Lushaba 2: That record needle skipping faux pas remains

READING some of the latest ‘academic’ defenses of Lushaba in the ‘petit press’, one could be forgiven for thinking that he had delivered an important speech at UCT pronouncing on the supremacy of politics over law, utilising dialectical materialism to thoroughly debunk so-called legal institutional analysis, in the process setting the Holocaust in its rightful place, a mere peccadillo involving white people.

Both Chris Roper and Steven Robins are at pains to point out the context of a general critique of various approaches to the teaching of political science. While Roper’s is anything but a systematic contextualisation (in effect denying that the comments were even made), Robins errs on the side of rewriting the lecture altogether, as if the specific context of revolt against democratic and constitutional norms is all good and fine if one also raises substantive issues of colonial violence.

A case of competing frames of reference?

Robins erroneously writes: “As Roper indicates, the wider context of the lecture, and the logic of Dr Lushaba’s overall argument, do not in any way support Holocaust denial, and he certainly does not seek to argue that Hitler and the Nazis committed no crime in their acts of genocidal violence.”

“Instead, the lecture is a critical reflection of the racial blind spots of his discipline of political science, and why it was only after the Holocaust that genocide came to be recognised by scholars and human rights lawyers as a crime against humanity.”

If this were the case, then why did Lushaba not come right out with it, and say so, why beat around the bush? Why slip into an obnoxious, bigoted statement denying Hitler’s culpability for crimes against genocide, or should that be humanity? To use an ignoramus like Roper as an authority, would be to ignore his earlier statements made concerning Negritude and Césaire, a man whose work he rejected in a public address made in 1996, in the process claiming that the term itself was ‘racist’.

As I wrote previously, the result is not simply a moral vacuum in which the only historical crimes of any import are those against black persons, (and vice versa) but worse, a descent into reductionism, racial categorization and the logic of the late BJ Vorster, whose grey shirts were allied to the Nazi Party.

That Lushaba’s approach to political science provides short thrift to his subject matter, may be seen by the equally false claim that there are only three approaches worth considering. Check this page.

Equally problematic is his approach to proven facts like the 13th Amendment to the US constitution. Sorry Sir, while the amendment may have had the effect of extending the category of human being, it tragically did not state so in its wording. The same error appears in Roper’s fatuous piece devoid of truth yet upbraiding the media for breaking the story.

This shoddy approach to evidence-based research in favour of polemic and opinion-making readily leads one to racist bile.

While I agree with Robins: “the lecture raises substantive issues about the relationship between the Holocaust and black histories of colonial violence that are certainly worthy of academic and public debate”, I categorically disagree with its intention and true purpose.

The trouble with his long-winded mitigation argument, sans facts, is the obvious attempt to drown out objections. Thus it is not what Lushaba actually says, and what is recorded, but rather an intellectual interpretation of events, one which seeks to spin an obvious faux pas, which passes for a response. In exhalting Hitler’s purported innocence, and ignoring that the intended audience are not pHd candidates per se, but rather first year students, both gaslight instead of enlightening the public. His students deserve a lot better than lies.

“One possible charitable interpretation of Dr Lushaba’s comment is that he understands the word “crime” quite literally to mean a legally proscribed, punishable offence and that he was claiming that under Nazi law it was not a crime to kill Jews” writes David Benatar.

To add fuel to fire, Lushaba proceeds to claim our objections are in the minority, blames the media, and stands by his words. One would at very least expect an apology, but that would mean climbing down from his seemingly ‘unassailable’ academic pedestal, a pedestal from which he has seen fit to launch racist invective.

There are undoubtedly many valid criticisms of racism and colonialism, however, a critique of racism which concludes that in order to combat racism, one has to suppress women, or homosexuals for instance, would not be a valid critique. 

Similarly, a criticism of traditional approaches to political science, a critique which starts by inferring all law is subordinate to politics, but then falsely concludes the findings of war crimes made under Nuremberg were wrong, is not an educated segue into modernist and post-modernist discourse, but rather, a moribund approach to dialectical materialism, one which invariably leads into antinomian and relativistic terrain.

It is the exact same terrain in which our own TRC findings have been subordinated and reduced to irrelevance by political cadres and apparatchiks of Lushaba’s ilk, emanating from our nation’s academic institutions.

Time to call a spade a spade.

SEE: Commandante Lushaba and the Führer

SEE: Remarks over Hitler by UCT lecturer Lwazi Lushaba are offensive

LUSHABA: SA academia churning out unprofessional kooks and crackpots

THE LATEST rant from within SA academia points to a growing problem with the award of doctorates at these institutions. In February I exposed a fraudulent narrative issued by Dr Mandisi Majavu a ‘senior lecturer in the Department of Political and International Studies at Rhodes University’. (see link below)

This month, yet another senior lecturer in Political Studies, Dr Lwazi Lushaba from the University of Cape Town, demonstrates that there is a dearth of evidence-based intellectual inquiry at these institutions. Data analysis and empirical research should underpin philosophical and theoretical considerations, not the other way around.

