Monday, January 14, 2013

Cape Winelands Protests – The Smokescreen and its Players

The contents of this posting (from paragraph 6, more-or-less) were partly sourced from the facebook page of Sunette Bridges, who inturn may have been inspired, almost word-for-word, by an article published last year November on the Socialist-Communist website of, whose main task is to advance the struggle for Socialism on a worldwide scale, which inturn will apparently lay the basis for the development of Communism… Yebo, I did not suck this out of my thumb – the exact words were sourced from the About Page of the Workers International Vanguard League!

The Vanguard league firmly believes that the top wine farmers in the country are in cahoots with “capitalists” in the South African Communist Party (SACP). It’s a belief that holds some truth, because no matter how bad things get you’ll always find - the main big players in the game are never seriously hurt (they’ll only pretend to be hurt)… It’s the small guys that usually absorb the brunt of the force – from all sides: the protesters, the unions, the government, the media, the public, you name it -- in a game, aptly called problem-reaction-solution.

Much of what we see going on in the Western Cape Winelands at the moment is thus a mere smokescreen for the bigger issues taking place in the boardrooms of the South African Communist Party (SACP) whom we mustn’t forget - operates hand-in-hand with COSATU to form the tripartite pact of the ANC Government.

Their combined objective is to acquire the land without losing the lucrative rewards the land has to offer - (another name for it is, “plunder”).  In the process they also want to further the oft-proven failed ideology of Communism, and in order to do this they need the intelligent brains of white farmers, whom they will hold ransom if the need arises (and it has already risen!) The Vanguard league’s beliefs are thus partly true, but they don’t speak of the “ransom” part, and neither do they mention all the sly Marxist terrorist tactics that complement the efforts.

The main point Sunette Bridges wanted to make with her almost word-for-word conversion of the Vanguard League’s article is that Union Leaders, ex-Union Leaders, and the ANC all have a finger in the big Wine Industry pie. The violent protest actions are thus nothing but an attempt to subvert (Afr.: ondergrawe) the farmers, while they (the ANC gangsters) in actual fact have the financial means to easily pay the increase the farm workers are demanding.

For the record - the opening paragraph of Sunette Bridges’ Afrikaans article reads as follows:
“Vakbondleier, ANC manne, Ex-Vakbondbase... die hele lot het hul vingers in die paai in die Boland! Hierdie staking is bes moontlik NIKS anders as om die boere te ondergrawe terwyl hulle lag-lag die verhogings kan betaal - met ONS belastingeld! ...lees gerus hier!

Here is the adapted Tia Mysoa version – checked and double-checked, with some added details:

Former anti-apartheid activist, Nosey Pieterse - who has been central to the De Doorns protests, is the secretary-general of BAWUSA, which is an acronym for the Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union of South Africa. BAWSI, on the other hand, is an acronym for the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry, which was formed in 1998 to help transform the wine and spirit industry, and which now owns 25,1% of the KWV Group. The same Nosey Pieterse is also President of BAWSI. The two organizations are thus, for all practical reasons and purposes, one and the same. They also share the same offices.

Besides being Secretary-General of BAWUSA and also President of BAWSI this central De Doorns figure, Pieterse, also happens to be the chairman of Lindiwe Wines, a BEE-owned wine label launched in 2003, and which received funding from the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to the tune of R3 MILLION.

Apparently Lindiwe Wines went bust in 2008, hitting the wall to the tune of R5m (owing R4m to the National Empowerment Fund and R1m to KWV for the wine) – as reported by the Financial Mail.

BAWSI receives R200 000 per month from the South African Wine Industry Trust (SAWIT), which inturn receives its funds from Wines of South Africa (WOSA), a non-profit organisation which promotes the exports of all South African wine in key international markets.

BAWSI is also part of Phetogo Investments, a BEE company that has a 27% share in KWV. BAWSI and Phetogo received a loan of R120 million from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which is owned by the South African government under the supervision of the Economic Development ministry. BAWSI and Phetogo also received R40 million from KWV itself… Don’t forget the R200 000 per month pocket money BAWSI receives on top of all this other money!

The plot thickens…

The Chairman of KWV (the major wine bottler and distributor) is Marcel Golding, former Deputy Secretary of the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM). One of the Directors of KWV is Johny Copelyn, former secretary of Cosatu’s Clothing union (SACTWU).

SACTWU happens to be one of the main shareholders of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI), a black empowerment investment holding company listed on the JSE.  HCI, which was set up with funds from mostly highly exploited clothing workers, has a 35% stake in KWV.

