Tag Archives: constitution

If killing the boers is OK, how about blacks, women and gays?

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu has defended Julius Malema’s lusty renditions of the infamous “kill the boers, they are rapists” song, arguing (according to this Sapa article) that the “the lyrics of the song had been quoted out of context”.

“This song was sung for many years even before Malema was born. Julius doesn’t even know who’s the writer of the song. He got it from us [the ANC]. You must blame the ANC, don’t blame Julius. But when you blame the ANC, then contextualise it,” Sapa quotes Mthembu as saying.

By Mthembu’s logic, it is completely acceptable inciting people to kill others, provided there is “context”. What does that mean? Well, so as long as “kill the blacks” was an old apartheid song, embittered racists can chant it from the rooftops. So long as “kill the women” was some sort of misogynist anthem, chauvinists can do the Macarena to it in male-only clubs. So long as “kill the gays” was a major hit for bigots as they set lesbians alight, they can scream it as they throw the gays off bridges and into manholes.

That’s the logic behind ANC’s defence of Julius Malema’s call to kill. But it is, most likely, an unintended logic. Because one gets the sense from Mthembu’s inelegant explanation behind Malema’s behaviour that singing “kill the boers” is acceptable simply because of the group it is targeting. In the ANC’s eyes, this, surely, is a way of putting a “vanquished” people in their place, reinforcing the ANC’s Africanist political hegemony, reminding white Afrikaners — yes, after all, that is what the word “boer” is a term for — that they are “guests” staying in this country at the almighty ANC’s behest, and that their livelihoods, and indeed lives, are at the mercy of the ANC.

The ANC equates the black majority with its own political majority. It equates the Afrikaans minority with a political minority, a minority that is supposedly stubborn, resistant to change and unwilling to accept the political majority’s power. This is a dangerous, unfortunate perspective because it negates the nuances of political thought and tramples on the concepts of individual freedom, liberty and expression. It forgoes any notion of equality and inclusiveness.

The Afrikaners are South Africans and Africans. They are equals and deserve to be treated as such. Provided our Constitution and laws are respected, they are as entitled to live in whichever way they want to, to say and do whatever they want — as any other South African, of any culture, race or creed, should be able to do.

By supporting Malema’s calls for the demise of the Afrikaners, as implied in “kill the boers”, the ANC shows contempt for this concept of equality and individual liberty — and for our Constitution which guarantees this. Why? Because the ANC believes that minorities (whether racial, political or intellectual) require subordination and domination. This impulse shares the very same roots as the heinous National Party’s urge to dominate and subordinate groupings it considered “other” and inferior. But that’s no surprise — whatever its claims to contrary, the ANC has shown again and again that it is cut of the same cloth as the National Party — like its predecessor in power it is racially nationalistic, adhering to the politics of domination and exclusion.

Malema’s recent pronouncements — and the ANC’s sprightly defence of them — are no exception.

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Jon Qwelane: what are you hiding, sista?

A lot of people — the decadent amoral bourgeoisie, mostly — have got awfully upset over Jon Qwelane’s latest tirade. Why the fuss? The Sunday Sun is gutter press and Qwelane’s equally contemptible opinions are part and parcel of a paper that believes that stoking xenophobia and perpetuating intolerance is a prerequisite in speaking to the “blue-collar man”.

As the furore rages, let’s not forget that Qwelane is the lovelorn admirer of Mugabe, once describing that despot as a “true revolutionary” who had been made the “villain of the piece” by the “racist” West. In that same Sunday Smut article, Qwelane said that he dreaded Morgan Tsvangirai ever becoming the president of Zimbabwe (despite the nation choosing him in the March election) because:

Zimbabwe will be recolonised all over again, and Tsvangirai will be a latter-day Abel Muzorewa — a bantustan puppet “leader”, with the real puppet masters in Britain and South Africa (read DA, chiefly).

Qwelane is no stranger to controversy — but that’s hardly surprising when his vitriolic rantings, littered with factual inaccuracies and with a paucity of substantive evidence to back his wild arguments, reveal an endless bigotry and prejudiced posturing more in keeping with the previous regime.

The question is whether he’s gone too far on this one. I suppose that all depends on whether Media24 believes its advertising revenues to be threatened through potential boycotts of its various outlets (after all, that was what gave Deon Maas the shove).

Instead of firing him, perhaps the media giant should find the repressed little columnist a therapist — as one can’t help wondering whether his views reflect a certain desire to vent about deeply personal issues that he can’t quite put to bed (literally, it would seem, in the case of his latest column).

