Sipho Pityana’s rant says more than what we all heard!

Sipho Pityana’s rant says more than what we all heard!


Shakespeare in his seven ages of mankind, aptly reminds us, “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances and one man in his time plays many parts his acts being seven ages”


Last week Reverend Mankhenkhesi Arnold Stofile, a gallant member of the UDF and ANC, a former Eastern Cape Premier, Minister of Sport and finally an ambassador to Germany was laid to rest and thus made his exit. Rev. Stofile is revered in some circles as a formidable intellect, a great leader and we choose to remember him for that.


He also at an organisational level can be remembered as a loyal, disciplined, soft-spoken, ever smiling and humble ANC cadre known for poking fun. I will be the first to admit that listening to the eulogies rendered I wondered what had happened to all those complaints levelled against his so-called pathetic leadership as Premier. It is perhaps good no one apparently exists anymore of those who considered him a pathetic premier and had expressed grave reservations on his leadership. The avuncular Boet’ Stof entered that stage and he played his many parts.



Among those who were part of the eulogisers was Mr. Sipho Pityana. I was asked for both my clergy and usual personal political commentary on the presentation of Mr. Pityana. I herewith attempt to nail my colours to the mast; since Pityana took the liberty that the Stofile family afforded him to make broad very definite statements and patronizing request for a president to resign.


Hence my attempt is to advance what I observed, experienced and understood from his address. Let me in the beginning make it emphatic that Sipho Pityana is entitled to his opinions, he is entitled to air them therefore my response is not to deny him his constitutional right neither to attempt narrowing his prerogative in being afforded to eulogise Rev. Stofile.


In the aftermath of his speech which trended on ENCA even 48 hours later, the debate became are funerals the correct place to raise or make political statements.


This question is perhaps a rhetorical if not a redundant one, for those of us from the youth of the 80’s of which I can speak in an informed sense of knowing that funerals became mass meetings, rallies and points of extraordinary mobilizing where messages were sent, and political utterances were made. It also became the place of sharing information. This took place feeding on the raw pain of those who lost loved ones as families and cadres.


Funerals therefore became one of the very few gatherings apartheid’s machinery not for lack of trying could succeed to stop, because we were dying at their hands and week after we were burying those whose blood watered the tree of Freedom. Thus the subject of political statements, incitement and raising of opinions and positions contra to the Apartheid-State and status quo was the order of the day at most funerals. My challenge therefore can never be a political statement made at the funeral of a politician, member of the clergy, academic and avid sports lover.


Perhaps we must accept that anyone with any common and political sense would have expected a form of a ‘fight back strategy’ and the funeral of the late Rev. Stofile became the fitting spot for that. The location for this eulogy more so prominent because this was at the University of Fort Hare, a hallowed place of intellectual and liberation preside respected by many of us.



My first challenge with Pityana’s statement is that it clearly adopted a fight back strategy attempt exemplified in a conscious and lecturing rebuke of the current ANC leadership. In typical proverbial referee sense Pityana was red-carding the democratically elected and serving president of the ANC who by default is the SA President.


My second challenge with Pityana is the coat hanger he chose in convenience to make his justified argument for a castigating of an ANC leadership and its president in call to resign. He hung his entire hypothesis of a constitutionally deviant ANC leadership on the pretext of a constitutional infringement on the part of the ANC and SA president, which the Constitutional Court ruled on. He did this conscious or should we assume oblivious to the fact that the president and the ANC leadership accepted in totality the Constitutional Court’s 11 findings and instructions.


Pityana in mischievous sense reminded his audience how this president flaunted his constitutional obligation imperative, and thus is unfit to be in office. It is said a sophism oft repeated assumes truth for those who incessantly repeat it.


We all know the interpretation of the constitution assumes a fluidity informed by time, space and situation and thus it changes all the time since the constitution is an evolving Magna Carta. The interpretation of the constitution has scholars of law at odds regularly; yet the jurisprudence principle does not naturally translate to a condemnation of those whom the Constitutional Court ultimately finds against or differs with.


This aspect of a breach of constitutional mandate on the part of the President has been interpreted from the day of the Constitutional Court findings by various legal and non-legal minds, and we have seen how this became a proverbial rag doll in which it was argued, from one vocal side for a president that has broken his constitutional obligation, the basis for the last failed impeachment attempt.


On the other hand there are some of us who argued the Constitutional Court with its findings for the first time brought clarity on a matter concerning the powers of the public protector as it relates to findings as binding and where it may be reviewed. This last argument is further supported by the fact that a High-Court judge equally had ruled that the powers of the public protector in findings are not binding. That is beside the fact that two previous public protectors shared the esteemed High Court’s prism on their office in remedial definition.


Therefore to advance the notion of a president having broken his constitutional obligation is perhaps lazy and shallow if not convenient particularly from those who wear the gowns of academic high office.


To make this more salient, in the recent Constitutional Court ruling on the subject of the land issue, there were two rulings evidenced in both majority and minority incidentally in binaries of “black” and “white”. We also know that on a daily basis the Constitutional Court rules against both High Courts, Supreme Courts even Court of Appeals often full benches of the aforementioned. Should we assume these are all to be condemned to resign for flaunting the constitutional uphold of law.


With this armchair, lazy and illogic of Mr. Sipho Pityana and those who share this myopic interpretation of law we are in a precarious space, because these are the self-same ones who claim a custodianship of our egalitarian constitution.


Disagreement in the effervescent environment of hermeneutics or interpretation and application does not lead to those with an opposing view being berated as condemnable of breaking the constitutional code as is conveniently claimed by Pityana and others.


Are we therefore saying that where the Constitutional Court even internally whenever it concludes in a majority and minority ruling that makes its findings, somebody in the Constitutional Court must be condemned as is advanced by the Pityana’s of this world?



Thirdly, Sipho Pityana chose the funeral of Rev. Stofile a disciplined member of the ANC until his last moment to perhaps prove the opposite of what Stofile stood for namely ill-discipline. It is a known fact that people join the ANC as individuals; it accepts its constitution and structures, its codes for its member’s conduct and benefits of membership when they decide to join. Not only do members accept the aforementioned but they equally accept the unspoken culture, subcultures and traditions of the ANC of which one is to respect the organisation as sacrosanct and the principles of collective leadership and centralised democracy.


