Tuesday, February 28, 2006

DA renews call for arms-deal inquiry

Cape Town, South Africa
27 February 2006 03:16
The Democratic Alliance has renewed its call on President Thabo Mbeki to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into certain aspects of the arms deal.

DA public accounts spokesperson Eddie Trent said on Monday he has again written to Mbeki "in an attempt to jog his memory" of an alleged meeting he had with French arms company Thomson-CSF senior executives in Paris in 1998 when he was deputy president.

Trent said he wrote the letter in view of Mbeki's statement in an interview with the Sunday Independent newspaper that he "honestly cannot recall" whether he met the senior executives during a highly sensitive stage of the arms-procurement process.

"I have also sent him the contents of two encrypted faxes which appear to confirm that such a meeting did in fact take place, in a complete violation of normally accepted tender procedures."

In his letter to Mbeki, Trent said the first of these faxes was from Pierre Moynot to M Denis and B de Bollardiere, all Thomson-CSF employees.

In this fax, dated November 28 1997, reference was made to the "person responsible for the shortlist".

The fax also referred to the fact that this person "repeated that he had obtained the assurance from the deputy president that we would be awarded the combat system and sensors".

The second fax was from B de Bollardiere (senior vice-president of Thomson-CSF) to the then South African ambassador to France, Barbara Masekela.

In this fax, De Bollardiere thanked Masekela for arranging a meeting between the "deputy president of your government, Mr Thabo Mbeki, with Messrs Jean-Paul Perrier, Michel Denis, and myself".

Trent asked Mbeki to clarify whether any assurance was given to Thomson-CSF that it would be awarded the corvette combat suite contract, and whether a meeting of the nature referred to in the second fax did in fact take place.

"If indeed the contents of these documents are either false or misleading, it would appear to be in the national interest that they should be publicly disputed," he wrote.

"Despite the government's protestations to the contrary, there are still a number of outstanding questions relating to the arms deal.

"I would therefore like to repeat my call for you to establish a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate firstly the outstanding issues surrounding executive interference in the drafting of the auditor general's arms deal report, and secondly the information contained in the faxes referred to above," Trent wrote. -- Sapa

Source: Mail & Guardian

'We always vote but our lives don't improve'

Durban, South Africa
28 February 2006 07:38
The rural community of Ndwedwe, north of Durban, has no electricity, running water and tarred roads, says an area headman.

"We were promised development a long time ago. Government officials always come and address us with the chief, especially during the elections, but nothing happens," Shangase headman Phenyamadoda Mchunu says while waiting on a dusty road to catch a taxi.

"We wash ourselves in the [Mdloti] river. The women also wash their clothes in the river. The water is dirty; it's easy to get sick."

The community, which mainly lives in mud rondavels, often enquires about the slow pace of delivery, but they are told there is no money.

"[Minister of Finance] Trevor Manuel has just presented his Budget. We know money has been made available by the government, but it does not reach us. The question is what happens to it."

Mchunu says he sees no point in voting in the local government elections on Wednesday.

"Tell me one reason why I should vote. We always vote but our lives don't improve," he says, wiping his brow in the early-morning heat.

Unlike Mchunu, other community members say they will not forfeit their vote.

Sikhathi Makhanya, of Thafamasi, says: "I am going to vote so that the people I elect can hear my grievances. That is the right we fought for."

Makhanya says many feel the area is being neglected by the municipality and its councillors.

"Our councillor is too lazy to visit us and hear our needs. All she does is drive around to council meetings.

"She gets money for nothing," he says to the laughter of a small group of men sitting around him on wooden benches.

There are many elderly who qualify for government grants but do not receive them.

"Social department officials have never visited our old people who are unable to walk long distances to the public offices. Their families are starving because the government has neglected them."

A few hundred metres from Makhanya's home lives another Makhanya family.

Albert Makhanya and his wife are both unemployed and live with their three children. If lucky, they earn R10 a day from selling peanuts and crisps.

"We were promised proper houses by the government since 2002. We have registered about three times to get a house.

"When [Nelson] Mandela was president, he was asked by a listener on Ukhozi FM what happened to all the promises. He answered sometimes you have to lie in order to get a woman."

However, Albert says he will cast his ballot in the hope that it will bring him a brighter future. -- Sapa

Source: http://www.mg.co.za/

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Turning the financial screw on the Afrikaner

Johan van Vlaams, MajorityRights.com, Original article

I have just read an article about SA Nedbank’s new discount share scheme that only targets black South Africans.

Black South African citizens are defined by the SA Financial Sector Charter as Africans, Indians and coloureds. This condition is in all Nedbank’s ads for the Eyethu Investment Scheme. Questions about how, in case of doubt, the bank will determine which would-be clients are undesirably white stay unanswered. The question is not theoretical. Many coloureds have a light skin (in Afrikaans). Any that receive a white classification, however, will find that they aren’t even allowed to invest their money in a favourable way. It is racism and reminiscent of the yellow stars in Nazi Germany, with the difference that whites don’t need a star to be recognised in South Africa.

The scheme also reminds us, if we needed reminding, that the ANC’s policies such as Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Affirmative Action (AA) are Marxist by nature. The idea is to transfer wealth from white to black rather than generate new wealth to empower black South Africans. Whites who still have a job pay double the taxes of blacks at same the income level. The ANC, meanwhile, demands that 85% of all jobs go to blacks - not as an average for the whole country but even in those regions with a white majority. In many job ads one reads “BEE only”. South African companies argue that it is the South African ANC government that forces them into this. But nothing can diminish their moral complicity in the new racism against whites.

The South African People’s (race) Registration Law, dating from the apartheid era, is officially abolished, of course. But it is in widespread use all the same and applies, for example, to education. The result of such universal discrimination is economically devastating not only for the whites but, since white productivity is strangled, for South Africa as a whole.

Over and above all this economic warfare against the Afrikaner, is a determined culture war. The ANC is intensely anti-Afrikaans, although somewhat hilariously it dares to claim the opposite, even ”wishing the Afrikaners much success” on the recent anniversary (in Afrikaans) of the founding of their own language in 1875. But that’s just typical ANC window-dressing.

Afrikaner Buks van Rensburg has written an interesting essay (in English) about this cultural genocide, and about the Judenr├Ąte mentality (called Afrikaner decadence) of much of the Afrikaner intellectuals. There only is one aspect on which I disagree with Mr van Rensburg. Those Afrikaners who have decided to fully Anglicise have in fact already made their choice - they are just waiting for the right moment to join the white emigration, and to leave South Africa for ever.

So what, besides simple racial revenge, is the cause of such malignity towards Afrikaners?

The Afrikaners are, in fact, the only possible source of white resistance against the ANC’s economic plundering … and, therefore, the Afrikaners must suffer the complete undermining of their institutions, from primary and secondary schools to universities and businesses. I don’t know if any MR readers will remember the Volkskas, the bank built from the pennies brought to school by impoverished Afrikaner kids in the 1920’s and 30’s. Now it is defunct. Afrikaner farmers must submit themselves to the discriminatory practices of the Land Bank and the other government-related institutions mandated to “assist” farmers. They are assistance towards ruin, of course - and worse - by land reform and invasions apparently driven by the agendas of foreign NGO’s as much by ANC warlords.

So no one should be surprised if the mainstream Afrikaner view is that white apartheid has simply been replaced by black racism. How do you expect people to think when they have been deceived into a world where not merit but only the colour of your skin matters (in Afrikaans).

At worst deception, at best window-dressing is a seminal feature of South African economic and political life. A good deal of it no doubt serves the purpose of self-deception as far as the ANC is concerned. But the really critical component is deceiving the rest of the financial and political world. The Reserve Bank (SARB), for example, silences criticism with wonderfully rosy statements about macro-economic stability and strong growth. However, you might find this article by Mandla Maleka more trustworthy. Mandla was, by the way, named by Reuters among the top ten SA economists in 2002 and 2004, and was director at the SA National Treasury etc, etc.

They can’t both be right. Oh yes, South Africa is reported to have been upgraded by three rating agencies on the back of strong growth and a disciplined approach to economic thinking. But it is growth based on greed, and the discipline is a phantom. Whites are squeezed on every front and blacks just can’t be got to save - despite the highest real interest yields in the world.

The light will finally go out in South Africa the day the world community realises this … if it is not also bent on self-deception. For example, you can read an expert analysis of South Africa’s Jekyll and Hyde economy here. But … why does Reuters contrive to overlook black racism when it is so manifestly the key to understanding what’s going on?