The mainstream media and African governments are failing the people on their coverage and reporting on the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. What irritates me more is the attitude of some radio talk-show hosts who think they know a lot when they know bugger all. Moreover, they always want to have the last word on all the topics in order to stifle debate.

For example, on Saturday morning (11 October) I sent an sms to one of the commercial radio shows in South Africa which read, “Africans are gullible. Ebola was manmade and airborne and that the US is using the disease for its soldiers to occupy Africa.” The radio host pooh-poohed the views I put forward and commented that I must be joking. I immediately sent a follow up sms which he ignored. On the 14th October 2014, a popular morning SABC radio show that is aired between 6.00hrs and 9.00hrs hosted the Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, a Professor and an epidemiologist and the topic of discussion was Ebola. I sent an sms which read, “the media’s and government’s focus on Ebola is wrong and misleading. Focus should be on the US’s Bio Weapons laboratory in Sierra Leone where Ebola originated”. That sms was not read. My letters to the editor on the same subject are not published.

How many radio talk-show hosts, journalists and editors on the African continent, especially in South Africa, know about the death of World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman, Glenn Thomas, who worked for WHO at the US Bio Weapons laboratory in Kenema, Sierra Leone? For the record, WHO is funded by the Rockefellers. Glenn Thomas was killed on board Malaysian plane Flight MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine. Do they know why he was killed? Glenn Thomas worked at the US’s Bio Weapons laboratory in Kenema, Sierra Leone where it is reported that it’s where the new strain of the Ebola virus was created. Thomas was going to present a lecture at an AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, and who knows what he was going to reveal over there? It has been reported that Glenn Thomas died with other 108 (a hundred and eight) AIDS researchers on board Malaysian Flight MH17.

The report I read further reveals that six key people in the AIDS research world were also killed in the MH17 crash, including Joep Lange and his wife Jacqueline van Tongeren from the Armsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development. The report continues to state that Lange was called a giant in the AIDS research field which means he knew that the HIV vaccine is a bioweapon causing AIDS and would, therefore, have understood the implications of unleashing Ebola not just on Africa but on the world through experimental vaccines as the Welcome Trust has recently demanded. Welcome Trust is described as a global charitable organisatiion involved in biomedical research and “investigating” health and disease in humans and animals. I suggest ‘investigating’ should be read to mean experimenting.

How many talk-show hosts, editors and journalists in South Africa know that it was because of the Ebola outbreak that the Sierra Leone government ordered that facility to be closed down and ordered Tulane University to stop Ebola testing and the US Bio Weapons laboratory at Kenema in Sierra Leone to be relocated in response to growing anger from locals? Kenema Government Hospital has links to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and George Soros Foundation. The US biodefence scientists have been working on viral fevers such as Ebola for decades at the Sierra Leone government hospital. It is known that this lab has been working on developing various strains of Ebola for more than forty years at that bioweapons lab. This Sierra Leone lab was quickly shut down to avoid police investigation. George Soros who is a friend of Sierra Leone President, Ernest Bai Koroma, is a huge investor in the Ebola triangle of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Why don’t the know-it-all radio talk-show hosts, editors and journalists especially in South Africa, inform their listeners and readers that the Pentagon and Tekmira Pharmaceutical Corporation funded clinical Ebola trials on healthy adults just before the outbreak occurred? Why don’t they report that WHO and Centers for Disease Control documents show that most of the Ebola outbreaks have so far occurred in hospitals?

How many talk-show hosts, journalists and editors have read or know about Dr Leonard Horowitz’s best selling book titled “Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola: Nature, Accident or Intentional?” Or Gordon Thomas’ “Secrets and Lies: A History of CIA Mind Control and Germ Warfare?” The US has been cooking chemical and biological weapons at Fort Detrick since the 1950’s. When these talk-show hosts, editors and journalists are confronted with such information they resort to the narrative that says it belongs in the realm of conspiracy theories. Frankly such an argument is banal and manifests denial and massive brainwashing on the part of those who advance it as their defense.

The media and African governments are covering up for the US government and WHO instead of confronting the issue of the genesis of Ebola head on and telling the US government and WHO not to use Africa as a testing ground for germ warfare experiments and desist from using Africans as guinea pigs. Sierra Leone should be told not to relocate the US Bio Weapons laboratory from Kenema to elsewhere rather it must close it down forthwith.

By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Senior Researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI) and writes in his personal capacity.

History reveals that Britain (United Kingdom) has never protected indigenous or non-British interests – whether in Africa, Australia, India or New Zealand and so on. The British have always opposed and suppressed the interests of other nations, if their interests were in conflict with those of the “British Empire.” The 18 September 2014 Scotland Referendum was no exception. When the “Yes” campaign vote in Scotland for national independence gathered momentum, all the three main political parties in Britain began their own massive campaign of intimidation against the people of Scotland, especially a few days just before the referendum.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband told the BBC that the “the pro-independence campaign had an ugly side.” Prime Minister David Cameron painted a bleak picture such as the use of the British pound by Scots people if they voted “Yes”. Queen Elizabeth II though claimed to be “neutral” and said she hoped that “the Scottish voters would think carefully”. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also poked its nose into the affairs of the Scottish people. Its Deputy Spokesman W. Murray said, “A Yes vote would raise a number of important and complicated issues that would have to be negotiated.”

