Constitutional Hill

Why embracing progressive social values can set us free from anger and hatred

It is trite to state that we live in a deeply divided society, one in which post-modernist attitudes rub up (if that is the right phrase to use in this context) against patriarchal pastoralist views, a society in which progressive social mores uneasily co-exist – often in the same person – with a hyper conservative and judgmental morality. We are a society in transition, one in which the colonial (missionary imposed) conservative morality which has seeped into and has become deeply embedded in traditional culture, is also consistently being challenged and being contested by more progressive, Western-inspired, views on social issues (often under the influence of a commodified version of popular culture).

The patriarchal power of traditionalists often clash with demands by women or feminists of all genders for gender equality. The homophobia promoted by religious groups and those citizens (of all races) still steeped in the values of colonial missionary morality must be accommodated within the progressive framework of a Constitution that demands respect for difference and diversity. Traditional patriarchal notions about the need to show respect for elders (especially if they are male elders), compete directly with the demands placed on us by a vibrant democracy in which contestation, debate, harsh criticism and even ridicule are taken for granted.

One way in which to try and understand and manage these differences is to listen to others, to try and imagine oneself walking in the shoes of those who are different (or, more accurately, who hold different views) from oneself and to try and see the world through the eyes of those who, at first glance, one might seem to have little in common with. Despite the fact that I believe the furore about Brett Murray’s painting is a distraction, diverting our attention from the real problems facing South Africa and preventing us from finding and implementing solutions for these problems, the feelings on both sides of this debate seem to be so intense that I thought it might be helpful for a white person like myself literally to try and place myself in the shoes of the aggrieved party (knowing that this is not possible). In National Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Equality v Minister of Justice the Constitutional Court stated this view rather eloquently:

The desire for equality is not a hope for the elimination of all differences. “The experience of subordination – of personal subordination, above all – lies behind the vision of equality.” To understand “the other” one must try, as far as is humanly possible, to place oneself in the position of “the other”. “It is easy to say that everyone who is just like ‘us’ is entitled to equality. Everyone finds it more difficult to say that those who are ‘different’ from us in some way should have the same equality rights that we enjoy. Yet so soon as we say any . . . group is less deserving and unworthy of equal protection and benefit of the law all minorities and all of . . . society are demeaned. It is so deceptively simple and so devastatingly injurious to say that those who are handicapped or of a different race, or religion, or colour or sexual orientation are less worthy.

I therefore fiddled with the Brett Murray painting, superimposing my own face on it to see how I would react to seeing such a painting with a version of my face on it.

However, after looking at the altered painting, I am none the wiser. Why am I not feeling humiliated and why do I not feel that my dignity has been infringed? Would the feeling be different if I share the altered work of art with others? After some thought (not wanting to appear to be a publicity seeker) I decided that I would share the altered painting to see if this decision would alter my views. After all, my sisters read this blog (hallo susters!) as well as many of my students (stop surfing the internet and go and study!),  so perhaps I would feel humiliated and shamed if I knew they would see the painting. But still I felt nothing but mild amusement.

Maybe, I thought, the reasons for an absence of a feeling of humiliation is that this altered painting is so obvious not real. But then again, as the original painting is a work of art and is obviously not real either, that should not make the difference. As the Goodman Gallery stated in their replying affidavit, “the genitals in the painting is a work of fiction” – something evident to all viewers of the painting.

Maybe, I thought, the difference in response is related to the fact that I am white and the person depicted is perceived to be black. There is, after all, a long history, associated with the shameful colonial intellectual tradition, of depicting black male sexuality as somehow dangerous and voracious, something that needs to be feared or tamed by white colonists. But I happen to be gay and thus part of a minority who has long been sexually stereotyped and subjugated as a result of being sexualised. As Justice Laurie Ackermann noted in the case of National Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Equality v Minister of Home Affairs, quoting the following passage, there is a link between stigma and discrimination and the depiction of gay men as exclusively sexual beings:

“There are two predominant narratives that circulate within American society that help to explain the difficulty that lesbians and gays face in adopting children and establishing families. First, there is the story of lesbians and gays that centres on their sexuality. Whether because of disgust, confusion, or ignorance about homosexuality, lesbian and gay sexuality dominates the discourse of not only same-sex adoption, but all lesbian and gay issues. The classification of lesbians and gays as ‘exclusively sexual beings’ stands in stark contrast to the perception of heterosexual parents as ‘people who, along with many other activities in their lives, occasionally engage in sex.’ Through this narrative, lesbians and gays are reduced to one-dimensional creatures, defined by their sex and sexuality.”

Although the stigma and prejudice do not operate in exactly the same way, there are nevertheless strong parallels between the depiction and use of the sexuality of black men to subjugate them and the depiction and use of sexual stereotypes to subjugate gay men and lesbians. Yet, I am not feeling in the least bit humiliated by this work of art. Why not?

Is it because, having applied the insights that Steve Biko brought to bear on the racial oppression on my own sexuality and on the oppression embedded in and perpetuated by the heteronormative world, I have long since stopped feeling ashamed to be gay? Is it that, for reasons unknown to me, I have not internalised the bigotry, hatred and homophobia (often linked to the heteronormative enforcement and perpetuation of a stereotypical gay sexuality) and feel sorry for heterosexuals who stereotype me as exclusively a sexual being. Instead of feeling humiliated by their prejudice and hatred, I feel a certain amount of compassion – after all, it must be difficult to go through the world poisoned by such anger and hatred?

Or maybe I am not feeling shamed and humiliated by this painting because – unlike the President – I do not feel that it sends a signal that I am a womaniser and a philanderer. But this cannot be true either. Back in the day I used to have many sexual partners, so a work of art depicting me as a sexual being might well be aimed at mocking or ridiculing my sexual behaviour. And maybe here we get closer to the heart of the matter. The fact is that I hold socially progressive views and I do not believe there is anything wrong with having many sexual partners (as long as one uses a condom). There is therefore no dissonance between my former philandering self and my deeply held views on sexual morality. Maybe I do not experience any discomfort because how I have lived my life is quite well aligned with how I believe I ought to have lived it.

Maybe this integration of my day-to-day life with my moral views is a kind of luxury that can at least partly be attributed to my white skin and the privilege that necessarily attaches to it. After all, I am an upper middle class person, I have travelled the world, have read widely, have visited the best art museums, have paid for a psychologist who could listen to all my sad stories and fears and hopes and dreams. Most South Africans do not have that luxury.

But at the heart of this integration between how I act and how I believe I ought to act must be my progressive social views about sex, about art, about the ridiculous religious beliefs that whether one is a good or bad person depends almost entirely on whether you have been chaste or whether you have had sex with many people.

I suspect that because we are a society in flux, one that is rapidly changing and irrevocably being transformed by the music and art and TV shows of popular culture (most of it Western popular culture), yet one in which many people wish to hold on to some form of tradition as a way to signal their symbolic rejection of colonialism – even if this is often little more than a symbolic holding on not reflected in how people act – anger and humiliation ensues when these two impulses collide and confront people with the fact that who they are and who they wish they were are not always the same.

Of course, as a socially progressive person, I would argue that the only way to address these feelings of anger and shame and humiliation is to ditch the yearning for a world that has been forever lost (and may never have existed in any case); to stop holding on (even symbolically) to the colonially imposed morality of 18th century missionaries and to embrace a more vibrant, open, irreverent and matter of fact attitude towards sex, art and male power – both in what we believe is good and how we behave in accordance with those beliefs.

But as I write this, I am aware that it is easy for me to talk and that the trauma, pain and confusion that accompanies any momentous cultural, religious and moral transformation of society cannot so easily be addressed. But trying to understand it – no matter how imperfectly (as I have tried to do here) – must surely be the starting point for the conversation. Banning works of art to try and stop the conversation from happening cannot be the answer.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele
  • ozoneblue

    Perhaps being gay you don’t have to ever explain to your six year old son/grand daughter why oupa is standing there in the newspaper with his little boer pielietjie hanging out for everybody on the world to crack a joke at?

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    LOL Pierre.

    You should be ashamed of your self, appearing in public with a tummy like that!


  • ozoneblue why i can’t stand some types of gay people. They are honestly so convinced they are more civilized and enlghtened than everbody else.

  • Zoo Keeper

    So Prof

    What do you make of the ANC supporters’ placards saying “No to artistic expression” and the like?

    Pretty much clamouring for a return to the oppression that they allegedly fought against? But its OK now because they’re in power.

    Seems the real nature of the ANC is on display, and it is as ugly as the NP ever was.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Zoo Keeper
    May 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Hey ZooKy,

    “Seems the real nature of the ANC is on display, and it is as ugly as the NP ever was.”

    It’s a handful of people that are displaying nonsense.

    It’s silly generalising!

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Thanks but no thanks Prof.
    I love my traditional Xhosa “conservative” culture, language, customs etc & whether or not it has been influenced by uptight 18th century missionaries (so did African people not have any moral standards of their own before the missionaries arrived here?) I am as comfortable in my traditions as you are in your so-callled “progressive” way of thinking.
    To each his own I guess, as long as we respect each other & treat each other fairly.

  • Zoo Keeper


    Is it the penis that’s offensive, or the use of a famous Lenin poster?

    I would think being compared to Lenin is far more offensive than some stick-on knob.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “It’s a handful of people that are displaying nonsense.”

    It may only be a small minority that has the opportunity to take an hour or two off work to demonstrate with placards. But I can assure you that most of our people are not interested in the nostrums of liberal formalist (viz. whitist), jurisprudence.

  • John Roberts

    You’re a strange man, Pierre.

    You want gays to have rights but not polygamists, womanisers and philanderers.

    Just what is wrong with womanising and philandering you bigot ? Does it hurt anyone ? Kill anyone ? Steal from anyone ?

    Maybe if we all fucked a bit more there’d be less war.

  • Pierre De Vos

    John Roberts, I might be strange but you are merely dof, it seems. If you read more carefully (or with a smidgen of intelligence) you might have noticed that I did not make any adverse statement about somone based on being a womaniser, philanderer etc. On the contrary. The fact that you missed that is a bit alarming.

  • Donovan

    Prof, as you enter Vereeniging from the old Vereeniging/Johannesburg road, you will pass under a highway bridge. The pillars of the bridge have pasted on them posters of Barack Obama with a ‘Hitler’ moustache, with the words ‘Remove Him’ written below.

    If we fail to recognise the fascist undertones in our society and how the progressive principle of reconciliation allowed white South Africans and still colonised Black South Africans to warp democracy and its progressive principles like freedom of expression, we will ensure the unravelling our country. It is not so much a matter of morality, but in our effort to be as free and democratic as we can be we have allowed reactionary, fascist commentators to set the standard of acceptance and unacceptance. We freed racism as a right, and placed transformation and equality under racism’s control.

    A pity you cannot see (including the media as well) how progressive principles are being abused to entrench fascist outcomes and retard transformation and equality.

  • khosi

    This whole thing about Jacob Zuma’s penis is really boring now. Why not paint him naked and without a penis and see if the reaction will be the same?

    WTF? Can we please move to discussing a better life for all or doing more, together!!?

  • Zoo Keeper


    That is the price of democracy.

  • André

    Zoo Keeper
    May 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    “What do you make of the ANC supporters’ placards saying “No to artistic expression” and the like?”

    I’m of the opinion that this whole thing is getting out of hand and wasting everyone’s time. But regarding your remark, this is an example of bad reporting;
    “Glossy posters with the ANC logo saying “We say no! To abuse of artistic expression” were held aloft as a man dressed in military camouflage led the group in song and chanting. ”
    “Glossy posters with the ANC logo saying “We say no to artistic expression!” were held aloft as a man dressed in military camouflage led the group in song and chanting.”

    These are two vastly different opinions to express. The Mail & Guardian (who I always considered a good news source) (and who is reporting wrongly in this case) will end up polarising this public debate by this kind of misinformation.

  • Chris (not the right wing guy!)

    Pierre, I think to place your face on the photo was a futile exercise. The Problem Zuma has with the painting is simply this: He perceives it (probably rightly so) as an attempt to humiliate and degrade him. He would have been angered by anything else that he sees as such an attempt. In this case it just happens to be “his” exposed genitals.

    Let us take another scenario: Someone makes a painting of you, genitals exposed or not, and you see it as bigotry, or and attempt to humiliate or degrade gay men. I think in such a case it is unlikely that you will laugh it off, whether it it is art or not.

  • Gwebecimele
  • ozoneblue


    Well spotted. Read what I have said many, many times about M&G.

  • Donovan

    Zoo Keeper, it would be an okay price to pay for democracy, if the overwhelming majority of South Africans were not so poor, living in absolute poverty-stricken conditions or on the cusp of being homeless or on the street. Then rampant democracy would be embraced. However, it is when these fascist undertones retard change and transformation, and is not confronted but protected under the guise of democractic principles like freedom of expression, that we fail to recognise that, in the words of Tracy Chapman, ‘oneday poor people are gonna rise up and take whats theirs’.

    That is the unravelling.

    In other words, ordinary South Africans should not be saying that the Goodman Gallery can’t choose to hang the painting, but must voice their opinion that the painting promotes a total degradation of our President (even if we do not like him or agree with him), by even marching to the Goodman Gallery, not for them to remove the painting but to say we do not like it nor do we support its message. And to call on people not to visit or buy from the gallery. This will send a far harsher message to those with who harbour fascist ideologies, that their ‘right to be fascists’ will not be tolerated, rather than protect their ‘right to be fascist’ on the basis of democratic principle.

  • Zoo Keeper


    If you would cut down the democratic space for those fascists, where do you draw the line?

    What prevents you from becoming a fascist, as fascism is well-known for its intolerance of opposing views?

    Your last paragraph is on the money though, if people are offended then simply boycott the artist and gallery.

    You may feel free to disagree with the artist of course, but him portraying the president is simply showing the poor their money is being spent on his progeny and sexual exploits, rather than broken sewer that flows outside their shack. The poor are not stupid, they know who is defrauding them, and it aint some white painter or gallery.

    Personally I’d be most offended being compared to Lenin – therein lies the real insult to Zuma. Lenin was the pre-eminent evil swine of the 20th century, Hitler, Stalin and Mao coming in as second-rate pretenders.

  • George Gildenhuys

    it is obvious it is a fake. I mean, look at it. it’s huge. He’d be so lucky… 😉

  • John Roberts

    “John Roberts, I might be strange but you are merely dof, it seems. If you read more carefully (or with a smidgen of intelligence) you might have noticed that I did not make any adverse statement about somone based on being a womaniser, philanderer etc. On the contrary. The fact that you missed that is a bit alarming.” ….

    Pavlov strikes again … just like taking candy from a baby

  • Donovan

    But Zoo Keeper, it requires society, including the middle classes to stand up and be counted and not allow fascists to control the fourth estate. In other words recognise the fascist path we are opening and not allow our democracy to be hijacked but to rather be progressive than liberal. All of this may be moot, because as we write the daily maverick reports that two persons damaged the painting in question.

    By the way, here is where we (also) disagree, I think portraying Zuma as Lenin is a compliment rather than an insult, whereas if Zuma was portrayed as FW then that would be an insult.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Donovan

    You are right that we should not tolerate this particular painting. Contextually, we cannot blind ourselves to the fact that Murray is white, and probably a whitist/fascist. But I am uncertain as to what we, as progressives, should say if, hypothetically, a BLACK progressive (e.g. Landless People’s Movement, etc), mocked or ridiculed Mr Zuma, because she (rightly or wrongly), believed that the President has sold out to white capital, betrayed the working class, or become too cozy with foreign investors.

    How should we, as progressive left wing radicals, react?


  • khosi

    This is what I call analysis, not this myopic obsessed drivel we have been fed for the past few days:-

    Nx! people telling us about Canada and sundry!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm


    WDYS to those who falsely say that a WHITE man was the instigator behind the defacing (dedicking) of the Spear/Shield -just cos his name is de Kok, doesn’t mean he is guilty.

  • Zoo Keeper


    First there should be an identification of the “fascists”. Are they real or imagined?Media is pretty big and then there’s the unregulated blogosphere.

    Please expand on who or what represents the fascists so we can debate that a bit better.

    As for Lenin, do you have any idea of who he really was – not the Soviet propaganda Lenin, the real guy who murdered tens of millions of his own people purely to get money for the Bolshevik army? The man who committed armed robbery on an entire country? Lenin was initially financed by Germany to get Russia out of the war. He led a lunatic fringe of ruthless psychopaths who’s actions utterly destroyed Russia. Nobody took them seriously until Germany gave them enough money to pay off a large army to occupy Moscow and take control. The Bolsheviks had absolutely no popular following. Nothing. A bit like the Minority Front taking over SA really. Combined, Lenin and Stalin killed more than the rest of the dictators of the 20th century, including Mao and Hitler. You’d prefer him?

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re labouring under the impression that he was a good guy who rescued the Russians from the Tzars?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    John Roberts
    May 22, 2012 at 15:19 pm

    Hey JR,

    PdV wrote : “The fact that you missed that is a bit alarming” in error.

    He meant “The fact that you missed that bit is alarming”.

    Welcome back!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    May 22, 2012 at 16:01 pm

    Nicely done, Khosi (with a link to support what you said that is).

    There’s another link which I’m waiting for from you. And waiting. And waiting.

    Did you find it yet or do you need help from OB?

  • Donovan

    Zoo Keeper & other,

    Please follow the link graciously placed by Khosi it is quite helpful.

    Below I have pasted a comment from Charlene Smith from Khosi’s link:

    Murray has Plagiarized Mapplethorpe

    It would be nice if one could agree with the writer, but regrettably her lack of knowledge about art (and much of South Africa it seems) is evident. Murray’s work is a complete plagiarism of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photograph some three decades or so ago, of a man wearing a suit with his penis hanging out. It does not show the man’s face.
    So there is nothing new in Murray’s picture and that renders Schutte’s heartfelt cry of racism redundant.

    But what is important, is that the Office of the President has been brought into contempt by this rather tedious “work’ – that I would certainly not dignify with the label of art. It is yet more trite South African copy-cat shock-jock yawn ‘art’ at work. If the same was done with Obama, Sarkozy, Putin, or anyone else the nation would be up in arms. And so loyal citizens should be, because even if the President is incapable of discretion (and more than a few international presidents past and present come to mind), the Office of the President commands respect.

    Murray appears to be a rather boring little person desperate for attention – which the media and people like Schutte have given him in droves. Frankly he doesn’t deserve it. The president has the right to be annoyed. Every South African who cares about his or her country should be outraged, because this work of kak dishonors all.

  • André

    Here’s some fuel to the fire. Also, keep in mind, this one was on display in Cape Town in Nov 2010.

    Ayanda Mabulu’s painting

    The controversial Brett Murray work depicting Zuma with his pants down, certainly got tongues wagging recently. And those in the know, remembered Cape Town artist Ayanda Mabulu’s painting titled Ngcono ihlwempu kunesibhanxo sesityebi (Better poor than a rich puppet).

