BEING HALF-RIGHT, often means being half-wrong. Former finance minister Trevor Manual, the man who seemingly quit politics to take-up a lucrative job at NM Rothchilds, a company in bed with the Rupert-Remgro-Kagiso-Naspers cabal, is no stranger to scandals. Often vocal in support of ‘Coloured identity’, he has now weighed in on the Snyman saga (see below).
SABC quotes Manual saying: ‘there’s no legislation in South Africa that requires people to provide their racial classification” and “Snyman is perfectly correct.” Then without any sense of contradiction, he proceeds to interpret the Employment Equity Act, by stating: “The Employment Equity Act stipulates that Black people means Coloureds, South African Coloureds, Indians collectively. That is perfectly acceptable language.”
Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what the EEA says. Under ‘definitions’ the act defines ‘black people” as a ‘generic term which means Africans, Coloureds and Indians’.(1) After this exercise in circular logic, it then lists ‘designated groups, meaning blacks, women and persons living with disabilities’. There is thus no definition of the term Non-African, nor any of the apartheid-era race categories per se, for example, Other Coloured.
The purpose of the Act Mr Manual, is not simply to provide for a ‘diverse and representative workforce’ in the form of affirmative action, but also to eliminate unfair discrimination in the workplace, a goal which includes ending discrimination on the basis of ‘religion and culture’. These are inclusive terms which cover the full spectrum of South African society, and however one wishes to define personhood, Africanness and class status.
And the reason I bring this up, is my decades-long battle under the Act, against a blatantly racist, religious inquisition brought at the behest of a TRC-bashing apartheid media corporation entangled in Mr Manuals’ many ventures. To paraphrase DJ Fresh, quit imposing your religious views, its just plain rude.
I therefore observe that Manual is being a little opportunistic and even racist, in seeking to spin his party’s painful neglect of the nonracial principles inherent to our constitutional dispensation. He is certainly dishonest in his failure to address David Masondo’s statements to the effect that non-racialism, as in our collective human rights, is ‘merely an aspirational target’.
Considering the manifest corruption at play with the Kagiso Group, an entity which lists NM Rothchilds as partners, and a shareholding and directorships at former labour brokerage and financial services firm subsidiary, Resolve Group — the ensuing capture of the Labour Court at the behest of Manual’s cronies is no surprise.
It was an ANC party apparatchik, and director at the time of Resolve Group, Halton Cheadle, (a man who acknowledges the respondent Media24 was his client) who proceeded to deliver a 2010 ‘decision’ devoid of fact, bashing our non-racial dispensation, upholding apartheid denial and favouring his business associates. A decision which deserves to be ridiculed for its imposition of a minority opinion within a major religion.
One can only marvel at Manual’s ability to spin the corruption dogging his party at the Zondo commission. I therefore refute Manual’s statements as nothing more than opportunistic, political bunk.
(1) Note: A 2013 High Court judgement instated more than a billion Chinese persons under the definition of black. The definition appears to exclude black persons who are not African, for example, a Maori, Inuit or Jamaican, would not qualify as African.