If our academic institutions appear to have fallen prey to opinion-based, bigoted flights of fancy, which do absolutely nothing to further freedom of speech nor academic discourse for that matter, and which border upon hate speech, if not outright contempt for our constitution, then it may not come as a surprise, there is a global trend towards downgrading the prestige of the humanities and social sciences.

If jettisoning secular humanism in favour of radicalism for the sake of radicalism, or spurning history in favour of reductionist, ahistorical class analysis doesn’t get your goat, then perhaps the words uttered by Lushaba during a recent address to his students will.

The doctoral fellow has previously been taken to task by a religious studies PhD candidate and blogger James Bishop for issuing racist bile (see here). And was reprimanded for conduct that was “unacceptable, inappropriate and disrespectful” in 2019.

In the video Lushaba claims “Hitler committed no crime. All Hitler did was to do to white people what white people had normally reserved for black people.”

A syllogistic fallacy if any. In other words a flawed reasoning in logic. (Hitler is innocent. He only did what was normal. Therefore genocide of Jews/Whites/Blacks is normal).

Now I am not going to entertain you with galling details regarding the Final Solution and comparisons with previous and subsequent genocides, suffice to add that Lushaba is just plain wrong when he comes to attributing race to Jews (nations are not ‘races’, there is no plural in race, race is the child of racism not the father) and his utterances are best placed in the realm of speculative fiction, the crackpot section.

While the German Army under Lothar von Trotha did participate in a well-documented genocide of the Herero and Namaqua in Namibia, and the Rwandan genocide has often been compared to the genocides following from these atrocities, it is the denial of culpability, the attribution of innocence to the chief protagonist of the Final Solution, Adolf Hitler, and hence an impersonal, ahistorical, anti-morality based upon overly broad, reductionist and need one say, racist generalisations, (as in ‘let’s stick it to the whites’ and while we at it, ‘let’s stick it to the Jews’,) which is most troubling and offensive.

To remind readers who may have read my postings on Mcebo Dlamini, a Wits SRC leader who made similar remarks in 2015, and was subsequently forced by the SAHRC to apologise. The system we know as apartheid was both informed by and had its antecedent in the Nuremberg laws classifying Germans and Jews according to blood quantum and preventing miscegenation between ‘races”.

One need look no further than several examples of the former National Party of South Africa’s membership card which carries both the infamous swastika associated with the Nazis, and also the words proudly promoting affiliation: “The South African National Party emanates from the S.A. gentile National-Socialist movement and incorporates the said movement as also the SA Grey Shirts”.

It was Hitler’s brown shirts who engaged in what became known as Kristallnacht, a pogrom against Jewish-owned businesses while back in South Africa, it was John Vorster’s grey shirts and the government of D F Malan who succeeded in formalising what were until then informal race policies of segregation, in the process shutting down black owned business, which were relegated to the ghettos, ‘locations’ and so-called townships.

The rediscovery of the so-named Fischer tools housed at the University of Stellenbosch, used by apartheid doctors in their offensive project of race classification, further demonstrates the clear links between apartheid and Nazidom.

As I wrote in 2015, ‘A flurry of academic papers followed the 2013 rediscovery of the so-called ‘Fischer Tools’, used for race-classification purposes at the University of Stellenbosch.’

“The artefacts, it was immediately clear,” writes Dan Newling, “had been used to measure and classify physical differences between human beings of different ethnic origins.”

“An inscription on the back of one of the [objects] revealed their origin: they were the tools of Eugen Fischer, a notorious German eugenicist and Nazi whose theories inspired Hitler.”

You can read more from my original post on the Nazis, Mcebo Dlamini and DF Malan here.

And my expose of Mandisi Majavu here.

There are undoubtedly many valid criticisms of racism, however, a critique of racism which concludes that in order to combat racism, one has to suppress women, or homosexuals for instance, would not be a valid critique. The statements by UCT SRC chairperson Declan Dyer in support of Dr Lushaba’s bizarre utterances about Hitler, fall into this category.

UCT SRC chairperson and nazi sympathiser Declan Dyer has come out in support of Lushaba, stating that the comments were part of a larger critique of political science, and one should add, a critique of the anti-apartheid movement which took a non-partisan stance on the subject.

UPDATE: Dr Lushaba stands by his offensive idiotic statements, claims inter alia, that lectures at a public institution are somehow private, that the views of the person who objected are in the minority and that it is his ‘love of the black body politic’ that drove him. If you follow his reasoning, then BJ Vorster, the head of the grey shirts movement affiliated to the Nazis, was innocent? Its a regular shit show. And worse, he appears to claim that the only peers who should be entitled to review his work, should be black etc etc, an apartheid headspace if any. In fact I remember similar crap emanating from my history teacher back in the day, ‘The English treated the Germans badly at Versailles, resulting in Hitler, similarly they treated the Boers badly, who only engaged in apartheid because they were mad at the British.’

