What shall we do with a Mandela, probably trained by MOSSAD?


If its propaganda, let it be shown for what it is, if it is our history, how do we deal with it?


This past weekend we are introduced to claims made by some who were part of the MOSSAD, Israel’s Military Intelligence. The claims are  particularly disturbing for some when it is understood how notorious MOSSAD is thus to link it to the belated Icon of 20th and 21st century Nelson Mandela makes it more sensational.




The claim is Mandela aka ‘the Black Pimpernel’ was during his now much-publicised visit to Ethiopia among others trained by MOSSAD. Mandela according to the letter from a MOSSAD official dated October 11, 1962 recalls a conversation in which a trainee in Ethiopia named David Mobasari with country of origin given as Rhodesia was given training in judo, sabotage, and weapons. According to HAARETZ newspaper, which first reported the story, the term “Ethiopians” was probably a code name Israeli MOSSAD agents working in and operative in Ethiopia.




The Nelson Mandela foundation has condemned these claims as baseless and empty in defence informed by the information they preside over, yet its condemning at this stage cannot be conclusive thus we have to ask what does this mean if it remotely can be found truthful?


1. Is this Israel’s belated yet redemptive claim in role and hand in our liberation struggle, because all evidence proves Israel supported apartheid and its ungodly regime to the hilt if the trade and military relations attest?


2. Is this revelation surfacing an attempt at rendering suspicion on the person and identity of Mandela as a sell- out for being trained by what was generally termed the enemy of our freedom? Does it render him a compromised first ‘MK Soldier’ of Umkhonto we Sizwe? What are the direct implications and ramifications if any all for this claim for him in legacy context and description?

3. Who introduced him to MOSSAD, was it a South African ‘comrade’ were it Ethiopian cadres just who brought him into the sphere and realm of a MOSSAD. A MOSSAD who simply do not sit well with the liberation struggle ethos.


4. Does it simply say the ANC received and took help from any corner? Are we to reduce that the ANC as a scarcely resourced organisation at the time was at the mercy of anyone who could lend a hand, whatever that hand was at the time. What does this say about the intelligence work of the ANC at the time, off course it could not in resource and capacity be compared with any of the  state sponsored programmes and initiatives. Can the case of infiltration by anti-revolutionary influences be made as early as this if not earlier in the liberation struggle history?


5. The relevance or irrelevance of this claim equally asks of us questions concerning how this may if proven correct be interpreted to have bearing on an existing diplomacy platform with Israel. What does it say for how we should engage in diplomacy with Israel – if this is true, can we persist to be anti- Israel, as our modern platform dictates in praxis? Do we owe Israel any more or less respect for this?


6. It is noted that South Africa in post – apartheid setting does not share a political stance with Israel on the subject of Palestine. South Africa agrees on the two independent states and a halting of the further settlements of invasion in what is termed Palestinian territory. South Africa also is vocal in rejection of the deplorable context often described as modern apartheid exacted by Israel to its neighbour Palestine.


Yet South Africa is not unique in this stance, another BRICS partner India shares the same political sentiments on Israel and Palestine. Yet India has proven more circumspect and wise to continue its trade agreements with Israel. Are we not shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot with our confirmed all or nothing stance on Israel. Should we not tale a leaf out of India’s approach on diplomacy and ask for what is termed a more economic diplomacy paradigm?


7. Beyond the definitive condemning of Israel’s praxis on its neighbours, and the rhetoric we often fall in, can we afford to be this anti- Israel in our diplomacy praxis? In whose interest is our advanced stance? South Africa has registered a consistent theme of abhorrence towards Israel, evidenced in a UJ resolution, pronouncements from the DIRCO political leadership at various levels and times. We are engaging with China and China has a chequered human rights record, why the ambiguity?


8. Are we too naturally assume the apartheid watchdog – human rights police officer of the World? If we do so is it because we have narrowly interpreted our own apartheid history and thus assume a form of exceptionalism that dictates we out of our history must lead the world. The latter is not a bad ideal, yet that ideal does not live and breathe on its own but co-exists with other aspects that make us a nation that is conscious of a future the same we seek to build with others. If we assume this Apartheid Watchdog of the world, who appointed us, and who is paying us for this?


9. Can we rise above our detesting of this claim regardless to how nauseating it may render us? Can we look beyond the fact that a MOSSAD presents despicable and sober to the reality that the possibility very well might exist that the icon of our liberation struggle was trained by the enemy of the struggle of our freedom. Can we accept this history if it can be proven as truthful. Can we equally reject it with the disdain it deserves if proven a sophism?


