– The tale of a basketball Hoop and a Shrine, the race for the White House –
We in the dead straight as sprinters would quip, with less than 3 weeks to the end of campaigning for the USA presidential contest. Speculators, commentators, analysts and those who claim to know call it a dead-heat with less than 2% of opinion informed by three debates held so far.
Those who believe Obama will be dethroned; base their entire conclusion in my opinion on the first of the three debates, which Obama readily admits, was a bad day at work. They advance that if Obama could have an off day he may not be fit to lead another term. Americans often vote purely informed by sentiment making voting a tricky issue because an off day could earn you the wrath of the voters in punishment. These argue that America under Obama is heading the wrong way, lacks a basic claimed grit of single world leader status. They opine America is compromised in economic sense, wounded in world leader status, and vulnerable for attack. They advance these and argue Obama’s plans failed in fact he has no plan.
On the other hand, those who want the basketball hoop to remain in the White House, argue that the Obama plan has saved America from the conundrum and mess of war its 43rd president GW Bush lumped the USA. They saying the change that Obama advocates is not an overnight thing but a process, which warrants a second term. They remonstrate this president has put the USA back into a respectful position as no more the pet-hate subject of the world. These postulates Obama has turned around the economy and recent statistics on employment shows an upward curve though slow, but indisputable. They advance that rock bottom was hit a long time ago and the upward move is now entrenched.
Perhaps my summary of the contest is best explained in what I choose to call the “Tale of the Basketball Hoop and The Shrine.” I shall be bold to argue this election is not any contest exemplified in neck and neck race, if the facts and not sentiment so often wrongly the barometer of our public and even intellectual assessment is the standard.
There is no contest for Barack Obama in an American setting as I have concluded a long time ago is a domestic president par excellence and must be judged for and on that score. The history of American elections for two term presidents speak volumes. If memory serves correctly, the last president to serve one term was the ever-active Jimmy Carter. America in its worst and best of times understood implicitly the necessity for presidents to be afforded more than one term to serve. This has less to do with the issue of party political preference for it happened with both Republicans and Democrats evenly. Perhaps the only time a president will not serve two terms is if death, dread-disease, or impeachment becomes deciding factors. America is a matured democracy and understands the need for this two-term presidency.
Obama has shown his leadership qualities and plan amidst an extremely difficult season of four years. Difficult for many reasons, firstly the global economy has spiralled out of control in a downward trend, sending nations into helter-skelter ambivalence of responses. The USA originated recession that visited upon the world stage is stubbornly nagging and taunting at any and every effort of its demise. The big boys club of Davos remains vacuous and out of constructive ideas on a way forward to stymie a Europe that teeters on bankruptcy with Greece, Spain, Italy and who knows else in the doldrums of a fight against and unseen enemy though created by the essence of a capitalism that needs no more defence.
Obama though at the start a squeaky clean character and the face of unborn innocence, in these four years became the face of war when he had to contend with wars brought about by a previous administration and proved soluble to fall for a European invasion of Libya (the worst spot against this Democrat leader’s name).
He equally goes to the ballot box accredited for smoking out Osama Bin Laden, the man America loved to hate for the now historic 9-11 atrocious events. Obama in this singular event that defied the codes of international affairs best practice with the sovereignty of nations as supreme compromised became the hero of America. This event as much as condemned by the world as a bully tactic exercise in domestic sense is a huge victory, for he will be remembered in history as the president that dealt with Osama Bin Laden, the ghost or threat from a Bush-era.
Obama goes to the ballot box for having seen the stabilizing of the American Banking sector after a short nationalisation and bail out exercise. Obama goes to voting day as the president who kept the Israeli interest on the foreground, again wrongly so for those of international diplomacy context but essential for a domestic contest.
Regardless to how Romney’s campaign sought to create a chasm in the minds of the voters as to how vulnerable Israel’s interests remain under a Obama administration, the truth is the two nation-state advanced by Obama is really an old Democratic stance mirrored in William Jefferson Clinton’s handle on Middle-East diplomacy. Obama therefore is consistent with a greater worldview that neither claims advanced by both Nations are without justification. It may be wrongly perceived by some as him being weak yet he is not overtly weak for he is consistently articulating a standing Democratic Party stance.
Obama as president on the home front has adopted the South African model of NCA (National Credit Act) which is a huge step away from the free for all access to credit splurge America was known for in days gone by. This new credit act makes it difficult for all to have access to money and credit lines, yet it deals with the issue of inflation and imbalance of credit flow. It equally in a leadership moral sense deals with the social consciousness of a society in which 10 credit cards per person was not a strange phenomenon.
Obama goes to the ballot box rightfully confident that he made history in getting his National Health plan adopted by both houses. This may be a challenge for some who has taken refuge in courts pursuit in some few states yet this almost 200-year-old fight to equalize the national health context is legislation now and Obama achieved this.
Obama goes to the voting day, with America perhaps safer from foreign attack the same, which was a very real threat under his predecessor. Hence, though the USA is not as safe as under a Clinton, it is much safer than under both last Republican administrations of Bush definition.
It is thus my view; Obama will slam-dunk this 2012 presidential race because America does not need a Romney shrine rooted in protecting the affluent at the expense of the poor. He will gain a three pointer and shoot with no defence from the Shrine, because the shrine remains static and has not proven flexible to understand the prevailing American requirements for leadership.
Obama, The Hoop will get a foul because The Shrine has committed an offensive foul by entering this race, offensive because his history remains in Corporate America remains the truth he should be judged by. Obama the Hoop, will do a thorough-pass and send himself into the basket for a hold up to dunk as an over-arm move because the shrine has made this a race less of fact but fiction.
Obama The Hoop will keep the lead in access of a 10-point because as much as domestic America is less concerned with the global world, he remains more the logical, scientific, intellectual mind towering in astuteness over the floundering gaffe-ridden in foreign diplomacy Shrine.
The Shrine will not get any time-out, because he is out of time. In the end, the horn at full-time will blow and we all will see the flickering scorecard Obama the Hoop 111 points and The Shrine a paltry 82, claiming his second term and earning the place in history as the president who staved off a challenge but was never really in a contest.