But what is clear is that the “Yes” vote by the Scottish people would have been a double edged sword if the United Kingdom tried to punish Scotland for its independence after their “Yes” vote. This would be due to the following reasons:
(a) The United Kingdom nuclear missiles are based in Scotland;
(b) UK would lose its royal regiment of Scotland;
(c) The U.K. would be a new country with less power and prestige internationally if Scotland voted “Yes” in the
referendum;
(d) Wales and Northern Ireland might re-think their status within the powerless territorially reduced United Kingdom;
(e) The pro-republic sentiment in Australia and Canada to break ties with the English monarch would gain momentum;
(f) The British Commonwealth would sooner than later collapse;
(g) The United Kingdom U.N. Security Council would be insecure; and
(h) The Irish people did not suffer any currency problem when they dropped the British pound.

As expected, the United Kingdom encouraged the “No” vote in the Scotland Referendum to protect its own interests, not those of the people of Scotland. The September 2014 Scotland Referendum brings to mind how the United Kingdom then called “Great Britain” protected its national interests in Africa at the expense of the African people, especially in South Africa.

The United Kingdom protected its colonial interests by military power in Africa, using the most barbaric methods and intrigues. For instance, in Kenya the agents of the British government castrated the anti-colonial Kenyan fighters opposing colonialism. They called them “Mau Mau” and murdered hundreds of them and seized large parts of their fertile land.

They practised colonial brutality in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) sentencing to death the spiritual female leader of the Zimbabweans, Ambuye Nehanda and the Rev. John Chilebwe in Nyasaland (Malawi) for leading the anti colonial struggles in their own countries. They exterminated the indigenous people of Australia, New Zealand and Canada to protect British colonial interests. After many wars of national resistance against British colonialism led by African kings such as Hintsa, Cetshwayo, Moshoeshoe, Sekhukhune and Makhado, Britain through its guns over the spears of the African people seized the African country and handed it over to its colonial settlers.

Through the Union of South Africa Act 1909, a British Statute of the United Kingdom, on 20th September of that year, Britain gave legislative powers to its colonial settlers. Section 44 of that imperial law, among other things reads, “That the qualifications of a Member of the House of Assembly shall… be a British subject of European descent”. Within three years of this racist draconian law the colonial parliament with the connivance of the British government passed the colonial law allocating five million indigenous African people 7% of their own land called “Native Reserves”. This 7% of the African concentration camps became a reservoir of “cheap native labour” for the farms and mineral mines which were now owned by the colonial settlers and their “mother country” – the United Kingdom. The 93% of the African country and land and its riches was handed to the 349837 settlers. This is the peculiar concept of “British justice” that is still boasted of with much British national pride today.

Sooner than later, South Africa became a British colony to go by the title of “Dominion,” because it was not the custom of the English to rule “white people” as a colony. This was argued in imperial circles. It was advocated by people who are today self-appointed teachers of “human rights” and “democracy” in Africa.

In 1931, British colonial lawyers Gilbert Dold and C.P. Joubert argued that the Westminster Statute of 1931 had conferred “independence” and “sovereignty” on South Africa. These lawyers wrote, “The Statute of Westminster 1931 under the skilled statesmanship of General Hertzog, Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa…made rapid progress from its subordinate position to that of a free, independent and sovereign state within the British Commonwealth” (I .I. Lukashuk, HRC Vol.135 1972 page 237).

Section 2 and 3 of The Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 by the British Parliament contained a “repugnance clause.” Is it not puzzling that despite this clause, both the Union of South Africa Act 1909 and the Native Land Act 1913 and the whole concept of “Dominion” were racist? This was long before Daniel F. Malan coined the word apartheid in South Africa in 1948.

In October 1930, Piet Grobler, a settler colonial Minister of Lands had already stated, “The supremacy of the white man’s rule in South Africa was essential if he was to retain his birthright or his civilisation.” How could a colonial settler utter such words without being rebuked by the United Kingdom Government?

Things were getting worse for Africans under the United Kingdom colonial government in South Africa. A.S. Harris in his article “A Plea For Even-Handed Justice”, wrote: “In none of the [British] colonies are there laws punishing white men for sexual intercourse with coloured women while the Statute Book is full of enactments punishing black men for intercourse with white women even with their consent.” Harris continued stating that “A case recorded recently of a Boer farmer being acquitted in the face of the strongest evidence of guilt of outraging a native girl, while a native boy…for mere solicitation of a white girl is shot dead and the act is applauded by the white community” (MHUDI: Sol T. Plaatje page 6, Heinemann Educational Books Ltd London 1982.

The British Government spoke with two tongues when it came to protecting African human rights in its South African Colony. Were its representatives displaying mere duplicity and hypocrisy stemming from racism?

On 29th February 1906, Winston Churchill speaking in the British Parliament said, “We are provided with a most sure foothold for intervention on behalf of natives. A self-governing colony is not entitled to say one day ‘Hands Off’, no dictation in our internal affairs.”

