Monthly Archives: March 2014

Suspected #cholera outbreak in #BoerAfrikaner #squatter camp.

Suspected #cholera outbreak in #BoerAfrikaner #squatter camp. 26 March 2014 By J. Mare According to a well-known aid worker among the #impoverished #Afrikaner minority, a man has succumbed to cholera this afternoon in one of the many white shanty towns dotting the South African landscape. Gideon van Deventer says that they received the preliminary report […]

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Did white privilege save Oscar at Tasha’s?

henriI read an article on Gawker by a white man, David J Leonard, soon after George Zimmerman was acquitted for shooting to death an unarmed black teenager in Florida, US. This was the opening to the article:

“I have been profiled my entire life as innocent. When disruptive in class, I was told that I was eccentric, that I needed to work on my focus. Growing up, I looked for fights and conflicts yet I never fit the profile of a juvenile delinquent. The chip on my shoulder never signified a thug; I was just a kid with a bad temper who needed to mature and grow out of it.

“When I was pulled over in Emeryville, CA (California) for speeding for several miles and asked multiple times by the police officer if there was a reason for my speeding, I told him the truth. “Officer, my ice cream is melting.”

“No stop and frisk. No pretext stop. No humiliating search. No fear of how to hold my hands. No ticket. I, like Adam Lanza and James Holmes, the two most notorious mass shooters of the past year, am white male privilege personified. We are humanised and given voice and innocence over and over again.”

The question many black people asked themselves after Oscar Pistorius allegedly let a firearm go off inside a busy establishment, Tasha’s restaurant, what would have happened had that been a group of black guys?


The argument some make is that Oscar got away with it because he is a famous celebrity, not because he is a white male. Fine, let’s say that is true. What if Mandoza had set off the gun at Tasha’s? Would he have been seen a thuggish, dangerous Kwaito star who set off a gun inside a restaurant or just a couple of lads having fun?

Many of us suspect had it been Mandoza, cops would have been called immediately and he would have been charged. Not only that, the patrons in the restaurant probably wouldn’t have just sat there and let it go, they would have had something to say.

Black people experience this kind of behaviour all the time. If a black person is late for a meeting, it is typical of them to be late, but the traffic excuse a white person gives is taken at face value.

White privilege is not to be confused with racism. Those are two different things. White privilege is assuming the best intentions when it comes to a white person than when it comes to a black person given precisely the same circumstances.

When I lived in Cape Town trying to rent a home, I called several places and was told they had just been taken or no longer available. However, when I asked a white friend of mine to call the very same places after I had been told they were no longer available, they were mysteriously available. White privilege means renting a place is easier than it is for a black person. These are some minor encounters faced by people everyday that a white person might take for granted.

There was a South African comedian who made a funny joke about being black. It was Kagiso Lediga if I’m not mistaken. I will attempt to tell the joke in writing.

He talked about how being black means that you get followed around in stores because people assume that you are going to steal something. And it’s not just being followed by white shopkeepers, it’s black assistants even in the absence of their white bosses because they assume the same thing.

Then he said it was great because his white friends who were shoplifters used him as a decoy to steal from shops. It’s a funny but tragic tale, but that is the life many black people experience. A life of permanent suspicion and guilt.

Oscar probably got away with the incident at Tasha’s simply because he is white, not because he is famous.

– “iol”

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ANC whip lashes out at Madonsela

henriParliament – ANC chief whip Stone Sizani accused Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday of exceeding her mandate by demanding President Jacob Zuma respond to her findings of excessive state spending on his Nkandla homestead.

Sizani said Madonsela was obliged to submit her report to Parliament and suggested that by waiting for a presidential response she was flouting her accountability to the legislature.

“What if the president does not respond within the time frame given to him by the public protector? Does that prevent the public protector submitting her report to Parliament?” Sizani asked.

“She must table the report in Parliament,” he added, but refused to say whether in that case, the ANC would want the legislature to tackle the matter before the May 7 elections.

Madonsela has, in line with the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, given Zuma two weeks to respond to her report on refurbishments at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The 400-page report titled “Secure in Comfort” found that the president should pay back a portion of the R246 million in state funds that was spent at Nkandla but did not go towards improving security measures.

It was released on March 19, and in response the Democratic Alliance has asked National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to recall Parliament from its pre-election recess and set up an ad hoc committee to consider impeaching the president.

Sisulu wrote to DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on Tuesday to say he would consider it, but he also pointed out that Zuma had 14 days to comment on the report.

Sizani took aim at both the DA and Madonsela, accusing the opposition party of electioneering and the public protector of political posturing.

He referred to a remark by Madonsela indicating that she would be surprised if the ANC national executive committee did not discuss her report at its meeting this weekend.

And he accused her of showing disdain for both Parliament and the inter-ministerial task team that exonerated Zuma of any wrongdoing in its own, prior report on the Nkandla matter.

“She has overstepped the mark,” he said.

“I’m not quite sure why a Chapter Nine institution thinks it is above Parliament.”

Turning to the DA, Sizani said the party was “clutching at straws” to increase its voter support ahead of the elections.

Sizani said the DA had hoped that Madonsela would find that Zuma had misled Parliament when he said that he, and not the State, had built his home in the KwaZulu-Natal hamlet.

He added: “It would be very clumsy for Parliament to entertain an impeachment motion on the basis of one political party’s skewed interpretation of the public protector’s report.”

Madonsela found that Zuma’s statement that “Nkandla has been paid for by the Zuma family” was not true but said she accepted that he was referring only to his family dwellings, and had therefore made a “bona fide mistake”.

However, she said he should have questioned the scale and costs of the project, and added that Zuma and his family benefited from a visitors’ centre, a cattle kraal and chicken run, a swimming pool and an amphitheatre built with state funds.

Her report also found that Zuma had flouted the law by not discharging his responsibility as a beneficiary of public privileges and a guardian of state resources.

It has brought to a head a long-running dispute between Madonsela and the ruling party about her office’s line of accounting.

The ANC claims she over-estimates the extent of her independence, while Madonsela has repeatedly asked for the Executive Members’ Ethics Act to be amended to address an omission that has now become pertinent.

The act holds that in case of a breach by a member of the executive, the president must submit the report of the public protector to Parliament together with his own report on any action to be taken.

It does not say explicitly what should happen if the president himself is found in breach of the law.


– “iol”

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