Maybe he will then be willing to concede that he entered that first debate having already been to the mountain top and had seen the scorecard hence he played late into the night before the debate, for this was only a game no sweat at all. Those who know will tell, Americans prefer a basketball hoop anytime day or night to a shrine, in fact the basketball hoop is America’s shrine.
Obama will get his MVP, for he will not break the custom of two-term presidency routine.
Bishop Clyde N. Ramalaine Independent Observer
Courtesy : Tradewinds are blowing, political musings, and analysis
Due December 8, 2012
– Can we afford the abuse visit upon us by, outdated self serving and ill-informed agencies who determine us a risk at whim-
This past week Eskom, Africa’s powerhouse was downgraded by Moody’s. Our banks equally and our countries in Africa find themselves downgraded almost at whim as a leisure and pleasure and arrogated afforded right of those who claim an inalienable right to assess economic performance exemplified in risk appetite.
Standard &Poor’s name says more than what meets the eye for they are the barometer for what is held up as a standard for Africa whilst it equally sets the tone how to keep Africa poor.
These almost simultaneous actions of the agencies without true justification when we consistently have remained a safe, resilient and growing economy one of the few who firstly withered the 1998 Asian flu and recently the USA engineered recession, notwithstanding an up flare of recent labour based strikes.
It made me pause and reflect on the dualism if not ambiguity of the work and actions of these agencies. Not only do they fail to loosen themselves from the archaic claim of a right to determine, but they do so stoically trapped in a European loyalty of yesteryear when the economic trends and growth points have shifted and the fundamentals of capitalism are laid bare for what it is as that not in the interest of the masses.
These agencies in a sense act with impunity as the actual mouthpieces and foot-soldiers of a colonial mind and agenda that seeks to keep Africa longer in the misery of enslavement, whilst it continues to rape this continent in the name of claimed standards of investor safety and risk aversion.
To cite this dichotomy, if SA contributes to the major portion of the global platinum economy why would investors deem themselves a right to act as if they have an option outside South Africa for platinum and equally can determine the investor risk for this their very need.
I thought what about the Nyerere- Mbeki Agency for Africa, measuring Africa for the tremendous advancement she has and is making not in parity of Euro- defined values but for finding its own solutions such as the African Development Bank ( AfDB), its Economic Commission along with emerging entities such as the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, governance rankings.
These are all measures to bring the uniqueness of what Africa stands for in freedom of mind and vision.
If these “world- renown agencies” pronounce the question becomes in whose interest do these rating agencies act, does Africa fit their static and conclusive European paradigm? Can we afford these agencies to play Russian roulette and downgrade African institutions like Eskom our Worldclass banking sector at whim as is currently the case. Is it not time we have our own African based Rating Agency, for the African reality and vision.
Before we are told slow down we are all part of a global economy and world, let me say this global world has less stopped to understand and take serious the mass of Africa in its fundamental variables and as contributor to the baseline economies of those who define the meaning of these agencies.
I thought of the words of Patrick Smith in his editorial of the Africa Report issues in August/September 2011.
“The idea that risk analysts and rating agencies might know what is really going has long been the triumph of hope over experience. Western economies are in their fourth year of downturn since the financial experts misread the fragility of the US home loan market, then managed to wildly underestimate the implications of these financing swindles across the money markets and state treasuries of Europe.
As demonstrators take to the streets in Athens, Lisbon, Madrid and London to protest state spending cuts and rising unemployment, there are plenty of lessons for African governments.
The most obvious would be to to treat eying agencies with extreme scepticism. If the agencies can so fundamentally misread transactions in industrial economies with warehouses of detailed documentation, one has to question their ability to understand dynamics in Africa, where most economic activity is informal and many statistics are enlightened guesswork” Patrick Smith ( the Africa Report – Aug/ September 2011)
I concur with Smith when he opines ” a good start would be for African – owned financial institutions to establish their own rating agency.
Let Africa sets its own standards even in our engagements with the emerging dragon or Rawalpindi countries. If Africa enters this new epoch of economic redress it must own the fundamentals that infirm the paradigm of such redress, it must equally own the right to have institutions that will understand the Africa we talk about in Renaissance sense and not the Africa Europe has defined us eternally to be.
If we seek classification it must be on our African terms for w heave a voice we have a means and we have more than a contribution to make, as we say in Mzansi pantsi with Moody & Roberts and Standard & Poor, long live the Nyerere – Mbeki agency.
Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
Courtesy: ‘Tradewinds are Blowing” – Political Musings and commentary due December 8, 2012
‘Sent from my iPhone whilst waiting on the barber”
– Can those who opine, our analysts, commentators, editors, the ‘intellectual’ Midrand Group, please give us the facts not their personal fictional denial of the reality –
It is time to finally pen my views as a fourth instalment on the Series dubbed ‘Road to Mangaung – Pretenders to the Throne of Presidential Office’. The previous instalments included my opinion on Tokyo Sexwale’s solo campaign ( covered in the New Age of August 18th under Opinion and Analysis), followed by Matthew Phosa the one-legged dark-horse and ultimately the Kgalema Motlanthe, good candidacy marred in vengeance of birth. Today I finally conclude the presidential contest by focussing on the incumbent, Jacob Zuma. What will follow later will be the subject of Secretary General as a position up for grabs.
I am accused of being a Zuma apologist yet those who make the claim selectively engage in this claim for they seldom argue the biased nature and campaign waged by editors, opinion makers, analysts and claimed analysts who have to yet prove objective on what really is happening in the ANC concerning the subject of ANC elections. Those who advance such claim of Zuma fan, equally deny their inadvertent worship of others.
All with the exception of a Karima Brown (I am sure she too stands accused of being a Zuma apologist) who similar to me have consistently expressed the view that Zuma is leading the ANC and will get his deserving second term regardless to who and what is at play or employed as strategy to topple him. Karima and I have nothing in common except for a political history of the early to mid 1980’s Cape Based student uprise, in which both of us interacted and were apart. I have not seen or heard from her in all these years (accept to read her views in the Sunday Independent) till today, yet we share a similar view on Zuma as ANC leader.
The more one reads the opinions of those who claim the canvas of our social and political discourse the more one realises how little these understand the ANC and its internal processes manifested in its ultimate elections.