10. Is it propaganda, because this news hits us now and has never surfaced before, yet many secrets usually manifests after ones death. If it is propaganda let it be exposed for what it is, yet if it is our history we cannot detox or sanitise it for whatever reason we deem fit in this epoch. If it is aimed at casting aspersions on his character, it would can confirm he is not the first neither the last because our history is replete with claims of a similar kind. Other freedom fighters in their deaths had claims of CIA connections. We think of a Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Stokeley Carmichael even Ghandi at some stage it was speculated were in the pockets of the Agencies such as MOSSAD or CIA etc.




In the final analysis, it is immaterial now if he Mandela was trained or not by MOSSAD. It is immaterial if someone sold him out, it is off less relevance who it is that set him up, liberals or conservatives, it may even be also less valuable who infiltrated the liberation struggle, Mandela is dead and we are politically liberated. The Mandela Foundation as thorny as this may be must accept it too has no conclusive evidence that he Mandela was not trained by MOSSAD.




All the aforementioned is perhaps irrelevant, what is of relevance is how we interpret this for our future, how we deal and engage with this and how this shapes our application of diplomacy when we have become trained to think and articulate in one –dimensional fashion akin to Anti-Israel stance.


If it is true Mandela than in his death as in his life, presents his movement and this government with more curve-balls in pensive reflection demanding a response less in emotion, rhetoric but circumspect conscious of this possibility and congruent with what we have determined his legacy of reconciliation.


It reminds me off the age-old theological question ‘what shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ’? If I may borrow this text and make it relevant here, it must be that this revelation truth or fallacy demands of all of us who loved a Mandela to ask what shall we do with the Black Pimpernel, who was trained probably by Mossad? Can we let him speak to us even if we desire not to listen? Can we afford this piece of history equal space and relevance and learn lessons from such without a bias of shortsightedness.


Perhaps the historical aspects of the revelation does not matter and should not matter at all  because he is dead, and did not let us in on such, perhaps because he did not know, perhaps he may have known and could not deal with that piece thus leaving the puzzle for us to conclude. Maybe he was embarrassed, here he is trying to establish the first military wing of the ANC, and he lacked discernment to know whom he is dealing with?


It does not matter now because he is dead and we are politically liberated, to those who helped enemy and friend thank you.


To South Africans Mandela have many shades; be careful how you interpret him.Is there a place when fiction becomes fact and facts become indifferent?


Clyde N. S. Ramalaine


******Article appears courtesy – ‘Dusty Musings’ Political Commentary Due March 30, 2014







/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;




In Response to Judith February: Dasnois is not a martyr in Mandela Legacy claim!

 – Mandela the myth, a legacy conveniently abused with ’white’ interest and benefit as base –


I read your article in the Star of December 19, 2013 on Madiba’s Legacy as immanent in not kowtowing to power. Certainly, Mandela has left a legacy for all of us but this legacy is coloured by what shades you wear. 


You have chosen to focus on the defence of the constitution as your handle, to argue your premise, which I have no challenge or gripe with, since I know what CASAC stands for in principle. Yet in this article the attempt at giving proverbial legs to your contention of protection of constitution you have proven ultra – selective to remember what was said where and when in the funeral service of Madiba.


Among others, you choose to quote Nandi Mandela who gave a very balanced perspective of her grandfather. What you perhaps did not hear or deliberately choose not have heard is Nandi’s equal plea to those who forever point fingers. If Nandi says let us ‘stop pointing fingers’, she is saying quit having this self-righteous attitude towards others.  There are those in this season as an earlier note I penned attest who think it their inalienable right to point fingers to others using Mandela as a scarecrow. These seldom contribute anything meaningful and oppose self-introspection for their overarching role is adjudicating political leadership.


The challenge with Mandela is that he was both myth and man; the mythical side of Mandela comes paraded in volumes from those who choose to deify this man. They bastardize his legacy from their own ideological preferences and read into his legacy their own outcomes and desires. It is bastardization because these are their views and interpretations from potentially pre-conceived notions, which they want to, give credence in using a Mandela. 


You also choose to quote Bishop  Z. Siwa for one statement in which he said, “we have more takers that givers” among our leadership. Again as so common in our SA narrative, this is read into only political leadership. No one under any circumstances will justify any wrong our political leaders do, yet this one sided understanding of leadership immanent only in political leadership as the maximum symbol is worth castigating.


When the theologian Siwa took us in a reduced 16 minutes on a riveting contextual homily informed by due exegesis of the text in Matthew 25 on the Talents it was not to give us a tunnel vision interpretation of the text. Yet it was to challenge all levels, all spheres, and all aspects of our society in which leadership prevails.


One can cite a thousand examples spanning the clergy, business, civil society, education, public intellectuals, youth etc. spheres of post-apartheid South Africa that speaks to this claim. Why you singularly interpreted this on political leadership I fail to understand unless your mirror was a tiring Nkandla.

