenged the authority of the respective party leaders.

The first case is well known: a selected number of the “top six” leaders of the ANC (which happened to include Jacob Zuma and Gwede Mantashe who were both known enemies of the accused) decided to have Julius Malema charged with contravening certain provisions of the ANC Constitution. Malema was then “tried” before an ANC disciplinary committee. The committee comprised of “disciplined members of the ANC” and can in no way be considered to be independent or impartial as it lacked even the most basic safeguards that would have secured its independence and impartiality. The conviction of Malema was a foregone conclusion but in order to give this outcome a semblance of legitimacy the disciplinary hearing was conducted as if it was a legal one.

The legitimacy of the process was, however, compromised (despite the pretence at legality) because the disciplinary committee members who previously had run-ins with Malema did not recuse themselves and the committee also “forgot” to hear evidence in mitigation after it found Malema and other members of the ANC Youth League guilty of the charges.

The DA has meanwhile launched disciplinary proceedings against DA MP Masizole Mnqasela, after he angered its leader Helen Zille. This he did because during a heated internal party election contest for Parliamentary leader of the DA he stated on prime-time radio that Lindiwe Mazibuko was not black enough to become the DA’s parliamentary leader. Mr Mnqasela had dismissed Ms Mazibuko’s candidacy as “window-dressing” in the lead-up to the DA parliamentary caucus election.

Zille was not amused by this and launched a scathing attack on Mnqasela by saying he had “made a fool of himself and the party”. Writing in her weekly newsletter, Zille equated Mnqasela’s controversial remarks to “Verwoerdian thinking”, referring to the architect of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd. “Even in the DA, Verwoerdian thinking sometimes rears its ugly head … I may have missed something, but not once during her campaign did Lindiwe or her supporters ever say she should be elected leader of the caucus because she is black,” Zille wrote.

The DA Constitution allows for a disciplinary committee to hear such a case. Such a committee is not independent but is elected by politicians who are also leaders of the party (on a regional basis) and its members will in all likelihood not wish to upset the party leadership – at least not if they had any thoughts of getting ahead in the party and maybe even becoming a shadow minister of bottle washing or of Zille praise singing. The committee is therefore neither independent nor does it have the necessary characteristics of a body that would act impartiality (or that one could reasonably be expected to act impartially). Zille (like Zuma) has made it clear what outcome is expected of this quasi-legal DA disciplinary process and I, for one, would be very surprised if Mnqasela is not found guilty of some or all of the charges against him.

Ironically, these two examples illustrate (to some degree, at least) the legitimising power that the law still exerts over our imaginations. It reminds us of the dominance in our culture of the liberal view that the law is (almost) always a neutral and objective mechanism for the fair resolution of disputes (even though the presiding officers might get it wrong in exceptional cases and might rely on their own personal ideological views when they resolve a dispute).

But it is even more ironic that by using quasi-legal processes in such a blatant and obvious way to try and legitimise decidedly political decisions, Zille and Zuma run the risk of unmasking the political nature of most legal processes and of helping to delegitimise the liberal version of the law, a version that assumes the law is a neutral and objective mechanism for the imposition of violence on citizens. Because those highly politicised disciplinary processes abuse a quasi-legal process to give some credibility to what are essentially political decisions to act against the members of two different political parties who had dared to cross the leader of the respective parties and threatened the authority of both Zille and Zuma, people might well become cynical about the law more generally.

They might begin to think that law is merely a form of politics perpetrated by members of an unelected clan of legally trained judicial officers. After all, lawyers already know that it can matter a great deal who the presiding officer in a case is. They also know that external political considerations may play a role in the decisions taken by a presiding officer. I recall that in the earlly 1990ties, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) suddenly softened its stance on ANC aligned criminal defendants and reduced Winnie Mandela’s sentence so that the then wife of Nelson Mandela would not have to go to jail. That outcome would have been unthinkable in the mid 1980ties.

