This excellent two part article appeared on the blog of Sarah (http://sarahmaidofalbion.blogspot.com/).
By Sarah, Maid of Albion
It is often said that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, however, this usually means that the other man has been less than fastidious in his choice of hero, or that the “freedom fighter” in question was on the crowd pleasing side.
On the 27th of June, London's Hyde Park will play host to a concert in honour of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday and we can be assured that it will receive wall to wall coverage by a star struck and worshipping media, who will continue to laud Mandela as one of the greatest, or indeed the greatest, heroes of our time.
No doubt the beaming old man will appear on stage in one of his trademark multi-coloured shirts and cheerily acknowledge the cheers of the adoring crowd, most of whom have been taught to believe in his sainthood since their first days in primary school, which, for many of them, will have occurred around the same time their hero walked free from Robben Island.
The unquestioning belief in Mandela's universally admired saintliness will again be displayed in the press and by the unending line of politicians and dignitaries who will queue up to genuflect before him and sing his praises. It is a brave politician or journalist who would dare to question the godliness of this legend and consummate showman, and hence no such questions will be raised, nor will his much vaunted “achievements” be subjected to any objective scrutiny.
No matter how many speeches are given or how many news articles are written, it is safe to bet that the full truth about Mandela will not be told.
In fact the truth about Mandela is so hidden in mythology and misinformation that most know nothing about him prior to Robben island, and those who do tend to exercise a form of self censorship, designed to bolster the myth whilst consigning uncomfortable facts into the mists of history.
For most people all they know about Mandela, prior to his release in 1990, was that he had spent 27 years in prison and was considered by many on the left at the time (and almost everyone now) to be a political prisoner. However, Mandela was no Aung San Suu Kyi, he was not an innocent, democratically elected leader, imprisoned by an authoritarian government.
Mandela was the terrorist leader of a violent terrorist organisation, the ANC (African National Congress) which was responsible for many thousands of, mostly black, deaths. The ANC's blood spattered history is frequently ignored, but reminders occasionally pop up in the most embarrassing places, indeed as recently as this month the names of Nelson Mandela and most of the ANC remained on the US government's terrorist watch list along with al-Queda, Hezbollah and the Tamil Tigers. Of course the forces of political correctness are rushing to amend that embarrassing reminder from the past. However, Mandela's name was not on that list by mistake, he was there because of his Murderous past.
Before I am accused of calumny, it should be noted that Mandela does not seek to hide his past, in his autobiography “the long walk to Freedom” he casually admits “signing off” the 1983 Church Street bombing carried out by the ANC and killing 19 innocent people whilst injuring another 200.
It is true that Mandela approved that massacre and other ANC killings from his prison cell, and there is no evidence that he personally killed anyone but the same could be said about Stalin or Hitler, and the violent history of the ANC, the organisation he led is not in question.
According to the Human Rights Commission it is estimated that during the Apartheid period some 21,000 people were killed, however both the UN Crimes against Humanity commission and South Africa's own Truth and Reconciliation Commission are in agreement that in those 43 years the South African Security forces killed a total of 518 people. The rest, (some 92%) were accounted for by Africans killing Africans, many by means of the notorious and gruesome practice of necklacing whereby a car tyre full of petrol is placed around a victim's neck and set alight. This particularly cruel form of execution was frequently carried out at the behest of the ANC with the enthusiastic support of Mandela's demonic wife Winnie.
The brutal reappearance of the deadly necklace in recent weeks is something I shall reluctantly focus upon later.
Given that so much blood was on the hands of his party, and, as such, the newly appointed government, some may conclude that those who praised Madela's mercy and forgiveness, when the Truth and Reconciliation tribunal set up after he came to power, to look into the Apartheid years, did not include a provision for sanctions, were being deliberately naive.
Such nativity is not uncommon when it comes to the adoring reporting of Nelson Madela, and neither is the great leader himself rarely shy of playing up his image of fatherly elder statesman and multi-purpose paragon. However, in truth, the ANC's conscious decision to reject a policy of non-violence, such as that chosen by Gandhi, in their struggle against the white government, had left them, and by extension, their leader, with at least as much blood on their hands as their one time oppressors, and this fact alone prevented them from enacting the revenge which might otherwise have been the case.
As the first post Apartheid president of South Africa it would, be unfair if not ludicrous to judge Mandela entirely on the basis of events before he came to power, and in any event there is many a respected world leader or influential statesman with a blood stained past so in the next part I shall examine Nelson Mandela's achievements, and the events which have occurred in South Africa in the 14 short years since he took power in following the post Apartheid election in 1994.
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Sunday, 29 June 2008
This excellent two part article appeared on the blog of Sarah (http://sarahmaidofalbion.blogspot.com/).
By Sarah, Maid of Albion
In the second of two articles examining the life of Nelson Mandela, in advance of Friday's concert in Hyde Park celebrating the living legend's 90th birthday, I shall look at his legacy and the new South Africa which he created after coming to power on a surge of worldwide optimism and hope in 1994, when, following the end of Apartheid, he and his followers promised a new dawn for what became termed the Rainbow Nation.
Today South Africa stands out as one of the most dangerous and crime ridden nations on Earth which is not actively at War. In 2001, only seven years after the end of Apartheid, whilst the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands with 5,6 murders per 100,000 population was declared the "murder capitol of Europe", Johannesburg, with 61.2 murders per 100,00 population and remains the world's top murder city.
In South Africa as a whole, the murder rate is seven times that of America, in terms of rape the rate is ten times as high and includes the ugly phenomenon of child rape, one of the few activities in which South Africa is now a world leader. If you don't believe me, you can read what Oprah Winfrey has to say about it here.
