Here is how this pandemic ends, Mr Cheadle

OMICRON has a normal Cold virus insertion 214EPE as part of its mutation and is developing into a less pathogenic virus, at the same time it appears that hospitalisations and death rates are decoupling from case loads, which continue to skyrocket. As John Campbell MD puts it, “the virus caught a cold” (see below).

Reuters are reporting that the Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 ‘likely acquired at least one of its mutations by picking up a snippet of genetic material from another virus – possibly one that causes the common cold – present in the same infected cells.’

Netcare has found that there appears to be a decoupling of the rate of community transmission and the rate of hospital admissions, meaning that ‘fewer people end up in hospital than the official infection figures might suggest’.

“This is what we saw with the Spanish flu. We call it an antigenic drift. The Spanish flu never went away. It stopped killing people but it morphed into what we know is a very highly transmissible influenza or flu-like virus that is still with us today,” says Richard Friedland, Netcare CEO.

This is an entirely normal sequence of events, as the coronovirus becomes endemic and the pandemic winds down. As I wrote in September most respiratory pandemics last no more than two years, with the black death a five year affair.

Professor Frode Forland, director of infectious diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, says: ‘It might be that it has now replicated and mutated so many times that this is the optimal position from the virus’ point of view, to spread widely and not kill the hosts.

‘That’s what we’ve seen with other diseases beforehand. And of course, then it gets into more like an endemic phase.’

Scientists have long predicted the coronavirus is unlikely to ever be eradicated but will instead transition into a milder cold-like virus as the world develops stronger immunity. 

Of course there is one huge caveat, this could all change if Covid itself, decouples from the history of respiratory disease and instead of natural evolution, is being manipulated in the lab. But let us assume that what is occurring is zoonotic transmission and the pandemic is entirely natural and not man-made.

Barring some unforeseen event, like a mad scientist in a dark lab, manipulating the genome, one can predict, based upon past experience, the end of this saga sometime in early 2022 (fingers crossed).

Since public health policy in South Africa is being set by non-scientists like Halton Cheadle and his crony Glenda Grey, and other law school frat boys (see here) we are likely to see the introduction of strict vaccine mandates at the same time that the pandemic ends.

My earlier postings on the subject raise the issue of Cheadle’s involvement in Kagiso a company invested in Aspen, the local producers of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and thus question the law professor’s fitness to be involved in public health policy.

Cheadle’s involvement with the ruling party and UCT appears to be the reason why he is allowed to operate in such a cavalier fashion — his relationship to Kagiso is a conflict of interest if ever there was one.

For the record, Cheadle’s company Cheadle Thompsen Haysom continue to appear as advisers on Kagiso annual reports. The sizeable investments by Kagiso in Aspen have not drawn any criticism from the medical establishment, despite their associates and advisers seeking to set public health policy. Cheadle appears to have presided over a 2018 matter at the Competition Commission involving Rustenberg Platininum Mines and Mototolo Ventures, an entity partly owned by Kagiso Tiso. He has appeared before the Cape Law Society disciplinary committee regarding a similar lack of transparency and conflict of interest at Labour Court during 2010 without any sanction from this body.

Mandates: Statist power grab undermines personal autonomy as well as collective rights

A STATIST POWER-GRAB is on the boil. Government control of your entire life from cradle to grave is what many political pundits have in mind. Whether it is the far-left who are pursuing the end of private property ownership in order to make the state the ‘custodian of all property’, or misguided intellectuals on the right promoting vaccine mandates and grumbling meekly about the price of petrol at the pump and ignoring state-controlled fuel levies, the result is all the same.

Erosion of the fundamental, egalitarian and openly democratic principles, granted everyone in South Africa. Obliteration of personal freedom and evisceration of the core values enshrined by our constitution as a foundation stone, in what is an emancipatory charter of our Republic, has been a trend for nearly a decade.

In the rewrite of the constitutional narrative to favour personal agendas and party fortunes, (think of Gwede Mantashe and his resort to pro-fossil fuel rhetoric), an agenda is clear — the blatant capture and reshaping of our political system to allow for the wholesale reshaping and reorganisation of the national character in the image of other totalitarian dictatorships around the world, think of China, Cuba, and North Korea.

