Trevor Manuel –‘Lashes at SACP’ perhaps a “blabber of the blab”

Why would a former ANC leader, a former cabinet minister of finance conveniently forget the SACP is co-governing SA?

I have taken the time to read Trevor Manuel’s “blurring of the blur” what I will call his incoherent live commentary on the SACP and its relevance. I have concluded his piece may really be the ‘blabber of blab’.

Let me also put my disclaimer upfront. I am no SACP member I have never met the SACP General Secretary or his Deputy and do not defend them nor hold any brief for either of them. I am an ordinary thinker who buys my weekly newspaper to hear our collective discourse.

Concerning Manuel’s article:

Firstly it took forever to hear what Manuel as one of what I have dubbed the “recent glass tower ANC veterans” had to say.

It is my submission that when you are given the proverbial stage and platform as he was afforded today with a full page you simply cannot be engaging in a rehearsal but it must bring the proverbial bacon.

Trevor as seasoned politician could have easily taken us through the historical landscape of the SACP, its role in diverse moments of historical reflection therefore showing appreciation for the distinctively changed dynamics of SA and its parties in Governance. He seemed preoccupied if not obsessed to get under the skin of the SACP secretary general pair of Blade Nzimande and Jeremy Cronin  almost at a personal level as his overarching aim thus losing all reason for a sane coherent contention.

He easily could have made known the fact that the SACP was never a numbers organisation but an ideas organisation, a party that showed the way in the production of knowledge for engagement. Its fundamental strength has always been ideological input that often determined the ANC’s policies.

We all know that is and always have been the key strength of the SACP. If he had allowed objectivity to guide him he could have made a coherent argument no different one should make of all organisations that moved from a banned to governance in democracy state. For the SACP no different to the ANC pre and after governance are remarkably distinct organisations, in fact any organisation that shares their collective history of role and purpose can be used as a case study.

He could have engaged it as the claimed vanguard for the workers seeking to ask how this mandate may have altered plausibly been adjusted given the change of the power politics of a banned party to a co-governing party. I guess I am asking for contextualisation on the part of Trevor Manuel.

I fail to understand his obsession to make the SACP a numbers issue. He raises this as questionable therefore categorically argue the SACP proves sophistic on their current paid up membership. This may or may not be the case, yet the material value of that has no bearing for anyone who has known and understood the SACP as a organisation that makes itself distinct for knowledge production. Manuel also cannot provide his evidence for the questioning of the current 225000 paid up membership.

In reality his argument on numbers could so easily have been tabled of the ANC, he should know that as little as five years ago the ANC’ s membership hovered around just about 600000 active members, what and how does that relate to its role of governing 51 million people with an election mandate of on average 62,5% of consistent trust from voters, remains a non issue, thus why make the SACP numbers a central argument.

I equally cannot understand why he conveniently cites certain questionable examples to bolster his vacuous claim of irrelevance. One is never sure of Manuel’s stoic defence of the NDP as a plan whether it is purely anchored as a  personal claim of legacy,  or if it is as an ANC led plan that is developing as influenced by the South African constituency. If the latter is the case how does he negate the fact that the NDP remains a plan up for discussion by all including organised labour (in and outside of an COSATU as a Tri-partite alliance partner in governance) who have their own issues with it? Why single out the SACP in its critique and questioning of the process and arriving at a final product? We cannot assume that the NDP in practical sense is a finalised document, but an evolving plan.

A fundamental and glaring omission on the part of Manuel is his conscious failure to acknowledge a given that the SACP co-governs this country since 1994. This is a fundamental aspect Manuel in convenience chooses to forget. Perhaps since if he has to concede to this there would be no need to have attempted  this long-winded incoherent ranting.

Trevor certainly struggled to make his point, which firstly forced me to be tempted to ask did Trevor really write this article?

I would imagine he has the capacity to debate, he is one that have been home-schooled in and through the ANC on the leftist ideology,  yet I also know he has extensive access to resources to produce a written opinion though I have my reservations.

I arrived at the end of the article and concluded maybe Rotchild’s latest African Representative may have been  assigned to address the SACP in lecturing mode for the sake of rattling their cage and effect alone.

