Constitutional Hill

On the political brilliance of Julius Malema

It has become seemingly impossible to have any kind of logical and level-headed discussion about Julius Malema. Because he is a master politician (although obviously not intellectually gifted, principled or – heaven knows – humble or poor), he has managed to create a political persona that inoculates him against criticism, attack and possible exposure as a charlatan. By launching his populist campaign for the nationalisation of the mines and the expropriation of white people’s property without compensation, Malema has cleverly bought some political insurance against criticism and/or possible exposure as a corrupt, dishonest and hypocritical champagne socialist.

Given our apartheid history, the continued gap between the (mostly, but not exclusively, white) upper middle classes and the (mostly, but not exclusively, black) poor, the seeming inability of the post-1994 government to create a more just and safe society, and the effects of economic and political choices (especially choices regarding education and unemployment) which have made it very difficult if not impossible for most of the poorest 50% of young South Africans ever to climb out of poverty in an honest and legal way, any politician reckless or clever enough to use brutal, racialised and militant language to describe the unjust nature of our society was always going to become popular with a vocal and political active group within the ANC. This group might not represent the majority of South Africans, but it is a vocal, active and influential group that will help to protect Malema against his enemies within and outside the ANC.

The fact that Malema has also proposed “solutions” that he claims will address the continued injustice in our society, further assists him in creating the persona which will – at least for some very vocal and powerful people – continue to trump any other considerations about his private life and the sources of his wealth. At the same time he has made many enemies amongst white people who hate and fear him for singing songs about Boers and for generally “not knowing his place as a black man”.

And having this group as enemies is a political plus for a person like Malema. Even people who would otherwise be level-headed would be hard-pressed to be seen to be on the same side as Afriforum for fear of being branded as coconuts or racists. So, don’t count Mr Malema out yet. He is down but not out because he can rely on those who will support him no matter what because their support would be seen as defending Malema AGAINST the white racists fearful of the creation of a more just society.

Who cares, such people might say, whether Malema took bribes to facilitate tenders? Who cares if tenders were inflated, houses were not built, services were not delivered, all because some businessmen “donated” a few million Rand here and there to Malema? If he did take the money, good for him! He is saying what other politicians are all too scared, intimidated or stupid to say. And his solutions – while they may well be economically disastrous – feel emotionally just and correct.

Why think with your head when the daily grind of your existence – the struggle to feed your family, to pay school fees for a third rate education of your children – continues to humiliate you? When your dignity – supposedly guaranteed by the South African Constitution – is infringed on a daily basis because of your economic depravation and the ongoing racism and racial discrimination that confronts you at work, in shops and on the streets? Why not indulge in a bit of a revenge fantasy by cheering on Julius Malema’s every outrageous and supposedly radical statement?

When you see the white madams in their 4x4s – their dyed platinum hair flowing over their shoulders, their manicured nails clutching the latest cellphone models, their Gucci shoes shining – when you see them dropping off their blond children at expensive private schools where they will be educated for high-paying jobs in Sydney and London, you might cheer on Julius Malema because if his proposals were accepted, these madams would suffer at least a little bit (“I mean, only one trip a year to London, doll! What is the world coming to, I tell you!”) and their children would not get the education that would allow them to continue their millionaire lifestyles.

Now anybody who wishes to engage in an honest and sincere manner with Mr Malema’s actions, words or allegations levelled against him,  who wishes to weigh the veracity of the allegations regarding the alleged corrupt activities of Julius Malema in an even-handed and sober manner to determine whether these allegations are all part of a smear campaign or whether Malema is indeed deeply corrupt, have a hard time being heard in certain circles because Julius has managed to change the terms of the conversation. While the media and the chattering-class pundits and commentators like myself, scream blue murder about the allegations of corruptions levelled against Malema, others might well ignore our high-minded appeals to facts and principles.

Facts and evidence and criminality, these things are all irrelevant – except for those of us in the chattering classes, people who read or write Blogs and earn a decent living and read books about Kant and Foucault and eat out at nice Restaurants and stay in leafy suburbs whose streets are still being cleaned by the same mothers and fathers who did this work during apartheid. What is relevant is the faux radical utterances of Malema because although you cannot eat these utterances they do make you feel better.

This has been Mr Malema’s brilliance: with his “Kill the Boer” song and his “Bloody agent!” rant and his alleged anti-white utterances Malema has managed to turn every question about his honesty, his possible criminality, his hypocrisy, into a question about the injustices still suffered by a majority of South Africans. Those of us who question Malema’s actions are easily going to be dismissed, by some at least, who are going to say that we are using facts and principles to protect our own interests.

That is why it is so difficult to focus on the principles involved in this case without falling back on emotional platitudes and invective, invective and platitudes which will differ depending on whether one is a great fan of Mr Malema or whether one fears and loathe him. Either he is innocent no matter what the facts might say (if you are emotionally drawn to Malema’s quick-fix solutions for our problems), or (if you cheered on Afriforum when it brought the hate speech complaint against him), Malema will be guilty no matter what facts might or might not have been proven.

As someone who has been lambasted by more conservative elements in our society for consistently argueing that the hate speech accusations levelled at Malema was distracting us from more serious questions and that it was politically disastrous to have brought this hate speech complaint against him because it merely help to inoculate him against criticism, what I see now is the chickens of Afriforum coming home to roost.

It might be that Malema is innocent, and that he is not guilty of corruption. Maybe as we speak he is meeting with lawyers to instruct them to sue City Press for alleging that he was deeply corrupt. But maybe he is corrupt as alleged, in which case those of us in the chattering classes who worry about the corruption that has seeped into our politics and the effect of this on service delivery and the quality of our democracy are going to start despising him even more while his hard-core supporters will stand outside courtrooms and sing that they will kill and die for Malema.

That, I say again, is Malema’s brilliance. No matter what happens, for some it will never be about weighing up the facts and coming to a sober decision on whether Malema is a corrupt hypocrite or a real champion of the poor. Those who will assume that he is guilty, no matter what the facts, are politically irrelevant for Malema. But if he is corrupt, he would need an army of supporters for whom the facts matters not one bit. His campaign of the past year – aided by Afriforum and racist elements in our society – has managed to produce such an army.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    “On the political brilliance of Julius Malema”

    Eish PdV.

    There’s nothing brilliant about knowing what are the serious challenges and issues that we face.

    It seems that there’s a desperation to explain how a silly little noisy maker without much substance rose to such prominence in our country and has been able to hold to ransom powerful people, institutions, organisations in public and private spheres.

    Explaining it may gain accolades for some academic researcher in the future.

    For now it’s best to demystify the dull one – not that there’s any mystique about stupidity.

    At most he’s the political equivalent of a loud hailer – others are speaking to it, he’s just making the noise.

  • Howard Klaaste

    Empty vessels make the most noise. A prerequisite for this would be a lack of intellect, and not brilliance, because if you knew that you know little about a lot, you’ll end up saying less and less about more and more until you say nothing about everything.

  • Michael Osborne

    @ PdV

    “dropping off their blond children at expensive private schools …”

    A piquant little detail, Pierre. But would the picture of privilege you skilfully evoke be any little less grating to those of us concerned with social justice if the cosseted little brats were dark of hair?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    July 26, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Hey MO,

    Here’s one for you – don’t be too tempted to get to the KFC drive thru yet.

    “We will have to speak to Malema before discussing the issue in the media. We want him to explain” ANC party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told reporters.

  • Gwebecimele

    I am glad that some are starting to realise that our problems are much bigger than Malema. People all over the world make money using political connections and even our own BEE which is based on Whites selecting a politically connected Black person to further their greed. Banks, PIC and IDC are used to finance these deals and many today are billionaires.

    In less than 10days, all will be over and we will go back to our usual positions and others will hatch another attack on Malema which is also guaranteed to fail.

    Some have decided that there is no good that can come from of people such as Malema, Hlophe, Manyi AND OTHERS.

    We are still waiting for alternatives to Transformation, Nationalisation etc and less half baked attacks and insults.

  • bob

    Sorry, Malema is not brilliant, if he was he wouldn’t have been caught with his paws deep in the cooky jar after telling everybody else that corruption is bad. He is the biggest hypocrite of the nation and a coward to boot, instead of coming out all guns blazing the young lion pup hides in his den behind his acolites. Embarassing.

    People love him because he appeals to their lowest instincts. He does not tell them to be proud and work hard to become successful. He tells them that they should steal because they are black. This is what it boils down to. You want something then take it because black people are entitled to steal. Most of his followers know that he is a fake but are considering that even if everything collapses there might be some bread crumbs falling off the table. Sad status of affairs, he wanted to be a Goebbels but looks like he is going to end up as Roehm.

  • bob

    So being a racist is good?

    Your examples: Manyi, Hlope or Juju are examples of losers who can only succeed by peddling hate. They are the worst because they are basically telling their followers that without corruption & racism (=transformation) black people cannot succeed.

    This country has really reached the bottom of the barrel, we need real leaders that can actually speak the truth, I suggest that you visit other African countries. You will be surprised how educated most people are because they know the only way out of poverty is workinh hard. ANC followers in particular are a generation behind the continent at least.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Hey Gwebs,

    “Some have decided that there is no good that can come from of people such as Malema, Hlophe, Manyi AND OTHERS.”

    Maybe so.

    But more importantly the question seems to define the current state of affairs is one that needs to be addressed :

    Is the shape and character of our country, as it is now, that which we want to leave for future generations?

  • Proud2BANC

    Rubbish I say.

    The puppet-masters pulling Malema’s strings are brilliant.

    According to Steven Friedman he is more obedient servant than powerful schemer.

  • Gwebecimele

    Bob, Bob, Bob

    Cool down.

    Statements like these are very much appreciated by the likes of JR and invite the kind of response that you get from Malema.

    “He tells them that they should steal because they are black”
    “without corruption & racism (=transformation) black people cannot succeed.”


    Who is a racist?

  • Gwebecimele

    It might be fashionable to call Malema a puppet but there is no doubt that the ANCYL and Limpompo ANC are his backyard.

  • Gwebecimele

    DEAR Comrade Malema, I write this open letter to express my utter disappointment in you…

    RELATED ARTICLESTruth of the matter
    Warning: ignore Julius Malema’s guile at your own peril
    The media revelations of how you made the wealth to fund your lifestyle can’t be brushed aside anymore.

    I don’t know if you know the saying: “Behind every great fortune there is a great crime”. But recent reports prove just that.

    Comrade, the wealth and comfort enjoyed by whites in South Africa is a product of historical violent theft of our land, labour and destruction of the African way of life.

    Instead of fighting to redress these historical injustices, you have now literally joined those who stole from us to set yourself up, while the people continue to suffer.

    When I heard that you were demolishing a R3,6million house in Sandton to build a better one for R16million, I calculated that you would be living in a R20million house.

    I found the idea of destroying a house in a country that has a huge housing backlog a cruel act by one who claims to represent the poorest of the poor.

    I know you know a place called Setswetla in Alexandra township. You where there just before the local elections with Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and others.

    The R20million could solve the appallingly hellish condition of the people of Setswetla. Do you know how many RDP houses could be built with R20million?

    Exactly 50 years ago Frantz Fanon wrote that the curse of post-colonial Africa were the leaders who took over from the colonialists only to become black colonialists themselves.

    He warned that such people take power from the whites to serve themselves, not the people, while using the rhetoric of a better life for all.

    He called such leaders the comprador. You have become a comprador even before you take formal power as an official politician. The comprador, according to Fanon, is engaged in “conspicuous consumption”. Please check the meaning of this concept in the dictionary, sir.

    I’m disappointed because of all the leaders we have, you have stood up and spoken about the real issues that your party has avoided.

    But it is clear now; you have been an opportunist who raised these issues, not to solve them, but to trick the poor who have been waiting for a better life for all for almost 20 years now under your party’s rule.

    Instead of leading the new struggle as a selfless leader of the poor, you only pay lip service to the plight of our people while you amass great amounts of wealth through your political influence.

    You could have chosen a different path sir, the path of Thomas Sankara, who sacrificed all personal comforts to serve the people.

    Or you could have chosen, just like the youth leaders of June 16 1976, such as Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo, to be guided by the principle of “the people first”.

    No, instead you put yourself first! The black youth of this country has been abandoned by the ANC government. They looked up to you and you have let them down badly.

    You are just another ruthless politician in the ANC alliance, who uses words to deceive.

    •Mngxitama’s new essay in New Frank Talk is titled Is Malema a Mugabe? A short political biography of Julius Malema.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Interesting piece, Gwebs.

    Mngxitama misses the essence of this sorry saga :

    Juju did not join the struggle to be poor!

    – Wealthy people are not targets for those intending to get-rich-quick – they bite back. It’s the poor, defenceless that are easy to rip off while shouting popular slogans.

