Opinion

  • Former Sunday Times Editor Responds To The Paper’s Recent Apology

    The Sunday Times has cast serious doubts over the publication of stories under my editorship in 2011, saying it will return prize money won by the journalists and that it fully apologises for the stories. In the face of a week of shrill criticism, I opted not to publicly challenge this view, but to rather write a carefully considered response in the newspaper. To my astonishment, The Sunday Times editor declined to publish my response. As someone whom I hold in high regard, I urge you to read the response I wrote before making up your mind about this matter. This is the full text of what I submitted. – Ray Hartley

    It sickens me to think that those intent on abusing state power for corrupt purposes used articles published by the Sunday Times on irregular police killings and the rendition of suspects to Zimbabwe for their nefarious ends.

    This was also the case with the lamentable reporting on the SARS rogue unit. But I was not editor at the time the SARS “rogue unit” stories were published, and it does not follow that because errors were made there, they must have occurred in all preceding stories.

    The public discussion of the reporting on the Cato Manor killings has roused anger, and I have felt it intensely over the past week.

    This anger is good. It comes from a good place. Readers love this newspaper and expect it to maintain the highest standards, and when they are told that it has fallen short, they are disappointed.

    And readers are angry at state capture. They are right to be.

    As the editor who was on duty when the decision was taken to publish these stories, I have been the focus of this.

    I share the anger at state capture, and my record of exposing it in countless stories before this became fashionable stands for itself.

    But I have to account for the stories which were published under my watch.

    Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko did as much in his article published last Sunday.

    He wrote: “As reporters and editors we have an ethical and journalistic duty to interrogate suspicions of abuse of power, accusations of wrongdoing, and any other incidents that are in the public interest. We did just that in these stories, basing our decision on news value, professional judgment and the public’s right to know.”

    He went further to state: “We were in pursuit of nothing but the truth and we were not motivated by political, commercial or personal interests. We stood to gain nothing from reporting on these issues but merely fulfilled our constitutional obligation to inform you.”

    For a moment it seemed he had taken the courageous step to stand up to the mounting noise over the stories to oppose the tide of criticism.

    Then Siqoko’s article took an inexplicable turn for the worse.

    He took issue with the headline – it was actually the secondary headline – which used the words ‘death squad’, saying that was going too far. This I am prepared to accept. Perhaps the old journalistic fig leaf ‘alleged’ ought to have been used.

    He points out that only 12 of the killings, not 18, were suspicious. To his mind, this makes a difference. To mine it does not. One killing would have been too many.

    Imagine that a unit of the police in Birmingham, Alabama, was linked to the irregular death of 12 black suspects? All lives matter, even those of suspected criminals.

    Siqoko says the articles suggested that General Johan Booysen was somehow directly responsible for the killings.

    The articles did no such thing. They said the police accused of the killings fell under “the ultimate command” of Booysen.

    General Booysen phoned me, saying he wished to share his views on the Cato Manor article. A reporter was dispatched to interview him in person.

    He was quoted prominently in the article.

    This is what he said when asked if the Cato Manor unit had committed crimes: “I would strongly disagree with you. Their lives were at stake, they defended themselves in a shoot-out.”

    “Cato Manor only investigates murder, armed robbery, ATM bombing, serial killing and serious rape cases. They made 437 arrests in the last two years. The facts are, they do arrest very violent people.”

    He is later quoted as saying he had no objection to an official investigation because “it may prove once and for all that the picture created about Cato Manor is totally wrong.”

    It is a great pity that the authorities did not share his view and institute such an inquiry.

    I happen to believe that Booysen did not order killings, commit killings or witness them. No such allegation was made in the articles, and it is shameful that the National Prosecuting Authority – clearly pursuing an agenda – subsequently chose to attack him over this.

    The suggestion by Siqoko that the newspaper ought to have anticipated that the NPA would act in this manner and publish the outline of a vast criminal conspiracy to capture the state is naive.

    This was a story about the excessive use of force by a police unit which resulted in lives being taken, not a speculative blog post about a conspiracy.

    If this approach were taken, there would be no investigative journalism, just a large cloud of tobacco smoke in which conspiracies swirled about.

    The essence of Siqoko’s article is that the Sunday Times under my stewardship fell victim to “peddlers of fake news”.

    One such peddler was apparently one Toshan Panday, who was under investigation by Booysen.

    You may recognise the name. Panday was the subject of a damning and detailed front page expose in the Sunday Times. Who wrote this article? The same journalists who are now described as doing his bidding in the interests of state capture.

    I was shocked to read Siqoko’s conclusion that the Sunday Times would return the money paid for the awards that this story won. The effect of this was that he believed the stories were illegitimate and wholly false.

    No such demand has been made by those who gave the awards. Perhaps they should politely decline Siqoko’s offer until this matter has been conclusively investigated.

    How did he make that leap from his earlier statement, which, let me remind you, read: “As reporters and editors we have an ethical and journalistic duty to interrogate suspicions of abuse of power, accusations of wrongdoing, and any other incidents that are in the public interest. We did just that in these stories, basing our decision on news value, professional judgment and the public’s right to know.”

    I and the reporters involved in these stories spent many hours with Siqoko openly and fully divulging the sources and the process which this year-long investigation took. None of this was reflected in his article. Perhaps it would have chimed badly with his astonishing conclusion.

    Make no mistake, these journalists put their lives at risk tackling this story. They waded knee-deep through the blood of KwaZulu-Natal’s killing fields, and that deserves to be honoured not dismissed. Did they make errors? Yes, they did. Were any of these errors fatal to the conclusion that irregular killings occurred? No they were not.

    Many allegations by hucksters, charlatans disgraced journalists and, tragically, some doyens of the media profession have been made against the reporters on the Cato Manor story. Not one shred of credible evidence has been produced to back this up. If such evidence were ever produced, I would be the first to insist that the very harshest punishment be forthcoming.