All other forms of violent crime are out of control, and Johannesburg is among the top world cities for muggings and violent assault, a fact seldom mentioned in connection with the 2010 World Cup which is scheduled to be hosted in South Africa.
As always with black violence the primary victims are their fellow blacks, however, the rape, murder and violent assault of whites is a daily event, and there is more ...
As with the Matabeleland massacres, news of which the BBC, together with much of the world media suppressed for twenty years to protect their one time hero, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, another secret genocide is being ignored by the world media, the genocide of white Boer farmers, thousands of whom have been horribly tortured to death in their homes since the end of Apartheid. Anyone who clicks on this link should we warned that it includes some very gruesome images as the savagery of these attacks belie the authorities attempts to dismiss them as nothing more than a "crime wave".
Given that it is now all but illegal in South Africa to report the race of either victim or the perpetrator of a crime (unless the perpetrator is white and the victim black) and as modern South Africa's official crime statistics are notoriously massaged, it is impossible to know the exact numbers of farm murders that have taken place. Many reliable sources estimate the figure as close to 3,000, but even if we take the more conservative figure of 1,600 quoted in the politically correct South African press (but not quoted at all in ours) this is three times the numbers killed by the South African security forces over a period of 43 years, and which the UN calls a crime against humanity.
To put this in perspective, the population of South Africa is 47 million, (13 million less than Britain despite its far greater land mass) of which the 4.3 million whites account for 9.1%, about 1% less than the immigrant population of Britain. Can you imagine the outcry if 1,600 (let alone 3,000) members of a minority community in Britain were tortured to death by the native population?.
Yet when the victims are white, there is hardly a peep in the South African press and silence from the international media. Compare this to when a white youth is the killer, such as in the case of Johan Nel, who shot three Africans, a story which became instant world wide news with the predictable screams of racism and machete wielding mobs baying for his blood.
(And they accuse us of hate?!! Don't such people nauseate themselves with their hypocrisy?!)
Crime aside, Mandela and his ANC inherited the strongest economy in Africa, indeed, despite economic sanctions, South Africa was still one of the richest world nations, and indeed initially there was a brief post Apartheid boom, resulting from the lifting of sanctions and due to the fact that until affirmative action forced most of the whites out of their jobs to be replaced by under qualified blacks, those who had built South Africa were still in place.
However, any optimism was to be short lived. Now, after just 14 years of rule by Mandela and his grim successor Mbeki, corruption is rife, the country is beset with power cuts and the infrastructure is crumbling.
The nation's great cities like Durban and Johannesburg, which could once rival the likes of Sydney, Vancouver and San Francisco, had descended in to decaying crime ridden slums within a decade.
And in the last few weeks we have seen the so called Rainbow nations ultimate humiliation, as xenophobic anti immigration violence spreads across the country. (“xenophobic” is what the media call racism when blacks do it) As poverty and unemployment explodes and is exacerbated by the floods of immigrants flooding in to escape the even more advanced Africanisation of the rest of the country, the mobs turn on those they blame for stealing their jobs, their homes, and their women.
Thus the cycle turns, and, like watching some barbaric version of “back to the future", on the news we see exactly the same scenes we saw on our televisions twenty years ago, wrecked buildings, burning vehicles, mobs brandishing machetes, axes and knives hacking at everything and everyone which comes within their reach. Most horrific of all, we see the return of that most savage symbol of African brutality, the necklace where, to the cheers of a blood thirsty crowd, some poor trembling soul, with a tire around his neck, is dragged from his home and set alight, exactly as all those other poor souls were set alight throughout the Apartheid years, when we were told it was all the evil white man's fault.
As nothing else the return of the necklace exposes the failure of Mandela's revolution, and those who fought for him should weep.
Under Apartheid, blacks and whites went to separate hospitals but they received world class health care, whatever their colour, now the facilities are collapsing or non-existent. Black children went to different schools than white children, but they received an education, something which is now a privileged luxury. When they grew up, their bosses may have been white, but they had jobs and a living wage, as the recent violence shows us, such security is but a memory for most South Africans.
Eighteen years after Nelson and Winnie made their historic walk towards the cameras, and 14 years, since Mandela assumed power on a tide of optimism, a once proud South Africa slides like a crumbling, crime ridden, wreck towards a precipice created though greed, corruption and incompetence.
For all his gleaming smiles, grandfatherly hand gestures, and folksy sound bites, tomorrow night, when crowd cheers the retired terrorist in the gaudy shirt, they would do best not to focus too closely upon his much admired legacy, as they might just find that the Xhosan Emperor has no clothes. For Nelson Mandela's lasting achievement is that, in the face of a world wishing him well, he, and the party he leads, have shown the world that, for all its flaws, Apartheid was a more benign system than what replaced it, and that the average South African was immeasurably better off under the hated white rule than they are under the alternative which black rule has created.
That is quite an achievement, Mr Mandela, happy birthday.
Saturday, 28 June 2008
by Arthur Kemp
The South African government holds out its airline as a shining example of black empowerment, which carries the name and symbolism of the “new” South Africa far and wide. Indeed, for decades, South African Airways (SAA) was famous as one of the best airlines in the world, consistently winning industry awards for service. Its well-maintained aircraft were highly sought after on the used aircraft market, and the bravado of its pilots became legendary as they operated under increasingly difficult political constrictions, even being denied overflight rights over their own continent and flying “round the bulge” of Africa to Europe. Now SAA is no longer an industry leader, and its unraveling record is one of appalling service, serious crime, corruption, and graft—all driven by a reckless policy of racial preferences that has put incompetent people in positions of authority.
