Friday, May 17, 2013

Remember 20 May 1983 when the Church Street Bomb killed 19 and wounded more than 200 in Pretoria

Say it with a sting.....


The Church Street attack on May 20, 1983 killed 19 and injured more than 200 people when a car with 40kg of explosives was detonated ...

No Fear No Favour No Terrorism...............




SONNY COX    SOUTH AFRICA       16 MAY 2013   14:06









THESE DOCUMENTED PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN OF THE SCENE IN THE PRETORIA CBD ON 20 MAY 1983 - SAPA     R.I.P.  SALUTE




Background Information: Church Street Bomb – 20th of May 1983

The Police investigation of the bomb explosion in Church Street West, PRETORIA, on the 20thof May 1983 at 16:28, brought the following facts to light: 
  • The bodywork of the vehicle in which the bomb had exploded, had totally disintegrated.  The engine number had been scoured off.  By means of the chassis number found amongst the rubble, the vehicle could be identified as a cream-coloured 1982 model Colt Galant.  It had been stolen on the 19th of June 1982 from the premises of Mr V.A. Sabattier at number 5, Sixth Avenue, Edenvale.  Amongst the rubble a piece of the vehicle’s number plate was also discovered.  The registration number started with “SD”.

·      As a result of the explosion, 19 people died – 17 men (8 black, 9 white) and 2 women. 
  • Considerable damage occurred to buildings and vehicles in Church Street West between Bosman and Schubart Streets.  The damage amounted to approximately R4 000 000 in the terms of 1983.

  • Evidence was obtained that a cream-coloured Colt Galant with a “SD” registration number had been brought to the home of Bakayi Ezekiel Maseko at Block J 2824, Mamelodi on 20 May 1983 at about 11:00 by a certain Freddi Butana Shongwe of Block B388, Mamelodi.  Shongwe asked a certain Jerry Shabangu whether the origin of a vehicle could still be ascertained after the engine number had been removed.  He showed the cream-coloured Colt Galant to Shabangu where it had been hidden behind Maseko’s home.  Shongwe mentioned to Shabangu that the vehicle would be used for a “great undertaking”, without saying what this “undertaking” would entail.  Maseko’s wife, Anna, saw Maseko and Shongwe removing the engine number with an electrical sander.

  • At about 15:50, Shongwe hurriedly left in the Colt Galant, with Maseko following him with the latter’s Kombi.  They were in such a rush that they left the electrical sander outside the home where they had been working with it.

  • From the 20th of May 1983, Shongwe and Maseko did not return home, and their families started looking for them.

  • On the 28th of May 1983, Maseko’s Kombi was found behind the Poyntons Building in Schubart Street, Pretoria.  The vehicle was not locked.  Inside the vehicle, a jacket of Shongwe which he had been wearing on the 20th of May 1983 was found, as well as a paper bag, containing a portable radio.  After the vehicle and its contents had been removed, the families started suspecting that Maseko and Shongwe might have been amongst the victims of the explosion. Maseko’s body was subsequently identified at the Government Morgue.  His body had been found on the northern side of Church Street, right opposite the place where the bomb had exploded.

  • After the explosion on the 20th of May 1983, several body parts were found scattered all over the scene of the explosion.  On the 13th of June 1983 the feet of this person was identified by his mother as being those of Freddie Shongwe.  Shongwe’s wife also identified a piece of trousers and a belt found at the scene, as items belonging to Shongwe.  From the dispersal and parts found on the wreckage, it could be deduced that Shongwe had been inside the vehicle at the time of the explosion.

  • According to evidence given by a witness who had been sitting in her car in front of the Nedpark Building in Church Street West, Pretoria, on the 20th of May 1983, a cream-coloured Colt Galant had parked in front of her.  Immediately after the vehicle had come to a standstill, the explosion followed.

  • On the 7th of July 1983, Anna Maseko handed the electrical sander, as well as the portable radio, to the investigators.  Upon examination it was found that the portable radio discovered in Maseko’s Kombi, had been fitted with a remote control.  Experts found this remote control to be fully functional.  It was also able to detonate explosives from a distance.  According to the experts, the frequency at which the remote control had been set, is extremely sensitive and could have been activated by other factors coming within the range of the control unit.

  • In Maseko’s clothes in his home, cash to the value of R3 000 was found.  Anna Maseko could not find any explanation for the origin of this money.  She had used some of the money for funeral costs.

  • Shongwe and Maseko had previous convictions for “housebreaking and safe robberies”.

  • On several occasions, Shongwe and Maseko accompanied each other to Swaziland.  Shongwe sometimes visited Swaziland as often as twice per month.  Evidence was found that Shongwe had been seen at the homes of well-known members of the African National Congress (ANC) in Swaziland.  Shongwe is a cousin of a trained ANC member, Johannes Mnisi.  According to information received, Shongwe and Maseko had had contact with Mnisi in Swaziland.  It was also established that Shongwe had last visited Swaziland from 16 to 17 May 1983.

During the activities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), amnesty for the Church Street Bomb was granted to Aboobaker Ismail, former head of Umkhonto we Sizwe’s unit for special operations, and Johannes Mnisi.  In spite of the fact that the ANC in the past had already acknowledged that the actions of its military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), “at all times had been subject to the political leadership of the ANC”, no member of the ANC’s NEC of that time ever applied for amnesty for the Church Street Bomb.

AFRIFORUM

COMMENTS BY SONNY

As the ANC MK heroes commemorate Sharpeville, The June 16 Soweto Riots, MARIKANA and their ancestors, let US the minority groups in South Africa, pause for 2 minutes, bow our heads to our FALLEN HERO'S, who  did not die in vain.
They were the true HEROES of that tragic day on 20 May 1983.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM - R.I.P. SALUTE
Most of these victims were innocent people catching buses from work on their way home to their families.
LET THE WORLD BE AWARE OF TERRORISM WHERE EVER IT MAY TAKE PLACE AND BY WHOM!
The Boston Marathon was the latest example of senseless INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM!
GOD BLESS SOUTH AFRICA - GOD BLESS AMERICA - GOD BLESS PLANET EARTH!


Cash-strapped SANDF: Between a bullet and a budget

No fear No Favour No Politicians fortune..........



Greg Nicolson    SOUTH AFRICA 16 may 2013   12:40




The South African Army can only cope with so many demands with the resources it currently has. Obvious as it sounds, this comment from the chief of the army is a sharp reminder to government, which is poised to deploy soldiers to the DRC, of the challenges facing the South African National Defence Force. Our soldiers can no longer do more with less. By GREG NICOLSON.