    Since the publication of Siqoko’s article, my 30-year reputation as an ethical, fair and accurate journalist and editor has been severely damaged. I am greeted in the street with looks of pity and, sometimes, anger.

    Those who know me have stood by me, and I am grateful for that.

    My record speaks for itself. I joined the dots while Thabo Mbeki was still president, predicting that Jacob Zuma would seek to destroy the prosecution service, cow the criminal justice system and cause the economy to tank by damaging the country’s financial rating.

    The Sunday Times felt Zuma’s attempt to capture the media more keenly than most. One of our reporters was bundled into a police van and transported to Mpumalanga in secret. When I confronted Zuma with this in the one and only interview he ever granted the newspaper under my stewardship, he laughed while staring at me with cold eyes. It was spine-chilling. I knew we were at war with a very powerful enemy.

    Sunday after Sunday we exposed Zuma’s gradual grasping of the state by the throat. “State capture” was not how we described it back then. But it was not hard to see that this grim empire of corruption was growing into a monster. It was going to end badly.

    The idea that has been floated by some – admittedly, mostly out on the fringes – that I deliberately sought to assist with the capture of the state is not borne out by my many articles, editorials and commentary which have been consistently heavily critical of the creeping cronyism of the Zuma presidency. I recall praising Zuma’s administration for finally rolling out comprehensive Aids treatment. Other than that, not a single word was written which in any way supported Zuma’s assault on the integrity of the state.

    I am pleased that Sanef has chosen to fully investigate this matter. It needs to be a thorough, independent and unsparing effort to get to the bottom of what happened.

    I am confident that the conspiracy theory that the Sunday Times deliberately sought to assist with state capture will be disproved.

    There is a great danger that this episode will have a chilling effect on investigative reporting as journalists fear they may become the victims of public campaigns against their stories. If that happens, the road will be paved for a new round of state capture, this time free of the irritation of probing, independent criticism.

  • Court Orders Transnet To Respect Gama’s Employment Contract

    Since August , The Board of Transnet has intimated that they wished to suspend Mr Gama pursuant to certain continuing investigations they were undertaking . At all material times either personally and in writing to the Chairperson and acting on the advise of his Attorneys, who also wrote to Transnet , Mr Gama advised and urged Transnet to respect the employment contract that exists between him and the company . The employment agreement states clearly that any dispute between the parties must be referred to arbitration.  Transnet contravened its own disciplinary code that states that employees are entitled to a disciplinary hearing.
    Speaking after Justice Graham Moshoana handed his Judgement at the Labour Court, Mr Gama has this to say …”I had no choice but to approach the Labour Court to stop Transnet from terminating my employment contract  in breach of its terms and provisions. We have today succeeded in persuading Transnet that they must apply my employment contract and the Transnet disciplinary code in my case, that the parties must refer any dispute to an arbitrator. It is unlawful and illegal to dismiss an employee without providing them with the right to a proper hearing and falls counter to our bill of rights and the constitution. I invite the Transnet Board to honour the contract that I entered into with Transnet SOC LTD.”
    We reiterate that as an organ of state, The Transnet  Board cannot choose and is not entitled to opt to unilaterally dismiss an employee without a proper hearing. The contract is clear that an employee is entitled to a hearing. The judge was very clear today in granting an order that the employment contract must be respected. In terms of the contract, the parties must take the arbitration route to resolve any dispute that they might have .
    Statement Issued by  MSMM Attorneys Inc
  • Agrizzi Racist Rant & Offer To Take Over Bosasa Recordings Are Authentic

    THE recording from which UnCensored reported the racist rants by Angelo Agrizzi and his offer to help “clean up” Bosasa, now African Global Operations, in return for removing the Black directors and replacing them with himself as chief executive officer, are authentic. A City Press report mentions the authenticity of the the one recording in which Agrizzi calls his former Black colleagues, kaffirs who are lazy and who’ve done nothing for the company. In those discussions Agrizzi boasts of having cultivated media contacts which include News24 editor Adriaan Basson, who has refuted the claims. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/the-racist-whistleblower-with-his-ferraris/

    There are more recordings which were also authenticated by the South African Police Services (SAPS) and a private company. I’ve also spoken to some of the witnesses who were present during these discussions. Frankly, Agrizzi cant say it is not him on those recordings.

    Basson says Agrizzi, who has been the main source of the stories of Bosasa corruption recently published on News24, has lied on the recordings with regards to their relationship. Agrizzi boasts of Adriaan being at his house with his children…”they play here…”. Basson says its a lie. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/news24-editor-adriaan-basson-named-in-plot-to-destabilise-bosasa/

    The conversations between Agrizzi and his group who want a hostile take over of the company, on one hand, and CEO Gavin Watson’s children and nephew, on another, spanned a period of about three days starting on 22 August 2018. In the process of “mediation”, of trying to ascertain why Agrizzi released a statement about the alleged corruption at Bosasa where he’d worked for almost 18 years, and which went against his exit settlement agreement, which included a hefty financial figure but also tied him to a restraint of trade and confidentiality of company secrets, it emerged this move was not about ‘public interest” as he’d alleged but was personal.

    We have clips of the recording which we will publish when there are enough people who will donate towards the safety of the writer and legal fees given that there was a threat by Adriaan Basson two days ago that we bring down the article or else….

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    We dont have the money to put up technological pay walls and we will simply ask you to donate to our account and we shall open the entire article when we have enough to pay the writer for their security and that of the site and other operational costs.

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  • One Year of #MeToo: What Women’s Speech Is Still Not Allowed to Do

    During the past year, I have grown increasingly uneasy with a fairly common bit of semantic slippage: in headlines, in think pieces, and on social media, many people use the phrases “#MeToo movement” and “#MeToo moment” interchangeably, without acknowledging the gulf between them. Is #MeToo—this jagged, brutal, contentious, and profound collective reckoning with the extent to which men have been allowed to abuse their power—an epochal shift toward a better and more equal society? Or is it fleeting—a piece of time that we can record and later revisit, but that we could never, in this country, under a twenty-times-accused-of-sexual-misconduct President, make last?

