FBI & FIFA Enquiries: FIFA privileged to sacrifice the small players!


– Warner conveniently becomes the anchor tenant for the investigation-

We awoke yesterday morning to news of a different kind, the arrests of FIFA officials in Zurich who had gathered to elect its next president. This news overshadowed all news as we get a minute for minute account of this FBI investigation that is claimed to have been in the coming for the last 4 years though encompassing a period of time exceeding two decades.

Then came the official news briefing from the USA Attorney General supported by all relevant officials that define the legal framework for jurisdiction for this USA initiated case against six to seven but really fourteen FIFA including officials.

The press briefing was filled with detail in introductory sense yet not fully explanatory as it relates to the actual charges except for clustering these as fraud, money laundering and corruption. The press briefing made it emphatic that there has already been some who had confessed to their involvement in corrupt activities as it relates to bidding, tickets etc.

Then we heard of some names yet we never heard all the names until this morning as covered in the TNA publication. We finally can put face to some of the officials. It is right here that I seek to raise my first of a litany of troubling questions.

Firstly let us commend the fact that finally an investigation with possible concrete evidence is seeing the light, it is a given that FIFA as body and organisation has a presence of great if not enlarged significance in our sport and economic context. For years the debates have been raging about the undemocratic functioning and operations of this entity that prides itself in being a family as Diego Maradona puts a mafia group. The problem has always been how an organisation as critical and definitive as FIFA could have functionality in an epoch when we strive for democracy. Hence there is no sincere football / soccer lover who has followed the game that would not welcome an investigation in arguably an entity that contends with a UN presence and its salience in this season.

However, it is interesting that Jack Warner former Vice President of FIFA, from the Caribbean Region really a small player in FIFA context becomes an anchor tenant for the FBI investigation. When we say anchor tenant we referring to the stated names from the press briefing. Anybody who knows something about media announcement knows that whatever is said first sticks, it becomes immaterial later who else is mentioned because when we have been exposed to one critical name Jack Warner the investigation is defined and shaded with him as the highest official.

Furthermore, on the Warner case we hear of amounts of U$10million bribes for SA 2010, we hear that FIFA paid this. The question becomes who in FIFA sanctioned this payment, how was the payment legitimized and affected? Regardless how financially strong (U$1,5bn) a FIFA may be, how does U$10 million get paid out to one of its 209 representative members with such ease?

Secondly, it is also interesting that that both the 2006 and 2010 SA bids feature in the FBI investigation confirmed as influenced by some thus the subject of questioning.  However, the official press briefing proves consistently and very silent on the USA World-Cup bid as to how this was secured or even if it was also investigated as part of the claim of 24 years of activities of corrupt nature. It is interesting that clear reference is made to the SA 2010 bid, and nuanced on the 2014 Brazil bid yet absolute silence on the USA bid.

How, does one arrive at an almost exemption of the powerful European block of the FIFA family in this claim of corruption over an elongated period as specified by the very press briefing. EUFA remains the controlling block and has a presence second to none in the FIFA Family. It is almost natural to ask are we seeing the sacrificing of the weak less tangible even insignificant because FIFA can afford to do so.

We all know soccer is not about playing on the pitch it is a huge economy, undemocratically run by FIFA when it interacts with democratic states and nations.

That FIFA must be subjected to severe scrutiny for obvious and tangible reasons is not the subject for that is a given but FIFA does not have the luxury of choosing who it wants to sacrifice and for whatever selfish reasons.

The FBI investigation as extensive it portends cannot be merely to look at what I choose to call the small players.

On the other hand is the USA finally waking up to how big football – (in the USA – soccer) is as an economy and seeks a way to find a presence through this investigation? The local MLS has grown in leaps and bounds in the USA and though not fully as big to threaten the National Basket-Ball Association it will in the next two decades surpass the NBA is my assessment.

