South Africa And Its Ruling African National Congress Involved In A Big War

The plan to hijack the African National Congress by 2019 seems well advanced.

A massive propaganda campaign created the deception that it is ANC- and country president Jacob Zuma, who are corrupt and in that, allowed the state to be captured.

However, it is not Zuma, who is the actual target of the “counter revolutionaries”, their backers and their corporate mainstream media. There are forces both, on the inside and the outside of the ANC, hell-bent to reduce the movement to a mere second to the Democratic Alliance (DA) and its recently joined Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the forthcoming presidential- and national elections in 2019.

Will current ANC president Jacob Zuma and the ruling party whither the storm? Will the corporate media “stalwarts” in the movement muster a large enough constituency to counter the ANC branches nationally? Who will be the next ANC- and possibly the next country president in 2019?

It is evident that those, who launched the attack on President Zuma and the ANC, have no constituency outside the corporate media cartels, the academic political analysts, and the owners of the economy. This is the reason for them having requested to meet the ANC.

They already met with the ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. He too has no constituency and knows it. But, the “stalwarts”, also known as “counter-revolutionaries”, would not admit to it. They also have realised that “Jacob Zuma’s constituency is too strong to be challenged”.

Senior ANC NEC insiders raised the questions, “Is the ANC SG, Mantashe, not also in the stable of Anglo American Corporation’s Anglo Gold Ashanti? Which hat does he actually wear? Cde. SG Mantashe (as he is also known within the ANC), will not deliver and will be out of the ANC top structure by the end of next year 2017. He is not a serious factor.”

The “counter-revolutionaries” assured their backers and the media that they will organise a strong constituency. But, they fail to explain, how they would build such constituency, despite their access to huge funds.

A senior and highly respected ANC NEC member explained to this writer under the condition of anonymity, “Two of those “stalwarts” are trying to organise constituencies for their group. Both attempt to get particular constituencies together, as they have realised that they would not be able to get to the ANC branches. One is Cde. Siphiwe Nyanda. He tries to mobilise the armed wing of the ANC’s Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) against Cde. President Zuma and the ANC. This will be a serious struggle though. It is not a constituency they will be able to rely on.”

According to the reliably well-informed senior ANC NEC member, “It is not Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who could be the next ANC- and country president. It seems that he was guided not to talk, because it could jeopardise his position. The main candidate for ANC presidency from those “stalwarts”, or “counter revolutionaries”, is the Reverend Frank Chikane. At one stage he was a senior officer in recalled former President and recently installed UNISA Chancellor Thabo Mbeki’s office. But, the poor priest has no constituency at all, despite mobilising the masses against the ANC from the pulpit. Chikane is also part of the “counter revolutionaries’” Rivonia Branch in Johannesburg. If the ANC has not relented by May 2017, Frank Chikane will be out of the movement.”

“The “stalwarts’” third option to build their constituency is to resuscitate the long dead and buried “United Democratic Front” (UDF). Such destructive activities would be futile though. Recalled former President Thabo Mbeki’s men, Sipho Pityana, Sydney Mufamadi and Frank Chikane work closely together.”

“By alerting all ANC branches countrywide strengthened Jacob Zuma. It will be a big fight lasting well into 2017, involving all branches. Corporates too will play a vicious role, as they muscled in since the late 1970s and manipulate from the shadows to assist with hijacking the ruling ANC. But, the ruling party and its branches understand the efforts to destroy it. It is also described as “chequebooks power politics”.”

“Meanwhile, the ANC “renegades”, as the “stalwarts” are also known, would like Zuma to draw his hat and hand over his position and that of the rest of the ANC and government to them”, senior ANC cadres explained.

A seasoned ANC NEC member made his assumed prognosis:

“First, the inevitability is expected that heads will roll before the no-confidence vote in Parliament in February next year in 2017. President Zuma is expected to agree to that move. Those include all cabinet members, who turned against the head-of-state and commander-in-chief.”