    In recent weeks, as we neared the first anniversary of this moment or movement breaking into the mainstream, signs of a new narrative—or perhaps a very old one imbued with a new reactionary fervor—began to emerge, offering one possible answer to that question. Louis C.K., who has admitted to cornering multiple women who worked in the comedy industry and masturbating in front of them, started performing again, to the delight of supporters who seemed to believe that C.K. has been victimized by the Zeitgeist. Harper’s and The New York Review of Books published lengthy first-person essays by disgraced menwho painted themselves as martyrs. The Republican Party pushed Brett Kavanaugh into a seat on the Supreme Court, despite multiple credible allegations of sexual misconduct made against him and his string of lies under oath about matters related to that alleged sexual misconduct. (Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.) At a rally in Mississippi, Donald Trump mocked the public testimony of Kavanaugh’s first public accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who claims that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while they were in high school. Trump’s supporters, who had earlier chanted “We want Kavanaugh,” roared and laughed and cheered. “A man’s life is shattered,” Trump said, suddenly faking solemnity. He added, “They destroy people. They want to destroy people. These are really evil people.”

    The underlying principle here is that the men who have been accused are the heroes, and that those who accuse them, and listen to the accusations, are the villains. This revanchism is not a sign of #MeToo’s overcorrection, or even of its success—it is merely evidence of its existence. This sort of backlash, as Susan Faludi wrote nearly thirty years ago, is “set off not by women’s achievement of full equality but by the increased possibility that they might win it. It is a preemptive strike that stops women long before they reach the finish line.”

    When Ford spoke publicly, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in late September, she was unfailingly polite and deferential while being interrogated at length about a traumatic experience. She spoke like a woman who had understood since childhood that survival requires anticipating and accepting the displeasure of men. Kavanaugh, in contrast, who spoke after her, yelled and wept, behaving like a man whose entitlement had never before been challenged, and who believed that male power outweighs women’s personhood as naturally as a boulder outweighs a pearl. The hearing was a vivid illustration of the precise problem that #MeToo has helped to expose, and of the fact that many men consider the exposure of the problem to be the problem itself. At one point, Kavanaugh traded lines with an equally furious Senator Lindsey Graham about how the delay in his confirmation had put him “through hell.”

    The anger crackling through Kavanaugh and Graham—and the thrum of vindictive satisfaction that I could feel passing through the base they were playing to—shut me down for the evening. I grasped, for the first time, the extent to which the past year has made some men crave the poisonous high of feeling wrongfully endangered. I also grasped the scale of the consequences that women and other sexual-assault victims will face as a result. Like the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, these men are borrowing the rhetoric of the structurally oppressed and delivering it with a rage that is denied to all but the most powerful. “I’m a single white male from South Carolina,” Graham said, at a meeting the morning after the hearing, “and I’m told that I should just shut up, but I will not shut up.”

    The past year has been full of sweeping pronouncements. “Time’s up for these men.” “The silence is breaking.” The inflexible triumphalism of this language, like the cheerful pink emoji attached to the #MeToo hashtag, has always left me cold. It is often assumed that women like me, feminists who have argued for a redistribution of power, have been steadily rejoicing—that we’ve blown trumpets after every ouster—when in fact many of us have been exhausted and heartbroken and continually reminded of situations in which our ability to consent had been compromised or nullified in any one of a thousand ways. I don’t know a single woman who has permitted herself to be as openly furious about being sexually assaulted as Kavanaugh allowed himself to be, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, when speaking about being accused of sexual assault. Like Ford, we have had to be painfully careful about how we speak.

    Women’s speech is sometimes wielded, in this #MeToo era, as if it were Excalibur—as if the shining, terrible truth about the lives of women will, by itself, vanquish the men who have exploited and controlled them; as if speech were a weapon that protects those who wield it from hurt. Supporters of #MeToo have, on occasion, adhered to this idea in a sort of delusive optimism. Opponents have brandished it, too, in bad faith, acting as though women’s speech has far more social and political and legal power than it has actually been granted. Until the nineteen-eighties, many jurisdictions required an alleged rape victim’s testimony to be corroborated before a conviction could be issued—even though, for nonsexual crimes, guilt could be established on the basis of a victim’s testimony alone. We saw a replay of this in the Kavanaugh hearing. Although the burden of proof should not have been as high as it would have been for a criminal trial—and though Ford’s testimony was widely regarded, even by many of Kavanaugh’s most powerful supporters, as credible—that testimony was described, again and again, as not enough.

    It will be said that Kavanaugh was confirmed despite the #MeToo movement. It would be at least as accurate to say that he was confirmed because of it. Women’s speech—and the fact that we are now listening to it—has enraged men in a way that makes them determined to reëstablish the longstanding hierarchy of power in America. By imagining that they are threatened, men like Kavanaugh have found the motivation to demonstrate, at great cost to the rest of us, that they are still the ones who have the ability to threaten others.

    And yet this awful truth will not stop women from speaking, and I do not think that it will turn a movement into a moment. It has become clear that there is not nearly enough left to lose.

  • OPINION: Who controls South Africa’s Basic Education with its dismal drop-out rate?

    Mxolisi Ka Nkomonde: South Africa’s basic education is controlled by corporations that benefited from apartheid and questions their motives.

    Who controls South Africa’s basic education?

    South African education has for centuries been controlled by the state with a few private schools which controlled themselves.  Matriculation was under the Joint Examination Board from 1918 to 1989 but this changed when  private schools established the Independent Examination Board (IEB) [1] which regulates private schools. The issue of private education evokes an intense and controversial debate which raises issues of exclusivity and elitism. The IEB regulates the education of children of upper middle class and wealthy whites with a few Blacks who could afford private education under Apartheid.

    In 1992 the Joint Education Trust now called JET Education Services(JET) was setup as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with the sole purpose of “reforming” the public education system. The founders of JET include Anglo American, First National Bank (now First Rand), Sanlam, Gencor (now BHP Billiton) and other corporations which benefited greatly from Apartheid’s ‘slave labour’ policies largely driven by Native Education later Bantu Education after 1953.

