Beyond the DA, what are De Lille’s political options?

 

JOHANNESBURG- Patricia De Lille, the DA mayor of the City of Cape Town has vowed to continue her fight to prove the DA acted in an irrational manner when it expelled her from the party.  Her seeking of relief in the High Court on the which will hear her appeal today confirms she is not taking this lying down. It is clear the DA has committed of comedy of errors and was clutching at straws from the start.

Their meandering and manifold reasons for relieving her of her membership which we are now told is primarily informed by a statement De Lille made, confirm that each of the previous levelled claims was either drummed-up or vacuous, to say the least. There is also clearly going to be repercussions for the DA for this act which plays out in the typical race dilemma with the Coloured vote as the epicentre. De Lille became the object of the full attack of the DA which always includes the useful tools from incompetency to corruption charges.

The DA’ obsession with black ace politics in this season has seen it pushing for a Bonginkosi Madikizela candidacy in replacement of De Lille. Madikizela himself is a former ANC and UDM member and is currently the elected leader of the DA in the Western Cape. One does not have to be a De Lille fan to see the DA acted in a short-sighted and desperate fashion in its desire to get rid of her.  If it uses her statement as the sole and primary reason for relieving her of her membership without following due process, it will need to explain how on the basis of what it had initiated and executed a failed vote of no confidence, levelled accusations of corruption against, advanced incompetence on her part and at the same time expected her to remain of no public opinion as it pertains her political future within the DA. However, let us leave that for the court and judiciary to pronounce on.

The question De Lille is confronted with is what her political choices are going forward. To appreciate her the political options and ultimate choices we must ask what can benefit her, who is her current supporting constituency and how they can benefit. Ultimately, we must ask in what form and with who she may partner to teach the DA a lesson.

De Lille is a popular leader in the Western Cape, she is the first Mayor to attain a two-thirds majority. Under her leadership, the DA secured a significant margin of victory. You, therefore, cannot discount De Lille as a factor. The question is can you overestimate her? Off course in politics, a week is a long time and personal interest often outweighs the greater interest of causes. Her popularity is clearly underestimated by the DA.

De Lille’s constituency beyond all doubt is anchored in those with a denotation of Coloured for an identity. He support is stronger in particular in the Metropolitan Western Cape community. We all know the DA is not as popular in the rural hinterlands of the Western Cape. De Lille’s constituency comprises those who increasingly have become despondent with the DA’s white privilege centredness that is a reality in the City of Cape Town. The recent water crisis which we hear more and more was an engineered crisis centred on an elaborate salination deal with Israel in which the DA would have secured a +R600m war-chest kitty for its 2019 election campaign, has not helped the poor in the Cape metro who already feel marginalised. The elitist agenda and white interest the reason for the DA existence does not sit well with the poor who are black defined in Coloured, African and Indians.

The DA’s obsession to deal with De Lille became a Coloured fight, meaning the average self-identifying Coloured self and or other defined groups that make up this apartheid epithet for identity interpreted the DA’s action against De Lille with intend of replacing her with Madikizela as a direct attack on the Coloured people, who had thus far delivered the DA in successive victories since the ANC lost. Let us also agree when the ANC won the Western Cape it was also because of that constituency. De Lille is therefore considered the evidence of the disrespect the DA has towards this constituency despite the fact that it was loyal to the DA. This constituency can and will punish the DA. De Lille has this angry constituency on her side, for now, willing to punish the DA and hurt them where it matters most.

There are those who automatically assume De Lille will join the ANC, others assume she may even join the Economic Freedom Fighters. The question remains, what are the implications for De Lille’s choice for the ANC. The DA’s failed vote of no confidence in her was opposed by the ANC and the Patriotic Alliance, the latter’s vote ended up being the deciding vote that saw her survive the DA-led motion.

Joining the ANC, may not be as good a choice for her. Unfortunately, as much even some in the Western Cape and National ANC assume, the ANC can directly cash in with her walking into the ANC, the constituency that supports De Lille will be lost if she ventures such a move.  The ANC is today less of political home for Coloureds than it ever was since 1994. We know that the ANC has equally failed to take this constituency serious its many bad choices and known insensitivity interpreted in direct side-lining if not punishing this constituency when it comes to electing and appointing leadership from national to provincial cabinets has painted the ANC in the same vein as the DA. Secondly, the ANC does not inspire or show any change of heart and therefore is not trusted by this constituency regardless to how some politicians in the Western Cape may in this season simplistically approach this matter for their own personal political future gain. De Lille will lose the coloured constituency if she dares to join the ANC because the joining the ANC will not answer the cries of her supporting constituency.

Can De Lille’s choice for the EFF deliver a significant difference or her maintenance of the current support she has from the Coloured constituency that is deeply angered with the DA, and do not trust the ANC? The EFF is not in truth as real a presence as it claims. It remains a 6% party with more strength in Gauteng than anywhere. If the ANC is not trusted the EFF is less trusted for a multiplicity of reasons. The EFF shares strategic relationship with the DA that secured the DA political power and leadership in among others three metros Tshwane, City of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay. The EFF in its clear apartheid narrow defined African focus policy footprint inspires no hope of ever representing this constituency. Also, the EFF despite all the noise and media space afforded has hitherto not been trusted to lead any municipality as can be seen from the August 2016 local elections performance. The EFF failed to be trusted at a time when the ANC was at its weakest. The EFF, therefore, is no home for the Coloured vote.

In the end, what may be the better option for De Lille? De Lille must find a way to revive her ID Party. When she came into an Alliance with the DA it was because she had a party that contested national elections. Her relationship with Helen Zille and the DA forced her to kill her own party as she was chained by a mayoral position. Perhaps a very important lesson for De Lille, who placed her personal interest above those entrusted her to lead.  The DA having politically shared in affairs and romantically dated half of SA political parties is a master at getting negotiating deals that work for it. After all, it lives up to its name of being an alliance, the only difference is the DA expects those it has affairs with to lose their identity and be subservient to it. De Lille had to give up her ID identity to fit into the DA. De Lille now is confronted with the reality of having to revive her party. Whether Aunty Pat has the energy to do it is another subject, but it does not look like she has any other option if she at least wants to remain popular with her supporting constituency.

She faces the stark challenge of having to revive her party and rebuild it with the hope of entering into a coalition with probably the ANC where she may be able to bargain in the interest of the constituency that continues to support her.  The ANC should also be wise to appreciate De Lille is of better use, not as a member but a coalition partner. In so doing she may be able to have a win-win situation where she gets what she as a politician at personal level may hope for, serve the interest of her primary constituency bargaining for their interest and equally punish the DA thus teaching her former party a political lesson.

Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
Political Commentator & Writer Chairperson of TMoSA Foundation

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Nationalists on both sides of the divide of race make the same demands on Britain’s next princess

  

 

Is Meghan Markle trapped painted with ‘black’ and ‘bi-racial’ princess demands for her identity? The world awaits the much-publicized wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry to the USA born Suits actress and TV personality Meghan Markle, scheduled for May 19. It is believed, if William, his older brother resembles his mom in facial looks, Harry in every aspect of what some call personality controversy reflects the late Princess Diana.  The one who lives on the edge and is comfortable to stir controversy. As is typical with royalty secrets the world may never know what internal controversy Harry unleashed when he decided to propose marriage to Markle.

In whose interest is it that Meghan remains black or biracial as a means for her identity classification as the spouse of Prince Harry? In any normal society, the marriage of these two would have been celebrated as two love-birds, each with their own histories and life paths, finding their own melody and rhythm in the journey of love they create for themselves. Then again, we don’t live in a normal society, ours is a society that is class informed, race directed and captured and since Harry is considered aristocracy when Meghan is for some in Britain less than a commoner, there was always going to be raised eyebrows and unsavory comments

While class and culture may be real challenges for some, nothing underscores the abnormality more than the ongoing belief in race – a discredited scientific enterprise premised essentially on the Rassen Articles of Immanuel Kant published in 1785. Kant, therefore, was the first to formally introduce us to race in which, white is considered superior. By the time Kant dared to publish his German articles he and those who shared his mind already had opposition to this narrow interpretation of what makes for identity. Nevertheless, Kant, supported by Carl Linnaeus and others continued with the myth of race for a definition of a distinct identity for human beings who share a common humanity. By 1945 at the end of World War 11, eugenics was debunked for the myth it is, yet seventy years beyond this race flourishes and has many carceral in our daily discourse, race lives in our daily interactions, race informs opportunity and access, and race remains a stubborn reality albeit in a claim of its social constructionism foundation.