When the new CEO Andre Viljoen took charge in 2001, he described the organization as “partially dysfunctional.” While this was mainly an attempt to shift the blame onto his predecessor, the American Coleman Andrews, the reality was that affirmative action had bitten deeply into the company. Mr. Viljoen stated that his first priority was to “drastically improve declining service,” a decline that has prompted repeated calls by big customers like Anglo-American to improve service, and has even seen South Africa’s national carrier lose the South African Rugby Football Union contract to a local airline owned by British Airways.
Pilots and Affirmative Action
SAA has been systematically replacing whites with black employees. This has included lowering the compulsory retirement age for pilots to 50 years, down from the industry standard of 60. This policy has been a major point of contention between SAA and its mainly-white pilots, who recognize it as an attempt to move whites out of the command chain as quickly as possible.
SAA has also deliberately established a policy of not hiring white pilot trainees if there are suitable non-white candidates. Pilots used to be trained in South Africa, but in 1994—the year the African National Congress (ANC) took power—the company outsourced the training program to British Aerospace’s center in Australia. The theory was to put cadet pilots through their paces far from the seemingly ever-present possibility of “racism,” and produce a string of high-flying blacks.
Unfortunately, almost none of the black cadet pilots made it through the Australian training, and were sent home. This caused great unhappiness in SAA management which, in July 2002, decided to bring pilot training back to South Africa, where blacks might not fail tests in such great numbers. The few black pilots who made it through the course in Australia were appointed to senior posts, but suffered a serious setback in 2000, when seven—that is to say almost all of them—were arrested on charges of bribing their way through the Civil Aviation examination paper that put them at the controls of passenger jets. The pilots each paid approximately 7,000 Rand (US$ 650) to get a copy of the Airline Transport Pilots License examination paper before taking the test. Two non-white members of South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority were also arrested along with the pilots. Two of the pilots were found guilty but fled the country before sentencing, and the rest were suspended. However when the cases of the remaining five came to court, the files had disappeared and the charges had to be dropped for lack of evidence. The parliamentary opposition tried to launch an investigation into this failure to prosecute, but that came to nothing. Today, many of the pilots are back flying for SAA.
Its unraveling record is one of appalling service, serious crime, corruption, and graft—all driven by a reckless policy of racial preferences.
One of the black pilots who vanished, Tanzanian-born Issaya Dominicus Nombo, was arrested in April 2002 by the FBI in New Jersey, after his name turned up on a list of pilots found in a cave used by Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Although there was no evidence Mr. Nombo was linked to the Sept. 11 attacks, he has since been held in America pending extradition. Interestingly, the 44-year-old Mr. Nombo had entered the USA on a student visa for pilot training, granted by the US Consulate in Johannesburg, even though the South African authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest.
By October 2002, the affirmative action program at SAA had ensured that 51 percent of all staff were black, with cabin attendants having the highest black complement at 64 percent. At one point, all cabin crew were fired under cover of a “restructuring” process, and had to reapply for their positions. This was an opportunity to shed another 500 white staff members by not reappointing them.
At the beginning of 2003, there were some 2,400 cabin crew at SAA, and the sudden increase in blacks has had what cynics would suggest were predictable results: Customer complaints have become legendary. One of SAA’s most prominent critics is an American, Vernon Six, from Austin, Texas, who experienced SAA at its worst.
Traveling SAA on his honeymoon, on November 14, 2001, flight #SA211, Mr. Six was subjected to the following:
SAA originally assigned Mr. Six and his bride to seats in different rows. When they asked for reseating at the ticket counter, the agent said, “Stop your complaining … after about ten years of marriage you will be begging for seats in different rows.”
The air conditioner that keeps the cabin cool on the ground broke down. When Mr. Six mentioned this to a SAA crew member, he says he was “rudely informed to ‘stop whinging’ as the air conditioner was broken and there was nothing she could do for us.” The toilet flooded the cabin and wet his socks, with what Mr. Six says was sewage. The seat in front of Mr. Six’s wife was completely broken and reclined well past the normal reclining position. She was unable even to eat her meal because the seat reclined completely into her lap.
On his return flight, November 27, 2001, flight #SA220, the toilets stopped working altogether. He says the captain urged everyone to “only use the restrooms in a dire emergency and let a flight attendant know when they needed flushing.” The flight attendants had to use drinking water to flush the toilets, so there was no coffee or tea. The television screen was jumping too much to watch the videos. When Mr. Six reported this to a flight attendant, he was told “I’m sorry, but this is just economy class.”
Mr. Six asked for compensation from SAA. When the company’s black corporate communications manager, Rich Mkondo, refused, Mr. Six set up a website called www.neverflysaa.com, a parody of SAA’s official website, www.flysaa.com. Mr Six has since had over 6.5 million hits, and a regular e-mail list of some 81,000 people, all of them aggrieved customers of SAA. Many have sent in their own complaints to his website. Here is a small selection:
“The seats were in terrible condition; JHB to NY two of the four seats were torn (old tears with no sign of attempted repair) and filthy, NY to JHB (different aircraft) the seats were filthy and the armrest between two of the seats was broken, the top was broken off and you could see into the armrest with all the wiring plainly visible. After making a lot of noise about this they found some duct tape and taped it together, this broken armrest had obviously been broken for some time.”
The flight attendants had to use drinking water to flush the toilets, so there was no coffee or tea.
“The flight attendants did not speak fluent English (you’d think this would be a requirement on international flights) most times you had to say things three or four times before they knew what you were talking about (I am South African and English speaking), they were so busy talking to each other every time someone wanted something they had to get up and go to the galley themselves. They were definitely not presentable (neat and tidy in clothing and appearance).” “I tried calling the SAA complaints line after been diverted and transferred from pillar to post I finally lost it and requested the manager—who is never there, left tons of messages—which as you can guess were never returned. So at that stage I vowed never to fly this crap ‘airline’ again.”
