Is South Africa turning into Zimbabwe?, Scotland Herald“Hardly a decade from now, Zimbabwe will be our destination, our reality,” wrote Barney Mthombothi in his column in this weekend’s Financial Mail, South Africa’s equivalent of The Economist.
From African jewel to basket case: Looking back at Mugabe's Zimbabwe, National PostSeven years ago, after he started seizing his country's white-owned farms, the former school teacher eagerly compared himself to Adolf Hitler.
Indigenisation Law Is Second Rape of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe MailThe implosion of the Zimbabwean economy, which led to hyper-inflation and pushed millions to the brink of starvation, has been generally attributed by analysts the world over to its land grabs which turned the once powerful agricultural sector into a disaster of epic proportions.
Zimbabwe's Indigenisation Policy, and South Africa's BEE, are the same policy, NewstimeWhy would anyone, except the Chinese and Arabs, invest in South Africa in those circumstances? Arabs and Chinese are classified black. And the irony is that blacks are not the indigenous populations of Southern Africa anyhow.
Is South Africa turning into Zimbabwe?
Fred Bridgland, Scotland Herald
25 Apr 2010
A newspaper clipping referring to ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is seen with a bunch of flowers at the entrance of Eugene Terre’Blanche’s farm.
A leading black South African commentator has uttered the dreaded “Z” word, a sentiment that has been considered too terrible to think for ordinary people and considered near-treasonous in the upper reaches of the ruling African National Congress.
“Hardly a decade from now, Zimbabwe will be our destination, our reality,” wrote Barney Mthombothi in his column in this weekend’s Financial Mail, South Africa’s equivalent of The Economist.
Mr Mthombothi, one of his country’s finest journalists, was commenting in the course of an analysis on the dire situation in neighbouring Zimbabwe where, he said, life had become “hell on earth”.
The tragedy is not simply that Mugabe has destroyed his own country, Mr Mthombothi went on to say. “He has exported the cancer. He’s poisoned the well. He’s contaminated the politics of the region, especially South Africa. Our politicians have learnt from the master’s knee – the buck-passing, blame everything on imperialists and apartheid; the reckless and incendiary language; the refusal to see reason or deal with reality even as it stares you in the face.
“Our people are increasingly suspicious or even frightened by the actions of their own government. It can no longer be trusted to do what’s right by them.”
Mr Mthombothi’s apocalyptic warning – mirrored by other heavyweight analysts – comes as the global spotlight zeroes in on South Africa, with scarcely 40 more days to go before the country flings its doors open to humanity as it hosts football’s World Cup.
With the first match due on June 11, a rise in racial tensions and ANC corruption together threaten to derail the feel-good national response that many hoped would be among the benefits of the tournament.
Allister Sparks, the veteran anti-apartheid warhorse journalist who espoused the ANC during its darkest days when banned by whites-only rulers, said the extent to which the movement has abandoned its own core principles is astonishing. The rot is spreading ever deeper into the very soul of the ANC, said Mr Sparks, winner of many international awards for his reporting, in his latest column in the daily Business Day.
The South African crisis, as the World Cup looms, is multi-dimensional. But Mr Sparks highlighted two core principles on which the ANC has gone backwards and which had carried it through all the long decades of its liberation struggle, through the tough constitutional negotiating process of the early 1990s under Nelson Mandela and into the dawn of the new South Africa – “the principle of non-racialism and the principle of clean, honest government that would deliver a better life for all.”
Mr Sparks added: “We have become a corrupt country. The whole body politic is riddled with it. We have reached a kind of corruption gridlock. When so many people in high places have the dirt on each other, no one dares blow a whistle. When the President of the country (Jacob Zuma) has managed to get off the hook on a major corruption case (charges relating to bribes associated with the country’s multi-billion dollar arms deal with Britain and other European Union countries), how can he crack down on corruption anywhere else in his administration?
“When he rewards the acting prosecuting chief who got him off the hook with a judgeship, how can he expect to have a clean civil service all the way down to municipal level?”
Mokotedi Mpshe last year dropped the National Prosecuting Authority’s multiple corruption charges against Mr Zuma under highly controversial circumstances and against the wishes of his own team of investigators. Mr Zuma this year appointed Mr Mpshe a high court judge for life.
