Opinion

  • Internet Expropriation Without Compensation: Politics and Investment of Cryptos

    Written by Charles Sewela

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    Investing is an integral part of growing wealth over time. This is common knowledge. However, for the longest time, the space of investing has been left to pension fund managers, hedge fund managers and other financial managers in. While this has proven (somewhat) effective in growing the wealth of investors, ultimately those who manage these funds often make clients sign contracts that bind said client to making annual or monthly obligatory payments, subsequent failure of which could often see such investments “lapsing”. Others have seen clients place their money in the custody of commercial banks in mid and long term investment options. Most of which is then used as loans or as means of investing in property and other forms of income generation which ultimately benefits the bank far more than it benefits the investing clients, with the client seeing meager 4 to 8 percent returns annually, with all natures of added penalties/charges for early or emergency withdrawals of one’s OWN MONEY.

    Investing in cryptos, individually or as collectives could vastly reduce the amount of money going to Mr. Big Bank, and see more returns reverting back to the common man. How so? There are a number of possibilities, some of which have already proven successful within the conventional financial environment.

    From Stokvels, to pension funds, to buying income-generating property and assets offshore (as hedge funds do), to making investments in local businesses as investors and subsequent shareholders, to simply buying and holding cryptos and eventually selling them at profit when the value increases relative to the local currency. There are plenty of applications that can be applied to the generation of wealth within the cryptocurrency markets that can then translate to wealth in the common man’s pocket; with a lot more freedom to the investor to withdraw upon need, and deposit at will. This is not to say that cryptos are a be-all-end-all of financial markets. No, instead, the new and developing frameworks that have come to the fore with the advent of cryptos and crypo-driven business have opened up a pandora’s box of opportunities to make money (or be scammed of money) in a host of new-age ways that governments are yet to effectively regulate/stifle to the benefit of the oligopoly industries of global financiers and bankers.

    Modern governments regulate the means by which money is generated, the means by which money flows into the hands of the public (initially through bank loans at the genesis of the economy), the means by which that money flows back to the state (through taxes) and the means by which the value of that money is set, changed and maintained. Examples of this can be seen in the financial policies set by central reserve banks, which are, more often than not, private entities with private boards and shady, questionable mandates. These reserve banks are usually backed by a state’s monopoly on violence (state’s policing and military authority), and international consensus by markets which are ultimately regulated by both private and public agents of those reserve banks (think state treasury committees, entities responsible for setting financial regulatory policy, ratings agencies responsible for informing market sentiment, etc.).

    The decentralized and, often, pseudo anonymous nature of decentralized digital currencies means that money supply has, for the first time (quite possibly in all of human civilized history) been democratized. The establishment of market sentiment, value consensus and, most tellingly, money supply are all functions of the digital/internet public when it comes to the cryptocurrency sphere. This in itself is quite possibly one of the most sophisticated coups on financial markets ever perpetrated by the general public, subverted only by that same public’s lack of realization of the magnitude of this fact and situation. The financiers and state authorities of some nations (most notably China) have awoken to this reality and have begun to crack down on the cryptocurrency markets and the platforms that power them in the country (remember ‘state monopoly on violence’?). Others have been slower to react, relying on the public’s complacency and ignorance to the reality begging at the door.

    The size of the network that drives a digital currency is a measure of the robustness of a currency, while the number of transactions that take place on that network is a measure of the public’s support and adoption rate for that currency, this is what we can alternatively refer to as the value consensus (the publicly and generally agreed upon value). Where a currency has the support of a community, that currency has power. As opposed to power by monopoly on violence, such a currency has power by community adoption and confidence; living and dying by market consensus, rather than living and dying by the gun of the state.

    Some of the concepts that make crypto currencies so attractive include the ease of transfer from one account to another, the ability to divide a currency unit into fractions for trade and exchange purposes and the low cost of transferring a unit or its relative fractions. However, one of the most telling and most important value propositions to date is that of anonymous transactions. The idea of being able to safely and anonymously exchange value between two parties is important. This serves as a means of firstly, protecting parties to a transaction from traceability and economic persecution. It also serves to ensure transactions are private and the digital assets of an individual or entity are safe and cryptographically secured. What this suggests is that a holder of digital assets need only secure the address of their wallet (where their value is held) and the password that grants access to that wallet. They need not provide individually identifying information that would ultimately compromise anonymity. The reverse side to this is that transactions can in most cases with most currencies be traced back to an address but the owner of said address does not necessarily need to be public knowledge.

    This implies that one can found, for argument’s sake, a stokvel group (some or other form of investment or community fund), with group participants from anywhere in the world. The finances of that fund group could be managed by a trusted third party such as a reputable online platform that will dispense the contributions to recipients according to agreed, transparent schedules, with beneficiaries stating accurately their receiving addresses. Checks and balances around how to successfully, safely and confidently implement business policies with regards to such applications would simply be a matter of formality.

     

  • Defend VBS Against A Hostile Take Over & Put Your Money Into Their Bank

    By Pinky Khoabane

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    WHAT happened at VBS Mutual Bank is nothing short of a hostile takeover. It illustrates, once again, how regulations by governments working in cahoots with the big boys of business simply kill the smaller players. When VBS lent former President Jacob Zuma a loan and came into prominence, it’s dealings came under scrutiny.

    On Sunday, Governor of Reserve Bank Lesetja Kganyago placed VBS under curatorship. VBS had apparently flouted mutual bank laws by accepting deposits from municipalities in violation of the law. In the  letter by VBS Chairman Thifhiwa Matodzi to Kuben Naidoo of treasury,  it is clear that once the bank became aware of the possible violation, it approached treasury for clarity. Treasury instead of responding simply ignored them while on the other hand, it kept instructing municipalities to withdraw the money from that bank. This caused a liquidity problem for the bank, to which it sought to find a solution by writing letters to treasury.

    Treasury if it was acting in good faith, could have asked the municipalities to withdraw the money over a period of time to allow for sustainability of the bank. But it didnt. It wanted the bank to crash.

    It could have even issued a commercial licence to ensure the developmental agenda of our country is met – safeguarding a small bank whose shareholding is Black from collapse. That is what radical economic transformation requires – bold moves which are meant to bring Blacks into mainstream economy. The apartheid government gave their Afrikaner banks bailouts to help sustain them. Democratic SA wouldn’t, it wanted the bank to crash.

    But there’s also the puzzling case of Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which has a 27% in VBS, seemingly not being aware of the mutual bank laws. VBS’ growth strategy included seeking business from municipalities, why didnt PIC flag this as a violation?