Thus Omphemetse S Sibanda writes: “It is highly problematic when individuals care for themselves and their immediate families only and do not care about the wellbeing of the entire community in which they live during the pandemic”, and by that he means the state: “If people don’t care, the state must help them to care or to grow a caring bone.” [my italics]

A community no doubt comprised of party loyalists, sycophants and acolytes?

It was my namesake CS Lewis who wrote: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their conscience.”

The same may be said of those who lack any conscience in the ANC, and by illustration Deputy health minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo who believes “the rights of individuals not to get vaccinated for Covid-19 will be trumped by the rights of a collective who choose vaccination.”

“A collective right becomes superior to an individual right,” he claims. “We will not deny you to stay at home if you so wish but you can’t force yourself into a taxi of 10 other people who are vaccinated if you refuse to vaccinate but you want to travel with them to work.”

By which one can only presume, that the collective rights and authority to vaccinate, referred to here are whatever the party determines to be the prevailing authority and not some high-minded ideal, based upon any democratic conception of our national character. Ditto patient rights.

Freedom is not a bone you throw to a dog

It is thus that Ben Winks, a highly acclaimed legal advocate on the far-right (of winklehood), and many years my junior, and certainly too young to experience forced medical interventions under apartheid, who incorrectly and without any evidence suggests: “Does the Constitution allow compulsory vaccination? Yes: it commands it”.

Well, how incredibly patronising of these three men, (and yes one should also question why so many male voices on the subject?)

Do Sibanda, Dhlomo and Winks, et. al. seriously presume to suggest they know what is best for my family, and further, foolishly assume, they have some right in law to inject my family against their will, in violation of Article 12 (which has its corollary in article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), as if I do not possess free will nor any volition and am simply a ward of the state? And whatever happened to Article 13, freedom from slavery?

For the record I am not disabled, have been jabbed twice by Pfizer, but hereby lodge my objections to any coercion and removal of choice — brazen attempts to unlawfully usurp my freedom and that of my family under the ruse of collectivism and simple majoritarianism. Just about nobody is suggesting that infected persons should be free to infect others, but rather to use an analogy, there is no rationale behind forcing everyone to take ARVs merely to avoid HIV.

A civic duty is no longer a duty when it is a compulsion. A person is no longer a free individual if they are slaves to the collective will, or require another’s permission to do what is considered natural. To reiterate, mandates are ordinarily granted during elections, and constitutional mandates arise from a defence of the constitution, not a shoddy, legalistic attempt, nor a quasi political project, to rewrite and interpolate its contents.

We are not your willing slaves

All pro-mandate opinion pieces published in the public arena to date represent a dangerous resort to authoritarianism and statism, in which it is argued inter alia, the state should treat individuals as children, or worse, mere tools, in effect a sad resort to the ancient doctrine of patria potestas, or the state ‘acting as parent’, apparently in order to defend the ‘collective will of the people’.

While the rights of the person certainly need to be weighed against the rights of the collective, the issue begs the question, who are we as a nation, what is the collective will, and who claims to represent it? Our freedom is not reducible to some fratboy law school formula, (one part individual to three parts party agenda divided by collective power). Freedom includes freedom from, as in freedom from war, coercion and fear, without which there could be no democracy.

This is exactly why these proposed mandates deserve a referendum (if not a constitutional amendment) since the result represents a major shift in the democratic, antislavery narrative of the country. Switzerland recently held a referendum on the issue of limited vaccine mandates. The UK’s Sajid Javid has declared “Mandatory Covid vaccines ‘unethical’ and ‘impractical’. Our democracy could do better than to attempt to crowd out those voicing objections.

And what if we all voted for totalitarianism, servitude and the end of democracy, what then?

If one perceives that the collective will is enshrined in the constitution and not any one particular organisation nor individual, then it should follow that article 12 (Freedom and security of the person) be read with the same circumspection and deference as article 11 (Right to life) and article 13, (Freedom from Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labour).

There is a good reason why these non-derogable rights, appear right next door to each other, while our health rights are littered throughout the constitution, appearing several times under Health Care, Environment and so on.

A non-derogable right is not subject to retroactive legislation during a state of emergency and cannot simply be curtailed holus bolus via an act of parliament.

Reintroducing the death penalty would probably protect the collective from harm, but be a violation of the values referred to in the preamble. Adopting Nazism as an ideology would most likely get the trains running on time, at least for the majority of us, whilst ending multi-party democracy might result in greater efficiency, and less taxation for everyone, as would a communist dictatorship.

