This is not a bread riot, this is Zuma’s Stalingrad strategy redux

AFTER keeping millions of landless and dispossessed citizens in abject poverty for decades, by stealing money meant for poverty relief, it appears Jacob Zuma may be having the last laugh from jail. The sizeable ranks of unemployed are now his willing foot-soldiers in a political game many refer to as the ‘Stalingrad Strategy’.

In other words a ‘scorched earth’ policy in which large swathes of the country may end up being sacrificed to mob justice, in order to affect regime change within the ruling party, to promote partisan leadership, or to secure a presidential pardon.

The State Security Agency confirmed it has received intelligence some of its former senior members within the agency, who were supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, were key in orchestrating the violent unrests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Zuma was sentenced to prison last month for contempt of a constitutional court ruling granting the Zondo Commission extraordinary powers to subpoena witnesses in a long-running corruption investigation that has implicated many of the ANC top brass.

The former president openly promised to unleash insurrection of a kind ‘never experienced under a democratically-elected government’, and has certainly delivered on his threats to render the country ungovernable to some degree from jail.

As we write this, the SANDF has been deployed to Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng, both provinces wracked by looting and mob violence. The military is itself facing budget constraints.

Meanwhile citizens and business-owners affected by Zuma’s mobs in and around Pietermaritzburg and Durban have bandied together to deliver a modicum of ‘civilian-based defence‘, protecting their neighbourhoods from the gangs lead by Zuma’ cronies outside of jail. (Civilian patrols are being implemented).

The hard left continues to label those defending their homes and possessions as ‘vigilantes’ whilst excusing the behaviour of people whom they idealistically term ‘the masses’. Until law and order is restored, one could only suggest that citizens are well within their rights to defend the Republic by any means at their disposal.

The leader of the third major opposition party EFF on the other hand, has come out in opposition to the deployment, and has gone further, in promising ‘ to defend citizens against the military’, a largely unpopular and wholly unnecessary move which resulted in the suspension of Julius Malema’s twitter account. In short, this event is looking a lot like a Trumpist-style act of treason against the Republic instead of a democratic ‘revolutionary moment’.

The country has a history of resolving conflict peacefully and ‘ballots not bullets’ has often been the rallying cry, but in the current atmosphere, and following an extraordinary lock down period, anything is possible.

SEE: SA in flames: spontaneous outbreak or insurrection?

SEE: R2K Statement: Stern action must be taken against the instigators!

SEE: South Africa’s tipping point: How the intelligence community failed the country

There is no vaccine for climate change

CLIMATE SCIENTISTS have begun talking about a strategic ‘managed retreat’ as a response to climate change. This retreat they say is not an admission of defeat, but rather entails “a coordinated movement of people and buildings away from risks, which, in the context of climate change, are approaching from numerous fronts, including sea level rise, flooding, extreme heat, wildfire, and other hazards.”

NASA is warning of a growing energy imbalance caused by incoming radiation trapped by greenhouse gas.

This energy imbalance is “the most fundamental metric defining the status of global climate change,” according to a Nature Climate Change article. “Everything else about global climate change” writes Chelsea Harvey—including the warming of the planet—”is a symptom the mismatch of energy in versus energy out.”

New research published in Geophysical Research Letters finds the energy imbalance approximately doubled between 2005 and 2019.

Since I’ve written extensively on environmental issues since the late 80s, when I became one of the founders of our local environmental justice movement, I believe that I may state the following without having to fend off denialists, who label my writing ‘fringe’ and ‘crackpot conspiracy’.

When we talk about a ‘just transition’, we should remember there can be no justice if we are entering a major extinction event, that may include the extinction of human beings, that’s us, within decades. As Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace puts it, “I wake up with a nightmare“.

Many scientists and activists believe it already too late to do anything practical about the looming climate disaster, we are locked in, they say, to mitigation and adaptation strategies that will of necessity include a staged retreat.

A similar question is posed by the “Deep Adaptation” movement. Its guru, writes Simon Kuper in the Financial Times, “gets criticised for overstating the risk of “near-term societal collapse”. But the truth is most of us probably underestimate it.”

One need go no further than the 1 degree change in temperature of the Southern Ocean over the previous decade (reported to the special Parliamentary Session on Climate Change in the run-up to COP17), to understand the dire consequences of the release of tonnes of methane hydrates sitting on the bottom of the ocean, creating an unstoppable feedback loop in our climate systems.

A new study, published in the journal Nature Communications, finds that beneath the surface layer of waters circling Antarctica, the seas are warming much more rapidly than previously known. Furthermore, the study concludes, this relatively warm water is rising toward the surface over time, at a rate three to 10 times what was previously estimated.

Tackle Historical Carbon Emissions

Climate change results from the cumulative buildup of GHGs in the atmosphere over time, not emissions in any particular year.

This is why we must urgently tackle our nation’s historical carbon emissions if we are to have any hope of success in reversing the damage. This means offsetting carbon that has already been released into the atmosphere, and doing it the right way, not simply by cooking the books.

Companies such as Microsoft for instance, have already embarked upon decarbonisation plans. The company will not only be carbon negative by 2030 but plans to erase its historical carbon footprint, capturing an amount of carbon equivalent to what it calculates is all of the carbon it has emitted since it was founded in 1975.

South African corporates have been slow to step up to the challenge. Two of the biggest GHG contributors over the past century have been and continue to be Sasol and Eskom — both represent GHG hotspots from outer space.

The Carbon Majors Project is an example of correct quantification of fossil fuel companies’ historical emissions.

Arctic heatwaves, melting permafrost, and Canadian fires do not make for great headlines. The retreat of our civilisation and end of democracy as the Earth becomes less habitable, may just do the trick.

Instead of accepting ministerial lip-service and cowtowing to markets, in effect negotiating our way into 2 degree plus climate change, we should be discussing drastic GHG reductions and urgent decarbonisation. Reductions not simply towards parity — neutrality or zero future carbon emissions, presumably offset on a 1:1 basis –, but actions to tackle historical offsets, at very least on a 1:3 basis or 1:5 basis.

In other words, a carbon negative strategy, for every 1 tonne of CO2 we produce, South Africa should offset by at very least 3 tonnes, reducing our emissions by an order of magnitude. In this way, instead of a ‘staged retreat of civilisation’, we might accomplish a GHG retreat, even a reset of the ‘energy imbalance’, thus stalling the need for solar shielding interventions and other untested technology.

Despite all the data pointing towards a worst case scenario, South Africa remains trapped in a tedious political debate surrounding a ‘just transition to renewable energy’, as the government drags its heels with a phased approach to the introduction of a carbon tax whose mitigation offsets are not immediately clear.

The country has yet to quantify its historical contribution to global GHG, and the project of auditing represents a challenge to researchers and mathematicians.

Then again, the country has yet to introduce any incentives for the manufacture of electric vehicles and is locked into the internal combustion engine. Many of the plans for the so-called Special Economic Zones, are centred around coal and mineral resource extraction.

What is clear, is the resulting energy imbalance from our country’s GHG contribution is steadily shifting our climate towards a catastrophic collapse of the holocene period. A geological measurement which has defined human habitat for millennia.

As a banner unfurled at Ascot on Sunday reads: We are racing to extinction. And along with it, the extinction of our own democratic freedom struggle.

Questions need to be asked

Is the promise of carbon offsets just another political vaccine, a stratagem to dampen activism without delivering the goods?

How do we know the carbon tax money is not being used on fruitless and wasteful expenditure?

How can we trust the result will not end up before yet another Zondo Commission?

Readers need to urgently question the assumptions made by our government, and especially the whereabouts of an independent monitoring mechanism, one that would need to monitor our nation’s contribution to GHG offsets. Reporting to parliament without delay.

Published in Green Times

Verwoerdian newspeak, Israel disinformation and INM bogus babies, it’s all real

IF YOU think replacing an Haraam Israel with an Halaal Palestine is the great moral issue of our time, instead of bothering to grapple with the complex secular versus religious issues involved in the region, and the resulting Jerusalem problematic which has caused me to label the real issues a tragic case of injustice vs injustice . Think again.

You’re probably one of many local armchair activists and casual readers who get your news from outlets such as Independent Media. An organisation currently at the centre of a bogus baby scandal.

Readers such as yourself are probably experiencing an over-simplistic feedback loop based upon baldfaced lies and propagandist attempts to frame the issues in black and white, whilst burying the secular concerns and consequences of a global religious inquisition and blood libel, raised here on more than several occasions?

You may be a little surprised when I proceed to relate to you the story of yet another propaganda moment orchestrated by Independent.

In 2015 I issued a complaint to the Press Ombud regarding the extraordinary serialization of the life and times of Peter Plum, a former Nazi and member of the Hitler Youth, who at the time was also suing the Allies via the international criminal courts for as he alleges their ‘starting WW2’.

The Independent Group proceeded to issue a denial that the man was even a Nazi, but rather as they put it, was simply an ‘innocent victim of Hitler’ and the piece merely illustrative of a ‘diversity of viewpoints’, and for which he was entitled to his opinion.

The results they claimed, did not constitute hate speech nor propaganda for war.

South Africa’s sweetheart Press Ombud Johan Retief proceeded to oblige in upholding Independent’s absurd resort to press privilege, privileges which they continue to deny other members of the press, not to mention forgetting the proverbial public right-of-reply.

The pieces were published in the weeks following the November Paris Attacks in which radical Islamists killed 130 people, including 90 at the Bataclan theatre attending an Eagles of Death Metal concert.

I therefore wish to remind readers that it was Justice Millin, in a judgment delivered in the Transvaal Supreme Court on July 13, 1943, who pronounced on Hendrik Verwoerd:

“He (Verwoerd) did support Nazi propaganda, he did make his paper a tool of the Nazis in South Africa, and he knew it.”

The case arose out of an action, brought by Verwoerd (as editor of the Transvaler) against the Johannesburg Star, for publishing an article, entitled “Speaking Up for Hitler” , in which the Transvaler was accused of falsifying news in support of Nazi propaganda and generally acting as a tool of the enemy,

Verwoerd lost the case. In a lengthy judgment, extending to more than 25,000 words, the judge found that Verwoerd had in fact furthered Nazi propaganda.

The defendants had proved, said the judge, that Verwoerd “caused to be published a large body of matter which was on the same general lines as matter coming to the Union in the Afrikaans transmissions from Zeesen and which was calculated to make the Germans look upon the Transvaler as a most useful adjunct to this propaganda service”

Tragically Verwoerd went on to become Prime Minister of South Africa in 1958, a decade after the Nationalists attained power.

Iqbal’s fake babies: Sir, you have egg on your face

THIS WEEK saw Dr Iqbal Survés attempt to recast himself as a wealthy philanthropist and friend of newborns everywhere fall flat amidst yet another infantile furore involving the Independent Group.

Survé and his organisation Survé Philanthropies appear to be the victim of an elaborate public relations stunt involving the handing over of a R1 million cheque in a well-orchestrated bogus bambino hoax backed up by none other than the Independent Group.

That Survés Sekunjalo Group are effectively the owners of the Independent Group should make no difference to how one views a startling case of falling victim to one’s own propaganda machine, and following years of sacrificing journalism standards to craft what can only be described as a private marketing network posing as news media.

What started out as an astonishing multi-toddler scoop by Piet Rampedi of the Pretoria News quickly disintegrated into mudslinging and recrimination, as INM CEO Takudzwa Hove (anyone heard of him?) stood by Rampedi’s story that Gosiame Sithole and Tebogo Tsotetsi had ‘become parents to a record-breaking ten babies born at a private Pretoria hospital.’

“The first red flag about the story was the sheer coincidence that it came a month after a Mali woman gave birth to nine babies,” wrote Mahlatse Mahlase of EWN, one of the first news outlets to debunk the story as an elaborate if fanciful con.

“Such pregnancies are exceedingly rare. Yet, shortly after that birth, a South African supposedly followed with 10. In fact, the interview by Independent was done the very month the Mali woman gave birth” she says.

As Jasmine Stone of 2OceansVibe opined: “The fact that it’s solely IOL with the inside scoop, and in particular, journalist Piet Rampedi (notorious for his role in the fake SARS ‘rogue unit’ stories from years back), only adds further intrigue.”

Yesterday the Health Department issued a striking rebuttal of INM’s claims of a government coverup, stating that their claims appear to be a ‘journalistic error’ since there is currently no evidence of the existence of the decuplets.

The family of the purported father of the babies, Tebogo Tsotetsi has also issued a statement denying their existence:

“The family has resolved and concluded that there are no decuplets born between Tebogo Tsotetsi and Gosiame Sithole, until proven otherwise and wishes to apologise for any inconvenience and embarrassment.”

Deconstructing Israel Apartheid in the light of the ascendancy of the Arab Common List

IN1961, the South African prime minister and architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, Hendrik Verwoerd, was reported to have dismissed an Israeli vote against South African apartheid at the United Nations, saying, “Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude … they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (1)

His successor John Vorster, one of the leaders of the Nazi affiliated Grey Shirts movement, also maintained the same view throwing blame whenever Israel called into question South Africa’s policies towards its black citizens and threatening Jews living in the country with retaliation.

In essence the apartheid analogy may be shown to have its origin in white South African kragdadigheid, and nationalist politicians and their self-serving justifications for unequal land distribution and race segregation at home by reference to the Post-War situation in the Middle East.

It is worth considering that while the conception of race and ethnicity delineated the apartheid regime and its attempts at partition via the creation of the so-called black bantustans, the plans for partition of Jerusalem and the emergence of a semblance of autonomy on the West Bank and to some extant, independence in Gaza have all arisen at the behest of international accords under Oslo. With the full participation of the nascent Arab nationalist movement, in other words Fatah.

In 1979, the Palestinian sociologist Elia Zureik argued that while not de jure an apartheid state, Israeli society was characterized by a latent form of apartheid. Over the years, the assertion that what is occurring in Israel is a type of apartheid have grown as has the belief that a 1975 UN resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism, is still in force.

It needs to be stated, after the end of the Cold War, the UN general assembly issued a resolution 46/86, (adopted on 16 December 1991), reversing its earlier resolution. Thus in 1991 “the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly … to revoke the bitterly contested statement it approved in 1975 that said: “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”

Which makes the suppression of an interview with a spokesperson for the Israeli blue and white party on SABC, all the more poignant. During the interview (subsequently removed) the member of the Knesset made the following observation: ‘If you believe in the two-state solution, there is no apartheid in Israel as such, but if you are looking for a one state solution, yes, there is apartheid, since the West Bank is currently excluded from the Knesset, while Gaza is a separate state.’

Just how complex the situation is, can be seen by the position of Ofer Cassif, a controversial Jewish MP on the Arab list.

Cassif opposes Zionism, the Jewish nationalist movement that led to the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel.

“Zionism as a whole, in practice if not in theory, supports Jewish supremacy,” he says. “I am against any kind of ethnic or national supremacy, I am against Jewish supremacy just like I am against white supremacy, just like I am against Arab supremacy.”

How unfair the situation inside the West Bank, has become may be seen in a presentation by two former Israeli diplomats, showing areas under Palestinian autonomous rule and those purportedly under IDF Military rule. A Swiss cheese situation that has arisen because of the widely held view articulated by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu that a completely independent West Bank would ‘represent a third Palestinian State alongside Jordan and Gaza.’

In 2011 I asked a delegation of Palestinian doctors, attending a health conference, whether or not a binational state solution like that of Belgium which has two distinct ethnic groups, the Flemish and Walloons, could be a solution. Their answer was no. Both parties desire completely separate states, or should one say, separate conceptions of what a state ought to be?

It is more than a little ironic, that while a new Israeli government coalition is being formed, which includes both the far right, and members of the Unified Arab List in other words, Arab Israeli citizens, Eric Goldstein of Human Rights Watch has been referring to the unrest surrounding the Sheik Jarra neighbourhood of Jerusalem (which escalated into the incursions on the Temple Mount, and the recent war with Gaza) as a conflict occurring in a ‘mixed race’ area.

It is unfortunate that the race typology deployed by both analysts and activists is overwhelmingly imposed from outside, rather than being the direct consequence of internal Israeli policy, lending credence to those who defend the status quo.

Local activists and would-be prosecutors of what can only be termed a’ religious’ Inquisition such as Ronnie Kasrils and Jessie Duarte et al, and even members of our judiciary, appear to want to suppress any view which does not abide by the hardline Hamas position, which demands the ‘annihilation of Israel in a final battle’.

Kasrils claims to be an atheist and ‘man of science’, and yet his writings on the subject are anything but scientific.

The Human Rights Watch report for instance, follows the exact same logic as an earlier disputed report issued by UN agency, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) which similarly imposed race categories on the conflict in order to meet legal definitions of apartheid. And likewise a 300-page report commissioned by a government agency, the South African Human Sciences Research Council. In short nations are not races. There is no plural in race.

South Africa itself, has discriminatory laws geared towards undoing its own racist legacy, and thus practices so-called positive discrimination. Instead of maintaining a charade of independence all the former ‘homelands’ were reincorporated into the country after 1994.

One would probably have the exact same difficulties attempting to start a Jewish Stetl in Saudi Arabia, and we may as well mention there already exists a Jewish Autonomous Oblast, which is a federal subject of Russia.

Internationally accepted definitions of antisemitism include, hostility toward Jewish secular identity, holding all Jews responsible for the actions of the State of Israel, and denying the right of Israel to exist as a country.

If you are a doctor supplying a diagnosis, then one expects at very least, the diagnosis to be informed by a scientific framework, that excludes unproven assumptions. In short, we should not be guessing at what the demands and positions of either side are to the conflict, but rather demanding free and open debate in which all parties may express their views.

Whether or not what is occurring is de facto apartheid (if not de jure apartheid) is extremely important in arriving at a common position and hopefully a solution, one that protects the rights of all involved.

A common misconception however that non-Jews are prevented from owning land in Israel proper has been thoroughly debunked. Less apparent is whether the fact that the country styles itself as a majority “Jewish state” has the perverse consequence of discrimination against other religious minorities. 

So far as this writer is concerned, a secular Middle East road-map would be far preferable.

Notes

(1) I have been unable to independently verify the Johnathon Pollard quote commonly attributed to Verwoerd. From an online search, Verwoerd probably said something very similar in regard to separate development.

Lushaba 2: That record needle skipping faux pas remains

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

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

A case of competing frames of reference?

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

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

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

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

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

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

This shoddy approach to evidence-based research in favour of polemic and opinion-making easily embraces racist bile.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time to call a spade a spade.

SEE: Commandante Lushaba and the Führer

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

LUSHABA: SA academia churning out unprofessional kooks and crackpots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And my expose of Mandisi Majavu here.

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

The statements by UCT SRC chairperson Declan Dyer in support of Dr Lushaba’s bizarre utterances about Hitler, fall into this category. Dyer has come out in support of Lushaba, stating that the comments were part of a larger critique of political science, and one should add, a critique of the anti-apartheid movement which took a non-partisan stance on the subject.

UPDATE: Dr Lushaba stands by his offensive idiotic statements, claims inter alia, that lectures at a public institution are somehow private, that the views of the person who objected are in the minority and that it is his ‘love of the black body politic’ that drove him.

If you follow his reasoning, then BJ Vorster, the head of the grey shirts movement affiliated to the Nazis, was innocent? Its a regular shit show. And worse, he appears to claim that the only peers who should be entitled to review his work, should be black etc etc, an apartheid headspace if any. In fact I remember similar crap emanating from my history teacher back in the day, ‘The English treated the Germans badly at Versailles, resulting in Hitler, similarly they treated the Boers badly, who only engaged in apartheid because they were mad at the British.’

Sekunjalo has another Jack Ma moment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End Vaccine Apartheid Before Millions More Die

By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS FROM DAILY MAVERICK 4 February 2020

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

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