Colonel Seely, Under Secretary of State for Colonies declared, “No scheme of unity in South Africa to be satisfactory which does not provide some safeguard for the great native population. It would be immoral and wrong for this country to wash her hands of the whole native problem….she has a responsibility to the natives; they are under our direct control: they are under that shadowy vision of the ultimate imperial authority, the kingship, and more real vision of his Majesty the King to protect them in their ancient rights and privileges, and we must not fail them. I am happy to say that those who are meeting together in South Africa realise our obligation….the number of South Africans taking a reactionary view in the native question is rapidly diminishing, and they realise that we cannot stand by with our folded arms while a scheme is devised which may militate against the rights of and privileges and safety of the native races that dwell under the king’s sway” (Anti-Slavery Reporter February 1906).

Yet after the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) had led the Sharpeville Uprisings which resulted in the massacre of 84 Africans and 365 wounded throughout South Africa; the British government resisted the United Nations comprehensive economic sanctions on the South African apartheid colonial regime.

In the 1976 Soweto Uprising of 16 June, 176 people were killed and an estimated 700 wounded. They were mainly young people. The United Kingdom stood by its protection of its economic interests with its colonial settlers and opposed economic sanctions against apartheid South Africa. Yet as we speak, the United Kingdom has been crushing a developing country like Zimbabwe with economic sanctions and not long time ago invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on false pretence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

As a consequence of British colonialism in Azania (South Africa), even in so-called “New South Africa” or “rainbow nation,” the 2012 population census has revealed that an average African – headed household earns R60313 per year or R5051 a month. A white headed household earns 365,340 a year or R30, 427 per month. Educationally only 2% of the 41 million African population had university degrees.

Africans were colonised by Britain centuries ago. They are still allocated 13% of their own country. The African population is 79.2%. Their land dispossession is entrenched in Section 25 (7) of the “new rainbow nation” Constitution. This law is the new name for the Native Land Act 1913.

In today’s Lesotho in Southern Africa, Britain signed a treaty to protect the Basotho people against rampaging Boer colonial settlers called “Afrikaners.” They came largely from Holland and France. This British treaty is known as Sir George Napier Treaty of 1843. It was meant to protect the Basotho from rapacious colonial land grabbers. When however, the economic interests of the British coincided with those of the Boers, the British colonial government supplied guns to the Boers while making sure the Basotho got no arms or very little. Consequently, over 50% of the Basotho land is today part of economically white controlled South Africa.

“The outstanding theme of Lesotho’s economic history in the last hundred years is the transition from granary to labour reserve,” wrote Dr. Colin Murray. “In the middle period of the 19th century, the Basotho vigorously exported grain to other Africans and to white settlers on the highveld, and from 1870, to the burgeoning diamond camps.”

Dr. Murray concluded by stating that “In the 1970’s Lesotho is a net importer of grain and most rural households are primarily dependent for their livelihood on the earnings of migrant labourers employed in the mining and manufacturing industries of South Africa” (Time Is Longer Than The Rope by Edward Roux 16).

Writing about Lesotho in 1939, Edwin E. Smith observed that “A very large part of fertile area of Basutoland (Lesotho) as recognised by Sir George Napier in the [British] treaty of 1843 was now in the hands of white settlers [in the Orange Free State, parts of Eastern Cape and Gauteng]” (The Mabilles of Basutoland by Edwin W. Smith, Hodder and Sloughton 1939, pages 96-97).

In broad daylight and under the flag of the British Empire, colonial settlers grabbed “the whole of the agricultural part of Lesotho proper, leaving the mountains to the Basotho.” This is how I. Schapera puts it in The Bantu-Speaking Tribes Of South Africa, page 346 Maskew Miller Ltd 1966, edited by himself.

Of course, King Moshoeshoe of the Basotho Nation was not amused by this kind of “British protection. Writing to Sir George Grey, a British colonial governor in the Cape colony in South Africa, King Moshoeshoe declared, “I gave whites permission of living in my country… but they have never obtained any right to property to the soil from me, had I granted that, such a right should have been contrary to the law of the Basotho nation which allows no such alienation.” Deeply disappointed with the way the United Kingdom administered its “British justice” especially towards Black people, King Moshoeshoe proclaimed that “The white men seem to be bent on proving that in politics Christianity has no part….It may be you, Europeans do not steal cattle, but you still whole countries; and if you had your wish, you would send us to pasture our cattle in the clouds….Europeans are larger thieves…they are stealing black man’s land in the Cape [colony] to here [Orange Free state, land of the Basotho] and call it theirs” (Moshoeshoe Profile I by Ntsu Mokhehle, page 26 Khatiso Ea Lesotho 1976).

Britain has never protected non-British interests. It is no wonder that after 307 years, a sizeable number of the people of Scotland demanded their national independence. It is not surprising that the United Kingdom politicians intimidated the Scottish voters for a “No” vote. The “Yes” vote would have hurt the United Kingdom more than SCOTLAND if Britain decided to punish the Scots for winning the referendum for their national independence.

By Dr. Motsoko Pheko
The writer is author of several books including: APARTHEID: THE STORY OF A DISPOSSESSED PEOPLE and SOUTH AFRICA: BETRAYAL OF A COLONISED PEOPLE. During the liberation struggle in South Africa he represented the victims of apartheid and colonialism at the United Nations in New York and at the UN Commission On Human Rights in Geneva. He is a former Member of the South African Parliament.

