We will be lucky if we vaccinate 2% of our population

GIVEN the slow pace at which South Africa’s mass vaccination campaign has been rolled out — as yet, not one confirmed public vaccination has been administered — claims by government that 10% of the population, including the vulnerable and front-line workers will receive the jab, must be met with a good degree of scepticism.

We will be lucky if we manage to vaccinate some 2% of our citizens over the coming six months, that’s 1 140 000 or just over 1 million individuals. The recent comments made by the Chief Justice may have already torpedoed the public Covax Initiative.

In the week in which a new more virulent local variant of the virus was announced by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, with its origin in Nelson Mandela Bay, the country finally paid over its contribution to the UN programme, yet another example of what Dr Carl Venter terms a ‘poor handling of the crisis’.

Health activists had thus already expressed concern that South Africa had missed the deadline, and all this while images of the West’s immunisation campaign already under way were being streamed over our television screens, a local wait-and-see approach if any.

Meanwhile the health system in several provinces was under severe pressure, with no plans in sight to alleviate the lack of oxygen, PPE and high care facilities over the New Year period. Local press appeared unable to present the problematic second wave and our failing vaccination programme in any frame except, ‘we’ve been here already, and don’t want another hard lock-down’.

Readers would have had to find information on the collapse of health care services and lack of critical care in Nelson Mandela Bay, not from the local press, but rather from the New York Times, whose Sheri Fink reported this week on a tragedy unfolding in Port Elizabeth, and thus a troubling lack of credible information from local media houses.

A situation of self-censorship which has its echo in previous fumbling by the Mbeki administration over ARVs and the earlier Botha regime which suppressed news about the SADF invasion of Angola and death toll at Cuito Cuanavale?

While government was announcing it had identified the 501.V2 Variant, Minister Mkhize was thus bizarrely playing down the implications of a sudden shift in the epidemiological picture as the demure Prof Karim continued to spew forth scientific opinion with little impact on the reality and lives of health care workers.

“Clinicians, said Karim “have been providing anecdotal evidence of a shift in the clinical epidemiological picture – in particular noting that they are seeing a larger proportion of younger patients with no co-morbidities presenting with critical illness,” he said.

If Fink’s observations as a journalist are mere anecdotes, then much of what passes for press commentary in the republic is a fraud.

Let her words below sink in, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to observe the virus isn’t any more deadly, it is rather, more pernicious and disruptive to our health sector:

“At the center of a terrifying coronavirus surge, 242 patients lay in row after row of beds under the soaring metal beams of a decommissioned Volkswagen factory.”

“Workers at the vast field hospital could provide oxygen and medications, but there were no I.C.U. beds, no ventilators, no working phones and just one physician on duty on a recent Sunday — Dr. Jessica Du Preez, in her second year of independent practice.”

“In a shed-like refrigerator behind a door marked “BODY HOLD,” carts contained the remains of three patients that morning. A funeral home had already picked up another body.”

“On rounds, Dr. Du Preez stopped at the bed of a 60-year-old patient, a grandmother and former college counselor. Her oxygen tube had detached while she was lying prone, but the nurses had so many patients they hadn’t noticed. Now, she was gone.”

That medics are having to prioritise who gets treatment while denying others, according to a score card, is a tragedy being repeated all around the world.

Crackpot Chief Justice Mogoeng, now with added 666

THE FAR RIGHT agenda within South Africa’s judicial system reared its ugly head once again this past week, with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng pronouncing upon the Covid Vaccine.

According to the elected head of the judiciary, some Covid vaccines might contain ‘triple-six’ or the ‘mark of the devil’. Only ‘non-Satanic’ vaccines should be accepted, he added.

It is a declaration that would be risible if it were not for the fact that Mogoeng Mogoeng, who alleges he is ‘not a scientist but rather a prayer warrior‘, is also a legal professional and a sitting judge.

According to Stephen Grootes, the ‘claim that some vaccines might be “triple-six” cannot be based on scientific fact.

“He himself admits he has no understanding of vaccines. His comments may reasonably be construed to lead to harm, particularly in a context in which it is currently illegal, during the State of National Disaster, to spread falsehoods about the virus.”