    The painting, (Oil on canvas, 150cm X 200cm in size) shown above, was one of six paintings by Mabulu that was exhibited end 2010 as part of a solo exhibition at Worldart.
    The exhibition titled “Un-mute my tongue” depicted the desire of poor black South Africans to have their views heard and considered. The work featured political figures Jacob Zuma, Barack Obama, Robert Mugabe, PW Botha, Nelson Mandela, George Bush, Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Tutu seated around a table, much like in Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

    All of the figures are hindered or compromised: Jacob Zuma’s penis is supported by a crutch. According to Mabulu, this is a metaphor for the perception that Zuma’s sexual escapades are out of control; the crutch implying he needs help to overcome the issue.
    Mabulu also explained that Bishop Tutu’s tied up penis refers to a process during the Xhosa male initiation ritual where the penis is covered to speed up the removal of the foreskin. Traditionally a sign of strength and power in his culture, the penis here is portrayed as weakened, incapacitated and “colonised” by Western values – in pain just like during initiation.
    Asked whether he intended to offend, Mabulu said that he was merely painting his perception of the roles that the state and the church play in a poverty stricken environment. He added that if it offended anyone, it was probably necessary for them to look at reasons why they felt this way. Asked whether painting a political and church leader naked was disrespectful, he said these figures are disrespectful of him and his people: they can’t expect respect if they don’t respect the people they lead.

    A review of the exhibition together with an interview with Mabulu that appeared in the Cape Times can be read here (last one on the list):
    More paintings by Ayanda Mabulu can be seen at

  • Miikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Charlene Smith (as quoted by Donovan/Khosi)

    “If the same was done with Obama, Sarkozy, Putin, or anyone else the nation would be up in arms.”

    Charlene Smith (?) is SO right. Who can forget the day that the day when U.S. “took up arms” after George W. Bush was painted naked. Almost as destructive was the violence sparked in Toronto when that picture of the naked PR was published!


  • Zoo Keeper


    One of the biggest errors is to say “the office of the President demands respect”.

    No it does not. It performs a function, and that is to represent our country and give it direction. The office, and the office bearer must earn the respect it craves.

    Politicians love to market this idea of a president to whom everyone bows down. That’s rubbish, the shareholders should be active and demand respect from the president!

    I will agree with you artistically though. It is nothing that has not been done before and it cannot be accused of being original!! Personally, I would have drawn the knob a bit better – it looks like a cut and paste job.

    But Brett Murray has succeeded in becoming famous and his next works will go for a pretty penny. Well done Brett Murray on that score:)!

    As for dishonouring, I think that’s a bit far. Nobody has been dishonoured and its a comment on a person and a political elite not a people. Good art is supposed to make people sit up and take notice. So whilst it ain’t original, it has done the job shock art is supposed to.

    Besides, there’s nothing “un-African” about it – African art has always given genitalia pride of place.

  • Miikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Andre

    Obviously do not live in Cape Town. If so, you would remember that the gallery was burned to the ground by fanatical followers of Tutu and Zuma, the day after Mabulu’s controversial portrait of them nude was “hung.” Mabulu himself was castrated by the baying mob; he now lives in a monastery in Greece.

    Remember that terrible day, Donovan?

  • Marijke

    Pierre, your experiment is not really convincing because you yourself altered the image. The logic of humiliation as articulated by Zuma, his family and many black South Africans involves speaking from the subject position of a black South African. As this blog has also acknowledged, such articulations that the painting shames and humiliates also involves linking it to centuries of white representations of the black colonised. I think that feelings of humiliation, and anger for which the painting is a catalyst (so that the painting becomes a symbol and more than the painting becomes at stake) should be acknowledged and taken seriously, even as it is important to challenge the insistence that leaders may not be criticised and must at all times be respected as elders, and even as it is important to defend freedom of speech and artistic expression. I must say that I find the word play, freudian slippages and amusement especially in the posts in response to this blog somewhat discomforting – yes, it is important to challenge hetero-normativity and patriarchy to keep doing this. But this joke-making is, surely, often read (sometimes simplistically, but for reasons of history and power) as irritating and humiliating white noise? Written, pretty much, from unselfconsciously white and/or middle-class comfort zones. OK, I know this is a contradictory standpoint but this is a complex and many-layered issue (and here I am writing in response to broader discussion and not specifically to points made in your blogs, as you often address these issues of white identity and privilege in depth).

    As another matter of interest, a news item appeared in Durban’s newspaper iLanga yesterday, about a Durban family being highly upset that unknown persons had taken a photograph of their elderly and very ill husband/father and circulated it on facebook (Kuhlekiswa kwe-Facebook ngomnumzane ogulayo, Ilanga, May 21). The snapshot was taken while he was lying completely naked and exposed in his hospital bed, having been admitted for asthma. The caption said that ‘It is true that HIV Aids kills’. This was front page news, while the newspaper’s editorial condemned the painting citing the arguments about lack of respect for elders, racism etc. While the newspaper did not explicitly connect this to the Zuma painting furore, this does provide an interesting case of the violation of the right of dignity and privacy, of someone who is not powerful or a public figure, that happened in the very same week.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Miikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 22, 2012 at 17:03 pm


    “Charlene Smith (as quoted by …Khosi)”

    You made that up, didn’t you!

    Khosi always quotes Charlene Smith indirectly.

    It goes like “Mbeki said that Charlene Smith said …”

    Even when Mbeki made an ass of himself by misquoting Tony Leon who misquoted some foreign hack, Khosi misquotes Mbeki knowing that the oke was talking crap.

    Nevermind – maybe one day in the distant future Khosi will grow some balls (not like the way Zuma did) and admit that he was wrong.

  • Pierre De Vos

    Marijke, thanks for your thought provoking response.

    It did occur to me that I should have added another element to my experiment. How would I have responded if the image was not made by me but by Pastor Errol Naidoo? I would then not have been in control of the message, which would have been, I suspect, that as a gay man I am sexually depraved or that I am no more than a sexual object. The answer is that I do not know how I would have felt. Given Naidoo’s history as a promoter of homophobia and bigotry and the position of power he speaks from (given the power of heteronormativity and the structures of organised religion that has consistently demeaned gay men and lesbians), it is possible that I would have been irritated or even angry. But would I have felt humiliated? I would like to think that I would not have been (but I cannot know with certainty of course).

    My point is about the power that we give others to hurt us because we have internalised and have not managed to escape the effects of structural prejudice. Saying this, I am not claiming that it is easy (or even always possible) to escape the hold of the powerful to define us and to humiliate us by perpetuating negative stereotypes about us. But some stereotypes are perceived as negative and hence hurtful because of the values and norms we have internalised and share with those who wish to stereotype us negatively. In the sexual arena, I happen not to share the values of Errol Naidoo regarding sexuality. I honestly do not believe that being promiscuous is bad or wrong and if someone would produce a work of art that sends that signal about me, I would not feel humiliated (I think) even if that person comes from a powerful position as a homophobic mainstream minister in the church (one of the most powerful institutions in our society).

    My response would, of course, be different if I was fiddling with underaged boys and somebody produced a work of art sending that message. I would then have been mortified and humiliated because I think that it is morally wrong to fiddle with young boys. Any arguments about artistic freedom would have gone out of the window for me.

    Which brings us to a discussion about morality and whether what we believe to be morally right is aligned to how we actually behave. My argument is that often the harm and hurt ensues because there is a disconnect between our values and lug actions, something which is inevitable for us who live in a country going through a momentous transition and quite disconcerting change (change often dictated by forces far from our control).

  • Marijke

    I agree absolutely with your argument about “the power that we give others to hurt us because we have internalised and have not managed to escape the effects of structural prejudice”. Powerful public figures, of course, seek to entrench their power by playing on this dynamic, also to draw attention away from any disjunctures of professed belief and action – as Zuma is certainly doing.

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Marijke

    “The logic of humiliation as articulated by Zuma, his family and many black South Africans involves speaking from the subject position of a black South African.”

    Thank you for your thought-provoking contribution. Let me ask you this: What is the “subject position of [a] black South African”? Could there be a plurality of such subject positions? How do you see Ayanda Mabulu’s (“ngcono ihlwempu kunesibhanxo sesityebi”), subject position, relative to that of Brett Murray?

    And, what standing could a person who occupies the notional “subject position” of a white South African, have to say anything at all about that of a black South African? I would think that itself to be presumptuous, by your lights.

    Your project may be for that reason (as you, I think, admit), self-undermining. If that be so, perhaps the likes of Murray should — as Dr Vice seems to suggest — shut up for a century or so (or better still, join Mr Coetzee in Adelaide), and leave it to Mabulu and his kinsfolk to sort out such differences as they may have.

  • Marijke

    I am not suggesting that such a thing as one undifferentiated subject position for black/white South Africans could exist. This is obvious. And of course, no one should be excluded from public debate and social commentary/critique, whether via art or by other means. For many of us, surely, the ‘us’ – the communities that we identify with, seek to build and that we claim for ourselves – are emphatically not defined or circumscribed by race or ethnicity. Even so, it is difficult to escape a history that has made the idea of race part of everyday experience. So as you assert, our identities are many-faceted and can’t be fit into narrow for example, racial categories. I was suggesting that it is useful to be as self-reflective as possible about histories and (the various) contemporary contexts of power (and Pierre does this) when we debate these issues. By the way, in my first post I commented that some aspects of conversation on the blog discomforts me. Let me also emphasise that discomfort is often a necessary and creative part of conversation in times of, as Pierre puts it, ‘disconcerting change’.

  • khosi

    Et Al,

    I do not quote rubbish if I am not intending to rubbish it. So there is no way I could have quoted Charlene Smith.

  • Brett Nortje

    George Gildenhuys says:
    May 22, 2012 at 15:17 pm
    “it is obvious it is a fake. I mean, look at it. it’s huge. He’d be so lucky…”

    Sies, George! Hoe kan jy Pierre so in die gesig vat?

  • Brett Nortje

    Marijke says:
    May 22, 2012 at 17:57 pm

    Marijke, I cannot recall you engaging in similar agonising introspection when a MEC bared her buttocks at critics nor when members of the ANCWL stage naked protests.

    SO, one has to regard the point Michael makes at 19:12pm as a very strong one, the only problem being when he refers to Dr Vice.

    Prof Fassbinder has completely upstaged Dr Vice as THE acknowledged subject knowledge expert on whitishness.

    Thank you.

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Marijke

    I would have thought that, having taken, “taken seriously” the historically inevitable “feelings of humiliation” evoked by Murray’s work, it should be possible — and may be obligatory, — to develop a political critique. This would suggest that authentic sensitivities are being opportunistically exploited by some as a mask for their appetite for power, or to justify wholesale looting of the economy. It would point out, as Pierre has, that the “history” invoked is composed largely of a set of invented traditions, anointing Victorian puritanism imposed by missionaries as a legitimating “African tradition.”

    Perhaps it comes down to tone. Many commentators, black as well as white, find it difficult to contain their outrage at what they see as the hypocrisy of some of those who condemn Murray. Perhaps you are asking too much of them that they write in the measured terms appropriate to the seminar room, or use the sober language one would expect of a thoughtful commentator writing on the editorial pages of a serious newspaper.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Brett, thank you, but I do not need or want your endorsement. The fact is that much of my own work is based on the pioneering research of Dr Vice. I am greatly in her debt. You, on the other hand, I view as a pernicious purveyor of unbridled WHITIST ideology. That is why I renew my demand that you and your allies hive off into a “satellite” blog, thus sparing the rest of us your WHITISM.


  • Friend

    They say when you want to criticise someone, you have to walk a mile in their shoes, that way you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

  • Scotty


    Hmm, I’m tempted to ask you out on a date after seeing your new profile pic 😉 😀

    A few points:
    Negative stereotypes sexuality & race:
    Possibly first highlighted by Mbeki in his many evenings spent in internet chat rooms formulating his Aids-denialist policies as some “white invented” conspiracy to undermine black sexuality. How long that took to unwind is beyond me, my feeling is it still hasnt, but thats another side debate. What surprised me, perhaps with the benefit of hindsight though, is how silent everyone was (self included!) on pointing out that gay people had undergone the same thing in the late 1970’s and 1980’s yet the outcome of that struggle was not clinging to the belief that it had anything to do with our sexuality & percieved promiscuity (celebrated, and rightly so, by many), but a virus that could be controlled by practising safe sex and providing medication for those infected, to put it in a very small nutshell. So why is it, in the current fracas, that the “traditional leaders” and their political protaganists in the upper echelons are wired into this “thin skinned” conspiracy thinking pattern, jumping onto the “african dignity & values” bandwagon and all the ensuing ecoutrements … “..sadism, racism, perverted, disrespectful..etc infinitum” ? Political expediency, or a deep psychological wound that needs to be healed, or both? Or neither?

    The irony is that I think we all have a great deal to learn from each other here. SA has a very rich, fascinating, tapestry of traditional cultures – song and dance, myth and ritual, art and craft, extended family support structures and a closer healthier relationship with death, dying and the dead. Note the emphasis on the plural “cultures”, we have so many! Sadly, many of these values and traditions have been virtually eroded or eradicated in our sanitised super-rational “Western values” lives. A lot more open debate (and less shouting at each other) is needed to find common values and sharing here. We certainly can’t accept in an open society where ” tradtional rituals” are employed to “undo homosexuality”, or womens or childrens rights being violated. Whats lacking here is leadership, on all sides. We need traditional leaders who question and challenge the status quo in their communities on rights issues, whilst at the same time being encouraged to share the enormous positive aspects of their cultures and values. To ask “so whats new?” as Pres. Obama is famous for in confronting similar situations. We also need a more dynamic political leadership – on all sides of the political spectrum (!) that is, to quote Cyril Ramaphosa “selfless, courageous, patient and humble”. Its something that all of us need to take into account!

  • ozoneblue

    May 22, 2012 at 17:57 pm

    ” as you often address these issues of white identity and privilege in depth”

    Given the content of this thread a bit of joke that really. His “whiteness” is purely a superficial issue of color – nothing to do with patriarchal societies or other non-PC attributes of traditional African cultures, he therefore continuously have to reinvent the myth of the Noble Savage spoiled by white colonialism.

    In fact he remains a collaborator in the sense of insisting that his Eurocentric notions of liberalism and human rights should hold swat and be “embraced” by the “progressive”. Much like the noble motivation behind Europen colonialism was to “civilise”, “Christianise” the dark heart of Africa. He cannot envisage a multicultural yet progressive African state where the old and traditional can peacefully coexist with the new and progressive in a natural progression of social evolution and a mutually respectful manner.

    We see very much the same phenomena in modern day Europe with the new manifestation of politically correct “whiteness” and rejection of multiculturalism with the ever increasing xenophobic intolerance towards and undemocratic attack on the cultural rights of Muslim minorities and their traditional (for some) Islamic values.

  • ozoneblue

    “We are a society in transition, one in which the colonial (missionary imposed) conservative morality which has seeped into and has become deeply embedded in traditional culture,”

    I see you and your fellow Western secular-humanist tyrants (including Dawkins and Hitchens) are on a new mission this time. This time to enlighten and liberate the Noble Savage from his colonially constructed conservative cage.

    PdV – you are the biggest joke ever.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 22, 2012 at 20:12 pm

    Hey Khosi,

    “I do not quote rubbish if I am not intending to rubbish it.”

    You know what is rubbish, don’t you?

    If not ask Juju!

  • spoiler

    Theres a gent on the Radio right now – Enoch somebody – he says he (and his group?) live by the old testament and Murray should be stoned to death…How Afro traditional is that…

  • ozoneblue

    To add insult to injury if you happen to be a socialist minded progressive patriarchal sexist pig.

    “Greg Palmer, attorney for the Goodman Gallery which is hosting the exhibition by the artist Brett Murray, said the gallery would lay charges of destroying PRIVATE PROPERTY against the men.”

    And now the image of cde Vladimir Lenin, father of the socialist revolution, which has been STOLEN from the PUBLIC DOMAIN with no attribution is the PRIVATE PROPERTY of the Goodman Gallery.


  • Brett Nortje

    Ja, Pierre….

    Dief dalk staat se regsadviseur

    2012-05-23 06:54
    Maryna Lamprecht

    ’n Prokureur en gewese baas van die Skerpioene wat weens diefstal van trustgeld tronk toe gestuur is én op omstrede wyse met pres. Jacob Zuma en lt.genl. Richard Mdluli, die polisie se geskorste spioenbaas, verbind word, word vir ’n belangrike regeringspos oorweeg.

    Booker Nhantsi is getroud met adv. Nomgcobo Jiba, waarnemende hoof van die nasionale vervolgingsgesag (NVG).

    Dr. Nghamula Nkuna, waarnemende personeelhoof van die departement van samewerkende regering en tradisionele sake, het gesê die departement praat met Nhantsi om hom aan te stel as regsadviseur. “Hy is ’n moontlike kandidaat.”

    Nhantsi het voorheen as prokureur gewerk en was ook adjunk-direkteur van die Skerpioene in die Oos-Kaap.

    Hy is in 2005 skuldig bevind aan diefstal nadat hy R193 000 uit ’n kliënt se trustfonds gesteel het. Die hooggeregshof in Mthatha het Nhantsi tot vyf jaar tronkstraf gevonnis waarvan twee jaar opgeskort is.
    In September 2010 het pres. Jacob Zuma sy misdaadgeskiedenis geskrap.

    Mac Maharaj, presidensiële woordvoerder, het toe gesê Nhantsi is kwytgeskeld in “ ’n gebaar van genade” van Zuma omdat hy glo hy kan nog by­draes tot die samelewing lewer.

    Jiba het noue bande met Mdluli. Mdluli het Jiba in 2007 uit die moeilikheid gehelp nadat sy daarvan beskuldig is dat sy die polisie glo gehelp het om ’n inhegtenisnemingsbevel teen adv. Gerrie Nel, staatsaanklaer, te kry.

    Nel was betrokke by die ondersoek en skuldigbevinding van Nhantsi en het die saak teen die oudpolisiebaas Jackie Selebi gelei.

    Jiba het glo ook die polisie gehelp om Selebi teen vervolging te beskerm en is destyds daaroor uit die NVG geskors.

    Nkuna het gesê die departement weet Nhantsi het voorheen ’n misdaadgeskiedenis gehad. Ander kandidate word ook vir die pos oorweeg en ’n besluit is nog nie geneem nie.

    Mdluli het verlede week ’n kennisgewing van die polisie gekry waarin hy ingelig word oor die polisie se planne om hom wéér te skors nadat hy in ’n ander polisiepos aangestel is.

  • Mike Ambassador
  • ozoneblue

    How cool is this for a collectivist piece of art:

    Canvas of the Nation×350/

    I think Brett Murray aught to be chaffed.

  • ozoneblue

    The “private property” of the Goodman Gallery? I don’t thinks so. It probably belongs to the Russian people similar to this portrait.

    “This work is in the public domain in Russia according to article 6 of Law No. 231-FZ of the Russian Federation of December 18, 2006; the Implementation Act for Book IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.”

    If it was taken from the public domain without attribution it amounts to plagiarism. It was certainly not published under a Creative Commons license – as far as I can tell.

  • unknown


    Good article for once. 😀

    I would agree that this is rather a complete misunderstanding, by a lot of people.

    But, I have a question.

    This painting is clearly not real. Therefore not a depiction of the Zuma as he *actually* is. It’s more an artistic expression about someone. It’s obvious, to me at least, that there is more of a message in the entire exhibition than merely this painting. The fact that certain apartheid slogans used by the ANC in the struggle, has been turned against them.

