Shareholders in the Rainbow Company:
Shareholders in the Rainbow Company:
There are these days when the ripple effect of one single vote, of one single event and change that makes such a big difference, not only locally but also internationally. There are these days that have come and gone. One of those days we’re the majority of the United Kingdom citizens vote to ‘Leave’ the EU on the 23rd June 2016. It could been anticipated as the fear of immigrations, the years of fear-mongering and hatred for the control of legal and regulatory affairs happening in chambers of Commission and Bureaucracies in Brussels. While the Conservative Party and Liberal-Democratic Party, together with the Opposition party Labour was all for the ‘Remain’, the government went on all cylinders with arrogance expecting that the numbers and the humanity, solidarity and the European idea would be already installed in the British population.
The reactions on the remain side have been blasting as well, as the Shadow Cabinet of Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party, have either been sacked by Corbyn or they have resigned. Right before that, the Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned as Executive and also as the Party Leader of the Conservative Party. Also the Scottish have reacted as they in the late Independence Vote, voted to remain in the UK as they knew they would have a secure in the European Union. So that the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon. She have reassured the Scottish public that because of this they will see into a new Independence Vote for Scotland, as they want to be directly part of the EU and be a Member State.
While the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage have had his best days in his life, he has the smug face when he was saying the day after that the numbers of people voted to get control and the money back from the EU; while he now moments after regress those statements as he knows that the millions of quid’s will not be reversed directly back to access the austerity.
He said it in this brutal way:
“No, I can’t and I would never have made that claim – it was one of the mistakes that the Leave campaign made” (…)”It wasn’t one of my adverts. I think they made a mistake. They made a mistake in doing that” (…) “We have a £10 billion a year, £34 million day featherbed – that is going to be free money we can spend on the NHS, or schools, or whatever it is.” (Dunne, John & Micklethwaithe, 24.06.2016). So the buses with ‘£350 million a week back to the NHS if they left the EU’… so quickly the words of right-wing politicians change their tune. It’s like their promises and words vanish into thin air.
While Boris Johnson the other leader who wants to coup d’état the Conservative Party and become the coming PM, he trying to change his rhetoric and sound more sane and act as a politician and not a megaphone for the fears of immigrations and job-losses for British citizens as he have proclaimed for months.
Therefore Boris Johnson all of sudden wrote this: “It is said that those who voted Leave were mainly driven by anxieties about immigration. I do not believe that is so. After meeting thousands of people in the course of the campaign, I can tell you that the number one issue was control – a sense that British democracy was being undermined by the EU system, and that we should restore to the people that vital power: to kick out their rulers at elections, and to choose new ones” (…) “We should be incredibly proud and positive about the UK, and what it can now achieve. And we will achieve those things together, with all four nations united. We had one Scotland referendum in 2014, and I do not detect any real appetite to have another one soon; and it goes without saying that we are much better together in forging a new and better relationship with the EU – based on free trade and partnership, rather than a federal system” (…) “There is every cause for optimism; a Britain rebooted, reset, renewed and able to engage with the whole world. This was a seismic campaign whose lessons must be learnt by politicians at home and abroad” (Johnson, Boris, 26.06.2016 – ‘I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe – and always will be’ – Daily Telegraph).
So while Boris Johnson thinks he can be giant brute of English man and toy around with the Scots as they have done for 300 years, the reality of the Scottish wish to remain comes to surface as the Scottish voted over 60 % to remain and their leader have also spoken her peace to the world, which does counter Johnson and her words.
