Feature Articles

WHAT IS THIS HULLABALOO ABOUT THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RELEASE OF NELSON MANDELA?

There is this hullabaloo around the twentieth anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison which falls on the 11th February. The media, which created this hue and cry in the first place, is abuzz with the news of this anniversary.

The South African media’s portraying of Mandela as the only person who fought for our liberation and whose release from prison is the only occasion to be celebrated is fundamentally objectionable. And I equally disprove of the Pan Africanist Congress’s leadership, members and followers to let the South African media appropriate the glorious history of the PAC and bestow it on the ANC and Nelson Mandela and relegate Robert Sobukwe, Zeph Mothopeng and Japhta Masemola to the dust bin of history and to the margins of South Africa’s fight for liberation.

IN MEMORY OF DR. CHEIKH ANTA DIOP: THE FOREMOST AFRICAN CULTURAL BRAINPOWER

The 7th February marks the 24th anniversary of the death of world renowned multi-disciplinary scholar and Pan Africanist, Dr Cheikh Anta Diop. Diop was born on December 23, 1923, in Diourbel west of Senegal. His mother tongue is Wolof. He came from a Muslim peasant family and attended Koranic schools. Diourbel was the seat of a strong Muslim sect, the sect of the Mourides, the only Black African sect which succeed in acting independently from the rest of the Muslim world.

One of the scholars who knew him well, James Spady, wrote that Diop’s historical roots and intellectual climate of the area where Diop was born has a long and honourable tradition of griots behind him who served as worthy precursors of any historian. Diop completed his bachelor’s degree in Senegal and then went to the Sorbonne University in Paris in 1946 to do his graduate studies. Diop developed the concept of the cultural unity of African people as early as the mid-1940’s. In November 1948 he wrote an article in the review Le Musee Vivant titled “When do we speak of an African Renaissance?”

SHOOT TO KILL IS A CHEAP WAY TO FIX A DILAPIDATED CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Towards the end of last year South Africa introduced the ‘Shoo to Kill’ policy championed by the Deputy Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula.
Trigger-happy SAPS has been told by the Minister of Police to ‘Shoot to kill’

The Wild West movie-style crime ‘shoot to kill’ antic and the desire to lynch suspects or perpetrators, show government’s lack of understanding of the root causes of crime prevalence rate. Weak politicians, lazy bureaucrats and incompetent criminal justice system technocrats are running to populist sloganeering instead of facing the challenge head-on. This happens at the expense of proper structural inspection and analysis.

The behaviour of government leadership indicates that the high crime rate problem is not understood. High crime rate is a symptom of a failed society. The problem lies in the exclusion of African cultural ethos in the regulatory framework. At the core of this crisis is the collapse of previously resilient African culture. It is sparked by the big gap between the haves and have not’s, which is different from poverty. The problem is fueled by endemic corruption and sustained by inherent flaws in the criminal justice system.

There are three braches in the current system. The police with a mandate to prevent investigate crime and charging suspects. The courts have the responsibility to listen and decide on crime. The prisons have to hold and prepare criminals for reintegration to society. All this subsystems have failed in their mandate due inept management and
weak leadership. There are enough financial resources but crisis is lack of will and competency to combat crime effectively.

REMEMBERING ONKGOPOTSE TIRO 36 YEARS AFTER HIS BRUTAL MURDER

Writing about heroic leaders in the African Valhalla, the late Professor Ivan Van Sertima wrote that when a star dies it does not vanish from the firmament. Its light keeps streaming across the fields of time and space so that centuries later we may be touched by a vision of the fire and brilliancy of its former life. The lives of the truly great are just like that. Death does not diminish them in the firmament of our consciousness, where their words and deeds still twinkle like the lights of long-dead stars. But we are touched by these lights in different ways in different times and it is not always easy for the observer to distinguish the startling flash of a transitory meteor from the paler, ghostly light of a grander and greater star.

MOELETSI MBEKI HAS LOST IT!! – A CRITIQUE OF SO CALLED ‘ARCHITECTS OF POVERTY’

Taking the title of his book (Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing) for instance, since when is capitalism regional or racial and/ or for that matter ethnically, racially or continentally defined as Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana, Sotho, Swahili, European, Indian, American, White or Black mode or type of capitalism. What is the meaning of the term African Capitalism? And just for interest sake, what will be the defining or discriminating issue(s) of these modes or types of capitalism? The number of females invested who have invested in it? And if there is African capitalism there should also be an Indian capitalism, Chinese capitalism etcetera and in the individual cases what are the defining and discriminating factor(s).

For starters there is only capitalism not African capitalism. To claim Africanism stinks of (white) stereotyping and cliché which basically emanates from white reactionaries. Further regarding the claim that Africa in its development efforts has received a lot of assistance from the West but to no avail Moeletsi should know that unlike what he professes the West really has not done much to assist the African countries. African initiatives once they do not coincide with Western interest are always sabotaged or schemes are put in place to remove initiators of such initiatives.