Why not broaden that mirror to include the corruption of multinational construction companies whom our beloved  media refer in sin to as collusion and cartels. This is what Siwa spoke about when he said ‘takers’. The fact that the suppliers of bread (one of the most necessary commodities) in SA can in greed and corruption fix prices that hurts the poor breathes this ‘takers’ etiquette. The fact that cell-phone companies refuse to drop their connection fees and exhibits the takers and not givers’ leadership.  The fact that banks can agree on what the going rate for mortgage loan is communicates this ‘takers’ mentality.  A praxis in which the workers still earns a pittance but CEO’s  of corporates can earn exorbitant  7 and 8 figure packages  breathes this  very takers mind-set.  This takers mind-set life in the media agencies, which 20 years after democracy still prove racist in their employment and naturally skewed to benefit a certain sector of our society.

As an analyst analyse a society in which ‘white’ people remain the benefactors and the de-facto right holders of a practice of reconciliation for their benefit. Please tell us why and equally challenge why Indians today are the signpost of our freedom and the masses still do not have.


Why the needs to one dimensionally interpret the words of Bishop Siwa and Nandi Mandela to bolster a case of attack of Constitution remains unclear.


South Africa’s constitution is not under threat by those in power but it is at times under threat by the very ones who claim a custodianship in self-assignment. Those who engender and pontificate this fear rhetoric have many intertwined friends, these include public intellectuals as yourself you who long time ago made up your mind on an ANC leadership and thus hardly can lift your mind to plateau of objectivity a normal expectation from claimed “intellectuals.” 


To argue the firing of an editor in the camp of the Cape Times a major issue pointing to constitutional threat, is to argue South Africa is located in the Northern hemisphere. Their employers employ editors and thus they are hired and fired all the time. The herd mentality of some in media embrace fuelled by rhetoric of fear undergirded by sensation is deplorable as this firing of Alide Dasnois as editor attests.


Alide Dasnois for some became a martyr in exemplification of a Mandela legacy, like you for reasons opaque to say the least. When Dasnois accepted her job as editor, was someone before her not fired or relieved of his/her duties, before in the history of the Cape Times? When she accepted the job, did she agree to a contract, which clearly speaks to conduct? Does her independence of mind function only now, under new black ownership when it never functioned under ‘white’ ownership? Scanning the advanced reasons for her firing leaves on to conclude those who  claim to know in herd-mentality fashion do so based on conjecture more than reason.


Is it not amazing that organisations such as R2K can come to the rescue of an Alide Dasnois, when their silence on the firing of between 3-5 black editors by Times Media Group remains palpable. From where all of a sudden this energy, is because Dasnois is ‘white’ and our prism on reconciliation is naturally slanted and calibrated to favour ‘whites’



I think this weak hashed and thoughtless attempt at making Dasnois’ personal relieve of duty a symbol of threat on a constitution draped in Mandela legacy defence is perhaps indolent. It simply cannot stand on the makeshift Mandela legacy legs. Thus, it is a feeble and forced attempt at bastardising Mandela’s legacy.


Bishop Clyde N. Ramalaine

Independent Observer






NUMSA Special Congress: Will this special congress prove special, I doubt!

– Am I the only one to think this congress has a misplaced  ANC  for its agenda instead of  NUMSA –

As I pen this note the NUMSA delegates are gathered in what is called a “Special Congress” in Boksburg engaging we are told 6 discussion papers. The details of the discussion papers a standard practice is not known to the public.

A special congress not attended by its Alliance members or its Mother Body COSATU. According to the official word from the SACP Communications person, he received a request on November 21, 2013 in which he was asked about the contact details of among others-relevant  Alliance members – to extend an official invitation for attendance of such special congress.

The SACP spokesman  is on record and goes on to say, he responded the next day and gave the sender the information as required. Yet on behalf of the SACP no official invitation was received till this hour. Off course you will hear the SACP lies, and counter claims to this. That does not alter the fact that the special congress is underway and COSATU, SACP and ANC are absent, for whatever reason.

Thus far the issues from the presidential report as shared by the new incumbent Chirwa ballooned in what is portrayed a demand and call for the ANC president to resign.

I guess it would be difficult for a new president in the wake of the recent resigning of the actual NUMSA president to bring together a true presidential report thus he had to hone in sensationalizing his report on this his call. Granted it is his right to do so as this is a monumental entrance for him as president to NUMSA leadership.

Although Chirwa is calling for  the resigning of an ANC president,  it appears the call for resigning is now also extended to the Deputy President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa who holds no government office.  Can we guess they also will call for the Secretary General of the ANC to resign, maybe not because Gwede Mantashe recently suggested a careful reconsideration on the part of COSATU on the subject of Vavi as that which may have ramifications for COSATU at a broader level.  If this is true, it would mean the essence of calling for ANC officials resignations is marred by a shortsighted snapshot view of what it means to call for resignations. NUMSA is perhaps behaving like the ANCYL of Malema.