This is the words from the First Minster Nicola Sturgeon: “Looking at it from a logical perspective, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be that requirement” (…) “I suspect that the UK government will take a very different view on that and we’ll have to see where that discussion ends up” (…) “If the Scottish Parliament was judging this on the basis of what’s right for Scotland then the option of saying look we’re not to vote for something that’s against Scotland’s interest, of course that’s got to be on the table” (…) “Ultimately it is parliament’s decision whether we repeal the 1972 European Communities Act or whether we don’t” (…) “Well I don’t know if that will be possible but what I am determined to do is to explore all possible options to give effect to how people in Scotland voted and to protect Scotland’s interests, to avoid us being taken out of the European Union against our will with all of the deeply damaging and painful consequences that that will entail” (…) “I am not starting from the premise of saying it has got to be independence, I am starting from the premise of what do we need to do to protect Scotland’s interests but if it does appear to be obvious that the only way we can protect Scotland’s interests is by looking again at independence then that’s an option that Scotland has to have” (Gardham, Magnus, 26.06.2016 – ‘Nicola Sturgeon: Holyrood could block Brexit’ – Herald Scotland).
So already now can see the stalemate between Holyrood and the Whitehall of London, as Boris Johnson is not in sync with the feeling across the border where the Scottish is unsure of their place little more isolated from the European Union. Though Nigel Farage haven’t commented directly because he just wanted the islands independent, but not knowing to what extent; while the ‘Leave’ campaign doesn’t seem to clearly know the terms and the negotiations, as they have not even cleared the message of the axing the Union.
So here is some brief words on the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty of 2007 and got ratified in 2009. Says this:
“A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament” (…) “he Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period” (Lisbon-Treaty.org).
Without with that in mind, with the crisis in the Labour Party and the Opposition that haven’t been in while, also the Conservative Party where the ‘Brexit regime’ or Brexit Government would be put in place. As they will recharge for a new government who will work on the Brexit and clear the negotiations with the EU, while Jean-Claude Juncker wanted it happen swiftly and also other wanted to make sure it happens quickly, while certain pundits think that the EU Commission and EU Parliament would give them the Greece Treatment where the punishment and economic transgression could be harsh for the British Islands and United Kingdom, as the EU want to set an example, to make sure the other countries does not leave Union.
With that in mind the Londoners have also reacted to, as the financial center of United Kingdom and the capital, who overwhelmingly voted to remain, are strictly economically connected with EU and Brussels, as they have the same feeling as the Scottish and even Northern Island, that are trading and exporting to the EU. Just as the Stock Exchange also still reeling: “The FTSE 100 index UKX, -1.24% dropped 0.6% to 6,105.76, building on 3.2% slide from Friday.” (Sjolin, Sara, 27.06.2016 ‘FTSE 100 slides as Brexit continues to spook traders’ – Market Watch).
Certainly the numbers are going up and down, over time they will be clearly when there is leadership certainty on the islands, when the Government, the Shadow Cabinet and the Scottish and Northern Ireland have made their mind up. This together with the possibility of two year long negotiations with the Union to clear the regulations, the status of affairs and the trade-agreement with the European Continent.
While the EU programs in Wales are in jeopardy after the Brexit vote, the nation in the UK who together with England voted majority for the ‘Leave. They have put themselves into a pickle, even if the MPs from Wales haven’t gone out as the Scottish or Northern Ireland to reassess the situation. The EU Programs in question is the Erasmus Program, Horizon 2020, CAP to Farmers and Structural Funds under 2014-2020, all of these programs are giving substantial funds to Welsh public and Welsh government institutions. This is only in Wales; we can be assured that there are programs supported through the EU in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well. That no coffers in the British Virgin Island (BVI) can save in a heartbeat.
That both campaigns seemed to be wrong in the attitude, xenophobia or the scaremongering of defaulting economic prospects as they would leave the Union. That is now proof that there are many questions and many things to clear, as the table are now turning, the cards are played and the people have to react to the result of the vote. Brexit have created a leadership questioning both in government and opposition, as the Labour Party are in shambles as the negative result is used to topple Jeremy Corbyn, while the Conservative Party trying to find their way as the result hit the face of Cameron with an iron fist. The reality is that the mourning of the ‘Remain’ side, just have to stop and the ‘Leave’ side have to be humble, as they have address the new reality and fix the stalemate between the EU and United Kingdom.
Because this will be a saga continuing for two years or longer depending on when they hit the button and start the transition, actually apply for the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Those who thinks this is just nationalism and xenophobia, this is so much more as the ones who have waited for the crippling EU to run, will see their status unsecured. While the ability to agree on the free-trade and the common-market opportunity and still being on the outside of the Union.
