Category Archives: Political

Open letter to the surviving Rivonia trialists by Kay Sexwale

Dear Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, Dennis Goldberg and Nelson Mandela, I greet you all in the name of the continuing economic freedom struggle of our people.

Your courage in fighting for the emancipation of our country is greatly appreciated.

I was fed ANC propaganda with my Purity baby food, but I believe the time has come to consciously choose South Africa over the ANC.

The governing party, for many, is like a religion, followed by many without question or doubt.

Surely comrades, your sacrifices were not for a one-party, one-trade union state?

The time for a younger, patriotic and selfless leadership, like yours in 1964, is here.

The thinking public laments our bumpy transition from liberation movement to political party, with some pointing out that a liberation movement has to be centralised and secretive while a modern party in government must be influenced by its members and society, and so be more transparent.

The loss of public trust through daily media exposure of the plague of government corruption, which appears to be condoned by the ANC, is deeply seated.

The public perception is that the Mangaung leadership debate will boil down to who will continue to allow rampant looting of state resources, the dangerous slippery slope of tribalism, or who might make a difference.

Truth be told, the names being bandied about as top contenders are all synonymous with the rot that plagues the movement.

The masses so loved by political party leaders at election time have taken to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction.

Earlier this year, even middle-class a rmchair critics put on their designer sneakers and marched against e-tolling, also reportedly shrouded in corruption and an added burden on our ridiculously taxed wallets.

In March, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa informed Parliament that between 2007 and 2010, the most common reason for police crowd management of gatherings was labour-related demands for increases in wages, and that unrest requiring police intervention was related to service delivery issues.

Later in June, City Press reported that 372 protests related to service delivery had been recorded between January and the end of May this year alone.

In 18 years of democracy, we can still blame apartheid for many social ills, but we must also blame our leaders.

The disgraceful and shocking non-delivery of textbooks in Limpopo left me cold.

But the worst thing that broke the soul of South Africa during this fateful year of the ANC’s centenary was the shameful Marikana massacre, reminiscent of the Sharpeville slaughter.

It highlighted aspects of every ill plaguing black society under an ANC-led government: police brutality, wage strikes, corporate greed, failure of natural mineral resource redistribution, flawed implementation of black economic empowerment, violent crime, service-delivery failure, including inhumane slum settlements, unemployment concerns and much more.

The man who shoved his way to the front, taking the reins of leadership in this sorry mess, was Julius Malema, a spat-out child of the movement. In the space of a few days, he single-handedly nullified what little trust I had left in the aging ANC leadership.

I was raised by courageous men and women, people like you, the Rivonia Trialists, who now need me to tell them it’s time to let go.

The ANC has never been as self-destructive as it is today.

Cosatu, the ANC-aligned trade union federation, has driven the economy into free fall as the failure of their collective bargaining strategy, designed to perpetuate the racist status quo, is blowing up in our faces with one strike after another.

I’m waiting for them to stop blaming third-force right wing elements and take some responsibility.

And let me not get started on the recent madness of more than R200 million-worth of Nkandla renovations, SAA’s R5 billion bailout and the relentless e-toll attitude of government.

In 2009, I took longer than usual to vote in the booth, agonising over putting an X next to the face of a man I instinctively knew was bad news.

My love for the ANC won over my reservations.

In last year’s local government elections, I rebelled, voting for the ANC in my neighbourhood and for another party in the city.

I am sure Joburg Mayor Parks Tau is capable, but my rebellion against a President Jacob Zuma-led ANC began with that ballot paper.

To not vote at all in 2014, as many are threatening, will be to dishonour the memory of my uncle, Lesetja Sexwale, and his many fallen comrades who died in combat for my right to vote.

It will be to disrespect the struggle for which men and woman such as him, men like yourselves, sacrificed their youth.

Personally, it will be a betrayal of little Kay who was badly injured in a cross-border raid in Lesotho in 1982 when the apartheid forces were hunting down Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants like my father and Chris Hani.

I don’t know who I will vote for. All I know is that Zuma will never again hold office with my consent.

I know uncle Lesetja and uncle Chris would not view my choice as a betrayal of their sacrifices. I trust that you won’t either.

I choose South Africa.

20121119-134901.jpg Sexwale is a media and communication strategist with an interest in current affairs and post-apartheid experiences

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Shigaff about Pride?

It started political, enough…?

Before the actual taste of freedom, it happened. When the smell of the heavenly roast of equality was wafting through the air, it happened. And in 1990 I remember hearing about it at the ripe age of seven, “Die moffies hardloop deur die straat!” – so naturally, with the initial emotion of shame, I pranced outside to play where hateful words could not be heard. But one day I knew I would be one of those “moffies” prancing through the streets whether onlookers spat on me or not. And as soon as the clock turned 18 I was strong enough to stand up for myself, and I braved my first pride. Propositioned by men, sweet talked by the ladies and accosted by the bible bashers… I could not have asked for a more fulfilling experience from a cherry popping first time. What were we marching for? The right to adopt children. And now we can, to spite how difficult it may still be (I am told), but I felt I marched for something.

Is it different?

