Tag Archives: South Africa

Zuma’s hypocrisy is just astounding! How can he say this in public given his record. He is totally shameless. KS

City Press

Be a selfless leader like Mandela was – Jacob Zuma

@City_Press 18 July 2014 18:53


President Jacob Zuma sings the national anthem on Mandela Day.

Picture: Robert Nisbet/Twitter

President Jacob Zuma has urged South Africans to emulate the late former president Nelson Mandela through selfless leadership.

He was speaking at the Mvezo great place in the Eastern Cape this afternoon.

Zuma spent his 67 minutes to mark International Mandela Day cleaning at the Mandela School of Science and Technology in Mvezo.

The school is named after Madiba’s grandfather, Prince Mandela, the son of king Ngubengcuka of the Thembu nation.

Zuma unveiled a giant statue of Prince Mandela at the Mandela school.

The president also opened the Mvezo Komkhulu Museum in Mvezo Great Place before unveiling a life-sized statue of Madiba.

Zuma called on South Africans to make every day a Mandela Day by doing good.

“Madiba did all he could. It is in our hands now. Let us emulate Madiba’s exemplary life because he was a man of action. No one will ever be like him. If we don’t emulate him by doing what is good for others, we would have neglected Madiba’s ideals and what he fought for,” Zuma said.

The president paid tribute to Madiba on the first commemoration of the icon’s birthday after his death in December last year.

“He had so much dignity. He stood for peace and unity and even as he is gone. We will never forget him. He provided hope in hopelessness.

“He was [the] epitome of unity, selflessness, courage and nobility. He will never be forgotten. Just the thought of his memory inspires us to do better and good to others. He was among us but above us,” Zuma said.

This year’s Mandela Day theme was “operation clean-up for Mandela”, which the president said was designed to encourage cooperation, to enhance nation building and cohesion while also creating awareness about the importance of a clean environment.

Zuma decried violent crime and lawlessness and told traditional and religious leaders that citizens needed to be taught about love, peace and ubuntu.

“As a nation we must work together, treat each other with care and respect and live in harmony where there is peace. In this way we would have honoured Madiba,” Zuma said.

He said it was up to those left behind to fight poverty as Madiba had fought for freedom and delivered it.

“We still have a very long walk to walk. Let us unite and build our nation,” Zuma said.

Mandla Mandela, grandson of the late former president and chief of Mvezo, said his famous grandfather had taught them as a family that he did not belong to them but to the rest of the world.

He said the museum had been a dream of the family and the people of AbaThembu so that they could document their culture and heritage.

“We are very proud to have done cleaning this Mandela Day and hope that such actions are not one-day events. This museum will also help us as Thembus to tell our tradition and we will also learn of other nations’ cultures in this museum,” he said.  City Press

Was South Africa colonised by the bantustans?

Mail and Guardian

The dynamics of power established under apartheid, especially in the ‘homelands’, still play a major role in rural government.

President Diederichs in 1975 with homelands leaders Buthelezi (KwaZulu), Mphephu (Venda), Sebe (Ciskei), Matanzima (Transkei), Mangope (Bophuthatswana), Phatudi (Lebowa), Mota (QwaQwa) and a Gazankulu delegate. (BurgerArchive)

There is a joke in public service circles that goes something like this: “Have you heard what happened to South Africa after 1994? It was colonised by its Bantustans.”

The story is usually accompanied by wry laughs about South Africa’s new “colonialism of a special type”.

The story is funny precisely because it contains a kernel of truth. The Bantustans were far more substantial entities than simply “puppet regimes”, and one of the major features of post-apartheid South Africa is the degree to which the spatial and institutional legacies of Bantustans live on in contemporary South Africa.

The Bantustans, or “homelands”, as they were renamed in the attempt to foist ethnic nationalities on black South Africans, formally ceased to exist with the first democratic elections of 1994. Rooted in the 1913 native reserves, after the coming to power of the National Party in 1948 the Bantustans became one of the cornerstones of apartheid ideology and policy.

The Bantu Authorities Act of 1951   which was fiercely resisted by rural communities from Zeerust to Sekhukhuneland and Mpondoland   brought the remnants of the 19th-century independent African chieftaincies under the apartheid state’s administrative control.

Over the decades, these ethnically defined territories were granted self-governing and “independent” status by Pretoria, in effect stripping black South Africans of their citizenship. Economically dependent on Pretoria’s hand-outs and foreign loans, the Bantustans were large-scale projects of apartheid social engineering enforced by mass forced removals and resettlements.