“Second, the ANC will honour its decision to hold a policy conference in May 2017 to discuss the organisational issues during the first two days.”

“Third, the ANC will whither the storm against Parliament’s no-confidence motion, pushed for by the DA-EFF.”

“Fourth, it is critical that the ANC will succeed. The chances to come out unscathed are good, as the movement currently builds confidence throughout all branches.”

“Fifth, this time the ANC will have to get strong leadership to dismantle the colonial-apartheid institutes and infrastructure totally. The revered late ANC president Oliver Tambo insisted that the ANC would need “independent popular objectives”. Without those, it would be impossible to even think of economic changes in South Africa.”

“Sixth, it has become more important than ever before that state power and institutions have to be used to dictate terms to corporates. Agriculture and the land issue must be in their doing. Here is a perfect example, of how the EFF has hijacked the ANC’s policy debate.”

Finally, if the above-mentioned prognostic assumptions would come true, the ANC would win all the way; possibly receive over 66% of the national vote by 2019.

But, where would the ANC find those leaders to do just that?

“The neighbouring Southern African Development Community (SADC) would not be able to do anything, neither the rest of Africa and nor its African Union, unless the citadel of the “counter revolutionary forces” has been totally destroyed. So far, South Africa has let this region down. It is fact, if the ANC and South Africa are destroyed, particularly Britain and Germany would face serious economic trouble”, a senior ANC NEC member pointed out.

He added, “If South Africa and the ANC are strong, Africa’s and the world economies would be strengthened.”

End.

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South Africa’s Ruling African National Congress Trapped

The owners of the economy, corporates, lobby groups, think tanks and their corporate mainstream media concocted a series of destructive strategies to ensure that particularly the African National Congress (ANC) would finally be reduced to a political party only second to the Democratic Alliance (DA)-Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) by 2019.

In the build-up to such a scenario, the image of the ruling ANC as well as its government was seriously tarnished. Character assassinations, similar to those meted out against Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, became the daily fodder for South Africa’s corporate media.

Traps, such as the “secret Sunset Clauses”; “state capture”; “corruption”; chequebooks politics setting up “blind trusts” for political leadership and judges, are part of it. At the same time, leaders were deliberately not vetted to proof their competency and loyalties.

An assessment of the current situation with all its flaws needs to be done.

Senior members of the ANC admitted to the wrongdoings. They pointed at factionalism, polarisation, a compromised leadership, double speak to mislead the majority of the population “to be able to continue serving their corporate lobbyists, also viewed as handlers”.

The question arises, “When was the ANC leadership captured and compromised?”

In the 1980s big business sent its elite and lobbyists as often as they perceived it necessary, to Lusaka, Zambia; Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; Luanda, Angola; London, United Kingdom; Washington, USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Bonn, Frankfurt and Munich in Germany; the Scandinavian countries and others. Was it not then already that the leadership was captured?

How free was the revered Nelson Mandela really when he was moved to ‘Victor Verster prison’ outside Paarl in the Western Cape?

By his own admission, the head of apartheid National Intelligence Services (NIS), Dr. Niel Barnard, influenced Mandela’s thinking of a “new South Africa under ANC rule”.

It became worse. There are those among the ANC leadership, who support the “secret Sunset Clauses” in private, which apartheid De Klerk and SACP Slovo brought to the negotiations in 1994. In public however, they deny their support of such secret agendas. Having met in secret with Big Business leaders; Boer academics, which fronted for a range of interests as well as the Urban Foundation, were ANC leaders not already captured by 1994?

The ANC failed to sensitize its members. When will that sun (of the secret Sunset Clauses) eventually set on South Africa? The contents of those secret clauses were never debated. The nation was thus, never taken along into the trust of the leadership. At the same time the majority was kept in the dark. Since the expiry date of those secret clauses, ANC members and the public in general were not informed. Why have the signed Sunset Clauses not been circulated among all ANC members, branches and the general public to be debated nationally?

