Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
AI Tech Stocks State Going into the CRASH and Capitalising on the Metaverse - 25th Jan 22
Stock Market Relief Rally, Maybe? - 25th Jan 22
Why Gold’s Latest Rally Is Nothing to Get Excited About - 25th Jan 22
Gold Slides and Rebounds in 2022 - 25th Jan 22
Gold; a stellar picture - 25th Jan 22
CATHY WOOD ARK GARBAGE ARK Funds Heading for 90% STOCK CRASH! - 22nd Jan 22
Gold Is the Belle of the Ball. Will Its Dance Turn Bearish? - 22nd Jan 22
Best Neighborhoods to Buy Real Estate in San Diego - 22nd Jan 22
Stock Market January PANIC AI Tech Stocks Buying Opp - Trend Forecast 2022 - 21st Jan 21
How to Get Rich in the MetaVerse - 20th Jan 21
Should you Buy Payment Disruptor Stocks in 2022? - 20th Jan 21
2022 the Year of Smart devices, Electric Vehicles, and AI Startups - 20th Jan 21
Oil Markets More Animated by Geopolitics, Supply, and Demand - 20th Jan 21
WARNING - AI STOCK MARKET CRASH / BEAR SWITCH TRIGGERED! - 19th Jan 22
Fake It Till You Make It: Will Silver’s Motto Work on Gold? - 19th Jan 22
Crude Oil Smashing Stocks - 19th Jan 22
US Stagflation: The Global Risk of 2022 - 19th Jan 22
Stock Market Trend Forecast Early 2022 - Tech Growth Value Stocks Rotation - 18th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Setting Up For A 'Mini-Crash'? - 18th Jan 22
Mobile Sports Betting is on a rise: Here’s why - 18th Jan 22
Exponential AI Stocks Mega-trend - 17th Jan 22
THE NEXT BITCOIN - 17th Jan 22
Gold Price Predictions for 2022 - 17th Jan 22
How Do Debt Relief Services Work To Reduce The Amount You Owe? - 17th Jan 22
RIVIAN IPO Illustrates We are in the Mother of all Stock Market Bubbles - 16th Jan 22
All Market Eyes on Copper - 16th Jan 22
The US Dollar Had a Slip-Up, but Gold Turned a Blind Eye to It - 16th Jan 22
A Stock Market Top for the Ages - 16th Jan 22
FREETRADE - Stock Investing Platform, the Good, Bad and Ugly Review, Free Shares, Cancelled Orders - 15th Jan 22
WD 14tb My Book External Drive Unboxing, Testing and Benchmark Performance Amazon Buy Review - 15th Jan 22
Toyland Ferris Wheel Birthday Fun at Gulliver's Rother Valley UK Theme Park 2022 - 15th Jan 22
What You Should Know About a TailoredPay High Risk Merchant Account - 15th Jan 22
Best Metaverse Tech Stocks Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 14th Jan 22
Gold Price Lagging Inflation - 14th Jan 22
Get Your Startup Idea Up And Running With These 7 Tips - 14th Jan 22
What Happens When Your Flight Gets Cancelled in the UK? - 14th Jan 22

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

South Africa’s Political Wars Begin To Resemble Our Own

Politics / Africa Jun 26, 2012 - 02:58 AM GMT

By: Danny_Schechter

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleCape Town, South Africa: When I came to South Africa, I thought I was escaping the way our news programs are totally dominated by political coverage even though the election is months away and everyone knows none of this polling and hyped-up speculation matters until October.

The fight between the Democrats and Republicans is an obscenely costly affair which none of our political pundits care to investigate in terms of why so much is being invested and what the likely payoffs will be, and to whom.


Business Day, The Wall Street Journal of South Africa, featured an essay recently with a headline that offers insight into the motivation of politicians in both countries: “PUBLIC OFFICE JUST A WAY TO PILLAGE THE STATE.”

In the US, of course, we have two principal parties, almost like two wings on a plane. The Republicans, now the captive of the hard right and the Democrats, firmly ensconced in the center, partial to corporations but with some issues and positions that appeal to liberals and even, parts of the left.

Obama is posturing at being a progressive on domestic social issues while refusing to crack down on Wall Street fraud, and promoting Bush-style war on terror military interventions. Romney is running on a one point program: blame Obama for everything wrong in the world.

Both parties are beholden to money and the people who supply it. We are talking billions! Of course, this immense money power corrupts the whole system. The Supreme Court has just ratified the decision that allows it.

In South Africa, corruption doesn’t grow out of the competition between two parties with more in common that you’d think. Here, there’s only one party that really matters--The African National Congress (ANC) that is riven by factions, ambitious politicians and an environment of jostling for power and position. Corruption is embarrassingly all too blatant while basic needs go unmet.

No one quite expected this when the world cheered as Nelson Mandela was swept into office in 1994. He had an ambitious program for ending poverty and transforming the country. People spoke of the changes in South Africa as a “miracle,” branding the country a “rainbow nation.”

Reality quickly set it. Racial division was only one of many economic and social problems all impervious to quick fixes. The government soon found that it had to overcome many forms of resistance to change including the vested interests of the business sector, the status quo orientation of international agencies like the IMF and World Bank as well as the go-slow counsel of Britain and the US.

A long suppressed black middle class wanted what it thought was its due and wanted it now! Inexperienced politicians luxuriated with new perks and fancy cars quickly putting its needs as an elite ahead of demands from its constituencies. Corruption soon surfaced and was largely ignored. The unity of the liberation struggle gave way to power games of every kind.