    – appealing to the sense of morality of someone who clearly does not have any is pretty pointless.

    – if the youth of our country “looked up to” Malema, then they surely deserve to have “been abandoned by the ANC government”. Anyone who believes that those in the corridors of power are at all concerned about Black youth or any youth (or any other vulnerable groups for that matter) are living (thanks Ms Thatcher) in cloud cuckoo land.

  • Simon Fraser-King

    Is it impossible that any white person in this country could drive a nice car and pay for good schools because they worked hard for it?? Come on, we’ve been out of apartheid for 21 years now (1990)! While there are still big gaps between the average black person, and the average white in terms of education and money etc; taking from the white and giving to the black will never be the answer.
    “Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty” Proverbs 14:23

  • Brett Nortje

    Gwebecimele says:
    July 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    What Maggs means is Juliass joins a long line of ANC leaders who ‘did not struggle to be poor’….

    I find the vision of this circular firing-squad hugely entertaining.

    Who is going to crack and pull trigger first?

  • Heywood Jubleauxme

    The ANC needs an ogre to hold the gaze of the public so that the public don’t notice the ruling elite as they siphon billions out of the treasury. Whitey is a most convenient ogre.

    I want you to realise that every time you write something derogatory about white people, you participate in feeding this monster.

    Instead of criticism, you should praise Afriforum for cutting down the tall grass around the house. That’s why you are able to see the chickens as they come home to roost. But if you look beyond the chickens I hope you are now able to see the enormous snake with the appetite to swallow you too.

    I like dark meat as much as you do, but I will not roll onto my stomach when some illiterate darkie tries to fuck me in the arse. Its not that I don’t enjoy sodomy, it’s just …. I’m not a bottom; I’m a top.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    July 26, 2011 at 13:12 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    Thanks for explaining what I meant.

    Now explain what you meant!

    Here’s a quiz for you.

    Explain why hacker posted an obviously fake message on the ANCYL website as reported.

    In March, a hacker posted a fake statement saying: “After much thought I, Julius Malema, have decided to step down as ANC Youth League president.”

    Clue : “After much thought” – guess who is not capable of much thought?

  • Pierre De Vos
  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Gwebe, Maggs has made it clear that Mr Malema is now utterly “toasted.” He is a “spent force.” He may retain his title. But it means nothing. (Or, less than nothing.)

    Henceforth, Mr Malema is a mere cypher, an empty kettle, a hollow man, a broken-winged bird, a hobbled horse. In other words, he is a non-entity, nada, a shell, zilch, zero, a void, or an intergalactic vacuum.


  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs, visualise a huge group of ANC leaders standing in a circle.

    They’re not playing ‘ring a rosy’.

    They’re each daring the guy opposite to tell about the pay-off they got for peddled influence and they’ll tell the whole world about his skeletons.

    What you see is the kleptocratic state at work. The ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ cards are information.

    Now we see why two Ministers pulled strings to get a police crime-intelligence boss (now, ‘the accused’) appointed.

    The ANC are a fucking disgrace.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 26, 2011 at 17:11 pm

    Thanks Dworky,

    “Henceforth, Mr Malema is a mere cypher, an empty kettle, a hollow man, a broken-winged bird, a hobbled horse. In other words, he is a non-entity, nada, a shell, zilch, zero, a void, or an intergalactic vacuum.”

    You explained that so well – almost as good as Brett explaining what I say.

    Just the “intergalactic vacuum” thing is not what I intended.

    Wait until after the research completes on the Higgs-Boson is completed before we talk about a intergalactic vacuum.

    It’s a bit too early to speculate on whether dark matter exists through the entire universe or just in some youth formations!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    July 26, 2011 at 17:25 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    “Maggs, visualise a huge group of ANC leaders standing in a circle.”

    I’m visualising.

    While Dworky is not looking, is there an ‘affirmation’ to go with the visualisation?

    p.s. This is not working too well – White people stole the circle which I was visualising.

  • Anonymouse

    From the article linked by Prof De Vos:

    “Xola Moni says whenever a black child accumulates wealth there’s a gnashing of teeth”

    Yes, especially when that ‘child’ is no longer a child (the Constitution defines a child as someone under the age of 18); when he accumulates wealth in a way that threatens and prejudices democracy (not to speak of those poor buggers sitting at the bottom of the food chain in RSA today); when the motorvehicle valued at R1.2 Mil he drives has been given to him as a ‘small token of appreciation’ for having done a good word with government officials in order to win some tenders; who has a Trust where unknown people deposits some mony (totalling R Millions) for him to be big shot with; who can pay R85,000 in cash for a bash at a Game Farm; who can take a few friends on a trip to Italy; who can build a house worth R 6 Mil while he already owns a few; who ………, which is defined as CORRUPTION that the government does sweet f—all about!!
    Gnash, Gnash, Gnash, Gnash!

  • sirjay jonson

    Well, Prof, there is something I just don’t get. Perhaps its because I’m a Canadian only here for a little more than a decade. Your comments about the privileged, especially those images of blond children being delivered in 4×4’s to top schools as an example of this ongoing privilege, gives me the impression you feel that these folk (and I assume you have come from such an environment) should feel guilty, is that what you are suggesting. That you are not doing enough, that racism is still overwhelmingly present. Its present but only overwhelming if one dwells on it, and its understandable from all comers, I might add, and in my view. Its not really irrational is it, just impractical.

    In my time here I see repeatedly that it is white people who are trying their best to improve the situation in SA, its white people who are leaders in the NGO’s, NPO’s, church organizations, service organizations, gov’t departments, not black folk in general. Its is whites who are concerned about the poor, who want their taxes properly spent on uplifting the nation, on increasing education and services. Its also my guess that it is white teachers who really care about the children they are educating.

    I think your white guilt, and the white guilt of all those with liberal left tendencies (which I profess myself, just not the guilt) is sickening your souls and abilities.

    The sins of my fathers are not mine, finish and klaar as you say. No guilt, no shame, no blame, leads to growth and success. Guilt, shame and blame leads nowhere healthy.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 26, 2011 at 17:53 pm

    “the government does sweet f—all about!!”

    Hey JR – who’s your daddy???

    p.s. Dr Mouse – either Xola Moni has written tongue-in-cheek or she/he is not quite right upstairs!

  • Adrian Stabana

    I often wonder what would happen if all white South Africans were to go on an indefinite strike. Would it hasten our demise or bring about respect for the valuable contribution we make toward the relative prosperity of this country when compared with our neighbours?

  • sirjay jonson

    As for the gnashing of teeth article, what nonsense. Its not gaining wealth that matters, and this applies globally; its how you attain it. Respect or disdain is earned accordingly and pigmentation has nothing to do with it.

  • sirjay jonson

    And if there are those who allow racist bigotry (is that a redundancy?) to guide their affairs, well the world is still immature, and pretty sick as well.

  • sirjay jonson

    Ah what the heck, (a north american saying) a little latin for you’al ,afterall:

    legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus

  • Brett Nortje

    sirjay jonson says:
    July 26, 2011 at 17:58 pm

    Pierre lacks the insight to recognise that – if he had grown up in Margaret Thatcher’s UK or Ronald Reagan’s US – his livingstandards would be much the same. And his safety guaranteed.

    Mzo logic – white people like seeing the half of their income they sacrificed to tax wasted rather than applied fruitfully because they then have an excuse to be racist. Moni logic – white people want to carry the entire tax-burden out of racism and arrogance.

    Would it make any difference to the ruling elite’s reaction to Malema’s exposure as a cheap crook if Afriforum had not spoken up in their own stupid way at some of Juliass’ other character flaws?

    Not one iota. The ANC is fatally flawed. Rotten to the core.

    What kind of approach can you expect from people who shut up when their own friends and family put tires around peoples’ necks to sabotage the government of the day’s reforms, who played dead when their leader denied the AIDS-scourge decimating their families out of ego when they are confronted with moral dilemmas around self-enrichment?

    The ANC’s reaction to Malema’s greed is entirely consistent…
    There is no such thing as an objective reality, there is no such thing as an objective morality….What internal restraints and standards?

    Pierre must man-up and tell us what his reaction would be if ‘gay’ and ‘Boer’ were to be substituted in Juliass’ favourite chant.

    Do you people really think we are the first white Africans seeing this scenario playing out?

  • Pekkil

    Slaves of the law, now, really! That’s the least of our problems….

  • Anonymouse

    Pekkil says:
    July 26, 2011 at 20:43 pm

    The law has a tendency to do that to one – if one slavishly follows the letter of it, that is …

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Hey Maggs!

    I am sceptical about the ANCYL’s claims that imperialists and the Broederbond are behind the campaign against Mr Malema.

    Yet, I am curious as to why City Press does not demand investigations into the young white liberals who are also the beneficiaries of trust funds.

    What do you say?

  • Eddie

    banana republic on the horizon, with captain juju sailing the titanic.

    for entertainment we have a 70 year old dancing around and giggling at everyone.

    slowly slowly this country is losing control of all and sundry.

    as vavi said: a predator state.

  • Eddie

    gwebs : “We are still waiting for alternatives to Transformation, Nationalisation etc and less half baked attacks and insults”

    you have got to be joking?

    it is the ancyl that do the half baked attacks and insults.

    and as for alternatives; cmon man, how about a business plan from your side showing how this is going to work.

    there are countless examples of disaster; show us your all encompassing blue print that will allow everyone a money bush in their back yard.

    because there is no business plan; there is no plan in general, and this type of laziness, coupled with the greed for new money and a lackadaisacal approach to actuall governing has crippled many a country on our continent.

    isnt it time for something a little different?

    why do all of africas leaders take so much money from the fiscus and contribute so little to growth of a nation?

    it comes down to laziness of thought and a belief that big chief will look after us; big chief can do no wrong.

    look at zuma; was there ever a more inneffective leader than him ? he does absolutely nothing, while rome burns.

  • Brett Nortje

    Eddie, there is an alternative to ‘nationalisation’. It is called ‘eating’.

    But really, you are never going to get Cosatu to accept the reality of the consequences of nationalisation until their members feel them. Like eating rats. That seemed to work for a lot of Zimbabweans.

    The Cosatu congress was a wake-up call not only to Vavi, but to all of us. Vavi’s position is not nearly as strong as we thought.

    Simplistic populist noise has made inroads, even there.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 26, 2011 at 23:28 pm

    Hey Dworky,

    “I am sceptical about the ANCYL’s claims that imperialists and the Broederbond are behind the campaign against Mr Malema.”

    Hmmm – the ANCYL may be onto something there.

    Now that we want to regain our dignity, the Broederbond pops up out of the woodwork with a plot against our future President.

    Why was the Broederbond silent when White people were stealing all our land, eh?

    p.s. The Blue house. The Blue house. That has a nice ring to. I’m thinking there’s a song in the making.

  • Brett Nortje

    ‘Song and dance’ Zuma no leader — Moeletsi Mbeki

    Political analyst says Zuma does not have the will or the ability to steer SA out of its economic and political difficulties
    Published: 2011/07/27 06:36:58 AM

    CAPE TOWN — Political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki says President Jacob Zuma does not have the will or the ability to steer SA out of its economic and political difficulties.

    Mr Zuma labelled Mr Mbeki an “armchair critic” earlier this year when Mr Mbeki — a vocal critic of the government — predicted SA would face an uprising of the kind experienced in Tunisia.

    Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club yesterday, Mr Mbeki said the African National Congress (ANC) was not the “future for us”.

    “The ANC is losing its voters. A few years ago it had 70% of the electorate and today it has 62%. Even (Julius) Malema — who finds it hard to do this kind of simple arithmetic — pointed out that Zuma is losing votes for the ANC,” he said.
    He criticised Mr Zuma for not taking action on the public protector’s report on the police’s dodgy office lease deal. “Mr Zuma has done nothing about it. He says he is studying it, but all of us know what is in the report…” Mr Mbeki said.

    “We have to ask ourselves what is the future of SA. It is not the ANC any more. Like all liberation parties that have been in government, they (the ANC) are very corrupt and incompetent … which is what you see every day.”

    He said SA’s future was grim under the ANC government because of its refusal to modernise the monetary system, or the labour force, to keep up with the times.

    “We are able to survive because we are one of the best-endowed countries in terms of minerals, so we are living off our mineral wealth.

    “In the past 10 years the South African mining sector has shrunk by 1% annually…. Now Mr Malema is going to add to our troubles by nationalising a declining sector.”

    Mr Mbeki said that until recently, the ANC had been headed by the leadership that came out of Fort Hare University in the 1940s. “You do not have that calibre of leadership any more.

    “You get the song-and-dance brigade like Malema and Zuma, who say they are providing leadership.”

    ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said Mr Mbeki’s “hatred” of the ANC was expected. “I do not know how he comes to such conclusions when in fact in the past election the people gave us an overwhelming mandate to govern.”