The Bantustans were shunned by the mainstream of apartheid opposition domestically and internationally. They were regarded as illegitimate tribal governments and their leaders were rejected as puppets of the apartheid regime.

But after the 1994 electoral victory   and during the earlier negotiations period   the ANC and its allies were faced with the reality of having to reincorporate and accommodate the former Bantustans in the new democratic state. Hence their legacy remains inscribed in South Africa’s cultural, political, economic and physical landscape, though their historical importance has not been fully appreciated.

The homelands fostered the development of a black middle class and a black elite that had its base in traditional authorities. They expanded over the years to include an emerging bourgeoisie of farmers, businesspeople, teachers and, perhaps most importantly, bureaucrats. In many ways, it was a precursor of contemporary processes of class formation and capital accumulation in the broader context of a free-market capitalist economy, and there are significant continuities with post-1994 socioeconomic transformations.

The development corporations, set up to attract white South African and foreign businesses to the Bantustans in a bid to make them economically viable, played a significant role in developing this middle class.

Another pillar of the strategy was the handing over of white business to local black residents. In the former Transkei, where, prior to the granting of self-government in 1963, the nonagrarian economy had been driven by white traders and hotel owners, the Transkei Development Corporation stated its commitment to buying up white businesses and selling them, at a reduced price, to “Transkeians”.

In this sense, the Bantustans were incubators of black economic empowerment before its time.

But this was far from being a transparent process. Who businesses went to, and at what price, was usually determined by political connections and the patronage network of the Matanzima brothers, who ruled the Transkei.

By the end of the 1980s, a small but powerful black middle class had been built in the Bantustans. They had a large constituency of businesspeople, who often had ambivalent relationships with the Bantustan governments, but they were nonetheless their beneficiaries.

It is here that the origins of contemporary lifestyles of conspicuous consumption lie, rather than simply being the product of a new political regime of freedom that lifted apartheid’s restrictions on black consumption and acquisition.

The reconfiguration of homeland geographies after 1994, and their bureaucracies, also presented a public administration challenge to the new democratic state. The public service inherited by the post-apartheid state consisted of Bantustan officials on the one hand and white Afrikaans-speaking administrators loyal to the National Party on the other. Incorporating these administrations was a complicated task.

By the end of apartheid there were 10 Bantustans, with 14 legislatures, 151 departments and about 650 000 homeland officials. The houses of the tricameral parliament, the president’s council and the black and white local authorities all had to be merged with these Bantustan institutions to transform the state into a unitary set of administrations for the post-1994 national and provincial governments.

The difficulty of merging was most apparent at provincial level where, for example, in Limpopo, the provincial structures had to be overlaid on those of the old Venda, Gazankulu and Lebowa Bantustans and parts of the formerly white northern Transvaal.

From a capacity point of view, to run the country the ANC needed both black and white civil servants, but it also had to win their loyalty. Bureaucrats were a key component of the support base of Bantustan regimes and were influential in shaping the negotiations in the early 1990s   they demanded the protection of their jobs and pension packages. Their incorporation into the new administration at times carried with it a nontransformative element vis-à-vis the ANC’s mandate to achieve more democratic representation in the civil service after 1994, and often produced tensions.

Furthermore, Bantustan civil servants were the product of patrimonial institutions often embedded in clientelist relations that were able to morph and survive into the present.

As research by the Public Affairs Research Institute is beginning to show, more histories of the public service and its institutions need to be written in order to understand how these networks have shifted in the post-1994 period. Timothy Gibbs’s new book (See “A powerful elite traces its roots to bonds formed at mission schools”) offers one way into this complex set of issues.

As Gibbs argues, traditional leaders were a key part of these networks of power and authority in the Bantustans. Through these networks they were able to position themselves as regional brokers for the channelling of state resources to localities. This largely continues today, most evidently in the new ream of bills and laws dealing with traditional authorities, such as the contested (and for now buried) Traditional Courts Bill.

These have entrenched the institution of traditional leadership even deeper in rural landscapes, sometimes in conflict with the democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Researchers at the Centre for Law, Race and Gender at the University of Cape Town have referred to this as the “reBantustanisation” or Balkanisation of rural society: the boundaries of the old homelands are being reinscribed. Increased powers are being given to traditional leaders, for instance by customary law provisions, which risk creating parallel legal systems for rural communities living under their jurisdiction and strengthening patriarchy while exacerbating gender inequalities.

New dynamics have emerged as to how traditional leaders engage with struggles for control over local economic resources, especially where mining rights are involved. In many cases, this has led to the revival of the ethnic affiliations that colonialism and apartheid sought to promote, which manifest themselves through renewed chieftaincy disputes and competing claims over land by different traditional communities.

