Pots and kettles

I often run into former South Africans and Zimbabweans who complain about the current government of those two countries. There is much to criticise – but this is too much:

Mr. Zuma was elected president in 2009, and soon he began to seize personal control of important state institutions by appointing loyalists to lead them. Those under his control include the National Prosecuting Authority, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (better known as the “Hawks,” South Africa’s version of the FBI), the intelligence services, and possibly even the new Public Protector, or state ombudsman. 

These institutions are now routinely abused to harass Mr. Zuma’s opponents and protect his corrupt friends and allies. Parliament has all too often been an uncritical rubber stamp for his policies. Legislators have failed to exercise proper oversight to prevent corrupt practices.

Now I have no doubt this criticism is correct. But the complainant is F.W. de Klerk.  Now F.W. himself was not actually a war-criminal and I’m sure he never personally killed anybody. But … he was a senior minister in a government that did actually kill people, that did commit crimes against humanity. David Webster, for example, a social anthropologist at the University of the Witwatersrand,  Johannesburg was assassinated in his front garden while de Klerk was leader of the National Party and de facto leader of South Africa (P.W. Botha at that stage had suffered a stroke and was on his way out).  He and his co-conspirators managed to negotiate amnesty for themselves in the wash-up.

So F.W. carrying on about evil, bad, corrupt government is a bit too much for my liking.  Subverting the institutions of civil society – now who did the ANC learn that from?

 

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75 Responses to Pots and kettles

  1. C.L.

    These [justice and intelligence] institutions are now routinely abused to harass Mr. Zuma’s opponents and protect his corrupt friends and allies.

    Sounds uncannily like the Obama administration vis-a-vis Donald Trump.

  2. Dr Fred Lenin

    What Zumba is doing is one of the dangers of having politicians as president. Who is to say the same would happen under a ruddbull/shorten left elitist republic ? Better we stay the way we are ,even Charlie three wouldn’t be as bad ,if he gets the throne he will be pulled sharply into gear by those with more sense .Inean really ruddbull. Shorten ,with president triggs ,yuk …

  3. JB5

    Well, that’s alright then. Carry on…….

  4. C.L.

    Subverting the institutions of civil society – now who did the ANC learn that from?

    The world’s communist parties – their decades-long allies.
    The ANC was always a communist authoritarian junta-in-waiting.
    I suppose all of this is a bit shocking to naive people who believed Morgan Freeman’s and Matt Damon’s filmic representation of a new and morally praiseworthy South Africa. But the ANC is doing what everyone with half a brain always knew it would do – and which F.W.’s wretched old National Party also knew it would do. The National Party and the ANC share this in common: they were both correct about the other’s true motives and inherent criminality.

  5. Snoopy

    Naivety in the extreme is required to argue that corruption has to be learned. Mbeki and now Zuma have set South Africa on a Mugabesque trajectory to violence and economic ruin.

  6. Sinclair Davidson

    The National Party and the ANC share this in common: they were both correct about the other’s true motives and inherent criminality.

    They both knew themselves and their opponents very well.

    It’s not correct to describe the ANC as being communists – they are nationalists and came to power with the same objectives and policies as the National Party had originally come to power.

  7. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Naivety in the extreme is required to argue that corruption has to be learned. Mbeki and now Zuma have set South Africa on a Mugabesque trajectory to violence and economic ruin.

    Well said, especially after the initial attempts to seize the high moral ground, the ANC Government soon revealed itself to be as corrupt as anyone else. Look up “The arms scandal.”

  8. C.L.

    I remember Bob Santamaria saying (a thousand years ago) that the ANC were communist dupes who, if they ever took over, would turn South Africa into a totalitarian hellhole.

    He was right, as usual.

  9. Snoopy

    Sinc, do you know the words to Dubul’ibhunu? Zuma does.