Now, We marched for equality…? What? Slap my forehead and call me Mary, that is as redundant as saying I would like meat for dinner, not rump, fillet or sirloin, just meat. For a group of people hell bent on equality they surely have not thought past their own noses in terms of creating a real message, creating real unity between the marchers and creating something that we can be proud of (can you smell the filthy smell of irony, no pride in pride). I understand the concept of equality but does it really need to be mentioned? Marching for equality – and here comes another food analogy – is like asking for my steak to be seasoned in a restaurant, it’s pretty much expected to be seasoned.
With such an open theme it was expected that this year would turn into a march of individuals, not of a group. Each and every person was going to have their own idea of equality and come fully prepared with their own agenda, and this idea of “what about me?” was more prevalent than ever before. What ever happened to “What about us?” but before I start accusing everyone else of nepotism for their own idealistic notions of freedom, I have to ask myself, am I guilty of doing the very same? Admittedly, yes I am. After almost eleven years of Pride, my admiration and support for the LGBTI community has dwindled down, dissipated into a fine mist of nothingness, as I feel more and more the perversion of being gay taking hold of the very definition of being gay. Correct me if I am wrong but I was under the impression that I was gay because I fall in love with men, not merely that I lust after them? But float after float I was reminded of what it really means to be gay… A boy in underpants. And it saddened me, if it weren’t for the Christian float handing out much needed water or the ladies in the front of the march dancing to their own tangible rhythm I may have completely lost my respect for a community I have been so naively supporting over the years. So I am guilty, of attending this year with the idea that most homos are just perverts, the idea buried somewhere deep in my brain, therefore I am guilty of creating a notion of “them” and “me” in a community that use to take that very notion and, with one copacetic movement, turn it into “us”.

What did I do?

With the wave of violent protests sweeping over our fair land I could not help myself from asking the more pertinent question: How is this march different from any other? And my answer would have been that this march is about love, respect, tolerance and a general good vibe. To prove to onlookers that to spite what judgement may be cast on us as LGBTI folk that we always brave a smile and include others in our quest for joy. So I slipped on an outfit that commanded attention, spun a mirror ball high in the air to gain a few grins and twirled my way past onlookers all in hopes of garnishing a smile, a laugh whether it be at me or with me, so long as I see you are happy.
But half way through the march I stumbled upon a group of protesters with a very ambiguous message: “No cause for celebration” and as a somewhat veteran at the game of pride I immediately jumped towards homophobia. But I was wrong. It was not homophobia but an awareness campaign that came off rather hate filled than enlightening. Their delivery enticed a raw reaction and by the time I had learnt how wrong I was I felt like too much of an idiot to even stick around. I could feel a split between those women and myself, a very unnecessary split. And for the first time I could see that the ‘other’ had moved away, from pride goers versus spectators towards organizers versus protesters, and dare I say… We have turned on ourselves. Why was one group so mislead in thinking that no one would care about the plight of the slain that they would resort to terror like tactics to be heard and similarly how can organizers of something as “meaningful” as pride not have taken it upon themselves to bring awareness to the degree of homophobia in our country, if they are not aware then maybe they should not be organizing something of this calibre?

Shigaff…?

Should I give a flying fuck?
Yes! Most definitely and for two very simple reasons, one – splitting the community will only make fighting for the same cause more difficult and two – we seem to have forgotten that homophobia and hate crimes are still rampant in most communities in South Africa. Where did we miss each other, when did we stop caring about atrocities such as hate crimes and what happened to the unspoken love we use to share?

By the end?

The march is over, the drinks are flowing, there is a vibe and we can all start to have a bit of fun. Why are we having fun though, does that not depoliticize the cause? In my minds eye the festivities creates a feeling of inclusivity for anyone wanting to be part of our community but that is scared because sexually they are not inclined to join but on a moral standpoint they believe in equality. So I am all for the fun – and on a personal level – the fun in celebration of the fact the we are each still alive, managing to come out of some hostile situations with our lives, long enough to celebrate the fact that we are the only country in Africa that hosts, not one, but five gay prides through the year. Celebration of the fact that we can celebrate in a park, in the sun ( some countries without a constitution like ours are forced to host pride indoors) and with local musicians that support us.
So by the time Tamara Dey is commanding my spirit to wiggle and shake, I know I am safe. Flash Republic entertains the crowd after a build up of so many superb live artists, and around me in the middle of the crowd I see faces of both sexes, of all colours and a variety of ages thrusted together in a jovial jump for the sky as we all scream along with Miss Dey, “I don’t even know your name”, and a profound beauty sprung to mind, how we don’t need to know each others name to have a love that is formulated in respect for one another (to spite the fact that I don’t think the song is actually about that). We are bound by one idea, the FREEDOM to LOVE who we please.
And since when can a little bit more love ever be a bad thing?

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“The Death Of South Africa by Someone”

With my ever growing interest in the unrest of South Africa’s mining sector a friend was kind enough to send me this article. As someone who has written about the mines in my home town, springs, having gone out to Aurora a few times it’s hard to believe that this political greed will not kill the sustainability of this country.
I once wrote a post titled Lonmin, Lonmin, Lonmin, and in it I aired my concern on how, if the strikers achieve their pay rise, it would affect other sectors, needless to say with the truckers on strike and other mines following suite that their achievement is having a detrimental effect on the economy.