Sekunjalo has another Jack Ma moment

THIS WEEK saw ABSA bank withdraw its support for Sekunjalo and Iqbal Survé, citing reputational damage without providing any details. Apparently the bank doesn’t have to supply evidence in court and may boot its clients willy-nilly — on the mere off chance that they represent a risk to shareholder’s profits.

If the attempts by some media critics to paint this as another example of the end of the Gupta years, stemming from the shenanigans at Ayo, seem a little odd given Sekunjalo’s balance sheet, then perhaps it has something to do with the proverbial Iqbal Survé Jack Ma moment. If you remember, Ma fell out of grace with the Chinese Communist Party in November last year, resulting in the cancellation of the Ant Group IPO.

Similarly, Survé’s Sagarmartha IPO failed after the PIC pulled the carpet citing lack of due diligence. If you managed to catch the tail-end of the saga, and last month’s presentation given to a special parliamentary portfolio committee, then you will realise that Survé didn’t take things laying down.

He appears to have spun-off the troublesome Independent Group’s assets into a special interest vehicle, the Independent Consortium, whilst saving both Premier Fishing and Loot.com, two highly cash-generative operations, that form part of his vast empire.

It doesn’t take much digging to find the cause of Absa’s butt-headed reaction, since Survé has been waging a tit-for-tat battle with other media groups, in particular Naspers, itself a mere pawn in a broader financial empire, whose ultimate source of control is the web of intrigue surrounding the Rupert family and Rupert Beleggings.

Since the Rupert’s were instrumental in the creation of Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (Absa), after their well-documented bail-out of the apartheid state and its banking sector during the 80s, which also saw the dynasty benefit from various so-called ‘life-boats’ floated by Chris Stals et al, and are consequently the main sponsors behind the ANC, their erstwhile banking partners might not be all that happy to have Sekunjalo as a client.

Look no further than the history of Volkskas on sahistory.org.za

The move comes as President Ramaphosa was lambasted by the NEC’s Dlamini-Zuma for his apparent proximity to Johann Rupert. Hypocrisy considering the party’s longstanding relationship with its former National Party allies.

In 2018 columnist Azad Essa claimed that the Independent Group cancelled his column immediately after he published a column distributed to a number of Independent Media newspapers critical of China’s mass internment of ethnic Uighurs.

The prospect of Sekunjalo being refused a business license under the current political dispensation in which the ruling party operates as if South Africa is, for all intents and purposes, a one party state, will no doubt come to haunt Survé.

Reports have emerged that Survé initially chose the China National Bank as an alternative to Absa, only to find that keeping ones money in an authoritarian regime, is well, not exactly Swiss banking.

End Vaccine Apartheid Before Millions More Die

By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 23 2021 (IPS) – At least 85 poor countries will not have significant access to coronavirus vaccines before 2023. Unfortunately, a year’s delay will cause an estimated 2.5 million avoidable deaths in low and lower-middle income countries. As the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has put it, the world is at the brink of a catastrophic moral failure.

Vaccine apartheid
The EU, US, UK, Switzerland, Canada and their allies continue to block the developing country proposal to temporarily suspend the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement to enable greatly increased, affordable supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs, tests and equipment.

Meanwhile, 6.4 billion of the 12.5 billion vaccine doses the main producers plan to produce in 2021 have already been pre-ordered, mostly by these countries, with 13% of the global population.

Thirty two European and other rich countries also have options to order more, while Australia and Canada have already secured supplies enough for five times their populations. Poor countries, often charged higher prices, simply cannot compete.

Big Pharma has also refused to join the voluntary knowledge sharing and patent pooling COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) initiative under WHO auspices. Thomas Cueni, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) Director General, snubbed the launch, claiming he was “too busy”.

Pfizer’s CEO dismissed C-TAP as “nonsense” and “dangerous”, while the AstraZeneca CEO insisted, “IP is a fundamental part of our industry”. Such attitudes help explain some problems of alternative vaccine distribution arrangements such as COVAX. According to its own board, there is a high chance that COVAX could fail.

Suppressing vaccine access
Despite knowing that many developing countries have much idle capacityCueni falsely claims the waiver “would do nothing to expand access to vaccines or to boost global manufacturing capacity”, and would jeopardise innovation and vaccine research.

Big Pharma claims manufacturing vaccines via compulsory licensing or a TRIPS waiver “would undermine innovation and raise the risk of unsafe viruses”. US Big Pharma representatives wrote to President Biden earlier this month claiming likewise.

Both Salk and Sabin made their polio vaccine discoveries patent-free, while many contemporary vaccine researchers are against Big Pharma’s greedy conduct only rewarding IP holders regardless of the varied, but crucial contributions of others.