The Mail &Guardian reports political scientist Achille Mbembe saying in a debate in Johannesburg, “after 18 years of relative complacency and self-congratulatory gestures” the ANC was realizing South Africa was an ordinary country and not a miracle.

South Africa’s miracle of the 90s “can now be better categorized as a stalemate”, he said. “ One of the main tensions in South African politics is that its constitutional democracy did not erase the apartheid landscape.”

But, then, AIDs emerged as a fatal health problem catching the country off guard. Its health infrastructure had been crippled by years of apartheid underfunding. Early projections suggested that virtually the entire State treasury would have to be diverted to stop millions from dying. There was denial and stigma.

That was one of the realities confronting Mandela’s deputy and successor, Thabo Mbeki. That may help explain his attempts to downplay the AIDS threat and find others to blame for it. Mbeki had ambitions notions of an “African renaissance,” and turned South Africa into a force on the Continent while also alienating members of the ANC at home who resented what they saw as arrogance and elitism.

Although re-elected, he became a divisive force in the Party and was toppled before he could finish his second term. This was all evidence of democracy within the ANC, but also the emergence of other splits and splinters, as well as chaotic factions with the ANC’s own youth League demanding nationalization of the mines. (This demand was treated as an example of “radical populism” by some, and as a tactic to shake down industrialists for bribes by others even thought it did point to a certain laxness in the government’s unwillingness to crack down on business. Sound familiar?)

Former ANC exile and military chief Jacob Zuma toppled Mbeki with populist rhetoric—he sang a Zulu song, “Bring Me My Machine Gun” during his camapaign even though he was caught up in a personal corruption scandal that he narrowly slithered out of.

Now, some of the same pressures facing Mbeki are facing him, as supporters rally to his Deputy President Kglalema Mothlane or Zuma’s Minister of Settlements, the charismatic former guerilla turned billionaire, Tokyo Sexwale. Both seem poised to want to replace him

Meanwhile, the ANC is running a key policy conference to debate a document calling for a “Second Transition.” Mothlane recently sneered at the idea in a speech saying, “Second Transition! Second Transition! From where to where? What constituted the first transition?”

In response, President Zuma, has, according to the Mail & Guardian, “launched a veiled attack” on Kgalema for questioning the “Second Transition.” The crusading newspaper also reports:

“Supporters of ANC president Jacob Zuma will stop any attempts to discuss leadership issues at the ruling party’s policy conference this week.

This is the unyielding view of sources within the ruling party, who told the Mail & Guardian they will “suppress” any attempts to discuss succession within the ruling party.”

So much for the state of internal debate, yet clearly Zuma knows he’s a facing a serious internal fight.

Even as the politicians scramble for positions, criticism mounts of how South Africa is being governed. Law Professor Koos Malan, challenges the way public office here is misused, writing, “public office somehow entitles public office-bearers to exploit the power and authority of public office to achieve maximum private gain…and to receive public accolades for these successes.”

As the country prepares to mark Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday in July, South Africa is also facing a dangerous downtown in its economy thanks to the world financial crisis, and soaring crime and unemployment.

The spirit of many here remains infectious but there’s trouble on the horizon.

News Dissector Danny Schechter writes the Newsdissector.net blog. He is in South Africa making a film about the making and meaning of a major movie underway on Mandel’s life. His latest books are Blogothon and Occupy: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street (Cosimo.) He hosts a program on ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.or

NOTES ON ANC

M&G on Debate

“There are a lot of tensions in the documents, there are a lot of issues that are unresolved,” Achille Mbembe told a debate in Johannesburg.

He said after 18 years of “relative complacency and self-congratulory gestures” the ANC was realising South Africa was an ordinary country and not a miracle.

South Africa’s miracle of the 90s “can now be better categorised as a stalemate”, Mbembe said.

Although the policy documents hint at this they did not deal with it.

One of the main tensions in South African politics is that its constitutional democracy did not erase the apartheid landscape.

Ending the stalemate
Mbembe said the current debates on the Constitution, the judiciary and nationalisation, among others, were evidence of an attempt to end the stalemate and usher in what the ANC is terming the second transition.

Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief Nic Dawes also spoke of the tensions within the documents.

He said there was some sense of openness while other areas indicated fear.

Indications of fear in the ANC were evident in calls for more control of the economy, the media and the judiciary as well as various bills like the Protection of State Information Bill.

Dawes gave the example how home affairs was positioned squarely as a “security department”.

“Immigration particularly is framed as a security problem,” he said.

Humane approach
The document then takes a very humane approach to economic migrants, concluding they should be allowed in the country.

Where the main strategy document draws on the work of the National Planning Commission it calls for a more open and competitive economy.

Dawes said this jarred with the ANC’s ambitions to create a developmental state.

The ANC holds a policy conference every five years before an elective conference which will be held in Mangaung in December.

ANC branch members and alliance representatives’ debate policy and any policy changes decided at the policy conference need to be ratified by the elective conference.

The next policy conference will be held in Midrand next month. – Sapa

News Dissector Danny Schechters film and book Disinformation. For more information, Http://www.plunderhecrimeofourtime.com.

    News Dissector Danny Schechter has made a film and written a book on the “Crime Of Our Time.” (News Dissector.com/plunder.) Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org

    © 2012 Copyright Danny Schechter - All Rights Reserved

    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in