Cheers at chants of ‘one American, one bullet’ outside US embassy in Pretoria
PRETORIA – A threat of ‘one bullet, one American’ was cheered when shouted outside the United States embassy in Pretoria on Thursday as hundreds of picketers protested US foreign policy in the Middle East. “The Americans are the biggest terrorists around the world. They committed terrorism against Cuba, Venezuela, and many other countries in South America. Now they have decided that the Middle East is their home base. Our message is that there is no home for you, otherwise you will go home in your coffins. Very soon, you will hear a slogan of ‘one bullet one American,” said Sheikh Shuaib Booley, chairperson of the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Council of South Africa, to cheers from the crowd. Booley led the crowd in chanting “Allahu Akbar” as embassy employees watched from a distance. He was later stopped by officials before he could enter the building as part of a delegation set to hand over a memorandum. Also at the protest was SACP secretary-general Solly Mapaila, who said his organization and alliance partners would be taking part in rolling mass action to protest US meddling in the region. “The entire alliance movement will be organizing a series of activities here at the US Embassy (in Pretoria), at their offices in Durban, at their offices in Cape Town, and in Johannesburg. “We will be [taking part in] rolling mass action activities across the board until the USA leaves the Middle East. It must withdraw its entire force out of the Middle East,” said Mapaila while addressing the crowd. Police were closely guarding the embassy premises as the crowd of SACP and ANC members, and others, criticized president Donald Trump for the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq earlier this month.
“We will be rolling-out this mass action as the alliance to ensure that at least peace is attained worldwide. In particular, the US government should know that we are unhappy about its action of destabilizing nations of the world,” said Mapaila. “We oppose US imperialism. We oppose US aggression. We are for all humanity, that we should all live in peace. We are saying no to war, no to attacks, and no to sanctions against democratic states including the Islamic State of Iran.” Clever Banganayi, deputy general secretary of the Friends of Cuba Society, told the gathering that “imperialist America” should remove its military from the Middle East. “The US has imposed so many sanctions on the Iranian people to cause havoc in the country. They are looking at getting oil from [Iran]. This is not the first country they have done that to. They have done that in Latin America, Venezuela, and in Bolivia,” said Banganayi. Imam Seyyed Abdollah Hoseyni of the Islamic Centre for Africa added his organizations message of support, leading the crowd in frenzied chants of “death to USA”. “Soon, you are going to leave Middle East, and we are going to celebrate our victory. The situation is going to be worse than it is now. Take your stuff and go away, or we are going to send you off in coffins. You killed Soleimani,” said Hoseyni.African News Agency
Mabuza’s move and Mboweni’s moan reveals depth of division in party and state
Two seemingly unrelated events over the past 24 hours might give us some indication of where the political and economic year is headed. And early signs are that it won’t be pretty.
First, on Thursday, Deputy President David Mabuza fired a broadside at Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza, saying they had “misled” the president about load shedding. And then, in the early hours of Friday morning, eccentric Finance Minister Tito Mboweni took to social media and went off about the country’s imminent ratings downgrade, declaring: “You were warned and chose to ignore wise warnings!!” (With two exclamation marks).
WHY SHOULD WE TAKE NOTE OF IT?
Mabuza and Mboweni may serve in the same Cabinet, but they aren’t on the same team. And Mabuza’s attack on Gordhan and Mboweni’s frustration reveal the depth and extent to which President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempts to rescue the state and country are being stymied.
HOW IMPORTANT IS MABUZA?
He’s had a quiet time of it as Ramaphosa’s Number Two. Recall that he made his big power play at the ANC’s elective conference in 2017, throwing in his lot with Ramaphosa, rather than Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, thereby securing the pole position to succeed Ramaphosa when his term of office ends. Since being appointed deputy president, he has been out of the news, quietly trying to clean up his image as strongman politician from a provincial backwater, and someone who has been implicated in various alleged crimes. There have been few public appearances and his parliamentary statements have by and large gone unnoticed. There haven’t been many public indicators of what Mabuza’s plans are. And it’s also unclear what exactly his beliefs are or what his ideology entails. What is clear though is that, before he became deputy president, he was a gun for hire, and that he didn’t commit to Ramaphosa until the last minute. He has also publicly attacked the reformist minded Mboweni, once declaring that he doesn’t take him (Mboweni) “seriously”. His statement that Gordhan and Jabu Mabuza misled the president is significant. Gordhan is Ramaphosa’s man, of that there is no doubt. He has been backed to the hilt by the president and is regarded as the man who will do the dirty work. When he makes a move, or a big announcement, it is done with the blessing of the president. They are in lock step. Similarly, Jabu Mabuza’s appointment as Eskom chairperson was done at the insistence of Ramaphosa, mere days after he was elected ANC leader.Misleading the president is a serious accusation. And by saying what he has, Mabuza has located himself in opposition to Gordhan and, in effect, to Ramaphosa.
12 000 ‘dead people’ doing business with SA government, says Treasury
South Africa’s National Treasury has discovered about 12,000 dead people in its register of companies that do business with the state. This is among the outcomes of a clean-up of the information system that the Treasury’s procurement office undertook as the government battles to rein in spending, said Schalk Human, the unit’s acting head. It has also identified about 14,000 state employees who are listed as directors of companies that have been awarded state contracts in violation of regulations. “We will report on them even if we drag those 14,000 to court by their hair and lock them up,” Human said in an interview this month in Pretoria, the capital.
Exposed SA pres Cyril Ramaphosa dishonest on farm murders Pieter Groenewald
Media release by:
Dr. Pieter Groenewald
FF Plus leader
27 September 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s denial of farm murders and land grabbing in South Africa at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York is dishonest and comes down to a blatant lie. It is a poor attempt to pull the wool over the international community’s eyes. The President is either totally ignorant or he is busy trying to create a false impression with the United Nations (UN) and the rest of the world, particularly with regard to farm murders. The fact the police has recently released statistics on farm murders and attacks as well as earlier police reports on farm attacks go to show that farm attacks and murders are a reality and, therefore, it is incomprehensible that the President of our country is in denial about it and thus lets our farmers down. On the one hand, he says that farmers are important, but then on the other, he sells them out abroad. A police report compiled as far back as 2003, found that the reasons for farm murders are political in nature; that it is related to the land issue, that racism plays a role and that general crime is another contributing factor. If the President truly wanted to be honest with the world, he should have asked for international help to see how the world can contribute to effectively combat crime in South Africa, and in particular farm murders, which is partly the result of the inadequate rural safety system and strategy in South Africa. It is a well-known fact that land grabs have taken place at various places in South Africa and that the land grabbers were only successfully removed by means of a court order in a few of the incidents. There number of illegal land occupations (land grabs) far exceed the number of cases where illegal land occupants are removed by means of a court order. That is the reality in South Africa. Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, will raise the matter in Parliament and will insist that the President must explain these false statements.
Eskom wants R1.8 billion for performance bonuses
Eskom wants to pay R1.8 billion in performance bonuses, despite the company’s dismal financial situation and its inability to keep the lights on. In recent years Eskom has become the poster child of state capture and failed state-owned enterprises, and is now the biggest risk to the South African economy. The power utility’s debt is sitting at a staggering R450 billion, it is massively overstaffed, it lacks critical skills, it has ageing power stations, and its maintenance is a mess. Problems at Eskom were in full display in recent weeks when load-shedding hit a record stage 6 in December and made an unwelcome return again on Saturday night. Despite these problems, Eskom wants to reward its workforce for a job well done with R1.8 billion in performance bonuses between 2019 and 2022. Rapport reported that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) said Eskom did not reveal this plan in its tariff applications. According to Nersa, these bonuses are within management’s control and should not be allowed while Eskom is financially unstable.
How much money Eskom is losing
Over the last financial year, Eskom posted a net loss of R20.7 billion. While the government is promising to turn Eskom around, most South Africans are skeptical as they have heard this statement many times before. The company continues to be dogged by poor governance, corruption, maladministration, and cadre deployment, with no end in sight.
Chilling assessment: BEE has de-industrialized SA, pushed it backwards in time
Zimbabwe had land expropriation as the spark that caused its economy to implode. South Africa has a slower, but equally insidious, government policy that is pushing it backwards in time: Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). This warped system has enabled corrupt individuals to benefit personally from contracts as the country’s key services have steadily eroded. While BEE provided the mechanisms for state capture, the SA-specific term for wide-scale graft, it has also facilitated the spread of parasites that have, and continue to, suck the life-blood out of the country. This is the assessment of environmental expert Professor Anthony Turton, who warned some years back that Eskom was in critical condition – but no-one was listening. Now raw sewage flows in many streets and the electricity is turned off for hours on end, in what looks like a return of sorts to the dark ages, he points out. Turton’s article, republished here with kind permission of the Daily Friend, makes for depressing reading early in the year. But, perhaps this time our leaders are listening and have the appetite to make major changes? – Jackie Cameron
ANC slams ‘inhumane’ US airstrikes in Iraq, labels it ‘international terrorism’
The African National Congress has slammed what it calls “inhumane” airstrikes by the United States in Iraq, which saw General Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iranian Quds Force killed. The governing party called on the United Nations to take action against “this act of international terrorism” and for restraint between countries. In a statement on Saturday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule described the airstrikes as an attack on the people of Iran. “The ANC and all progressive formations of the world cannot afford to remain silent while the actions of the US appear to be undermining peace and security with impunity – a clear and deliberate erosion of Iran’s national “We urge the nations of the world, through the United Nations, to act firmly and expeditiously against this act of international terrorism. We urge all parties to this conflict to give peace a chance. We appeal for maximum restraint. Magashule said.