    It’s ironic now, that they would act in this way as to suppress arts and media. Lets not forget the hearing on thursday, and the application made that ALL forms of publishing this painting must be stopped or banned???? is this even possible?

    Given the current context after the effect, should we just ignore the ANC, remove the painting, and start pointing out other points , as usual. I actually think this is a serious constitutional issue, given what the ANC(aka goverment ) is demanding. The dept of justice has on behalf of Zuma stepped in here??? Is there such a thing as seperation of state ????

    I’m struggling to look past the ANC’s views on this. It’s very much similar to the old apartheid views?

    Does this mean that black people ( though not all ), are still struggling to evolve their cultural background to fit the more ( general ) progressive views of the world???

    China is another example of , what I would call, backwards behaviour and response to certain progressive issues…

    anyway… my morning rant on this, now very boring issue I must say…

  • Mike Ambassador
  • Mike Ambassador

    Pic of Bill Clinton (who some Amercan’s consider to be the first “Black’ president of the USA).

    As far as I can tell he did not go after the artist or to try get it banned….. and guess what the USA did not fall down and he is still regarded as a great president by some citizens.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    I’m having a rethink about my views on the painting.

    I must admit that i did not think of it in the context S’Thembiso frames it.


    What has been most disappointing for me about the debate is the refusal by Murray and his cheer- leaders to acknowledge that the painting, which portrays Zuma posing with genitals exposed, reopens old and painful wounds.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    I am a descendent of those who were dispossessed of their land; coerced into disposing of most of their prized livestock and then compelled to pay an onerous poll tax to the colonial administration.

    Broke and risking lengthy jail sentences if they failed to pay the tax, they were forced to abandon farming and migrate to Durban and other urban centres where they were to feed the colonial economy’s avaricious appetite for cheap black labour.

    Like many others who made the trek down the coast to swell the ranks of the then-emerging black proletariat, my ancestors were made to strip naked in public and – like cattle – walk through a dipping tank filled with disinfectants before they could be allowed to live and work in the city. All in the name of “protecting” the city’s inhabitants from the diseases allegedly borne by natives from the inland.

    Even when the native happened to have been born in the city, like many of my father’s generation, he still had to be subjected to the dastardly deed of having his genitals exposed in public for city officials to decide if they were healthy enough to work or had to be deported to some “homeland” in the yonder. And this was as late as the 1970s.

    You don’t believe me? I’ll let the late Steve Biko, who spent a few years of his tragically short life in the Banana City, tell the story.

    “You are made in some instances to stand naked in front of some doctors supposed to be running pus off you, because you may be bringing syphilis to the town, he tells you,” Biko told a Judge Boshoff during the trial of a group of Black Consciousness leaders in May 1976.

    “Now it is inhuman the way it is done. Three people are lined up in front of him, all naked, and he has just got to look at all of you. Now I must feel that I am being treated as an animal, and as you enter the room where this is done in Durban there is a big notice saying: Beware – Natives in a state of undress”.

    This practice of forcing “natives” to be in this “state of public undress” wasn’t a mere aberration on the part of sadistic Durban city officials. It was common racist practice across the country.

    Surely we have all seen the disturbing pictures taken secretly by the courageous photojournalist Bob Gosani in the 1950s of black prisoners at Hillbrow’s Fort prison being forced to do the degrading “Tauza dance”. To perform this compulsory “dance”, prisoners had to be stark naked and expose their private parts to wardens to prove that they were not concealing any contraband.

    That the Fort, or Number 4 – as the notorious prison was commonly known then – now forms part of the Constitution Hill precinct, the home of democratic South Africa’s most important court, is testimony to the giant strides we have taken as a young nation towards healing our deep and painful wounds of the past.

    This national reconciliation was not as a result of some inexplicable miracle. It took a lot of hard work, political maturity and magnanimity on the part of most South Africans.

    It demanded of us that we be more sensitive to each other’s history and regard our diversity as a point of strength rather than a source of racial division.

  • Sine

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 23, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Maggs, I also did not look at it in that context. Plus the timing of the painting leaves much to be desired. I mean, the country is still trying to recover from the racist tweets of those models.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Hey Sne,

    My views on Zuma remains the same – respect (or disrespect) is earned.

    S’te has done well to point out that this has impact more than Zuma and his antics.

    I guess that I let my annoyance with Zuma over ride reason.

  • Mike Ambassador

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 23, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Mr. Msomi – Comparing Mrs Saartjie Baartman with Prez Zuma!!! come on a poor women brutilised (222 years ago) with Prez Zuma who argueable is the most powerful man in SA, with all the ANC resources behind him.

  • ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!
    May 23, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I agree. Part of the ART of selective amnesia as propaganda is to not only forget history but also to change it and/or to selectively recall it.

    “Broke and risking lengthy jail sentences if they failed to pay the tax, they were forced to abandon farming and migrate to Durban and other urban centres where they were to feed the colonial economy’s avaricious appetite for CHEAP BLACK LABOUR.”

    Also see the the recent DA march on Cosatu. Which makes the political context, the abuse of Lenin’s image even more relevant yet totally and [consciously] ignored by the main stream media including the author of this blog.

    Apparently we are “overpaying” our cheap labour. That causes unemployment and slow “economical growth”.

    So lets take the average household maid for example. Her “inflated” minimum wage (if she is so lucky) is say R1100 in comparison to say the R20k – R30k that the employer would earn.

    From the R1100 she must pay:

    taxi fees
    clothes (apparently not required for Africans being fucked over by colonial white moral conservatism – so she aught to get away without a bra?)
    school uniforms and other niceties

    + close to fokkol left to eat.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Mike Ambassador
    May 23, 2012 at 10:24 am


    Skip the sound bites, read the entire piece.

    Read the book on Biko.

    Think of a naked, wounded, bleeding, dying Biko on the back of a truck.

    Particularly think past Zuma, his antics, awful behaviour, poor decisions – and reflect perhaps that forced nudity was intended to humiliate, denigrate, undermine, pain Black people, African people in particular, in our not so distant past.

    It’s a history that we should not ignore.

    I’m sorry that I did not see it in this context at the outset.

    p.s. Zuma must still go!

  • Sine

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Well said. I was also merely acknowldging the limit in my thinking but without changing my stance on the issue of the painting.

  • ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!
    May 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Be careful. You are starting to make sense despite the shit-hot spicy bunny chows cooking up your brains.

    Especially for you then. Mahatma Ghandi, that “bestial” half-naked Indian in his traditional Indian garb.

  • ozoneblue

    correction: Apologies to Sir Winston Churchill.

    “Half Naked Fakir”

  • Gwebecimele

    “One especially bad British law is section five of 1986’s Public Order Act, which bans the use of “insulting words or behaviour”. A vaguer and more unhelpful description it is hard to imagine. It’s so vague, it essentially means the British Rozzers can arrest you for being a bit of a git, or for saying something mean and nasty.

    According to the BBC, a student in Oxford was arrested by police for asking an officer whether he was aware his horse was homosexual. The young man was locked up on a charge of making homophobic remarks after refusing to pay an £80 fine. The following morning, the case was dropped.

    In another case, a young man was arrested for carrying a placard that read, “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult.” This was also thrown out by the Crown Prosecution Service, which reckoned the word “cult” was not offensive. But it doesn’t matter. The result is the same. The law tells Britons they are better off saying nothing. Don’t speak. Don’t express an opinion. They might lock you up, even if it is just for a night.

    People who have been at the receiving end of some serious abuse, such as gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, support the removal of section five: “We should have the right to speak our minds and putting up with insults is one of the prices we pay for that freedom.”

    It seems about two-thirds of the UK’s MPs support the removal of section five because they feel it offers a threat to free speech. And, of course, when a law is arbitrary and capricious in its application, it is an unfair law. What about all those people who post hateful rubbish underneath internet news stories? Ought they not to be prosecuted too? One young man famously felt the full wrath of the law when he posted racist spleen on Twitter as Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch with a heart attack. He went to jail for 56 days, but, in all seriousness, is there space in British jails for everyone with a bad attitude?

    The question is about the line and who draws it. The judges? The politicians? Or does all of this matter only when, say, a Very Important Man has been upset? Is the dignity of the wealthy and the important more equal than the dignity of the poor? And all of this brings me to Brett Murray’s The Spear. It’s a pretty lowbrow piece of art. A cheap shot. But as someone who believes firmly in freedom and the freedom of speech, I not only believe that artists and writers ought to be able to say what they want, so long as it is not defamatory, but also, crucially, that I have the right to be hurtful and wrong. One of the hard things about being free is defending the freedoms of those you find to be nauseating. Doing that takes real guts, something, ironically, the African National Congress seems to lack in this matter.” By A. Parker

  • Mike Ambassador

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I agree with the rest 100%, the abuse of my fellow black Saffers in that time (or this) is a disgrace.

    I however do not believe this to be abuse of Prez Zuma and or the presidency – call it blame the victim if you will – but Prez Zuma has not covered himself in glory with his actions.

    I also believe that Freedom of Expression / Speech (as long as it is not hate or incitment to commit murder should be absolute).

    Also a young man on Facebook has put a photoshopped picture of Mrs Zille in all her glory, and she just brushed it off with a joke …… why is that?

    WRT to Mrs Baartman, it must also be noted that the anti slavery act of 1807 and the many people of the UK (mostly white at that time) sought to stop this K@K!!!

    Anti black abuse by white people did not start in 1994, my Grandfather was a Federal Party town councilor of Butterworth way back in the day, who stood for the rights of ALL Saffers, and was agains the referendum for SA to form a country in 1961, as he knew Afrikaaner nationalism (NP) would be bad for the country. In the end he was proven right, in 1978 the NP goverment came and took his business and paid him a pitance of what they were worth and gave them to the Transkei developement trust – and today they all done and dusted and Butterworth is a mess.

  • ozoneblue

    Mike Ambassador
    May 23, 2012 at 11:04 am

    “as he knew Afrikaaner nationalism (NP) would be bad for the country.”

    Just think – South Africa could have been a another Anglo colonial success, just like the USA or Australia where there are hardly any half-naked natives left to become prez.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Maggs


    Gwebecimele says:
    May 18, 2012 at 13:44 pm
    This is not different from the noise we make everytime some white person mentions the word kaffir. It is “NOISE” and it will remain just that. The poor blacks are on the receiving end of this behaviour daily in their work places, homes, schools, hospitals and from merchants.

    Rather than focussing on individual events let us just put an end to this.
    Go read Sobukwe and Biko.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Mike Ambassador
    May 23, 2012 at 11:04 am


    “Also a young man on Facebook has put a photoshopped picture of Mrs Zille in all her glory, and she just brushed it off with a joke …… why is that?”

    The context is entirely different.

    Nakedness was never used in South Africa to humiliate White people as a nation.

    It was an elite extravagance/luxury to belong to a “nudist colony” on Clifton Beach, a hip thing, a “performance art”.

    So it’s unlikely that Zille or any other White person will relate in the same or even similar way to having their genitals displayed with less than complimentary intentions by the displayer.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Ozone

    “[whitists] should not try to enlighten and liberate the Noble Savage from his colonially constructed conservative cage.”

    OB is right. Whites have no standing to lecture blacks what is and is not their cultural heritage. That is why I firmly believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is an ancient African deity who hates gays; that it is the will of God that traditional leaders drive BMW’s (7 series); and that Johnny Walker (Blue) is an authentic African beverage!


  • Gwebecimele

    The black security guard at the gallery just put the cherry on top and again demonstrated what Biko and others have indicated. He acted in a “Mwangi” way to impress the audience. We should not blame him because this is how many amongst us treat poor blacks in our respective positions.

    We are not equal , not even in dying (taxi crash vs plane crash).

  • Mike Ambassador

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

    You see Mr Naidu we back to context again, and who decides what is the acceptable level of context.

    When a black man looks at me with pearcing eyes and says “Hey whitey!!!” because he is unhappy with me for some reason, the context to me is bad.
    If I speak to a black man and say “Hey K””ér”, that context to him is also bad, Now who is more more offended? I don’t believe it can be measured as it is subjective, so then by my logic Freedom of Expression / Speach has to be absolute.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 23, 2012 at 10:50 am

    LOL OB,

    “the shit-hot spicy bunny chows”.

    At a restaurant on Monday night, I overheard a conversation between a woman who was talking to the restaurant’s foreign chefs about South African food.

    Those okes were mainly interested in and wanted to know about the bunny chow.

    The nice WHITE lady turned her nose up at the thought of bunny-chow being a South African culinary delight – “THAT’S STREET FOOD!!!”, she barked indignantly.

    Is she related to you?

  • Sine

    Mike Ambassador says:
    May 23, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Your example is bad because whitey is not derogatory whilst kaffir is.

  • Deloris Dolittle

    @ Maggs

    Thank you for the link adn then teh posting of the article. I found it very moving and I wonder if we will ever grasp the total horror of what apartheid was and did to a people.

    But I wonder then does that horrific history not make the acts of the current ANC leadership even worse. They are the very people that knows best of all what they faught against and still today so much money is wasted by them and their cadres, many people are still homeless, jobless, uneducated, without decent healthcare because of the lack of political will (for example: can’t take on the education unions re poor teaching standards as I first need to get re-elected) and the focus on other less important things (for example taking another wife) breaks my heart and that is what I see in this painting: in the face of our awful past , how is it possible that there is such a clear perseption that we are being lead down the wrong road.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs is right.

    On the other hand, Adam and Eve’s nakedness was a mark of shame – the basis of a monotheistic prudishness that does seem to have a certain staying power in western culture. Hence, with admitted exceptions, elderly white women who botox their faces do not seem that keen to flaunt their sagging bosoms in public view …

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Mike Ambassador
    May 23, 2012 at 11:28 am


    “we back to context again, and who decides what is the acceptable level of context.”

    That sounds typically condescending.

    Neither you nor I can or should think it’s correct for us to decide what “context” justified rubbing salt in the wounds of other groups of people.

    It sounds to me like you’re trying to deny the awful connotations that this has for those who were victims of that awful, but not so distant, era.

  • Gwebecimele

    The art Prof and the taxi driver are better strategists than many noisemakers. They must just raise enough money to compensate the buyer and for fees.

  • ozoneblue

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

    As usual you make a profound, thought provoking point.

    However I say it is highly racist and [whitish] to reduce voluntary cultural evolution to a simplistic static process for Africans that is not a universal phenomena. For example Oom Paul Kruger got married when he was 15 years old and had 15 kids, my own mum and dad grew up in larger families too. Shit happens though, the mostly forced urbanization of the boers changed the environment and the cultural norms. I do not look down at “traditional Afrikaners” though knowing that as long they practice their cultural “backwardness” within the confines of the Constitution that is what I understand with as a “multicultural” democracy.

    It is very much live and let live.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 23, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Mr Ozoneblue,

    Dworky is trivialising the awful experience of millions of people.

    There’s nothing profound or thought provoking about that.

    It’s plain insensitive and callous!

  • Mike

    @Mikhail Dworkwin Fassbinder – you are a hypocrite of note.Invariably those standing at the side of the road urinating and exposing their penis in full view of the public for all to see after just having disembarked from a taxi are black men and yet we hear one after another phone into the talk show hosts and state that this painting showing JZ penis is against there culture.

  • ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!
    May 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

    “Is she related to you?”

    Highly unlikely. In fact I love the good old bunny chow even when it makes my eyes water so much that I cannot think or see straight. I see it as another example of South African haut cousine much like the braai, putu pap, Chiken Licken and the boerewors roll.

  • Gwebecimele

    Why are we not angry about this????????????? They must pay the R10 million and go to jail. Where is BMF, Domestic Workers Union, ANCWL, DTI, BEE COUNCIL????

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 23, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Hey OB,

    Glad to hear that you have a refined palate.

    Do you know of the Bird’s Eye Chilli?

    It’s great stuff.

    It’s a cure for piles – just make a thick paste of it and apply generously on the affected area.

    p.s. It’s called Bird’s Eye Chilli cos it’s thought that birds disperse the seeds which they swallow.

    Not through their eyes though.

    Maybe it should be renamed more appropriately?

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!
  • ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!
    May 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    “Glad to hear that you have a refined palate.”

    Thanks. Anything below R30 (inflation adjusted) that doesn’t kill me on the spot and that I can wash down with a couple of beers.

  • Deloris Dolittle

    @ Mike

    I complained about the same thing on one of the previous posts about this painting and I was labelled the resident idiot, looks like you would have to share that title with me now.

  • Vuyo

    An amazing and ironic twist to this matter, is seeing black protesters in support the president at the high court. One can presume that many of them are either unemployed or poor; both conditions lead to human indignity and result in diminution of their individual constitutional rights. The state of our republic is however so degenerate that they are called on by the president’s party (a party controlled by mostly rich NEC members) to protest in support of the indignity of a rich and powerful man who has the necessary authority to negate their own indignity but consistently fails to do so! This is a president who none of them could reasonably access whilst his fellow rich and powerful capitalists routinely pay hundreds for a “breakfast” in order to rub shoulders with him. My respect for the president and his party would enhance if they would act with the urgency and effort with which they have regarding a painting in regard to the domestic worker who has been exploited by the corrupt capitalist in order to front for BEE. I doubt that this will ever happen. Our “social democratic” governing party, its “communist” ally and our guardians of “culture” seem more interested in protecting the dignity of their fellow rich compatriot than in defending the dignity of a lowly domestic servant or even the physical integrity of the poor and black protester who is unnecessarily assaulted by the hired wage-slave of the Goodman Gallery’s security company. On the latter matter, does an object (the painting) have so much more value than the dignity and right from harm of a black male? Why is there no media outcry about a black young man (who himself is expressing himself in the only way that he can in a capitalist society that has no regard for persons of his class) being needlessly assaulted and undignified by the private storm-trooper of the Goodman Gallary in defense of an object that was created (at best) for a few hundred rand?

  • Vuyo

    Schutte is partly right, but fails to address the source of the racist presumptions that led to the production of the “spear”. The reality is that absent of the presumptions originating from ill-gotten private wealth and advantage (both of the author of the work, the exhibitor and the purchaser) there would never have been a need for the painting, since the conditions of which it critiques would be absent. The reality is that Murray is acting as another propagandist of the ruling (mostly white) capitalist class. All allied works to The Spear are simply commenting on the phenomenon and the not the underlying cause. He shares the reactionary outlook of most beneficiaries of apartheid (most of whom are historically white) that in the person of Zuma and/or the ANC we must attribute all the ills of our society, including the opiate of consumerism, corruption and greed, when in reality this are all products of a reality brought on by colonialism and apartheid. Murray is propagating a false narrative which has joyously been adopted by our reactionary media. The results of all of this is that it enables those in power to co-opt the exploited working class in opposition to the very freedom of expression which they must rely on in order to counter the mendacious designs of capitalists, the stooge beneficiaries of apartheid, the rich capitalists controlling the governing party, the corrupt agents of capital within the opposition (largely the DA), etc.

  • ozoneblue

    May 23, 2012 at 13:07 pm

    Voyu. You are saying that as if the prez is doing absolutely nothing in as far as developing the vision and policy foundations of the Developmental State. Are you saying he could be doing more, therefore he deserves be humiliated and depicted as an animal? Are you also saying the African people are too stupid to know when they are in fact manipulated by hidden [white] capitalist forces – just another variety of the tired old excuse of corrupt post-colonial rulers who never take responsibility for anything and are forever manipulated by the evil West?