The judge, whose crackpot beliefs are certainly not backed by science nor academic research, defends his views rather, as being ‘in accordance with Christianity’.

That Mogoeng is a charismatic Christian is well-known, less evident is the basis upon which he issues forth his opinions in the form of prayer, and thus the claim that the rights guaranteed by our constitution accord his office the benefit of speaking on topics, for which he is no doubt unqualified to speak.

Notwithstanding the obvious intrusion of Church and State and undermining of the separation of powers. The Chief Justice claims rights which he denies others and is thus a mendacious hypocrite, suppressing the views of anyone who disagrees with his far-right Christian ideology.

In 2010 an irregularly-gained decision handed down by a corrupt ANC official, purporting to be the opinions of the Labour Court of South Africa, proceeded to demonise this writer, for asserting that the views of a Media24 employee resembled the now defunct ideology of the Dutch Reformed Church (NGK).

The contested decision anathematised a career in journalism on the basis of the writer’s opposition to apartheid and possession of a secular belief system.

It proceeds to assert that de facto race segregation and race profiling of readers at Die Burger (sic) not Media24 community newspapers, was ‘merely a coincidence of homogeneity’ i.e. an accident of nature or ‘miracle of sameness’, and the company in question could not possibly be in the wrong, since its sole witness was ‘Italian and a Catholic‘.

Imagine explaining the events at Brackenfell this year as a mere coincidence?

Race segregation is not a teaching of the Catholic Church, and likewise, the Covid vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna are unlikely to be repudiated and excommunicated as the ‘work of the beast’, by the broader Christian establishment.

Needless to say, several complaints to the Office of the Chief Justice, i.e. the Judicial Services Commission were ignored.

See DRL condemnation of right-wing anti-secular revolt within SA justice system

See: Dr Glenda Gray to Chief Justice Mogoeng: Keep your religious beliefs to yourself

See: Scientists call for Mogoeng’s impeachment over vaccine conspiracy

See: The Chief Justice must be called to order

Greens should challenge notion that banks determine “Environmental Leadership”

In 2016, ‘two men pretending to be police officers’ murdered Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Radebe the founder of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, an environmental group opposed to mining in Umgungundlovu in Eastern Mpondoland. 

In November this year, Fikile Ntshangase, deputy chairperson of the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation, was assassinated amid ‘claims of death threats and bullying by those in favour of the expansion of Somkhele Coal Mine, which requires the relocation of 21 families, which Ntshangase opposed’.

Instead of releasing paid advertising promoting their house brand, one would have expected WWF and others, to stand up in solidarity against the slaughter of environmentalists. The latest round of ‘leadership’ material glosses over the fact that environmental justice leaders are being killed and assassinated as we speak.


South Africa’s environmental justice movement originates in the tumultuous period in which organisations such as End Conscription Campaign were being banned. In particular, Earthlife Africa arose as a broad movement for environmental justice which broke terrain by being inclusive of human development and issues affecting ordinary black citizens. 


Having linked the environment to apartheid and its deleterious effect on our climate and habitat, environmental justices activists such as myself, took to the streets in successive waves of protest action over the decades. However it is abundantly clear that bankers and financiers are seeking to control this narrative by a strategy of ‘electing’ leaders within the movement.

A newsbrief posted this past month bluntly states:  ‘WWF Nedbank Green Trust environmental leaders graduate internship programme has been dedicated to developing the leadership capacity of graduates who want to contribute to a better environment’.

WWF is an organisation co-founded by apartheid financier Anton Rupert, the man responsible for creating a National Party sponsored cabal which continues to ignore the massive contribution of organisations such as Earthlife Africa, Environmental Justice Network and allied organisations.


In 2018 ELA national director Makoma Lekalakala was named co-winner of the prestigious Goldman Award alongside Liz McDaid of SAFCEI, a Southern African multi-faith institute addressing environmental injustice. Unlike ELA, SAFCEI is considered inside of the fold of the WWF Nedbank alliance. It took a foreign award to recognise the achievements of both parties.

Banks and corporate South Africa need to be told that they while they are free to support environmentalism, promoting their own favourites as ‘leaders’ whilst ignoring the immense sacrifice of persons such as Fikile Ntshangase and Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Radebe, is nothing more than a gross form of greenwashing, paid propaganda exercises calculated to deflect attention away from obvious holdings in oil, gas and fossil fuel.


