Relax; parity with Zim is years away. The Western chattering classes were always enthusistic about Africans governing Africa and must be pleased about being on glide slope and centreline. Brother Jacob looks eminently qualified.
Most places not keen on old dribblers such as myself, Mr Tin. Don't hold anything but SA passport so pretty much stuck here. Just have to vasbyt and make it work I guess. We can only hope the lessons of Zim were noted but I'm not holding my breath....
07 Apr 2009 Showing their true colours Mail & Guardian, Jhb
Songezo Zibi works for a mining and resources company. He writes in his personal capacity
When a small-time Eastern Cape politician with aspirations for election to the local city council was arrested and charged with rape, his community showed him exactly how it felt about the situation. It overwhelmingly elected him in the recent municipal by-elections.
In the same week a friend related how another politician, who completed a stint in prison a few years ago for fraud, was mobbed by supporters at Cape Town airport. It was not just the few who perhaps knew him personally, but throngs of ordinary people. That politician is now contesting the election too, and I have no doubt that he will make it to Parliament, just like the other convicted criminals at the top of various political parties' lists submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission.
Given the cult hero status some of our criminally convicted politicians enjoy, it is safe to conclude that most of us, at least, think there is nothing wrong with putting criminals and other questionable people in positions of power.
How does this happen?
First, it is clear that, while most of us knew that we did not want apartheid, we never understood the meaning of the democracy that replaced it. We failed to grasp the deep implications of our vote and the responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy.
Unlike countries with democracies that have been tested by difficult events over time, ours is very young and has not reached the point where we ask why things went so wrong. That explains why, when the institutions meant to safeguard our democracy and the wellbeing of its people performing their intended functions, they are ignored, altered or removed completely, and most citizens do not make the connection between these actions and their vote at election time.
We have such a poor grasp of the power of the vote that we continually leave it to the judiciary and the fourth estate to hold our political leaders accountable. Our ignorance creates such a huge gap between these institutions and ourselves that we unwittingly isolate them, giving politicians the space to tamper with and intimidate them to the point of ineffectiveness. In such an environment it is easy for the unfit to rise to prominence, because the very norms and systems meant to weed them out have been rendered ineffective.
Second, we have lost touch with our own traditional values and history, where wisdom and moral standing were the hallmarks of leadership. These have always been essential because, for the most part, leaders are supposed to represent what is good about any society and sometimes make the difficult choices that set their communities on the right path, often at a cost to themselves. We have deluded ourselves into believing that anyone who promises to help the poor is inherently fit to represent us. The barometer we have, at the very least, is the history of those who make this claim, and the benefit of the doubt should always go to those who have never compromised themselves. Because we no longer know our own values, however, we almost always do the opposite. That is why we have a man accused of rape being elected to a city council and convicted fraudsters being so popular they present an unpleasant dilemma for their political parties.
This combination of ignorance about the meaning of democracy and its institutions, and the erosion of the values that keep our traditional institutions and social order intact, is lethal for the long-term survival of our democracy. It is only when the unworthy individuals we undeservedly award the mantle of leadership have failed us to the point of destruction that we will start asking questions about where our country went so wrong. Sadly, by that time, the damage will have been done, a lot of lives altered and the destiny of our country irrevocably changed.
We cannot expect progress and global respect when those we choose to lead us are unburdened by integrity and respect neither us nor the institutions they aspire to lead. As they say, rubbish in -- rubbish out. When we finally have had enough of that rubbish, at whatever the cost will be, I hope we will have the humility to link the dots of responsibility all the way past the politicians to the ballot papers we used to vote them into power. It will be our fault, not theirs.
Political leaders are only as good as the aspirations of the voters who elect them. If we are not a corrupt, dishonest society that aspires to inhabit the gutter, then will somebody please tell me why we continue to choose the corrupt and the dishonest to lead us?
Understanding South African law via the NPA
Mike Trapido is a specialist criminal attorney, journalist and political commentator. He was sports editor at Supersport under producer David Blood. He is currently writing his first book on South African Rugby for the South African Rugby Legends Association.
With all the pro-and-anti NPA articles doing the rounds I thought it best to give you lot some understanding of how the law works in South Africa and what is considered so trivial that we need hardly bother following up on it. So gather round the heath (hearth? — that thing that blows smoke as long as you keep fuelling it) light up your favourite Colombian poison (if you can’t get any just get hold of the NPA or SAA, they know the top guys — the mules are the ones they arrest to bolster the stats so that they can pretend to be doing something — and always have tons lying around) and let’s try figure out what is or isn’t a crime.