But help is surely at hand. Qwelane’s pal, Zuma, has let slip his stance on gays before (fondly reminiscing how, as a youth, he would “strike the unqili”); so perhaps dear old umshini will be the politician that can muster, as Qwelane urges, “the balls to rewrite the Constitution of this country, to excise those sections which give licence to men ‘marrying’ other men, and ditto women”.

Qwelane will never know if Zuma will become his point-man on anti-moffie morality unless he gets together with him. They should have a macho man-to-man shower session and put their heads together to discuss things.

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Jon Qwelane’s gay-bashing column

After the furore surrounding Jon Qwelane’s gay-bashing column in the Sunday Sun Smut, News24.com apparently decided not to publish it – as they usually do with Qwelane’s muck. As it turns out, a UCT blog called Media Flaws has a copy which has been reproduced below. So, if you’re curious as to see what the fuss was about, read on….

Call me names, but gay is NOT okay…

Oh dear, here we go yet again. The Anglican Church is heading for a split in its ranks, and homosexuals are the reason. The church faces the first real schism since the day Henry VIII walked angrily out of the Catholic community to lead his own faction, because Rome would not sanction his marriage to Anne Boleyn, his brother’s widow. This time some leftists among the Anglican Communion want not only more homosexuals ordained as bishops, but women as well.

The real problem, as I see it, is the rapid degradation of values and traditions by the so-called liberal influences of nowadays; you regularly see men kissing other men in public, walking holding hands and shamelessly flaunting what are misleadingly termed their “lifestyle” and “sexual preferences”. There could be a few things I could take issue with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, but his unflinching and unapologetic stance over homosexuals is definitely not among those. Why, only this very month – you’d better believe this – a man, in a homosexual relationship with another man, gave birth to a child!

At least the so-called husband in that relationship hit the jackpot, making me wonder what it is these people have against the natural order of things. And by the way, please tell the Human Rights Commission that I totally refuse to withdraw or apologise for my views. I will write no letters to the commission either, explaining my thoughts.

Trouble in the Anglican Communion began when the Episcopalian fraternity in America (where else?) decided to ordain a homosexual as bishop of the flock. Here in South Africa we had a senior officer of the church in Cape Town parading his “gay lifestyle” openly. The 10-yearly Lambeth Conference in England – the gathering is the world “synod” of the church – will deliberate the delicate matter of women and homosexual bishops, among other things.

Homosexuals and their backers will call me names, printable and not, for stating as I have always done my serious reservations about their “lifestyle and sexual preferences”, but quite frankly I don’t give a damn: wrong is wrong! I do pray that some day a bunch of politicians with their heads affixed firmly to their necks will muster the balls to rewrite the constitution of this country, to excise those sections which give licence to men “marrying” other men, and ditto women. Otherwise, at this rate, how soon before some idiot demands to “marry” an animal, and argues that this constitution “allows” it? – by Jon Qwelane.

–end of article

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I am a counter-revolutionary too, Mr Mantashe

Dear Gwede

You seem to have a habit of attacking anything that poses a threat to your lord-and-master’s accession to power. First it was the Scorpions; now the judiciary. Of course I can’t really blame you — a lot is riding on the gravy train that departed from Polokwane last December, and I dare say you’re dead-scared that if it derailed, then so would your chances to stuff your pockets at the buffet in the dining car.

Forgive the train metaphors. I’m a man of the people, you see — I use Metrorail. Perhaps when you’re next in Cape Town you can forgo the limo for once and come with me to see how the other 99% get to work. Not that they all use trains, of course (which is just as well — it’s quite a squeeze as it is). Oh, and be warned: there’s no buffet — or dining carriage, for that matter.

But I’m getting off the track. Sincere apologies. Grovelling open letters from frightened whiteys trying to fawn favour with the post-Polokwane bigwigs are meant to be short, punchy and polite.

So. We were talking about those scurrilous, counter-revolutionary forces, weren’t we? I am fearful that you underestimate the size and determination of this gutter dirt. Rumour has it that counter-revolutionaries come in all shapes and sizes: they cross ideological boundaries, are male and female, black and white (and sometimes even Chinese … sorry, I mean “coloured”). They are rich and poor — and somewhere in between. They are old, young, employed, unemployed, literate, illiterate (some are MPs, you see).

To help you identify them, I’ve compiled a description of the archetypal counter-revolutionary. Perhaps once you’ve rounded them all up you can get Malema to sort them out — figuratively and “in context”, of course. And failing that, I know dear old Vavi’s always game for a bit of umshini practice.

