Xenophobia, Strikes, Protests and Oscar … what could happen if Eskom goes down

Not to sound like Siener van Rensburg, the South African version of Nostradamus, or a “Doomsday” Prepper in Hamerica,  but things are looking pretty bleak in South Africa at the moment.

The reasons?  Well, there is seemingly a plethora of reasons if you look at it from the outside, but if you take all of these things and you boil it down to the core it is about what the Have’s are getting out of the system, opposed to what the the Have Not’s are getting out of the system it is pretty easy to spot.  Opulence and wastage due to corruption and maladministration while millions suffer in squalor  is the problem.

Recently, one of South Africa’s brightest mistook his girlfriend for an intruder in the bathroom.  He fired a couple of shots and neutralized the threat behind the toilet door.

During the same time the whole Nkandla issue was in the news, people were asking questions about Marikna and the Gupta wedding guests at Waterkloof, Eksom was failing, service delivery strikes went mainstream, E-Tolls took it toll and Andries Tatane got killed for standing up against a Government for demanding that which they have promised, service and reform, and a couple of thousand people become the victims of violent crime

Over simplified statistics from 1994 – 2014 from CrimeStatsSA

Murders – 194 507Attempted Murders – 213 470
Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm – 2 331 897
Unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition – 161 332

Let that sink in for a moment …

While all this was going on our political elite rallied to defend the choices they have made, rather than admit the faults they have made.

Now I am now someone who dwell on the past in general, if you make a mistake, well, then there is nothing you can do from it but learn.

Sadly, it does not seem to be the case in South Africa today.

Frustration on the ground in South Africa is boiling over.  The reason why fanatical groups such as the EFF can capitalize and gain momentum for their cause.  They know that “freedom” without economic freedom means nothing, and that one is still a slave to the system in such a scenario.  One of the very few points I can agree with them, but their approach, much like Steve Hofmeyer’s “threat” in from on Paul Kruger’s statute with a clearly military undertone with the commando detail with him at the statue is crude, one sided and ultimately disruptive in the sense that it is not building, but rather breaking down.

Cecil John Rhodes was no hero in the bigger picture of the South African story, but regardless, he was part of it, for better or for worse.  Even though I do not like the man or his legacy, I can appreciate what he has done for Africa, and I can also acknowledge the fact that he is part of my history.  Not because he was white like I am, but because his policies and action had such a huge impact on the landscape of what we call the Republic of South Africa today.

Yet, the statue itself if not the problem, it never was.  The problem is the ever increasing divide between the Have’s and the Have Not’s.  The inequity and the blatant difference between the lifestyles the Have’s enjoy in the stark contras with what the Have Not’s must endure is widening the gap, creating a us and them scenario.

A gap where one of the brightest gets away with a little slap on the wrist for taking a life, where a foreign national gets away with the murder of his wife and his South African accomplices end up paying on their own paying for his crimes.  A gap where a President allow the State to build him a mansion of R250 million and dine and drink on the best South Africa has to offer while millions go to bed hungry every night, a country where two siblings died of hunger in Soweto.

What does the Suicidal Dewani, Oscar and Zuma have in common? Money … and it seems that in South Africa your money determine how far you make it in life, and which bullets you can dodge, Matrix Style.

All this in a country where a normal man like Andries Tatane died for holding Government accountable on their election promises.

While millions suffer there are a good number of people living like there is no tomorrow without having any thoughts about the mother with the child on her back who is pulling a full trolly of garbage through the suburbs back to the recycling agent which can be as far as 15km’s away for a mere R1000 per month pittance.

A country with thousands refugees who fled their countries to come to South Africa in hope of stability and peace, are now again victims of violence in South Africa because of failed Government policies.

A country on the very brink of social collapse …

Now take all of these factors and add one failing power utility company and let your mind wander for a moment on what would happen if you take all of these problems and add a month long power outage, which is a very real possibility with the electrical grid under so much strain already, sitting at Stage 3 Load Shedding.  How will we survive the coldest months if we are already at our peak now?

The impact on South Africa would be devastating.  The Have Not’s will come looking for resources, and they will take what they want, if you like it or not.

Wednesdays …

Strange how one can become used to something so quickly.  You wake up one morning, you decide that you are going to start the day with a coffee, and all to soon this becomes a habit, and you get used to it, so quickly that you don’t even notice that you have picked up a new “bad” habit.

Amazing though, that this phenomenon also occurs if you spread out the occurrence of the action even by a couple of days.  Stranger still the fact that you can become desensitized by seeing something once every week … specifically Wednesdays …

You see, Wednesdays is the day the City of Tshwane comes around to clear out the garbage bins which stood for a week, collecting all the refuse “normal” people get rid of on a weekly basis without giving it much thought of what is going into the trash, and eventually, where the trash will end up.

It’s been bugging me for a while now, and honestly, I have no idea how to tackle the problem on my own, and I think this might be one of the reasons why I got “used” to seeing what I’ve been seeing without actually doing something or saying something about it, and there in lies the problem I have with myself, with our ANC led Government, and the South African society as a whole.

Every Wednesday, after putting out the garbage bin for collection they come. In their masses, pulling their self made carts behind them in the hope that today brings in the loot they are hoping for, something to eat, something to re-use, something to sell …. scavengers, poorest of the poor, dirty, stinky, filthy and freezing as they walk down the street from bin to bin, pulling the carts behind them with the loot which they have already scavenged from the bins down the street.

Everyone sees theses scavengers.  Most don’t even notice them anymore, some still do though.  Like the old man who is on pension down the road from us, who diligently sits on his porch, keeping an eye out for these vagrant bin looters, to chase them away because they sometimes leave behind a mess after going through a bin, sorting out what is edible, what is re-usable and what is just nasty old junk.

Not all people are like this grumpy old man though … but the sad part is that most do not even notice them … these Raiders of the Trash who come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

A week ago it was pretty cold here in Pretoria, and as I rushed out of the house to go to the office I remembered it was garbage day.

I quickly ran inside, grabbed the black bag from the bin in the kitchen and promptly discarded it in the big black bin while I waited for the gate to open.

It was then that I saw her.  The young black woman standing out there in the cold with a summer dress, long socks pulled up to her knees and a thin blue jersey which has seen better days judging by all the holes in it and the strings of wool which pulled out of the pattern.

She was quiet, shy, but friendly, not really making eye contact, but none the less standing there, waiting for someone to bring out the bin so that she can start going through the trash in the hope of finding something useful.

I tried to greet her, but I was a bit surprised after looking down at the ground while I pushing the bin out, and suddenly seeing the old shoes and the socks and looking up into the face of desperation.

I finally managed to get a “Um, hello, good morning … ” out, but as the worlds left my lips I started thinking ” What are you saying?  Is this really a good morning for her? ” …

The feeling I had that morning won’t be going away soon, and it served as a harsh reminder of the reality of what we as a nation, and as a species are facing.

As we are closing of this week and getting ready to cast our vote next week Wednesday it must serve as a reminder for us all that everything is not “OK” or “Good” by any means, and that we have only ourselves to blame for allowing the “leaders” of our young democracy to abuse and plunder State resources by enriching themselves through monsters like Nkandla and the ArmsGate deal the cost of the people who put them in power, hoping for a better future.

Let this Wednesday serve as a reminder for those of you out there who are still supporting the current status quo of what we are really voting for come next week Wednesday.

Monrovia of South Africa

Interesting times we live in …

In South Africa a political elite has risen up from the ashes of Apartheid.  Politically connected, and with no shortage of power and wealth these few rose up and took South Africa by storm and even formed or was involved in powerful organizations like the Black Management Forum of South Africa.

AA and BEE was implemented by them through various policies formed in Government and the economically strong black middle class developed.  With this a big chunk of the populace rose out of poverty as intended by these programs, and prospered.  Bringing South Africa a bit closer to the dream I believe Mandela and the other leaders of his time in the African National Congress saw at night in their dreams, the fabled Rainbow Nation.

Sadly this is is where our fairy tale ends for millions of destitute poor and deprived black citizens of South Africa, still out their own their “own” …

This is also where the irony of the whole tragic story kicks in … somehow, through Government graft failures, corrupt politicians, civil servants, corporations, companies and individuals of society we’ve abandoned these people, we have all failed them.

Political parties only scram to sort out issues for these communities when voting comes around while mostly playing a Tit for Tat game in Parliament and in the mainstream media, while Government is battling to deliver on promises made by the last electioneering team, and kids are stuck at schools without books.

20 years after the fall of the monster that was called Apartheid things are still pretty much the same as it was for millions back when South Africa was liberated by the liberation party, the ANC.

For them, time has stood still, and little has improved.  There are still millions living in poverty and absolute despair.  Appalled and feeling cheated by the party which they thought carried their best interests at heart.

Many broke away from the party and other splinter parties were formed. One of these, which pose a very real threat to the relative stability of South Africa, the EFF has a strong support base in the millions of disgruntled poor, unemployed and unemployable youth of South Africa, and the number grows daily because of failed economical, social and educational systems and policies.

Often you hear leaders of both these parties blaming Apartheid and it’s legacy for the state of affairs in South Africa, never owning up to the problem which lies central to our problem, the corruption which exists in all the tiers of Government.

This is where Liberia comes into the picture.  I wonder how many EFF supporters actually know that Liberia is part of Africa.  I wonder if they know the history of Liberia and the state of affairs in Liberia?

Liberia was formed by freed slaves from America, given the chance to start their own country with help and resources from the American Government after the Civil War when slaves were freed.

When these settlers arrived in what is today known as Liberia they encountered the indigenous tribes of the region, all whom have migrated to the coastal region from the north and the east, driven by drought, tribal wars and the need for expansion.

From the start tensions were high between the settlers and these local tribes as the Afro-Amercian settlers saw themselves superior to the local tribes in every sense.  These Afro-American settlers banded together and formed the Commonwealth of Liberia and later declared independence and JJ Roberts declared the colony the free and independent Republic of Liberia.

A Constitution in line with that of the US was drawn up and a new country was born.

These Afro-American settlers became known as Americo-Liberians and even though they never accounted for more than 5% of the population of Liberia they dominated key resources which allowed them to dominate the local native peoples because of varying factors like modern technical skills, literacy and higher rates of education.

A new caste system was born, a new political elite, and the once before Slaves were now reborn into Masters of their own, oppressing a majority and building mansions and amassing wealth on top of the blood, sweat and tears of the majority who they oppressed.

Today, Liberia is gripped in chaos, it’s a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the World, almost no infrastructure due to constant civil uprisings, and very little hope of a future because of a failed Government, corrupt to the core.

I wish that people will see, that our failures have very little to do with race, but more to do with greed, and once we can grasp that concept, we can start moving ahead and work around the problems in our country.

Apartheid exists everywhere, even between people of the same colour.  Xenophobic attacks, which are common in South Africa just underlines the issue even more, although our Government plays this down.

It is up to us, as Citizens to move beyond what has happened in the past, try and understand each other, and where possible to uplift each other in the Spirit of Ubuntu. We should learn from the past as to never repeat it again, so that we can force Government to serve the people of our country through educated opinions and decisions in a transparent way.

Violent Strikes in the South African Agricultural Sector, why and what will be the outcome?

South Africa is a country with great potential and with a unique and diverse culture.  It is the only country in the World where the minority ruled over the majority with an Iron Fist until 1994, and although this was not something which was born in South Africa self, it was a policy which was thought out and implemented by the then colonizers of Africa, the British under Lord Milner, it did leave us with a unique situation.

A unique symbiotic relationship developed between the two major ethical groups in South Africa, to the point where neither group can function properly without the other group, and this is not to say that one group should preside in the Master role and the other in the Slave role, because we are all equal, despite what most right wing commentators would say.  The only difference between the “Masters” and the “Slaves” was, and is still the level of education.  This is not a matter of opinion, but rather a simple fact which everyone who is honest with himself would agree upon.

Lately though, South Africa has been plagued by violent protests throughout all the major sectors of the economy.

The transport, mining, agriculture industry and service delivery strikes were the most prominent and made it onto the headlines of News24 every single day, even while the top brass in the ANC were spending millions of taxpayer money on their party celebrations over December.

Because there are just too many strings to follow and to discuss, and because I want to keep this short and sweet I will only give my thoughts on the violent strikes and protests we observed within the agricultural sector, and I am not going to pussy foot around the subject.

The ANC led Government has had “control” over South Africa for the last 18 years and yet the majority of our countrymen are still living in absolute poverty.  The reason Malema was such a threat to the ANC “regime” was because he was speaking the truth when he said that Freedom doesn’t mean anything without economic emancipation, albeit it that he had a very poorly thought out plan of Nationalization to deal with the issue at hand.

He was a threat to the political scavenger elite who are currently running the country, and though everyone knows that nearly everyone in a Government position has his hand down the cookie jar in some form or another he was allowed this “benefit” until he turned on his Master whom he was willing to protect and give his life for, Jacob Zuma.  After this his political career was crushed and now SARS is picking clean the bones of his sorry carcass.

But let’s leave that for there now and focus on the violent strikes in the agricultural sector.

So the farm workers were complaining about earning R65 a day … to put that into perspective … 2L of milk costs R20, a bread costs R5, taxi fare, depending on how far you are from your place of work is R15 if you are within a 30km radius, and then somewhere in between you must still put a little away for a rainy day?

Of course these workers have reason to be pissed off, the cost of living is rising, they mostly have no running water nor electricity, no formal schooling, and yet everyone around them are pocketing it big time, from their perspective while they are struggling to put clothes on the backs of their children, while they suffer to make enough money to feed their children.

R65 a day is nothing in the bigger scheme of things, especially when your “Baas” quickly jumps in his luxury 4 x 4 Toyota bakkie and drives off to the Pick & Pay, grabs some braaivleis and 12 ice cold Black Labels for the rugby.

This is not only true for the Agricultural sector, but everywhere.  The reason I know this is because I take the time to speak to those less fortunate than myself, those who were, and are still part of the “previously disadvantaged” of South Africa, the poorest of the poor.

Though, this might not always be fact, it remains the perception out there, and we have to work together to change the perception.

I know a couple of farmers personally, of whom I can only say good things, they provide for their workers, they build houses for them, they make sure they have running water, electricity, they give them food, and they even share their ice cold Black Labels with their workers, but this is certainly not what is happening as a rule of thumb, and this is where our problem really arises.

White South Africans  are too LAZY and they consider it beneath them to do manual labor  because that is a “kaffir’s” job.

Because of this, the South African system has always relied on cheap, unschooled laborers for these types of jobs, and although we share a unique symbiosis it does not mean that we have to enrich ourselves at the cost of our countrymen.

These laborers are trapped in a never ending struggle for survival where they work to survive, and survive to work, a never ending cycle with no hope of getting out of this closed loop system.

In no World is this fair towards anyone … I challenge those of you who are privileged enough to be reading this, not because I think this is a great opinion, but because you are privileged enough to be sitting down on your ass behind a computer, most likely in a air-conditioned office, with your fingertips on a keyboard, from where you can access any information you want to imagine yourself in the shoes of those laborers.

You would too do anything to provide for your families, to provide the very basics, which the South African Constitution “claims” your are entitled to as the very basic of human rights, the right to education, the right to a decent standard of living, the right to running water.  You would also burn the country if your perception is that you are suffering in the sun while the “Baas” can do what he wants, because he not only has freedom, but he is free from the financial constraints which is hampering you to better your existence, and to start designing a life.

The ANC led Government refuses to acknowledge the fact that Farm Murders, which are some of the most horrific murders in the history of South Africa are hate crimes, because if they do, then they will acknowledge their failure as a governing party. It is part and parcel of this perception which is out there and because of the deliberate “racial” divide which they keep on promoting from within governmental rallies and speeches, and this only compounds the dilemma we are sitting with, and this puts the whole country at risk of being destabilized.

They (the Government) are not forthcoming with ideas on how to address the problem, and I guess they are hoping that the flimsy stitches of this “Rainbow Nation” will stay in place for a bit longer while they loot the State coffers.  Not once have Government offered the farmers some sort of tax break if they up the daily wages of these laborers  because let’s face it, the farmers, are not all the filthy rich bastard “Boere” who do not care for the fellow countrymen, no, a lot of them are suffering under the economic pressures of our time with the operational costs of running the farm skyrocketing because of failed policies implemented by Government which causes havoc in our local economy.

In my heart I want to believe that, if they could, they would pay their laborers a decent daily wage, but I know that is idealistic, and there should be measures put in place to ensure those types of wages if it is possible from the farmer’s side.

There are so many factors which can change the ebb and flow of this situation, and I am just a spectator on the side, but one thing I know for certain is this.

If we don’t all try and work together and start looking out for Government, then we will all be chewed up and swallowed by the Monster which is governing our country, because if all the farmers leave, what will be left but barren earth … how will we feed our loved ones?

Coincidentally I saw a poster which read “If there is no more food the poor will be forced to eat the rich” … scary thought?  Well, just ask the Pygmies in the Congo is this is so far fetched or not.

If this continues we will be facing a real civil war, and although I know there are those of us who believe that this is the only solution to our problem, I put this to you, it’s easier to destroy then to build, and with the destruction we only put ourselves back 18 years at the very least … and we will be spitting on the graves of those who have died in the last 18 years, we will be robbing future generations of hope, we will leave behind a legacy which I would rather not be part of.

I implore you, the reader, to get actively involved, to put aside your personal feelings of hate and mistrust and to try and work together, if not for you, but for your children, and their children.

The whole World is waiting like vultures, for the spoils of war, so let’s not give them the satisfaction of failing, let’s work together and fix this.

Winter is coming for the “New” South Africa

It is very very cold today, a massive cold front has moved over South Africa and we are all stuck in doors.  You might think that is bad, but we are the lucky ones.  The maximum temperature for today was 12 degrees Celsius, but with the wind sheer factor it has come down to about 5 degrees, tonight we are dipping below freeze point.

At least 70% of South Africa is freezing out there today, tonight; living in shanty towns, some without basics like running water or electricity.

Ironic that this morning I would read the paper and see the results of an opinion poll done in South Africa regarding Jacob Zuma, a man shrouded by controversy, someone who’s tainted reputation seems only to be overshadowed by painting about him with his private parts exposed, something which nearly ignited violent protests from his die hard “sheeple” and which brought to light the deep, and well hidden racial divide which is still plaguing our country.

This poll suggests that 60% of the ANC voter base believe that Zuma is doing his job.  Last year in the same poll he scored 61%.

How on days like today, can so many people really believe that Zuma delivered onto them which he and his morally corrupt Government officials promised them?

I know that, some might say it is their own fault, but I would beg to differ.  Education plays a big part, and there is something which I’ve noticed over the few years I’ve been around on this speckle of water of and dust in the cosmos, and that is that misery loves company.

In this case the miserable,  the ANC, their various offshoots like the ANCYL and ANCWL along with their alliance partners like Cosatu love to keep people ignorant, that is why during times of unrest and protests the first to join up are the youths, they get forcibly removed from schools and made to join in the marches.  I am sure many of the disillusioned youths join the unrests just because they believe they are entitled to something, as if the world owes them something, and gets that feeling  satisfied with cheap free party shirts, some KFC and a speech about how ground will be given to them, that they will enjoy economic freedom if the “whites” relinquish their land and give it to the masses.

I genuinely feel for these easily impressed youths and their parents who cling to the promises made by the corrupt political elite.

Today is no day for homeless people to be out on the street, today is no day for any man, women or child to be without the warmth which electricity could provide.

I shall pray that the political elite start delivering on their promises,  but I will not hold my breath, because the next Winter is coming.

The Spear, The 1 Year Old and our Decadent Society

I’ve been quiet for some time after hitting a speed wobble of note, mostly because I put to much faith in other people, but I’ve decided to start taking up the pen again, and to pen down ideas and to share them with like minded individuals who are not content with the world being the way it is …

I’ve been following the local news the last couple of weeks and wondering to myself how far will we as a society actually fall, and, though I am not medical expert it looks like we are in for one hell of a ride.

There was as big bang about a certain painting by a white artist who has the habit of ridiculing the last ethically and morally corrupt governments we had, and currently have in South Africa.