  10. Oh come on

    That’s a fair point. The only observation I’ll make is that the ANC is doing all of the above, as well as pursuing openly racist policies like BEE. De Klerk may be a hypocrite, but that doesn’t mean his criticisms aren’t valid. After all, the current government claims a great deal of legitimacy by asserting it governs for all South Africans. The people of the RSA – including the likes of de Klerk – were promised and deserve better than a government that can only claim it’s not as morally odious as the apartheid regime.

  11. Sinclair Davidson

    He was right, as usual.

    No – he wasn’t. The ANC turned South Africa from one sort of authoritarian hell-hole into another sort of authoritarian hell-hole.

  12. Snoopy

    Once the Economic Freedom Fighters led by Julius Malema gain power, RSA under the Nationals and the ANC will be remembered as South Africa’s glory years by both blacks and whites.

  13. stackja

    ANC learnt from Stalin.

  14. Alexi the Conservative Russian

    One wrong is not justification for another wrong Sinc.

  15. rickw

    No – he wasn’t. The ANC turned South Africa from one sort of authoritarian hell-hole into another sort of authoritarian hell-hole.

    There are a lot of black South Africans that would disagree with that statement. The first type of “hell hole” was eminently more survivable for the average joe than the current hell hole.

  16. Baldrick

    I like Fatty Trump’s take on South Africa, from 2015:

    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    As I have long been saying, South Africa is a total – and very dangerous – mess.

    .

  17. Sinclair Davidson

    One wrong is not justification for another wrong Sinc.

    Normally I would agree. FW de Klerk, however, doesn’t get to complain about bad government subverting the institution’s of civil society.

  18. Walter Plinge

    “There are a lot of black South Africans that would disagree with that statement. The first type of “hell hole” was eminently more survivable for the average joe than the current hell hole.”

    True. I reckon there’s more than a handful of South Africans, black and white, who are now wishing apartheid had continued.

  19. Leo G

    One wrong is not justification for another wrong Sinc.

    I don’t see that the professor justified Mr Zuma’s corrupt conduct. He was expressing disdain for FW de Klerk in criticising Zuma without referring to FW’s own earlier role in subverting responsible government in South Africa.

  20. .

    How the hell is Africa going to “get better”?

  21. Entropy

    Sounds like business as usual for the tribal politics of Africa, regardless if it is the Black or White tribes.

  22. bobby b

    ” He and his co-conspirators managed to negotiate amnesty for themselves in the wash-up.”

    So you’re saying that the South African blacks weren’t sophisticated enough to understand what amnesty meant? That de Klerk should have been banned from public discourse?

    If they decided to allow de Klerk a continued role in public affairs, you ought to respect that choice. It’s their country.

    I note that the Wiki article you link to says this:

    “De Klerk helped to broker the end of apartheid, South Africa’s policies of racial segregation and discrimination, and supported the transformation of South Africa into a non-racial democracy by entering into the negotiations that resulted in all citizens having equal voting and other rights.”

    I also note that he was co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela for ending apartheid.

    It’s not exactly the ringing unendorsement that you set out for him.

  23. True Aussie

    How the hell is Africa going to “get better”?

    All Africans will move to Europe.

  24. Rohan

    Snoopy
    #2454801, posted on July 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm
    Once the Economic Freedom Fighters led by Julius Malema gain power, RSA under the Nationals and the ANC will be remembered as South Africa’s glory years by both blacks and whites.

    Yep, Mugabe MkII. And he’s gaining ground.

  25. C.L.

    Stated basically, we are all in agreement: the NP was bad and the ANC was/is bad.
    Bad for human rights, bad for liberty. Bad.
    The elephantine question in the room is this: de Klerk and his colleagues would argue – and de Klerk himself is doubtless actuated by the belief – that the NP had perforce to be bad to govern a black African nation precisely because the natives of that continent have a storied incapacity to manage modern affairs or institute a rule of law protective of freedom, accountability and prosperity.

    Is he wrong?
    If he is wrong, the only logical thing for whites to do in South Africa is to leave.