Lieutenant General Vusi Masondo was unusually frank about the consequences of the army’s lack of finances on Thursday. Speaking to media at the South African Army’s annual media breakfast, held at the SA Army College in Pretoria, Masondo mentioned the importance of the Defence Review, a wide-ranging analysis of the state of the country’s defence institutions, policies and direction, and said it will be fundamental to the future of defence.
“However, within a limited medium-term budget, we will have to find the means to not only regenerate ourselves, but also to position ourselves to comply with future demands on our resources. At the moment the SA Army is under strain to fulfill its national and international obligations as our forces become more in demand,” Masondo told the media.
“There is an increase in requests for internal and external support that has led to the army deploying available force levels for extended periods exceeding what is deemed the international norm. Such strain can only be sustained for a limited period where after mission readiness may become compromised.”
It’s been a busy year for Masondo with 13 South African troops dying in Central African Republic (CAR) in early April, as the Seleka forces marched to Bangui and took control of the state. Another SANDF battalion is currently preparing for deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join international forces as part of the United Nations intervention force to the notoriously restive east of the country. Masondo assured critics the army is prepared to meet its peacekeeping commitments in countries such as the DRC and Sudan.
Looking over the past year, however, the SA Army chief acknowledged the difficulties his forces have faced. The army met its commitments, he said, “notwithstanding the fact that it was overstretched, especially in the infantry, engineer, intelligence, signal and support capabilities.” Defence received an increase of almost R2 billion in this year’s budget, rising to R40.2 billion, but it’s far less than needed.
The army’s capabilities may be further stretched as South Africans are deployed to the UN’s DRC Intervention Brigade, with a mandate that goes beyond peacekeeping to carrying out offensive operations targeting armed groups in the country’s east. It will be based in North Kivu and will comprise 3,069 peacekeepers. M23, one of the largest rebel groups in the area, has warned that South Africa’s female soldiers would be raped in the country. On Thursday the group tweeted: “SANDF & TANZANIA forces r coming in DRC in airplanes, but they will go back where they came from in bodybags.”
Concerns have long been voiced about the capability of the SANDF after a long period of decline in funding. The draft Defence Review released in 2012 found that South Africa is no longer in a position to conduct major combat operations because it doesn’t have an adequate operating budget to maintain equipment. “The persistent disconnect between the defence mandate, government expectations and the resource allocation have eroded defence capabilities to the point where the Defence Force is unable to fully deliver its constitutional responsibility to defend and protect South Africa and its people, and, further, cannot even support the current modest level of ambition,” reads the draft review. It will take five years just to stabilise the decline, it adds.
That decline, no doubt, hindered South Africa’s efforts in the CAR. In his essay, “The Battle in Bangui: The Untold Inside Story”, defence analyst Helmoed Heitman unpacks what happened during the recent battle in the CAR. Military chiefs had requested heavier equipment, writes Heitman, but even if approved, “The Army would not have been able to provide a stronger force for anything but a very short-duration mission. Indeed, it is already three battalions short of what it needs to meet current commitments.” There was and is neither the equipment nor the ability to transport it. “The Air Force has no heavy lift/long range transport aircraft, and could not have transported heavier equipment, forcing even greater reliance on charter aircraft,” says Heitman.
The DRC isn’t the CAR and South African soldiers will fight under a United Nations mandate. South Africa has also had some military presence there for over a decade. Speaking to Daily Maverick, defence analyst John Stupart said there should be more support in the DRC. “Not just from an SANDF perspective, but also because of the larger UN framework they’re operating in. That means airlift within the DRC, helicopter transport, more armoured vehicles and, if necessary, nearby Quick Reaction Forces who can assist if the SADC troops get in trouble.”
Department of Defence and Military Veterans spokesman Sonwabo Mbananga wouldn’t comment on whether budgetary issues would have an effect on the DRC mission, calling it “purely an operational matter”. SANDF spokesman Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga acknowledged there are financial challenges which can have a negative effect on carrying out the SANDF’s mandate but he maintained it is still able to fulfill its constitutional obligations.
Pikkie Greeff, national secretary of the South African National Defence Union (Sandu), however, said budgetary problems had a negative impact on the CAR mission and would likely continue in the DRC. An attack helicopter like the Rooivalk could have ended the Bangui battle in a few hours and saved lives, returning troops told him, but South Africa doesn’t have the aircraft to transport the choppers in an operational state. Soldiers were also surviving on rations in the CAR for eight weeks, he said.
“As far as I know, this is the first time a chief of the army has admitted to these problems,” said Greeff, who called on defence bosses to speak to the reality of their situation rather than sparing their political bosses. South African troops, however, will face DRC rebels, likely to be better trained and armed than those in the CAR, in a matter of weeks.
To continue to meet these demands, South Africa’s defence system needs restructuring. That comes from Lieutenant General Vusi Masondo himself.DM
Read more:
  • From bully boys to wimps: the decline of SA’s military in Mail & Guardian
Photo: A ball of fire from an explosion is pictured during a Capability Demonstration by the South African Air Force (SAAF) and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) at the Roodewal Bombing Range in Makhado, in the northern province of Limpopo, May 9, 2013. South Africa's air force showed off its military might on Thursday with precision bombing and helicopter gunships firing fusillades of rockets just days ahead of an unprecedented "peace enforcing" deployment to eastern Congo. Two months after 13 troops were killed by rebels in Central African Republic in South Africa's heaviest military losses since the end of apartheid, Pretoria is gearing up to send 1,000 soldiers to Democratic Republic of Congo's volatile border with Rwanda and Uganda. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko


COMMENTS BY SONNY



THE WAY PRESIDENT ZUMA IS WASTING SA MONEY ONE WOULD ASSUME HE FOUND A

BOTTOMLESS PIT SOMEWHERE OVERSEAS..........

Could it be Russia or China?

Or, the Blood Diamond fields of ZIMBABWE?

THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013

Fidentia 'investor representative' to sue the Financial Services Board

SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS

Author: Sasha Planting|
15 May 2013 17:09



Believes current Fidentia curators are not providing answers and should be replaced.

CAPE TOWN - An organisation claiming to represent 90% of the investment trusts managed by Fidentia Asset Management plans to take the Financial Services Board, the Fidentia curators and current trustees on in court.

This follows the sentencing of Fidentia head Arthur Brown to 36 months in jail, suspended, and a R150 000 fine for fraud.

According to Matthew Machin, of Carter and Kloof, a company that provides business support services to SME’s, the FSB and the curators have a lot to answer for. “Our role now is to find the money and return it to the people it belongs to,” he said outside the Western Cape High Court.

The only way to do this, he says, is to get rid of the current curators and appoint new, independent curators and trustees, who will oversee the remaining Fidentia assets. They will also provide answers as to the whereabouts of the missing funds or assets. These are answers, he says, the current curators are not willing to provide.

According to Machin, the Fidentia curators have spent R2m defending applications from the Antheru Trust, whose assets were managed by Fidentia. “All Antheru wants is access to their information. The statements of account that reflect the history of the funds invested, and current position of the funds that are available.”

If the FSB stands in the way of this application, he says, “it demonstrates that there has been corruption and that the FSB has something to hide.

“The investors must work together,” he adds.

Thembalenkosi Shibani (pictured below - red cap), who was speaking on behalf of about 500 mine workers whose pensions were invested in the Living Hands Umbrella Trust, presented an irate face outside the courtroom. “The people are angry. They want their money. They want to open a case against the curators. The curators say they have paid out some money. They did not.”