Why are the same qualification demands not made of Harry? Commentary on the upcoming wedding swings from opposite poles of absolute admiration to horrendous insult interspersed with what I choose to call strange statements for a definition of bi-racialism. The center of what I deem peculiar statements and wild claims as to be expected centers on the identity of Meghan Markle. Notice, the identity of Harry is not in question he is identified as royalty, with a number in line for the British throne. He thus free-wheels in the identity debate and is exonerated from any questions about his identity, he is accepted as white, in pristine sense of clarity and without any labels of qualification of a biracial description. The feminists do not ask why this discrepancy, I guess they do not see this because they too have race as the departure point for identity. The true feminist cannot be silent when a woman is subjected to explain her identity at the hand of a questionable race notion when her male counterpart is given a free pass because his identity and social standing in whiteness is not up for question.

Can Meghan be afforded space and time to be heard in self-defining or is her identity a fate she cannot escape? Markle finds herself caught in the cross-fires of the vocal protagonists of white and black nationalist identities who each deem it their inalienable right to define her, leaving little space if any for her to have her own voice to stand as her father advised her when the white teacher at school encouraged her to tick the Caucasian box since her looks aligned with a white identity. Her daddy’s advice was to ‘draw your own box’. Strangely this was considered profound though her daddy’s advice of an own box is automatically understood and assumed and quantified for biracial as if that was the intent. Incidentally, Meghan’s character in Suits is Rachel. Let us not forget that another American woman Rachel Dolezal tried to draw her own box and the same crowds of nationalist crusaders of race on all sides attacked her till this day. If only the forever bickering race self-appointed police trapped lot regardless to black or white for their bold description can afford others to draw their own boxes? But they won’t relent because their own uncertainty as to who they are is apparently exposed by those who want to draw their own boxes and self-identify.

From the start, Meghan was subjected to a combination of USA race uphold crusaders and the typical British stiff upper lip public scrutiny. In an Elle interview back in 2016 Markle captures the reality of her experience in what she calls a ‘’verbal dance’’ with the following words ‘What are you?’ A question I get asked every week of my life, often every day. ‘Well,’ I say, as I begin the verbal dance I know all too well. ‘I’m an actress, a writer, the Editor-in-Chief of my lifestyle brand The Tig, a pretty good cook and a firm believer in handwritten notes.’ A mouthful, yes, but one that I feel paints a pretty solid picture of who I am. But here’s what happens: they smile and nod politely, maybe even chuckle, before getting to their point, ‘Right, but what are you? Where are your parents from?’ I knew it was coming, I always do. While I could say Pennsylvania and Ohio, and continue this proverbial two-step, I instead give them what they’re after: ‘My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.’

Meghan’s story is the story of many in a digitally advanced yet growing intolerant and increasing primitive world-society where some deem it their inalienable right to restrict everyone in binaries of black and white for the totality of identity articulation. For them nothing matters but race to describe human beings one way or the other. It is not new for her, yet it now is on the world stage since a British aristocrat decided to fall in love with her and her in turn with him. Love the most natural experience between two human beings anywhere, is not as simple when race is forced into the same space and equation. The story of love is now relayed through the arduous and complicated means of white and black identity frequencies that violently reverberates louder than the common humanity of these two lovebirds, holding the innate potential if not intended to disrupt their love, because race has only regard for itself.

What threat does a self-identifying individual hold for those who defend a group identity in an uncritical claim of either black or white frames? Meghan found herself communicated through the prism of her divorced parents. This later shifted to the issue of her own divorce yet nothing features more prominently than her identity understood in the frame of race. Not that divorce in the British or any other royalty is new, Harry’s parents, direct number one to the throne were divorced after numerous scandals. Harry’s uncle Andrew divorced his wife. Despite this Harry was considered ultra-controversial since he is marrying an American who is black, or as some argue biracial and divorced on top of that. Meghan became a ragdoll for some who are obsessed to demand of her that she owns up to her black princess status and those who want her to be the first bi-racial princess in the history of the monarchy. Both these groups for their own interest fail to afford her any means of an identify devoid of their shared race prism. Dolezal found out that that the world is not ready for self-identification.

Does the evolutionary development of the slaves that came to the United States of America’s identity over more than a century from negroid, to coloured later in the 1960’s to black and ultimately in this epoch to African American frames qualify to be disregarded in this conversation of race with convenient binaries of black and white? Those who uphold black for a means of an identity often have the Black Power movement of the 60’s as a departure point for a black identity defence, a time when blacks rose in forms of resistance to assert blackness as the opposite of what whites have portrayed and made known. castigates her for playing down her blackness and accuses her of living up to whiteness. She is accused of aligning more to whiteness by those who want her to be only black their black princess, their black hope to a white a throne. They even go as far as saying Meghan is the type of black, all whites would want blacks to be. Unfortunately both those who defend a black identity and those who claim a white identity for themselves continue to uphold the sick old American one-drop rule, a social and legal principle of racial classification historically prominent that any person with even one ancestor of sub-Saharan-African ancestry (“one drop” of black blood) is considered black (Negro in historical terms), its implications of racial purity being that anyone unable to pass for white in the context of the US racial hierarchy is assigned the lower status of being non-white or colored. The danger of this uphold be it in original or in an appropriated sense is that has the same negative impact for those identified by it.

This one drop blood is on another level made relevant as extended further beyond the proverbial pond, since it is clear some have a ‘’problem” with royal bloodline being ‘tainted’ via Meghan, and the royal family becoming not as “pure” white from then onward. No one is ever asked actual scientific information on blood types (A, O, AB, B), it is as if black ‘blood’ is from a separate and shamed species, like wolf blood or something in that form. Does it not even dawn on anyone that Harry and Meghan might have the same actual blood type for all we know.

Can Meghan just not be a princess why the qualification? Interesting enough both the right-wing hardliner group and the professing liberals who claim and defend a white denotation for their identity also seek to deny her an identity, they too are proactive in not affording her a claim on whiteness. For all of them, Meghan can only be black, she can only be of mixed race or bi-racial, and she must be reminded to own up to these descriptions for her identity since these constitute her real identity. Unlike Kate Middleton, Williams’s spouse Meghan Markle cannot just be a princess in the British Royalty but warrants a qualification of either black or biracial description, not because either she or Harry demands this but those extended themselves custodianship of the global identity police.

Why do we continue to ask people – what are you, until they are compelled to oblige to tell us what we want to hear with race as the anchor tenant? In the short space of publicly dating Harry, Meghan went from first a white to black than mixed and now we are told she is biracial, the latter is peddled in every advert or reference to the upcoming wedding. We are not sure what biracial means unless it is understood directly extrapolated from the binaries of a white and black race frame. Commentators on CNN categorically refer to her as bi-racial, Meghan, herself, also speaks of her being biracial identity. We not sure if that is in self-identification sense, a right she like all of us is entitled to, or if she merely is yielding to the pressure of what the contesting sides in synchronism of race in both black and white may demand of her.

As her interview leads, upon being asked who you are, she chooses to define herself in many ways with helpful tools of a career, interest other than the obdurate race frame, while she knows the forever lurking question, remains, …but really what are you? She concedes telling people you are a writer, actress, a researcher or receptionist is not enough until you identify in the frame of what they have determined an identity. Elaine Musiwa in November 2017 in an opinion piece in Vogue wrote, Meghan Markle is half black. She is biracial. Her father is white, and her mother is black. These categoric, simplistic and close end easy answers on a complex identity is paraded as final when we know social scientists have long concluded identity is not a fixed construct but lends itself increasingly to a more fluid means.

