Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Latest Report on the Violent Nature of Crime - Another Wasteful Expenditure!

If someone commissions a group of researchers to compile a 700-page report on a specific topic, and for arguments sake agrees to pay a wage of say R100,000 for the work, do you honestly believe that the researcher(s) will publish conclusions that will disappoint or infuriate the hand that feeds them?

This is exactly what happened when the ANC Government’s Minister of Safety and Security contracted the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) to carry out a study on the violent nature of crime in South Africa.

The entire project cost a staggering R3.5 million to produce, but yet the fundamental question: ‘why is crime in South Africa violent?' was never satisfactorily answered. The government wanted the report to answer this question unambiguously and clearly, but I wonder what their reactions would have been if it did, - because it’s no secret that ANC Government and their Communist allies played a vital role in disseminating terror in the townships among their own people? It was through their own actions that the culture of violence and criminality was born in South Africa many years ago, and which is still prominent today in the many black communities and in their schools.

Mphutlane wa Bofelo is a South African cultural worker and social critic. He provides the following thought provoking view, - a perspective which has been ignored by the mass-media, and apparently also by the compilers of the latest R3.5 million report on the violent nature of crime.

The tendency to project the racist, sexist, violent-peddling hate-talk of Julius Malema as just a normal expression of the fervour, overzealousness and recklessness of youth, is a deliberate attempt to take focus away from sober, critical, vigilant, intellectual, innovative and creative voices and faces among the youth. Unfortunately the glorification of thoughtless action, the ‘dismissal’ of theory and the marginalisation of analytical minds have had dire and ghastly consequences for South Africa. The problems that the country has – with regard to the violent nature of crime, apathetically low levels of respect of life, lack of appreciation of the self and indifference to parental guidance – could be traced to the era in our history when we lionised youths, who acted without first getting theoretical clarity of the situation facing them and weighing critically the strategic and tactical choices available to them.

Even at that time, there were voices among youths that appealed for action rooted in the clarity of vision regarding the future. But the media and academia chose to give prominence to youth outfits which availed them the opportunity to cover dramatic incidents of empty classrooms, principals running for their lives, children making their mothers and fathers drink Jik and eat Sunlight soap, youngsters administering justice with petrol-fire and kerosene. To the media and academia the clamour of ‘liberation first, education after’ was catchier than the erudite call of ‘educate to liberate’. Indefinite school boycotts made more spectacle sense than cautious, restrained calculation of how much damage a boycott inflicted on the system and how much loss it incurred on the students.

Now that the problems, accrued from the culture of more toi-toi and less think-think, continue to bedevil our school system, none of the adults are willing to own the role they played in taking the struggle from the streets into the classrooms, as opposed to the black consciousness-inspired youths of 1976, who took the struggle out of the classrooms into the streets, and towards the system. Today, we can only give prominence to Malema and ilk and marginalise young people with critical, creative, innovative minds at our own peril. Once the culture of violence, disrespect for life, intolerance for dissent, disdain of theory and analysis and dismissal of thinking and reflection has set in, it will take centuries to do away with. It is, therefore, regretful to notice the governing party and sections of academia and the media tacitly promoting the Malemarisation of youth politics and public discourse in general.

In the mid-eighties, when youths were at the centre of rebelling against the regime and regiments of apartheid-capitalism, there were tragically also excesses and extremes in the manner in which young people – at the behest of the adults and with the involvement of many of their elders in political parties - went about the project of rendering South Africa ungovernable and apartheid-capitalism untenable. There were ghastly instances of blood-thirsty necklacing, witch-hunting of sell-outs and indiscriminate killing of people with dissenting political opinions.

In that ghostly climate of intolerance of dissent, there was an official vilification of theory and analysis in some quarters, glorifying action and deifying recklessness as being gallant. People and organisations who engaged in critical and thoughtful thinking on strategy and tactics, were cautious with regard to the tactics of academic and consumer boycotts and strike-action. They spoke against the ‘necklace’ and were branded as agents of the system. This led to bloody scenes of internecine violence between 1983 and 1999. The apartheid regime also took advantage of this and fermented more violence through police brutality, vigilante groups and the so-called third force in the 1990s, as well as various sly ways of setting anti-apartheid groups against each other. The gangsters were also infiltrated and used by the agents of the system to escalate violence and proliferate lethal drugs such as mandrax, cocaine and heroine in the townships.