When Pityana had his moment in the baking Alice sunlight he took it upon himself to berate, castigate and rebuke a democratically elected ANC leadership, who had just come from a municipal elections that confirmed the ANC still remains the entrusted leader of our democratic franchise though by smaller majority. This has to constitute ill-discipline and bringing the organisation in disrepute.


He ascended the rostrum and began addressing the ANC leadership devoid of us knowing if he had upheld the known ethic and practice of a disciplined member to raise his conscious concerns in the relevant structures of the ANC as is to be expected of all loyal selfless and disciplined ANC cadres.


Pityana, thus as an individual, possibly a member in good standing claimed a carte blanche right and prerogative to prove vituperative in his lashing of an elected ANC leadership where at least the Deputy President and Secretary General was present in the front lines of the audience that Pityana addressed.


I dare assert his address to a sitting leadership in the fashion he did, attest a clear disregard for the elected ANC leadership that has in the aftermath of the ANC’s drop in municipal elections percentage confirmed their collective ownership and guilt and a willingness to engage all groups and people to improve the ANC at an organisational presence in future elections. Pityana knew that the ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe articulated the resolutions of the NEC after deliberations on the elections performance, yet he in his exceptional individual mind was not satisfied and wanted a certain outcome unfortunately not carried by the ANC NEC.



In the fourth instance Sipho Pityana with his rant, confirmed a new notion of former officials who have of recent days become a “para-structure” of the ANC in claims of the only true custodians for a constitutional democracy defence. He along with some other very vocal ANC members who were blessed to serve the ANC as officials attests less former officials but politicians in this season. It can be argued his berating and rebuke of a democratically elected ANC leadership is justified because as a former director general Mr. Pityana unlike other members deployed or not of the ANC has earned the right because of a claimed South African constituency.


This behaviour on the part of former officials is unbecoming and not sustainable neither is it befitting to assume they are the natural custodians of our constitutional democracy. They do this on the untested and convenient diaphragm that the current ANC leadership at all levels is unfit, corrupt and not the legitimate custodians as the 2012 elections confirmed.


To Pityana and those of similar mind we must ask, when did former officials become the natural custodians of our constitutional democracy, even more when did this group become an ANC structure that innately warrants to be heard in an unequal respect more than others only because they held an office before?


May we also know how these vocal former officials performed according to the auditor general as accounting officers? Perhaps former officials must go the 2017 Elective Conference of the ANC and test how much support they have in availing themselves for office, because one will be forgiven to conclude that many of them are reasonably young in political retirement and have rightful and justifiable political ambitions to lead the ANC and by extension SA, but has not yet been trusted to lead.


My last challenge with Pityana’s attitude I had hoped I would not venture, but my conscious would not allow me not to advance my take on such. Pityana perhaps confirmed the thin membrane of ambivalence in his public commenting on issues of leadership evidenced in ethnic interpretation.


I looked high and low for a public comment on the part of Mr. Pityana on the claims of a Mbeki Presidency that as is widely claimed oversaw the deaths of human lives placed as high as 380000, over his theorizing and denialist stance on the subject of HIV & AIDS at a crucial time when leadership was needed.


Certainly the moral rectitude of a Mr. Pityana as a crusader for a constitutional uphold ought to have lived and proved real when South Africans were told by a Minister of Health to eat beetroot and veggies to deal with the scourge of HIV& AIDS. I had thought Pityana’s crusade for a human rights ethic would have been recorded somewhere yet until now no public comment on this.


I equally thought that the events that defined the life of the AmaThembu King Dalyindebo in very lows who is currently serving a prison sentence, would have elicited a public opinion, comment, rebuke and berating of the King, yet as in the case of the former President of the ANC and SA, the silence on the part of Mr. Pityana is deafening.


I therefore am compelled to ask did Pityana not come from a somewhat ethnic informed mind when he thought it his right to speak from arguably the heart of Eastern Cape institutionalised intellectualism (Fort Hare) to address a president of another tribe who is not educated?


Can the case be made that Pityana with his attitude inadvertently but tacitly enforced old unscientific misbeliefs and ill-directed prisms of what it means to be Xhosa and Zulu in the historic reality of what we have been forced to believe from a blighted history?


It is not cynical to argue that it is no secret that Sipho Pityana and his older brother Rev. Professor Barney Pityana never had any regard for the 12th ANC president, the evidence of this is recorded, because they plausibly had worshipped the 11th ANC president one of their own. Equally Pityana as a middle aged African would never dare to be this instructive to his kin yet he takes latitude and invokes a right to be this way, perhaps because the one he addresses is the other.


Thus, Pityana had his moment in the Alice sun, and his finest moment in public description anchored on a false and mischievous evidence of constitutional breach on the part of the president.


He had his moment of moments on the bases of disrespecting a disciplined ANC member and leader with his ill-disciplined attitude. He equally had his second of fame at the expense of the ANC leadership.


He had his prime time in proverbial lights, camera, action presence in disrespecting the ANC its values and its principles of collective ownership of good bad and ugly of the ANC.


He had his minutes of fame on the back of a self-serving claim of being more equal than others only because he falsely represents a new structure and somewhat endangered species in the ANC namely, former senior officials.


Pityana had his finest moment gravely laced with an ambiguity of ethnicity as a plausible reality if his attack, patronising and instructive attitude to the sitting ANC leadership and its SA president are the assumed yardsticks.


So equally Pityana last week played his part on that same stage, he made his political entrance, he was the talk of town for a few days, he did so to be remembered and we certainly shall remember him for a very long time for this part. Unfortunately I will remember him as the one who proved ill-disciplined even uncouth and ethnic.


Respectfully submitted


Clyde N. S. Ramalaine

Political Commentator, Author and Writer












Unsolicited Advice to ANC leadership & Members from an ANC Voter !

Unsolicited Advice to all ANC Leadership and Members and us ANC voters at all levels:


My unsolicited advice to all ANC leaders and members who still cry about an August 2016 elections result in blame of an individual, a group a person etc.


Please make peace that 2017 will be an elective conference and a 2017 leadership will emerge.


How that leadership will look, who they may be is as much your guess as mine. Any focus on that will cause more damage because it will take away your attention from the People whose trust you must regain where lost.


