Friday, April 27, 2012

Acting Police Commisioner to be Probed

Top cop to be probed for ‘abuse of power’


IOL Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi apr 26
Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi

Acting police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi faces an investigation into allegations of improper conduct and abuse of power. This comes after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela agreed to look into a complaint lodged by DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard last month.
In a letter to Kohler Barnard dated April 12, Madonsela wrote that her preliminary assessment had determined “there is a prima facie case of improper conduct and abuse of power which warrants an investigation”.
The case had been handed to her office’s good governance and integrity unit for further action.
Mkhwanazi, appointed by President Jacob Zuma in October, has now become the third police commissioner in a row to face serious allegations of one form or another.
Disgraced former commissioner Jackie Selebi is serving 15 years in jail after he was convicted of receiving corrupt payments from convicted drug trafficker Glen Agliotti.
His replacement, General Bheki Cele – appointed by Zuma in 2009 – is now suspended, pending an inquiry into his fitness for office after a public protector investigation implicated him in the police’s R1.7 billion office leasing scandal.
The Mkhwanazi investigation is in response to the DA’s claim that the general was an “accomplice to a murder case” and had obstructed justice by “failing to co-operate in the (resulting) investigation”.
He allegedly also failed “to investigate the misappropriation of millions of rands” from the police’s controversial crime intelligence division (CID) slush fund.
Kohler Barnard claims to be in possession of nine affidavits from police officers who attended a meeting addressed by Mkhwanazi on March 5. There he is alleged to have told fellow officers that he once witnessed a suspect being shot and killed by the police, but that such incidents were not always reported.
In one sworn affidavit, an unidentified police officer alleges: “He (Mkhwanazi) was also involved in a shooting incident, where an innocent person was killed. He was requested to make a statement, but refused. He said he’d go to his grave with the information,” unless called to testify before a commission of inquiry.
Mkhwanazi has said through his spokesman, Lindela Mashigo, that he would “account to the (public protector’s) probe” if it went ahead. Mkhwanazi could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
However, the acting commissioner told MPs last week that he planned to take his accusers to court.
The top cop went on to explain his version of the March 5 conversation with fellow officers.
As an “example”, he recounted how, during his time at the police task force, his job was to “neutralise threats” posed by dangerous criminals. He said he would be called to arrest dangerous suspects and would hand them over – handcuffed – to detectives. “Now, when I walk away, the next thing I hear gunshots. When I go back to investigate… the very same detective will tell you this (suspect) was trying to shoot me and I was defending myself. It’s a serious concern.”
But the police chief did not clarify whether he was speaking metaphorically or had personally witnessed such shootings. This will form part of Madonsela’s probe.
The slush fund allegations relate to an internal police investigation which found that crime intelligence boss, Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli, may have plundered the police’s secret fund of up to R5 million for his and his family’s benefit

Last week Mkhwanazi told MPs he had recently been told by “powers beyond us” which matters he and his officers may or may not investigate. He later said he was not implying political interference.

Siphoning off R40 billion

Public servants have illegally received more than R40.8 billion in fraudulent social grant claims between August 2009 and December 2011.

This was revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on Thursday.

The money lost through social grant fraud by public servants could have paid 145,875 child support grants.

The Department of Social Development confirmed last week that the Special Investigating Unit had found 25,255 cases of social grant fraud by public officials since the inception of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in 2005.

"It is clear that this type of corruption has become endemic and that we need urgent intervention by the Department," Mike Walters, DA spokesperson.

A reply to a DA parliamentary question received from the Department of Social Development in March this year confirmed that 80% of staff members employed by SASSA have not been properly vetted.
"We will continue to push for the names and positions of public servants involved in social grant fraud. It may very well be that the individuals involved are in senior positions and have significant influence over the system and databases," Walters said.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

SA is The Crime Capital of the World

The Nedcore Project has concluded that: "South Africa and Southern Africa are probably the most murderous societies on earth, even with the probable under-reporting."

The Nedcore Project claims the results of their surveys "underscore the fact that crime has become South Africa's pre-eminent sociological problem. It now eclipses even unemployment in concerns of all South Africans."

The bizarre behaviour of the ANC government in, at one stage, imposing a moratorium on crime statistics is also questioned.

The report shows that in the first seven years of ANC rule, violence and crime in South Africa increased by 33 per cent, officially.

Worse Than War The UCA Report on Murder in South Africa reveals that according to the official statistics, in the 44 years from 1950 to 1993, there was an average of 7 036 murders per year.

This covered the turbulent strife of the apartheid years of warfare, conflict, terrorism, riots and repression.

However, in the first eight years (of peace) of the new democratic dispensation, under the ANC, an average of 24 206 murders were committed each year.

However, if the Interpol statistics are accepted, then the murder rate in South Africa during the ANC years has averaged 47 882 per year.

Official Cover Up Sharp discrepancies between official statistics and those of Interpol and the Medical Research Council are considered.

One observer is quoted as saying that the "easiest way for the police to reduce the crime rate is simply to do nothing but record only those crimes where a case number is absolutely mandatory".

Numerous experts are quoted as suspecting "serious under reporting"; "perhaps these figures are concealed for political reasons"; "the reason for this under reporting could be the desire to change the ongoing reputation of South Africa as the crime capital of the world."

Yours in conscience.

Zuma's Wives and Kids

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Apartheid - An Inhumans System

The old SA is frequently accused of "abhorrent human rights abuse", but to this day no one could come up with any evidence to the effect, yet we can provide literally thousands of cases orchestrated and executed by the ANC against blacks since their founding some 100 years ago.

According to the ANC Regime's own Human Rights Commission (HRC), 73 people died while in Police detention during the period 1963 to 1990, which equates to 2.6 people annually during the "Apartheid" years.
According to the ANC Regime's own Independent Complaints Directorate (IDC), 219 people died in police custody for the period 1997 to 1998 alone.
By the time we received their results for the period 2008 to 2009 a total of 912 people had died while in SA Police custody.

Yet the old SA police were accused of being brutal and inhumane, while no one has ever said a single word about what has been happening since the ANC took control of South Africa?

For more on this and other so-called Apartheid atrocities please read: Apartheid Inhumane System

Murder In The Police Cells

A witness has told how he heard a man calling for help shortly before he died following an assault in the Durbanville police cells.

Eben Meyer, 47, apparently pulled on the cell bars in an attempt to get the attention of police officers on duty,
Die Burger reported.

His blood-covered body was found in the early hours of Saturday morning in the cell that he was sharing with eight other men.

Meyer had been arrested at about 01:00 for public drunkenness. He had apparently gone drinking after a fight with his fiancée.

Another man from Durbanville, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had also been locked up in the police cells on Saturday evening.

He was put in a cell next to Meyer’s. He said the men were already assaulting Meyer when he arrived.

He saw them kicking and hitting Meyer.
The witness said, however, that Meyer had been aggressive following his arrival, swearing and demanding cigarettes, and hitting two other men. He said Meyer had been looking for trouble.

“It’s sad that he died, but he needed a hiding.”

He said it felt like the assault on Meyer had taken several hours and that he was surprised that the police officials in the charge office nearby did not come to Meyer’s aid.

The two accused, Daniel Dyosi, 40, and Sipho Mhlanga, 29, were charged with Meyer’s murder. They appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Monday, where their case was postponed to May 10 for a formal bail application.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A True Story Of Police Brutality

That barbarian methods of torturing are used by police is one hundred percent correct. I can personally testify to this.

On 10 December 2002, I, Wilhelm Pretorius, a 25 year old student, was arrested on political and especially weapons-related charges, including high treason and conspiracy to a coup d’ état.

The charges were essentially similar to those for which a group of ANC-members consisting of most current South African Members of Parliament were charged during the apartheid years.

I was arrested at 20h00 (8:00 pm) in a park in Pretoria while it was drizzling. My hands were tied behind my back with thick, strong plastic cables, in such a way that the blood supply to my hands was denied. For approximately two hours I lay on the ground on my stomach. During this time, one of the policemen came and stood on my neck.

After approximately two hours, Captain Johan Vice took me to a Venture vehicle belonging to the police that had dark-tinted windows. When I got into the vehicle,which was driven by a white woman, Capt Vice was seated directly behind me, and one Lotter, another policeman, on the right-hand side of the seat behind mine. My hands were still tightly bound, so that my hands were already feeling numb. The next thing I knew was Capt Vice throwing his shirt over my head and pulling it back sharply, with the obvious intention of strangling me. I struggled violently and managed to free my head from the shirt, totally dazed by what had just happened.