Another question is how is the former FIFA Vice – President the subject of enquiry, arrested and this has no bearing on the serving FIFA President, who has been serving for almost two decades. If I understand the FBI press briefing correctly the period in scrutiny constitutes twenty-four years this means for the length of this Blatter Presidency we have had this corruption however defined.

Perhaps the longer I look at this investigation the more I see a bigger agenda of BRICS as targeted  (SA, 2010, Brazil 2014, Russia 2018) football clearly is much more than a game played by two teams however defined. Soccer is more than scoring goals on a pitch it is in our world serious business and an acceptable economy by itself.

Than again, are we to question all the bids that FIFA ever awarded, is the choice of a few bids the luxury that can be afforded.

Is the separate enquiry by FIFA itself, as it pertains to the respective 2018 and 2022 bids, which were won by Russia and Qatar, not a veiled claim for an insistence that the next World – Cup be a European one? How does finding the awarding of the Russian bid for 2018, feed into the current global politics of an ostracized Russian in claims of a new cold war setting?

Finally, is FIFA officials not implicated as led by its president extended a privilege and chance to clean itself (duly in smoke and mirrors sense) by choosing who and what they can sacrifice in this season? If it is given this chance who decided on it and by what power?

As you can see we only have questions at this stage, because it is early days in this simultaneous investigations of initiated by the FBI and FIFA respectively, yet these cannot be seen as mutually exclusive of one another. I am afraid Blatter simply cannot claim any moral high ground as he is attempting to do with this his first response to these occurrences.

Clyde N. S. Ramalaine

A football lover !


‘Xenophobic’ violence: African Leaders wrongly keep SA accountable in dishonest debate!

– African leaders must own up to their role in this violence –

In the aftermath of the unfortunate and supremely worthy of condemnation recent ‘xenophobic’ attacks, we saw some fellow African countries exerting themselves in almost demanding an explanation from SA. We heard how Mozambique among others insisted on engaging SA on the subject matter.

Firstly, I think it was important to keep SA accountable as the nation in which these ‘xenophobic’ violence occurred. It was necessary and a sign of attempted leadership by our fellow African leaders to be less intimidated by SA, its perceived stature real or concocted in the context of Africa and to ask for clarification. I also think South Africa as articulated by its president and those mandated to handle these regrettable incidents did an excellent job of responding to the crisis.

Initially the SA Government only sought to appease foreigners yet later, as raised by some of us early on in the debate, it became apparent condemning the violence is one part of the responsibility. The SA government has a fiduciary responsibility towards its own citizenry first and such necessitates upon it to also prove conscious to clearly pronounce on its policy on migration. Activities around Operation Fiela are condemned by leaders of the African Diaspora (Civil society group) however SA is less intimidated and continues governing in eradicating lawlessness as it manifests in illegal migration.

However, keeping SA accountable for these discomforting events, is one side of the proverbial coin, that is necessary for our ongoing discourse. Perhaps this citing from an era in the Angolan setting articulates the reality of the African dream for self-determination.

“In reality, the MPLA’s policies had proven disastrous. For fifteen years it had enforced a Soviet – inspired system of centralized planning and nationalisation, causing the collapse of both industrial and agricultural production. Oil revenue was the source of wealth. Oil enabled the government to prosecute the war against Unita, to pay for food imports for the urban population and to provide the nomen-klatura with extravagant lifestyles. The rural population was meanwhile left to fend for itself. Even in Luanda there were constant shortages. While the MPLA elite enjoyed the use of their own super- markets, ordinary people spent hours each day in queues – bichas- hoping for a modicum of rice or potatoes. – When public services disintegrated, the elite used education and health facilities abroad, paid for by public funds.” Martin Meredith (The State of Africa pages 604/605)

Citing Meredith here is to give content to the potential for mass-exodus in pursuit of greener economic pastures. We have long agreed that what we have as phenomenon is not mere refugee but economic refugees, for which there exist no explicit conventions.

The missing part in this is our debate on xenophobic violence as sought for in claims of clarifications by African leaders in this season is that we have yet to hear our fellow African leaders owning up to its role or deficit of leadership that constitutes primarily a direct responsibility for the challenges of illegal migration and even crisis that beset the African continent in manifestations of country context.