  • abidam

    A very plain message comes out of this and most of the other discussions that this blog has seen;

    The ANC is corrupt to the core and as the African Union don’t care about their people they are in it for power and self enrichment;

    It seems the only people that care are as
    sirjay jonson
    July 26, 2011 at 17:58 pm

    “In my time here I see repeatedly that it is white people who are trying their best to improve the situation in SA, its white people who are leaders in the NGO’s, NPO’s, church organizations, service organizations, gov’t departments, not black folk in general. Its is whites who are concerned about the poor, who want their taxes properly spent on uplifting the nation, on increasing education and services. Its also my guess that it is white teachers who really care about the children they are educating.”

    If there is any real ANC supporter reading this (which I doubt) let him dispute this (not with the standard ANC rhetoric but with names and facts) or for ever hold his peace

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 27, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Hey Abidam,

    “If there is any real ANC supporter reading this (which I doubt)”

    Well spotted.

    There’s no such creature as a ‘real ANC supporter’.

    Just undiscovered DA/COPE supporters!

  • Vuyo

    sirjay jonson says:
    July 26, 2011 at 17:58 pm

    You sir are a maniacal racist.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Michael Osborne

    @ Maggs

    “There’s no such creature as a ‘real ANC supporter'”

    Not on this blog, anyway. Your own professed loyalty has become more and more ironic over the past year or two. (Your claim that you “may” support Mr Zuma again in 2014 is obviously a joke intended to taunt the hand-wringing liberals among us.)

    But the fact that people like yourself (and Pierre, for that matter), are so alienated is not something the DA types should celebrate. On the contrary. You have become so disgusted with the current leadership that you abandon the party you have supported all your life. That leaves the party in the hands of utterly cynical javelin-throwers — who are supported by sheep whose loyalty to the ANC brand runs so deep that they really will vote ANC until Jesus returns. Perhaps the last remaining hope for this democracy is that you, Maggs, and like-minded people, make one last attempt to re-energise the party from within, and return it to its progressive, non-racial roots. You will probably fail, but is it not worth a try?

  • Gwebecimele


    STEVEN FRIEDMAN: Without compromise, economic Codesa will fail
    ‘The problem about calls for an economic Codesa is that there is no sign that attitudes have changed’

    Published: 2011/07/27 07:12:57 AM

    EVERYONE loves an economic compromise — as long as the people on the other side of the table do the compromising. This is both an accurate description of the recent history of attempts to bargain our economic future and a warning of what must change if calls for an economic Codesa are to prove useful.

    It is not new to argue that the best way to address our economic problems is to persuade the key actors to hammer out a compromise — this has been a key element of thinking on our economic options since before 1994. Some of us argued then that we could not have growth with equity if any of the economic actors imposed their vision on everyone else. This view has appeared again, most recently in the growth plan released by the Department of Economic Development.

    The logic is compelling. Evidence from around the world shows that it is not the adoption of a magic economic-policy recipe that produces sustainable growth — it is acceptance by the key economic actors of some common goals and, broadly, how to get to them. In the decades after the Second World War, Germany, Japan and the US all grew: they used different economic recipes and the only common feature was acceptance of their approach by those who must invest and those who must work.

    Given our deep divisions, any economic vision produced by one side alone would not gain the acceptance of the others and growth would not be sustained. So, either we achieve a compromise, which the key parties can live with, or we founder.

    Our problem is that the economic actors are not convinced that they need to compromise. And so, starting with the founding of the National Economic Development and Labour Council in the mid-1990s, we have had 15 years of “economic bargaining”, which has consisted largely of the contending interests seeking to get the other side to see that they were right all along. If this sort of thinking is behind calls for an “economic Codesa”, the exercise will be a waste of time. Compromise works when the parties recognise that they have to live with each other and that they have to accept part of the opposing argument to do that. And that has not been part of our reality in the economic bargaining of the past 15 years.

    The problem about calls for an economic Codesa is that there is no sign that attitudes have changed. First, the idea has been floated by one side only — business and its supporters. This could prove a problem because there is no sign yet that labour, for example, will come to the table. If it does not, the process will not achieve its goals.

    Second, most people urging an economic Codesa do not seem to have changed their belief that what is good for business is good for the country.

    With some notable exceptions, those who express business’s position assume that huge inequalities are either of no interest or a problem that will be fixed as long as we persuade the unions to behave differently.

    And so one advocate of an economic Codesa spent half an article on the topic denouncing the unions before suggesting that they and other interests join business in a discussion on our economic future. Why a movement which, in this view, has nothing to offer but greed and malice should be a necessary bargaining partner was not explained. But, if the record of the past 15 years is a guide, it seems likely that the author wants an economic Codesa so that people who think they understand the market economy can explain it to unions and their allies, convincing them to be “reasonable”. If negotiation is confused with missionary work, the process will not change anything. We do need compromises on our economic options and a process that will make them possible. But we will not get them through an approach in which one side calls for compromises while denying that the other’s position is valid.

    If an economic Codesa is to work, it must start by recognising that all the key actors have positions that need to be heard but that all will have to shift.

    The call needs to come from all the key actors, not just one, and must be based on a willingness by all of them to discuss shifts in their positions.

    Everyone would also need to recognise that the parties are very far apart and so the process would need patience. A serious attempt to bridge the gulf between those who emphasise growth and those who seek equity will take time and will suffer inevitable setbacks — just as the constitutional negotiation process did.

    For business and those who support it — from whom this latest call for negotiation comes — the beginning must be a recognition that demands for equity and those who voice them must be taken seriously if we are to move forward.

    Expecting agreement from those whose concerns are ignored or ridiculed will simply continue the stalemate.

    • Friedman is director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ MO

    I am a ‘real ANC supporter’ and I am not about to abandon it.

  • Gwebecimele

    Well done Cele even if this might appear as going for the 3 generals who ran supply chain.


    What do you think of Maharaj’s performance on Debra last night? I guess he has lost some teeth or he is spinning on butter.

  • spoiler

    sirjay jonson says:
    July 26, 2011 at 17:58 pm

    You sir are a maniacal racist.

    Good one Vuyo – go read what Abidam said and come up with some facts rather than the typical kleptocratic ANC answer.

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Gwebe

    “I am a ‘real ANC supporter’ and I am not about to abandon it.”

    Good. So go and rescue your party from the javelinists, the tendentrepeneurs, the right wing nationalists, and the greedy child-who-according-to-Maggs-is-a-spent-force.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    The ANC is the only party that can represent the aspirations our people.

    There are some bad individuals, but they are being dealt with – watch this space!

    Mr Malema may remain ANCYL leader until the Lord returns. But at this point he is nothing but a hood ornament!


  • Anonymouse

    spoiler says:
    July 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    “sirjay jonson says:
    July 26, 2011 at 17:58 pm”

    I think you wanted to say:

    “Vuyo says:
    July 27, 2011 at 10:18 am”

    Nevertheless – I agree with you Spoiler:
    Vuyo, your rhetoric (calling anyone who says anything anti-black a ‘racist’) has become so empty (or blank) and nonsensical so as to make it safe to ignore or reject it with contempt. When are you going to learn that when one criticises someone else in the way that Sirjay has done, it does not amount to racism. Rather, like Gwebecimele, you should respond to:
    abidam says:
    July 27, 2011 at 8:40 am,
    and state whether you are a real ANC supporter; and, unlike Gwebecimele, perhaps come up with facts and names to refute what Sirjay has said.

    You see, when Malema (I refuse calling him by his pet name as so many others do) says that it is white people who stole everythong from blacks and it is white people who does not want to promote the welfare of black people and that they must be forced into dong it, according to you, it is not racism. But when a person like Sirjay, a Canadian who has now lived in South Africa for some time (I do not know what Sirjay’s race is) comes and says that he has found the contrary in his experience, then you bleat: “Racist!”

    Oh, come on, grow up man, and engage in honest debate.

  • Pingback: Almal is boos behalwe Malema | Solidariteit Blog()

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Mouse

    Why should we even debate whether whites care more for blacks than blacks themselves? The answer is obvious and requires no debate.

    Greedy opportunists exists in all spheres of our society (including ANC) but that should not be seen as the total behaviour of black leadearship. In most instances there is always a white master behind a black selfish, corrupt & uncaring politician.

  • Anonymouse

    Gwebecimele says:
    July 27, 2011 at 14:34 pm

    “In most instances there is always a white master behind a black selfish, corrupt & uncaring politician.”

    Firstly, let me point out, your using ‘in most instances’ and ‘always’ in the same sentence (breath) amounts to a clear contradiction in terms and is a sign of bad debating skills. Secondly, if you cannot substantiate your (bland) assertion that I’ve quoted above, then you can just as well forget about saying such a thing in any case. Why must anyone believe you or value your assertion if you are not even able to substantiate it with at least one example (but then the ‘in most instances’ will still not have been substantiated).

    At least Sirjay has indicated that he has experience of what he says, not only what he has read in the media or heard during a Malema or a Zuma rally, but he lists a number of instances where he has observed what he says, which lends credence to his averment. If you want to refute that, then the refutation should be based on fact to point out that his experience is either wrong or too limited to base any opinion on.

    Now stop you nonsensical blabber and ANC-supporting rhetoric and come up with some real arguments please?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    The Cj has just withdrawn his acceptance of the extension of his term.

  • Deloris Dolittle

    THe Chief Justice is stepping down. He has withdrawn his decision to accept the extension of his term in office in order to protect the integrity of the office.

  • Maggs Naidu –


    The Silly Quarter wants answers.

    The league says it wants answers to the following questions:

    “1. Is the Rupert family, shareholders of the Naspers Group, Fred Phaswane and Prof Jake Gerwel approving of the manner in which their paper is used to fight political battles?

    2. Is the Rupert family, shareholders of the Naspers group approving the Murdoch hacking strategy of prying into personal accounts and private life of political personalities?

    3. How much farm and agricultural land does the Rupert family own in South Africa today and how did they acquire such land?

    4. Is the newspaper suggesting that the Master of the High Court in Pretoria has registered a secret Trust against the laws of the Republic of South Africa?

    5. If this was indeed intended to be a secret Trust, would Cde. Julius Malema appear as a trustee and named his son as a beneficiary?

    6. If indeed an amount of R200 000 has been deposited into the trust to facilitate a deal and this is illegal, why did the City Press not open a criminal case against Mr. Malema and the person who claims to have deposited a bribe into his account, because the laws of this country forces them to do so?

    7. Why did City Press sensationalize the issue with the caption ‘secret fund’ uncovered and still acknowledge that the fund became known at the time when Cde Julius Malema donated the church in Seshego in 2009? What was secret about the fund or Trust?

    8. What is the role of ABSA, whose CEO, Mario Ramos has publicly opposed the policy positions of the ANC Youth League, particularly on Nationalisation of Mines?

    9. The relationship between News24 and rightwing formations, in particular Afri-Forum should be explained because Afri-Forum has been running “STOP MALEMA” adverts in News24 publications for free for many months now.

    10. Why is Wilmot James, the Democratic Alliance Federal Chairperson a Director of News24, owner of City Press, and these right wing Newspapers? None of the News24 publications has ever reported anything negative about the DA, but always jumps into an opportunity to rubbish through lies, the leadership of the ANC.”

    The league says it is asking these questions “not with the intention of getting honest answers from City Press, because City Press journalists and editor are puppets of the Master who desperately seek to safe-guard their ill-gotten wealth.

    “We are asking these questions to educate and walk with members of the public about the ulterior motive of the capitalist, imperialists and their representative in the form of the Rupert family which will do everything in their power to maintain the status quo in South Africa.”

    Ok for the answers call the following number :

  • Vuyo

    Anonymouse says:
    July 27, 2011 at 13:34 pm

    “In my time here I see repeatedly that it is white people who are trying their best to improve the situation in SA, its white people who are leaders in the NGO’s, NPO’s, church organizations, service organizations, gov’t departments, not black folk in general. Its is whites who are concerned about the poor, who want their taxes properly spent on uplifting the nation, on increasing education and services. Its also my guess that it is white teachers who really care about the children they are educating”
    If you do not see the rabid racism in the following comment then clearly you and I inhabit different planets. I contend that if Julius Malema were to repeat the very same words (substituting white for black) you would call him racist! You should be ashamed of yourself for the such an obvious apologist for racists and racist commentary.

    PS: (Are you still proud for continually voting National Party? What have you done to compensate for the fruits of apartheid?)

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Gwebe

    “In most instances there is always a white master behind a black selfish, corrupt & uncaring politician”

    Yes, Gwebe, just like the Nats always said that black anti-apartheid leaders were being manipulated by white (Jewish Communists, mostly), on the apparent assumption that blacks were too stupid to take the initiative to fight their oppressors.