He, like most of the investors present, did not care much about the sentence Brown received. “I’m not happy with the punishment. There is no money. To be sentenced means nothing. But I’m not blaming Mr Brown. I’m blaming the curators.”

Dines Gihwala, one of the curators appointed in 2007, has become accustomed to the criticism. “I understand that people have lost their money and are aggrieved. They will believe someone who says they have the investors’ best interests at heart.”

He adds that he is “shocked into his boots,” at the leniency of the sentence.

On the subject of legal challenges on the curators and trustees, he is circumspect. “They have tried before and lost. We have demonstrated that they [Machin and co] are behaving dishonestly. They make wild, unsubstantiated allegations and they must now do what they want to do.”

In a statement the FSB expressed its disappointment with the sentence handed down to J Arthur Brown on Wednesday. “The fine does not acknowledge the extent of the damage caused by Mr Brown’s actions. Mr Brown was convicted on two counts of fraud, which, inter alia, allowed him access to funds intended for the beneficiaries of Mantadia which was renamed the Living Hands Umbrella Trust by Fidentia,” it stated.

NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the NPA would study the judgement and may apply to the court for leave to appeal the sentence.

Click here to read the official May 15 sentencing document of J Arthur Brown and here for the judgement handed down on the Fidentia boss on April 18.

Topics: Fidentia Asset Management, FSB, Fidentia, Arthur Brown, Matthew Machin, Carter and Kloof, Living Hands Umbrella Trust, Fidentia curators, Dines Gihwala

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013

Farhad Ahmed Dockrat responds

No fear No Favour No Terrorism.......


DAILY MAVERICK STAFF REPORTER                15 MAY 2013    05:46




In the process of completion of De Wet Potgieter’s expose, Daily Maverick afforded the right of response to Junaid and Farhad Dockrat as well as other individuals mentioned in the story. Within two-day period, we have received only a short statement from the African Continental Development, a company that owns Tsitsikamma Coastal Golf Estate. A further 48 hours later, Farhad Dockrat issued the following press statement, which we publish in its entirety.
EFFORT TO UNDERMINE AUTONOMY OF THE SOUTH AFRICANGOVERNMENT
OVERVIEW

1.    The article by Potgieter in the Daily Maverick entitled “Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa” is a regrettable sacrifice of journalistic integrity for an ulterior purpose. Potgieter has, in a misleading and dishonest article, sought to undermine the integrity, credibility and independence of the South African government, expressing the view that they are unable to take steps to maintain law and order in this country. On Radio 702 at about 10 pm on 13 May he expressly stated that improper “influence” was directed to scupper investigations against Farhad Dockrat. The allegation is that the government acted in an unfair manner, by prosecuting Boeremag terrorists who had a hidden agenda to destabilise the country whilst not prosecuting so-called Al-Qaeda operatives in the country.

2.    Potgieter’s pro-rightwing Afrikaans bias is evident by his failure to distinguish that there was credible and overwhelming evidence of the Boeremag terrorist plot (with possession of explosives etc) but not an iota of evidence of any illegal activity by any South African Muslim on South African soil, which has/had the potential of threatening either the South African state, or any other foreign state for that matter.

3.    Potgieter’s sympathy with a pro-rightwing Afrikaans group that wants to maintain dominance in the particular Cape enclave of Langkloof, which is notorious for its hard line rightwing Afrikaans communities, is self-evident.  Potgieter has throughout aligned himself with the rightwing Afrikaner group who have resisted Blacks, such as Farhad Dockrat moving onto the Greylock farm on racial grounds. He has assisted them with a media campaign against Blacks by any means possible, including dishonest publications.

4.    Now Potgieter is aligning himself to Pearson, who represents a white minority trying to prevent black families from occupying the Tsitsikamma Golf Estate.

5.    Potgieter is recorded on 702 to have said that he took one year to write the article. Potgieter’s approach (which took probably more than a year to craft) is on the face of it an ingenious one: To get rid of the Black Muslims (especially the Malawians whom he rants about) from the white enclave on behalf of his white principals through a tsunami media campaign by wrapping them up in the Al-Qaeda flag. You see under ordinary circumstances, the ANC led South African government will never allow racially motivated victimisation and eviction of the sort plotted by Potgieter and his broederbond principals to go unheeded. Potgieter calculated that the Al-Qaeda flavour will dissuade the South African government from doing the right thing because his press frenzy will force the US and British intelligence agencies to put pressure on the South African government not to aid “terrorists”. He foresaw that the racially motivated evictions would take place as if the Group Areas Act was in force. Brilliant, wouldn’t you say?

6.    What Potgieter miscalculated in the year long plot is that the South African government was born from the pains of freedom fighters that all too well understands neo-colonial and rightwing thinking and cannot be easily duped.

7.    It is most curious that Potgieter’s article surfaces on a front page creating a media frenzy and hype all over South Africa on news which is 11 years old.  Why now?

8.    Pearson is now using this write-up to justify that his community does not want the Black Dockrat family in the Tsitsikamma area because it will result in the US listing of the area as a terrorist hotspot. Surely he cannot be insulting the intelligence of the US and UN to that extent? Truthfully, he wants the Tsitsikamma area to be reserved to the white minority who has for decades enjoyed it to the exclusion of the majority in this country.
THE PRINCIPAL ALLEGATION AGAINST FARHAD DOCKRAT

9.    The CIA has, as is apparent from De Wet’s article, made the allegation that in 2001 Farhad Dockrat handed an amount of some R400 000.00 to the Al-Akhtar Trust. This is not a new allegation. This “news” has been recycled at least a hundred times. Equally this allegation has been repeatedly denied by Farhad and none of the American authorities or CIA have been able to prove the allegation or give any evidence, let alone credible evidence, in support of the allegation. If the allegation was true, surely there could have been some evidence that could be brought forward. Why has it not been brought forward?

10.    In any event the Karachi-based Al-Akhtar Trust was only listed on 14 October 2003 by the US Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224 for its alleged involvement in financing and supporting a network of so called “international Islamist terrorist groups, including the Al Qaeda”. Prior to that it ostensibly operated as a charitable organisation and orphanage. it was permissible to donate funds to it.

11.    The United States, in a historic retrospective application of sanction, decided to propose a listing of Farhad and Junaid Dockrat as international terrorists on the United Nation’s listing for an alleged donation two years before Al Akhtar was listed.

12.    Can it surprise anyone that our government did not support the listing purely on a rule of law basis – even if it was proved that the money was handed over?

13.    The proposed listings were thwarted because it was based on fanciful allegations without any proof. There are two Reuter articles on the 21st and 29th January 2007 which provide good insight on the issue.