  26. C.L.

    If he ISN’T wrong, the only logical thing for whites to do in South Africa is to leave.

  27. Jannie

    South Africa is run by competing groups of authoritarian kleptomaniacs, who make unsustainable promises to the uneducated and blame every failure on white men, living and dead. White men are actively discriminated against in any public institution, but they are expected to pay the majority of taxes. Its a lot like Australia in that way.

    Crazy and corrupt as South Africa is, their medium and long term economic prospects are better than Australia, with a little luck. Apartheid and the idiot Afrikaner Nationalists were a significant economic depressant , and since 1994 lifestyles and prospects have significantly improved for 80% of the population, Millions of the most entrepreneurial and motivated Africans migrate there and prosper, they know the Rand is real money and can be converted into around 8 US cents. Shares and Real Estate values have been buoyant and have made good returns and represent some market confidence somewhere, with sovereign risk or not. Their main asset is that they are utterly disdainful of progressivism and have not been infected by the Green virus.

    But whites there are nervous, and any who can obtain Oz/Brit/Irish/US passports do so, just in case.

  28. John Constantine

    Africa will become the new Chinese continental scale factory farm.

    Africans are still cheaper than robots, and no Chinese overseer will have his corpse dragged through the dust of an African village, not one that stays on the map anyway.

  29. notaluvvie

    From whom did the ANC learn its totalitarian ways? The Soviets of course.

  30. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    White men are actively discriminated against in any public institution, but they are expected to pay the majority of taxes. Its a lot like Australia in that way.

    It’s anecdotal, I know, but I was told about how the senior management – white – of Excom – the South African Electricity Commission were eased out of their positions in the name of Black Empowerment. The incoming African management may have had impeccable ANC credentials, but they had very little idea of how to supply electricity. When the shut downs and “brownouts” began, the old management team were offered “consultancy” positions.

    To a man, they refused.

  31. Jannie

    Zulu the man who should have got the gig at Eskom was head boy at my school in 72. He was instead retired on a reasonable package around 2012. He was disappointed and disgusted and wanted to walk away and pack for Perth but he decided to make money instead. He took a couple of his staff and opened up his own consultancy, which does all of its business with Eskom. He is now making a multiple of the money he earned on salary, even though he is paying his BEE Xhosa partner a huge retainer for nothing but being a face. Its costing Eskom around ten times as much to obtain the services that he used to provide as a salaried manager.

  32. Tekweni

    One of my friends was non exec chairman of Eskom 8 or 9 years ago. He had been CEO of a mining company. Did not end well.

  33. Yohan

    Sinc is trying to do a moral equivalence between the Apartheid governments and the ANC.

    Yes both were police states, but one of the above was civilized, where people could drive to the shops without fear of being robbed or raped. Not all totalitarian governments are created equal.

    Why do you think Sinc and other expats ended up here in Australia? And living conditions for blacks in South Africa are now relatively far worse than under Apartheid, as any honest person from SA knows.

  34. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    And living conditions for blacks in South Africa are now relatively far worse than under Apartheid, as any honest person from SA knows.

    A point of view I heard forcibly expressed, by one of the original members of the “Black Sash” movement, I had the privilege of meeting – a lady I would describe as formidable.

  35. Yohan

    Last year I heard an interview with ex special forces who were running security in SA. In 11 days they had 8 contacts, i.e gangs of men armed with machine guns attacking their car convoys.

    Why were they attacking? Not because they knew there was a VIP in the convoy, but the rural blacks see new shiny cars and presume its white men who have ‘stolen’ their stuff, and they are justified in taking it back. So that is enough excuse to get into an armed firefight.

    This is not Somalia, Sudan or Libya I am describing, but daily life in South Africa. You people have been sold a lie about what is going on there. That’s why there is a western media blackout about the real condition of South Africa. According to expats I know, a white man like Sinclair Davidson could not even travel in 90% of the country without being killed on the street.

