Horse Memorial: The Humanity of Man

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way that its animals are treated.

Apparently, this quote has been falsely attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.  Nevertheless, it remains a great quote.  What is not in dispute is the following broadly similar quote from 1905 that was engraved in perpetuity (we hope) on the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth.

Main picture: The ineffably humble inscription on the Horse Memorial

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Fidel Castro: A Flawed Hero

The world has witnessed outpourings not only of grief at Fidel Castro’s passing but also admiration for his achievements. In South Africa, this has been especially pronounced amongst supporters of the ANC, EFF & Cosatu. The fact that Castro supported the ANC to obtain freedom for the Blacks in South Africa will never absolve Castro for repression, oppression, persecution and enslavement for his own people. 

The bald facts are that Castro was a dictator: pure and simple. 

Main picture:  Fidel Castro at MATS Terminal in Washington in 1959  Continue reading

Zuma’s Travails: A Cynical Viewpoint

In a surprising inastute move, the ANC used Jacob Zuma as the face of its Local Government Election campaign – literally its poster boy if you will. If anything, his visage signalled a reason amongst the traditional ANC supporters why they should NOT vote ANC in the Local Government Elections. For the opposition, Zuma was and is the gift that keeps on giving.

 Given this fact, should the opposition not be pleading with the ANC to retain Zuma as President, rather than lambasting them for having such a feckless, fatuous, venal leader who is clearly out of his depth?

Main picture: The frontline against corruption and “state capture” is manned by Pravin Gordhan

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Minority Government: Is it a Poisoned Chalice for the DA?

Stating the obvious, the easy work has been done by appointing the new Mayors. Even that was not as smooth as expected especially when the EFF accused Herman Mashaba, the DA’s candidate for Mayor in Joburg, as being “anti-black.” It is a matter of record that the EFF have been a disruptive influence with incendiary speech and spectacle being their trademarks. Will the leopard change his spots in order to play the coalition politics’ game or will it continually blackmail its coalition partners?

Contrary to the news headlines, the EFF only received 8.2% of the vote nationally. The only reason why the EFF is able to punch above their weight is that they are the kingmaker in most of the “hung” councils. The only glue that binds the DA & the EFF with such divergent policies is their desire to dethrone the ANC.

Nothing more and nothing less.

Main picture: Emblematic of the new South Africa – Mmusi Maimane with his wife Natalie

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LGE 2016: Will the Ideological Chasm Derail Stable Coalitions?

The Local Government Elections 2016 – LGE2016 – have irreparably altered the South African political landscape. With three major metros requiring coalition governments, diametrically opposed opponents will be forced to compromise. This requires political maturity which heretofore the EFF has not yet displayed. Instead petulance and disparaging taunting comments, often with racist connotations, have been the order of the day. 

What is the likely outcome?

Main picture: The inimitable Zapiro on the 2016 Local Government Elections in South Africa alluding to the fact that Zuma had commented that the ANC would remain in power until Jesus came again

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Will the real Julius please stand up?

Julius professes to be South Africa’s premier corruption buster yet he is implicated in financial imbroglios with Brett Kebble whilst a member of the ANCYL. Julius pays homage to the poor at every turn yet he himself dresses in faux Gucci style Tuxedo at an EFF party in Sandton immediately after the Manifesto launch as if his forbearance in having to dress down with his beloved poor had to be erased. Malema bemoans fraudulent leadership votes yet he himself rose in the ANCYL using those tactics.

Main picture: Members of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) (in red) clash with security officials after being ordered out of the chamber during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address in Cape Town, February 12, 2015. The opening of South Africa’s parliament descended into chaos on Thursday as security officers fought with far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) lawmakers after they disrupted President Jacob Zuma’s speech.

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On the Horns of a Malema

The ANC has experienced breakaways and splits before. Historically the most significant was by the PAC in 1959. Of the most recent, Bantu Holimisa’s UDM was never going to be a threat to the ANC whereas Cope was potentially never a life threatening hazard but rather a less venal and self-serving version of the ANC itself. More ominously the EFF with its self-proclaimed populist radical policies are more lethal and hazardous not only to the ANC in particular but to SA in general. The dilemma for the ANC is whether to politically engage with them or totally ignore them. What is my prognosis for the EFF?

Main Picture: Julius Malema sings after addressing a group of soldiers in civilian dress at the Lenasia Recreation Centre Continue reading

The Week in Mzanzi’s Politics: 15th August 2014

A tongue-in-the-cheek look at this week’s political events that mattered. The author has taken slight literary licence with the facts but only 10% are claimed to be exaggerations of the truth. As stranger things have happened, even that portion may well represent reality.

As the old adage goes, a week in politics is like an eternity. Undeniably the reason for this maxim is that the unexpected frequently occurs transforming yesterday’s hero into today’s enfant terrible. Such was this week.

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Mamparas of July 2014: The EFF’s Revolt over the Dress Code

The EFF has launched a new Liberation Struggle. It is not as inspiring and noble as the ANC fight for democracy.

I never did agree with the ANC’s methods for obtaining freedom such as necklacing and the destruction of property, but at least they had a noble cause.

In marked contrast the EFF have now discovered a much more worthy reason to commence a revolution: the latest fashion as decreed by themselves. On Friday [4th July 2014], Julius Malema declared with great verve on SABC that because the EFF members were barred from wearing overalls and maid’s uniforms to the Gauteng Legislature, they would make Gauteng ungovernable. He expounded that all 500,000 EFF voters in Gauteng would embark on mass action to obtain this sacred right.

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