14.    The first article dated 21 January 2007, is entitled “Terror Accusations Meritless”. The second article dated 29 January 2007 is entitled “Rare Defeat for US in South African Al-Qaeda case by Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent”. An examination of the first article will clearly illustrate that both Junaid and Farhad Dockrat denied any allegations against them as “being patently false and devoid of merit”. The first article also stated that Prof Adam Habib, who himself was denied entry into the United States and deported back to South Africa while on a business trip in 2006, explained how the US had misled the United National Security Council in the past. He was quoted to have said: “On a number of occasions they have identified people who are not terrorists, how do we know this is not one of those times ... if the
security council is to recognise America’s position ... they (the US) must provide proof for the UN and the South African government to interrogate.”

15.    Habib was further recorded to have stated that: “If terror links are proven action should be taken.”

16.    The first article records that the then Minster of Foreign Affairs and the South African Intelligence Agencies had been in contact with the United States State Department regarding the two men for almost a year, requesting evidence. No evidence was ever adduced.

17.    Following the failure to give evidence, the South African government quite correctly and in accordance with its constitutional obligation refused to support the listing of Farhad and Junaid Dockrat at the United National Security Council of Terrorists. The listing endeavour failed.

18.    One would have thought that if there was any evidence at that stage, i.e. 2006 when the United States wanted to list both Junaid and Farhad Dockrat at the United Nation Security Council as terrorists, that it could, even on a classified basis, and between states, have furnished the South African government and intelligence agencies with at least some proof of the alleged terrorist activities, which, in turn, would have resulted in the two being listed.  The listing did not go ahead because there was no evidence. There was no evidence because there is no wrongdoing.

19.    It is to be remembered that when the allegations were made at the time, against both Farhad and Junaid Dockrat, they immediately went on record, through their legal representatives and tendered full and proper interviews, and were prepared to answer all questions at any interview from any authority. At the time the tenders were not accepted because there was no evidence.

20.    The matter then slipped into silence from a media perspective. The sensationalism dissipated.

21.    Since the evidence was not forthcoming from abroad, Farhad has been under constant surveillance by the government. His privacy has been breached on South African soil in the most unjustifiable manner and unheard of in our constitutional democracy. The manner of invasion of privacy has been a source of misery in Farhad’s life.

22.    As is confirmed by Porgieter’s article, Farhad’s telephones were bugged. In fact Farhad often had people following him. Hidden surveillance cameras were placed outside his work place, home and business. There was no privacy in his telephone conversations, and to date there is no privacy for him. It is a fundamental breach of the right to privacy at any level and most offensive to our constitutional democracy.

23.    Yet, in spite of these human rights infringements and the extent to which alien intelligence agencies have broken South African law, they have not been able to find any unlawful activity on the part of Farhad. Is that not enough?

24.    Is it so surprising then that at that point the spying activities from the South African National Intelligence Agencies ceased. If the investigations ceased prior to the 2010 world cup as contended for by Potgieter, either the investigators must have been very confident that Farhad was not a threat to the world cup or they must have been engagingly naive about an Al Qaeda threat. Hindsight proves the former. No bombs went off. So much for the South African Government’s alleged incompetence.

25.    To the extent that Potgieter’s article suggests that “all spying activities in connection with operation Kanu were abruptly halted at the beginning of 2010 under yet unexplained circumstance”, he was required to simply apply his mind analytically to the facts and deduce that the witch hunt was futile.

26.    Farhad believes that Potgieter must have applied his mind at least once to the issue in the year long period. He must have realised that there is no Al Qaeda threat. His article is therefore a wilful misleading for an agenda he is pushing for.
MILITARY STYLE OBSTACLE COURSE

27.    There was no “military style” obstacle course. Farhad put into place obstacle courses, including rope climbing, tree climbing, crawling through drums and other fitness obstacle courses. These were installed openly and not covertly. The Zoo Lake in Johannesburg has a jungle gym with similar obstacle courses. . How does that become illegal and how is that linked to Al-Qaeda? Surely, if a person has a farm, he is free to build a jungle gym with a tree house and an obstacle for fitness purposes. It is private property and there is no legal impediment to such obstacle courses.
SURVEILLANCE AND INTELLIGENCE ON GREYLOCK FARM

28.    It is noted that Potgieter alleges that a series of sophisticated surveillance cameras were mounted on the neighbours’ farms to monitor every vehicle that enters and leaves the farm as well as activity on the farm. Is it not surprising that since 2007, despite being under 24-hour surveillance, there has not been a single incident of any illegal activity recorded on Greylock farm? There has not been a single reported event of any Al-Qaeda related activity caught by the camera.

29.    It is also noted that undercover agents successfully planted homing devices on Farhad’s vehicles in order to monitor his movements. This too yielded in nothing.

30.    That must surely mean, at a very elementary level – even to Potgieter- or even to somebody with a compromised IQ for that matter, that no illegal activities are being conducted. Potgieter is reputed to be possessed of a very well endowed IQ which reinforces that notion he knowingly crafted the article with its core of lies.

31.    Moreover, he is seasoned in the art of politics beyond many of his colleagues. He gained much of his crafty training by twisted reporting in the old apartheid era for the brutal security forces at whose hands many Black freedom fighters were tortured and killed. He was a master of illusion whose silky pen aided the apartheid Government in its most awkward moments.  Yes, he knows well of “vlakplaas” and the innocent youth that were ravaged in its precinct. His biased and untruthful but remarkable reporting skills can have devastating effect as we have seen in the past. Farhad invites retorius to offer an unedited resume and collection of his works and articles.
RELOCATION FROM GREYLOCK AND THE WATER SAGA

32.    The suggestion by Potgieter that Farhad Dockrat wants to relocate to the Tsitsikamma Golf Estate is mistaken. Farhad has no intention to relocate.  He is settled in Greylock. There is no desire to create a “Muslim haven” in Tsitsikamma or Greylock. Solly Dockrat appointed Farhad Dockrat to attend to maintenance work on the farm.

33.    Potgieter’s reporting of the water case on Greylock is incorrect. When Farhad Dockrat acquired Greylock, he purchased a farm with a stream in it.  The next door neighbour, Mr Loocke, has three such streams independently from the mountain. However, when Dockrat purchased Greylock, Loocke, a staunch and racist Afrikaner, conspired with the other surrounding Afrikaner farmers. They hatched a plot, putting up a false agreement between all the Afrikaner neighbours, contending that they all had rights to the stream running through Greylock and that Greylock only had a right to draw from its own stream for two days out of fifteen days.

34.    In a bid to negatively impact on the case for Farhad when the matter first came up in court, Potgieter strategically published the same recycled “news” which was repeated in the Rapport on 7 September 2008 under the title “ Al Qaida en leiwater ‘terreur’.” There was also an article “Talibaan in Suid-Kaap”.

35.    As a result of the two day water cycle which was unlawfully imposed by the Afrikaner farmers, 12 378 of Greylock’s pristine peach and other trees died. At a cost of R 139.75 per tree this resulted in a loss of R 1 729 825. 50 to Farhad for trees alone, excluding loss of income.