    Isn’t it time that we stand up together for South-Africa and show some respect for the honest attempts of some of our leaders to change things for the better, work together to become part of the solution and not the problem, instead of harping on about their mistakes, their sexuality, their wives or the size of their penis as if that bullshit is relevant and because nothing but the [perfect] and mythologically pure Nelson Mandela can be trusted to do this for us?

  • ozoneblue

    pardon: Vuyo not Voyu.

  • Paul Kearney

    hey Mags, interesting “Baardman” post. But what about the entrepeneurs that, in bygone times, hired shorts to Zulus coming into “town” as their traditional attire was deemed overly scanty by the town’s whitish leaders. Were these entrepeneurs perhaps some of your forebears?

  • Sine

    ozoneblue says:
    May 23, 2012 at 13:24 pm

    Those questions would be very good if they were asked by someone who did not know that the noise was not made by the painter, nor by the Gallery. It was actually made by the President himself because he finds the painting as a perfect excuse to take away the eyes of the public from his failures and those of his party, the ANC. There are serious matters that people ought to protest about and these were eloquently propounded by Prof here: ( That stupid painting is definitely not an issue, let alone a serious one. The President should be heavily criticised for luring the public’s attention into stupid things instead of focusing on building a better life for all.

  • Mike

    @Vuyo – You had no written language until the white settler came along and you had no store of wealth that the white and asian man valued.That the wealth was significantly created by whites is beyond debate,and belies the fact that your nation walked over ground that they had no idea and never would have had an idea, contained wealth that an industriaslised Europe needed notwithstanding that your ancestors had no idea that Europe or the East or the Meditereanean economy even existed.
    They were no where near the point of harnassing steam or understanding the navigation by the stars, they were in fact nomadic people who had in time displaced others from where they had lived.
    In fact Vuyo the first labourers on the mines were chinese, 80,000 of them to be exact and the reason Indians arrived here was to cut sugarcane, so nobody forced blacks to do anything they were forced by the economics of the world, and guess what Vuyo, that will continue to happen. So why should whites have regressed to your ancestors level when arriving on these shores

  • ozoneblue

    May 23, 2012 at 13:35 pm

    “to take away the eyes of the public from his failures and those of his party, the ANC.”

    What failures. Same question to you – are we not developing a culture of only focusing on the “failure” of the ANC. According to some people the ANC/SACP/Cosatu are doing nothing good. How can you build a new nation in such a negative, self-defeating atmosphere. Are you saying you want the Nats back, or what?

    Surely it is time to stop asking what Zuma/ANC/Mandela can do for us but rather what can we do for South Africa?

  • Gwebecimele


    You are suffering from “Mulderism”

  • Gwebecimele
  • Andrew

    The two issues raised by the painting/artwork is that you should have freedom of expression, with limitations.

    As far as freedom of expression is concerned, it should be practised without fear or favour. This means that we should be allowed to insult each other as freely as possible. I want to know that you are a racist, so would invite you to use of those nasty racist words freely. I want to know you hate gays, so say so openly without reservation.

    My point being that once you are openly racist, homophobic etc, an honest discussion can take place. Ovviously, free speech exclude the right to bliksem somebody when you disagree with each other.

    The dignity of a person should also be respected, and it is here that the difficulty starts. I don’t know if the dignity of President Zuma has been impugned by the art work.

    Somehow the more public a person, the sterner the stuff he should be made of and not be so easily offended?

  • Gwebecimele
  • ozoneblue

    We are developing into a nation of whine bags. A nation of spineless pussies. We wallow in self-pity, endless bitching and moaning about insignificant bullshit. Everywhere a [whitish] culture of cynicism, natural distrust of leadership, endless scepticism, disrespect of any and all authority.

    Such a decadent, morally bankrupt nation can have no feature, we can only collapse and self-destruct.

  • Andrew

    The two issues raised by the painting/artwork is that you should have freedom of expression, with limitations.

    As far as freedom of expression is concerned, it should be practised without fear or favour. This means that we should be allowed to insult each other as freely as possible. I want to know that you are a racist, so would invite you to use of those nasty racist words freely. I want to know you hate gays, so say so openly without reservation.

    My point being that once you are openly racist, homophobic etc, an honest discussion can take place. Obviously, free speech exclude the right to bliksem somebody when you disagree with each other.

    The dignity of a person should also be respected, and it is here that the difficulty starts. I don’t know if the dignity of President Zuma has been impugned by the art work.

    Somehow the more public a person, the sterner the stuff he should be made of and not be so easily offended?

  • Gwebecimele
  • spoiler

    The Gov is putting its money where its mouth is and taking on the SANRAL judgment directly in the CC. Imagine the effect down the line if the Moegoe headed CC actually agrees with Gordhan and co that executive decisions like the E Toll are not reviewable?

  • Mike

    @Gwebecimele – You as a black man cannot debate facts, you like the ANC can only label people,the fact is the reat of Africa despises South African blacks for their arrogance as we saw in the AU vote or are they suffering from Mulderism.
    Your ANC goverment started off playing with a handicap handed to them by a nation that was decimated by British colonialists whilst your fathers stood and watched and the result is that Australia has an economy of R1.2 trillion with 20 million people and we have an economy of R400billion with 50million people, in otherwords my friend your black goverment has fucked it up.

  • ozoneblue

    May 23, 2012 at 14:11 pm

    As a white man I take exception to the racist rubbish you post here. There is a special home for people like you on the Internet. I’m sure they miss your valuable contributions.

    Now kindly please fuck off.

  • Vuyo

    No that’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that the only objective response to the assault on the dignity of those who are exploited by capitalists (including capitalists such as our president) is to change the system that enables that exploitation. Anything else, including protest action that addresses only the manifestation of this exploitation and not the cause, is simply diversionary. In fact, I contend that it is the agitationary tactic of capitalists to routinely maintain control of the narrative by encouraging the conduct of people like Murray (himself a victim of a false sense of consciousness and therefore an ignorant instrument of capitalist agitation). Thus, partly because of a narrative created by those who falsely believe to be acting on the basis of their own agency (people like Murray), the discourse remains limited to irrelevant but studiedly obtuse matters such as relative civil rights, when we ought to be dealing with the cause of exploitation and its attendant ills, racism, sexism, cronyism, damage to the environment, etc, I.E. capitalism and its intrinsically deleterious nature. The reality is that whatever happens on Thursday, the power of capitalists to determine the agenda (overtly or otherwise) remains and all of us who are part of the exploited classes will remain the wretched of the earth. Eradicate capitalism and you immediately remove the subject-master relations that are a key feature of this ignoble system. Once that has been done, there shall be no incentive whatsoever for the propagation narratives that are an assault of our individual dignities.

  • Vuyo

    I truly fail to see the relevance of your post and therefore am unable, and thus decline, to respond to you.

  • Sine

    ozoneblue says:
    May 23, 2012 at 13:48 pm

    “What failures.”

    LOL. Are you serious?

    “How can you build a new nation in such a negative, self-defeating atmosphere.”

    How does negativity adversely affect Zuma’s ability to perform well as the President AND as a human being? Why cant he use the so-called negativity as his stimulation to prove the negative people wrong? The man is not fit and proper to be the President of this country. The fact that he does not respect the public compounds matters.

    “Are you saying you want the Nats back, or what?”

    Sorry, I do not answer idiotic questions. Just so we are clear, the ANC should stop thinking they are doing a great job just because they are doing better than the Nats. Alternatively put, the fact that you are cleverer than the dumbest pupil in class does not make you clever at all. It makes you dumber!

    “Surely it is time to stop asking what Zuma/ANC/Mandela can do for us but rather what can we do for South Africa?”

    A rather stupid idea considering they wield the power that they are abusing on a regular basis. Instead of this stupid suggestion you should ask Zuma and the rest of the political morons to relinquish power so better qualified people can govern the country. So far they are “mis-governing” it and have their priorities upside down. That is assuming they do prioritize to start off with. And whilst you are busy talking crap here by defending idiots like our President, another mentally ill girl has been raped ( I am sure the number of people condemning this wont even come close to the quarter of those who are complaining about the stupid painting.

  • Mike

    @ozoneblue – and exactly what is that rubbish, that all whites are exploitative capitalists.You cannot change history so dont make me responsible for it in this day and age whilst the black man in goverment is quite happy to enjoy the fruits of capitalism.

  • Gwebecimele


    Me Sabina Milpark. You know what I mean

  • Gwebecimele
  • Vuyo

    racism and capitalism, interesting post:

  • Mike

    @Vuyo – you singled out white people in your blog so dont try an hide behind crap.This goverment has been formenting anti white sentiment for years supporting Malema’s statements about whites until he bit the leadership in the backside, and you along with Gwebecimele are only to happy to indulge in it.
    But I will put Muderlism in context for you and that is two years ago I met a young German engineer in New York who did his Masters degree with Porche who was unaware about SASOL technology let alone the fact that it was a Nazi Germany world II patent.That just outs mulderism into perspective.

  • Gwebecimele

    If memory serves me well ,not long ago this man was fighting for doctors working CONDITIONS in the public sector. It seem as if he can’t resist the HANDBOOK.

  • Brett Nortje

    Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so excessively fond
    of new clothes, that he spent all his money in dress. He did not
    trouble himself in the least about his soldiers; nor did he care
    to go either to the theatre or the chase, except for the
    opportunities then afforded him for displaying his new clothes.
    He had a different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any
    other king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, “he is sitting
    in council,” it was always said of him, “The Emperor is sitting
    in his wardrobe.”

    Time passed merrily in the large town which was his capital;
    strangers arrived every day at the court. One day, two rogues,
    calling themselves weavers, made their appearance. They gave out
    that they knew how to weave stuffs of the most beautiful colors
    and elaborate patterns, the clothes manufactured from which
    should have the wonderful property of remaining invisible to
    everyone who was unfit for the office he held, or who was
    extraordinarily simple in character.

    “These must, indeed, be splendid clothes!” thought the Emperor.
    “Had I such a suit, I might at once find out what men in my
    realms are unfit for their office, and also be able to
    distinguish the wise from the foolish! This stuff must be woven
    for me immediately.” And he caused large sums of money to be
    given to both the weavers in order that they might begin their
    work directly.

    So the two pretended weavers set up two looms, and affected to
    work very busily, though in reality they did nothing at all. They
    asked for the most delicate silk and the purest gold thread; put
    both into their own knapsacks; and then continued their pretended
    work at the empty looms until late at night.

    “I should like to know how the weavers are getting on with my
    cloth,” said the Emperor to himself, after some little time had
    elapsed; he was, however, rather embarrassed, when he remembered
    that a simpleton, or one unfit for his office, would be unable to
    see the manufacture. To be sure, he thought he had nothing to
    risk in his own person; but yet, he would prefer sending somebody
    else, to bring him intelligence about the weavers, and their
    work, before he troubled himself in the affair. All the people
    throughout the city had heard of the wonderful property the cloth
    was to possess; and all were anxious to learn how wise, or how
    ignorant, their neighbors might prove to be.

    “I will send my faithful old minister to the weavers,” said the
    Emperor at last, after some deliberation, “he will be best able
    to see how the cloth looks; for he is a man of sense, and no one
    can be more suitable for his office than be is.”

    So the faithful old minister went into the hall, where the knaves
    were working with all their might, at their empty looms. “What
    can be the meaning of this?” thought the old man, opening his
    eyes very wide. “I cannot discover the least bit of thread on the
    looms.” However, he did not express his thoughts aloud.

    The impostors requested him very courteously to be so good as to
    come nearer their looms; and then asked him whether the design
    pleased him, and whether the colors were not very beautiful; at
    the same time pointing to the empty frames. The poor old minister
    looked and looked, he could not discover anything on the looms,
    for a very good reason, viz: there was nothing there. “What!”
    thought he again. “Is it possible that I am a simpleton? I have
    never thought so myself; and no one must know it now if I am so.
    Can it be, that I am unfit for my office? No, that must not be
    said either. I will never confess that I could not see the

    “Well, Sir Minister!” said one of the knaves, still pretending to
    work. “You do not say whether the stuff pleases you.”

    “Oh, it is excellent!” replied the old minister, looking at the
    loom through his spectacles. “This pattern, and the colors, yes,
    I will tell the Emperor without delay, how very beautiful I think

    “We shall be much obliged to you,” said the impostors, and then
    they named the different colors and described the pattern of the
    pretended stuff. The old minister listened attentively to their
    words, in order that he might repeat them to the Emperor; and
    then the knaves asked for more silk and gold, saying that it was
    necessary to complete what they had begun. However, they put all
    that was given them into their knapsacks; and continued to work
    with as much apparent diligence as before at their empty looms.

    The Emperor now sent another officer of his court to see how the
    men were getting on, and to ascertain whether the cloth would
    soon be ready. It was just the same with this gentleman as with
    the minister; he surveyed the looms on all sides, but could see
    nothing at all but the empty frames.

    “Does not the stuff appear as beautiful to you, as it did to my
    lord the minister?” asked the impostors of the Emperor’s second
    ambassador; at the same time making the same gestures as before,
    and talking of the design and colors which were not there.

    “I certainly am not stupid!” thought the messenger. “It must be,
    that I am not fit for my good, profitable office! That is very
    odd; however, no one shall know anything about it.” And
    accordingly he praised the stuff he could not see, and declared
    that he was delighted with both colors and patterns. “Indeed,
    please your Imperial Majesty,” said he to his sovereign when he
    returned, “the cloth which the weavers are preparing is
    extraordinarily magnificent.”

    The whole city was talking of the splendid cloth which the
    Emperor had ordered to be woven at his own expense.

    And now the Emperor himself wished to see the costly manufacture,
    while it was still in the loom. Accompanied by a select number of
    officers of the court, among whom were the two honest men who had
    already admired the cloth, he went to the crafty impostors, who,
    as soon as they were aware of the Emperor’s approach, went on
    working more diligently than ever; although they still did not
    pass a single thread through the looms.

    “Is not the work absolutely magnificent?” said the two officers
    of the crown, already mentioned. “If your Majesty will only be
    pleased to look at it! What a splendid design! What glorious
    colors!” and at the same time they pointed to the empty frames;
    for they imagined that everyone else could see this exquisite
    piece of workmanship.

    “How is this?” said the Emperor to himself. “I can see nothing!
    This is indeed a terrible affair! Am I a simpleton, or am I unfit
    to be an Emperor? That would be the worst thing that could
    happen–Oh! the cloth is charming,” said he, aloud. “It has my
    complete approbation.” And he smiled most graciously, and looked
    closely at the empty looms; for on no account would he say that
    he could not see what two of the officers of his court had
    praised so much. All his retinue now strained their eyes, hoping
    to discover something on the looms, but they could see no more
    than the others; nevertheless, they all exclaimed, “Oh, how
    beautiful!” and advised his majesty to have some new clothes made
    from this splendid material, for the approaching procession.
    “Magnificent! Charming! Excellent!” resounded on all sides; and
    everyone was uncommonly gay. The Emperor shared in the general
    satisfaction; and presented the impostors with the riband of an
    order of knighthood, to be worn in their button-holes, and the
    title of “Gentlemen Weavers.”

    The rogues sat up the whole of the night before the day on which
    the procession was to take place, and had sixteen lights burning,
    so that everyone might see how anxious they were to finish the
    Emperor’s new suit. They pretended to roll the cloth off the
    looms; cut the air with their scissors; and sewed with needles
    without any thread in them. “See!” cried they, at last. “The
    Emperor’s new clothes are ready!”

    And now the Emperor, with all the grandees of his court, came to
    the weavers; and the rogues raised their arms, as if in the act
    of holding something up, saying, “Here are your Majesty’s
    trousers! Here is the scarf! Here is the mantle! The whole suit
    is as light as a cobweb; one might fancy one has nothing at all
    on, when dressed in it; that, however, is the great virtue of
    this delicate cloth.”

    “Yes indeed!” said all the courtiers, although not one of them
    could see anything of this exquisite manufacture.

    “If your Imperial Majesty will be graciously pleased to take off
    your clothes, we will fit on the new suit, in front of the
    looking glass.”

    The Emperor was accordingly undressed, and the rogues pretended
    to array him in his new suit; the Emperor turning round, from
    side to side, before the looking glass.

    “How splendid his Majesty looks in his new clothes, and how well
    they fit!” everyone cried out. “What a design! What colors! These
    are indeed royal robes!”

    “The canopy which is to be borne over your Majesty, in the
    procession, is waiting,” announced the chief master of the

    “I am quite ready,” answered the Emperor. “Do my new clothes fit
    well?” asked he, turning himself round again before the looking
    glass, in order that he might appear to be examining his handsome

    The lords of the bedchamber, who were to carry his Majesty’s
    train felt about on the ground, as if they were lifting up the
    ends of the mantle; and pretended to be carrying something; for
    they would by no means betray anything like simplicity, or
    unfitness for their office.

    So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of
    the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the
    people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, “Oh! How
    beautiful are our Emperor’s new clothes! What a magnificent train
    there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!” in
    short, no one would allow that he could not see these
    much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have
    declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office.
    Certainly, none of the Emperor’s various suits, had ever made so
    great an impression, as these invisible ones.

    “But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child.

    “Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father; and
    what the child had said was whispered from one to another.

    “But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people.
    The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right;
    but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of
    the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up
    a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Mike

    @Brett Nortje – well said and that is exactly what Brett Murray’s exhibition is all about.

  • Vuyo

    Perhaps you can point out where I singled out white people. That would help me respond to you. In the interim read the article on the link I posted about racism’s origins from capitalism Perhaps you may realize that we are all victims of regardless of colour). Its simply that some are paid more in order to act as guardians on behalf of capitalists. Over time, their share in the system declines as the price of their labour declines towards the price of the labour of those who are their “inferiors”. Eventually, like in the USA, capitalists expatriate work to regions with slave labour and no regulation thus ensuring the further diminution of the price of labour of the proletarian guardians of exploitation. The aim is simply to enslave all of us, using arbitrary considerations such as sex and race to ensure that we are never united against the true enemy, capitalism. It is the most Machiavellian tactic ever.

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Interesting that most of the ANGER & HATRED in this country seems to emanate from those who supposedly embrace “progressive, Western-inspired values”…

  • Ricky

    Sine and Maggs and others

    In my humble view, the comparison with prisoners forced to dance naked etc is totally misunderstood, the main reason being that the painting in question is OBVIOUSLY not a picture of the President naked. It is a concoction in mainly black and red paint of a famous Lenin poster with a face vaguely resembling the President (but also, as someone pointed out, General Secretary Vavi) and then with some genitalia attached to the front of the pants. It is CLEARLY not the President. Now, if somebody had managed to sneak into the President’s homestead in Nakandla and taken a picture of him in the buff and then published it, I would be all for banning it as a violation of privacy, dignaty etc. One could maybe even argue that a photoshopped picture, made to look like the President in the buff, is an affront and a violation of rights. But this picture, come on.

    Also, as someone has pointed out, the President is the MOST POWERFUL PERSON in the country, comparing him to a naked Steve Biko, tortured and in prison, is completely misunderstood.

    Lastly, why no court case, no marches etc about Un-mute my tongue by Ayanda Mabulu? Somebody ought to ask that of e.g. General Secretary Mantashe.