    Some of the partners in JET include African National Congress (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Inkatha Freedom Party and Azanian Peoples Organisation (AZAPO) together with labour formations including the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) [2].

    JET had little influence on South Africa’s public education until 1996 when the education budget was reduced significantly leading to closures of technical collages, teachers colleges, nursing colleges and the merging of higher education institutions for “efficiency”[3].

    NGOs and private companies took over the education system through outsourcing and partnerships since the state had little resources in building internal capacity for curriculum development, teacher training and efficient administration.

    The main input in any education system is the curriculum since it influences both the teacher and the learner hence it can be described as the genome of education.  Effectively, whoever drives the curriculum controls the minds of learners and teachers and the society at large. The weakening of state capacity in developing curriculum and teacher training in South Africa has led to a situation where multinational companies such as Pearson run the education system through outsourcing and textbook publishing – which was its main business until recently when it added “education services”  as part of its services to different governments including SA’s Department of Basic Education [4].

    Countries such as the United States of America [5] and United Kingdom[6] have raised the alarm  over this phenomenon of companies like Pearson, running their education systems through the outsourcing of critical state functions.

    Statistics South Africa’s latest report on unemployment in September states that youth unemployment is 65.6% and the question that must be asked is why young people arent finding ways of utilising the collaboration between government, multinationals such as Pearson and NGOs such as JET, which is funded by major corporations in SA, to gain employment?

    Why are the biggest beneficiaries of Apartheid heavily involved in the public education system? Is there a deliberate dumbing-down of the education of Black children who are heavily dependent on public education as a way of creating a pool of low skilled workers who can be paid low wages? Why are parents not worried about corporate influence on public education?

    Sources

    [1] http://www.ieb.co.za/AboutUs/backgroundhistory.php

    [2] http://www.jet.org.za/about-jet/history

    [3] Report on the National Review of Academic and Professional Programmes in Education,August

    2010,Council on Higher Education,Page (9 to 14)

    [4] https://za.pearson.com/textbooks/grade-r-12.html

    [5] http://thecrucialvoice.com/2016/10/16/foreign-influence-americas-choice/

    [6] https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/jul/16/pearson-multinational-influence-education policy

  • OPINION: The Racist “Whistleblower” & His Ferraris

    ANGELO AGRIZZI is the racist recorded calling his former colleagues kaffirs. He was the Chief Operating Officer at Bosasa, now African Global Operations. An exit agreement, in the region of R40m, was reached with him when internal records showed he had been siphoning the company’s funds to enrich himself and pay influential people including politicians, without the company’s authorisation.

    He has leaked stories to the media, News24 in particular, about the workings of the organisation. He’s behind leaks of recent stories of security systems which have been installed in a number of ANC politicians’ homes. His name features on every transaction and yet News24 doesn’t hold him accountable. He’s a whistleblower we are meant to believe (See below what constitutes whistleblowing. Thieves lose the privilege). Further questions come to mind: Where does an employee get money to own three Ferraris? Why does News24 never tell us how he made his money? City Press published a picture of him with his Ferraris behind him but didnt bother to ask how he made his money! He’s white I suppose and doesn’t steal.

    And so this man is not only corrupt but he’s also a racist and we are supposed to sit and take his word that the company for which he worked for 17years has been corrupt without his knowledge and where he’s fingered, he had nothing to do with it but his bosses. Look, if Bosasa is corrupt, lynch them but please save us from the narrative that says one of the people pivotal in the organisation is squeaky clean despite having been the one who paid for many of the transactions which are purportedly corrupt.

    There’s one thing about being corrupt and then there’s another about being racist about the people who helped make the business what it is. Love or hate the Black people who make BEE companies work but for goodness sake, don’t disrespect them and call them “kaffirs and lazy” simply because you as a white person “scrubbed the toilets, worked tirelessly” as Agrizzi confesses in the audio recording. He had nothing to bring to the party more than his skills to clean the toilets, and the Blacks brought their connections. That is how business works.

    In an audio recording whose authenticity UnCensored verified, Agrizzi refers to his former colleagues Johannes Gumede and Papa Leshabane as Kaffirs, on several occasions. The opening of the recording, which is allegedly at Agrizzi’s home with CEO Gavin Watson’s children and a nephew, opens with them listening to a recording of someone talking about the barbarism of Black men…”in  a time of tragedy…in Katrina and Haiti…they were looting, raping..”….”Black men cant do anything but….”.

    “This is true, they steal, loot, they wreck…” a voice which is allegedly Agrizzi’s comes on. From then on, they discuss other racists in whose company Agrizzi has been in and then the strategy of undoing the negative publicity which the company has been facing. In that discussion, there’s reference to the “darkies” who have become “gatekeepers” and shoot down Gavin Watson’s decisions. Agrizzi assures the children he will go into the office and sort out the kaffirs. Again and again he constantly refers to his former colleagues, Black yes, as kaffirs.

    It is tragic and sad to hear white people who have been with Black colleagues for years and those whose dad is supposedly an ANC stalwart speak of “the Darkies”.

    I will post the recording later as I get into the reasons why News24 was primarily the platform which Agrizzi chose for his campaign.

    African Global Operations has been mired in controversy over government tenders it has received and in the latest set of articles of alleged corruption, which are supplied by Agrizzi the “whistleblower”.

    Two recent cases tell us that a thief turned whistleblower loses their whistleblowing status. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/does-a-thief-turned-whistleblower-deserve-immunity-from-prosecution/

    Advocate Nazir Cassim, who headed a disciplinary hearing into the conduct of former Eskom Head of Legal Suzanne Daniels, found there was enough collusion on her part to warrant a summary dismissal. Daniels was lauded as the “whistleblower” who blew the lid on allegations of Eskom’s state capture involving the Gupta family. The Advocate found she was not a trustworthy witness and had not made full disclosure of her role in the transactions which were being investigated and had not provided any new material to the enquiry.