This is dangerous terrain for lawyers and judges because political demagogues and populists might easily exploit this ambivalence in the law’s relation to politics to try and delegitimise the courts and the legal process entirely. And this would open up a space for an entirely lawless and authoritarian regime to emerge in which the law on paper would mean nothing more or less than what the President said it meant.

Lawyers therefore face the challenge of producing plausible arguments about the interaction between law and politics, arguments that would acknowledge the fact that legal rules (and the way they are interpreted and applied) can hardly be said to be neutral, but that make strong claims about the ability of such legal rules (to some extent, at least) to constrain the judges that interpret and apply them so that those judges do not merely impose their own personal political preferences on the parties in a dispute before them.

  • Brett Nortje

    Yes, and she repaid the Court by becoming a pillar of society.

    “I recall that in the earlly 1990ties, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) suddenly softened its stance on ANC aligned criminal defendants and reduced Winnie Mandela’s sentence so that the then wife of Nelson Mandela would not have to go to jail. That outcome would have been unthinkable in the mid 1980ties.”

  • Henri

    I love COSATU’s take on corruption, nl:
    “Fight Black against Corruption”.

    [Tony Leon would also have loved it.]

  • Tom Blaser

    I feel this a a false problem. In the end, the law always bends to other powers, be they political, economic or other. ‘Lawfare’ is a good example of this process in which the law is used by rich corporations and individuals to silence dissent. But in all major institutions, such as corporations, universities, and other organisations, pseudo-legal processes with the stakes clearly against the accused, are used to get rid of undesirable individuals. Why should this be different in politics when it is common practice in (un)civil society?

  • ozoneblue

    Quote of the Week.

    “prior to his resignation 8 of the 11 judges of the Constitutional Court were black;”

    So everything is just hunky dory then. Nemo problemo.

    “CRT also rejects the traditions of liberalism and meritocracy. Legal discourse says that the law is neutral and colorblind, however, CRT challenges this legal “truth” by examining liberalism and meritocracy as a vehicle for self-interest, power, and privilege.”

    http://spacrs.wordpress.com/what-is-critical-race-theory/

  • ozoneblue

    This is so misguided and bizarrely inaccurate on has to wonder how a constitutional law expert is totally incapable of distinguishing between a political party’s/any organization’s internal disciplinary procedures and the Constitution and rule of law that is applicable to the courts of the land.

    “The first case is well known: a selected number of the “top six” leaders of the ANC (which happened to include Jacob Zuma and Gwede Mantashe who were both known enemies of the accused) decided to have Julius Malema charged with contravening certain provisions of the ANC Constitution.”

    I guess Pierre secretly yearns for his beloved Juliass to come kill the Boers.

  • Gwebecimele

    Phaah!!! Some have been moonlighting as tenderpreneurs.

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-01-27-judges-hammer-radebes-bid-to-lay-down-the-law

  • Gwebecimele
  • ozoneblue

    Gwebecimele says:
    January 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I’m deeply disappointed. I guess Antie Zille will kick her in the nuts if she dared to disagree.

    But at least Patricia has good news – the minstrels are marching.

    “At the beginning of this month, we had a successful Minstrel Carnival. Cape Town’s minstrels were able to march through our streets along their historic route in an incident-free celebration of our diversity and heritage.”

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=276990&sn=Detail&pid=71619

    “The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the Civil War, black people in blackface.

    “Minstrel shows lampooned black people as dim-witted,[1] lazy,[1] buffoonish,[2][1] superstitious,[citation needed] happy-go-lucky,[1] and musical.[citation needed] The minstrel show began with brief burlesques and comic entr’actes in the early 1830s and emerged as a full-fledged form in the next decade. In 1848, blackface minstrel shows were the national art of the time, translating formal art such as opera into popular terms for a general audience.[3]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minstrel_show

  • ozoneblue

    This is interesting. These judges and “constitutional experts” who think they to govern South Africa do not agree with declaring ther busness interests, as is required from members of parliament LOL

    “South Africa’s top judges oppose Justice Minister Jeff Radebe’s plans to make them declare their financial interests, the Times reported on Friday.