The ANC was pushed into a corner at the CODESA negotiations in 1994. The grand apartheid planners and its international Western think tanks signed a much-hailed, neo-liberal constitution and its democracy.

And, this time grand-apartheid entered through the backdoor to stay, forming the constitution, through for example, “minority groups rights” and nine provinces bankrupting, dividing and unsettling South Africa further. “Minority groups’ rights” also protect structured poverty, as meted out at the poor indigenous majority. To date, that evil has not been addressed in public. It means, the public at large has been misled, as the ANC never fought for such.

The ANC further failed to set up its own think tank, its own research institute. Its media-platforms in exile, SECHABA, UMSEBEZI, DAWN and Radio Freedom were shut down on instruction of Thabo Mbeki. Why was this accepted? How could Mbeki wield so much power? Obviously, South Africa’s corporate mainstream media cartels do not have any African aspirations and interests at heart.

ANC followers had no further communication with its leaders. What was the role of certain leaders in doing such?

After the successful democratic elections, then President Nelson Mandela appointed his cabinet and support structures. But, there was no Minister of Finance and no Governor of the Reserve Bank for a number of years still. It seemed quite obvious, that both, the new Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, as well as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni, were not vetted by the ANC government when appointed, but by the established White elite outside the new rulers.

Until now, the ANC is not able to appoint anyone in the Treasury, or the Reserve Bank. Those positions seem to have always been vetted by invisible anti-ANC interests. As it stands, Johann Rupert seems to lead those forces in South Africa.

South Africa’s Independent National Treasury, which President Zuma failed to capture, as accused, sits with a 50% debt to GDP, a declining economy, close to recession. It is paying the highest interest rates under any circumstances. Why did National Treasury not increase economic growth? How could South Africa benefit from its National Treasury?

A well-known senior economist insists that the following questions should be answered to the best of Pravin Gordhan’s abilities, “Of the ZAR1trillion debt, National Treasury head, Gordhan, raised since he became Minister of Finance, what exactly was this amount applied to? To date, South Africa has not seen the money. Where is it going? Who is in charge? Who hoodwinks the nation? Why has no forensic audit been done on the National Treasury?”

Given the current economic situation, the debt, the over-politicizing of the Treasury, the factionalism of the ruling party, an independent National Treasury under Gordhan has failed South Africa.

No one asks the National Treasury any questions. Gordhan is a “bolombolo tiger”, created by public relations consultants, hopelessly over-inflated by the corporate mainstream media cartels. Under arrogant Gordhan, South Africans will be in for real grief. To date, no one asks Gordhan the mentioned hard questions, as well as why the Treasury is acting without any accountabilities.

Powerful Russian President Putin recently fired his Finance Minister when he discovered that his Minister had taken a bribe of US$2million.

Meanwhile, think tanks, such as the ‘Brenthurst Foundation’, the ‘Helen Suzman Foundation’ and the ‘Freedom under Law Foundation’, who have long-standing links with Zimbabwe’s MDC-T and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, remain forces to be reckoned with. It seems, nothing goes without their approval. Add to the mentioned NGOs US-George Soros’ “Southern African Litigation Center (SALC)” and “Open Society Foundation”, they seem to form a “deep state”, undermining the South African state. This should be an additional national debate.

Another serious problem is patronage with government position-holders. It applies to the veterans as well as other stakeholders.

The recalled former ANC- and country president, Thabo Mbeki, was the architect of patronage, at the same time centralizing all powers under him to ensure the old status quo remains in place.

Those, who accepted the ‘patronage system’, enjoyed guaranteed positions in government. ANC stalwart, Joel Netshitenzhe, and many others had their positions secured. This ‘patronage system’ also made ANC members afraid to query the direction of Thabo Mbeki’s leadership. It amounted to intimidation. The descent within the ANC was oppressed.