    He said her disclosures were “too little too late” “opportunistic” and of someone “trying to save herself” when she was already caught out. A cyber forensic audit of Eskom executives exposed Daniels’s emails to Salim Essa, dubbed “Gupta kingpin” by the media. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/eskom-state-capture-whistleblower-an-opportunist-who-tried-to-save-herself-adv-cassim/

    A week later, the South Gauteng High Court provisionally sequestrated the assets of the men who allegedly stole from the shareholders of VBS Mutual Bank despite protestations by whistleblower Phophi Londolani Mukhodobwane, VBS’ former treasurer, that he had disclosed the shenanigans that led to the bank’s liquidity problems in return for protection from prosecution. In the affidavit he gave to forensic investigators he had incriminated himself and other executives at the bank. He supposedly blew the lid on an elaborate scheme through which Vele Investment (VBS main shareholder) and VBS executives used suspense accounts to defraud VBS of R1.5bn. It is alleged the affidavit reveals how he took a helicopter ride with R5m stashed in a suitcase as a bribe in return for business from Public Investment Corporation. The executives paid themselves hefty sums in bonuses with which they maintained a lavish lifestyle involving helicopters and expensive cars and property, and Mukhodobwane got R10m part of which he used to buy himself a ferrari.

    Agrizzi cannot be removed from the alleged corruption he is disseminating. This is an ongoing story. What will emerge is a bigger story of how he and others want to collapse the organisation to build their own.

    Watch this space.

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  • South Africa Is Still A Racist (White Supremacist) Country

    Writing in his 1952 book Black Skin White Masks, Psychiatrist Frantz Fanon described South Africa as a racist country. Has it changed? Is it no longer a racist country? Is there any person who honestly believes that the white apartheid government handed over power to the ANC purportedly agreed upon at Codesa?

    What is racism (white supremacy)? White supremacy has been described as an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of colour by white peoples and nations of the European continent; for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege.

    I would like to draw the reader’s attention to the sentence, a “system of exploitation and oppression for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege”.

    If it is true that white supremacy (racism) is a system that is about the maintenance and defence of a system of wealth, power and privilege then Robert Sobukwe was right in his 1949 seminal Fort Hare graduation speech when he said, “History has taught us that a group in power has never voluntarily relinquished its position. It has always been forced to do so. And we do not expect miracles to happen in Africa. It is necessary for human progress that African be fully developed and only the African can do so.”

    South Africa is a white supremacist state and the ANC is ruling on behalf of the white supremacists. That is why they killed 34 miners without blinking in defence of white mine owners of Lonmin but will never kill even one white person and not a single white person has been killed since 1994 even those who belong to terrorist groups who deserve to be killed. White people marched and blocked roads, a march called “Black Monday”, the South African government didn’t even raise a finger. But a few weeks earlier, Africans who marched peacefully were charged with all sorts of anti-riot equipment and were fired at with rubber bullets. An unarmed Andries Tatane was killed a few years back. There is not a single white person who has been shot and killed since the ANC came into office.

    ROBERT MANGALISO SOBUKWE’S FORESIGHTEDNESS

    This quote by Sobukwe shows his foresightedness, “History has taught us that a group in power has never voluntarily relinquished its position. It has always been forced to do so. And we do not expect miracles to happen in Africa. It is necessary for human progress that Africa be fully developed and only the African can do so,”

    One wonders what the people of South Africa want since Sobukwe gave them all the answers to this country’s problems. Steve Biko tried to give them direction when he regarded Sobukwe as a God.

    There must have been a time when the white elite realised that apartheid was untenable and no longer sustainable; they could allow their African puppets to run South Africa without changing the status quo. As Sobukwe said in his 1949 speech, “People do not like to see the even tenor of their lives disturbed”. The white elite didn’t want the even tenor of the lives of the white population disturbed. Consequently, they devised a way of ruling by remote control and putting their stooges as mannequins at the Union Building while they are pulling the strings behind the scenes.

    The white elite realised that the jackboot approach was overt and that they needed a covert and subtle approach, a situation aptly described as handing over a crown without the jewels. This is the situation that obtains now in South Africa. Africans have a crown without the pearls.

    The flawed logic behind secret talks and the exclusion of the PAC and Black Consciousness Movement was for the apartheid government to sail smoothly without resistance as they were well aware the PAC and BCM were going to see through their charade as they have always done. They knew quite well that the ANC was easy meat. The exclusion of the PAC and BCM was therefore calculated and deliberate. Anybody who doesn’t view this as a sell-out or betrayal must be naive.

    As I have argued in my previous articles, agreements clinched at the secret meetings the ANC held with apartheid government officials and captains of industry were a fait accompli. Codesa just rubber stamped those secret deals. In the initial negotiations between the PAC and apartheid government officials in Botswana, the PAC was represented by Willie Seriti and Dikgang Moseneke. Azapo refused to buy a pig in a poke.

    Power relations in South Africa have not changed. If they had African people would not be living in shacks and RDP houses. Where have you seen white people in shacks and RDP houses? African people would not be killed the way miners were killed in Marikana. In Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand when two white people can be killed they declare it a national disaster.

    BEING A SPY OR AN AGENT MUST BE LIKE HELL ON EARTH: SOUTH AFRICA’S UNFINISHED BUSINESS

    Former spies and agents of the apartheid government and other western powers are used or were used to run the “new” South African government without any possibility of subversion because they are compromised. It is a similar situation that Marimba Ani describes in her book Yurugu: An African Centred Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behaviour in which she writes, “to say that Europe’s political imperialistic success can be accredited not so much to superior military might, as to the weapon of culture. The former ensures more immediate control but requires continual physical force for the maintenance of power, while the latter succeeds in long-lasting dominance that enlists the cooperation of its victims (i.e. pacification of the will). The compromised position of these spies and agents enlist their cooperation in ruling on behalf of white supremacists.

