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Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Fred Khumalo on Dogs, Snakes, Clever Blacks and Cockroaches

Zulu Boy Gone CrazyFred Khumalo has written an article for the Rand Daily Mail in which he suggests South African Parliamentarians should embrace the moniker “cockroach”.

Khumalo recalls the story of Silver Stars, a third division football team co-owned by his father many years ago, that couldn’t win a match. Then, when their name was changed to Crocodiles FC, they became unbeatable.

Political detractors have been called, “dogs”, “snakes” and “clever blacks” in the past. According to Khumalo, being called a cockroach may not be all bad:

Mbete, who like myself comes from the great kingdom by the sea, probably grew up during a time when a person who is a nuisance was referred to as iphela laseNatali (cockroach from Natal).

The cockroach from the kingdom is resilient. You douse him with Doom or Baygon Green and he merely shakes his head, wipes his face with his antennae and sneers at you.

The cockroach from Natal is as wily as the rat from Alex. I think they would make a formidable partnership — the rats of Alex and the cockroaches from Natal. They have attitude. The rat from Alex prances around the street chewing bubble gum and wearing high-heeled shoes.

Maybe instead of wasting energy fighting against Mbete for the cockroach slur, the opposition should, just for the fun of it, take with alacrity to the new name with alacrity. The Cockroaches of Parliament Flying in Formation Against Corruption (Copfifac).

Better still, when Andile Mngxitama finally leaves the EFF he should form an outfit called the Revolutionary Cockroaches of Azania (RCA). Who knows, maybe that’s the fillip he needs.

Maybe the name change will get the politics of this country flying in a new direction.

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Justice Malala on SONA 2015: “We are Indeed Teetering on the Verge of Being a Police State”

Let Them Eat Cake“In the mind of this ANC, a conspiracy was unfolding in Parliament on Thursday and it had to be crushed ruthlessly using the intelligence services and anything else that came to hand.”

These are the words of Justice Malala, political commentator and author of Let Them Eat Cake, on the violence that erupted during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 12 February.

Malala writes in a column for Rand Daily Mail: “Violence is always an option in the view of this ANC, hence the presence of armed goons ready to rush into Parliament.”

“We are indeed teetering on the verge of being a police state,” Malala argues, citing opposition MPs being forcibly removed from the chamber, Baleka Mbete calling Julius Malema a cockroach – a chilling reference to the Rwanda genocide – and the link that exists between public protector Thuli Madonsela, former minister Pallo Jordan, EFF leader Julius Malema and trade unionist Zwelinzima Vavi.

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This is a familiar, depressing pattern in ANC politics. There is a securocratic wing of the party that is obsessed with conspiracy. It is a wing that Jacob Zuma, as head of ANC intelligence between 1985 and 1994, knows very well. He is its leader.

This is the ANC that ruthlessly and cruelly arrested, tortured and killed unknown numbers of its own members in exile in camps such as Quattro. It is a party of suspicion, fear, conspiracies and the resultant and inevitable loss of an ethical and moral compass. The ANC‘s natural instinct is towards enlightenment, but this ANC, led by Zuma, veers towards the darkness. That is why Thursday happened.


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Justice Malala “Astonished” that Zuma Did Not Mention Xenophobic Attacks During SONA

Let Them Eat CakeJustice Malala, political commentator and author of Let Them Eat Cake, says he was “astonished” by the fact that President Jacob Zuma did not address the recent xenophobic violence in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Cape Town last night.

The SONA event was thrown into chaos, which began even before it started, with the Democratic Alliance walking out and the Economic Freedom Fighters being thrown out, but Zuma did eventually deliver his speech, and Malala had some interesting thoughts on what the president chose to focus on.

But political analyst Justice Malala says the issue of land lay at the heart of Zuma’s speech.

He also says the president failed to address the flare up of xenophobic violence and looting as well as the fiery protests which spread across the country.

“I was astonished by the fact that the president didn’t mention the xenophobic attacks but in a way I understand because this government has sort to downplay those attacks as being mere criminality and it cannot be mere criminality.”

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Hussein Solomon on Boko Haram: African Leaders Have No Sympathy for Their Own Citizens (Video)

Against All OddsHussein Solomon recently spoke out against the lack of global concern about the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.

The editor of Against All Odds: Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa said that it’s particularly galling that Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, expressed his sympathies to the French government about the recent terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, but has not said a word about the 2000 people who died in the Baga massacre.

Solomon said that the fact that Nigeria and Cameroon have not coordinated forces to combat the insurgents is a cause for concern. He argued that African states are too protective of their sovereignty and despite the high death toll Nigeria still prefers to go at it alone. African political leadership doesn’t have much sympathy for their own citizens suffering the scourge of terrorism, he says.

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Dirk Kotze Believes the Eskom Saga is the Result of Political Priorities

Against All OddsPolitical analyst Dirk Kotze said Eskom’s failure to maintain their power supply could be political.

The contributor of Against All Odds: Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa said that the government did not prioritise infrastructural development and that the Eskom-saga will have a colossal effect on the 2016 local government elections.

Read the article for Kotze’s views on Eskom’s dilemma:

“The government’s priorities were definitely not infrastructure. It wanted to see quicker results and investment in building of houses and electrification, which would make people see results quicker and meet the expectations. The focus was to improve the quality of life for the poor people directly.”