The manipulation of using state agencies against one another was rooted in Mbeki’s term of office. It is interesting to observe that the very same “stalwarts”, currently questioning the state-of-affairs, perpetuated patronage under Mbeki.

The patronage system helped to identify and create “tenderpreneurs”. As some of the senior ANC NEC members told this writer under the condition of anonymity, “Mbeki’s faction benefited most from the patronage system. Those beneficiaries include Saki Macozoma, Smuts Ngoyama, Njali Majola, Bulelani Ngcuka and a few more. State patronage promoted corruption across the board and assured corruption on all levels, from national-, to provincial-, to municipal. Today, they are multi-millionaires.”

“In fact, “state captures” is not a new concept. We believe, the Guptas played the role of a decoy to deflect the focus to those who were actually captured. Who brought those Guptas to the ANC? What was Essop Pahad’s role? The mission is clear. It was done to destroy the ANC.”

“The Guptas were to infiltrate one of the factions”, the senior ANC NEC member pointed out. “Their mission was to establish the weakest link, which they seemed to have done.”

“If the ANC wants to reclaim its movement, it has to strictly ban corporate political funding across the board. Big business renders political leadership and its parties powerless. The corporates hijack all power to destroy whole countries, regions and continents for their own crude interests, as seems the case in Africa and the Mid East.”

“Under an ANC-led government, South Africa would have to move towards a ‘one-person, one-vote system’ in a ‘Constituent Assembly’. This is what the ANC fought for. It will return power to the people.”

Proportional representation shortchanges the electorate. It gives the party bosses more power than their own constituencies are worth. This is viewed as “fraudulently centralising power”. If this is not accepted, it could lead to the disintegration of the ANC into leaderless little groups and factions.”

It was also explained to this writer, “Joel Netshitenze’s suggestion of an electoral college for the ANC would guarantee the total capture of the movement. It borrows from the US, where only two political parties can be part of democracy, sponsored by Wall Street. Corporate interests would vet all political leaders and rule through them.”

Finally, in its own brutal assessment, the question, which should uphold the democratic principles, is a fair one. “No one has ever addressed recalled former president Mbeki’s loss of elections. Mbeki’s faction resigned and left with him. Neither Mbeki, nor any of his followers attend ANC meetings. Why did Joel Netshitenzhe, Sipho Pityana and Siphiwe Nyanda deliberately not address that issue? Who funds the ANC “stalwarts” for their public appearances?”

A sulking, yet arrogant Thabo Mbeki demonstrated dictatorial tendencies, but by no means a democratic leadership. The ANC groups, also known as “counter revolutionaries”, show dishonesty and selective thinking. END.

End.

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South Africa’s Current Situation Is A Power Game

South Africa’s current situation in 2016 had been planned some fifty-two years ago by a think-tank, the “Bogenhagen Report” of 1964. The Bantustans/Homelands would become provinces in a country, governed by the African majority through a rural political party in the form of the African National Congress (ANC).

An urban political party by design could govern South Africa as from 2019. This too is reflected in that “Bogenhagen Report”.

Today in 2016 it seems that the struggle inside the ANC is among those, who want the old status quo of grand apartheid’s “National Party” back and those, who capitulate into a rural political party.

Considering the outcome of the last Local Government elections, the above-mentioned strategies could make sense. In other words, the Democratic Alliance (DA)-Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) would govern the Western Cape Province; Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province; Bloemfontein in the Free State Province; the capital Pretoria and the economic and financial hub, Johannesburg both, in the Gauteng Province.

Would the new urban political party be the DA-EFF and the rural political party the ANC?

In this process, the owners of the economy, also known as captains-of-industry and architects-of-apartheid with their hitmen and chequebooks in the shadows, seem to test the waters on how to overthrow the president. Foreign interests, who reduced the Ukraine to civil war and regime change, would not work in BRICS member, South Africa. This country has an elected head-of-state and commander-in-chief.