  36. C.L.

    Sinclair has a better than average familiarity with South Africa, Yohan.

  37. Nerblnob

    Google “tenderpreneurs”.

    Corruption in SA is getting worse, not better.

  38. Fisky

    South Africa will end up being controlled by China or India. It’s a given.

  39. JC

    According to expats I know, a white man like Sinclair Davidson could not even travel in 90% of the country without being killed on the street.

    I was there about 3 years ago. I never felt in any danger and the place appeared pretty calm – although I was hanging around the Cape area.

  40. Rob MW

    Sinc – I think that it’s all academic now in any event. I’m flat out to name a continental African country that is not an unabashed violent and corrupt shithole. Africa could be the tourist mecca and food basket of the world, but they are too busy blood feuding, raping and pillaging their own country with the West encouraging the despot(s) that have the most bankable and exploitable shit.

  41. Templar

    Sinc is a liberal dutch white, as juxtapose to the English whites. The later were on mass liberal and anti-apartheid. Poor old Sinc went against his class and race (rightly in my opinion). But this explains a lot of his prejudices particularly against Christianity. His problems with Botha and FW stem from the fact that his life and heritage up until he left SA was in part due to them.

  42. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    South Africa. Rovos Rail from Cape Town to Pretoria. “Hey, you guys Australian? We just had a trainload of you guys, and do you Australians know how to party!”

    Drinking single malt, in the bar car, with the retired English brigadier, and the Russian oligarch, who was traveling with his mistress.

  43. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Drinking single malt, in the bar car, with the retired English brigadier, and the Russian oligarch, who was traveling with his mistress.

    I had forgotten the South Carolinian trucking magnate, the multi millionaire, the arch typical Southern gentleman, with some of the best racist jokes I have ever heard…

  44. overburdened

    I was lambasted as a ‘bastard’, which may or may not be true, when I said at the time of Nelson Mandela’s ascendency, ‘We will be sending food parcels in the future’. Not surprisingly my critics had not, and one could suspect have not since, been there. As I have said in previous posts, Cape Town is the greatest city in the world imo. I would add that Joburg is a dump imo. No one is safe on the land.

  45. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Cape Town is the greatest city in the world im

    Cape Town was a blast, Australian waterside cities could learn a great deal from Cape Town.

  46. Yohan

    I was there about 3 years ago. I never felt in any danger and the place appeared pretty calm – although I was hanging around the Cape area.

    The big cities are okay (but still very violent by our standards), but it’s the rural and hinterland areas which have apparently descended into local tribalism. It has recently gotten worse because the young men born post Apartheid, 20-25 yrs old, have just come of age. They have been indoctrinated since the crib that their poor life is caused by the white man, and that violence against them is okay due to historical oppression.

  47. struth

    The big cities are okay (but still very violent by our standards), but it’s the rural and hinterland areas which have apparently descended into local tribalism. It has recently gotten worse because the young men born post Apartheid, 20-25 yrs old, have just come of age. They have been indoctrinated since the crib that their poor life is caused by the white man, and that violence against them is okay due to historical oppression.

    So it’s like Alice Springs then?

  48. Nerblnob

    I do love Cape Town, but the glass-topped walls, razor wire and barred windows everywhere have to tell you something.

  49. Eyrie

    “How the hell is Africa going to “get better”?”

    Blockade the continent. Ship in arms and ammunition, no food or medical supplies. Wait.

  50. Duncan

    Sinc, you chose to quote FW and them take him apart because of his track record. Fair enough. But someone unfamiliar with what is going on in South Africa would not know that FW is just one of thousands who hold that view and that what FW said is substantially accurate. And he has no need to subvert the institutions of government: that has already been achieved by Zuma, the Guptas and their cronies.

    South Africa is going to hell in a hand basket and you take a shot at an individual? Really, really helpful.

  51. old bloke

    The big cities are okay (but still very violent by our standards), but it’s the rural and hinterland areas which have apparently descended into local tribalism.