Meghan is only identified by some with the epithet of bi-racialism understood to mean she is of two races for having a black mother and white father. The challenge with this biracial notion of an identity is its narrow application. Firstly, it is borne out by an upkeep of an indebtedness to race as a means to define a common humanity and secondly it is understood in the constricted straight-jacketed sense of white and black colours as singular poles for the claims of race.

At another level for most of these groups bi-racial is only understood in black and white race frames, they do not tell us if this applies to any other inter-marrying groups such as for example a German and a Spanish. We are not sure you if bi-racial is relevant or not in these instances? If one is bi-racial if one is of mixed race descent why is this even an issue when we know the British Royalty in history is hardly Arian but of mixed descent? Why is race narrowly drawn in black and white cloaks? Should we uncritically embrace and bow before race as the means for our identity only because history has determined that so, or can we argue against the maintenance of race for our common humanity?

I wish Harry and Meghan a love rollercoaster they both will enjoy and have natural pleasant memories of, free from the outdated unscientific and toxic racial frames others in their low self-esteem of self-identifying want to force upon them. I wish Meghan to be another princess in the British Monarchy, not a black princess neither a biracial princess but one who will be what she always has been in her heart and beliefs. Can we leave this couple to celebrate love and free them of the cancer of race that hitherto keeps a world constipated and perpetually poor to appreciate a common humanity?

Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
Political Commentator & Writer Chairperson of TMoSA Foundation

Analysis: Mitchell’s Plain and Siqalo racial conflict!

 

-A tale of black poverty, neglect manifesting the anomalies of apartheid appropriated race-faultline – identity formulation and spatial definitions-

 

A week of carnage, hate and violence played out around two of apartheid’s four classified identities understood in Africans and Coloureds. The scene for this was Mitchells Plain and Siqalo geographic township nodes. Mitchell’s Plain my home and 1980’s youth activist world from where I was expelled from Woodlands High as student and sent to run in solstice of 1985 student uprise, no different to Soweto in Johannesburg and Mdantsane in the East London area remains the signpost and stubborn legacy of a successful apartheid project of racial classification, control, and abuse, that haunts   us with impunity in democracy. The same apartheid the political lightweight Kallie Kriel of Afri-Forum today have the audacity to tell us was never a crime against humanity. We all know apartheid the world over as made famous by SA was declared a heresy by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, apartheid the insult to a common humanity that plunged a people into an abyss of racial hate that flares at an instant has embedded itself so deep in our conscious and visual space until its inbred-violence overflows in the blood of its victims.

May 2, became a Wednesday of shame, pain and yes ultimately death when one person lost his life and many were others injured in the tension that flared between Mitchells Plain, Siqalo as neighbouring communities and the police. While we cannot yet draw definitive links between the ongoing violence of Delft commuter bus associations which already claimed nine lives, but the links of poverty remains prominent. These are all communities that share the same socio-economic conditions of abject poverty, scarce resources and unemployment. As we were treated to pictures and live shots of violence and hate evidenced in absurd calls to war against blacks, we mourned again realising the damage apartheid has caused perhaps threatening in an eternal sense.

In the words of a Mitchell’s Plain resident, Ganif Loonat, “It was a terrible moment‚ like the darkest days of this country that we worked so hard to achieve democracy for‚” Loonat furthermore asserts and makes a cardinal point when he said: “This community needs to unite and the poor need to stand together.” The wisdom of his conclusion on this community is what we must use as departure point if we serious to understand what is at stake and among whom this is playing out – the poor.

 

What is wrong with our approach to understanding what happened?

 

Our approach to understand and make sense of the subject of the poor collective history understood in a constricted race and economic disparity reflects a haphazard response.  We often in simplicity deny the real crisis, as an event, with the only desire to get it off our radar as the proverbial fly that disturbs us. There were those who just wanted the day over because that is often our escapism until the next moment confronts us. We also quickly rush into our race and group huddled spaces where we spit venom one against the other as a means to get even, this does not help except to show our individual and collective ineptitude to deal with the bigger picture. We heard some say “Coloureds are just as racist as whites’ when we also heard shouts of “these blacks/Africans are lazy and want everything for free while we pay 23 units of electricity a R100”. I cite these here for they are the captured expressed views of South Africans indolent or not across various class definition in commenting on what happened two weeks ago on the most southern part of Africa.

 

It appears South Africans consciously refuse to engage the articulated accusations at times dwarfed by expletives and drenched in racial identity classifications of those directly affected by the issues at hand. We must hear the background reverberations of race, poverty, identity, class and space. We easily prove dismissive in ease of our determined analysis of the emptiness of their claim. We ought to have learned that being dismissive does not alter the issues some may advance at least as seen and experienced by those who choose to rise and attack be it in stone gun or vehicle. Today we all jump and condemn the attacks (rightfully so) but unfortunately that is but only a first step if we are serious to deal with the issue of the challenges of the landless poor, the resource denied and opportunity robbed for Coloured and Africans that live in Mitchell’s Plain and Siqalo as neighbouring communities. 

 

SA can do without the self-serving false shame of the political elites

As was expected the first thing the political elites do in instances such as these is to feel embarrassed, ashamed of what happened. They rush to apologise on behalf of those who made themselves guilty of the acts, yet that does not deal with the issues at hand and serves nothing but the interest of the political elite. They acted in the same manner when t claims of xenophobia were advanced, back then out of their shame the elites staged a march to show their disgust.  Beyond the flimsy shame of the elites on both sides of the apartheid African and Coloured divide, we are compelled engage the reality of what moments such as these means, communicate and explain about us as a South African society. Among the elites, there are always those who in this season seeks to steal the limelight with intention of reviving of political careers hoping to be noticed by their political bosses for a promotion, obviously less interested to engage the real issues. The elites shy away from being public about what they share around their braai-stands and in their pool-rooms, where they share the same disgust just not as violent as what they condemn for politically expedient reasons.

What are the advanced claims?

What happened between neighbours immanent in Mitchells Plain and Siqalo is not new, we have lived through it when claims of xenophobic violence were advanced in previous times since 2003. Notice I am qualifying xenophobic violence as a claim, I have elsewhere argued against its usage in our context if the use of the original meaning is departure point.  It’s the same contest of the poor in which the same becomes the other and ultimately with the description of a foreigner and hence a threat to livelihood and meaning of life. It often finds a claim in a mumbled articulation be it the Atteridgeville, East Rand, Soweto, KwaZulu-Natal and last week in Mitchells Plain and Siqalo. The central theme as it is heard in the media adopts the notion of ‘they take our jobs, our business, our women, our children and our RDP homes’. Mitchell’s Plains is ours as coloureds, these people want everything for free, they are invading us from the Eastern Cape where they have homes. They take from us our space.

 

When we hear them say, THEY TAKE the above we prove dismissive in claims of South Africans are lazy, wanting the government to do everything for them.  These responses as categoric as they are made, recorded, and articulated consciously refuse to hear the two critical words – THEY TAKE. It is here where the subject of – THEY TAKE – is most prominent and finds meaning. Please do not misread me to argue the poor are naturally prone to behave in a violent manner but appreciate the milieu and context rather than a narrow conclusive view on the poor. Claims levelled such as ‘These – people, they take from us…’ operate in a space and place where the most vulnerable struggles to eke out an existence in the midst of a rightfully or wrongly claimed persistent taking from them. It operates in the midst of those for whom a historic, present, and future disenfranchisement, regardless the oft-cited celebrated state of a constitutional democracy, is more than tangible. These are those who have not yet, shared in this South African dream of a collective future of equal opportunity, access and race free citizenry.

 

What is the common denominator for these neighbours?