But, without further delay, here is what a counter-revolutionary is:

  • We believe in democracy.
  • We believe that our Constitution is of greater importance than any political movement — even if that movement happens to have liberation cred (after all, so does Zanu-PF and look at how fascist they are).
  • We believe that no politician is infallible, and that democratic accountability’s checks and balances need to apply to all those in power.
  • We believe in the independence of the judiciary and that judicial processes should occur without political interference.
  • We believe in genuine, sustainable socioeconomic transformation that will uplift the previously oppressed. The self-enrichment of a money-grubbing few (whether they be aligned to Mbeki or Zuma is irrelevant) does not pass muster.
  • We believe in the importance of a robust political opposition — from both right and left.

Oops. Did I just say “we”? I’ve rather let the cat out of the bag, haven’t I? You see, my dear Gwede, I — like millions of other South Africans — am a counter-revolutionary.

Bring it on.

Your humble servant,

Alex Matthews

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The Zanu-PF Fan Club (also known as the ANC)

Robert Mugabe is one lucky dictator, being in the enviable position of having outsourced his foreign diplomacy efforts to the South African government. By preventing a discussion in the United Nations Security Council on Zimbabwe’s political situation, South Africa is doing its utmost to ensure that the international community does nothing about the tyrannous regime’s evermore-brutal attempts to cling to power.

In post-election Zimbabwe, Mugabe has launched Operation Mavoterapapi [Where Did You Vote] which involves the systematic persecution of MDC supporters. Torture camps are being used, and roving gangs of Zanu PF youth militia round up suspects, beating them, and in some cases murdering them.

This is well documented, and clearly should be dealt with by the Security Council as a matter of urgency. The reason South Africa has blocked discussion about Zimbabwe is ostensibly because it believes that Zimbabwe’s implosion does not pose a threat to international peace and security — the requirement for something to be discussed in the Security Council. But this does not make sense. Firstly what is of greater importance: the lives and rights of millions, or UN protocol? Secondly, one could easily argue that Zimbabwe is indeed posing a threat to international peace and security: The flood of refugees (an estimated three million) into South Africa and the violent xenophobic backlash that has subsequently occurred is proof of this.

Thus the only plausible explanation behind blocking discussion of the crisis is that the South African government continues to be an unquestioning and unwavering supporter of Mugabe’s regime. Running contrary to the values enshrined in our constitution, its shameful behaviour at the UN means that it effectively condones the fascist subjugation of the Zimbabwean people and the assault on their fundamental human rights and democratic will.

In a betrayal of its guiding principles, the ANC has placed not only its commitment to democracy but also its credibility as a liberation movement in jeopardy. Since our ruling party is prepared to turn a blind eye to the flagrant oppression across the border, does this mean that when its political hegemony is effectively challenged, that it will resort to the same vicious measures to stay in power?

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Has the Freedom Charter been forgotten?

One of the most remarkable things about the Freedom Charter was the democratic process involved in its creation. People the length and breadth of this country were encouraged to send in their submissions about what they believed the charter should include.

In his autobiography, the late Joe Slovo writes:

Literally tens of thousands of scraps of paper came flooding in: a mixture of smooth writing-pad paper, torn pages from ink-blotched school exercise books, bits of cardboard, asymmetrical portions of brown and white paper bags and even the unprinted margins of newspaper. South African history had never before that moment (or indeed since) seen such a groundswell of democratic expression by plain and ordinary people.

These suggestions were drawn upon to formulate the final document that was then adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown, 1955.

Just over fifty years later, it would appear that the ANC has no regard for the considerations of this country’s ordinary people. Take the school pledge for example. There’s been no consultation, no discussion over the pledge – it was simply announced out of the blue by the education minister, Naledi Pandor, at a social cluster media briefing.

As it affects so many people, a school pledge is something which needs to be discussed vigorously. The views of people need to be sought – submissions should be received. How about making it a process that school children could get involved in? Instead of merely reciting something forced upon them from on high, the pledge could be so much more meaningful if each school child had a role in crafting it. There would be huge merit in getting kids to think about what the values and institutions they are making a pledge to.

The democratic process of creating the pledge could also serve as a springboard to discussions at school about our constitution, our collective and individual identities and our nation.

It might also get people to question why our legislators can’t seem to abide by the very constitution that the pledge is based on.

In a time where it seems that South Africa is as divided as ever, discussion and contemplation about such weighty issues is vital

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