    Good thinking!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    July 27, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Hey MO,

    “Perhaps the last remaining hope for this democracy is that you, Maggs, and like-minded people, make one last attempt to re-energise the party from within, and return it to its progressive, non-racial roots. You will probably fail, but is it not worth a try?”

    I dunno about this saviour thing.

    The last oke who tried it ended up nailed to a cross.

    Even that did not help much.

    On the upside though he was right in that we certainly know not what we do.

  • Thomas

    and the effects of economic and political choices (especially choices regarding education and unemployment) which have made it very difficult if not impossible for most of the poorest 50% of young South Africans ever to climb out of poverty in an honest and legal way, any politician reckless or clever enough to use brutal, racialised and militant language to describe the unjust nature of our society was always going to become popular with a vocal and political active group within the ANC.

    Qoute: In most societies in the world, it takes four to five generations for a person to rise from poverty to affluent middle-class status. In South Africa, a raft of surveys shows this is happening within a single generation.
    Experts say the American dream, which has lasted for more than 100 years, is starting to wane, while the South African dream is being born.



    29 May 2010

    South Africa’s black middle class is still growing at a healthy rate and remains surprisingly recession-resilient, with an annual spending power estimated to be R250-billion.

    These findings form part of the latest research by UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing and TNS Research Surveys into SA’s black middle class, commonly referred to as Black Diamonds. The Black Diamond studies are widely recognised as the definitive research into SA’s growing black middle class and the latest study dispels many myths about their current status quo.

    In the 12 months since the last study was conducted, black South Africans who are categorized as middle class now number 3 million people, representing a 15% growth rate since 2007, says Professor John Simpson, Director of the UCT Unilever Institute.

    Despite dire predictions that this sector of society is facing a financial melt-down due to debt pressure, the opposite is true, reveals Simpson. “The most astounding evidence of their financial resilience can be seen in a 39% increase in spending power – from R180 billion in 2007 to R250 billion this year,” explains Simpson.

    Rudo Maponga, Black Diamond Research Manager at TNS Research Surveys, says while it may appear that there has been a slow down in this market’s growth in terms of number of people, (from 30 % in 2007 to 15% in 2008), this fall should be seen in context. “We are working off a bigger base, which means that growth will inevitably slow in percentage terms. What’s also significant it is that despite the downturn, their spending power has continued to grow, which suggests that this segment is also becoming wealthier,” she says.

    The main focus this year’s study was on the role of women and how their economic empowerment is affecting traditional gender roles in Black Diamond households. Of particular interest to local business is that Black Diamond women represent over 40% of all female consumer spending power – an estimated R120 billion.

    According to UCT Unilever Institute’s Professor Simpson, Black Diamond women are becoming a force to be reckoned with. “Due to economic empowerment, many women respondents revealed that their earning power had a significant impact on decision-making when it comes to making purchases – not only for purchases such as grocery shopping, which one may expect, but with regard to much larger purchases such as household appliances, investments and cars,” Simpson added.

    The study also investigated changing consumer mindsets and the impact this was having on buying behaviour, explains Maponga. “Almost half of the women interviewed for the study said they earned over 50% of the household income, whilst over 80% said they were the main household decision-maker when it came to the majority of purchases. This is resulting in a shift in gender roles,” she says.

    There appear to be several factors responsible for this shift. The research indicates that these women are different in that their aspirations are higher than their mothers and grandmothers. Democracy and the accompanying legislation have given women the opportunity to be more ambitious and have paved the way for women to choose from a vast array of careers which were just not available to black South African, especially women, during apartheid.

    For more information visit

  • Vuyo

    South Africa needs revolution, Africanisation and a social cleansing. The majority of the white community has shown it cannot be relied upon as a partner for the fundamental and radical transformation of South Africa’s socio-economy (for the common good). In essence, many of our white compatriots act as a fifth column against African progressive and the substantive reconciliation. This dictates that radical action (including expropriation of monopoly wealth, redistribution of assets, taxation of the wealthy, imposition of a Unity Tax on beneficiaries of apartheid and their assets) be taken for the sake of the prosperity of all, including the mainly black, female and poor multitudes. If needs be the constitution, in its present form, must be radically revised to reflect popular agency. Government must grow a pair and ban all social activity that contains even a modicum of racism, with extreme penalties for those who contravene (including imprisonment, public pelting and banishment from the republic). Liberals who act under guise of defending this flawed constitution must be reeducated. I’m simply tired of whining (mainly) whites and their racism.

  • John Roberts

    @ Vuyo

    There is an alternative for you guys.

    Get off you fat, corrupt, lazy fucking arses and do some work.

    Who destroyed our education system ? Whites ?

    The sad thing is that you and your ilk are too fucking stupid to realise why you’ll always be poor.

    My proposal is that you all be punished for the sins of the lying, murdering Shaka.

  • Vuyo

    How can a people deem themselves superior simply on the basis of their skin colour and wealth derived from the massacre of millions (internationally). How can the blind profess to guide us Africans when their heroes in Europa and North America are facing collapse as a result of their racially motivated hubris?

    We need a radical government, guided by radical redistributive policies, and led by incorruptible African patriots, and not this present administration, which comprises those who would seek to pacify the proponents of Caucasian exceptionalism.

  • Brett Nortje

    Vuyo says:
    July 27, 2011 at 16:07 pm


    How many times have you regurgitated the same garbage?

    What will be left to ‘redistribute’? Poverty?

    About that 40% income tax ceiling?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 27, 2011 at 11:57 am


    There’s no one who can with a straight face say today that the character and shape of the ANC is anywhere close to what it was envisioned to be.

    Nor can it be argued by anyone that the ANC has taken our country in the direction it ought to have gone.

    If there is a nut out there who argues differently perhaps he or she will do well reading the ANC election manifestos or even the Polokwane resolutions – since then we have gone even further downhill.

    The question I ask repeatedly is whether this is the kind of country we want to leave for future generations – again if anyone answers yes to that they need their heads checked.

  • Brett Nortje

    Vuyo says:
    July 27, 2011 at 15:56 pm

    Who raised their voices loudest at Mbeki’s democidal ban on ARVs?

    Lets go back all the way to the 80s….Who was behind the Urban Foundation? Rural Foundation? Who bought the tackets for Operation Hunger’s Concert in the Park? Planned it? Provided the venue?

    I could go on citing examples ad nauseam, but you’ve nauseated me already….

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Vuyo, with respect, your suggestions are ridiculous.

    White liberals are not going to be deterred from racism with so called “peltings” or even “banishment.” It you were a true radical, you would agree that long terms of imprisonment may be required. I do not think one should even rule out the death penalty for especially egregious liberal racism. Let the national debate begin!


  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 27, 2011 at 16:18 pm

    Hey Vuyo,

    “We need a radical government, guided by radical redistributive policies, and led by incorruptible African patriots, and not this present administration”

    Well said.

    p.s. for the rest – it’s time to accept that what others may or may not think of themselves is irrelevant. There is nothing stopping a determined government with successive overwhelming majorities in almost three spheres from furthering the NDR.

    The challenge lies in the processes which allow for greedy, selfish, corrupt thugs to fill the corridors of power and fill their (and their families, friends, contacts) pockets with money and resources intended to lift the majority out of the mess that was left by an iniquitous and inequitable system.

  • Vuyo

    John Roberts,
    Your ignorance perplexes. But then again we can justifiably blame it on racist indoctrination and the myth of Caucasian exceptionalism that poisons the minds of the majority of our white population.
    Is it not obvious to you that whites originally destroyed our education system. If it was not for the scorched earth policies of apartheid there would never have been a literacy shortfall, fool. The good thing is that in a few years time you will think twice prior to making such disparaging comments about blacks. Ask the Rhodesians.

    PS: The sad thing for you is that Perth, London, and Washington would by then have collapsed in the into a smelly heap as a result of the greed that underlies Caucasian exceptionalism. So you will have to live with the perpetually poor Africans.

  • Brett Nortje

    It is clear to ME that whites originally destroyed our education system!

    Well done to Sibusiso Bhengu, Kader Asmal, Naledi Pandor et al for transforming Bantu Education Phoenix-like out of ashes!

    Thank You!

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Mouse

    If removing “always” in that sentence will assist you to understand my point, then I accept it. I can translate it in isiNdebele if that will help. I repeat that there is nothing to debate Sirjay’s observations and if you support him why don’t you just say so.

  • bongZ

    hehe, some things really don’t change. :) Anonymouse, I’ll refute Sirjay. Replace white with black – that was my experience. But I certainly didn’t assume just because of my own experiences,that it was the imperical truth. I simply started venturing out, and engaging more than “my ilk”. Perhaps that’s the problem in our country – our expectations of others far exceed what we expect of ourselves, and that has become a sickening norm. And that’s on both the black and white side. Some of these comments are quite ironic- that is they display an ignorance that Malema courts daily and is criticised for even more. (But then the question becomes, is he being ignorant, or as PdV speculates “politically brilliant” ?)
    @sirjay : fully agree with the sins of your fathers are not yours. But let’s actually be entirely honest with ourselves. Someone has to bear the repurcussions of those sins, and mostly they don’t even enter the discussion anymore, except to lay blame, or to avert blame. (“Stop blaming apartheid!” “Chip on shoulder” or “Because of the previous government..”..”Because of apartheid”). Some of which have valid arguments, or rather some form of factual merit upon which to even be considered, when they’re not informed by emotion. I believe Malema is a repurcussion. At worst he’s a parasite taking advantage of the past mistakes and the impact they have now ( politically brilliant), at best as a direct result of the past mistakes. Both of which leave a sickening taste in the mouth. Either way, we’re all paying the piper now, in one way or another.
    @abidam: “If there is any real ANC supporter reading this (which I doubt) let him dispute this (not with the standard ANC rhetoric but with names and facts) or for ever hold his peace” You would have us refute someone’s opinion based on experience (which is relative at best), completely devoid of fact, with fact and names? Not sure if you were being serious or sarcastic.
    @Vuyo the government (Assuming it really does want to change the status quo) is it’s own worst enemy. they could have done so much more, if they wanted to. They sure as hell were not and are not lacking in resources and skills. I still can’t understand for the life of me, how those that achieved what they did despite their oppressor-imposed limitations are content now to allow the mediocrity (and I’m being nice) that is the norm now. I just don’t understand.
    Maggs, much agreed :”The challenge lies in the processes which allow for greedy, selfish, corrupt thugs to fill the corridors of power and fill their (and their families, friends, contacts) pockets with money and resources intended to lift the majority out of the mess that was left by an iniquitous and inequitable system.” – and they should be the ones treated to the fullest and most harshest extent of the law, if for nothing more than because of our past.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 27, 2011 at 14:45 pm

    Hey Dr Mouse,

    I’m taken aback that you have found it prudent to support Sirjay’s rantings.

    While some of what he says may well reflect accurately the reality around us butthe thrust of his comments are deeply racist and offensive.

  • bongZ

    damnit..imperical = empircal (unintended.. :) )

  • Robbie Scholtz

    The questions being posed by the prof are relevant I believe. He does have a talent for creating a fuss and has here exceeded himself. Well done. What I have enjoyed the most is that all of a sudden Juju does not want to be in the limelight. Please talk about someone else. Something else. Leave me alone. I am not an attention seeking tenderpreneur at all. In all the things that have been said in his defence sadly I have not seen a single attempt to address the evidence put forward up to now. As usual the best that the ancyl can come up with is attacks on the messenger. And by the way well done City Press! And then of course diversions about the Ruperts as well as (even) Maria Ramos. Talk about desperate. Finally it is fun seeing a young thug work the national press into an absolute frenzy over a long period getting his come-uppance.

  • Robbie Scholtz

    Sorry – to add: the real concern is that portion of our population that find themselves in such dire straits that they could find the lunacy of Malema attractive. Those that have nothing to lose. No hope. No prospects. Lets stop wasting time on this young thug who is getting his due and rather concentrate on how we are going to address this scary problem brewing in our midst. And lets face it the anc government has no interest in them or theneeded capacity to address their needs.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Thomas

    Thanks for the study report but I suspect that this is one of those initiatives to confuse and comfort educated blacks. Interestingly enough there is no comparison with SA whites but an opportunistic one with black americans (who are a minority in the US). What is this “Black Diamond” ?

    If my memory serves me well a white person earns 8 times a black person in SA. Now a 15% growth over 3 years is nothing to write home about. This is trick to cofuse govt to give in to those preachers of “equal opportunity society”. We are not there yet, infact we need to move aggresively.

    These black women who are paraded as “Black Diamonds” are probably occupying non core jobs such PA’s, Call Centre Agents ETC.

    This study sponsored by Unilever can only assist in advertising by Retailers, FMCG COMPANIES etc.

