There is a lot’s of Members of Parliament, lots of cabinets and governments with Ministers smiling and making nonsense claims or laws for quick popularity instead of long-term care of their citizens. That is why I write today, because this is international issue, where did the honorable elected person who actually gives a damn go? Do they hide in cave in Afghanistan or is it in tiny local council in Dublin? I just have to ask as the assets and the capital are spoilt, bent or betrayed by the same persons who are supposed to represent us. First let me explain what a Statesman is… and be clear this is not done in my words.
Meriam Webster says this: “a usually wise, skilled, and respected government leader” (Meriam Webster). Another dictionary says this: “a man who is a respected leader in national or international affairs” (Vocabulary). Some qualities many people agree that a Statesman should have is: “Principles”, “A Moral Compass”, “A Vision” and “The ability to build a consensus to achieve that vision” (McKay, 2012).
With that in mind you have a lot of expectation of a man or woman to be respected and qualities in the leadership from the person. There are not easy being resourceful, have the ability to govern and become respected. The ability and skills comes from the person and the respect. The respect comes from the ones the statesmen actually govern and international community.
The statesmen isn’t like the Members of Parliament (MPs) and Ministers of our day. There might be a few exceptions but our society is so quick and so microwaved. The news and the decisions are taken out of nowhere. What is worrying is how the multi-national companies (Like Royal Shell, Amazon, Monsanto and others) and multi-national organizations (World Health Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund). That together with International trade and Unions (NAFTA, European Union, ASEAN); who keeps forging the sovereign nations under siege by trade-regulations and the restrictions on the nations who complies with laws they set.
This here is with all of this in mind together with the endless cycles of elections that the politicians have in mind. The initial issues with the access to the media as the live-TV and debates, together with Social Media and even radio programs; there are these where their legacy and character are on display, together with the initial reporting on what they are doing in their councils or parliament. The Politicians have aspects as they supposed to be loyal to the party organization and also to the constituency.
The people who read the papers, the articles, listen to the radio and watch TV are the ones that will discuss these politicians and vote for them. They are the ones responsible for their existence if they are real elections then the ballot will pick the men and be tallied right. If they are rigged in and selected by a committee or an Executive, then they never will be statesmen; as they never have the moral compass to even show respect to the ones they represent.
An initial position for them is supposed to be the Representatives of the citizens or the constituency. These people who are supposed be leaders and take decisions where the end-game are supposed to be for the better for the citizens and constituency. In our time, the MPs and the Politicians are more into their own career and their own capital than the ones they are supposed be there for. Many of them could just been lobbyist and work for corporations instead of the chambers where they represent a district or a county.
When it is like this with the bottom-line is their own personal wealth instead of the moral judgement, when the words portrayed and pledges given are for fitting the times and popular judgement of the times instead of longevity of the constituency and nation. That is what is missing. So few politicians of our time is gambling their career for the common good or the care of their constituency; with that in mind the level of trust between politicians and the people are low.
The low trust is because politicians are not who supposed to be, they are either biased by the structures over them like the European Union or the Multi-National Companies who are controlling their judgement. The judgement and the laws set to regulate the actions of the Politicians are altered as they are usually the ones that set the standard and are the lawmakers in the Nations. That is why they need to be men of vision and moral capacity to create a consensus with others; this is because it is also agreed upon by the other parties and also with the other people who elected them.
Now that I have the bar; take shot and sit down. I have already black-balled a generation as we have inherited this, the parliament didn’t sit there all of sudden, as much as the books we have in our libraries with common knowledge didn’t happen to jump into the houses. All of this got created over time and with capacity and tender hesitation of what we wish for. This is because we as citizens have to take more care of the parties and politicians around us, as they are a reflection of our societies and the ground-level we all build. We cannot be bushwhacked by strangers, we have to make sure the policies and a law they creates is the ones that are accepted.
Because a true statesmen are the ones that makes a mark on our time; the ones that are not a politician who are just popular, but will be remembered for making the decisions that maybe was hard at the time, but on the long-term making sure that the nation and constituency got better or made progress. That is why we have politicians, they are not there to be kings and queens, be lords and honorable men who think they can run us naturally. Certainly they cannot, they are there because of us; if they do not serve us and they are not useful for us.
What I miss as I see in a Statesmen, is not take the popular decisions or the one in the time, but the ones who are there now is more politicians who thinks more about polls and elections cycles, than being about the people they represent. That they are pressured by the Multi-National Companies and International Organizations who putting pressure on them as well, but they shouldn’t bend backwards for these, as they doesn’t represent Brussels or Coca-Cola, but they represent their constituency.
I want a politician I can remember for having the balls to think about how the decisions will be remembered in 20 years and if it will be setting the standard for the ones after him/her. That is a statesman, who is somebody who actually cares about the real future, not next election cycle, not only the persons own career and also the clarity of the ramifications of their acts as representatives. So with this in mind, do you feel the same or am walking alone in this tabloid world of quick headlines and quick careers; instead of building nations and being gentlemen of the board and take charge of what is left of it. Peace.
Meriam Webster ‘statesman’ link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/statesman
McKay, Brett & Kay – ‘The 4 Qualities of a True Statesman’ (30.01.2012) link: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/01/30/the-4-qualities-of-a-true-statesman/
Vocabulary – ‘Statesman’ link: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/statesman
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.
THE Civil Society Organizations Reference Group (CSORG), Inter Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK), and the National Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs Council) are perturbed by a statement released by the NGOs Co-ordination Board to the media to the effect that jointly with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning; the Board has submitted proposed amendments to the Public Benefits Organizations (PBO) Act, 2013 to the National Assembly.
EQUALLY disturbing is the claim in the statement that the Task Force on the Proposed Amendments to the PBO Act recommended that the law be amended before its operationalization.