In other words - ex-COSATU leaders are now big chiefs in South Africa's Wine Industry!

Black-owned wine farms include Constantia Uitsig, Bloemendal and D’Aria (Tokyo Sexwale having a part ownership) and Sexwale’s fully owned Oude Kelder in Franschhoek; Paardenkloof owned by Valli Moosa; and M’Hudi Wines, owned by the Rangaka family. Then there’s Thandi Wines (Pty) Ltd, a stand-alone BEE wine company, owned by 250 farm-worker families who hold 55% shares in the company, and which produced the first wine brand in the world to receive Fairtrade accreditation.

Incidentally, the latest news (14 January 2013) is that the local Fairtrade office has confirmed that South Africa now has the highest number of Fairtrade-accredited wineries worldwide, with 65% of Fairtrade wines sold globally coming from South Africa. Click here to view the full, extremely optimistic, article.

Yet, despite all of the above…

ANC calls for boycott of SA wines and Cosatu calls for boycott of SA fruit.

It doesn’t make sense, until one realizes it’s all a political smokescreen!

See also: In the eye of the winelands storm: Nosey Pieterse (Daily Maverick)

Related Posts:

Tokyo Sexwale
Tokyo Sexwale, owner of Oude Kelder Wine Estate and ANC Minister of Human Settlements.
Picture Credit:

Valli Moosa
Valli Moosa, owner of Paardenkloof Estate and former ANC Minister. Currently member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC.
Picture Credit:

Malmsey Rangaka
Malmsey Rangaka, CEO and Managing Director of M’hudi Wines
Picture Credit:

Thandi General Manager: Vernon Henn
Thandi General Manager: Vernon Henn


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

Farmworkers' strike taking its toll on economy
Friday 18 January 2013 19:03 (SABC)

The long-term effects of the protracted farmworkers strike in the Western Cape has serious economic implications. Valuable foreign exchange will not be earned, and fruit that is destined for export has not been picked.

It is a perishable item and farmers cannot recover losses in this sector. Agriculture is a key industry in the Western Cape and the Hex River Valley produces 18 million cartons of table grapes per season.

South Africa has made significant inroads abroad but a protracted strike will be an added drain on the economy. "Countries such as South America and Australia have been waiting for years for South African to fail and if we fail to deliver once, then those markets will go elsewhere," says Labour expert, Michael Bagraim.

Spokesperson for Wines of South Africa, Andre Morgenthal says that the wine industry has been affected since last year. He says that with the disruptions, road closures and shippings, it means that they cannot get their products to where they are supposed to go. "We are losing out," added Morgenthal.

Farmworkers will also bear the brunt as those who have returned to work have had their houses demolished or torched.

The Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is also concerned about the violence during the strike. "We are talking about De Doorns. Twenty-six officers were injured in that process but I have not seen anybody reporting on that,” says Mthethwa.

He says that if the officers die, then only then the incidences will be reported on.

Farmworkers have vowed to continue striking.


Related Posts: South Africa at War (3-part series)

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

Joemat-Pettersson must explain the abuse of food parcels to stoke farm violence

Annette Steyn, Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
18 January 2013

I have today written to the chair of the Agriculture portfolio committee, Lulu Johnson, to call on Minister Joemat-Pettersson to explain the alleged expenditure on food parcels being used to encourage violent unrest in the Western Cape.

According to the Mail & Guardian R10m was diverted from her department’s food security budget to give food parcels to strike leaders, including Nosey Pieterse .

This strategy has served to fan the flames of unrest by encouraging workers to go out and protest, often violently.

As one farm worker put it: “If you get a packet (parcel), then you have to go the meetings and toyi-toyi. Nothing for nothing.”

The ANC clearly wants to divide and destabilise rural communities in a bid to win back the Western Cape at the next election. What makes matters worse is that it appears that public money is being abused to do so.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson must explain to Parliament how it is that food parcels paid for by her Department are being distributed by ANC-aligned structures.

I will be submitting parliamentary questions to ascertain:

* the grounds on which this apparently unilateral decision was made;
* whether there is provision for funds to be diverted from the food security budget in this manner; and
* which individuals and organisations were the recipients of the food parcels.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson’s conduct during these strikes has been shameful. First, she willfully condoned violence when the strikes initially broke out last year. Then she made irresponsible promises that all charges of intimidation and public violence would be withdrawn.

Instead of attempting to resolve the grievances in our rural communities, she has done everything to exacerbate the problem. If it emerges that she used food parcels to incentivise violent unrest, she must face charges of incitement to violence.


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