Murder? — Well if you blow away say Kebble or anyone else that those in charge of “National Insecurity” don’t particularly fancy you’ll be given a Section 204 indemnity from prosecution. NB if you are some poor moron from a township or backstreets of a city then it’s a crime. So it’s a crime if you’re poor. Therefore before killing anyone check your bank balance.
Theft? — If a judge from the Eastern Cape says that members of local government and their family stole billions and nobody gives a flying toss what does that suggest to you? If billions disappear on arms deals, Oilgate, Travelgate, Zimbabwe and everything else and nobody even blinks what does that say to you? It says that if you are Dave working at Checkers and you steal a tin of pilchards to feed your family then YOU are a threat to National Security but if you steal this country blind then you are worth being carried aloft to prison, medical parole and anything you get charged with will be dropped. Like murder therefore theft is not a problem being poor is the real crime so don’t let our courageous NPA catch you without means. Do you think Hofmeyr’s got all day to waste on poor scum like you?
Corruption? — Ha ha ha ha ha … no but seriously folks.
Rape — Yes, but only if you can get the only people who actually deal with rapists effectively in South Africa. I know the taxi drivers hands are full right now but as soon as they are freed up feel free to approach them. The police? Ha ha ha ha … no but seriously folks.
Contempt of court? — Hlophe, Heath, Motata … let’s put it this way if you actually believe that South Africa has courts of law or equity then you have a complete defence. Just make sure that you are examined by 3 psychiatrists. Phone Schabir I’m sure those guys will say anything and become psychiatrists if you want them to but remember — poverty is a crime! Don’t come crying to me if you can’t pay for “top” advice.
Prostitution? — Well let’s see you screw an entire country and give the money to the pimps while the rest starve all the while being told how much these elitist fat slobs care about you then, nope, unless they change the law prostitution is not a crime.
Armed Robbery? — Impossible there isn’t anything left to steal. Do you have any money? No? Well there you go then you will do 15 years for Armed Poverty.
**If any of the NPA, judges or other pillars of our society want to write in and tell me I’m making light of crime then may I just point out that the joke that used to be our criminal justice system and judiciary can’t be trivialised. It’s just too pathetic to be considered of sufficient substance to be trivialised. Maybe if you use some of the wealth we used to have you can visit Somalia and Zimbabwe and learn how to upgrade our pathetic system. Right now the Taliban and their zero tolerance on crime is highly appealing to me. At least their Mullahs don’t get carried shoulder high to prison, made a national hero after conviction for corruption and get the brains (in whom we can never) trust to try and sell the garbage the people of this country are asked to buy.
**NB Evidence of a crime or basis for prosecuting crime — Huh?
**Transparency and disclosure — Huh?
NPA, Judiciary and Police force shall mean those instruments of government, ruling party or wealthy paid for by the moro … citizens and employed or utilised solely for the benefit of the government, ruling party or wealthy.
What about the taxpayers? — Huh?
Crime Statistics? — Huh?
Kidnapping? — Not yet, we have a commission in Somalia learning how to do this and piracy.
HOW DO WE SOLVE CRIME? — Same as always convene commissions who charge a fortune resolve nothing and get outraged if they are expected to actually do any work. Most importantly ignore their findings — if any — and do what suits the wealthy and political expedient.
Just to end with an apology — I really am sorry that we have the lamest most pathetic excuse for a criminal justice system on the planet right now.
See I can be so so so sorry … maybe I’m getting in touch with my feminine side … becoming an Mpshe.
ANC leader Jacob Zuma has blasted the constitutional court and criticised the conduct of other judges in the country's courts.
In an exclusive interview with Independent Newspapers on Wednesday in Durban, Zuma said his presidency would seek to make changes to the constitutional court. He made shocking remarks about the constitutional court judges.
09 April 2009 Cops probe threat to Zille Esther Lewis; Bronwynne Jooste (Cape Argus)
DA Leader and Cape Town mayor Helen Zille has received three bomb threats in the past two months, and now the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association has warned her to back off ANC president Jacob Zuma or "face the consequences".
Zille responded that she was not afraid of political threats. She had "a job to do to call the ruling party to account and expose corruption", and she would continue to do so.