When African leaders in this season attempt soliciting clarifications on these attacks we not sure if it is predicated on what happened or in willingness of engaging on the gambit of what ultimately manifests in what is referred ‘xenophobic’ violence.

These unfortunate incidents of occurrence lend us opportunity to reflect however that reflection must find meaning in honesty on what it is we dealing with. It is incumbent on African government leaders to engage on the subject less from a prism of fact-finding similar to voter –observer-context but from its genesis in an ontology.

African Leaders firstly owe it to their own citizenry to be honest in asking how did we arrive at a place where our citizens leave in mass exodus, how is it that our citizenry cannot make a living in the confines of our geographic and sovereign borders? It must ask the tough questions of accountability in economic development as an experienced reality and not a philosophical by-product of the elitist chit- chat. African leaders must ask how after more than 50 years of Nigeria’s independence the economic reality of lack of infrastructure, capacity and unlocking for the poor remains that of agony despite a claimed economic growth of 7 %.

African leaders must ask how old colonialism – not even colonialism of special kind – is still a functional reality and kept alive by an unconscious African leadership who has proven insensitive to the plight of their own poor and necessarily caught up in political power games in which the economy is accessed only by an accredited handful. African leaders must honestly ask and answer why its road infrastructure still is dependent on donor contributions and not taxes as Uganda attests. African leaders must ask where they have failed and how they have failed their own citizenry who ultimately flee their country of birth and make their way to South Africa where we had seen at least three installments of these ‘xenophobic’ attacks.

It cannot be that African leaders demand answers how their citizens legal or illegal were affected when they refuse to engage with the debate from a fair and honest platform in its totality.

We dare not afford African leaders the right to escape from their conjoined if not natural original role of these unfortunate events that occurred in the geographic confines of a South Africa.

The debate is perpetually and deliberately clouded with a claim SA’s indebtedness of an era of liberation struggle, which may have absolute irrelevance and can hardly be given significance in this era. It is also shaded with a claim of Africa knows no borders, defying the sovereignty of each state. The debate is hardly honest if we approach it from guilt, blame and ludicrous claims of a borderless Africa prism.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in this false debate is the fact that African leaders unconsciously demand of SA to be the ‘superpower’ and ‘big brother’ of Africa when it suits them. They expect South Africa to raise its hand in AU forums on a plethora of issues that works for democracy and stability in SA, to make the investments where necessary. It appears African leaders naturally expect SA to underwrite its challenges in terms of social ills affording them opportunity to walk away and return as observers in a proverbial elections.

To blame South Africa with its own very well documented social ills, economic redress challenges and a multiplicity of apartheid structural realities is short-sighted and not an honest debate.

To seek clarifications on what happened as an event, is to have an investigative mind only to the extent that you assume the role of investigator in which you naturally exonerate yourself from any and all role in this plight visiting Africa.

An honest debate is further clouded by the convenient voices of some of the African Diaspora Leadership perhaps hell-bent on analyzing SA and not their own countries. These are willing, capable and ever- ready to pontificate on what is wrong in SA, when they silent on their own leaders of their countries of origin. We dare not allow the chattering class of civil society of Africans who claim a moral high-ground of analysis and comment to prove pretentious and above rebuke. We dare not allow victimology to dictate the meridian of conscious engagement.

It is my plea that our collective African leaders engage the subject of a xenophobic violence less from a what-is-comfortable-for-us approach but a real and honest reflection. It is time African leaders stop proving romantic about the heroes of Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba and Nelson Mandela as an annual calendar event, but give content to the dream of a functional Africa, where its citizenry are proud to eke out a living in their country of birth because the conditions for that living is made possible by a conscious and visionary leadership.

I therefore welcome the fact that our government proved vigilant, responsible and conscious to condemn the violence meted out to fellow Africans, I welcome the fact launched campaigns to energise the message that South Africans are not violent towards the fellow Africans.