    In Parliament on Thursday, the judge president of the Gauteng division of the high court, Bernard Ngoepe, and Supreme Court of Appeal judge Robert Nugent said more than 200 judges opposed the draft regulations.

    The regulations could make them disclose their assets and business interests, and those of their families as part of Radebe’s judicial reforms.”

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-01-27-judges-hammer-radebes-bid-to-lay-down-the-law

    I would also like to know who is sponsoring UCT’s Faculty of Law and African studies departments.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    PdV is right.

    All political party disciplinary decisions must be outsourced to independent outsiders. Come to think of it, it is an outrage that organs of state make any administrative decisions internally. Outsource all decisions, I say!

    Thanks.

  • Gwebecimele

    OB

    Amongst us elites, we have a special arrangement known a TRUST (approved by Judges) that is where we hide our assets from the masses. These TRUSTS have been elevated to a level of an invisible human being.

  • Gwebecimele

    As a hint to Corruption Watch, lets start with the judiciary so that when we take other cases to court we should have eliminated bad apples.

  • Coenie

    All lawyers are the devils spawn, and judges are their beasts and politicians their bitches. The law and constitution is dead! Unless you have money that is. Proffie, jy leef in n droomwereld, gesels n bietjie weer sense, ek mis jou goeie gedagtes.

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Agree with Tom Blaser: in both legal & quasi-legal proceedings, the law / rules are SUPPOSED to be fair & objective.
    The problem ofcourse is that the people who are to interpret & apply the law or the rules are hardly ever impartial & can be bought or influenced by money / power & thus the outcome of all these proceedings can be (& usually is) influenced by those who possess the most money and or power.

    Add to this the fact that people without money effectively have no access to the courts, & the law in practice becomes a dispute resolution system exclusively for the wealthy.

  • Donovan

    Prof, just a question, why would it be wrong to appoint a convicted fraudster to the position of head of the NPA? Presuming that the person had served their sentence, and it is not based on the frivolous ‘set a thief to catch a thief’ nonsense. And also believing that the person making the appointment is well aware of the past conviction, and in spite of that believes this appointment would be a good one. Hasn’t the person paid their debt to society for their crime. It must be different to a convicted paedophile, who must let people in their area know of their past crimes, and parents could object if the person is made a kindergarten teacher? If they have paid their debt (served their prison time), and it is known that they were convicted, is the person now a fraud forever? Whatever happened to restorative justice? If we employ this logic, then should we not also remove the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and rather have a guilty until proven innocent maxim?

  • sirjay jonson

    Since juju, for example, is employed by the ANC, could he not appeal to the CCMA?

    However, considering his comments on regime change and his supportive association with ZanuPF when considering the country’s foreign policy, and the fact that he was/is an employed spokesperson for the ANC, and that such behavior was/is so preposterous as to be possibly treasonous, I’m not sure such an appeal would succeed. If I was sitting in arbitration and was shown that an employee was acting in complete defiance repeatedly of the employer’s policies I would have no hesitation in upholding the employer’s decision.

    Surely a private organization such as the ANC or DA (although in the public venue) have the right to discipline their employees as they see fit within the law. If one suggests rather that they are public organizations then why are we not allowed to see their financial records and funding information?

  • ozoneblue

    PdV seems to have gone AWOL now.

    Perhaps having trouble with his UCT/ANC bosses?

  • Brett Nortje

    Toe, toe, my liewe Pierre?

    Jy het nou weer baie te se oor interne demokrasie waar dit die geleentheid bied om weer ‘n eiertjie te le oor die DA maar waar dit by die verswyging van ‘n verkiesinguitslag kom vir langer as waarmee Mugabe daarmee weggekom het is jy stil.

    Of is jy van mening waar ‘n ander Universiteit betrokke is is ‘n toe bek ‘n heel bek? Of is dit nou ander ‘progressiewes’?

    http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=163535

    AfriForum in court over student election dispute

    The disputed election of a student representative body at the University of Pretoria is now headed for court

    KARL GERNETZKY
    Published: 2012/01/27 08:13:55 AM

    THE disputed election of a student representative body at the University of Pretoria is now headed for court, amid intervention by AfriForum.

