Monday, June 20, 2011

Julius and the White Girl

by Pieter le Roux  
Monday, June 20, 2011 at 8:00pm
Julius was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when he turned to her and said, 'Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.'

The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the him, 'What would you like to talk about?'

'Oh, I don't know,'Julius said. 'How about nuclear power?' and he smiles.

OK, ' she said. 'That could be an interesting topic.

But let me ask you a question first.

A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass - . Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass.

Why do you suppose that is?'

Julius, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says,

'Yu haikona wena, I have no idea....'

To which the little girl replies, 'Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?


Juju Jive Goes into Overdrive

19 June, 2011

South Africa will wake up to a new week with the realisation that it has to endure another three years of Julius Malema at the centre of the political stage.

 A chill will run down many a spine and some will sink into depression as they think of the damage this young man has caused to society since assuming the presidency of the ANC Youth League in 2008. Others will cheer the triumph of someone who seems to speak their language.

Whichever way you look at it, it is time to buckle up and prepare for an extended and more riveting run of the Julius Malema show. The Malema who has emerged from this conference is a much more powerful man. Not only is his grip on the youth league machine much tighter, his ability to wield power in the ANC and broader society is now considerably enhanced.

To understand the phenomenon of Malema's power and why it is likely to be with us for some time, it is necessary to detour into his past.

It is worth remembering that this was the Congress of South African Students lad who in the late '90s and early 2000s (long after "liberation before education" was passé) sacrificed school for student activism. 

This was the guy who, in 2000, led students down the streets of Johannesburg, trashing the city and looting hawkers' wares; 

the character who was banned by the Gauteng Education Department from coming within 500m of the province's schools (at the time the Limpopo-based boy spent much of his time at Cosas headquarters).

With this rabble-rousing pedigree he propelled himself up the ranks of the youth league to become Limpopo provincial secretary.

His power reached into the heights and bowels of government. Cleaners and chief directors quivered equally at the mention of the name Julius.

He made sure senior provincial leaders danced to the youth league's ditty, and those who did not knew they were courting pain. Former premier Sello Moloto still carries scars from encounters with the enfant terrible.

So when it was time for Fikile Mbalula to step down from the league presidency in mid-2008 , it was inevitable that the post-Polokwane wave of populism and appeal to the lowest common denominator would also carry Malema.

The thinking among those who had engineered Jacob Zuma's triumph in Polokwane was that, with the corruption charges still hanging over him, their man was not yet safe. Mbeki was still in the Union Buildings, some in the new ANC leadership were already harbouring big ambitions and the pesky unions could not be trusted.

The best way to protect Zuma, they surmised, was through a powerful youth league that would be loyal to his cause. Malema was the best man to lead this defence.

Once at the helm of the league he has used a mixture of witty populism and an Mbekiesque understanding of power to great effect. He wows crowds with choice words. He picks subjects that get hearts beating fast, but have as much in common with reality as Swaziland sending a navy flotilla to tackle the Somali pirates. Because he is such a meticulous orator and because of the power and influence he wields, his fantasies carry weight.

He has been able to determine the tune, tone and pitch of the national conversation. Even this lowly newspaperman, who would rather have delved into the hugely important National Planning Commission's Diagnostic Report, finds his attention diverted.

The other tool Malema uses effectively is brute political force. In his consolidation of power since 2008, Malema has borrowed cleverly from the Mbeki manual on how to deal with perceived challengers and dissenting voices. Youth league structures are strewn with such political corpses.

Senior ANC leaders know Malema's adeptness at the power game. They also know that they gave him the space to accumulate and wield this power.

So what does an emboldened Malema mean for South Africa?

For starters it will give him formidable say in two important events in 2012: the ANC's mid-year policy conference and the elective conference in December.
Expect President Zuma's paranoid furtive glances over his shoulder to increase.
Expect the queue outside Malema's office in Luthuli House to be very long as grown men and women fawn over him.

Expect more demagoguery on nationalisation, large-scale land expropriation and other outlandish ideas.

Before we depress ourselves too much, let us remember every nation has its demagogues. The Americans have their Limbaughs, the French have their Le Pens and the Brits have their Griffins.

The difference is that they were all contained on the periphery of power. Our demagogue is at the centre of power with the possibility of acquiring even more power in future.

The only thing that can stop him is his party bowing to society's disapproval.