MR Sparks is particularly outraged by the sleaze that pervades the ANC as a result of the party’s ownership of many companies to which it awards lucrative government contracts. For example, the state electricity company, Eskom, was last week given a £2.56billion loan to expand over-stretched power supplies. The ANC immediately made £68.5m thanks to the party’s shareholding in Hitachi Africa to whom Eskom’s chairman, Valli Moosa, a former ANC minister and present member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee, conveniently awarded the expansion contract.
“So it’s OK for the ANC in its capacity as controller of the State to hand out hugely profitable contracts to the ANC in its capacity as a political party,” lamented Mr Sparks.
ANC leaders are now competing viciously among themselves for access to state resources, said William Gumede, author of Thabo Mbeki And The Battle For The Soul Of The ANC and currently a senior fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, in a lecture last week in Pretoria.
Many in the ANC had become part of the “bling culture” – getting rich quickly, using short cuts. “Unfortunately, while this new bling lifestyle has become the new standard for achievement, a sign that one has made it, no new factories are being built and mass poverty is increasing,” said Mr Gumede.
“What cannot be doubted any more is that our worse fears have come true: the ANC has lost its soul.”
While the corruption at heart of government is enough to make good men despair, the resurgence of racism, through new injections of race hatred malevolence from the toxic ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and the resurrection of white racist fringe extremism through the murder of neo-Nazi leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, has ratcheted up the fear levels of moderate South Africans of all races.
Mr Malema, a badly educated 29-year-old, has achieved huge powers since becoming leader of the Youth League and Jacob Zuma’s most vociferous supporter during the latter’s 2006 trial for rape and his subsequent toppling in 2008 of former President Thabo Mbeki.
Mr Malema defended Mr Zuma against the rape allegations, on which he was found not guilty, by saying 68-year-old Mr Zuma had given his 31-year-old HIV-positive accuser a “nice time”. During Mr Malema’s anti-Mbeki campaign, he said: “We are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma.”
This month Mr Malema visited Zimbabwe and promised President Robert Mugabe that South Africa would emulate his policy of violent land seizures, which destroyed Zimbabwe’s economy. His support for Mr Mugabe came against a background of more than 3,000 white South African farmers killed in violent attacks since the ANC achieved power in 1994 in the country’s first all-race general election and the constant singing by Mr Malema at rallies of his theme song with lyrics, translated from the Zulu, that go, with many repetitions: “The cowards are scared. Shoot, shoot, shoot the Boer (white Afrikaner farmer). These dogs are raping. Shoot the Boer.”
Mr Zuma’s refusal to rein in his attack dog has been of growing concern in many sections of society.
“What Malema does to this country is tantamount to treason,” said Peter Bruce, editor of Business Day. “He is destructive and careless. He represents, in every conceivable way, what failure would look like for this country. If the ANC leadership does not get rid of him now, it will never have the opportunity again. And the damage he does will only get worse.”
Allister Sparks said he did not believe Mr Malema’s insistence on singing “Kill the Boer” had any direct role in Terre’Blanches’s murder. “But,” he added, “the fact the two coincided has inflamed racial passions. Thanks to Malema, the faded and farcical Terre’Blanche’s racist cause has found a new lease of life in his death.”
Terre’Blanche, leader of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), or Afrikaner Resistance Movement, had become a politically irrelevant extremist with miniscule support by the time he was bludgeoned to death in his bed this month by two of his black farmworkers. Their lawyers say their motive was unpaid wages. However, the police said the killers stripped and mutilated the 69-year-old Terre’Blanche in a way that suggested extreme racial hatred.
And Chris van Zyl, manager of safety and security with the conservative Transvaal Agricultural Union, said that in another recent murder of a white farmer the soles of his feet were stripped from him while he was still alive. Mr Van Zyl said 19 farmers had been killed this year, but the increasing violence of non-fatal attacks suggested the singing of “Kill the Boer” is fuelling the sentiment.
Mr Malema ratcheted up his reputation for extremism this month with an attack on a BBC journalist that had commentators comparing him to the late Ugandan military dictator Idi Amin. Mr Malema called BBC staff reporter Jonah Fisher a “bloody agent” and a “small boy” with a “white tendency” as he ordered Youth League security men to throw Mr Fisher out of a press conference on the Youth League chief’s visit to Zimbabwe.
Mr Malema mocked exiled supporters of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change for belonging to a “Mickey Mouse” organisation and insulting South Africa with statements issued from “air conditioned offices in Sandton,” Johannesburg’s most upmarket suburb.