The common denominator and binding factor for these communities is that they both share in poverty, the socio-economic conditions they find themselves in fuels a contest for the basics, it is here that the contest for the basics become a bloody and violent expression.  I previously argued the claims of xenophobia as we know never plays out among the elites, the environment of the elites is secured and insulated against any contest for the basics. Everyday in Cape Town in Llandudno a crossbreed to varying degrees of Coloureds, Africans, Indians and Whites (all apartheid classifications) show up at the same Virgin Active exclusive gym, have their children that attend the Bishop’s College in Rondebosch private schools share in sleep-overs and take their dogs to the same expensive parlour.

 

The elites are active in an economy informed by opportunity to access and gain based on education, political power proximity and an assortment of privileged skills they have acquired. They team up across the racial divide to access more opportunities as the new context of Black Economic Empowerment demand. The elites, therefore, are assimilated in communities of safety where the threat of what of happened in Mitchell’s Plain and Siqalo simply never will manifest. Racial hate and violence among the finds expression among the poorest of the poor. It finds meaning where there is a contestation for resources, services, and access however defined. There is enough evidence to confirm that both these apartheids classified group live, breath, play and transact in this space with the freedom of no real threat that the violence and hate as race engineered and informed may show up

 

It is here that I wish to postulate ‘racial violence exemplified in the contest of the poor’ as we have witnessed a day after Workers day in South Africa’s biggest Coloured township does not manifest in the spaces where the ruling class lives, transact and play, for here the borders and boundaries have been set informed by ownership of means or a sharing therein as the ruling class permits.

 

 

 

Therefore, these incidents have political meaning, they never dislocated from the bigger picture reality of what South Africa has always been.  They also do not take place devoid of a context and an undeniable reality of the elusive economic dream and the glaring anomalies and failures of economic redress the victims of apartheid had hoped for.  In the case of the Mitchells Plain and Siqalo communities poverty is a common denominator, the binding factor yet at the same time the jet fuel for violent uprise at any time.

 

 

What divides these communities?

Their socio-economic context of the said communities plays out against the backdrop of a historical political reality that to large extent continues twenty-four years into democracy, almost concretized in foreverness. For the communities of Mitchell’s Plain and Siqalo, nothing significant has changed from 1993 to 2018. They still poor, their material conditions that make life possible remains as challenging as back then and the reality of a diluted institutionalised racism and discrimination slightly differently defined because the Democratic Alliance now rules, therefore, that apartheid extended a superior identity of white are still in charge. The same beneficiaries of colonialism and apartheid whites, the absent identity in Mitchell’s Plain and Siqalo under the DA is kept safe from this contest insulated just as in apartheid days, while their interest continues to be the focus of the political leadership of the DA.

 

Clyde N.S Ramalaine

Political Commentator & Writer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Open letter of gratitude to the outgoing ANC leadership!

 

 

Permit me to thank the outgoing ANC leadership as represented in its two term President Jacob G. Zuma, Deputy President Cyril M. Ramaphosa, Chairperson Baleka Mbete, Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte and the NEC.

You as a team led during arguably the most difficult period of the organizational existence, you had to engage and navigate the complexities of an ANC in liberation movement formation struggling to be a party in democracy.

 

You had to show leadership to this broad church with its known and vetted contesting ideologies, expectations, aspirations and even opposing fundamental beliefs.

 

You certainly did an egg dance with the contesting interests of what defines an ANC in governance.

 

Despite the many challenges when you were personally insulted and castigated by the very interests you attempted to manage, you undoubtedly delivered many things during your tenure.

 

 

I have always held regardless to how fiercely we may disagree or be at variance with our leadership we must also defend them against others and ourselves and the rest of what could be veiled and open attacks that simply does not imbibe the values and principles of what this movement came into existence for.

 

 

You were made the scorn of attack and blamed for all that went wrong, seldom given the due respect by your own and those who led before.

 

 

You made like all leaderships before and certainly also after you, some blunders, you scored many own goals, but your overarching intent remained to keep the ANC together to the best of what was entrusted to you. To let the centre hold despite the reality of the demon of factionalism.

 

 

All power is borrowed and has an expiry date, you knew that before you accepted the call, you experienced it and some of you now will become ordinary again.

 

May you continue to serve in that ordinary, powerless sense convinced that unto you were entrusted a time, a period and epoch and such has now come to an end. Yet your contribution not.

 

 

Thank you for delivering the 54th Conference, we all know it was not easy.

 

 

Now what is left is to let history do what it was preordained to do from before time.

 

We remain prayerful and trust the Movement we believe defend and serve will in delicate and delegate sense make the right choices that will emancipate the masses of SA.

 

 

We may have contested and proved hard on those who raised their hands to avail themselves to lead beyond this period, know this for some of us this was not borne from any malicious intent but to ensure we get the best in leadership.

 

 

The elections contest is real and we all backed our candidates yet once the conference has pronounced we faithful cadres, voters and supporters of the ANC will submit and support and defend that new leadership no different to how we defended you and those before.

 

 

Now let history judge your actions, inactions choices and leadership in objectivity what is undeniable is you as a collective were entrusted to lead, and lead you did.

 

A humongous thank you to your families and closed ones who shared you with us for the last 10 and in some instances 5 years.

 

I pray all of you health and wisdom on the next stage of your life journey.

 

Again thank you for your accessibility to respond and meet with many of us in private setting. In this instance I wish to thank cadres Mantashe, Duarte and Zuma with whom I as ordinary citizen and member of the clergy was afforded many occasions to engage.

 

Truly, “There is a time for everything under the Sun” as Ecclesiastes 3:12 observes.

 

For some of you that time has come to part the scene, perhaps any attempt at overstaying your welcome may taint what you already have crafted as your legacy.

 

Cadre Zuma, you have shown leadership not to contest for another term you therefore afforded the 7 candidates to contest in an unencumbered space as evidence of ANC democracy in practice.

 

 

Return now to your families, write your memoirs and enjoy the African sunrise and sunsets in the comfort that you have made your contribution. We love you unconditionally.

Aluta continua!

Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
December16, 2017
3h00am

ANC 2017: DA’s Douglas Gibson, attests a colonial – chauvinist and narrow mind on NDZ.

This week Douglas Gibson shared his opinion in The Star as carried on the Politicsweb platform, on the potential outcomes of the ANC’s 2017 Elective Conference presidential contest.

Gibson anchors his argument on the premise of the words of Pravin Gordhan whom he cites as having said “Ramaphosa is the only leader who can save the ANC.” This according to Gibson translates to Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma not being the correct person to save the ANC. We not sure why Gibson choose to give Gordhan’s words the final authority in deity status on what the claim of “only leader who can save the ANC”, we cannot assume we know why he draws comfort from the one cites as his departure point.

Then, again Gordhan overnight became an economic ‘messiah’ in his second stint when he according to Gibson’s party, the DA, was not doing well at all in his first term. Gibson uncritically adopts Gordhan’s frame of mind as supreme.

Gibson’s second error is that the ANC 2017 presidential contest is only about a woman candidate and therefore not the qualities of a leader. It appears Gibson considers the quality of leadership as mutually exclusive to gender. This willful and conscious intent to want to force a narrow gender issue as that which is paramount is necessarily a misreading of the fact that the ANC is about to elect as always a quality of leadership. To therefore play quality of leadership of against the gender is perhaps dishonest.

Gibson must tell us did the ANC in all its previous elections chose a male in gender definition instead of a leader?

Gibson in the third instance critiques if not rubbishes NDZ’s stance on land, ownership of the reserve bank and breaking the monopoly of the banks. He claims “these are puerile and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator”.

What Gibson simply doesn’t know is that NDZ was one of those who raised the issue of land in the ANC Policy Conference. It is her conviction that the 1913 cut off period is not sustainable since the ANC was formed in 1912 with land as the central issue. Her conviction on land as needing a much earlier date is borne out by many who make the claim that a 1913 cut off period excludes many such as the Khoisan. Some like Jeremy Cronin argued against the proposed shift to an earlier date, since it would open a can of worms.