Minister of Arts and Culture: Nathi Mthethwa

Minister of Arts and Culture: Nathi Mthethwa
Source: http://www.iol.co.za

Last week there was a debate in the National Assembly about Heritage Day. All the heroes and heroines were mentioned except those of the PAC and to some extent BCM. There was no mention of Robert Sobukwe, Zeph Mothopeng, Urbania Mothopeng, Jeff Masemola and Onkgopotse Tiro. However, an Agang MP did mention Steve Biko.

Minister of Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, didn’t mention Anton Lembede and the 1949 Programme of Action. He mentioned African Claims and skipped the1994 Programme of Action and jumped straight to the Freedom Charter. Mthethwa mentioned the South African Native National Congress founding member, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, at whose law firm, Lembede articled as a lawyer in the mid 1940’s before his sudden death in 1947. Not only that, Lembede was the founding President of the ANCYL in 1943 and a revolutionary and intellectual par excellence. He was the brains behind the formation of the ANCYL and its leading spokesman. The mere mention of Seme and African Claims should have reminded Mthethwa of Lembede. I wonder if these MP’s know how ridiculous their speeches sound when they claim to be speaking about our heritage and deliberately omit some important aspects of that heritage.

Mthethwa mentioned Frantz Fanon and Aime Cesaire, but what has he read about and from these intellectuals? His speech was probably written for him because if it wasn’t then he should have known that in The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon mentions the Sharpeville massacre which was organized and led by Sobukwe and the PAC. The parliament from where Mthethwa was speaking was the same one which passed The Sobukwe Clause. The first death sentences of PAC and POQO members were confirmed by that parliament despite international outcry. Surely this can’t escape the memory of Mthethwa and Speaker Baleka Mbete.

What I found interesting was when EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi rose on a point of order and asked if it was acceptable or even democratic for one DA MP to talk about Greek when there was a discussion on Heritage Day or something to that effect. Then IFP MP and leader Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi also rose to remind Ndlozi that the word democracy itself came from Greek.

I wonder if Ndlozi and Buthelezi were aware that there were Greek words of African origin. Most people think that all the languages borrowed words and concepts from Greek and that it can’t be the other way round. This reminds me of an article I wrote for the Sowetan published on March 24, 1997 titled “Origin of word Africa not Greek”.

For example, habeas corpus existed in ancient Egypt long before Greece came into existence, (CA Diop: African Origin of Civilisation: Myth or Reality). When Pythagoras went to Egypt, he carried a letter of introduction from Polycrates of Samos to King Amasis, who in turn gave him letters of introduction to the Priests of Heliopolis, Memphis, and Thebes, (George GM James: Stolen Legacy).

When MP Ndlozi was reminded by Buthelezi that the word democracy originated from Greek he was lost for words instead of having retorted that there were also Greek words of African origin as my article mentioned above clearly demonstrates. Ancient Egyptian heritage is our heritage.

We can’t celebrate our heritage selectively by extolling the virtues of ANC heroes and heroines only. Recounting our past selectively is not history but his-story.

By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Senior Researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI).

Off the hook on a charge of Murder - Oscar Pistorius

Off the hook on a charge of Murder – Oscar Pistorius
Source: http://a.abcnews.com

There is a Setswana idiom which says Motho o tshwarwa ka mafoko, kgomo e tshwarwa ka dinaka. This means a person reveals or speaks his/her deep or inner secrets through talking (through his mouth) and when one wants to slaughter a cow/bull, one would handle it by its horns – grabbing the bull by its horns so to speak (For non-Setswana speakers, Motho is a person and kgomo is a cow or bull, mafoko are words and dinaka are horns. Go tshwarwa as in the first phrase means to get caught and in the second phrase it means to be grabbed or handled). It is through speaking that a person can reveal whether or not they are honest and truthful. In a court of law this is done through evidence in chief and cross examination.

This writer raises this issue because in her judgment in the State vs Oscar Pistorius, Judge Thokozile Masipa said the mendacity of the accused does not necessary mean he was guilty. The question is: what is the purpose of a cross examination? State Prosecutor Advocate Gerrie Nel repeatedly and correctly said he was testing Pistorius’ and other witnesses’ evidence through cross examination. Cross examination is the best known and oldest technique of obtaining the truth from witnesses and accused persons.

In the State vs Oscar Pistorius, the state was faced with a case in which there were two people who knew what had happened – Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius. The latter killed the former in cold blood “believing there was an intruder or intruders” and he should have been able to tell the court a plausible account of how the events unfolded that fateful day. However, his evidence was incredible but credible nonetheless to Judge Masipa and probably her assessors.

Judge Masipa agreed with Advocate Nel that Pistorius was a poor witness, argumentative, evasive, mendacious and always thinking about the implications of the questions put to him. The Judge didn’t think Pistorius was play-acting but Advocate Nel thought he was and asked Pistorius more than once why he became emotional when he couldn’t answer tough questions or when he realized that he was contradicting himself. A person becomes evasive usually in order to conceal the truth. A witness who claims to have mistakenly taken the life of an innocent person and acted the way Pistorius did in the witness stand should have raised the concern of any presiding judge but Judge Masipa was nonchalant. Judge Masipa’s indifference emboldened Pistorius to be arrogant and petulant. Why, in the interests of justice and fairness, did Judge Masipa not request the cantankerous Pistorius to respect the court? Or did she?