    If stories going around that the curator was already known during the first week of March, despite meetings between the parties, seeking solutions to the problem, then this curatorship is forced – forced to ensure the bank collapsed allowing for new ownership.

    It is a sad day for Black entrepreneurship and flies in the face of the much talked about need to bring Blacks into the mainstream economy. A survey by 27four Investment Managers, which measures transformation in the financial sector, says that, of the R4.6-trillion industry assets, only R415.5-billion — or 9% — is managed by black firms. We ought not be deterred by this move by bullies but instead we ought to all boycott the commercial banks and take our money to VBS. We at UnCensored already have, in line with our decision to Buy Black and Bank Black. Imagine all those stokvels, if they could take their money to VBS?


    UnCensored is an independent, self-funded platform whose goal is to tell the stories that commercial media ignore.

    We give voice to the political views you won’t find in mass media. We focus on corporate corruption which is largely hidden, and the restoration of Africa’s historical and cultural place in the world.

    We believe that the only way Black people can escape the physical and psychological shackles of colonialism and apartheid is by restoring Africa’s distorted, maligned and obscured place in world history.

    If everyone who reads UnCensored, assisted in funding it, they would be helping in keeping alive the alternative view of the world. We therefore have a small favour to ask. That you keep this platform alive by contributing both financially and by submitting stories and other resources such as research.

    You can contribute here:

    Account Name: UnCensored Opinion.

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    Thanking you in advance.


     

  • Dear Poland – Your Holocaust Law Fools No One. No One Forgets

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    A letter from Bradley Burston, Haaretz Correspondent, to Poland on a law passed by that country to fine or imprison anyone who accuses it of being complicit in Nazi crimes. Burston says “No One Forgets”. No matter how much revisionism, history stands to tell the tales of the horror suffered under the Third German Reich. A lesson for South Africa….no matter how many times we can be told to move on…history bears the heinous crimes of colonialism and apartheid. And those stories shall be told, over and over, so that, as former President Nelson Mandela said: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the talk of the world”. 


    Dear Poland

    You really sure you want to go down this road?

    That law you passed this month. “Whoever accuses … the Polish nation, or the Polish state, of being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich shall be subject to a fine or a penalty of imprisonment of up to three years”.

    Who do you think you’re fooling?

    In country after country, Holocaust survivors make up the stories of those Ukrainians and Lithuanians and Latvians and, Russians and, yes, Poles, who proved themselves more enthusiastic than the Germans in hunting down and slaughtering Jews.
    No one forgets a thing. The survivors forgot nothing of what they went through. What was done to them. And by whom.

    They’ve told their stories. You can’t legislate away actual memories. This can’t be washed. It doesn’t go away.

    You can sentence the truth to three years, or 30 to life. The truth doesn’t change. Because, in the end, nobody forgets anything.

    Just as nobody forgets the thousands of Poles who saved Jews during the war, nobody forgets those Polish neighbors who ratted out the Jewish family next door. Or the thousands of Poles who aided the Nazis in other ways.

    Your prime minister can say there were Polish perpetrators, just as there were Jewish perpetrators. No one’s fooled, unless you are.

    There were survivors who returned home to find that the Polish neighbor who turned them in, had been only too happy to take over the Jewish family’s property and move into their home.

    Nobody forgets that after the war, when the few Jews still alive managed to make it home, Poles initiated and carried out murderous pogroms against survivors. No Germans involved.
    More than a full year after the war ended, in July 1946, a blood libel rumor spread in the Polish town of Kielce, which before the Holocaust had been home to 24,000 Jews. Fewer than 200 made it back alive.
    It took three days for the blood libel to spread, and then a mob of Polish soldiers, police officers and civilians shot or beat to death at least 42 Jews and seriously injured 50 more.

    Dear Poland, you really want to go there?
    You can pass all the laws you want. You’re fooling yourselves, and only yourselves, if you think this is going to change a thing.
    Because nobody forgets anything.

    Bradley Burston
    Haaretz Correspondent

     

  • VAT Increase Hits Poor The Hardest. Cosatu Knows It, Will It Embark on Anti-VAT Campaign of 1991?

    By Pinky Khoabane

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    IT doesn’t matter which way you want to look at yesterday’s budget speech, it simply does nothing for the poor. The increase in value added tax (VAT) from 14% to 15%, the first in democratic South Africa, and the increase in fuel levy, wipe out the gains the poor would have made in the increases in social grants.

    Ahead of the budget speech, labour union COSATU, warned against increases in VAT and income tax for the middle class and the poor. “Cosatu expects government not to throw the working and middle classes under the bus with VAT and income tax hikes,” it said in a pre-budget statement.

    Well, government has, without having heeded the various discussions on how to best balance the budget shortfall. Suggestions have included increasing the number of basic goods which have been zero rated, increasing corporate income tax and introducing a wealth tax. And the protectors of the wealthy, who include the media, have already come out to minimise the impact of a VAT increase on the poor while ignoring completely the fact that taxation of the rich has been extremely low.

    Newspaper headlines will scream that the increase in VAT was made to pay for free education. The fact is free education for the poor is an absolute necessity in this unequal society of ours and the money to pay for it could have been found elsewhere.

    Minister Malusi Gigaba, in presenting his budget speech yesterday, said a VAT increase wasn’t meant to hurt the poor. Well it will and he knows it.

    A report titled “Lifting the lid on VAT” by Gilad Isaacs published in a Wits University newsletter shows, clearly, how an increase in VAT harms the poor and lower income earners. Furthermore, it shows the low levels of taxation on the rich. “Despite wealth inequality in South Africa being extreme – the top 10% of South Africans hold at least 90-95% of its wealth, while the top 1% holds 50% or more of its wealth – taxation on wealth, or income from wealth held, is low. This includes direct taxation on assets (such as property), income from holding assets (such as capital gains) and inheritance,” the article reads.

    The author argues that VAT is a regressive tax. “VAT – charged on most goods and services at a rate of 14% – is levied irrespective of how much somebody earns, making it a regressive tax. In fact, taxes on goods (VAT plus excise duty) hit the poor hardest. The lowest earning 10% spend 13.8% of their disposable income on these taxes compared to 12.6% of the highest earning 10%.

    “The Davis Tax Committee admits that raising the VAT rate would increase inequality. It would also make basic goods more expensive and necessitate a proportional increase in social grants and wages in order to maintain the buying power of the poor and workers,” the article says.