This often self-serving emotional call for an early Elective conference is based on the emptiness of fear, the opaqueness of thinking a leader can rise and unseat the current top 6 or NEC, and fix all the problems of the ANC of the last 22years in government! Wishful thinking if you ask me.


The ANC is and remains from what we all who know the ANC a collective leadership. That collective leadership must count at the best of times but is vital at the worst of times! Let us all kill the demon of factionalism with its new litter. Let us all stop all old and new hangovers. May we all stop idolising past, present and future ANC leaders all it does is  it  unnecessary creates villains and victims. Consciously refuse to be drawn into debates  with ANC members who act as individuals, those who do not respect the ANC, its structures and disrespect the collective leadership philosophy of the Movement. Sort out the Tripartite Alliance and its new and old issues, if needs be make the tough calls.


Too much energy is spent in analysis of blame. I have in the last 2 weeks heard to many leaders complain as if they are powerless in mandate to lead as exacted in 2014 and 2016. This attests a sign of being focused.


Stop spending your energy in coffee shops, pubs, braais, airport lounges, iPhones and boardrooms blaming so and so. The ANC failed the ANC lost the 8% the EFF has. They are our focus to regain what they took.

Stop trying to have convenient politically loaded relations with the EFF leaders out of a history of ANC membership, they are now your opposition and they showed it with their choice for the DA. Any attempt at being cozy with the EFF leadership is the same as being cozy with DA leadership.

Work for delivering services to the people. Where you are an opposition lead in being an opposition par excellence you know what the people need.

Forget to start jockeying and horse-trading for 2017 Elective Conference outcome, let the 2017 Conference come like all others before.


An early conference will confirm nothing but what your opposition party-alliances want, they want the ANC to appear so shaken and disheveled that it is getting a proverbial stroke and heart attack whilst they will claim they now direct internal ANC actions and activities.


You haven’t lost the August 2016 elections stop believing the CNN and Oppositional Media and small parties who keep repeating this lie! Stop acting like we are defeated.


Square your shoulders, brace the storm, go out and serve the people, deliver where you in charge, agitate where you not for the sake of delivery. Mobilize your internal base and develop now already the 2019 Campaign. Come to us your voters many of shares a huge love for this Movement, come sit with us and invite us to help where necessary. Our strength has always been our unique contribution added together to attain a goal.


Ali was not the greatest because he never lost; he was the greatest because he was Ali. The ANC is not by chance the oldest liberation movement of Africa with its enviable 104 Years.


The ANC is not an individual they all come and go regardless to how we may for own reasons love or loathe them.


All power is borrowed power act like your power is borrowed. Put the people first, Batho Pele!


The ANC lives, the ANC leads, long live the ANC


CNSR an ANC Voter



EFF’ (blessee) & DA (blesser) Vat & Sit arrangement a bad deal!


What does the EFF offer of vote to DA really say?


The August 3, 2016 Municipal Elections have come and gone, we have lived through two weeks of anxiously awaited coalition talks, agreements, jet-setting in bargaining of parties on what they consider important. With an impending deadline on properly constituted councils looming large in expiry of 24hours municipalities since last week have begun to finalise their councils.


Today the DA speaker candidate Vasco Da Gama is confirmed with a victory of 145 – 126 beating the ANC’s Constance Bapela candidacy. We are eagerly awaiting the Mayoral voting outcome between incumbent Parks Tau and Herman Mashaba, by all indications the vote will go the same as what we have seen with the Speaker.


The EFF has dispatched its second in charge Floyd Shivambu to ensure a repeat of the Rustenburg Municipality vote outcome does not occur. I think the EFF is not as united as its leadership wants to advance. I would not be surprised if some EFF voters who voted for the DA Speaker will switch their votes and god with Parks Tau. Don’t forget the EFF wanted to force the IEC to accept it can vote and show whom they voted for, meaning they must be using this as a means to ensure betrayal does not take place. It tried to push that through as tactic arguing those who oppose can after the elections raise their concerns.


In the aftermath of the coalition discussions, deals and trading it is perhaps time to ask how clever was the EFF deal in not entering with the DA into a full blown coalition but opted to give its vote where its needed against the ANC. A coalition government we are told is a cabinet of parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate, reducing the dominance of any one party within that coalition. The usual reason for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament.


An agreement as defined by the dictionary is harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling. It may also attest the absence of incompatibility between two things or a consistency.


A week ago, the EFF had chosen an open veld in the sprawling Alexandra Township to share with South Africa the outcomes of their coalition talks with essentially the ANC and the DA. The press statement concluded with SA hearing the EFF has failed to secure their 8 (essentially non municipal related) items with the ANC and thus they have opted for the DA with whom there are more consensuses. The EFF leader was quick to point out that they do have grave problems with the DA’s Mayoral Candidate of Herman Mashaba particularly for disparaging, irregular and thoughtless comments the ‘Black Like Me’, business man made about the poor, and by extension black people.


We heard that the EFF refused to do a proper coalition but entered a loose agreement in which it will vote for the DA against the ANC. They claim they not bedfellows but the DA has its vote.


It is here that I wish to postulate is the agreement of the EFF not a stronger deal in favour of the DA than the coalition agreements other parties entered with the DA?


At a surface and emotional level we heard the EFF does not want any positions, it believes it must be voted in as a government to appoint its people, not trade a for positions as a result of hung councils. At surface level this sounds a very noble and gallant stance yet it’s perhaps devoid of how politics as praxis is actualized.


What is the EFF saying by giving its vote to the DA?


  • Firstly by willingly giving their hand (vote) to the DA after being approached by the DA, the EFF confirmed a traditional male dominant – female inferior patriarchal notion and status of a young bride. This occurs in the month we pause to celebrate women and a democratic era where equality of gender is non negotiable. Yet the EFF in endorsing this archaic patriarchal society where male dominance rule, takes us all back in time where we simply left ages ago.


  • If we go back to the accepted definition of the word agreement, then the EFF shares ‘harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling’ with the DA. We must therefore ask what is the harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling? Maybe I can venture to say the harmony and accord of the EFF and the DA, is informed by a common agreement of anything but the ANC.