My unsolicited advice to the SACP shred this page of “blabber of the blab” from one of the arch-defenders of white capital by simply not responding to it for it was hardly a lashing neither a substantive input but a meandering stray bullet from an unloaded gun. Maybe a shot fired in between watching an old Springbok victory (knowing Manuel like myself do not support the Springboks but New Zealand when it comes to rugby) taking a forty winks and sipping on his favourite freshly pressed orange juice. Permit us the rather insignificant with no access to resources engage the significant very resourced Manuel.

In conclusion, this blabber of the blab stands as a sequence to his earlier piece on the ANC; however it is really part of a trilogy. We should soon expect at least one more instalment or salvo and that on COSATU to give him his full status as ‘recent glass tower ANC veteran’.  It appears the proverbial NQF standard of qualification for induction into this veteran-ship vacillates on lecturing from aloofness the post – Polokwane ANC, SACP and COSATU (Tripartite in governance of SA). Thus Trevor is about to graduate as inducted in the hall of fame for this new breed of veterans.



INITIATION SCHOOL for all future ANC Presidents!

We in the season of initiation a custom practiced for an elongated period by some tribal expressions in the South African populace. The interesting thing is this happens mostly in winter. It is in the same winter that in recent days I have given thought to the idea that perhaps the ANC should formalize the practice of having its presidents go through and initiation school. The initiation school for ultimate leadership of organisation I have identified as the office of the secretary general including its deputy position.

I raise this less with a specific person or persons in mind, as the cheap- hotheaded debate on ANC leadership often veers into. I can appreciate that for most this debate is narrowly and singularly interpreted in the presidency of SA. Whilst I understand that our current system brings the office of the ANC President and that of the RSA president into one, I am of the view the debate as to who must lead SA is a not my concern and should not be made the focus of this my articulation.

I deliberately and consciously want to engage the subject of ANC leadership immanent in its president and deputy presidency capacities and entertain these as the fulcrum of my thought provocation at least for this note.

I therefore will ask that we desist reading any preference for a specific candidate into this my contention, but to attempt hearing an organic argument centred on the diaphragm of organisational well-being, grasp, growth and stability. I also wish to be categoric in accepting that the ANC subscribes to long standing democratic processes of nominations and elections the same we have all lived through and the intent is not to render these in obsoleteness.

Whilst I can make the case for this my stance from an already current practice in names, I consciously desist that for it would unnecessary taint my thought expression. I leave it the capable readers and followers of this 103 year old organisation to engage who the ANC had as secretary generals for the last 25 years in snapshot form and to deduce how this impacted presidential leadership or not.

When I am contending the Secretary General’s office consciously becoming the proverbial initiation school it is out of the understanding of what the office entails.

  1. The Secretary General is the de facto CEO of the organization. He is the ultimate responsible spokesman and face of the organization. It is in this office’s stability that we have a stable organization.
  2. The Secretary General’s office is the mouthpiece of organisatioal policies and thus the centre of its official articulation on such policy formulation.
  3. The Office of the Secretary General is the bridge between an organization in power as elected and state that has members that have been deployed into the state to actualize the very policies and programmes of the organization.
  4. The Office of the Secretary General is the centre point for organizational internal structures, bodies and committees. It is the epicentre of what constitutes the organization as a living organism and therefore central to the core formulations and re-formulations of the internal discourse.
  5. The office of the Secretary General assumes a critical role in the authenticity of a functional membership evidenced in branch and regional definition.
  6. The office of the Secretary General gives context and meaning to the disciplinary structures and ethos of the organization.
  7. The office of the Secretary General plays a cardinal role in the staging of key gatherings as determined by the ANC constitution. The organizing of the preparatory work for NGC and Conferences, Imbizo’s and all organizational events in footprint of governance mandate lives through this office.
  8. The office of the Secretary General engages in tripartite and partner issues at an ideological, theoretical, pragmatic and functionally practical sense in maintaining cogent mutually respected relations with all those the organization share a conscious relations with
  9. The office of the Secretary General has to engage the broader SA constituency inclusive of minorities with the hope of forging centre based relations for the mutual good of all.
  10. The office of the Secretary General engages on behalf of the organization with international bodies, societies, structures and sister parties on matters of mutual interest of the organization.

My list is consciously not exhaustive and thus centres on these ten aspects. Having stated the above, this is what we call in Afrikaans ‘n vuurdoop posisie’ or baptism of fire for anyone who enters this position.