Judge Masipa strangely seems to think that Pistorius was the only distraught person about the death of Reeva Steenkamp but not her parents, family and friends. She based her findings on the impressions of Dr Stipp who she described as an independent witness but whose adverse evidence against Pistorius she didn’t accept. She ruled out the possibility and the fact that Pistorius could have been devastated by the guilt of having caused the death of Reeva. She seems to think that Pistorius couldn’t lie and is deserving of justice more than Reeva and her parents. She believes the mendacious story that Pistorius wanted to protect Reeva and himself. How could he protect a person whose whereabouts he didn’t know? If he knew Reeva’s whereabouts he couldn’t have shot and killed her with a hail of bullets in the toilet cubicle.

Judge Masipa agreed with Advocate Nel that Pistorius had other options such as going out through the patio door thereby avoiding to confront what he perceived to be a danger. Advocate Nel went further and said if Pistorius opted to avoid a confrontational approach, Reeva could be alive today. She conceded that Pistorius acted in haste, recklessly and negligently. She also said that there were issues which would remain in the realm of conjecture such as why Reeva never responded when Pistorius shouted that she should call the police and why Pistorius shot four instead of one bullet. Pistorius was cross examined for days and Judge Masipa had ample opportunity to ask him why he shot four bullets instead of one and why he discharged his firearm even when he couldn’t hear Reeva’s response.

A judge or magistrate is allowed to seek clarification through asking questions. There is a probability that Reeva did scream as some witnesses testified but their testimony was not accepted because of the timeline. There is no person, especially a woman, who can remain tjoep stil in the face of imminent danger and possible death knowing quite well how trigger happy and irascible Pistorius is. Pistorius gave evidence that, “the discharging of my firearm was precipitated by a noise (in the bathroom) believed to be the intruder or intruders coming out of the toilet to attack Reeva and me”. Judge Masipa, at this stage Reeva was still alive and Pistorius was about four to three metres away according to ballistic evidence. Do you believe Reeva didn’t utter a word? Anybody who believes such bunkum can believe anything. It is preposterous that a person, especially a female, facing imminent danger and possible death can remain dead still.

Before he heard the noise in the bathroom, Pistorius had his firearm pointed at the bathroom door and he had walked a few metres from his bedroom. He told the court that he shouted to the supposed intruder or intruders “to get the f*** out of my house” before he discharged his firearm which clearly indicates that he had time to reflect. Discharging of his firearm wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment action as Judge Masipa would have us believe. It is debatable that he didn’t know that Reeva was in the toilet. It is the state’s contention that he knew that Reeva was in the toilet while Judge Masipa thinks he didn’t know. In this matter it’s Pistorius’ word against Reeva’s and as we all know “a dead (wo)man tells no tales”. Judge Masipa should have made sure that Pistorius’ evidence sheds light on the issues she said in her judgment will remain a matter of conjecture by answering the state Advocate’s questions without equivocation and being quarrelsome.

Whether or not Pistorius knew Reeva was in the toilet, the fact remains that he knew there was somebody in the toilet and therefore should have been convicted with Dolus Eventualis as a compendium of legal opinion have suggested. If he didn’t know there was someone in the toilet why would he shout, “get the f*** out of my house”?

Judge Masipa either couldn’t bring herself to convicting Pistorius for reasons best known to her or she interpreted the law erroneously, therefore the state should seek leave to appeal so that this matter can be decided by the Supreme Court of Appeal. An appeal would do justice to the Steenkamp family. Moreover, listening to various radio talk-shows there is a groundswell of support for this case to be adjudicated by a higher court.

By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Senior Researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI).

EFF Leaders - Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema (in Red Overalls) Source: http://www.timeslive.co.za

EFF Leaders – Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema (in Red Overalls) Source: http://www.timeslive.co.za

On 21 August 2014 there was an interesting spectacle at the National Assembly of the South African Parliament when President Jacob Zuma was asked to account, about the public money he used for the upgrades at his Nkandla homestead, as required in the Public Protector’s report. President Zuma engaged in doublespeak and egg dancing as he is wont. But Economic Freedom Fighters Members of Parliament would not have any of that and parliament erupted into pandemonium as a consequence of President Zuma’s verbal gymnastics and prevarication.

On 22 August 2014, the SABC’s Morning Live television show played a clip in which Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete said that EFF Members of Parliament have no respect for parliament. That’s rich coming from the Chairperson of the ruling party. Does the ANC itself have respect for parliament?

The preamble and Section 181 and 182 of the Constitution clearly spell out the constitutional and legislative mandate of the Public protector. It reads in part thus: The Constitution establishes the Public Protector as one of the several independent institutions that are to strengthen and support democracy. The Public Protector is accountable to the National Assembly and must report on activities and performance of functions to the National Assembly at least once a year. No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the Public Protector. All organs of state are required by the Constitution to assist and protect the Public Protector and other constitutional institutions to ensure the independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness of these institutions. They are further forbidden from interfering with the functioning of the Public Protector and other constitutional institutions.

Unpacking some of the functions and duties of the Public Protector and other pertinent points would be in order.

On the issue of strengthening and supporting constitutional democracy, the question we must ask is how did the actions of EFF Members of Parliament weaken and undermine democracy by demanding answers from President Jacob Zuma only to be prevented from doing so by the partisan interjection of Speaker of Parliament? How do the actions of President Zuma strengthen and support democracy by ducking and diving? He has failed to uphold the constitution of this country by playing hanky-panky on the remedial action sought by the Public Protector. President Zuma must honour his constitutional obligations. If Parliament can’t bring pressure to bear on President Zuma to respect the jurisdiction of the Public Protector and hold him to account then it has no reason to sit. Suspending the seating of Parliament temporarily and calling in the police to Parliament, a place meant for debates, to protect a dishounarable and wayward Head of State exposed the dark underbelly of the ANC.

The Public Protector is accountable to the National Assembly and must report on its activities and functions to the National Assembly at least once a year. The Public Protector has fulfilled her constitutional and legislative duties on the Nkandla scandal on a shoe-string budget for that matter. What was left for President Jacob Zuma to do was to account to Parliament what happened to millions of Rands of the tax payers’ money as required or demanded by Members of Parliament, not only of the EFF but of other political parties as well. The ruling party can’t rely on its parliamentary majority (voting cattles), delaying tactics and the partisan Speaker of Parliament in order to circumvent issues of national importance while they are willy-nilly looting state coffers with impunity and brazen affront.

No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the Public Protector. This constitutional provision was clearly violated by those Cabinet Ministers who formed part of the security cluster – Nathi Mthethwa, Siyabonga Cwele and Jeff Radebe. They intimidated the Public Protector by threatening her with prosecution should she make her report of the Nkandla scandal public. They also attempted to approach the courts to seek a court interdict and accused her of leaking the report to the media all of which came to naught. One wonders if they are or were familiar with The Public Protector Act 23 of 1994.

The previous Speaker of Parliament Max Sisulu constituted a Parliamentary Committee to look into the Public Protector’s report which was dissolved by ANC MP’s prior to the May 9 national elections perhaps with the hope that it will go away. Unfortunately it hasn’t gone away and has come back to haunt the ANC. The dissolution by the ANC in parliament of the committee that was constituted by former Speaker Sisulu is one of the delaying tactics employed by the ANC to buy time.

The Public Protector’s report was finally presented to the Special Investigating Unit apparently by Zuma. The SIU which had previously said it had completed its investigation into the Nkandla scandal somersaulted and reported that it hadn’t completed its investigations. When President Zuma was requested to respond to the Public Protector’s report he said he was waiting for the SIU to complete its investigations. The SIU is not a constitutional body; it is a statutory body whose head is appointed by Zuma himself. Moreover, the SIU has shown itself to be pliant and manipulable. Its findings in this matter are neither here nor there.

In another matter involving Zuma, the handing over of the spy tapes as ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeal has not been honoured. There is stone-walling, especially by President Zuma. He has also instituted a bogus arms deal commission of inquiry whose outcome is predetermined. This is done at the tax payers’ expense. He undermines our intelligence. Not only is he undermining our intelligence but he is also cocking a snook at the legislative assembly, the judiciary and the executive. He has become a law unto himself. Given this state of affairs why should members of the parliamentary opposition observe parliamentary decorum?

By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Senior Researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI). He can be contacted on 078 178 3623.

bush-obama-1

The opportunities for investment by US business people have been there ever since Africa overthrew colonialism and became independent states but the old US with a colonial and imperialistic mentality is irrelevant to Africa. The US policy of dictating how Africans must rule themselves, of harbouring colonial conspiracies about “regime change” and lecturing African countries on “democracy” can be considered parochial, arrogant and insulting to Africa’s people.

That respectable African statesman, Tanzanian President “Mwalimu” Julius Nyerere was right when he said, “We, in Africa have no more need of being ‘converted’ to socialism than we have of being taught ‘democracy’. Both are rooted in our past – in the traditional society which produced us.” Prof. Chukuwuma Soludo, a leading African economist, once observed that, “at issue, is whether or not Africa can be allowed latitude to conduct trade and industrial development for its own development [other than for the benefit of the West].” He has intoned that with the European Partnership Agreements (EPAs) for example, a major difference is that unlike the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, these agreements are today signed by a free people under supposedly democratic governments, but the true context remains that Africans again, still remain with neither a voice nor choice in these new economic dispensations.

It is therefore unsurprising that African commentators are questioning some merits of the Obama US-Africa Summit. If the US-Africa Summit is about economic matters and trade, why has it not been organised by American businessmen with the involvement of African ministers of trade and economic affairs, as well as their expert advisors? Why is it not being held in Africa where the economic war against poverty and underdevelopment is being fought and needs to be won? Why must it be the African heads of state – many of whom are not economists – that are invited to the Obama US-Africa Summit for economic issues? And pointedly, what actually is new about this summit?

To begin with, if this summit signals an unprecedented change in American foreign policy towards Africa, the exclusion from invites of some African heads of state, such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Sudan’s Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, not only arouses doubt, but opens the ever-festering wounds of colonial domination, and in pan-African political thought-leader circles, there is already talk that the African leaders invited to attend the summit must tread carefully and refuse to be used as tools in the age-old imperialist game of “divide and rule.”

There are calls that the African Union must not allow its members to be discriminated against by foreign powers and that the selective invitations not only undermine the broader continental interests, but render as irrelevant one of the continent’s major tenets, which is that African leaders must speak with one African voice. It is unabashedly imprudent for America to want to deal with some African heads of state and not with others in this day and age where issues and disagreement must be resolved with the involvement of all parties.

The other point that must be observed is that America is not a continent. It is a country, albeit an important one. It is contemptuous of President Obama to invite Africa – an important continent – as if it were some “Banana Republic.” Africa must be respected and African heads of state must not compromise the respect for Africa. As Prof. Ngungi wa Thiongo has put it, “Africa is a huge continent, the US, China and India can be contained within it. This means that Africa has the most natural resources – including land for agriculture and mines for almost every mineral. These, including her human resources, have played a central role in the evolution of capitalism from its mercantile through its industrial to its current global finance dominance – all to the advantage of the West, and to the disadvantage of the people of Africa.”

Many African leaders, now and before, have routinely been irritated by the condescending treatment Africa has received from some Western countries including the US. At one point, the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser elucidated: “We [Africans], are a sentimental people. We like a few kind words better than millions of dollars given in a humiliating way.” Another great African mind, the late President Ahmed Sekou Touré of Guinea once bluntly stated: “An African statesman is not a naked boy begging from rich imperialists.” Fast-forward to 2014, and the attitude of the US towards Africa largely remains un-reassuring and rather disturbing. The African leaders who met with President Obama at US Africa Head of States Summit, could only serve justice to their people if they had boldly and resolutely scrutinise and interrogate the US about why they (the US) have actually called the summit. This was their chance to seek answers to many events experienced at the hands of America in Africa.

When talking about moving Africa forward, both economically and politically, America has advanced the issue of African youth. One of its agendas – training “Young Africa’s Leaders” – saw, just this June, some 500 African students reportedly arrive in the US to be trained in several American universities on “African Leadership”. These students, who the Americans call “Africa’s Most Promising Leaders”, are wholly funded by the US government. As the African leaders sit around the table with the American government at the Summit, one would expect them to query why, and further question if President Obama would, for example, offer similar programmes to the Russians or Chinese. African leaders should be wary of the long-term intentions and impact of the US’s “training” of African leaders on Africa’s behalf.

The spectre of Africa being ruled by proxy or puppet leaders trained to serve not African interests, but those of their masters, can never be taken lightly or be ignored. African youth is a very important continental asset. Without the youth, there is no tomorrow, they are the future custodians and trustees of this continent. And as such, they must be meticulously trained for leadership in accordance with the deepest aspirations, interests and needs of African people. To allow a situation where African youths are trained by foreign powers with vital economic and other interests in the continent, is like parents who give their children to strangers to bring them up. This issue is therefore of vital importance to raise as African leaders meet up with the world’s lead superpower. What we require is a partnership of equals.

In this day and age, technology talks. And if this summit is truly “unprecedented”, one area that needs vigorous consideration is that of the massive transfer of high technology for the economic development and technological advancement of Africa. African governments should be lobbying to learn from the US, and through the transfer of technology and skills, obtain the required technology that will fast-track the development of the continent. The onus is on African heads of state to find solutions to questions of technology and skills transfer. One way that might be explored, is to seek an exchange of Africa’s raw materials, especially minerals and oil, for the continent’s needed technology, as opposed to cash, goods or services. Africa will only become wholly self-reliant if technological advancement is part of its economic development trajectory. If the intention of the US was to use the Summit as a forum for realising Africa’s economic advancement, for mutual benefits, then technology transfer should be at, or near, the top of the agenda. Practically all development analysts would argue that Africa needs to be assisted in this manner.

All nations of the world, especially the Western world, must awaken to the fact that the 21st century requires the creation of an interdependent world. The US and its allies must be told that they need to subscribe to this ideal because the Eurocentric view of the world is not the only view. The Africentric/Afrocentric view must also be accepted and respected, more so now that the US for the first time in its history has seen the need for a Summit between the US and Africa countries. Economic, cultural and military domination by one nation or a group is not a solution to the problems of this world. No nations should operate as if the UN and its Charter are insignificant. No nation must look only at its own interests and ignore the fact that all other nations of the world have their own national interests. Hopefully, this is a premise on which the US Africa Summit is anchored.

Africa must unite and speak with one voice. As they freely agree to be part of the Summit, the message should be that they come as a solid unit, as a collective. African leaders must always engage with the world on the basis of interdependence, not dependence, especially economically. This message must be clearly spelt out at the Summit. African Heads of States should not present Africa as a bankrupt, indebted continent, bringing nothing to the Obama table but a begging bowl. The African continent has reached a pivotal point regarding the social and economic liberation of her population. The peace dividend is more essential today than at any moment in Africa’s history. Stability and self–determined economic policy are critical anchors of African countries’ development path, particularly given the worrying incursions of terrorist groups.

China has a huge stake in the African regional economies, with massive investments in infrastructure, development loans, venture capital and other inputs. Current GDP figures illustrate that the Africa region is one of China’s primary trading interests. The era of economic incursion belongs in the past and the 21st century demands foreign investors who understand the fundamentals of partnership. This requires that African countries define and receive their fair share while international investors receive theirs as well. African countries cannot continue to be passive bystanders, while unscrupulous investors deplete Africa’s riches, leaving little or nothing in their place for Africa to benefit from. In the past some investors contented themselves with merely paying for labour and leaving no lasting heritage. African governments must declare this kind of exploitative investment as belonging to the oldest archives and evoke existing labour, environmental and trade regulations to support this position. All must be done on a level playing field and characterised by mutual respect.