In December, government assigned Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to oversee a turnaround plan for the country’s most embattled state-owned enterprises, Eskom, SA Airways and the Post Office.

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Rok Ajulu: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Trip to the International Criminal Court was a Publicity Stunt

Two Countries One DreamKenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta recently became the first African head of state to step down voluntarily to face charges at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands.

Kenyatta faces charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC after allegations that he took part in instigating violence following his country’s 2007 presidential elections, when more than 1 000 people were killed.

Kenyatta has earned widespread praise for his decision, but Rok Ajulu, editor of Two Countries One Dream: The Challenges of Democratic Consolidation in Kenya and South Africa, says he cannot understand why Kenyatta’s stepping aside has created such a media storm.

“It might be the first, but it’s the normal way of doing things,” Ajulu says.

Kenyatta boarded a normal flight to the Netherlands, with very little security, and was mobbed by journalists. “This is a publicity stunt, and not a very good one,” Ajulu says, “because everybody knows Uhuru has a jet and security.”

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  • Two Countries One Dream: The Challenges of Democratic Consolidation in Kenya and South Africa edited by Rok Ajulu
    EAN: 9780620431200
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Hussein Solomon: The Spreading of ISIS’ “Tentacles” in Africa is a “Worrisome Development”

Against All OddsHussein Solomon has written a article for the Centre for Research on Islamic and Malay Affairs (RIMA) Occasional Papers series entitled “ISIS in Africa: The Danger of Political Correctness”.

Solomon, the editor of Against All Odds: Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa, says the fact that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is spreading into Africa is “increasingly self-evident”, calling it a “worrisome development”.

According to Solomon, while Islam is dominant in north Africa, in countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, another key factor to consider is that “one-third of the population in sub-Saharan Africa” is also Muslim.

The spreading of ISIS’ tentacles in Africa is taking place at a time when religious intolerance is on the rise on the continent with a concomitant rise in terrorist incidents. Nigeria’s Boko Haram, alone, has carried out more than 1,000 attacks since 2010 which has resulted in the deaths of 10,000 people and a further 6 million affected by this terrorist violence. The 300,000 Nigerian refugees who have fled this tsunami of terrorism and have sought refuge in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger provide adequate testimony to the human costs of such terrorism.

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Justice Malala Believes Nkandla will be a Major Issue ahead of the Elections

Let Them Eat CakePolitical analyst Justice Malala, author of Let Them Eat Cake, says President Jacob Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla will be a major issue for the ANC ahead of the 2014 general elections.

According to Sibongile Khumalo, writing for Sapa, the country’s fifth national elections look likely to be the “most competitive” since 1994, and Nkandla is not strengthening the ANC’s campaign. In fact, as Malala points out, Zuma’s R200-million taxpayer-refurbished compound is becoming a problematic symbol for the ruling party.

Nkandla – Cities will be the chief battlegrounds in the upcoming presidential election, but a remote village will cast a long shadow thanks to one notable resident and his very expensive building project.

South Africa’s fifth national elections since the end of apartheid – due before July – are likely to be its most competitive yet.

Twenty rocky years after the end of white-minority rule, the party that has held power ever since, the African National Congress (ANC), faces fierce competition from across the political spectrum.

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Justice Malala Says Mamphela Ramphele’s DA Move is No Game-changer – Yet

Mamphela Ramphele kisses Helen Zille

Let Them Eat CakeMamphela Ramphele agreeing to run as the Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate in the general elections signifies the beginning of a move away from the ANC by former anti-apartheid leaders, according to Justice Malala.

Malala, author of Let Them Eat Cake, writes in The Guardian that in accepting the DA’s invitation, the Agang leader may not have made the game-changing move many – including DA leader Helen Zille – are claiming she has.

According to Malala, the effects of Ramphele’s move will not be obvious during this year’s election, but may accelerate by 2024, and he insists: “that is the only level at which it can be considered a game-changer”.

The jury is still out over whether any constituency she may have built up in the past 12 months will move with her to the DA. After all, many who joined her were appalled by the ANC’s failures over the past 20 years but could not quite bring themselves to join a DA that is still perceived as white.

Ramphele’s move is still significant. … The rewards may not be hugely visible in this election, but these changes will accelerate in the next two elections. Indeed, it may well be that in 2024 we may see a credible and potent challenge to the ANC.

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Image courtesy of The Guardian

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Fred Khumalo Slams Health Minister’s Proposed Alcohol Advertising Ban

Fred Khumalo

Zulu Boy Gone CrazyIn his latest Sunday World column, Fred Khumalo, author of Zulu Boy Gone Crazy, condemns Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s crusade against alcohol advertising.

Khumalo believes Motsoaledi’s intentions rely on a specious link between alcohol advertising and alcohol abuse, adding that the ramifications of such a move would have far-reaching undesirable consequences.

Our health minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, is one of those guys with the rare distinction of being firm in their convictions, but open-minded when the occasion calls for it.

Not so long ago we saw him bend over backwards in trying to positively engage advocates of ritual initiation (traditional leaders and their acolytes) while retaining the trust and respect of his Western-trained colleagues who have no truck with this traditional circumcision practice, which they regard as “barbaric, backward, and unscientific” – and downright embarrassing.

But his recent fulminations about the “scourge” of alcohol advertising are incongruent to his intellect, level-headedness and exposure to international trends.

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Image courtesy of The Daily Dispatch

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