Below is the article:

“The death of South Africa — By someone

Read this and weep…
Some interesting facts about Welkom, of which most South Africans are possibly not aware .

Strange that the situation does not seem to be reflected in mining reports and the stock market in SA – or is it ? Last Sunday’s papers covered the Oppenheimer’s sale of all their family’s de Beers shares for $5.2 billion to Anglo American. Nicky Oppenheimer, current chairman, says it was a tough decision.

The death of South Africa’s mines is the death of South Africa…

There are many microcosms of decay that one can use as examples of the decay of the macrocosm of South Africa.

In many respects the booming of South Africa’s mining industry and its current decay under the ANC’s Black Economic Empowerment system is a microcosm of the booming of the Republic of South Africa under Apartheid and its decay under the ANC Marxist terrorist regime.

During the first half of the 20th century, gold was discovered on several farms south of the Free State town of Odendaalsrus. After the Second World War, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and his Anglo American Corporation, the progenitor of Anglo Gold, bought up all the prospecting rights in the area and decided to mine the richest gold find in the history of South Africa.

Prices of property in Odendaalsrus skyrocketed, so Sir Ernest Oppenheimer decided that he would build his own town for his miners, instead of paying the exorbitant prices in Odendaalsrus.

He drove 20km south and climbed a hill called Koppie-alleen (Lone Hill ) and looked down on the plains, where his mines would be and decided to build a town from scratch, called Welkom (Welcome), named after the farm where the gold was first discovered.

The people of Odendaalsrus were upset and took him to court, objecting to the new town. Ernest Oppenheimer’s lawyer was Abram (Bram) Fischer, an Afrikaner Communist and Anti-Apartheid activist who would later defend Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial.

Fischer was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and travelled to the Soviet Union in 1932. He was also later awarded the Lenin Peace Prize, (1966) the Soviet equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize was normally awarded to prominent Communists who were not Soviet citizens.

Fischer, incidentally, was married to Molly Krige, the niece of liberal Boer General Jan Smuts (later to become Prime Minister of SA). She was also a staunch Communist. Nevertheless, in 1947, the Orange Free State Provincial Council issued Oppenheimer with the birth certificate of the town of Welkom.

In his mind, Oppenheimer envisioned a beautiful garden city with broad streets. He commissioned the design of Welkom to leading town planner William Backhouse and landscape gardener Joane Prim. For Backhouse, the design of a town from scratch, was a dream come true. Space was not a problem on the Free State plains, so he designed the streets broad, with no traffic lights, only roundabouts, to keep the traffic flowing and no high-rise buildings in the new town. In the centre of town, he wanted a ‘Roman Forum’ with a square, where town folk could gather. It was surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped road of 75 metres wide, known affectionately by the town people as the ‘Hoefie’ short for the Afrikaans word ‘hoefyster’ meaning horseshoe.

Sports clubs, golf clubs, Olympic swimming pools, cinemas, theatres, hospitals, parks, schools, a technical college and an airport were built, all with the riches of the gold below the fertile soil. The town attracted people from all over South Africa. Money was flowing, salaries were high. By the 1970s Anglo Gold was operating six massive mines, with 22 deep level shafts, in which 122,000 people worked. The mines of Welkom were producing 35% of the gold in South Africa, which in turn was producing 75% of the world’s gold.
Everyone was buying and driving a new car at least every year. They would say that when the ashtray was full, it was time to buy a new car. The ‘hoefie’ gave rise to the hot-rod culture of Welkom, where young men would drive around at night showing off their new Ford Cortinas with eagles painted on the engine bonnets and flames on the sides, fur on the dashboard and plastic oranges on the radio antennae! This culture also gave rise to the building of a Grand Prix racing track at Welkom. Times were good for blue-collar whites.

Even in the nearby black township of Thabong and the coloured township of Bronville, the living standards were very high.

But then the ANC took over in 1994, mostly with the help of the Oppenheimers and J.P. Morgan, who founded Anglo American Corporation in 1917. Hardly had the ANC communists taken over, than they wanted not only a slice of the pie from the mining industry, but the whole pie.
Black Economic Empowerment was introduced and mines had to give away half of their assets to black ANC members. For Anglo American Corporation, the writing was on the wall and before they could lose everything, they merged with Minorco in 1999 and moved their assets to London. In the last 10-15 years, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost in Welkom. The skip-wheels of the mines are not turning anymore and the noise of the mines, as well as the hot-rods, have fallen silent. The ziggurat-like walls of the slimes-dams next to the R73 road are the last remnants of a once-thriving mining industry. Today, the mines are in the hands of BEE companies and being plundered for scrap metal. The municipality of Matjabeng (nee Welkom) is run by the ANC. In June 2011 it came into prominence as one of the worst examples of ANC corruption and misrule. How a small town blew R2bn. on dodgy deals…

Most of the whites have left Welkom. Blacks make up 90% of the population and whites 8%. To say that the town is a shadow of its former self, is an understatement. The decay is obvious everywhere and it is fast becoming a ghost town. 1500 staff houses at the mines are standing empty. Even churches in town have closed their doors. The remaining whites in the area, mostly farmers, are struggling under stock theft and brutal farm attacks, tortures and murders .