36.    A preliminary point in the water case was argued on 25 October 2011 before the Cape High Court in which it was pointed out that the existence of the agreement was inherently improbable for various reasons and that the agreement was a plot hatched to starve Greylock of water on racial grounds.

37.    A decisive judgment was granted in favour of Greylock by the honourable Justice Saba against the neighbours. Their racially motivated plot failed. The Afrikaner consortium then sought leave to appeal the judgment of the High Court and have ever since not pursued such a leave to appeal obviously because it has no merit. The matter has not come up in court since then.

38.    It is thus a deliberate misrepresentation that “the Dockrats eventually lost the case in 2012”. In fact, Farhad won the application with costs. A court order proves that. A copy of the order is obtainable from the Cape High Court under case number 25325/2010

39.    The claim instituted by Farhad Dockrat against the Loocke family for unlawfully diverting water from Greylock farm which caused a substantial loss in the form of death of the fruit trees is under case number 21794/2011.  The Loockes have requested a settlement and have asked the Dockrats not to pursue the case against them in the interest of “good neighbourliness” – whilst planting surveillance equipment against Farhad.
ALLEGATIONS ABOUT TSITSIKAMMA GOLF CLUB HOSTILE TAKE-OVER

40.    There was no hostile takeover through false pretences as alleged; there were no AK-47 rifles; there was no incident about threatening an elderly woman. This is outrageous and untruthful.

41.    Why have charges for intimidation and threats not been laid by the “elderly woman”. This is a master piece of deceptive journalism by the ex Vlakplaas reporter.
CONCLUSION

42.    In conclusion, it is respectfully submitted that the article by Potgieter is self evidently mischievous. On its own it smacks of inherently improbable and farfetched assertions.

43.    It is aimed at achieving a political objective of keeping the Western Cape as white as possible, excluding the possibility of it becoming a rainbow nation. It is aimed at neutralising the South African government from taking steps in preventing racial segregation in this country. It is aimed at unjustifiably embarrassing the South African government as being an incompetent state.  It is aimed at garnering US support to further a racist objective. It is truly a masterpiece in deception.

44.    The State has no doubt done its homework and is no doubt fully aware of the facts to hand. It can hardly be said to be uninterested in its own politics if it hears of a threat on its doorstep. There is no a threat. The only threat being the Boeremag terrorist organisation was swiftly and competently neutralised. Obviously a sore spot for Pogieter.

45.    There are comments from the DA who have jumped onto the bandwagon criticizing the ANC led Government on failing to curb an alleged Al Qaida threat.

46.    Farhad commends the South African government for upholding its promise of the constitutional democracy that it promised to bring to this country and its citizens. It is a shining example from which so-called advanced states such as the United States and Britain should take lesson.

47.    Farhad Dockrat has always made himself available to the South African government and will continue to do so to satisfy them that there is nothing untoward or illegal of his conduct in South Africa.

48.    Farhad does not wish to get embroiled in a media war and will not resort to a tit for tat on every ill-founded accusation.


In the process of completion of De Wet Potgieter’s expose, Daily Maverick afforded the right of response to Junaid and Farhad Dockrat as well as other individuals mentioned in the story. Within two-day period, we have received only a short statement from the African Continental Development, a company that owns Tsitsikamma Coastal Golf Estate. A further 48 hours later, Farhad Dockrat issued the following press statement, which we publish in its entirety.
EFFORT TO UNDERMINE AUTONOMY OF THE SOUTH AFRICANGOVERNMENT
OVERVIEW

1.    The article by Potgieter in the Daily Maverick entitled “Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa” is a regrettable sacrifice of journalistic integrity for an ulterior purpose. Potgieter has, in a misleading and dishonest article, sought to undermine the integrity, credibility and independence of the South African government, expressing the view that they are unable to take steps to maintain law and order in this country. On Radio 702 at about 10 pm on 13 May he expressly stated that improper “influence” was directed to scupper investigations against Farhad Dockrat. The allegation is that the government acted in an unfair manner, by prosecuting Boeremag terrorists who had a hidden agenda to destabilise the country whilst not prosecuting so-called Al-Qaeda operatives in the country.

2.    Potgieter’s pro-rightwing Afrikaans bias is evident by his failure to distinguish that there was credible and overwhelming evidence of the Boeremag terrorist plot (with possession of explosives etc) but not an iota of evidence of any illegal activity by any South African Muslim on South African soil, which has/had the potential of threatening either the South African state, or any other foreign state for that matter.

3.    Potgieter’s sympathy with a pro-rightwing Afrikaans group that wants to maintain dominance in the particular Cape enclave of Langkloof, which is notorious for its hard line rightwing Afrikaans communities, is self-evident.  Potgieter has throughout aligned himself with the rightwing Afrikaner group who have resisted Blacks, such as Farhad Dockrat moving onto the Greylock farm on racial grounds. He has assisted them with a media campaign against Blacks by any means possible, including dishonest publications.

4.    Now Potgieter is aligning himself to Pearson, who represents a white minority trying to prevent black families from occupying the Tsitsikamma Golf Estate.

5.    Potgieter is recorded on 702 to have said that he took one year to write the article. Potgieter’s approach (which took probably more than a year to craft) is on the face of it an ingenious one: To get rid of the Black Muslims (especially the Malawians whom he rants about) from the white enclave on behalf of his white principals through a tsunami media campaign by wrapping them up in the Al-Qaeda flag. You see under ordinary circumstances, the ANC led South African government will never allow racially motivated victimisation and eviction of the sort plotted by Potgieter and his broederbond principals to go unheeded. Potgieter calculated that the Al-Qaeda flavour will dissuade the South African government from doing the right thing because his press frenzy will force the US and British intelligence agencies to put pressure on the South African government not to aid “terrorists”. He foresaw that the racially motivated evictions would take place as if the Group Areas Act was in force. Brilliant, wouldn’t you say?

6.    What Potgieter miscalculated in the year long plot is that the South African government was born from the pains of freedom fighters that all too well understands neo-colonial and rightwing thinking and cannot be easily duped.

7.    It is most curious that Potgieter’s article surfaces on a front page creating a media frenzy and hype all over South Africa on news which is 11 years old.  Why now?

8.    Pearson is now using this write-up to justify that his community does not want the Black Dockrat family in the Tsitsikamma area because it will result in the US listing of the area as a terrorist hotspot. Surely he cannot be insulting the intelligence of the US and UN to that extent? Truthfully, he wants the Tsitsikamma area to be reserved to the white minority who has for decades enjoyed it to the exclusion of the majority in this country.
THE PRINCIPAL ALLEGATION AGAINST FARHAD DOCKRAT

9.    The CIA has, as is apparent from De Wet’s article, made the allegation that in 2001 Farhad Dockrat handed an amount of some R400 000.00 to the Al-Akhtar Trust. This is not a new allegation. This “news” has been recycled at least a hundred times. Equally this allegation has been repeatedly denied by Farhad and none of the American authorities or CIA have been able to prove the allegation or give any evidence, let alone credible evidence, in support of the allegation. If the allegation was true, surely there could have been some evidence that could be brought forward. Why has it not been brought forward?