In the same week that Barack Obama the sitting 44th president of the USA, perhaps had the worst week of what is termed his joyride into a second term in the White-House with his public debate defeat against a boisterous Mitt Romney, Jacob Zuma continues to baffle all and sunder for accruing more support. It appears Jacob Zuma is the proverbial Teflon equivalent of South African political canvas for nothing sticks not even the Constitutional Court ruling on Menzi Simelane or the much-publicised Nkandla Gate saga.
It is fair to conclude the cohort of so called independent editors, journalists, analysts, book-publishers and the vocal Midrand group afforded much leniency and space in media embrace of so called claimed intellectual enclave, fail to prove objective and is intoxicated by an embedded collective zest to have Zuma unseated by any and every means possible. This zest clouds their objectivity for they have wrongly assumed an admittance of fact as that which necessarily implies an agreement with his bid for a second term. All we ask of all those who opine is to give us their objective assessment not their wish list draped in analysis.
I am on record for having long advanced nothing will come of the claimed “Promise of Mangaung Revenge.”
Many in short-sighted snapshot analysis superimpose the proverbial ghost of a Polokwane repeat on a Mangaung 2012, even NEC members blinded by their desire to act as ‘kingmakers’ fall for this baseless claim. A couple of weeks ago Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula perhaps second to Arts & Culture Minister Paul Mashatile the most overrated politicians in the South African political context advanced a view that they will decide on leadership as they have decided before. The Treasurer General of the ANC, Matthew Phosa whom I have dubbed the dark-horse and will remain a dark-horse, advocated a need to have all leadership assessed, yet whilst this on the cuff appears noble we all know it was a direct reference to the president as in danger of losing his position informed by a claim of assessment.
This week Gauteng’s ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile led a delegation to attempt and broker a settlement agreement of power with the ANC’s biggest representative constituency leadership of Kwa – Zulu Natal in what I term a wrongful claim of need for a ‘government of national unity’ evident in power-sharing between a Zuma and Motlanthe as the best option for the ANC.
This completely out of order step on the part of the Gauteng Leadership warrants sanction, condemnation for its arrogance and almost indolence, it is smple work and make Gauteng the biggest ANC representative and trips to KZN will not be needed.
There is no crises in the ANC immanent in anybody having to deny the branches their constitutional democratic right to vote like they have done in time past for the ANC and ultimately SA leaders. Equally in whose interests is this horse-trading taking place, but those who aspire to be rewarded for having made others kings. The Gauteng ANC Leadership should consider disciplinary action against its chairperson and those who have deemed it their inalienable right to obfuscate the rights of branches by dictating the meridian of what should happen at Mangaung.
I have said this to ask why is it this difficult for anyone to appreciate that unlike what is communicated in our print media; President Zuma remains the preferred president uncontested if truth is told. Until now, no one has lifted his/her hand in contest, and even if Motlanthe is forced by circumstances less by his personal conviction to accept, he remains entangled in the web of a marred candidacy if those who want him stand constitute expelled Malema’s ANCYL members. On the other hand, if he is forced to drink from a poisoned chalice of discomfort slate defined lists.
Motlanthe we all know is not comfortable with the presented Gauteng led slates that forces him to be deputised by essentially Sexwale and or a fading Phosa. As much as this makes Motlanthe uncomfortable, he in himself does not have that outright endorsement to claim an outright constituency that could carry him to a potential victory against an incumbent who remains popular to take it if the ANC and not those outside of ANC prove the barometer. It will become increasingly difficult for Motlanthe to accept this nomination though he has no choice but to do so, for it is a matter of political suicide if he falls out at Mangaung. He has tough personal choices to make and has to navigate his way out of a landmine ridden field, for until Mangaung he dabbles with political suicide, though he has less to worry if a salary is the issue, for he receives his presidential salary for life, with all its perks. Suicide because if he completely falls out whilst still accomodated by those who want a Zuma second term, will send him into early retirement for the ANC may have its first women president after 2017.
I have gone this way to argue why a Zuma presidency will triumph at Mangaung and will now cite some critical reasons for such as Mantashe puts “Mangaung will be a walk in the park”.
1. Zuma has not lost the ANC centre. He has consistently remained the ANC president and not the president of a faction as much as some want to create this factionalist dimension. Zuma regardless to what campaign and resource were unleashed against him led by whomever, wherever and whenever. He has somehow found it possible to keep the centre together despite the wild claims of a fading centre.
2. Zuma understood that the ANC is more important than SA, for those who take their personal political futures serious. This means unlike Mbeki, who for a variety of reasons lost the favour and centre of the ANC but had the country sentiment, before Polokwane, Zuma kept placing the organisation at the centre of his power-charge and refused to be moved from focussing on the organisation first. This could be made out by some as self-serving yet it can also be argued that he clearly understands how SA presidents are made, that being less of public but of ANC making.
3. Zuma, organisational discipline dared to go where angels feared to tread. The issue of organisational discipline as advanced by him at the 2010 NGC, when many as usual wrote him off, as a rudderless leader lacking decisiveness has come full circle. In his political report at the 2010 NGC, the president surprised his detractors inside and outside the ANC when he warned the party will act against i’ll-discipline. It is history now Malema and his bandits are expelled and suspended and nobody who loves the ANC genuinely cannot claim that Malema spelled trouble with his uncouth and arrogant attitude. Hence, the president proved decisive on discipline and led from the front on it.
4. This president will go down in history of post-apartheid context as the first president to prove decisive on corruption. It is amazing that at some stage, many sought to define him as the maximum symbol of corruption, yet no president has ever been this decisive and acted without fear of reprisal on the subject matter. This president got rid of Siphiwe Nyanda, touted as a big-hitter in ANC context when his communications ministry were caught up in all kinds of shenanigans and claims and counter claims of tenders etc. He fired ministers like the ate Sicelo Shiceka and others, he relieved beloved General Bheki Cele from his job as Police Commissioner. He acted against even MEC’s. So whilst his detractors and those who claim an intellect argue him corrupt they prove silent on this claim of his decisiveness.