I still was not prepared for the barbarism that would follow. He pulled the shirt over my eyes to blind me. Capt Vice is approximately 2 m (6’6”) tall. He is a large man with massive hands. With his gigantic hands, he grabbed me around my throat, pushing in my Adam’s apple to shut off my windpipe so that I simply could not breathe. I squirmed and struggled, but his hands were firmly anchored around my throat, like the paws of a lion around the throat of an impala.

 I struggled for breath so vehemently that I eventually landed on the middle seat of the Venture.

I was now virtually lying on his lap, with my hands still bound behind my back. Using his fist, he repeatedly hit me on the side of my face asking where my brothers were. At that stage, they were still wanted by the police for the same case. This process continued for a long time. He also forcefully pushed his finger into my ear.

At one stage, we stopped next to the road Vice threatened that if I would try to remove the shirt from my eyes, he would kill me. He said to me that he had made special arrangements for a so called “Kaffir” (black man) to rape me. “They have been craving nice white flesh for quite some time now,” he sneered.

Somebody with alcohol on his breath then bent over me, as I was lying on the middle seat of the Venture, while the door was open. This person spoke in isiZulu and repeatedly tampered with my trousers and my belt. He also repeatedly slapped me in the face. I did not understand what he was saying. Sometimes he spoke near to me so that I could smell the odour of alcohol on his stinking breath. I later recognized the person from his voice as one of the policemen who much later interrogated me again. Again I was hit on the side of my face by Capt Vice, again and again. I was also repeatedly asked if I were a “virgin,” referring to the fact that I was going to be raped. This was continuously repeated to me.

They then took me out of the car and made me lie on a plastic sheet next to the road. It sounded to me as if it were a deserted place. I was still blindfolded and could not see where I was. The plastic cables started cutting into the flesh of my arms and my hands were totally numb, Capt Vice came and sat on me and forced a rubbery piece of material over my mouth and nose. I could get no breath. I initially kicked and struggled, but quickly realized that it only caused me to waste more breath. This process continued while they shouted and swore at me.

I lay on my numb hands and gasped for breath. Sometimes I just gave up and let go so that I could die, at other times I just saw stars before my eyes. My lungs felt as if they would burst, while my whole body was exhausted from being deprived of oxygen.

They continued cursing me and threatening to kill me. “Didn’t you sh** in your pants yet?” and other similar remarks were shouted at me.

During the struggle I landed on my stomach after having rid myself of the blindfold. I could then see who the savage was who had carried out his barbarian acts on me. The same man came and sat on me. He put the inner tube over my mouth and nose, and pulled my neck backwards, using brute force. Every second it felt as if my neck would break. I was helpless and could not do anything except endure it. I got no breath, my whole back and neck felt as if they would break at any moment.

There were times when I just gave up and thought to myself that if my neck had to be broken, then let it be. Initially I struggled against this murderer with all my power, but later I just gave up and let go. “If my neck breaks now, it would at least be the end of this hell,” I found myself thinking.

I then relaxed my whole body so that my neck could break. I was to find out afterwards that one of the AWB men, Phil Kloppers, who is still in jail today in a wheelchair, had been paralyzed by similar police torture.

After this session, the person stood on my lower back while he violently forced my hands upwards. It felt as if my arms were being torn out of their sockets. My head was against the ground, and my neck was stretched in such a way that once again I could not breathe. This continued the whole time while they yelled questions at me about where my brothers were, how we communicated, and when I was supposed to see them again.

I did not know where they were and had to think up a story of how we communicated and where they were, in order to get them to allow me some rest. They did not allow me any rest, however. After this torture session, my shoulders hurt so much that I could not lift them. For two weeks afterwards, I was unable to lift my arms above my shoulders, and two years afterwards, my shoulder still gave me problems during exercises. My torturer had completely strained my shoulder ligaments

I again landed on my back and was again suffocated with the rubber inner tube. At one stage, this was replaced by a plastic sheet. He then also repeatedly rubbed his knuckles violently on my breastbone. After I breathed for a moment, he would pick me up and put me on my feet. Approximately 8-10 times he hit me in the stomach with full force, so that I fell to the ground.

There was an unknown grey-haired policeman whom I will be able to recognize, who held me while the other one beat me up. I was picked up and hit in the stomach again and again.
After this session had finished, I was again blindfolded, this time with striped police barrier tape, the kind they use for roping off crime areas. This tape was wound tightly around my face. I can remember Vice and Lotter, and saw that there were two bakkies (light trucks) While this episode lasted, I heard them opening beer cans. In the bakkie there were a lot of empty beer cans.

They put me in the car again, finally believing that I would meet my brothers that night and that they would hide a message for me or I would hide one for them under a stone at an old fort which I knew well. We then drove to the fort, but they did not stop torturing me. On the way there, Capt Vice hit me on the elbow with the butt of his pistol and again hit me on the side of my face and pushed his finger into my ear. He also started hitting me on my thigh repeatedly. At that time, I had no feeling left in my hands. Even the blows to my head only made me see stars, but I actually did not feel the blows any more. The fact that I could breathe again was valuable to me.

I was lying on the middle seat of the bakkie. I heard them cocking their 9 mm pistols and running towards the fort. They shouted that they had seen tracks there and that my brothers probably were there. This was not so however, as people regularly visit that fort, and my brothers would never meet me there. We had not arranged to meet, and I did not know where they were.

We drove off again. I now promised that I would cooperate, in order to get a break to rest a little. My mind was tired, my throat bone dry, my hands were numb, and my whole being was blunted. Vice now cut off the plastic cords, using his pocket knife, and in the process, he also caused a cut in my left wrist. In spite of the fact that the cables had been removed, I still had no feeling. They bought me a Coke. My throat was so dry that the gas stuck to my throat.

We drove to their offices in the Piet Joubert building in Visagie Street. Here I was ordered to wash my face. I was startled to see my face in the mirror. My nose was covered with blood, and my face was so swollen that it looked like a pumpkin.

We walked upstairs to an office. Here, they peppered me with questions. Every time I gave an answer they did not like, they repeatedly slapped my head. Again, it was Capt Vice, Lotter, and the grey-haired policeman whose voice I recognized as the one who had pretended to be the black man who would rape me. There was a Zulu present as well. At one stage, when they started screaming at me again, they said that I had to go with the Zulu, because they knew how to make people talk.

One Colonel Van Rooyen then entered and took me aside. He had come to tell me that his father shares my views on politics. I had to cooperate with these people, though. He tried to convince me. When I asked him whether I did not have a right to remain silent, he became more aggressive and said that a criminal does not have the right to remain silent. Once a person has committed a crime, he no longer has a right to remain silent. He took me back to the others. Again they slapped me several times if they were not satisfied with the answers I provided.

One Commissioner Pruis and another commissioner then arrived. Also they peppered me with questions. We left the offices at approximately 10:00 (am). The policemen were in a jovial mood. I was not handcuffed. We got into the bakkie. It was the same bakkie in which we had driven there, and I also saw the pieces of barrier tape which they had used to blindfold me.

We then drove to Hartebeesfontein police station, approximately 300 km (200 miles) west van Pretoria. On the way there, we stopped at a liquor store in a town. The same three policemen asked me if I would go and buy liquor for them. I realized that if I did this, they could allege that I was trying to escape, and would able to shoot me dead. I refused, but tried to seem amicable.

Lotter, who sat next to me in the back, then went to buy the beer. They also gave me some beer, while they opened one beer after another. On the way to Potchefstroom, we passed through a roadblock, which made them very nervous, as they had drunk quite a lot.

My legal representative, Jaco van der Wateren in the meantime had traced me to Vice’s cell phone and I at last had an opportunity to talk to him. I also later phoned him from the police station. Vice told me that, if I cooperated nicely, they would look after me, otherwise they would “put me in with some Kaffirs.” “The Kaffirs are going to f**k you. Are you still a virgin, Willempie?” he sneeringly mocked me. When we arrived at the police station, I immediately phoned my attorney, who recommended that I file charges right away. I then made a statement without delay.