Elsewhere it is not going any better. The Aurora mine at Grootvlei, which is owned by the Zuma and Mandela families and at one stage employed 5000 workers, now have less than 200. Aurora is now a ghost town. On the 8th of May 2011, in a Carte Blanche TV show, it was revealed that Cosatu (Council of SA Trade Unions) calls the owners of Aurora (Zuma and Mandela family members) — Super Exploiters!!
If there is an abyss of desperation, these men abandoned at the mineworker hostels are in it. At Grootvlei, near Springs, the water and electricity has been cut, the toilets are a sanitary shock. On good days, they may have hot food. Two hours drive to the west, is the Orkney mine in Klerksdorp. There is an inescapable feeling of sadness here. Cooking pots are empty here too. Ntsani Mohapi has been on the mine since the mid ’70s; he should be in line for a pension, but that is all gone now. “There are people who are crying, there are people who are dying, because we deal with people who are lying”.
As things stand hundreds of miners are still in limbo; millions of Rands are outstanding in salaries. Wives have left husbands, children have dropped out of school, people have been blacklisted. They can’t even claim Unemployment Insurance Funds.

The allegations against Aurora’s directors are damning: since they took over the Pamodzi mines in 2009, which were fully operational at the time, they have been accused of not paying salaries, making endless broken promises, misappropriating UIF and pension fund money and stripping assets of mines they haven’t paid for. (Source: Carte Blanche TV programme).

The BBC has extensively reported on how the Zuma (Jacob Zuma’s nephew) and Mandela (Nelson Mandela’s grandson) families exploit their workers and treat them worse than dogs. While the Zuma and Mandela family members grow rich and fat, they do not pay their starving workers, which effectively makes them slave owners. Is this the ‘Freedom’ Mandela and Zuma spoke about and fought for? They were not Freedom Fighters… They were not fighting for the Freedom of the people, rather for the enslavement of the people under a communist yoke.

The Grootvlei mine now stands in ruins. What could not be stolen and sold for scrap, is cut up and sold to the Chinese state-owned mining company, Shandong Gold. The white foreman at Aurora can only stand and watch as the looting of the mine continues. This is the same ANC who wants to nationalize the mines, the banks and the farms. Can you even imagine the utter enslavement of blacks, the dilapidation and ruin of South Africa that will follow? As the rivers of gold, and other critical minerals, that once flowed from South Africa dry up, one after the other, due to BEE and nationalisation, the world and especially the Oppenheimers will look back to the good old days, when the whites were in charge of South Africa and they were making their fortunes. The day will still come that they will realize that they might have betted on the wrong horse..

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Lonmin, Lonmin, Lonmin.

Before I get into it I want to get you to think of something:
What if those violent protesters got through? What if the police did not open fire? Do you think those charging men merely wanted to talk, with panga’s, knbkirries and guns in their hands? And what effect would it have had on this country?

Effect:

With violent protests breaking out in all parts of our country, I can’t help but be grateful that the unrest is somewhat a cloud of dust starting to dissipate because if those men had to get through, over power the police and start killing them, I can tell you it would have sent one message across the country “Take out the police!”, every town in our beautiful land would be under threat merely because it would look like the police are incapable of curbing the masses. To spite who is wrong and who is right. Basically, if those workers had the upper hand on the day of the massacre, it would not be the day of the massacre but the start of civil war in South Africa.

History repeating itself?

Some articles want to liken this event to Sharpeville, but in my minds eye there is a difference between a bunch of scholars protesting, chanting, dancing – fueled by the idea of Bantu education – compared to a bunch of men charging down a hillside with weapons towards armed police.
Then the notion of muti came to light. I get culture and that people have their traditions but at what point does a person turn around and say “Tradition is like magic, and the only place it belongs is in stories”. We are all brought up in a world where education s key to success. If you study hard and work hard you will achieve. Whereas traditional type of thinking, where drinking a special drink from a witch doctor will deflect speeding bullets, puts the idea that this group of people are easily swayed in terms of truth. This proves that the group of people we are talking about are not educated. So why is their education important? Because this massacre has quickly turned political, and a weak mind is a politicians playground. From the unions, to the ANC, and the Youth League, everyone is getting in there telling the remaining workers what IS happening and who IS to blame. Maybe if we want to look at a similar massacre then look no further than 1994 and the bloodshed between the ANC and the IFP, how is it similar to LoNmin? It’s politically driven.

Socio-economics.

Now there are far cries for a pay increase to R12500 and to some degree I feel this is a ploy towards international media because that kinda cash is a pipe dream for some educated people of south Africa, myself included. And the idea that a miner can earn that, makes me think twice about finishing school and going to university. If that is the salary then I should have been in the mines at sixteen. Why? I work my tits off to earn two thirds of that every month.
“But they have families.” And then I here far cries that the workers support more than just themselves, well, unfortunately life style choice should not dictate ones pay. One should not live beyond ones means, and this includes having a family. To have children and then burden society with your lack of skills as a provider is insane. If you can’t afford a child, don’t have one. But I seem to veering off the point. The point – that cash increase is unreasonable. And if other workers across the country see that Lonmin might get this increase, what do you think will happen to all the workers across the country?