As Mr Malema went on, Mr Fisher interjected: “You live in Sandton. So they’re not welcome in Sandton but you are?” Mr Malema, who has become a multi-millionaire in a short period of time, snapped and warned Mr Fisher: “Here you behave or else you jump.” Mr Fisher and others laughed. “Don’t laugh,” Mr Malema snarled. Mr Fisher rejoined that the situation had become a joke and that Mr Malema was talking rubbish.
It was then Mr Malema erupted and ordered the reporter’s ejection from the news conference. Collecting his recording equipment and walking out, Mr Fisher said: “I didn’t come here to be insulted.” Mr Malema bellowed after him: “Go out. Go out. Go out. You bloody agent!”
The opposition Democratic Alliance said the incident proved Mr Malema was “South Africa’s Mugabe”. Mpowele Swathe, shadow minister of rural development, said: “Malema’s hysterical, conspiracy theory-laden attack on the BBC is painfully reminiscent of the frequent claims by Mugabe he is the victim of ‘malicious propaganda by external forces’. His actions, in throwing the journalist out of the press conference, are no different to Mugabe’s censorship of the press in Zimbabwe, and his banning of outlets like the BBC from reporting there.”
Mr Malema has ignored a high court judge’s ruling that singing “Shoot the Boer” amounts to race-hatred speech. He has continued to sing the anthem, but the ANC issued a disciplinary hearing, scheduled for this week, following his attack on Mr Fisher.
Many fear that if Mr Malema is not expelled from the ANC and gets only a slap on the wrist, race relations will deteriorate further, leading Mondi Makhanya, editor of the wide circulation South African Sunday Times to warn: “There was a guy who lived in a country in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s and into the 1940s.
“That particular person was allowed to rise because people didn’t take him seriously.”
» » » » [herald Scotland]
From African jewel to basket case: Looking back at Mugabe's Zimbabwe
Peter Goodspeed, National Post
17 April, 2010 01:04:00
In fact, after 30 years in power, Mr. Mugabe has presided over the most dramatic collapse of any country in history since Weimar Germany.
Seven years ago, after he started seizing his country's white-owned farms, the former school teacher eagerly compared himself to Adolf Hitler.
Speaking at the funeral of Chenjerai Hunzvi, a thuggish cabinet minister who led the "war veterans" group that spearheaded violent seizures of white-owned farms, Mr. Mugabe noted Mr. Hunzvi had adopted the nickname "Hitler" because he admired the Nazi dictator's use of force and despised the British.
"I am still the Hitler of the time," Mr. Mugabe boasted.
"This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources."
"If that is Hitler, then let me be Hitler tenfold," he went on. "Ten times, that is what we stand for."
In fact, after 30 years in power, Mr. Mugabe has presided over the most dramatic collapse of any country in history since Weimar Germany.
He has turned one of the most beautiful and bountiful lands in Africa into a disaster zone that mixes corruption, mismanagement, violence and human rights violations on a scale that almost ranks alongside the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur.
An aura of hope clung to Zimbabwe at its birth. Reggae rock star Bob Marley performed at an Independence Day concert in Harare and Prince Charles came to watch Southern Rhodesia morph into Zimbabwe.
The new country was presented to the world as a new model for Africa and Mr. Mugabe was hailed as a statesman who offered reconciliation to its white minority, telling them, "If yesterday I fought you as an enemy, today you have become a friend."
Having endured nearly a decade of guerrilla warfare in which 30,000 people were killed, the new government promised to temporarily guarantee seats in Parliament for whites, while seeking a new partnership to build a new state.
But Mr. Mugabe's penchant for crushing all possible dissent didn't take long to surface.
In 1983, the Zimbabwean army's North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade, killed up to 20,000 Ndebele dissidents, members of a rival liberation group led by Joshua Nkomo, in Operation Gukurahundi, a Shona phrase for "the early rain that washes away the chaff."
Over the years, as Mr. Mugabe struggled to stay in power, he endorsed one-party rule and increasingly relied on censorship and intimidation.
He adopted a catastrophic policy of land seizures in 2000, after he lost a referendum that had aimed to entrench his power in a new constitution. Resuming the fiery rhetoric of the liberation struggle, he promised to "correct the colonialist legacy" by giving white-owned farms to landless blacks.
Once the bread basket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe became a basket case, as productive white-owned farms fell into the hands of members of Mr. Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwean African National Unity-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party.
It soon had the world's highest inflation rate - 231 million per cent a year - 90% unemployment and shortages of everything.