When I argue for a president that has been through this  INITIATION SCHOOL its to say he/ she:

  1. Would have a firm grasp on where the organization finds itself. The centre of the organization is clear for a president who has been through the initiation school. Thus he / she will be able to lead an organization from that recognized centre and not from a vested factionalised corner.
  1. A president who serves and leads the ANC from this initiation school, simply cannot be one who is focused on provincial and regional interest regardless to if it’s the region or province he/ she hails from. They have to rise above the myopic provincial and regional context and show leadership in correcting those whose singular focus is concentrated in personal achievement.
  1. Would give content to the principle of centralized democracy as an organizational practice and principle in functional experiential reality.
  1. Would jealously guard the values, history, ethos and principles of the organization against forces from within and without who are hell-bent on fostering a culture of defying it with self-interest, crass materialism and shortsighted ill-gains.
  1. Would lead in articulating succinctly organizational policy, strategy, tactics and programmes. Would be totally conversant with the terrains these assume in practical sense.
  1. Would have had the benefit of working for the organisation’s numerical increase as one who is answerable for its stagnation or growth. The organizational success in this would have been one of his key performance areas, equally so its decline.
  1. Would have long parted with self- interest, aggrandizement and cheap interest. He / she would be organization anchored and mandate centred always putting the organization in its well-being as paramount
  1. Would have educated him/ her on the dangers of myopic interest and political battles have some battle scars and proves a wiser less emotional leader.
  1. Would work for the functional presence of its structures at al levels, questioning and be questioned on the efficacy of these structures as led reality for his presidency.
  1. Would be conscious to grow the organization in stability and pragmatism. The stability of the organization as a non negotiable does not relate to a silence but a vibrancy of engagement where older ones learn from the youth and verse versa. Where succession is not a cursed word but a functional realty embraced by all.
  1. Would respect its membership and those who vote ANC and always strive to lead in learning from those who trust them
  1. Would know how to engage in robustness with the organisations opposition, a hostile media and other agendas that play out in multi-faceted and skew crafted discourse of dialogue
  1. Would prove strong on organizational discipline and sound on implementation and sanctity of respect for the organisation’s constitution as the fundamental premise of its existence.
  1. Would be able to grasp the real need for engagement at all levels across a multiplicity of platforms where the guiding light is not his presidency but a healthy organization
  1. Would appreciate the role of its structures and formations and how this feeds as soundboard of the public dimensions of an engaging society.
  1. Would be attuned to engage at international level with clear regard for the constituencies it engage not as leaders but participant making a contribution from the bedrock of that principled position of leadership.
  1. Would work tirelessly to learn from the history of the organization and how such history must help it find congruence to lead now in a different time.
  1. Would be respectful towards all and prove a listening leader that leads in listening

In conclusion I am arguing the office of the secretary general perhaps a perfect initiation school for ridding its potential incumbents of self-interest in replacing that with an organizational interest

Perfect for affording the incumbent enough time to reflect and find a balance of what major responsibilities this office holds.

A perfect initiation school where its incumbent can learn much more about the ANC as a practical and living organization in which the incumbent him/herself can be shaped to be the ANC Cadre we all aspire to see. Be humbled by the extend of this organization in who and what it produces.

This office presents a perfect initiation school to make friends and enemies for the right reasons. It must be that those with a sick agenda must find the office a stumbling block and those with organizational health as focus finds the office of the SG a welcoming friend.

I guess I am saying let us make the office of the Secretary General an office in sanctity so that we can forewarn those who enter its corridors you are being considered trustworthy to lead us as an organization in future embrace yet we will observe and assess you in this office.

I am told an initiation school has at its primary core the stripping of the child and the forming of the adult,  man/ woman.   A man / woman who can be accountable for and to others. A man/woman who can be matured to admit he she is wrong and does not pretend they know everything but matured to listen more than talk.

Let us talk !

Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

July 11, 2015

Is our Democratic State in contravention of the Freedom Charter on Political Identity articulation?

On the 26th of June 2015 we celebrated 60 years in memory of the existence of The FREEDOM CHARTER. It is exactly this month in 1955 when at Kliptown South of Johannesburg thousands gathered to give effect to an elongated period of engagement. Some refer to this event as the culmination of possibly a thousand gatherings across the length and breadth of South Africa.

In order to appreciate the subject of our discussion it becomes important to ask who gathered at this momentous and historic occasion. In fact how those who gathered were identified for an identity of their humanity?

It is simply not true to claim that those who gathered represented a monolithic group.