Big Pharma’s price gouging
Vaccine companies require contract prices be kept secret. In return for discounts, the EU agreed to keep prices confidential. Nonetheless, some negotiated prices were inadvertently revealed, with a UNICEF chart listing prices from various sources.

Reputedly the cheapest vaccine available, Oxford-Astra Zeneca’s is sold to EU members for around US$2 each. Although trials were done in South Africa, it still pays more than twice as much, while Uganda, even poorer, pays over four times as much!

US negotiated bulk prices, for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, are much higher, at US$15.25–19.50 per dose in several contracts, yielding 60–80% profit margins! Moderna will charge the rest of the world US$25–37 per dose.

Hypocrisy
Quite understandably, most developed countries opposing temporary TRIPS suspension have provisions in their own IP laws to suspend patent protection in the national interest and for public health emergencies.

Canada, Germany, France and others have recently strengthened their patent laws to issue compulsory licences for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. European Council President Charles Michel announced that the EU could adopt “urgent measures” by invoking emergency provisions in its treaties.

Similarly, in the US, 28 US Code sec. 1498 (a) allows the government to make or use any invention without the patentee’s permission. To handle emergencies, the 1977 UK Patents Act (section 55) allows the government to sell a patented product, including specific drugs, medicines or medical devices, without the patentee’s consent.

When avian flu threatened early this century, the US was the only country in the world to issue compulsory licences to US manufacturers to produce Tamiflu to protect its entire population of over 300 million. The drugs were not used as the virus was not brought over either Pacific or Atlantic Oceans.

Biden must act
By helping developing countries expand vaccine manufacturing capacity and access existing capacity, US President Biden can earn much world appreciation overnight. US law and precedence enables such a unilateral initiative.

The Bayh-Dole Act allows the US government to require the owner or exclusive licensee of a patent, created with federal funding, to grant a third party a licence to an invention. Moderna received about US$2.5 billion from Operation Warp Speed, which dispensed over US$10 billion.

Moderna was founded in 2010 by university researchers with support from a venture capitalist. It has focused on mRNA technology, building on earlier work by University of Pennsylvania scientists with National Institutes for Health (NIH) funding.

The vaccine developer also used technology for previous coronavirus vaccines developed by the NIH. The NIH also provided extensive logistical support, overseeing clinical trials for tens of thousands. Moderna has already announced it will not enforce its patents during the pandemic.

Thus, POTUS has the needed leverage. The Bayh-Dole Act applies to Moderna’s vaccine, enabling the Biden administration to act independently and decisively against vaccine apartheid.

Sharing knowledge crucial
Developing countries not only need to have the right to produce vaccines, but also the requisite technical knowledge and information. Hence, the Biden administration should also support C-TAP, as recommended by Dr Anthony Fauci.

When the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) was in similar trouble, the Obama administration came forward to put US-owned patents into the pool while encouraging drug companies to help improve developing countries’ access to medicines.

President Biden knows that early US support was critical for the MPP’s eventual success. It dramatically increased production and lowered prices of medicines for HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis C and other infectious diseases in developing countries.

PANDA’s Response to Daily Maverick: Kung-Flu Panda: dodgy analytics or pandemic propaganda?

[PANDA have been denied the right to respond to a hatchet piece published by the Daily Maverick, as the recipients of similar treatment by our co-opted, press, we publish their response in full below. – Ed]

From: Nick Hudson
Date: Friday, 5 February 2021 at 08:24
To: Rebecca Davis
Subject: Re: Media inquiry: Daily Maverick ~ Panda

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS FROM DAILY MAVERICK 4 February 2020

PANDA received these questions at 14h38 on 4 February and was required to respond by 9am on 5 February (4 business hours). Some of the questions posed of PANDA relate to the non-PANDA activities of individuals based in Canada, the United States and New Zealand. Given the timezones, it was not possible to get responses from the individuals in question and we have responded based on publicly available information.

The article that our response is requested to premises a conspiracy between various groups around the world, of which PANDA is, by implication, one. The article is such a tawdry concoction of nonsense that it hardly warrants a response. It is not clear what the purpose of the alleged conspiracy is, but the conspiracy is supposedly coordinated by the former lead psychologist at Cambridge Analytica, who apparently advises these “pandemic disinformation platforms”. The article is authored by a journalist once described by Vanity Fair as engaging in “conspiracy mongering” and is published on a controversial “platform for freelance reporters and writers to produce fearless journalism not found in the mainstream media.” It seems its primary purpose with this article is to attack “hard right politicians” in the UK’s Conservative Party. Daily Maverick would be the first mainstream media publication to publish the conspiracy theory about PANDA and thereby the first to lend credence to the fanciful and defamatory statements about PANDA and its members made therein.

Whither SA democracy under successive Covid lockdowns?

