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.

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.

If you wish to contribute towards a fund to act upon the contents, here is a link to our paypal account.

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]

Let the people surf: acts of civil disobedience over weekend are justified

IT WAS NELSON MANDELA who deployed civil disobedience as a key factor in ending apartheid. His defiance campaign against unjust pass laws, segregation and separate development formed the basis for the new constitutional dispensation.

This weekend saw a mass Turn Up event on South Africa’s beaches, with citizens defying the President’s banning of beach activity including surfing.

Organisers have labeled the  lockdown regulations “draconian” and “ridiculous“. There is no scientific evidence that coronovirus is the result of actual ocean ‘waves’.

Reaction from mainstream political parties were scathing in drawing comparison between police reaction to service delivery and SASSA protests and the weekend’s events, in which police appeared to take a stand-back approach, while the opposition DA were more supportive.

The EFF were quick to point out that the majority of protesters were ‘white’ and bemoaned the fact that protests involving the party which is predominantly black, such as the recent Brackenfell High spectacle had been met with police brutality.

The party seems to forget an incident on Clifton Beach involving the slaughter of a sheep, in which the boot was on the other foot so to speak, when apposite statements regarding the breaking of City bylaws over the weekend were being made by the party.

The incidents may also recall the 1989 apartheid beach protests.

The ANC soon followed with its own equally loud missives, condemning the lack of police action, but forgetting South Africa is a liberal democracy enshrining political rights including the right to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly amongst other rights such as the right to health, environment, occupation and security of the person.

These are for the most part, all non-derogable political rights, like the right to protest in South Africa, rights upheld by a majority Constitutional Court decision and not subject to retroactive legislation.

In November 2018 the Constitutional Court affirmed the right to protest when it handed down a landmark judgment in Mlungwana and Others v S and Another. The court declared that Section 12(1)(a) of the Gatherings Act was invalid and unconstitutional ‘because it criminalises peaceful protesters who fail to notify the authorities of their intention to protest.’

The Pretoria high court recently declared the National State of Disaster’s level 4 and level 3 regulations “unconstitutional and invalid.”

This follows an application by the Liberty Fighters Network (LFN), a group that “consists of economically oppressed South Africans and lawful residents of all different groups,” according to its website.

Needless to say, surfers of all persuasions are still intent on breaking the unjust imposition of the anti-surfing prohibitions.

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.