  • Thus the EFF with this agreement did not respect its claimed ideological stance; in fact it showed how flimsy its claimed ideological footprint is, for it was easily sacrificed at the table of anti-ANC punishment.


  • It equally confirmed its androgynous suspicious policy footprint. We all know the EFF is high on tactics to hog attention but low on policy input. Thus any relationship entered with a dominant policy footprint one, will confirm this known policy weakness on the part of the EFF.


  • The EFF in offering its vote to the DA, proverbially confirmed a marriage of convenience for the dominant partner in this vat-en-sit (a male and female partnership of no commitments) union, where the EFF signs what the senior double dating and philandering DA proposes. It involuntarily reminded me of the status of custom marriages under apartheid firstly they were not legal; secondly it had no legal standing as it relates to claim on the part of the woman. Thirdly the male figure was the dominant and only true decision-maker in the arrangement.


Often the woman derived an identity, essence and meaning in finality from being married to the dominant male.


  • Thus it can be argued the EFF’s agreement, is perhaps a short-sighted and ill-conceived idea because it expresses a desire to offer its most prized possession, the vote, to someone it does not really like or is in love with. It can be argued short-sighted because as teenager, gets angry and reaches a place of hate for his parent, so the EFF is angry with the ANC. This anger drives her into the arm of a much older modern blesser, who is in agreement with the teenager that her parent is an enemy and simply not good. The result is the teenager shares a room and a bed and sheets with the older philandering avuncular blesser.


  • It says the EFF is less concerned or interested in the accepted and acknowledged good work as confirmed as confirmed by even EFF leadership, exemplified in programmes, initiatives and trajectory for a transformed and spatially readjusted city region that was done and is being done for example in city of Johannesburg.


  • The EFF with their offer to vote for the DA confirmed the anger of blindness to punish the ANC. With this offer of votes the EFF says our anger is more important than what the voters decided, our personalised anger stands paramount and has pre-eminence.


  • By willingly giving their vote to the DA, the EFF despite raising justifiable challenges with the DA on its candidate Herman Mashaba a fundamental aspect, confirmed its junior status to kow-tow to the instruction of the DA as male dominant final voice on the subject matter.


  • The EFF has confirmed its youthfulness and innocence to the world of coalition politics of governance.



What does this arrangement mean for the DA?


  • The willingness of the EFF to offer itself in voting sense confirmed the dominant male status of the DA in this union, agreement or however defined. It proverbially confirms the dominant apartheid male status of the DA, though in era of democracy.
  • It also means, the DA will rise to power in places where the voters did not entrust them to lead. In the City of Johannesburg this is glaring, The DA secured only 38% of the vote. This is a clear confirmation that the DA is not the trusted party by far. Yet the EFF will ensure it obtains that much desired leadership.


  • It says on another level to the DA, that it can stop, stymie retard the current functional programmes and legacy initiatives for it has the blessing of an angry EFF to undo the very accepted good work.


  • This deal at another level says the DA is in charge and their policy will take precedence, particularly if the DA can find a away to structure it to remotely sound the opposite of the ANC. As long as they can hold the ANC up as the enemy the EFF will sign all the papers with their vote.
  • It furthermore says to the DA, you can share in the proverbial virgin choice collations of marriage. Because the EFF is the junior and the virgin bride in this marriage, the DA is an old hand at having affairs and has a married a number of other women. Do not forget the Patricia De Lille’s ID whom it chained, it smooched Ramphele’s Aganang to death, it had flings with Lekota’s COPE and even chased after an uncircumcised yet to be made a man Vavi because it saw potential. Not to mention all the one night stands in many places and hotels, formula ones a cross the length and breadth of SA. We cannot forget these include amongst others ACDP, FF and many others not known.
  • Now in this season this old hand, this skirt-chasing lusty DA enters its most hostile yet affair, but the DA has tamed this one too, because without the nagging legal agreement of marriage. The DA laughs because it got the EFF votes and they did nothing to earn it, they just need to be anti-ANC, for you are not kept accountable by this loose vat–en-sit arrangement as desired by the EFF.
  • You can have access to the choicest possession of this your girlfriend; she does not want a marriage, because she offered herself for your pleasure. Her only condition you must just dislike her parent.


I foresee a bumpy ride, as this vat-en-sit arrangement or case will end up in the public court of divorce. It would not be surprising, as this marriage grows older day by day that the EFF voters as they have begun to show, raise their voices in displeasure against their leaders who had entered into this bad deal.



Clyde N.S Ramalaine

Political Commentator

Can we let Rio 2016, preach to us Preachers!

-DISQUALIFIED after the Crowd celebrated with you your victory!-

The 31st Olympic Games have come and gone. Two weeks of exhilarating muscle working contests being watched by many around globe and experienced  by even more as over 2000 athletes competed for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as a token of claim of being the world’s best.


Firstly, let me say those who gathered at Rio, are the known best. Those who gathered at Rio, like in London and Beijing 4 and 8 years ago, an all other 28 Games before only represent those who qualified for having participated in recognized competitions.


Permit me, I must make a footnote here because our claim of them being the best as it may sound is limited to the word known, meaning there are many more unknown. Not everybody showed up at Rio.


Rio 2016 Olympic Games like all others had exceptional highs and very lows, ups and downs surprises and foregone conclusions. …Stay with me I am going somewhere !


For some it was their first for others their last. Some came to make history others came to be a part of history. Yet others were declared history!



As I reflect on the Rio Olympics Games, I am compelled to pause in adumbrated sense at a startling observation I made.


All two weeks I like many as a longstanding track & field supporter and follower sang the praises of Usain Bolt, Wayde van Niekerk, Mo Farrah, Caster Semenya, the Brazilian Football team led by Neymar, Yego, Allison Felix and many others.


What I am led to pause on today for this brief homiletic expression is something else I saw.


I saw athletes complete their races, I some athletes celebrate after they had completed an event or a race. They celebrated and the crowd celebrated with them. … Yes they celebrated, we celebrated!



I watched how they each reached for an area in the crowd where the presence of a common nationhood was displayed marked under what we call a national flag.


My brothers and sisters and fellow preachers, I watched how they confidently fetched their nations flag, and with broad smiles, in between tears of joy wrapped that piece of cloth around them. Without any doubt the highest form of celebration for being a patriot.