That night, I was locked up alone in an ice cold cell without being provided with any warm garments. My whole body was in a state of shock. The hairy, dirty blanket was insufficient. My neck was completely limp, and I to keep my head up was difficult. I carried my arms in front of me in a folded position, because I was unable to lift them. I started to experience a pins-and-needles feeling in my hands. I had pain-reliever tablets. My throat was so swollen from the strangulation that I could not eat anything. I could swallow with great difficulty only. I was locked up in the cell without water. I could not reach my wife on the telephone and was to learn afterwards that she had also been arrested, and one of my friends as well. I spent the night without painkillers or any other medication. Only the next morning did a policeman from Hartebeesfontein take me to a district surgeon. The DS examined me in the presence of the policeman, and I made sure that he made proper notes of all my injuries.

I was later informed that my wife’s door was kicked off while she was standing within sight of the police, phoning her attorney. They assaulted her and plucked the phone from her hand. A friend of mine who arrived on the scene was manhandled, and when he arrived at his car, he found that rivets had been shot into his tyres in order to prevent him from following them to see where they were taking my wife.

Capt Vice and Lotter still form part of the investigation team of the criminal case brought against me and others, which has been serving before a court of law for almost three years now. To date, nothing has come of the complaint filed by me. I have never yet met the investigating officer. In fact, no investigation has yet been done at all.

Au contraire, Capt Vice sits in court daily. He handles all written evidence of the accused, handles our security in jail, and is in charge of visits by our families. He sits in court daily and leers at us. Is this not a highly irregular arrangement under any legal system?

The ANC regularly complains that its members had been tortured by these monsters, yet the ANC has knowingly turned the self-same “policemen” loose upon its political opponents. Their members just turn their heads away while similar and worse violations are perpetrated against us.

This report mentions only the torture perpetrated against me personally. This does not even touch upon the refined psychic torture to which we are subjected day and night in jail.

Justice and righteousness cannot be relied upon in this country any longer. The monster of police brutality is a reality which is perpetuated by politically motivated silence.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The ANC: The 10 most disturbing quotes

The ANC's all-time top 10

1. "We've been standing here for 26 seconds and nobody has been raped."

A quote which reveals the callous attitude and sustained denial which, for a long period of time, defined the ANC's response to the high crime levels in South Africa. Said on 2 February 2000 by the late minister of safety and security, Steve Tshwete, and former minister of justice and constitutional development, Penuell Maduna. The two were speaking on the American television program '60 minutes', during a CBS broadcast, and commenting on the statistic that one person is raped in South Africa every 26 seconds, something they clearly thought they had disproved using their own special kind of logic.

2. "[The ANC is] more important" than the Constitution. "No political force can destroy the ANC - it is only the ANC that can destroy itself... "[the Constitution is only there] to regulate matters."

The definitive quote when it comes to the Constitution and the ANC's attitude toward it. From cadre deployment through its various attacks on the judiciary, it is this sentiment that still motivates much of the ANC's action today. Said by then-ANC national chairperson Jacob Zuma, during an address to ANC delegates at a regional meeting in Durban, on 17 November 1996. Zuma was explaining the ANC's decision to remove Patrick Lekota as Free State premier (Lekota had exercised his constitutional right to fire an MEC without consulting the ANC NEC. In response the ANC NEC had removed from office and Zuma was deployed to reinforce the principle that party members were accountable first and foremost to the ANC.)

3. "We need to look at the question that is posed, understandably I suppose: does HIV cause AIDS? AIDS the acronym stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Now I do believe that is a sensible thing to ask: does one virus cause a syndrome? A virus cannot cause a syndrome. A virus will cause a disease."

The theory that HIV did not cause Aids and the thinking that underpinned a sustained long assault on best medical practice and, with it, the hopes and needs of thousands suffering from HIV/Aids. Said by then-president Thabo Mbeki in the National Assembly, on 20 September 2000. What followed would be almost a decade of denial, the promotion of quackery, the courting charlatans, the refusal to implement court orders, the denouncement of antiretroviral drugs, the vilification of those who stood opposed to this kind of thinking and, finally, the ultimate price for those in desperate need of the state's help.

4. "God expects us to rule this country because we are the only organisation which was blessed by pastors when it was formed. It is even blessed in Heaven. That is why we will rule until Jesus comes back. We should not allow anyone to govern our city [Cape Town] when we are ruling the country."

Of the many statements Jacob Zuma and the ANC have made, along the lines that it will govern until the end of days, this is the definitive one. Said by Zuma at an ANC rally in Khayelitsha, Cape Town on 4 May 2008, it illustrates perfectly the ANC's attitude to power: that it governs not by the democratic will of the people, but by divine right and that South Africa belongs to the ANC, as opposed to its citizens. It represents the very antithesis of democracy and freedom of choice.

5. "I did not join the struggle to be poor."

I was somewhat hesitant to include this quote because, on face value, it is defensible. Who in their right minds would struggle to be destitute? But it is the context in which it was said that makes it infamous. Said by ANC national spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama in November 2004, in defence of his involvement in a BEE deal involving the sale of a R6.6 billion stake in Telkom to a consortium led by former director-general of communications Andile Ngcaba. Ngonyama alone stood to make up to R160 million. Around this period there were a range of BEE deals, each of enormous value, which time and time again, would be awarded to companies loaded with the same broad group of ANC. It was through this kind of ‘redistribution' that ANC created a wealthy, politically connected class that not only benefited repeatedly from BEE but, in turn, would fund the ANC and its activities. If it was not technically corruption, certainly it was ethical corruption on a grand scale.

6. "The African National Congress congratulates the people of Zimbabwe for a successful 2002 Presidential Election."

The ANC's official response to the 2002 Zimbabwean election, from a 13 March 2002 statement on the outcome. Another quote that speaks the ANC's sustained denial on a fundamental issue that affected negatively the human rights of thousands. Although Robert Mugabe narrowly won, the result was condemned by the Commonwealth, foreign observers and government, the media and Zimbabwean opposition figures as not free or fair. And with good cause. Among a myriad other problems, the number of polling stations in urban areas and MDC strongholds was reduced by up to 50%, some 1 400 opposition members people were arrested during the voting period and in 40-50% of rural constituencies, opposition officials were unable to oversee polling. Later that year ZANU-PF official Emerson Mnangagwa, referred to in some quarters as ‘The Butcher of Matebeleland', was given a standing ovation at the ANC's 2002 national congress in Stellenbosch.

7. "I think it's very important for coloured people in this country to understand that South Africa belongs to them in totality, not just the Western Cape. So this over-concentration of coloureds in the Western Cape is not working for them. They should spread in the rest of the country ... so they must stop this over-concentration situation because they are in over-supply where they are so you must look into the country and see where you can meet the supply."

Said by then director-general of labour Jimmy Manyi, in March 2010. A quote that goes to the heart of the ANC racial attitude, to coloured South Africans in particular and race relations in general - the very idea that people of any race should be stereotyped in this way or that they have a duty to equally distribute themselves being anathema to diversity and freedom. This kind of thinking not only informs hard ANC policy (the employment equity plan for correctional services, for example) but the ANC's general attitude to the Western Cape and coloured South Africans, which it paints as illegitmate and whom it disregards as second-class citizens respectively.

8. "I, for my part, will not keep quiet while others whose minds have been corrupted by the disease of racism, accuse us, the black people of South Africa, Africa and the world, as being, by virtue of our Africanness and skin colour - lazy, liars, foul-smelling, diseased, corrupt, violent, amoral, sexually depraved, animalistic, savage - and rapists."

Remarkably, this statement was made by then-president Thabo Mbeki, as part of along diatribe along similar lines, in response to a simple parliamentary question, asking whether or not he stood by his claim that HIV did not cause Aids. The next day, on 22 October 2004, Mbeki would publish the full response as an edition of ANC Today, the natural home for so much of his racial vitroil over the years. It was typical of the way Mbeki and the ANC would play the race card, not just on Aids, but with regards to almost any public position critical of the ANC. And how, through this kind of racial rhetoric, he would re-radicalise public discourse in the South Africa. Aids and Zimbabwe might well have been Mbeki's defining policy mistakes but it was this kind of deep-seated racial prejudice that remains his quintessential influence and, in fact, underpinned those policy positions in the first place.

9. "Same sex marriage is a disgrace to the nation and to God. When I was growing up, ‘ungqingili' [homosexuals in isiZulu] could not stand in front of me, I would knock him out."

Said by Jacob Zuma to thousands of supporters at Heritage Day celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal, on 26 September 2006. Zuma offered an apology, after the comment caused a national outcry, arguing that he "did not intend to have this interpreted as a condemnation of gays and lesbians". The quote is not only remarkable for its bigotry but for the particular brand of social conservatism it represents, one that defines much of the thinking behind and many of the positions adopted by the ANC.