It therefore cannot be atttibuted to sheer populism for her to raise the subject of land when she was instrumental in raising it in the relevant constituencies. Clearly Gibson is uncomfortable as to be expected with a possible president consciously opting to make land redress one of her fundamental campaign anchors. Any conversation on land for those who own it as attained in our chequered history is always discomforting.

Gibson’s fourth and perhaps biggest error is his glaring cheap patronizing of NDZ, he argues “what a tragedy it is that a woman of her intelligence, innate ability and accomplishment, with a good deal of charm and delightful sense of humour, has allowed herself to become Zumaed and Gupterised. There are three issues with this claim on the part of Gibson.

§ He arrogates a right in typical colonial and apartheid mind to be the adjudicator of NDZ as intelligent, when they really want to expose and say something else about her unintelligent she is.

§ He categorically defines her as Zumaed and Gupterised. This view on the part of Gibson smacks of utter chauvinism because he assumes the very woman whom he calls intelligent and sophisticated incapable of being her own person in her choices. He repeats what some conveniently have peddled that behind NDZ sits a male dominant Jacob Zuma hence she is Zumaed. She is merely a puppet and he the string-master. This he does when he concedes she in the uprun.

§ Gibson conclusively calls NDZ Gupterised, meaning in his mind corrupt, captured, and the evidence of the opposite of what SA stands for. This is a direct insult he feels he is entitled to exact against NDZ even without corroborating evidence. He will forgive us to read the white and maleness of the author as he advances views on strong female black candidacy.

Gibson’s conclusion is NDZ will win the contest because the Zuma rural constituency in the ANC will carry her.

Again this conclusion is patronising, sexist and elitist since it concludes NDZ can only win because of Jacob Zuma’s rural support. Gibson shares his DA ideology and rhetoric that the ANC is kept in power by the masses of uneducated and backward non-thinking what he blankets in rural definition. This idea unequivocally suggests that the political choices of the poor and rural are unconscious and uninformed choices, for their disposition renders them incapable of making good political leadership choices when it comes to the ANC.

Perhaps Gibson forgets his star Cyril Ramaphosa in 2012 made it to ANC deputy presidency position by that same constituency he reduces to rural, that same constituency he considers as the stamp of approval for corruption, state capture etc. Therefore if Ramaphosa is the only leader to save the ANC he owes his political presence in contestation for high office in 2017 to that same rural constituency.

Gibson says of Ramaphosa he is: ‘urbane charming, intelligent and well educated who knows how to behave and would not disagree with the party’. That colonial and apartheid mind on a black identity always will find space to unveil itself. One never hear whites telling you they vote for a white candidate because he/she is urbane, intelligent, well-educated who knows how to behave. It is naturally assumed that all whites are all the aforementioned, thanks to their superior created state.

Then goes further make this cul-de-sac argument because Ramaphosa is wealthy he will be immune to steal from the people. Clearly Gibson, has not understood greed yet, he assumes greed is a poor man’s entrapment, the poor will be greedy not the super-wealthy, the world and history is replete with examples of the rich overtaken by greed continuing to raping the poor.

In his praise for Ramaphosa he stoops as low as telling us Ramaphosa and his wealthy wife only have four children and not twenty as the current president. What this has to do with the price of eggs only Gibson in his white racist mind knows. For if we hear him correct he draws a line through the culture of the president that affords him more than one wife and as many children, why does Gibson find the culture and traditions of Africans understood in Zulu so deplorable and what does this have to do with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who had one husband and four children? Again that colonial supremacy notion simply cannot hide itself.

He advances if Ramaphosa succeeds he will be indebted to large numbers of looters, crooks, and the morally compromised that have switched to his side. This analysis of the ANC as endemically corrupt and all its leaders crooks u for looting is typical opposition politics. Buried deep in this thinking is the fundamental believe that a black led government can only be corrupt.

Gibson anticipates a significant split once Ramaphosa looses, I almost want to say, we said this as far back as March 2016 that the CR campaign as led by the likes of SAVE-SA Pityana has political ambitions. We will have to wait and see how significant this anticipated split is because judging by the three break-aways in democracy led by Holomisa, Lekota and Malema, its never translated to more than a paltry seven percent.

Yes, Douglas NDZ will become president not because she is just a woman, shares a double-barreled Zuma last name, but because she is a well respected, dignified, selfless and disciplined ANC leader who has proven herself.

She will lead the ANC because despite afforded opportunity like all ANC leaders never gravitated to money as the centre of her being. She will lead the ANC because she is not captured neither masters of capture Rupert or the pretender of capture Gupta. NDZ owes no loyalty to white monopoly capital, she showed it when she took the tobacco industry on and publicly rebuked Rupert on his dismissive ANC RET policy description. Juxtaposed this with a Ramaphosa, who remained until now silent on Rupert’s utterances, maybe this is the fundamental reason why Gibson believes Ramaphosa the saviour of the ANC.

She will lead because she engages ANC policy with land redress and radical economic transformation as central themes. You have told us how little you think of these policies you have shared what you think of the rural people as really uninformed in their choices, we say to you when will you learn the poor, the uneducated, the rural are not stupid they make conscious choices for the ANC and its leadership.

Clyde N.S. Ramalaine
Political Commentator

Does an unholy chord of three strands afford Johann Rupert his arrogance if not indolence?

 

– layers of BLACK ELITISTS, ( ANC politically  connected shareholders, Civil society /Clergy, Academics and ANC presidential contestants,) gives Rupert’s claim credence-

 

Qoheleth, in the twelfth verse of the fourth chapter of Ecclesiastes a wisdom literature book in the Holy Writ reminds us: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A chord of three strands is not easily broken.” I thought of thought of this archaic though Sacred Text, as I began to crystallize the reasons for a Johann Rupert’s arrogance.

 

The South African political plateau confirms a make belief shifting reality, yet the role of capital protests no shaking at all- it defies any tremors. In order to fully appreciate the articulation of a Rupert we must first appreciate the actual control of apartheid and colonial beneficiaries have over the SA economy. The signpost of that constituency is none but one just Johann Rupert the face of apartheid wealth and the embodiment of a successful racist regime, which always had capitalism as its jet fuel and end game.

 

I paused and thought as to why Johann Rupert can be so arrogant if not indolent to engage the true issues that challenge transformation. Rupert out of his fundamental control of whatever defines SA in economic sense ventured to define the ANC led Government policy of Radical Economic Transformation by an insulting and dismissive “a code word for theft” With this five word conclusive definition Rupert spat on policy which represents the hope of the masses of blacks still at the station to also experience true empowerment. He tells blacks you have no hope at a future, unto you was not given the right to challenge the status quo of economic control, you lack the wherewithal to engender productive and truly empowerment capacity for at the core of your policy is a corruption, the aorta of your claim on empowerment is looting.

 

It all makes sense when you realize that the 1994 Consensus has come full circle, the famous sunset clause and less said Brenthurst agreements that protected white apartheid and colonial benefit, has made more whites wealthy and quadrupled white wealth in democracy.

 

Current, Department of Trade and Industry endorsed statistics tell us that 23% of all companies on the JSE are black-owned. That figure is also to be understood in real 13% and 10% in diverse forms of black identity. We also know that a paltry 3% of SA’s economy is truly black-owned, according to DTI.

 

A closer look at other stats on senior management index leads us to conclude that after 23 years of democracy and despite all the progressive policies, i.e. affirmative action, employment equity act, etc., implemented by the ANC led government currently a mere 21% makes up the top executive leadership teams of SA’s top 40 companies and the number of black CEOs running JSE-listed companies has dropped from 15% in 2014 to only 10% in 2015. The last statistic confirms instead of growth undeniable regress of a significant 5% meaning the battle on transforming the SA economy is not won.

 

Recently Minister Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, in sea of unnerving silence on the part of many black elitists became the second senior ANC politician after ANC presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to take Rupert’s arrogance head on. She described Rupert as a ‘beneficiary of the largesse of the interventionist apartheid state’. She continued to attribute the ‘stellar fortunes of his late father’, to that which Dan O’Meara described as ‘volkskapitalisme’. Her application of O’ Meara’s ‘volkskapitalisme’ reads as follow, ‘By means of volkskapitalisme, the racist Nationalist Party government leveraged state power and state assets such as state-owned banks to buoy Afrikaner businesses and turn them into the corporate behemoths of today.’