  • Brett Nortje

    ITUMELENG MAHABANE: Good ship SA needs an able and trusted captain

    ‘We elites forget, thanks to the spatial arrangement of apartheid, that our people are impoverished’
    Published: 2012/05/23 07:20:37 AM

    SA FEELS like a rudderless ship, drifting sometimes aimlessly, sometimes flung about by headwinds. The ship’s crew seems to others to be variously in a state of low-intensity war or passive-aggressive mode along identity and class lines. Stuck on an unmoored ship that has been sailing the same waters endlessly, they choose to see each other as enemies and contestants for the bounty on the ship, with no intention of co-operating in their search of the land of spice and gold.

    For most of the past five to 10 years, SA’s rate of economic growth has drifted in the same lagoon, lagging that of other upper-middle-income economies by at least half. Our country has the highest rate of unemployment and higher levels of poverty than our peer countries. It also has the highest income inequality within those countries.

    It is difficult to see how a country that fits that bill would not treat economic development as its most pressing problem. The natural expectation would be that the leadership of the country would be overwhelmingly focused on fixing the situation. Leadership would mean there are constant signals to the country, to business, to public servants and to the public that the country is determined to improve its economic performance. That is a very different message from one that says the country is determined to create a better life for the poor. The integrity of a message should emanate from its grounding in reality and the implied action should have a clear logical sequence and consequence. In this case, the message would be that SA must improve its economic performance and ensure that this development path is broad based and inclusive to create a better life for all. A message like this could not be construed as a false promise because it is grounded in an honest, dynamic causality.

    Instead we have mixed messages about our focus and priorities.

    It is somewhat disconcerting to see the country’s president in court defending his dignity, while it is left to the secretary-general of the ruling party to speak about dangers to the country’s economic agenda. Perhaps it is unfair. Perhaps the sense is that without being afforded dignity one cannot be expected to provide the leadership the country so crucially needs.
    Nonetheless, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the immense challenges facing us are treated peripherally and that we find it easy to be distracted from the task of escaping the middle-income trap, which, given SA’s inequality, is in fact the curse of an impoverished nation. That is the point.

    We elites forget so easily, thanks to the spatial arrangement of apartheid, that our people are impoverished.

    Oh, we know at some abstracted level. However, as our proclivity to distraction shows, achieving a better rate of economic growth and eliminating poverty does not enjoy the singularity of our focus. The message to all, internally and externally, is clear: the economic development of this land is not our priority.

    So the country’s chattering classes and elites are caught up in yet another distraction. We have become instant purveyors of art, distracted rather easily from the conversation last week about the rather frightening spectre of one of the world’s highest rates of youth unemployment. We are mobilising around notions of individual dignity even as millions of young men and women are subject to the crushing indignity of poverty and the reality that millions of them will not know what it is to work and earn their own way for the next decade or more. Our credibility and the ability to fund the centrepiece of our economic agenda — infrastructure investment — are taking a battering.

    Yet, last week there were parliamentary hearings into affordable air travel for the poor. I should concede that I was not in those hearings and therefore may be a bit wrong about their relevance. Yet, to my naive and simple mind it seems the logic of such an idea would dictate that we ensure we reduce the plight of the poor and create a country of working and middle-class people who are able to exercise choices about a mix of public and private transport, and that we improve the capacity for road traffic regulation to improve the conditions of our roads. Again, that seems to me to be a message with some integrity. It is complex but achievable.

    It is difficult to see how we can expect people to put their money into this economy, including local money, when we do not demonstrate that we regard the economic management of SA as something that deserves a singular mind-set and focus.

    The bounty on our ship cannot last forever and those who don’t have access will storm the stockyards.

    We need every man on the ship to act in concert. That, in turn, requires communicating clarity on a destination that everyone agrees on. It requires brooking no tolerance for foolhardiness. It requires a knowledgeable and trusted captaincy.
    • Mahabane is head of Brunswick SA.

  • Ricky

    Actually, comparing the “plight” of the President (in this respect, I am not trying to overlook his struggle credentials) to the plight of Steve Biko, Saartjie Baartman (or for that matter any poor, starving, unemployed person living in a shed in an informal settlement), is to trivialise and disrespect the memory of Steve Biko and Saartjie Baartman and the present plight of millions of South Africans.

  • Vuyo


    Why do you think it is such an offence in a private company to disclose your salary? Hell, you can rob your clients, de-fraud the fiscus, etc, and not be fired; but try disclosing your salary and all hell breaks lose! It’s simple, since you are unaware of the relative wages in your company, you can not ascertain whether you are receiving a commensurate amount for your labour nor ascertain the profit (and thus true value of your exploitation). From time to time your boss approaches you and says you are the only one who gets a 30% increase. You are so proud to be so-recognised and keep this information confidential because you do not want to anger the kind master. If its true that you earn more than your colleagues, you are thus earning at their expense. You are simultaneously negating your worth because if your colleagues are underpaid (the market would adjust the price of labour downwards to reflect the lower price of your more numerous colleagues), you have outpriced yourself out of the labour market! You have created the basis upon which your boss will refuse increasing your future earnings, on the basis of a prevailing market wage. So by being in a position of privilege over your female, black, etc, workers you have created the seeds of your own exploitation! This is even before they send the jobs to Zimbabwe or DRC or Angola or China, on the basis that your labour (at R2300 per month) is overpriced!

    PS: Funny thing is that they go to those countries to further profit and yet they were complaining (through their mediums, opposition parties such as the DA and the media) a few years earlier about your countries quite diplomacy (which resolves the conflicts in the newly profitable countries) or decrying your failure to condemn China for “human rights” (their new growth destination). These capitalist have no sense of irony (let alone honesty)!!!!

  • Brett Nortje

    ALLISTER SPARKS: Vavi’s ambiguity may soon detonate his own time bomb

    Whatever merits or demerits Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi grand vision may have, one thing is certain — it is not going to happen quickly
    Published: 2012/05/23 07:20:40 AM

    ZWELINZIMA Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), is a puzzling figure. In one breath, he warns that youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb that is at the point of exploding into another 1976 uprising, while in the next he stubbornly opposes government legislation aimed at defusing that time bomb.

    Even as he was berating President Jacob Zuma in his keynote address at Cosatu’s international policy conference last week for doing nothing to reduce youth unemployment, Zuma was telling Parliament in response to a Democratic Alliance (DA) question that Cosatu was the stumbling block preventing the implementation of a youth wage subsidy scheme to get more young people into first-time jobs.

    The DA has been proposing such a scheme for several years, arguing it is the only way to leverage young people into critical first-time jobs in the face of SA’s rigid labour regulations. The argument is that employers are reluctant to hire unskilled school-leavers, who have to be paid minimum wages plus full benefits and are difficult to fire if they prove unsatisfactory. Employers would rather mechanise their operations.

    The African National Congress (ANC) government has ignored these proposals under pressure from Cosatu, its alliance partner, which refuses to countenance any weakening of its hard-won labour regulations.

    But this year, with youth unemployment soaring alarmingly, Zuma, prodded by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, agreed to include a youth wage subsidy scheme in new amended labour legislation. But again, Cosatu pressure has caused him to suspend the proposal pending further negotiations.

    This in turn prompted the DA to mount a march of nearly 3000 young, mostly black, supporters on Cosatu House in Johannesburg to present a memorandum urging the labour federation to end its resistance to the amendment — only to be met by an angry crowd of Cosatu members, which resulted in last Tuesday’s ugly street fight in which several people were injured.

    That brawl in itself spoke volumes. Cosatu claims the DA march was “provocative”, ignoring the fact that protest marches are a regular, and often violent, feature of its own combative activities. Moreover, a mobilising memorandum issued ahead of the DA march, drafted by three member unions plus a number of linked youth organisations and issued under the name of the union federation’s organising national spokesman, Patrick Craven, made it quite clear how Cosatu intended to confront the marchers.
    “The enemy is in the open,” the memorandum declared. “Occupy the streets. Defend Cosatu.”

    The enemy? This is the official opposition in our democratic Parliament these Cosatu members and supporters are talking about. I have often admired Vavi’s principled defence of democracy and freedom of speech, recently manifested in his outspoken opposition to the government’s “Secrecy Bill”.

    Does he really regard the official opposition in Parliament as a hostile national threat?

    And does he, as a defender of free speech, believe Cosatu has to be “defended” from the handing over of a memorandum? A piece of paper? This is not simply a matter of semantic quibbling. Words in such an inflammable political climate as we have can be dangerous. My memory goes back to a frequent warning by that political sage, Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert, that the most dangerous moment in the political transformation of African countries was not the moment of liberation but the moment when the party of liberation faced the first prospect of defeat at the polls.

    We still have to face that moment, but words such as those labelling the official parliamentary opposition an “enemy” and Zuma’s avowal that the ANC will rule until the second coming of Jesus Christ, tend to revive Slabbert’s cautionary words.

    There is deep ambiguity in Vavi’s and Cosatu’s position on youth unemployment. Vavi obviously regards it as serious and urgent. Describing the DA march as “a very critical thing that happened”, he went on to ask: “Is it not a reality that a growing number of these 72% (youth) unemployed in the country are beginning to lose hope because they have been waiting for far too long?”

    He even presented an electoral warning, noting that the huge crowd of DA marchers were not ill-informed young black people but that the DA was gaining more sympathy from the working class.

    “If we don’t stop the real crisis (of youth unemployment), then those 3000 DA marchers will become 6000,” he said. “It will eventually succeed. Eventually all of us will be in very, very hot water before long.” So, if the crisis is so urgent, why is Vavi so determined to stop the only remedy that is on the table right now?

    He says he opposes the youth wage subsidy because he objects to taxpayers in effect subsidising business and he fears employers may use the subsidy as a way of replacing existing workers with cheap youngsters.

    In doing so, he ignores the fact that the ANC’s careful wording of the amendment deals with those factors.

    I must say the wage subsidy is not my first choice of a remedy either, but if Vavi is going to reject it, he should come up with a more acceptable alternative.

    For my part, I have several times suggested establishing an apprenticeship system modelled broadly on the highly successful German, Swiss and Scandinavian systems of having a two-stream educational structure, vocational and academic, with the vocational stream dovetailed into on-the-job apprenticeships across a wide range of skilled occupations. Those apprenticeships are then deemed to be part of the student’s education so, in our case, no amendment to the labour regulations would be required.

    But Vavi has shown no interest in that either. A close study of his speech last Wednesday indicates that the nearest thing he has to an alternative is a revolutionary restructuring of the whole South African socioeconomic system.
    As he told the International Policy Conference, the whole global working class needs to reposition itself to deepen the current crisis of the capitalist system while simultaneously building a solid foundation for real alternatives. It is all part of the struggle to overthrow capitalism.

    In that context, he wants the Zuma administration to launch a wage-led recovery policy to increase demand, backed up by stronger collective bargaining institutions, comprehensive social security provisions and labour clauses in public procurement, public investment and public employment.

    At the same time, worker organisations worldwide must campaign for the transformation of international financial institutions, which Vavi sees as probably the main obstacle to a new international development path.

    This is thinking on a grand scale, something Zuma certainly doesn’t do.

    But I have some problems with it.

    One is that it offers no solution to our chronic shortage of skills, and the more wages for unskilled workers are raised, the more productivity will decline, inflation increase and the more employers will mechanise, move offshore or simply shut down.

    Another is that whatever merits or demerits Vavi’s grand vision may have, one thing is certain — it is not going to happen quickly. And that time bomb, as he himself says, is already “starting to explode”.
    • Sparks is a veteran journalist and political analyst.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 23, 2012 at 15:15 pm


    You either misunderstand or deliberately seek to muddy the waters.

    I thought the paint was comical and Zuma brought the disrespect onto himself.

    Set that aside for now.

    After reading S’te piece I have a different take on it.

    Many people have been badly affected by the iniquitous regime having used nakedness as an opportunity and a means to degrade African males and that to those who suffered that particular experience, equate this to it.

    We should perhaps respect their right to feel that they had been violated then – and, rightly or wrongly, to feel violated now.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Ricky

    Go read Samantha Vice.

  • Vuyo

    Funny thing is that capitalism has convinced columnists like Itumeleng Mahabane that they are part of the elite, when in reality they are two salary cheques away from poverty! All of us who labour for our wages (particularly lawyers) and do not control means to production are proletarians. We are the working class

  • Vuyo

    Ricky says:
    May 23, 2012 at 15:18 pm

    Spot on! Particularly in the light of the fact that the fellow is an admitted tax dodger (the poor pay their taxes) and is more powerful and wealthier than most South Africans (black or white) who ever lived! It is shameful that icons such as Baartman or Biko are being cited. Simply shameful.

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

    May 23, 2012 at 15:34 pm


    Nobody can say with any certainty whether those now dead, whom we consider to be icons, would or would not have been “tax dodgers”.

    If Zuma was killed prior to the Arms Deal and the nearly unfettered control of the levers of power, he too would have been considered an icon.

  • Mike Ambassador

    And ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe admits SA is dysfunctional ……. but they working on fixing it by going after a……..wait for it ……….. wait a little bit more …………. painting!!!!

    I quote the good comrade “Once we are able to mop up the mess, it means we are not dysfunctional.”

  • Ricky

    Vuyo, I have not agreed with you often – but it is good that it is possible to sometimes find common ground, irrespective of political differences.

    Gweb, I am familiar with Samantha Vice. But thanks, anyway.

    Maggs, I must have misunderstood your postings – but definitely not the article referring to Baartman. I still feel that the outrage is very much fabricated by people like Jackson Thembu (and that odious church spokesperson of the same last name), Gwede Mantasha etc (since Zuma has been presented much more naked before without any great uproar) for political gain – and that The Spear is clearly NOT a depiction of a naked person – if anything, the genitalia looks more like a clip-on article than the real thing. But I agree with you that with all the uproar (and some of it probably genuine), it is probably wise to at least try to understand it.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 23, 2012 at 15:58 pm


    I agree that most of those who have been outraged have claimed that because of more often than not, puerile reasons.

    It’s S’te’s piece which forced me to take a different view – and based on that I think many other people will relook at their own take.

    p.s. I stand by my position that any embarrassment, lack of respect etc which may befall Zuma is entirely of his own doing. Being a high profile public figure he shouldn’t complain when being put under the microscope and pressured to act in a more dignified way. If the pressure is too much he can always resign – he cannot be compelled to remain at the helm.

    He can do a Mdluli and claim stress or do a Shaik and claim terminal illness.

  • Mike

    @Vuyo – The company is not the market!!! The market will soon let you know if you are being unpaid.
    As a person who after 38 years of the corporate world now works as a consultant, I know full well what it is all about in selling my knowledge.
    One thing that I have learnt from working in companies that have gone into liquidation is that the company can do without me but I like all employees cannot do without the company.
    You are blinded by rhetoric as I can see in you blogs and you have no idea what business entails.By the way I am a fan of Leon Louw and the free market which must not be confused with mercantile capatilism and lastly that I do not agree with labour broking because it creates cartels in labour and that is why the mafia ran the construction labour unions in the USA.

  • Mike Ambassador
  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Dr Vice (as cited by Gwebe)

    “Self-reflective silence is an appropriate recognition of the compromised nature of our [whitishness]”

    Dr Vice is right. That is why I a renewing my demand that Brett Murray, PdV, Ricky, OB, and others just SHUT THE FUCK UP until further notice.

    Thanks very much.

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 23, 2012 at 15:24 pm

    Why do you not just argue – you humbug you – that a great many black people have very high expectations and unmet emotional needs?

  • Brett Nortje

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder says:
    May 23, 2012 at 16:34 pm

    Nice language for a visiting professor from Llubjana and the pre-eminent authority on whitishness!

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Brett Nortje
    May 23, 2012 at 17:07 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    “Why do you not just argue – you humbug you – that a great many black people have very high expectations and unmet emotional needs?”

    Cos god is very appointing Chief Justices.

    When it’s got some free time, maybe I will be appointed to speak for all the “great many black people [who] have very high expectations and unmet emotional needs”.

    For now I’ll stick to expressing my general views.

    On the subject of Chief Justices – has he made any public appearance of note yet?





  • Brett Nortje

    Ag shame!

    Yet here you are again, not speaking for anyone of course, taking the world’s suffering on your little shoulders, reminding us of nothing so much as those Filipinos who have themselves crucified every Easter….

    Poor, noble, long-suffering Maggs!

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 23, 2012 at 11:34 am
    “Neither you nor I can or should think it’s correct for us to decide what “context” justified rubbing salt in the wounds of other groups of people.

    It sounds to me like you’re trying to deny the awful connotations that this has for those who were victims of that awful, but not so distant, era.”

  • Brett Nortje

    You see, Maggs, while you were playing agonyauntdramaqueen agonising that we can never truly quantify the harm done by those nasty mhlungus during Apartheid this baby was being strangled.

    And that dumb cunt from Cosatu Solly Phetoe – he who wanted a white farmer who had barricaded himself in a bedroom charged for shooting his attackers through the door – was bemoaning the fact that Eugene Terre’Blanche’s murderer was convicted accusing the judge of not considering the cowardly murderer’s personal circumstances. Presumably, in Solly’s twisted mind personal circumstances justify the murder of a sleeping person.

    But really, we all know these mhlungus are getting what they deserve, don’t we?

    Vrou, baba by dagsorgsentrum vermoor
    2012-05-23 20:00

    Verwante skakels
    Man vermoor bejaarde met graaf
    Lewenslank vir man wat werkgewer vermoor

    Kaapstad – ‘n Versorger en ‘n vyf maande oue baba is gevind waar hulle vermoor is in Delmas, Mpumalanga, het die polisie Woensdag gesê.

    Die ma van die vermoorde baba het Margaret de Goede, die versorger, ‘n paar maal gebel om te hoor of alles in orde is met haar kind, wat siek was. Daar was egter geen antwoord nie.

    Die vrou en ‘n vriend het toe na die versorger se huis gegaan. Hulle het bekommerd geraak toe hulle gehoor het hoe ‘n baba huil.

    Hulle het ‘n venster gebreek om toegang tot die huis te kry. Hulle het toe ‘n 18 maande oue baba gevind en die polisie gebel toe De Goede en die ander baba, Wiaan Botes, nie gevind kon word nie.

    Die polisie het gearriveer en Wiaan se lyk onder ‘n bed gevind, het ‘n polisiewoordvoerder gesê.

    De Goede, in haar 60’s, is later dood in ‘n skuur in die tuin gevind.

    Forensiese beamptes van die polisie was tot na 18:00 op die toneel.

    Niemand is nog in hegtenis geneem nie.

    – Volg Nuus24 op Twitter

    Dogters hoor hoe pa sterf

    2012-05-23 13:13
    André Damons

    Skaars twee weke ná die inhegtenisneming van vier lede van ’n vermeende panga-rowerbende wat ’n skrikbewind in die suide van Bloemfontein gevoer het, is ’n pa van twee jong kinders aan die ander kant van die stad wreed deur vier mans met kapmesse in sy huis vermoor.

    Frans Day (38), ’n werktuigkundige wat onlangs van Boksburg af verhuis het, is Vrydag omstreeks middernag in sy huis in Navalsig vermoor.

    Drie van sy moordenaars was met kapmesse gewapen en die vierde met ’n pistool.