The objective here is not to discuss the Freedom Charter which stands in a tradition of the 800 year old Magna Carta of Britain. That we can do on another occasion. Whenever discussion on the content of the Freedom Charter surfaces I am involuntarily reminded of a story of the late Oom Govan Mbeki who would never entertain an off the cuff discussion with anyone of the Freedom Charter. The story goes when anyone approached Oom Gov Mbeki to engage him on the content of the Freedom Charter, he would humbly request the one who approached him to agree that they both will go and read it before they engage. Oom Gov did this consciously knowing he was reading the Freedom Charter daily. Hence I am not attempting to discuss the freedom charter, I am discussing those who gathered at Kliptown and how the Freedom Charter identifies them.

We are told the Freedom Charter was the statement of core principles or the South African Congress Alliance. which consisted of the African National Congress and its allies the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress.

We readily admit the crossbreed of those who gathered in pockets of apartheid definitions hardly seven years after the official rise to political power of the Apartheid State.

Thus whosoever gathered on this occasion in 1955 did so in various formations of description representing groups of interest yet identifiable in the undeniable apartheid denotations for their identity such as ‘Coloured’ Congress, Indian Congress etc. One commentator in giving meaning to those who gathered described them as ” they were all fragmented small groups fearing extinction”.

If we therefore today celebrate this momentous occasion we must ask what it was pointing at in future of a Democratic State. We must ask what the Freedom Charter says for political identity articulation as an experiential reality. Equally we must engage how its identity articulations holds implications for identity reconstruction and articulation in this epoch.

Important to not is whilst those who gathered in that context along clearly constructed racial classification and colour coded denotations for their human agency, when the Freedom Charter was pronounced it reconfigured their political identities in definitive rejection of how apartheid marked them, by identifying them as THE PEOPLE.

Thus the Freedom Charter consciously and revolutionary identified its client and that client is unequivocally  THE PEOPLE.

You would from having read earlier articles I have penned which are contained in my evolving work, ” Contemporary Conversations on Political Identity  – Quest for Non Racial Identity”  heard me belabour the point about the need of the democratic State to identify its client. In fact I am on record for contending the 1994 Democratic State is yet to identify its client.that the 1910 Segregation State identified its client with a resultant effect of a 1913 Native Land Act. So equally the 1948 Apartheid State did the same until Act 30 of 1950 defined people as Coloured.

However, this my claim that the 1994 Democratic State is yet to identify its client has progressed to a point where we now can be categoric in saying the democratic state in its identification of its client ought to stand in the tradition of the Freedom Charter.

It is either a case of our unawareness of such or this Democratic State is not taking the Freedom Charter serious.

The Freedom Charter is categoric and emphatic in its conscious redefining of those who gathered in rejection of the apartheid identifiers of black, coloured, white and indian.

It is here that I endeavor to postulate that the Democratic State is in contravention of the Freedom Charter when it rejects the identifier THE PEOPLE for an already rejected apartheid identity marker evident in race classification, and notably black, white, coloured and indian descriptions.

No defense of this practice can stand when we claim to respect, uphold or value the Freedom Charter as the fundamental guiding light and articulation of our visionary pursuit for a people shall govern. The Freedom Charter did not say ‘black’ people shall govern, it said ‘the people shall govern’.

It must then be argued that the Democratic State is committing an unforced or a conscious error for still denoting people along racial lines whilst it claims to uphold the Freedom Charter as its guiding principle for governance. No argument for redress as I postulated earlier can justify this contravention of the principle soil of our democracy.

If the Democratic State of 1994 seeks to follow the Freedom Charter it must contend with the Freedom Charter’s unequivocal, unambiguous though conscious rejection of the appellations for a human agency marred in both colonial and apartheid denotations.

It is my submission that plausibly the biggest contribution the Freedom Charter made was in reconfiguring our common political identity as that of THE PEOPLE.

If the Freedom Charter rejected both the 1910 and 1948 States articulation of identity for humanity and pointed to a future State of Democracy( the one we share now since 1994) in which all will be equal, why is the Democratic State failing to give content to this non-racial identity articulated in THE PEOPLE?

It would then be incumbent on us to show out this gross error for which we are paying today in ramifications we seldom know how to deal with.

The Freedom Charter dealt with what the toxic combination of Colonialism and Apartheid did when they collectively sought to bury identity as race so deep in our being and consciousness until if we seek to rid ourselves of it we annihilate ourselves.