 

Molewa therefore makes a pertinent analysis and assessment, on the contradiction and mindset of Johann Rupert and his ilk, that we may surmise suffer of selective amnesia as to how the State under apartheid was used to advance and develop the fallacy of an Afrikaner nationality and nationhood.

 

Theresa Oakley Smith managing director of Diversi-T, during May 2017, in referring to recent labour statistics by the South African Labour Force, asserts “ In terms of recruitment white men make up 42,10% of that 100%. African men make up 17.9%…’ According Oakley Smith, ‘White men received 38.8 % of the promotions last year, white women 16 percent, African men 14%, in spite of employment equity….’ Oakley Smith continues to assert, “There is a very good opportunity for white men to seek out other white men, and in the business environment for example if somebody comes in for an interview, the white man walks in and there is already an assumption that he can do the job.”

 

It is here that Molewa correctly concludes in asserting that we must ask questions on the role of the private sector in levelling the playing field from an economic perspective, and whether it has, in fact, “come to the party”.

 

Appreciating the historical trajectory of a system that debased the masses of South Africans in blackness of second class citizenship combined with the glaring anomalies of what democracy means and has come to stand for in economic expression as no dissimilar to the historical apartheid reality, it is difficult not to concur with Molewa and to hear Oakley Smith that questions must be asked to the private sector. I therefore concur that we must ask questions, yet I want to spread the net wider than the race and gender as the two strands that defines white monopoly and ultimately Ruperts polluted air for a definition of radical economic transformation in the face of private sector understood in its monopolized white male and pale identity configuration.

 

Closer analysis dictates that for both Molewa and Oakley Smith, the arrogance of a Rupert is based on two fundamental issues which Molewa identifies with the enterprise of race as the vortex and the epicentre of a ever pervasive reality and fulcrum apartheid ideology which some conveniently assume is gone. When we protest it may be gone in statutory institutional form, we cannot but concede it stands in structural definition sense. Oakley Smith goes a step further than the reality of race, and puts another layer which rings the bells on the gender issue of a superior white male identity still ruling the economic world of a SA.

 

In that same tradition of unpacking the strands that holds a Rupert in power and confirms his brutish arrogance, I wish to postulate another strand of black elitist immanent of varied which in this season makes up the not easily broken chord we read about earlier. Therefore, another component to the conclusions drawn by Molewa and Oakley Smith on the comfort of business as usual attitude in agreeing as to the veracity and impending need to ask questions from colonial and apartheid beneficiary worlds is the black elitist.

 

I will therefore advance that perhaps the major reason why Rupert is this arrogant is due to the role and salience of the ANC advanced black elitist in their respective spheres attesting a set of layers. It is thus my assertion that if white male pale dominates the SA economy in monopolized sense as aided by a constitutional democracy the economic landscape and outlook of SA, it derives its legitimacy from this third strand, less from the advanced race and gender reality, which features in ontological sense strongly.

 

The prevailing disparity of white male control and monopolizing of our SA economy is directly translating to the salience of a silent empowered black constituency. The arrogance is hatched on the complicit role and not devoid of what attests a convenient silent empowered strand made up of intertwined and interdependent layers cohort immanent in black political, economic academic, civil society including faith leadership empowered elitists.

 

 

Black politically connected ‘shareholders’ layer:

 

This four-layered third strand of the chord of intertwined and interdependent configured black empowered elitists share an unholy alliance with apartheid white male and pale economic dominance and control as well as monopoly.

 

Since 1994 and with every aspect of BEE later BBEEE a crop of blacks who essentially shared a political affinity and proximity with political leadership have been empowered. We must accept that it remains the ANC intent to continue developing a middle class. Beyond this aim, which the ANC to some degrees has achieved, is a group of economically advantaged superior to other blacks group. You will recall how Tokyo Sexwale once conceded when they opted to be deployed economically, they had never a clue how wealthy they would become.

 

This group of super advantaged and wealthy black elitists granted made their money from ANC blessing and white pressurized favour in a network BEE deals that had good bad and ugly outcomes, yet never left whites poorer, but always more empowered. This groups regardless to how defined simply have no voice against the white capital that it is enmeshed in and often is used as an unleashed weapon to ring moral bells. We can think of the Jay Naidoo’s of the our world who have in singularity of purpose attempted being a conscience to the ANC led state, when he is awkwardly silent on the disparities that perpetuates the nightmare of apartheid entrenched economic dominance by the very white identities.

 

We even have some like Trevor Manuel who today categorically deny that white identity as having monopolized our economy. Matthews Phosa, Murphy Morobe, Valli Moosa, Popo Molefe, Frank Chikane, Cheryl Carolus etc, have former activists but today wealthy have a one dimensional morality that of wanting to lecture the current ANC leadership yet is comfortable with the decline in black executive leadership the anomalies of this democracy that keeps the masses enslaved to worship of a white identity.

 

Where is the discomfort of the activists the Financial Intelligence Centre, illicit financial flows cites a claims that SA lost around R60bn for the period of 2015-16 and that this figure is incrementally raising. Let us not forget the obvious capital gains enjoyed by local, mainly white shareholders. Why are these activists today shareholders in variety of white owned companies today silent on this and sees nothing wrong with that. Why this chameleon morality?

 

 

The Reconfigured Black modern civil society layer:

 

Another dimension of black elitist role is understood in those who makeup the modern civil society formations and faith stream leaders. These have a very interesting and chameleon morality where they in scripted sense seeks to red card for example the Guptas but have nothing to say about the abuse that continues in mining communities. Their advocacy has no appetite to challenge the economic disparities of our society they also have no desire to for challenge the attitude of Rupert. We not sure if their programmes and projects are also sponsored by the Ruperts?

 

We have seen the face of SAVE-SA Sipho Pityana leading this chameleon morality when he is consciously silent on the disparities of our economy in its manifested sense. This group includes also the reconfigured clergy identifiable in a hijacked SACC political agenda of seeking a president’s removal when it never can ask the uncomfortable questions from the white business that assist their foundations, programmes, and projects.

 

This chameleon morality that can be sharp to see the wrong of blacks in government and not that of whites in business is fast becoming our new reality. How does the bread price-fixing scandal of 2007 escape the wrath of the group of civil society and clergy not red card what Molewa: “that capital is not by nature altruistic, and that the country’s large monopolies have scant regard for the effects of their actions on those who are hardest hit by their relentless pursuit of profit. Why the silence on the data colluding monopolies?

 

Black Academics layer

 

The Latin phrase ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes’, as derived from found in the work of the Roman poet  Juvenal from his Satires is translated to mean who guard the guards.

 

In August of 2011, I penned a note analysing the Native Intellectual for his/her visible absence in political discourse. I cited that if they have any presence, it is fashionable in opposition politics formation. This means when they analyse it is in the interest of what I termed “white thinking” which proves pervasive in post apartheid context. My argument has matured to include all public intellectuals aka analysts. In South Africa today you are seen as lackey of Government if you share and attribute credit to the transformation paradigm manifested in the ANC led government, you are equally honoured and showered as an independent mind if you necessarily opposed to Post – 1994 political unfolding.

These and many other paradoxes leaves me wondering if we are not force fed a diet concocted by ‘imbedded analysis’ where analysts drink from the same cup of brotherhood in which they articulate in academic astuteness and pronounce in political bed rocked an analysis which sets the discourse of what we deem politics in SA.

I have already postulated in my earlier note, – The Crises of the Native Intellectual – “the challenge of Intellectualism is the proximity of its nuanced historic affinity to the concept and subject of elitism”. This notion has come full circle in South Africa and purports to be at variance with what should inform our public intellectuals experienced in written and oral expression.