10. "This rot is across the board. It's not confined to any level or any area of the country. Almost every project is conceived because it offers opportunities for certain people to make money. A great deal of the ANC's problems are occasioned by this. There are people who want to take it over so they can arrange for the appointment of those who will allow them possibilities for future accumulation."

No such collection would be complete without a quote about corruption. And no quote on corruption is more forthright or disturbing as this one. Said by then-ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe in an interview about corruption in the ANC with the Financial Mail, on 19 January 2007. It clearly and in no uncertain terms defines the fundamental problem: that the ANC's general attitude to the state is one of self-enrichment and patronage - nothing more, nothing less, than the means to that end.

Near misses

Where does one start, when faced with so many difficult choices?

First, there were some quotes I did not include because they were more personal than reflective of the ANC's general attitude. Zuma's infamous April 2006 shower quote, for example - "It... would minimise the risk of contracting the disease [HIV/Aids]." I felt such utterances said more about the individual than the organisation, however problematic.

A harder decision was to exclude the June 1999 comment by former Mpumalanga premier Ndaweni Mahlangu that "[Lying] is nothing new. Many politicians publicly deny they did certain things but then later admit to them. It is accepted and is not unusual anywhere in the world." One could make a case that dishonesty in the ANC was commonplace but then, compared to the problems that flowed from its open positions on issues like Aids and Zimbabwe, I felt it just missed out.

On Aids and Zimbabwe the list of choices was extensive. There was, for example, the infamous quote from former ANCYL leader Peter Mokaba, made in an interview with the New York Times on 31 March 2002, where he said:

"HIV? It doesn't exist. The kind of stories that they tell that people are dying in droves... It's not true. It's not borne out by any facts. Where the science has not proved anything, we cannot allow our people to be Guinea pigs. Anti-retrovirals, they're quite dangerous. They're poison actually. We cannot allow our people to take something so dangerous that it will exterminate them. However well-meaning, the hazards of misplaced compassion could lead to genocide."

In the end, though, I felt Mbeki's quote more important because, if anything, Mokaba - an out-and-out Mbeki acolyte - was just parroting Mbeki's line anyway.

Leaving out the former minister of health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, was difficult too. Her suggestion in June 2005, that "beetroot, garlic, [and] lemon" were a suitable substitute for ARVs, came to define her as ‘Dr Beetroot'. And her stubborn refusal to implement an ARV programme (perhaps best captured by her November 2000 quote - "Today I want to dispel this myth, because it is absolutely not true [that ARV's work]. The pharmaceutical industry and those who have a vested interest in the drug industry fuels this propaganda") was indicative of the ANC's broader attitude. But again, Mbeki was the root cause, and so his quote won out.

Likewise on Zimbabwe - so many options. I went with the election quote because that moment was defining, not only for Zimbabwe but for the ANC which, having then endorsed the inexcusable every day for the months and years that followed dug itself deeper and deeper into the anti-democratic trench it had built. Zuma's 15 March 2002 quote from inside Zimbabwe, that "...the elections were legitimate, are valid. They were free and fair and we have got to respect that", was a close second, but the ANC's national release was more representative.

In other cases it was a close call between two quotes that illustrated the same problem. Take the 26 seconds rape quote - a horrific sentiment. So bad you might be forgiven for thinking it was isolated. Not so. In May 2002 then-safety and security minister Charles Nqakula would ask, "Is that realistic? I have more than three children at home, and yesterday not one was abused." A reference to the figure that one in three South African children are abused daily. That two police ministers could advocate the same attitude about crime statistics and the victims of crime tells you everything.

Then there was a random collection of quotes, each one of which was disturbing and powerful and, indeed, represented something important but which lost out on nothing more than their overall significance.

Here, for example, I am referring to quotes like president Mbeki's March 2002 statement about our national sporting teams, that "for two to three years let's not mind losing international competitions because we are bringing our people into these teams" (to this day I wonder who exactly "our people" are). And the December 2000 quote (just before the local government elections) by ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal, Sbu Ndebele:

"To all Africans, Coloureds and Indians who voted for the DA, be warned that there's going to be consequences for not voting for the ANC. When it comes to service delivery, we will start with the people who voted for us and you (DA supporters) will be last."

A quote which tells you much about the ANC's attitude to the opposition.

Racism was another issue about which it was difficult to choose the defining ANC quote. No doubt everyone remembers the late Blackman Ngoro, media advisor to Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo, whom in July 2005 described coloured as "...beggars, homeless and drunk on cheap wine", and wrote how "vastly superior Africans are" before concluding that "coloureds must undergo ideological transformation if their race is to prosper and not die a drunken death". In the final analysis, I felt Manyi's reference to national demographics spoke more to the nature of the ANC's general prejudice.

Finally, there were many quotes that might have been used to demonstrate the ANC's attitude to service delivery and accountability. Alec Erwin's Eskom bolt quote, said on 28 February 2006, that "this is not, in fact, an accident. Any interference with any electricity installation is an exceptionally serious crime. It is sabotage", was not only a good way for the ANC to excuse its failings on the eve of an election but a perfect illustration of how it was willing to say anything, including flatly contradicting itself, rather than hold someone to account for a problem. A few months later, in August 2006, he would appear before parliament to say: "The cause of the damage to the generators is the question that has caused massive public interest. Of as much interest has been whether I said that this was an act of sabotage. I did not say this." To date no one has been fired, rebuked or sanctioned in anyway for the fact that the country ran out of electricity.

Alas, any top ten list requires some brutal decisions.

Interview with Cuan Elgin - BULALA

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Robert Mugabe's Rule

Here is a look at Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, the 88-year-old who has ruled the southern African country for more than three decades.

1980 - Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party wins independence elections. He takes office as prime minister on April 18.

1982 - Mugabe deploys North Korean-trained troops to crush rebellion by ex-ZAPU guerrillas. Government forces are accused of killing thousands of civilians.

1987 - Mugabe and ZAPU's Joshua Nkomo sign a unity accord, leading to the integration of PF-ZAPU and ZANU-PF.

1990 - ZANU-PF and Mugabe win parliamentary and presidential elections.

1998 - An economic crisis marked by high interest rates and inflation provokes riots and increasing support for the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

-- The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is formed and Tsvangirai is appointed leader in 1999.

2000 - Thousands of independence war veterans and their allies, backed by the government, seize white-owned farms, saying the land was illegally appropriated by white settlers.

2002 - Mugabe wins election against Tsvangirai. Observers condemn the poll as flawed and unfair.

2005 - ZANU-PF wins parliamentary election, giving it the majority it needs to change the constitution.

2008 - Parliamentary election results show ZANU-PF losing its majority for the first time. MDC says Tsvangirai also won the presidential election and calls on Mugabe to concede.

-- Run-off goes ahead despite calls for a postponement as violence mounts. Mugabe is declared the winner with over 85 percent after Tsvangirai pulls out.

-- Economy is crushed by hyperinflation, reaching billions of percent, due what analysts blame on Mugabe's mismanagement.

-- Negotiators from the MDC and ZANU-PF hold talks to end the deadlock over Mugabe's re-election, eventually reaching a power-sharing deal in September.

2009 - Tsvangirai is sworn in as prime minister by Mugabe.

2012 - Saviour Kasukuwere, Zimbabwe's empowerment minister, says he expects to finalise the transfer of majority stakes in foreign mining companies to local blacks by the end of April.

Whites Not The Enemy?

It was high time the ANC reviewed the lyrics of struggle songs that depicted whites as enemies, President Jacob Zuma said.

Speaking at a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the fourth president of the ANC, Josiah Tshangana Gumede, who led the party from 1924 to 1930, Zuma said the singing of such songs in a democratic dispensation was "tantamount to making peace with a so-called enemy while waving a weapon".

This was after a struggle song, the lyrics of which, when loosely translated, are "We as the soldiers of Umkhonto we Sizwe are prepared to kill these Boers" was yesterday sung at Gumede's graveside, at Mountain Rise Cemetery, in Pietermaritzburg, with new lyrics.

The new line is "We as the soldiers of Umkhonto we Sizwe are prepared to reconcile with these Boers".

Zuma was in agreement with ANC national chairman Baleka Mbete, who had earlier called for a debate on certain songs' lyrics.

Mbete said that, when she first raised the issue, she was met with heated opposition from leaders and members of the party.

