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Tuesday, 6 September 2011
THE ENEMY IS THE WEAKNESS IN OUR HEARTS.
The next round of kite flying by the current party in power in the
is quite simple: let a lower ranking
AND exec or the ANCYL raise an issue that the ANC wants to change,
and gauge the reaction. If nobody complains, then it gets done –
Modimole, Makapan, OR Tambo etc. If there is vociferous reaction
– let it go, at least for a while – e.g. Pretoria, the expropriation of land,
etc. It is therefore imperative that you voice your indignation of
everything that is NOT in accordance to a future of at least enlightened
self-interest. By NOT speaking out, you will most surely be landed with
– never to revert to the original again, no matter the
fight put up after the fact.
The latest kite flight is merely ‘Let’s get rid of the status of the Constitution
so that it is not ABOVE the President, but BELOW the executive in rank”.
This is Mugabe stuff, dear Reader, and you need to register, in writing,
your dismay at this. A quick look through the Mail & Guardian will show
this debate raging for a while, but the
at the Sunday Times
will not put up your blog comments – they require a mail. So please
send it, and raise the issue wherever you can. Imperfect as the status
quo in the Republic might be, we do not want to fight our way out of an
even deeper quagmire. So please spot the kites in the press & respond,
seems the rulers have a healthy respect for the drone of unhappiness –
if they get to hear it at all.
Do read on, to the Good Doctor’s comments at the end. The enemy,
dear Reader, is the weakness in our own hearts.
THE BIG READ: ANC's fatal concessions
Ngoako Ramatlhodi | 01 September, 2011 00:31 Sunday Times
We have a Constitution celebrated as the best in the world.
Some would say it is the most progressive, while others
would call it the most liberal.
A brief analysis
of the conditions
and forces that
gave birth to our
seems to be in
In case we do
the collapse of
the then Soviet
for a new and democratic South Africa.
In apartheid South Africa in the late 1980s, the regime could only
keep a modicum of law and order through a state of emergency.
The masses were no longer willing to be ruled in the same old way.
An orderly retreat for the regime meant giving up elements of
political power to the black majority, while immigrating substantial
power away from the legislature and the executive and vesting it in
the judiciary, Chapter 9 institutions and civil society movements.
Interestingly, and perhaps reflecting the balance of forces at the time,
the movement was willing to make this fundamental and substantive
concession. However, the concessions described cannot be explained
only as a reflection or result of a balance of forces at the time.
In this regard, one ventures to suggest that the negative experience of
the apartheid government by the oppressed might explain the ease
with which the liberation movement embraced what one calls the
emptying of the state.
Apartheid forces sought to and succeeded in retaining white
domination under a black government. This they achieved by
emptying the legislature and executive of real political power.
On the other hand, the liberation movement was overwhelmed
by a desire to create a society bereft of any form of discrimination
and, as a result, made fatal concessions.
We thus have a Constitution that reflects the great compromise,
compromise tilted heavily in favour of forces against change
However, there is a strong body of thought arguing the view that
our Constitution is transformative.
In this regard, a point needs to be made that a constitution can either
be progressive or reactionary, depending on the balance of forces in
the society it governs.
In our case, the black majority enjoys empty political power while
forces against change reign supreme in the economy, judiciary, public
opinion and civil society.
The old order has built a fortified front line in the mentioned forums.
Given massive resources deriving from ownership of the economy,
forces against change are able to finance their programmes and projects
aimed at defending the status quo. As a result, formal political rights
conferred on blacks can be exercised only within the parameters of the
old apartheid economic relations.
This imbalance is reflected across the length and breadth of the country
in economic, social and even political terms to some extent.
The objective of protecting white economic interests, having been
achieved with the adoption of the new Constitution, a grand and
total strategy to entrench it for all times, was rolled out. In this regard,
power was systematically taken out of the legislature and the executive
to curtail efforts and initiatives aimed at inducing fundamental changes.
In this way, elections would be regular rituals handing empty victories
to the ruling party.
Regarding the judiciary, a two-pronged strategy is evident. The first
and foremost is to frustrate the transformation agenda by downplaying
requirements of gender and colour representation.
Many obstacles, such as comments from white-dominated law societies,
have to be taken into account when final decisions are made by the
Judicial Service Commission.
The subtext of this is to ensure that in the inevitable event of these
appointments being made, the new appointees are expropriated by
the system in place. This is done through the application of an
unwritten plethora of rules during the initiation of new appointees.
The other tactic is to challenge as many policy positions as possible in
the courts, where the forces against change still hold relative hegemony.
The legislature itself has not escaped the encroaching tendency of the
judiciary, with debatable decisions taken by majority views, in some
instances. Decisions of the Judicial Services Commission have equally
been systematically subjected to judicial reviews. The process of
delegitimising the commission and its decisions has been initiated
through the instrument of "public opinion".
At an ideological level, the public sector under the control of the
black majority is posited as inefficient, corrupt and not worthy of any trust.
This manifests itself in the form of vulgar and at times subtle racism
. This means that, in our country, capital also has colour, as was the
case under colonialism of a special type.
It is, therefore, not surprising that any black person doing business
with government exposes himself or herself to extraordinary scrutiny.
This way the government is compelled to retain contracts with
established white business. When the government employs black
people in senior positions, it is seen as cadre deployment. When whites
are employed in the private sector and public areas controlled by the
opposition, it is lauded as wise skill deployment.
In the view of the dominant but seriously contested ideology, the private
sector is promoted as the ultimate panacea for all societal ills. Public
opinion, which in fact is the opinion of the private sector, is deployed
to propagate this world view. In this context, any different opinion is
immediately discredited as pro-government and therefore unreliable
propaganda to be dismissed. In this regard, it is interesting to note that
even the public broadcaster has been compelled to succumb to the
power of hegemonic forces. To remain credible it has to be seen to be
critical of the government of the day, except in areas controlled by
To criticise the private sector is to enter taboo land and to commit
an unforgivable sin.
Seventeen years later, a moment has arrived for
an honest collective
reflection of the state of the nation
and the common future we are
duty-bound to build,
as failure to do so would lead to colossal
destruction of the country
. One is initiating this reflection in the
context of the foregoing analysis. In the 17 years, we have
witnessed sustained and relentless efforts to immigrate the little
power left with the executive and the legislature to civil society and
The main drivers in this process are the opposition and civil society,
who feel relatively strong in those fronts, given the mainly still
untransformed judiciary. The opposition to the judiciary itself and
the bashing of the Judicial Service Commission should be
understood in this context.
Ramatlhodi is an ANC NEC member, chairperson
of the ANC National Elections Committee and Deputy
Minister of Correctional Services
What the former disgraced Limpopo Premier says is
The Constitution is only a ‘bridge’ and is not permanent.
Now everyone is on the other side of the chasm, it becomes
secondary in importance;
The ANC’s real constitution is the ‘Freedom Charter’ and
thereafter the ‘National Democratic Revolution’ to pull the
country into a fully-fledged Marxism paradise;
The ANC want the President to rule by decree – no
Constitution & no opposition from parliament;
The Constitution is to blame for the failure to execute
the impossible election promises of (free) land, economic
prosperity without the benefit of work and freedom from
pesky Whiteys whingeing away of a now-forgotten promise.
The Constitution is the future stumbling block for success,
and will be blamed should any of the above and other promises
Not only is the Law an Ass, the Judiciary is a stumbling
block for any attempt to do things that should not be done.
There you have it, QED for Idiots in Power.
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