    This follows a ruling by the university that last year’s student elections at the institution were “unfair” after unauthorised pamphlets, some accusing independent candidates of having undeclared political affiliations, were distributed on election day.

    The university has declined to release the results and has since appointed a temporary Students Representative Council (SRC).

    AfriForum Youth is demanding the original results be respected and has instituted legal action against the university for declaring the elections unfair.

    The application will be heard in the high court on February 17.

    AfriForum Youth chairman Charl Oberholzer said yesterday the appointment of a temporary SRC at the University of Pretoria had been “secretive” and was unrepresentative of student preference.

    The temporary SRC included several members of the South African Students Congress Organisation, “notwithstanding the fact that this group had failed to win seats in the student representative council for the past two years”, he said.
    University spokeswoman Nicolize Mulder said invitations had been extended to all political organisations to put forward candidates prior to the formulation of the “temporary” structure. The temporary SRC had further been constituted to ensure a “balance between race and gender”, she said.

    Every effort had been made to reach an agreement on how to proceed after last year’s unfair elections, but this had failed, Ms Mulder said.

    The chairman of the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation at University of Pretoria, Jordan Griffiths, said the pamphlet distribution during the election had indeed “compromised” the results.

    However, the university “clearly had problems with political society” and restricted political activity on campus, he said.

    The “censorship” of political pamphlets, ostensibly to reduce tension and prevent “hate speech”, went too far, Mr Griffiths said.

    Last year, the University of the Free State banned political organisations from operating at the university. All student governance candidates are now required to run as independents.

  • ozoneblue

    Brett Nortje says:
    January 27, 2012 at 20:42 pm

    You just don’t seem to have a firm grip on the meaning of democracy yet.

    “The temporary SRC had further been constituted to ensure a “balance between race and gender”, she said.”

    Democracy is a system where political correct patriarchs ensure that the demographics are enforced and the ballot is merely a minstrel carnival.

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=276958&sn=Detail&pid=71616

  • Brett Nortje

    As mens al jou beginsels verkrag deur hekwag te speel oor wie by ‘n universiteit in kom is ‘n verkiesing steel seker nie veel erger nie.

  • Loudly Safrican

    I think Pierre is missing the point that law is political.

    SA law was based on Roman-Dutch law due to the intensely political occupation of SA by the Dutch. When the English defeated the Dutch and gained control of the Cape, the existing Roman-Dutch Law became subject to English Law – what can be more political. In itself, English Law is the outcome of successive political acts, e.g. Magna Carta, various revolutions and the need of sovereigns to raise taxes. Justices of the Peace were there to maintain the King’s peace.

    All law is political – ranging from those wishing to impose their religious precepts (whether Ayatollahs in Iran or Tea Party fundamentalists wishing to impose their version of “Christian Sha’ria” (no abortion, no evolution, no gay marriages plus no taxes on the wealthy) to the current disputes about nationalisation (“property is theft”). After all, our Founding Law (the Constitution) was the result of a political process and compromises.

    Conflating, as de Vos does, the Law of the Land with the internal processes of a voluntary body is misleading and mischievous. If found guilty in a court of law, Malema or Mnqasela would have a criminal record and possibly receive a fine or prison; if found “guilty” by their respective disciplinary committees, the worst they face is expulsion from their respective parties (and parliament in Mnqasela’s case, but that is a separate matter). They would be free to pursue their political careers in another party or as independents.

    Since, both parties have drawn their disciplinary committees from within their own ranks, there is no way the members can be considered independent. Were an ANC member’s crime be to start advocating a federal, open opportunity society for all and an end to its racism, he or she would be certain that no member of the ANC would support him or her. By the same token, a DA member calling for more statism, centralisation, identity politics and cadre deployment would battle to find a sympathetic panel within that party. That’s what politics is all about.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Hey Khosi,

    What say you about this?

    Mbeki, a coconut!

    Eish, I dunno but I think that’s stretching it ever so slightly.