“I refuse to touch food on SAA. I’ve had food poisoning more than once. Luckily, very mild cases compared to a mate of mine who had to spend a Friday night in hospital after our return from Cape Town, getting his stomach pumped after trying some onboard cuisine.”
“I am an ex-employee of SAA and spent 28 years with the airline until I was forced into a severance package… [T]he airline mirrors the country and it is on a downhill slide. As one of your correspondents mentioned, pre-1990, the airline was magnificent, but then political pressure forced the employment of incompetent persons, and that says it all. I too, will NOT fly SAA ever again. Having been on the inside and aware of many things regarding flying crew and technical—NO WAY.”
“As a South African myself, I too have decided never to fly SAA again. There was once a time I was proud of our national carrier. That is definitely not the case any more. After countless bad experiences flying from London to Cape Town , I now will only fly BA or Virgin.”
And so on.
SAA tried to have Mr. Six’s site closed down, arguing that his domain name was so close to the company’s as to be confusing. The case went to arbitration, and Mr. Six won. On his web page he quotes his favorite passage from the arbitrator’s decision: “Respondent [Mr. Six] is correct: no reasonable man or Internet user would confuse flysaa.com and neverflysaa.com. The decisions cited by Complainant [SAA] are nonsensical.”
More ominously, Mr. Six and his wife received telephone death threats at their home—though only people who had access to SAA records would have had the number, since it was in his wife’s maiden name—and someone has tried to put his web page out of business by flooding it with hits. The attacks failed, and his web page continues.
Service complaints have had a drastic effect on SAA passenger loads, and demand for SAA’s privately-run domestic competitors is increasing. Recently the airline cut four flights a week to the US because of declining demand.
In one service lapse that made headlines, SAA twice in the space of two years abandoned the same 10-year old child left in its care as an unaccompanied minor on a domestic flight. According to black SAA spokesman Rich Mkhondo, the ticket officer to whom the child had been entrusted “forgot” about her.
The largely affirmative-action cabin crew commit many crimes. In just one incident, some 92 SAA cabin attendants were suspended on suspicion of bringing cocaine and other drugs into the country. Other crew members have been suspended for bribing roster schedulers to secure certain destinations, as part of drug smuggling operations.
Occasionally crime makes the newspapers. In April 2000, SAA announced it had uncovered “a nest of corruption among staff,” including charges of “male and female prostitution, money laundering, bribery and smuggling” during foreign stopovers.
Similo Sircharles Sali used to be one of SAA’s few black pilots. His career ended in August 2002, when he was arrested with five kilos of cocaine as he was preparing to fly from Cape Town to London. The South African Pilots Association chairman, John Harty, pointed out, “This is the first time in South African airline history that a pilot has been held for allegedly being in possession of drugs.”
SAA also suffers from extraordinarily high baggage theft rates, with the company having paid out more than R1 million ($92,800) in the first nine months of 2001 alone for claims on 3,108 stolen bags. Fifteen SAA employees were arrested during that same period, and another 54 were either dismissed or resigned when threatened with criminal charges for baggage theft.
There are other kinds of theft. One black vice president was found to have purchased a car for personal use on his SAA company credit card, while another had his house tiled on the company card. Shortly thereafter, SAA revoked the cards of all vice presidents.
The height of effrontery came, however, when a previous head of the legal department—the Chief Council of SAA—had to ask the company to guarantee a home mortgage. No commercial bank would lend to him because of his miserable credit rating. He had failed to mention his string of financial indiscretions when he was made top lawyer at SAA, and no one in the increasingly affirmative-action personnel department had bothered to ask.
SAA recently had to pull the plug on an Internet venture based in New York after spending over R90 million ($8.35 million) to develop a website that would have let tourists arrange elaborate travel packages at the click of a button. The project had been approved by the board but collapsed when SAA asked the South African Reserve Bank for approval to establish the company in the United States. SAA claimed that the Minister of Public Enterprise, Jeff Radebe, had given the project the all-clear, but Mr. Radebe had either forgotten or had not been informed—either is possible—and reported as much to the Reserve Bank. The project then collapsed in a flurry of accusations and counter-accusations, leaving SAA out of pocket.
The airline’s incompetence extends into many areas. In one famous incident, a non-white South African diplomat, one Jerome Barnes, on his way to his posting at the South African embassy in London, got drunk on the overnight flight from Johannesburg, fondled a flight attendant and called one of the few remaining white pursers a “f***ing white bitch.” SAA, conscious that the vast majority of its South African clientele are whites, promptly announced that the offending diplomat was forever barred from flying SAA, and that his name was entered into SAA’s database of banned persons. Less than a week after the “banning,” a South African journalist breezed through SAA’s security system by buying a ticket in the diplomat’s name. The computers must not have been working that day.
The still largely white pilot contingent—of the 954 SAA pilots, only 28 were black in mid-2002—has consistently battled management over personnel policies, and has brought the company to the verge of a strike more than once since 2000. The core of the pilots’ dispute with the company is their refusal to accept certain cost-cutting measures that, they say, are negligible compared to the enormous waste of what they call “underperforming management.” Everyone knows the color of “underperforming management,” but no one dares say so for fear of being called racist.
International aviation law requires airlines to make sure their passengers have visas for their destinations, but SAA pays huge fines to the American Immigration and Naturalization Service, because it cannot keep illegal immigrants off its flights. In just one month, December 2001, SAA paid more than R1 million ($93,000) in fines on 26 passengers (and, incredibly enough, one crew member) who were held in New York and Atlanta without visas. Of the 26, 19 were Nigerian, two South African, two British, one was posing as an American, and two were of unknown nationality.
The problem is exacerbated by a code sharing agreement with Nigerian Airways, according to which flights from Johannesburg stop off in Lagos before going on to New York, allowing many Nigerians a route into the US. Nigerian Airways, by the way, has one aircraft, but is banned from flying to Europe or the United States because it does not meet FAA safety regulations.