The ANC President and deputy president along with all its other 4 office bearers were all democratically elected to office at Mangaung in 2012 Elective Conference. Let us be clear the issue of a South African presidency is a by- default position. Thus Chirwa is out of his socks to demand this resigning of the  ANC presidents.

The second issue which really is anchored in the first again revolves around the GS report which again dealt with Nkandla as the departure or reported point, underscoring the call of Chirwa.

Information in regard to the actual work NUMSA in this “special congress” is doing remains scantily clad because we do not hear anything substantial except the rhetoric of neo- liberalism, anti- capitalism and anti- imperialism constructs bandied around vacuous of explanation or definition.

The GS of NUMSA appears more focused on proving their power as NUMSA to force COSATU to obey their instructions because they have this 280000 membership which carries the weight they attempt wielding.

Off course as was expected Zwelinzima Vavi would address the NUMSA gathering. There can be no question that the suspended and perhaps soon former GS of COSATU could not wait to leave his twitter solitary campaigning for a podium of limelight and NUMSA stage. This is  a clever political move  on his and his handlers part,  hats off for this tactical move in pursuit of solidifying a claimed constituency.

Vavi’s address as orchestrated becomes the de-facto official keynote address for the “special congress”, as orchestrated by the NUMSA officials. Vavi spoke as we all know in his personal capacity, yet he is addressing a formation of COSATU the same his suspension conditions clearly articulate shall not happen. This says more of what Vavi think of COSATU without him as that which is worthy of disrespect. Needless to say Vavi packed a punch or 5 at the ANC, leadership etc using the subject of corruption as his premise, equally vocal on what the ANC has become.

This brings me to the fundamental question how special is this special congress

A special congress is usually called to discuss urgent but very critical issues that concerns the entity or structure in its existence and mobility.

Special congresses are convened to decide on critical matters immanent in way forward.

A special congress is convened when there is a crisis of leadership in the structure. Which does not exists in NUMSA except for the recent almost welcomed departure of its former president by those who wanted to see his back.


  • Yet I doubt if NUMSA will in any sense resolve in mandate to split ways with COSATU at the end of this special congress. This one is too risky and NUMSA most probably is betting on doing a internal transformation of COSATU.
  • I doubt if NUMSA will explicitly move away from the Alliance as a fundamental principle.  Though NUMSA members straddle across all political formations as parties the majority easily are ANC anchored. Thus it may be committing political suicide.
  • I equally doubt if NUMSA and not its officials will resolve not to support the ANC in the elections. It has no political home at present outside of the ANC, it equally cannot assume its members will opt to vote for any other party outside the ANC.
  • I doubt if NUMSA can after the special Congress muster the support of more than the original 9 of which only 7 federations of 21 who is in good standing with COSATU. NUMSA could not sway more than the 9 of the 21 Federations making up COSATU to agree on a special COSATU congress. In fact even those who had agreed to a special congress had divergent reasons for the convening of such.
  • I also doubt if NUMSA at the end of this special congress will resolve to form a party which will compete in 2014 or beyond.

So, therefore if these crucial issues  are not proven as conclusive in a way forward of outcomes what then make this congress “special” except for the fact that they now have officially raised their dissatisfaction. The same which is not entirely new in the protracted history of COSATU and the Alliance.

I think the ANC’s silence is a matured silence, because any attention given to a NUMSA “special congress” is to give it credence when nothing special will surface from it.

What is special is the fact that the GS is yet to explain or challenge the veracity of the claims of its former president that Jim, went to Nkandla ( the same place he shared security whilst being there) to negotiate a position of deputy president for the suspended Vavi.  A position that the president at the time only discovered at Nkandla and heard about for the first time. It is interesting to note that  Jim does not dispute it. Will special congress also ask of its general secretary to account how and when he obtained such mandate to negotiate on behalf of Vavi in typical kingmaker status. Can we expect accountability here also or shall we accept that NUMSA was aware of this solo effort and gave its blessing for such. Also whether the GS of NUMSA had any mandate for this.

The question that can be raised now is would Jim have been this vocal if the request was honored to have his favorite in number 2 spot? Your guess is as good as mine.

What makes this congress “special” is the fact that individuals are placed as more important than the cause of the workers. The workers have no interest in who becomes deputy president of this country or not. The workers has no interest as to whether the general secretary of  COSATU is answerable for cases of illicit intimacy in COSATU office or sale of buildings claims etc.

Again I ask how special is the special congress when its delegates will leave muddled and confused in the threat of utter rhetoric between leaving and staying to transform COSATU .