    Although the wealthy pay higher taxes in South Africa, this does not go far enough in comparison to other developing countries. “… the share of revenue from personal income tax (PIT) fell from 43% in 1999 to 30% in 2007. This is despite strong growth in the number of PIT taxpayers and significant wage growth amongst higher-income earners. It is largely due to falling PIT rates and strong corporate profits, and the consistently high share of VAT. The significant decrease in the tax rate for the highest earners is shown in Table 2 – their tax rate fell from 45% in 1990 to 41% in 2016 (in the two decades prior to democracy it averaged 51%)”.

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    “South Africa has no annual “net wealth tax” that would tax the total value of wealth held in a given year.

    Considering that large amounts of wealth were accumulated under apartheid, that this wealth is passed between generations, and that black earners have less assets to begin with and must support a higher number of dependents, these low taxes on wealth are indefensible and perpetuate inequality”.

    Read the full report here http://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/in-their-own-words/2018/2018-02/lifting-the-lid-on-a-vat-increase.html

    Will the COSATU of today wage an anti-VAT Campaign as it did on 5 November 1991? At the time, the labour movement called a two-day nation-wide strike to demonstrate its opposition to government’s intention to impose VAT on basic food stuffs, healthcare and essential services.

    “Cosatu will not support any attempt by government to balance budget shortfalls and deficits upon the backs of struggling workers. Workers are not the ones who have looted Eskom, SAA and the state.”

    “Any increase in taxes on the poor will further condemn them to hunger and stifle economic growth. Government must remember workers are voters and they are tired.”

    We wait and see what form this opposition to the increase in taxes will take.

    Here’s the full article Lifting The Lid On A Vat Increase

    http://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/in-their-own-words/2018/2018-02/lifting-the-lid-on-a-vat-increase.html

  • From Jamaica’s Marcus Garvey Came An African Vision Of Freedom

    By Jordan Friedman via USA TODAY

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    Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey is shown in a military uniform as the ‘Provisional President of Africa’ during a parade up Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York City, in August 1922, during the opening day exercises of the annual Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World.
    (Photo: AP)

    Molefi Kete Asante, professor and chair of the Africology and African American studies department at Temple University in Philadelphia, describes Marcus Garvey as probably “the most significant African political genius that has ever lived.”

    “He infused the idea of black self-sufficiency in all of the societies and communities in the black world —the idea of ‘you can organize and create institutions that fight for your own liberation,’” Asante says. He says Garvey is also responsible for symbols such as the red, green and black Pan-African flag.

    Experts say Garvey’s philosophies of black nationalism and Pan-Africanism – movements that called for people of African descent to unify and establish an independent nation in Africa – helped pave the way for the civil rights movement. Garvey’s quest for black self-reliance, they say, would be felt for generations.

    “He infused the idea of black self-sufficiency in all of the societies and communities in the black world — the idea of, you can organize and create institutions that fight for your own liberation.”

    Garvey, who was born in Jamaica in 1887, believed that white society would never treat black people equally. He founded the anti-colonial Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League in Jamaica in 1914. The organization is commonly known by the abbreviation UNIA.

    The association created a societal model of black nationalism and Pan-Africanism through political, economic and social means, says Robert Hill, a research professor of history at UCLA and a Garvey expert. The UNIA also established the Universal African Legion, a paramilitary group, as well as the Black Cross Nurses, a group modeled after the Red Cross that provided health care to black communities. Garvey also established the Black Star Line steamship company, which transported passengers and goods to Africa.

    The organizations moved to New York City’s Harlem neighborhood when Garvey immigrated to America in 1916.

    Marcus Garvey’s ideas on Pan-Africanism and black nationalism
    Marcus Garvey’s ideas on Pan-Africanism and black nationalism were precursors to the U.S. civil rights movement. (Photo: Library of Congress)

    Garvey was also a journalist and publisher who shared his ideas by creating the Negro World newspaper in 1918. The publication served as the voice for the UNIA, with circulation reaching all the way to Africa.

    After the move to Harlem, Garvey’s movement swelled. By the early 1920s, the UNIA had more than 700 branches in 38 states. At the peak of the movement, Hill says, Garvey had a following in the hundreds of thousands.

    Asante says Garvey took inspiration from such figures as Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute, who sought to improve education for African Americans; the leaders of the Haitian Revolution, including Toussaint L’Ouverture and Henri Christophe; and the maroons, escaped slaves who established free communities in Jamaica.

    Still, Garvey was a target of criticism, including from black leaders in the USA, says Rupert Lewis, professor emeritus in political thought at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. Lewis says some believed that Garvey’s ideas for resettlement were utopian and financially impractical.

    After World War I, the FBI closely followed Garvey. On its website, the FBI acknowledges seeking to “deport him as an undesirable alien.” In 1922, Garvey was convicted of mail fraud in connection with a stock sold to keep his Black Star Line from bankruptcy. After serving three years of his sentence, Garvey was released and deported to Jamaica.

    Garvey’s movement waned in the USA after his deportation, but his influence remains, historians say.

    “If you go on the streets of Jamaica, there are lots of images of Garvey on the walls,” Lewis says, adding that Garvey, who died in 1940, is commonly mentioned in the country’s music.

    Hill of UCLA says the Rastafari movement, a religion dating back to the 1930s and practiced throughout the Caribbean, reflects Garvey’s influence.

    Even Martin Luther King Jr. described Garvey as the “first man of color in the history of the United States to lead and develop a mass movement.”

    “You could claim that Garvey is the father of African independence,” Hill says. “I’d be willing to make that claim, and he’s regarded as such by many, many people in Africa.”

  • A Letter To My Son About Consent

    By Finn Wightman

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    Read the letter below


    I bumped into this letter on the Internet some years ago but it was to touch me for a very long time – and it still remains relevant today. I immediately got in touch with the author, a British woman who I refer to as my sister from across the seas.

    Each day when I read about rape, I think back at this letter and how we can all guide our children into adulthood which includes among others, talking about sex, making them understand consent and rape and its consequences.

    In recent weeks, my daughter, a drama student at Wits University, together with fellow 2nd-year students, put up a performance on the impact of rape on families. This play has been selected to go to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

    She’s now writing a play on the misconceptions and myths about rape. And when she told me, I immediately thought about this letter and asked her to read it. She was inspired and moved, and asked if I could get in touch with the author for permission to use the letter in her upcoming play. Wightman has agreed and I thought to republish this letter here, for all of us to read and be motivated to tackle the issue of rape.