    Die Day-gesin is minstens die sewende gesin wat die laaste maande in die Rosestad deur mans met pangas in hul huise aangeval is.

    Frans se vrou, Tanja (36), en hul jong dogters, Kaytlinn (5) en Nicole (10), se hande is vasgebind, hul monde toegeplak en hulle is in ’n hangkas in die hoofslaapkamer, waar hy vermoor is, geprop.

    Sy vrou, wat nou vir haar en haar kinders se lewe vrees, sê hulle moes in die kas hoor hoe word hy vermoor. Hy is verskeie kere met die kapmesse gekap.

    “Die een (aanvaller) het gesê: ‘All we need is money and sex’. Hy het later gesê: ‘Kom ons verkrag die vrou en kinders en maak hulle eerste dood.’

    “My man het opgespring om ons te beskerm en is toe aangeval.

    “My man het die heeltyd geskreeu: ‘Is julle orraait, is julle orraait.’

    “Ek weet nie hoekom hulle hom vermoor het nie. Hy was ’n vreedsame mens wat nooit baklei het nie.”

    Sy sê die mans het in ’n stadium in Afrikaans vir haar man gesê hy dink hy is slim. Sy weet nie of haar man vroeër in ’n onderonsie met die mans betrokke was nie.

    Tanja en haar twee dogters is later deur die bure uit die kas bevry.

    Haar man het dood in ’n plas bloed langs die bed gelê.

    Tanja sê sy vrees nou vir hul lewe omdat die mans gedreig het om terug te kom.

    Een van hulle se woorde was: “We will be back soon.”

    Tanja sê hulle het hierheen verhuis omdat haar man ’n beter werk gekry het. Sy wil egter nou terug na Gauteng.

    Die mans het die vermoorde Frans se motor, selfoon en geld geroof.

    Tanja sê later in die Navalsig-polisiekantoor het sy ’n foto van een van haar man se vermeende moordenaars teen ’n muur sien hang.

    Sy het die polisie ingelig.

    **Vier Mosambiekers, Ntuli Athus, Pangele Anthonio, Zulu Mahlabe en Zunguza Samuel, almal in hul vroeë twintigs, is vroeër vandeesmaand in hegtenis geneem ná die soveelste panga-aanval in die suidelike woonbuurte.

    Mnr. Johan Meyer (56) van Durban, wat by sy vriendin in haar meenthuis in Fleurdal gekuier het, is in ’n inbraak wreed met ’n panga en mes aangeval en erg beseer.

    Kind (5) stom ná gebeure

    NÁ die moord op haar pa is ’n vyfjarige meisie só getraumatiseer dat sy nog nie weer ’n woord gepraat het nie.

    Klein Kaytlinn Day (5) het eerste haar vermoorde pa, Frans, in ’n plas bloed sien lê nadat sy en haar ma, Tanja (36), en ouer suster, Nicole (10), bevry is uit die hangkas waarin die moordenaars hulle toegesluit het.

    Kaytlinn staar net voor haar uit en sê niks nie. Sy wil ook nie eet nie, sê haar ma.

    “Ek is baie bekommerd oor haar. Ek dink dit is omdat sy haar pa eerste gesien het.

    “Jy kan met haar praat, maar sy kyk nie na jou nie.”

    Tanja sê haar oudste dogter vra na haar pa.

    Hy was hul held, vertel sy.

    “As kinders hulle altyd gevra het wie hul pa is, het hulle gesê Superman is hul pa.”

    Tanja sê hulle wil terugtrek Gauteng toe, maar het nie geld vir buskaartjies nie.

    “Ons het nie eens geld vir kos of krag nie. – Volksblad

  • ozoneblue


    It is shocking and disgusting. The kind of savage violence that the racist transgenerational guilt merchants like PDV and Samantha Vice encourage and rationalise. The very same type of “white liberals” who exploit their freedom of speech to insult Africans aon public platforms and would think nothing of igniting a race war in the name of their whitish definition of progressive social norms.

  • Scotty


  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Another idiotic comment!

    “I wonder what would have happened in Zimbabwe?” [National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana] said.

  • Brett Nortje

    ozoneblue says:
    May 23, 2012 at 22:38 pm

    Bullshit! You’ve lost the plot.

    No-one in Delmas has heard of De Vos. The people contriving the ‘outrage’ have suffered a couple of bloody noses the last few weeks and find nothing strange in any event about their public representatives mooning the media or their members protesting naked.

    Perhaps you should point fingers at them. Their response to their pathetic record being exposed is racial mobilisation.

    The NSA was supposed to be different. WHat happened yesterday happened in 1912 and 1812 and 1712. It is the reason for things like curfews, and, ultimately Apartheid.

    Deal with it. Time to stop giving the ANC a free ride.

    “The very same type of “white liberals” who exploit their freedom of speech to insult Africans aon public platforms and would think nothing of igniting a race war in the name of their whitish definition of progressive social norms.”

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 7:01 am

    What I said.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Brett Nortje
    May 24, 2012 at 7:13 am

    LOL G,

    “What I said.”

    You’re not the only one who makes idiotic comments. 😛

    In this case I was referring to that of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana.

  • mhlongo

    “….about the ridiculous religious beliefs that whether one is a good or bad person depends almost entirely on whether you have been chaste or whether you have had sex with many people.”

    A perfect example of the intolerance that exists at the core liberalism.

  • Pierre De Vos

    mhlongo, you seem to confuse intolerance with the right to express an opinion that differs from yours. In my view, I would only be intolerant if I argued that people should be banned from expressing the view that sexual behaviour determines ones morality. I am not intolerant by saying I find it ridiculous. This is my opinion. You have every right to disagree with this opinion and say so. If it were to be the case that “tolerance” required us all never to say anything that upset anybody or with which they would disagree, we would not ever be able to express any opinion with which others (or is it a majority of citizens?) disagreed. That would be intolerant. IT would also set us on the way to authoritarianism. Even this view, of course, is open to debate. I would think that the way to challenge the view expressed is, well, to challenge it, using the arguments at your disposal. Quoting of missionary-imposed beliefs, backed up by Bible verses (brought to out continent by colonialists) would be one way to try and engage with my argument. I am sure there are many others. Invite you to do so. Let the discussion begin!

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 7:15 am

    STart googling, bud. You’ll find many examples of ANC members protesting in their birthday suits.

    What the ANC objects to is the little kid who cries ‘The Emperor has no clothes…’

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Pierre De Vos
    May 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

    “we would not ever be able to express any opinion with which others (or is it a majority of citizens?) disagreed.”

    It’s unfortunate that many commentators confuse democracy with majoritarianism.

    Interestingly too is the co-mingling of Christianity with African culture and traditions where it’s convenient to do so.

    There’s not much available on indigenous African religions – if anyone has access to this, please post.

  • Daniel

    To the readers and the prof, here is an interesting critical analysis of the now infamous painting. The writer of this article, downgrade the painting as : racism.

  • Sine

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Wow. I couldn’t have said it better. Most importantly, ours is not just a pure democracy (wherein what the majority says goes), it in fact is a Constitutional democracy (wherein the minority rights are protected in a Constitution which is the highest law in the land).

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Hey Sne,

    I’m astounded that the president of NUM, Senzeni Zokwana, will even want to contemplate “what would have happened in Zimbabwe”.

    As South Africans, our fall back position ought to be our Constitution – the rights, morality and ethics derived from it.

    Why on earth a leader of a notable movement would want to regress to something which is less desirable, less everything else is beyond me.

    If the oke likes what Zim has to offer over what we stand proudly by, he can always emigrate there.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Listen to this debate –

    It makes clear how people tend to making up tradition, culture, religion as they go along to support their own prejudices.

  • Mike

    @Daniel – Read Joe Soaps reply on SACSIS because that puts the painting into perspective and that is it is a commentary on the JZ Presidency, in other words look past the penis itself and ask yourself why it is placed outside of JZ trousers, and yes the painting is disgusting, but also brilliant.
    For another interpretation read the current Daily Telegraph in the UK on why females do not consider a photo of the boyfriends penis being sent to them via a cell phone to be sexually stimulating.

  • mhlongo


    It is my argument that, that very opinion (which you can rightly hold) betrays liberalism’s intolerance of religion. It is on the basis of such opinions that liberalism has removed religion from the public sphere and relegated it to the private sphere as nothing more than a private matter of conscience.

  • Mike Ambassador

    ANC Epic Fail

    “(The ANC) are dark and illiterate – they must go back to school and come back tomorrow,” said Mabulu.

  • Mike Ambassador

    and another EPIC ANC FAIL

    ANC national spokesman Jackson Mthembu declined to comment, saying he did not know Mabulu, nor his artwork.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Hey Mhlongo,

    “relegated [religion] to the private sphere as nothing more than a private matter of conscience.”

    If religion ought to exist anywhere at all, that’s where it should be – in the private sphere!

  • Tom

    Pierre, it is called hypocrisy. Bill Clinton was transgressive but then he did not lead the moral regeneration campaign and he did not admonish people to live virtuous lives while sleeping around. JZ plays the role of the devout traditional African Christian who pretends to live a highly virtuous life while he puts his ego and his desire above anything else. He even claims to act in the interest of the ANC and yet it is his ethnicism, his controversies, and his corruption that undermines the party. People forgive transgressions but the pretension and the hypocrisy will sooner or later tire people out.

  • Sine

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

    He is a colossal idiot. It is people like him who don’t deserve any post, let alone a public one.

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Mhlongo

    There is a specific historical reason why “European” culture, for want of a better word, insists that religion be excluded from the public sphere. That is because of the Thirty Year War, a savage religious conflict continental Europe in the 1600s. (In some areas, 50% of the population is said to have been killed.) Subsequent to that, a kind of consensus emerged in Europe that the best way to avoid a recurrence of such barbarism was to render religion a matter of the private sphere, leaving the state religiously neutral. That norm found its way into the South African Constitution’s separation of church and state. In a sense the norm of separation is indeed a “western” value.

    (I should add that it is a value that has often been ignored in Europe and it colonies, Franco’s Spain and National Party South Africa being two examples.)

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Tom says:
    May 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

    There seem to be a couple of big double standards going on here: How come ordinary people can practice polygamy but politicians / people in the public eye can’t?
    I say it‘s B.S that politicians must be poster boys for HIV campaigns & condomizing – next to long distance truck drivers, musicians / celebrities & soccer players, politicians are amongst the most promiscuous people in our society (groupie love – you should see what happens in the hotels at all these conferences) they should be excluded by default from all these ‘good behaviour campaigns’. Just being politicians makes their moral standing suspect!
    I honestly think JZ is more representative of an “ordinary” South African man than most politicians in terms of his rural roots & traditional outlook.
    Whatever our “modern” view on polygamy, fact is most African cultures condone & even encourage it, especially for the “big men” in the community (those with wealth / status). From KwaZulu to Mpumalanga to Limpopo (and don’t forget Swaziland), you will find chiefs, local rich guys etc with two or three wives.

    Western “culture” is very strange to me because it encourages promiscuity but then frowns on polygamy? You can shag as many people as you want,
    but you can only marry one… HUH?! I don’t get that at all!

    In any case Zuma should be criticized on his lack of political leadership rather than his private life & that painting was calculated to be provocative, insulting & was below the belt, (although maybe the ANC’s reaction has also been over the top, & they’ve turned a molehill into a mountain). It’s not so much about freedom of speech as it is about being fair in criticizing a person, even if you don’t like them. Like in boxing: although you are moering each other, there are still rules & unwritten standards of fair play. With Zuma, some people think just because they don’t agree with his lifestyle, they are allowed to dehumanize him, which is wrong.
    Still, whilst people have a right to express their feelings & even to insult the President, they mustn’t get upset when he responds by suing / dragging their asses to court because that’s his right too.

  • Friend

    Let me also cry out, racism is indeed alive and well and is laughing with his best friends, fascism, liberalism, capitalism, communism, chauvinism, imperialism, feminism, socialism and sarcasm, let me also state here that theft is rife, rape is eminent, robbery is at large, nepotism is inevitable, your mother is a whore, just kidding, just checking if you’re still reading, it’s a SA poem is it not, the one that states the obvious.

  • Mike

    @Jama ka Sijadu – and that is why Aids is more prevalent in your black community than any other of the race groups and the highest in the world.
    Keep your culture bullshit argument to yourself because in Africa this is still justification for female genital mutilation.
    Ever wondered what the basis of Verwoeds argument for Apartheid was, well you have just confirmed it in your blog.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Jama ka Sijadu
    May 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Hey JkS,

    Polygamy is not (or ought not to be) the issue.

    On the other hand the view that it is the “duty of a man in my culture” to shag every and any woman who he thinks is aroused is an issue which ought to be interrogated.

    That is indefensible – firstly even if a woman is aroused and looks inviting does not mean he was invited, no matter how enticind or provocative she may appear.

    More importantly, if this ludicrous claim is true, then the practice must be ended.

    We already have enough challenges with single mothers and/or child headed households – our President should be forced to set a better example.

    More ought to be demanded of the President of South Africa than someone running around, unzipping his pants at every conceivable opportunity!!!!!!!!

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele
  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    The fact is that La Grange has said that he did it to protect whites from a charge of RACISM. For that, they should be grateful to him. In a very real sense, La Grange has saved whites from themselves.

    Thanks very much, Mr La Grange!

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Mike says:
    May 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

    “that is why Aids is more prevalent in your black community…”

    It would be nice Mike, if you knew what you were talking about, so we could engage at a higher level than gutter racism. BTW, what is the reason for hatred & anger being so prevalent in you white community?

    Hey Maggs

    I think polygamy (& probably Zuma’s views on women as expressed in his rape trial) are at the heart of why he is portrayed with his c*ck out.
    But I’m saying politicians must be judged on political stuff, not on how many people they shag / marry. Holding government office doesn’t mean one should be subjected to some higher standard of morality. Parents, priests, Imams & Rabbis yes, but not politicians. Politicians must make laws & enforce policy that takes the country forward, they must stay away from “moral regeneration” & AIDS campaigns.
    So criticize the guy on the way the CJ was appointed (or any of his many other disastrous appointments) criticize him on ecomonic policy or protecting corrupt people, criticize him on his dithering when the nation expects decisiveness etc , but really, his having an over-active libido has fuck-all to do with how we should judge his presidency.

  • Sine

    Jama ka Sijadu says:
    May 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    “Holding government office doesn’t mean one should be subjected to some higher standard of morality.”

    That is precisely what it means! If he does not like it then he must piss off that public office! If he wants to practise polygamy free from public ridicule then he must go to KZN and hold a traditional position there. But then again, those traidional leaders get paid through our taxes so I will still have an opinion on him!

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Jama ka Sijadu
    May 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm


    To the extent that politicians are not “the most likely” suspects when it comes to role-modeling, I concur.

    The laws which will take our country forward will be the ones which politicians feel strongly about – it’s unlikely that they will influence positively, laws which will impact on their own lifestyle.

    Imagine Cabinet (and parliament) for example, voluntarily scrapping “The Handbook”. 😛

    View the debate on the link I posted earlier ( – former Botswana President Festus Mogae explains why he did not push for legislation canning the anti-homosexual laws in that country while he was their President even though he held progressive views.

  • Mike

    @Jama ka Sijadu – clearly the stating of facts which are freely available, is in you culture is deemed to be racisim or “Mulderism”.You mentioned Swaziland, well they have over a 50% infection rate.
    You guys just cannot take straight talk can you.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    LOL @ Minister BMW + 5 Star Hotels + Caviar + Expensive Red Wines!

    I wonder if he thinks ANYONE will take him seriously.

    Nzimande calls for boycott of City Press

    SACP party leader Blade Nzimande has called for a boycott of City Press newspaper as retribution for its refusal to remove from its website the artist Brett Murray’s controversial depiction of President Jacob Zuma with exposed genitalia.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!


    WTF, so it’s ok to offend Africans but not Muslims and Jews???

    The Goodman Gallery told artist Brett Murray it would not be showing one of his work’s in his latest exhibition because it might offend Muslim and Jewish viewers, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday.

  • Scotty

    Politicians must stay away from moral regeneration & aids campaigns …’
    Hello?? Following your logic You’re telling us the minister of health should not get involved in promoting aids awarenness ?
    Why do you lump moral regeneration & aids together? Just asking? We as gay people are quite used to though!

  • Sine

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 13:13 pm

    The painting was directed to one man who is holding a public office which gives him power over all of us in South Africa! Plus he was not being accused. His (sexual) behaviour is well known. How you were offended or how “Africans” should be offended is beyond my understanding! Come on!

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 13:21 pm


    I’m not sure what you mean.

    That Goodman Gallery and Brett Murray are “sensitive” about Jews and Muslims and dismissive over the reaction of many African people in this matter, is disturbing.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Free speech is not an abstraction. It is contextual. We can only hope that Murray has now learned the wisdom of Dr Vice’s wise words:

    “Whites have too long had influence and a public voice; now they should in humility step back from expressing their thoughts”.


  • Sine

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 13:28 pm

    I do not know what was contained in the other painting and I will not speculate on its contents, let alone how it would have amounted to an offence to Muslims and Jews, but this one of Zuma is directed to one man, not African people.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 24, 2012 at 13:28 pm

    Hey Dworky,

    Did you threaten the Goodman Gallery and Murray over the painting which may offend Jews?

    Be honest now – you’re among friends 😛

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    @ Sne & Scotty

    My doctor keeps telling me I should stop smoking, yet confesses to having a pack-a-day habit himself.
    Do I take his advice or model my behaviour on his?

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 13:36 pm


    While it was directed at one man, there are many who feel offended.

    Apart from the many comments here on social networks, on blogs, on online newspaper comment sections – many African people who I spoke with are offended, maybe not correctly so but they are offended.

    Goodman Gallery and Murray must surely be aware of that.

  • Sine

    Jama ka Sijadu says:
    May 24, 2012 at 13:38 pm

    Jacob Zuma is the president of the country! Please dont underscore his influence in your posts. Secondly, him being subjected to a higher standard of morality comes with the office he holds. Are you saying if you were to f*ck around, about your wife, be an alcoholic, etc. you would not in any way influence the behaviour of your kids? Be real!

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 13:40 pm

    “maybe not correctly so but they are offended.”

    They are entitled to so feel bro. After all, we live in a constitutional democracy. However, that does not change the fact that the painting itself was directed to one man. As an aside, many African people feel offended about the two gays on Generations (soapie which screens every week day at 20:00 on SABC 1). However, that does not mean Generations should stop showing the gay couple nor does it mean it is wrong to screen it.

  • Gwebecimele


    Judge Neels Claassen wanted to know why there were racial overtones to the case, when three people who were in support of the painting staying up are black.

    “…But [we] also have three black people saying that that picture is not necessarily to be interpreted as insulting. So it’s black against black. So where does the racial question come in?” asked Claassen.

    Malindi replied: “They are seeing art through the eyes of the elite class. It’s not to say black people don’t have greater appreciation of the arts. Black people also have high levels of appreciation of these things, but it is an elitist approach to where rights in South Africa must be pitched.”

    He said that elitist appreciation was that the most liberal approach must be taken without mediating diversity.

    Murray should have asked himself if he was going to offend anyone when he was making the painting.