The lyrics of ANC struggle songs shot into the spotlight early last year when AfriForum raised a hate speech complaint after suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema sang the song Dubul'ibhunu (Shoot the Boer) at an ANC meeting.

In his ruling last year, Johannesburg High Court judge Colin Lamont said the song constituted hate speech. The judge prohibited Malema and the ANC from singing it, either in public or in private.

But ANC members and alliance partners said the ruling was destructive of the party's heritage.

After the judgment, Malema and some ANC members changed the lyrics to "Kiss the Boer".
Zuma said yesterday: "The debate on the songs with inflammatory lyrics is important. When we're moulding our country we need to say we unite all South Africans, even those we fought against [during the struggle].

"There's no need for certain people to feel unwelcome in their country. We need to include everyone in our country because the ANC will rule the country until those that are dead rise back to life."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shocking Discovery: Noah's Ark Found!

Located 6,375 feet above sea level.

Why is this not a BIG story?

I'm often amazed at our lack of knowledge about history. Ordinary people are hungry for this information, yet the organizations responsible to disseminate these facts seem to have an agenda to keep us in the dark. This is especially true when it comes to our ancient human history.
I won't hold you in suspense with this article: The Ark of Noah has been found. It's real. I'll describe the evidence in some detail and end with the historical and religious implications.

How it was discovered

In 1959, Turkish army captain Llhan Durupinar discovered an unusual shape while examining aerial photographs of his country. The smooth shape, larger than a football field, stood out from the rough and rocky terrain at an altitude of 6,300 feet near the Turkish border with Iran.
Capt. Durupinar was familiar with the biblical accounts of the Ark and its association with Mount Ararat in Turkey, but he was reluctant to jump to any conclusions. The region was very remote, yet it was inhabited with small villages. No previous reports of an object this odd had been made before. So he forwarded the photographic negative to a famous aerial photography expert named Dr. Brandenburger, at Ohio State University.
Brandenburger was responsible for discovering the Cuban missile bases during the Kennedy era from reconnaissance photos, and after carefully studying the photo, he concluded: "I have no doubt at all, that this object is a ship. In my entire career, I have never seen an object like this on a stereo photo."

In 1960 the picture [above] was published in LIFE magazine under the heading of Noahs Ark? That same year a group of Americans accompanied Capt. Durupinar to the site for a day and a half. They were expecting to find artifacts on the surface or something that would be unquestionably related to a ship of some kind. They did some digging in the area but found nothing conclusive and announced to the anxiously waiting world that it appeared to be a natural formation.
Most of the global media turned away from the find and it became a non-story.
In 1977 Ron Wyatt visited the site. Obtaining official permission, Ron and others conducted more thorough research over a period of several years. They used metal detection surveys, subsurface radar scans, and chemical analysis -- real science -- and their findings were startling. The evidence was undeniable. This was the Ark of Noah.

#1 -- the Visual Evidence

The first part of the survey was to examine the object and take its measurements. The shape looked like hull of a ship. One end was pointed as you would expect from bow [below: D] and the opposite end was blunt like a stern. The distance from bow to stern was 515 feet, or exactly 300 Egyptian cubits. The average width was 50 cubits. These were the exact measurements mentioned in the Bible.

On the starboard side (right) near the stern there were four vertical bulges protruding from the mud [B], at regular intervals, that were determined to be the "ribs" of the hull [see below]. Opposite to these, on the port side, a single rib [A] protrudes from the mud. You can see its curved shape very clearly. Surrounding it are more ribs, still largely buried in the mud, but visible upon close examination.
Remember that this object, if it is the Ark, is extremely old. The wood has been petrified. Organic matter has been replaced by minerals from the earth. Only the shapes and traces of the original wood remain. Perhaps this is why the expedition in 1960 was disappointed. They anticipated finding and retrieving chucks of wood, long since eroded.

From the position of the object in the middle of an obvious mudflow, it is obvious that the object slid down more than a mile from its original location. Geologists believe it was originally over 1000 feet higher in the mountain and encased in a shell of hardened mud. They think that an earthquake in 1948 cracked the mud shell and revealed the structure. This is confirmed by stories from the surrounding vallagers who tell of its "sudden appearance" around that time.
Biblical accounts of the Ark describe it as having as many as six levels. The assumed shape of the Ark seems consistent with the bulge [C] in the middle of the object. In fact, as we will soon learn, radar scans of the structure suggest that this bulge is the collapsed debris of these levels.
Although most people think of the Ark as being rectangular, that only applies to the top decks. The sleek shape of the hull is necessary to enable the huge ship to remain stable in the water and survive tremendous waves.
Path of the Ark (Boat)
noahs ark landing heaven wall near mount ararat
According to some sites this is the direction of the flow down the mountain. So I made up a image from google earth showing the direction this may have taken. This mountain is called "Walls of Heaven". The landing point at the top has had some significant ancient evidence found. (If you have more information about the original landing site, before it's current day resting place, feel free to comment at the bottom)

#2 -- Ground Penetrating Radar

The human eye needs to see reflected light to recognize an object. To visualize what remains below the earth, scientists use microwaves which can penetrate the ground and bounce back when they hit something solid. This technique is commonly used to locate oil and other minerals. Called Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), the apparatus us made from an antenna that transmits, then listens to receive the "echo" and prints the result on a piece of paper. The delay and strength of this echo tell the geologists how solid and at what depth the objects are under the earth.

The team of geologists didn't scan the entire object. Instead, they marked out lines that crossed the object with yellow tape. Then they dragged the antenna (about the size of a lawnmower) over the lines and watched the output on the paper recorder. When they got a strong "hit" -- meaning there was something solid underneath -- they would record the position on the tape [above]. Later, when they made a map of the object, the tape and the location of the "hits" they realized that there was indeed a structure underneath the mud.
"This data does not represent natural geology. These are man made structures. These reflections are appearing too periodic... too periodic to be random in that type of natural pace." -- Ron Wyatt of SIR Imaging team
The radar cans revealed this structure [above] under the mud. The symmetry and logical placement of these objects shows that this is unmistakably a man made structure, most likely the Ark of Noah.

#3 -- Artifacts retrieved from the Ark

Using the GPR, Ron Wyatt discovered an open cavity on the starboard side. He used an improvised drill to make core sample inside this cavity and retrieved several very interesting objects. Below you can see the artifacts which were sent for laboratory analysis. On the left is the bore hole [see below], followed by what turned out to be petrified animal dung, then a petrified antler and lastly a piece of cat hair.
Even more amazing artifacts were found

Perhaps the most significant find from the Ark itself is a piece of petrified wood. When this was first found it appeared to be a large beam. But upon closer examination it is actually three pieces of plank that have been laminated together with some kind of organic glue! This is the same technology used in modern plywood. Lamination makes the total strength of the wood much greater than the combined strength of the pieces. This suggests a knowledge of construction far beyond anything we knew existed in the ancient world.

Tests by Galbraith Labs in Knoxville, Tennessee, showed the sample to contain over 0.7% organic carbon, consistent with fossilized wood. The specimen was once living matter.

Examination reveals the glue oozed from the layers. The outside of the wood appears to have been coated with bitumen.
Even more surprising were laboratory analyses which not only revealed that the petrified wood contained carbon (proving it was once wood) but there were iron nails [above right] embedded in the wood!

In Genesis 6:14, God told Noah to "make yourself an ark of gopher wood.""Gopher wood" is a misreading and scribal error. "Kopher" wood is correct and means wood (any wood) that is covered with Kopher. Kopher is bitumen. In the Genesis text (6:14), the context is clear. The GPR wood used, (a scribal error) is to be covered in KPR. G and K in Hebrew are so similar that inexperienced Hebrew "scholars," such as those translating the King James Version of the Bible, could have been prone to such errors, indeed, they made many such errors.
Acts 7: 45 & Hebrews 4: 8 are classic examples of such scribal errors.
gpr = "g," as in gopher, k pr = "k,"as in kopher Pictured right is a simple visual comparison of the letters.

We like to imagine that humanity evolved in a neat sequence of eras, each named after the technology that was discovered. We have the Stone Age (where man developed arrows and stone tools), the Bronze Age (where metals were combined and heated to make tools and household items) and lastly the Iron Age (where iron and steel objects were made by heating iron ore and adding other material -- like charcoal -- to strengthen it). The Iron Age is usually placed at 1200-1000 BC, yet we have iron nails being used in this extremely old construction

But wait... there's more!