    Dear D,

    I’m writing this letter after watching the parents in the Steubenville Rape Trial crying over their son as he was found guilty of rape. I’ll be completely honest with you; I can’t say that I found much pity in my heart for their pain. Instead I found myself thinking, ‘yes, you should be crying. Your son treated that girl like a toy, a rag, a nothing. You raised a boy that lacked even the most basic compassion for that girl as a fellow human being.’ I’m imagining your face right now, thinking ‘okay mom, not quite sure why you’re telling me this…’ Yep, brace yourself; mom’s got a bee in her bonnet. Just bear with me and carry on reading.

    You see, somehow this crying couple’s son and his friends were convinced they had a right to do as they pleased – either because they were brought up believing themselves to be above the rules, or because they were so lacking in common decency that they had no concept of how to treat other people. Whichever it was, the parents and coaches of Steubenville failed their sons and contributed to a culture where a girl was treated in the most heartless and disgraceful way for these boys amusement. The horrible truth is that as long as parents anywhere allow their boys to think that their wants are more important than other people’s rights this will continue to happen. I’m writing this letter to you because I don’t want to fail you in the same way. I love you too much to leave these things unsaid.

    I need you to know that writing this doesn’t mean that I think you would act like these boys did. Discussing the potential for bad behaviour doesn’t mean I think it’s inevitable, or even likely. It just means I need to know (for both our sakes) that I taught you what sexual freedoms and responsibilities really mean. Educating you about proper consent doesn’t mean I see you as a potential sexual predator, any more than my educating you about the safe use of matches presumed you were a potential arsonist. This is about safety; your safety and the safety of any potential sexual partner.

    I want you to consider a scenario. Imagine an average weekend when you’re staying at your mate’s house. You’ve had a good day laughing and joking with a group of people, some of whom you know and a couple of friends-of-friends. You’ve had a couple of drinks, laughed at stuff on the internet, played x-box for hours and then gradually drifted into various stages of getting comfortable, shedding some of your clothes and sleeping.

    Now imagine waking up to discover a man on top of you, having obviously had some kind of sex with you. I know that’s a shocking thought. Something you’ve probably never considered, even though male victims make up 8% of reported rapes. Imagine your shock, your disgust and your anger. Now imagine everyone telling you that it’s your fault.

    Would you feel that the fact that ‘you didn’t say no’ while it was happening made it okay? Or that the fact you were drunk or partly clothed or sleeping in public meant you’d put yourself at risk and were ‘asking for it? Would the fact that you’d spent some time together, been friendly, or accepted his offer of a drink, mean you were ‘sending out signals’ to him? Would the fact that you made a sexual joke earlier in the evening mean you were ‘up for it’? Would the fact that he heard you’d had sex with one of his friends, or relatives, be an acceptable reason? How about if you were walking home alone at night? Would you be actively putting yourself in danger and ‘partly responsible’ if a stranger dragged you into an alley and sexually assaulted you? If you accepted an invite to a friend’s house and he pinned you down on the sofa, would you be to blame for being alone with him?
    I’m convinced your answer to each of those would be a loud and vehement ‘no’ – quite rightly.

    So ask yourself this: if every single situation remained the same – except this time you’re female – does that make it acceptable? The answer, of course, is still no. No, nothing changes the lack of consent in these scenarios. Every one of those situations is sexual assault; no ifs, no buts, no maybes, and no excuses. Consent cannot be assumed, forced or taken. EVER. Consent is always, and only, something that is willingly given.

    So let’s be absolutely perfectly clear: Sexual acts that take place without consent are rape, and the only thing that means yes is the word yes.

    Not saying no does not mean yes.
    Not fighting you off does not mean yes.
    Not being awake does not mean yes.
    Not being sober does not mean yes.
    No type of clothing – or absence of clothing – means yes.
    No amount of previous partners means yes.

    Accepting a drink does not mean yes. Going out to dinner does not mean yes. Accepting a lift home in your car does not mean yes, and neither does an invitation in for coffee. Sitting next to you on the sofa does not mean yes. A gasp, sigh or returned caress does not mean yes. Erect flesh is not a yes – cold, fear, and even death can all cause the body to mimic the signs of sexual arousal. A yes to a kiss does not mean you can assume a yes to anything else. Never assume. Let me repeat that: NEVER ASSUME.

    Resist the dangerous temptation to hope a kiss will just drift into something more without talking about it. Understand that ‘trying it on’ or ‘pushing your luck’ or imagining you’re correctly ‘reading the signs’ are all just polite euphemisms for being willing to risk committing a sexual assault in the hope that your feelings are reciprocated. Seriously, don’t. Every single woman I know can reel off experiences with this. Don’t be that guy.

    The word yes is the only 100% unambiguous yes.

    So, how do you get to yes? You ask. Really, it’s that simple. Ask the question, hear the answer, and respond accordingly. Even if it’s not the answer you were hoping for. Especially if it’s not the answer you were hoping for. That’s the difference between two people enjoying sex together, and one person sexually assaulting the other. The only reliable invitations to sex are clear, unambiguous, and verbal. If asking and affirming seem too embarrassing to contemplate, then maybe you just aren’t ready for sex with another person.

    There’s only one person you should ever consider having unquestioning, silent sex with: yourself. That’s also the only person that might possibly ‘owe you’ an orgasm.

    I know, all this sounds like such a list of rules and obligations for something that’s meant to be ‘natural’. Too much effort, even – well that’s tough. The world should not be treated like a sexual all-you-can-eat buffet where you can just help yourself. That’s exactly the attitude that has those boys (quite rightly) sitting in a cell. Sex that involves anyone beyond yourself is never just about your desire. If you imagine that your desires ever allow you to coerce another person into fulfilling your sexual need, then you have to ask yourself if you are willing to personally face the consequences of that view. We’re right back to that scenario where some stranger decides to use your body to fulfill their sexual desires, regardless of your feelings. Or you end up in a cell. Think about what that mindset means for the female relatives that you love. Should they be ‘fair game’ to any person attracted to them – like some commodity? That’s the rape-culture mindset, right there. It’s why I’m taking the time to put my thoughts on to paper; because the best lesson I can teach you is the ability to recognise that your choices have consequences, for you and the people you involve in your decisions.

    So far, so negative… but there are real personal benefits to consent. Consensual sex is glorious. Verbal communication is hot. Listening to your partner and verbalising what you want will make you better in bed, and more responsive to each other’s needs. Talking about your desires and fantasies is far more likely to lead to them happening than hoping you’re dating a psychic. I’m sure your cringing at me now, but if you got this far there’s chocolate in the fridge, help yourself to it. Yes, this is a test.