If NUMSA choose to stay then it must admit, respect and prove honourable of the duly elected leadership of COSATU. Thus allowing itself to be disciplined for this erratic behavior of cult personality. NUMSA cannot  conveniently choose to stay only because NUMSA believe its preferreed leadership gives this decades long entity of organised labour  ( COSATU) credence and veracity.

One thing is crystal clear this ‘special Congress’ is targeted with the  ANC as its real agenda point instead of NUMSA. This makes it a misplaced “special congress”. NUMSA does not have the leeway to convene a special congress to discuss and demand ANC leadership resigning. 

Finally,  perhaps this conference was a serious waste of  workers money because its resolutions will in no sense alter the existing stance which is already known before the calling of the special congress neither will it help the Vavi personality cause. We all can accept the workers -cause is clearly not central in this special congress.


Is Mandela’s legacy already bastardized, by those who claim to know?

Is Mandela’s legacy already bastardized, by those who claim to know?

          Who told us reconciliation if it benefits ‘whites’ is true reconciliation –


With the passing of Mandela, many are trying to emulate him, which we all agree is our mission and task, yet many misunderstand this emulation. 


I shall attempt to address myself to three groups whom I hold in this season attempts a bastardization of this legacy in various shades.


The first group choose to point fingers at others, in self-righteousness.  They uniquely believe that they have earned the right to speak on behalf of a Madiba in the interest of what he stood for.

The biggest contribution this group makes is to tell others “leaders are fooling themselves in thinking them fooling the masses, if they claim they emulate the espoused values of Nelson Mandela”. I call them the spectators who know how the game is suppose to be played. The referees, the adjudicators self appointed though.


This group claims their association with Mandela in friendship or otherwise have naturally earned them the right of custodianship of his values only in observance not in their personal practice of those values..


Whilst they accuse others in pointing fingers, they err in looking at themselves- they contribute nothing meaningful but to point fingers. It is to them that the young Nandi Mandela rang a warning, “stop pointing fingers”. Pointing out the wrongs through innuendos and veiled accusations helps no one. The sad reality is these have open doors and have never been rejected or denied access to the current ANC leadership yet they prefer to talk to the media and can never face up. 

To those we say you have violated a fundamental principle that governed Mandela’s political life he confronted his compatriots, he did not use a media to speak what was meant be handled internally. Mandela was fearlessly loyal to the movement, and respected its leaders as democratically elected.


The second group include those who misinterpret Mandela as the hero of former Dutch or the Boere who became Afrikaners to denounce a history of apartheid sin and benefit. 


These assume you only practice reconciliation if your efforts benefits “whites”. This group has found spokespersons in the likes Archbishop Tutu, who in recent days decided to speak up, and append his signature and joining the voices against a march of the poor people of the Western Cape by the masses as that, which is a threat to democracy. 


Let us not forget it was the Arch Tutu who pleaded that we desist referring to  Johan Kotze as the Modimolle monster, because God loves him and there is something good in him. Kotze a man who consciously in cold blood killed his stepson amidst the teenager’s pleas. Kotze who orchestrated the violation of his own wife’s sanctity in forcing his workers to rape her. I asked then and I asked now, when did the Archbishop Tutu speak up for a “black” rapist or monster like that? Your guess is as good as mine is, never. 


Not only that, but the Archbishop goes on today and castigate the organizers for not including what he terms Afrikaner Religious Leaders in the programme. For the Arch, this is the highest form reconciliation and something Mandela would have wanted.  


Today also, this group received another voice none other than the Deputy President of the Country Kgalema Motlanthe who tells us the continuous incarceration of Clive Derby- Lewis co-conspirator with Janus Walus who pulled the trigger on Chris Hani on April 10, 1993, torments him. 


The premise for this stance on the part of Motlanthe is to argue if we have moved on, we suppose to make it count in considering his release. 


The challenge I have with the second group is their perpetual misinterpretation of what reconciliation means for them it resonates singularly in the domain of one race group, as benefactor of reconciliation. 


These abdicate and pass over the challenges of reconciliation in African people and consider them not important if not less worthy for such reconciliation. 


I thought the Arch should have asked why Qunu’s people did not see their hero; would Mandela not have wanted that? 


I thought that for Motlanthe the more appropriate question should have been how the continuous imprisonment of AZAPO combatants torments him. If we talk of reconciliation after 20 years what are these former freedom fighters still doing in a prison cell?  There are literally thousands of people languishing in our jails in SA, who had served beyond their 20 year terms who also sick, yet Motlanthe is not tormented by these. Could it be that he next will tell us we must consider releasing Apartheid’s only true prisoners Eugene De Kock and Ferdi Barnard, because Mandela would have done that?