Brazil, also a BRICS member, had to deal with its coup d’état. Ousted president Dilma Rousseff faced a legally acceptable coup plot. The highly unpopular vice president, Michel Temer, replaced her. Temer has hardly any following and is viewed as corrupt.

Meanwhile, the same power mongers and their minions in their think tanks hawkishly observe the situation in South Africa developing. It would certainly not work to impeach president Jacob Zuma, as he and his ruling party, the ANC, retain the backing of the country’s majority. But, a collusion of many forces seems to work, similar to that used to topple president Dilma Rousseff and reduce the Ukraine to outright “civil war”. The forces seem to be the same.

The DA’s take-over of the Western Cape should be thoroughly studied. The former apartheid National Party, merely wearing a different coat this time around, consolidated the Western Cape, having done an analysis of the vulnerabilities of that province and then focused on them. The DA was indeed successful.

Not putting up an efficient and effective intelligence, the ANC has contributed to its major losses of Port Elizabeth, Pretoria (Tshwane) and Johannesburg in the last Local Government’s elections.

South Africa’s corporate mainstream media cartels bombard public opinion daily with Afropessimistic, anti-ANC horror stories. It is latently racist. In fact, their efforts could be described as “brainwashing of public opinion”. The old apartheid Strategic Communications (StratCom) media reports to deceive public opinion, seems alive and at work. The strategy of 70% fact and 30% fiction blended and emotively presented makes for effective media-propaganda. Eventually, the victims of the lie become its biggest protector.

In the up-coming preparations for the next party- and country president, the corporates and multi-nationals, their hitmen and their chequebooks collude to break the ANC up into polarized and tribal camps. They are working hard at securing their dispensation. Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is their man. Much money is thrown at their power-game. That could be the reason for Ramaphosa defending Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Certain senior and experienced members of the ANC and its National Executive Committee (NEC) spoke to this writer under the condition of anonymity, expressed their concern and frustration, when they explained, “The ANC has bought into this new strategy. It’s not the movement we know anymore.”

The above-mentioned also pointed out, “In this power game senior members of the ruling party quietly worked with the opposition. They are all well known to the ANC. Their day will come when they’ll be named and shamed. They cannot be part of the ANC’s history.”

Daily media reports reflect countrywide student revolts and previously, also service delivery protests. President Jacob Zuma declared those unrests as democratic, as long as they are registered, legal and do not do damage to any property and, or persons. If however, property and, or persons are attacked and arson is committed, the culprits would be arrested.

If South Africa’s Police Services (SAPS) would allow student revolts and service delivery rebellions to get out of hand, the police would be viewed as staging a putsch against the state. If police services would be allowed to oversee revolts and rebellions, for that matter any form of anarchy, it would be self-destructive.

For the ANC to consolidate and protect itself against its enemies and to move forward, the movement would benefit from the following strategies.

  • The ANC needs to roll out a massive national debate to address all problems and obstacles. Branches, gatherings, meetings, conferences, newly re-established street committees, Afro-friendly media and other such platforms could be made available to address shortcomings and weaknesses.
  • A think tank could be established to work along the lines of a research institute or, a foundation. It would be tasked to do all research, work in a focused way with the movement throughout the country. That way, history could be put into perspective.
  • The ANC could further bring its newspapers such as SECHABA back to the national market, linking it to above network, progressive institutes, the BRICS structures, if and where possible.

In addition to above, it is important that the “blind trusts”, that are held by judges and politicians, will be outlawed and abolished as soon as possible. The electorate needs to know those “blind trusts”, as they seem a cesspool of corruption and power mongering through corporate influence. It is the cancer that could destroy the ANC. Parliament needs to pass laws to protect against such invasions; otherwise the chequebooks rule and the voters have no say. That is unfair and unsettling.

The rightwing, or neo-con economic strategies, such as the arms deal, the “Reconstruction and Development Programme”, also known as RDP under the late former president Nelson Mandela. The “Growth, Employment and Redistribution” (GEAR) programme followed. It was a macro-economic strategy under recalled, former president Thabo Mbeki.