HOW CAN VIRUSES JUMP SPECIES, MR. LAURENCE??

The Truth About AIDS
The Truth About AIDS

It is unbelievable that in the 21st century The Star (6th January 2010) can publish an article whose author, Jeremy Laurence purports that “HIV is thought to have crossed from chimpanzees to humans in West Africa in the last century and more than 25 million people worldwide have since died from it”. The story that HIV originated from any primate (monkey, chimpanzee, baboon in Africa) is baseless and has long been declared scientifically untenable.

When the virus first made headlines in the early 1980’s, it was claimed that it originated from green monkeys. This is what came to be known as monkey business in a book titled Aids, Africa and Racism by Richard Chirimuuta and Rosalind Chirimuuta, first published in 1987. Secondly, on viruses and other pathogens “jumping species”, Laurence and the faceless people he is bidding for, are obfuscating the issue of genetic engineering that has been spawning dangerous recombinant viruses like Simian virus 40 (SV 40) which was engineered in 1972 by a group of scientists.

EXPLOITATION OF BLUE-COLLAR WORKERS ROBS THE WORKPLACE OF THRIVING CAPABILITY

There are various participants in the workplace, namely, external and internal stakeholders. The external participants are customers, suppliers and the community. Internal participants are owners, blue-collar workers and white-collar workers. These participants have different roles, responsibilities and relationships with the workplace and with each other. The contemporary structure of reward and recognition is disproportionate with the contribution of various stakeholders. In terms of this structure the higher the contribution the lower the rewards and vice versa.

Customers are consumers of workplace products therefore the reason for existence of the enterprise. Suppliers provide critical ingredients for products while the owner provides the capital to start the workplace. Owners are rewarded through dividends and surplus extraction methods. The community regulates workplace behaviour through legislation and taxes. It further provides common infrastructure and platforms to conduct business. It is rewarded through taxes and other corporate social responsibility programs. Their relationship with production is clear and their contribution is measurable although the fair value question remains.

REJOINDER TO MICHAEL COETZEE’S RIDICULOUS PIECE AND THE TRUTH ABOUT HIV /AIDS DRUGS

While I am not an ANC member and will probably never be one, the rubbishing of the late Dr. Mantombazana Tshabalala-Msimang on trumped-up charges by The Citizen columnist, Michael Coetzee and condemning her in the manner he did should and will not go unchallenged, (The Citizen, December 24. 2009).

It is absolute twaddle to concoct outrageous statistics that in 40 years the Apartheid regime killed only 2000 while HIV/AIDS kills 1000 people every day. Millions of Africans died of preventable diseases, malnutrition in the mines and prisons. What about cross-border raids and Apartheid South Africa’s destabilization of the Frontline states in the then SADCC region in the 1970’s and 1980’s that resulted in the deaths of more than 5 million children, according to a UNICEF report during that time?

THE SHENANIGANS OF THE TRIPARTITE ALLIANCE

Let me make it clear that I hold no brief for the current ANCYL or its President. At the same time I also have no truck with the shenanigans of the unholy and unprincipled tripartite alliance which is characterized by parasitism and opportunism. But might I remind Blade Nzimande and Gwede Mantashe that the ANCYL is a formation of the ANC not an alliance partner that is parasitically and opportunistically clinging on to the ANC. The SACP has been riding on the coat tails of the ANC for far too long and it was about time that it should go it alone rather than being so grumpy and grouchy.

Mantashe told ANCYL President that he (Mantashe) wasn’t at the SACP special congress for the ANC. He said, “This is an SACP congress…” That is a typical problem of dual membership. Mantashe is Secretary General of the ANC. However he attends an SACP congress not as a member of the ANC, and yet he has the gall and temerity to tell SACP delegates at that SACP special national conference “to swell the ranks of the ANC” in order, as Nzimande unashamedly put it, “to reflect its character and strength as it seeks to influence decisions (read policies) in both the ANC and government”. This is blatantly parasitic and opportunistic. Why do they want to swell the ranks of the ANC and reflect their character and strength in the ANC in order to influence decisions in both the ANC and government rather than swelling the ranks of the SACP?

NOTHING NEW ABOUT THE ‘NEW’ APPROACH ON HIV/AIDS

The Jacob Zuma ANC-led government’s “new approach to HIV and AIDS” represents the height of hypocrisy coupled with posturing and grand standing. Zuma did it for money because already he has received pledges of financial support from some western quarters. Zuma and his ruling party colleagues are on the take.

It was reported towards the end of September 2009 that President Jacob Zuma criticized former President Thabo Mbeki in a CNN television interview saying Mbeki acted outside government and party directives on HIV and AIDS. Zuma was part of the Mbeki government that came up with the policies his administration is now criticizing and he was also heading the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) during the reign of Mbeki. The truth is that ANC policies on HIV/AIDS have failed.

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