In a later piece I critiqued the role of black leadership at former white tertiary institutions as having been absent in true transformation. I have postulated its role is best understood in the fact that South Africa’s black academics did not escape the captured nature of apartheid wealth. We know this because apartheids academic institutions played a pivotal role in its upkeep.

 

The academic institutions may today show a black face as Ramphele was at UCT, Njabulo or a Jonathan Jansen at UFS yet these while becoming experts on black errors of governance is yet to critique the apartheid appropriated systems of wealth, never outright challenging its benefactors to account. They therefore appear safe hands for the apartheid largesse benefactors. We must ask the black academics vocal on adjudicating the ANC led government in a one sided critique why they have no voice in engaging the statistics of an SA as confirming the monopoly by a white identity visible in arrogance of maleness. How is it they never ask pertinent questions from white business do they also attesting a chameleon academic morality?

 

If Rupert is therefore arrogant it is directly linked to the presence of the black elitists. There is unholy alliance of the black elitists to never challenge appropriated and now entrenched economic reality of South Africa in the face of growing black poverty as the recent statistics shows.

 

To therefore red card Rupert and his ilk in pure race and gender description is one part of our economic reality and dilemma. The other part, which equally confirms an anomaly of note, is connected to the black cohort of elitist; it does not end there.

 

Black ANC presidential contesting leaders layer:

 

A cardinal component of this unholy equation is and remains the role and salience of black ANC politicians particularly males. ANC led leaders are enmeshed in the ownership of our economy and their status as being a part of albeit insignificant in capital size sense but 100% in political sense.

 

You will recall until now people like Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Chairperson Baleka Mbete all contenders for ANC 2017 high office who is in the running to lead the ANC, until now have remained completely voiceless on this insult of Rupert on ANC policy. Many ANC contenders no different to the economic beneficiaries hide behind a statement released by the ANC spokesman. The glaring contradiction of the latter is confirmed when the same leaders despite Kodwa’s official statement on a Makhosi Khoza, or state capture for political reasons we must assume venture their own contradictory personal opinions. We do not hear the chairperson of the ANC Social Transformation Committee usually a vocal contributor Lindiwe Sisulu expressing her discomfort with Rupert’s statement or drawing attention to his arrogance originating out of a supreme race mindset. We don’t hear the discomfort of the monopolized construction cartels that in an unholy fashion could by and through corrupt means fix prices as they agreed to share the benefits of the development of infrastructure in the uprun to 2010 FIFA World Cup.

 

We must equally ask those same questions of those who define the horizon of black empowerment particularly those who today more and more are reincarnated as a solid apartheid defence economic bufferzone. Their silence and blind loyalty to those who made them from the Rupert and ilk stable in this season that lends legitimacy to the Rupert attitude.

 

If the executive management of JSE listed companies confirms a contraction and digress from 15- 10% it must be asked what was the contribution of the empowered blacks mainly males in this equation. Recently there was an uproar when Patrice Motsepe arguably the signpost black collective economic freedom launched his new bank and decided to appoint two white male and pale ones to lead. We can look at Ramaphosa’s Shanduka and we will quickly see this phenomenon repeats itself for more truly empowered black ones.

 

 

Rupert cannot help his arrogance, he grew up in a time when his father was the other power in a twin personality tussle of Afrikaner political power en route to a crafted Afrikaner nationalism and was offered the economic opportunity highway to make him go away, the same which saw him becoming head of an empire extended to Johann Rupert who in this democratic season exponentially continued to entrenched that apartheid reality.

 

In a large sense for Rupert nothing has changed from the day of his dad. Whites are still wealthy; they made even more money in democracy then under apartheid. Empowered blacks don’t challenge him because he had a hand in some of their wealth.

 

The land remains owned as always under apartheid, the governments changed in colour but the powerbase due to a 1994 consensus never altered anywhere or anyhow. Rupert’s wealth has quadrupled when blacks die of poverty with a black government. Rupert has captured elitists in the ANC and directs their prism of economic well being for SA. Rupert sponsors well heeled pseudo civil society formations. How can we expect of him not to be arrogant, it is business as usual. He has captured the black academics that have an opinion on black led government from a claimed high moral ground when it cannot remotely have the presence of mind or voice to red card this arrogance that confirms a despicable disparity in which the false white identity is still honoured.

 

Now when you introduce a new policy that says radical economic transformation and you start saying the fiscus will be used immanent in R500bn annualized procurement from the State, to ensure this is realized. When you start saying change is no more optional but sectors of the SA economy remains monopolized in definition of white identities of male and pale description. When you start dissecting sectors and industries and show the untransformed state of these, when you start saying there are five white families benefitting grossly from Eskom with 100 year contract in annualized billions despite he fact that we know the coal supplied to Eskom is not always of the quality these companies claim.

 

 

I hold one day in a distant future, when we are willing to let the black elitist fig leaf of our ambivalent morality fall, beyond our hype and classically conditioned minds on what patronage as is claimed of a Gupta economic fly is e may wake up appreciate this moment. Not patronage not as told by those who must thank O’ Meara’s ‘ volkskapitalisme’. Yes, beyond the white capital captured state of the majority of ANC leaders, black business leaders, black academics and black faith leaders, who despite knowing the truth in cheapness of political self-interest is wholly in concert as scripted by the very oppressors to have us focus in one dimensional sense on a black naturalized family of Guptas, perhaps economic flies in the face of apartheid tigers. Does it mean we must agree with the wrong the Guptas have done, where it can be proven, certainly no, it is the ambivalence of this chameleon morality we are classically conditioned to accept is not discomforting and alien.

 

We will then know that the Gupta’s opened our eyes as to how white males have captured our economy aided by a thin slice of empowered reconfigured black males, their spouses, families and friends immanent in the postulated strand chord made up of four intertwined and interdependent layers that speaks to black elitist group.

 

The words of Qoheleth rings more true today then ever before, a chord of three strands is not easily broken.

 

Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

Political Commentator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unpacking SG Mantashe’s ANC presidential contest #HeritageDay Tweets!

Unpacking SG Mantashe’s ANC presidential contest #HeritageDay Tweets.
–Captured suspended between smooth transition, succession and the relevance of organisational democracy–

The upcoming ANC Presidential 2017 contest manifests in jolts of commentary, and personal opinions that often needs unpacking, especially when the Secretary General ventures a personal opinion in a very contested terrain and space.

Mantashe the ANC’s colourful SG, for the last decade, is one not easily silenced, and fears not expressing his opinion on diverse matters. We are told he is not in any race for number one or two spots and as rumour has it has set his eyes on chairpersonship of the ANC come December 2017. The SG of the ANC is a significant position therefore we pay attention to what the office bearer says regardless if it’s a personal comment or organisational. It usually is understood as an organisational position hence the social commentary volcano that erupted in response to his tweets.

Mantashe has overtime given us in a sense his personal running commentary of how he was approached by both leading contenders NDZ17 and CR17 and how he turned them both down.

This week, Mantashe chose Heritage Day to share with us another piece of his own mind on ANC presidential handover analysis and what the way forward may look like for December 2017. Let me therefore first defend Mantashe’s right to express his opinion it is acceptable in a democracy and in a democratic ANC.

Let us now turn to his now infamous tweets: “when Tambo handed over to Mandela, that was smooth. Mandela handed over to Mbeki. When Mbeki resisted, there was a crises (sic). If President Zuma recists (sic) to handover to Deputy President Ramaphosa, there will be a crises (sic). If that happens, there will be a crises (sic). He added his personal advice: “ if we elect Ramaphosa to be a president, let us have a woman Deputy President. That will be smooth. That is my personal advice # HeritageDay.”

While Mantashe must be afforded his opinion, the challenge is his personal opinion is construed and misconstrued as an organisational position because of the centrality of his senior position.
Mantashe’s comment stands in the forming thinking of some who prognosticate unity as only attainable in what he terms a smooth transition of succession.