It is perhaps important to close out with these words from this historic moment of adopting of the Freedom Charter:  “As adopted at the Congress of the People, Kliptown, on 26 June 1955 We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know”


We the people, not we the ‘black’, ‘coloured’, ‘white ‘and ‘indian’…. Can our  DEMOCRATIC STATE thus please speak of the people in Davidsonville and all other places where its seeks to open the door of learning?


June 26, 2015

Bruce Jenner celebrated in transgendering whilst Rachel Dolezal’s transracial identity abhorred

Why is it for some possible to celebrate  Caitlyn Jenner and deny Rachel Dolezal’ transracial identity ?


A few weeks ago the world was introduced to Caitlyn formerly known as Bruce Jenner USA athlete and medallion born male who at the ripe age of 60 thought it right to finally embrace what he claims as his true identity.

That identity is now known as Caitlyn a female who has always lived in the enmeshed persona of Bruce Jenner, the male athlete who later became famous for his stepfather role of the world’s most famous family who is famous for trying to be famous.

Jenner painstakingly shares his journey into what is considered transgendering. Transgendering is considered in our modernist world not to strange a phenomenon for the traction it has in an evermore liberating society.

It is here that the case of Rachel Dolezal, white America’s shame and black America’s taunt finds pause in reflection. It would appear that our world and its various societies are far more acceptable to embrace, identify in acceptance with transgendering than transracial identities.

The published images and commentary for Jenner’s transitioning even made Vanity Fair as a sympathetic and welcoming read. Our world thus is welcoming; embracing of someone who has transitioned biologically, what in another season proved a medical impossibility is today celebrated as advancement in medical science to assist a sexual identity of transitioning.

One can easily accept that the advancement of technology in this digital globe is always welcomed, yet the emphasis in sympathy did not come from that aspect rather it came in empathy with someone a human who wrestled for an elongated period with what he believes constitutes his fundamental humanity in gender definition.

Bruce Jenner is celebrated for having wrestled; Rachel Dolezal is defaced for her wrestle.

Bruce Jenner is applauded for having made a conscious decision to give life to what he fundamentally believes constitutes his identity. Rachel Dolezal is abhorred for having made the same choices.

Bruce Jenner receives the world’s empathy for having questioned the completeness and finality of gender. Rachel Dolezal is ridiculed for having questioned the white identity.

Bruce Jenner is celebrated for having rejected his maleness a disposition he was born with less of his choice of remaking. Rachel Dolezal is made the scorn of attack for having rejected whiteness for the myth it is, something she was both with, had no control over and for herself equally detests.

Caitlyn is making headlines for having successfully transitioned from male to a female defining the claimed constructed boundaries that speaks to a gender subject. Rachel Dolezal is attacked for having successfully transitioned from a race based paradigm with white as its core.

Caitlyn in newness of identity is welcomed and embraced in her new identity; Rachel is rejected for claiming her heritage is black.

Today our world lets Caitlyn Jenner live but that same world decapitates a Rachel Dolezal.

What is indisputable is that Bruce Jenner’s fight represents a fringe minority case, not to be scoffed at, but a definite minority. Rachel Dolezal’s case represents the case of the world which has in falseness celebrated race as an identifier for humanity. This, despite the known factual evidence that race has no scientific of biological evidence.

Rachel Dolezal is accused of having lied, to have been dishonest about her white identity, even claims of having had a black father among others. These off course constitute claims of dishonesty, yet the fundamental question of claiming she lied invokes a moral rectitude notion. Whilst Rachel Dolezal is dragged to moral courts that sits in high towers, Bruce Jenner is not castigated as one that have lied to all the female partners he had shared his life with. It is not even remotely considered that he acted in deceptive mode to all those whom he as a male athlete shared space with. It is not asked why he proved morally unsound for so long (at least 40 years of his 60 years). The cheating label is not attached to him, but Rachel Dalozal stands accused as a morally inept.

I wanted to know if the anger spit on Rachel Dolezal from diverse corners of our various enclaves was justified. In attempt of unpacking this anger, one is quickly introduced to layers of anger some even coached in a flimsy morality.

Why would the world be so truculent to celebrate Rachel Dolezal?

I must conclude, the world is mad because Rachel Dolezal went where no one dared to go, she became what others naturally assumed ought to be rejected. She transitioned and did so from a white identity.