Yet, I saw that after all  that the SCOREBOARD, shows DISQUALIFIED. … I said the scoreboard did not confirm or agree with the celebration, …my my my…can I get a witness?



The scoreboard showed something the crowd never saw, the scoreboard identified something that the normal eye could not pick up.  So insignificant so small that it lied to the eye, except the SCOREBOARD. Can I preach now?… Let me preach!


I said the scoreboard brought some athletes who finished the race, who celebrated the victory even with a lap of honour, draped in national colours and congratulatory remarks, selfies and pics, to the earth in earth shattering means when it registered DISQUALIFIED.

The epitome of this for me was the American men 4×100 relay team they completed the race, they ran the full 400 like Jamaica and Canada. Usually amon the medals, they were to pick up a bronze medal after Jamaica and Canada, but they like the Trinidad and Tobago team were disqualified. They like the athlete whom Mo Farrah beat into second spot were disqualified.


I thought about how many of us preachers often feel on a Sunday we have completed the race, we celebrate our achievements, we stand draped in personal pride and acknowledgment as those who love and adore and follow us sing our praise.


I thought how we brim in pride at our conferences with the so called whose who of “stars” the famous ones, and we feel we have just earned a gold medal. Because finally they will recognize us as important.

Yes, I thought how we gaze over our ministry escapades our websites, the billboard signs with our faces on, with one suit after the other in choreographed pose, our wives on toe. I thought of the flashing cameras the “White House presidential protocol” we deceive ourselves to now need and the spellbound crowds we have moved by our articulation and oratory skills and giftedness.

I thought how some of us became “stars” and feel almost untouchable, and we are limousine-chauffeur-driven from our little palaces, can bark out orders and instructions for have servants around us.



I thought how we stand brimming in that moment as a typical figurative Atlas, beaming and almost justified pride, expecting for the final Scoreboard to attest our winning and placing.

Then, where there were smiles frowns appear, where exuberance makes way for somberness. Joy makes way for sadness. Yes we want to protest, we feel an injustice as we look at the Scoreboard and it looks at us unintimidated by who we think we are—let me preach, I feel like preaching because I am preaching to myself,



Yes, one moment we stood tall, the next we are brought down to earth with a bang because the scorecard and SCOREBOARd saw what nobody else saw! We are scored not on the public but often the private!

My friend don’t let the scoreboard testify DISQUALIFIED when you have assumed you in prime medal contention!

Yes, you made it onto the Billboard, you had your own TV programme and slot, your Radio gig and Facebook and Twitter following of 10000. You wore customized suits like Nike dresses the Rio Top Athletes in customized apparel.
You spoke at all the major conferences, you made the demands of how much you must be paid because you had a name. Others admired you others even envied you, but the Scoreboard after all this says DISQUALIFIED!


Don’t get fooled by those who celebrate with you, don’t get mesmerized by those who sing your praise! Unfortunately they are not the scoreboard!



Lord, I pray help this sinner whatever may come my way, I just don’t want to be DISQUALIFIED !!

Bishop CNSR

Marikana: a narrative of only some “Black Lives matter”!

It is four years since very unfortunate events of tragic proportions robbed families and friends from their loved ones in what can be called a grave tragedy of our nation.

Never before in our democratic history has a labour strike gone this awry, proved this violent and had such deaths evidenced in forty-four lives.

Who can forget that week in our history? The story is told from several sides. Often not all is told because some in this narrative choose to focus only on the thirty-four workers that died at the infamous “Koppie”. We all have long ago condemned the violent action and response of the police that left 34 miners at the Koppie dead and their families in disarray. As the Farlam Commission had found and recommended, the police have a case to answer for their actions.

We dare not forget the “Koppie” where armed to the teeth workers who didn’t even accommodate the media to come close gathered. We consciously remember armed workers wielding their varied weapons hell-bent on a fight, which would leave a blood-trail in the same vein as started a few days earlier. We shall not forget the police who had briefed the media that there will be action to secure the weapons assegais, pangas knives, knobkieries even guns from miners. By this time at least two officers had already paid the highest price. The workers of Lonmin at the koppie were armed to the teeth. We not sure to fight whom, or to kill whom.

As is common, some immediately saw an opportunity to craft a political relevance, as they capitalize every moment of the pain of forty-four people yet they distinctly became the voice for the forty-four as the narrative took its aim against the State. They remain numb if not indifferent in keeping the miners accountable for their inhumane actions that saw the death of those a few days earlier.

The names and faces of Eric Mabebe a mine supervisor, Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelane security guards who were brutally killed by miners on August 12, is not visible in this our narrative. We do not hear of Semi Jokanski whom it is claimed killed by the police, Thembelakhe Mati, Pumzile Sokanyile killed on August 13.

There is no word on Isaiah Twala a NUM shop steward killed on August 14. The silence of Julius Langa killed on his way to work. We don’t hear of Tsietsi Monene and Sello Lepaku police officers that were killed on August 13, 2012.

Marikana therefore remains a half told story, an incomplete picture perhaps a sentence without a full stop. Marikana is paraded in conscious uncritical analysis, a proverbial singing from a hymnal less with reading the words to appreciate the full story. Marikana protests half a story half a question told from one half.

We hear all the time as it suits some political and organised labour even religious agenda driven personalities. These refuse to talk or inculcate the full narrative. Almost aided if not fuelled by a media who equally refuse to let the forty-four instead of thirty-four count. It appears there is a silent unspoken conspiracy a form of an agreement that these ten lives simply do not matter.

What is missing and remains missing in our narrative are the bloody and dastard activities of the few but significant preceding days that culminated in an August 16.

We never hear of the ten people they have become the proverbial John Doe’s, persona non grata, insignificant and simply not worth pausing on. The ten victims who died in the up run to August 16, if we hear some who sing their beloved song have no families therefore not any claim. They are denied a voice though they equally died. All our public narrative is brimming with in overflow is a one-sided police brutality that saw thirty-four, dead at Marikana.

The deafening silence in search for an equal justice for the ten who died violently at the hands of miners is troubling. We do not hear or see the same exacted energy in justice calls to have the murderers brought to book. Those who have gain political identities directly drawn from a Marikana allow the uneven practice of some black lives matter others don’t continue unabated.

