SONA 2015: Come the hour, come disruption, come ejection- but we will have the SONA !

The scene is set the proverbial table laid. The much publicized or should I say hoped for showdown is a few hours away. The question on everyone’s lips what will happen come seven o’clock tonight, your guess is as good as mine since we know already parliament intends staging its annual event within the framework of the parliamentary rules.

For some this is aggressively hoped to be the EFF’s finest hour when they will against all odds in defiance of all sanity rules attempts disrupting the SONA. The question becomes what potentially the majority anti-ANC is expecting tonight as they sit glued to view the SONA. Let us also not fool ourselves to assume people are tuning in tonight to watch the SONA, they are tuning in to see chaos, which is what they anticipating.
Aubrey Matsiqi one of my favourite political analysts in an interview yesterday on SAFM said one thing is clear … ‘this will be the most viewed SONA perhaps ever’… It is right here that I wish to light my candle and attempt an analysis what this most viewed anticipated SONA mean:
For Julius Malema and the EFF who is on record to have insisted they will use all forms and opportunities to campaign this is a dream sent if not dream forced. Given this, we can expect Malema and the EFF to go for broke tonight. Every campaign has a launch, a critical high point, and a time of silent death or evaporation. The ‘pay back the money campaign’ was a successful campaign and is now in its sixth month and perhaps tonight reaches its most finite moment, in my anticipation after which it will plunge into the abyss of none-effect.

The EFF and Malema comes to this SONA wounded, wounded because the ongoing saga of an organisation spiralling out of control, lacking due leadership accused of being a dictator and having to face media daily with this ongoing challenge. It has in recent months beyond its honeymoon period post-May 2014 elections courted much controversy as an organisation in internal turmoil. Secondly, he comes to the SONA bruised because of the latest instalment of a public letter spat between himself and Gayton McKenzie leader of PAP. McKenzie has been scathing and naked in proving Malema a thug and the details were gory. This will bring Malema to the SONA in revenge mode meaning he needs to shift the focus of this pressure and the best way to deal with that is to reflect that onto the President with the “pay back the money campaign” as its mantra.
It is to be expected that the speaker will attempt to bring order, in letting the rules for the SONA stand, which will lead to more noise, it is here where chaos will erupt when the she will insist on rules and the EFF sensing at an emotional level disrupting the SONA is very possible. The speaker will invoke the rules at least as she understands it and give orders to the sergeant general to eject members that have been given warnings. This will boil over to fracas and

It is the important to accept that the primary aim of the EFF leadership is de-skin Zuma, and it feels it has tonight that opportunity.
Therefore, what will happen, the EFF will is on record to have said they will not give Zuma a chance to clean his throat, before they will be demanding him to answer. We therefore can expect that as Zuma moves to the podium there will be heckling, and this will boil over into noise, noise which

What will the other opposition parties do, in fact where do they stand? I fear no contradiction to unequivocally state the majority of opposition parties who are on record for having stated they do not support disruption of the SONA contrary to public statement silently hope for this disruption and potential altercation. The opposition parties will as always find the SONA as repetitive, empty and a rehash of what was said before, because that is what they say when they interviewed by the media after every SONA. In fact, the DA has been so intoxicated to believe that it can pen a SONA for SA.
The truth is all opposition parties are all upstaged by the EFF and have for years been enjoying red carpets, dinners and celebrations, all of a sudden the EFF has shown them how apparently complicit they have been in making a mockery of the people. Out of that guilty conscious the DA decides not to attend the after events of the SONA, they decide to dress down, how foolish cos they always dressed up they always enjoyed the pomp and pride they have always enjoyed being in the limelight now in 2015 they have developed a consciousness inspired by red overalls of the EFF. The conundrum for the DA remains the fact that though it is the official opposition party, it cannot make that count because Malema’s personality for the wrong reasons has dictated who the real opposition is. Thus, the DA can hardly claim any moral high ground.

They silently hope for maximum embarrassment to the President because he has been the epicentre of their campaigns in 2014. Hence, as much as the likes of the DA publicly claim no support for the intended EFF and Malema disruptions they hope for it, it privately supports any means to embarrass Zuma with the proviso that they do not want to carry the van for it.