    You might not think it now, but making sure the sex you are involved in always involves complete consent will be the best gift you can give your future self. You’ll never look at yourself in the mirror and wonder if you pushed someone to doing something they weren’t ready for. You’ll never be the hypocrite that lectures their child while hiding a guilty secret. You won’t be burdened with regret at the harm you personally caused someone. You’ll never look a woman who has been abused in the face and know you’re a part of what caused her hurt. Most of all, you’ll be a leader not a follower. You’ll never be that boy in court; instead you’ll be part of a better consciousness that will make the world a safer place for everyone.

    You’ll be the man I already see in you.

    With love, always, Mum xxx

    Rape Crisis https://rapecrisis.org.za/rape-in-south-africa/

    https://www.nacosa.org.za

    This article was first published in https://someviewsfromabroad.blogspot.co.za/2013/03/a-letter-to-my-son-about-consent.html

     

  • Zuma Is Gone & Leaves Behind The Woke Generation

    (FILES) In this file photo taken on August 08, 2017 South African President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses supporters outside the South African Parliament in Cape Town after surviving a Motion of No confidence. South Africa postponed the State of the Nation address on February 6, 2018 parliament speaker Baleka Mbete announced. / AFP PHOTO / PIETER BAUERMEISTER

    FORMER President Jacob Zuma finally left office last night in what has been a painful four or five years, with the last year perhaps being the most excruciating. Frankly, it was just too painful to watch and the last month-and-a-half even more so.

    The Sunday Independent’s Editor Steve Motale, when he was still at the Citizen, penned an apology to Zuma in which he spoke of the machinations by the media against the former president. They never liked him from the onset, he said. He had not gone to formal school and had come into office with allegations of corruption anyway.

    The media and elite’s hatred for Zuma endeared him to the rank and file, some of whom were inspired by the uneducated man from Nkandla who rose to become the president of the country.

    Having been fired by former President Thabo Mbeki as the deputy president in 2005,  Zuma clawed his way back into politics to beat Mbeki in Polokwane in what was a brutal defeat from which Mbeki people never recovered.

    Leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) have always been in the back pocket of one businessman or another. While former presidents Nelson Mandela and Mbeki aligned themselves with white monopoly capitalists in the form of the Oppenheimer and Rupert families, Zuma went with the Indians; his former financial advisor Shabir Schaik who, through a dubious parole, currently serves his sentence for corruption & fraud outside prison; and the Gupta family.

    Apart from the litany of allegations of corruption against him, most of which are currently in the courts, Zuma’s administration has delivered some small consolation for the poor; the world’s largest roll-out of antiretrovirals and recently, free education. After 24 years in power, this is all the ANC could deliver to its people. The inequality gap is stifling, with the rich getting richer and the poor struggling to put bread on the table. Corruption is rife and it’s not only committed in the corridors of the public sector as many would like us to believe, but the private sector too.

    But what for me has been the success of the Zuma era is a change in the way we view the world today. Due to his foreign policy, shunning the Western financial hegemony and looking to the Eastern bloc through Brics, Zuma has managed to move a section of very vocal people towards challenging the status quo. We’ve heard them demand a free, quality and decolonized education. They called for radical economic emancipation, the state bank an a review of the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank. They got all of those at the ANC’s national conference in December.

    He has inadvertently spearheaded an alternative voice for the people, within which there’s a rise in black consciousness – awareness for and pride in blackness. He leaves behind the Woke Generation which will vigorously demand the implementation of the progressive policies accepted at the last ANC national conference.

  • Immunity For Jacob Zuma? What Of Equality Before The Law & De Klerk?

    By Pinky Khoabane

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    SA President Jacob Zuma (left) ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa (right) – the headache facing the ANC

    THERE has been much speculation about the secret negotiations taking place between South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa. This right here is a major headache for the ANC – the term of office of the ANC president ending before that of the president of the Republic and thereby creating two centres of power and conflict between the state president and the party president. This is really messy business; Ramaphosa is the deputy president of the country and answers to Zuma in government but Zuma is his subordinate at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House. But power resides at Luthuli House as we’ve witnessed in recent decisions taken by Ramaphosa such as those taken at power utility Eskom.

    The ANC has struggled to manage this transition since former President Thabo Mbeki lost power to the current president. Such was the friction between the two men that Mbeki had to be recalled in 20 September 2008 with about nine months left in his second term. The reason given for the recall at the time, was the implications of Judge Chris Nicholson’s ruling that Mbeki may have been involved in a political conspiracy against Zuma. A unanimous Supreme Court of Appeal judgement dismissed the Nicholson Zuma judgement.

    But back to this much talked about issue of negotiations, with some saying the discussions are about immunity for the President. Since the first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this year, it’s been reported that Zuma had made several demands if he’s to step down. They allegedly range between demands for security for his family and immunity for himself. Stemming from that has been the debate of whether he could be granted such immunity. Ramaphosa was recently quoted in the media as saying that immunity from prosecution for Zuma was not what they’d been discussing in the transition negotiations. But as we’ve seen in the past week, fake news has been the order of the day as those getting impatient with ANC’s tackling of the matter have gone on propaganda overdrive. The matter persists despite Ramaphosa’s denials.

    I’m not au fait with the law but if indeed the negotiations involve immunity,  I wondered if Ramaphosa could negotiate a deal outside the courts. The idea of resolving disputes outside courts is often done and the question is whether such a deal stands before the law.

    Then there’s the presidential pardon which used to allow the president to make the decision alone and could not be questioned about it. However, a constitutional court judgement in the case between President of the Republic of South Africa and another (department of correctional services) v Hugo http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/1997/4.html confirms that any decision by the president to pardon anyone should abide by the Constitution and could be reviewed by a court.

    In short, John Phillip Hugo, a prisoner who, on 6 December, 1991, commenced serving an effective sentence of fifteen and a half years challenged a presidential pardon of a certain category of prisoners. The category of direct relevance to Hugo’s case was “all mothers in prison on 10 May 1994, with minor children under the age of twelve (12) years”.

    Some nine years prior to his incarceration, Hugo married and a child was born of that marriage on 11 December 1982. The respondent’s wife died in 1987.

    The judgement read: “It is common cause that the respondent would have qualified for remission, but for the fact that he was the father (and not the mother) of his son who was under the age of twelve years at the relevant date.