The common villain is the State that is what we hear that is what we are force-fed, as some attempt approving hell-bent to recast in conditioning our collective consciousness to be alive to their preferred thirty-four and dead if not numb to the actual real number of forty-four people.

It is hear that I dare to postulate it appears only some black lives matter. It appears only some lives are important, it does appear that we seek a justice that refuses to engage in honesty and truthfulness.

Unless the other ten lives do not matter, if it does not, why are allowing this blighted narrative of thirty-four lives be given this centrality?

Until we can attempt maturity to engage the forty-four deaths, we will have annual political campaigns around Marikana that never will heal any wound inflicted in that dreadful week.

What is sad is that some have built a temporal political relevance from this tragedy, so they will gather every year and have their moment in the blood of the forty-four, they will play political games, make wild statements until the next year. This while their actions comfortably confirms, some but not all black lives matter.

Clyde N. S. Ramalaine

What does the EFF result really mean?


– don’t forget an ANC at its weakest ever produced this much-celebrated EFF results-


Let me firstly congratulate South Africa for again staging successful democratic municipal elections that is free, fair and transparent. Listening to the CNN broadcast on our elections will convince one the ANC has lost all political power, then again that’s CNN.


I also wish to congratulate the DA for their securing of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, which confirms their aim to proverbially concur SA in elections from the Cape of Good Hope along its coastal line.


Let me equally congratulate the EFF for having grown its voting footprint albeit by a 2% margin. There is no question that the EFF is a new kid on the block if its age is considered the only yardstick.


In the aftermath of the now pronounced results as shared by the IEC, it is perhaps time to ask how do we interpret the EFF election and what does it mean in the bigger scheme of things.


I am on record as can be confirmed from an earlier opinion piece, where I questioned the continual existence of the EFF beyond its antithetical twin-personality of origin namely Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema. In such I maintained that the EFF primarily and fundamentally exists to dethrone Jacob Zuma in vengeance of a Julius Malema expulsion.


I stated when either of these two might for whatever reason leave the political scene the relevance of the EFF will prove obsolete. In case you think what is he smoking, because the EFF has performed so well. I still hold today the same stance. It is two years later l hold it is confirmed that the EFF cannot shed its original reason for its existence and remains trapped in such therefore muzzled in not finding policy relevance. The EFF simple cannot untie itself from a Malema as the epicentre of its daily life and he is entrenched as the EFF and the EFF is Malema.


Journey therefore with me as I try and make the case that we are not reading the elections results of the EFF in soberness of mind. We not looking at the time we are living in neither the state of the ANC in this election as its weakest ever in election history.


There are perhaps two important issues that are conveniently left in abeyance in our current elections results. One being the true state of the ANC and the secondly the new role of kingmakers for coalition government.


One does not mean to pour cold water on the performance of the EFF, for that would be completely uncalled for and made out as a form of sour grapes.


The success escapades of the EFF is pronounced in admiration of accolades and equally dovetailed with a claim of them being only 3 years old.


It is today the kingmaker in at least 3 Metro municipalities. Its status of kingmaker is today the talk of town, to the extent that they plausibly misread their actual election results.


What is perhaps completely forgotten, as fact is that the ANC came to these polls in 2016 the weakest it has ever been in any election before? It came to the polls with all sorts of own goals; a known failed often-reactionary communications strategy immanent in emptiness of synchronized message, theme or even strategy. It could not even muscle a proper read of all Madiba’s sayings on the opposition to stymie off the recasting of Mandela as DA member.


The ANC came on the back of an Nkandla bloody nose, a Constitutional Court ruling, violent unrests and a generally unhappy inside and outside voter. Admitted factions around twin personalities as Tshwane a month before the elections in violent infrastructure destruction and loss of life confirmed. Abrupt leadership change in Kwa Zulu Natal. Threatened court cases from some provincial leaderships personalized or organization based.


The ANC entered the elections with some preoccupied in jockeying for a coming 2017. The ANC started its campaign riddled with a barrage of unnecessary communication gaffes, retractions misstatements and a collision cause with SABC leadership. This was negatively crowned with unnecessary deaths of candidates from KZN and the Eastern Cape. It allowed the EFF to set the tone of filling stadiums as a subject of importance, something the ANC never has done before.


This season saw an ANC with list nomination challenges more prevalent than ever before.


It came to the polls with a Gauteng leadership as always preoccupied with national leadership with careless statements of ” don’t punish us because of Zuma”. (What confidence does any leadership exude to go to voters asking vote for us, despite our president). This clearly may backfire when provinces at the soul search and introspection Indaba are called to account for their mediocre election performances. It is fair to say the ANC entered the elections arena, punch-drunk and wobbling, in dizziness of having to contend with too many wars.


Considering the above affords me to conclude the ANC therefore was at its weakest in this season. Any party contesting an election with these aforementioned counting against it would naturally haemorrhage in that election and may even be completely without power.


Yet the final tally confirms the ANC secured 54% of the National vote, the DA 27% and the EFF 8%. The elections by municipalities attests the following the ANC confirms 168, DA 24 and IFP 6, with 26 smaller hung Councils. The rough claim can thus be made the actual drop of 8% on the part of the ANC from its 2011 Municipal elections is really that which the EFF today claim as theirs.


The EFF on average received 8,3% of the national vote meaning the EFF improved 2% on its debut it made in 2014 national elections.


The result of the EFF attests not a single municipality anywhere from the smallest to the largest. It is here I wish to postulate the EFF obtained 8% election result when the ANC was at its weakest ever.


I dare assert that the ANC will never be this weak again if sense prevail. This was also for record sake the official last elections that the Jacob Zuma factor had to be added into the equation.


Now if the EFF in such season as now can with all the grudge of ANC voters only amass 8%, how will it perform with a reasonably stronger ANC? In particular and ANC devoid of the undeniable weaknesses we have lived through?


The EFF must therefore ask itself notwithstanding claims of limited resources and a 3-year age why didn’t SA in this season of total ANC weakness entrust it with any of its municipalities if its message so much resonates with the claimed masses of SA in being unhappy with the ANC.


Is it possible that we have seen the best performance of this 3-year-old party, who clearly derives its meaning, purpose and fixation in a current ANC president who will never be present in any election by 2019?