We need concentrated and deep historical research to uncover the precursors to contemporary South Africa in a more systematic way. Only with these insights will we be able to understand our current state, the uneven performance of institutions, and how to move beyond the consequences of our complicated past.

This article arose from a workshop of the Public Affairs Research Institute, where Laura Phillips is a researcher, Arianna Lissoni is a postdoctoral fellow and Ivor Chipkin is the executive director  M&G

South Africa – why are South Africa’s youths no interested in politics?

Mail and Guardian

As the country marks Youth Day, concerns are being raised that young South Africans are no longer as involved in politics as their 1976 counterparts.

South Africa's population is one of the youngest in the world with an average of 24.9 years, yet high levels of unemployment and inadequate education affected youth the most. (David Harrison, M&G)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will address national Youth Day commemorations at Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley on Monday amid concerns that young people are no longer as involved as their counterparts of 1976.

In 1976, mostly high school students took on the apartheid government to fight bantu education. This launched June 16 into a day that dominated international headlines and a public holiday marked annually in democratic South Africa to commemorate those who died.

This year’s theme of Youth Moving South Africa Forward has sought to get young people to play a role in advancing the country.

ANC Youth League spokesperson Bandile Masuku told the Mail & Guardian that young people were not disengaging but rather focusing on “the task of economic emancipation”, which he said was more critical at present.

“We want to have skills, we want degrees and careers. The focus is now on a different trajectory compared to 1976,” said Masuku.

A doctor by profession, Masuku said educating young people would lead to an improved South Africa.

“Our skills must help contribute to the betterment of society. The reality is that we face different challenges in whatever sector we are involved in, including a lack of transformation.”

Voice of the youth
Masuku did regret that the “voice” of the youth is as “not as well organised” as it should be. “The disintegration of the unity of young people is the one that is a challenge,” he said.

He added the time had come for the country’s leadership to realise that the population was getting younger. South Africa’s population is one of the youngest in the world with an average of 24.9 years, yet high levels of unemployment and inadequate education affected youth the most. The recent Census confirmed that most of the nearly 52-million people living in South Africa were under the age of 39.

“Our leaders still remain pretty much old, as if we are not a country dominated by young people. We must make sure that in the next 10 years we integrate ourselves well in leadership positions right up to municipalities.”

Masuku said for that to happen “there must be a conscious effort to prioritise education”.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, a former ANC Youth League leader, said public agencies responsible for co-operatives and small enterprise development would be required to develop special programmes targeting youth.

“While there are small enterprises of young people and co-operatives in existence, the major stumbling block has always been access to markets,” Mthethwa wrote in the ANC Today newsletter.

Accessing opportunities
He urged the country to buy “70% of goods and services from South African producers as this will go a long way in opening markets even for young people”.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) praised the progress made in South Africa in creating opportunities for young people.

“Today students are not only taught in their indigenous languages, they also have access to opportunities to better themselves and their communities that did not exist before 1994,” the trade union federation said in a statement.

“Initiatives such as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme have gone a long way to address the imbalances of the past by funding education of the historically disadvantaged individuals. In higher education, 12% of the population now hold a postgraduate qualification up from 7% at the dawn of democracy.”

This year marks the 38th anniversary since the 1976 Soweto Uprising, where young South Africans demonstrated against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools.

South Africa – AMCU says talks with Lonmin went well


JOHANNESBURG Wed Jun 4, 2014

Lonmin workers on strike listen to President of South Africa's Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa (not in picture) as he delivers his speech at the Wonderkop stadium in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lonmin workers on strike listen to President of South Africa’s Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa (not in picture) as he delivers his speech at the Wonderkop stadium in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

(Reuters) – The latest round of talks aimed at ending a five-month strike in South Africa’s platinum mines “went well”, the president of the striking AMCU union said on Wednesday.

“The meeting went well. The talks are ongoing,” AMCU leader Joseph Mathunjwa told Reuters. A government team tasked with resolving the strike met AMCU’s leadership on Tuesday and is due to sit down with the management of the three major platinum firms today. Reuters


South Africa – AMCU considering government offer over strike


Striking South African mine union considers government wage proposal


Lonmin workers on strike react as they listen to President of South Africa's Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa's (not in picture) speech at the Wonderkop stadium in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lonmin workers on strike react as they listen to President of South Africa’s Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa’s (not in picture) speech at the Wonderkop stadium in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

(Reuters) – South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is considering a government proposal to resolve a five-month platinum strike and will put it to its members this week, union president Joseph Mathunjwa said on Tuesday.