The most surprising find was discovered with sensitive metal detectors. The team located several strong "hits" that, when dug up, revealed large disc shaped rivets. From simple observation of the metal it was possible to see where the rivet had been hammered after being inserted through a hole [below].

If rivets being used in ancient construction doesn't impress you, this surely will.
An analysis of the metal used to make the rivets revealed that they were a combination of iron (8.38%), aluminum (8.35%) and titanium (1.59%). Remember these trace metals have survived petrification and so do not indicate the exact content in the original material. (see Report from Galbraith Labs)

We know the aluminum was incorporated in the metallic mixture because it does not exist in metallic form in nature. This implies an extremely advanced knowledge of metallurgy and engineering. Characteristics of an iron-aluminum alloy have been investigated in The Russian Chemical Bulletin (2005) and reveal that this alloy forms a thin film of aluminum oxide which protects the material from rust and corrosion. The addition of titanium would provide added strength. This seems to have worked. The rivets have survived from antiquity!

How To Park a Political Hot Potato

Terry Crawford-Browne

18 April 2012

Terry Crawford-Browne questions whether much will come of the arms deal inquiry

Address by Terry Crawford-Browne to Ceasefire Campaign workshop on the 2nd Global Day of Action on Military Spending, Johannesburg, April 17 2012


Almost a century ago, just before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, a British parliamentarian, Philip Snowden warned his colleagues:

We are in the hands of an organisation of crooks. They are politicians, generals, manufacturers of armaments and journalists. All of them are anxious for unlimited expenditure on armaments, and go on inventing scares to terrify the public and to terrify the ministers of the Crown.[1]

Arms manufacturers such as the British Vickers and German Krupp companies sold weapons to both sides and bribed politicians to promote war.

The twentieth century became the bloodiest in history. An estimated seventeen million people died during the First World War, of whom ten million were soldiers and seven million were civilians. The death toll of the Second World War is estimated at between fifty and seventy million people, of whom about twenty-five million were soldiers, but the majority were civilians.[2]

European, Japanese and Chinese cities were devastated at massive losses of life and infrastructure. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by nuclear bombs in August 1945 even though the war in Europe was already over, and Japan was preparing to surrender to the United States.

For the next 45 years following the Second World War, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear oblivion. War profiteering escalated dramatically, and with it massive corruption associated with the arms industry. Before leaving office in 1961, United States President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned that:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

Since 1945 the US is guestimated to have spent as much as US$12 trillion[3] just on nuclear weapons, a figure that compares with the US national debt of US$14 trillion in 2011.

The US national debt was US$5 trillion when the President George Bush Jnr came to office, but his administration recklessly ran massive fiscal deficits in seven of the eight years of his presidency in the bizarre belief that wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would regenerate the American economy.

In blood-crazed revenge for three thousand deaths in New York, the US has killed over one million people in Iraq and Afghanistan who had nothing to do with 9/11. The oil price in 2003 was just US$20 per barrel when the US attacked Iraq, compared now with over US$120. The world economy has suffered grievously because of American war fever, and obsessions for "national security".

At the end of the Cold War in 1990, the world hoped and prayed for a "peace dividend". The disaster that is Somalia is a direct result of huge quantities of weapons poured into that country during the 1970s and 1980s by both the Russians and Americans.

After 1990 arms companies such as BAE in England teetered on bankruptcy. War in Europe thankfully became unthinkable because of economic integration after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The war business quickly regrouped. What we are dealing with is organised crime on a scale that makes the Italian mafia look like saints.

New enemies were invented, and a new diabolical and racist focus became weapons made in the "first world" to kill people in the "third world". Countries of Africa became the first targets. Black or brown lives evidently don't count in this diabolical business. Huge quantities of Russian and Soviet-bloc weapons were traded for diamonds to escalate conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is so endowed with natural resources that it should be one of the world's wealthiest countries. Instead, it is a failed state where five million people (and perhaps as many as fifteen million) have died in what is referred to as "Africa's First World War".

A report by Stephen Burgess at the US Air War College in Alabama is unapologetic about the urgency of America's pre-emptive rights over Africa's mineral resources:

to secure Southern Africa's uranium, manganese, platinum, chrome, cobalt and rare earth minerals for America's industrial needs and for its military for its maintenance of weapons systems. To triumph in this scramble, all instruments of US power must be deployed. The challenge is most acute in two southern African countries, South Africa and the DRC. A "worst-case" scenario might see the US having to use coercive diplomacy in order to regain access to vital resources. The new scramble for African mineral resources is most similar to the 19th century European scramble that contributed to interstate conflict, especially the First World War.[4]

Keith Harmon Snow provides a dramatically different American perspective:

The CIA, Mossad, the big mining companies, the offshore accounts and weapons deals are all hidden by the western media. The entire military-industrial-prisons complex revolves around minerals like cobalt, niobium and cobalt oxide, yet the truth about what happens to African people in lands taken over by these mining companies is hidden by the corporate media.[5]

It all comes back to the defence budget. American military, private military of the US and proxy groups we support. This is the largest source of violence, and largest single most devastating impact on human rights around the world [is] unlimited American power. Individuals and institutions from the US are not being held accountable for the massive human rights violations that they are responsible for all around the world, including within the US.[6]

Military spending (including even nuclear weapons) by South Africa's apartheid government proved totally useless against domestic insurrection, but bankrupted the country. The journalist Ken Owen noted:

The evils of apartheid belonged to the civilian leaders: its insanities were entirely the property of the military officer class. It is an irony of our liberation that Afrikaner hegemony might have lasted another half century had the military theorists not diverted the national treasure into strategic undertakings like Mossgas and Sasol, and Armscor and Nufcor that, in the end, achieved nothing for us but bankruptcy and shame.[7]

South Africa's liberation was driven by civil society, led by the Church and the United Democratic Front. The African National Congress (ANC) and Umkhonto-we-Sizwe (MK) were asleep in Lusaka and London, and still dreaming of armed rebellion when President De Klerk made his announcements on February 2, 1990.

Even before the ANC took office in 1994, the leadership of MK led by the late Joe Modise, saw the arms deal as an instrument for massive self-enrichment. Modise was a gangster. Collusion with the apartheid-era generals, European arms companies and governments inflicted the arms deal disaster on South Africa.

There is always a Mobutu, Mugabe or Mbeki willing to sell his soul and his country to the war business.

The arms deal was just the tip of the iceberg that also includes oil deals, tollroads, the taxi recapitalisation process, drivers' licences, Cell C, Coega, diamond and drug smuggling, weapons trafficking and money laundering. The common denominator was political protection against ten percent kickbacks for ANC funding.

The 1996 Defence White Paper noted that South Africa was already grossly over-armed because of the apartheid era. It declared that there was no conceivable foreign military threat to the country, and that eradication of poverty must be South Africa's priority.

Investment in public education and health services are internationally recognised as the most effective means of redressing poverty. Weapons procurement is totally counter-productive economically, and represents public money poured down a drain.

Arms companies everywhere, including Armscor and Denel, are hugely subsidised by the taxpayers. They are capital intensive, not labour intensive, industries, and so divert public resources away from other priorities.

The late Oliver Tambo had acknowledged during the 1980s that Armscor was an apartheid-era organisation that could not be reformed and should be destroyed. The Anglican Church, during the 1994/1995 Cameron Commission of Inquiry into Armscor, called for both Armscor and Denel to be closed down, and also for a total prohibition on South African exports of weapons.

Unfortunately, President Nelson Mandela assured the Commission that South Africa would pursue a responsible arms trade policy. The result is that South Africa is notorious for supplying weapons to the world's worst dictatorships, including Libya and allegedly Iran.

Armscor prevailed in 1997 upon the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to make industrial participations (offsets) a mandatory feature of all government foreign procurements over US$10 million. For the arms deal, the offset requirements were split sixteen percent into Defence Industrial Participations (DIPs) and eighty-four percent into National Industrial Participations (NIPs).

Armscor's chairman, Ron Haywood told Swedish television[8] in 1998 that offsets are "Madiba magic". What businessman, he asked, can resist spending R1 to get R4 back?

The arms deal was premised on the economic absurdity that expenditure of R30 billion on warships and warplanes would generate R110 billion in offsets and create over 65 000 jobs. Offsets are a scam promoted by the arms companies, in conjunction with corrupt politicians, to fleece the taxpayers of both recipient and supplier countries.