    “The respondent alleged that the Presidential Act was in violation of the provisions of section 8(1) and (2) of the interim Constitution in as much as it unfairly discriminated against him on the ground of sex or gender and indirectly against his son in terms of section 8(2) because his incarcerated parent was not a female.

    “The application was upheld, the court finding that the Presidential Act discriminated against the respondent and his son on the ground of gender”.

    I refer to the Hugo case because I wondered if other prisoners wouldn’t or couldn’t appeal the presidential pardon if one were given to the current president, apart from which prosecution must be made before a pardon is given. Then of course is the noble idea of equality before the law even though it’s not applied in reality: If Zuma why not me?

    Equality Before The Law

    Zuma faces several charges of corruption – 18 charges and at times we hear they are 783. But what about all the apartheid operatives like the last apartheid president F W De Klerk who led a system declared a crime against humanity? We know the brutal massacres against Blacks perpetrated by De Klerk’s government.When does he stand trial for his atrocities? And when are the same South Africans calling so vehemently for Zuma’s head going to do the same for De Klerk?

    Zuma must face the law like any other citizen and so should De Klerk and all others who have been implicated in wrong-doing.

  • South Africa in The 60s & 70s: Stories of Fun, Joy & Humiliation During The Dark Days Of Apartheid

    Despite the brutal humiliation of apartheid, it could not suppress the vibrant culture which developed in the townships writes Greg Alexander Mashaba

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    Two weeks ago I attended together with my brother Juba the funeral of the father of a close family friend. The funeral service which was held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Protea North, Soweto was that of Daniel Rammuki Moketeli, who was affectionately known as “Bra Mocke”. Sad and solemn events as funerals invariably are, the event was punctuated by eruptions of laughter as speakers recounted their experiences with Bra Mocke.

    By way of introduction, Bra Mocke, an avid sportsman, was specifically brought to Johannesburg from Thaba Nchu in 1967, to play for an amateur football club, Army Rockets. He played football with legends like former Kaizer Chiefs star Ryder Mofokeng. Mofokeng himself gave a moving eulogy of Bra Mocke, relating how they played football under the most humiliating conditions. Amongst the incidents related, by yet another speaker, was how they had to travel to Westnoria in the far western Transvaal , sitting in the back of a truck to play against another amateur club based there. During the game, Bra Mocke had humiliated their opponents with his ball-juggling skills. This resulted in a mini riot involving both players and spectators.

    Like millions of his black compatriots all over South Africa, Bra Mocke was denied access to all the social amenities which were however built in abundance for our white oppressors. He played soccer on a dusty field, without the luxury of wearing proper football boots. In sharp contrast to that, our white oppressors had access to state of the art facilities. Even white school children had beautiful and well-constructed football and rugby fields within their school premises. The notorious Reservation of Separate Amenities Act was specifically enacted to ensure that the best amenities available, the football and rugby fields, the parks etc were reserved only for use by white people. The only time a black person could access such facility was strictly only as a cleaner or a gardner .The sick irony this policy is portrayed in a scene from one of the Irishman , Dave Allen’s comedies, wherein a Catholic priest walks into a chapel and finds a young black man polishing the floor. The conversation which ensued between the two was more or less along the following lines:

    Priest: “What are you doing here? You know that you are not supposed to come into this chapel!”.

    Black cleaner: “ I am very sorry Father but I am only polishing the floor…”

    Priest : “ Ok, but remember, I must not catch you praying! “

    The architect of apartheid , Hendrick Verwoed was unambiguous in describing the fate of the Africans : “…the white man, therefore , not only has an undoubted stake in – and a right to the land which developed into a modern industrial state from denuded grassland and empty valleys and mountains. But – according to all principles of morality- it was his, is his , and must remain his”.

    I am relating this particular story of Bra Mocke because it is my intention herein to bring back to mind, to those of us who were around then (very young as we were), and to inform the generations which come after ours, of the vibrant culture, lifestyle, and attitudes which informed the way of life of our people during that particular period. The story of Bra Mocke tells us how a simple young man was prepared to leave his ancestral family seat and travel to the big metropolitan area which is Johannesburg, far from friends and family, simply for the love of football. He endured the humiliation of travelling long distances sitting on the back of a truck to play a rival football club simply because he loved the sport. There was no remuneration of any kind . Money, flashy cars, and so-called celebrity status did not feature at all in the equation. Selfless sacrifice for love of both community and the country informed the attitudes of that generation.

    The brutal system of apartheid could not suppress the vibrant culture which developed in the townships which were situated around all major metropolitan areas. We had great musical legends such as Simon Nkabinde “Mahlathini”, Mahotela Queens, the Dark City Sisters, Izintombi Zomgqashiyo, Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje, Hansford Mthembu , Mpharanyana and The Cannibals, Babsy Mlangeni, The Movers, The Beaters, Isibaya Esikhulu and many others.

    The visits to my paternal grandmother’s place in Rockville were particularly a revelation of the high level of sophistication of our people. You see my dear comrades and you, our beloved readers, my grandmother Lydia Bandes operated a sophisticated sheebeen situated in Makupso Street, Rockville. It was frequented by prominent figures such as Casey Motsisi, Can Themba, renowned reporter Bob Mafuna, Reggie Mbhele etc. Those high-end clients were accommodated in the lounge and they drank spirituous alcohol such as brandy and gin. They normally conversed in English. In the kitchen, Ouma ( as our grandmother was affectionately known), accommodated the ambulance and bus drivers . Among these were people like Ntate Letsapa who had apparently served in the Afrika Corps during the Second World War. People like Ntate Letsapa generally consumed beer. A third group of patrons, the poor working class had to sit on benches and stools outside, under Ouma’s grapevine. This last group was generaly-speaking served only traditional beer, umqombhothi. Young as I was, this sensitised me at an early age, of the nature of class structure, a reality even amongst Africans. But another reason for serving spirituous alcohol only to Ouma’s more sophisticated clients was simply because Africans needed to have a special permit in order to buy and consume spirituous alcohol. Whether one got such permit depended on the applicant’s level of education . Thus my father being a school principal had such licence even though he himself did not drink alcohol. He used his permit to buy spirituous alcohol for those of his friends and relatives who did not satisfy the legal criteria.

    Visitors to Ouma’s place often drove those long convertibles such as the Chevrolet Impala ( which was dubbed “six mabone “ because of the six rear lights), the Biscayne (which my father also once owned), the Plymoth etc. They dressed in the finest linen and stepped out in the most expensive of shoes. My dad himself bought most of his clothes from Hepworths, which was renowned as one of the best gentlemen’s outfitters in South Africa.