Similarly, environmental activists need to be called to account for failing to raise solidarity with the Mfolozi Commmunity. We must take a stand on democratic accountability within the broader environmental justice movement. Leaders should be elected and accountable to membership of their organisations. Fund-raising should be transparent and open to member scrutiny.

Steven Friedman’s lies deserve a careful examination of the truth

WHEN THE Equality and Human Rights Commission report into anti-Semitism in Corbyn’s Labour party was released, it was damning, writes Jay Elwes in The Article. “Facing allegations of anti-Jewish racism, the report said Corbyn’s Labour was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” in an attempt to counter and dismiss those claims.”

The report found there were ‘three especially egregious breaches of the Equalities Act’, including: Political interference in anti-Semitism complaints; a failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints; and harassment.

This is a far cry from Steven Friedman’s blatantly dishonest account published in New Frame.

According the Friedman, not only was there no evidence of anti-Semitism inside the British Labour Party, but ‘the closest (the report) comes to finding that anti-Jewish racism is a problem in Labour is the claim that some in the party use “antisemitic tropes” and say that “complaints of antisemitism [are] fake or smears”.

Corbyn was thus an innocent ‘victim of a trick’, opined Friedman, one which ‘has been used for years in the United States and here to portray racial redress as racist. Less well known is that it is now used to paint opponents of racism as antisemites, people who despise Jews.”

That Friedman was ignoring serious complaints made on the left regarding harassment of members of the Jewish Labour Movement (an anti-racist group) which had resulting in 7 MPs including Chuka Umunna, a black MP leaving the party last year is clear.

He thus trots out a well-known criticism of the right, (‘mere tropes’) in an attempt to smear ‘black Labour’, as hopelessly tied to Israel, while promoting Corbyn’s reinstatement as leader of the party .

The only trick here is Friedman’s own chicanery and mendacity in attributing race to Jews and thus reducing all adherents to Judaism, to the status of simulacra. People who ‘look like they could be Jews’.

It is a common tactic of race-obsessed critics to focus attention on ‘Jews of European origin’, whilst forgetting there is a mosaic of difference within the Jewish diaspora, which includes inter alia Jews of Ethiopian, Nigerian and South African origin. Nations are not races, and rather the issue here is one of ethnicity.

In 2018 I wrote an open letter to Friedman questioning his apparent expertise on the subject of Jewish identity, his neglect of issues relating to secularism, and the problem of ‘who gets to decide who is Jewish or not?’ He failed to respond and continues to issue forth with blatantly false allegations, allegations which have not been tested in any court.

I have only to reiterate my own experience with racism and Anti-Semitism at Media24, to demonstrate, the lay issues at stake, have absolutely nothing to do with Zionism per se, nor the tedious opinions formulated by shoddy activists, over whether or not a Palestinian or Jewish State has a right to exist (why not?). But rather the manner in which open debate on the subject of Jewish secular identity in general and Anti-Semitism in particular, is circumscribed and defined by self-appointed political apparatchiks such as Friedman.

As Thomas Jefferson once stated: ‘I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.’

South Africa is a secular state with a “We, the People’ constitution. The phrase “In humble submission to almighty, God” was removed from earlier drafts of the constitution, and is a well-established narrative recorded by Judge Albie Sachs.

Loom without a blessed view

THERE’S a new ponzi scheme targeting Cape Town’s ‘woke females’ who seem to think that sharing videos on babies and spirituality via social media like Whatsapp and Telegram, is going to lead to an empowering ‘gifting event.’ With all the overtones of stokvel and women’s circle (both legitimate) loom also known as the ‘blessing loom’, and ‘secret sisters’, relies on new money from a devolving membership in order to function and is thus a Ponzi Scheme.

Things have certainly progressed since the simple ‘chain letter’ scams of my days at school. Try giving someone a gold coin to plant, to make a gold coin tree grow and you will get the picture.

If you missed the Bitcoin Ponzis or the Crowdfunding Ponzis such as Crowd1, get ready for the post-Covid Spirituality Ponzi going viral as we speak, in Australia, Nigeria and Cape Town.