  • Vuyo

    Robbie Scholtz, what do you mean: the “lunacy of Malema”? Why should we stop wasting time on Malema when he is president of the ANCYL, whose constituency probably numbers more than that of the Official Opposition (are you opposed to democratic choice)?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    July 27, 2011 at 16:23 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    “Lets go back all the way to the 80s….Who was behind the Urban Foundation? Rural Foundation? Who bought the tackets for Operation Hunger’s Concert in the Park? Planned it? Provided the venue?”

    Who indeed!

    Was that part of the campaign to “win the hearts and minds” of the then oppressed people of our country???

  • Gwebecimele

    I have no doubt that SA will be a better place with more people like JR than “AmaBhulu asithandayo” the solution to our problem will be very easy.

  • Anonymouse

    Vuyo says:
    July 27, 2011 at 15:56 pm

    “I contend that if Julius Malema were to repeat the very same words (substituting white for black) you would call him racist!”

    Your contention is laughable to say the least my friend. When Julius Malema say that white people stole the land from black people and that that is the reason why their land should be grabbed without compensation, while he has no foot to stand on to back up his rants (taking into account the date the land was acquired etc.); and when he rants ‘kill the boer!’; and when he says that mines should be nationalized to take them out of white hands and to improve the living standards of blacks (which is a lie seeing how he uses monies not owed to him) and that it is because whites are still not interested in improving the living standards of blacks; and …; and; he is saying exactly what you contend would attract the title of ‘racist’! Now I dare you, show me where in this blogspot have I ever called him racist? I am not as quick as you to shout ‘racism’ to try and make a point without any grounds to support my argument that someone is correct or wrong in taking a certain stance.

  • Anonymouse

    Vuyo says:
    July 27, 2011 at 15:56 pm

    And your P.S. is something that doesn’t even justify a response.

  • Anonymouse

    Gwebecimele says:
    July 27, 2011 at 16:40 pm
    @ Mouse

    ‘If removing “always” in that sentence will assist you to understand my point, then I accept it. I can translate it in isiNdebele if that will help.’

    isiNdebele is not my strong point, Xitsonga, isiXhosa or isiZulu will be preferred.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Maggs

    I agree with your analysis on performance of the ANC and people like you, me others should be vocal on these issues and save the party from inside.

    As MO once said , “The anc is like the Roman Catholic Church” the unwanted elements can be defeated. Catholics are not about to leave the church because of sex scandals.

  • Deloris Dolittle

    Vuyo you upset me so much I feel I have to use very bad language. 150, 100 or even 80 years ago there was no fucking education system in the black communities so white did not destroxblack education. They might have imposed an inferior system but at least tried to educate. Tell me Vuyo why did africans not develop a written language as the egyptians or the chinese?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 27, 2011 at 17:49 pm

    Hey Gwebs,

    We certainly have a role to play and I acknowledge your contribution.

    It seems that often critique of the ANC and criticism of the leaders is interpreted (by many who are opposed to the ANC) as distancing ourselves from the ANC when it is entirely the opposite – I am aware that some of what we say is considered and impacts where relevant.

    I frequently express anger, annoyance, disappointment, dismay even outrage at some of what President Zuma does. That however does not change the reasons why I supported him in the first place which I have said before and will say again.

    Nothing about what he is doing lopsided now will negate that he made huge personal efforts in preventing KZN from turning into a war zone, exposing himself and those close to him to enormous danger in the course of doing so. KZN (and much of the rest of our country) is at peace with itself because of Zuma.

    His efforts in Burundi in bringing peace to that then strife ridden country should be remembered.

    It was Zuma who championed the cause of thousands of SMMEs throughout the country until the programme was shut down by the Mbeki era Minister of Trade and Industry simply because of the recognition of Zuma as the National Champion of SMMEs. The KZN fund, for the Rehabilitation of Businesses Devastated by Political Violence in the 80s and early 90s, initiated by Zuma as KZN MEC for Economic Affairs was shafted by the Mbeki clan – the victims remain in the twilight zone.

    Recall the state of our nation during the darkest of Mbeki’s days when the space for open debate was effectively closed. The media, through Mbeki’s bulldogs, were threatened. People who complained about the excessive levels of violent crime were simply told to bugger off from our country. Victims of rape (recall Charlene Smith) were awfully castigated for daring to raise in public their ordeals and trauma. Thankfully Zuma stood up, stood firm and dethroned the power-monger and returned to us the space to participate in our democracy. Today the ANCYL can engage in their perversely racist rhetoric against White people. And outrageously racist views against Black people (see Sirjay’s comments on this blog) can be applauded and endorsed.

    Today, despite all the challenges we face, people can freely campaign for high office without having to take out full page adverts in the Sunday Times declaring loyalty to the Great One. The several civil society victories in the recent years, months, weeks and days is because we have returned to a effective participatory democracy.

    Sadly Zuma is allowing all the good and great things slide into the dark corners of history – for that he has only himself to blame. Maybe he is not even bothered much while the space is created around him for people to rip off the state, rip off resources intended for those who most need it.

    Be that as it may, I will not allow myself to deny or forget those things which Zuma is and did that were solid and firm and a significant contribution to the letter and spirit of our constitutional democracy – nor does my criticism negate that.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder


    Will you join me in condemning the RACIST investigation into Mr Malema’s private, family, financial affairs?


  • Elly

    @ Maggs Naidu:

    “I’m thinking there’s a song in the making.”

    This one, perhaps?

    One more night without sleepin’
    Till the morning comes creepin’
    Blue House
    What’s that secret you’re keepin’?

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs Naidu – says:
    July 27, 2011 at 17:28 pm

    No, Maggs, those were ordinary white people reaching out and trying to make the lives of other people more tolerable, which is what Sirjay pointed out with his examples of white people trying to uphold the modus vivendi where he could find few countervailing examples of black people doing the same.

    You are denying simple fact, which makes you look a bit foolish. And not exactly committed to truth.

    You have abused the racism accusation so many times, silly, that you have confused yourself about the content of the concept ‘racism’.

    May I suggest that you start off with a few dictionary definitions and see if that gets you in a position to pick up the trail?

  • John Roberts

    @ Vuyo

    You ask how people can deem themselves superior on the basis of skin colour ?

    In the words of Steve Hofmeyer : Name one single thing throughout history that was invented by a black person.

    Cat got your tongue ?

    All you have done throughout history is kill and murder and rape whilst others take civilization forward. And then you want to steal what others have built.

    I don’t see many whites at the moment raping the country’s treasury for money meant to uplift poor idiots like you.

  • Darth Vader

    @ John Roberts

    You are wrong. Africans are very good at Maths and Equations. Consider this :

    They ADD no value
    They SUBTRACT from morality
    They DIVIDE the nation
    And boy, can they MULTIPLY.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “[Zuma’s] efforts in Burundi in bringing peace to that then strife ridden country should be remembered”

    Seldom a day goes by when I do not reflect on Zuma’s valiant efforts in the Great Lakes — all in service of the despised Mbeki’s wise maxim “African solutions for African problems.” As for Zuma’s work in KZN, recall that there were the malcontents who bitched that Zuma accorded a certain legitimacy to Inkhata’s murderous third force impis. But who cares — Zulu solutions for Zulu problems, I say!

    P.S. Darth Vader — thanks so much for the subtle humour!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 27, 2011 at 23:41 pm

    Hey Dworky

    “recall that there were the malcontents who bitched that Zuma accorded a certain legitimacy to Inkhata’s murderous third force impis.”

    Perhaps there are.

    And there were unhappy ANC supporters who complained bitterly over the ANC decision in 1994 not to challenge the KZN vote count.

  • Michael Osborne

    “Back in the House of Blue”

    As I stand by your flame
    I get burned once in pain
    Feelin’ low down
    Back in dat ole’ Blue House again

    As I sit by the fire
    Of your warm desire
    I left that Blue [House] for you, yeah

    Every night you’ve been away
    I’ve sat down and I have prayed
    That you’re safe in the arms of a guy
    Who will bring you alive
    Won’t drag you down with abuse

    In the silk sheet of time
    I will find peace of mind
    I’ll give to you a clue
    Love is a bed –
    In dat ole’ House of Blue.

  • Brett Nortje

    ANC big jaws run off investors

    EDITORIAL: Obstacles to FDI only getting worse

    IF THE government’s top three policy priorities are jobs, jobs and jobs, as it keeps insisting, then it needs to execute a swift about-turn in its attitude to investment.

    Published: 2011/07/28 07:25:29 AM

    IF THE government’s top three policy priorities are jobs, jobs and jobs, as it keeps insisting, then it needs to execute a swift about-turn in its attitude to investment. The foreign direct investment (FDI) figures for SA contained in the United Nations (UN) Conference on Trade and Development’s World Investment Report 2011, released earlier this week, reveal that we now rank below African economic giants such as Burkina Faso in terms of our ability to attract foreign money.

    Our share of FDI fell 70% last year compared with 2009, taking us from fourth to 10th in the African rankings. Granted, the top few beneficiaries were oil and gas producers such as Angola, Nigeria, Libya and Egypt. But oil is not the only commodity market that has been booming — the gold price has marched upwards as uncertainty over the global economic outlook has grown and, as one of the world’s biggest gold producers, SA should have been inundated with FDI.

    That we have not been is cause for great concern. Contrary to the apparent dominant view within the ruling party, the government cannot do this on its own — so-called job creation in the public service merely amounts to robbing Peter (taxpayers) to pay Paul (the burgeoning ranks of underemployed state employees). Ditto broadening the social net by extending welfare payments to ever more people.

    Without private sector investment, there will be no acceleration in economic growth; without faster growth, there will be no meaningful employment creation; without new jobs, there will be no reduction in poverty. It’s as simple as that. In this context, the National Treasury’s proposed framework to consolidate the government’s approach to FDI is a welcome and overdue initiative.

    It is not just foreign investors who are chary of committing their funds in SA. Reserve Bank figures showed lacklustre investment spending by both the domestic public and private sectors last year, the period covered by the UN report. Private business hesitancy is understandable due to excess capacity in the wake of the recession and uncertainty about future demand. But the state was supposed to be on a major infrastructure investment drive for the Fifa World Cup. While the parastatals came to the party, government investment spending did not live up to expectations.

    How can we expect foreign long- term investors — as opposed to portfolio managers, who continue to whip hot money in and out of our markets according to the fluctuating fortunes of developed world markets — to commit funds to greenfield projects in SA, and thereby create real, sustainable employment, if we are not prepared to do so ourselves? Most of the large foreign investments that have taken place have entailed large multinational institutions buying stakes in existing South African operations. Such deals are not to be sneezed at, but they are not the real job creators.

    A study by Ernst & Young found that while almost 60% of global executives perceive SA to have considerable potential as an investment destination, only 15% of the available FDI under their control actually finds its way here. The main obstacles identified were political meddling, bureaucratic red tape, policy
    uncertainty and corruption.

    Sadly, although government spending picked up towards the end of last year, more than R800bn has been earmarked for infrastructure over the next three years, and foreign flows into the equity, bond and currency markets have ensured that the balance of payments has stayed on a relatively even keel, the obstacles to private investment identified in the Ernst & Young survey have got bigger, not smaller.

    The nationalisation “debate”, the recent wave of strike action, administrative failures such as uncertainty over mining exploration rights, aggressive state attempts to block the Walmart buyout of Massmart … these all came after the period covered by the UN FDI report, so the odds are that investor perceptions of SA have worsened in the interim.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Brett

    Should we learn something from Angola, Libya, Nigeria and Egypt??

  • Gwebecimele

    I believe Prez Malema will be attending a court case in Queenstown today and he has a very interesting message for the country. I have no doubt that he will emerge stronger in less than my prediction of 10 days.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Gwebe, I hope you prediction comes true. Sadly, though, Maggs has already informed us that Mr Malema has been rendered utterly impotent. His glory days are over, his star has waned, he is yesterday’s man. Might as well face it, the lion of our youthful people has been laid low by the forces of imperialism!


  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 28, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Hey Dworky,

    We’ve got two finalists for the Blue House Idols competition.

    You’re appointed sole judge.

    Let us know who is the winner!

    p.s. It’s a trick challenge because the winner (in partnership with the Broederbond) is the one who employs the bladdy agents who seek to destroy our glorious YL by spreading lies and disinformation!

  • Brett Nortje

    Gwebecimele says:
    July 28, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Gwebecimele, are those our only options?

    To become a kleptocratic state racked by violent dissent? Become like Angola where the President skims off $3million a day from oil revenue? Where the national currency becomes blood diamonds and poached ivory?

    Is that how high you set the bar for South Africans?


  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Elly wins the Blue House Idols competition easily. Her spare, haunting lyrics impressed the panel very much indeed. The menacing verbs (“creepin'” and “watchin”), evoked the force of subliminal imperialism in all their terrifying reality.