    It is one of the great imponderables of our ever-so-complicated former president. More than any other African leader of his generation, he sought to bring dignity to this continent. More than any other, he was alive to the power of white prejudice to poison African achievements.

    And yet it seems that Mbeki had a white racist living under his skin, agitating him, pestering him, daring him to do the wrong thing. In the face of all this goading, Mbeki’s judgment fell to pieces. Africa’s great visionary decided to spend billions of public funds on weapons. He oversaw the corruption of the justice system as it staggered under the burden of prosecuting the politically connected. He got the political class addicted to feeding off large tenders. Yesterday’s pig’s trough was the arms industry, tomorrow’s will be nuclear power and fracking. But it is Mbeki’s legacy.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/opinion/2012/01/29/mbeki-s-demons-goaded-him-into-a-wicked-trap

  • ozoneblue

    Loudly Safrican
    January 28, 2012 at 17:45 pm

    “Conflating, as de Vos does, the Law of the Land with the internal processes of a voluntary body is misleading and mischievous. ”

    I think PdV was snorting coke in some fancy nonracial CT night club when he posted that one. On a sober day he would do a 180 and blame JZ for being a “political chameleon” trying to please everybody, being indecisive/ineffectual and for the poor discipline in the ANC.

    You would note the only real chameleons happen to be our constitutional experts and political commentators.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Loudly SAfrican

    “I think Pierre is missing the point that law is political.”

    You are very insightful, Loudly.

    I have never understood why Pierre adamantly and always insists that law and politics are completely separate! I can only conclude that he is an unreconstructed POSITIVIST!

    Thanks.

  • Brett Nortje

    Of course the best example of using law to achieve political ends in the era after that of the Population Registration Act and the Seperate Amenities Act and their ilk is the use of the Firearms Control Act to try disarm a vanquished foe.

    Hindsight (and Genocide Watch) and adding 2 + 2 make it pretty clear the Act was a preparatory step for genocide.

  • ozoneblue

    Brett Nortje
    January 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I have my doubts on the integrity and political bias of that Genocide Watch group. I have mailed them a couple of times with links to article about the ANCs suspension of Juliass Malema. No reply whatsoever nor did they update their South African page or add a links to any developments that may contradict their basic assumptions.

    http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html

    While they state that Genocide Watch will keep South Africa at stage 6 until Malema is “removed from his position of growing power” they seem to be totally unresponsive to the disciplinary hearings conducted against him. Nor did they bother to add a link to Jacob Zuma’s speech on Reconciliation Day – nor did I note any recognition of the latter from our usual [racist] right-wing demagogues.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/South-Africans-should-wipe-away-the-tears-says-Zuma-20111216-2

  • Brett Nortje

    Malema’s puppeteer is still in a very strong position to become President. Malema is still in leadership in our failed province.
    The disciplinary proceedings against him have not been finalised, and he was cleared of the charges against him relevant to Genocide Watch!

  • ozoneblue

    I see. You are a spokesperson for Genocide Watch now. So I assume then that you have moved the goalposts without telling anyone or publishing the “removal of puppeteers” requirement in your website. Then while you are here, can you please explain why HRW reports of what amounts to ethnic cleansing never makes it to links that provide context on your website:

    “Evictions from farms are commonplace. A 2005 study
    estimated that over 930,000 people were evicted from South
    African farms between 1994 and 2004. Farm dwellers in the
    Western Cape are no exception. Under current law, farmers
    must follow the procedure laid out in the Extension of Security
    of Tenure Act (ESTA) to evict a farm dweller. However, given the
    expense and time involved, farmers sometimes resort to other
    eviction tactics, including cutting electricity or water and
    harassing farm dwellers.”

    http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/safarm0811webwcover.pdf

    And while where are at it – when a South African citizen provides information to you via your publicly advertised email the least you can do is to acknowledge receipt clicking on the fucking “notify on receipt” button.

  • Brett Nortje

    No ties to GW, just pointing out that you’re being an ass.