The UK, will be turmoil as the strength of the leadership and the fallouts will come forward, the plans to topple the leadership positions and also reaffirming old squabbles just with fresh blood as the Scottish, Northern-Ireland and London even questioning their place as an outsider to Brussels, while the England and Wales voted gladly for the Union. The Remain voters have to live side by side the ones who votes for Leave. The question is how the psychology of the economic market and the acts of European Union Commission. If they will make an example of them or be gentlemen from Central Europe, as Jean-Claude Juncker have not acted gentleman or talked in a fashion of aggression, as he was himself slapped in the face; the Brexit is a bullet to the European Union that he leads, the Luxembourgian who’s pride have to fall and give way to the will of the British people. If the European Union is a peace project and not just a powerful bureaucracy than they have to be gentle and act accordingly, but if they want to fragment Europe more and play hardball with UK Gov. than they certainly will give more way to the Right-Wing nationalistic forces in Europe, instead of finding ways to bring unity of the continent. European Union with this in mind with the current rising of the nationalistic movements and xenophobic fear for the immigrants and the current economic austerity that are hitting the continent and can be either a gift or curse.
So with all of this in mind, the European Union, the Government of United Kingdom and the British MPs and British bureaucracy have to take steps in negotiations and agreements with the EU, while becoming an outsider to the Brussels, the EU should show character if they are really an organization for European peace and unity, not just their own agenda to control the Continent or be a statutory organization that the people might respect. There are reasons others then border-control, immigrations and economy for why the English and Welsh in majority voted to ‘Leave’, for the simple reason of getting the decisions made from Whitehall instead of Brussels. That is something the EU have to think about because the same feeling might be in Madrid, Lisbon, Rome or anywhere else where the nationalistic and right-wing politicians will use the poor display of EU towards the Brexit, will fuel the fire for yet another separation. Peace.
Following the wave of decolonial rage incited and ignited by the #RhodesMustFall movement, we have been consistently misunderstood, misrepresented, silenced and intimidated by wolves in sheep’s clothing- the colonial institutions we are learning to deconstruct.
In the shadow of the anniversary of the massacre of Marikana, #RhodesMustFall will relentlessly drive forward the project of decolonisation to its logical conclusion. The University of Cape Town, as an integral part of the machinery of colonialism, is deeply implicated in the events of Marikana, and we are here, if only to break that machinery into pieces.
The massacre of Marikana lies at the center of the problem of South Africa. The collusion of the state and white monopoly capital has not been clearer since the negotiated settlement that formed the nightmare that is contemporary South Africa- the ‘new’ dispensation.
On Thursday, August 16th, South African Police Services killed 34 protesters at a platinum mine, owned by the Lonmin company, and located in a town called Marikana. This display of police brutality was targeted at protestors who were fighting for a living wage.
The tragedy of this expression of state violence must be historicised and contextualised. In amidst the nuances and contradictions of the details of the massacre, the #RhodesMustFall movement echoes the call to target the roots of the tree, and by the roots, we explicitly refer to the violence of a) South Africa, b) the state, and c) it’s police, as an underpinning and unholy trinity of our nation’s (dys)function.
As a movement standing for the notion that ‘Rhodes’- as a symbol of the colonial situation of our nation- must fall, it is with bittersweet irony that we discover that the London Stock Exchange listed company, Lomnin, was a former division of the company known as LonRho (London Rhodes).
Without decolonisation, these structures will continue to demolish post-1994 reforms as they move forward with their colonial objectives. In the words of the revolutionary, Frantz Fanon, we remember –
“Colonialism hardly ever exploits the whole of a country. It contents itself with bringing to light the natural resources, which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the mother country’s industries, thereby allowing certain sectors of the colony to become relatively rich. But the rest of the colony follows its path of under-development and poverty, or at all events, sinks into it more deeply.”
So what does this have to do with UCT?”
