Feature Articles

ASSASSINATIONS

Edward Kennedy, the brother of former USA President John Fitzgerald Kennedy who was assassinated on the 22nd November 1963 in Dallas, Texas died and was buried a few days ago. There are quite a number of reasons why this issue deserves attention. One of them is for us to understand the global power dynamics which are glossed over in the mainstream media. The second reason is that those who plotted the assassinations of Patrice Lumumba, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are the ones who plotted the assassination of JFK. Last but not least, it is my wish that young Africanists should investigate the assassination of Japhta Kgalabi Masemola.

An assassination has motive and those who carry it out almost invariably have the capacity to carry it out without being detected and where there is a possibility of being found out, they are able to cover their dirty tracks because they control key organs of state. That is why the SA President Jacob Zuma’s appointments in key areas in government must disturb right thinking citizens of this country.

RACISM AND ILLTREATMENT OF CASTER MOKGADI SEMENYA

The infamy of the 1936 Berlin Olympics has been recreated when African American athletes like Jesse Owens debunked the myth of racial superiority by winning four gold medals beating Europeans fair and square. It is like history is repeating itself.

The treatment of Caster Semenya at the World Athletics Championship in Berlin invokes sad memories that shouldn’t be repeated seventy-three years later when Adolf Hitler avoided to meet gold medalist Jesse Owens and also appeared to have spurned the event’s closing ceremony apparently because African Americans had disproved the baseless Nazi doctrine of Aryan superiority. The Nazis wanted to use the Olympics to show off Aryan athletes, whom they believed were naturally superior because of their race.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT SCAMS

The proponents of the ill-conceived Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and baffling Taxi Recapitalisation schemes swear that their conspiring is in the national interest. They take advantage of disintegrated and poor planned public transport system that mushroomed overtime, to pursue their questionable agenda. The intention of these two programs is nothing but a concerted dubious effort to destroy the only authentic African dominated business sector.

It is fascinating that the neo-colonial government in South Africa is angered by African success, outside their blessing, in the same way settler colonial regime was. It is because of this anger that these schemes continue the same disruptive practices of the previous settler colonial regime which used railway police during the seventies, traffic police in the eighties and third force driven taxi violence of the nineties to frustrate the taxi industry. The metro police in this decade have solo focus of stopping taxi vehicles while corporate busses remain untouched even when they are responsible for gruesome accidents on national roads.

FIGHTING POVERTY IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

When it comes to learning how to fight poverty, almost all the experts agree that The Peoples’ Republic of China is the best place to begin.

“China has set an example internationally for reducing poverty, raising hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in twenty years,” said Yukon Huang, Chief of the World Bank’s Resident Mission in the Peoples’ Republic.

The Chinese Government embarked on a poverty reduction campaign in 1978 and by 1993, the number of poor people in China was reduced from 250 million to only 80 million, thereby reducing the incidence of poverty among the people by more than 30% – a very impressive achievement indeed.

With a US$35 billion support from the World Bank, the government of The Peoples’ Republic of China launched a carefully planned and monitored campaign, consisting of over 220 projects scattered around the country-side to address the problem of poverty.

SA MEDIA FAILS PUBLIC

Addressing the annual dinner of the American Press Association in 1914 John Swinton, editor of the New York News said “There is no such thing as an independent press in America. Not a man among you dares to utter his honest opinion. We are the tools and the vassals of the rich behind the scenes. We are marionettes. These men pull the strings and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives and our capacities are all the property of these men – we are intellectual prostitutes.” I am asking my countrymen and women who are journalists if they are like the way John Swinton describes them in the foregoing lines or are they different? They must search their souls and be honest. Are they proud of their reportage vis-à-vis the wretched of the African continent?

DO SOUTH AFRICANS HAVE A NATIONAL IDENTITY?

If Siki Mgabadeli’s recent morning talk show on SAFM radio is anything to go by, then there’s no South African identity. Her predecessor, Tebogo Matima also had a discussion on that topic in the past and was equally befuddled, completely bamboozled. It is sad that the public broadcaster is used to trivialize issues of national importance. Matima and Mgabadeli betrayed their dilettantism. They really dabbled with a subject of national importance. Moreover, Mgabadeli’’s show was replete with cliché’s and anecdotes. She kept on asking, “Do South Africans have an identity”?

Identity?
Identity?

An identity in this context refers to who or what South Africans are, the characteristics determining who or what they are. There must be something that makes South Africans who or what they are, something common among them, an identity. What is it? A passport, as suggested on Mgabadeli’s show? A forged one also? Or a myriad of other preposterous and nebulous things that were brought up on that show which have nothing do with our national identity?

SUBJECTIVISM OF CHARTERISM

AP Mda’s 1958 The Africanist Case exposition leaves no doubt that Charterism has neglected the objective basis of society in favour of the purely subjective world. Charterists are imposters. There are many examples one can cite to corroborate the above. Let us take NEPAD and African renaissance for instance. The authors of NEPAD pretended as if there were no other better continental economic blueprints that preceded NEPAD like The Lagos Plan of Action for example.

TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN HEROES

31 July is African Heroes Day in the Africanist calendar. This is a day to commemorate and honour the founding fathers and mothers of the African liberation struggle.

Anton Mziwakhe Lembede passed on six decades ago in 1947 at the early age of 33. Lembede was a firebrand youth leader who pioneered the historic 1949 Nation Building programme. It is therefore fitting, as we commemorate the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, to pay special tribute to Lembede, who is regarded as the father of Africanism.

At the time when the liberation movement was docile and lacking in direction, it was Lembede and his contemporaries who breathed life into the liberation movement by putting forward a clearly defined Programme of Action which talked to relevant issues of the day – to fight for the freedom of the African masses from settler colonialism. It is this programme that also inspired the formation of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1959.

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