A particularly spectacular bungle had to do with the acquisition of new aircraft. Coleman Andrews, the American former CEO, ordered 21 new Boeings, but someone failed to transmit the correct specifications on avionics and cabin interiors to the suppliers. The result was a dramatic cost increase and a lengthy delay while the aircraft were refitted.
As if this were not enough, after Mr. Andrews left SAA, the company canceled its order for the Boeings—some had already been delivered—and placed a new order with Airbus in Europe. The Airbuses were reportedly cheaper than the Boeings, but considering the initial bungle on the interiors, the cancellation fees to Boeing, and the pilot and service retraining costs (till then, almost all of SAA’s fleet were Boeings) the cost of this series of misadventures must have been considerably greater than if the airline had stuck with Boeing.
There was another high-profile case of incompetence in 2000 that could have had very serious consequences. Failure to run a computer program resulted in replacement parts for SAA’s fleet of Boeing 737-200s being run for more than twice the specified service periods. Fortunately, the parts held up without serious malfunction.
In 2000, SAA also started offering the overwhelmingly white technical staff retirement packages to withdraw and make way for black technicians. Many whites accepted, particularly after the Australian airline, Qantas, and the Spanish airline, Iberian Air, heard about the offers and set up recruiting offices in Johannesburg. SAA was stripped of many of its most experienced repair and service personnel overnight.
The result has been predictable: SAA has suffered an increasing number of equipment failures. Fortunately none has yet caused a major disaster, but insiders say it is only a matter of time. Failures include navigation or communication equipment breakdowns, which are called “snags,” and are supposed to be fixed before an aircraft is flown. It is now common for SAA planes to fly even long hauls with significant “snag lists,” which have either not been repaired, or have been “repaired” but are still broken.
Engine failures attract the most public attention. In April 2001, a London flight had to be aborted twice in 12 hours because of engine malfunctions on takeoff. The faulty engine was removed, serviced by SAA Technical and put back—only to fail once again as the aircraft was attempting to take off.
In August 2002, two separate flights suffered engine failures on the same day, stranding nearly 600 passengers. According to inside sources, SAA has had more engine failures in the past two years than in the previous ten.
An American in Africa
In 1998, just four years after the ANC victory and the switch to black rule, SAA appointed an energetic American, Coleman Andrews, as CEO, and charged him with putting the airline back on the road to profitability. He came with 20 years experience as a management consultant at Bain and Co. succeeded in getting SAA into the black. However, he left SAA early, under a cloud, accused of making an excessive profit on his salary. In fact, his compensation was in line with airline CEOs worldwide, and under his contract, his forced early retirement required a substantial severance package. Mr. Andrews’s name was smeared by the South African media, but he did turn the airline around.
Mr. Andrews appears to have had the classic experience of a white liberal in South Africa. When he first arrived, he may really have believed Africa was backward only because of “colonialism” or “the environment,” but by the time he left, he may have come to other conclusions.
Mr. Andrews was quoted as follows in a 2001 book about his tenure at SAA (Jetlag: SA Airways in the Andrews Era by Denis Beckett):
“When I flew to South Africa in January 1998, for my first round of interviews, I was met by Saki Macozoma [an executive at Transnet, SAA’s government-owned holding company] … I’ve been lucky enough to see some pretty exceptional political and business leaders up close, and meeting Saki, I thought, ‘this guy can hold his own on the world stage.’ I was very excited, and thought if this is what South Africa is like, it has places to go. When I was leaving, after a few days’ meeting many people, I wasn’t quite so sure anymore. When Saki saw me off, I said: ‘How many are there like you, executives in your mould?’ I suppose I meant ‘black’ and I think this is what he interpreted. He said ‘we’re thin.’ I wondered if that meant a thousand, a hundred. I still thought, with caliber like that, this place is worth giving a go. Now I know it meant three, or five.”
Mr. Andrews eventually came close to the real reason he was shown the door: “Management was under siege. Our IT department was a disaster. To fix it, I had to fire the guy in charge, an affirmative [action] guy (a non-white) who was completely out of his depth. Next I know hell has broken loose. How can I do this? Do I not know he is connected to important people? The end is that he gets severance pay. For screwing up, he gets two years’ salary.”
Andrews adds: “On the board, I had one guy whose only interest was: what proportion of our executives are black? There was constant pressure, it led to some disasters, personal disasters for people who should have been left to grow quietly in the middle ranks.”
Mr. Andrews’s real sin at SAA was that he tried to run the company like a business, whereas the government’s main interest was, and still is, ideological: that the airline be run as an example of “black empowerment.”
The much maligned Mr. Andrews seems to have spotted the problem right at the end but was powerless to do anything about it. He became another victim of the black political agenda, which is dragging what used to be a world-leading airline down to Third-World status, along with the rest of the country.
Mr. Andrews is almost a metaphor for whites as a group. They refuse to understand the significance of race until the damage is so great it cannot be repaired. Mr. Andrews had a majority-white country to return to—at least for now. What he saw in South Africa should be a lesson to him about what his own country will face if its population continues to change.
Arthur Kemp is a Rhodesian-born journalist and author
Virginia Keppler, Beeld
Pretoria - A pregnant woman was brutally murdered in her house in Waverley in Pretoria on Thursday by having her head beaten to a pulp.
The attackers then hid the body of the woman, who was eight months pregnant, under the duvet on her bed in Varing Street.
The unborn baby of Antoinette Botha, who was a nurse at Moot Hospital, did not survive the attack either.
The attacker(s) then collected household appliances but left them standing in the house and fled in Antoinette's black Mercedes Benz with registration number WRW 497 GP.
Tried to save the baby
Moments after her partner Pieter Moon, 39, and the couple's neighbours discovered Antoinette's body, paramedics tried in vain to find the baby's heartbeat.
"Can't they save the baby?"
"Can't they just try?" Jophie Moon, 73, Pieter's father, asked his daughters repeatedly.
When the paramedics walked out of the house, dejected and without the baby, the friends and family members knew it was over.
"Unfortunately we could not save the baby. There was nothing we could have done," an unsettled paramedic said.
Couple have another son
Antoinette and Pieter have another son, two-year-old Murelle.
Elize Botha, whose son lived next door to Antoinette and Pieter, said that when Pieter had arrived home, he noticed that everything was standing open.
"He came to ask my son Cobus to go into the house with him because he was scared there was someone in the house. When we came into the house, we looked everywhere for Antoinette."
"In the bedroom we just saw a bunch of duvets lying there. I was just feeling under the duvets when I felt a cold foot."
"They smashed her head to a pulp with a blunt object," Botha said, still shocked.
Jophie said Pieter had been at his (Jophie's) house to drop off his son and then went back home.
"He said the child had to stay with us for the night because Antoinette was going to work night-shift," Jophie said.
Tessa Keppler, Pieter's sister, said the family was very shocked. She said that her brother and his wife had been living in the house for four years.
"Antoinette would never have opened the door for strangers. She was very security-conscious," Keppler said.
She said that her brother, who had hoped to the end that the baby would be saved, was badly shocked.
"Where am I going to tell my son is his mother?" Pieter asked, disconsolate.
Anelise van Tonder, of the Karnallies play group in Waverley, went to the house on Thursday night to look after Murelle.
"He's going to sleep at my house tonight. I've known him since he was a baby. I love him very much," she said sadly.
Police spokesperson Inspector Susan du Preez said it was still unclear how the killer had gained access to the house.
Tessa said that apparently someone had tried to break in at the house earlier this week and the alarm had gone off twice.
Botha, who was originally from Zimbabwe, would have worked her last shift on Thursday night and would have been on maternity leave as from Friday.
Tessa said Antoinette's family were to be informed of her death on Thursday night.
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Wealth redistribution is no solution to poverty, political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki told a conference on the world economy in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
What a pity the mbeki family did not forward this one to be president instead of old tarboy! He actually seems to have a lot of good thoughts, well informed and yes clever. Moeletsi for President.
"Redistribution can actually accentuate poverty and create social conflict," he said.
"I was one of the first to oppose Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), because if they're going to redistribute wealth, who is going to get what? Where are you going to get that wealth from?"
Broad Based BEE had only benefited top ANC leaders, Mbeki said.
"It benefits the people in power, but what about the poor? BEE is more of a problem than a solution."
He suggested that the government look at wealth creation rather than "fight the ghosts of the past. The ANC expends a lot of energy with BEE in an attempt to correct the past".
The only way to go bridge the gap between rich and poor was to sort out the education system and concentrate more on the development of small and medium businesses.
"BEE stops black from becoming entrepreneurs," Mbeki said.
"Black people are not necessarily against capitalism," he said, adding that it was only the model of capitalism that the apartheid National Party had promoted that blacks did not like.
He was however unsure if the ANC could market capitalism to the electorate.
"The ANC leaders are afraid of the unions - groups like Cosatu and the SACP - they think these groups deliver a huge constituency but they don't."
He said that the ANC had been "very good" at establishing a political system and the Constitution, but had not done well in economics.
"I never expected them to because they have never run a business."
He said that at least he and his brother, President Thabo Mbeki, had worked in the family's spaza shop as children.
"But when my brother gets kicked out as head of government, you won't have anyone there who has actually managed even a spaza shop."
From South Africa Sucks
Sydney - Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu has labelled Zimbabwe's embattled President Robert Mugabe a "Frankenstein" figure and called for international action to prevent the country descending into bloodshed.
The Archbishop Emeritus told Australian television Zimbabwe's best hope was an international peacekeeping force primarily comprised of Africans with non-African nations providing logistical support.
Swift action was needed to prevent another Rwanda, he said, in a reference to the 1994 genocide that the UN says led to the deaths of approximately 800 000 people, mainly ethnic Tutsis but also moderate Hutus.
"Rwanda happened despite all the warnings that the international community was given, they kept holding back and today we are regretting that we did not, in fact, act expeditiously," Tutu said, speaking from Cape Town late Tuesday.
"I hope in this case we are not going to wait until several more people have been killed."
Tutu said Mugabe had gone from being a liberation leader who helped his people throw off the shackles of colonialism to a figure who was thumbing his nose at the international community and holding his country to ransom.
"He has mutated into something that is quite unbelievable, he has really turned into a kind of Frankenstein for his people," Tutu said.
International criticism of Mugabe has intensified since opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from an election scheduled for Friday, citing rising violence against his supporters which he said had led to 86 deaths.
Mugabe has vowed to press on with the election, accusing Tsvangirai of withdrawing because he is afraid of losing.
The UN Security Council has condemned the violence, while Britain, France and the United States all branded Mugabe's regime "illegitimate".
Monday, 23 June 2008
Friday, 20 June 2008
The Hospital Association of South Africa (Hasa) has condemned the recent robbery at Sunninghill Hospital in Sandton by four armed men.
"It is a sad indictment on the country when facilities designed to house the weak, sick and vulnerable are targeted by criminals driven by selfish gain at any cost," Hasa CEO Kurt Worrall-Clare said on Friday.
Worrall-Clare said health professionals at the hospital were traumatised by Wednesday's events, even though no one was injured during the robbery.
He also applauded the police for their quick response that led to the arrest of one of the robbers.
On Wednesday morning, four armed men robbed the hospital of an undisclosed amount of money.