Zille's spokesman, Robert MacDonald, confirmed that the civic centre had been evacuated three times in the past two months after bomb threats to the mayor's office. The most recent incident was six weeks ago.
Cape Town Central police spokesman Superintendent Randall Stoffels said they were investigating the threats. No arrests had been made yet.
Then came the threat from the MK veterans yesterday. This was after Zille filed an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court on Monday for a review of the decision of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to drop charges against Zuma.
Labelling her behaviour disrespectful, they warned her to abandon her pursuit of Zuma. "Attempting to drag our president back to court is nothing less than a declaration of war." They added that they were "prepared to take up arms… in defence of our democracy and our president".
Zille said she received threats "now and again" related to a range of issues.
"Now it is the matter of us taking a stand against the NPA's farcical ruling. But we have a job to do to call the ruling party to account and to expose corruption, and we will continue doing our job," she said.
MacDonald, commenting on whether security at the civic centre would be tightened, said: "There is already a good standard of security at the mayor's office. We are letting the police continue with their investigation."
Zille said the MK veterans' statement could be regarded as a personal threat, and she would pass it on to her lawyers.
Desmond Stevens, spokesman for the MK veterans, said that if Zille did not stop, one of their options would be to take to the streets. Members were also urged to stop Zille at the polls on election day.
Questioned on the reference to taking up arms, Stevens denied that the language in the statement suggested a violent response.
But Zille said: "If the MK veterans say it is not violent to threaten to take up arms, they use words in the same way as (ANC Youth League president) Julius Malema does. He said he would take up arms and kill for Jacob Zuma, and this is effectively what the MK veterans are saying as well.
"We are a democracy and threatening to take up arms is illegal and unconstitutional, and constitutes intimidation."
Stevens accused Zille of harbouring an "irrational hatred" for Zuma, but Zille said it had nothing to do with her or the ANC president personally. "This has to do with defending the principle of equality before the law, and the independence of state institutions."
If the matter was not pursued, South Africa, under the ANC, would "descend from corruption to a criminal state", with the poor majority getting poorer, as had happened in Zimbabwe.
Actually it's a more real place than other Oz cities (not that I've been to many). Their eccentrics are genuinely strange rather than a bunch of arty posers. They'll wander around looking like they just got up because they just have rather than trying for "The Look" in front of a mirror for an hour every morning.
The ANC has been getting rid of those they regard as not being on their side and replacing them with cronies (incompetent and corrupt) in all state organs in order to keep a firm hold on power. Even that is not enough for the lunatic in charge.
Another step closer to a Zim scenario. Where are those who campaigned for justice in the past? Is there no longer a need for it?
South Africa: Zuma Questions Constitution John Allen 9 April 2009
Cape Town — Two weeks before national elections in which the ruling African National Congress is being challenged for the first time by an opposition party formed from within its ranks, the party's leader, Jacob Zuma, has questioned the basis of South Africa's constitutional order.
In an interview with one of the country's leading political journalists, Zuma hinted that he believed judges ought to be brought under the authority of other branches of government. South Africa's Constitution – hailed as one of the world's best when it was adopted in 1996 – makes its Constitutional Court the final arbiter of the rights of South Africans.
< According to Moshoeshoe Monare, political editor of South Africa's Independent newspaper group, Zuma said in the interview on Wednesday: "If I sit here and I look at a chief justice of the Constitutional Court [South Africa's top judicial officer], you know, that is the ultimate authority, which I think we need to look at it because I don't think we should have people who are almost like God in a democracy... Why are they not human beings?"
He added: "Because... you can have a judge of whatever level making a judgment (and) other judges turning it and saying it was wrong. (This) just tells you they are not necessarily close to God. And therefore we have to look at it in a democratic setting; how do you avoid that?"
Zuma is on course to become South Africa's next president after elections on April 22. In recent months he and his supporters have attacked judges – including those of the Constitutional Court – who have ruled against him in his ongoing struggle to beat corruption charges.
The Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary from the executive. Zuma will have the power to choose the country's next chief justice and deputy chief justice but when he appoints replacements for the nine other judges of the Constitutional Court, he has to choose from a list compiled by a broadly-based Judicial Service Commission. (In the case of the top two appointments he has only to consult the commission and leaders of political parties in Parliament.)