10.    In any event the Karachi-based Al-Akhtar Trust was only listed on 14 October 2003 by the US Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224 for its alleged involvement in financing and supporting a network of so called “international Islamist terrorist groups, including the Al Qaeda”. Prior to that it ostensibly operated as a charitable organisation and orphanage. it was permissible to donate funds to it.

11.    The United States, in a historic retrospective application of sanction, decided to propose a listing of Farhad and Junaid Dockrat as international terrorists on the United Nation’s listing for an alleged donation two years before Al Akhtar was listed.

12.    Can it surprise anyone that our government did not support the listing purely on a rule of law basis – even if it was proved that the money was handed over?

13.    The proposed listings were thwarted because it was based on fanciful allegations without any proof. There are two Reuter articles on the 21st and 29th January 2007 which provide good insight on the issue.

14.    The first article dated 21 January 2007, is entitled “Terror Accusations Meritless”. The second article dated 29 January 2007 is entitled “Rare Defeat for US in South African Al-Qaeda case by Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent”. An examination of the first article will clearly illustrate that both Junaid and Farhad Dockrat denied any allegations against them as “being patently false and devoid of merit”. The first article also stated that Prof Adam Habib, who himself was denied entry into the United States and deported back to South Africa while on a business trip in 2006, explained how the US had misled the United National Security Council in the past. He was quoted to have said: “On a number of occasions they have identified people who are not terrorists, how do we know this is not one of those times ... if the
security council is to recognise America’s position ... they (the US) must provide proof for the UN and the South African government to interrogate.”

15.    Habib was further recorded to have stated that: “If terror links are proven action should be taken.”

16.    The first article records that the then Minster of Foreign Affairs and the South African Intelligence Agencies had been in contact with the United States State Department regarding the two men for almost a year, requesting evidence. No evidence was ever adduced.

17.    Following the failure to give evidence, the South African government quite correctly and in accordance with its constitutional obligation refused to support the listing of Farhad and Junaid Dockrat at the United National Security Council of Terrorists. The listing endeavour failed.

18.    One would have thought that if there was any evidence at that stage, i.e. 2006 when the United States wanted to list both Junaid and Farhad Dockrat at the United Nation Security Council as terrorists, that it could, even on a classified basis, and between states, have furnished the South African government and intelligence agencies with at least some proof of the alleged terrorist activities, which, in turn, would have resulted in the two being listed.  The listing did not go ahead because there was no evidence. There was no evidence because there is no wrongdoing.

19.    It is to be remembered that when the allegations were made at the time, against both Farhad and Junaid Dockrat, they immediately went on record, through their legal representatives and tendered full and proper interviews, and were prepared to answer all questions at any interview from any authority. At the time the tenders were not accepted because there was no evidence.

20.    The matter then slipped into silence from a media perspective. The sensationalism dissipated.

21.    Since the evidence was not forthcoming from abroad, Farhad has been under constant surveillance by the government. His privacy has been breached on South African soil in the most unjustifiable manner and unheard of in our constitutional democracy. The manner of invasion of privacy has been a source of misery in Farhad’s life.

22.    As is confirmed by Porgieter’s article, Farhad’s telephones were bugged. In fact Farhad often had people following him. Hidden surveillance cameras were placed outside his work place, home and business. There was no privacy in his telephone conversations, and to date there is no privacy for him. It is a fundamental breach of the right to privacy at any level and most offensive to our constitutional democracy.

23.    Yet, in spite of these human rights infringements and the extent to which alien intelligence agencies have broken South African law, they have not been able to find any unlawful activity on the part of Farhad. Is that not enough?

24.    Is it so surprising then that at that point the spying activities from the South African National Intelligence Agencies ceased. If the investigations ceased prior to the 2010 world cup as contended for by Potgieter, either the investigators must have been very confident that Farhad was not a threat to the world cup or they must have been engagingly naive about an Al Qaeda threat. Hindsight proves the former. No bombs went off. So much for the South African Government’s alleged incompetence.

25.    To the extent that Potgieter’s article suggests that “all spying activities in connection with operation Kanu were abruptly halted at the beginning of 2010 under yet unexplained circumstance”, he was required to simply apply his mind analytically to the facts and deduce that the witch hunt was futile.

26.    Farhad believes that Potgieter must have applied his mind at least once to the issue in the year long period. He must have realised that there is no Al Qaeda threat. His article is therefore a wilful misleading for an agenda he is pushing for.
MILITARY STYLE OBSTACLE COURSE

27.    There was no “military style” obstacle course. Farhad put into place obstacle courses, including rope climbing, tree climbing, crawling through drums and other fitness obstacle courses. These were installed openly and not covertly. The Zoo Lake in Johannesburg has a jungle gym with similar obstacle courses. . How does that become illegal and how is that linked to Al-Qaeda? Surely, if a person has a farm, he is free to build a jungle gym with a tree house and an obstacle for fitness purposes. It is private property and there is no legal impediment to such obstacle courses.
SURVEILLANCE AND INTELLIGENCE ON GREYLOCK FARM

28.    It is noted that Potgieter alleges that a series of sophisticated surveillance cameras were mounted on the neighbours’ farms to monitor every vehicle that enters and leaves the farm as well as activity on the farm. Is it not surprising that since 2007, despite being under 24-hour surveillance, there has not been a single incident of any illegal activity recorded on Greylock farm? There has not been a single reported event of any Al-Qaeda related activity caught by the camera.

29.    It is also noted that undercover agents successfully planted homing devices on Farhad’s vehicles in order to monitor his movements. This too yielded in nothing.

30.    That must surely mean, at a very elementary level – even to Potgieter- or even to somebody with a compromised IQ for that matter, that no illegal activities are being conducted. Potgieter is reputed to be possessed of a very well endowed IQ which reinforces that notion he knowingly crafted the article with its core of lies.

31.    Moreover, he is seasoned in the art of politics beyond many of his colleagues. He gained much of his crafty training by twisted reporting in the old apartheid era for the brutal security forces at whose hands many Black freedom fighters were tortured and killed. He was a master of illusion whose silky pen aided the apartheid Government in its most awkward moments.  Yes, he knows well of “vlakplaas” and the innocent youth that were ravaged in its precinct. His biased and untruthful but remarkable reporting skills can have devastating effect as we have seen in the past. Farhad invites retorius to offer an unedited resume and collection of his works and articles.
RELOCATION FROM GREYLOCK AND THE WATER SAGA

32.    The suggestion by Potgieter that Farhad Dockrat wants to relocate to the Tsitsikamma Golf Estate is mistaken. Farhad has no intention to relocate.  He is settled in Greylock. There is no desire to create a “Muslim haven” in Tsitsikamma or Greylock. Solly Dockrat appointed Farhad Dockrat to attend to maintenance work on the farm.