5. Zuma understood and kept the unity of the ANC as the paramount issue of his presidency. Notwithstanding the fact that his leadership in this centenary year comes at a critical and torrid period he ensembles one ANC and denounces a factionalist mind-set, fully understanding his mandate is to unite the party even if the proverbial clouds are thick with uncertainties, it takes a special kind of leader to appreciate what his task is when there are so many things that could hoodwink you of your course.
6. Under a Zuma led leadership the ANC swelled its ranks to and encroaching almost 1.3million membership. There will be those who will seek to confuse us in putting a tribal Zulu spin on this, therefore denigrating the reality of this growth. Yet they must tell us where it is stated the party must grow equally in all provincial and all tribal definitions. It therefore is a farcical argument to invoke the issue of tribalism only because the KZN province has shown unparalleled growth. Can we deal with the truth of this growth and quit proving vengeful to find an opaque justification for an illogical and cheap argument?
7. Under Zuma the subject of HIV/AIDS, a hushed theme in days gone by, is dealt with in honesty, and became an almost peripheral issue. In that sense, he fixed the mess of his predecessor on the subject in the interest of the ANC. It no longer is used as a political football to attack the ANC. I am not sure, when last I saw Zackie Achmat on TV, his deputy has now found a new focus in Limpopo Books scandal, because the issue of HIV &AIDS is a serious issue for this president. His definitive and decisive leadership increased the chances of many more to earlier benefit from the anti-retroviral rollouts. He led from the front in subjecting himself to multiple testing.
He showed clear leadership in recognising the need to improve the strategy for a renewed campaign immanent in a rising of the cd 4 acceptance.
8. The Zuma presidency initially accused of lacking any direction on foreign relations, has made a unique contribution to the panaplea if our evolving international relations domain is the yardstick. Firstly fumbling on the infamous UN Resolution 1973 on Libya, he proved matured to admit his error and quickly moved to amend this condemned action by embracing an African Union defence as his mantra.
- His work particularly on the BRICS front proves leadership, and he will go be remembered as the first president to commit resources in access of R2bn, to the collective plan of the BRICS. This was never done before. Some are arguing SA is boxig outside of its weight definition, yet what cannot be disputed is that SA under Zuma is taken serious.
- If South Africa is active in peace initiatives in Africa, Madagascar, Myanmar it is to this president’s credit that such is still happening and he participates through DIRCO actively in these processes. He has exually comprised a team of competent people to assist the process. He therefore builds on the legacy of his predecessor and equally affords the predecesssor space to execute the mandate of and African Renaissance.
- He is accredited for having delivered the Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma chairpersonship at AU level, through his careful manoeuvring and campaigning targeted at critical constituencies. Whilst the skills and reputation of the AU Chairperson speaks for itself, we cannot deny the role and critical leadership of Zuma on this front, those who seek to afford him no credit failed to understand the campaign in its totality. While his predecessor rightly warns us all today not to set Dlamini-Zuma up for failure, she is serving as chairperson and that matters.
- His equal role in UN representation has earned him the respect he deserves as a powerhouse in this epoch.
- He equally took the former Colonialists and erstwhile superpowers to task on their selfish and selfserving own interest based approach to global politics.
- Zuma is seen as a bridgebuilder who seeks consensus of the African World, and is in his own right a unique soul making his own contribution.
- It is my conviction that under Zuma we will in his second term see a transition from Political International Relations Diplomacy to a more Economic based diplomacy for the question is do we get value for the resources we have thus spend.
9. Zuma has moved in the right direction concerning the relevance of the Khoisan- People’s claim of rights and legitimate acknowledgment of RSA land claim as dictated to by the UN resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which still need to be taken serious in parliamentary discourse and open debate by the ANC.
While President Mandela was aware and President Mbeki in foreverness artistically eulogised this subject in his much-celebrated speech I AM AN AFRICAN, no ANC president has yet officially pronounced and set the tone for a much-needed discourse particularly in open Parliament setting on the subject. Yet Zuma has made the right noises albeit from his Traditional understanding and therefore has paved the way for a hope to have this issue as lobbied by some of us tabled in Parliament once and for all in his second term. This subject equally is a dynamic one for the race group defined wrongly as Coloured in SA today.
10. The Zuma presidency, understood that the religious canvas of South Africa is an evolving and dynamic one. One in which the SACC of yesteryear cannot today claim its relevance as representative of the Christian religious platform. Hence, he decisively opted early on for the ever-increasing Pentecostal Church expression as the church and faith based groups that would define his political life as President of the ANC and RSA. He had foresight and understood the signs of the times and proved brave to move away from the romantic association of a SACC Religious definition.
12. President Zuma has given birth to the National Planning Commission under the leadership of its Minister Trevor Manual it is primarily aimed at casting a long-term vision for South Africa’s future informed by proper research planning mechanism and systems.
13. President Zuma managed to keep our opinion makers guessing and in proverbial sixes and sevens on the appointment of a Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng who wrongly was castigated by a constituency who believe it their inalienable right to dictate to the president who is best for this country as Chief Justice. He showed his own mind, Chief Justice Mogoeng, who was emotionally and wrongly feared a stooge by some ( like Pierre De Vos) as one who will pander to the whims of an ANC president for wrong reasons is occupying the seat with dignity. His rulings major or minor have proven consistent with a jurisprudence informed by an independent mind and in the interest of law as directed by our constitution. Again, those who murmured, complained, proved insulting, and denigrated this choice of a Chief Justice has yet to admit the error of their ways. Knowing them they will never, for their mission remains fuelled by the need to dictate to this president for he does not have the education that presidents ought to have at least in the minds of those who claim to know.
I read with much interest how one commentator reminds us that thus far the sitting Chief Justice’s decisions and rulings were independent if the record attests.
14. Zuma as president appointed the ‘visible’ and ever-pervasive Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela. Madonsela in her own right has in my assessment given this Chapter 9 institution a political face and presence perhaps so wrongly. Yet she has equally done sterling work in many cases, and is embraced by the constituency who are not necessarily ANC President fans. The foresight to appoint someone like Madonsela who in my assessment has her own ambitions, still must go down as a major plus for a Zuma leadership. Whilst Zuma and the ANC at times personally may regret her appointment when it appears she is media hogging, and bias in favour of the DA opposition Party, what cannot be denied is her visibility and high ratings among those who would love to dislike the ANC and Zuma?
