Friday, August 12, 2011

Tutu Calls for Wealth Tax for Whites

August 12 2011

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has called for a “wealth tax” to be imposed on all white South Africans.

The former archbishop of Cape Town and former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) also called on members of President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet to sell their “expensive cars”, “to show you care” about the poor in South Africa.
Tutu said apartheid had left South Africans riddled with “self-hate”, and it was directly to blame for the country’s vicious crime rate and road carnage.
He made the calls last night during a book launch at Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Advanced Study.
The book, The Humanist Imperative in South Africa, contains 26 essays by leading academics and public figures and is edited by Professor John de Gruchy.
As guest of honour, Tutu recounted the myriad ways apartheid had dehumanised South Africans.
“Apartheid damaged us all; not a single one of us has escaped.”
In a break from his prepared speech, Tutu said a “wealth tax” had been suggested during the TRC process, and had enjoyed support at the time.
Moments earlier, he had told the whites in the conference room: “You all benefited from apartheid. Your children went to fancy schools, you lived in posh suburbs.”
He stressed, however, that this did not mean all whites had supported apartheid.
Speaking to the Cape Argus after his speech, Tutu expanded on his wealth tax call.
“There were many in the white community who were ready for this (at the time of the TRC process).
“It could be quite piffling, maybe 1 percent of their stock exchange holdings. It’s nothing. But it could have helped... maybe building new homes, and that would have been an extraordinary symbol of their readiness.”
Asked whether he was again calling for a “wealth tax”, Tutu said: “That’s what I’m saying.”
He then laughed: “What were you doing in there (the conference centre)? Were you listening?”
Tutu did not say how he wished the tax to be implemented, but said he hoped whites themselves would “agitate” for it to be imposed upon them.

Throughout his speech, Tutu cited numerous examples of what he saw as apartheid’s impact, which had fundamentally been an “erosion of self-esteem” and the advent of “self-hate”. He blamed South Africa’s high crime rate on this, saying: “Thus we must not be surprised at the staggering statistics of violent crime, murder, rape.
“When you suffer from self-hate you project it on to those who look like you and so we have so-called black-on-black violence, where the victim of a hijacking is shot even when she has surrendered her car keys.”
In another example, Tutu said black South Africans continued to litter as a result of apartheid.
“The disgrace of littering... is not a function of poverty. Our parents were poor but our surroundings were scrupulously clean because apartheid had not yet done its pernicious work.”

Adjective: Having a harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way
This “work”, this eventual impact of apartheid’s policies, had left black South Africans feeling: “I am nothing, I am rubbish and so it does not matter that I live among all this rubbish which reflects what I think of myself.”
Tutu said another manifestation of the effect of apartheid was the nation’s road death rate, which was regularly one of the highest in the world.
“We show it how we drive recklessly, inconsiderately, aggressively… because deep down we are angry and so the appalling carnage on our roads during the holidays… horrendous statistics we just accept.

This brings to mind the many taxi drivers in South Africa......
“We are wounded.”
Speaking about the cabinet ministers’ cars, Tutu challenged them: “Your handbook permits you to buy very expensive cars and most of you have done so. In the spirit of ubuntu, to show that you care, that you are compassionate, please sell your expensive cars and replace them with slightly less pricey cars.
“Your humanity depends upon it.”
Tutu said he drove a BMW, which aides described as “a very old three-series”.

Nelson Mandela Statue is Unveiled

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela has been unveiled in London.

Mr Mandela, 89, his wife Graca Machel, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown were among those at the unveiling in Parliament Square.

Gordon Brown

Mr Brown hailed Mr Mandela as the "greatest and most courageous leader of our generation".

The late South African anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods had the idea for the 9ft-high (2.7m) bronze statue.

Talking to crowds who gathered for the unveiling, Mr Mandela said: "Though this statue is of one man, it should in actual fact symbolise all of those who have resisted oppression, especially in my country."

Happier lives

Lord Attenborough, trustee of the Mandela Statue Fund, introduced Mr Mandela at the unveiling and spoke of Mr Woods's "bravery".

"He fled his country with his wife and five children and came here as a refugee, thrown out by the apartheid system," said Lord Attenborough.

"He would have given anything to have been here today because it was his concept."

Wendy Woods, wife of the late Donald Woods, said:

 "This statue will remind the world of the human qualities that Mr Mandela has.

"These are qualities which have helped South Africa put paid to its past and helped us on our first step towards a future where all people can flourish and lead happier lives."

The statue had been dogged by arguments over where it should go as well as its artistic merit.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who was also at the ceremony, had wanted it to stand on the north side of Trafalgar Square.
However, in 2005 Westminster Council refused permission saying it would clutter the space needed for large events.
It was finally agreed the statue should face the Houses of Parliament, and stand alongside images of other great leaders such as Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Abraham Lincoln. HUH!!!

"Long after we are forgotten, you will be remembered for having taught the world one amazing truth," said Mr Livingstone.

"That you can achieve justice without vengeance. I honour you and London honours you."

15m South Africans Receive Social Grants

Monday, February 14, 2011

President, Jacob Zuma, says close to 15 million South Africans obtain social grants from the Department of Social Development.

Speaking in Cape Town where he delivered his State of the Nation Address 2011, Zuma pointed out that, “We will phase in the extension of the Child Support Grant to cover eligible children under the age of 18 years.”

He further said that since his administration is building a developmental and not a welfare state, the social grants will be linked to economic activity and community development, to enable short-term beneficiaries to become self-supporting in the long run.

There are only five million taxpayers in South Africa and 50 million citizens. It means every tax payer supports three people on social grants who support the rest of the people.

For more about the State of the Nation Address 2011, click

Desmond Tutu criticises SA whites


Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Thursday had harsh words for South Africa’s white population, as well as for Cabinet ministers who he said should lose their expensive cars as a gesture to show the poor that they cared.

“Our white fellow citizens have to accept the obvious: You all benefitted from apartheid. But that does not mean that all are responsible for apartheid.

“Your children could go to good schools. You lived in smart neighbourhoods. Yet so many of my fellow white citizens become upset when you mention this. Why? Some are crippled by shame and guilt and respond with self-justification or indifference. Both attitudes make that we are less than we can be.”

Tutu was speaking at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (Stias) on Thursday night, where a book, The Humanist Imperative in South Africa was launched. It features a collection of essays by top academics about how mutual respect between South Africans can be fostered, and how to really listen to one another.

'Apartheid hurt all of us'
Tutu also called on Cabinet members to get rid of their expensive cars in solidarity with the poor.

“There are people in our country who go to sleep without eating a meal. I believe your handbook makes provision for buying expensive cars. And most of you do just that. But in the spirit of ubuntu, I am pleading for you to exchange them for cheaper cars. Just to show the poor that you care for them.

Tutu said South Africa had become notorious for the gap between rich and poor.

He also recounted how a while ago he had been on a Nigerian plane with two black pilots at the helm.

“We suddenly hit heavy turbulence and my first thought was that there wasn’t a white man in the cabin to bring us back to safety.

“That was how badly eroded my self-image had become. When you hate yourself, you project that onto others who look like you. You then sit with black-on-black violence.

“Apartheid hurt all of us - no one escaped. We all carry the wounds with us,” said Tutu.