The reality is whilst this is billed to be the finest hour of EFF it will also be the hour that defines its demise which will show in the 2016 elections. Tonight many more of its 1,1million voters will decide at a personal level, I cannot be associated with this sensational egocentric and megalomaniac behaviour.
Let us accept tonight in full view of a world media that has already set up to capture not the SON but the antics of the EFF, we will be embarrassed. Julius Malema will have his finest hour though brief, because the news will not focus one iota on the actual SONA, which holds critical aspects of the road we have traversed, and the issues currently confronting us for which solutions are proposed.
In the end tonight will come and go, and tomorrow morning we all will awake to a new day in which the ANC and its president still leads SA in challenging times not challenging because of a SONA disruption but challenging for the real issues which we less in blame game sense must find answers. Our challenges are manifold. We are a still dealing with the reality of racism, challenges of unequal society, challenges of power shortages, challenges of unemployment and challenges of success that births impatience where services have not yet arrived. We will wake up and South Africa will still be where it is celebrating 20 years of major improvements and equal challenges, conscious that challenges do not last forever.
As the night falls the self-claimed Khanyisile Litchfield- Tshabalala’s ‘pay back the money’ will perhaps fade as much as she is fading in EFF context. Yes, this false campaign would have died a natural death and the EFF will need a new campaign, if not a new focus, difficult as it is because it cannot untie itself from the true meaning of its existence, an overt obsession with unseating Zuma, at any cost anywhere anytime.
I still hold South Africans of all walks deserve to hear the president speak on what Government has initiated to solve our challenges. The majority of South Africans want to hear the State Of our Nation Address and we truthfully are not interested in showdowns of hooliganism and foolishness parading as endorsed by the majority of South Africans who never entrusted those who cause this consternation.
May sense prevail and let us have the SONA, maybe without the EFF!
Clyde N.S. Ramalaine
Social Commentator


The State of South African Journalism – Cause for Concern!

Reasons why I do not want to be a journalist in South Africa

I must put my disclaimer up front, I am no trained journalist, and I opine and write without any formal journalism training from any institution. I happen to believe all humans are thinking beings and from that premise have an epistemology from which they consistently construct and articulate their respective opinions.

I also must upfront concede that many of my opinion pieces on a variety of subject- matter that spans our post – apartheid political discourse were published in among others the Pretoria News, City Press, Sunday Independent, and New Age newspapers at least since 2010. I equally had my material rejected because it was claimed I am not a trained journalist.

I therefore thought it right to ask myself if I would be a journalist in SA and came to the conclusion that perhaps it has less to do with my decision. Rather it was already determined for me in my pigmentation not to be since journalism in SA depicts the true state of our nation as a nation of deep complexities, extreme dualism, and entrenched racial realities.

1. It appears journalism in South Africa is only respected as the enclave of “white thinking.” Human thinking is afforded no space to bring original thought to the subject. Thus ‘black’ journalists are to comply with the “standard” set from “white thinking” realm and reality. The very same that dictates the claim of a 4th Estate right in the superlative. WD Wright, in his work ‘CRISES OF THE BLACK INTELLECTUAL’ argues, “Cruse was critical of Black intellectuals for being integrationists and not nationalists, he said this made them susceptible as well as submissive to the thought of white intellectuals, especially Jewish intellectuals”. In this epoch can the same be argued about the state of journalism and our media, perhaps Cruse captures our current media context.

2. It appears in order to be accepted as a journalist, regardless of colour you must in addition to everything also pass the litmus test of being subjectively critical to a ‘black’ government. In such you will in the name of the masses verbalise the utter displeasure with an illegitimate government, though the masses continue renewing its mandate.  You must be anti-establishment and all you reporting must be directed by this notion.
You shall not use your gifted faculties endowed by your Creator to firstly ask or investigate for example what is generally called a “service delivery protest.” Your job is not to ask what it is; your task is to firstly accept that when you see people gather, loot, and protest it has to be a service delivery protest. From that premise, you will report and repeat a service delivery protest when it may be pure hooliganism, it could potentially be somebody fighting his ward counsellor in a political ego contest or  even a potential ‘white’ business man (as we have seen in Tshwane and elsewhere) who pays people to occupy his unserviced land to force government to supply expensive bulk infrastructure to private owned land. Those who know in SA any of these could be the reason for unrest defined as ‘service delivery protest’. Yet our journalists and editors are oblivious to all this.

3. It appears your reporting and critique of a black  led government must be scathing never balanced for at a fundamental level it must feed into the narrative of self-hate in which your sole obsession is to point out the proverbial warts on the identity of what is defined as ‘black’. This you must do until you in hopelessness of what is ‘black’ by what you see in the mirror resign yourself to a conflicted personality and ultimately rest in your integrated mind of “white thinking.”

4. It appears ‘black’ journalists even editors must conform to subjective reporting to trivialise sensational, rhetoric and cast ideological paradigms the same they never defined, but must comply with as paradigm. The ideological paradigms are already defined; you dare not contest, adjudicate, or question these yours is to comply with them. This subjectivism is palpable in publications like Daily Maverick where the bile of journalists like Ranjeni Munusamy who has become the guru on the ruling party internal politics is paraded daily. The Daily Maverick sees no need to critically reflect or assess the work of this journalist, because she is duly integrated into the paradigm of ‘black’ self-hate.