What about me?

I am disappointed. Disappointed that South Africa is still the same place it was twenty years ago. Sure the presidents skin colour has changed but the fact that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely still rings true regardless of the colour of your face. People with money think of one thing, more money. Greed my dear readers, greed pertains to only one race – the human race. So to some degree I hope that Cosatu will loose some of their power as with the ANC. Not that I want either one completely dissolved but a healthy competition, even in sectors such as unions, there will be a spread of this so called power and each individual will get closer to having a party or union that really reflects that said persons personal ambitions in life, for himself/herself and the country.

The point.

Let’s stay out of this one, stand back like spectators because there are two groups to blame, and if you are reading this I can pretty much assume you are part of neither one of those groups.

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Douche Recovery: Admitting the Hate.

Over the last 3 months there have been at least 15 attacks on gay people in the Northern Cape. In the most recent attack Miss Gay Kuruman winner 23 year old Thapelo Makutle’s throat was allegedly cut so viciously that his head was almost completely removed after an argument with 2 straight men about his sexuality.

This is the front page article of Exit Newspaper and how can it not be shocking. But sitting at my desk with a view of the ocean I feel somewhat removed from the entire incident, and that is partly where the problem comes in for me – that it’s over there. I have been prive to enough bashings but none to such a severity, in my case I was slapped around or on the odd occasion punched till I bled. But here Thapelo was murdered and his genitals were still cut from his body and shoved in his mouth (which is gross evidence of the underlying hate). So why is it worse in some places than others?

Some might want to blame the wave of Traditional Healers opting to alter the constitution to best suite them. However, I was present at the 2008 Pride in Johannesburg CBD where bricks were hurled at us from some ten floors up, shattering on the floor sending a chard in the air slicing the neck of a young lady in front of us. Therefore I cannot blame recent animosity on recent activity, alone. It’s been around for a while but it’s only getting worse.

The problem is that the constitution is a written thing and therefore, taking emotion into account, is a thought out and logical concept. So to spite the fact that the law is there to protect us, it really on serves to bring justice and let’s face it, isn’t prevention better than cure. So the idea is there, yay, but the feeling somewhere along the line is not.

so what happened is that equality comes up as more of a suggestion rather than a society, our society’s, ruling on how we should behave and tat each other. So when will this elusive equality be instilled?

Hate is an emotion and is very much part of us the way love is a part of us. But how we use these emotions is the important factor, or is it a case of our emotions leading us? If we do not control ourselves we allow our emotions to grow into something uncontainable and down right crazy. Just think of a time you were so in love yet all your actions were just crazy. Does that mean that the love is not real? No, it means you can’t handle that kind of emotion, you are not mature enough. And maturity comes from understanding.

I hate guys that don’t want to sleep with me. I hate guys that try.
I hate men who objectify women. And i hate women who refuse to objectify men.
I hate smoking sections… Anywhere. I hate it when a disgusting smoker cant sit through dinner without a smoke. I hate it when you tell me smoking is disgusting, with your Big Mac in one hand and a super sized coke in the other. And I hate that I smoke.
I hate capitalism.
I hate car guards. I hate petrol attendants. I hate those bitches that work behind the till in the grocery store. I hate fat traffic cops. I hate thin chefs. I hate waitrons with long hair. I hate hairdressers with none.
I hate Bollywood, it’s just too damn much. And what’s up with the over the top film in a place of such gross poverty? I hate big budget films. I hate Transformers… Every single fucking one of them. I hate that Fox woman, even I want to fuck her she’s so hot.
I hate a blaze of heat without a way of cooling down. I hate the cold and the constant struggle to find some warmth. I hate those single giant clouds that hinders me from having an otherwise sun filled day. I hate a grey cloud-covered sky without a single damn rain drop.
I hate fat that whines about their inner beauty. I hate muscles that can only talk about food, what to eat, when to eat and how much.
I hate Idiots that say “oh, no thanks, I don’t drink”. And I hate hearing the moron that cant handle his booze shout out at everyone obnoxiously.
I hate it when you speak to me in a language that isn’t English. And I hate your thick accent when you speak English. And I hate that I can only really speak fucking English.
I hate ignorant whites who complain too much and do too little. I hate arrogant blacks that do even less. I hate bossy women. In fact, sometimes I hate all women – oh, hey, guys, let’s help out with that whole feminist movement, equality is great, only a women has proved she can do everything a man can do, behave like a heartless cunt. I’m waiting for the delightful change feminism was suppose to bring about. I hate waiting. I hate spare time.
I hate advertising.
I hate adverts that push the happy family myth especially on late night television when those happy families should be fast fucking asleep. I hate stupid ads that rhyme or have some lame ass fucking jingle.
I hate that the world is changing so fast.
And I hate it when time seems to stand still.
I hate you for reading this and agreeing to anything I have had to say because I hate myself for being a douche bag and focusing on the hate.
Why not write a piece on the things I love… Because I would hate that

So when you look at hate, it is prevalent in all of us whether we admit it or not. The latter usually ends in the person acting out in spite of the denial so what’s the harm in simply saying it out loud, or writing it down? But the critical difference from being a person who feels to a criminal who acts is how we choose to release this hate. Even when I re-read it, it sounds crazy but as logic comes back to my head and my years of maturing come into play, it is evident that acting on any of what I just mentioned would not only be wrong but incredibly stupid. And life is far too short for stupidity.