Amending the constitution would require a two-thirds majority in Parliament. The ANC had such a majority in the last Parliament but opposition parties hope to end it in the forthcoming election. Opinion polls indicate that although no opposition party can hope to replace the ANC in government, the ruling party will be returned with a reduced majority.
The principal party hoping to draw votes from the ANC's support base, the Congress of the People (COPE), is led by ANC members who broke away after the firing of the former president, Thabo Mbeki, last September.
A leading founder of COPE, former defence minister and ANC chairman Mosiuoa "Terror" Lekota, cited Zuma's efforts to escape prosecution as one of the reasons for leaving the ANC. After charges against Zuma were dropped by prosecutors last Monday, Lekota called for them to be reinstated.
Malema threatens university 16 April 2009, 08:13 Related Articles
* No plot against Malema - ANCYL
* ANC wants three-thirds majority, says Malema
* Knives are out for Malema
* Malema is scared of me, says DA youth leader
When Jacob Zuma comes to power, lecturers and managers will be replaced at the University of Cape Town because it remains a hotbed of counter-revolutionaries, says ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
"Forces that are opposed to our revolution are still here. We must change the management of this university and also the lecturers.
"This is our university, we must change the look of this university, (it) should reflect South Africa," said Malema at Jameson Hall as the ANCYL took its election campaign to South Africa's oldest university on Wednesday.
Chris Ryall, president of UCT's Student Representative Council which was last year taken over by the DA from the ANC, hit back at Malema: "I don't understand how he can applaud those in Orania, essentially a racist enclave, for letting him sit down with them for tea, and then attack UCT."
At the start of Malema's visit to UCT, chaos broke out at the Beattie Building lecture hall, where he had been scheduled to speak, when a large group was turned away at the doors by campus security due to overcrowding at the venue.
He later move to a packed Jameson Hall as ANCYL supporters, bused to the venue, sang songs praising him and Zuma.
As some of the students booed him for his attack on UCT, Malema responded by warning that he would not tolerate being provoked.
"Don't provoke us, it is us (ANC) who brought the nonsensical apartheid regime down. No opposition (party) will ever defeat the ANC.
"We want them all to combine so that we can defeat them," said Malema to cheers from his supporters.
He said Jacob Zuma's ascendancy to the presidency was guaranteed and those who were still opposed to him had to snap back into reality.
"For those of you saying Zuma should not be president, (you) are daydreaming... He will be the best ever first president of the Republic."
Malema added those opposed to the ANC leader would have to get used to addressing him as "President Zuma" after his inauguration in May.
Malema promised that a government under Zuma would invest more money in education through bursaries and increased funding to educational institutions.
Attacking the Democratic Alliance's plan to institute a private prosecution of Zuma following the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) announcement that it would not pursue its case of corruption, theft, money laundering and racketeering against him, Malema said any such attempts would be futile.
"Champions of the constitution should support the decision of the NPA.
"This is not the first time that it has decided to drop charges. It happens every day," said Malema.
In flippant mode, Malema said the ANC was tired of a two-thirds majority and would aim for a "three thirds" majority, adding that those opposed to the ANC were suffering from "serious illnesses" and were in for a shock when election results would be announced on the day after the national poll.
"They'll be like diabetes sufferers on the 23rd (of April), their blood sugar levels will shoot high," he said jokingly as some in the audience laughed.
Conceding that the ANCYL often made inflammatory statements, he said his league members formed a strong body of opinion, a "political laboratory" of sorts.
"We are in a political laboratory, never blame us if we make mistakes, we are (just) learning," said Malema.
Asked to respond, UCT spokesperson Ray Hartle said it supported transformation in higher education.
"We've put in place programmes to reflect our commitment to transformation across the institution," said Hartle.
* This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Times on April 16, 2009
God bless all my South African pals. Have enjoyed much rugger and not a few "Castles" despite being a Rooinek. Some of the kindest and most hospitable people i have ever met. Truly, T.I.A.
(This Is Africa )
Realistically, how long did you think it would take before South Africa got its own Idi Amin/Emperor Bokassa/Mobutu/Mugabe/General Mengistu.
If you haven't already done so it's time to start looking for a foreign passport and bolt hole. Get some money out in a hard currency. Look at converting your qualifications and or business opportunities abroad. Develop your escape plan.
I had all the above and didn't end up stuck in Zimbabwe as things fell off a cliff. Instead I watched it in comfort from the other side of the world.
What is the difference between an emigrant and a refugee ? TIMING