Women do count in my book. But I’m afraid the maths is against anyone playing this game since the way it runs is in multiples, 1, 2, 4, 8, … 64 which then requires 4096 people in order to have that moment when the magic jelly beans fall out of the proverbial unicorn’s backside.

The best description is by a women writing under the pseudonym Delphine Delchambre who published an article about her experience on Medium.

To put it short: one is invited, usually by a friend or relative, to join a simple, circular, money making system — its circular form makes its members believe it is not a pyramid system, but when one would virtually pull up the center of the circle and lift it, one would quickly see the circle evolving into… yes, a pyramid! Entering the system is as simple as paying a small amount of money, which in this case was €150. All you need to start “the game” is a Whatsapp account, some patience and — this is key — you are asked and expected to invite at least 2 or more of your beloved friends, family and acquaintances. The more people you manage to add to the circle, the quicker the movement of it, and thus, the easier it will be for you to make your chunk of easy money. In front of such minimum “work” stands a wealthy reward: you’d end up making €5250. (you can find more about how the money making actually works, by looking through the diagrams and pictures posted below) So, with a small effort and by spreading the “love” and “positive vibes” of this circle, you’d end up making a staggering €5250 profit in no time! For every person to eventually make this kind of money, the “Loom” needs to always, ad infinitum, keep on growing. 64 new people are needed for every person to gain his or her Loom-boon. 

My own encounter with a local version of the ponzi preying on our community in its nefarious ‘activation of the feminine divine’, was via a close associate attempting to ‘sponsor’ my partner in a BEE version of the game that appears to have differing terms for the various levels or stages.

Since the game runs like a trojan hijacking our community and informal sector, it may also be manipulated, as one Youtuber explains, the problems are endless.

Please don’t get loomified. If you want to start a legitimate gift economy, make sure it complies with stokvel legislation and is truly sustainable.

Much ado about the Covid ‘second wave’

please note: events of the past weeks of December have shown the speculation surrounding the so-called ‘seasonal thesis’ below to be completely wrong, instead we have a witnessed another surge as the result the rise of a more infectious lineage of the virus, the article is preserved here to serve as a record of this open speculation.

TWO WEEKS ago Boris Johnson announced a second nation-wide lockdown for the UK. This apparently after data showing projected infection increases, outstripping the capacity of the NHI — there is a broad variance shown by the conflicting mathematical models, which do not take into account exposure to UV radiation.

As the Northern economies enter Winter, the ‘second wave is upon us’. However the same cannot be inferred by local data. So far as the South is concerned, summertime is proving that when it comes to Covid-19 every indication points to the pandemic being seasonal, and that a diverging UV profile will lesson the impact in the South.

The announcement of a vaccine with a 90% effectiveness has boosted hopes for an end to the pandemic. With Nelson Mandela Bay metropole the sole outlier, South Africa has been spared the worst ravages of the ‘second outbreak’. The nation has an extraordinary high recovery rate and most early projections have proven wrong, witness the controversy over the modelling.

‘In the South African context, there is close to zero value in going back to a hard lockdown as it is not going to achieve anything different in controlling the epidemic’ is the view of Professor Shabir Madhi from the school of pathology at the University of the Witwatersrand. This stands in contrast to Dr Zweli Mkhize’s insistence that his mathematical models are correct.

What is not being said by either sides, (and speaking as an environmentalist) is that there are very different environmental factors at play in Africa. Not only do we have a different seasonal procession, with the South experiencing Summer when North experiences Winter, but there are vastly different weather patterns, all of which impacts on the amount of sunshine and consequently UV radiation experienced by the average individual.

South Africa’s UV burn index is amongst the highest in the world. Bare in the mind that the coronovirus is a derivative of the common cold, and operates much in the same way that the flu does, save for the fact that coronoviruses tend to break out in clusters unlike the flu which comes in waves. Direct normal radiation for Upington for example, is nearly 1000 w/m2, and vastly different from our coastline.

The whole notion of a ‘second wave’ for the entire world, is potentially a flawed assumption made by the World Health Organisation which has tended to operate as if the earth were flat in the process dishing out advice that is no better than that given by socialist bureaucrats during the Soviet Union.