    He implored the court to consider the diversity of South Africa and that no background or cultural approach should be regarded as inferior, because there was a “super-class” that believed things should only be seen through their eyes.

    Claassen then asked: “Where is the evidence that black culture is inferior? Because if that is so Mr Malindi, you would not be standing here very eloquently arguing this matter,” said Claassen.”

    Malindi replied that he had been privileged enough to have attended university.

    They moved on to how it would be possible to control the dissemination of the pictures taken of the painting, when an adjournment was suddenly called.

    Twitter feeds of people close to the door Malindi had exited from said he appeared to be upset

  • mhlongo

    Michael and Maggs

    Therefore you agree with me when I say liberalism is intolerant of religion. The “tolerance” that liberalism claims to give religion is an odd form of tolerance. Much like a homophobe claiming to tolerate homosexuals as long as they stay away from him and his family and friends and co-workers and……

    Tolerance qualified is not genuine form of intolerance. The “tolerance” that liberalism claims to give to religion is subject to so many conditions that render it a worthless form of tolerance.

    liberalism cannot take (tolerate) religion as religion wants to be taken, no it just wont it chooses to subject religion to all kinds of burdens and conditions.

  • Gwebecimele

    Supporters,shareholders, voters and other stakeholders will continue to support a leader and overlook shortcomings as long as he delivers on core mandate such as profit, power, service delivery etc. Vague standards such as morals, ethics, independence etc are only there to confuse those who are less informed/blind followers for the benefit of the succession wars.

  • mhlongo

    eeeh sorry, second paragraph, first line meant to say:

    Tolerance qualified is not genuine form of tolerance

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Sine says:
    May 24, 2012 at 14:01 pm

    By way of example: Bill Clinton had affairs, FW de Klerk had an affair (with a married woman whose husband had apparently supported him & his party financially). Yet these two men are widely regarded as effective politicians, who one way or another fulfilled the mandate given by their constituencies. There is actually a list as long as my arm of philandering politicians around the world, who despite their morally suspect personal affairs, have been able to do their jobs properly.

    JZ is utimately the head of government, not the father of the nation. Whilst a certain level of integrity & abiding by the constitution is required, there is no pre-requisite for the president to be monogamous or celibate.
    Our expectation should be for him to run the country well, regardless of what is happening in his personal life.
    Desmond Tutu by comparison is a moral leader & is by definition expected to lead the kind of righteous Christian life that he espouses from the pulpit.

  • Friend

    Proffesional offence seekers, not have job, offence = benefit, Zille said asylmn seekers to scolars, ooh, now deal with the problem that the ANC municipalities can’t, Murrey drew a painting, ooh, now look away from the atrocities that is at the order of the day, beacause if you don’t then you’re racist.

    Honestly now, are these clowns really speaking on behalf of all black people? No, it’s just the beneficiaries of crime, clearly it’s you mr racecard player, system rider, tender winner, matters in own hands taker, womaniser, bribe solicetor, expense abuser, struggle singer, rock thrower who turns a blind eye when serious things goes down and looks desperately for offence somewhere in order to manipulate what had happened in front of many people’s eyes to look like something gosh offensive.

  • Thomas

    Prof If this is true: The Goodman Gallery told artist Brett Murray it would not be showing one of his work’s in his latest exhibition because it might offend Muslim and Jewish viewers, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday.

    Why is the Goodman Gallery using the speech and freedom of expression argument? They are against censuring artists but they censured Murry?

  • Gwebecimele

    @ JKS

    As we speak SA is formulating a piece of legislation which must define a family.
    Should we then have any concerns or expectation from those who will influence/draft this bill or can we just give it to a group on Nuns or polygamists.

  • Vuyo

    Regarding this matter, how does President Jacob Zuma’s righteous indignation square with his reference to some people as snakes? Universally (and not just in terms of African culture) that constitutes an extreme attack on a person. It impairs their dignity and role in society more than any painting could. It implies that they are dishonest, poisonous, generally not to be trusted, etc. Certainly, Zuma was merely exercising his freedom of expression, without let or hindrance from anybody. A few years later we must believe that his dignity has been so impaired that artists must be stoned, etc. At risk of being a purveyor of the genetic fallacy, surely (contextually) the man’s hypocrisy and double standards reinforce the veracity of some of what this painting reflects?

  • Sine

    Jama ka Sijadu says:
    May 24, 2012 at 14:41 pm

    “Bill Clinton had affairs, FW de Klerk had an affair”

    Wow, I guess to you that means Zuma should also have affairs, sleep around with hiv positive women, father kids with different mothers, etc.

    “…have been able to do their jobs properly.”

    Thats exactly the point: he is not capable of doing his job properly! If he was doing his job then people would be more focused on that rather his failures and I would be amongst his ardent supporters. Right now he is failing as the President, man, father, grandfather, etc. Tell me please, what on Earth is our President good at exactly? What has he done right ever since he negotiated the ceasefire between apartheid-supported Inkatha members and ANC members in KZN before the dawn of democracy?!

  • Gwebecimele

    Title of the Green Paper

    Green Paper on Families. Promoting Family Life and Strengthening Families in SA

  • Mike

    @Jama ka Sijadu – so why has he not replaced Menzi Simelani who the court ruled to be unfit for office as he was warned before appointing him.Neither Bill Clinton nor FW De klerk has fathered 27 children indulged in Polygamy and then still continued with “loslappies” all over the place.
    Of course we dont know how many children he fathered in exile in Angola, but lets not forget the allegations levelled against him about his involvement in the deaths of “dissidents” in camp Quattro in Angola that were never tested at the TRC.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Jama ka Sijadu
    May 24, 2012 at 14:41 pm

    “Desmond Tutu by comparison is a moral leader”.

    I have some reservations, based on media reports.

    “As an elder and Christian leader, does he have to wait for a Canadian court order to fulfil his responsibilities as a grandfather?

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Mhlongo

    “Therefore you agree with me when I say liberalism is intolerant of religion”

    No, I disagree. Liberalism is intolerant of attempts by religious devotees to use state mechanisms to impose their views on others who do not share their particular devotion.

    This does not run one way. Gays and lesbians are be deeply offended by some religious leaders (like Errol Naidoo). Atheists are offended by some public manifestations of religion. Yet liberalism demands that gays, lesbians and atheists tolerate what they find personally abominable. A fair deal, I think.

  • Michael Osborne

    are be = may be

  • Gwebecimele

    Dworky this judge is right if 3 BLACK DA supporters or Elites support it then it can’t be racist.

  • Thomas

    Thats exactly the point: he is not capable of doing his job properly! If he was doing his job then people would be more focused on that rather his failures and I would be amongst his ardent supporters. Right now he is failing as the President, man, father, grandfather, etc. Tell me please, what on Earth is our President good at exactly? What has he done right ever since he negotiated the ceasefire between apartheid-supported Inkatha members and ANC members in KZN before the dawn of democracy?!

    Sine says: Please read the General household survey

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 14:28 pm

    Hey Mhlongo,

    “Therefore you agree with me when I say liberalism is intolerant of religion.”

    I neither agree nor disagree – there may well be some proponents of liberalism who will share their views.

    My view is that religion ought not to have a place at all in a civilised world.

    It is more often than not backward, redundant, a lure for unsuspecting and gullible people to part with their money and valuables, retards rather advances human progress – the “good” which is often cited in defence of religion is nearly always a consequence of the bad which it brings in the first place.

  • Khubekileyo

    I have come to the conclusion that it’s impossible for white and black South africans to live together peacefully and harmoniously, the biggest mistake was the killing of Chris Hani and the making of statements such as ‘…south africa belongs to all who live in it whether black or white…’ Horseshit!!!, South Africa belongs to black people only the ANC should have stripped these racists of their wealth and driven them out of this country as soon as they assume power. Wouldn’t you white people have lived better lives in Australia, New Zealand and Europe? Because of you we’ve had to accept (among other things) that there’s nothing wrong with sodomy (hell there’s everything wrong with that shit, ngamanyala lawa), abortion (a 12 year old girl can have abortion without her parents knowing about it, moer maan yikaka leyo), now these racists are saying its ok for a boy (Murray yinkwenkwe nangoku) to depict an old African tamkhulu with his pants down, thats disrepectfull, atleast in African it is. It may have been fine in Russia and in Canada but this is Africa, its unacceptable here. It goes directly against the value of Ubuntu. Have some respect, stop saying respect must be given only where it due. I bet you all support Eminem when he foolishly swears at and disrespects his mother in front of the whole world, well we Africans hate eminem for that and therefore have no particular love for Murray either because of that painting. But the church must stop talking kak, here in Africa we dont stone people to death regardless of their trangressions. Now on a serious note, can anyone of you help my son who has finished his LLB and is looking for a firm where he can do articles. Dont worry he is way smarter than me and gets along well with whitties. If keen call 073 776 7480.

  • Sine

    Thomas says:
    May 24, 2012 at 15:23 pm

    I dont like searching for a needle in a stack of hay. Thats a 156 page document. What exactly would I be looking for in there?

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 14:59 pm


    “Tell me please, what on Earth is our President good at exactly?”

    He’s initiated the International Marketing Council aka Brand South Africa.

    It gets much of its merchandise from India, I am told! 😛

  • Sine


    Another idiot has joined us. I refer you to “Khubekileyo says: May 24, 2012 at 15:36 pm” LOL. Maybe the fact that I absolutely adore Eminem’s music makes me white. Maybe the fact that I dont like Lil’Wayne’s songs with the exception of his collaboration with Eminem in Drop The World and also in No Love, Leather So Soft (with Birdman) and Motivation (with Kelly Rowland) also makes me white. LOL. How dumb.

  • Sine

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 15:39 pm

    LOL. That must be it. Shall we include removing Malema from the ANC? But I doubt it cause he created the monster so he cant get the credit for dealing with it. The law says one cannot benefit from his crime. LOL

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 15:36 pm

    Hey Khubekileyo,

    “South Africa belongs to black people only the ANC should have stripped these racists of their wealth and driven them out of this country as soon as they assume power.”


    Be careful though about what you say.

    Some people may have you speak to their lawyer.

    His name is Advocate Ballem – do you know him?

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Sine says:
    May 24, 2012 at 14:59 pm

    You misunderstand my position – I am not saying he is a great president. I’m saying play the ball & not the man: judge him (& critique / paint him) on how he has done / or hasn’t done his job. Leave what he does with his c*ck out of it.
    Its like some of the people here who disagree with Prof de Vos on some or other issue that he has raised in one of his blogs & instead of sticking to the issue start talking about his homosexuality or whatever, going into some personal attack which ends up having little if anything to do with the actual issue at hand.

  • Sine

    Jama ka Sijadu says:
    May 24, 2012 at 15:54 pm

    The likining to Prof is misplaced because Prof actually does his job at UCT. Zuma does not. Zuma is busy with satisfying his d*ck whilst the rest of the country suffers. If he made his job and not his d*ck a focal point then the rest of us would actually focus on his deeds. Right now we have nothing on his deeds to report on. He is as useless as a condom to a heterosexual couple trying for a baby. Oops, maybe that is not a good example when you consider how many kids he has fathered that we know about so far.

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 15:07 pm

    “I have some reservations, based on media reports.”

    LOL I’m sure the Arch must be tired of cleaning up after Trevor at his age!

  • mhlongo


    “Liberalism is intolerant of attempts by religious devotees to use state mechanisms to impose their views on others who do not share their particular devotion”

    But this is exactly what Liberalism also does, it imposes (admittedly in a subtle and sophisticated way) on others its views such as that one must wear their beliefs lightly ( liberalism never makes this demand on itself) and be willing to reconsider them at the drop of hat.

    “Yet liberalism demands…..”

    Ewe, exactly Michael, this is typical liberalism, making demands on everyone else, setting itself as a standard that everyone must meet. Woe betide those who happen to fail meet the standard, they will be ridiculed as being not open to reason or worse they’ll be cast aside as fanatics.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Jama ka Sijadu
    May 24, 2012 at 15:54 pm


    There’s a huge difference between homophobic goose heads portraying their narrow mindedness and the President of our country waving his flag everywhere and anywhere.

    There’s a direct line between his awful behaviour and his poor leadership.

    I did elsewhere do some battle against a comment that Ferial Haffajee made about Jackson Mthembu’s drunk driving and his making a statement about the ANC’s displeasure over the ‘art” – those are unconnected, even remotely even though Eusebius McKaiser tried desperately to argue differently.

    And he has warned his latest wife (according to some reports) to “keep the door opened” – so there’s more on the way.

    I don’t agree with the view which suggests that the President has a “private life”. Everything which the President of our country does and says is, as I see it, a public matter.

    If for example the president is on a “private” escapade, it’s unlikely that he will be doing so using his private vehicle at his own cost, in the space of his own home, without State Security + chauffeur + everything else which is state sponsored.

    And he is paid to be President 24 x 7!

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Jama ka Sijadu
    May 24, 2012 at 16:22 pm

    Ja, ne JkS,

    I would expect a grandparent with the littlest of sensibilities to take care of their grandchildren.

    Err on the side of caution until it is established that the child is not one of their own.

    This thing of fucking around with the law to try and wriggle out of a fundamental responsibility to a child is disgusting.

    So, as I see it, the oke can go make great speeches at the UN, cry for the people of Sudan, give his soul to make things better all over the universe and more – but I have reservations about his humanity and dignity (until the media reports are established false that is).

  • Mike

    @Kubekileyo – All very well but how were you going to get around the six atomic bombs that the SADF had for this this very eventuality.
    Go and read the book by Lester Venter if you want to see Photographs of them.

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 16:35 pm

    “I would expect a grandparent with the littlest of sensibilities to take care of their grandchildren”

    Agreed, although I think if any fingers are to be pointed, they should be pointed first in the direction of Trevor Tutu, who is in his fifties now & ought to be facing up to his own responsibilities & not relying on his (pensioner) father to pay child support on his behalf!

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 16:25 pm

    ” I don’t agree with the view which suggests that the President has a “private life”.
    So would you say Bill Clinton should have been fired for getting some “head” from an intern (nogal in the Oval Office)?

  • John Roberts

    @Kubekileyo The only conclusion here is that I think your left brain cell concluded that your right brain cell is not functioning.

    So tell me, in African culture, is it disrespectful for a married man to get his friend’s daughter pregnant and sire a bastard out of wedlock ? Or is that OK ?

    Is it disrespectful for a married man to take advantage of a teenage girl and fuck her without a condom knowing she has AIDS ? Or is that OK in your culture ?

    If I personally knew of anyone who did that I would paint a picture of that person with his dick hanging out.

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 16:25 pm

    “There’s a direct line between his awful behaviour and his poor leadership.”

    Agreed. It points to poor judgement & I would add that falling into the “Khwezi” honeytrap should have been the biggest indicator for the ANC back then already re: the lack of foresight of their chosen one.

    Still, there are many other aspects of Zuma’s presidency, (job related & not personal attack) that an artist could lampoon / criticize without resorting to this below-the-belt sort of tactic.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Jama ka Sijadu
    May 24, 2012 at 17:24 pm

    Hey JkS,

    “falling into the ‘Khwezi’ honeytrap”

    There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that there was a honey trap – suggesting that may well be as awful as the remarks that Malema made about a rape victim not asking for breakfast and taxi fare.

    Anyway – by Zuma’s own admission there was nothing which she did which indicated that she invited or even wanted to become intimate with her.

    Why then is her testimony less valid than hers?

    p.s. Re Clinton – lots happened to him around that saga – see here

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!
  • Michael Osborne

    @ Mhlongo

    “[Liberalism] imposes (admittedly in a subtle and sophisticated way) on others its views such as that one must wear their beliefs lightly ( liberalism never makes this demand on itself)”

    Mhlongo, you have put your finger on the contradiction that lies at the heart of liberalism. Ultimately liberalism, like any other ideology, cannot be founded on first principles. It is founded, as I suggest above, on historical experience. But let me ask you this: What alternative would you suggest?

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    Silent Knight?

    ‘Spear’ artist silent as battle rages on

    Controversial artist Brett Murray on Thursday refused to comment on his artwork that led to widespread anger, and a subsequent court action by a “hurt” President Jacob Zuma.

  • malcolm

    your silly schoolboy collage speaks volumes about you and your preconceptions, ah, yes definitively and opens as they say a can of prejudicial worms. pity i cant expand as this stream is so uber-congested as it will get lost. but if you need some art theory plus practical studio art lessons i can help you. pray? why did you not in you silly collage place a photo of your genitals over the so-called offensive parts? why just your beaming out of genre visage? old boy?

  • Pierre De Vos

    malcolm thanks for the offer. As to your question, I would have thought it obvious. As the painting does not include a photo of the President’s genitals (it is a fiction after all), placing photo of my own genitals on the pic would have changed the dynamic of the piece in ways not relevant to the points I was trying to make. But maybe you are not so good at distinguishing between a work of art and fact. May I suggest you recall your art history lessons about Magritte, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” and all that.

  • Scotty


    “…My doctor keeps telling me I should stop smoking…yet confesses to having a pack-a-day habit himself. Do I take his advice or model my behaviour on his…”

    Jama, you’re free to make your own decision on his “advice” and your own health. No problemo.
    However, when it involves affecting the health of someone else, as in the case of following the JZ example of condom-free sex, then I think there’s a big problem. Don’t you?

    @ Khubekileyo
    “…I have come to the conclusion that it’s impossible for white and black South africans to live together peacefully and harmoniously…”

    GOOD that you let this all out, and have the freedom to do so in this country. I too was shocked to the core at Chris Hani’s death. It was terrible. A terrible loss to SA. I thought it was really the end. It was only some critical strong leadership from Tokyo Sexwale and the fact that a white woman witness came forward quickly that defused that situation, somewhat. The funeral, and the murder of people aftwerwards were shocking. I will never forget this.

    “…only the ANC should have stripped these racists of their wealth and driven them out of this country as soon as they assume power….”

    You know, I have the same feelings about a lot of people in SA. A lot of super rich & not so rich white ignorant & awful people whom I’ve had to “tolerate” in my life. Trouble is, I get the same feelings about some wealthy and powerful people who abuse their positions of power who aren’t white.

    “…. Because of you we’ve had to accept (among other things) that there’s nothing wrong with sodomy….”

    Er, um, did bother to see my post earlier? Happens to be a lot of non-white people who “ that shit too..”. And what makes you think sodomy is practised only by gay people? Have you surfed the web recently. Try it out.

    “…Now on a serious note, can anyone of you help my son who has finished his LLB and is looking for a firm …”
    Not a lawyer I’m afraid, but if I see or hear from someone, I’ll post it. I really wish him the best, whether he likes whities or not.


    “…My view is that religion ought not to have a place at all in a civilised world…”

    Whoa! Goodness me, I wouldn’t want to live in your “civilised world”! We have a great deal to learn from traditional cultures, their religions, their rituals, their art, dance, music, myths, and their closer relationship to death, dying and the dead. Yet we have to speak up & protest when these any aspects of these traditions promote and encourage violence and/or violate the basic human rights of people, minorities, artists, jews, gays etc. To add, I know lots of gay couples that go to church, yes even the catholic church! They openly show their affection with each other in the church community. If other people have a problem with it then that’s their problem.