As my brush up with the LGBTI news continued I came across a story that really takes hold of the problem in question and brings it in from over there, to right under our noses. And these two incidence are all in the span of a few weeks of each other… Tell me it’s not getting worse?
In Johannesburg, the Carlton Centre, a woman was beaten senseless by three men working in the centre as security guards. The men beat her because she kissed her girlfriend, and what seems to be popular consensus in the black community (from rural to urban) is that lesbianism can be cured through brute force and often rape. Now the security company, Protection Services, has threatened to countersue Mtshali (the woman beaten senseless) for allegedly scratching one of the men during the attack. Even when the police arrived the women were harshly recommended not to press charges. So here we have security guards, men paid to protect and trained to defend or attack, using their skills on a woman for no other reason than their own stupidity? But who is the one to deal with the after math? Mtshali. And why should we, as the LGBTI community, have to deal with the straights inability to feel compassion or have some tolerance?

So at what point is enough enough?
The law is behind these people, behind us, but for some reason the constitution seems more and more futile, just words on a piece of paper. At what point will someone, not from the LGBTI community, stand up and say “No, this is not the kind of behavior I condone in a country I call my own.”
Where are our leaders? because your ignorant, cruel and heartless people need some leadership!
What can you do?
Stopping the hate starts with you. Admit that you hate, even just a little, it’s ok. But it’s not ok to make that emotion a reality, not only for yourself but for anyone who might be involved in your heat wave of hate. Then you need to speak out about hate you come into contact with. Let’s all take a leap into 2012, homophobia is so old school and hate crimes are a disgusting display of the lack of forward thinking a progressive and developing society needs.

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My “Fellow” South Africans: Putting it Straight

I want to point something out: It was once illegal to be a gay.

I wake up everyday to find a new twenty something black writer crying about the past injustices and I can’t help myself from thinking, “I’m gay, so technically I can cry about past injustices too?”
I don’t get any extra pay for being gay, so why should you for being black?
I don’t get any special privileges for being gay, so why should you for being black?
And I certainly don’t get any special preference, to spite the fact that affirmative action should be serving me first as a person from a true minority group, so why should you for being black?

So why don’t I ever use the gay card to further myself… Because I can do it on my own. I don’t need special pay or a little stepping stone to advance in my career. And getting it based on sexual preference will not help me achieve personal fulfillment in my career choice. I want to work hard. I want to advance and I want to know it was all because of me. It’s called achievement, and yes without actually ever achieving anything (and it was just given) I don’t think a person can appreciate it whole heartedly.

Why don’t I ever cry about past injustices? Because I was not personally subjected to them. I was born in the eighties, which means that while i was learning to put on my own pants the country was changing. In fact when democracy finally came to our shores so did the beginning of puberty, so anyone in my generation complaining about past injustices just reads as someone who cant do it on their own or for themselves. And although the hatred did filter down and school was by no means easy for this gay kid, I was not one of those men who were subject to torture back in apartheid, so using it today as my own personal plight is just a cowards way of standing up for myself.

And, if you are white and you think I am with you based on that fact you have totally missed the point.

My point is, white, black… It doesn’t matter, you are all straight. To us, proud gays, your are all in the same pot. Colour the skin which ever way you want in the end, I still see you as straight.

So while you complain about racial slurs and a silly painting, corrupt officials and misleading representatives (as if this is something new) I’ll do my best to prevent another person from being raped and/or killed simply for being who they were born to be. Ill do my best to ensure that we, the LGBTI community, can live as authentic as possible without fear from the “breeders”. And I’ll remember the last lines in our national anthem which should sum up who we are as South Africans without any confusion, “let us live and strive for freedom, in South Africa OUR Land”

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It’s Just a Word… Right?

special invite for racist model

– this is what I read as I drove down Louis Botha in Johannesburg and my immediate reaction is to ask myself “Is this in fact news worthy material?”

The story began as – none other than – a tweet. A model tweeted something with a word one should never use and not only for the mere fact that it’s sloppy, demeaning and poor English but because it’s really offensive. Then it comes out that the man she in fact tweeted about spat in her face, and i was shocked that these are two adults in South Africa. One white, one black and now everyone must pick a side…? I think not, when what we really are talking about here are two really uncivilized, uneducated and moronic people.

So now what South African news deems interesting is to turn these two seemingly retarded individuals into a debate over racism. The basis that racism stems from idiots is paramount in this example. I mean, if a man can spit in a woman’s face and still call himself a man then what has our society come to? Similarly, if a woman can sit back, digest the events and decide that the best course of action is to hop onto social networks and drench an entire race with disdain is plausible and commendable then something has to be said about what we all deem acceptable behaviour.