    Jo’burg is a scary city, I wouldn’t want to live there. The South Africans didn’t invent the flame throwers under their cars without a reason. If you are driving there, don’t stop at a red light if anyone is loitering around the intersection.

  52. MikeR

    “No – he wasn’t. The ANC turned South Africa from one sort of authoritarian hell-hole into another sort of authoritarian hell-hole.”

    Give me a break, did you ever go there & have a look? I did for quite a while, & found the exact opposite to your comment.

    If on the other hand you wanted to overthrow the state by force, & had the Soviet Union help you then you were in a world of hurt, & in my view quite rightly.

    Before the damned ANC were given control there was work, medical care, a working justice system, a recognisable government doing stuff, enough food, farms were producing, ELECTRICITY, I could go on but the get my point.

    After the ANC took control there were none of these things!

    All the pious moaning about the NP government is BS, the ANC declared war on the state, using outside help & the state responded as it is supposed to do.

    Mate stick to Oz where you know what your talking about.

  53. It’s not correct to describe the ANC as being communists –

    Hmmm… so all those banners with the full name of the ANC/CPSA
    Anyone got a clue what may have been the meaning of the CPSA part?

  54. .

    Give me a break, did you ever go there & have a look? I did for quite a while, & found the exact opposite to your comment.

    He is from South Africa. Lived there for decades. FFS.

  55. DM OF WA

    Davidson shooting the messenger.

    South Africa under the rule of Afrikaaners was morally a seriously flawed society compared to our own. Yet compared to the rest of Africa it was (and still largely is) a paradise.

    Unfortunately, SA is now in the grip of a fatal cancer – African tribalism. Once the Soviet trained ANC took over the result was inevitable.

  56. braddles

    FW de Klerk is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, incidentally. He didn’t create apartheid, but he put an end to it almost as soon as he had the power to.

    Condemning de Klerk for the excesses of apartheid is like condemning Lincoln for not ending slavery until after he became President.

  57. Sinclair Davidson

    Davidson shooting the messenger.

    Yes. Exactly. Would have prefered to see him tried for his crimes.

  58. Robbo

    I remain surprised at the numbers of people who happily describe South Africa as a democracy. Over many decades of rule by white or black South Africa has remained steadfastly corrupt and as close to being a democracy as the government of North Korea. In their favour at least the North Koreans do not pretend to be democrats.

  59. Zatara

    The lasting legacy: The ANC’s Soviet connection

    “For the ANC and SACP leadership – just as for the leadership of many other communist and national liberation organisations all over the world – the Soviet Union was the embodiment of progress and justice, the bright future of humanity.”

    Maybe they weren’t communists. But it certainly seems they aspired to be.

  60. He and his co-conspirators managed to negotiate amnesty for themselves in the wash-up.

    Sinc, I can’t tell who this is in reference to?

    Yes. Exactly. Would have prefered to see him tried for his crimes.

    Unspecified?

  61. Sinclair Davidson

    The National Party leadership were given amnesty through the Truth and Reconciliation process.

  62. Snoopy

    The National Party leadership were given amnesty through the Truth and Reconciliation process.

    Unlike, say, Winnie Mandela?

  63. Duncan

    Something going on here, Sinc. You are not normally this fired up.

  64. Sinclair Davidson

    Unlike, say, Winnie Mandela?

    She was prosecuted, and persecuted, for some of her crimes – perhaps not all – unlike de Klerk who was prosecuted for none.

  65. test pattern

    ‘Jo’burg is a scary city’

    Nothing new there. SA was violent and whites were scared before Apartheid ended. The SA econ was besieged. A significant contribution derived from supplying the mines and other construction projects of it’s neighbours hauled by trucks which local whites were too scared to drive across borders. Nxt year if I get enough time I’m going back there to research a monograph on the Aus and NZ drivers who did all the work.