I am not going to repeat my previous piece on patria potestas, but you can read it here. And I also suggest you read my initial response to that other looney toon of the left, posing as a legal pundit in the media, Pierre de Vos.

There is also this piece: ‘When the pandemic ends, those unlawful mandates are going to haunt us”, one of several similar pieces published here, which might elucidate the issue.

SEE: It looks like Omicron variant causes milder illness – is this how Covid-19 becomes endemic?

What if Israel didn’t exist? Isacowitz vs Shain

CONTRIBUTIONS by two correspondents published on Politicsweb demonstrate the diametrically opposed views on the existence of Israel as a “democratic state with a Jewish character”. Roy Iscawowitz has taken Milton Shain to task for reiterating the manner in which the country sprung to life after the United Nations sponsored commission on the [British] Mandate then held by the colonial powers.

Shain argues “In the context of two peoples fighting over the same territory, partition of the [British] Mandate was seen as the reasonable and moral option by the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP). It complied with regnant notions of national self-determination.”

He further claims the real reason why the ANC deplores Israel is because of its hostility to Jewish secular identity, its failure to consider Israel was born in recognition of two national movements – an Arab/Palestinian and a Jewish movement – within British Mandate Palestine.” He says: “Those supporting partition knew they were supporting the creation of a Jewish state, alongside an Arab/Palestinian state.”

Isacowitz on the other hand maintains the formation of the Israeli state constitutes an original sin, a political programme to remove the native Arab population, and thus a situation which can only be rectified by turning Israel into an Arab State within a constellation of other Arab states. “To me it’s obvious that Israel was founded on the basis of ethnic preference (which today would be called apartheid.) That’s clear from the policy of “Hebrew labor” (also called “conquest of labor”), which was code for separate development..”

Isacowitz quotes at length without providing any citations from “A State at any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion” written by Tom Segev, while Shain suggests “those interested in a serious analysis can do no better than to read Israel and the Family of Nations, by Alexander Yakobson and Amnon Rubinstein.”

There is a plethora of work on the subject of Israel and Palestine, with most falling into either one of two essentialist camps — those who believe Israel should exist, as a state with a “Jewish character” and who accurately follow the events of the Nazi Holocaust, and those who wish to dislocate the tragedy and instead focus solely on the Nakba, a ‘tragedy of equal proportions’ for the Arab world.

Isacowitz asserts “I won’t challenge his conclusion that the ANC is anti-Semitic. What I will challenge, though, is his attempt to portray Israel as a run-of-the mill country – no different from many others – without even bothering to come to grips with the fact that is has now held the Palestinians of the occupied territories hostage for longer than formal apartheid existed in South Africa.”

Both perspectives deserve due consideration. Should Arabs gain more land than was granted them when the British Mandate was partitioned to form Jordan for instance? Or the French Mandate was unwound to form Syria? Virtually nothing is said these days about the Pan-Arab flag waved at Palestinian rallies, or the San Remo conference in which the Ottoman Empire was broken up, and thus decisions which predate both the formation of the Arab League and the State of Israel. I digress.

What if Israel did not exist? Would the result be a democratic state in which many of the rights we take for granted, LGTBIQ+ rights and freedom of the press, were protected? It is considered a stock Zionist response to any counter-assertion, to simply illustrate the manner in which the Arab states have failed miserably to guarantee fundamental freedoms even to their own minorities.

So let’s consider this problem another way. Do the rejectionists (those who eschew Jewish rights to self-determination), and who were forcibly removed from places like Haifa by the United Nations following partition, and in some instances driven out of Israel by David ben Gurion during the War of Independence, deserve to return?

One can only suggest that it would behove the Palestinian cause if there was a Freedom Charter, much like our own– a political programme guaranteeing rights and freedom for all. Instead, all we see by the Hamas Charter, and the de facto policies of Fatah is the stark reality — the only resolution on the table, is a demand that Jews resume their pre-war status as Dhimmi — people of the book, subjects under an Islamic state with a nominally ‘democratic character’.

[Disclosure: This writer is banned by polticsweb due to his views on Fees Must Fall]

UPDATE: Shain’s response to Isacowitz

Cheadle-stan: A brave new shameful world?

STUDENT bodies have resoundingly rejected calls for ‘mandatory vaccination’ on our nation’s campuses. Coercion defeats the purpose of constitutional guarantees, including bodily integrity and freedom of movement, not to mention academic freedom. The students say immunisation programmes should be voluntary and recognise individual rights at the same time the needs of the majority are taken into account.

This hasn’t stopped several motions for vaccine mandates and/or vaccine passports from being proposed by UCT Senate and other universities. And it hasn’t stopped far-right legal professionals from arguing essentially for the scrapping of article 12 alongside the introduction of internal passports which recall South Africa’s introduction of the so-called ‘dompas’.

If these proposals are anything to go by, we could end up adopting a version of the ‘China Model’ of social control, in which vaccine points scores determine both social status and access to resources in society, and all this without so much as a debate on campus nor even a democratic process within the hallowed halls of the National Assembly? A system which lends itself to all sorts of abuse. Post something the authorities don’t like, and beep, you’re just an anti-vaxer, denied access to public transport.

Right-wing juristocrat Professor Pierre de Vos thus penned yet another article published by Daily Maverick, this week in which he purports to present case precedent and various authorities in support of the limitation of one of the foundations of our constitutional dispensation.

According to article 36 of the constitution, rights may only be limited by a ‘law of general application’, — the rights under article 12 were considered important enough by our nation’s founders, for them to be listed as non-derogable during a state of emergency. In other words, one may infer that the mere declaration of an emergency or disaster is not sufficient to consider their limitation, and that one cannot argue, as many SABC talking heads have over the past week, on the basis of the mere roll-out of so-called ‘mask-mandates’.

De Vos argues: “While a policy requiring all (non-exempted) staff and students to be vaccinated will not directly coerce anyone to get vaccinated, it will present individuals who are not keen to be vaccinated with a difficult choice and would therefore interfere with their right freely to make decisions about their own bodies. “

After appearing to walk back some of his astonishing statements made in his earlier piece (see here), he then proceeds to rehash work written on the subject of bioethics, referring to an 2016 article by A Nienaber and K N Bailey, in the South African Journal of Bioethics and Law:”The right to physical integrity and informed refusal: Just how far does a patient’s right to refuse medical treatment go?”

In this manner De Vos introduces yet another series of citations, ostensibly to argue the point that article 12 may be limited by any arbitrary law when it comes to immunisation.

Kasrils debunked, I no longer believe in the Middle East

THE WRITINGS of Ronnie Kasrils, SACP central committee member 1986-2007, propagandist and former Minister of Intelligence under Mbeki, require the same stringency of analysis as that of Israel Finkelstein, a critic of the Bible. Finkelstein has long been accused of being a biblical minimalist, “someone who believes that only a bare minimum of the Bible is historically trustworthy”, and maintains the book was ‘essentially the work of`a creative copywriter‘ to advance an ideological agenda.

For starters, Kasrils recent opinion piece published by the Daily Maverick may be seen as an amateurish attempt to rehash the work of Shlomo Sand, who seeks to replace Zionism with Canaanism. In other words, the belief that the land of Canaan, referred to in the Bible existed, and further, was the central narrative, before the Romans arrived on the scene, only to quash the Bar Kokhba revolt, a revolt not of Hebrews but rather Canaanites. 

Sand has been taken to task for presenting “dubious theories” regarding Jewish identity as historical facts. His controversial claim that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazars, who purportedly converted in the early Middle Ages, has been debunked by Shaul Stampfer in the Journal of Jewish Social Studies.

Stampfer found no reliable source for the claim that the Khazars – a multiethnic kingdom that included Iranians, Turks, Slavs and Circassians – converted to Judaism. “There never was a conversion by the Khazar king or the Khazar elite,” he said. “The conversion of the Khazars is a myth with no factual basis.”

Daniel Lazare writing on Sand, in the ‘London Review of Books’  disagrees and says: “The Invention of the Jewish People eagerly trumpets the discovery of the archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, the foremost proponent of the new archaeology, that the conquest of Canaan never occurred and that the dual monarchy of David and Solomon, supposedly the wonder of the ancient world, was a myth. “

“But Sand also endorses the hyper-sceptical ‘biblical minimalism’ of Philip Davies, Thomas Thompson and Niels Peter Lemche, which regards such findings as irrelevant since, as they see it, the early history of Israel is actually a fiction that returnees from the Babylonian exile made up after the sixth century BCE.”

Lazare goes on to say: “Sand seems unaware of the conflict between the two views or of the fact that Finkelstein and the journalist Neil Asher Silberman issued a stinging rebuttal of the minimalist stance in 2006”

It may also be been shown that Sand’s ideas are borrowed from other sources, for example, a work published 5 years earlier by Hassan Bash, which claims to have ‘scientifically proven that the Jews of today do not descend from ancient Israel stock’ in the process repeating many racialised ideas about the Jewish people, also evident in Nazi literature.

In the same way Arthur Koestler deserves credit for his 1976 book ‘The Thirteenth Tribe‘, a hypothetical work, whose stated intent was ‘to make antisemitism disappear by disproving its racial basis.’

Despite the controversy, and the rush to displace history, Kasrils like many of today’s armchair historians, fail to note the state of Syria-Palaestina was created by the Roman Empire in its effort to quash the Bar Kokhba Revolt following “a rebellion of the Jews of the Roman province of Judea” in 135 AD. The last of three major Jewish–Roman wars, recorded by Roman historians. 

Whether you believe as Finkelstein does, that the neighbouring state of Israel was larger and more significant than Judea or not, does not make this well-recorded fact of history disappear.

In order to promote the kind of replacement theory and displacement praxis that is evident on our nation’s campuses, Kasrils goes even further than Finkelstein, in his minimalist assertions and then by entertaining all and sundry with the notion that the modern State of Israel emerged as a ‘colonial project fomented by Zionists, Agnostics and Atheists.’

As a communist, Kasrils should know better than to attack Jews for being communists, in the process denying Agnostics the right to live in a secular state.

As a person affected by a racist, anti-Enlightenment decision handed down by a corrupt ANC official, a morally reprehensible tract which seeks to define and restrict Jewish identity, I must object. (This at the same time that it replaces my own case with the case of the other party, his own client — all whilst upholding apartheid justifications for separate development.) I find both replacement theology and displacement praxis and its descendent in contemporary replacement ethnography as galling as either claim by either party to the conflict.

To put this bluntly, like Peter Beinart in the New York Times, I no longer believe in the Middle East, but can imagine a Jewish home in an equal state.

The Kasrils text however, is one of many dubious replacement theories circulating on social media, one immediately open to refutation, not since the Bible is a Fairy Tale, whose status is similar to any book by the Brothers Grimm, but rather since modern history is replete with examples of internecine violence and failure to abide by equality in treatment under law.

In this respect Israel and Palestine are not alone, and one has merely to examine the case of Cyprus — or India and Pakistan.

In particular Kasril’s failure to discuss the Farhud Massacre, ‘the violent dispossession” carried out against the Jewish population of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 1–2, 1941, and followed by the expulsion and dispossession of property of Arab Jews speaks reams of the bias and double-standards at play in his argument. Between 1920 and 1970, 900,000 Jews were expelled from Arab and other Muslim countries.

A recent Time magazine article addressing the question of whether or not then Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin Husseini was the source of the Final Solution is but one example of the general problem of focusing exclusively on the Nakba whilst denying the Holocaust.

To put this matter to rest, although Husseini attended the infamous Wansee Conference where Hitler’s Final Solution was formerly adopted, the decision to ‘exterminate all the Jews, and not simply the Zionist ones’ had already been taken, and thus, the ‘invitations had already been sent out’ when the Mufti arrived to argue his case against Jewish immigration to the Holy Land. 

For the record, Husseini’s position in history is much the same as the father of apartheid, DF Malan who introduced the racist Aliens Act in January 1937, restricting Jewish immigration to South Africa before the war.

Both men are responsible for condemning hundreds of thousands of Jews to euthanasia camps in Poland.

Having said that, there is much to be said about objecting to the current dispensation, whether by opposing annexation and the separation barrier or by promoting equality, in a binational state, or a plurinational confederation.

Two wrongs do not make a right. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. Banning points of view, with which one disagrees, and as Kasrils would have it, is never a solution. Rather it is my considered opinion that the conflict in the Middle East represents a tragic case of injustice vs injustice, or as the writer Amos Oz has put it, a case of competing juridical systems.

UPDATE: Read Johnathan Tobin response to Beinart

Caster Controversy: Male or Female, or Both?

THE first I got wind of some of the more troubling underlying ‘facts’ surrounding the Caster Controversy, was after a posting by the Dagga Party’s own Jeremy Acton. In a posting on social media, Acton argues that ‘Semenya’s XY chromosomes’ prove the athlete to be both a “man” and a “fraud in athletics”.

“I do not care that this view might upset anyone. It is my Section 15 right to have this opinion and my Section 16 right to express my viewpoint,” Acton added.

In the post, the leader of the Dagga Party stated that he only supports “real women’s rights”, adding that he wants Semenya to return all titles and earnings, and that “his” records should be declared null and void.”

While the net is full of opinion pieces, some comparing the IAAF investigation to treatment of Saartjie Baartman, they are invariably thin on substance, compared to the citations provided by Acton.

You can read Acton’s views in the Citizen article.

If one follows the links to the story provided on Letsrun.com, you will find the real dope on Caster written up by one Robert Johnson.

Letsrun is a longstanding site for “Olympic track and field fans” with athletic articles and popular message boards.

Johnson writes “its absolutely mind-boggling that virtually every major outlet in the world reporting the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling yesterday has failed to mention one of the most important facts of the entire case.”

“Caster Semenya has XY chromosomes. It was generally accepted by people following the case closely that Semenya was XY, but now it’s been confirmed as fact since the CAS press release specifically says, “The DSD covered by the Regulations are limited to athletes with ’46 XY DSD’” (DSD = difference of sex development).

The scientific reality, if true, unfortunately places Caster in the troubling terrain of birth defects and other childhood deformities, instead of traditional femininity insofar as athletics is concerned. There is some speculation here as to the role of external, environmental factors at birth, such as exposure to dioxins by poor, under-serviced communities.

And there I was thinking that Caster was potentially intersexed, not simply sex reassignment at birth, and all this was a case of interpretation (see Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag), see my earlier piece Caster Deconstructed.

On the other hand D. Myron Genel, a professor emeritus of pediatrics at Yale University, still believes “Semenya is a female with a birth defect, simple as that”. There is a good article on the crisis of definition in the Washington Post.

This contrarian view however elegant, doesn’t deal with the reality that Caster is technically, neither male nor female. It is not simply a case of testosterone, nor even transgender for that matter.

(Listen to this podcast on Eusebius McKaiser show, still focusing on hyperandrogenism and the test issue, but a good history of similar controversies).

It would seem that when it comes to the IAAF, biology most certainly overrules psychology (and even the advances of jurisprudence and socio-political rights) since while anyone may change legal gender these days, by identifying as either male or female, one has to be a genuine, ‘bone fide women’ in order to compete in athletics. Fair is fair after all.

Blur the gender boundary too much, and’all sports events become men’s events’, says sports scientist Dr Ross Tucker.

The rights of ‘real women’ according to this admittedly binary view, need to be taken into account, and it will take decades to unravel the truth behind the Caster saga, even if the period of s/he, and WoMans reign, much like the Zuma administration, was an interesting, and very public joy ride.

For the record, Medialternatives was one of the first outlets to champion Caster’s ‘right to be a women‘ in the face of scientific determinism.

What are your views on the subject, please use the comments section below.

 

And so Multichoice grants itself a clean bill of health on apartheid

images (1)IT WAS bound to happen. The bizarre situation in which two apartheid-era springboks were taken to task by a post-democracy Springbok, over racism, quotas and paternalism. Followed by the media spin driven by Multichoice Supersport whose holding company Naspers refuses to come clean over its role in promoting separate development, race classification and segregation during the apartheid-era.

Naspers the company which owns Multichoice, ducked the subpoena handed out by the TRC to its former-director PW Botha, refused to participate in the media hearings at the commission, rebuked a group of journalists attending in their private capacity, and instead has stuck to a version of history that is anything but an accurate and fair depiction of the times.

After effectively being found guilty of gross violations of human rights by the commission, and thus a report which records  “a total lack of concern for the company’s support of the racist system” (Volume 4 of the Final TRC report), the company proceeded to deny the reality.

“I worked hard to earn my own respect in this game… so, I’m not going to be patronised by two individuals who played in apartheid – a segregated era – and come and want to undermine… people” said Ashwin Willemse after a match last month  between the Lions and the Brumbies.`

The Supersport public relations machine immediately went into overdrive. Holding their own internal inquiry, the company casually announced yesterday that it had found that “there was no racism involved in Ashwin Willemse walking out from an on-air broadcast” in the process exonerating Nick Mallett and Naas Botha, two darlings of the apartheid regime.

Apparently  SuperSport CEO Gideon Khobane maintains the group was cleared by Advocate Vincent Maleka, and thus presumably a member of the Bar. The result is anything but an open inquiry before an independent tribunal, and echoes similar statements by manager Ishmet Davidson, who claimed on air the entire group had been cleared by the TRC back in the early 90s.

Davidson’s 2015 comments followed a case-limited apology issued by Media24 CEO Esmarie Weideman citing only one instance in which a ‘coloured employee’ had experienced difficulties with separate facilities.

Talk about undermining the Truth. Willemse did not participate in the internal review for obvious reasons. The attempt to legitimize apartheid-denial by acting as sole arbiter of apartheid history, must be rejected for what it is, a total sham.

Willemse’s lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo told SAFM radio host Tsepiso Makwetla on Wednesday morning that Willemse “did not see any value in participating with the process” because the rugby analyst had already expressed his views …”

“We expressed a view to Adv Maleka SC that he (Adv Maleka SC) was being used to sanitise and chlorinate failures by SuperSport to deal with a number of reported incidents of racism by the gentlemen in question‚”

DISCLOSURE: The writer is currently suing Naspers via the Equality Court and is awaiting the outcome of a case brought against Legal Aid South Africa in this regard.

 

 

Zuma’s long road to Serfdom

THE ZUMA administration is the subject of a number of public embarrassments. All involve, maladministration, graft and the failure to abide by the rule of law. The latest comes with the release of a report into the 2012 Marikana massacre which led to the deaths of approximately 44 people, and more than 70 persons being injured.

The Farlam Commission appointed by president Zuma, predictably, whitewashes the administration’s involvement in the events which lead up to the massacre. Deputy-President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was non-executive director of Lonmin, a significant shareholder in the company (through its shareholding structures), and a senior member of the ANC at the time, has been given a clean bill of health, so too the political structure and chain of command which lead directly to the massacre.

The release of the report comes days after scandals involving the failure to arrest Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir wanted by the International Criminal Court and international community for the Darfur Genocide, and just weeks after a FIFA bribery scandal involving Danny Jordaan and under-the-counter payments made in exchange for votes.

Only a month earlier, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko was telling the public that additions to the Zuma compound at Nkandla such as a swimming pool and amphitheatre, were all vital “security features”, for which the president “is therefore not liable to pay”.

The embarrassments are leading ordinary South Africans to ask whether it is perhaps time for Zuma to go?

South Africa under Msholozi, the clan name under which Zuma is also known, has seen a bloated cabinet, one of the biggest in the world, with a concomitant increase in departmental complexity,  government red-tape and an out of control civil service, as the modus operandi of the country has moved from industrial output, to the aegis of big government, a nation which produces politicians instead of productivity.

Anyone following the debate over Eskom’s tariff increases, could be forgiven for thinking that South Africans exist to fund the energy parastatal and its emphasis on Soviet-style gigantism — two large fossil fuel projects and a failed R10 billion Pebble-bed Modular Reactor programme, and now the threat of a BRICS-lead trillion rand nuclear build, for which the country undoubtedly, has insufficient foreign reserves to foot the bill, when and if it arrives.

Eskom, despite having a monopoly mandate, increasingly finds itself unable to provide electricity. The simple logic of the market has proven to be an Achilles heel. The increase in the civil service has not countered the loss of jobs in the private sector.

That the economic master-plan of the ruling party, known as the National Development Plan, along with its  shibboleth of central planning and anti-privatisation rhetoric, is beginning to unravel, can be seen in the failure of other parastatals to deliver. In short, Telkom sucks, as does SAA which exists on annual bail-outs. (There are some 120 such quasi-government entities)

20 years after the constituent assembly drafted the Constitution and Bill of Rights, ushering in a universal franchise and human rights, the country is paying lip-service to its contents, institutions such as the public protector are ignored. Likewise, the judiciary.

Under Zuma, a narrow ethnic nationalism has found itself at odds with the secular values established under previous governments. The president has cemented power, rolling out salary increases for “headmen” (what no women?) under a new dispensation which favours tribal authority at the expense of citizenship and the rights of the individual.

Thus the road to serfdom, instead of the great society of Nelson Mandela.