IT’S BEEN quite a week. 7 days after Salman Rushdie was stabbed by an assailant and rushed to hospital where he remains on the critical list, Mahmoud Abbas was drawing fire for comments he made at a press conference alongside German Chancellor Scholz, prompting an investigation by Berlin police.
The remarks, during a news conference in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, sparked outrage in Germany, Israel and beyond. Scholz said Wednesday he was “disgusted by the outrageous remarks” made by the Palestinian Authority president.
He also rejected the use of the term ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel.
Police confirmed a report Friday by German daily Bild that Abbas was being investigated for possible infringements of laws making it a criminal offense to downplay or deny the Holocaust.
Abbas’ statement is consistent with replacement theology which denies the involvement of Palestinian leadership in the tragedy under Amin al-Husseini (pictured touring concentration camps with German high command) and the result is Nakba inflation, in which massacres of Jews by Arabs in the Middle East, including expulsion and cession of land owned by Jews, some 100 000 square km of deeded property, is rendered invisible.
Nether remarks by Abbas or Sholz received media coverage in South Africa. Instead, I awoke this morning to press releases from local rights organisations such as South African Jews for Free Palestine (SAJFP), objecting to seven Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations ‘forcibly shut by Israeli raids on Thursday’. A tragic case of injustice versus injustice in which both parties to the conflict feel emboldened to deny the rights of the other?
The reasons offered by Israel seem to be allegations the organizations are being used as ‘fronts for terror activities’. JFP were quick to point out this was a common accusation made during the State of Emergency under apartheid. Whether the result actually translates into apartheid is another matter.
One can only hope the SAJFP is as vocal in its objection to Holocaust denial and will provides readers with an explanation as to why there is currently no Secular Freedom Charter in a struggle which purports to be analogous to the struggle against apartheid.
IT IS more than a little ironic that during the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Conference Against Racism, Professor Salim Abdool Karim appears to advocate a case of dominica potestas, that most ancient of power relations between master and slave articulated during the period of colonial rule, in which slaves were bought and sold as objects. The latin phrase translates as literally ‘power of dominion’ , (see below).
That a World Health Organisation (WHO) Council Member, makes such views known in public is all the more alarming. Since the resulting power grab by the WHO and its Big Pharma allies in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would necessitate a total reorganisation of South African society including the amendment of our Constitution. A goal which appears to be nothing more than an elegant take-down of our democracy by stealth, if one reads and interprets other vaccine mandate nitwits, Cheadle and Gray et al (see here).
The astonishingly flawed logic in which Karim provides absolutely no scientific proof, but mere speculation on the ‘public good’ while touting an as yet unproven and controversial theory of origin (a single Bat Virus in situ, not Gain-of-Function research on Bat Viruses at the Wuhan Institute) must be rejected. So too the appalling public health motion seeking to remove the legal consent basis for our democracy.
The ‘talking head’ professor (who has turned into somewhat of a television star) seems to forget that current vaccines do not stop the virus per se, but merely prevent those affected from joining the ranks of the chronically ill in high care. And even then, there are problems with efficacy of treatment. Israel a country with an extremely high level of vaccination has learnt that booster shots are the only way forward. Vaccines save lives, but removing patient consent, destroys the foundation of our democracy (see here).
Despite Karim’s televised concerns, there is no public interest case to be made regarding vaccine mandates. The state should rather exhaust the use of persuasion, incentives and positive discrimination A vaccine passport record may be considered positive discrimination, a vaccine mandate is totalitarianism. We don’t have a totalitarian system. [Please see Second thoughts on Vaccine Passports]
In brief, South Africans are not subjects of ‘parens patriae‘. Latin for “parent of the people.” Under the common law doctrine of parens patriae, a state has a ‘paternal and protective role over its citizens or others subject to its jurisdiction’. This isn’t our system.
In the local context, when it comes to adulthood, our state is ‘inepta parente’, an unfit parent. It cannot act ‘in loco parentis’, i.e. in the place of a parent. Only those under curatorship of a court would encounter such nonsense. And even then, we have human rights … the age of majority … disability law.
The United States, where ‘parens patriae‘ is limited to the state’s interest in protecting children from harm, the state may sue on behalf of the nation, to achieve a public interest result. This power however does not extend to intervening in health related matters as they may affect the individual. There is no tithe for instance on blood donations, the President cannot force you to donate a kidney in the ‘national interest’.
