Archive for July, 2009

Things Fall Apart

0_94622200%201249031776Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity

These lines from William Butler Yeats`s poem, The Second Coming, came vividly to mind in the past few days of municipal workers`s strike which left our cities and towns in a mess. I had first hand experiences of a legitimate strike elevated to anarchy in the capital city of our province Polokwane where property was destroyed and the innocent assaulted.

In my town of  Tzaneen strikers even went to the landfill site to import waste to trash our streets with.

As this anarchy played itself out government, president Jacob Zuma in particular, was conspicous in its silence. Strikers could march, vandalise, assault and destroy with the knowledge that little if not nothing could be done to them. Afterall they are the ones who delivered Zuma in Limpopo back in 2007.

It is a tragedy that workers who enjoy the benefits of a rolls royce labour legislation can resort to anarchy to put the frustrations across to the employer.

It now remains to be seen what the future holds for us as the contradictions within the Zuma-alliance get really tested.

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COPE LOGOCommentators and the media have of late been hard at work declaring the Congress of the People as being dead and buried. This is a farcry from the positive and at times exagerrated coverage of the party before and after its inaugral conference in December last year.

During their shor-lived flirt with COPE the media and public intellectuals had the party as offering a serious challenge to the ANC. The official opposition, the DA, was ranked a distant third in the parliamentary perking order.

The recent about turn in perceptions about the new political kid on the block is the result of its poor performance during the April 22 general elections. To compound matters following its poor showing at the polls, the party was embroiled in an inner-party strife that threatened to tear it apart. Two of its most senior leaders, Lynda Odendaal and Simon Grindrod jumped ship out of frustration. Accusations and counter-accusations flew back and forth.

The there were stories of a plot to get rid of party president Terror Lekota as well as parliamentary leader Dr Mvume Dandala.

Since this mini crisis there has been a flurry of activity, including the despatch of a trouble-shooting team to  provinces to calm the waters and assure members that all was well on the COPE side of town. Numerous of its leaders took to the media to rekindle its profile. A welcome development for a party hitherto declared a deadman walking.

In my view South Africa needs COPE for the well-being of our young democracy and hard won freedoms. More than any party, now or in the immediate future, COPE remains the country`s only hope from a possible slide to a Zimbabwe destiny. It has all that is required to make a success of its mission to defend democracy and its accompanying freedoms – struggle credentials, a national footprint and its current membership cuts across colour and class.

The tragedy is that its leadership appears not to be awake to this fact. If they were awake to the potential COPE has, they would have done much better to build the party into a formidable political player than it is at the moment.

Let us hope, and pray that they get the act together sooner than later.

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Poor Mr Sexwale

Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale has blamed the recent spate of “service delivery” unrest on the past administration. Sexwale`s past administration is a reference to former president Thabo Mbeki.

Mbeki becomes the second explanation for the violence that is spreading like wildfire in poor communities. The first being the third force that is out to undermine the ANC government.

It is ironic that Sexwale et al are using Mbeki as the reason why communities are up in arms in support of their demands for the long promised better life for all. In the build up to the recent elections work done by the Mbeki adminsitration was showcased as the reason why the whole of South Africa should be voting for the ANC.

Now comfortably perched in office and cruising in the mega-bucks cars, our new regime no longer has use for the good that Mbeki did for the country and the party. Yesterday all our ills were the fault of the apartheid regime, today we are blaming it on former president Mbeki. It can never be our fault – even when we are at fault.

If this is how our government is going to respond to problems, then there is no future for our country.

But then could we expect anything different from those Zapiro aptly called Pirates of Polokwane. These are men and women, who united by their personal hatred of Thabo Mbeki hijacked the ANC and derailed the national democratic revolution.

As for Mr Sexwale, didn`t he attempt some third way in the pre-Polokwane ANC leadership race using the millions he made after jumping government ship for the private sector. When his kite couldn`t take off, Sexwale threw his lot behind the Jacob Zuma bandwaggon. This lack of consistency and principle lost Sexwale whatever little respect he might have enjoyed.

His most recent utterances on “service delivery” unrests served to expose the opportunist in him. All that we expected from him was to roll out a comprehensive programme to deliver decent housing to the needy. Whilst he is playing cheap politics, houses worse than apartheid-era match-box houses are built.

Cry the beloved country.

Architects of Poverty

July 22, 2009 9 comments

Moeletsi Mbeki has just released a book : Architects of Poverty – Why African Capitalism Needs Changing. The book has been widely well received by those genuinely concerned with the future welfare of the continent.

However, as would be expected, the South African trade union federation COSATU hasn`t been mightily impressed by Moeletsi`s offerings in the book.

Responding to the book COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi had the following piece of  wisdom to offer, ” To comrade Moeletsi, the leadership of the liberation movement ended in September 2008 after his brother was recalled.”

Vavi`s comment followed the COSATU statement issued by spokesperson Patrick Craven in which the latter accuses Moeletsi of a personal dislike of Zuma and his allies, including COSATU. According to Craven this personal dislike has warped Moeletsi`s vision.

Mbeki`s crime lies in the following extracts from the book…they have no leadership. COSATU lost their leadership in 1994. The unions are left with leaders who have no education, no knowledge, no expertise. That`s why the poor are being ripped off…they don`t know the political economy of South Africa.

He goes on to write…they think they can ingratiate themselves with politicians of the ANC, so in the past four years they have been crawling to Jacob Zuma, thinking that they will use him. But Zuma ignored them once he got into power. He ignored them and privatised Vodacom.

In COSATU`s wisdom Moeletsi can no longer be treated as an independent commentator but someone with a personal grudge.

If COSATU has to be believed the book has nothing to offer but sour grapes by one of the Mbeki family who mourn the recall of Thabo Mbeki as presidency of South Africa and his defeat at the ANC conference in 2007 by Jacob Zuma.

COSATU`s response to the book is to say the least, tragic as it resorts to playing the man instead of playing the ball. In my future posts I will engage with the contents of the book and leave the fact that Moeletsi is former president Thabo Mbeki`s brother to COSATU.

Hello world!

July 22, 2009 2 comments

Hi I am Brave Heart  a blogger based in the South Africa of breath-taking events and developments. Thabo Mbeki Mbeki lost his bid to lead the African National Congress at the party`s 52nd national conference in 2007 thus paving the way for his recall as president of the country in 2008 –  a few months before the end of his second and last term in office.

The new ANC leadership had made it very clear from the word go that they wanted to remove Mbeki`s legacy, meaning politicians and administrators who had supported the former president had to be purged and replaced by members of Jacob Zuma`s fan club.

On the other hand a new political party, the Congress of the People was founded, by those disgruntled with the Jacob Zuma ANC. Since then elections have been held and the world`s worst nightmare has become real – Zuma is president of the Republic of South Africa!

All these trends and developments need to be recorded. This blog is my attempt at recording trends and developments in South Africa as they come to pass.

Comments and other inputs will be most welcome.