    F W De Klerk says he gave Nelson Mandela a list of ANC leaders and members who spied for the apartheid government. But Mandela refused to make it public. Mandela was obviously compromised that is why he capitulated and made so many unacceptable concessions.

    Quite a few in the ANC are compromised. Some of them like Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad, Mac Maharaj, Frene Ginwala and Barney Pityana, as Jonathan Ancer revealed in his book Spy: Uncovering Craig Williamson protected Craig Williamson before his cover was blown. Ancer further reveals in the same book that Robert McBride told him Craig Williamson gave him a list of ANC members who were informers for the apartheid government but gave their descriptions by ethnic group. He forwarded it to the ANC government. McBride says he can figure out who they are even when their names have been concealed.

    There must be some in the PAC and BCM who also spied for the apartheid government. There is a document that gives away one such top Azanla member.

    The problem with having been a spy or agent is that such a person is compromised because they fear exposure. As a result they are subjected to blackmail should they not cooperate and continue to do their handlers’ dirty job.

    Neil Barnard’s book inadvertently reveals that whites are still in charge in South Africa. About five years ago a former exile left the Secret Service because he said whites are in control there.

    Last week Thursday at 1 Mil Hospital I overheard a Ukraine trained pilot telling a gentleman who was recruiting him to the private sector that whites are still in control in the military. He said he had twelve years’ experience and 2300 hours of flying experience but young white boys with 200 hours of flying experience overtake them and are given priority over experienced African pilots. He said Msimang was useless because there is nothing he can do about the control whites have in the military. Maybe Msimang is the token head of the Air Force at the SANDF.

    So why should anybody delude themselves that power has changed hands? Let us face reality and stop living in cloud cuckoo land.

    The fight for the establishment of an Africanist Socialist Democratic Azania must continue.

  • Marikana Similar To Sharpeville & Soweto Uprising, Must Be Declared A Public Holiday

    Keynote address by the Judge President Mr. John Hlophe at the inaugural Marikana Massacre Commemoration Memorial Lecture at the Sandton Convention Centre, 15 August 2018.

    I thank the programme director for the kind introduction. I am honoured to be invited as a guest speaker to give a keynote address regarding the Marikana Massacre that occurred six years ago.

    Marikana Massacre 16 August 2012, why? In an attempt to navigate my way through my speech, I will refer to two similarly ugly massacres in South African history. The first being the Sharpeville massacre of 21 March 1960. The second being the Soweto Uprising of 16 June 1976 and the third being the Marikana masasacre of 16 August 2012.

    The Sharpeville Massacre

    It took place as a result of protest action, against pass laws, and was masterminded by the PAC. The pass laws in question were the Natives (Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents) Act of 1952. This forced black South African to carry a range of documents, including a photograph, place of birth, employment records, tax payments and criminal records if any. This enabled the government to further restrict the movement of Africans. So, it was therefore illegal to be without a Pass, the penalty for which was arrest and jail. The Natives (Prohibition of Interdicts) Act of 1956 removed all legal recourse of objecting to the removal of black people from certain residential areas. The Urban Areas Act limited black people to 72 hours in an urban area without permission from a specific municipal order. As result, black people in urban areas had to be checked by authorities and this caused constant humiliation and monitoring and intense anger in black communities.

    The PAC proposed an anti-Pass campaign which was to commence on the 21 March 1960. Sobukwe even wrote a letter to then commissioner of South African Police, Major General C.I Rademeyer and said:

    Sir: My organisation, the Pan Africanist Congress, will be starting a sustained, disciplined, non-violent campaign against pass laws on Monday, 21 March 1960. I have also given strict instructions, not only to the members of my organisation but also to the African people in general, that they should not allow themselves to be provoked into violent action by anyone. In a press statement I am releasing soon, I repeat that appeal and make one to the police.

    I am now writing to you to ask you to instruct the police to refrain from actions that may lead to violence. It is unfortunately true that many white policemen, brought up in the hothouse of South Africa, regard themselves as champions of white supremacy and not as law officers. In the African they see an enemy, a threat, not to ‘law and order’ but to their privileges as whites.
    I, therefore, appeal to you to instruct your men not to give impossible demands to my people. The usual mumbling by a police officer of an order requiring the people to disperse within three minutes, and almost immediately ordering a baton charge, deceives nobody and shows the police up as sadistic bullies. i sincerely hope that such actions will not occur this time. If the police are interested in maintaining ‘law and order’ they will have no difficulty at all. We will surrender ourselves to the police for arrest. If told to disperse, we will. But we cannot be expected to run helter-skelter because a trigger-happy, African-hating young white police officer has given thousands or even hundreds three minutes within which to remove their bodies from his immediate environment.

    Hoping you will co-operate to try and make this a most peaceful and disciplined campaign.
    See Benjamin Pogrund’s “Robert Sobukwe, how can man die better”. Page 123-124.

    Protestors were urged to leave their passes at home and surrender themselves for arrest at the nearest police station. They would ask for no bail, no defence and no fine. After serving the expected jail sentences, PAC members would again offer themselves for arrest. The whole plan behind this move was to ensure that people would get arrested and that would have a ripple effect on their employers. Employers would then put pressure on the government to abolish the pass alas amongst other things.
    It was around 13h30 when thousand of protestors gathered outside the Sharpeville police station. The people were told to disperse. No order was given to fire. One or two policemen opened fire and then a full volley from revolvers, rifles, and stun-guns followed. The shooting went on for at least 40 seconds. Several policemen reloaded and fired again. It was an unprovoked attack. It was carnage. There was blood everywhere.

    Fleeing men, women and children were mercilessly mowed down. Some people thought police were firing blanks, but they thought wrong as bodies were falling behind and among them. The toll was 69 dead and 186 injured. Medical evidence revealed that more than 70% of the victims were clearly shot from the back. The Sharpeville Day is officially called Human Rights Day. It is known as a public holiday in South Africa.