This transition of succession for Mantashe is a deputy president automatically succeeding the incumbent.
The first challenge with this thinking is that it presupposes an idyllic reality and not a confirmed acknowledged polarized democratic ANC in 2017 with 8 candidates vying for number one spot. It appears those who advance this want to have their cake and it eat. They want a smooth transition of succession in a democratic context, which registers a glaring contradiction.

There are those who believe the ANC is now more a democratic organisation then in the Mandela era. A quick reflection of that era will confirm a form of pragmatism because the ANC was new to governing and the then emerging culture of standing back for another as Chris Hani showed with Mbeki in 1994, is assumed as culture and standard. Back then you could persuade a personality not to contest and thus what appears or is claimed today as culture in history of this past of Mbeki election was hardly a tradition but an accidental reality aided by the reality of its newness to governing.

What is indisputable is the ANC in 2017 attests a democratic organisation if there is one thing Zuma as president came to do is to let that democracy stand, whether by de-fault or intend, this may not be understood or acknowledge by all. Democracy dictates anyone can stand for elections and everyone therefore feels entitled to stand. The means and art of persuasion is not as simple in an entrenched democratic context in a post 2004 context. To therefore prove desirous of a smooth transition immanent in a hand over when you want democracy to stand is to ask for democracy not to stand. That’s the first error with Mantashe’s prism expressed as his personal view.

Secondly, Mantashe in his most recent tweet unequivocally tells us because Mbeki didn’t want to hand over a crisis emerged. Depending on ones polarised mind one may agree or disagree with this analysis, however the prism of Mantashe is this act of resistance on the part of Mbeki, constitutes the fundamental reason for a precedent that he envisages may repeat in 2017. This is not necessarily the gospel truth.

The third error Mantashe and those of the school of smooth transition makes is to disown the 2017 ANC election as having a number of particular and cardinal different dimensions than any before. The first new reality is the non-negotiable reality of a very strong woman candidate in NDZ. The second reality is that, that woman candidacy is a rival in a very close battle, and is not in the top six. This by itself alters the historical realities that for many have became the foothold claim of a practice and even asserted policy of a succession.

Mantashe’s fourth error is not acknowledging the stark reality of a different contest, since it is the first time in the ANC in democracy after Mandela that a sitting president upfront made it clear he will not run for a third term. Let us pause and reflect, when Mandela handed over to Mbeki the leading of government business in his second year of leading SA a situation evolved that saw Mbeki leading the government for the better part of Mandela’s term and his own two ensuing terms. At the end of his two terms as ANC president as afforded by the ANC constitution Mbeki was not ready to retire. He was nominated and opted to stand despite counsel. There was not anything constitutionally wrong for him to stand.

Mantashe therefore commits a glaring mistake of not factoring in the reality of the colossal differences between Mbeki’s (2007) and Zuma’s (2017) respective choices at the end of their respective ANC two terms. His analysis is therefore flawed, unless he knows something we don’t of a definite Zuma third term. We have it on record that Zuma is not contesting so he cannot be considered as one to hand over as was rightly expected from Mbeki.

To therefore claim, if President Zuma do not hand over we will have a crisis, is to compare dissimilar circumstances and choices. In my assessment President Zuma’s handover will be to accept the contest for a new president, and not to pave the way, or anoint his successor in claims of new ANC tradition. Thus President Zuma’s acknowledgment of candidates contesting for the position he will be vacating is his biggest confirmation of handover.

Mantashe in the fifth instance assumes a former President Mbeki standing in 2007 was incorrect, yet he does not explain why, because we cannot even argue former President Mbeki was wrong to stand at Polokwane because the constitution afforded him to stand for it prevents no one a third even a fourth term.
Mantashe’s sixth and plausibly gravest error is when he advises – if Ramaphosa is elected he must have a woman deputy president. This appears an innocent comment veiled in defence of a woman candidacy but it is laden with serious contradictions. The first is on the diaphragm of his now confirmed smooth transition dictum, he sees Ramaphosa naturally succeeding because Zuma must not resist handing over.

He then continues to assume the deputy president candidate whoever that may be must be a woman.
With this SG Mantashe attempts to craft his theory of succession in which we must assume the female therefore in 2022 will succeed the Deputy President Ramaphosa if he is not re-elected for a second term. This may make for logic if you are a smooth transition succession theorist who operates in an ANC of 1994, the ANC of 2017 as already advanced is markedly different, and democracy an entrenched reality, as the plethora of candidates confirm.

Mantashe is particularly careful if not dismissive not to accommodate a scenario of – if Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is elected her deputy must be a male or female. It is interesting that Mantashe opts to be smooth transition succession captured immanent in an automatic handover, and not to let democracy count and stand in its own shadow in presidential elections. At one level this is also personal for Mantashe’s legacy to be remembered in the dying days of his decade in that position to have worked for unity. That unity has presidential succession as it anchored tenant and that succession is only possible in handover from a sitting president to his deputy.

I would want to believe that SG Mantashe did not remotely suggest or in veiled sense imply with his Zuma handover claims, the latter has the unilateral power to ask Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to step aside to attain this smooth transition for Ramaphosa, when he suggested Zuma must hand over to Ramaphosa to avert a crisis. If this is what was meant he clearly falls into the precarious trap of denying NDZ her human agency, her democratic right to contest and therefore ignoring the branches and ANC structures that have already pronounced her as their preferred candidate. It may also be interpreted as bordering on typical male chauvinism.

We must therefore conclude Secretary General Mantashe’s personal analysis proves flawed because it is premised on four false notions, a claimed smooth transition is only interpreted in succession will confirmas organisational democracy. Mbeki should not have stood in 2007 at Polokwane; and he discounts the fact that Zuma in 2017 is not standing for a third term. Lastly a female candidate regardless to how real in 2017 can and should only deliver a deputy president in final role.

Mantashe will forgive us for seeing his own male chauvinism in claims of a woman candidate only fit to be deputy president in a season when some claim NDZ is the front runner and the candidate to beat. He will thus struggle not be read as saying the deputy president position is the male ANC offering to a loud female claim to lead.

Let us not forget Mantashe in paraphrased sense is on record to have said much earlier, the presence of a deputy cannot mean he is not fit, what would the purpose of a deputy be if he were not to succeed?
The challenge with this conclusion is its ambivalence for the post of deputy secretary general, why is Mantashe not extending that same logic to mature into saying we need no contest for the SG position because the fact that Deputy SG Jessie Duarte already serves naturally must translate to her readiness to succeed him as SG.

The one time when the SG advanced a position immanent in candidates he ventures to assume 2017 must only deliver a man still in charge with a woman as his deputy.

This thinking confuses and misdirects the undeniable reality of a rival contest between Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. This contest is so real that if we accept, as before the pronouncements on candidacy by the Women, Youth and Veterans leagues of the ANC, NDZ is the contender to loose come December 2017.

Mantashe therefore invokes the order of a deputy president as sacrosanct and is perhaps conveniently oblivious to the choices of the recognised Leagues and to his possible surprise that of branches, who already have pronounced on their choice for number one candidacy. Are we to assume Mantashe does not respect the ANC structures and their respective choices?

To Mantashe we say the 2017 elections is therefore no ordinary contest given the reality of the candidates in leading and the ANC structures known choices, and the challenge of democracy as a practiced reality in the ANC. There has never been an ANC president that was not chosen or supported by the ANC structures. Are we to assume 2017 will be different and that the SACP and COSATU preferences will outweigh the ANC structures? From where this comfort of conviction?

Those who advocate for a non-contest and claims of farcical unity of smooth transition and handover claims, refuse to acknowledge the proverbial horse have bolted a long time ago. They refuse to acknowledge and see the two rivals in full bloom of contest for number one spot and nothing less and with due significant support.

May we remind those of the doctrine of third candidate alternate option of the 2016 Tshwane Municipal elections where branches and grassroots told the ANC to allow for a contest, and the ANC led by its provincial leaders opted for so called unity immanent in third neutral person, of Thoko Didiza which delivered an ANC loss while the divisions continue.

Clyde N.S Ramalaine
Political Commmentator
As published in ramalainetalkpoliticalanalysis.com September 25, 2017