Fake Everything

20 June, 2011

A Ghanaian has been arrested for allegedly setting up his own Department of Home Affairs.

He was taken into custody in an operation involving the police's crime intelligence unit and the Johannesburg metro police after being found in possession of Department of Home Affairs equipment.

He allegedly used it to produce fraudulent documents, including passports, visas, identity documents, driver's licences, marriage, birth and death certificates - and US dollars.

The 44-year-old, who was arrested in Yeoville, Johannesburg, on Friday, was expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court today.

Johannesburg police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the man would face charges of fraud, malicious damage to property, contravening the Counterfeit Act and bribery

He allegedly tried to pay the officers on the scene a R3000 bribe.

Other charges include possession of Home Affairs property and impersonating a department official.

Dlamini alleged that the man removed bar-codes and identity numbers from genuine identity books and pasted them into fraudulent ones.

Also found on his property were blank visas, security tapes for new passports, blank Lesotho passports, original Home Affairs documents, traffic department documents and rubber stamps for the Johannesburg and Germiston offices of Home Affairs.

Credit cards and driver's licences from countries that included Zambia, Angola, Brazil and Namibia were also found at the premises.

Dlamini said more people were likely to be arrested.
  • Three Home Affairs officials are expected to appear in the Lebowakgomo Magistrate's Court, near Polokwane, today on charges of fraud.
They were arrested in a joint operation by the Department of Home Affairs and the Hawks.

Missing pensions

Jun 20 2011

The parties involved in the alleged misinvestment of hundreds of millions of rands of clothing workers' provident fund money – which is being forensically investigated – could be criminally prosecuted.

There is concern that the retirement monies of thousands of clothing workers who are members of trade union Sactwu could be irretrievably lost.

Over the weekend Sake24 reported that Cape company Canyon Springs Investments 12 – which received some of the money and is allegedly unable to repay more than R100m – has been put into provisional liquidation.

One of the directors of Canyon Springs is the wife of Enoch Godongwana Deputy Minister of Economic Development. 

Court documents state that his family apparently owns an equal stake in the business........................... 

Safeguard yourselves, farmers told


Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder on Sunday called on farmers to "safeguard" themselves, following ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's vow earlier in the day to "take the land without payment".
In a statement, he warned that Malema's comments on land ownership were "taking us back to the period before 1994, when violence and even the possibility of a civil war was part of the South African debate".

Mulder - who also serves in President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet as deputy agriculture minister - said there was no difference between Malema's viewpoint on land and land policy, and that of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who had destroyed his country's economy.

Earlier on Sunday, speaking at the closing ceremony of the youth league's elective conference in Midrand, Malema said there was no way to be diplomatic about land ownership.

"There is no way you can be diplomatic about the issue of land. We will never be diplomatic about willing buyer, willing seller. It has failed," he told delegates.

The leadership of the ANC had to implement the resolution taken at the party's national conference in Polokwane in 2007.
"Polokwane said willing buyer, willing seller has failed, and we must find an alternative. You have failed to find an alternative. We must take the land without payment."

Malema has in recent months become increasingly strident in his call for expropriation of land without compensation, and its speedy redistribution to the masses.

Not government policy

Mulder said the FF Plus and the majority of farmers would not accept such a solution.

"At present, these proposals are not government policy. While the debate about it continues within the ANC, it is merely being responsible if the FF Plus gives attention to contingency plans such as those which had been in place prior to 1994.

"The climate which is created by this type of comment can only lead to more farm murders and unnecessary violence. That is why the FF Plus is calling on farmers to, in their own interests, organise themselves in the interim into rural safety structures," he said.

Contacted for further comment, Mulder told Sapa he hoped the continuing debate within the ANC on the land issue would be a "logical" one.

He said farmers had been co-operating with government since 1994 on the land issue, and there remained a lot of goodwill among them towards this issue.
On Malema's comments, Mulder said: "I think it's youth speaking, but it's been so powerful I had to react."

He said the youth league president's call on land appropriation was not acceptable.

"They talk about land grab - we surely will not accept it," Mulder said.

Sutcliffe waits for verdict

20 June, 2011

Durban city manager Mike Sutcliffe will not know the outcome of an investigation into fraud and corruption, in which he is implicated, before his contract ends next month.