    Is it possible that your reputation precedes you, as with your son’s cricket team?

  • vuyani

    It seems that the white supreme s will never end but I m taking my hat off for those son& daughters who will dispute that and challenge to the level.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    Why our courts are allowing this weakning of our parliament?????

    http://www.thenewage.co.za/41763-1007-53-
    Cope_suspends_treasurer_promises_better_party

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    Black Majority that is a cultural minority.

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-01-13-past-sins-revisited-and-corrected

    “The South African school system favours children who have been brought up with an intimate familiarity with Western culture, inculcated early through books, stories, theatre, film, family activities, museums, international travel and much more. This is not to value Western culture above others. It simply recognises the reality that in South Africa, and throughout much of the world, this culture dominates education systems and places at a disadvantage students with different cultural capital often linked to class, language, ethnicity and geography.”

  • ozoneblue

    Gwebecimele
    January 29, 2012 at 22:25 pm

    Pierre would just love the Judeo-Christian nuance – “Past sins revisited and corrected [on the children]”

    Is it not fascinating, frightening if not absurdly ironic when our esteemed critical race theorists that runs the show at UCT start channeling Hendrik Verwoerd like a fascist ghost that rules us beyond the grave.

    “The second type of explanation concerns “cultural capital”. The South African school system, like all educational systems, favours those who share the cultural capital of that system. The particular cultural knowledge, values and histories, and even the particular valorisation of some ways of knowing over others (for example, science and empiricism over religious, mythological or traditional authorities) and ways of acquiring knowledge (for example, individual achievement and competitiveness over shared knowledge and collective achievement) may all advantage those students whose cultural capital is aligned with that of the school system. The South African school system favours children who have been brought up with an intimate familiarity with Western culture, inculcated early through books, stories, theatre, film, family activities, museums, international travel and much more. This is not to value Western culture above others. It simply recognises the reality that in South Africa, and throughout much of the world, this culture dominates education systems and places at a disadvantage students with different cultural capital often linked to class, language, ethnicity and geography.”

    Well Bantu education in Transkei and Bophuthatswana certainly didn’t attempt to do all those evil racist things.

    Even at the University of Swaziland things are just going hunky dory.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14460215

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    “Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hard-working people on Earth. I saw them in Lusaka markets and on the streets selling merchandise. I saw them toiling in villages. I saw women crushing stones to sell and I wept. I said to myself, where are the Zambian intellectuals? Are Zambian engineers so imperceptive they can’t invent a stone crusher, or a filter to purify well water for poor villagers? Are you telling me that after 37 years of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple machines for mass use? What’s the school there for?

    “Do you know where I found your intellectuals? They were in bars, quaffing. They were at the Lusaka Golf Club, Lusaka Central Club, Lusaka Playhouse, and Lusaka Flying Club. I saw alcoholic graduates. Zambian intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. We don’t. We reserve the evening for brainstorming.

    “And you flying to Boston and all you Zambians in the Diaspora are just as lazy and apathetic. You don’t care about your country and yet your own parents, brothers and sisters are in villages, all of them living in squalor. Many have died or are dying of neglect by you. They are dying of Aids because you cannot come up with your own cure.

    “You are here, calling yourselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating your credentials once asked. Oh, I have a PhD in this and that – PhD my foot.”

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/opinion/commentary/2012/01/30/the-big-read-you-lazy-intellectuals

  • Brett Nortje

    In South Africa they would be talking shit on blogs!

  • abidam

    If you are ruled by the stupid then stupidity reigns supreme;

    A supporter of President Jacob Zuma, with neither a matric certificate nor top management experience is tipped to land the R2 million job as chief operating officer of the financially-crippled SABC.

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/zuma-pal-scoops-top-job-with-no-matric-1.1222484?showComments=true

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    abidam
    January 30, 2012 at 8:29 am

    “A supporter of President Jacob Zuma, with neither a matric certificate nor top management experience is tipped to land the R2 million job as chief operating officer of the financially-crippled SABC.”

    Yeah!

