Folks, it’s reading an article like this that actually makes me look back on the violent SATAWU riots of late last year with some affection because at least those were actual protests, not some tip toe down the streets angst fest happening tomorrow:
For the march to take place, organisers agreed to rules laid down by the Tshwane Metro Council.
These include no anti-government slogans, no wearing of official uniforms, no covering of faces with balaclavas, bandanas or caps, and no stopping at intersections.
AAC founder Vinnete Ebrahim said while the organisation was not pandering to any form of censorship and would ultimately not stop anyone with anti-government banners, they wanted to keep the issue of crime at the forefront.
“It is something the Metro Police and AAC agreed upon.
“This was because we felt that when one uses anti-government slogans it allows for hate speech which could easily lead to racism.”
I guess we can expect a level of PC-ness from the Artists Against Crime but that’s just taking things a little bit too far. It’s a bit of a jump from allowing anti-government slogans to having the AWB takeover the protest.
This is pretty indicative of the way the ANC has managed to frame any debate about government: ‘If you criticise government, you’re a racist’. They’ve used that canard for years in parliament when it comes to critics of government, particularly the DA. That’s not particularly healthy for discourse and debate.And to make it worse here’s a nice bit of thoughtcrime policing from Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson William Baloyi:
As Metro Police we do not approve any gathering or march that is against the spirit of the constitution, which includes a gathering used as a platform for hate speech, illegal activities, incitement to violence or which may be offensive to the broader community.
No laws have to be broken, it just has to be against the ‘spirit of the constitution’. I know the myth of true freedom of speech in SA was shattered during the whole Mohammed cartoon fiasco, but it’s always nice to get a reminder about it from the cops.Update: Here’s a prime example of an ANC politician playing the ‘racist!’ card.
Speeding minister wants ‘racist’ whistle-blower found
KwaZulu-Natal’s transport minister on Tuesday again justified his convoy’s recent speeding and called for the name of the “racist” motorist who filmed it.
“He is a self-made, arrogant, non-accountable individual who purports to be a good citizen and I will dare to argue that he is also a racist,” said Bheki Cele in a statement.He said the motorist who had used his cellphone to film Cele’s convoy speeding at 160km/h had broken the law. The Witness newspaper, which ran the story in April, has refused to reveal the name of its source.
COSATU have announced they they are now officially discussing who they will be supporting as the next leader of the ANC. This comes with reports that COSATU and the SACP are putting pressure on the ANC to shift it’s policies more to the left.
What still makes me shake my head over this is why if they’re trying to move to the ANC to the left then why COSATU Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi continue to believe that Zuma is someone who “relates to us”. Zuma is possibly one of the most conservative politicians in the ANC. During his tenure as VP Zuma never uttered a word out of line with Mbeki’s centrist policy (as was to be expected really) but since he got the boot he’s been all over the place depending on his audience.
Put him in front of a COSATU crowd and he’s decrying current government policy on AIDS (no mention of his role as head of the National AIDS Council), put him in front of a church congregation and he’s spouting off oun our nations lack of biblical values (sure to impress those atheists over at the SACP), put him in Steve Hofmeyer’s backyard and he’s humming the tune to ‘De La Rey’ with Leon Schuster.
So is he a canny populist. Yes I’d say so. Is he the saviour of the left? Not a chance. The COSATU Central Executive Committee meeting to discuss who they will back at the ANC NEC elections take place next month. Let’s see if they agree.
The media is all abuzz with stories that Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille is feuding with DA Western Cape Leader Theuns Botha. What makes the story all the more juicy is that Botha is supposedly in cahoots with ID Leader Patricia De Lille. According to reports Botha is not keen to have Zille become national DA leader as that would make him her subordinate. Tony Leon was quick to jump in and declare any stories about feuds and plots to be little more than media ‘distortion’. Despite proclaiming in his last weekly e-mail newsletter that the DA is proud of it’s transparent leadership selection process it seems when things get nasty it’s time to take things behind closed doors.
If this is all true it’s unclear to me why Botha would be conspiring with the ID. Sure he may not like Zille but why does Patricia De Lille not want Zille to become national DA leader? Perhaps in becoming DA leader Zille would dethrone De Lilla as first lady of opposition politics? Or does De Lille believe it would strengthen the DA in the Western Cape and perhaps thwart any plans the ID had of swapping alleigances (again) when floor crossing occurs again in September?
To tell you the truth I’ve never really liked Theuns Botha. To me he is a leftover from the highly unsuccessful DP/NNP merger and every time I see him I get the feeling the only reason he didn’t follow the rest of his NNP pals to the ANC was because of his still lingering dislike for ‘die kommuniste’. Although I could have the man all wrong.
Moeletsi Mbeki, brother of Thabo Mbeki, that is. He is refreshingly forthright in his opinions despite the fact that he is Thabo’s kid brother. He previously called Zuma a puppet with no policy of his own, he believes BEE in it’s current form is just as bad as colonialism and now he has come out strongly in criticism of Thabo’s strategy on Zimbabwe:
He was highly critical of South Africa’s policy on Zimbabwe, saying the government was contributing to the crisis by insisting that Zimbabwe had a democracy when it clearly had fallen victim to a party dictatorship.