    Soweto Riots in 1976

    It took about 16 years before yet another horrible tragedy of a similar nature occurred. The events that triggered the uprising can be traced back to policies of the Apartheid government that resulted in the introduction of the Bantu Education Act in 1953. The Bantu Education system was designed to train and fit Africans for their role in the Apartheid society. The role was one of labourer, worker and servant only. As H.F Verwoerd, the architect of he Bantu Education Act (1953) conceived it:
    “There is no place for [the African] in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour. It is to no avail for him to receive a training which has ist aim, absorption in the European community”. http://See https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/pass-laws-south-africa-1800-1994

    He went further and said:

    “Natives (blacks) must be taught from an early age that equality with Europeans (whites) is not for them”.

    Deputy Minister Andries Treunitcht sent instructions to the schools’ boards, inspectors, and principals to the effect that Afrikaans should be put on an equal basis with English as medium of instruction in all schools. These instructions immediately drew negative reaction from various quarters of the community. Teachers raised objections to the government announcement. Some teachers, who were members of the African Teachers Association of South Africa complained that they were not fluent in Afrikaans. Students were conscientized and influenced by national organisations such as the Black People’s Convention, South African Students Organisation and by the black consciousness philosophy. Students rejected the idea of being taught in the language of the oppressor. On the 16 June 1976, not all students who were participating in the march knew about it in that morning. It was an ordinary school day for many. But by this time students were feeling very frustrated and dissatisfied with the Bantu Education System in general and the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction. It was exam time for the senior students and many were scared that they would fail the exams if they had to write in Afrikaans.

    Nonetheless the march that was planned by the action committee of the Soweto Students Representative Council was well organised and was to be a conducted in a peaceful way. The leaders of the march came from two high schools, Naledi High in Naledi and Morris Isaacson in Mofolo. The students were to meet at a central point and proceed peacefully together to the Orlando Stadium. The first students to gather were at Naledi High School and the Chairperson of the action committee, Tepello Motoponyane addressed them and informed them that discipline and a peaceful march will be the order of the day. Meanwhile at Morris Isaacson students also gathered. They were addressed by one of the leaders of the action committee, Tsietsi Mashinini and set out. Between 3000 and 10 000 students mobilized by the South African Students Movement’s Action committee supported by the Black Consciousness Movement marched peacefully to demonstrate and protest against the government’s directive. As the march was proceeding and sensing that the situation was getting tense, Tsietsi Mashinini climbed on a tractor and said:
    “Brothers and sisters, I appeal to you-keep calm and cool. We have just received a report that the police are coming. Don’t taunt them, don’t do anything. Be cool and calm. We are not fighting”.

    Despite the tense atmosphere the students remained calm. On their pathway they were met by heavily armed police who fired teargas. People ran out of there smoke-dazed and coughing. The crowd retreated slightly but remained facing the police, waving placards and singing. A white policeman drew a revolver. A single shot rang out. There was a split silence and pandemonium broke out. Children screamed. More shots were fired. Official figures were that 23 people had been killed but some reports estimated that it was at least 200. It is hard to know how many people had been killed because of police efforts to cover up the number of people who died. But thousands of students went missing.

    This triggered the Bethal treason trial which began in December 1977 also known as State vs Mothopeng and seventeen others. The defendants faced two main charges under the terrorism act and a number of alternative counts under other legislation. Zephaniah Mathopeng, who was also an internal leader of the banned PAC, was tried along with seventeen other suspects in the Bethal eighteen secret trial. They were convicted and jailed for their alleged role in fermenting the revolution and for being behind the Soweto uprising. Similarly, June 16 is now officially a public holiday known as the Youth Day.
    During the course of the Bethal treason trial, four of those awaiting prosecution died in police custody. Vusumzi Johnson Nyathi, a detainee in the Bethal Trial of the State vs. Mothopeng miraculously survived after he was allegedly thrown out of the window during an interrogation session. Nyathi, who suffered spinal injuries was later charged and found guilty of trying to escape custody. He later sued the minister of police without success.
    Marikana Massacre

    It is clear from the above that the two incidences, were organised, masterminded and executed by the apartheid regime. Put bluntly it was white on black violence intended to preserve the apartheid regime. The Marikana incident was a totally different kettle of fish. It happened on 16 August 2012 under the nose of the current dispensation. For South Africa it was a special kind of nightmare since it revived images of massacres by the state in the old apartheid with one brutal difference. This time it was predominantly black policeman, with black senior officers who were doing the shooting. There had initially been a series of violent incidents between the SAPS, Lonmin Security and members of the National Union of Mineworkers on the side and strikers themselves on the other side. It started as a Wildcat strike at a mine owned by Lonmin in the Marikana area. While they were on 4000 to 5000 rand per month, respectively, the employees demanded 12,500 rand and agreed that they would not turn up for work the next day.

    Right to Dignity. Section 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution) provides:
    “everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected”
    Right to life. Section 11 of the Constitution provides:
    “Everyone has the right to life”

    The importance of the right to life and dignity were emphasised in the case of S vs. Makwenyane 1995 (3) SA 391 (CC) at paragraph 144 where CHASKALSON P held:

    “The right to life and dignity are the most important of all human rights, and the source of all other personal rights in chap 3. By committing ourselves to a society founded on the recognition of human rights we are required to value these two rights above all others”

    Langa J further states at paragraph 218 stated that:

    “The emphasis I place on the right to life is, in part, influenced by the recent experiences of our people in this country. The history of the past decades has been such that the value of life and human dignity have been demeaned. Political, social and other factors created a climate of violence, resulting in culture of retaliation and vengeance. In the process, respect for life and for the inherent dignity of every person became the main causalities. The State has been part of this degeneration, not only because of its role in the conflicts of the past, but also by retaining punishments which did not testify to a high regard for the dignity of the person and the value of every human life”.