    @ the polygamy detractors.
    I have no problem with polygamy in itself. Its only when its abused by people with power over others (financial, sexual, family/community pressure etc…). Unfortunately thats often the case in a patriarchial society that JZ loves to emulate. My proposal is that alternative positive examples of polygamy be shown to the world. Roll on the day when a group of traditional living Zulu men marry each other freely to live in a polygamous supporting relationship together and are embraced by the Zulu king/queen as role models of traditional values! Ditto a group of Zulu women etc.. You, know its all legal under this wonderful consititution we have :-)

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go!

    May 24, 2012 at 21:06 pm

    Hey Scotty,

    “Whoa! Goodness me, I wouldn’t want to live in your “civilised world”!”


  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs Naidu – ABZ – Zuma must go! says:
    May 24, 2012 at 18:36 pm

    If it is true he whored himself….

  • malcolm

    dear pierre, silly is as silly does. nes pa, and any way magritte as you might remember placed an apple over his (we presume it was his face) over a face in one of his famous paintings, but back to your not so obvious point. murray’s painting neither includes (as you would have it) a photo, qua photo of the presidents face or genitals. i would suggest as a first year you might take this advice, rework the piece (your appropriated po-mo frippery, so sweetly de rigueur … you neophyte) and put you money where your mouth is, go the whole hog. the only fact i am interested in is the fact that you have been stimulated to express yourself as an artist, and that’s good, old boy.

  • Scotty

    “Whoa! Goodness me, I wouldn’t want to live in your “civilised world”!”

    No one is forcing you 😀 😀
    As an exercise, If you haven’t already, spend a bit of time reading through the Bill of Rights and outline any aspect I might have violated…

    Have a nice evening!

  • Brett Nortje

    Looks like Mdluli’s doing a Winnie.

    Hey, does this dumbass know they both work for us?

    Mdluli-skorsing ‘is tussen werkgewer en werknemer’
    2012-05-24 19:46

    Johannesburg – Die voormalige hoof van die polisie se misdaadintelligensie-eenheid, Richard Mdluli, is steeds by die werk en ‘n moontlike skorsing is ‘n kwessie “tussen werkgewer en werknemer”, het brig. Lindela Mashigo, nasionale polisiewoordvoerder, Donderdag gesê.

    Vroeër vandeesweek wou pres. Jacob Zuma nie kommentaar lewer oor die meriete van ‘n vroeëre besluit om Mdluli weer aan te stel in die SAPD nie. Hy het in die Nasionale Vergadering gesê wetstoepassingsagentskappe “gaan voort soos hul moet”.

    “Hy [Mdluli] is steeds in die diens,” het Mashigo gesê.

    “Hy werk hier. Daar was nog geen skorsing nie. Dit is ‘n kwessie tussen werkgewer en werknemer.”

    Zuma is deur die DA se parlementêre leier, Lindiwe Mazibuko, gevra of hy ingelig is oor al die oorwegings wat gelei het tot die besluit om Mdluli weer aan te stel.

    Hy is ook gevra om sy standpunt te stel oor of die oorwegings “rasioneel” was en of Mdluli aan al die vereistes voldoen vir die uitvoer van pligte in sy pos.

    In sy antwoord het Zuma gesê die minister van polisie, Nathi Mthethwa, het ‘n taakspan saamgestel om sommige aspekte van hierdie kwessie te ondersoek, terwyl die inspekteur-generaal van intelligensie ook die aspekte wat binne haar mandaat is ondersoek.

    Die aanwysings, skorsings, heraanstellings, verplasings en verskuiwing van personeel in regeringsdepartemente is egter die verantwoordelikheid van daardie departemente “en nie van die president nie”.

    Daar is regeringsprosedures in plek om om te gaan met kwessies van prestasie binne departemente.

    Die president bestuur nie die prestasie van beamptes binne regeringsdepartemente nie, het Zuma gesê.

    Mdluli is aanvanklik in 2011 geskors toe hy in hegtenis geneem is weens bewerings van bedrog en moord, maar daardie skorsing is in Maart vanjaar opgehef.

    Mthethwa het op 9 Mei aangekondig dat Mdluli geskuif sal word van misdaadintelligensie na ‘n pos in die kantoor van die adjunk-nasionale polisiekommissaris, Fanni Masemola.

    Mashigo wou nie Maandag bevestig of die waarnemende polisiehoof, Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, se kantoor ‘n kennisgewing onderteken het om Mdluli te skors nie.

    “As iemand vir hom kennisgewing van voorneme om te skors gegee is, is dit ‘n interne kwessie,” het Mashigo gesê.

    “As en wanneer iemand geskors word, kan ek dit aan die publiek bekend maak,” het hy bygevoeg.

    Mkhwanazi het vroeër aan SABC radionuus gesê: “Ek het ‘n kennisgewing van skorsing op Sondag [13 Mei] onderteken, maar buiten dit is ek nie seker… of dit afgelewer is en wat die nuutste daaroor is nie.”

    Mdluli het Vrydag aan die openbare uitsaaier gesê hy het nie ‘n kennisgewing van skorsing gekry nie.

    Mkhwanazi het gesê dit is “’n adjunk-nasionale kommissaris” se plig om met Mdluli te kommunikeer.

    – Volg Nuus24 op Twitter

    – SAPA

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbender

    @ Malcolm

    “silly is as silly does”

    Are you perchance a WHITIST?

  • ozoneblue

    May 24, 2012 at 16:24 pm

    “But this is exactly what Liberalism also does, it imposes (admittedly in a subtle and sophisticated way) on others its views such as that one must wear their beliefs lightly ( liberalism never makes this demand on itself) and be willing to reconsider them at the drop of hat.”

    In short liberalism has become the neo-“White Man’s Burden”. Therefore the human gods governing the Coalition of the Willing shall bring Democracy to the uncivilised world with cluster bombs and killer drones raining from the skies.

  • Brett Nortje

    EDITORIAL: Alerts on labour now Zuma’s test
    To grow employment, unions and the state need to reach a new deal based on the reality on the ground

    Published: 2012/05/25 07:23:28 AM

    AN ARTICLE on these pages by Adcorp labour market analyst Loane Sharp makes some very telling points about the state of SA’s labour relations system. These include, first, the fact that SA lost twice as many working days due to strikes last year than it did during the height of rolling mass action against apartheid in the late 1980s. Second, it points to the fact that labour productivity has fallen to its lowest point in 40 years. And third, that labour’s share of national income is at a 50-year low.

    These developments are some of the most crucial in the short history of our democracy. The warnings of critics are turning into the facts of historians. No longer is this catastrophe the preserve of political banter; it is now upon us as a fact. It is perhaps the biggest test of President Jacob Zuma ’s government.

    What happened to make SA’s labour relations system so dysfunctional?

    When the Labour Relations Act was introduced, it was heralded — not only by the trade union movement but also by labour lawyers and some businessmen — as progressive and forward-looking. But it also had a whole range of unintended consequences. It was passed in 1995, in the full flush of SA’s new constitutional order, at a time when trade unions were the hero of the hour, helping to steer SA towards democracy and helping the African National Congress (ANC) to win a landslide victory. It seemed bizarre at the time that trade unions could abuse these hard-won rights, since, notionally, employers had all the power.

    The legislation took a very facilitative view of the rights to unionise and to strike, justified by the fact that these rights were protected in the constitution. Yet, its interpretation of those rights was too wide, so much so that it provides legal strikes with protection that many other jurisdictions have circumscribed many years ago.

    For example, the legislation includes the right to a closed-shop arrangement, in which the employer is prevented from employing workers who are not members of a union. Also, it specifically states that dismissing an employee who refuses to be part of the closed shop is not to be considered an unfair labour practice. The legislation also includes such agreements as “agency shop” laws, which compel workers to pay union membership fees even if they don’t belong to a union, and allows the application of wage agreements to the whole industry, even to those who were not party to wage negotiations. And, most crucially, it does not require secret strike ballots, leaving it to unions to decide.

    In ordinary circumstances, this strike-facilitative legislation might not have been overly onerous. But then the world changed. The gradual effects of the end of the Cold War meant that countries with huge populations such as Russia, China and India entered meaningfully into the global economy, adding 2-billion or more people to the global labour pool. This served to ruthlessly expose SA’s poorly educated and unproductive workforce.

    South African business responded in the only way it could. It has rapidly mechanised where it was able to, and, sadly, some businesses closed. A movement toward service industries has ameliorated the overall effect. But the net result is that labour absorption is now poor.

    Ironically, the facilitative labour law hasn’t helped trade unions all that much either, judging by membership levels. Overall union membership has been more or less static in the past decade. But this disguises a huge swing from the private to the public sector. More recently, other problems are emerging, such as competitive unionism, a good example of which was the recent strike at Impala Platinum.

    There is good reason to be cynical about whether this problem can be resolved. The ANC and its leaders are now so dependent on unions for electoral support, they dare not challenge them. Yet, to grow employment, unions and the state need to reach a new deal based on the reality on the ground. That is the challenge that must be met.

    LOANE SHARP: SA’s trade unions the biggest obstacle to job creation
    ‘South African Democratic Teachers Union (may be) dumbing down SA’s youth deliberately to prevent them from competing with established workers’

    Published: 2012/05/25 07:16:36 AM

    SA’s labour market is a shambles. About 8,5-million people are out of work or underemployed. Last year, SA lost double the number of working days due to strikes than at the height of rolling mass action against apartheid. This year, labour productivity fell to the lowest level in 40 years.

    Labour’s share of national income is at a 50-year low. Over the past three years, wages have risen by 11,5% a year on average — treble the consumer inflation rate over the period. Growing numbers of employers are using automation, mechanisation and other labour-saving methods as an alternative to labour, with the result that the economy’s labour intensity has fallen sharply — by 8,1% in the past three years alone. It now takes 36,2% fewer workers to produce a given unit of output than it did in 1960.

    According to the World Economic Forum, some aspects of South African labour laws are the most restrictive in the world. The International Monetary Fund believes aspects of these laws need to be relaxed, and even the drafters of the 1995 Labour Relations Act have called for reforms. No matter how you look at it, we can surely all agree that labour market outcomes — including the most important, unemployment — demand an urgent rethink of the labour environment.

    One thing is certain: we will not get the necessary rethink. Employed people, at 13,5-million, outnumber unemployed people, 8,5-million, by a ratio of nearly 2: 1. There is a great deal of stealth around membership figures for African National Congress (ANC)-aligned organisations, but the most credible figures suggest the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has 1,2 -million members and the ANC Youth League 360000 members — a ratio of more than 3: 1.

    The voting calculus — if we assume that the circuitous path of democracy in SA derives its ultimate direction from the voting booth — suggests that established workers will trump the unemployed. Minimum wages, which are supposedly intended to maintain a living wage for workers, are in fact designed to keep young and inexperienced job-seekers out of the workplace.

    Businesses respond to minimum wages by retaining the workers (mostly older, trained and experienced workers) whose productivity justifies the minimum wage, and retrench the rest.

    Opposition to the youth wage subsidy has the same object, namely keeping young people out of work. Young people, having neither practical skills nor prior work experience nor on-the-job knowledge to offer employers, can only compete by offering themselves to employers at lower wages, which in turn tends to lower wages for all workers. Trade unions will not tolerate this.

    Wage subsidies have existed since the 1950s in 45 countries around the world, and Cosatu’s fears have not been realised in any of these countries in any period. The prominence given to Cosatu’s idle conjectures is a measure of the dominance of its sheer membership numbers in the ANC’s electoral reckoning. It is high time that we recognise that Cosatu is the biggest single impediment to job creation in SA.

    A further impediment to the efficient functioning of SA’s labour market is the government education system. The cost of producing a matriculant in th is system, excluding parental contributions in the form of school fees, is now nearly half a million rand — way higher than the equivalent in private education. This is largely the result of relentless increases in teachers’ and bureaucrats’ wages, but the cost is dispersed and practically invisible since it is largely paid by the taxpayer and non-transparently reported.

    Teachers’ and bureaucrats’ salary gains have been the work of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), a Cosatu affiliate with 247000 members out of 386000 teachers, or a unionisation rate of 64%. And while salaries have been rising in government schools, outcomes have been deteriorating. Sadtu is the prime mover in this, too — it has consistently vetoed the government’s proposal to use learner performance as a basis for evaluating teacher performance, and has persistently refused to allow any performance agreements at all.

    SA spends 6% of gross domestic product on education, more than Canada, France, or the UK. But the results are appalling. There is a significant negative correlation between education spending per learner and literacy and numeracy performance, meaning that money is being substantially wasted.

    For those who enjoy a good conspiracy theory, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Sadtu is deliberately dumbing down SA’s youth to prevent them from competing with established workers. The rising cost and deteriorating quality of government education is the biggest single obstacle to long-term equality of opportunity and income between the races: SA’s government schools keep black kids poor, and a lot of people seem to want to keep it that way.

    We may summarise as follows: teachers’ unions’ influence over government schools makes black kids unemployable, and trade unions keep black youth who by some miracle become employable out of work. It is high time, in other words, to crush the power of the trade union movement.

    We can do so in several practical ways, all of which are consistent with article 23,1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the so-called “right to work”:
    • repeal the “closed shop” laws that compel job-seekers to join a trade union as a precondition for obtaining a job;
    • repeal the “agency shop” laws that compel workers to pay union membership fees whether they belong to a union or not;
    • require that trade unions ballot their members ahead of a strike, and further require that a two-thirds majority votes in favour of a strike;
    • prohibit open ballots and require secret ballots: open ballots lead to intimidation of union members who vote against a strike;
    • prohibit employers’ collection of trade union dues on trade unions’ behalf;
    • prohibit the automatic extension of bargaining council agreements to entire industries or sectors, so that these agreements are voluntary;
    • on a nationwide basis, place an upper limit on wage settlements so that wage increases may not exceed labour’s marginal nominal productivity growth; and
    • make unions liable for the loss of earnings that occurs during work stoppages.

    Although, as predicted earlier, there will be no rethink of SA ’s labour laws, this would be an opportune time to reassess trade union regulations, because trade unions, viewed as economic entities, have suffered two major setbacks in recent years.

    First, union membership has fallen since official records began in 2006, from 3,5-million to 3,3-million members, a loss of 129424 members representing membership dues of R95773760 a year. Second, trade union members’ participation in strikes has been low (on average since 2006, just 1,4% of union members turned out for strike action) and highly variable (ranging from 0%-8,8%, depending on the goals, duration and time of year of individual strikes).

    This opportunity to smash the unions and enhance the economy’s long-term job-creatingpotential will be lost, for entirely political reasons. Keeping some of the most senior politicians in power and, by implication, out of jail, means that unholy alliances will be made. The clamour for greater disbursement of taxpayer resources means that populist causes and contradictory promises will grow unchecked, as will the disillusionment that follows. A clumsy and haphazard equilibrium will stay in place until the unemployed outweigh the employed in political calculations, which will occur only in about 20 years’ time, given current rates of population, labour force and employment growth.

    We can only hope, in the meantime, that populism, youth radicalism, xenophobic violence, tribalism and service delivery protests — all of which are ultimately manifestations of joblessness — do not erupt into an uncontrollable conflagration.
    • Sharp is a labour economist with Adcorp

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ OB

    “Therefore the human gods governing the Coalition of the Willing shall bring Democracy to the uncivilised world with cluster bombs”

    OB is right. I have always suspected John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell of being carpet-bombers at heart. That is why I urge the recovery of the ancient African tradition of UBUNTU, which would not have sanctioned a Dresden, let alone a Nagasaki!


  • Scotty
  • Brett Nortje

    Another vignette of the New South Africa

    ‘Jy moet lekker doedoe, ou seun’

    2012-05-26 00:01
    Buks Viljoen en Gerhard Pretorius

    Delmas. – “Toemaar, Oupa sal sorg dat jy nie koud kry nie.”

    So het lt.kol. Anton Crafford, die polisie se forensiese deskundige wat die moordtoneel ondersoek het waar die vyf maande oue Wiehan Botes en Margrietha de Goede (66), sy dagmoeder, vermoor is, gesê toe hy die piepklein lykie in ’n blou kombersie toegedraai het.

    “Ek het in my 36 jaar as polisieman derduisende misdaadtonele hanteer en net soveel lyke gesien. Maar Wiehan se voorval het my diep geraak.

    “Ek het self ’n twee jaar oue kleinkind. Ek kon net eenvoudig nie dat iemand vreemds sy lykie uit die huis verwyder nie.” Hiermee bedoel hy dat hy toe reeds met die ouers gepraat het en ’n band met hulle opgebou het.

    Crafford het gister aan Beeld vertel hoe hy, nadat die moordtoneel deurgewerk is, Wiehan se lykie in die kombers toegedraai het.

    “Ek het hom met sy magie teen my bors styf vasgedruk en self na die lykwa geneem,” vertel hy.

    Crafford het sy kollegas versoek om Wiehan se ouers, Rita en Wiets, buite sig te hou toe hy die lykie lykwa toe dra.

    “Jy moet lekker doedoe, ou seuntjie,” het hy gesê toe hy Wiehan in die lykwa neerlê.

    “Dis maar my manier om my laaste eerbetoon aan die bulletjie te gee.”

    Andries Visser (33), pa van Reane (18 maande), wat die aanval oorleef het, het gister gesê: “Ons dank die Heer dat hy ons kind gespaar het.”

    Visser het aan Beeld gesê sy gesin en vrou, Loraine (35), is nie nou van belang nie, maar eerder Rita en Wiets Botes wat hul enigste kind verloor het.

    Dié moorde het die aandag van die polisie op die hoogste vlak getrek en lede van die polisie se eenheid teen georganiseerde misdaad help ook met die ondersoek. Alle aanduidings is dat De Goede eerste vermoor is en daarna die baba.

    Beeld het van ’n vertroulike bron verneem dat die hoofverdagte in die saak ’n tuinwerker is wat vir De Goede gewerk het.

    Mike Bolhuis, ’n private ondersoeker, het bevestig dat daar forensiese leidrade op die toneel gevind is wat die tuinwerker moontlik met die moord verbind. Volgens Bolhuis het die tuinwerker nie by ’n ander huis opgedaag waar hy ook werk nie en hy glo dié man vlug vir die polisie.

    “Die tuinwerker is al voorheen gearresteer, maar weens die sensitiwiteit van die ondersoek kan daar nie nou bekend gemaak word vir wat nie,” het Bolhuis gesê.

    Bolhuis en sy span ondersoekers vermoed steeds dat die motief vir die moord ’n geld­dis­puut en die roof van haar selfoon en juwele was.

    Kol. Leonard Hlathi, polisiewoordvoerder in Mpumalanga, het gesê die polisie distansieer hulself van Bolhuis se uitlatings.

    “Julle weet ons bespreek nie voortgesette ondersoeke met die media nie. As ons ’n verdagte aangekeer het, sal ons dit bekend maak,” het Hlathi gesê.

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  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Origin Keygan

    “The site loading velocity is incredible.”

    Origin, what are you on about? Speakly plainly, not in obscure metaphor!

  • Brett Nortje

    Shhhh, Dworky!

    That might be Origin Hoskins, the guy who should have fired Pieter De Villiers’ silly ass long before the world cup.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ! – Zuma must go! (

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 5, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Hey Dworky,

    Maybe Origin Guy is speaking in code – “Zuma’s SPEAR loading velocity is incredible”!


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