15. Zuma, did not allow sentiment or his emotions to overtake or cloud his actions on dealing with a Sexwale, Mbalula and Mashatile who serve at his pleasure in his cabinet, he could have offloaded them because they are on record for questioning his leadership capacity yet serve in his cabinet. He understood that in political leadership 101 you cannot create victims for if you do, you would have failed to understand that South Africa’s political canvas is susceptible for the victim-villain status in which victims can become heroes overnight. So he proved astute to allow these to vent their misguided and perhaps self-serving views without showing any overt reaction to their campaign of unseating him.
16. He has managed to maintain a great relationship with his Secretary General, any sitting president who has any aspirations knows the importance of having good relations with his secretary general, who is the de-factor CEO of the organisation and proves instrumental in the future of presidents if the concomitant issues of branch vetting, communications, internal synapses is understood. The top 6 appears divided in the middle with Zuma, Mantashe, and Mbete as in agreement and Motlanthe, Phosa and Modise as seemingly in agreement on some issues. Yet the unity of the collective is lodged in the secretary general who in time past openly rebuked the treasurer general for his divisive actions.
17. Zuma has heard the cry for economic redress and under his leadership, the last Policy Conference in preparation for Mangaung adopted this, though an ANCYL advanced campaign as the ANC campaign. The sentiment second phase or second transition is a peripheral issue, what is critical is that when the delegates gather at Mangaung it will be to engage this proposed policy item which will lead the ANC into the next century. It takes leadership to recognise others could be right and you wrong.
18. Zuma has managed to firstly divide the power of those who claim to lead organised labour and then he managed to secure the organised labour entities like COSATU with its vocal anti- Zuma sentiment led campaign of its Secretary Vavi, to change his tune. COSATU was told, stay out of ANC elections campaign pronouncements for the ANC respects its Tri-Partite partners as independent constituencies not to be conflated into one. As things stand now organised labour need consistency to prevail in ANC leadership especially because it is key union federations as if NUM is suffering haemorrhage with the Marikana and subsequent strikes in specific sectors. In fact, perhaps it is time for COSATU to focus on worker issues for it strayed in to the political freeway when it needed to be in the yellow line mobilising workers and lobbying the political freeway to accommodate labour constituency. At least Vavi is silent and the campaign of unseating Zuma as a COSATU led initiative has died a natural death, perhaps rightly so. COSATU has to contend with what I called ‘The Business of Unionism in a post – apartheid context, a blatant hypocrisy’ (penned in 2010).
19. Zuma has remained the preferred candidate for the SACP; whose leadership rallies at all times around the President in defence of him when the Malema’s of this world became personal in their attacks. The SACP Leadership at all fronts defended this ANC president even when some of his own Top- 6 colleagues proved silent and bias against him.
20. Zuma has managed to divide the ANCYL on the subject matter of his second term. While the acting leader Ronald Lamola has pronounced recently their 2 year – long campaign of replacing Zuma with Motlanthe. It is not a done deal that all 45 votes of the ANCYL will be against Zuma at Mangaung. Primary reason for that is that the ANCYL is a much weaker and wounded league and we already are seeing letters of complaint in which the claim of an official position is challenged by members of the ANCYL accusing the current leadership of moving unilaterally on this subject and loyal to Malema who is expelled. It is very possible that Zuma will garner more support in the up-run to Mangaung and ultimately even get this very constituency to vote for him.
21. Zuma has the support of the consistent, Women’s League. The Women’s League remains the most consistent and balanced league of the ANC, balanced for it always manages to be clear and unambiguous in its support for a candidate. We are told they are for consistency and would want the existing leadership to remain as is in Top- 6 shape.
22. Zuma remains supported by the Veterans league notwithstanding its vocal member Sejake, who castigated a Zuma leadership and called for a change of leadership, remains in support of Zuma.
23. The Zuma presidency adopted an open door policy in which members and the public are encouraged to engage. This engagement though for some interpreted as that which is born of incapacity yet the ANC culture if robust and Frank engagement
24. Zuma has delivered on the Polokwane resolutions mandate, and since the ANC as a collective decides it is difficult to judge him an individual on such, however without citing these resolutions here for that can be done, the ANC under Zuma has kept to the resolutions and equally have kept focus of its Manifesto 5 key items.
25. This president is leading the ANC in organisational renewal context, without fear or reprise and has made organisational discipline his campaign theme.
Hence, the President goes into Mangaung reasonably secured of his quest for a second term with very little chance of defeat. The progenitors of leadership change in a wrongful ABZ, campaign that has lost steam, never really had support and came funded failed to understand the ANC and equally failed to understand the place Zuma holds in the ANC as its sitting president. You can run campaigns on sentiment but at some point in time, you must sober up and admit that which is less palatable. The Zuma second term train has support and less by those who are wrongly accused of being apologists but by facts herewith contained, we cannot argue such. Those who accuse me of being an apologist do not comment when we critique this president as my open letter on Nkandla recently did.
When I opine here that he will get a second term with least challenge, it is by no means a blank cheque of him not having made a ton of mistakes. It is by no means and advocacy that he is squeaky clean and a saint, it equally is not to admit he took wrong advice and has many personal challenges, yet in the greater scheme of things his good in facts outweighs the embellished claims advanced by those who are blinded by their lust for his power and opportunity.
He remains contrary to the views of others very popular as a president with charisma, simplicity and one who is more than seasoned in ANC organisational setting. Perhaps it is this aspect that his detractors and even our learned analysts cannot grasp yet equally cannot deny.
I think he easily holds a double PHD in Political Leadership and his epistemology on the ANC its history, present and future remains admirable.
I will not be surprised if he delivers at his conclusion of his term as ANC President in 2017, the ANC’s first Women President for he has the aptitude to make that kind of history. A maverick indeed, often not given enough credit, his only sin not having a degree in University sense for if he had that he would have been given the green lights by those who claim an intellectual description, hence my hope to complete the book ‘Jacob Zuma, Political Leadership 101 – I did it my way’ earmarked for May 2013.
Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
Courtesy of ‘Road to Mangaung : Pretenders to the Throne’
Due : December 8th, 2012
Re: Nkandla Development challenges our moral standing in leadership
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I felt led to take the time to pen this short open letter as a plea
that sense would be allowed to prevail on this the topic at hand.
It remains morally wrong to defend the establishment of Nkandla in its
current form and budget.
It is with deep regret that the news of Nkandla Development grips our
newspapers and media, sending unnecessary wrong signals in a season
when we need to focus on the deliverables of policy implementation and
The twists and jolts on the Nkandla saga or as some call it scandal
are intensifying, the facts remain questionable what we know is that
as reported in access of R200million is being spend on improving a
homestead of our sitting president. The details may prove sketchy
with a Public Works Minister seeking to lay charges against whoever
leaked the information.
The challenge for me is not who leaked the information that would be a
peripheral issue and must remain a peripheral issue. We cannot make
this the reason for an investigation for that would border on as we
deem it spin-doctoring.
Mr. Thulas Nxesi is hereby implored to leave whoever leaked the news,
and deal with the claims prove them ordinary and normal if he can for
in the absence of that proving such expenditure as normal we are
dealing with a crises of epidemic proportions.
It’s at this juncture that we unequivocally must condemn denounce and
reject any explanation in defence of Nkandla in its current state as
perhaps morally reprehensible.
That presidents as respected servants of the people require upgrades
and support for their homesteads over time is not even the question
but spending a quarter of a billion rand on Nkandla in this
depressing no job creating doldrums captured economy borders on
My challenge is firstly the fact that this project was allowed to be
tabled, presented and approved as a government led and priority
My second problem is the processes followed if followed at all, the
fact that the possibility exists that there may have been a flagrant
disregard for due processes followed constitutes another challenge.
My third challenge resonates in political leadership, if the concept
plan for the development of an Nkandla homestead as an upgrade for VIP
INTL guests was mooted where did it emanate from?
If it is that the president of South Africa proved insensitive to have
adopted this development as correct in a season of such challenge at
economic level than it speaks to irresponsible leadership.
In my estimation nothing warrants this type of size and money for a
development for the purpose it is claimed. South Africa does not need
this type of development as a presidential suite when the masses are
still hungry, jobless and in despair.
Hence the development of Nkandla if the leading headlines and
corroborating facts hold is an unnecessary and wasteful expenditure,
money we simply do not have.
I am therefore imploring the president in his political office to
instruct the rethinking of this development which flies in the face of
our fight against the stubborn triplets of poverty, inequality and
I need not remind that it is incumbent on you Mr. President and
comrade president to lead us in astuteness of prudence on fiscal
discipline for state resources are truly public funds afforded by tax
payers to shoulder the challenge of a deficit we dealing with if the
minister of finance Pravin Gordhan is correct.
We have a fiduciary responsibility to prove sensitive not to prove
wasteful in exacerbating the ever increasing gaps of inequality of
economic definition. I would pray that sense prevail that you would
find it in your heart, the sane heart who finds the conditions of the
mining workers deplorable, the same heart that disallows you to sleep
at night when you are confronted with the nagging challenges of our
nation. I would implore you to do the right thing and respect us and
call this project off.
It remains morally indefensible, economically nonsensical and
ethically unjustifiable, because South Africa needs us all to accept
the belt tightening and its first servant cannot be seen to prove the
exception in such belt tightening exercise.
If Nkandla is allowed to continue we are sending the wrong signals of
what we regard as the de-facto priorities for this developing state.
If Nkandla is allowed to live in its current form with this budget, we
are communicating the wrong message that it’s the individual that
matter and not the collective.
If Nkandla is allowed to continue we equally inadvertently are
promoting self-serving instead of the selfless agenda and nature of
what the 100 year old ANC stands for.
Nkandla cannot scupper the legitimate challenge against poverty it
cannot be equal to a Ratanang Trust the undoing of our rightful and
justifiable fight against the scourges of a gross disparity defined in
inequality of economic representation.
May sense prevail, for the people of the South Africa expect of you to
show leadership in this as it is expected of you on all other fronts.
I pen this note as one who continues to support your leadership and
believes destiny before time has ordered you to serve in this epoch of
centenary organisational definition, regardless to how some seek to
challenge that, yet I would be failing in my duty if I do not warn of
the danger of letting this Nkandla Development prevail in its current
form and budget.
Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
Presiding Bishop of CWFF&MI
In my official capacity
– Why this is a cold water statement –
No holds bar words of an expelled Julius Malema, when some who wanted to know of his recent London Trip interviewed him. These words reminded me of those of American decorated general Douglas McArthur who led the Vietnam charge, MacArthur is famed for his claim “I will be back” yes he said he will be back. In addition, these words reminded me of the words of billionaire entrepreneur Bill Venter when he was fired, he re-echoed the words of MacArthur ‘I will be back” devoid of the American twang, in Afrikaans – ‘skorheid’. As history attests, he later bought out the same company.
Yet as much as MacArthur and Venter used similar words, the premise for this to materialise for Juju, seems to grow dimmer and dimmer as the season of elective nominations manifests. It is perhaps time to ask what does Malema really say when he said this?
Firstly, what makes Malema’s statement worth of assessment is the fact that he says this with utter disdain for the ANC a body and organisation he joined freely without any group but as an individual. However, he claims to love the ANC.
Secondly, the anger resentment and almost disdain Malema has for the sitting president and all in the ANC constituting leadership who reprimands him is another misguided challenge. Malema is on record for pelting at every turn insults on Zuma. Yet these insults though aimed at Zuma remains the insults of the ANC collective and must not be separated from such collective for cheap political expediency sake. It is the ANC democratically elected serving president in its centenary that he is insulting. Zuma is nobody but an ordinary individual safe for the office he holds afforded by a democratic franchise in the ANC, which affords him to serve as Country President.
Thirdly, if his anger was his only gripe for which he was on record you could make the case of a very hurt young compatriot, who feels betrayed and knows no better out of lack of proper political education but to retaliate and personalise the politics of an organisation in a make belief of individualism and factionalism. The truth is Malema is on record for castigating the entire NEC leadership with a one exception only that being Mamma Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
He is on record for blasting those who claimed to have supported him, lived in the limelight he created and now have shunned him. It does not take rocket science to know whom he is talking about. Rumours were running wild that chief among these is his former colleague Mbalula and the very Deputy President Motlanthe he now through his ANCYL hopes to make.