So basically I don’t have time for the individuals in question, I don’t agree with either ones behaviour and I refuse to base it on race. Stupidity is stupidity.

The real point I would like to make is about the word. How is it possible to make a word illegal? Surely by doing so you have simply given the word more power than it ever had before. Why does law have to dictate our behaviour? Does one honesty have to be told that a derogatory word should not be used? And mainly because it reflects badly on the speaker. I, for one, judge poor English… Silently. If you use the word, I will automatically assume you are uneducated or lack perspective, your choice, either way my interest is lost and no sentence will ever be able to regain my interest. So why use the word?

Similarly, ” moffie” and “faggot” are words that flew around, admittedly, more frequently in the past than it does today and why…?
Why have these words never been made illegal?
Must I remind people of Ward 22 in the apartheid regime?
But I would never want a word like that to become such a taboo in terms of the law. I would work my best at trying to alter the word, so if I were to hear it with people from a person I would make an uncomfortable laugh at it. People are susceptible to social cues and slowly everyone learns that “moffie” just ain’t cool, nor is it clever. Try a better one… I dare you.

In the end it’s just a word and we as people give these words power. And locally, as South Africans, we allow the words to take the form they do. “Kaffir” is still a feared word which is where the mistake lies. A word should never be feared, it gives the word way too much power when all it is at the end of the day is a bunch of letters together that make out a sound. Take the power back. and challenge those users of the word to better define what is there understanding of the word in question.

And after all that, I realize, I am talking about a model here, since when was thinking ever a prerequisite? So maybe the news will focus on more important issues… And then the next street pole comes around the corner…

Zuma in R1.3mil wedding debt

… Now that’s a hell of a lot more interesting, don’t you think?

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Workers Day

With a total of over twelve million foreigners landing in south Africa in 2011 and a recorded one point two million people in January of this year, one is left to wonder why one celebrates a day like workers day when our unemployment rate has steadily increased over the last ten years to almost thirty percent.

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Reading a newspaper, the ruling party would like you commemorate the memories of past south Africans who had lost their lives in the struggle for equal rights for workers. They will have you believe today is about those brave souls who fought the oppressors and, against all odds, went on to create unions, some of the largest in Africa. But how can one turn their heads away from the beggars on the street and not think about the millions of people who are without work. That’s almost fourteen million people without something to do come tomorrow morning. What of them?
Well, with an expected fifteen million foreigners coming to our land this year, surely there is a way to grab there attention? Surely they have some extra cash they don’t mind blowing on something worth the experience.

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Let’s look at the obvious. Cape Town is renowned for many things. The arts and culture, the nature and natural beauty, the vibes, sun and beaches. And the night life is just another attraction point. So why would the City of Cape Town be making it so difficult for clubs and pubs to run their establishments? I get that these places are not usually run by people who portray the strongest pillar of morality in our society, but with the strict rules and lack of assistance from provincial or national level does not help the honest man make an honest living from a somewhat less than honest business. But since the birth of Jesus, man has had brothels and pubs. We are a lascivious bunch when the lights go down. So would their – the governments – help not boost employment? People are needed to run these places. Not machines, but people.

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South Africa, with it’s huge wide open spaces of land. Why do we not have a hemp land. A town that grows hemp. Hemp for material to make clothes and super strong rope. To make canvass. Hell it is even more indestructible than other Construction products such as medium density fiber board, oriented strand board, and even beams, studs and posts. Because of hemp’s long fibers, the products will be stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood. So why all the huge forests that require machines to operate, not an entire village? Not to mention that hemp oil can be used in an engine, why are we not exploring this more? Why leave it for first world countries?
I get that this is a fairly poor country but with one of the richest soils in natural minerals in the world I don’t see why? Maybe those FAT cats at Arora can help explain the poverty. Names like Zuma and Mandela might prove to have some of the answers as to why some of our wealthy gold mines have been reduced to dirt and rubble? Now, the east rand mines are something I grew up very close to. I saw it grow and sustain itself in terms of constant employment for many years yet I saw it’s demise within three.
So what is workers day in a place with so few people who work?
How is one suppose to connect with a holiday that seems entirely contrived?
Maybe the ostentatious President could take a step away from his fourth honeymoon, fat and corrupt nephew and lavish life style to answer some of the more pertinent question I, as a south African, would like to have answered…?

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It All Starts with Nguni

What does Nguni mean?
Well the question is far more perplexed in the answer I am trying to achieve than merely what is it, as it is a language, the language that makes up almost a third of the South African population. What is particularly important is to look at the two dominating clans that have come from the Nguni – Xhosa and Zulu.
Now one would really have to dig deep to find the disputes that were rife from the beginning of the splitting of the Nguni people between these two tribes and further more the disputes between the Khoi in the south – from the defeated Xhosa’s who trekked down south. Some might even argue that there were no disputes, but then why the split? Mere disagreements on circumcision? I think not. It’s about control, who has it and who is the more dominant and therefore the more powerful people. The Zulu’s bullied the Xhosa who in turn bullied the Khoi… A nasty little train reaction. Yes, in some cases the Khoi and Xhosa found a way to live together and actually marry across the tribe but the Zulu, ever so powerful and strong, never let up that they were the big bosses of the southern tip of Africa. It was not till Europeans arrived that things started to change. But not at first. Xhosa people held up the longest colonial war out of all and were only defeated due to the beliefs in tradition and spirituality – when a little girl called Nongqawuse who came up with the bright idea that purging the land will bring the gods down to earth and the gods will destroy the white man. So they killed their cattle, destroyed their farms and slowly starved to death as the gods never came… Mmm, I wonder why? The Zulus made the fatal mistake of killing a whole bunch of women and children, and that rage fueled the Boers with revenge and the Zulu power was not as impressive as before the battle of Blood River. The poor Khoi… Fighting off Portuguese sailors in the sixteenth century to being crippled by disease they had little option of fleeing and integrated into the European life in the cape, well sort of. The sort of life an indigenous person could get from a colony.
So what is my point to digging up all this history?
It’s still goes on today and it happens in our very own government, and nothing is clearer than the animosity between the ANC and it’s naughty little youth league. Is it as simple as saying that because we have a Zulu president many people are unhappy with it? But why? They have proved to be dominant in the past, strong, willful and smart, so why any cause for doubt? Maybe it’s the inability to distinguish between culture and modern society. I mean the other day I watched a film about apartheid where it depicted a Zulu woman back then and how she is today, and the film was rather blunt in it’s opinion that the only power she has lies between her legs – her virginity and her ability to conceive and give birth – then and today. No more no less. But is this really all that a zulu woman can do? To IDE for her man, accommodate his needs? And if this is a common understanding in their culture then I don’t want it in my democracy, sexism is just not cool and agreeing to it is preposterous.
Xhosa people tend to showcase themselves as respectful of age whereas the Zulu people tend to show respect to those with power to spite the lack of wisdom or compassion in the decision making.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And in politics today it is all about who is in control. So now we have a Pedi frontman up against a Zulu frontman and we are all watching to see which lion roars the loudest, even if the lions in question are merely doing it for our amusement.
It’s hard to watch a beautiful city turn to shit and Durban is a prime example of that. Where once you could walk down the promenade at night, alone, as a child, now you may not even leave the hotel after sun set. And this is in Zululand, the now shit hole of SouthAfrica.
Never mind the false sense of ownership that is slowly swooping over the land in the north due to one loud mouth politician. Limpopo is sinking more and more, if it weren’t for Paul Kruger and his ingenious idea of creating the reserve to protect the wildlife that province would have sunk by now.
Ok, although it use to be the poorest province in SA now succeeded by the Eastern Cape, that does not mean that it got better actually it’s the E.Cape that just got worse… And how can you blame it when a place like Umtata exists?

I guess my point to this post is this:
I don’t care what the reasons are, when a political party can have such a huge, and very public, disagreement between the two presidents in the party, then there is something wrong with the party. I don’t think it’s a case of merely silencing Malema, as many people incorrectly think like him and nor is it as simple as saying “You must have respect for the President”, why? Because he is the president? Well if he sucks we have the right to say so, and he does. But is it really an argument about policy or is this little dispute really another form of a clash of tribes with the desire to be in control. Africa is drenched in disdain from the words tyrant and dictator… Is south Africa going to become yet another typical African country, where one man gets fat and the others starve to death?
Enough of the blame, let’s find a solution… It’s time for change.

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Human rights day for South Africa

Yesterday was Human Rights day for all South Africans. What was once a remembrance of the sixty nine unarmed people that were killed in the 60’s in Sharpeville has somewhat transgressed into a remembrance of all the forced removals that began to take place during that time. Not only were black people removed but Indians, Coloureds and anyone who was not deemed white. So it is fair to share the focus of the turmoil of those times amongst all the area’s that were affected regardless of a shoot out or not.
Now, what would anger me are the headlines: “69 blacks were killed…”. Factually, yes that is the case, but in essence of what a day of remembrance is suppose to evoke from it’s people is a sense of unity and togetherness. However politically motivated lines such as this merely thicken that curtain between them and those. And that is not to say black and white but rather black and every other person living in South Africa. Would it be fair of anyone to say that sixty nine black people were gun downed by Afrikaans police force? Of course the facts may very well support such a statement, but when do the facts leave us disjointed in terms of preventing repeating the entire idea of violating our basic human rights? Separation with words, on paper, is no different from separating people in life.
I, for one, cannot believe that South Africans just gunned down other South Africans because of fear based and irrational hatred for the others skin. I cannot believe that South Africans would gather other South African families and just relocate them to an area far removed from the homes that they had grown to love as their own. And now, I cannot believe that the tone of blame is still so prevalent in speeches delivered by South Africans to South Africans about South Africans. Has the Truth and Reconciliation commission not come to a truth and reconcilement of past events, or are we (especially those born some thirty years after the Land Reformed Act was implemented) suppose to each feel differently about past events in terms of shame, guilt and victimization based on the colour of our skin.
When will that time come when we are all really free to be you and me, to love openly and without past prejudices and most importantly stand together as what we really are… Brothers and sisters of one country, of one amazing place that we all share, cherish and live from?

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