    By contrast, MO’s crap had nothing to do with the theme, and sounded suspiciously like a crude rip off of a Jagger/Richards song.

  • Gwebecimele


    Broken past back to haunt us
    Jonathan Jansen | 28 July, 2011 00:29
    The real heroics of change
    Jonathan Jansen
    When a beefy man named Abel Malan beat up Stellenbosch philosophy professor Anton van Niekerk in his office recently, the more depressing drama was the reaction of South Africans across the country.
    That reaction spoke volumes about the state of social and educational transformation in our broken country.

    Anton is a good friend, one of the finest minds in ethics and philosophy, and a generous, thoughtful fellow. It must have come as a great shock to the professor to have a thickset man visiting his office under the pretence of wanting to discuss one of his papers, overturn his desk and thrash him on the grounds of a place of higher learning. But I do not want to dwell on the unpleasant details of the physical violence and its traumatic effect on the professor; the media made sure we got the murky minutiae. I want to focus rather on what the reaction to the event says about us, as South Africans.

    This was front page news for days in all the Afrikaans newspapers, with a lead story in the Sunday newspaper Rapport. Not a single English-language newspaper carried the story two Sundays ago, including Rapport’s sister newspaper, City Press. If this happened to a professor at Wits or UCT, I can assure you the English press would have milked the story. There is no need here for historical melodrama, I suppose, but what does this omission say about the Afrikaans- English divide we do not like to talk about in our country?

    In the Afrikaans press, the matter was treated as some kind of tribal skirmish that needed to be sorted out within the group.

    “This is bad for Afrikaners,” read one headline, as if this thug was any different from other violent offenders across the land. Imagine a man attacking his ethnic brother in KwaMashu, Durban, and somebody writing in the local press that this was bad for Zulus.

    “We must talk rather than fight,” led the needless Sunday headline in the major Afrikaans paper, citing a literary elder in the white, Afrikaans-speaking community. What is this? Are we talking about five-year olds?

    What is true is that Malan and his cronies, who travelled all the way from Mpumalanga to inflict damage on the professor, were acting according to a malicious mandate they no longer had: to discipline, by violence if necessary, any member of the tribe who dared to think outside of established knowledge about the past.

    What the professor had mused, in one of his writings, was to make the rather non-radical points about matters like white guilt and responsibility for apartheid. For this he was pulled into line, just as in the good old days. It is the mere threat of insult and even violence that to this day makes it so difficult for people to take an independent and unpopular stand in public on what is regarded in the group as out-group thinking.

    Predictably, Malan’s cronies came out in full support through the medium of some shady colony called the Volksraad Verkiesings Kommissie. Malan started a brief hunger strike in prison, as if there was some great moral cause for which he was prepared to sacrifice. In the meanwhile, the tribe called for calm and dialogue rather than for unconditional rejection of this violent act. The editorial of one Afrikaans newspaper was emphatic: “It is a fact that Professor van Niekerk’s views are controversial.”

    So what?

    It is this dangerous knowledge about the past that came to mind as I read the astonishing tribute from FW de Klerk to apartheid’s defence minister, Magnus Malan, on his death last week. The line in the tribute that intrigued me went something like this: “Malan held the fort against the enemies of South Africa until such time that communist rule ended, and then the country could be allowed to enjoy democracy.”

    In other words, apartheid continued because of communism and, in this logic, if there was no communism, there would have been freedom, democracy and human rights for all.

    I understand the need for people to find ways of living with a terrible knowledge of the past; but misrepresenting the past is not the way to do it, for it is such dangerous narratives that feed bitterness and fuel the violence of people like Malan.

    We still need to talk about our violent past, openly and honestly, and give our children a chance of confronting the past in ways that enable all of them to embrace more hopeful stories about the future.

  • Gwebecimele


    If our behaviour chases away investors then why they should be attracted by Angola, Nigeria, Egypt and others? Let me simplify it for you. Investors will go anywhere it makes business sense(opportunity to make huge profits) irrespective of local behaviour. Stop flirting they are not interested.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

    “Elly wins the Blue House Idols competition easily.”

    Well done MO – thanks to Dworky, you’re officially not a bladdy agent, so you don’t have rubbish in your pants!

    Elly – dial 1, 2 or 3 to collect your prize!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Gwebe

    “Investors will go anywhere it makes business sense(opportunity to make huge profits”

    Gwebe is right. Whether a multinational invests is very much an all-or-nothing, on/off switch. Either they invest, or they don’t, and the scale of investment has nothing to do with perceived risk. I am glad you have not bothered yourself with the ridiculous, over-sophisticated notion that foreign investors will demand a higher return on capital where there is significant political instability!

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Dworky

    “Whether a multinational invests is very much an all-or-nothing, on/off switch”

    Whilst I appreciate your attempt to interpret my statement but I guess you have gone beyond what I meant and created your own MIFASSONOMICS.

  • Michael Osborne

    Grebe let’s ignore MDFs usual rubbish. But it is the case that, like any investor, the international investors will demand a risk premium if they (rightly or wrongly) see political risk. That means they will seek higher projected returns and may turn away from opportunities where the expected rate of return is suboptimal. You are right that there is massive in investment in places like Nigeria. But the consequence of that being a high risk destination is precisely that outside investment is particulary extractive in character. On balance, I think we would prefer to avoid joining that club.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ MO

    I hope “Grebe” is Gwebe

    I am not anti FDI and I welcome investments that benefit SA but I have a serious problem when we are asked not run the country the way we want because we are going to upset investors. I have no doubt that a big percentage of these FDI’s are Private PuBlic Partnerships that are very questionable GAUTRAIN, e-Tolling, Eskom loans etc.

    They can demand a risk premium to those who are ready to “Prostitute” their countries and anyway this concept of risk and ratings failed to predict the collapse of banks and European economies.

    Would you take your family’s future to a loan shark if you had other options?

  • Michael Osborne

    Gwebe, each and every state adjusts its domestic policies in accordance with investor’s expectations. Corporate tax rates are just example. And every country on earth carries a risk premium. The USA risk profile is now up because of the Republican’s antics re debt ceiling. This is not a matter of “prostiution”. It’s a matter of economic reality. Sorry.

  • Gwebecimele

    The Prez or Ministers scorecards have nothing to do with this mosquito in our tent. We are busy with more important issues such as Malema, Prisons names etc .

  • Gwebecimele

    @ MO

    “Gwebe, each and every state adjusts its domestic policies in accordance with investor’s expectations”

    For what? To get e-Tolling or Gautrain or an Aluminium smelter?

    All we are good at is to sell existing profitable SA companies rather than attract creation of new. May be now that SAA or Eskom are running profitable its time to march them to the market for the sake of FDI.

  • zoo keeper


    I think one of the biggest problems concerning FDI is the type of FDI South Africa is capable of attracting.

    The government has spectaculary failed to educate the masses. Accordingly, we are not an investment destination which advertises skilled business opportunities as it were. FDI arrives here more in the extraction business than the invest and build – which builds distrust of the benefits. Too few people will see the benefits of extractive FDI – and we have ourselves to blame for that.

    If we had a huge skills base and welcoming business environment, there’d be none of this distrust of FDI, but rather a welcoming attitude because folks would realise how FDI would make them wealthier.

    Unfortunately, the crippling structural problems of this country are mounting and FDI would rather go to Lagos than Johannesburg these days.

    SA is losing its relevance as the gateway to Africa and its future source of wealth faster than we think. If we lose the gateway status we’ll be left depending on minerals and slowly going nowhere. All roads in Africa should lead to the financial and business hub of Johannesburg – alas, it looks like they will be re-directed to Lagos.

    We’re in more trouble than we realise, I just hope the ANC realises that long-term prosperity, and their own political survival, depends on investing heavily and effectively in education and skills development. Time to drop ideology and just do what works, or we’ll all suffer in the breakdown.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Michael Osborne

    Yes, Gwebe, the aluminium smelter: Obviously ALCOA will, in deciding whether to build a smelter, take into account whether govt will in future have the means to maintain or upgrade electricity reticulation, whether (pace ZK), SA universities are producing sufficient engineers, how likely it is that a future govt will raise taxes, what the odds are that mobs of angry youth will take over the center of PE etc. I challenge you to find a single global investment analyst who will disagree. (If it helps, I have some experience of my own, having spent several years on Wall Street, albeit as a humble lawyer with investment bankers as my clients.)

    BTW, the same competition for investment goes on between states in the US; when Toyota decides whether to build a new plant in Michigan or Alabama, it will conduct an exhaustive comparative study of state’s tax rates, infrastructure, crime rates, educational standards, etc.

  • Brett Nortje

    Gwebecimele says:
    July 28, 2011 at 15:13 pm

    Should foreign investors not ask Somalis not to run their country the way they want?

  • Brett Nortje

    This dry season Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and ZIMBABWE are going to suffer food insecurity.

    Should South Africans not ask those governments not to run their countries the way they want?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    July 28, 2011 at 16:51 pm

    Hey MO,

    “Yes, Gwebe, the aluminium smelter”

    Do you seriously think that an aluminium smelter is good for our economy and country when considering that 95% of the resource to produce Aluminium is electricity?

    If massive amounts of electricity is provided to smelters at up to 75% subsidies (subsidised by other industries, commerce and domestic consumers) and the product is substantially exported, we’re effectively shipping out money from our country to other countries.

    We no longer have easy access to vast amounts of low grade coal to produce cheap electricity – watch SABC 3 between 6.30 and 7 tonight to see the plea to reduce electricity consumption.

    Re many of the elements considered by international corporations when making investment decisions, consider the second most highly valued company in the world i.e. Apple and companies like Nike, which have been in the news reports of late as having their products produced cheaply on the back of extreme worker exploitation.

    The single most important thing that we have failed ourselves on is the engineering and technical training which you briefly touched on. While our Minister of Higher Education is being entertained in a fancy BMW and expensive hotels the opportunity to become an advanced producer nation is slipping us by.

    Arrgh but what the heck – my mother was a kitchen girl, my father was a garden boy and I did ok – so everyone else can go through life the same way!

  • Maggs Naidu –


    Speaking in the Eastern Cape town of Queenstown, Malema said he wouldn’t take bribes “knowing that my enemies are out to destroy me”.

    Juju would be openly taking bribes if it was not those darn enemies of his wanting to destroy him.

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs Naidu – says:
    July 28, 2011 at 18:10 pm

    Maggs, isn’t fluoride a by-product of making aluminium?

    What else could we put in our water to give our old people Alzheimers? (It certainly explains your quirkiness?)

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    July 28, 2011 at 18:33 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    “Maggs, isn’t fluoride a by-product of making aluminium?”

    Actually fluoride is a by-product of delegitimising White people.

    I got a large stockpile of fluoride!

    p.s. I am hiding my stockpile cos White people will steal it.

  • http://deleted Gwebecimele

    @ MO

    Answer my point about PPP’s and selling of south african companies??

  • http://deleted Gwebecimele
  • http://deleted Gwebecimele

    @ Zook

    Agreed. Well said.

  • http://deleted Gwebecimele
  • Michael Osborne

    @ Gwebe, I am not clear what your question is about sale of SAA, Eskom etc.

    But if your point is that it would not be in SA’s interests for ownership of such entities to fall into foreign hands: You may well be right; I have not studied these cases, and cannot comment on them.

    My point was that foreign investors will weigh a host of risk factors and positive factors in determining the extent and scope of investments. This applies as much to a choice as to whether to build a plant in Nevada or Colorado as to a choice between South Africa and Vietnam. And that calculus applies irrespective of whether the proposed investment would be a great boon to SA, or a terrible curse.

    The ironic reality is that so-called “communist” countries like Vietnam will get more favourable terms of trade than we do, so long as they have non-unionised,compliant, highly trained, workers willing to work for 0.77 per hour. Deal with that, if you can.

    @ Maggs: You are being mischievous in the extreme. You know perfectly well that I am not arguing one way or another whether an aluminium smelter would be good or not for SA. See my comments above,

  • Gwebecimele

    @ MO
    This paragraph and Zook’s posting above should assist you. In short we are attracting mostly the wrong FDI despite our efforts and therefore we should worry more about restructuring our economy rather than falling figures of BAD FDI anyway. You can sell SAA and Eskom in a similar way we have done with Vodacom , Iscor etc it will not help or bring Gautrain and e-Tolling.

    We are rolling out BRT’s and buying buses from Brazil. We are about to spend R97 bn on locomotives, buying smartphones, laptops and i-pads and we cant even produce a cellphone that can dial and receive or a bus. How can you make Rooivalk and fail to produce a bus? By the way all of these can happen with little or no FDI. Our Min of Health is under attack from Private Healthcare and pharmaceuticals for doing what is best for SA.