SOUTH AFRICA’S bitter experience with successive states of emergency during apartheid, resulted in a liberal Constitution which aimed to avoid a political dictatorship. The executive is thus bound by a dispensation which enshrines democratic rights and freedoms even during an emergency or disaster.

The failure of Parliament to debate any of the regulations imposed since 23 March 2020, including the successive renewal of the disaster without so much as a democratic mandate, (currently we are in lockdown level 1) means that the checks and guarantees in our constitution amount to little more than hot air when it comes to the ruling party exercise of power.

While silent on the authority inherent to a public health disaster, it cannot be that the National Disaster Management Act is a more powerful instrument of governance than a State of Emergency, or that Parliament is in effect suspended and restrained from its oversight role?

“We must have parliamentary oversight and make a national state of disaster subject to the same procedural constraints that already apply to a state of emergency in our law. After all, the risks of the abuse of power under a state of national disaster are similar to those historically associated with a state of emergency” says Cilliers Brink MP the DA’s Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

A Coronovirus Management Act for instance, would certainly quell such reservations.

“Recently, the penny dropped for a few free-speech activists when they realised, with horror, that in this election year, all political events are currently banned” writes Cilliers.

“Even if the ban is lifted in the coming weeks, it can readily be reimposed by the stroke of a ministerial pen, regardless of whether there are less restrictive means to curb a third wave of the pandemic” he added.

With the collapse of our democratic institutions, our partisan ‘judiciary’ was soon to follow, trotting out apartheid-era justifications for the treatment of persons who oppose vaccination and removing dissident voices.

It was Voltaire who once said:  ‘I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.’  While it was Harry S Truman who said: “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

Spare a thought then for those who disagree with the special measures, introduced unilaterally by the nation’s executive, measures which include mask wearing, curfews, restrictions upon movement and the possibility of mandatory vaccination.

Craig Peiser, one of the organisers of a series of beach protest events held in False Bay by ‘We Are More’, is currently detained in a state psychiatric facility, after he was found unfit to appear for trial, apparently on account of his ‘lack of appreciation of right and wrong’.

This follows a ‘psychiatric report’ authored by one Professor Sean Kaliski.

“Based on the report, the court found that [Peiser] didn’t have criminal capacity when the incidents happened. He couldn’t distinguish between right and wrong” suggests Theolin Tembo  of INM.

Involuntary commitment for political reasons was removed from the Mental Health Care Act in 2002, but this didn’t stop Professor Kaliski from committing Peiser for his acts of civil disobedience.

Peiser who is opposed to mask wearing, removed the mask of an ENCA reporter, resulting in a charge of common assault. The media were barred from the court proceedings which resulted in him being treated as an involuntary mental health care user.

South Africa has often resorted to elements of the Cuban medical system, which routinely commits those who oppose the Castro dynasty inside mental health institutions. The SADF recently imported R260 million of the drug interferon, thinking that Covid-19 was biological warfare.

The country continues to enforce a travel ban on the Dalai Lama and has failed to guarantee secular rights and freedoms.

Dear Mr Fallist

Dear Mr Fallist,

You and your partner have been visiting my home for the past months.

I value our friendship and shared history at Community House, but more often than not, you have returned my kindness by engaging in a ‘bully pulpit’, declaiming upon matters which leave no room for disagreement, nor intellectual freedom from my side nor that of my friends and associates.

Yours is a bully pulpit with its associated guilt trip which boils down to the modern version of Mathew 20:30 — “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”

As a non-theist I don’t quote this biblical reference out of respect for scripture but rather to demonstrate that you appear to have a lot in common with the people that you claim to oppose.

To the day in question, in which you arrived, over a week ago only to tell me that UCT, still required ‘Decolonization’.

An institution from which I have a degree, and which treated persons such as myself, objectors and war-resisters, rather cruelly (to use your words), implementing a form of academic exclusion which amounted to invisibility alongside similar strictures meted out by the apartheid regime.

Nevetherless I finally received my marks in December 2020, some thirty years after I failed to attend my graduation in 1990 only to discover I had received a reasonable second, and had done quite well under the circumstances during a tumultuous period of student unrest.

You proceeded to inform me that there was something terribly wrong with the maths syllabus, ‘since there are other ways to draw a circle that don’t involve European maths’ as you put it. For the life of me, I could not recall any rudimentary method which did not have its origins in the Olduvai Gorge, the Caves of Lascaux and gardens of Mesopotamia.

You then motioned to explain that students at UCT were ‘still being taught Christianity and how many Angels’ (not angles) ‘could fit on a pinhead’, whereupon I exclaimed, that I ‘did not believe that every student at my alma mater was in the process of studying Thomas Aquinas, a native of Sicily, born in Italy.

You then advanced to relate the story of a particular female ‘professor’, a friend who you did not name, nor give any further details.

