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AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 13

AV2i13


ASSASSINATED XHOLOBENI LEADER REMEMBERED

Multitudes of people descended on the Isigidi Village in Xholobeni to pay homage to their leader Sikhosiphi Bazooka Radebe who was assassinated in 2016 for resisting the attempted “auctioning” of their mineral resources to an Australian mining company.

Amadiba Crisis Committee chose to hold the Bazooka Radebe Memorial Rally on the 21 March to coincide with Sharpeville Day, which is a day on which Black people were massacred by the white minority regime for marching against pass laws.

The event theme was “The Right to Say No”. This theme characterised the spirit of resistance of the people of Xholobeni in the midst of assassinations and general intimidation.

After the solemn and spiritual part of the event, the locals joined the festivities to celebrate the victory of the Xholobeni people following the Pretoria High Court ruling that no mining licence could be given to a mining company without the consent of the local community.  The government was the loser in this ruling because it sought to bypass the local community in throwing their mineral resources to the Australian imperialists. The court had earlier ruled in favour of the local community to determine the kind of development they deem suitable for their area and the people. This meant that the Department of Mineral Resources and the Australian Mining Company, Transworld, had no right to push down the throats of the people the mining of their titanium-rich land.

The local people sang, danced and cheered as they welcomed AZAPO President Strike Thokoane who was invited to speak at the event. The President joined in the dance as the people surprisingly sang the song, “AZAPO Yethu, Soyilandela” (We’ll Follow our AZAPO).

They seemed bamboozled by the President with a T-Shirt with the face of Cde Bazooka accompanied by the message, “AZAPO Salutes Martyr Bazooka Radebe”.

President Thokoane struck the right chords when he described the people of Xholobeni as heroes and symbols of resistance against land dispossession and invasion by European multinational companies.

The President further pledged that AZAPO would continue to support the people of Xholobeni. He committed that AZAPO branches across the country should be used as a base to protest and highlight the plight of the people of the area.

“Where mining is consented to by the local communities, there should be clear beneficiation and no bribery monies should be paid to politicians or traditional leaders to force the people to forsake their fundamental right to the land”, said the President to cheers and applause.

The emotional part of the event was when President Thokoane handed over a Bazooka Radebe T-Shirt to the widow of the slain leader. Mrs Radebe expressed gratitude to the President and the AZAPO Eastern Cape Provincial Leadership, which accompanied the President.

President Thokoane took liberty to express a word of encouragement to the fearless Cde Nohle Mbuthuma for “fearlessly filling the shoes of Cde Radebe” in the presence of threats to her life.

Cde Mbuthuma reminds us of the great women warriors and leaders like MaNthatisi, Nzinga and Nehanda.

The Xholobeni resistance is a clear reminder to Azanians that ‘It Is Not Yet Uhuru’.


POLITICAL CHARLATANS WEAKEN THE ALTERNATIVE AND CONSOLIDATE THE RULING PARTY

An average voter can be forgiven to become a political atheist. As national elections are approaching, all sorts of political charlatans and pretenders to the throne at the Union Buildings are emerging and promising heaven on earth.

Some of these so-called parties are one-issue parties. For instance, there is one that wants to advocate for the interests of taxi operators, then there is another whose sole mission is service delivery, another is the Land Party and the other one is for Estate Beneficiaries.

While this is completely permissible in a democracy, the mushrooming of too many smaller parties does little to threaten the dominance of the ruling party. The fragmentation of the opposition has the unintended consequences of consolidating the ruling party as many potential voters might perceive the emergence of smaller parties as nothing but a desperate attempt by the founders of those parties to find employment as Members of Parliament and Members of the Provincial Legislatures.

Just as some entrepreneurs have discovered that the quickest way of making money is to start a church with fake miracles, some creative people have found that there is money in politics. It is an attempt to find a job, not the noble calling of serving the people. This is what causes voter apathy. Voters develop a mistrust for the political system. They become indifferent to the political system, resulting in the maintenance of the status-quo.

And when the opposition parties are weak and in shambles, the ruling elite has little incentive to do the right thing. Corruption, theft of public resources and maladministration become the norm. Corruption and theft of State resources rob the country of jobs, economic growth, prosperity and development. The power outages, that we refer to as load-shedding, the general decay of infrastructure in hospitals and in schools, the poor roads, the critical shortage of water are not accidents, but results of organised crime called corruption.

Because of corruption and theft at Eskom, the power utility owes hundreds of billions of rands. And the country cannot afford not to have power. So, the government is forced to continue to pump more billions to try and keep the lights on, most of the times. It is a double edged sword. Eskom has to incur more debts to supplement its power generation by using diesel, a cost which sinks the power utility into bigger debts. But if Eskom implements load-shedding, the economy bleeds billions of rands and jobs are lost in the process.

As it is, Treasury is projecting a budget deficit of R243 billion in the current financial year. This would mean that the government would have to borrow at least R243 billion in order to cover all its projected expenditure.

R243 billion in order to cover all its projected expenditure. Already the country has a huge national debt estimated to be around 53% of the GDP. Conservatively, the government debt is currently standing just over R2,5 trillion. Assuming that we do not borrow during the weekends, the government would spend about R1,2 billion a day to service the interests on the national debt.

What does not seem to be clear to many of us is that the country appears to be fast descending into a royal mess which will create a fertile ground for agents of imperialism – the World Bank and IMF – to take over the running of the country.

This is how it happens. The liberation movement that wins the first election after the attainment of freedom consolidates power and weakens the opposition. As part of the acceptable principle of taking over the key levers of the State, the ruling party deploys its cadres into key positions in the State and also in the parastatals. These cadres form a web or network of corruption which starts under the guise of taking control of key State apparatus and also helping raise funds for the ruling party. Corruption becomes so entrenched that government programs designed to improve the lives of ordinary people suffer as is the case with Eskom.

The economy suffers as investors opt for better markets where there is growth. The tax pool shrinks, leading to bigger budget deficit. Because the State does not want to reduce its spending, which may mean retrenching civil servants and other public employees, as was the case with the SABC, the government has to borrow more money.

In order to keep its popularity, the government opt for populist policies. The government continues to spend money it does not have, and in the short term people are happy. Just as workers at the SABC were happy when the government instructed the SABC board not to go ahead with plans to retrench workers. Of course, had the SABC been run properly, by qualified people who were not simply political appointments, it would not have been in a state that forced the board to consider retrenchments to cut cost. The same applies for many other parastatals such as Eskom, Denel and SAA.

When the government spends money it does not have, there comes a time when those who are granting loans to the government start to raise red flags. There are plenty examples on the continent and Latin America where instruments of imperialism opened offices in countries which were heavily indebted to the World Bank and IMF. When these loan sharks come to your country, they become the de-facto government and instruct you to trim the public service and to stop spending on social investments such as health and education.

It is a recipe for disaster. When the government complies with the prescription of these bodies of trimming the civil service, then there is civil unrest as people will be complaining about losing their jobs. The civil unrests have a negative impact on the economy, resulting in capital flight and critical shortages of some common commodities such as maize-meal, bread, sugar and even Coke.

The masses rise and loot the few businesses that did not join the exodus to other countries. The security forces use violence to try to maintain law and order. But it is almost impossible to suppress what looks like a popular revolt of the population. With the shrinking tax base, the State struggles to honour its financial obligation including paying salaries. A section of the security forces align with the ruling elite and uses force to keep it in power. Other members of the security establishment defect and become part of the protesting masses who are demanding a change that will guarantee jobs and the supply of goods in the shops. South Africans become instant millionaires but remain poor as the rand is worthless.

This is a road-map to a failed State.

It is up to all of us as patriots to make sure that we do not allow this script to become real. We can and should use our vote on May 8 to stop the rapid slide to a failed State. Vote for change by voting AZAPO. The power is in your hands.


CORRUPTION IS TREASON

When you buy stolen goods as a citizen, you must know that you have failed the Nation because you are also guilty of the crime of stealing. That is because theft is a continuous crime. You buy stolen goods from a thief, you are also a thief deserving of facing the law.

You should know that something is not right when your unemployed child or partner brings home luxury goods and bundles of money. You should know that the possibility is great that a fellow citizen has been robbed and probably killed as well.

By keeping quiet and simply enjoying the proceeds of crime, you are encouraging crime in your crime.

No one should know and adhere to these good values more like Presidents, Cabinet Ministers and politicians that are public representatives.

That is why it should be a cause for concern to hear that Portia Sizani, the wife of former Eastern Cape MEC for Education, former ANC Chief Whip and incumbent ambassador to Germany Stone Sizani, has been found guilty of 15 counts of fraud and 9 counts of money laundering in the Commercial Crimes Court in Port Elizabeth this past Friday.

Her crimes are specifically worrying for the education of the Black child and development of Black people in general. Sizani was the Early Childhood Development (ECD) district coordinator when in 2009 and 2010 she defrauded the Eastern Cape Education Department out of more than R1.2 million.  She did this by processing fraudulent applications for Grade R teaching posts and pocketed the money that was paid out to these ghost teachers.

Without arbitrarily passing the guilt to the other spouse, but a caring society will definitely demand to know how it came about that Stone Sizani was not able to pick up through the domestic bank balance and standard of living that not all was well in their household.

This man was not only the former Eastern Cape MEC for Education who had a deeper understanding of the impact his wife’s misdeeds had on Black children’s education but also the ruling party Chief Whip who was responsible to hold his fellow MPs to high standards in ensuring that the values and principles of good governance were being adhered to. Such values did not appear to cascade down to his household.

These are the double standards that destroy households, communities and countries. Could Mr Sizani claim to have not (knowingly) benefitted from the proceeds of crime? That is to be doubted.

The Sizanis are not alone in that dark corner.

Sheryl Cwele was the wife of and living with her husband, then State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele when she was arrested and in 2011 convicted of drug dealing by the Pietermaritzburg High Court and sentenced to 12 years.

It makes you wonder how the wife of an Intelligence Minister could successfully escape the scrutiny of a man entrusted with the State security when security is undermined right inside his household.

We have to remind those in authority and power that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Ordinary people cannot be expected to respect and honour good values when the elite in high offices break every available rule to honourable living.

Crime undermines the peace and stability of a county and nation. In its corruption form, crime undermines both development of a nation and sovereignty of a country.

That is why AZAPO has to raise alarm to the nation as and when those in power turn a blind eye to crime and its proceeds.

AZAPO believes corruption and State Capture are not ordinary crimes. They amount to treason. Some countries are so disgusted of corruption that a culprit would face death by a firing squad.

Death penalty is unconstitutional in South Africa. The next harshest punishment has to be life imprisonment. In the absence of a death penalty, those who commit the treasonable crimes of corruption against the State must face life imprisonment.


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