The third group of Mandela legacy constitute those who misinterprets Mandela legacy imminent in rebuking others as hypocrites when they blurt ‘don’t talk about what Mandela stood for, live it in praxis.’


They progress slightly further than pointing fingers because they want to see the values realised. The only problem is they again accuse others and measure them against others like  a Barack Obama.These tell us of how a Barack Obama, who apparently epitomizes in speeches the essence of Madiba captures the essence of what Mandela stood for. 


These are quick to tell others do not talk of the values of Mandela but live them. Yet swayed by the oratory skills and prowess of a lanky son of a Kenyan African father and Irish in decent mother when he in our world favourite accent declares what he did at FNB. 


They hang on his lips, they quote him, yet they do not ask the flaws if not hypocrisy in Obama who has been killing innocent people with his drone attacks. They worship an Obama, who is no example for us of Madiba values when he as an African failed the African’s cause in Compton California and the African in Nairobo in foreign relations context. Yet he found nesting grounds in Irish embrace of welcome and his  ultra – Eurocentric foreign diplomacy in which Africa is left in the valley of yesterday. 


I fail to understand that Mandela is hardly buried a few days and we have these misinterpreted realities of a Mandela legacy. If this is not addressed, we may end up with a bastardisation of this legacy. 


Yet we shall warn those in this epoch who claim an aloofness of knowing, a right in superlative to point fingers and a righteousness of claim devoid of praxis as evident in their own lives, we are not blind, like you we have understood the mosaic of a man called Nelson Mandela.


We shall warn them they will not get away with this bastardization of Mandela legacy. One good thing Tata did he made all feel they were his best friend, clearly these last 10 days confirmed he had many friends thus none can claim a unique superimposed knowledge of Nelson Rolihlala Mandela that they can rebuke others in a form of supremacy.


Clyde N. Ramalaine

Independent observer 


Qunu a Silent Mourn!

Qunu, a Silent Mourn !


The rooster crowed

a staggered crowed

The cows mooing

melancholic in sombre mood

Qunu’s rolling hills

attest of mourning untold

A windmill screeches

 in time of eternity

Qunu’s solitary stream runs slow



Qunu’s son is finally coming home

Qunu today is receiving its own

One who left as a teenager

Travelled the globe

Inspired a billion in hope

The young shepherd from Mveso

Is returning, yet the valleys cry

The grass protests at his demise


They eyes of neighbors in sorrow clasp

Attest a deep and visible anguish

Robbed once more from their prized possession

Yet, Qunu was always robbed

When apartheid took its son

And made him a prisoner

Incarcerated on an island,

Far away in-disconnect


Today Rolihlala is coming home

Today no more Nelson

For that you became to help others

He is Rolihlala Dalibhunga Mandela

One of royalty – Yet a servant

A lion and a lamb



aah’ Dalibhunga your voice is still

Rolihlala you come home carried by others

Son of u’Tata Gadla & Ma Nosekeni,

you have come home

Where you will never walk again

Yet we will feel you every day

For your long walk is over


For now, let the soil protest

Led the light breeze affirms a simmering revolution

Let the clouds gather in summersault

and the skies greyed in shades of pain

Let the sun and moon, gasp

In skipped moments of twilight

You left a boy, you return an elder


Qunu’s meandering dirt-roads

Where your youth is memoralised

Stoned in an etched history

Epitomizes you great trek


Finally home, Madiba home Tata

Not the way we wanted…

Home, to rest for always

and sleep in eternity,

Your work is done


Qunu, mourns inconsolable

Your favourite sheep bleats a sad tune

Today your lambs run, wild

Qunu, a silent mourn…


Robala ka khotso !


Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine 14/12/2013 8h07am

(Dedicated to  Cadre Trevor Manuel)


E- Toll Implementation: Why, it will go ahead regardless to our protest!

– It has as target the ‘right’ market (middle class)


It is a literally a day before we are told the intermittent straddling bright  blue light gantries of the Gauteng Freeway Network will switch on in clicking number plates both tagged or not and registering SANRAL’s first income from our Gauteng improved freeways.


This highly controversial and protracted process that had visited many if not all hierarchical representations of courts in SA is finally a reality and it appears there is nothing that we as Gauteng freeway drivers can do. 


Notwithstanding a last ditch solitary attempt from perhaps the most insignificant and less representative political party the Freedom Front, in the next 24 hours vehicles either will snarl up in search of alternative roads or will dare the freeways with their e-tags or like me without a tag. 

It is not law that one should have a tag, at this stage SANRAL confirms that over 735000 vehicles have registered for their e-tags. A dissecting of what makes up the figure remains a conspicuous mystery; therefore, I am not sure, how these numbers are interpreted how many of these constitute actual Public or private vehicles. 