Gauteng police spokesperson Constable Bongi Mdletshe said the men entered the hospital in the early hours and held up staff.
One of the staff members phoned 10111 and the police rushed to the scene.
The police managed to arrest one of the men but the three others fled with an undisclosed amount of money. -- Sapa
Thursday, 19 June 2008
RAMPANT theft by Post Office workers has infuriated the internet retailing giant Amazon so much that it will no longer send goods to SA by post. Anyone wanting to order directly from the US-based website must now pay for a private courier service -- adding about R420 to the price of a DVD.
SA's postal status makes the country the pariah of Africa, since no other country has had postal deliveries scrapped. The only other African country that cannot use the cheapest standard postal service is Nigeria, although Amazon still trusts Nigeria's post office if buyers pay a slightly higher expedited shipping rate.
The new restriction came in at the weekend, with customers being told the theft rate was so high that goods would no longer be delivered unless they paid a priority shipping rate of $39,99 per order and an incremental $9,99 for each extra item.
Amazon has long distrusted SA's postal service, and already refuses to deliver high-priced goods such as electronic items or perfumes, restricting shipments to CDs, DVDs and books. Private scamsters have also aggravated the crime rate, as people ordered and received goods but claimed not to have received them, forcing Amazon to send replacement items at its own expense.
The clampdown will benefit Wantitall, a local website that thrives on Amazon's wariness. Wantitall collates orders for all type of goods and orders them from Amazon, but has them delivered to a warehouse in the US. They are then repacked and sent in bulk via courier to SA.
Amazon's action is bad for consumers but good news for Wantitall, said its founder Justin Drennan. "Because of the fraud, they have stopped shipping via the standard postal service. Everything is being stolen at the Post Office," he said.
Drennan said Amazon deliveries were easily targeted because of their distinctive packaging. "Ask how many people have had stuff stolen from Amazon and it's massive. Amazon was reshipping things at its own cost but it's had enough," he said. "People were also ordering DVDs and telling Amazon they hadn't received them. They are saying we are as crooked as they thought we were."
Wantitall mainly handles the high-priced items that Amazon does not deliver to SA.
No one from the Post Office would comment yesterday. Its executives have been trying to clean up its image by improving systems, and reported a 69% reduction in theft last year.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
A 24-year-old woman was shot dead and another was seriously wounded in a hijacking in Durban's Amanzimtoti area on Saturday, police said.
A third woman was uninjured.
The three Hillcrest women "all in their mid-20's" were on their way to a camp on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast for the long weekend when the incident took place at 3.40pm.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen said the women had stopped their white Volkswagen Polo at a BP service station in Amanzimtoti to change drivers.
"But before they could alight from the car, they were shot," she said.
The driver, 24-year-old Jennifer Hall died at the scene.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said, "The second woman was shot in the pelvis and is in a serious condition at a hospital."
Veldhuizen said the second woman was identified as Kate Flemming.
The third woman in the back seat, Amy Landol was uninjured.
Police said the suspects escaped with the car and no arrests had been made.
It was unclear if any of the service station staff had attempted to intervene during the incident or helped the women. - Sapa
Cop dies in Pta shootout
18/06/2008 12:30 - (SA)
Johannesburg - A 37-year-old policeman was shot and killed in a shootout after police responded to an ATM bombing in Kilner Park, Pretoria, police said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Inspector Klaas van der Kooi said at least 10 people opened fire at the two police vehicles that arrived at the scene at an Engine garage at around 03:00.
"Ten suspects with automatic rifles opened fire and wounded a police officer in the head. He lost control of his vehicle, which overturned and fell top of him," Kooi said.
The policeman died at the scene.
Kooi said the men fled in four different cars including a Volkswagen bakkie which they hijacked from the garage. They also made off with an undisclosed amount of money.
Police were investigating, said van der Kooi.
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema has vowed that the youth of South Africa would die in supporting ANC president Jacob Zuma.
"We are prepared to die for Zuma," Malema told a Youth Day rally in Thaba Nchu in the Free State.
"We are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma," Malema added at the end of his speech, while the crowd clapped hands and laughed.
Earlier, Malema said there was no question that the ANC president would be the country's next president.
He told the gathering that those who did not respect the current ANC leadership should go.
Malema said those in the party that have indicated that they would not be available for positions in the new government, under Zuma, should not wait but leave now.
He also reiterated that the Scorpions case against Zuma, expected to begin later this year in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, should be dropped.
"The future belongs to us.
"We do not want a situation where the state prosecutes its own president," Malema said.
He said the ANCYL was planning to assemble a legal team to try to get the case against Zuma thrown out of court.
"This issue is dividing the country," said Malema, adding that the Youth League would turn to the court to try to stop this issue.
Malema also urged the youth not to take part in xenophobic attacks.
"Those that beat up foreign nationals must rot in jail," he said.
Earlier Zuma had urged ANCYL members to finish the league's national conference at the end of the month without any unruliness.
Zuma said the party earlier watched with great disappointment ANCYL delegates displaying rude behaviour in front of national ANC leadership members, international guests and representatives from civil society at its recent unfinished conference in Bloemfontein.
"This has become visible in recent times, as we are constantly being subjected to some shocking behaviour by some of our members, which are alien to the conduct of members of the ANC," Zuma told an ANCYL rally at Thaba Nchu in the Free State.
The ANCYL national conference in April this year ended in a state of disorder at the University of the Free State.
The conference, which was marked by various disruptions, only managed to elect the top five office bearers of the ANCYL, after five days of deliberation.
It was eventually stopped to get "guidance" from the ANC on how to continue.
On Monday, Zuma said the behaviour seen during this conference could not be accepted "to gain ground" within the organisation.
Some of this behaviour included photos in the media of delegates exposing their buttocks at opposition delegates.