Yet I also welcome the fact that our president made it clear that African leaders of government must own up to their role in this violence for the circumstances they preside over that result in mass exodus as a result of

Unless African leaders from sovereign African states are prepared to engage honestly on the subject for the true cause of xenophobic violence, we must assume so – called demanded clarifications in almost -voter – observer status mindset- on xenophobic violence in SA remains a luxury ill- afforded.

South Africa must remind its fellow African country leaders, that we did not invent xenophobia we are victims but we are all victims of the agony of failed leadership in African context.

Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

Political Commentator

The Moment the DA wished the SABC was absent !

                                  – be careful what you wish for, you might just get it….. –

Thank God for the public broadcaster. Sunday a week ago, South Africa’s opposition party the DA had its weekend in the sun. It was the weekend of legacy handover, the entire Saturday was dedicated to its former leader Helen Zille. Speaker after speaker singing her praise.

“We would like to thank all media represented here today, in particular the SABC whom we had to drag to court tobe here today”, these were the words of Ethel Trollip, the comeback kid of DA election party politics.
Indeed the SABC was there be it dragged through a court order or not it was there. The intention was clear the DA wanted to use the weekend’s internal elections as its first major rally for the 2016 Municipal Elections. The choice of Port Elizabeth was no mistake or coincidence, it is as clear as the opposition could make it, there next aim is the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan node as the second DA political power spot – securing the Cape west to east. With this in mind an event was put together. It therefore was important to get all the publicity andmileage from this event – no resources were spared to achieve this aim.
Cut forward to the Sunday, then there came the moment for the announcement yes the announcement scripted, of the former leader in typical Sepp Blatter style asking for the envelope, to announce a ‘winner’ of the host of the proverbial world-cup two ‘worlds cups’ away.
Cut back to Saturday evening at the induction of Helen Zille into the pantheon of smart leadersby Allister Sparks. Sparks then becomes the nightmare of the spin doctors, since in a moment, all the time, money, resources and effort spent on is witnessed going up in smoke and no amount of spin can undo it, because we saw it, we heard it since the SABC was dragged to court to be there, fortunately.
The case can thus me made that Maimane was handed the baton not by Zille, neither by any of the DA leaders but a dead, buried and now resurrected Verwoerd as eulogized by Sparks.

It becomes important to ask who is Allister Sparks, Sparks is the embodiment of a lifetime of journalism, public commentary, political analysis starting from Malan to this present Zuma era, in his own words. So Sparks was around in 1948 with the establishment of the Apartheid State. Sparks was around with the Defiance Campaign, the banning of the ANC, the start of MK. Sparks lived through the arrests at Lilliesfarm and the subsequent Rivonia Trial. He was present plying his trade during the strangled – deaths of the organizations in the 1960’s, the forced removals of black people, be it in Sophiatown or District Six.
Sparks was around at the height of Black Consciousness, the student uprise in 76, the forming of COSATU, the formation and launch of the UDF, the activities of the MDM, the Tri-Cameral system experiment to bamboozle the people of South Africa in acceptance of half-baked solution as the alternate to the Apartheid State. Sparks was around in the mid-to late 80’s student uprise as led by the Cape, Sparks was there when the Talks about Talks took place.

Sparks, he was around when millions voted for the first time in claim of democratic franchise. Sparks lived through all of the 21 years of democracy. He commented, he opined and articulated meticulously and authoritatively from Malan to Zuma, hence when he took the podium and was handed the microphone, it was to give stature this moment of oppositionpolitics.
No one thus was more qualified, none more erudite than Allister Sparks, handpicked to give credence to this moment, on his shoulders and illustrious career a Helen Zille would leave and a Maimane will emerge. Niklos the emerging philosopher contends ‘there is something infants and old folk have in common, they speak the truth innocently’, Sparks clearly spoke the truth innocently and could not even understand why there was such a fuss made of his Verwoerd admiration.
What happened next no analyst,soothsayer or modern day prophet could preempt, no choreographer could design and clearly no spindoctor can now fix, because the SABC was there, and we the public saw this for ourselves in real time. Fortunately. We saw, we heard him go through a list of smart politicians who happened to all be white politicians. This list was dovetailed with the guest of honour, Helen Zille, the person of the hour.
The only problem is that somewhere among the listed ones, was a strange fellow, the epicentre of apartheid, the force behind segregation, the embodiment of black – hate, who was inspired by Adolf Hitler in claim of white supremacy.