5. It seems ‘black journalists can’t make decisions on what to report, it’s not their prerogative to bring a fresh or untainted even authentic perspective on for example what has happened in SA in the 20 years. For any form of acknowledgment of progress means you not analytical, intelligent, or sharp but a puppet of this establishment. Hence, black journalists spend their hours scouting for dirt on blacks in government. They call friends inside to hear what is happening, they do not go to research institutions and ask critical questions on how many houses were built in these 20 years. They spent their hours in attempt of pontificating to political leadership how corrupt they are how useless an ANC-led government is. That is what occupies the stratum of their instructed thinking, because they not supposed to think but remain calibrated to this conformed ideological paradigm.

6. It appears there is a golden rule that prohibits you to report, opine, or share information that celebrates progress. The natural demand is for you to be a prophet of gloom, doom and mayhem – for this graduates you in celebrated journalism. ‘White’ journalists spends their energy digging up dirt on black people, resources are employed to feed this prism.

7. ‘Black’ journalists are trained to be suspicious of ‘black’ wealth, geared to question it if and whenever it sees it. They classically conditioned to investigate it when it fails it still has a right to speculate in publishing it with the singular intend to denigrate. No retraction ever corrects the damage caused and thus we have a media that shares an extraordinaire right to publish whatever it will on whomever without testing the veracity of the original claims. Eusebius McKaiser wrote an insightful and personal article recently on this. No journalist is trained to be suspicious of ‘white’ wealth it is naturally assumed theirs is attained by pure entrepreneurial and innovative honourable means. Black wealth is naturally from a corruption driven state based setting. No one is interested to ask how much of ‘white’ wealth is directly originating from Government in past, present and future tenses.

8. Journalists and reporters have no consciousness to protect the general psyche of our society from destructive graphics, it appears journalists are obsessed to share with its readership the most horrific, gross and inhumane exhibitions of depraved actions of human torture and insult. The unacceptable role in the destruction of our collective soul is never mentioned or engaged, because the media never owns up to its negative role. If a beheading of someone took place, why should we carry the images? What does this do to our collective soul, how are we helped in being shown the graphics, more so how our children are indelibly negatively affected by this kind of reporting?

In SA, you can have mutilated bodies on display particularly “black” bodies. One is reminded again to reflect on the 9/11 New York Twin Tower acts of violence, which we are told resulted in the deaths of over 3200 people yet we have not seen one American body in graphic display of militate of human dignity. The American media faulty as it is yet understands something about human dignity that we in our media consciously reject. Perhaps more disturbing is that this crude display of graphics suggests another level the reality of two different criteria of values informed by “white life” and “black life” realities not human life, and our journalists irrespective of colour feeds into this.

9. In SA, journalism is celebrated in lazy research; every day in SA a friend, colleague, family member or a justified or unjustified enemy can call a journalist if they want to deal with you. Often journalists depending on who the person is in the hierarchy of our varied strata of influence can run a story without validation of basic facts, without speaking or attempt speaking to the already declared guilty party.

It is all about the scoop. Recently Max Du Preez a veteran journalist in his last article for the 2014 year afforded himself the right to re-state absolute untruths of a Judge Squires ruling whom the media claimed to have said, “there was a corrupt relationship between Zuma and Shabir Shaick”. Despite this statement being refuted and denounced by the said Judge ages ago and any trained journalist will know and respect that yet Du Preez because he is a veteran and claimed barometer of thinking as a journalist feel free to state this as gospel truth to make his premise of stringed claims stand. Gutter journalism is celebrated.

10. Journalism has become a hustle of utter gossip hunt, in which the claim of press freedom is paramount protected by a 4 estate claim in what can only be defined as a right extraordinaire.

11. It is only when “white” journalists or editors are fired that you hear the complaints and see the launch of campaigns – ‘black’ journalists are fired daily and there is no eyebrow lifted for that.

12. To be an editor or journalist in SA in post – Apartheid context you must integrate. Malcolm X warned us all ages ago about the praxis of integration; those who are integrated become what they are integrated into. Thus, authenticity and a sense of identity outside this integration prove none-existent.

Our journalists are by design calibrated to fit this paradigm of ‘white’ thinking in which ‘white’ is celebrated, deemed honourable and whatever is ‘black’ a nightmare, useless, corrupt, evil and bereft of any sense of human dignity. The said reality is ‘blacks’ are today vocalising this with ease and apartheid has again succeeded in democracy to have the mind of blacks controlled by white thinking.

There is a case for authentic human thinking; there is a pervasive need for conscientious an deliberate duly owned institutions to actualise this authentic human thinking. The media in this country must be transformed from ‘white’ thinking to human thinking and press freedom cannot be a right extraordinaire in which we are bulldozed into an acceptance of self-hate when we have more than reason to celebrate who we are.

I challenge the black journalists and those who are in the thick of things to refute my claims; I challenge them to argue I am a lost cause, for a soul-search is needed not of convenience but a soul search in accountability to self and our future.

If this article can illicit, a conversation it would have succeeded I do not expect you to agree with me, I expect you at bare minimum to ask is there any semblance of truth in this.

Now you know why I cannot be a journalist but will remain a social commentator where I can share my thoughts liberally.

Clyde N. S. Ramalaine