What SANRAL concedes is that since the announcement of the date of inception about 3 weeks ago approximately 26000 more e-tags were registered. 

The reality is that the majority of Gauteng freeway users remain unregistered even at this late stage. This remains reflective of a campaign against such tolling though not uniformed in organizational setting but nevertheless a campaign.


The e-toll process and implementation has invited a crossbreed of activists against it, these straddle across all political formations and structures with diverse opposing ideological cloaks yet common in its vexed resistance of what remains considered an enforced exercise. We have seen a very vocal in legal pursuit OUTA, who literally bankrupted itself in its pursuit of declaring the origin and implementation farcical unjust and insensitive. OUTA was not alone in a proverbial fight that visited various court structures. The DA committed resources of R1million to support an OUTA which had its own backlash and COSATU had their go- slows which really had no effect.


It has pitched tripartite alliance members against each other and there remains a simmering tension of uneasiness on its implementation with COSATU’s official position that which remains opposed to the implementation of the E-Tolls system. Yet even that tension is eclipsed by other political dimensions unfolding in Tripartite and Organised labour context rendering the E-Tool saga a peripheral issue in the greater scheme of things. 


Essentially e-tolling Gauteng road infrastructure comes inspired by a reality that SANRAL in view of its mandate of maintaining and redeveloping road infrastructure had to raise a running loan of R20bn to upgrade the former freeway road network. Therefore, at a central level the issue remains the servicing of this growing loan. 


 A variety of options had been proposed by those who claim against the implementation of an e-tolling system as proposed. The contentions articulate at least three spheres legal, technical-logistical, and economic paradigms. 

From a legal perspective, the Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of Government for having a mandate and for complying with its mandate in regulatory context. 


From a technical-logistical context, those who oppose its implementation have consistently argued it an impractical system or method thus hoping that when the impracticality of such is shown legitimate reason prevails to let it slide in search of alternate means to deal with the economic challenge of a SANRAL debt. 


Thus, we arrive at the aspect of the economic reality of implementation for Gautengers who already is pulling hard and feeling the pinch. The claims remain that any due user of the gantry lit roads will part with an approximate extra R500 per month from his/her disposable income. 


The counter claim is that the actual poor is absolved from this new form of taxation only because they use public transportation and such modes of transport are exempted from charge of road use. 


This brings us to what is considered the middle class who is required to foot the bill not because they have the resources but because the middle class of varying degrees use the roads and therefore in pretence of economic presence in a colloquial sense can be said -can handle it.  

Thus, the e-toll in implementation is essentially a middle class targeted aimed or propelled implementation. According to sources the modern usage of the term “middle class,” however, dates to the 1913 UK Registrar-General’s report, in which the statistician T.H.C. Stevenson identified the middle class as that falling between the upper class and the working class. Included as belonging to the middle class are professionals, managers, and senior civil servants. The chief defining characteristic of membership in the middle class is possession of significant human capital.


My question thus can this middle class however defined, however conflated and however understood or misunderstood raise its hand and in solitary revolution of saying not in our name or at our expense! 


In most societies, the middle class cannot be defined in a uniform almost singular power block sense. The interests of the middle class are often varying since it is not constricted in a basic as in the case of the poor. It is important to note that within capitalism, “middle class” initially referred to the bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie. However, with the impoverisation and proletarianisation of much of the petite bourgeois world, and the growth of finance capitalism, “middle class” came to refer to the combination of the labour aristocracy, the professionals, and the white-collar workers.


The middle class therefore can never be a unitary political force because often it includes civil servants who earn their income from working for the state, unlike the upper class or super-rich and the working class or the very poor. Whereas the rich can raise their displeasure in redefining economies to get the point across. Whereas the rich can collapse and recreate sectors and the poor can mobilize ad drum up support for its cause, the middle class simply do not have that luxury. 


Middle class societies ensemble a conflation of individualism yet not an individualism that can stand-alone. However, an individualism of pretence because they remain the prime consumers of products and services they mostly if not always often have no control over. 


Middle class groups tend to suffer of a sense of unnatural competition less understood in entrepreneurial flair or paradigm but in presence associated identities. Identities in which the competing interests often come in a punitive sense translated to assets they barely can but must afford albeit for status. 


The middle class therefore cannot lead revolutions to threat or actualise change because they are products of an economic and political power system in which its aspiration remains to one day to emulate the upper class and equally never in future be associated with that which is defined worker class or poor. 


The dialectical tension of the dream (wealth) and the nightmare (poverty) renders them in transit of pretence. The cross-paradigms of middle class lends itself a to a further rupture of any sensible agreement of cause and purpose, for there exist no one singular middle class but reflections of middle classes that never can be teamed in pursuit of a common agenda. 