    Sachs J goes on and states at paragraph 348 and 351

    “Decent people through the world are divided over which arouses the greatest horror: the thought of the State deliberately killing its citizens, or the idea of allowing cruel killers to co-exist with honest citizens. For some, the fact that we cold-bloodedly kill our own kind taints the whole of our society and makes us all accomplices to the premeditated and solemn extinction of human life”.

    Paragraph 351

    In the vivid phrase used by Mahomed J in the course of argument, the right to life is not subject to incremental invasion. Life cannot be diminished for an hour, or a day, or ‘for life’. While its enjoyment can be qualified, its existence cannot. Similarly, death is different. It is total and irreversible. Just as there are no degrees of life, so there are no degrees of death (though, as well shall see, there were once degrees of severity in relation to how the sentence of death should be carried out) a level of arbitrariness and the possibilities of mistakes that might be inescapable, and therefore tolerable in relation to other forms of punishment, burst the parameters of constitutionality when they impact on the deliberate taking of life. The life of any human being is inevitably subject to the ultimate vagaries of the due processes of nature; our Constitution does not permit it to be qualified by the unavoidable caprices of the due processes of law.
    Right to decent living
    Right to safe working conditions
    Freedom of expression
    There is no reason in my mind, why the Marikana Day should not be made a public holiday, given the scale of violence and senseless killing.

    Lessons learned:

    There is no freedom without a struggle (President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela)

    No struggle without casualties

    Never again should we allow race discrimination to dictate the pace of change in our country

    Police brutality is not a solution to disputes of this nature

    Wage disputes should enlist the services of mediators

    Push mediation as a solution, e.g political disputes, family disputes, neighbourly disputes.

    Conclusion
    The struggle for economic emancipation is not over. As long as the fat cats continue to exploit workers there will always be a need for unions to organise the workers to fight for better wages and for better working conditions. Remember my brothers, my comrades, together we stand. Amandla ngawethu!

  • What Will Happen When The ANC Takes My Farm

    I have no doubt that the ANC government has given a lot of thought to the topic of Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) however I think they might not have fully comprehended the consequences of such a policy. As a farmer I thought it might be useful to enlighten them as to the course of action I would take once my farm is targeted for EWC. Before I continue I would like to emphasize that this is not a threat nor delivered with the mindset of a saboteur, it is merely a description of the sequence of events that would unfold in the event of such a policy being enforced.
    • I would immediately identify all the moveable assets on my farm and start selling them or placing them in a suitable storage facility. I list these below simply to demonstrate to non-farmers what makes a farm functional and profitable. The first to go would be all the livestock followed by all the machinery including tractors, pumps, silos, centre pivots, electrical transformers, irrigation equipment, water troughs, implements and piping. I would strip the dairy and sell the bulk tanks, milking machines etc. I would take down all internal fencing on the farm and recoup what I could. All sheds would be disassembled and all houses and other buildings would be stripped of anything sellable, including their roofs.
    • I would disconnect/cancel the 5 Eskom points on the farm and obtain refunds on the deposits I’ve paid on them.
    • I would re-trench all my staff and pay them off in accordance with the Labour Act. I would then strip all the staff accommodation on the farm and sell what I could.
    • With the sale of all my livestock and cessation of the farming operation I would immediately default on the R5.5m I owe FNB but I wouldn’t worry as the farm is the loan’s security and I don’t really own anything else.
    • When the day came to leave the farm I would hand the ‘keys’ over to the new ‘owners’ but I’m not quite sure what they would do as there’d be no roof on the farm house and there would be nothing to ‘farm’ on the farm. It would just be a piece of land, but that’s ok because the ANC says owning land makes you wealthy.
    When you take the sequence of events described above and multiply it on a national scale you see another sequence of events unfolding.
    • The new ‘farmers’ arrive on the farm but there is no livestock, machinery or working capital to continue the operation.
    • They go to the banks to borrow money (A good farming habit) but the banks are sitting on a R160 Billion defaulted debt book from the ‘old’ farmers and won’t lend a cent to agriculture. They’re fighting for their own survival now.
    • The Govt doesn’t have the money, which would be far more than the R160 Billion mentioned above, to re-capitalise and finance all the farms so most of the farms either fall derelict or are farmed at a subsistence level.
    • There is a massive but short-term surplus of Beef, Sheep and Poultry products due to the sell-off by the previous farmers. This brings prices down drastically in the short term but eventually the meat runs out and there is nothing to replace it. Meat prices skyrocket.
    • Dairy products cease almost immediately after the livestock cull/sell-off and within weeks there is a critical shortage of all dairy products. Importing is impossible due to the Govt’s actions which have decimated the value of the Rand.
    • Maize lasts quite a bit longer and with careful rationing will endure until the next season but there is no crop in the ground for next year due to the new ‘farmers’ lack of machinery, experience and access to credit.
    • All agricultural Co-Ops and suppliers very quickly cease operation and/or go bankrupt and re-trench all their staff. They cannot survive by selling single bags of seed and fertilizer to subsistence farmers.
    • All processors of agricultural products such as meat, dairy and maize cease operation due to lack of product and re-trench all their staff.
    • Rural Municipalities start to feel the pinch as there are no longer any farmers paying rates and the agricultural businesses in the towns have also sold up and left.
    • Smaller rural towns that depended on agriculture eventually collapse and rural communities are forced to travel long distances to major centres to find ever dwindling supplies.
    • Ironically the EWC movement creates more Urbanisation as the rural folk flee the agricultural desert that has been created.
    • All food dependent enterprises such as fast food chains and restaurants either disappear or are greatly reduced…along with all their staff.
    • With all the unemployed farmworkers, as well as those who have lost their jobs from other sectors, there is an unsustainable demand on the UIF system and it soon collapses.
    • The Social Grant system teeters as the ripple effect from the agricultural collapse enters all sectors and the tax-base is shredded.
    • Food riots become common and genuine hunger and poverty widespread.
    • Unlike Zimbabwe the South African population has nowhere to run.
    • With the White Farmer no longer an available target and the true ‘value’ of land revealed in all its fallacy the masses turn on the only target they have left. The ANC.
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