33.    Potgieter’s reporting of the water case on Greylock is incorrect. When Farhad Dockrat acquired Greylock, he purchased a farm with a stream in it.  The next door neighbour, Mr Loocke, has three such streams independently from the mountain. However, when Dockrat purchased Greylock, Loocke, a staunch and racist Afrikaner, conspired with the other surrounding Afrikaner farmers. They hatched a plot, putting up a false agreement between all the Afrikaner neighbours, contending that they all had rights to the stream running through Greylock and that Greylock only had a right to draw from its own stream for two days out of fifteen days.

34.    In a bid to negatively impact on the case for Farhad when the matter first came up in court, Potgieter strategically published the same recycled “news” which was repeated in the Rapport on 7 September 2008 under the title “ Al Qaida en leiwater ‘terreur’.” There was also an article “Talibaan in Suid-Kaap”.

35.    As a result of the two day water cycle which was unlawfully imposed by the Afrikaner farmers, 12 378 of Greylock’s pristine peach and other trees died. At a cost of R 139.75 per tree this resulted in a loss of R 1 729 825. 50 to Farhad for trees alone, excluding loss of income.

36.    A preliminary point in the water case was argued on 25 October 2011 before the Cape High Court in which it was pointed out that the existence of the agreement was inherently improbable for various reasons and that the agreement was a plot hatched to starve Greylock of water on racial grounds.

37.    A decisive judgment was granted in favour of Greylock by the honourable Justice Saba against the neighbours. Their racially motivated plot failed. The Afrikaner consortium then sought leave to appeal the judgment of the High Court and have ever since not pursued such a leave to appeal obviously because it has no merit. The matter has not come up in court since then.

38.    It is thus a deliberate misrepresentation that “the Dockrats eventually lost the case in 2012”. In fact, Farhad won the application with costs. A court order proves that. A copy of the order is obtainable from the Cape High Court under case number 25325/2010

39.    The claim instituted by Farhad Dockrat against the Loocke family for unlawfully diverting water from Greylock farm which caused a substantial loss in the form of death of the fruit trees is under case number 21794/2011.  The Loockes have requested a settlement and have asked the Dockrats not to pursue the case against them in the interest of “good neighbourliness” – whilst planting surveillance equipment against Farhad.
ALLEGATIONS ABOUT TSITSIKAMMA GOLF CLUB HOSTILE TAKE-OVER

40.    There was no hostile takeover through false pretences as alleged; there were no AK-47 rifles; there was no incident about threatening an elderly woman. This is outrageous and untruthful.

41.    Why have charges for intimidation and threats not been laid by the “elderly woman”. This is a master piece of deceptive journalism by the ex Vlakplaas reporter.
CONCLUSION

42.    In conclusion, it is respectfully submitted that the article by Potgieter is self evidently mischievous. On its own it smacks of inherently improbable and farfetched assertions.

43.    It is aimed at achieving a political objective of keeping the Western Cape as white as possible, excluding the possibility of it becoming a rainbow nation. It is aimed at neutralising the South African government from taking steps in preventing racial segregation in this country. It is aimed at unjustifiably embarrassing the South African government as being an incompetent state.  It is aimed at garnering US support to further a racist objective. It is truly a masterpiece in deception.

44.    The State has no doubt done its homework and is no doubt fully aware of the facts to hand. It can hardly be said to be uninterested in its own politics if it hears of a threat on its doorstep. There is no a threat. The only threat being the Boeremag terrorist organisation was swiftly and competently neutralised. Obviously a sore spot for Pogieter.

45.    There are comments from the DA who have jumped onto the bandwagon criticizing the ANC led Government on failing to curb an alleged Al Qaida threat.

46.    Farhad commends the South African government for upholding its promise of the constitutional democracy that it promised to bring to this country and its citizens. It is a shining example from which so-called advanced states such as the United States and Britain should take lesson.

47.    Farhad Dockrat has always made himself available to the South African government and will continue to do so to satisfy them that there is nothing untoward or illegal of his conduct in South Africa.

48.    Farhad does not wish to get embroiled in a media war and will not resort to a tit for tat on every ill-founded accusation.



DAILY MAVERICK

COMMENTS BY SONNY



What if - Someone in the ANC Government is really protecting you?

Even a fanatical chameleon can be a threat to world peace.

Let's hope the smoke is not from a burning fuse.........

YES, DUPLICATION IS LIKE A DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN............. ON TARGET.

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013

Know Your DA (A Tale Of Two Helens)

No fear No Favour No Cover-up's



Know Your DA (A Tale Of Two Helens)


REBECCA DAVIS                                                       SOUTH AFRICA       14 MAY 2013   02;03







The Democratic Alliance’s “Know Your DA” campaign, launched a month ago, has attracted criticism from those who accuse the opposition of airbrushing its history and attempting to co-opt ownership of the struggle against Apartheid from the ANC. But the DA is unbowed. On Monday, the party launched a video to accompany the campaign which it intends to show to one million South Africans, and leaders insisted that the campaign is working exactly as they had hoped. By REBECCA DAVIS.