The second aspect of my argument of an interpretation of the EFF elections performance vacillates on the fact that emanates from its king maker status.


We must equally ask how will the EFF perform when it is now a coalition kingmaker. We have heard its chairman Mpofu expeditiously in simplicity of claim pronounce they will have coalitions with all but the ANC. Clearly this was a shortsighted perhaps angry statement bereft of the reality of politics where there are no permanent enemies or friends.


Perhaps one may assert the EFF stands before its first real ideological and principal challenge. Is this its first proverbial Rubicon? It has never been here in its brief political life and has never had to engage the nagging but very real subject of coalitions which usually has a tendency to make the smaller party or dealmaker a add on of those it determined to go with.



They say history repeats itself; COPE perhaps the maximum symbol for ANC breakaway parties in vengeance was here too. It in another season of ANC vulnerability in recall of its SA President was birthed in anger and went on to score what was deemed a significant 7% in national elections. However COPE is today for all practical reasons history in relevance and the case can be made it exists today perhaps to maintain the retirement upkeep of its dwindled leadership. Is this the high moment of the EFF no dissimilar to that of COPE?


The EFF’s ideological challenge resonates in this that if it opts to go with the DA, it would have committed political suicide at least at an ideological level. They then will no longer be able to accuse the ANC of its early in democracy National Party agreements that resulted in the economic slavery of the black masses.


If it decides to go with the ANC, because it is known as light in true policy footprint will see it absorbed as advocating ANC policies. By the way the same policies they accuse the DA and ANC to share in neo-liberalism claims.


It furthermore runs the claimed reputational risk in the eyes of its voters of now associating with the very party from which it was birthed in vengeance. A party it has vilified, sold to SA as corrupt, its leaders self-serving and a party that betrayed the revolution for true economic emancipation. How will it’s voters trust it to be ideologically sound, reputational clean and functional in visionary outlook.


Thus the EFF’s success in this election may turn out to be its real Mt. Everest in highest moment of societal consciousness. It may become its true Rubicon and its defining new identity, which may see it gradually, decline, since its performance in this season was due to and ANC that was at its weakest. Also having to make bedfellows with both the DA and ANC does not help them in singularity of political relevance.


I hold the hope the ANC will never be in the foreseen future find itself in such weak position as evidenced in a toxic combination of own goals, lack of leadership credibility, recognised factions, a strive for material gain and a blundered campaign.


I hold beyond, campaigning and theatrical parliament games of insult and a Jacob Zuma fixation can the EFF live to see another day of elections (2019) when it based on its current success stands confronted in its first true existential ideological test and Rubicon this season.


Can the EFF live to see another day beyond a Zuma who has just participated in his last elections as a central figure? Can the EFF’s current hegemony around a Malema personality as its true north withstand the unforeseen but real implications of coalition governments? Will it too be finding itself tearing  itself in factionalism apart with court cases where personalities no dissimilar to COPE contested for leadership?



Aug 6, 2016



ANC – WC: Perhaps Race, Identity, Religion and Class undoing the quest for political power!


As the skies begin to draw it’s night curtain signaling the end of the day after the 5th Municipal Elections. It is perhaps time to ask some questions on the performance of the leading party in the Western Cape. We do this fully cognisant of the final elections results still to be announced.


This series of evolving notes emanates from the practical reality of the ANC Western Cape elections performance. Yet, I am conscious these contemplations enter the sphere and space of a much broader sense of identity politics a maturing interest of my seminal pursuit.


At another level these reflections of thought provocation in this season proves more relevant in our on-going discourse and emerging narrative. When one therefore engages these thoughts it is to be conscious of that bigger reality of a set of conversations we are perhaps forced to have in this season. This season we are compelled to give content to the value of a non-racial identity.


I start by asking is it not time that the ANC learn some important lessons from asking tough and discomforting questions. We vacillate between a micro reality of a party and the macro context of a nation and globe increasing compelled contend with these thematic expressions not in luxury but out of necessity.


To narrow it to the ANC is to equally understand it as the entrusted political leader of a democratic dispensation. Therefore the questions are not to be understood in narrowness of a political party, but constitute a set of questions for much wider our discourse.


Thoughts and questions I will attempt to postulate as primarily anchored on the cardinal aspects of race, identity, class and religion.


I have attempted to restrict each of the accompanying notes to engage the respective theme in unfolding chapters. Yet, to be entertained in singular or collective read and interpreted as an anthology constituting a mini volume of opinion pieces. They assume for purpose of chronology and logic a chapter expression.


Chapter 1 concerns itself with the aspect of race and its role in elections. Chapter 2 deals with the Identity and its extrapolated role in elections. Chapter 3 attempts a look at class, an active disposition in the elections. Chapter 4 concerns itself with the troublesome aspect of religion and its attending role in elections. Chapter 5 deals with the issue of political leadership on non-racial identity notion.


Part 1 – Race


Contrary to the commonly advanced claim that the formal construct of race for a means to describe a humanity exists from time immemorial, Nina Jablonsky helps us to appreciate that “the first person to formally define races was the noted philosopher Immanuel Kant, who in 1785 classified people into four fixed races, which were arrayed in a hierarchy according to color and talent”


Equally race thinking as permeating every aspect of our societal life often protests a forever presence in the SA context. However it was Paul Maylam who reminded us that race thinking became a dominant mode of seeing and describing social relations at the Cape during the period of second British occupation.


It thus appears the challenge of race is not going away and apartheid racial classification appears immortalized. This in stark contrast to the principled commitment to a non-racial society as articulated in Section 1 (B) of the Constitution.


South Africa despite having made bold a celebrated egalitarian constitution that points to non-racialism and the non racial identity in future of pursuit, have held on since 1994 to the very race descriptions (black, white, Coloured and Indian) in claim of redress.



Neville Alexander, reminds us “an overview of the many different ways in which perceptions of racial difference and of the concept of race have influenced the shape and substance of South African society over three and a half centuries is an ambitious undertaking by any measure”.


I irrevocably concur with Alexander therefore my attempt is consciously limited to a small slice of time immanent in the last 24 years. I will not engage the details of election results or analysis in technocratic sense. I am not particularly concerned with specificities concerning margins of loss or win. I deliberately draw broad strokes underpinned by core themes attesting a lived experience and influence on the subject of elections in post apartheid setting.