The mandarins and technocrats in Geneva simply rolled out policies for the entire world this year, a one-size-fits-all determination that treats every economy as if we are all living in Alaska, and which deserves to be tested and scrutinised by local and regional scientific councils.

The only ones benefiting from this extraordinary overreach, are the large pharmaceutical companies which stand to make a mint out of the supply of PPE and the much-vaunted vaccine. A vaccine which may take anywhere up to 5 -7 years to dispense. Nevetheless questioning Covid stats, may incur professional liability and institutional sanctions much in the same way that questioning received doctrine on the HIV epidemic has become a shibboleth of notable proportion.

Now more than ever, is the time to host a national symposium on what is known about the virus within the local context, what still needs to be understood and to derive policies based upon evidence-based science and empirical research rather than policy decisions made externally and consequently adopted by our government without any forethought as to the consequences.

Unfortunately as the HIV crisis has shown, the likelihood of the South African government taking a lead where science is concerned is extremely slim. Read my piece on Skepticism during the Mbeki era.

Something rotten at the Cape Bar

THAT SOUTH AFRICA’S legal enterprise is essentially a predatory profession taking advantage of apartheid privilege at the same time that it denies access to legal aid for ordinary citizens on an equitable basis is abundantly clear.

Pro Bono criteria at the former Cape Law Society for instance, (now the Legal Practice Council) were set in the last century, that’s more than twenty years ago. Law clinics, at academic institutions profess to tackle refugees, ticking boxes for funders whilst passing over the needs and rights of ordinary citizens.

If you fail to meet race criteria, you are essentially cut adrift from the system unless you are able to afford legal fees that amount to dolloping up white goods to legal professionals, many of whom will think nothing of taking massive deposits without doing anything more than write a solitary letter.

The Cape Bar Council, a vestige of colonialism, is no stranger to controversy, the latest involving advocate Anton Katz, whose request for an exemption from rules governing the keeping of chambers during the Covid crisis, resulted in his resignation.

Needless to say the CBC were quick to spin the story as a tale of economic woe, claiming that their refusal to subsidise him, is the sole reason behind the complaint. Whilst Katz has expressed concern over unpaid bills at many High Court chambers, and especially its impact on young, black, legal professionals, this is certainly not his case.

More troubling though, are Katz’s complaints of entrenched racism at the Bar. Attitudes such as those contained in my complaint to the bar regarding a racist 2010 religious inquisition at the behest of an apartheid media company, in which one Colin Kahanovitz SC thought nothing of trashing the TRC report, and openly attacking me on the basis of apartheid race laws, this whilst suborning perjury from the sole witness, a woman who proceeded to give false evidence about her matric certificate.

Then there are the vultures like Labour Law Associates (see video below). A firm operating with the tacit support of the CBC. A 2017 complaint to the CBC brought nothing more than a nod of agreement from the institution, this after one of the firm’s executives proceeded to pass himself off as a member of the bar, without so much as a law degree.

Trevor Manual, spare us the BS

BEING HALF-RIGHT, often means being half-wrong. Former finance minister Trevor Manual, the man who seemingly quit politics to take-up a lucrative job at NM Rothchilds, a company in bed with the Rupert-Remgro-Kagiso-Naspers cabal, is no stranger to scandals. Often vocal in support of ‘Coloured identity’, he has now weighed in on the Snyman saga (see below).

SABC quotes Manual saying: ‘there’s no legislation in South Africa that requires people to provide their racial classification” and “Snyman is perfectly correct.” Then without any sense of contradiction, he proceeds to interpret the Employment Equity Act, by stating: “The Employment Equity Act stipulates that Black people means Coloureds, South African Coloureds, Indians collectively. That is perfectly acceptable language.”

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what the EEA says. Under ‘definitions’ the act defines ‘black people” as a ‘generic term which means Africans, Coloureds and Indians’.(1) After this exercise in circular logic, it then lists ‘designated groups, meaning blacks, women and persons living with disabilities’. There is thus no definition of the term Non-African, nor any of the apartheid-era race categories per se, for example, Other Coloured.