In the fourth instance, Malema’s support in what easily can be termed “we stand by our leaders campaign” of ANCYL, has confused if not fuelled his pursuit to claim he will be back after if not at Mangaung. This support is often premised on the claimed issue of the victim-villain mind-set so often used by our political leaders when it suits them. Remember Mbeki used it when he was claiming some are out to get him, Zuma used it to sell his campaign among the politically and economically wounded ones.
The current ANCYL is stuck in reverse gear for it still recognizes an expelled and suspended leadership. What must be said to Malema’s credit is that he has done an outstanding job to become the centre of the ANCYL programme and agenda. In fact he is the ANCYL, because for more than a year now he has held ANCYL hostage in defending him to the extent that it as a league is dysfunctional, consumed by one and only one thing Malema’s return.
In the fifth instance, Malema’s claim of a return in ANC embrace is informed by the misguided image and ego Malema has afforded himself. It is not difficult to see that Malema is a victim of his own wrongful faith and persuasion; he has convinced himself that he is indispensable. He has persuaded himself that this 100-year-old organisation will bow to his exerted pressure. He has in a sense crossed over from political mortality and has adopted a type of immortality in political definition. He is fully convinced that he is the ANC and that anyone else is nobody.
Hence, his regret and claim that he made Zuma now he is seeking to make Motlanthe too. Anybody who understand the basics of power relations would attests, those who claim to have made you equally will by virtue of that role also claim to dictate to you what to do, so that when you disagree and want to have your own mind to lead you will be threatened with removal.
Understanding Malema’s claim in the nakedness of its intent and meaning one has to deduce that you dealing with someone who is totally out of control. This suggests he was always out of control in organisational context, but was tolerated for political reasons. Out of control because the case for which he was expelled was preceded by other cases, the first its guilt charge and verdict rightfully defended by a Phosa he accepted. The second he appealed and lost in arrogance, and ultimately the call for expulsion which sees him in the wilderness of political lost home, grasping at any and everything he can politically scavenge on, like the plight of the Marikana workers.
This brings me to the subject of arrogance; we must not confuse confidence for arrogance nor must confuse arrogance for confidence. To lead anything in life warrants a sense and gravitas of self-confidence, as humans in this world we will not be able to attain or achieve if we lacked a sense of self-confidence. The fuel inspires new inventions. Yet arrogance is a belief in self to the defiance of structure, self-discipline and submission to what one claims to believe in as a value or ethic. Arrogance is negative for it is destructive to self and the greater good.
It is as one dictionary denotes ‘overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors’. Off course the natural question in counter to my assertion shall be who has determined the structure, value moral code etc. that it should stand sacrosanct? In the case of the ANC, that code is established in constitutional governance of organisational embrace. That means those who join the ANC necessarily denounce any form of arrogance for it is not tolerated in ANC constitutional framework and articulation. If the ethical code of the ANC dictates that, the organisation is bigger and holds sway over the individual that therefore determines the scope or background against which this arrogance must be understood and interpreted.
The truth is most people one interacts with would argue like all of us Malema was correct for raising the critical issue of economic redress, yet Malema is uncouth, in-ANC in his political fights and respects no one perhaps not even self. There is an old saying in Afrikaans “in die land van die blinded is die een-oog koning” loosely translated “in the presence of blindness he with one eye is king”. Malema is blinded by his pursuit of getting even that he cares not how he pronounces where and when, to the pander of a media who it can be claimed made him and loves the Juju juice.
The rules in the art of warfare dictate that one must pick your fights. This one-eyed king cares less, because he has followers totally blinded by his chutzpah and charisma not distinguishing between the separation of issues, fact, organisation and personality. Political education 101, would educate in organisational context you pick your fights, you always find a cause you never become the cause because the cause is never indispensable humans are dispensable as mortals of time and error. The ANCYL is perhaps this season at its weakest because they allowed an individual to become the cause of their fight, he has coloured the contours of their programmatic definition. In fact in this season of nominations and assessment let us assess all ANC leaders even the leagues leadership, we will find that the youth league has done for almost 24 months nothing on its programmatic mandate, it is caught up in a tussle of proving its mother body wrong in executive leadership. It has fallen victim to the personality occult where it identified the ANC problems in one man (Zuma) and its solutions in another man (Motlanthe) whilst it made another man (Malema) its cause.
The ANCYL is at its weakest because those present now in leadership out of recognition and worship for the expelled remain victims of listening wrongfully to such expelled and suspended leadership and therefore cannot lead in this epoch.
In the end Mangaung or the ‘Promised Mangaung of Revenge’ will come and go and Malema will realise even those he now campaign for quietly had prayed he never makes a comeback for fear of not being able to control him when in newness of made kings status he will challenge again those he claimed to have made.
Perhaps the fundamental reason why Malema should never be allowed back in this season resonates in this he will be bigger rightfully so than anyone sitting in any position and will be the de facto leader of the ANC. After all, he claimed also, “I will lead this ANC”. That statement by itself defies the culture of leadership this 100-year-old movement subscribes to and live for.
In the ANC, wrongly or rightly you can never make such bold ego driven statements, leadership remains a privilege to serve and one you assume with selflessness and trepidation, humbled by being afforded such opportunity.
Douglas MacArthur returned and conquered Vietnam, Bill Venter of Altron Farm, returned and bought out the company that fired him. Yet Malema will not return to the ANC, for no one wants a person who disrespects the very organisation he joined out of his free will, pledged support to, and committed to work for as that which is bigger than the individual is.
As the air around Malema is circled by a combination of Hawks and SARS, even police investigations the energy to fight politically will be sapped especially since his political value would have reached expiry date and his usefulness for those who is a tad wiser politically would have run out. Malema, will then realise in politics the age-old adage “there are no permanent friends or enemies only permanent interests” and may I add, in which one may prove very dispensable whilst the organisation grow into its second centenary without those who thought they bigger than the ANC.