You explained that she had been active in ‘Rhodes Must Fall’, was appointed to an advisory board to former Chancellor Max Price, and had been overlooked for a job at UCT on account of her politics, whereupon she had taken the institution to the High Court, only to be told after nine months that it was a simple labour court matter.

I explained that since UCT is an institution created by an Act of Parliament (the UCT Act), I could imagine what she was up against and advised that issues to do with the curriculum and policy would be better taken up in Senate and that I am merely a member of Convocation.

I also hastened to guess at what the unfair discrimination case at Labour Court might entail, since as you know, I have had my fair share of labour discrimination litigation including a longstanding dispute, that also involves corruption at the Court by a member and/or associate of the ANC and former professor of law at UCT.

To your chagrin, I began to unpack some elements of the case. Asking who the person was that had beaten the aggrieved educator in question?

You answered that she was an Argentinian, ‘who was not even a professor at UCT’, and offered up the biography of one Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning — Associate Professor Lis Lange, formerly of University of the Free State (UFS), whose specialty is ‘philosophy of politics in education’

I then made an honest mistake of applying the self-same cursory test applied in my own case against the Legal Aid Board, averring that the courts would assume the case was one merely of sour grapes, your close friend, was simply a sore loser in the eyes of the law if the policy issues were set aside, and it was not simply a question of who was most qualified, but rather of the powers and mandate of the institution to appoint whomever it felt most capable.

I further cautioned that Max Price was no longer the Vice Chancellor, but rather, this post was held by a highly qualified professor of mathematics education, a black woman by the name of  Mamokgethi Phakeng

Whereupon you flew into a rage and was asked to leave.

If there is any lesson to be drawn from this experience, I guess, it is far easier to overlook naked aggression, than it is the inferences which may be drawn, that what you are really engaged in isn’t decolonization per se, but rather the desecularisation of society, its replacement by a politburo that shuns academic freedom at the same time as it discards pluralism and the multi-ethnic character of an institution, which has transformed immensely since the days I was on campus.

I therefore once again reiterate the view that policy issues regarding the UCT curriculum are best resolved by open debate, vigorous intellectual inquiry, evidence-based research and consultation between both academics and the student body.

Kind regards

D R Lewis

Mr President, did you forget to mention Acting Judge Cheat?

THIS WEEK President Ramaphosa moved to defend South Africa’s yellow judiciary from accusations made no less by a member of the Judicial Services Commission. The media has been at pains to aver lack of any evidence supporting accusations of bias against any of the country’s top legal authorities, despite politician Julius Malema condemning actions amounting to political interference.

“Unless supported by evidence, such claims undermine confidence in our courts, and weaken our Constitutional order,” wrote the President in his weekly newsletter on Monday.

He said South Africa’s Constitution makes provision for the removal of judges who fail “to uphold the values and principles with which they have been entrusted.” So I guess if any corrupt members of the judiciary bash the preamble to our Constitution or lower the status of the TRC and its report, they got this one covered?

Unfortunately the nitty gritty of provisions against malfeasance in office in particular, the abject failure to provide legal aid to those on the receiving end of corruption, unfair treatment and lack of fairness and impartiality, makes this a practical impossiblity.

“The National Assembly is empowered to remove judges who are found by the Judicial Service Commission to be guilty of gross misconduct” claims the President.

“The Judicial Service Commission is a carefully constituted body, which includes representatives from the judiciary but also the legal profession, academia and Parliament. There are clear processes established in law to deal with allegations of misconduct against members of the judiciary,” he said.

Ramaphosa then urged those who had ‘evidence of any wrongdoing by any judge to make use of the avenues provided in the Constitution and law to ensure that appropriate action is taken.’

Stating there to be “avenues” without providing any details, of how he intends to help those who do possess evidence, does not translate into action by the President, the Judicial Service Commission nor Parliament for that matter. Particularly when the ruling party in the form of the executive, is involved in the appointment of the nation’s officials, and in some instances, actively influencing the outcome of decisions (see below).

The judiciary is expected to remain independent and impartial, unfortunately the appointment of persons such as Albie Sachs to the bench in the 90s, set the tone for card-carrying members of the judiciary. Political apparatchiks believing themselves entitled to appointment to the ‘commanding heights of the justice system’ via a political project of cadre deployment and involving gerrymandering of the system.

So far as the removal of corrupt officials sitting on the bench is concerned, the constitution is rather vague and opaque on which steps which need to be taken — impeachment via Parliament or finding of gross misconduct by the JSC — surely both actions should occur concurrently? Any miscarriages of justice involving the ruling party exerting undue influence over proceedings should at very least be debated on the floor of the National Assembly?

The President was thus silent on the vexing issue of ‘acting judges’ — those who act in the place of judges, and who for all intents and purposes, are judges. In the liberal language of our constitution, literally anyone with sufficient ‘qualifications’ may be a judge, and while there is provision for citizens to act as lay assessors, this mechanism is rarely used.