The purpose of the Act Mr Manual, is not simply to provide for a ‘diverse and representative workforce’ in the form of affirmative action, but also to eliminate unfair discrimination in the workplace, a goal which includes ending discrimination on the basis of ‘religion and culture’. These are inclusive terms which cover the full spectrum of South African society, and however one wishes to define personhood, Africanness and class status.

And the reason I bring this up, is my decades-long battle under the Act, against a blatantly racist, religious inquisition brought at the behest of a TRC-bashing apartheid media corporation entangled in Mr Manuals’ many ventures. To paraphrase DJ Fresh, quit imposing your religious views, its just plain rude.

I therefore observe that Manual is being a little opportunistic and even racist, in seeking to spin his party’s painful neglect of the nonracial principles inherent to our constitutional dispensation. He is certainly dishonest in his failure to address David Masondo’s statements to the effect that non-racialism, as in our collective human rights, is ‘merely an aspirational target’.

Considering the manifest corruption at play with the Kagiso Group, an entity which lists NM Rothchilds as partners, and a shareholding and directorships at former labour brokerage and financial services firm subsidiary, Resolve Group — the ensuing capture of the Labour Court at the behest of Manual’s cronies is no surprise.

It was an ANC party apparatchik, and director at the time of Resolve Group, Halton Cheadle, (a man who acknowledges the respondent Media24 was his client) who proceeded to deliver a 2010 ‘decision’ devoid of fact, bashing our non-racial dispensation, upholding apartheid denial and favouring his business associates. A decision which deserves to be ridiculed for its imposition of a minority opinion within a major religion.

One can only marvel at Manual’s ability to spin the corruption dogging his party at the Zondo commission. I therefore refute Manual’s statements as nothing more than opportunistic, political bunk.

SEE: Dropping the Race Fraud Charges isn’t Good Enough

(1) Note: A 2013 High Court judgement instated more than a billion Chinese persons under the definition of black. The definition appears to exclude black persons who are not African, for example, a Maori, Inuit or Jamaican, would not qualify as African.

Yes, Mr Masondo, we are human after all.

Dear David Masondo,

Your recent article in the Daily Maverick refers.

YOUR heartening statements about African identity, an inclusive identity which defines all South Africans, remains an “aspirational definition” out of reach of many.

As you correctly state “who is an African cannot be reduced to race or ethnicity because it would be tantamount to the colonial racist classification that we seek to correct.”

To which you verily conclude: “The inclusive and non-racial definition of who is an African should be used to reimagine a non-racial South Africa … without ignoring the past. Economic growth and transformation are essential in building a truly non-racial South Africa in which both black and white Africans will be Africans, in real terms.”

This may serve as a welcome start to the painful process of healing which must coexist within a broadening focus on economic and cultural inclusion.

Yet it remains to be seen if anything will ever come of such lofty statements, since clearly this debate has arisen, not from within the politics of the 1994 election roundabout, but rather the context of a painful two-decade failure by your party to deliver on the non-racial context of our Constitution.

That we have a recidivist system, which treats the constitution as a ‘carrot-on-a -stick’, an optional extra, whilst maintaining apartheid race privileges is clear. This at the same time as it denies persons such as myself who fall between the gaps, human agency, deploying definitions of personhood that are anything but humanist and non-racial — in effect a denial that I am a person for the purposes of law in particular the Employment Equity Act.

To summarise your corrupt party associate, AJ Halton Cheat in his disgusting decision of 2010: not only have I made absurd statements regarding my purported race (a denial that I am white), but I am thus ‘an absurdity’ who has apparently passed himself off as a human being in order to gain employment, and therefore also according to the court, a non-Jew (or Jew in breach of his religion) who has attempted to cast himself as Jewish in order to seek an award for unfairness in terms of statutes making discrimination on the basis, whether via policy or practice, unlawful.

The jingoistic and irregularly-gained Labour Court decision (framed by the perjury suborned by the fraudulent counter-case against me) is anything but South African, and subject to ridicule, since it takes up a moral position consistent with a minority version of a major religion.

An anti-Enlightenment canon which proceeds to trivialise the TRC, insinuating that race segregation is somehow divinely sanctioned by the Catholic Church — in effect promoting anti-secularist 1994 denial — and worse, a categorical denial that there ever was a policy of separate development impacting upon the demographics of the Cape.