    We can tell the Hon Minister of Higher Education Dr Nzimande to scrap all universities.

    Especially after listening to His Excellency Jimmy Myani on 702 this am.

    FUCK HIGHER EDUCATION!

  • Brett Nortje

    Here is a perfect example of politics being used to trump law – American President fails to pitch up at Georgia Court:

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/georgia-court-told-obama-slam-dunk-disqualified/

    And here US politicians try to repeal the constitutional requirement for elligibility for the office of President surreptitiously:

    http://www.divine-way.com/proof_president_obama_and_congress_know_he_is_illegal.html

  • ozoneblue

    Brett Nortje
    January 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

    http://www.divine-way.com/proof_president_obama_and_congress_know_he_is_illegal.html

    “UNIONS OPENLY PARADE FOR COMMUNISM
    Includes President Obama chanting union song, and saying to unionize the country.

    Ninety+% of Union contributions go to Democrats. Unions benefit union leaders and control government through money and threats of strikes or votes. Unions make life difficult and expensive for us. Forced insurances looked like a good idea, but have us trapped in expensive medical tests and treatments, etc. Union intimidation with crowds of protesters in Wisconsin looks familiar. Unions, Communism and Socialism are reportedly tied to the protests in the Arab nations in this articles: read it all.”

    LOL. I can only imagine such a driveling right-wing lunatic moron like yourself would bother to read such utter toss. As I said before that is the problem with the right-wing in South Africa, or at least those crackpots who log in to the Internet pretending to represent them – a bunch of racist, religious fundamentalist lunatics with the collective IQ of a fucking pot plant. They even plague Solidarity’s trade union’s blog with their 1976 anti-socialist and anti-union rhetoric without even a hint of self-reflective irony.

    http://www.solidariteit-blog.co.za/meer-staatswerkers-plaas-begroting-onder-druk/#comment-422822973

  • Brett Nortje

    Did you notice the facts, at all?

    Do you know the difference between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’?

    Talk is cheap and you’re a hot-air salesman. Case in point: Note your ‘action’ wrt the sale of South Africa’s maize harvest – a staple of the poor.

    Crocodile tears? Mere hypocrisy, this prattling-on of yours about socialism?

  • Gwebecimele

    “Asked why he received a salary through Kawie’s companies, Godongwana said he was involved in the construction of clinics in KwaZulu-Natal, a project Kawie managed, and he had put his salary into the investment. The project failed. He denied that the method of payment was a bid to evade parliament’s scrutiny.”

  • Gwebecimele
  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    With respect, I say this hullabaloo re the SABC boss not having a matric reflects the vile RACISM of the liberal media. Time and again, the spectre of an African man not having so-called “qualification” is raised by the bigots of the liberal press. Sounds like a pretext for “fighting [b]lack” to me!

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Hey OB,

    This story sounds a wee bit wonky, especially the part about Zombies.

    Dworky told me that Zombies don’t exist (apart from the White okes who play for the Proteas when they are on a losing streak that is).

    But this story sounds like the stuff only you can make up. Did you?

    “I have been suffering a lot at the place where I was kept with zombies. It was hell there and I am so grateful that I was able to free myself and return to my family and you, my supporters. I promise to continue singing once I gather enough strength,” he said.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/02/06/fans-flock-to-home-of-resurrected-musician

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    And meanwhile, back at the ranch, Pres Zuma seems to be having his last laugh by allowing the political carcass of the “dead snake” to be dragged and displayed.

    Let that be a lesson who thinks that they are bigger than the ANC.

    And it’s time for Malema backers and supporters to crawl back into the woodwork – better do it quick, there’s only a few months left.

    ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s political career has been dealt a near fatal blow. The ANC’s national disciplinary committee for appeals confirmed all of the guilty verdicts, except for the one related to the appellants barging into a meeting of the top brass. But, in a fascinating twist, the NDCA also decided that it would throw back the case to the NDC to consider arguments in mitigation – and aggravation – before imposing a final set of penalties to go with the confirmed guilty verdicts.

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=278564&sn=Detail&pid=71616