The JSC currently disclaims any authority over the behavior of its acting judges, those coopted into the judiciary, leaving an alarming fracture in accountability. The result is that literally any director of a sizeable law firm may act as a judge or magistrate, without disclosing assets or an interest in the proceedings, lending credence to the assertions made by Malema and demonstrated by the evidence provided below.

And this with Judge Hlophe seemingly back at work, as if the hearings into gross misconduct before the JSC never happened? (See ‘He’s a danger on the bench’ – Kriegler  and Be gone, John: the JSC has a duty to get rid of Hlophe)

An as yet unsigned affidavit detailing attempts to prosecute an ANC political partner, labour broker, and erstwhile law professor Halton Cheadle, who presided as an acting justice over a matter affecting both his client and business associates, including then speaker of the House of Assembly Max Sisulu, during a hearing at Labour Court in 2010 and thus implicating the party in capture of the judiciary, is provided.

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Who needs vaccine consent when you Pierre De Vos ‘constitutional law expert?’

THE APARTHEID STATE was responsible for some of the worst excesses and infringements of our health rights. Not only did it deprive black persons equal access to medical care but it experimented on its citizens at will, leading to the inclusion of article 12 rights in our Constitution, rights strictly forbidding such practices.

The strictures contained under “Freedom and security of the person” relate to bodily and psychological integrity — the use of torture and forced medical experimentation, and are most certainly not subject to retroactive legislation. They are also protected as non-derogable rights even under a state of emergency or national disaster.

This didn’t stop an incompetent and ignorant ‘legal expert’ by the name of Pierre de Vos from weighing in on the side of the removal or dilution of article 12 rights, based upon various criminal court precedents impacting upon the rights of persons who have already been found guilty of a crime.

De Vos maintains that for the good of the world, mandatory vaccination with or without patient consent is required to stem the impact of the virus and especially its mutations and thus the right to freedom and security of the person, especially bodily and psychological integrity, require some limitation.

The anal probe ‘expert’ claims, without providing any substantive evidence: “The decision by an individual not to be vaccinated against Covid-19 may pose a deadly threat to the lives and well-being of others. If a significant number of individuals refuse to be vaccinated, the virus will continue to spread among the unvaccinated, which may allow the virus to mutate into new strains against which the existing vaccines may no longer be effective. If this happens, the lives of many more people in South Africans and across the world may be lost. Whether to be vaccinated could therefore be a life-or-death decision – not only for yourself, but also for others.

De Vos is a regular contributer on national television and the Daily Maverick. It therefore may come as a surprise to his followers, that his scholastic resort to S v Manamela and Minister of Safety and Security and Another v Gaqa warrants an immediate objection on the basis that as free citizens, we are certainly neither prisoners of Pretoria, nor are we guests of the State President to use a legal euphemism often deployed against those incarcerated under an insanity defence.

It is perhaps why the President in his recent address was quick to reassure citizens that our vaccination programme would be voluntary.

Spare a thought for victims of previous state programmes. In a project headed by “Dr Shock” Aubrey Levin during the 1970s to 1980s, the South African Defence Force forced lesbian and gay military personnel to undergo aversion therapy and/or “sex-change” operations, part of a state sponsored program to purge homosexuality in the army.

The infringements by apartheid doctors include ‘psychological coercion, chemical castration, electric shock, and other unethical medical experiments.’

An estimated 900 forced sexual reassignment operations according to Richard Poplak, may have been performed between 1971 and 1989 at military hospitals. Most of the victims were males, young 16 to 24-year-old white men who were drafted into the army during the South African Border War. Women were also subject to the experimentation.

While the labour camps and hostels surrounding South Africa’s mines, gave the world data on the exact temperatures at which workers die from heat and humidity exposure resulting in a measurement widely used in climate science today, black women found themselves subjected to forced sterilisation, and Depo Provera injection programmes, both seeking to limit the growth of the black population.

The measures and shoddy reasoning provided by De Vos, would require a dramatic shift in the democratic character of our country towards a totalitarian state, in which personal and individual freedoms are trumped by the requirements of large scale vaccination.

Such a programme would invariably open the door to annual Covid shots, and similar interventions, as updates are pushed from Big Pharma, who nevertheless secure an endless stream of funding from government at the same time that they are indemnified from any responsibility.

It remains to be seen whether or not South Africa will be able to chart its own path whilst resisting the global trend under the World Health Organisation to roll-out of such draconian measures.

12Freedom and Security of the personWith respect to subsections (1)(d) and (e) and (2)(c).
Extent to which article 12 rights are protected under a state of emergency

SEE: Japan asks China to stop anal tests on its citizens

If Biko and Plaatjie were alive today, debating non-racialism (response to Majavu)

THERE is a special place in hell reserved for those who wish to forge and revise history. A bizarre fabrication of the facts surrounding the origin of non-racialism was published in the Sunday Independent, written no less by a ‘senior lecturer in the Department of Political and International Studies at Rhodes University’.