As South Africa continues to struggle with itself, examining and even criticising your motion, to move away from the politics of exclusion, in particular the petty apartheid race classification which characterised the past regime, one must restate the case.

It is rather under your government, and attorneys acting on behalf of the state, that both the TRC ‘transitional justice system’ and our nonracial constitutional framework, has been broken and broken, in some instances, even shot down by racists sitting on the bench.

I refer you to the recent decision handed down by AJ Bernard Martin of the Western Cape Division of the High Court in March of 2019, denying legal aid to similarly-situated persons such as myself in a matter affecting the status of both the TRC and its final report.

Blatantly trivialising and bashing the TRC report, and in the process squashing a case brought before the Equality Court in 2015, seeking to uphold the findings of the commission at the same time as we all struggle with extra-curial evidence of wrong-doing. Evidence following the astonishing campaign against the commission by one of the perpetrators of the apartheid system.

Furthermore, I point you to what appears to be more than opposition by state attorneys acting on behalf of former Justice Minister Michael Masutho, (who have, through their failure to defend, similarly bashed the findings of the commission), and likewise statements by Legal Aid South Africa’s John van Onselen, who in effect are assisting the perpetrators in their campaign, instead of helping the victims. A stark failure if any, to uphold the status of the report before the courts, and in conjunction with an ugly multiracial and multiregionalist version of reality consistent with the regime of PW Botha.

That we have to read your words under the rubric: “Are Indian, coloured and white people really African in post-apartheid South Africa?” is surely evidence that your own government has had cause on occasion to not regard us all as Africans and equals, but rather, to use the tired narrative of former racialists such as one Dr Piet Koornhof, that there exists, ‘a separate, and distinct species which spontaneously arose in Europe, not Africa.’

That the question of whether or not I am an African, is still the subject of legal debate and policy wrangling, speaks to the many failures of your government in addressing this question. Your article is thus a welcome addition to my case file in support of the motion to abolish and rescind the racist decision handed down by AJ Cheadle and Co.

Senekal: Time for genuine Fair Trade Certification and income equalisation?

IT IS easy to become cynical following the events surrounding Senekal over the past two weeks. On the one hand, extremists who justify farm murders by driving an overtly racist Afro-chauvinist narrative (Africa exclusively for black Africans). A story which ignores the very real problem faced by rural murder rates, some 80% above the national average and related issues of food security and social stability.

On the other hand, lack of decent wages and career opportunities faced by thousands of seasonal share croppers, farm workers and rural labourers, is providing fertile ground to those driving a fascist post-Marikana narrative that feeds into an ongoing legacy of land dispossession, at the same time that it seeks to negate democratic transformation and the notable gains of the second Republic.

Undoubtedly solutions such as income equalisation and fair trade certification will be seen by the hard left as dissipating of revolt and reinforcing of the status quo. Maintaining the current state of affairs is not my intention. Rather, we should all be asking questions: Why is it that in order to drink tea from a label such as PG Tips which prides itself on delivering a product which is ‘farmed by workers earning a decent wage, with access to good quality housing, medical care and education for their children’, one has to look instead, towards an imported brand?

Where is the local equivalent of the Rainforest Alliance, whose certification process aims at “breaking the cycle of rural poverty—and tackling the ensuing impacts for people and nature ” a fact considered “critical for a more sustainable future for us all”?

Fairtrade, another international certification organisation “exists to empower farmers and workers around the world. Some 1700 producer organisations, representing over 1.7 million farmers and workers, are the foundation of the Fairtrade system.”

Given South Africa’s history of super-exploitation of labour, one would hope that consumers would be more actively involved in changing the cycle of wage exploitation, by demanding better work conditions on farms at the same time that we act to end farm murders, in effect creating an orderly process of empowerment of black farmer and farmworkers, without the need for political opportunism and grandstanding.

Clearly there is not enough land to give each and every citizen in South Africa a farm, and similarly we can’t all become farm managers over-night. Providing a different scenario to that faced by today’s share-croppers in the form of real shares and dividends would be a welcome start. So too would proposing an income equalisation fund, one that avoids seasonal fluctuations in wages whilst protecting the families of those affected.