Hendrik Verwoerd the nightmare of every African, now would define the finalmoment of the final chapter of Zille’s leadership. The stench from this sparked emissions enveloped the room, settling on the evening gown of Helen Zille forthese were words to eternalize her. And didn’t it? Yet she is associated not with Mandela, not with Biko but with Verwoerd and by implication with Hitler. All this in her finest moment.
We the public saw this, we heard it because the SABC was there. Fortunately. Because no spin-doctor can ever challenge what we have heard. Neither can a belated claim of senility as attempted by the DA’s usual spin.
Zille, eternalized into that pantheon of “SMART POLITICIANS” and no amount, of her protesting with audible NO, NO, NO – Nee, Nee, Nee could alter her induction in this pantheon. The SABC showed how Zille in moment of induction into this legacy of smart politicians is whisked away from the cameras and microphones of SABC for she was audible and there was no pre-approved or vetted script from the forever spin-doctor politics of the DA.
If Zille’s induction came at the un-vetted remarks of a Sparks in admiration of a Verwoerd and by extension Hitler, Mmusi Maimane’s coronation to high office in opposition politics did not escape the resurrected Verwoerd’s crown, cloak and scepter, because the public broadcaster was there and we are all duly informed.
Clyde N. S. Ramalaine


ABUSE is a very loaded term, yet I find some women resort very easily to this claim when we seek to engage them as equals. McWhorter (2000:7) defines victimology in drawing a distinction between a constructive approach to victimhood thus calling attention to it as opposed to claiming victimhood ‘where it barely if at all exists’.

The GENDER debate cannot be a debate of women ONLY, in which men are reduced to mere bystanders, the object of hatred and the subject of accusation. However when we engage this aspect, we are often finding ourselves accused when some of the fairer sex refuse to separate subject from emotions.

I recently had an engagement with someone who calls herself a “political journalist” – that is how she defines herself. The subject I introduced was the need for TRANSFORMATION of the DA in the interest of the national agenda.

This ‘claimed – famous’ journalist refused to engage the topic at hand, regardless to the fact that she is very vocal on a failed ANC in this era. She rather wanted to appease me with her credentials as a biographer of Mandela etc. I requested of her “please stop the Mandela story neither -him, nor  you or your ”struggle credentials’ are the topic of our engagement, but the DA in need of transformation not of a black face but ideology”. I asked her to stick to the topic at hand and leave the side- shows of name dropping etc.

She responded “I know more than you”, without ever giving content to this know more. She went further and asserts you are “arrogant”, without again giving content to this claim. She finally said to me “you are a small man”, again as in the instances before no content for this was provided. Thus leaving me to assume whatever she could have meant.


I therefore responded  in the end you are “a small bitter-woman”, my content is borne out by my conclusion she has issues with, people challenging her, she has challenges with someone saying to her you use Mandela (the convenient sjambok of all blacks ) to give yourself a sense of importance and finally she has issues with males.

Soon as I responded to her last statement on being a small man – she invoked THE FACEBOOK authority on me, warning me they are reading all the comments, they will see who the abuser is. I had to hear for the first time in my life a woman accuse me of being an abuser all this in claim of VICTIMHOOD OF ABUSE.

I refused to let her get away with this cheap trick, and kept on treating her as an equal in saying to her you have still not dealt with the subject now you call me abusive.

I cannot imagine what would have happened if I was the one saying these things to her, I would have been defined as chauvinist – but it is all right for her to say that and on top of this claim being a victim of abuse.  I have the full record of the engagement.