Asked during question time whether armed intervention and/or sanctions by South Africa would work, Mbeki said “no state can rule out the use of force”. It would normally have the monopoly over such force and would use it if it was in the national interest.
It was now in South Africa’s national interest to restore democracy to Zimbabwe and rebuild its economy to accommodate its 80 percent jobless, most of whom had streamed into neighbouring countries.
And you can quote me on that. I had to put my head in my hands and breath deeply for a few seconds to avoid punching my monitor after reading this quote:
For instance people say there is no food in Zimbabwe but this is nonsense. There is food, it’s just very expensive.
I wouldn’t be suprised when told that bread is scarce in Harare he replies: “Let them eat cake”.
And it gets worse:
As serious as he was in 2005 after the Zimbabwean parliamentary elections when he told members of his SABC editorial staff that it was a lie that there was no food in Zimbabwe and that people were starving.
Back then he had told a group of journalists (and others) that during his stay in the Sheraton in Harare he had in fact enjoyed freshly baked bread rolls daily.
He added that he had also had no trouble ordering Johnny Walker Black and even mineral water. And what’s more, he insisted triumphantly, he had even got room service to bring it to him so what the hell was everyone on about?
I can’t believe this political apparatchik is still in charge of SABC News.
A few months ago the national and provincial housing departments excluded the Cape Town municipality from the N2 Gateway Housing project claiming that it was a project of national importance. Well that decision seems to have come back to haunt them because the CT municipality would have been perfect scapegoats for the current problems at the project.
Residents slam govt houses
It will cost millions of rand to repair structural damage caused by poor workmanship to the N2 Gateway housing project.
Richard Dyantyi, provincial minister of housing, said it was shocking that problems were being experienced at rental units in phase 1 less than a year after construction.
The N2 gateweay project is still way way behind schedule. 705 units have been made available but when you consider that Cape Town has a housing backlog of 400 000 people then it really is more of a shiny showcase than an actual solution to Cape Town’s housing problem.
The latest reports in the media seem to indicate that COSATU is getting nervous backing Jacob Zuma and may look to be throwing their weight behind someone else who is not Thabo Mbeki. We’ve seen this happen before with COSATU when Zuma was embroiled in his rape trial COSATU were scrambling to find a suitable replacement should he be convicted. When his original corruption trial was struck off the court roll it looked like COSATU (or at least COSATU Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi) were betting all their chip on Zuma.
However with the NPA making it clear that they fully intend to re-prosecute Zuma on corruption charges and with their being a good chance that the trial will take place during the ANC NEC elections it might be a good idea to look for another candidate to put their weight behind. The name brought up again as a possible COSATU backed candidate is ANC Secretary General Kgalema Motlanthe. He was mentioned as a possible Zuma replacement back during the rape trial as well.Update: Cosatu scorns Sunday Times’s Zuma report
There is no truth in media reports that Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leaders have “dropped” their support for Jacob Zuma as a candidate for the African National Congress (ANC) presidency, the union federation said on Sunday.
It seems despite being all the way up north Gauteng DA leader John Moody is putting his vote next to Helen Zille’s name as new leader of the DA.
“To me, Helen is the most appropriate person to head the party. She has a personality that draws people to herself… Helen has become for Cape Town and the DA, our own Helen Of Hope,” said Moody, the party’s first black provincial leader.
‘Helen of Hope’? I guess it’s better than ‘Kortbroek’, but only just.
It seems the DA leadership race is going to be a three horse race between Zille, DA Federal Chairman Joe Seremane and DA Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip.
In the past on this blog we’ve called for cabinet ministers in charge of non-performing departments to be dismissed. The Business Day Weekender echoed those sentiments in this weeks editorial where they opine over the fact that any hope that Thabo Mbeki might be leaving a distinguished legacy is being diminished by the day because he won’t fire useless cabinet ministers.
Ministries identified by The Weekender as being detrimental to Mbeki’s legacy
All of these could stall SA’s development and destroy Mbeki’s legacy. It is now easy to forget that when Mbeki took the reins in June 1999, his popular nickname was Mr Delivery. Eight years later, it is impossible to attach this tag to him. This reality is more dangerous to Mbeki than any populist pretender to his throne.
- Communications – the sooner Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri gets the boot the better
- Trade and Industry – mainly due to the ongoing Lotto debacle and our selective tarriffs on Chinese textiles
P.S. Speaking of useless ministries did anyone notice in the Sunday Times Careers section that the recruitment ad for the vacant Director-General of Home Affairs post was recalled?
Despite being hampered by a combination of non-stop infighting and complete marginalisation by the ANC in their role in the anti-Apartheid struggle, the PAC sure does have a lot of optimisim:
The PAC expected to be on the comeback trail in the 2009 elections, be the official opposition in 2014 and become the ruling party come 2019.
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