One thing that has irked me of late in political happenings is the constant accusation of racism. The ANC does it. The DA does it. Everyone does it and it gets a bit tiresome. That said this opinion piece by Thami Mazwai is so miguided and erroneous I had to do a fisking(Update: It seems I’m not the first, John Matshikiza ripped him to shreds way back in 2000). Mr Mazwai (who is chairman of the South African Chapter of the African renaissance – hold on I didn’t know the African renaissance was an actual organisation with chapters, I always thought it was some ideal to strive for not to mention a useful phrase for Thabo Mbeki’s speeches and if that’s not the case I hereby declare myself chairman of the South African Chapter of Liberal Democracy™) once again uses that old canard that because Helen Zille is looking into the previous administrations dealings she is therefore racist. I’m not going to fisk the entire thing just a few pertinent sentences. Let’s begin.
How do we justify the following?
- Saying she will do a forensic audit on every contract entered into by the previous administration;
Well maybe that’s because not a day before this opnion piece went to print the Saturday Argus released a report about a council offical called Mr Ten Percent so named because of his penchant for taking a ten percent cut of tender contracts in exchange for approving them. Nothing suspicious there.
- The campaign to fire city manager Wallace Mgoqi
Wallace Mgoqi presided over some of the biggest municipal disasters in recent Cape Town history. The Big Bay land sales (and subsequent resales for massive profit), the obviously fronted Numque 20 parking system tender, the stalled N2 Gateway housing project (and the N2 Gateway bus corridor which seems to have been forgotten) and the Jewellery District project in which R8 million rands in consultant fees seemed to have gotten us nothing but plagiarised plans. And then not to mention the city’s massive housing backlog. Nothing worth firing about there.
- The soccer stadium controversy
Can someone please tell me how making sure that the city can afford to build a brand new stadium (in a predominantly white neighborhood mind you, far away from Cape Town’s traditional black soccer stronghold where Zille proposed it might be built) is being racist?
It could be argued that this is sheer cut and thrust, the heart of democratic politics, between the ANC and DA. If this is the case, and I beg to differ, Zille must ensure her words do not stereotype indigenous blacks.
If Mr Mazwai can show a single sentence where Hellen Zille has stereotyped indigenous blacks I encourage him to publish them. That he didn’t in this piece is indicative that there are none.
Yet, Zille has hardly produced a stitch of evidence to justify an audit. The auditor general has also not indicated any untoward business in the metro. To crown it all, ANC administrations countrywide are ruthlessly flushing out corruption, the latest being Ekurhuleni.
Even if you forget the potential corruption issues I’ve listed above the statement is pretty stupid. Zille has not yet produced any evidence of corruption and yet the ANC is flushing it out countrywide? So either there is no corruption, because Zille can’t find it or there is and it’s being flushed out by the ANC.
Does this not also explain why she has her axe out for Mgoqi, as she is not challenging Mgoqi’s ability to perform? Is this appropriate in this day of black advancement and empowerment?
The only thing Zille has challenged is Mgoqi’s ability to perform, that being not very well. Once again if Mr Mazwai has evidence of Zille challenging Mgoqi on anything else but his ability I assume he would have put it in his opinion piece. And there’s also the fact that his renewal contract, signed a day before the elections that the ANC knew they might lose, might be invalid.
Why is it so difficult to accept the decisions of her predecessor in good faith, which, in any case, is a legal principle?
Remember when Wallace Mgoqi wrote that opinion piece in the Cape Times showing what a great job the ANC was doing in Cape Town and the IEC had to ask him to step down as electoral officer because it was clear that he was biased to the ANC. That’s why.
I flinch when I notice how my mother, who turns 80 in a few weeks, glares at Leon when he is on TV, and then see her longingly look at the poker next to the fireplace.
If that’s how his mother reacts just when she sees Tony Leon on TV I wonder how she reacts whenever she drives past the seemingly abandoned N2 Gateway housing project and informal settlement that sits right next door, and which have been there for the past 10 years. He must have to hide all the glassware.
A few interesting points emerge from the Cape Town Metro show. Are the DA’s bedmates happy with Zille’s calls for a forensic audit without adequate reason as this suggests that the previous black administration was corrupt as a matter of course?
Well seeing none of them have objected to it I assume they’re alright with it.
Are they not aware that Zille would never make this insinuation against a former white mayor and administration?
How can Mr Mazwai even make a comment like this and still be taken seriously? Once again he must have scads of evidence locked away but just couldn’t fit it in the space requirements given to him. In that case I bet Mazwai will never write an article critical of a black mayor and administration. I have loads of evidence as well. I just can’t fit it in here so trust me on this.