WE wish to state that the overarching recommendation of the Task Force as indeed the overwhelming views collected from stakeholders and the general public is that the 2013 Act be implemented without any further delay considering that it was debated, approved and enacted into law by retired President H.E. Mwai Kibaki on January 14, 2013.
Indeed, in all the public hearings that the Task Force conducted throughout the country, all presentations and memoranda submitted by the various stakeholders were unanimous that only immediate implementation of the Act will help consolidate the gains that Kenyans have made in the exercise of their constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of expression, association and participation in the management of public affairs.
In addition to having representation in the Task Force, The CSORG attended and documented on video and audio ALL its regional and stakeholder meetings apart from a meeting with Members of National Assembly. The CSORG has developed a shadow report based on this documentary evidence. The report demonstrates an overwhelming majority of Kenyans asking for the commencement of the Act without any amendments.
IT is quite telling that while the NGOs Coordination Board went out of its way to enumerate some of the organizations that were represented in the Hon. Sophia Abdi Task Force on the Proposed Amendments to the PBO Act, the Executive Director of the NGOs Coordination Board, Fazul Mohammed found it convenient not to point out that he was the representative of the Board in the Task Force as an interested party and, as such, lost the moral ground to spearhead the implementation of the Act that has been unnecessarily delayed for more than two years.
One of the cardinal values and principles of governance articulated in Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that binds all State organs, including State and Public Officers of who the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Hon. Anne Waiguru and the NGOs Coordination Board Executive Director Fazul Mohammed are an integral part is accountability.
YET despite the clarity of such constitutional ethos of governance, the Cabinet Secretary has once again chosen not to be guided by the obviously compelling right of the public whose resources were spent on the Task Force to make the report public, in complete and arrogant defiance of Article 35 on the right of the public and stakeholders to information.
The CSORG, IRCK, and the NGO Council wish to point out that right from the time of their appointments, the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning and the Executive Director of the NGOs Coordination Board have acted with such impunity against the civil society as though they are above the law, including the supreme law of the land.
A case in point is the obtaining situation at the NGOs Coordination Board where the term of all Directors save for that of the Executive Director expired in March 2015 yet Fazul Mohammed has the audacity to claim that the “Board reviewed the Task Force Report and recommendations and has since forwarded the proposed amendments to the Attorney General and the Clerk of the National Assembly for inclusion in the Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2015”.
Mr. Fazul Mohammed owes the public an explanation as to who else, other than himself, sat in the Board that “reviewed the Task Force report and its recommendations and forwarded the proposed amendments to the AG and the Clerk of the National Assembly for inclusion in the Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2015”. His eloquence when deregistering NGOs for not abiding by “due process” is not matched by due diligence when he purports to be executing decisions of a board that does not exist!
It is the position of the CSORG, IRCK, and the NGOs Council that any decisions that the NGOs Coordination Board has made after the expiry of the term of the Board, including the alleged deregistration of some NGOs, are null and void as it is only the Board that is mandated by the law to make public policy decisions.
The letter and spirit of the NGO Coordination Act of 1990 that established the NGO Coordination Board did not envisage the situation now obtaining at the Board, where one man – Fazul Mohammed sits with the Secretariat and claims that whatever decision is made at such staff meeting is a decision of the Board. There cannot be a Board without directors and Fazul Mohammed should be aware that whatever decisions he claims to have been made by the Board are challengeable in Court.
WE, THE CSORG, IRCK, and the NGOs Council wish to reiterate our demand that the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning comes out of her self-constructed cocoon of impunity and make the report of the Task Force on the Proposed Amendments to the PBO Act public.
It is only through the immediate commencement of the Public Benefits Organizations Act without unwarranted State-instigated amendments that the civil society can consolidate the gains and deepen its collaboration and respectful partnership with the government in serving the public. Immediate implementation of the law will also go a long way in unshackling the NGOs Coordination Board from the current shenanigans and the one-man show that it has become after the expiry of the term of its previous Board of Directors.
Here is clips from what DA Mmusi Maimane is adressing:
And Malema adress in the aftermath:
16 January 2015
The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) notes with disgust, the suggestions and proposals; made by some representatives of Big Business and Capital, such as Barclays Bank, and by some political parties, such as the Democratic Alliance (DA); for our Government to consider embarking on Privatization of State-owned Enterprises, at the back of ESKOM’s electricity delivery challenges as a justification.
We wish to reject such suggestions and proposals with contempt they deserve and regard those as nothing but blackmailing program to the Government to privatize those critical assets to the highest or even lowest bidder from the ranks of private sector.
We call on our Government to employ a professionally-based yet development-mandate program to get ESKOM and, certainly several more of the State-owned Enterprises (SOEs), back into shape for a continued role as an enabler and catalyst for economic development and delivery of basic needs to the people.
Therefore, FAWU will not accept any attempt, even an inch of such a move, to privatise those SOEs and doing so will be regarded as a sell-out policy offensive against the clarion call of a radical phase of the transition and to the agenda of a radical socio-economic transformation in eradicating poverty, substantially reducing inequalities and creating full employment with decent jobs.
If anything, FAWU will mobilize for a, or be part of any, rolling mass action that is likely to unfold from the working class formations and communities.
The R86 billion could easily be achieved through a re-introduction of a progressive taxation system and the increased taxes to the rich than through sale of shares in companies owned by the State.
We hope our government will ignore such calls and, instead, embark on fiscal expansionism by raising taxes for the rich individuals and to the corporates so as to mobilise resources needed to support SOEs, to roll-out both social and economic infrastructure and to deliver basic services to and/or meet basic needs of the people.
For more information feel free to contact the FAWU General Secretary, Katishi Masemola at 082 467 2509
FAWU General Secretary