While some are challenging the report in Beeld newspaper that Jacob Zuma and Gwede Mantashe have read the riot act to Julius Malema over his singing of the “shoot the boer” song, there can be no doubting its accuracy.
Here’s what the newspaper quoted Mantashe as saying:
“I’ve just come from Mahlamba-Ndlopfu [Mantashe may have wrong named Zuma's official residence in Pretoria instead of his residence in Cape Town, causing some of the confusion], where I told Malema to refrain from making inflammatory statements. He is also not allowed to sing the song (‘Ayesab’ amagwala’) in its entirety.
“There will be very clear outcomes regarding Malema after our conversation with him. People will be able to see the result. The ANC and the youth league will restrain him.”
“I’m no protector of Malema, but the irritation he causes and the problem… needs to be isolated and solved.”
This strongly suggests that Malema may have bitten off more than he can chew by taking on Mantashe in public. Mantashe has the backing of Zuma and, we can deduce, that of Kgalema Motlanthe in this muzzling of the song which represents a turning point for Malema.
THERE have been calls for calm following the alleged murder of the AWB leader, Eugene Terre Blanche.
But, make no mistake, the overwhelming majority of South Africans are calm and would like to see justice take its course.
Those who are not calm are the racists to the left and right for whom calm is the enemy.
To them the idea that a murder should be dispassionately investigated, the culprits subjected to a fair trial and then be found innocent or guilty is not acceptable.
They would like to turn this event, which has all the hallmarks of another senseless farm killing, into an occasion for political mobilisation.
There are those who say that Terre Blanche got what he deserved and there are those who say he was the victim of a grand political conspiracy against whites.
Both are fanning the flames of intolerance when they should be entrusting this country’s institutions to handle the matter.
It is wrong to say that Terre Blanche got what he deserved because the strength of the rule of law is most severely tested when society’s least loved require justice.
It is also wrong to conjure a conspiracy against whites when there is no evidence for this.
The fact that numerous government leaders have been at pains to go to the scene of the crime and to condemn the murder in no uncertain terms has done much to set aside these sorts of conspiracy theories.
So to has the statement by President Jacob Zuma who addressed the nation to reassure all with the words: “I call upon our people, black and white to remain calm, and allow police and other organs of state to do their work. This is not the time for speculation that can worsen the situation.”
We should all heed the President’s call.
Statement by President Jacob Zuma on the death of Mr. Eugene Terreblanche
4 April 2010
I have learnt with shock of the brutal killing of Mr Eugene Terreblanche last night, allegedly by people who were working for him.
Two suspects have now been arrested and police are still doing their further investigations. The Minister and the National Commissioner of Police have already visited the scene.
We strongly condemn such acts of violence. People should use legal and peaceful means to resolve differences of any nature including labour disputes. We should uphold the right to life that is enshrined in the Constitution and abide by the rule of law at all times.
As government, we convey our profound sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Terreblanche during this difficult time. I have personally communicated to the Terreblanche family and have spoken to Mr Terreblanche’s daughter and conveyed my condolences. Read More…
Gavin Evans, a seasoned journalist and author, made this comment on my blog post on Facebook: “Should we not be talking about ‘alleged murder’? Can we really be certain, before any evidence is led, that this was not a case of self-defence? After all, to put it mildly, Terre’Blanche had a history of violence. The claim that he was sleeping came from a family friend – a claim that will no doubt be tested in court. In any event, surely talking about murder after two people have been arrested is contempt of court?”
I think he is right. We do not have any idea of what actually happened in Eugene Terre Blanche’s house. And there are some big unanswered questions. Why did the accused phone the police from the scene and inform them that they had killed Terre Blanche (at least according to the police account) in self-defence? This behaviour is out of sync with that of murderers, who would typically flee the scene.
Add to this the fact that Terre Blanche has a history of violence including a previous conviction for which he did jail time.
We need to wait for the facts about what took place to be aired by all parties and then subjected to a proper legal test. Thanks, Gavin.
Those who would like to polarise South Africa are rubbing their hands with glee at the alleged murder of Eugene Terre Blanche with sickening excitement.
Murdered by two farmworkers after a dispute over R600 in wages, Terre Blanche has been saved from a legacy as a racist thug who beat a petrol attendant so badly he lost his mental faculties. He is now a national symbol for those who believe that farm murders are political acts aimed at driving whites from the land.
On paper, the ANC has recently been at pains to reassure farmers that it has no intention of nationalising the land as was suggested in an official discussion document.
But in Zimbabwe, its Youth League president, Julius Malema has just been given a rousing heroes welcome by Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF. The “Kill the Boer” song was sung in his honour.
Then, after addressing a rally of 2000 Zanu-PF youth (a dissapointing tournout?), Malema said:
“In SA we are just starting. Here in Zimbabwe you are already very far. The land question has been addressed. We are very happy that today you can account for more than 300000 new farmers against the 4000 who used to dominate agriculture. We hear you are now going straight to the mines. That’s what we are going to be doing in South Africa.
“We want the mines. They have been exploiting our minerals for a long time. Now it’s our turn to also enjoy from these minerals. They are so bright, they are colourful, we refer to them as white people, maybe their colour came as a result of exploiting our minerals and perhaps if some of us can get opportunities in these minerals we can develop some nice colour like them.”
Malema’s words are chilling. They remind one of the sort of racist rhetoric practised by Terre Blanche.
But there is a stark difference.
Terre Blanche was always on the fringes of power and had become somewhat of a comic figure.
Malema is a member of a highly dominant ruling party and he is being indulged by its leaders, suggesting a best a passive indifference to his rhetoric, at worst quiet support for what he is saying.
The ANC must wake up to the monster it is creating by allowing Malema to occupy the public arena without contradiction. Jacob Zuma’s comment that it is a free country and all can do as they please is evidence of very weak leadership. His predecessor Thabo Mbeki would not have tolerated this sort of rubbish.
In the absence of political censure, the courts are stepping in to narrow the definition of free speech. This is a very regrettable turn of events. The ANC must lead. Leadership means being willing to be unpopular.
THERE is a growing likelihood that hundreds of thousands of workers will down tools on the eve of the Football World Cup if Cosatu gets its way.
The union federation is applying to Nedlac for permission to call a general strike in protest at the planned hike in electricity prices.
There is no question that this hike will place many jobs in jeopardy and that it will have a chilling effect on the economy which is only just peeping above the parapets after the recession.
The rising cost of electricity has a lot to do with the ineptitude of the state and Eskom which failed to plan for increased consumption and failed to open the supply and distribution to competition which would have brought prices down.
This monumental failure has cost our economy dearly and Cosatu is understandably angry that consumers are being asked to finance incompetence.
But has the union federation thought of the economic consequences of blowing this country’s hosting of the World Cup?
It is by now a well-established fact that Cosatu strikes are accompanied by violence, sometimes of the most brutal kind.
The spectre of mass protests, violent encounters with police and assaults on workers who do not strike will play directly into the hands of those who want to paint this country — and this continent — as unfit to host tournaments of this sort.
This nation must make this tournament a showcase of democracy, tolerance and love of the beautiful game.
This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity and if it is blown we will saddle many generations with a broken legacy.
Let’s hope that Cosatu is posturing and will not got through with this strike. Or we will all live to regret it.
JULIUS Malema’s utterances are challenging the very foundation of our democracy by juxtaposing free speech with the need to prevent hatred.
These two imperatives are both contained in our pact with ourselves never to allow the oppression of one by another in post-Apartheid South Africa.
And so we have Clause 16 of the Constitution which reads:
16. Freedom of expression Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes
freedom of the press and other media;
freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;
freedom of artistic creativity; and
academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.
The right in subsection (1) does not extend to
propaganda for war;
incitement of imminent violence; or
advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
So Julius Malema has the right to say what he wants about what rape victims might or might not say the day after the event provided he doesn’t go too far. The recent finding by the Equality court that he did go to far when he commented that Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser enjoyed herself because she asked for taxi money on the morning after has been found to have gone too far.
And the South Gauteng High Court has also found that Malema went too far because he has been singing the lyrics “Kill the Boers”.
A court has also found that Martin Williams writing in the Citizen newspaper went too far when he referred to Robert McBride as a murderer because he had been given amnesty for his crimes.
In all these cases, the courts have taken the conservative route and backed limitations on free speech.
While the decisions have so far been benign, there is a danger that they are paving the way for a growing list of “banned” commentary which offends the sensitivity of this or that lobby. Not good.
Ahem. This falls in the shameless self-promotion department …
SUNDAY TIMES EDITOR MONDLI MAKHANYA PROMOTED TO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF AVUSA MEDIA NEWSPAPERS
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Avusa Media newspapers it was announced today.
Announcing the promotion Avusa CEO Prakash Desai said that in his new position Makhanya would be charged with setting up and running centres of excellence that will produce unique, original and compelling content for all of the group’s newspapers and websites. In this new role, he would also represent the interests of editors on the Avusa Media management committee.
The editor of The Times, Ray Hartley, will assume the editorship of the Sunday Times and the editor of Business Times, Phylicia Oppelt, will become the editor of The Times. They will both report to Makhanya as will all other editors of Avusa Media newspapers. Read More…
I am Ray Hartley, the editor of The Sunday Times in South Africa.
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