    “How can we expect foreign long- term investors — as opposed to portfolio managers, who continue to whip hot money in and out of our markets according to the fluctuating fortunes of developed world markets — to commit funds to greenfield projects in SA, and thereby create real, sustainable employment, if we are not prepared to do so ourselves? Most of the large foreign investments that have taken place have entailed large multinational institutions buying stakes in existing South African operations. Such deals are not to be sneezed at, but they are not the real job creators.”

  • Maggs Naidu –


    “The ANCYL is like a mosquito in one’s tent,” Rupert said from London, without further comment.

  • Michael Osborne

    Gwebe, I was about to give up, but let me try one last time. I am not saying that any particular investment, or FDI in general, is a very good thing, or a very bad thing. In fact, let us assume for sake of argument that all FDI is a very BAD thing, and that SA should therefore opt for autarchy. That changes nothing about that fact that, if investors do invest, they will do so on the basis and in a manner that weighs risks and returns on investment, and that they will tend to demand higher returns on investments deemed to be made into risky environment.

  • Andrew Buttress

    What Mr Rupert failed to convey is that mosquitos carry malaria and all sorts of other fatal diseases…when will the intellectuals of this country start to wake up that Mr. Malema cannot simply be swept aside, that he poses a clear and present danger to the economic, civil and political survival of South Africa and that a firm response to his plans is needed? If England had supported the fledgling democracy of the Weimar Republic and taken a firm stand against a rabble rouser from Austria the history of the 1940s would have been very different. Dare I say that we need to heed the lessons of history???

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    July 29, 2011 at 15:13 pm

    Hey MO,

    “if investors do invest, they will do so on the basis and in a manner that weighs risks and returns on investment, and that they will tend to demand higher returns on investments deemed to be made into risky environment.”

    Too true.

    South Africa is not necessarily a good investment destination – investors can do better elsewhere.

    It may be better for us all if they do go elsewhere if the kinds of “investments” which have been dominating of late are anything to go by.

    We need to encourage investments which will actively contribute to our developmental state and the NDR and discard those who merely drain our resources and wealth.

  • Andrew Buttress

    If we want to strengthen our country as an investment destination then we must strengthen the rule of law. This must be the only place on earth where you can bribe the future President and spend a year in hospital, where you can sign off a R500 million lease as the head of police and not get fired, where you can defraud the taxpayer on your travel expenses and the only person charged is the travel agent. But spill your drink on the president and you will be convicted. Steal a cellphone and you will spend two years awaiting trial if you cannot post R500 bail. Be the public protector or the head of the SIU and you will be investigated. No wonder people are hesitant to invest!

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Maggs/Gwebe

    Come to think of it, North Korean autarchy may be the way to go. SA already has a fundamentally similar two- person leadership structure: the incumbent Great Leader, and the young Dear Leader — whom, as the Great Leader noted last year is “worthy to inherit the ANC.”

    Of course, this neat parallel breaks down if Maggs is right in assuring us that the Dear Leader is a “spent force.”

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    July 29, 2011 at 16:05 pm


    “this neat parallel breaks down if Maggs is right in assuring us that the Dear Leader is a ‘spent force.’”

    It seems that the young Dear Leader is now on track – looking for apes and monkeys!


  • Maggs Naidu –


    The new municipal manager of the Tshwane metro will earn more than any minister and possibly even more than President Jacob Zuma.

    An annual remuneration package of “between R2.1 and R2.7m” was approved for Jason Ngobeni, 42, the newly appointed city manager, at a council meeting on Thursday.

    Zuma will earn R2.4m in the current financial year and ministers just under R2m.

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs Naidu – says:
    July 29, 2011 at 16:17 pm

    Very droll, Maggs – if you regard the modus vivendi between black and white as a laughing matter.

    Which modus vivendi the ANC has done very little to uphold.

    What responsible organisation would let this cretin play with powderkegs and then let him go play with matches on the powderkeg that he burst open?

  • http://deleted Gwebecimele

    Lets hope City Press is going to up the tempo. Prez Malema is back with a bang (Apes, Baboons, dogs etc).

    Maggs………………….what about the streetwise2?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    July 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Hey Gwebs,

    “what about the streetwise2?”

    You’re being a thunsil again!

    MO will be very upset!

  • Brett Nortje

    Written to Americans: Just as applicable here?

    Head Of Obama’s Jobs Council, Is Moving Jobs And Economic Infrastructure To China
    July 29, 2011

    By Michael Snyder – BLN Contributing Writer

    Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama’s highly touted “Jobs Council”, is moving even more GE infrastructure to China. GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world, and now GE has announced that it “is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing“.

    Apparently, this is all part of a “plan to invest about $2 billion across China” over the next few years. But moving core pieces of its business overseas is nothing new for GE. Under Immelt, GE has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States. Perhaps GE should change its slogan to “Imagination At Work (In China)”. If the very people that have been entrusted with solving the unemployment crisis are shipping jobs out of the country, what hope is there that things are going to turn around any time soon?

    Earlier this month, Immelt made the following statement to a jobs summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce….

    “There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”

    Apparently Immelt’s idea of being part of the solution is to ship as many jobs overseas as he possibly can.

    A recent article on the Huffington Post documented how GE has been sending tens of thousands of good jobs out of the country….

    As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.
    At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.

    GE is supposed to be creating the “jobs of tomorrow”, but it seems that most of the “jobs of tomorrow” will not be located inside the United States.
    The last GE factory in the U.S. that made light bulbs closed last September. The transition to the new CFL light bulbs was supposed to create a whole bunch of those “green jobs” that Barack Obama keeps talking about, but as an article in the Washington Post noted, that simply is not happening….

    Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.

    But GE is far from alone in shipping jobs and economic infrastructure out of the United States. For example, big automakers such as Ford are being very aggressive in China. Ford is currently “building three factories in Chongqing as part of $1.6 billion investment that also includes another plant in Nanchang”.
    Today, China accounts for approximately one out of every four vehicles sold worldwide. The big automakers consider the future to be in China.

    Just a few decades ago, China was an economic joke and the U.S. economy was absolutely unparalleled.

    But disastrous trade policies have opened up the door for a mammoth transfer of jobs, factories and wealth from the United States to China.

    China has become an absolute powerhouse and America is rapidly declining.
    Beautiful new infrastructure is going up all over China even as U.S. infrastructure rots and decays right in front of our eyes.

    You can see some amazing pictures of the stunning economic development that has been going on in China here, here, here and here.

    America is being deindustrialized at lightning speed and very few of our politicians seem to care.
    Back in 1979, there were 19.5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States.
    Today, there are 11.6 million.
    That represents a decline of 40 percent during a time period when our overall population experienced tremendous growth.
    We used to have the greatest manufacturing cities on the entire globe. The rest of the world was in awe of us.
    Today, most of those formerly great manufacturing cities are decaying, rottinghellholes.

    The following is what one reporter from the UK saw during his visit to Detroit….

    As you pass the city limits a blanket of gloom, neglect and cheapness descends. The buildings are shabbier, the paint is faded. The businesses, where they exist, are thrift shops and pawn shops or wretched groceries where the goods are old and tired. Finding somewhere to have breakfast, normally easy in any American city, involves a long hunt. ‘God bless Detroit’, says one billboard, just beside another offering the alternative solution: liquor.

    You can see some really shocking images of the decline of Detroit right here.
    Our politicians insisted that globalism would not result in a “giant sucking sound” as millions of jobs left America.

    But that is exactly what has happened.

    Sadly, most American families still don’t understand what has happened. Most of them are still waiting for things to get back to “normal”.

    Millions of unemployed Americans are dealing with incredible amounts ofstress right now as they wait for jobs to start opening up again. But the jobs that have been shipped overseas are not coming back. In a globalized economy, it doesn’t make sense to hire American workers when you can legally pay workers slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.

    Millions of good middle class jobs have been replaced by low paying service jobs. Today there are huge numbers of Americans that are cutting hair or flipping burgers because that is all they can get right now.

    Many others are only able to survive because of the safety net. One reader named David recently left a comment in which he shared his story. David did everything that the system asked him to do, but the promised rewards never materialized. Now David is broke, unemployed and he feels deeply frustrated….

    A year ago I had a job, we were struggling, but bills were getting paid, and somehow we were getting by. Then I made the mistake of getting sick, one day before my company insurance kicked in. An auto-immune illness almost killed me, if it weren’t for the amazing efforts of my physicians and an emergency spleenectomy, I would not be here.
    My wife would have been a single mother,raising two young sons, one of which is autistic. Instead, I pulled through. The disease damaged my liver, leaving me with a chronic condition, and even after a year, it is hard to get up and go some days. My “employer” dumped me as soon as I left the hospital, and I haven’t worked since. It isn’t for lack of looking. There just isn’t anything.
    Oh, I get my government cheese money. Here I am college educated, unable to find something that can pay the bills better than the money that we get from the government. It sickens me to be this dependent on the system like this. But the system de-incentivizes work, and makes living on the dole make a perverse economic sense.
    I used to have dreams, but I have given up on them. My wife and I have no savings, we have no life raft and if it weren’t for the generosity of her parents and mine, things would have ground to a halt a long time ago.
    I believed every thing adults told me. Work hard, I did. Get an education, I did. Find a nice girl and settle down, I did. Two cars, a dog, a cat and couple of kids, a nice townhouse…the american dream. Yep.
    I love my country. My heart is broken, broken because I have been betrayed. I did what you asked, I played by the rules. I did what you said to do; I submitted, I conformed, I stopped dreaming. Now what?
    I am willing to pay for my faults and transgressions; my failures are my own, I get that. My children should not have to suffer for my failures, they did not do anything wrong. My youngest boy is autistic, we hope he will be able to integrate into society, but the fact is we may have to take care of him for the rest of his life. How do I do this with nothing, and no opportunity in the foreseeable future?
    Depression, stress…yep, I’ve got all that. I used to be hopeful and optimistic about the future. Now all I am is afraid.

    As the United States continues to bleed good jobs, stories like the one you just read are going to become much more common.
    So what are our politicians doing about all of this?
    They tell us that we need even more “free trade”!
    Barack Obama says that we need more free trade.
    The Republicans say that we need more free trade.
    In Washington D.C. our politicians do not agree on much, but one thing they do agree on is that we need to keep shipping jobs out of the country.

    Until the American people wake up and start demanding an end to the globalization of the U.S. economy, the job losses are just going to continue to get worse.

    The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000. If this trend continues, millions more Americans will soon be surviving on food stamps or living in tent cities.

    The American people are deeply concerned about the economy, but they still have not connected the dots on these issues. The mainstream media and most of our politicians keep telling them that the globalization of the economy is a wonderful thing.

    It is so sad that people just do not understand what is going on right in front of their eyes.

    Whether you are a conservative or a liberal or a libertarian, you should be against the deindustrialization of America.
    Allowing our industrial base to be raped is not a good thing.
    Allowing big corporations and foreign governments to pay slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe making things that will be sold inside the United States is not a good thing.
    Allowing the destruction of our industrial capacity to threaten our national security is not a good thing.
    Allowing millions of precious jobs to leave the country is not a good thing..
    The biggest corporations are making some extra profits by exploiting cheap labor on the other side of the globe. Corporate executives love to shower themselves with larger and larger bonuses.
    But our current trade policies are not working for American workers.
    We need “fair trade”, not “free trade”.

    The United States is being taken advantage of, and the Democrats and the Republicans are both laying down like doormats and letting it happen.

    If you want to know where all the good jobs went, it is not a big mystery..
    They have been shipped out of the country and they are not coming back.
    Unless fundamental changes are made, things are going to get worse and worse and worse for American workers.

    So what is going to happen next?

    It is up to you America.

  • Brett Nortje
  • Maggs Naidu –

    “How many leaders and public figures have got trusts and community trusts? In South Africa there is not what we call secret trusts, there is nothing like that

    hehehehe – ‘there is nothing like that’ any longer.

    Sorry Juju – secret is only a secret when the media don’t find out.

    The media only find out when those closest to you have looooooooooong knives.

    p.s. More ‘secrets’ are about to be, er, discovered’ by the media.

    As sad as MO is gonna be, when you got to go, you got to go!

  • Brett Nortje
  • Maggs Naidu –

    “On the political brilliance of Julius Malema”

    Now Malema targets Botswana president

    Hey MO, what say you to the political brilliance of Juju?

    Today Botswana, tomorrow the world!

    I must surely have been mistaken, these idiots are real political and economic forces to be reckoned with.

  • Gwebecimele

    ANCYL leader asks why he is being ‘singled out’
    01 Aug 2011 | Kingdom Mabuza | 109 comments
    “How many people who are public representatives have trust funds for their wives and concubines? Why are you not asking them questions?”

    I live within my means. I can explain the life I live. It is not sponsored by thugs – Malema
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    Malema speaks up on trust
    DEFIANT ANC Youth League president Julius Malema says he is not intimidated and will not be shaken by any political storm.