    Despite this level of sophistication, the isolation from the rest of the world which came about as result of the policy of apartheid had the effect of sowing the seeds of ignorance in the psyche of the suppressed black masses . The fact that black people in general and Africans in particular were regarded as being inferior to their white oppressors simply by virtue of their race and cultural beliefs made some of our people to lack pride in their African identity. One manifestation of such ignorance was the rampant use of skin-lightening creams by Africans. The radio broadcasts on Radio Bantu, the station which was meant to cater for Africans, were often punctuated by advertisement of such skin-lightening creams like Ambi, Karoo, Aviva and many others. A lot of our poor African compatriots were severely disfigured as a direct result of use of such creams.

    Being light-skinned was associated with being beautiful. That is probably how an old wedding song which was sung in the African townships as the bride emerged called on all to come see the beautiful bride, a bride whose beauty made her look like a coloured ( ie a person of mixed race). The lyrics in SeSotho were more or less as follows:

    “Tswang, tswang, tswang le mmone. Ngwana o tshwana le le-coloured! “

    It was largely due to the campaign by our comrades in the Black Conscious Movement and the Pan African Congress that our people were gradually discouraged from singing this song.

    Another manifestation of ignorance was the use by the oppressed themselves of racist and derogatory terms such as “ i Kula” (ie “coolie”) and “i bossman”, the latter being the derogatory term used to insult compatriots of mixed race. As I recounted in one my articles on the question of the coloured people in South Africa, some of our coloured people themselves believed that they were racially superior to their African compatriots.

    Years later after our family had settled in Swaziland, we were dismayed to hear one of our South African compatriots using a racist and derogatory term during an interview which was screened on Swaziland television. That interview followed the conclusion of a big musical concert held at Somhlolo National Stadium which had featured many prominent musicians from both South Africa and abroad. Upon being asked to give his assessment of the festival, this compatriot, resplendent in his permed afro and bell-bottomed trousers, remarked: “Asibafuni laba bebekhona….next time sifuna balethe ama negroe afana nabo Diana Ross…(!)” (i.e. “we were not impressed with the line-up of artists….next time they must bring negroes like Diana Ross…..”).

    I had already joined the ANC and was always at pains to impress upon our Swazi hosts the fact that we were politically and socially more advanced. This compatriot who spoke on Swaziland television exposed the falsity of such claims. It really was a very embarrassing episode.

    Before moving to Swaziland, my father had acquired a post as principal of Lindile Secondary School, situated in Wesselton, Ermelo, about a hundred kilometres or so from our traditional family seat of Witbank (present-day Emalahleni). The conditions were particularly harsh there, more so because we lived in those infamous “matchbox” houses. Unlike the “matchbox” houses in Soweto which were made of face brick, those in Ermelo were made from a mixture of cement and ash. Thus on a cold or a rainy day the occupants would be exposed to the strong odour of ash. Small wonder my elder bother Martin and myself would a few years later develop asthma.

    Apart from bearing daily insults and threats from our white oppressors, two historical factors remain a grim reminder of the tough conditions under which we lived in Ermelo.

    The first was the yearly walk on Republic Day, 31 May, when we were forced to walk in straight lines to the ground adjacent to the community hall in Wesselton where we were given small bottles of Coca Cola, one bun and a packet of sweets. Although we despised the holiday which marked the establishment of the racist apartheid republic, we grudgingly looked forward to sitting on the grass in tight formations and consuming the refreshments we had been given, under the watchful eye of dozens of police. Coca Cola was a luxury which most of us could not afford to buy. Attendance, from what I can remember, was compulsory. We choked on those buns and Coca Cola largely because we consumed them in fear of the dreaded squads of policemen who monitored us from the backs of trucks and lorries.

    The second major event (and that is strictly from my own personal experience), was the outbreak of a terrible skin disease. That skin disease spread virtually through all of the African townships in South Africa. The major symptom was very intense and severe itching all over the body. Temporary relief could only come about as a result of one rapidly scratching oneself all over the body. For that reason , the epidemic was called “ lekker krap” in the townships. There was even a song about “lekker krap”. I am personally not sure what the cause of this epidemic was. However it seems to have come in the wake of a prolonged draught which had in turn led to the scarcity of white maize. The racist authorities then rolled out yellowish mealie meal. It was largely believed that the epidemic was caused by a chemical which was to be found in the yellow mealie meal. It was also largely believed that the racist authorities had put that chemical in the mealie meal so that African males would loose their virility, suffer erectile dysfunction, and our women counterparts would become barren. The logic followed was that this would cut down the size of the African population. Whether that thesis bears any credence is of no consequence to myself, suffice to say that I bore intense pain and suffering as result of that epidemic. Even after we moved across the border to Swaziland, I still regularly suffered from the effects of that disease. Thus to this day, the lower part of both of my legs still bears scars of that illness.

    As for the notorious architect and implementer of the policy of apartheid Hendrick Verwoed, he met his fate when he was stabbed to death while giving a speech in the racist parliament. His killer was Dimitri Tsafendas, an assistant in parliament whose duty was to serve tea and water to our racist oppressors while they discussed strategies of enforcing their barbaric system upon us. Although I had not even started my primary school education, I remember very well how the townships erupted in celebration at news of the death of Verwoed. In our own home it was my dad, though a devout Catholic, who correctly led us in the celebration of the death of Verwoed. As in the case of “lekker krap”, a song on the stabbing of Verwoed spread like wildfire in the townships. A new phrase also arose whereby the act of stabbing was called “ukuTsafenda “ ( ie “to Tsafenda”). Thus if someone threatened one with a knife, instead of saying “ I will stab you”, the new threat was “ Ngizoku Tsafenda”, ( ie I will Tsafenda you!).

    There are many stories to be told of life under apartheid. Some are stories of joy and celebration while others tell of humiliation. Indeed every black South African can write volumes regarding their own personal experiences. I wrote these few pages as a way of getting other compatriots to do the same. We owe it to future generations to preserve our history , with all its humiliation, joys and suffering.

  • The Measure Of A Democracy Is Defending The Rights Of Those You Despise – MultiChoice/ANN7

    By Pinky Khoabane

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    LET’s get the lies out of the way so that we can address the real dangers of monopolies, monopoly power, censorship and the powerlessness of the ruling ANC government against monopolies, that are playing-out in the decision by Multichoice not to renew its contract with ANN7 when it expires in August 2018.