By Dr. Motsoko Pheko
The writer is a former representative of the victims of apartheid at the United Nations in New York and at the UN Commission and Human Rights in Geneva as well as a former Member of the South African Parliament. He is the author of several books on history, politics, law and theology. This article was first published by the New African magazine at http://newafricanmagazine.com on 5 August 2014 and has been slightly edited.

A Liberian soldier stops people at a security checkpoint set up to clamp down on people traveling due to the Ebola virus, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Soldiers clamped down on people trying to travel to Liberia's capital Thursday from rural areas hard-hit by the Ebola virus hours after the president declared a national state of emergency. Source: http://news.msn.com/

A Liberian soldier stops people at a security checkpoint set up to clamp down on people traveling due to the Ebola virus, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Soldiers clamped down on people trying to travel to Liberia’s capital Thursday from rural areas hard-hit by the Ebola virus hours after the president declared a national state of emergency. Source: http://news.msn.com/

I first heard about the Ebola virus while I was in Canada in the early 1990’s. At the time, I was already writing about AIDS. The disease that was said to be caused by this virus was described as haemorrhagic fever and the strain of the virus was described as Ebola Zaire. They said those affected bled from all the orifices.

As stated in the opening paragraph, Ebola was first mentioned in the early 1990’s or earlier. One morning in North America this writer was watching NBC television programme hosted by Bryant Gamble. During the course of the programme, a white American guy Richard Preston was interviewed about Ebola and he had written a book titled The Hot Zone. A clip featuring him wearing protective clothing appeared in which it was purported to have been recorded in African caves where he was researching about the Ebola virus.

Alternative media sources report that this particular strain that is responsible for the current outbreak of the pandemic in West Africa is not Ebola Zaire. It is a new strain and maybe more dangerous than the Zaire variety. The symptoms are the same but the new strain seems difficult to contain. It is airborne. It does not spread through body fluids as health officials, governments and the mainstream media have been telling us. The rate at which this strain has spread is unprecedented. It can spread between different species of animals, for example, from monkeys to pigs.

The US’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) says this virus is 97% similar to the Zaire strain. It should also be noted that there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what to call this new strain. One study referred to it as “Guinean EBOV”, another as “Guinea 2014 EBOV Ebola virus” and others still refer to it as Zaire. As stated above the media has embarked on a red herring.

As reported in top secret.com, media coverage is now focusing on the experimental Ebola treatments being given to two American Ebola patients who contracted it while caring for victims in Africa – the site of the world’s deadliest outbreak. But that Ebola treatment, created by a leading bioengineering scientist from the University of Arizona who “joked” about wiping out humanity with a “better” genetically engineered virus during a post-lecture Question and Answer session, focused on over-population issues, citing the Hollywood film ‘Contagion.’ It continued to point out that as Truthstream Media previously reported, on February 2, 2012, Dr. Charles Arntzen, head of The Biodesign Institute for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, responded to a question pertaining to whether feeding the 8 billion people of the world was worth it, or whether population reduction should be pursued. The scientist quipped: “Has anybody seen ‘Contagion’? That’s the answer! Go out and use genetic engineering to create a better virus… 25 percent of the population is supposed to go in Contagion.” One of the writer said, “I know some of you will say, ‘he was just joking around’. But we know there are some mad scientists out there who actually believe this. They believe it, and they have the financial backing to seriously consider doing it (Bill Gates, George Soros, etc.). Whatever this scientist’s (Dr. Charles Arntzen) motivation, I find it highly disturbing that he would joke about such a thing. It also betrays the contempt for humanity that many scientists hold.

The site http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1025707/pg1 captures Dr Arntzen in a YouTube video clip making those foreboding and blood-curdling remarks. The above comments are from one of the writers of Truthstream Media. He/she says many scientists have contempt for humanity. Apparently Contagion is a Hollywood movie whose story line is depopulation of people from the so-called Third World, especially Africans, Asian and Latin Americans. Those Hitler and the Nazis referred to as “useless eaters”.

Former President of the World Bank (1968 – 1981) Robert McNamara who hailed from the US once said that reduction of excess population in this thermo-nuclear age can be achieved through war, famine and inoculation of disease. He was one of the authors of The Global 2000 Report which called for the elimination of 2-billion people by the year 2000. Killing people in the “Third World” for their resources is one of the cornerstones of US foreign policy. I refer readers to former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s National Security Memorandum (NSM) 200 which states that, “The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less-developed countries. That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interests in the political, economic and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resources, supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.”

Of course, we know that the “economic interests of the United States” means the interests of U.S. corporations and Multinationals. NSM 200 is available at the U.S. National Archives (Source: Rwanda: The True Forces behind Genocide in Africa Author: Mosalagae Ditshego). This article first appeared in The Final Call in 1994. The Final Call is the newspaper of The Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan. These diseases, wars and famines are orchestrated. This Ebola pandemic is a biological warfare against Africans but your leaders are wimps, chickens to tell the West like it is. Our scientists and medical doctors are conniving and colluding with African leaders because they beg for research funding from them. Young African scientists and medical doctors with courage must join the war against imperialism, man-made diseases and famines imposed through genetically modified organisms.

By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Senior Researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI).

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