“We have responded to the minister’s proposal,” Mathunjwa told Reuters. He did not give details of the recommendations put forward last week by new mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, or AMCU’s response.

However, he said he was encouraged by Ramatlhodi stepping in during his first week in office between AMCU and the three main platinum houses – Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin.

“For the first time we have someone who is willing to help,” Mathunjwa said. “On his first day in office he set aside everything and dealt with this matter. We are encouraged by this.”

Numerous rounds of talks to end what is already the most costly strike in South African mining history have collapsed.

The labour court is currently mediating and Ramatlhodi, who was sworn in as a minister a week ago, has assembled a dedicated government team to negotiate a solution.

“I am encouraged by the progress we have made on this matter, and the cooperation of all parties involved,” the minister said in a statement after the day’s talks.

Shares of platinum producers closed higher in Johannesburg as investors hoped the latest round of talks may finally offer hope that the strike will come to an end.

Amplats closed up 3.4 percent, and Implats had gained 1.8 percent.


South Africa – Ramaphosa deputy president in new cabinet with few surprises

Mail and Guardian

President Jacob Zuma announced his new executive, with a few surprises.

President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)


As expected, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is the country’s new deputy president.

The other members of the Cabinet are:

  • Minister in the Presidency: Jeff Radebe;
  • Minister of Women in the Presidency: Susan Shabangu;
  • Minister of Justice and Correctional Services: Michael Masutha;
  • Minister of Public Service and Administration: Collins Chabane;
  • Minister of Defence and Military Veterans: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula;
  • Minister of Home Affairs: Malusi Gigaba;
  • Minister of Environmental Affairs: Edna Molewa;
  • Minister of State Security: David Mahlobo;
  • Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Service: Siyabonga Cwele;
  • Minister of Police: Nkosinathi Nhleko;
  • Minister of Trade and Industry: Rob Davies;
  • Minister of Finance: Nhlanhla Nene;
  • Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Senzeni Zokwana;
  • Minister of Water and Sanitation: Nomvula Mokonyane;
  • Minister of Basic Education: Angie Motshekga;
  • Minister of Health: Aaron Motsoaledi;
  • Minister of International Relations and Co-operation: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane;
  • Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform: Gugile Nkwinti;
  • Minister of Higher Education and Training: Blade Nzimande;
  • Minister of Economic Development: Ebrahim Patel;
  • Minister of Transport: Dipuo Peters;
  • Minister of Mineral Resources: Ngoako Ramathlodi;
  • Minister of Social Development: Bathabile Dlamini;
  • Minister of Public Enterprises: Lynne Brown;
  • Minister of Sport and Recreation: Fikile Mbalula;
  • Minister of Labour: Mildred Oliphant;
  • Minister of Arts and Culture: Nathi Mthethwa;
  • Minister of Public Works: Thulas Nxesi;
  • Minister of Small Business Development: Lindiwe Zulu;
  • Minister of Energy: Tina Joemat-Pettersson;
  • Minister of Science and Technology: Naledi Pandor;
  • Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs: Pravin Gordhan;
  • Minister of Communications: Faith Muthambi;
  • Minister of Human Settlements: Lindiwe Sisulu;
  • Minister of Tourism: Derek Hanekom.

New ministries
Zuma also reconfigured his cabinet, announcing several new ministries.

“We have established a ministry of telecommunications and postal services,” Zuma said while making his Cabinet announcement.

“Our country has a fast growing telecommunications sector which in 2012 was estimated at being worth R180-billion.”

The aim of the new ministry was to get more value out of the telecommunications sector, he said.

The communications department had been reconfigured to include more functions.

“We have established a new communications ministry which will be responsible for overarching communication policy and strategy, information dissemination and publicity, as well as the branding of the country abroad,” Zuma announced.

“This ministry will be formed out of the following components: the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the SA Broadcasting Corporation, Government Communication and Information Systems, Brand SA and the Media Development and Diversity Agency.”

The National Planning Commission and the ministry of performance, monitoring and evaluation will be merged.

“This ministry will also continue to be responsible for youth development.”

Susan Shabangu will head a brand-new department, within the presidency, dedicated to women.

Lulu Xingwana previously headed the ministry for women, children, and people with disabilities. She lost out on a position in Zuma’s latest Cabinet. Shabangu has been in charge of mineral resources since May 2009. –Sapa M&G

South Africa – Mugabe to attend Zuma’s inauguration

Mail and Guardian

About 4 500 foreign and local dignitaries are expected to attend Jacob Zuma’s inauguration, including Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Botswana’s leader.