    The satellite television provider announced yesterday that ANN7 would be removed from DSTV’s platform following a public outcry by those who despise the Guptas and by extension, the television channel that they once owned.

    Multichoice has given no clear reasons for its decision except for a great deal of waffle about “mistakes” that were made, “due diligence” that wasn’t done and “in light of the ongoing controversies it won’t be appropriate to renew ANN7’s current contract when it ends in August”. What these controversies are is not clear. It’s not clear whether they relate to allegations of state capture by the Guptas or allegations that Multichoice paid ANN7 R25m and the SABC over R100m to influence government’s digital migration policy in favour of Multichoice and to maintain its monopoly power in the pay-tv sector.

    Firstly, we need to place in context the calls to shut down ANN7. They don’t emanate from last year’s allegations of corruption against the Guptas. The battle started when news broke that people of a darker skin  shade and who were aligned to the ANC, were entering the media industry.

    We have to understand what the media industry is – it is a battleground for shaping people’s views on life. The media is a tool through which the powerful decide what and how we must think about the world. In protecting their turf, media employ a combination of tactics, including straightforward propaganda and scare mongering.

    The narrative that we should be afraid of the Gupta family, which owned The New Age and ANN7, and the Sekunjalo consortium, led by Dr Iqbal Survé, which bought the Independent Group, started before these two groups opened doors to the public. The plethora of allegations of corruption against Gupta-linked companies have not helped dispel the narrative that the Guptas are dangerous people who need to be shut down.

    The decision by Multichoice comes in the week where on one hand, we heard shocking allegations of the Gupta’s influence on government tenders and cabinet reshuffles and on the other, how Steinhoff manipulated their financial reports resulting in, among others, the government’s pension fund losing R20 billion in one month. I’m yet to hear calls of a shut-down of Steinhoff and the companies linked to its former Chairman Christo Wiese or the many Rupert-linked companies that have been exposed for anti-competitive behaviour by the Competition Commission. There’s no outrage because commercial media, which serve the interests of capitalists, presents this crime as “collusion” which is “private” and unlike that committed by the public sector, should really go unpunished as it doesn’t affect citizens. What they omit to tell citizens is how price fixing – on bread and everything else – has a direct bearing on their purse strings and their livelihoods.

    It has been reported that there are several complaints lodged against the Guptas and that the criminal justice system is moving swiftly to deal with the allegations of corruption levelled against them. Steinhoff also announced it had reported its former CEO Markus Jooste to the Hawks. These developments are welcomed. If there are crimes committed let these people face the music.

    Some sections of the public  including some journalists called for the removal of ANN7 from the DSTV platform long before information of the amount paid by Multichoice to ANN7 surfaced. The allegations of corruption by the Guptas, apparently contained in the so-called GuptaLeaks, laid the perfect foundation for the public’s demand to have ANN7 removed from the DSTV bouquet and threats to cancel subscriptions if this wasn’t done.

    An anchor on Radio702 justified Multichoice’s decision on the grounds that ANN7 was established purely for propaganda purposes by those who wanted to loot the state. This anchor would like us to believe it was never about the diversity of voices, pluralism or the maintenance of a healthy democracy.

    There’s also talk that ANN7 benefitted from the proceeds of crime as justification for the shut down.

    Contrast this call to the deafening silence to Naspers’ historical links to apartheid, from which it did not only benefit politically but profited financially too. It did not only benefit from advertising revenue from the Nationalist Party government but it also benefitted from printing the apartheid government’s text books. Ironically, the same applies today – with the help of brothers of some of the comrades in cabinet – a printing company linked to Naspers is raking-in millions in printing text books for democratic SA.

    In the 1980’s Naspers was awarded the rights to start SA’s first pay tv MNET which would launch it into the trillion rand business that it is today. Its wealth stems from what its former chairman Ton Voslo described as “complicity in a morally indefensible political regime”.

    But these facts accompanied by allegations of Multichoice’s influence on government policy so as to entrench its dominance in the industry seemingly don’t matter in the context of state capture, corruption and crime. Multichoice made the mistake of not heeding early, the calls to shut down ANN7. We would not know about the million rand payments and allegations of corruption now levelled against it.

    Glaring, is the hypocrisy of those who claim to protect the Bill of Rights, which includes the right to freedom of speech, media freedom and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms, which means the rights of those who despise ANN7 are equal to the rights of those who love the television channel.

    There are many of these protectors of our rights, starting with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) and other NGOs which have mounted massive campaigns in the past years in the protection of the Constitution. These advocates of democracy are however, highly selective; choosing their campaigns carefully – for or against – depending on the political agenda of those for whom they will march for or against. SANEF has released a rather meek response to this issue having turned a blind eye in the past, to threats to journalists that the media industry doesn’t like.

    The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) it must be said, were quick to defend ANN7’s right to air at the initial stages of the call to have the news channel removed from the bouquet of offerings by DSTV, but I did not see their response to the latest decision by Multichoice.

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    DSTV subscribers have a choice to whatever channels they wish and they can exercise that choice and not watch ANN7. Similarly, those who want to watch ANN7 should be allowed the freedom to do so.

    Citizens have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without interference or limitations from anyone.

    Citizens have a right to speak, publish, read and view what they wish, worship (or not worship) as they wish, associate with whomever they choose, and demonstrate against what they perceive to be wrong doing. This they must do within the law – South Africans can speak and publish whatever they wish for as long as it does not constitute hate speech and those demonstrations are peaceful and do not cause harm to anyone.

    Censorship has no place in a democracy

    When Multichoice decides that we cannot watch ANN7 because a section of its subscribers object to it, we are treading on very shaky ground.

    The American Library Association describes censorship thus: “Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons — individuals, groups, or government officials — find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, ‘Don’t let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it!’ Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else”.

    This case has once again exposed the ANC ruling party’s failure to address and enforce that media in this country is transformed and diversified to include the broader spectrum of our society and diverse voices. The ruling party has failed to address the issue of monopolies – having dilly-dallied since the advent of democracy, the ANC of today even struggles to accept that white monopoly exists. Fortunately, in the face of these denials, monopoly power always rears its head in the form of cases such as the Multichoice decision to shut down ANN7 and the many incidents of anti-competitive behaviour by monopolies as exposed by the Competition Commission.

    Here’s the complete statement by MultiChoice https://www.multichoice.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/31/multichoice-statement-31january2018.pdf?platform=hootsuite

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