Mike Sutcliffe

Sutcliffe and former mayor Obed Mlaba are being investigated as part of a wider probe into irregular spending and shady contracts in the eThekwini municipality.

The ANC is expected to meet soon to decide on whether to extend Sutcliffe's contract.

Insiders claim that Sutcliffe has fallen out of favour with the ANC and that his contract, which ends on July 31, will be not renewed.

Spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal's department of co-operative governance, Lennox Mabaso, said the investigation, initiated by MEC Nomusa Dube at the instigation of the ANC, was a "long process" without a deadline.

"A probe of this kind takes time. Currently it is going smoothly. Because it must be a thorough investigation, we cannot put a time frame on it," Mabaso said.

The ANC called on Dube to order a forensic investigation after the auditor-general found that the city had irregularly spent R535-million and the audit implicated Sutcliffe and three officials in irregular housing contracts worth R3.5-billion over 10 years.

Mlaba allegedly had shares in a company that nearly landed a R3-billion tender to convert the city's waste into energy.

Sutcliffe and Mlaba were not available for comment.

The investigation will cover the non-disclosure of interests by councillors and officials, the alleged illegal renting and selling of RDP houses, irregularities in travel and overtime allowances and in the appointment of staff, and allegations of fraudulent practices in the metro police.

I was abandoned to assassins

20 June, 2011

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has an axe to grind with leaders in President Jacob Zuma's government whom he believes deliberately exposed him to death when they withdraw his personal security guards for what he believes were political reasons.

Confident from his uncontested re-election as leader of the league for another three years, Malema told delegates at the closing yesterday of the league's national congress in Midrand, Johannesburg, that the guards assigned to him after he was threatened that his house would be bombed were abruptly recalled without his being told.

He said he believed the bodyguards were withdrawn because some leaders in the government had been irritated by his views about racial minorities handing over power to blacks.

"The government and the ANC gave me protectors because they thought my life was in danger. As we were going on with the programme of engaging our people in the economic struggle, our government withdrew security from me on bases that were unfounded.

"They just said they conducted a study and that I was no longer under threat and therefore I did not need to be protected. I had no reason to worry because I am not the first one. They can do that. If that makes them sleep at night, it's fine," Malema said.

He said that two of the guards assigned to protect him refused to follow orders to dump him.

Malema warned yesterday that "karma" would deal with those who made the decision to withdraw his security when he needed it most.

"[The two bodyguards] pleaded with their boss to say 'Let us take him to work and we will tell him later that we are no longer with him'. They were told to 'leave that man and that is an instruction'. They said they would 'protect this man with or without you'," Malema said.

"I know that even the posture that people may take regarding the youth league is very problematic. They will leave those positions. They come and go and one day they will be walking without protectors and all the benefits they have.

"We are not bitter about anything. Let them continue treating people the same way they do, there is absolutely no problem. Everybody will have his turn in life. This is our turn to be treated like this, it is no problem.

"I am fine. I do not need those police any more - not now, not ever.

"Whether my life can get taken away or not, it is a cheap life. It is a life of a child of a single mother; it's not worth being protected by the police. You can take it away. Any time you want to take this life away, you can take it away.
"I am not scared of anything or anybody, and nobody is going to threaten me."

Earlier, Malema blasted ANC leaders in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal for offering bribes and for telling youth league delegate's to the congress from those provinces to vote against him.

Malema said that he would report these leaders to the ANC and that action should be taken against them.

He called for the ousting of Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza for his alleged involvement in the moves against him.

The youth league leader told delegates that the league should intensify its struggle to attain economic freedom and that the expropriation of land without compensation from "criminals" [whites] who stole the land from blacks was non-negotiable.

"[ANC leaders] say we should not say that land was stolen [from blacks] but they are the ones who told us that.

"When you steal you are a criminal and should be treated as such.

"The real enemy is white capital. They are the ones we are fighting against. 

Those are the people we want to take from and give to the majority. It's not racism, it is written in every document of the ANC," Malema said.

He said that the league would support only those leaders who agreed with its policy proposals when it came to leadership elections at the ANC national congress next year.

"We are going forward and there is nobody going to stand in [front] of this moving train of economic freedom fighters.

"The leadership of the ANC should lead us. We are asking for radical policy shift. We want more action.

"We need courageous men and women who have the political will to change the lives of our people," Malema said.