This incident made me again realise how many men are easily accused of ABUSE only because men don’t allow woman to get their way in a debate of equals.

How does a debate of two equals end up in claims of victimhood of abuse?  It happens when we allow women to assume the debate on gender is theirs alone. This happens when we abdicate our joint responsibility to remind our women, it’s not an- us- and-them debate, but our debate.

  • Are we not to keep women accountable in an equal non- racial South Africa?
  • Can we not challenge them to engage free from a claim of victimhood?  
  • Or should we see women as victims and therefore not capable to debate a topic outside the scope of that paradigm.

We dare not be subjected to this victimology when we building a society of equals and defend the rights of that equality.  



Open letter to Mmusi Maimane candidate for DA Leadership

Dear Mr. Maimane,
Re: South Africa needs a Transformed Opposition:
On the eve of this historic moment in the history of South African Opposition Politics, I have thought it right to implore to give due consideration for the moment we stand in. It is historic to have a Dr. Wilmot James and Mr. Mmusi Maimane as the two contenders for the DA leadership in this season. All South Africans must acknowledge that this is significant  in the evolution of our democratic narrative.
Our Democracy warrants an opposition party not an oppositional party, as we have witnessed throughout the period of 21 years of our political freedom.
The DA with this moment that will transpire in 24 Hours is at it its proverbial Rubicon, it can either stand still, which translates to going back to 1948 or move forward to the realisation of the promise of April, 27 1994.
I am of the firm belief that the standing still or going forward is not a “black” number issue. Rather it is an ideological shift needed within the liberal project of South Africa for the next stage of continuing the work we started since April 27, 1994. Race is neither the subject, nor the point in our non-racial future; we cannot afford to make it the epicentre of this moment in opposition politics.
South Africa needs a transformed DA, it does not merely need a “black” face, as we attempted in a history of Tri- Cameral parliament of 1983 or the more recent attempts of the Zille, Mazibuko and De Lille triumvirate and the attempt to parachute Dr. Mamphela Ramphele into DA leadership.
As this moment presents itself in historic stature for the opposition party, South Africa in national agenda warrants a move to the middle ground of political leadership as we so acutely were reminded with recent xenophobic attacks, our role in SADC, our role in Africa and the World.
That the DA needs a shift from its entrenched paradigm and position of oppositional politics to this middle ground where the dream of future as embarked upon in the national polls of 1994 and built further with ensuing leaderships as trusted by the polls in the form of the governing party.
I am fully cognisant of the reality that you may well have the numbers to secure a win in tomorrow’s internal leadership election.
1. You are a young politician with hardly 5-10 years of exposure to national politics to be the custodian of the needed transformation in opposition politics.
2. The task at hand requires a seasoned politician to take the liberal project in the DA and to transform it into the direction our country needs. If you know anything about the evolution of the British, liberal politics and the democratic institutions it took seasoned leaders and minds to reach the point of transforming it by the turn of the previous century. (Locke, Walpole, Burke, Disraeli, and Peale to name a random few)
3. The country needs a transformed opposition that the promise of 1994 pointed to.
4. It is not ideal to have a “black” face merely for election purposes with a conservative ideology driving the liberal project. The electorate is wiser than that and may well judge you harshly in future elections.
5. It cannot be that we allow the conservative minds to drive a black face leader agenda at the expense of the much-needed transformation of our opposition politics from being oppositional to a meaningful opposition to the governing party.

It is in the light of the above, that I will prevail on you to put the country’s needs first. My unsolicited advice is to find the energy and time to grow your knowledge and experience in the current position you have assumed for the last year as Parliamentary leader for the DA.

Your time in the future may yet come, and you may be the right person come that hour. Do not allow those who want SA to go back to 1948 to lull you into believing your candidacy is the answer for this moment.
With this,  we wish both candidates a fair election and a good result for SA.
I trust my musing in this regard, finds you receptive.

Yours sincerely.
Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine