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of hidden opportunities, Africa’s hijacking Mecca, all pasted together carefully by fraudulent and corrupt officials self trained in deception who’s records trail as far as John Cecil Rhodes rise to riches. At first, I thought I’d write a post-election update to all these tasty events that have unfolded recently in the country. As I compiled notes on president jigga, I started getting flashbacks on the historical, yet controversial big-dogs that have roamed this land since the days of uShaka til now. With all that said, in random order, I give you………...the top three. 1.Eugene Ney Terre’Blanche
Born January 31, 1941Some would define him as a South African White separatist, Boer nationalist and leader of the AWB. The story starts out in 1977 the South African government announced it was considering opening the Breyten Theatre in Pretoria (now Tswane) open to all races. Given the date and all, not a lot of people in the white crowd felt this, so indeed a lot of the white folk that believed that apartheid was appropriate got mad. A group of liberal White actors and actresses began to petition the government to open the theatre. As they circulated their petition to the White public at a Pretoria shopping mall, Eugene Terre’Blanche and 35 other AWB members confronted them. A few angry words were exchanged, Terre’Blanche and his posse got ticked off and proceeded to rip the petition papers into tiny little pieces, these events were captured on film and became known as the first “militant” action undertaken by the AWB.
On December 11th 1982 ,Terre’Blanche and 8 other AWB members were arrested by the Security Branch of the South African Police and held under the terms of the Internal Security Act (section 27 of the Act allowed for the indefinite detention without trial and was most often used for ANC operatives) after several automatic firearms, hidden in waterproof containers and buried in maize fields were recovered by the police using metal, Eugene and five others appeared at Pretoria Regional Court, charged under the Arms and Ammunition Act for illegal possession of weapons and explosives. The trial was postponed until March 24 1983, when the 6 men all plead not guilty to the following charges: possession of four AK-47 rifles with accessories, possession of 17 R1 rifle magazines, possession of a Makarov pistol and ammunition, possession of explosives (including one smoke grenade and a large quantity of tetriel explosive), and finally three tear gas canisters (Gangbanging 101).In July, 83 the trial was held, Major Terre’Blanche of the Security Branch of the police then, testified that trunks containing AK-47 parts, camouflage uniforms (illegal for private possession in Apartheid South Africa) and ammunition on a farm belongs to his brother, Andries Terre’Blanche. On November 4 1983 the Judge passed sentence on the 6 men, all of whom were convicted. Terre’Blanche was sentenced to two years imprisonment, and was suspended from active duty for five years. The presiding Judge, Mr. Van Dyck, remarked that the “community does not expect that such civilized, proper people as the accused be sent for a prison term” and found them guilty. Magistrate E.D. Wythe, of Klerksdorp Regional Court, sentenced Terre’Blanche to 1 year’s imprisonment for illegal possession of an AK-47 and to six months imprisonment for possession of 362 rounds of ammunition; both sentences were suspended for five years. In 1999, at the truth and reconciliation hearings, Terre’Blanche received amnesty for all of the above crimes.There’s been a general view that Terre’Blanche is nothing more than a malevolent old man who literally fell of his high horse and what not. Given his last three year visit to prison for the assault and attempted murders of two black men, one of which had his head banged repeatedly on a car doormovie style, while the other made the seven o’clock news for quite some time with dogs being set on him for reporting a non paying white teenage customer at the garage he was working in. Today, it has been rumored that he’d rediscovered his God, his declared racism plateau out into a more serene life experience. Since his tussle with the law, it’s been quiet in Ventersdorp quite lately, haven’t been seeing that fake Swastika anywhere for a while let alone an Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging rally anywhere, for now at least. Here’s to our mad-dog for making the list.
Mnr. Pieter Willem Botha was born on the 12th January 1916 at Paul Roux, in the Free State. This guy was known as the archetype “kragdadige” Afrikaner and a worthy successor to John Vorster, whom he replaced as prime minister in the wake of the information scandal in late 1978. He was also commonly recognised as die groot krokodil “ the big crocodile “, and came up with the phrases “Total Onslaught” and “Total Strategy” to justify the knocking out of protestors to suppress growing black resistance to white-only rule. His claim to power started around 1943 and 1945, while a World War against fascism raged, where he self elected himself to serve on the party special committee of inquiry into Coloured affairs. Although he had been involved with the right-wing Ossewabrandwag (”Oxwagon Sentinel”), which was a nationalist Afrikaner organisation in South Africa, founded in Bloemfontein on February 4, 1939. It opposed South African entry into World War II on the British side, because of South Africa’s fight for independence from British rule (Second Boer War) and created a paramilitary group called Stormjaers (’storm chasers’), modelled on the Nazi SA (”Storm division”), which carried out sabotage against Jan Smuts’s government. He broke away from it in August 1941 over policy and still managed to escape conviction. Botha now returned to the pen and as Union Information officer headed the party’s propaganda and publicity drive, he was later elected MP for George in the landslide that brought the NP to power and made DF Malan prime minister. He stayed in office until 1984: a total of 36 years during which - as a “good constituency man” - he
promoted the town’s development with unflagging resolve. HF Verwoerd, the prime minister, appointed him Deputy Minister of the Interior in October 1958 where part of his job was enforcing some of the more odious Apartheid laws, the Group Areas Act which divided the masses into groups that still somewhat exist today. He was elevated to full minister with the portfolio Community Development and Coloured Affairs in 1961, during which was responsible for the destruction of District Six and the displacement of its people to what is now the Cape Flats during his tenure and the total destruction of what used to be Sophiatown (now believed to be Sandton).He also served ex officio on the State security Council and regularly visited the operational area in northern South-West Africa (now Namibia) during which, kept South Africans in the dark about Operation Savannah, the at-first secret South African involvement in Angola in the wake of the collapse of Portuguese colonial rule - which he had convinced cabinet to endorse his white supremacy ideas. The whole country first found out about the event through the foreign media (since he had his clutches on local broadcasting). Soon whites-only national service would be the law of the land for a straight two years until coloureds and then blacks would don ?army browns? to defend his rule to little avail, he then remained Prime Minister six years, during which time he tweaked his Apartheid brainchild, bringing in a new “Constitutional dispensation” which would elevate him to executive State President and enfranchise Coloureds as well as Indians in their own, separate and unequal parliaments. Blacks would remain foreigners on their own land - all still being considered citizens of Bantustans. Botha duly became State President in September 1984 but the elections to fill the racial parliaments - which many in the Coloured and Indian communities did not want - triggered a new wave of violent resistance to continued white control and saw the rise of the United Democratic Front. He then implemented Total Onslaught? upon the country’s brown people. South Africa now became increasingly militarised as the State, which Botha now controlled, implemented its answer to what was advertised as an allout godless, communist attack on the last bastion of Western values in Africa: the Total Strategy Mad dog ain’t he? Violence begot violence and South Africa’s townships would burn for the rest of his tenure. He then started another plan to calm things down by attempts at making Apartheid less inhumane where his government introduced a common identity document in 1986, abolishing the hated “dompas” or pass (the thickest ID book you?ve ever seen which every black person previously had to carry at all times) and lifted the ban on mixed marriages. The country’s financial position had also deteriorated by then, the inflation rate was crippling the economy and unemployment had assumed massive proportions, further stimulating township discontent, which emergency powers, repeatedly invoked in the late 1980’s to crush political dissent, could barely control, the cookie started crumbling .
Business, the press and diplomats were rudely disillusioned that the much heralded speech would auger in further reforms. Instead of toning things down, he publicly turned his back on change and with his famous wagging finger - berated the world, telling them not to “push us too far” and to do their worst, talk about power drunk. His challenge was accepted: Business confidence plummeted, disinvestment became epidemic and unrest worsened as organized resistance to state repression grew soon it threatening to get out of control. Botha suffered a light stroke on January 18, 1989 and was hospitalized for a few days and started having to fight for his job, since the other members of the NP started seeing the reality of the country’s financial and world acclaim at hand clearer. He was succeeded as leader of the NP by FW De Klerk, then National Education minister and Transvaal leader, who fought off a determined challenge by Botha’s favorite, Finance Minister Barend du Plessis. He continued to cling to the presidency, but the tension between him and De Klerk came to a head with a public dispute over whether Minister of Foreign Affairs Pik Botha had advised the President of a proposed visit to Zambia by De Klerk. Then finally, at a caucus meeting on August 14, 1989, Botha was asked to resign, and De Klerk became acting State President the next day. Under Botha’s rule more than 20 000 blacks were killed and/or imprisoned, this security forces fomented black-on-black violence by supplying arms to rival factions, blew up church property where radicals met and even bombed countries that harbored the African National Congress. The coming of democracy, in 1994, did briefly give him trouble, in the shape of Archbishop Desmond Tutu: his sworn nemesis - and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission - a new one. Botha took a dim view of its search for truth and reconciliation, famously calling it a “circus”. Instead of providing written answers to questions, he publicly shunned the commission, refusing to appear before it to the point of rather preferring the box in the George magistrate’s court, where he was convicted in 1998, at age 82, of holding the commission in contempt and was fined, but successfully appealed both conviction and sentence in the Cape High Court. A tribute came from an unexpected quarter in late 1999, when thenrecently retired president Nelson Mandela told a SABC television programme that Botha as well as De Klerk had played a “critical role” in the peaceful transition of South Africa to non-racial democracy. A career politician, he then retired, a bitter man, mad dog of allsorts retired to the appropriately named Wilderness, a resort town outside George along the southern Cape coast. He then died later on at 90, his hobbies included reading and - when younger - horse-riding, small
game hunting and walking. Another mad-dog put down.