    “I am not afraid. I am wet already, why should I be afraid of the storm?” he asked.

    Malema, who was speaking yesterday after the league’s national executive committee meeting in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, asked why he was the only target.

    In what might lead to others being exposed in a similar fashion, Malema said he would not disclose details of the trust that has started the storm unless there was a court order that all public figures and representatives do the same.

    The inference is that there are others in a similar position.

    “Let all of us be subjected to scrutiny. Why me? People who have failed to engage us on economic freedom have resorted to monkey tricks and dirty tactics. How many people who are public representatives have trust funds for their wives and concubines? Why are you not asking them questions?” he said.

    “I am not scared of jail. You will never arrest my ideas. Even if the Hawks, Scorpions or Sars were to lock me up, I would come back. I will speak about economic freedom even from jail. I will teach prisoners about the economic struggle,” he said.

    Malema said allegations that businesspeople paid him bribes through the trust to secure tenders were devoid of any truth.

    “I have no problem to account to law enforcement agencies. The trust paid its taxes last year and is tax compliant. I live within my means. I can explain the life I live. It is not sponsored by thugs.

    “More people have called. They want to contribute to the trust. From where I am, I am comfortable and do not need a bribe. I have never taken a bribe,” Malema said.

    He said people who have contributed to the trust were willing to come forward and explain.

    “The trust received money from Good Samaritans who were approached to assist. People who donated for the church were paraded. It was never secret,” he said.

    He said if the trust was meant for bribes he would not have put the names of “my grandmother and only child. It is unthinkable that I could have compromised them”.

    He said the league would engage individual leaders of the ANC on the economic struggle, “from President Zuma and all other leaders”.

    Malema said since the departure of former president Thabo Mbeki, the league was concerned that there was a vacuum in pushing the African agenda.

    “The latest developments in Libya show that there is no strong voice. In the past president Mbeki represented that agenda very well. During the attack on Iraq we knew where we stood.

    “The African agenda is no longer represented since the departure of president Mbeki. There is a vacuum. As the ANC Youth League we cannot allow that vacuum,” he said.

  • Gwebecimele

    Is Mazibuko also responsible for twitting for Helen?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    August 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Hey Gwebs,

    It seems that all the dirty laundry is being (or about to be) aired in public.

    Stopping short of naming these public figures, Malema told journalists yesterday: “How many people have trusts? I have one. They have three or four. For their wives and husbands and concubines. Public representatives have trusts and are receiving money into those trusts. Why don’t you ask them?”

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Well done Eric Myeni – more ‘brilliant’ than Juju!

    Haffajee does it for white masters

    JULIUS Malema must never answer a Ferial Haffajee. Who the devil is she anyway if not a black snake in the grass, deployed by white capital to sow discord among blacks?

    In the 80s she’d probably have had a burning tyre around her neck. We know where she comes from. She was groomed by The Mail & Guardian, the same newspaper that produces the Jacob Dlaminis of this world, black people who say it was nice to live in the townships under apartheid.

    And today we must believe that Haffajee’s utter hatred of ANC politicians is based on journalistic integrity. Quadruple crap. I am more inclined to think that people like Haffajjee, who edits City Press, are most likely to be the kind that wakes up in the morning, sees their black faces in the mirror only to feel a wave of self-hatred rising up to nauseate them.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele
  • Maggs Naidu –

    Whereto from here?

    Surely the dog cannot wag the tail!

    The ANC Youth League has crossed the line in its comments on bringing out regime change in Botswana, the ANC says.

    “The ANC would like to totally reject and publicly rebuke the ANCYL on its extremely thoughtless and embarrassing pronouncements on ‘regime change’ in Botswana…,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

    The ANC also distanced itself from the ANCYL’s contention that the African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) had veered off the African agenda.

    “This insult and disrespect to the President (Honourable Ian Khama), the government and the people of Botswana and a threat to destabilise and effect regime change in Botswana is a clear demonstration that the ANCYL’s ill-discipline has clearly crossed the political line,” said Mthembu

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Maggs

    We been through this before and I doubt if it will yield different results.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    August 1, 2011 at 18:05 pm


    “We been through this before and I doubt if it will yield different results.”

    So crossing the line does not really mean crossing the line!

    The current ANC leadership are turning out to be nothing more than a bunch of jokers.

  • Chris (Not the right wing guy)
  • Brett Nortje

    JOHN KANE-BERMAN: One of the new democracies starts to mimic the world’s oldest

    SA’s banking system famously emerged unscathed from the tsunami that flattened other banks a few years ago

    Published: 2011/08/01 07:28:04 AM

    SA’s banking system famously emerged unscathed from the tsunami that flattened other banks a few years ago. As for Greece, that country’s self-inflicted problems also seem far away. But what will we look like in five or 10 years’ time? Will we too have a budget deficit out of control? Will we too face riots and strikes as the government tries to rein in public sector pay and cut back on entitlements?

    The current strikes in this country will further undermine the ability of the economy to generate jobs. Inequality between those who have jobs and the underclass will therefore widen, while the size of the underclass — those without jobs or education or prospects either — will increase both absolutely and in relation to the middle class.

    A few years ago, the government trumpeted a “war against poverty”. “War rooms” were set up to prosecute a multipronged strategy. In practice, the only thing the government is doing for the underclass is extending social security, with two broad components: the “social wage” and social grants. The former includes free water and electricity, free housing, free refuse removal, free land and free education. The latter are cash payments.

    Social security spending has already grown substantially, financed by an increasing tax take, the redirection of spending from other budget votes, and pushing public debt back up.

    However, despite the increase in the number of beneficiaries of social grants from 8% to 31% of the population, this part of the social security system is in fact quite limited. Almost the entire increase is accounted for by the new child support grants, which do not extend beyond the age of 18.

    Until they reach pensionable age, people who have never worked receive no social grants.

    Various ministers have argued that “people should learn to work rather than live on handouts”. They have also dismissed demands by the Democratic Alliance, the trade unions, some newspapers and pressure groups for a “basic income grant” on the grounds that it would be unaffordable.

    But for how long will demands for further extensions to the social grant system be resisted?

    Two factors make extension likely. The first is the ruling party’s electoral interests. One way of trying to reverse decline and/or consolidate support is to put more voters onto the public payroll, as some rich countries do. The second is the culture in SA of entitlement, which is strengthened every time a politician visits an area and promises free housing, or whatever.

    It is also strengthened by toughening affirmative action, empowerment and procurement requirements. It is strengthened yet again by the growing dominance of socialist thinking in the Cabinet, the pubic service, trade unions, parts of academia, nongovernmental organisations and the African National Congress.

    Part of any scenario for SA must therefore be the further extension of social security.

    But another part of the scenario must be the declining ability of the country to finance an ever-increasing social security bill without more direct and stealth taxes and more and more public borrowing.

    A third part of the scenario must be a declining corporate tax base, as the investment climate in the country deteriorates thanks to heavier taxes, nationalisation threats, violent strikes, skill shortages, corruption, uncertainty over power, attacks on private healthcare, malfeasance with mining licences, chaos with company registrations, and other risks.

    Ministers who shift the goalposts to extort more money seem oblivious of the fact that there are other countries on this continent, which can also serve as gateways to Africa. The government wants lots of golden eggs, but visceral hostility to all the geese that lay them is on the increase.

    Germany is coming to the rescue of Greece because it is in its interests to do so.

    But there is no scenario in which anyone will come to SA’s rescue.

    • Kane-Berman is CE of the South African Institute of Race Relations.

  • Brett Nortje

    TIM COHEN: Why would the Hawks raid the government?

    HOW do you interpret politically the Hawks’ raid on the Department of Mineral Resources in connection with the mineral rights dispute between the iron-ore miner Kumba, the department, and the politically connected empowerment firm Imperial Crown Trading (ICT)?

    Published: 2011/08/01 08:45:23 AM

    HOW do you interpret politically the Hawks’ raid on the Department of Mineral Resources in connection with the mineral rights dispute between the iron-ore miner Kumba , the department, and the politically connected empowerment firm Imperial Crown Trading (ICT)?

    It’s a depressing mark of our politics that the question even needs to be asked. In an ideal world, the public would trust the judicial process to take its course regardless of political considerations. But here the judicial system is so politicised, that it seems hard to believe that a body as unrenowned for eager crime- fighting should raid such sensitive parts of the government as the state attorney’s office two weeks before a big trial. Unless there are some political machinations behind them.

    The subjects of the raid have made the claim openly. ICT’s attorney Ronnie Mendelow has said that not only are the allegations without substance, but to view the timing of the raid as coincidence is “an affront to common sense”. He says the raids are an attempt to embarrass his client and cloud the mind of the judge.

    Despite Mendelow’s protestations, it would be unfair to rule out the possibility the Hawks acted on their own initiative. On the face of it, they have a strong case.

    They have testimony, documentary evidence, and a set of relationships that provide opportunity. And given the huge sums of money involved, they have motive coming out of their ears.

    Factually, the criminal allegations are separate from the civil hearing, which won’t broach directly the issue of fraud but will deal with the issue of the validity of the different applications for the mining rights.

    Kumba’s subsidiary, the Sishen Iron Ore Company, claims the department incorrectly granted the 21,4% undivided mineral rights in the Sishen mine formerly owned by ArcelorMittal SA to ICT and not them. This necessarily includes the claim that ICT’s application was invalid.

    The undisputed facts are that ICT’s application, submitted just after the Workers’ Day weekend in 2009, contained documents that were obviously copied from Sishen’s application, submitted just before that same weekend. ICT claims they were inserted by Sishen precisely to invalidate their application, a claim Sishen obviously denies. Sishen separately made a criminal complaint based on this assertion.

    Until now, ICT has not made a counter criminal complaint based on its counter assertion. Given the seriousness with which the Hawks appear to be taking the claim, that may now change.

    Those are the claims. What about the relationship trail? The Mail & Guardian reports that a search warrant application includes as “people of interest” Jagdish Parekh, an ICT director; Phemelo Sehunelo, co-founder of ICT; Duduzile Kunene, a minerals department official with whom he is romantically linked; and Kunene’s former business partner, Thozama Basi, who was the official who received Sishen’s application. The relationship chain doesn’t prove anything, but it does suggest ICT could have been in the room.

    What about the political case? Here we move into the realm of speculation but the fact is that politicos interpret the raids as having something to do with internal battles over the presidency.

    This argument starts from observing just how much effort was put into these raids. Over 50 police were involved at seven places. They took a small mountain of information, copying whole computer drives.

    Who knows what information those computers contain? What we do know is that the information was sensitive enough to make some in the government go ballistic. Mineral resources spokes- man Bheki Khumalo said the raids on the department were “unconstitutional” and “against the very grain of good governance”. Department of Justice spokesman Tlali Tlali said the raid on the state attorney was “unprecedented”.

    Whatever the case, it’s clear the head of the Hawks, Anwa Dramat, has just stepped up. But how far up did he have to go to get permission for the raid, and why did he get it?

    There are two theories about the raid. The first is that it is an attempt to stifle the presidential ambitions of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe . The second is that it is an attempt by police chief Bheki Cele, struggling with the police head office rental scandal, to secure his position by collecting useful information on political figures.

    How could the mess end at Motlanthe’s door? The incident took place during his brief presidency, and it is thought he saw the mining rights as a funding avenue for the African National Congress (ANC). Consequently he gave the go-ahead for his longtime romantic partner, Prudence “Gugu” Mtshali, an ANC employee, to get involved on behalf of the party. According to the Mail & Guardian, the arrest warrant cites an interest in Mtshali’s communications at the time, and authorises seizing her computer.

    The problem with this theory — that Motlanthe may end up carrying the can — is that the repercussions may hit President Jacob Zuma too. There seems to have been some arm-wrestling between Motlanthe’s camp and Zuma’s camp about the rights, after which the purported holders of the rights sold or gave away half their company. Why they did that remains a mystery, but it seems likely some pressure was applied by Zuma’s representatives, thought to be Parekh.

    Jacinto Rocha’s name appears on the warrant. He was the deputy director-general in the minerals department at the time and responsible for approving prospecting right applications. He reversed his deputy’s decision and granted ICT the rights.

    One name does not appear on the warrant: the department’s chief, Sandile Nogxina, who retires soon. Nogxina is a political figure, but insiders say he is upright about procedure and warned the players about the repercussions of their manoeuvring.

    Yet the department has been strident in its support of ICT, and had to be legally restrained from converting its purported prospecting right into a mining right.
    But apparently that support emanates more from the minister, Susan Shabangu , than from officials. And this may provide a clue as to why there are rumours that she is about to be reshuffled. It’s not about nationalisation; it’s about paring down the Zuma supporters in the Cabinet.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Nationalise the Minds

    Mulius Jalema sure knows how to stir up the troops. Give him credit for that.

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