Dr Mandisi Majavu’s fraudulent propaganda piece apparently for a stream of political thought adjacent to or associated with the ‘black consciousness’ movement, argues that the black intelligentsia ‘have consistently misread, misunderstood, and mistook white racism for something it was not – a white benefactor.”

He then descends into an unsupported and counterfeit conspiracy claim that ‘non-racialism was introduced by whites in the ANC in the 1950s leading to a further blunting of ‘the organisation’s race analysis toolbox’.

In this asinine and acerbic view, persons such as JT Jabavu, publisher of the first black newspaper Imvo ZabaNtsundu, and even critic Sol Plaatjie, were simply ‘racial accommodationists’. In the process both Jabavu and Plaatjie are stripped of human agency, mere foils for the colonial authorities.

Majavu postulates “Jabavu’s political project was aligned to the agenda of his political “masters” – the South African Party” before upbraiding his chief critic, Sol Plaatjie, written off as unashamedly contaminated by the “white liberal spell of Cape liberalism”, which Plaatjie himself described as representing “British ideas of fair play and justice”.

“Not only was Plaatjie short-sighted” alleges Majavu “when it came to the history of white racism in South Africa, he failed to appreciate what was coming next.”

Well, hang me high for suggesting that hindsight is 20/20 vision and this type of phoney syncretism begs the question — what would Plaatjie or Biko say for that matter, if they were alive today?

“Plaatjie is not the only 20th century black leader ill-equipped to understand the full meaning of the white supremacist project being advocated for by whites in early 20th century” declares Majavu who then goes on to propose:

“John Dube, first president of the ANC, subscribed to Booker T Washington’s racial accommodationist and black self-help politics.” In the process unfairly writing off both Pixley Seme and Alfred B Xuma, ‘part of the black intelligentsia who though fighting valiantly against the Native Land Act nevertheless elicited a ‘disappointing response to race segregation’.

This sets the stage for the unfounded assertion that whites were solely ‘responsible for the introduction of nonracialism’ and that persons of colour, all subjugated servants to a tee, timidly took up the baton, bearing the cudgels of universalism and monogenesis (the theory of human origins which posits a common descent for all human races). This under the egregious whip of the Church, influenced or brainwashed by missionaries and that it was the ANC which invariably became non-racialism’s foremost champion and proponent from the very start.

Majavu’s piece painfully ignores the historical tragedy of the singular fact of the struggle that it was Robert Sobukwe, founder of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) who first articulated race agnosticism in any coherent fashion.

Although universal ideas such as equality and respect for human rights, alongside the paleoanthropological evidence of our common origin, may have been advocated in private by ‘white persons’ such as communist party leader Joe Slovo, the ANC of the 1950s was very much defined by the Freedom Charter, itself a document bound up with the multiracial language of the period.

Sobukwe famously stated in his United African States inaugural 1959 address, “The Africanists take the view that there is only one race to which we all belong, and that is the human race. “

“To us the term “multi-racialism” implies that there are such basic insuperable differences between the various national groups here that the best course is to keep them permanently distinctive in a kind of democratic apartheid. That to us is racialism multiplied, which probably is what the term truly connotes.”

History demonstrates it was thus the ANC an avowedly ‘multiracial’ party which went on to adopt non-racialism at the behest of the Unity Movement and other critics of colour.

In particular my mentor and comrade, the late Dr Neville Alexander used to relate the story of how he and Mandela were prone to engage in dialogue on the issue of the race question, whilst breaking lime stone in the quarry and incarcerated on Robben Island .

Speaking on the position of the ‘Unity Movement,’ Alexander’s view was that there was a ‘common stream of humanity, not separate and distinct streams as the racists would have it’.

The journey of both the ANC and the Rainbow Nation is thus an epic one from the multiracialism of the 1950s to the non-racialism of the new South African Constitution, a document whose preamble enshrines an elegant and powerful idea alongside recognition of the injustices of the past.

Would Steve Biko be a non-racialist if he were alive today? I think he would most definitely support non-racialism in its far-reaching appeal to end race discrimination, at the same time that he pointed out that ‘blackness is not the result of skin pigmentation but rather a reflection of a mental attitude’.

If Jabavu, Dube, and Pixley Seme were alive, perhaps they would be upbraiding the ANC for neglect of its allies in the freedom struggle, its avoidance of the universal imperatives of the Preamble to our nation’s Constitution and its abject failure to chart a coherent vision, free from corruption.

Given the adverse conditions under which those opposed to the apartheid state found ourselves, I find Majavu’s fraudulent attempt to malign non-racialism as an ‘all-white affair’ morally reprehensible and beneath contempt, since the facts certainly do not support the above conjecture.

[David Robert Lewis is an anti-apartheid activist and graduate of the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town]

[Published in a radacted form by Sunday Independent, 14/2/21]