Aka uMsholozi, aka JZ, aka S.A’s very own OJ, aka your president where do I begin? Born to a family of poor farmers in KwaZulu-Natal, Mr. Zuma grew up as a herdsman who received no formal schooling and gained an education only after joining the ANC at 17. Much of which came during his incarceration at Robben Island, where he spent 10 years as a prisoner alongside Nelson Mandela and other leaders.
Released in 1974, was given a position in the party to be head of ANC intelligence. After apartheid was dismantled in the early 1990s, ANC’s leaders were then allowed to enter into open politics, uMsholozi was one of its most prized assets, an affable operator who read people well and rapidly and instinctively knew how to deal with them. He was a natural choice to negotiate between the ANC and the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom party after violent clashes threatened civil war. And after his ally Thabo Mbeki took over the ANC leadership from an ageing Madiba in 1997, Mr. Zuma seemed a logical deputy, little did he know this was to be his first self afflicted tumor. Difficulties were about to begin for uMsholozi, however. He was part of a government that in 1999 opted to spend more than R30bn on stateof-the-art ships, fighter aircraft and other weaponry, talk about reckless spending. Schabir Shaik, a long-time associate, was key decision maker to most of the transactions setting up local companies that helped one successful supplier and made sure that Mr. Zuma derived financial benefits. After a long trial Mr. Shaik was in 2005 sentenced to 15 years in prison for soliciting bribes and other payments for Zuma, who was sacked a few days later. Legal proceedings on corruption charges followed afterwards. A family friend then accused Zuma who has four wives of rape during which he was still head of the country’s AIDS council. Apart from his idiotic statements that gave him a permanently hanging shower nozzle on his head, was cleared but it emerged in court that he had engaged in unprotected sex even though he knew his much younger partner to be HIV positive, a morally catastrophic admission for a public figure in a country suffering an Aids epidemic. Zuma possibly still faces legal action over the arms deal allegations but the affair has become twisted in a web of political in-fighting, triggered by a growing rift between Zuma and then president Mbeki that resulted in a public showdown between the two, resulting in Mr. Mbeki’s sacking as president. Mbeki had been constantly under fire by Zuma supporters throughout his term. Although his economic policies promised stability and growth, trade unionists and many on the left of the ANC argued that too little was being done to improve the lot of the poor. Supporters of Mr. Zuma liked his friendliness, due to his psychological charm. They were ready to dismiss the corruption and rape charges as politically motivated and believed Mr. Zuma had benefited less from the arms deal than other leaders. Late in 2007 the party voted to elect him as its leader. In September 2008, a judge ruled that the state’s corruption case against Zuma was politically motivated, prompting the ANC to ask Mr. Mbeki to leave several months ahead of the end of his scheduled term.
That in turn caused the most important division in the organization for half a century, with Mbeki supporters and other dissidents forming a new party, COPE (congress of the people). Jeremy Gordin, a senior South African journalist, shows there is another side to the Zuma story, in his judgments on the moral issues, suggesting that having discovered that Zuma and his posse (Schabir Shaik, Jack Selebi, and Julius Malema e.t.c.) have feet of clay and we forget that they fought hard in a bitter struggle against the apartheid system?. In November 2008, ex-President Mbeki was said to have meddled in the prosecution of Mr. Zuma then early 2009 Appeals court overturned Judge Nicholson’s ruling, opening the way for Mr. Zuma’s trial to be resumed, just months before general elections. South Africa’s chief prosecutor, Mokotedi Mpshe (who was recently exposed of plagiarizing his final ruling in the case) later announced in may 2009, that charges against Mr. Zuma are being dropped after phone-tap evidence showed there had been political interference in the investigation and it was “neither possible nor desirable” to prosecute Mr. Zuma he then won the national elections. Just another day in South Africa? I seriously doubt it. One of the best quotes come from daily dispatch journalist, Tim Cohen who wrote in the Daily Dispatch that the NPA decision shows us that the dream of South Africa having a special claim to the moral high ground is dead and quoted saying. We can claim no special place, no special rights, no special privileges. We are no longer miracle workers, just another grubby participant in the carnival of global politics, subject to base desires, enduring of haughty leaders, ever hopeful of finding just one decent person to carry our banner. Never before has the true nature of the South African State been so obvious, so plainly laid open to public view and so revealing for what it is. Much as we pretend otherwise, the hard truth is we live in a quasi-totalitarian State. And the rules that apply to single-party dominant States apply to us, too, though we pretend they don’t?. A corrupt careerist, a veteran womanizer and a puppet of the left whose trademark song is ?Bring me my machine gun?: Jacob Zuma, the leader of South Africa’s governing African National Congress and the country’s next president, has earned a most unfortunate reputation which makes me wonder what he has next in store for all of us. Here’s to president mad dog for making the list.
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