South Africa thus as a social laboratory remains one stratified, entrenched, defined and exuding race as a fundamental premise.


Notwithstanding the fact that race in its scientific sense is long declared defunct. Race as remnant in traction of a social construct and phenomenon in 2016 is emboldened. We are a race informed society we are a race-laden nation. A denial of this is a denial of our history and present threatening our future.


Our democratic franchise and constitution is race aware, race conscious and race sensitive. In defense of the constitution its cognizance of race is perhaps informed by an egalitarian aim of redress.


When one contends we are a race-based society, it is not to overemphasize the construct, but to assertively acknowledge the prevalence and pervasive presence of its sojourn over an elongated period of time at least the last 350 years. It is to really admit that the Democratic State in all its articulation of what we have come to term its client embraces and endorses this race notion.


Race is used as a means to interpret our past, understand our present and to chart our future. Race is uncritically used and accepted as conclusive.


I wish to advance there exists a dialectical tension when the ideal of a non- racial society is advanced in the same breath with using race in aim and object of redress. When race is used as final measurement for transformation, advancement, benefit and performance.


We have all by now heard that qualification for black redress immanent in ‘black in particularly African’ used to explain the fact that all blacks suffered under colonialism and apartheid but African suffered the most.


Whilst this may be an undeniable historic fact and reality, we have yet to see how this interacts and engages our collective moving forward to address past and new imbalances, in pursuit of a non-racial reality.



All South African political parties comfortably embrace the notion of multi-racialism whilst they articulate an ideal of non-racialism. The African National Congress celebrates the notion of multi-races yet it articulates and imbibes a non-racial notion.


The official Opposition’s 2029 vision confirms this reality when it says “we see a future in which all races live together in harmony…”


Seldom is the efficacy, probability for the oxymoronic reality of striving for a non-racial society on the diaphragm of multi-racial critically engaged by the cross-bred of political leadership. There appears a disconnect, when we can afford ourselves to continue romantically espousing a non-racial dream, when we entrenching a race based society.


Fundamental to the notion of the embrace of a race construct is an uncontested recognition of otherness. Again the otherness equally affords an involuntarily subliminal opportunity to let that otherness take precedence either way.


What is indisputable is that elections in South Africa are undeniably race informed, defined, driven if not race-constricted.


Despite the much publicized romantic love expressed by white SA citizens and voters for a Mandela, the facts attest the voting patterns from the dawn of democracy of this constituency remains in favour of white led parties. Whites simply never trusted Mandela with their vote, neither did it ever trust Mandela’s African National Congress.


Equally the voting patterns of Coloureds remain consistent as not trusting the black African majority. Former Coloured townships share to a majority the voting patterns of the Western Cape. Where Coloureds opts not to vote for the official opposition DA a historic and predominantly white led party, they prefer to be led by a notion of religion immanent in Christian to inform their political identity. This works to the benefit of the African Christian Democratic Party.


Indians equally do not vote in majority outside its own. We all know how Rajbansi’s Minority Front became an important dealmaker in the KZN voting context. This voting pattern says more of a strategy in recognition of its limited numbers.


African blacks are by far the most progressive in voting distribution. While the ANC continues to enjoy a majority of the vote slice of the African voter, we have seen the DA making inroads in attracting more and more black middle class urban voters.


These voting patterns confirm that South Africans vote not in absent-mindedness of their specific racial classification, identity marker and group.


This information proves valuable to a discerning party who accepts, interprets and shows a willingness to head-on engage this undeniable reality aiding the plotting of a strategy and coherent message to attract beyond the racial boundary line.


Typically to cite as example the leading party in democracy to allows this race notion to stand in pre-eminence without ever attempting to acknowledge it with its attending deficiencies anomalies and its probable nefarious influence. Its leaders are elected its informed by demographic realities that play out to various degrees across the length and breadth of this country.


Meaning in all provinces but the Western Cape the ANC is likely to mirror the natural demographics of the province, yet in the Western Cape it has proven flexible to go against the natural demographics. It somehow finds a means to walk away from the race recognition reality when it comes to the Western Cape. The ANC opts to instead claim a common black identity as a justified means to have leadership and candidates from that wide black notion, the same it does not let live in other provinces.


What can the ANC learn from the notion of race for selecting leaders in the Western Cape? What are we as South African learning from this aspect of race informing our political identities exemplified in elections?


We must ask are there any lessons to be learned from the role of race in a demographic space and how should this role be engaged?


Has the ANC failed to discern the sophistication of the Western Cape voter base as race informed? Can the ANC free itself from to make this non-racial ethic count and if so how?


Is this not the fulcrum of the palpable ever simmering tension of incongruence for embracing a multi-racial reality from which you attempt to make possible redress, when you espouse in double-speak non-racialism, the same you prognosticate to condemn others who practice their racial preferences?


Perhaps the greater question is how does the ANC as political leader allow the non-racial identity to be filled with content?


The logical result of the apartheid struggle saw the African National Congress assuming a democratic office at the dawn of democracy committed to the espoused values of non-racialism and non-sexism.


Since these ideals are principally what drives the ANC as leading party how are these to be actualized in a practical sense?


How sustainable is this embrace of race in description and defining a common humanity? How helpful is a race-based notion for the dream of social cohesion, or does it undo it from the start?


It is then perhaps befitting to conclude my lament in citing again arguably the greatest scholar from the Cape, Neville Alexander, when he poignantly remonstrates ‘the apparent unawareness of the implications of continuing the racial typecasting that was perpetrated by apartheid’s grey men, supposedly in order to eliminate ‘racism’, is counterintuitive, given the profusion of ‘non-racial’ rhetoric.’



  1. Alexander, N. 2013: “Thoughts on the New South Africa’, Jacana Publishing
  2. Brockman, John :2015. ‘This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress’ (Edge Question Series)Paperback– February 17, 2015 (Pages 80- 83)
  3. Maylam, P: 2001“ south Africa’s Racial Order” Some Historical Reflections, (paper presented as the Conference on the Burden of Race? “ Whiteness and Blackness in Modern South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2001)
  4. Posel, D: 2001: “Race as Common Sense: racial Classification in Twentieth Century South Africa’, African Studies Review, 44 1(2001) 87-113, 109