Rachel Dolezal is a successful race transition that is what calls for this anger. What I find strange is that she is hardly the first person to have successfully negotiated her safe passage through the very translucent membrane of a race classification. There are many South African Coloureds who have in apartheid negotiated themselves into a white identity, these qualified because they assimilated the markers of the white identity, and passed off for white successfully.

I think those who cannot celebrate Rachel Dolezal in the fullness of her humanity as some of us do are unnecessary racist. You simply cannot be a racist devoid of being trapped in the myth of race for a means of explaining the human agency. Trevor Noah SA’s finest export in comedy puts it bluntly ‘THAT’S RACIST” hahahahaha

June 30, 2015

How does being MUSLIM and Coloured help reclaim the Western Cape for non-racialism?

How does being MUSLIM and Coloured help reclaim the Western Cape for non-racialism?

– Identity-double-speak, the undoing of the quest for a non-racial identity-

Permit me to congratulate the new ANC – Western Cape leadership as most recently confirmed. The elections appeared smooth and though it started late, it was without incident. This is a major sign of progress under the leadership of ANC Western Cape Chairperson Marius Fransman who in this season was elected unopposed. Citing this as progress, is against a background of a period of jostling, internal positioning and even racial overtures among those who share the respective denotations of Coloured and Black as determined by the apartheid state. It is therefore a salient moment when elections can take place in matured sense and the results are confirmed with that same spirit. Let me than congratulate all elected office bearers in what I call progressive PEC elections of 2015.

I have taken it upon myself to write in response to the most recent interview of the ANC – Western Cape General Secretary Faiez Jacobs as captured in the TNA Publication of July 2, 2015 and subsequent interviews carried in among others the City Press and Mail & Guardian. I will use the caption ‘We can reclaim the Western Cape’ as my central point.

This claim is not as vacuous as some makes it out to be because I share the view and have opined on this over a year ago, that the Western Cape is not out of reach. If we can sit today and talk about the vision of reclaiming a Western Cape, it is indeed a fresh breath of air, yet one that must be contextualised.

Perhaps we must first admit a few things as we delve into my questions. I have chosen in this article to ask perhaps some penetrating clarifying questions.

Today the ANC Western Cape leadership is on record for admitting that there was a time when its provincial leaderships were torn apart by individual tussles that rendered the mandate and role of this structure defunct and frail to ever regain power. I do not need to remind us that the ANC- WC leadership back then refused to admit these political tussles.

Today the ANC- Western Cape leadership is at liberty to admit that there was a time when the very political jostling for power at leadership level had clear racialised tendencies which defined the scope of the leadership tussle along African and Coloured platforms of opposition. Back than this was never admitted if it was flagged the ANC Western Cape leadership proved dismissive of that and harped back to the era of the UDF as the basis for its unity.

Having cited these two aspects namely individual interest and racial group interest as part of the reasons for the compromised mandate of the ANC Western Cape leadership, I will postulate there is another aspect which I choose to call the hidden divider immanent in FAITH.

I do not expect many to agree on this my postulation yet it’s a fundamental aspect that which already has a history but will increasingly manifest with disastrous implications. I even expect the usual dismissiveness as was before, yet I am not intimidated to express my thoughts for the quest of the provincial secretary is to engage

. …. I am MUSLIM and Coloured….

I was drawn to this conclusion particularly since the new general secretary Faiez Jacobs in his first official press briefing, by way of introducing himself categorically states he is a Muslim and Coloured. This off the cuff perhaps innocent but very true statement appears irrelevant. It even appears as a leader who is transparent, yet it raises  more questions. Why would it be important for a newly elected official of the ANC Western Cape to state his faith, why would anyone’s faith come into the leadership of the ANC which is and remains an organisation that claims being a broad church that includes all? I must hasten to add that it is the right of anyone to make known where they belong in their faith association, the constitution imbibes the right to free association. That is not what, I am questioning, what is being questioned is what is the meaning of this claim of I AM MUSLIM?

How does this claim help the reclaim of the Western Cape for the ANC as advanced by the newly elected Provincial Leadership member? Particularly since Muslims remain a minority in the Western Cape. Would it have been acceptable if the new general secretary was for example a Cameron Dugmore (Cadre Dugmore forgive me for using you as an example) and he would introduce himself as I am a Jew and white?