​Jacob Zuma will be sworn in for his second term as president at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. (Lisa Skinner, M&G)

Jacob Zuma will be sworn in for his second term as president at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday.

READ: Headaches while the power slips through Zuma’s fingers
‘Kitchen cabinet’ helps Jacob Zuma rule

About 4 500 foreign and local dignitaries are expected to attend, including Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, Botswana’s Ian Khama and Madagascar’s Hery Rajaonarimampianina.

The pomp and ceremony will include an air force flypast and a 21-gun salute. The army band will entertain guests at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre from 5am, while the “cultural programme”, which is expected to include performances from Kurt Darren and DJ Vetkuk, starts at 8am.

The formal ceremony begins at 11am. Zuma will be sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, and is scheduled to announce his new Cabinet on Sunday. The inauguration will be attended by heads of state and government, deputy heads, and former heads from 47 countries, but no one from the United Kingdom, Europe, or America.

Also in attendance will be Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Magdalene Moonsamy. All EFF MPs have received invitations, but it is unclear if leader Julius Malema will attend.

Affected streets’
On Saturday, Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue will be a traffic-free zone. There will be traffic control points on Soutpansberg and Hamilton, Stanza Bopape and Hamilton, Stanza Bopape and Gordon, and Soutpansberg and Gordon roads. Road closures in Pretoria will include Government Boulevard, Steve Biko, WF Nkomo and Wessels streets. A public park-and-ride will be available at the Tshwane Events Centre from 6am, while normal bus routes and public transport routes will be diverted.

“Residents living in affected streets are asked to choose the shortest route or closest entry and exit points for access … Residents are required to produce recent municipal bills as part of proof of identity,” Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said.

“The inauguration lasts only a few hours and government kindly calls on residents in these areas to co-operate with authorities.”

Only 100 local and international journalists were accredited for the amphitheatre. More than 1 100 journalists applied for accreditation. – Sapa– Sapa  M&G

South Africa elections – Zille says DA has broken through ceiling

Times Live

We have broken the ceiling this election, says Zille

Sapa | 10 May, 2014 11:44

Helen Zille. File photo.
Image by: Esa Alexander
Helen Zille, leader of the opposition DA would start work on the 2016 elections from Monday, she said at her arrival in Cape Town on Saturday after her party secured the province and increased national support.

“We are the only party that grew. Everybody else went backwards in this election,” she said to a group of about 250 DA supporters in their blue T-shirts who had waited in the rain to welcome her back.

“People used to say we are party of minorities. Well we got more than one million new votes and 700,000 of those votes are from black South Africans who have never voted for the DA before.

“We have broken the ceiling.”

She effusively thanked her supporters in Afrikaans for the increase in the party’s majority in the Cape.

“The blue wave is washing across the whole country because it started here in this city. We will turn this country around one day to a model of democracy,” she said.

Earlier, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said she was ready to return to the position.

“If the people of Cape Town want me,” she said.

“When we won the metro in 2011 with 61 percent, that paved the way for us,” said De Lille.

The DA won 59.2 percent of the provincial vote, increasing its outright majority in the Western Cape.

The African National Congress (ANC) improved its support base somewhat and garnered 33.04 percent of the vote.

Nationally, the DA increased its support in the 2014 elections from 16.66 percent in 2009 to 22.23 percent to become the official opposition to the ANC which received a reduced majority mustering 62.15 percent compared with 2009 and 65.9 percent of the vote.

The results are expected to be confirmed at 6pm on Saturday by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

The party will have to square up to the ANC’s Marius Fransman, who will return to the province as the leader of the official opposition.

The former deputy international relations minister said he was excited about returning to the province and building the ANC structures ahead of the 2016 municipal elections.

Zille will also have to contend with the Economic Freedom Fighters which should get at least one seat in the province’s legislature.

Its president Julius Malema once called her the “madam” of the “tea girl” Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA leader in Parliament, when he was still leader of the ANC Youth League.

He made the remarks when turning down an invitation to debate with Mazibuko.

DA provincial leader in the Western Cape, Ivan Meyer said: “Helen Zille is here to stay. She’s the best premier in the country.”

DA supporters wait for Zille’s arrival in Cape Town

About 250 flag waving DA supporters singing campaign songs, were waiting for their leader Helen Zille to emerge from the Cape Town international airport on Saturday.

Among the crowd of blue T-shirts waiting in the rain was Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille who said she was ready to return to the position.