"It is a challenge to the Youth League to ensure that (this) behaviour is not tolerated and it is condemned in the strongest possible terms," said Zuma.
Virginia Keppler, Beeld
Johannesburg - "They just stabbed, hit and cut," said Carmen Rossouw of the attack in which her father, George, had one ear and two fingers cut off during an attack on Monday morning.
He and his wife, Bernie, were repeatedly stabbed with a knife and hit with a hammer and crowbar.
George, 53, a businessman from Olifantsfontein near Midrand, had his left ear and the index finger and pinkie on his left hand cut off with a knife.
He was repeatedly hit with a hammer and crowbar all over his body and stabbed 12 times with a knife.
Bernie, 50, was stabbed with a knife in the face and back. Some of her ribs were broken and her lungs were pierced.
The couple, who own a catering company, were lying in a pool of blood when their security company, the police, the ambulance service and their two daughters arrived at the house.
Ear was sewn back
They are in an extremely serious condition in the intensive-care unit of the Unitas Hospital in Pretoria.
George's ear was re-attached during an emergency operation.
The attack occurred on Monday about 04:00. Carmen said the attackers had used an unidentified object to cut open a gate in order to get on to the property.
"The electric fence was switched on, so they couldn't get over the fence.
The robbers then broke open the security gate at the kitchen door and broke in at the kitchen door to get into the house," said Carmen.
She said the alarm went off when the attackers entered the house.
"As far as we know, there were just two attackers. They were armed with a crowbar, a hammer and a knife.
"They were waiting for my father in the kitchen and overpowered him when he came down the passage. My mother was behind my father and saw them attack him. She ran to try to help him."
Carmen said that according to her mother, the attackers had repeatedly asked for firearms.
The attackers eventually left without stealing anything.
"My mother and father were flat on the ground by that time and couldn't do anything. They tried to crawl to the room to get to the phone.
"My mother said that as she inhaled, the air went out from her back. She did manage to get her phone in the room, though, and called us."
From South Africa Sucks
Stop feeding Africa, UN food expert warns
June 16 2008 -- Nairobi, Kenya. Africa must learn to feed itself - and fast because 46% of all Africans are starving. Yet twenty years ago, it was still a major food-exporter. Now, even though a full two-third of the entire continent's workforce is engaged in food-production, the continent needs to import about $25bn worth of food and also gets one-third of all the world's food-aid...
A UN food expert warned in an interview with Reuters at the Nairobi food-conference on Monday that this situation must change drastitically; that the African continent could triple or quadruple domestic production over two seasons through some very simple changes to its agricultural practices.
STOP FEEDING AFRICA...
Mafa Chipeta, sub-regional coordinator of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in east Africa, said first of all, Africa's food crisis 'cannot be solved by the continuation of this charity."
In fact the African continent 'must drop its reliance on food imports and food-aid and learn to feed itself " -- and quickly, said Chipeta. "Within two seasons we can change (our dependence on imports)," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the launch of the regional FAO conference in Nairobi, Kenya. "We can boost production by three or four times by making simple changes."
Some of these changes were more irrigation projects; reduced fertiliser prices; and to introduce high-yield, high-quality seed varieties (but NOT genetically-modified crops). He hoped the week-long conference would produce "actionable decisions" for Africa's agricultural sector -- which employs about two-thirds of the continent's workforce.
'46% of all Africans going hungry'
Kenya's Agriculture Minister William Ruto opened the conference on a very somber note, saying that 46% of Africans were now actually going hungry. Yet only twenty years ago, added Mobido Traore, FAO assistant director general for Africa, 'Africa was a net exporter of food'.
He blamed this dramatic collapse in the continent's agricultural production on the mass-migration from rural areas in search of employment in the cities. He also blamed African governments for 'not investing sufficiently in agricultural production". That's how the African continent became the net importers of food within just twenty years, he claimed.
He failed to mention that some 85% of all this 'exported food from the African continent' was actually being produced by the commercial farmers of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
But now, these most productive food-producers of Africa are nearly all gone:
Less than one percent of the entire South African land surface is now actually being utilised for large, permanent food-crop production by SA's few remaining commercial farmers, according to the latest CIA satellite observations;
and Zimbabwe's shrinking band of valiant commercial farmers now have to produce crops under constant siege from their own 'government' forces and face the threat of land-confiscation for purely racist reasons.
The approaching famine in South Africa -
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Harare - A month before a presidential election run-off, Zimbabwe's opposition said on Tuesday conditions were not conducive for a free and fair poll but still expressed confidence it would oust Robert Mugabe.
"Access to the state media is totally closed, holding rallies is almost impossible and we had to appeal to the high court to get an order to hold our last two rallies," the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) chief spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said.
"As of yesterday, at least 50 of our supporters had been killed in violent attacks. The perpetrators of this violence have devised a new strategy where they abduct key members of the party and after some days you find the victims dead."
He said hundreds of party supporters had fled their homes after attacks by ruling party militants.
"Our supporters are being displaced in rural areas and key players have been abducted and killed rendering our campaign crippled and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the army are working in cahoots to advance the cause of ZANU-PF," Chamisa said.
"But despite all the disadvantages, our candidate Mr Tsvangirai will win the election. Our campaign is code-named 'Let's Finish It' and we are saying all these things are birth pangs as we move into a new Zimbabwe."
Tsvangirai won the initial election on March 29, but failed to garner enough votes to avoid a run-off, according to disputed figures compiled the by the official electoral commission.
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, launched his campaign for the run-off on Sunday, accusing Tsvangirai of seeking to return the country to colonial rule.
The 84-year-old blamed his poor showing in the first round on divisions within the ruling Zanu-PF party and urged his supporters to set their differences aside and rally behind him.