If there is a primary reason for this what is the role of faith in the Western Cape ANC politics? Has the faith played a hidden less acknowledged but very active and conscious role in dividing the very core of the ANC in its fundamental mission of reclaiming the Western Cape? What has been the role of the faith in the collapse of branch structures, the side-lining of leaders who are of a different faith persuasion if any role at all?

What is really implied with being Muslim, when we all know Muslims holds the corner on small business as part of the Western Cape economy? What are the political and  economic means of this statement of identity for leadership articulation? Did the general secretary necessarily or unbeknown to himself perhaps deliberately painted the ANC Western Cape as Muslim organisation? If so why? More important did this pronouncement potentially disqualify possibly 80% of the Western Cape who are by majority Christians? Faith is a very contentious subject and has always proven the epicentre of intolerance

…. I am Muslim and COLOURED…. The second aspect of the general secretary’s statement is his categoric status of being Coloured. However, there exists no Coloured identity in biological or scientific evidential sense, what cannot be disputed is that there exists a political identity called Coloured since Act 30 of 1950 (c) defines a people in this identity. It is the latter that we still wrestle with in the season of Rachel Dalozal that forces us to engage the subject of identity as a racial reality. It is of particular concern in this epoch when the 1910 Segregation State identified its client as evidenced in the 1913 Native Land Act and the 1948 State also its client as evidenced in Act 30 of 1950 (c ) with the classification of a Coloured identity and the 1994 State is yet to do the same.

The denotations for ‘Black’, ‘Coloured’, ‘White & ‘Indian’ have all racial negative connotations of prejudice regardless which one is used as departure point. The one exists because of the other and finds meaning in the other. I am on record to have said, for example ‘Indian’ in South Africa as an identity is hardly an ancestry issue but has undeniable political and economic apartheid informed means which speaks to a time when Indians were regarded as second best to the white identity, as the budget spending per school going child in apartheid shows.

If the new general secretary today boldly declares he is Muslim and COLOURED, is this not an acceptance of this racial denotation of a people who was never afforded a space, time and place to define themselves? It becomes problematic, to understand the general secretary because he is emphatic that  non-racialism remains the fundamental focus. However, non-racialism is the antithesis of a race based identity and therefore if used in this setting suggests what I have before dubbed identity-double-speak.

For the ANC – Western Cape general secretary to pronounce on his identity as Coloured can it be argued he potentially did not understand the on-going internal challenges, even rejection by the very people of this denotation for this term Coloured? Or has he categorically defined his acceptance of his identity as that which defines this group? If so why and for what reason?

Again I am compelled to ask, why would it be essential for Jacobs as ANC Western Cape leader to tell us he is Coloured? What is the value of this claim? How does this claim help the subject of reclaim of the Western Cape? Assuming we may ever arrive at a place in which the apartheid identifier for identity ‘coloured’ is no more part of the post-1994 State definition for identity and Jacobs is no more a ‘coloured’ can we assume his identity will only than be Muslim? If the latter is the case what are the implications if not ramifications for political leadership to articulate as categoric as Jacobs did on his identity and how does this help the cause of reclaim of the Western Cape?


  • ANC elected Office bearers must become more aware if not conscious of the audience when they talk about their personal identities they plausibly are defeating the very aim for which they are on record to work.
  • Any uphold of the denotations of racial classification ( black, coloured, white or indian) defeats the overarching aim for non- racialism.
  • Being Muslim and being Coloured respectively hold their own respective natural concomitant fissures that lend it to dividing more than uniting.
  • How does Jacobs’ statement help those of us who do not share his categoric MUSLIM and COLOURED identity constructions as invitees to the table of discourse. Particularly those of us who have no different to a Faiez earlier than him stomped the same grounds  and shared the apartheid spatial context and its divisive designations?
  • Perhaps my caution is that we desist to have any Faith in a covert or overt sense dictate the meridian of engagement and even practical life of the ANC in the Western Cape.

I dare assert we are on a precarious trajectory if identity assumes a faith definition, particularly when faith is an exceptional intolerant means for acknowledging diversity and building organisation unity.  We dare no polarise the Western Cape political context with our short-sighted and insensitive faith descriptions for identity.

It can hardly be used as a base to work for reclaim of the Western Cape, because after this opening of the ANC Western Cape, general secretary’s identity declaration we may have just scored an own goal, for which the Opposition smiles.

Clyde N. Ramalaine (An ANC Voter – Fellow 80’s Student leader – Woodlands High – Mitchells Plain ( 1985)