“If the people of Cape Town want me,” she said.

“When we won the metro in 2011 with 61 percent, that paved the way for us,” said De Lille.

The DA won 59.2 percent of the provincial vote, increasing its outright majority in the Western Cape.

The African National Congress (ANC) improved its support base somewhat and garnered 33.04 percent of the vote.

Nationally, the DA increased its support in the 2014 elections from 16.66 percent in 2009 to 22.23 percent to become the official opposition to the ANC which received a reduced majority mustering 62.15 percent (11,436,921 votes) compared with 2009 and 65.9 percent of the vote.

The results are expected to be confirmed at 6pm on Saturday by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

The party will have to square up to the ANC’s Marius Fransman, who will return to the province as the leader of the official opposition.

The former deputy international relations minister said he was excited about returning to the province and building the ANC structures ahead of the 2016 municipal elections.

On voting day on Wednesday he had predicted the ANC would take the province from the DA.

Zille will also have to contend with the Economic Freedom Fighters which should get at least one seat in the province’s legislature.

Its president Julius Malema once called her the “madam” of the “tea girl” Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA leader in Parliament, when he was still leader of the ANC Youth League.

He made the remarks when turning down an invitation to debate with Mazibuko.

DA provincial leader in the Western Cape, Ivan Meyer said: “Helen Zille is here to stay. She’s the best premier in the country.”  Times Live

South Africa elections – Kasrils: I didn’t spoil vote or vote for ANC

City Press

I didn’t spoil my vote – Ronnie Kasrils

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils after casting his vote in Parkhurst. Picture: Nokuthula Manyathi/Twitter

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils stood in a queue for over thirty minutes to cast his vote today.

“I voted for two parties, nationally and provincially, but not the ANC or the DA,” he said.

Kasrils revealed that he had chosen to support two smaller parties who he felt could provide the change that he wanted to see in the country. He would not disclose which two parties received his vote because he didn’t “want to be a political party agent”, but would rather wait to see how they do over the next political term.

“Because I’m not voting ANC or DA, I want to see some smaller parties entering the provincial or the national and speaking up against corruption, for better government, for service to the people and for accountability.”

The 74-year-old waited in the queue with his son, Andy “Admiral” Kasrils. His son said: “I’m proud of my father.”

When asked if he supported his father’s Vote No campaign, Andy said: “We’re always on the same page,” but he would not reveal if he voted as his father did.

“My vote is my secret,” he said.

In the run-up to the elections Kasrils was very vocal about his support for voting for minority parties instead of the ANC. He also suggested that, should people not find a political party they trusted, they should spoil their vote.

At the launch of the Sidikiwe! Campaign, also known as the Vote No campaign, earlier this month, Kasrils said the ANC was no longer a national liberation movement and accused the party of neglecting the pleas of the poor.

“Nelson Mandela said that if we as a party [ANC] don’t deliver, then the people have the right to march against us,” he said.

Kasrils has faced criticism from many who argue that voting is essential to ensuring the future of the country.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi earlier today said those who don’t vote are “irresponsible”. And many queuing at polling stations echoed his sentiment.

“I just think it’s stupid. Rather have an opinion than sit on the fence,” said Parkhurst voter Nicole Levy. Levy has voted in every election since 1994.

Ann Gear stood in the queue next to Levy for most of the morning, and also disagreed with Kasrils’ campaign.

“I think it’s much more important to vote, to register your disapproval. That’s their right, but I still prefer to make my mark, even if the party I vote for doesn’t do it for me entirely.”

Kasrils said the Sidikiwe! campaign promoted spoiling votes as a last resort. He said when they were engaging with people, they found them to be disillusioned with “the ruling party and parties in general” and weren’t even going to bother to vote. Kasrils said they tried to encourage these people to vote for smaller parties, but if they couldn’t find a party to trust, they should spoil their vote.

“Don’t stay away [from the polls] because you become invisible. Use your right to vote, we fought for that. Go to the polls.” City Press

South Africa – Barney Pityana says ANC moving towards totalitarianism

Mail and Guardian

SA deserves better than to be ruled by a party that flirts with totalitarianism, writes Barney Pityana.

South Africans across our land must wish every year was a general election year. In election years, they see that it is possible for government to find money to repair pot-holed roads, and open schools and clinics in places where there had been a clamour for decent schools and healthcare for ages.

A general election is supposed to be a means for voters to make informed choices: about the quality of governance, about the extent to which government has fulfilled its promises, and whether any of the parties have a vision and a plan for the future.

