Governing parties threatened from within

His former wife and one of Africa’s and the Diaspora’s most popular struggle icons, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, made headlines in August 1997, when she told a Johannesburg daily newspaper, The Star, “The ANC is in government, but not in power!” She was viciously reprimanded for her pragmatic stance in public.

The Movement of the ANC seems to only exist in the hearts and minds of South Africans. Most branches simply ceased to exist all together. Media reports described the ruling party’s Head Quarters, ‘Luthuli House’ in Johannesburg as “ghost house”, as those who once worked there, had all left.

South Africa’s incumbent president Thabo Mbeki said at a media conference two years after independence from colonial-apartheid dictatorship, in June 1996, “Just call me a Thatcherite.” At the launch of his economic strategy, “Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR)”, Mbeki made no bones of his committed support of the G-7 economic policies for South Africa and the rest of the continent.

In his latest book, “Freedom Next Time”, the internationally respected journalist and author, John Pilger explained the South African government’s policy of ‘GEAR’, “Behind a fa’ade of “wealth and job creation” was, in all but name, a World Bank “structural adjustment programme” in thrall to an orthodoxy known as the “Washington Consensus”, which had devastated the economies of poor countries all over the world, notably in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Pilger informs: “In the 1970s, the ANC declared: “It is a fundamental feature of our strategy that victory must embrace more than formal political democracy. To allow the existing economic forces to retain their interests intact does not represent even a shadow of liberation.”

And, “in 2001, multi-billionaire philanthropist George Soros told the Davos World Economic Forum: “South Africa is in the hands of international capital.” In the context of ‘globalistaion’, the American Soros is a member of an international advisory team for SA’s president Mbeki.

South Africans, particularly the ruling elite seem to aspire to be whiter than white. In that process, a perception has been created that South Africans are embarrassed to be part of Africa. If they had a choice, they would rather be part of Britain, or the USA, or Europe. They label their own kith-and-kin “ma-kwerre-kwerre”, while proudly flashing their newfound culture ‘ America’s dream of bling-bling.

Aforementioned situation lead to insecurities and resentments, xenophobia and general restlessness. It created a fertile ground for the deployment of that new, international Western imperialist creation (or should one rather describe it as “globalisation”?): “Civil Society”.

That “society” reflects the West’s most important “investment” into Third World countries. It is packaged as ‘US approved neo-liberal democracy, a free-market economy, freedom of the media, freedom of speech, freedom of association, human rights, the rule of law and an independent judiciary as advocated by alien NGOs, foundations, certain academic institutes and the media’. Civil Society is well resourced, active and noisy, attempting to divide and destroy. It seems to have an agenda to discredit and eventually rule as an alternative form of government. That “society” sells itself as “contributing to a balance of power in a democracy”.

In reality, it is simply imperialist and racist.

SA’s polarization through the “succession-debate on the ANC president”; the attempts to destroy the legacy of Namibia’s ruling SWAPO president, Nujoma; demonising president Mugabe and destroying Zimbabwe’s economy; infighting in the political leadership of Malawi; the public spats among certain senior politicians in Zambia; the alleged manipulation of the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the deployment of so-called rebel-forces from Rwanda and Uganda into the DRC; the gunning for Swaziland’s King Mswati III, all seem to serve those, who have vested interests in this region.

On careful observation, one clearly sees the fragmentation of democratically elected, popular “struggle movements”, who in the end became ruling parties. The “international” drive to create a ‘balance of power’ was created in the sixties, during the ‘cold war’.

Immediately after World War 2 US/UK/Europe had structured the ‘balance of power’ as part of their foreign policy. Ambitious young people, aspiring to become leaders one day, were identified, educated, corrupted, manipulated and then strategically deployed.

One day they would cause the destruction of a popular movement from within, having been advanced into leadership positions. It is payback time as they pose as “popular leaders”, deceivingly using “revolutionary language”.

Historians point out that all regional governments that reached independence before South Africa were structured to one-day assist with the making of a “new” South Africa.

This meant, Third World governments were continuously corrupted and undermined and thus, kept in a state of weakness.

Africa’s abundance of natural resources and the economies around them are of only interest. John Pilger describes it aptly in his new book, “Freedom Next Time”, referring to South Africa’s current situation: “Public services would fall in behind privatisation, often in “public-private partnerships”; foreign investment would receive generous “tax breaks”; low tariffs would entice foreign imports; low inflation would preside over low wages and high unemployment (known as “labour flexibility”); controls on capital flight would be lifted and the Rand (SA’s currency) would be subjected to the vagaries of the “market”.

Pilger also points out that SA’s Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, is wholly dedicated to “economic growth, the euphemism for a profit-inspired economy”.

Probabilities are, once higher taxation of corporate capital would be structured, capital flight would follow almost immediately. The business elite would follow.

Government leadership would be weakened and become elusive with little support.

This could lead to further manipulations and subsequent governing from outside the continent.

Meanwhile, the masses of the population would have less access to both, government and business.

It would lead to further confusion and poverty, while the HIV/Aids pandemic would decimate the regional population.

The ruling class of colonialism and apartheid “merely stepped back into the shadows”, an analysis shared with Pilger.

l The opinions expressed on this opinion column do not necessarily reflect the views of The Southern Times, its board or proprietors.

August 2006
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