Even the most economically illiterate person knows better than to expect change of R110 from a shop after spending R30. Offsets are prohibited by the World Trade Organisation because of their notoriety for corruption. The advisor to the Swedish prime minister admitted this in Cape Town just a few days before our government signed the arms deal contracts. But, he said "lower standards apply in the third world!" We challenged him to explain why the Swedish government was encouraging corruption in South Africa. [9]

The British government assigned officials supposedly to assist DTI with the offset programme. In reality, they were there to block all investigations. Parliamentarians and the Auditor General were forbidden details of the offsets on the spurious excuses that the contracts were "commercially confidential".

I asked the British government to investigate after I learned that BAE was bribing our politicians to support the arms deal, and that the bribes were being laundered via two Swedish trade unions. I learned in due course that it was then not illegal in English law to bribe foreigners, and therefore as far as the British were concerned there was no crime to investigate.

The same was true in Germany, where bribes were deemed to be "useful expenditures" and were tax deductible. Ferrostaal, which was responsible for the submarine contracts, is now the subject of a huge corruption scandal in Germany. It had a whole department that specialised in how to pay bribes in "third world" countries.

Ferrostaal was fined Euros 140 million in December 2011 because of bribes paid to secure the sale of two submarines to Greece. Much of the current Greek Eurozone crisis stems from pressures exerted on successive Greek governments by German, French and American governments to buy armaments way beyond Greece's defence requirements. It is the Greek people, not the arms companies, who suffer the consequences.

The arms deal affordability study in August 1999 warned all cabinet ministers that the arms deal was a reckless proposition that could lead the government into mounting fiscal, economic and financial difficulties. The study also pointed out that instead of job creation, the negative economic impact would be massive job losses.

It is not coincidental that unemployment rocketed in South Africa from 13 percent in 1994 to almost 40 percent now.[10] We see the results in non-delivery riots all over the country.

President Thabo Mbeki and Ministers Alec Erwin and Trevor Manuel went to bizarre lengths to suppress investigations into the arms deal scandal. They even "doctored" the Joint Investigation Team report in 2001 after it found that every contract was seriously flawed with tendering irregularities. Mbeki was finally fired by the ANC in September 2008 because of the arms deal.

The final action by the Scorpions before they were disbanded was to raid BAE's premises in Gauteng and the Western Cape. In November 2008 they seized 460 boxes and 4.7 million computer pages of evidence. I prevailed upon Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President De Klerk one week later to launch an appeal to President Kgalema Motlanthe to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

Motlanthe disparagingly told us to take our evidence to the Police. When President Jacob Zuma came to office, he declared that there was no case to answer. In the public interest, I lodged an application to the Constitutional Court in October 2010. I argued that given the mountain of evidence against BAE and other companies it was irrational and therefore unconstitutional for the president to refuse to appoint a judicial commission.

Amongst the documents I submitted to the Constitutional Court were 160 pages of affidavits that detail how and why BAE paid bribes of £115 million (R1.5 billion) to secure its warplane contracts, to whom the bribes were paid and into which bank accounts the bribes were credited.

President Zuma's legal advisers were unable to refute the massive volume of evidence, and in September 2011 he reluctantly agreed to appoint an investigation. The Commission's terms of reference were announced in October. Six months' later, the Commission still has not yet begun work. President Zuma seemingly believes that the Commission is how to park a political hot potato until it can be buried.

May I respectfully remind the President that President Mbeki was dismissed from office because of the arms deal, and that the ANC is now in chaos because of the culture of corruption that the arms deal unleashed? It behoves him and the ANC to deal openly and honestly with the people of South Africa.

Three of the six terms of reference deal with offsets. The rationale for the arms deal, remember, was that R30 billion spent on armaments would generate R110 billion in offsets to create over 65 000 jobs. Section 217 (1) of the Constitution in dealing with government procurements requires that an organ of state must act "in accordance with a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective".

There is not a single recorded instance of which I am aware, either in South Africa or overseas, where offsets have proved successful. The former CEO of Denel, Victor Moche told Parliament in November 2004 that the DIP offsets had been foisted onto Denel by Armscor, and Denel was losing money on 80 percent of the contracts. For his candour, Moche was dismissed from office within three months by [then] Public Enterprises Minister, Alec Erwin.

Amongst the constitutional failures of the arms deal is that even cost was removed from consideration for the BAE contracts on the instruction of Modise, but with the agreement of his cabinet colleagues. As Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren have thoroughly documented in their new book The Devil In The Detail,[11] the offsets were simply vehicles to pay bribes.

By contrast, DTI's reports to Parliament glowingly declare that the arms deal companies have not only met but have exceeded their offset obligations.[12] Faced with German confirmations that the DTI reports are a lie and that South Africa has been "taken to the cleaners", our parliamentarians have voted to ignore the German reports.[13]

I have accordingly sought legal opinions that offsets fail the requirements of South Africa's constitution, and that the arms deal was therefore unconstitutional and illegal right from inception. In short, the offsets are unfixable, and the duty of the Judicial Commission should be to take remedial action including cancellation of the arms deal contracts.

These contracts provide in their "remedies in case of bribes" clauses that South Africa has the right summarily to cancel the contracts and to claim compensation.

South Africa has not yet paid for the arms deal. The country has borrowed from Barclays Bank for 20 years until 2019 for the BAE warplane contracts, and from Commerzbank until 2012 and 2016 for the frigate and submarine contracts. These loans are underwritten by the British and German governments, meaning that should they be cancelled the financial consequences will fall to British and German taxpayers.

The Barclays Bank loan agreements in my possession have been verified in court as authentic. Minister Trevor Manuel's legal counsel conceded that their representation, covenant and default clauses are "potentially catastrophic for South Africa". In my view, as a former international banker, these clauses are a textbook example of how European governments and banks entrap countries such as South Africa in "third world" debt. This is how they control and impoverish us.

Given that the arms deal is now estimated to have cost R70 billion instead of R30 billion, I suggest that this is money that South Africa can better use towards social-economic investment and the eradication of poverty.

No country in the world has yet adequately resolved how to fund political parties. The ANC makes the bizarre claim that it is a private entity, and therefore does not need to open its books to public scrutiny. The ANC was insolvent when the arms deal was negotiated.

Yet its treasurer, Mendi Msimang revealed at Polokwane in 2007 that the ANC suddenly had assets worth R1.75 billion. This would have made the ANC one of the richest political parties anywhere in the world, and has dire consequences for South Africa's prospects as a democracy. The corruption around Chancellor House, Hitachi and Eskom will far eclipse the arms deal, and will make the bribes seem to be mere "petty cash".

Politicians worldwide have a general inability ever to admit that they can make mistakes or can be wrong. The three defining issues of the Mbeki presidency were HIV/Aids, Zimbabwe and the arms deal.

In his book The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade[14], Andrew Feinstein systematically exposes the institutionalised corruption of the arms trade in Russia, Britain, Germany, France and, most especially, the United States. These five countries supplied 75 percent of the world's arms exports during 2007 to 2011.[15]

Warnings by Snowden in 1914 and Eisenhower in 1961 (plus numerous others) were ignored, and the world now faces the blowback.

Pakistan, equipped with nuclear weapons, teeters on the brink of being another failed state. The corruption goes right to the top, especially including the presidents and prime ministers. The BAE contracts negotiated with Saudi Arabia by British prime ministers Margaret Thatcher in 1985 and Tony Blair in 2006 are most especially notorious.

Those kickbacks were estimated at 25 percent, yet the Al Yamamah and Al Salaam contracts may not be investigated in England because of the British Official Secrets Act.[16] The late Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Sultan pioneered the system of offsets by which Saudi Arabia acquired British armaments against payment in oil.

British journalists have revealed that, in collusion with the British Defence Department, Prince Sultan's son, Prince Bandar, was paid bribes by BAE of over £1 billion, and that those bribes were laundered through Riggs Bank in Washington DC. Investigations into BAE by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) resulted in plea bargain fines in 2010 and 2011 of US$479 million. Nonetheless, BAE has still not been blacklisted from arms sales to the US for use in Iraq and other war zones.

Prime Minister David Cameron was last week in Indonesia promoting BAE weapons sales to that country,[17] seemingly oblivious to the human rights abuses and other consequences of previous BAE sales to the Suharto dictatorship.

The Al Yamamah/Al Salaam agreements contain extraordinary provisions that should raise huge alarm and concerns in Africa and Asia. Private American investigators, including Executive Intelligence Review, "guestimate" that the Bank of England "slush fund" is now worth over US$150 billion. Its purpose is:

a) To guarantee British and US government support for the Saudi royal family against domestic insurrection, and

b) To fund covert destabilisation of resource-rich countries in Asia and Africa under the guise of the "war on terror".