The situation worsened in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. We saw scenes of youths operating in street committees, defence units and the so-called people’s courts, mediating with the whip and ‘necklace’ in domestic and neighbourhood conflicts. The street committee members would go on house-to-house raids, forcefully taking young people, including young girls to go on street-patrols. There were then many reports of sexual abuse and rape, of young girls being taken to certain hide-outs and camps and being raped. As a result of fear of the comrades and cynicism towards the apartheid police these cases were never reported. There was no chance of these instances being dealt with by the people’s courts because members were themselves culprits in some instances. Some neighbours, including business people started abusing the street committees and defence units to settle old scores and pursue personal agendas. This was aided by the corruptible nature of members of these outfits who often took bribery and ended up as being sort of hired assassins or hired lynch mobs, in some instances.

The rot had set it. Suddenly lawlessness and disorder became the norm in schools. The culture of teaching and learning declined. The schools became the dens of drugs and alcohol and sex. Gang-rape spilled from the schools into the streets and fire-arms became toys. The gangsters became the coolest cats and heroes of the townships. Car-hijackings, house-breaking and heists became sport for young people growing up in South Africa. People started talking of the degeneration of morals amongst the youth. The media and academia coined the term ‘lost generation’ to refer to the youth of this generation. None of the old people who celebrated the recklessness of the young lion are now owning up to the role they played in elevating thoughtless, reckless, theory-less action, which has led to a culture of disrespect for reasoning; has fostered the culture of acting without thinking; and has spawned the comrade-tsotsis, the jackrallers, the trigger-happy, gun-totting gangsters and the adventurously kleptomaniac men and women who govern our lives today.

Generalising about the youths and collectively referring to them as ‘the lost generation’, became a convenient way of running from the fact that the system, our political parties, civil society organisations, the media and academia have all failed the youth. A proper term would be ‘the generation in search of role models’. A generation that has seen struggle, firebrand becoming business brand, guerrillas becoming corporate gorillas, comrades becoming tenderpreneurs, respected leaders becoming culprits and suspects in corruption scandals. Children have seen fathers raping babies and their mothers being clobbered to death by their own fathers. Young people have seen and heard of priests from all religions being involved in rapes, child-molestation, pyramid scandals and various corrupt dealings.

Many of the corrupt government officials, captains of crime syndicates, drug-lords and mafia-bosses of today, are the very same comrades of the street committees, defence units, people’s courts, and guerrilla armies of yesterday.

The long and short of it is that glorifying mediocrity, recklessness, violence and idiocy today is investing in the doom and damnation of the future. In marginalising the many imaginative, creative, innovative and critical, intelligent minds and voices in South Africa or Azania at the expense of giving too much platform to the theatrical, comical and farcical, Malema’s is a serious act of injustice against the youth and posterity – Source.


The latest report lists poverty, a weak criminal justice system, the availability of firearms and poor socialisation of the youth as factors that sustain a culture of violence. The word “sustain” is used which means the violence has continued and is being nourished. These same causative factors were mentioned 16 years ago, and every single year thereafter. For 16 years the ANC government has dragged their feet on these issues. For 16 years they have done everything in their power to blame others for their failures. How much money have they wasted on the current Firearms Control Act, only to realize 6 years later that whole system does not work?

Tuesday’s media headlines boldly state: “REPORT BLAMES APARTHEID FOR VIOLENCE”. Can you believe that? I suppose we will probably never see the day when the liberal media and the ANC government will stop using this most convenient, most popular little South African swearword called “apartheid”, - simply because it cannot defend itself.

The bottom line…
This latest little project is just another ANC smokescreen, - another shocking wasteful expenditure, which I hope the DA will remember to add to their list.

The CSVR reports (7 in total) can be downloaded here.

The SA Police media statement (smokescreen) on the issue can be
viewed here.


cyclops said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

The Legacy of Shaka

How can we hope to understand the world of affairs around us if we do not know how it came to be what it is. A.L.Rowse

Our knowledge of Natal in its early days has been gained from the diaries of ship wreck survivors dating back to the sixteenth century. They tell mostly a story of a fairly peaceful existence. There were occasions when they were attacked and killed, robbed of what little they had but most often they seemed to have been helped on their way to Delogoa Bay, and the survivors were able to barter for food. On many occasions survivors decided rather than carry on with the arduous journey to Delagoa Bay, settled in with the local tribes, took wives or husbands and were fruitful. Later survivors attested to this. White genes were therefore spread thinly through the tribes of the Transkei and Natal.

This somewhat peaceful situation came to an end at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the ascendancy of Tshaka. What occurred has been very well documented by the earliest white traders and adventurers that had come to reside at Port Natal. They regularly had contact with Tshaka and kept diaries of the goings on. The brutality of that time is indescribable and frightening and it was carried on by Dingane after Tshaka’s murder,then through to Cetshwayo, only to cease with the latter’s defeat by the British at Ulundi in 1879.

