Friday, April 20, 2018

The origin and consequences of cultural and historical differences in South Africa - Who should take responsibility




The origin and consequences of cultural and historical differences in South Africa

Who should take responsibility


                                                                                                                                                          Stes de Necker


The meeting between whites (mainly of European descent ) and blacks (mainly African descent) , in the early 19th century, was also the beginning of the race issue in South Africa , which later would result in serious conflict , segregation and the subsequent policy of apartheid in South Africa.

With this meeting, two different, almost directly opposing cultural systems came together which would, for the next 170 years, lay the foundation of the political developments in South Africa .

Maintaining a Eurocentric social order by the whites , and keeping with the traditional Afro centric norms and values ​​by the black people of South Africa , represented the struggle of this two traditional cultural systems that practically opposed of each other head on. That which was traditionally and culturally acceptable and correct for the one group, was totally unacceptable for the other, and vice versa.

Political ideologies are not only shaped by social and religious norms and values ​​, but also by a sense of nationality and solidarity expressed in terms of power and political survival. The longer the population is exposed to these aims of power and survival, the more these goals are elevated to a collective value system. Once it has become a collective value system, it becomes more and more difficult for the individual to be objective towards the system, which he / she is now an integral part off.

For the English speaking white leadership in the late 19th century and early 20th century, the primary objective was to secure a distinct white ( Eurocentric) system in South Africa. The main goal was the preservation of a system of European values ​​and norms. These aims later led to the establishment of the " South African Republic " (Transvaal) in 1852 , and the Orange Free State Republic in 1854 .

Until 1910 the political and economic power were vested mainly in the Cape and Natal, which at that stage, were still under British control. With the discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886, the British government decided to annex the entire South Africa  territory which led to the ‘first’ Anglo-Boer War from 1880 to 1881 .

However, the Boer Republics defeated the English, and in 1899 , despite strong opposition from the Liberal Party in the British Parliament, England decided to again invade South Africa, but this time they returned in far greater numbers than was the case before. 

The subsequent Anglo - Boer War which started in 1899, and the subsequent establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the need for unique self - preservation among the Afrikaans - speaking whites only grow stronger.  After Unification, England retained the economic power in South Africa and the vast majority of Afrikaans - speaking South Africans , who previously have been making a living mainly from farming, were left poor and unskilled, and had to find work as labourers in a new and unfamiliar industrialized environment.

The exclusion of white South Africans from the economic power base and the continued strive among white South Africans for a unique (Eurocentric ) social dispensation, was the main driving forces that led to the formation of the National Party, (at that time a coalition between the National Party Dr . Malan and African Party of Mr . Klasie Havenga ). With the election of 1948 , the United Party of General  Jan Smuts was defeated and the South African National Party took over the political power in South Africa . This coalition later became known as the National Party . The continued preservation of the white culture after 1948, led to the promulgation of a number of segregation Laws aimed at exclusive political participation , freedom of movement , protection of employment for whites , and blocking social integration of blacks, which were already accounted for the majority of the population at that stage.

In 1960, South Africa left the British Commonwealth, and in 1961 the Republic of South Africa was established.

Due to the overwhelming imbalance in the numbers of the white and black population , and for fear of black domination in a Western democratic political system, the South African government, under the leadership of Dr . HF Verwoerd, decided to introduce a system of separate development , where each distinctive community can develop independently and separately within its own territory. In order to facilitate this concept, a variety of " homelands " were created to accommodate the various ethnical communities .

The implementation of these policies, however, leads to the expropriation of land for the creation of such homelands and the subsequent forced relocation of communities, displacement, alienation, and the subsequent disintegration of families. Breadwinners were now forced to find jobs far removed from their homes and were separated from their families for long periods of time .

While there was principally nothing wrong with the concept of separate development, the National Government did not took cognisance of the practical implications atrocities’ which the implementation and execution of this policies would harbour. Deeply rooted Afro centric values ​​of the black people, mainly because of ignorance on the side of white South Africans, were not taken into account. The result was that infinite and irreparable harm was imposed on millions of black South Africans, affected the system.
The policy of separate development also had a suppressed secondary objective namely, once  the policy had been successfully implemented and every ethnic group was officially recognized within their own territories, there could no longer be talk of a white minority government in South Africa.   Whites would then have been the majority in the allocated " white " area, just as every other ethnic group would have been the majority in their separate areas .

In addition to the ‘draconian’ apartheid laws, the National Government , especially under the leadership of Adv . John Vorster and later PW Botha ( with the active support of the State Security Council ) remained steadfast in their resolve to ensure that the Government’s policy of separate development was implemented and executed at all levels of society. Patriarchal social structures like Universities, Schools, Churches, Government  Institutions, organized Trade and Industry, Sports, Agriculture, Military, Police , Security Police, etc. . etc. . were tactfully yet seriously cautioned not to tolerate any rebellion against, or opposition to, the policy of Apartheid, and were placed under immense pressure to ensure that all requirements and regulations of the government were meticulously carried out and adhered to.

As a child, during the fifties and sixties, growing up in a strict Reformed house and attending a purely Christian National school, I was never allowed to think for myself, leave alone criticize the Government! And watch out for the poor youngster who did try to think for himself or herself. Such a youngster was quickly singled out as being " different " and being labelled  as different  was simply not acceptable .

At university I once seriously disagreed with a lecturer on a certain economic theory, and despite three subsequent attempts, I could never pass in that subject !

It was certainly never needed of me to think for myself, because :

The school decide how I had to cut and comb my hair and what school uniform I will wear ;

The teacher decided for me what I will learn or will not learn in school ;

Government Regulations decided for me in which rows I should stand at which entrances and parks I could go ;

The church decided for me which sport I practise on what days;

The Publications Sensor Board decided for me what I could read and I cannot read and what I could  see or could not;

The University decided for me what I need to study ;

And finally, my first employer decided for me how I should do my job.

By the time I was 25 years old, I was a professional conformist! 

I am convinced that there are today thousands of South Africans ( White and Black ) walking around with the bitter feeling that were openly and blatantly cheated and deceived by the previous National Government. 

Besides the protection of political power, the second goal of the National Government was to secure the economic power, which at the time vested mainly in the hands of English-speaking South Africans, as soon as possible .

After 1948 , and with the support of the National Government , a number of major Afrikaans  organizations such as Nationale Pers, Sanlam, Volkskas and Rembrandt, were established.

Achieving the Government 's economic objectives lead to the promulgation of a further number of apartheid laws including the employment limitation of blacks in the public service and prohibition of certain technical trades .

This legislation caused many whites, especially unskilled and illiterate individuals, finding their security politically entrenched and abnormally privileged. In most cases, skin colour, and not qualifications or technical skilling, secured their survival in the labour market. 

The subsequent isolation and marginalization of black people was the main reason that there came an awakening of an Afro centric self - preservation among black South Africans and the ANC became the official representative of the black people in the struggle for political and economic self - preservation.

In 1960 , the ANC and the PAC were banned from South Africa and previously non - violent black consciousness organizations, were forced to become militant " underground " movements.

As mentioned before, the segregation Laws which would later become widely known as the apartheid policy of South Africa , inflict endless suffering on millions of black South Africans . Black people, by far the majority of the population, was excluded from almost every measurable standard of living, including income, education, accommodation, housing and health.

The apartheid policy, both within South Africa and internationally, became so controversial that South Africa was almost totally isolated from the rest of the world in the late seventies.

Meanwhile, the collective need for self - preservation and survival among the black people, increased to such an extent that, in the early eighties,  it spilled over into violent unrest in the Witwaters Rand and other parts of the country . Most of these riots were violently suppressed and in 1984-1985 the South African government reacted with more severe countermeasures. These in turn lead to more and harsher resistance by the anti -apartheid movements , especially the ANC.

For the black leadership, the only goal was the self – preservation and survival of the black people.

One very important aspect that is often overlooked, is the fact that the black people of South Africa do not represent one homogeneous group. One of the many consequences of the Nationalist Government 's apartheid policies , was that it marginalized most so-called non- white population groups, namely the Blacks, Coloureds and Indians, which in turn forced these groups into a United front.

This brings me immediately also to a second very important aspect that so often overlooked , and that is that the ‘white’ population of South Africa is also not a homogenous community!

In 1990 the previous President of the ANC, Nelson Mandela , after an imprisonment of 27 years, was released from prison, and in 1994 the first multi-racial democratic elections were held in South Africa which lead to the overthrown of the National Government, and the political takeover by the ANC.

The outcome of the 1994 election went more or less as was expected. 

Aside from the dozens of political groups which contested the election, two major trends manifested after the election i.e. a pluralistic Afro centrism and a pluralistic Euro centrism. ( various separately identifiable groups that form a single unit ). White voters largely sided with the traditional white political groups, while the black voters sided predominantly with the black political groups.  Coloured voters were more or less evenly divided between the main trends, while the Indians sided mainly behind the Indian leadership.

Today in 2013, whites South Africans  not only find themselves  in a predisposition regarding their political identity , but also run the risk of political isolation if they are not prepared to switch to a diversified political group.  The possibility is increasing that the longer the status quo continues, the black youth 's collective values ​​and norms system, will be influenced to the extent that they will eventually no longer be able to remain objective  against the communist -inspired values ​​of the current government. 

As I mentioned before, during the late 1990 and early 2000, the main objectives for the black leadership was about self - preservation and survival. After political self - preservation was achieved in 1994 , there is now , as was the case with the whites after 1948, a concerted assault on the traditional white possession of the economic power base.

Claims for the nationalising of mines as well as the nationalisation of land and financial institutions on the part of a largely untrained and unqualified black youth, is characteristic of the immature understanding among the youth and most people in South Africa, of the economic realities of Africa.

Frustration among black youth as well as the current government's inability to sufficient progress in their aims for economic self-determination and sustainable development, is certainly today the main cause of the spate of senseless violence and crime committed by (mainly) the black youth.

I maintain that one can assume that the adult black population and the young black people feel the same about the state of affairs; They just differ in essence how to go about achieving their objectives.
Crime and violence in South Africa is therefore not a systemic phenomenon , but rather a symptomatic manifestation of a deeper cause, namely frustration . The only way to eradicate this evil is to solve the underlying cause; a larger police force or bigger prisons will not solve the problem.

In the hierarchy of basic needs, there is in fact no significant difference in the basic needs of the White and Black people of South Africa . ( See Abraham H. Maslow 's hierarchy of human needs. ) The major differences lie in the Eurocentric and Afro centric norms and value systems to satisfy these needs, and the mechanism necessary to achieve these objectives. 

The tragedy is however, that white people and black people lived together for more than three centuries in this country , and after all this time they never really got to know and understand each other!

The following table shows a number of basic differences that exist in the more common social practices of White and Black people in South Africa.


Keep in mind that not all Black ethnic groups have the same customs. Customs may differ even within a group as a result of geographical distribution .

Western Custom
Black Custom
1. The lesser must greet the greater, first
1. The lesser is not allowed to speak before he/she has been given the right to speak.
2. The greater’s head can be lower than that of the lesser.
2. A lesser’s head may never be higher than that of a greater.
3. A lesser is not allowed to sit unless the greater has given him/her permission to sit. 
3. The lesser will always also sit when the greater is sitting, purely because his/her head may not be higher than that of the greater. 
4. Females are always afforded the opportunity to enter a door first, or a vehicle door is always openened first for a lady. 
4. A male is expected to enter through a door first in order to indicate that he trusts the female behind his back and also to ensure that the room entering into is safe. 
5. Males normally stand during prayer. 
5. Males and females must be seated in order to lower themselves as much as possible before God. 
6. People talking loudly are considered ill-mannered.
6. When someone whispers it is regarded as that person gossiping.   
7. When the greater address a lesser, the lesser is expected to look the greater in the eyes. 
7. When a greater addresses a lesser, the lesser is not expected to   look the greater in the eyes because it is a sign of aggression. 
8.The lesser is hardly ever given the opportunity to state his/her side of a case. 
8. The lesser must always be given the opportunity to state his/her side of a case.  
9. When visiting someone’s office, you must first knock and wait to be allowed in. 
9. When visiting a greater, you must enter the office quietly and go to sit until you get noticed by the greater and given the approval to speak when it suits the greater.
10. When you greet someone with a handshake, you are expected to give that person a firm grip. 
10. When you shake hands with someone else, you don’t grip the other person’s hand tightly out of respect and to show peace and submission. 
11. It is regarded rude to address someone by his last name only.  
11. To address someone by their last name only is to show respect for his origin. 
12. Someone arriving at a function usually waits to be greeted. 
12. A person arriving second, must greet the others first. 

By the end of the last century , South Africa , mainly because of the development in the field of transportation and communication technology , became part of the " Global Village ".

Globalization placed South Africa 's development under the new ANC government squarely under the spotlight of the international community.

The latter was largely responsible for the fact that the South African youth ( black and white ) have abandoned many of their traditional value systems in favour of associating with their oversees counterparts, mainly in Europe and America. The result is that many traditional habits and customs are no longer regarded as important and may even completely disappear over time.

The fact of the matter remains that the youth of today grows up with the founders of these cultural norms and values ​​systems , namely the older generation white and black people, and in this way still learn and inherits the historical differences between black and white people. It was after all the older generation that failed to reconcile the Western and African social customs! 

If we want to avoid a future intensification of this cultural struggle in this country, we should as soon as possible ( if it is not already too late ) learn and respect each other’s  traditions and customs and to build a new, ‘ism’, what I want to call, Africanism. 

Fortunately, some of our schools are already working in the direction to meet these requirements.

The challenge for the opinion and policy - makers in South Africa today,  is to find a commonly accepted ( collective ) value system that allows for our unique ‘unity in diversity’. Recognition and respect for the identity and preserving the cultural values ​​and norms of all groups in South Africa , must be ensured. Only when we achieve that it will no longer be necessary for so many people to leave this country for fear of losing his / her self - preservation.

One of the biggest mistakes the ANC Government could ever make was to attempt to ‘melt’ the different origins , identities , religions , cultures and languages , in one common society. 

America is an example where groups of different and diverse identity , live peacefully and un-troubled with each other , but still are proud of their common American identity .

In South Africa, this ideal will only be realized only if everyone is willing to learn, understand and respect each other's values ​​, norms and standards. 

The "winner - takes - all” mentality of the past and will no longer succeed in South Africa.  The question everyone should ask him or herself is, who is the true Africanist, to have the mandate to be ruler? South Africa is a land of minorities and there is no group which can elevate themselves to be the representatives of another.

The current ANC Government, believe it or not, is in fact also a minority government; It only depends what the criteria is to measure representation.

Escape from the current unbalanced distribution of economic wealth in South Africa, can only be achieved if the current ANC government, can succeed to distribute aid to the economically impoverished part of the population, in an economically viable and sustainable manner.

In a democratic pluralistic society such as South Africa, where both poverty and wealth should not be characterised by colour or creed of any kind, the challenge lies in developing the poor, without impoverishing the affluent.

If the current government is willing to learn one lesson from the previous order, it is how not to solve the “poor black problem “in South Africa by creating a new (colourless) "poor class". 

Job creation and mother tongue education has always been the foundation of economic development worldwide and it appears that the current government is busy making great strides in this area. The only negative aspect of this development is the fact that the government will have to seriously guard against the creation of a welfare state.

South Africa has the world's largest welfare system currently, and although recognition should be given to the fact that millions of people are at least able to survive because of the welfare grants they receive monthly from the State, these allowances do not create jobs. ( except of course for the number of civil servants to administer the system ! )




One wonders what the result would be if the money currently spent on social grants, were rather spent on job creation. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Call for prosecution of those responsible for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran






Call for prosecution of those responsible for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran




Address to all individuals, Governments and NGO’s who support a free and democratic Iran




Stes de Necker








Dear friends

I’m Stes de Necker Diplomatic Ambassador for the NCPC living in South Africa.

On behalf of the National Coalition Party of Canada (NCPC), The Stes de Necker Foundation (SDNF) and the Federal Association for the Advancement of Visible Minorities (FAAVM), I wish you a very good day filled with love, peace and prosperity.

Together we, (the National Coalition Party of Canada, the Stes de Necker Foundation and the Federal Association for the Advancement of Visible Minorities), represents almost six million peace seeking individuals in South Africa, Canada and around the globe.

The NCPC, FAAVM and the SDNF unequivocally support the world wide demand for an end to the arbitrary death penalties in Iran. We also strongly support an in depth investigation into the barbaric execution in July of 1988, of no less than 30,000 defenceless individuals who were imprisoned in Iran at that stage.

1. The 1988 massacre   

The mass executions of prisoners in 1988 began with Khomeini’s death decree in 1979.

In the final phases of the Iran-Iraq war, Khomeini, who felt that defeat was imminent, decided to take his revenge on the political prisoners in Iran.

He issued a so-called ‘fatwa’ (religious decree) ordering the execution of anyone who had not “repented” and who was not willing to collaborate entirely with the Iranian regime.

Khomeini declared in his fatwa: “As the treacherous hypocrites [referring to the members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran] do not believe in Islam, and their statements are rooted in deception and hypocrisy, and as their leaders have confessed that they have become renegades, and as they are waging war on God, … it is decreed that those who are in prison throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Hypocrites, are waging war on God, and are condemned to execution.”

By the time the massacres ended in the autumn of 1988, some 30,000 political prisoners, the overwhelming majority members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), were brutally murdered.

The Iranian massacre of 1988 remains, to this day, one of the darkest and least exposed stains in the history of mankind. This murderous and barbaric action against the people of Iran, is the second greatest unpunished crime against humanity of the 20th Century, following only the murder of the almost 6 million Jews by the Germans during World War II.

Not only has there been no prosecution of the criminals who orchestrated and carried out these gruesome murders, but the Iran regime still continues, to this day, to deny that it even occurred!

These murders of defenceless human beings were not only barbaric and uncivilised, but it was also in direct contravention of the United Nations Charter on fundamental human rights and freedom.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the biggest tragedy of all is: …….the West just sat looking on and did nothing to stop it  …………

2. Our message to the Honourable Secretary of the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. António Gutteres

Resorting to a wave of executions under any excuse - either by the so-called divine ruling of God, or the teachings of Islam, or the Law of Sharia, - is nothing but politically sanctioned genocide of the Iranian people.

A regime at war with its own people.

The NCPC, SDNF and FAAVM strongly condemn these murders and demand that the perpetrators of these crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the Law and placed before justice.
They should never enjoy any immunity whatsoever.

We further condemn the neglect by the world powers for the flagrant disregard of the human rights violations and increasing executions taking place in Iran.

3. Human Rights in Iran 

Ladies and gentleman and friends, the defining moment in the history of international terrorism came about when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stepped triumphantly from an airplane at Tehran Airport in 1979.

Within hours, in a series of vicious, murderous acts, which would become the hallmark of his unique terror machine, he immediately ordered the elimination of all those that opposed him.
In a wave of slaughter, using a process of what can only be described as production-line killings, thousands of Iranians have lost their lives.

The Hezbollah blocked off streets and fired into the growing crowds, killing hundreds of Iranians and injuring thousands more.

And these murders are still continuing to this day.  
   
On that fateful day when Khomeini arrived on the world stage, he immediately sparked off a wave of terror across Iran.

All those connected to the leadership or the armed forces of the defunct regime of the Shah of Iran, Shah Pahlavi, were hunted down and brutally murdered.

Today, under the so-called 'moderate' President Hassan Rouhani, a man who is in the pretence of reaching out to the world with the hand of peace, the Iranian war machine is building up in strength like never before.

Using money returned under the agreement of the Iran Deal, the regime has acquired new military technology and weaponry and has also bankrolled its military campaigns in Iraq and Syria, as well as supplying rebel groups, like the Houthi’s in Yemen, and its faithful proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon, with tons of arms and ammunition.

There is a complete absence of judicial independence and rule of law in Iran.

Indeed, the entire legal system is designed to enable and enforce the regime’s massive repression of human rights, and underpinning a culture of impunity for its violators.

In this regard, it is outrageous that Rouhani appointed a member of the notorious Death Committee, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as minister of justice – a man implicated in a number of major human rights violations, including the 1988 massacre.
The Iranian regime is constantly busy limiting the public’s freedom of expression and public access to information.

Internet users have been monitored by surveillance teams, intimidated by cyber police, and arrested for their online activities, particularly those deemed to be critical of the government or contrary to the regime’s interpretations of Islam.

4. Conclusion

Dear friends, Ladies and Gentlemen, the time to put an end to these atrocities is now.

The pervasive silence of the past 29 years must be shattered once and for all.

In 2008, twenty years after the massacre, Amnesty International renewed its call for those responsible for the ‘prison massacre’ to be held accountable. In a strongly worded statement Amnesty International said, and I quote: “There should be no impunity for such gross human rights violations, regardless of when they were committed.”

Amnesty International added: “Those responsible for the killings – one of the worst abuses to be committed in Iran – should be prosecuted and tried before a regularly and legally constituted court and with all necessary procedural guarantees, in accordance with international fair trial standards.”

That was in 2008. Today nine years later, still nothing has come from this call of Amnesty International.

I urge all peace loving nations, Human Rights Organisations, peace activists, the United Nations and the European Union and in particular the United States of America, to take all necessary steps immediately, to put a stop to these crimes and to restore Law and Order in Iran.

The Iranian Clerical Regime, a cesspool of murder and corruption, remains the biggest threat to world peace today.

In September of 2016 we managed to relocate no less than 2700 Iranian dissidents, mainly members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran, who were living in the most atrocious conditions in Camp Liberty near Baghdad in Iraq, to a place of safety in Europe.

When the United States withdrew its forces from Iraq after the Gulf war, these people, were left defenceless at the mercy of the Iraqi military.

We cannot relocate the entire Iranian nation to a place of safety.

Safety and peace and democracy must be restored in Iran itself.

Therefore we, the NCPC, SDNF and FAAVM, demand the following measures:

1. Immediate practical and serious global measures, especially by European Union member states, the United States of America and the United Nations, to stop all arbitrary executions in Iran
2. The Iranian regime must be compelled to cancel all death sentences. Reports indicate that there are hundreds of men and women in Iran are currently on death row. My dear friends, this waiting period is significantly harsher and more torturous than actually being executed.
3. Stoning, as means of punishments, must be acknowledged as crime against humanity, and its practice brought to an end in Iran immediately.
4. All perpetrators of these crimes must be brought before the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
5. The immediate removal of the barbaric clerical regime of Iran, if need be by force, and the return to peace and democracy in that country.
I urge all peace loving nations, the European Union, the United Nations and all Humanitarian support organisations, to support us in our quest for peace and democracy.

The great Albert Einstein once said: “The world will not be destroyed by evil, but by those who watch on without doing anything.”


May God bless you all.


 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

PUBLIC SERVICE MANAGERS - PUPPETS or ADMINISTRATORS




PUBLIC SERVICE MANAGERS 


PUPPETS or ADMINISTRATORS 


PARALISED HEADS OF STATE DEPARTMENTS



Stes de Necker



No South African politician or minister walks around with a government cheque book in his/her pocket.

So how is it possible that there can be so much corruption in state funding when all financial transactions of the government must go through the Treasury and the South African Department of Finance?

In terms of the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999) Heads of Department, as Accounting Officers of their Departments, are responsible and accountable for moneys spent and received in their different departments.

So how do government funds flow so easily around outside state departments?

The answer is rather simple:

Because all Heads of State Departments are pawns in the hands of the politicians who has free reigns over the appointments and discharge of Administrative Heads.

Wherever and whenever a Head of Department doesn’t do what the Political Head of that Department tells him to do, he runs the very real risk of being dismissed from his post and loose his livelihood as a public servant.

My dear friends, I was Head of the Free State Department of Agriculture, so I know what I’m talking about.

On numerous occasions I was expected to approve some or other financial expenditure for the Department as Accounting Officer which was in contravention of the Law and in every such case I refused to give approval or support to such expenditure.

This type of conduct was simply unacceptable to the Free State ANC Government and inevitably lead to my retirement from the public service in 1996.

During my term of office I have on many different occasions warn against the paralysing effects of Political Office bearers becoming administrators and public service administrators playing politics.
Politicians are simply not trained to be administrators and administrators are not trained to be politicians. The rules separating these two functions are very clear and simple.

Politicians are expected to make policy, and administrators are expected to execute and implement that policy.

Any professional public servant worth his salt knows that he/she is serving the government of the day regardless his/her political convictions. Public servants execute their political convictions at the ballot box; not in their offices!

The biggest crime in South Africa today is that public service administrators are not being held accountable as they should be because of their direct personal and nepotistic relationships with the ANC politicians.

Not only do these practices undermine the competence of public institutions, but it conceals transparency and corruption in the public service.

The current Gupta debacle is certainly the most fitting example of the consequences of this abhorrent practice in South African governance.

How was it possible that a single Indian family could almost achieve the complete capture of the South African Government?

Simply because the people heading the administrative institutions involved in this atrocity, who were supposed to have overseen these atrocities, are all in the hands of the political puppeteers.

 The scourge of political intervention and interference in the lawful administration of this country has for decades been used serve private or party political interests. Definitely not the people of South Africa!

There can be no economic growth or political reform in South Africa without radical political and administrative reform.

We cannot expect any changes by merely changing the management of state institutions with managers who are selected on the basis of political criteria. This will not change the way in which these institutions are operating. The Government is merely changing the people who are running these institutions.  

A radical change is to alter the way an institution operates; the practices that guide the activities in such institutions. The people in key positions in the public administration should be appointed regardless of the myopic political party in power.

The only way to achieve this objective is to reduce, or where it is possible, completely eliminating the party influence in the activities of the public administration, increasing the continuity in the institutions, strengthening institutional responsibility and accountability and introducing a business methodology in the activities of public services.

In practice this means, if South Africa really wants to have an effective public service, it should immediately distinguish the appointments in the public administration from the party affiliation of the applicants.

The CEO’s and the managerial administrative staff in ministries and municipal services must come from the Public Administration System rather than appointment relatives and friends from the inner circle of political heads.  

The Department of Public Service and Administration, after consultation with the relative political head, should become the sole authority to appoint public service workers.  

This will ensure greater transparency in government activities and the public administration will be able to monitor the consistency in the implementation of the commitments made by the state.

Capable and well prepared staff for the public administration can be trained and skilled by the Public Service Training Institute.

Appointments in key positions should be made on the principle of business solutions that are based on international best practices and strict accountability for their activities.

Public administration should work on the bases of the model of a "business plan”; statement of activities performed and analysis of results.

A radical administrative reform is not only imperative for the socio economic development of South Africa, but for the effective and proper management of law and order as well.

The implementation of this kind of reform will however require managers who will serve the institutions of the executive, legislative and judicial power and enjoy public confidence. It will be the result of explicit commitments to specific individuals and institutions that will be close to the citizens.

Transparency must be the first principle on the basis of which public institutions must be managed and proper rules against arbitrary acts are the second thing that we must be establish in the public administration.

Staff appointments is one of the most mismanaged activities of the current public administration.



Saturday, June 3, 2017

THE OSTRICH SYNDROME IN SOUTH AFRICAN POLITICS




THE OSTRICH SYNDROME IN SOUTH AFRICAN POLITICS


Stes de Necker




Gandhi believed in truth force. He was guided by what could be called ‘relative’ truth since ‘absolute’ truth could not be attained by any human being. The quest for truthful reflection and action was central to his philosophy, unlike the ostrich-syndrome that we are witnessing today, where we bury our head in the sand to avoid seeing the truth.

Nowhere is the ostrich-syndrome more evident in every sphere of government and parastatal organisation than in South Africa where politics it is all about power and corruption.  Instead of focusing attentively on the problems before them, most politicians are ready to rather embrace wealth and distraction.

The ostrich-syndrome leads to an unmotivated directionless society which cannot take responsibility for what is happening around them and who are incapable of becoming responsible engaged citizens. 
This is happening to large numbers of the lower and middle classes who seem largely unconnected with the major problems that their societies are facing.

Of course there is the well meaning minority of political leaders who feel that we have gone too far down the road to perdition, to reverse the trend of corruption and social chaos and then there are others who believe they have to oppose the present form of anarchy by creating an awareness of the issues, even if they have not come up with a sufficient range of workable alternatives.

Yet, it is the latter that matter, for as the crisis deepens the alternatives they are grappling with will come under sympathetic scrutiny and serve as the cornerstones for new directions in our social, political and economic life.

But let us dwell a little more on the ostrich-syndrome and the culture of indifference that it spawns.

Mutation of Human consciousness

In India, for example, most of the middle classes do not even go and vote anymore.

Indifference has deformed human consciousness; some might even argue that a mutation has already taken place. If this is the case the ostrich is not even capable of knowing that it has buried its head in the sand, and that it has a distorted view of reality.

Governance is no longer about fulfilling human needs, but an attempt by unscrupulous individuals to satisfy their personal needs. Individual material satisfaction overtakes social responsibility and political action.

Everything may be going wrong from a social and political perspective, while the majority of South African voters remain cocooned in their own world of indifference.

For the middle and upper classes particularly, getting as rich as possible as soon as possible have become the main objective. This might sound like a cliché, but its underlying truth is being secured day by day.

Not only did incompetence and incapability created the current state of economic chaos and moral decline, it also produced the corrupt and incompetent political leaders we have today.   
         
Truth and honesty is no longer a requirement for holding a political office. Politicians are free to say what they want, when they want, while the average peace loving South African is not prepared, or they too afraid, to do or say anything which may threaten the ostrich syndrome within which everyone is so comfortable.

One of the results of this lame duck syndrome is the emergence of radical political organisations like the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) who believe they can say and do what they want.

The experience of Community as an anti-dote

Experiencing a sense of community involvement and political responsibility is integral to help the South African Government to break out of this ostrich-syndrome.

It is only through deepening our sense of responsibility and respect for basic human rights that we can open the springs of compassion.

The horizontal dimension of spiritual fulfilment through our inter-relationship with each other is the only way forward. Indigenous societies refer to the inter-connectedness of all things. ‘All the world is one human family’, is an ancient Indian expression that emphasizes the unity of humankind.

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of this inter-connectedness when he said, “I am a part and parcel of the whole, and I cannot find Him apart from the rest of humanity. My countrymen are my nearest neighbours. They have become so helpless, so resourceless, so inert, that I must concentrate on serving them.”

As long as the ostrich-syndrome persists the malling of South Africa will continue with its dreadful social and economic consequences. 

South Africa needs to develop a consciousness and vision that is different from what the ANC government is currently offering the voters.  
   

Our future can only be meaningfully discovered through an open and honest relationship with each and every one living in South Africa. 






Friday, June 2, 2017

THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAND OWNERSHIP DEBATE - DEFAMATION OR JUSTIFIABLE PRESUMPTION OF GUILT





THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAND OWNERSHIP DEBATE

DEFAMATION OR JUSTIFIABLE PRESUMPTION OF GUILT


‘BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT’ VS. ‘ON A BALANCE OF PROBABILITIES’
(PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE)



Stes de Necker




Burden of proof is a legal construct which states that one must provide enough relevant evidence supporting their claim or argument in order for a judge or jury to rule in their favour. While most are familiar with the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases, civil lawsuits use a different standard called “preponderance of the evidence.”

Criminal cases and civil cases (e.g. personal injury lawsuits) vary greatly in many respects. That said, evidence is always the key factor in deciding a case.

The burden of proof in any case lies with the plaintiff (person or entity bringing the claim) as opposed to the defendant.

While prosecutors in criminal trials must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, plaintiffs in civil trials must only prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

In a criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The plaintiff in a criminal case (also known as the prosecutor, state or government) must produce evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant (accused) committed the crime for which they are being charged.
Essentially, this means that the case must be proven to an extent that no “reasonable person” could “reasonably doubt” the defendant’s guilt.

While there can still be doubt in the mind of a juror, this doubt “must not affect a reasonable person’s belief regarding whether or not the defendant is guilty.”

The reason for this high burden of proof can be partially explained by Blackstone’s formulation, which states that “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”
The consequences of a wrongful conviction are extremely serious, and for that reason, the courts must err on the side of innocence.

Preponderance of the Evidence

Civil cases, on the other hand, are not as difficult to prove in court. Instead of proving your case beyond any reasonable doubt, the plaintiff must only show that their proposition is more likely to be true than not true. The preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (AKA balance of probabilities) is essentially met if there is greater than 50% chance that the plaintiff’s claims are true.

The burden of proof in South Africa – a Constitutional perspective

The wording of the Constitution is rather specific in Section 35(3)(h) that states:
“Every accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right…. (h) to be presumed innocent, to remain silent, and not to testify during the proceedings.”

The presumption of innocence is the foundation of our legal system. The very same legal system protected in the much revered 1994 Constitution.

However, the Constitution places NO obligation on ordinary citizens to presume somebody is innocent until he or she has been proven guilty of a crime before a court of law.

The Constitution guarantees for every accused person the right to a fair trial which includes the right to be presumed innocent by the presiding officer until such time as the state has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.

No one therefore has the constitutional right to be presumed innocent by the public until proven guilty.

Moreover, section 35(3)(h) guarantees the right to be presumed innocent by the magistrate or judge who presides in the accused criminal’s trial only for an accused person.

People who have not been brought before a court do not enjoy this right!

So whenever evidence emerges that a public figure (more likely a politician) may have done something wrong, it is almost certain that the alleged wrongdoer and his or her defenders will say that the person must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

It seems however that this percepetion only applies in the case of black politicians and office bearers and not to white people.

As the person would not have been convicted of a crime, so the argument goes, the public has a constitutional duty to presume he or she is innocent of wrongdoing.

If credible evidence suggests that, on a balance of probabilities, the person is guilty of wrong-doing, then as members of the public we have every right to assume that the person did something wrong and to say so.

Despite what politicians sometimes believe (or say they believe) there is currently no legal rule that prohibits members of the public from talking about, commenting on, or even speculating about, ongoing court cases.

However, this does not mean that anyone is legally or ethically entitled to say anything about anyone regardless of whether there is any credible evidence to support the claim or not.

So when politicians or the media reports that a person has been involved in some sort of wrongdoing (capturing the state or being captured; taking part in corrupt activities; flouting rules or the Constitution; acting unethically, stealing land), or when ordinary citizens draw conclusions from such reporting and take to social media to condemn the accused person/s, the affected person is always entitled to sue the media publication or private citizen for defamation.

Politicians, journalists and members of the public should therefore take care – both because of the threat of being slapped with a defamation suit and because it is ethically the right thing to do – not to make unwarranted assumptions about people and not to say something defamatory about that person if there is not a good chance that the statement is true.

Lately we often hear: “Whites have stolen our land!”

Why then has nobody gone to a police station and opened a criminal case of theft against any white man who allegedly stole his land? If the legal system is so transparent and so fair and the constitution so sacred, the matter of land ownership becomes very easy to settle.

Why hasn’t any black South African or liberal supporter gone to a police station with evidence of the crime of theft and pressed charges for the stealing of their land and let the Police go and catch the alleged thief and send him to prison!

The reason is very simple: Because there exists no proof of any such theft!

IT NEVER HAPPENED

On the contrary, the right thing to do would be for the whites of South Africa and organisations like ‘Afri Forum’ or 'Solidarity' to vigorously pursue and seek legal redress against anyone or any group who makes such unfounded malicious allegations.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE GLOBAL LAME DUCK SYNDROME - A WORLD OF UNIVERSAL DECEPTION






THE GLOBAL LAME DUCK SYNDROME



A WORLD OF UNIVERSAL DECEPTION



Stes de Necker



On 22 May 2017 the United Nations elected Sudan as Vice-Chair of the U.N. Committee on NGO’s.

This committee accredits and oversees the work of non-governmental human rights groups at the world body. Sudan is notorious for its poor human rights record while its leader, Omar al-Bashir, remains wanted for genocide at the International Criminal Court.

“It is like picking the fox to guard the henhouse, as he is still wiping the feathers off his mouth from his last meal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. This election is absurd, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer.

“It underscores the degree to which this vital committee—which has the power to suspend the U.N. credentials of human rights groups—has been hijacked by the world’s worst dictatorships.”
Neuer noted that a majority of the 19 member states are regimes that are hostile to human rights activists, including Iran, Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.

“Regrettably, while India and South Africa are democracies, they too often vote with the dictatorships,” said Neuer.

Much of the global citizenry of the World is either (a) completely ignorant of; or (b) oblivious of; or (c) simply did not care about the looming and imminent danger the world finds itself in at the moment. Most people simply continued on their “merry way” as if there were absolutely nothing to worry about the day of tomorrow.

Many people are simply too afraid to acknowledge the truth of what is going on, as they do not want their false illusions destroyed. They simply put their “faith” in other human beings – such as our current global leaders – to sort out the absolute mess that the World finds itself in today.
Sudan is notorious for persecuting NGO activists

Human rights groups have been raided by police, their files seized without warrant, with NGO activists summoned, interrogated, arrested and imprisoned.

Sudan’s government in recent years has closed civil society organizations or refused to register them on several occasions.

Government and security forces arbitrarily enforce provisions of the NGO law, including measures that strictly regulate an organization’s ability to receive foreign financing and register public activities.

Global Politics have been corrupted to the very core and the UN has become part of the problem.

Instead of offering the world any meaningful solutions, they promote countries for their atrocious human rights record.

And the very same is happening in Iran!

Daily executions and the persecution of innoscent people are continuing daily.

Iran’s staggering execution toll paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale.

After the so-called Iran 'Election', more people are being executed under the watch of Rouhani than before!

The surge in executions reveals just how out of step Iran is with the rest of the world when it comes to the use of the death penalty - 140 countries worldwide have now rejected its use in law or practice. Already this year three more countries have repealed the death penalty completely. 

Let us no longer fool ourselves: Our world is in trouble and humanity is on the brink of a major disaster. But where the hell are our Political Leaders in all of this and whatever has happened to their ability to think rationally? They all seem to act more like mad animals nowadays!

Executions in Iran did not even stop during the holy month of Ramadan. Executions are still carried out every day of this month of Ramadan.


While Amnesty International opposes the use of the death penalty unconditionally and in all cases, death sentences in Iran are particularly disturbing because they are invariably imposed by courts that are completely lacking in independence and impartiality. They are imposed either for vaguely worded or overly broad offences, or acts that should not be criminalized at all, let alone attract the death penalty. Trials in Iran are deeply flawed, detainees are often denied access to lawyers in the investigative stage, and there are inadequate procedures for appeal, pardon and commutation.
The Iranian authorities should be ashamed of executing hundreds of people with complete disregard for the basic safeguards of due process.

It is time the world unites to put to an end this travesty of justice and do everything in its power to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.

Iran remains one of the biggest jailers of bloggers, journalists and social media activists.

The Iranian regime’s systematic violations of human rights have continued since President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in August 2013 to this present day

Something is very wrong and we find ourselves living in a time where “Stupidity defies all Logic”.

We may be in for some very tough times ahead of us unless the international community work together to put a stop to the atrosities which are taking place under it's very eyes.