As government incompetence led to disaster, Mr. Mugabe blamed Zimbabwe's nightmares on Britain and "white settlers," whom he described as "thieving colonialists."
A quarter of Zimbabwe's population fled. Now, one in three families depends on remittances from relatives abroad and the UN's World Food Program feeds nearly three million Zimbabweans. Still, Mr. Mugabe continues to rule as if Zimbabwe were his personal fiefdom. He has manipulated the political process through violence and intimidation, and crushed his opposition.
In 2005, after ZANU-PF lost control of Harare to members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), he launched Operation Murambatsvina (Clean Up Filth). This destroyed 92,460 homes of squatters, rendering 700,000 people, mostly MDC supporters, homeless.
Two years later, when Pius Ncube, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo, became a vocal critic of Mr. Mugabe, government-controlled media outlets broadcast a secretly taped video of the bishop in bed with a woman. The bishop resigned.
Two years ago, Zimbabwe faced political deadlock, when MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the most votes in the 2008 presidential elections, but was unable to avoid a runoff.
Mr. Mugabe claimed victory three months later in a June runoff, after Mr. Tsvangirai dropped out because of the violence aimed at his supporters.
Zimbabwe fell into chaos, facing famine and economic collapse. The country's red $500 bills were nicknamed "Ferraris" because they lost their value so quickly.
With millions running short of food, the bankrupt government found itself unable to cope with a cholera epidemic that killed more than 2,000 people.
The international community, led by South Africa and the Southern African Development Community, stepped in and pressured Mr. Mugabe to form a unity government with Mr. Tsvangirai.
Under a power-sharing agreement that went into effect 14 months ago, Mr. Mugabe remained president, while Mr. Tsvangirai became prime minister; ZANU-PF took 15 cabinet seats, while the MDC got 13; and an MDC splinter faction led by Arthur Mutambara got three.
The parties were supposed to govern jointly, introducing reforms that would pave the way for a new round of elections.
But 14 months into the experiment, little has changed.
"Torture, harassment and politically motivated prosecutions of human rights defenders and perceived opponents have persisted, while villagers in parts of Zimbabwe have suffered ceaseless intimidation by supporters of former ruling party ZANU-PF," says a recent Amnesty International report.
Mr. Mugabe treated the power-sharing agreement with disdain. He arbitrarily handed powerful ministries, including Defence, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, which controls the police, to his supporters. He also swore in two vice-presidents, both from his party.
Nonetheless, the unity government has restored some economic stability, scrapping Zimbabwe's currency in favour of the U.S. dollar and using foreign aid to re-float the government, and put civil servants, school teachers and doctors and nurses back to work. But little has been done in the line of political or constitutional reform.
"The transitional power-sharing government is a sham," says Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
"From a human rights perspective, nothing has changed for the better. Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF are still fully in control."
In fact, Mr. Mugabe is preparing to tighten his hold. Last month, he promulgated a new law under which all companies valued at more than $500,000 had until last Thursday (April 15) to submit proposals on how they plan to sell 51% of their shares to black Zimbabweans over the next five years.
At the last minute, Mr. Tsvangirai said the new "indigenisation law" was "null and void" and will be sent back to parliament for further debate.
Mr. Mugabe insists the law will go ahead after a brief period of "consultation." Critics claim it is "pernicious racist legislation designed to facilitate the theft of property by an avaricious and venal ZANU-PF-affiliated black elite."
"With lucrative white farming enterprises no longer available for distribution as largesse (the resource having been depleted), the regulations create the conditions for a new source of patronage for the ZANU-PF elite and a weapon against businesses and individuals perceived to support the MDC ahead of the next elections," says Derek Matyszak, a researcher with the South Africa-based Institute for Democracy in Africa.
» » » » [Zimbabwe Mail]
Indigenisation Law Is Second Rape of Zimbabwe
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The implosion of the Zimbabwean economy, which led to hyper-inflation and pushed millions to the brink of starvation, has been generally attributed by analysts the world over to its land grabs which turned the once powerful agricultural sector into a disaster of epic proportions.
Where once Zimbabwe fed Africa now the country relied on importing food and aid agencies to keep its people alive.
With the advent of the power sharing arrangement in February 2009 and the arrival of Finance Minister Tendai Biti from the Movement for Democratic Change, sound economic policies were introduced and the slow road back to growth begun.
Unfortunately the authors of everything that is wrong with the country, President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF, are back and demanding that they be looked after at the expense of the masses of Zimbabweans once again.