#RhodesMustFall, as we have articulated since our inception, has identified the University of Cape Town as amongst the key spaces and institutions that uphold the criminal status quo in which we find ourselves today. Through the legacy of the likes of Cecil John Rhodes, we have endeavoured to dig up the thinly veiled web of wealth, domination and violence that UCT has continuously benefitted from since its establishment.
In this, our next phase, we vow to hold the university accountable for its relationship to the unending violence against black bodies in Azania. It is an open secret that the University of Cape Town has, for several years, invested millions in mining corporations, in particular, Lonmin, through its retirement annuities. This has remained unchanged since the tragedy of Marikana.
We therefore encourage the public to work collectively in requesting the financial records of this institution because in moving forward, transparency is key.
The enormous financial contributions made by the mining sector to the university have, of course, come at a cost. The impact on knowledge production is most visceral in the engineering, economics and politics departments who house many programmes that propagate a neo-liberal conception of development and society that does little more than prepare them for careers and professions that exist to preserve the status quo and generate white monopoly capital. We note with disdain the particular deficiencies in the UCT economics department that has been established as a factory for the kinds of uncritical capitalistic thinking that will ensure that the events of Marikana will be repeated.
And of this we are certain:
Without decolonisation, Marikana will happen again.
As a self-avowed elite institution, UCT has garnered and fostered close relationships with multinational corporations who arrive at our doorstep with Trojan horses at career fairs, and on our donor acknowledgement boards. Many UCT graduates are granted safe passage into these organisations, while during education as students, are structurally and violently denied the information and history of the ground upon which they stand. The consequence is the repeated misdirection of potential skill, energy and passion away from the benefit of the majority of South Africans and toward the ends of white monopoly capital.
To further demonstrate the complicity of the ivory tower of UCT, we call to attention the presence of Judge Iam Farlam, the chair of the Marikana inquiry commission, on the university council. The #RhodesMustFall movement calls for the immediate removal of Judge Ian Farlam from council. This arises firstly out of a conflict of interest, as evidenced by the connections between Lonmin and UCT, but crucially as a response to the conclusions drawn by Judge Farlam in his report as highlighted below:
“The evidence shows -(a) that the tragic events at Marikana are rooted in widespread labour disputes in the area, particularly, at Lonmin’s Karee mine and at the nearby Impala Platinum Mine (‘Implats’) which were characterized by violence, intimidation and loss of life and the undermining of agreed collective bargaining processes; and (b) that the tragic events that occurred during the period 12 to 16 August 2012 originated from the decision and conduct of the strikers in embarking on an unprotected strike and in enforcing the strike by violence and intimidation, using dangerous weapons for the purpose”.
The conclusion listed above clearly places the root responsibility of the escalation of Marikana’s violence onto a disinherited black working class, which itself chooses to overlook the continual violence of the establishment of the mines themselves, and their historical role in the class formation and racialisation of African peoples. This is a tragedy of devastating gendered consequence, but this truth is unsurprisingly invisibilised by the power structure whose mobility is reliant on constructed and upheld ‘black dysfunction’.
Judge Ian Farlam failed to hold to account the state’s involvement in the massacre of Marikana and failed to identify the root of the violence that resulted in the murder of 34 mine workers. His decision and participation in this case must be problematised, as he sits on a governance structure that makes financial decisions regarding investments of Lomnin, (amongst others) the company involved in, and criminally complicit in this case.
The #RhodesMustFall collective reminds the UCT community in particular, that we are presently participating in the exploitation of our own workers. The struggle of the workers here is no different to those at Marikana. They demand a decent living wage of R10 500, as outsourced workers who are struggling for dignity, as they continue to prop up a university that celebrates its position as ‘the top in Africa’. We understand it as one whose ‘success’ lies purely in its upholding of the status quo.
#RhodesMustFall demand the immediate renaming of the Jameson Memorial Hall to Marikana Memorial Hall, the removal of Judge Ian Farlam from council, a statement from the Vice Chancellor condemning the massacre, and the report and submission of a dossier detailing UCT’s relationship to mining corporations in Southern Africa.