The party in government is best placed to demonstrate in tangible terms what has been achieved – houses, schools, roads, clinics, hospitals, jobs and so on. What are often hard to quantify, though, are the intangibles: the quality of life of the people, the extent of prevailing and persisting poverty, human dignity, the humanisation of politics and decency in political life, the cultivation of a caring society, social cohesion. These are instances where the ANC in government fails.

In assessing the performance of the ANC in government under Jacob Zuma, there are some myths that have to be put to rest.

The first is the claim that the ANC is the only party that brought “liberation” to South Africa. It can only be a half-truth: the people of South Africa resisted apartheid and white minority rule. It needs to be acknowledged that in the face of the most horrendous repression, South Africans, as workers, religious people, civic society, in education, everywhere, resisted apartheid and in many cases did so without regard to the liberation movements.

The Black Consciousness Movement did not have its origins in the ANC, and yet many BCM activists contributed dearly to the liberation struggle, within and outside the recognised liberation organisations. The United Democratic Front established the power of community and civic activism in our country.

There needs to be a greater telling of the truth: that the genius of the South African liberation struggle was that it was a collective, broad-based and inclusive effort of the nation.

Another myth is that the resources of the state – taxpayers’ money, in other words – are simply available for the benefit of the governing party. In reality, the so-called achievements of the government, such as social housing, social grants, schools and land, are all part of the job description of government. The ANC in government does not just govern for its members but for the country as a whole. It is not necessary for one to be either a card-carrying member of the ANC to benefit from government projects such as housing and social grants. There have been reports that civil servants demand ANC membership cards before they process applications for social grants and housing. There have also been reports that ANC canvassers threaten those who benefit from state resources with reprisals should they fail to vote for the ANC.

South Africa is now celebrating 20 years as a constitutional democracy. The establishment of the constitutional state was itself a major achievement. Systems of governance and accountability, a thriving economy, peace, security and prosperity and a quality of life for the majority of the people were ideals that the new state set for itself, and about which there has always been general consensus.

The ANC in government, however, has systematically undermined that value system and the vision of a new South Africa as a humane society founded on the values of human dignity, equality and social justice. The result is that today South Africa is not likely to realise that vision unless a radical change is adopted now, before it is too late.

To start with, the ANC does not have a vision of a radically transformed South Africa. By and large, the ANC has presided over a game of musical chairs, with the black elite displacing the white elite minority. It has succeeded in appropriating the elite in a partnership characterised by a conspiracy of doing nothing to rock the boat, and assuring the white minority it will retain its ill-gotten gains.

The ANC under Zuma has no interest in the liberation of the poor from want and dehumanising deprivation. That statement needs explanation. The progressive thing to do is to lift the poor out of poverty and dependency, so that the poor can regain their human dignity. Instead, one gets the impression that poverty alleviation programmes are simply about the maintenance of dependency and the dehumanisation of the poor.

Instead, the ANC protects the interests of the elite. Frankly, that is the reason the South African economy remains in the doldrums; that is why nothing significant is being done to address the shame of unemployment. It is the reason that there is escalating poverty and inequality in South Africa 20 years after democratisation.

The ANC in government just does not have the interest or the intelligence to take South Africa’s economic system by the scruff of its neck and make it work in the interests of the vast majority of the people of our country. It does not have the political will to address the question of unjust land distribution. It is hard to understand what is to be done by the ANC over a further five years in government that was not done in 20 years in government. What is likely to happen is just more of the same.

A visit to any part of South Africa will show how little has changed in 20 years. In truth, public policy has aggressively retained the geography of apartheid – matchbox pondokkies for the black poor and burgeoning housing estates for the rich. Other than a few elite black people, black and white (and Indian and coloured South Africans too) live in separation. And how could an ANC government even conceive of legislation such as the Traditional Courts Bill and the Protection of State Information (or “secrecy”) Bill?

Democracy itself is in danger under a Zuma ANC. Political philosopher Hannah Arendt describes the situation of “total domination” by one party as the precursor to a totalitarian state. The ANC is hastening to control or subjugate all public institutions, to appoint only those who fit its ideology, to make independence taboo.

Examples of this are the recent amendments to the South African Human Rights Commission Act (to increase the influence of the president in the appointment of the chairperson of the commission), and further in the amendments to the Higher Education Act (to increase intervention by the minister in the governance of higher education institutions). A culture has now developed in which the party has collapsed its identity into that of the state. South Africa under the Zuma ANC has all the makings of a descent into an authoritarian one-party state.