Prince Bandar and Saudi Arabia have long histories of funding covert US destabilisation of Afghanistan, Iran (including the Iran-Contra affair), Somalia and Yemen. Prince Bandar, coincidentally, was the only foreigner present at Nelson Mandela's secret marriage to Graca Machel. Mr Mandela has acknowledged that Saudi Arabia made very substantial donations to the ANC.

With President Barack Obama's election in 2008, the international community had high hopes for an end to unilateral US military misadventures. In an early speech, Obama declared that nuclear disarmament was a foreign and defence priority of his administration. Instead, as American commentator Robert Scheer notes:

Not only has Obama been a saviour of the banking conglomerates that so generously financed his campaign, but he also has proved to be equally as solicitous of the needs of the military-industrial complex. He entered his re-election year by signing a US$662 billion defence authorization bill that strips away some of our most fundamental liberties and keeps military spending at Cold War levels, and by approving a US$60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Those two actions represent an obvious contradiction, since the attack on American soil that kept defence spending so high in the post-9/11 decade was carried out by fifteen Saudis and four other men directed by Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi primarily using funding from his native land. Now Saudi Arabia is to be protected as a holdout against the democratic impulse of the Arab Spring because it is our ally against Iran, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11.

The rationale for the big arms deal with the tyrannical Saudi monarchy is that a better-armed Sunni theocracy is needed to counter the threat from the Shiite theocracy in Iran. Once again the U.S. is stoking religious-based fratricide, just as we did in Iraq. Only this time, we are on the side of Saudi Sunnis oppressing Shiites both at home and in neighbouring Bahrain. That oppression-along with a U.S. invasion that replaced Tehran's sworn enemy in Sunni-led Baghdad with a Shiite leadership that had long been nurtured by Iran's ayatollahs-is what enhances the regional influence of Iran.

If Iran ever does pose a regional military threat because of its nuclear program or any other reason, real or concocted, it will be NATO forces that will take out the threat, not the Saudis, who will still be polishing their latest-model F-15s as icons of a weird conception of modernism.[18]

World military spending now annually exceeds US$1.6 trillion. The Millennium Development project agreement of 2000 made by government leaders of 189 countries anticipated drastic reduction of poverty in countries around the world by the year 2015. Reallocation of only ten percent of military expenditures would have been required. Concerns were already being expressed by 2005 at the United Nations that these goals would not be reached. [19]

It is now conceded that there is no hope of meeting the Millennium Development goals. US military spending has rocketed during both the Bush and Obama administrations. The world is currently being held to ransom over Israeli and US hysteria about Iran. It is all yet another excuse to spend still more public money on weapons. New generation drones are reportedly being developed by Israel and the US to deliver nuclear bombs.

Patriotism is manipulated by a cabal of army generals, politicians, armaments companies and bankers. The opportunities for war profiteering are immense despite the reality that nothing is more economically devastating than war.

Obsessed with security, the US spends trillions of dollars waging wars that it cannot win but, in the process, makes the world a lot more dangerous. Bloated on public taxes, Lockheed Martin, Carlyle Industries and Raytheon are the beneficiaries. Their counterparts in Israel are Elbit, Raphael, Israel Aerospace and other armaments industry companies and the banks.

Elbit boasts that it leads the world in battle command technology to provide comprehensive C4ISR solutions - meaning Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance -- for space, air, sea and ground warfare.

The US uses drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Israel uses them in Gaza and the West Bank to "eliminate" Hamas and other so-called terrorists. The use of pilotless drones and remote-controlled weaponry is even more grotesque than traditional warfare. As if acting out a Hollywood movie, the "enemy" is eliminated by a young computer technician sitting thousands of kilometres away in air-conditioned comfort.

It is a perverted mentality even more diabolical than the hatred spawned in Sierra Leonean child soldiers or Palestinian suicide bombers or, indeed, the operators of the gas chambers and ovens at Auschwitz. Killing people for profit has become just a game that is rightly described as a "PlayStation mentality." Even fighter aircraft flown by highly skilled and expensively trained pilots have become redundant. (The BAE warplanes of the arms deal are already obsolete!)

Leaked US intelligence reports reveal that Iran abandoned its intentions to build nuclear weapons as long ago as 2003.[20] By contrast, Israel has an estimated 300 nuclear warheads, yet refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to submit to international inspection of its facilities.

Historically, 90 percent of the casualties of war were soldiers. Now, 90 percent of the casualties are civilians. Accordingly, international civil society has an obligation to put the war business out-of-business. An Israeli attack against Iran could lead to a conflagration from China across Asia and Africa to Nigeria, and the deaths of tens of millions of civilians.

Having abandoned its nuclear weapons, South Africa should take the lead to promote a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, including both Iran and Israel. We did not cover ourselves with much glory the last time South Africa was a member of the UN Security Council. It is time to remedy that lapse, and to make human rights the premise of South African foreign policy.

A resolution before the UN Security Council would almost certainly be vetoed by the US, which would again be placed in the extraordinary situation of vetoing its own foreign policy. In so doing, the US and Israel would open up other possibilities by civil society, including SWIFT[21] sanctions against Israeli banks.

Banking is the lifeblood of any economy, and banking sanctions were the tipping point in the international sanctions campaign against apartheid South Africa. Banking technology has advanced dramatically since then.

SWIFT sanctions, I believe, would impact very rapidly upon Israeli banks. They can also be reversed as soon as they have achieved their objectives without causing structural economic damage. If used with circumspection and judiciously managed, they could become the instrument to resolve international conflicts without recourse to war. In so doing, SWIFT sanctions could put the war business out-of-business.

Let us not forgot that it was civil society not governments that brought the apartheid dictatorship to its knees.

Terry Crawford-Browne


[1] Philip Snowden, quoted by John T Flynn in Men of Wealth, Simon and Shuster, New York, 1941, pages 337-372.

[2] Wikipedia

[3] The 1998 Atomic Audit estimated that to date the US had spent US$5.8 trillion on nuclear weapons. The figure was revised in 2005 to US$7.5 trillion. The US now annually spends over US$50 billion on its nuclear weapons. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, California, March 16. 2012.

[4] Stephen Burgess, "Sustainability Of Strategic Minerals In Southern Africa And Potential Conflicts And Partnerships," US Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, May 2011.

[5] Keith Harmon Snow "Gertler's Bling Band Torah Gang," Dissident Voice, February 9, 2008.

[6] Keith Harmon Snow, "The Political Economy of Genocide-Conflicts in Contemporary Africa and the New Humanitarian Order," January 26, 2009.

[7] Ken Owen, Sunday Times, June 25, 1995.

[8] Striptease, Swedish TV1, September 28, 1998.

[9] Roger Hallhag, international advisor to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson at the Swedish/South African civil society consultation, Centre For The Book, Cape Town, November 29, 1999.

[10] Richard Pike "Labour Market Review-Problem Analysis," chapter in Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, compiled by Temba A Nolutshungu and published by the Free Market Foundation, Sandton, November 2011.

[11] Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren, The Devil In The Detail, Jonathan Ball Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg and Cape Town, 2011.

[12] DTI progress report on implementation of the industrial policy action plan for the financial year April 2010 to March 2011.

[13] "Parliamentary Committee Keeps Arms Deal Offsets Report Secret, DefenceWeb, March 8, 2012.

[14] Andrew Feinstein, The Shadow World: Inside The Global Arms Trade, Jonathan Ball Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg and Cape Town, 2011.

[15] SIPRI fact sheet, March 2012 "Trends In International Arms Transfers, 2011".

[16] William Simpson, The Prince, Harper, New York, 2006.

[17] Eric King "Selling Arms And Snooping Technology Is No Way To Help Democracy, Cameron," The Guardian, April 11, 2012.

[18] Robert Scheer "Arms Dealer Obama Will Win By Default," Huffington Post, January 5, 2012.

[19] Bob Goudzwaard, Mark Vander Vennen and David Van Heemst, Hope In Troubled Times: A New Vision For Confronting Global Crises, Baker Academic Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 2007

[20] Ken Dilanian "US Does Not Believe Iran Is Trying To Build Nuclear Bomb," Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2012.

[21] SWIFT - Society For Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications - headquartered in Belgium is the system through which 10 000 international financial institutions make their payment transactions.