In South Africa while the state may take up a parental role in attending to the needs of minors and the disabled by rolling out child and disability grants, and thus protecting children and the disabled from harm, it lacks any potestas or power when it comes to treating its adult citizens as its own children. Aside from rolling out social security, such a move would result in the removal of individual autonomy and human agency by the state, whilst creating dominion and sovereignty over its now ‘chattel citizens’, a relationship known as dominica potestas.
Here is where the medics need to stay in their own lane instead of turning into our police and political ideologues. There is a very good reason why they are not our masters, and require our consent to administer vaccines. Sir, for starters, I am not a state patient. The only case precedent for forced medical interventions, apply to guests of the state and those already convicted of a crime. The Mental Health Care Act, was amended in 2002 to exclude involuntary commitment for political reasons. The state cannot pursue a policy of rights removal with regard to its own citizens.
Herr Professor Karim most certainly does not possess locus standi to prosecute a medical case against the South African body politic.
In any event we do not need to ‘apply’ to be a citizen, to be in possession of human rights. We already are citizens, our citizenship is enshrined in “We, the People'”. Not “We, the Bureaucrats”, nor “We, your Masters at the WTO”. Article 12 enshrining ‘ownership and control over the body’, is thus already part and parcel of our Constitutional dispensation and there is absolutely no reasonable prospect of its removal any time soon — such a feat would require a supermajority in parliament.
In Karim’s jaded and one should add, creepy medico-legal view, the only exceptions to involuntary administration of health care by the state, would be religious objections ‘conforming to special criteria’. To which one should simply state: No to religiosity in medicine!
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.
A DRACONIAN Cape Town City Bylaw could outlaw indoor gatherings of more than 50 people where microphones, Ipods, and and ghetto blasters are used and if the result is amplified sound , even if the event happens in the comfort of your living room, consider it an offence without a license.
The proposed new bylaw is intended to force events organisers to apply for licenses to host “musicians, poets and entertainers”, while regulating an environment in which businesss-in-exchange-for-favours is the order of the day. The City plans to clean-up the boho inner city strip of Long Street and other entertainment areas, forcing promoters of “educational, cultural and religious events” to give-up a percentage of their takings in exchange for mutually beneficial “partnerships”, and the bylaw has thus set in motion a regulatory mechanism intended to create a “return on investment” from both public and private facilities, and covers outdoor and indoor events of every description in Cape Town.
THE Triangle Project recently placed advertising in local newspapers calling for “gays and lesbians” to continue the struggle for same-sex marriage rights — thus continuing a long tradition in South Africa’s alternative community of distinguishing gays from lesbians. Is this sheer perversity, moral convenience or something more sinister like gender discrimination?
Whatever happened to the notion of equality? Plain old androgeny? Freedom of sexual orientation?
While it may appear like mere heuristic convenience to
partition people between male and female, gay or
straight, or gay or lesbian labels, the Out in Africa ideology of
Triangle’s version of gaydom loses some of the more nuanced
aspects of sexual freedom and arguably does harm to a much
broader struggle that includes womens rights as much
as the rights of hermaphrodites and transexuals.
The problem seems to be the tricky notion of what it
means to be gay as opposed to queer. According to
Michel Foucault “there are no homosexuals, only
homosexual acts” in other words, ones sexual identity
is not dependent exclusively upon the sex act, but is
rather part of a far more complex personal mythology
in which any number of sex acts may conspire towards
presenting a sexual persona that is independent of
social mores, gender values, and stereotyping.
Of course people will disagree with me — the new
anti-queer mainstream as exemplified by the Triangle
Project and its nemesis the Legal System seeks to
prove with gay science, the scientific fact of a gay
and lesbian divide that is historically incorrect
(aren’t lesbians also gay?). The result is merely a
rehash of the dominant “straight” ideology and the
intention however misguided, the ultimate replacement
of straight society with gay society, along with the
marginalisation of queers and those who shun gender
In such a pitched battle, cast in shades of pink, the
struggle is doomed to failure, as much as straight
society is doomed to repeat its own closet-minded
attack against the rights of the homosexual. In effect
a dismantling of the rainbow nation as the legal
system finds new ways to protect religion above
reason, and tradition above logic.
Lets remind our courts then — not only are lesbians,
bisexuals and straight people still very much out
there, but there is also a sizeable population of
transexuals some of whom consider themselves straight,
as well as straight people like myself who consider
themselves queer. The solution is not simply to make
room for queerdom but to allow the demise of gender as
a biologically determined fact (that defines all
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