It is common cause that crime has escalated in South Africa and corruption is skyrocketing. Arguably, South Africans have never felt as unsafe and in more danger in their own homes than they do today. The overwhelming victims of this state of insecurity are the poor, women and black people.

The phenomenon of police brutality reminds one of the Gestapo-style policing of the apartheid state – protester Andries Tatane murdered in full view of the world media, a taxi driver dragged to death behind a police van, a homeless Zimbabwe national stripped naked and assaulted in the Cape Town central business district. That explains Marikana, where 34 people were butchered by the police. We thought we had defeated apartheid, but apartheid, like the proverbial cat, has many lives.

The logic of the equality of women has, as Arendt put it, been “devoured by the logic with which the ‘idea’ is carried out”. The country prides itself on its progressive policies on women’s empowerment, but this is “devoured” in the execution because, though women occupy influential positions, it cannot be said that the lot of women has improved appreciably. The ANC Women’s League is often silent about the sexual exploitation of women in the ranks of the ANC itself, at all levels. Addressing the culture of violence against women takes more than just 16 Days of Activism; it requires a culture of radical equality with women that goes beyond mere law and policy.

The rule of law is undermined when it is possible for the head of state to muscle in, through his party bigwigs, and compel the national director of public prosecutions to decline to prosecute on demonstrably spurious grounds. And, when a court orders that the tapes that formed the basis of such a decision must be produced, the president simply stonewalls the process.

This is someone who has sworn to “obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other law of the Republic”. A head of state implicated in the unlawful landing of a private passenger aircraft at a state military base cannot be one who has regard either for the rule of law or for his constitutional duty to uphold the law. This is the president who has benefited unjustly from millions spent on his private residence – in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act of 2004, this amounts to corruption.

South Africa has reason to be fearful about the drift of the democratic state when Cabinet ministers are adamant that draconian measures to protect state information are needed, or have recourse to the security apparatus of apartheid. It was chilling to listen to the so-called security cluster ministers threaten the South African public that we must not mess about with the “security” of the president. It reminds one of PW Botha and Magnus Malan’s national security ideology. Ours not to question why, just to do as we’re told and pay up.

In the light of all this, South Africans are to be faced with a choice at the ballot box on May 7. They can vote for the governing ANC as if all its indiscretions and the drift towards inefficient and totalitarian government had never been an issue, or they can vote for the other parties, considered untried and untested. Is that all it takes to make a democratic choice? Some of us think not.

The ANC and its president have been telling the nation that to vote for any of the opposition parties is a wasted vote. I do not agree. Every vote counts in our electoral system.

There is one ANC statement that I agree with. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe recently told an audience in Mthatha that an attack on Zuma is an attack on the ANC. It is true that Zuma is the face of the ANC in this election, as is his poor record in government, his shameful moral conduct and his dismal reputation as a leader. Zuma and what he stands for can no longer be separated from the ANC. The party has become infused with Zumaism. It has become the agency of unjust enrichment, the vehicle of unrelenting corruption and the progenitor of a kleptocratic state.

In South Africa’s proportional representation system, every vote for a party is also a vote against another party. That is why the Sidikiwe/Vukani “Vote No!” campaign has such potential for being a game -changer in South African politics. The campaign is led by people who have no vested interest in politics for themselves. It is a campaign to bring rationality, order, morality and decency back into our electoral system.

The campaign challenges voters to do more than just stay away, but rather to make a positive act of political responsibility and cast their vote in a manner that declares that they cannot make a choice among the alternatives reflected on the ballot paper. For the first time, election pundits will be forced to take account of the “no” vote. Every “no” vote will be a judgment against all the existing political parties.

There have been howls of protest from the ANC: we are told that such a call is a betrayal of the sacrifices made to achieve our democratic dispensation. I am of the view that the greater betrayal is that of those in the ANC who have systematically trashed everything that the morality of the liberation struggle taught us and promised the people of South Africa.

Like so many South Africans, I have no sense that the ANC in government is capable of a radical restructuring of our society for the better. It has become very inept at government, too arrogant, too self-seeking to care for the future of our country. The ANC under Zuma has become reactionary, socially backward and intellectually unimaginative.

South Africans are searching for the truth about the past and the shape of a desired future. South Africa is desperately in need of a government that guides the public debate towards a truthful understanding of itself, and the possibility of constructing a desired future, for the common good. The moral depravity of the Zuma leadership causes us to ask deep questions about the direction the country is taking. At election time, we are presented with an opportunity to correct the drift into a nightmarish future.

Nyameko Barney Pityana is the rector of the College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown.