Tag Archives: South Africa

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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It’s a Beard, all Men can grow them.

Fayaaz Kazi, twenty seven, was murdered on Monday night in Ventersdorp outside a Chicken Lickin outlet after a fight broke out between him and two other men.

“Two white people… they called him [Osama] bin Laden in Afrikaans because of his beard…and then they called us kaffirs,” Mahmood told Sapa by telephone on Wednesday.”

Based on his appearance he was called a terrorist and, as I assume, he stood up for himself yet was met with more than just a fight between stupidity and humanity, death.

Last month I wrote a post on another hate crime in South Africa, Hate Crime where an argument over sexuality also ended in death. Another woman was attacked but “luckily” survived. Which is just a branch off of a hate crime that has plagued our beautiful country for far too long.

Gang-raped, beaten and stabbed 25 times, she was the lesbian activist and football star whose murder blew open South Africa’s hate crime epidemic.
But more than two years after the death of Eudy Simelane, the government has done nothing to halt the barbaric sex attacks dubbed ‘corrective’ rape.

Although corrective rape is a hate crime, rape is not necessarily a hate crime under the law. In terms of psychology, the offenders of hate crimes and rape derive from the same place – A profound inability to see another person as a human being. There is a difference between a man that breaks into a house and steals the home theatre system compared to the man that breaks into the house and rapes all the women in the home and then just leaves.

The Point?

I’m trying to link up all these different little acts of hate and showcase them as one huge problem, the only difference is the person being attacked. HOWEVER, all the victims I have mentioned are South Africans. As are the perpetrators. So we as South Africans must admit that this is part of our society and we are committed to changing it, it’s where we begin to eradicate this senseless and savage crime.

So what I propose to do is grow a beard. Grow it as long as I can, like a Muslim, for the obvious reason, it’s a beard plain and simple and the idea that a man can be killed from a cumulative series of events that started with some beard taunting is completely outrageous. And there is always more to a person than the appearance he gives.

At what point will I stop?

The aim is to get twenty people to physically ask me, “Yo, Bro, what’s up with the beard?” then I can tell them the story of Fayaaz, Thapelo and Eudy so that their deaths will not go in vain.

The fact is that men are the ones responsible for these crimes and not that I don’t think hate resides in women, I am just yet to see a woman actualize her hatred in a way other than verbal. So it is up to us men to stop. So I encourage any of you reading this to grow a beard, get to twenty people too. And if you are a woman reading this, remember that these criminals all have mothers some have sisters, aunts, daughters, wives or girlfriends, maybe get that man that is so close to you to understand what a hate crime is and get him to grow his beard – it will make the world of difference.

Regardless of race, creed, culture, sex and sexual preference we all have the right to live in spite of whatever others choose to believe and destroying things we can’t understand has to find an end at some point. And it’s not misunderstanding that needs the cure, but our attitudes, it’s the inability to want to understand that pushes the hatred to such volatile proportions.

Here’s to some hairy days.
Peace.

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The Hunger Games of the KZN Coastline

“Only two will be chosen Heather. Only two from each school”
“Do you think it will be me mama? How do you know who gets chosen?”
“When you are ready, my darling, you will be chosen. But don’t think too much about it now,” and for a few more days the sardines will not know. The waters’ temperature will determine how many will be chosen and Heather’s mom was just sugar coating it, more so for herself, she did not want Heather to go.
A few days later and the waters temperatures are perfect. It is announced that almost all will be attending the run this year. And all show up, swimming from far off schools to be part of the greatest migration this far south, putting the great Nigerian migration to shame.

Millions of sardines are about to run the coast of South Africa, and it’s one of the most spectacular events spanning over two months – if you’re lucky.

So how does it start? It’s not really known.
Why does it occur? Not really known.
Ok, How do they get back? Don’t know.

So basically, my story is like scientific data of the sardine run – a great migration that is by no means a secret.
Except poor little Heather is going to die on this very large Hunger Game, seeing that the Hunger here are sharks and dolphins, giant whales and speeding fish. Good luck Heather. As for your return if you finish? Well dare I say it… I don’t care. The side show attraction is the real attraction, and once the fish and swimming mammal dissipate, so does my attention.

The season smells like it’s going to be a goodie and it’s not only that pungent salty miff that wafts past my nostrils every once in a while, but the cool chill in the air that cools my air passage down which means that the waters temperature while be kept low. Ideal for the sardines to gather and sprint their little asses off.
With the sighting of a few sperm whale already, the outcome looks promising for more and more. I have a pair of binoculars but with them coming so close to shore there is only one thing to do

Time to grab the camera click click

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