“For too long have we allowed ourselves to be defined by our opponents,” begins the DA’s “Know Your DA” film: white letters on a black background. “This is the story they don’t want you to know.”
The story they don’t want you to know, it turns out, could be titled “A Tale Of Two Helens”. It opens in 1959, with the formation of the Progressive Party by Jan Steytler, and then skips briskly forward to 1961, when Helen Suzman was elected as a member of the National Assembly. Cue black and white footage of Suzman’s lonely berth in Parliament, while a voiceover pays tribute to her “relentless exposure” of Apartheid laws and the fact that her “principles never wavered”. Suzman, the voiceover states, “did the work of an entire opposition party”.
A slew of glowing Suzman-directed testimonials from ANC luminaries follows – in the form of their words on the screen, obviously, and not actual talking heads. Winnie Mandela is quoted: “Helen fought alone to save Mandela’s life in a water-logged cell.” Madiba himself is quoted, in the light of Suzman’s visit to Robben Island: “She was the first and only woman to grace our cells”. A letter from Albert Luthuli to Suzman describes her as “a bright star in a dark chamber”.
We might press pause on the video here to consider what seems to be a slight contradiction. On the one hand, the DA has said that the “Know Your DA” campaign is intended to wrestle control of the DA’s narrative from other political parties, and particularly the ANC. In its press release to mark the launch of this video, the party states: “For too long we have allowed our political opponents to define us”. Yet simultaneously, there seems a tacit acknowledgement that affirmation by ANC stalwarts constitutes legitimacy: why else trot out Mandelas and Luthulis to praise Suzman?
Back to the film. Mandela thought so highly of Suzman that he asked her to accompany him when he signed the Constitution into law in 1996, it informs us. During Suzman’s career, it continues, she fought against pass laws, the Group Areas Act, forced removals, detention without trial, separate amenities, job reservation, the Mixed Marriages Act, and the Immorality Act.
Cut to Helen II. September 1977: a young newspaper reporter travels to PE following Biko’s death, and exposes the truth behind his murder in detention. Zille’s byline is highlighted in the resulting piece for the Rand Daily Mail. She was subsequently pursued by the Press Council for the story. The footage of young Helen is interspersed with footage of present-day Helen reminiscing: it was, she says, “quite routine” to get death threats. Rushing to the Cape Flats to cover the burning of shacks, she was arrested for being in the area without a permit.
The video fleshes out Zilla’s struggle CV by telling us that she hid various activists from the security police. During the Q&A after the video’s screening, journalists were curious to know who these activists were. Zille named two: Dorothy Zihlangu, who died in 1991, and was involved in important struggles for gender equality; and Dorothy Mfaco, whose grandson Bulelani Mfaco wrote an article in 2011 about “the nice white woman who gave my granny shelter”.
Zille said she felt comfortable naming Zihlangu and Mfaco as they have both passed away, but said she could not name other activists that she had sheltered without their permission. She would say only that “they are very well known and prominent people today”.
The Daily Maverick is reliably informed that among their number was one Tony Yengeni.
Recalling the days of Apartheid, current-day Zille admits on camera: “I did feel terrified”. As a result, she went into hiding with her two-year-old son. The testimonial for Zille is given by shadow minister of trade and industry Wilmot James, who says that the DA leader has “confirmed her place in history as a defender of freedom and champion of democracy”.
The final act of the “Know Your DA” video is devoted to the DA today, which is presented as a convergence of people brought together by shared values. Some have roots in the ANC, PAC, UDF, or trade unions, the video notes (though there is no mention of the NP). The DA is growing, Zille says, because people understand that the DA’s one big idea is the “open opportunity society”. This is a concept frequently returned to by the party, with the open opportunity society presented as a meritocracy which is the opposite of the ANC’s cronyistic tendencies.
It’s an intuitively appealing idea, and writing for the South African Civil Society Information Service before the 2011 local government elections, academic Jane Duncan pointed out that this concept is a well-established one in political theory internationally. In it, government “enables individual advancement on the basis of supposedly inherent talents and industriousness, measured usually through academic credentials, rather than on characteristics such as race, gender or political affiliation.” But the downside of the idea, Duncan wrote, is that “the children of the historically advantaged invariably have a head start in realising inherent talent. This society attributes an individual’s lack of success to individual weaknesses, not the system.”
In the final minutes of the DA’s film, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille (ex-PAC), recent DA convert Nosimo Balindlela (ex-COPE, ex-ex-ANC), Breede Valley mayor Basil Kivedo (ex-Umkhonto we Sizwe) and former DA federal chair Joe Seremane (ex-PAC) all express their belief that the DA is the future of South Africa due to its diversity, dynamism, inclusive attitude, and the fact that – to quote de Lille – “we all share the same values, the same principles”. The DA is the fastest-growing party in South Africa, the film concludes: Election 2014 will see this growth continue until the DA becomes the party of national government.
The 12-minute film is an exceedingly slick product, and will be translated into nine official languages for broadcast around the country. Thirty-thousand copies of the film are to be sent to DA branches nationally, for broadcast at “weekly house meetings”, to which DA activists will invite “South Africans who have never heard our untold story or who have never voted for the DA before”. In this manner, the DA hopes to expose one million South Africans to the film within the next two months.
Watch: Know your DA
The “Know Your DA” campaign has not been short of controversy thus far, and this video will likely be no exception – though the ANC declined to comment on it on Monday afternoon. Zille said that she was not remotely cowed by the criticism. “We love the controversy,” she said. “When there is controversy, we break the sound barrier.” Spokesman Mmusi Maimane claimed that the criticism was a clear indication of the campaign’s success.
But in prefatory comments, Zille gave some indication that the campaign was spurred by something like desperation to persuade the South African public that the party could not be associated with white oppression. “I’m the kind of person who leaves the past behind,” she said. Research undertaken both by the DA and independently, however, has indicated that a majority of young black South Africans believes that the DA would bring back Apartheid if elected into power. A Pondering Panda survey on the matter undertaken in April, for instance, found that 52% of young black respondents held this view. At the time, Maimane said that the survey’s findings “indicates the extent of the ANC’s propaganda war against the DA”.
Nonetheless, on Monday Zille was at pains to stress that the campaign forms part of the DA’s pre-election strategy rather than the election campaign itself. “We will be running our election on the future,” she confirmed. “But before we talk credibly about the future, we have to sort out this question of the past.”
Zille acknowledged that the likes of De Lille, Seremane and Balindlela had fought Apartheid under the banner of organisations not aligned with the DA’s previous incarnations. “They come from the many tributaries which flow into the mighty river of the DA,” she said. As for the invisible NP members absorbed into the DA, parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko pointed out that old Nats are in many parties today (including the ANC, which formally absorbed them.) But, she pointed out, many members of the NP have changed their political outlook; those within the DA “have come to hold dear our values”.
What of the white males seemingly airbrushed from DA history: the Tony Leons, Frederick van Zyl Slabberts, Colin Eglins? “Their stories tend to be better known than the stories of the people we are chronicling here,” Mazibuko said. “That doesn’t mean we discard the history of our other leaders.” The name of the party may have changed from the DP to the DA, Mazibuko said, but the same political philosophy underpinned the two parties: what Zille referred to repeatedly as the “golden thread” stretching back through the decades.
The Daily Maverick asked Zille whether there were any elements of the DP’s political philosophy that she would disavow. But Zille stayed on safe ground in her answer, returning to the days of the Progressive Party – where, she said, she was opposed to the party’s advocacy for a qualified franchise. In the face of opposition from Zille and others in the party, the Progs went on to lobby for a universal franchise.
Zille said that it is activist numbers, rather than membership numbers, that the DA concerns itself with raising. She said that the DA currently has a branch in “just under half” of the more than 4,000 wards in South Africa, and that each branch will receive several copies of the “Know Your DA” film. She reiterated her claim that the DA is the most diverse party in South Africa: “Sixty-five percent of our members are black South Africans”, she said. The Daily Maverick contacted DA CEO Jonathan Moakes for advice on how this 65% figure was ascertained. “We have a tick box on our membership form that indicates the home language of our members, and we work it out from that,” Moakes said.
The DA is using the “Know Your DA” campaign as a form of guarantee for prospective voters: a party which is filled with people who fought Apartheid, it argues, must be fully committed to ongoing social equality. Naturally, the ANC can use precisely the same logic. Zille quoted Winston Churchill: “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see”. In other words, she explained, the more you know a party’s past, the more confident you can be about how it will act in future. But if the ANC’s current performance has taught us anything, it is surely that this rule can never be ironclad. DM
Photo: Two Helens, Suzman & Zille


Daily Maverick





COMMENTS BY SONNY

THE PRESENT DAY ANC (ZUMA) WOULD LOVE TO FORGET THE LIBERAL'S, FREEDOM

CHARTER AND SA CONSTITUTION IN HIS DICTATORSHIP!

SOUTH AFRICA AS A WHOLE GAVE UP FOR THIS ILL-BEGOTTEN FREEDOM!

THE PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN!

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