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“The brother leader’s delegation has accepted the roadmap as presented by us. We have to give cease-fire a chance.”—South African President Jacob Zuma • Pushing to get folks to back a peace plan that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has agreed to. The plan, which could lead to a cease-fire, may be just what Libya needed. Now we’re sure Zuma, representing the African Union, probably has a better handle on Gaddafi than most, but we’re going to say that this probably isn’t going to be particularly effective. And Zuma has a history of backing a soft-pedal approach to leaders that probably don’t deserve it. Robert Mugabe for starters. We’re sure Morgan Tsvangirai feels pretty good about Zuma’s help in that situation right now. source (via • follow)
Poor young South Africans lose faith in aging leaders
By Marius Bosch, Reuters, Sept. 2, 2011
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters)—Clashes between youth members of the ruling ANC and police this week are signs that millions of unemployed young South Africans do not believe their aging leaders’ promises to lift them out of poverty.
Unless President Jacob Zuma and his government move fast to create more jobs for young people, there could be further violence which will scare off investors and deal a blow to the already sluggish economy.
The disciplinary hearing the African National Congress is holding to examine charges that popular party Youth League leader Julius Malema has sown division in the party has acted as a catalyst for the deep frustrations of the young.
In scenes reminiscent of the apartheid era, thousands of Malema’s supporters rioted in Johannesburg when the hearing began on Tuesday, hurling rocks and bottles at riot police who responded with stun grenades and water cannon.
The disciplinary action against the youth league firebrand is a high-stakes gamble for both Zuma and Malema. One outcome could be the suspension from the ANC of Malema, 30, derailing his political career. If he is exonerated, Zuma could be plunged into a fight for his political survival.
Beneath this week’s violence lies a deep-rooted frustration at the failure of current leaders to improve the lives of young people nearly two decades after the end of apartheid.
“The tension within the party now really centers around the fact that the vast majority of the ANC’s rank and file still remain largely poor and under-employed—if at all,” said Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, chief analyst of African frontier markets at risk and advisory group DaMina Advisors.
“They are increasingly disconnected from their ideologically moderate, millionaire and billionaire ANC ministers, leaders and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) minted business tycoons.”
Unemployment is officially around 25 percent. Millions still live in squalid shack settlements clustered around big cities.
But youth unemployment is about 50 percent, and a study by the South African Institute of Race Relations said about half of current 25- to 34-year-olds will never find work.
“If we do not deal with the unemployment crisis among young people we may see what is happening in the Middle East erupting here in our own country,” said Buti Manamela, an ANC member of parliament.
Many of Zuma’s cabinet ministers are veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle, seen as too moderate by more militant ANC factions and out of touch with the younger generation.
Young ANC members have embraced Malema’s calls for nationalization of the gold and platinum mines and the takeover of white-owned farmland, but his plan for “economic freedom in our lifetime” has unnerved investors.
Young South Africans are increasingly lining up with Malema, distancing themselves from ANC idealism and embracing the idea of putting cash in their pockets.
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Everyday Mshini Wam - Avantgods by theavantgods
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Here’s a geef:
South African parliament passes controversial secrecy law
- cause The South African parliament passed a bill on Tuesday that they say is intended to “save lives, to enhance and to protect the freedom and security of persons, to bring criminals to justice, to protect the national security and to engage in effective government and diplomacy.” Jacob Zuma is expected to sign it into law.
- reaction The bill has further strained the relationship between the press and the government. Many believe the law is an attempt to shield the country’s elite from criticism and prevent whistleblowing. A number of anti-apartheid leaders have also come out against the bill, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, who called it “insulting.” source
Cops vs photographers: What's wrong with this picture?
While demonstrators have been slammed for raining rocks onto journalists outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg this week, photographers say it is usually the police who stop them from taking pictures.
Protesters were slammed for attacking journalists during a demonstration in support of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema at his disciplinary hearing. Members of the media were pelted with rocks and glass bottles, while a broadcaster’s van was vandalised and damaged.
But while this attack was condemned by authorities, civil society groups and media organisations, and raised concerns about the way members of the public perceive the media, press photographers say it is actually police who prevent them from doing their jobs properly.
Continue @ Mail & Guardian Online
1. a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our god.” .
2. something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.
Jacob Zuma reportedly told party supporters in Mthatha over the weekend: “When you vote for the ANC, you are also choosing to go to heaven. When you don’t vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork… who cooks people.
“When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed. When you get up there, there are different cards used but when you have an ANC card, you will be let through to go to heaven.”
ANC Spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu was quick to respond saying that the statement was “figurative” and “metaphoric”, and that “Those who are ‘alarmed’ by his expression are probably driven by jealousy for not having thought of the expression themselves,”.
Except that those who are alarmed (and there are many), don’t have a track record for saying inappropriate things publicly. I’m not the least bit religious, but that doesn’t prevent me from seeing how deeply offensive this would be. However, the ANC seems to have long had a policy of speak now, spin later; while their approach to spin control has been
- Deny that the alleged statement was made (then blame the opposition for spreading lies), or
- Claim that the statement was taken out of context (then blame journalists), or
- Claim that the statement was not meant to be taken literally, but that it was figurative and metaphorical (and suggest that those upset are just jealous that they never though of it in the first place).
The sad reality is that statements like this appeal to the older voting population, who only have a basic education - and the opposition would have to resort to similar stunts to appeal to that same demographic.