  66. Sinclair Davidson

    You are not normally this fired up.

    de Klerk trying to pass himself off as a respectable former head of state upset and confused by what has happened and happening really annoyed me.

  67. Peter Sandery

    Quite so, Sinclair but why is it that no one in the Australian MSM has bothered to really investigate the dealings of the Pacific’s most diligent copier of Mugabean governance, Peter O”Neill of Papua New Guinea, whilst they denigrate a true Fijian patriot like Commodore Bainimarama?

  68. Yohan

    confused by what has happened and happening

    Actually there is nothing confusing about what has happened and is happening to SA under majority black rule. Its simply a reversion to the African mean. But due to the wealth and institutions that were built up over the previous century by the European colonizers it will take a few more generations to revert to this mean, as the capital is slowly consumed and seed corn is eaten.

    And there is little chance of turning the ship around, because the ANC will just point to the legacy of Apartheid to excuse any current problems.

  69. test pattern

    ‘no one in the Australian MSM has bothered to really investigate the dealings of the Pacific’s most diligent copier of Mugabean governance, Peter O”Neill of Papua New Guinea’

    Quite so. Callick is a waste of space and a suckhole. The links between Mugabe and O’Neil are real not imagined.

    http://www.pngblogs.com/2016/09/excellent-tips-from-zimbabwean.html

  70. Paridell

    The ANC didn’t need to learn subversion from anyone. It was their raison d’être from the start.

  71. kurt

    At lease under De Klerk there was civil society. The ANC can’t undermine what doesn’t exist.

  72. Hamish Marshall

    “Subverting the institutions of civil society – now who did the ANC learn that from?” Earth to Sinclair – they are Marxists!!!!!!!!!

  73. MikeR

    I have to say in spite of my comment I agree with Sinc on de Klerk, he was the absolute pits.
    When The Old Crocodile wanted to un-ban the ANC in the early ’70s it was de Klerk who stopped him, as leader of the Transvaal NP.
    When P W Botha ( The Old Croc) had a minor stroke & was still quite capable of leading the NP, it was deKlerk who led the palace coup to remove him. That meant that the negotiations were about how soon the NP would sell out instead of how it could work for all SAs. By any measure the deal de Klerk signed up to hasn’t helped anybody in SA. Old PW even after a stroke was panels of fence better than de Klerk.
    De Klerk et al did not get amnesty from the TRC process, they stitched that deal up privately at a “bos beraad” before they left govt. That evil bastard Joe Slovo went on record as being quite surprised that the mighty NP rolled over so easily.

  74. Jannie

    My wife and I are currently renting in Clovelly in Capetown, looking for a good waterside property investment. A risk sure, but I am betting on a good return. Africa and Joburg are somewhere north of here. Parts of Capetown could be mistaken for Sydney or Auckland, food music and cool people, with truly gorgeous views and security. But 15km out of Capetown is Khayelitsa, which is a hellhole of crime, poverty and dynamism. Much of the violence is directed at “foreigners”, skilled African migrants who do the work at half the price and often live in a squatter camp near the “white areas” as well. Its more common for whites to have black servants nowadays than it was during Apartheid, and foreigners are much preferred. But there are plenty of somewhat jaded liberal and even hippy whites left, Capetown is every white mans retirement dream, the Cape Coloureds are very nice people ek se, and there is great demand for real estate. locally and from the UK. A bit like the curates egg.

    Johan, its silly to suggest that blacks or coloureds were better off under apartheid. Try say that to one of them and they will set you straight. Apartheid was such an economic and legal millstone that its removal created massive economic opportunity for almost everybody except previously privileged government workers. As opbefok as things are, housing and lifestyles have vastly improved for them, Afrikaners have been badly treated to be sure, especially the boere, numbers of killings continue and nobody even knows how many. That’s another issue, almost rasmoord, but many boere have no skills and have nowhere to go, except the Cape. There are still over 3m whites in SA, they have conveniently disappeared from the consciousness of the West, but they still live.

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