Clyde N.S Ramalaine
Courtesy of “Malema’s ANCYL the by de FAULT face of SA Economic Redress” Due November 30, 2012
Can we let Mangaung prove decisive in economic redress policy articulation and quit the wrongful focus of individuals the sickness the ANC has fallen into head and shoulders -?
In an earlier note I penned I remonstrated that perhaps Malema and ANCYL’s biggest contribution inadvertently so, is that they redefined the claim of ‘Kingmaker status’.
It being open season in ANC – Elective Conference Mangaung 2012, nominations embrace, provinces and structures one after the others are making known their rightful wishes for potential candidates for President of the ANC and ultimately South Africa. The Youth League made its choice a long time ago that Kgalema Motlanthe should lead the ANC beyond December 2012; they have now also rightfully confirmed that he is their nominated person for the position of President. Amidst all of this premiers and Provincial Chairpersons are also nailing their colours to the mast.
There is nothing wrong with any constituency, league, structure, and province exemplified in branches making known their wishes. I thought it perhaps wise to consider will this be the first time in our modern ANC (at least 90’s-2012) where the Youth League’s voice or claimed power to influence an election of president will be left naked therefore reducing the claim of kingmaker status to a fallacy for the future.
It is common that the Youth League as one of the constituencies prides itself as having made presidents like Former Presidents Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma. In a recent interview, conducted Former Youth League Leader and Sports Minister made it emphatic that the Youth League under his leadership produced a Zuma presidency. Malema in his regret of regrets acknowledges that he has an ardent regret for having defended and fought for a Zuma Presidency. Whilst this claim is not totally bereft of legitimacy, it is less simplistic as we hear it in media embrace.
Perhaps the sentiments of this claim is often wrongly embellished by some to uniquely assert if not arrogate a right as an individual to make others, when the election results of the ANC conferences on the electing Presidents have always been a close shave at least for the modern era. I argue this on the premise that drawing a comparison between the ANC before political power and the ANC in political power remains a challenging one. We must rather talk of an ANC before political power and the ANC in political power and understand these as two different organisations because the playing fields have changed. The truth is the ANC has always elected leaders and will always elect leaders and at time ones preferences will not feature, yet when ones do feature it is not totally true to argue you made so and so, but the ANC elects at all times.
It is clear that provinces, structures, and groups are all openly lobbying and that lends itself to the historic democratic philosophy and praxis of the ANC as an organisation.
It is at this juncture that we must pause and ask will this be the first time in post liberation sense that the kingmaker status claim will be truly tested or even buried. The ANC has many challenges in the up-run to a Mangaung, yet the ANCYL itself has many challenges. The Youth League remains the womb through which future leaders and new leaders are birthed for none of us want to see the ANC die because the Youth League has lost its purpose and role. I wish to reiterate that a strong ANC needs a strong Women’s, Veterans, Youth League and particularly exemplified in Branch definition.
The fact is the Youth League goes to Mangaung almost painted into a corner, it goes to Mangaung not as strong as in previous seasons, and it goes to Mangaung as structure that is hurting if not bleeding where it seeks to table Leadership Change in presidential and Secretary General elections. The Youth League is yet to declare their preference of who between a Phosa and Sexwale will fit the bill of Deputy President; it also has an allegiance to the Gauteng Leader Paul Masha tile who similar to the ANCYL shares the leadership change mantra.
It does not take rocket science to figure out that the Youth League has more names that it believed it owe allegiance too, when it alone cannot decide unilaterally who should constitute the Top 6. The ANC is haunted by the demon of slates, which proves very close-ended, exclusive, and worse case rejecting of others. This demon of slates compromises even a Motlanthe who has yet to accept the nomination he has had for over 2 years unofficially and now official with ANCYL Acting Leader’s media briefing on the ANCYL’s choice for organisational leadership.
The problem with slates is that the branches don not really choose their leaders, but lobby groups presents constituencies with a list of names for positions in order of designation. The challenge with this is that it potentially erodes the democratic principles for which the organisation is known or at least strives.
Let me now return to the subject at hand. If the current analysis of most informed by the current provincial and branches numbers that will show up at Mangaung, then it becomes difficult to see the ANCYL exerting its muscle to influence the actual outcome. Off course, lobbying is a privilege right and has always swayed some, yet I think Mangaung will confirm that the ANCYL will not be able to make that claim as boldly as it has in previous seasons. Perhaps it is good that the issue of kingmaker status is dealt with finally. It appears that Motlanthe wants a nomination but not one in which he is dictated by ‘Kingmakers’ who will even tell him who must be his deputy. The kingmaker status of the Youth league will perhaps be buried at Mangaung not as a vengeful attack or rejection of a Motlanthe but for what it is and must be a claim vacuous of future veracity.
Let the ANC Branches go to Mangaung with a branch mandate. Let them go educated to know the importance of the decision less in vengeance but informed by principle. I guess it sounds like a utopian perspective for it discounts the fact that the very branches are lobbied, sweetened in this season by whomever for whatever purposes on both sides of the Mangaung Dream or Nightmare.
In an ideal world we will have branch representatives fully conscious and aware of the opportunity, humbled by the privilege and awed by the moment to participate in an elective conference perhaps like many before historic in its deliberations. Yet the eternal optimist I am I hold out the hope that the Mangaung 2012 in this centenary year will be premised to engage the subject matter of economic redress as its fundamental policy articulation less for the proverbial ‘musical chairs leadership’ changes mooted. It will prove historic for we will look back 20 from now and exclaim that was when economic power and redress found meaning in organisational context.
I think we must think now already beyond Mangaung and ask what will the context and outcomes of the second phase of transition brings? My fear is we are in a quagmire of personality politics, not as if any of those elected can unilaterally change the course of our destiny and miss the opportunity Mangaung presents to secure for the masses true economic redress. I remain optimistic that the ANC will emerge post Mangaung a united organisation renewed in new century for economic redress definition, for political power without economic power the plight of all independent African countries cannot visit upon Mzansi too.
Leave the Kingmaker status, for no one will make no one else a king for the ANC do not have Kings or Royalty it has Leaders willing to serve for the interest of the masses less for themselves.
Clyde N.S. Ramalaine
This article appears Courtesy of “ Tradewinds are Blowing” – Political Musings and Analysis 2012
(Due November 30, 2012)