None of them worked, least of all in favour for South Africans. Finally, they were done away with. The current programme, “National Development Plan” (NDP 2030) under the incumbent, Jacob Zuma, replaced the previous attempts. Will it work, given the history of the previous programmes? It does not seem like it. There are too many corporate interests with hidden agendas at play to control the ANC and its government.

South Africa’s flawed judiciary needs serious attention too. The biggest evil that grew from the CODESA negotiations in 1994 was the secret “Sunset Clauses”, protecting covert local and foreign structures. Those have greatly influenced the judiciary through a host of corporate cabalists, their lobbies, think tanks and societies and their joint secret trusts. If no changes will be undertaken, the unelected judiciary will keep pushing to take over power from government. It would be anti-democratic, undermining the nation.

Finally, the progressive forces need take charge for all to see and follow. How to take charge needs to be debated nationally as soon as possible. The ANC leadership needs to take the nation along, constantly informing and preparing it for any further efforts of destabilisation and sabotage.

The Dark Side of the Media is its steering of News and Current Affairs in 2013/2014 and beyond

By Udo W. Froese, non-institutionalised, independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 6 January 2013

The dark side of the media is that it is the public platform for the age-old attempt to influence the general public, its client base. Its hidden agenda is to propagandise corporatisation, the only acceptable way forward as part of global capitalism.

Terms such as “embedded journalists”, “academic analysts”, committed to some cause of democracy or another, re-defining popular concepts like ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, ‘choice’, ‘reform’, ‘regime and regime change’, ‘impartiality’, ‘objectivity’ and ‘balance’ is standard practice, reinforced by the access to the facility of technology and the illusion of a “free flow of information”. This means in reality, more media owned by ever fewer conglomerates. This has led to the severe limitation of open public debate and its general participation.

Professor John Pilger, author of the book, “Hidden Agendas” documents, “There is strong evidence that the public has intuitive concerns about the secret laws of media power and its influence over and intrusions in their lives.”

Well-known British journalist, Robert Fisk, commented in one of his columns in The Independent, writing about the so-called “Arab Spring” in North Africa and the Mid East, referring to Syria and quoting Western media, “Syria’s rebels were always “closing in” on Homs, the Damascus, the Aleppo, then Damascus again. The West supported the rebels. Money and guns aplenty came from Qatar and Saudi Arabia (also from Turkey, Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq, this writer), moral support from Obama, Clinton, the pathetic Hague (in the Netherlands), (France’s new president) Hollande, the whole factory of goodness – until, inevitably, it turned out that the rebels contained rather a lot of Salafists, executioners, sectarian killers (also mercenaries, this author) and in one case (possible more than one, this writer), a teenage head-chopper who behaved rather like the ruthless regime they were fighting.”

In 2001 already, John Pilger wrote in an article referring to the war in Afghanistan that caused a stir in the self-proclaimed international West, under the title, “This war is a farce”, “The war against terrorism is a fraud. After three weeks’ bombing not a single terrorist implicated in the attacks on the US has been caught or killed in Afghanistan.”

“Instead, one of the poorest, most stricken nations has been terrorised by the most powerful – to the point where US pilots have run out of dubious “military targets” and are now destroying mud huts, a hospital and Red Cross warehouses and lorries, carrying refuges.”

Pilger asked in that article, “Why are cluster bombs being used? They spray hundreds of bomblets that have only one purpose: to kill and maim people. Those that do not explode lie on the ground like landmines, waiting for people to step on them.”

In South and southern Africa the corporate media and its fallacy of “academic analysts” continue to propagate a so-called “North African style Arab Spring”. In fact, 2013 will see a continuation of attacks on the person of the re-elected ANC president, Jacob Zuma, and his leadership. The dubious motive seems to attempt to discredit and destroy South Africa’s ruling party and its government.