The acceptance that the Blacks have been suppressed by the Whites for 300 or 400 years is ludicrous and if it hadn’t been for them the fighting and slaughter would have just carried on. It is just not recognized what benefits the whites brought to the eastern side of southern Africa by suppressing the mayhem started by Tshaka. Tshaka legacy is that he started a system of murder and destruction, a way of life, that seems to be a mind set of many blacks today.

Let us go back to what the diarists saw and wrote about. Mackeurtan in his book ‘The Cradle Days of Natal’ summerises,
’And yet when the nineteenth century was still young she was in the throes of grievous travail. Her happy streams were red with blood; her amiable hills a smoking shambles. Tshaka, King of the Zulus, had chosen systematically to obliterate the Bantu nation as far as his lithe and swinging regiments could carry the deadly stabbing spears. The pleasant pastoral people of Natal were decimated; they laughed and hunted and counted their herds no more’.
continued below.

cyclops said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Continued from above

Already when Francis Farwell, Capt King and Henry Francis Fynn arrived, the land between the Tugela and the Umzimvubu rivers was empty of people. The small tribes had been destroyed or driven away. And when the Voortrekers crossed the Drakensburg the land was also devoid of happy tribal life.

The repercussions of Tshaka’s reign of terror spread far and wide. As tribes retreated from Tshaks’s hoards they in turn fell upon their neighbours and so there was a domino effect which spread through the Free State,
‘plundering and looting that spread back and forth across the country, a chain reaction of events that was to have a profound effect on the history of Southern Africa.’(1)

Tshaka’s barbarity was inherited by Dingane and then by Cetshwayo who sent his warriors to battle with his rival brother, Mbuyazi. They were all ‘tarred with the same brush’. Cetshwayo’s rival brother had interests in the succession to the throne of his father Mpanda, which were of course challenged by Cetshwayo. The latter settle the score by annihilating the whole tribe. Witnessed by John Dunn, ‘in just over an hours fighting, Cetshwayo’s uSutus killed some 23000 men women and children’.

The mayhem sown by Tshaka eventually resulted in the complete destruction of the Zulu nation. That was part of his legacy. The other part of his legacy was that over the sixty odd years of the dominance of the three Zulu Kings,Tshaka, Dingane, and Cetshwayo, a way of thinking that life was cheap was instilled in the people. Its was this that became part of the peoples consciousness that is still evident to this day.

After the battle of Blood River and Dingane's defeat, the Voortrekkers spread throughout the land between the Tugela and Umzimvubu Rivers. As a consequence of the peace that temporally reigned the Zulu families that had been displaced by Tshaka started to return to their former tribal lands as it had now become safe. And some 50000 crossed the border to avoid Mpanda's new form of inhumane cruelty reminiscent of Shaka and Dingane, which had up till then been relatively benign. He once said to John W Shepstone 'You don't kill as we do, and the only way to govern a Zulu is to kill him .

The battle of Ulundi was only 129 years ago. My grandfather was a young man at the time and I knew him. It was not so long ago certainly not three or four hundred years ago.

The Cradle days of Natal by Graham Mackeurtan
Zulus at Bay by D. W Barker.(1)
The Mfecane or Difaqane by Ruth Edgecombe
The Griquas of Qriqualand by S.J.Halford

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@ Cyclops

Thank you for sharing this most interesting and most significant history on this blog.

I happen to have in my possession a very interesting book called, “Dear Louisa: history of a pioneer family in Natal, 1850-1888” The book contains a collection of Ellen McLeod's letters to her sister in England from the Byrne Valley (near Richmond). The book is authored by R. E. Gordon.

The Byrne Settlers landed in Natal on 20 ships during the years 1849 to 1851. Ellen McLeod was one of the survivors of a shipwreck. (The first settlers in the area were the Voortrekkers in 1840 but they left in1848 to avoid British control).

A very interesting observation from the book “Dear Louisa” is that they found no Black Africans in the area where they settled. Initially, all work on their farm was accomplished with ease by family members. When the blacks (convicted criminals on parole from the neighbouring town of Pietermaritzburg) were finally forced upon them by British authorities, everything turned haywire.

Today Ellen McLeod's letters and her references to the lazy, thieving, corrupt kaffers are considered as “racist”. It is no wonder that copies of her book have become a scarce commodity!

cyclops said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

I had met Ruth Gordon and had visited the farm Rose Cottage in the Burne Valley. In fact a McLeod great grand daughter was my cub mistress.I farmed, as the crow flies,in another valley, only a few ks from the farm. I have read the book.
What intrigued me was that they were able only to afford to send one child at a time to a very small school in Richmond. So when and who was going to pay for all the blacks to attend that school? We should feel guilty.

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