In short, are they happy with Zille’s archetypal stereotyping of Africans in general and are they oblivious of the fact that it also applies to them?
Again could you please supply a single sentence of Helen Zille stereotyping all Africans.
Are they, more so the black parties, also against black advancement and empowerment as evidenced by the campaign to smoke Mgoqi out?
Getting rid of one city manager who was messing up left and right = Being against all empowerment. Just so we’re all clear on that.
How can people take this piece seriously.
Just over a week ago news came out that the UK will no longer be accpeting travellers with temporary SA passports. Now it seems that the Department of Home Affairs has run out of normal passport blanks and can only process a fraction of passport applications and even then only in emergency cases. Add Minister of Home Affairs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to the potential list of targets in the next cabinet reshuffle.
and that would produce a link to Politics.za. To create an unordered list (with a nested list) you merely type
Which will produce
* Item 1 * Item 2 ** Item 3 ** Item 4
- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3
- Item 4
Former ANC Chief Whip Tony Yengeni looks like he finally might be going to jail, after being convicted in 2003. Yengeni will probably launch a petition for leave to appeal but if that is turned down it’s off to the slammer.
Quite a few people are perturbed by the the chair throwing at Mayor Helen Zille during a meeting she attended in Crossroads, an ANC dominated ward. The excuse from ANC councillor for that ward Depoutch Elese that Zille was attacked because she had not followed procedure and informed him of her visit is of course pretty laughable and only serves to make the ANC’s ward councillors look like wannabe lords over their own personal fiefdom. That the meeting was actually convened by SANCO, usually an ANC ally, to discuss crime in Crossroads only makes the ANC look even worse.
However I must say I wasn’t exactly suprised by the violence. Despite South Africe being a relatively peaceful country when it comes to politically motivated violence, it is still present. I’d even go so far as to say that in certain areas in KwaZulu-Natal, due to the tension between the ANC and IFP, I’d say that political violence is more of a norm than an exception. That there would be violence in the Western Cape at some point in the future after the municipal election is almost a certainty.
It is nice to see national government condemn the attack in no uncertain terms seemingly without a reserved word of support for the ANC councillors or a shifting of blame (although the local ANC officials did plenty of that). However I still would like to reiterate my call for all political parties to start hosting joint seminars for their members entitled ‘Politics: No One Has To Die’.
As a user of ADSL in South Africa I am duty bound to gnash my teeth at our current Minister of Communications Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri for her Departments seeming incompetence and uncaring attitude over the fact that Telkom is ripping SA consumers off as best they can. Which is why everyone was a bit concerned when the minister put pressure on the NCOP to amend the ICASA bill to give her more direct control over the selection of ICASA’s councillors, which is borderline unconstitutional.
Luckily Thabo Mbeki has given Ivy a political snotklap by sending the bill back to parliament. It seems even Thabo might be getting a bit impatient with the fact that Ivy hasn’t done much to lower telecommunications costs or promote competition in the seven years she has been in office. If there’s a cabinet reshuffle between now and the 2009 elections I don’t think Ivy will retain her post.
The ID have stated that from now on they will abstain from any council vote that could give the ANC control of the Cape Town council. No doubt the PR beatdown and (still simmering) supporter backlash the ID suffered after voting with the ANC against Helen Zille was a factor in this decision but there’s also the fact that the ID could potentially already lose a seat to the DA in a by election after an ID councillor resigned.
Now if the ID sticks to this decision it does make the chance of the ANC getting the position of mayor back pretty slim. Even if the ANC could get the AMP and the minor parties on it’s side it would have 90 votes while the DA and ACDP (who I don’t think will ever leave the coalition) will have 97. I’m not sure if the mayoral vote requires an outright majority (+51%) for a decision but if not then the DA can breathe a bit easier.
Update: According to the comments, Sheval Arendse, who was the ID councillor who resigned, will be running for vacant seat as a DA candidate.
This just popped into my mailbox.
Please note that South African Temporary passports issued after 19 April 2006 are no longer acceptable for entry into the United Kingdom.
Confirmed by the British High Commission.
Considering the number of South Africans who travel to the UK every day this is a bit of an alarming announcement especially as no reason was given for the revoking of travel rights using temporary passports. I suspect the growing incidence of South African passports being used fraudulently (either counterfeited or attained via illegal means) might be a factor.
Of course the article doesn’t say how you can comment…