Therefore, the e-toll implementation regardless to how it is protested by a middle class on legitimate tentacles of consideration will occur because the right market was targeted by those who sought to implement a system we all may oppose.


By removing the poor from the debate in absolving them from this taxation, the implementation from a risk perspective has a much greater success. If the poor therefore decides to enter the rally against it, it would be from a pure sentimental solidarity issue and not a decisive and experiential reality therefore momentarily and lacking in depth. 

The E- toll implementation therefore will see a middle class complying much sooner than is expected when a litany of pressures and threats of renewal of vehicle license and all other forms of individual pressure kicks in. 


I guess we all who pretend a middle class regardless of where in the strata of such middle class we may find ourselves will soon get our e-tags because the middle class is a class of individuals who always finds a way to make what they have stretch even if it means more debt however. 

Thus, the government scores full marks for targeting the right class group. The same who will pay that R20bn of in less than 6 months of 2014 leaving government or SANRAL to cream it in eternity. We all know our children and their children will pay forever only because they are the middle-soft belly- class who never will be able to stage a revolution, caught up in a make belief of progress when we are indebted and barely can afford what we have. 


The middle class is really poor, but never will associate with that “insulting” claim and therefore plodding along as first consumers, greater pretenders in an aspiration of migration to better when better remains the elusive reality. 


For now get your e-tag and quit pretending you or I  can mobilize a revolution for that  is a myth for as long as we are associated with ‘middle class tag! 




Where is the Historical Mandela?

 -Is there even a historical Mandela out there-

One of the great theological questions in the subject field of Christology concerns itself in quest on the Historical Jesus. An understanding of Jesus before He is the Christ.

I thought about this when I mused on what is the overarching aim of the latest Mandela movie. The claim is made that it is premised on the book “Long Walk to Freedom,” yet it can also be said as Richard Poplak reviews it as “Long Walk to Mediocrity.”

Let me put my disclaimer out, I am not a movie – reviewer by profession, yet I read the comments of those who are professionals. We have had so many Mandela movies, portrayed by at least four characters from a Sidney Poitier to a Morgan Freeman yet none helps us in understanding the Historical Mandela! Mandela the human! Mandela the ordinary!

What this movie does is again overemphasizing as we say in Afrikaans “holrig-geryde” (overstated) RECONCILIATION THEME, for which Mandela in solitary sense comes immortalized if not trapped in eternity embrace.

Can we please learn of the man Mandela long before this necessity for an “Iconic Reconciler Status” and “white” sector interest existed?

Mandela the ordinary and yet rational thinker who made choices to be involved in political struggle as an ordinary South African like so many of us at some point in history had to do.

Mandela one of Umkhonto- We-Sizwe (ANC – Military Wing) founders, who adopted violence as a justified means of response to a repressive Apartheid militarised system. Mandela in his miscalculations, and political infancy.

Mandela an unshaped rural mind who wrestles with his own culture, royal lineage and the inviting lights of the big city. Long before, he was a jurist. Long before his Rivonia Trial because some again only can relate to him as if he was born in Lilliesleaf Farm with a “white” Dennis Goldberg and others. Mandela before Robben Island. Mandela long before he became this superpower no different to a Spiderman or Superman with superpowers uniquely gifted devoid of his ANC organisation, in which he is portrayed the antithesis of the very political cradle he comes from. Mandela the ANC – Youth League Rebel, Mandela the player (womanizer), Mandela just Mandela.

Mandela is portrayed larger than all nine ANC presidents before and two after him even those who mentored him like a Walter Sisulu. This tired and pummelled Reconciliation Theme, lends itself to mediocrity for it is serving the interest of those who straight-jackets an ordinary man no different to many others who made choices not to become a hero, icon and saint- but to lend a hand like so many of us did.

I honestly think we have yet not been told the story of an ordinary Mandela devoid of the trapped and forced imagery of an icon. If I may quote Poplak, again “Mandela’s superpowers were of course, his unflinching belief in the power of reconciliation, and his ability to generate symbolic moments and use them as political tools. They deserve to be rendered with greater care. For the meantime, we will have to content ourselves with the plethora of Mandela content out there”

I am almost advocating for a form of iconoclasm of the crafted deity and imagery of a Mandela. At the rate we go, ordinary people cannot and will not be able in the emerging future to associate with Mandela because he is cast in one-dimensional iconic character.

Maybe I am asking for the Historical Mandela, not the deity, not the saint, not the moral authority,  the Mandela that ordinary people can relate to. He was not born a reconciler, he certainly was not born an icon, and he was not born the “white or black” hope of the continent or world. He is a man like all other.

In whose interest is, he immortalized as this DEITY.

Clyde N.S. Ramalaine