A word of advice from senior British journalist, Robert Fisk, for “Middle East potentates, dictators, Western poseurs, television presenters and journos (including ‘academic analysts’, this writer), do not use the following words, or expressions in 2013: moderate, democracy, step down, step aside, tipping point, falling into the wrong hands, closing in, spilling over, options on the table or – terror, terror, terror, terror, terror.”

Fisk then asks, “Too much to hope for? You bet. We’ll even get another load of clichés from the goodness factory to replace those that have already served their purpose.”

And finally, for South Africa and the rest of the region – remember there is indeed a working law in the law book against any destabiliser, local and foreign, committing High Treason through promoting a so-called “North African style Arab Spring”. The corporate media barons should not assist with unsavoury destabilisation attempts, using the electronic and print media.

End.

The Role of the Public Broadcaster versus the Role of Political Power Peddling

By Udo W. Froese, independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

 

Let us be clear – the public broadcaster should be the public broadcaster. This means, the public who forms the ruling party and the democratically elected souvereign state, also pays for most of the expenses, maintenance and running costs of the public broadcaster. The public equals the taxpayer. Therefore, the public should be part of its broadcaster.

This is the case for all public broadcasters, be it the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and all other national broadcasters.

The public broadcaster also generates additional income from the private sector in the form of advertising and sponsorship.

Therefore, the public should have more say of what it really wants from the public broadcaster’s news, current affairs and programme content and how it should be managed. In other words, the public broadcaster would reflect the public’s interest. To cover that, nationwide opinion polls are conducted.

As public broadcaster, it has a board, senior management and specialised management teams for administration, news, current affairs and sport, programme content and production for radio and television.

The ministry responsible for the public broadcaster would set up the board in broad consultation. The board would then assist with the appointment of the Group CEO, the CFO and Head: News and Current Affairs and so forth. Those positions are usually advertised in the media before they are awarded.

The above paints a basic picture of how the structures of public broadcasters work and should work.

However, this is not the case, as the public broadcaster is viewed as major influence on public opinion. Therefore, the interests in and the structures of the public broadcaster more often than not reflect not necessarily the public’s interest alone.

The public market for political opinion and consumers out there is national and regional. Political and market related interests at stake are huge.

The aforementioned attempts to explain in simple terms that all is not what it usually seems. Like dogs fighting over a juicy bone, many interests try to influence the public broadcaster to accept their agendas, however, most of them well hidden.

It starts with the board chairman and those, who invited him/her and his/her colleagues on the board. The chairman and his board take keen interest in finding the “right” GCEO and his leadership particularly for news and current affairs and to a certain extent, also for sport. All of it should “make good business sense” and should be “cost saving”.

What chairmen and boards and their GCO usually forget is, that the public out there is not as stupid as it is assumed. It does not take much time and less genius to find out that the GCO has never had any media, particularly broadcasting experience and neither did his head, news and current affairs and even the head of the production team. Experienced applicants do not get a chance. Seasoned staff gets sidelined. Those practices are nothing new for public broadcasters throughout. News content and presentation come second.

It is also known, that board chairs have good political connections too, not necessarily in the public interest, but rather for their own influences to strengthen their network.

The public broadcaster is exposed to many hidden agendas. The staff and the public out there do not know and therefore, do not understand. The national footprint is attractive to those interest groups with close relationships with assumed powerful influences, who promote division and subsequent power for themselves.

In the view of the interests of the established oligarchs of cartelised economies, the public broadcaster had to be distanced from influence of popular leaders and the ruling parties. It also had to accept the “soft power” of the mainstream corporate media and of the social media in 2012. A huge realignment drive throughout the media industry has taken place since the end of the so-called “cold war”.

The propaganda war is in full swing and the tax-paying public is the victim. It is all about influence and power mongering.

End.

 

 

The death of intellectualism in South Africa

By Udo W. Froese, independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

The historic role of accusations, counter accusations, finger pointing, propaganda campaigns and attempts at character assassination packaged as intellectual analysis have intensified. And, if all fails, the last resort then is assassination of informed opponents of those, who dictate public thinking in South Africa.