In accordance with an indigenisation law, passed while Zanu-PF still controlled Parliament, which came into force on March 1 2010, foreign-owned firms valued at 500,000 dollars (371,000 euros) or more must cede at least a 50 percent stake to local owners.
An "indigenous Zimbabwean" had been defined as "any person who before the 18 April 1980" - the official founding date of Zimbabwe - "was disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of his or her race".
In terms of the regulations foreign-owned companies must submit plans to show how they will sell 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans within five years. Those who fail to comply are to be charged with criminal offences and face 5 years imprisonment.
Firms had been given 45 days to report their efforts at complying, but the deadline has been extended to May 15.
Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is required to open a register for those (elite - Mugabe cronies) who will be the beneficiaries of the shares "ceded".
The masses of indigenous Zimbabweans will get what they got when the farms were seized - the right to be fed by aid agencies or go into mass exile in South Africa or further abroad.
Opposition to the law
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has repeatedly criticised the law suggesting that is not legal because it fails to comply with statutory requirements. This has not deterred Mugabe who is going ahead with it.
Despite the fact that the country's stock market has fallen by 10% since the law's introduction, with mining shares losing 20%, and confirmation by analysts that the law had served to deter much-needed foreign investment in the country, he remains unmoved.
Kasukuwere told reporters that : "I am happy to announce that government has unanimously decided that implementation of our indigenisation policy (will) start with the mining sector."
The biggest targets however include local subsidiaries of British banks Barclays and Standard Chartered, as well as mining companies such as Impala Platinum, Anglo Platinum and Rio Tinto.
The Great Irony
Mugabe has defended the regulations as a measure to correct the economic imbalances created by Zimbabwe's colonial past. The same Mugabe who clung to power after losing the elections because he was terrified that he would be charged in the international court with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against his own people.
The same Mugabe who stopped aid agencies feeding millions of Zimbabweans who were starving as a ploy to pressurize the parties into power sharing.
Kasukuwere said some mining houses had prejudiced the state by sending money abroad without authorisation. "They were externalising as much as 280 million dollars. These funds are badly needed here," he said
This despite Mugabe alone having moved billions abroad.
Compensation - The Big Lie
Kasukuwere said government had noted investor fears that foreign firms would be forced to give up shares without payment.
"Some of the concerns raised relate to the intepretation of the word 'cede' in relation to shareholding, which was misconstrued to suggest compulsory takeover without compensation," he said.
"The indigenisation programme is based on fair transaction where full value is compensated for."
This knowing full well that the government after years of Zanu-PF abuse cannot even afford basic health and education costs.
It Is What It Is
It is the second rape of Zimbabwe by Mugabe and the Zanu-PF.
Like the first - the land grab - the elite will get everything and the masses will be even poorer as the tax base shrinks and investors once again rejects Zimbabwe.
» » » » [Zimbabwe Mail]
Zimbabwe's Indigenisation Policy, and South Africa's BEE, are the same policy.
Lyndall Beddy, Newstime
Friday, April 23, 2010
Zim’s Indigenisation policy and SA’s BEE policy are the same – White Capital must invest, and then give ownership to Black settlers.
There have been numerous statements about “transformation” of ownership not happening fast enough in SA’s mining industry.
Firstly I question, as always, SA Statistics method of calculation. When I last heard 40% of the stock exchange was owned by foreigners – how can you tell if they are white or black? How do you tell the colour of investments of Unit Trusts? One of the largest investors in the stock exchange is the Public Service Pension Fund, most of whom are now black - how are these investments racially classified?
And why does “black” ownership in both Zimbabwe and South Africa mean ownership by ruling party cronies, unlike Botswana where the state went into partnership with De Beers with profits for ALL the people BEFORE any investment was done, NOT nationalising other people's investments later.
SA and Zim are both following the same policy as the policy followed by Chavez.
Why would anyone, except the Chinese and Arabs, invest in South Africa in those circumstances? Arabs and Chinese are classified black.
And the irony is that blacks are not the indigenous populations of Southern Africa anyhow. The indigenous population was the Khoisan who were killed off by the black settlers, no differently than the white settlers of America and Australia killed off the American Indians and the Aboriginees, and once they were the majority, THEN became a democracy!
And while we are on "ownership" issues. SAPPI, founded in 1936 as South African Pulp and Paper, now owns 280 million hectares of forests in SA. How much of that was state forest in 1994? And which cronies got the profits that time?
» » » » [News Time]