One of his ways of ridiculing the current government was by doing an exhibition on called Hail to the Thief II, which portrayed our liberation movement and in particular, one of it’s current national leaders, who also happen to be South Africa’s president who came into power because of a few fancy dance moves, a couple of thousand T-shirts and a good PR team who knows how to play the tribalism card, how to make empty promises and to hammer the “faults” of the Apartheid system with the “sheeple”.

The Spear

Now lets not beat around the bush, South Africa’s president’s name has came up a lot of times in the past, and it was mostly due to the fact that he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar or because his trousers were on his ankles …

This is a man with an obviously colorful, yet seemingly tainted history, and anyone with half a working braincell should be able to see this, but sadly, they don’t.  The PR machine employed by the leading party who is also the in control of the Government can not allow for this to happen, so they hammer again on something which will divide the players … the RACE card.

They blew it up so much that another enterprising artist took to painting a Eugene Terreblanche painting, reading out of the Bible to his killer whom I will not name because I will not contribute in turning him into a martyr, hinting towards the possibility that Eugene sodomized the man.

I just shook my head and had a smile, because apparently this was news worthy …

My real issues are with articles like the one I am about to portray

A 1 year old black girl only got justice after 4 years because of a inept judicial system, a system which is very lenient on sadistic crimes, hate crimes and acts of barbarism.

The mother’s 22 year old boyfriend took the girl for a day, he raped her, and took her back to her mother as if nothing has happened.

And do you know what attraction it got?

72 comments after nearly 6 hours only (at the time of writing this piece) … The Spear of course drew about 300 comments in the first hour alone.

After being witness to this spectacle in the media and in human behavior over the last couple of weeks I wonder if we as a species are worth while saving, some of us are desperately clinging to the last bit of moral fiber we have left; but as a whole, do we really deserve to be the apex species on this planet?

Why is it we put so much time and effort into fighting each other over a painting, why do we fight each other over race and culture? Does it really matter when things like this is happening in society all around us?

Why are we not fighting the criminal aspect of our society?!?

I am not sure …

What I am sure of though is that I will not idly sit by and watch the world and society decay around me, I WILL strive and fight to better my immediate environment, I will carry on my spirit of Ubuntu to the next person, and that person will too better his or her immediate environment, and this chain reaction will change the world in the long run.

I do not know who you are, but if you are reading this then know this, I love you as a brother, a sister … please keep on fighting the good fight and never give up hope as I can only assume that you have been searching … this is what it means to have a purposeful driven life.

Freedom of the Press – Time to make your voices heard!

Call me a tad paranoid if you want, but it strikes me as funny that only after SH-Zuma’s political enemies were silenced, and the free press as we know it did their job in dishing out the filth on these enemies oh SH-Zuma, did a quick call come from up stairs to push the Bill through.

Because for whatever people say about Starvi Vuk, one cannot say that he is not a ice cold and calm strategist, pulling the right threads at the right time so that it would benefit him, this was clear when he pulled Potty Mouth Malama’s strings back when he needed him to oust Keeping on Walking Mbeki.

I have no doubt in my mind that this Secrecy Bill will go through, unless by some miracle it happens that some of those MP’s actually start caring for the good of South Africa as a whole, and not only to hide away their shame.

The Freedom of the Press should be protected by any means possible, because our Government can’t govern themselves into making the right choices, hence our need to all stand up and protect our right to know what the State is doing with our money, our futures and our lives.

Only a morally corrupt Government would need to curb the flow of information to keep them in power for as long as possible, so that they can leech and siphon off the “life” that was intended to better South Africa for everyone.

Hear me on this, I will not sit idly by and watch the patriarch hyena and his ilk, destroy this country.  I will intensify my push to get people across the colour divide to think critically and rationally, and I will do this in the way that I’ve always done, by sharing knowledge.

I will even sacrifice my leave days, which I could have spent with my family over the traditional family gathering time to go and protest as a middle class, taxpaying South African.

To quote Patrick Henry:
“Give me Liberty or give me Death!”

Because this morally corrupt Government who squabbles between themselves for riches, and who allows for a environment to exist where children in one of the most advanced and prosperous  countries in Africa dies of hunger, have no business governing me or anyone else!