They are viewed as a threat to a strategised course and quickly labelled as being ‘conspiratorial theorists’ and ‘mad outsiders’, as ‘spin doctors’. Then they are marginalised out of the public domain.

Author and journalist, Barry Sergeant, quotes in his book on the murdered mining tycoon, Brett Kebble, “The Kebble Collusion”, Arthur Schopenhauer, who once said, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Once, former president Thabo Mbeki had been recalled by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), a space opened for open criticism and robust public debate of the ANC and its leadership. Those same ‘intellectuals’ said about Mbeki, “he speaks above the heads of everyone”.

That newly opened space was however promptly filled and closed by a self-appointed, mischievous pseudo-academic, exclusive elite, dictating their well-paid, same sold, same old, predictable analysis. Instead of building a national participatory debate and incorporating the broad indigenous African majority and their daily concerns, they proved to be one-sided parrots, who can merely regurgitate propaganda. Not only have they discredited themselves and those, who aspire to be professional academics, but killed the democratic public debate.

They are all tied to their institutions, representing the policies of those institutions.

The national democratic debate was therefore, never allowed to be born. In fact, there were no articles, no public outcry and no complaints in any of the news bulletins and current affairs programmes about the establishment of media monopoly and its crass silencing of the national public debate.

Like all democratic countries throughout the world, South Africa and Namibia need free and open-minded intellectualism, not tied to institutions, who pay them. It would mean that whatever such ‘intellectuals’ utter, would have to be checked by following the trail of the money. Always remember, he who pays the piper, calls the tune.

If South Africa’s democracy wants to survive, it needs the national public debate, preferably without any of those paid-up mischievous ‘armchair academic intellectuals’, who have nothing to add, but to give credence to the daily news and current affairs. The Southern African region would wilt away without real independent intellectuals, as their space would always be filled by opportunistic propagandists, attempting to mislead the uninformed public.

The mind of an intellectual should refrain from any form of participation in the execution of a propagandistic course. It should rather be investigative and add real substance to research and fact.

What has happened to real intellectual debate and analysis of the likes of Anton Lebede (ANC), Robert Sobukwe (PAC), Johnny Makathini (ANC), Mzala Nxumalo (ANC and SACP), Abraham Tiro, Steve Biko (BCM), the Kenyan Ngungi aa Thiongo, Ghana’s former president Kwame Nkrumah, Ruth First (SACP and ANC) and James Thaele (ANC)?

The aforementioned demonstrate that this continent, including South Africa once had solid intellectuals, who were a shining light to their people. Today, the self-appointed “intellectuals” are subjective, repetitive and predictive. This has turned particularly South Africa into an intellectual desert. A new generation of intellectuals needs to be coming up to assure a healthy, balanced and democratic debate. They need to overcome the branding and labelling of those self-appointed and institutionalised ‘intellectuals’, who would obviously try to destroy them.

Since 1994, when Thabo Mbeki became deputy president to Nelson Mandela, the national democratic debate suffered marginalisation. ‘Objectivity’ of the media and the institutionalised intellectuals disappeared. Since then, no logical clarity how ‘intellectualism’ is interpreted and viewed exists.

Thabo Mbeki’s inner circle and the media hailed him as an ‘intellectual’. Those who dared criticising him, were exposed to his wrath, attacking his critics viciously, leaving no stone unturned until the critical one had seriously been moved out of the system.   

This however changed since the ANC’s Polokwane Conference. But, the ‘intellectuals’ remain dissatisfied and joined the cacophony of the media in their focus on bringing the incumbent down next month at the ANC’s Mangaung Conference. The open space for debate was abused and filled with a form of hate-propaganda. It is disappointing that there is no intellectual analysis that can put the current situation in South Africa into a realistic and factual perspective.

End.