Precis Of The Post Apartheid, and Post 1976 Historical , Contemporary And Educational Views
The Struggle of theAfrican Student in June 1976, was an accumulation of events over the centuries, and in particular, those events from the 1970s to the present-day. In the 1970s, there was a huge mass walk out of Black/African workers in they factories throughout South Africa. This mass walk out, was part a strategy gains the Vicious Apartheid forces, and a groundwork for the social and educational Revolution we, and many of our cohorts were part of in June 1976.
This preface, is in part to put the recent part(past 40 years) of commemorating June 1976, and an examination in a moderate quarry, the schooling of our children, under the ANC government. This Hub is starts with the tail-end of the article titled: "African South Africans' June 16, 1976, Revolt" that has already been published here on HubPages. The following part to this piece here on this Hub, is an opening, at the same time, closing of the story and History of June 16, and a Hub on the present state of African students' education under the ANC, with the 2016 ANC ruling era.
One other thing I will be doing in this Hub is to discuss the abandoned Freedom Charter Of The ANC. This I am doing in part to show how the ANC reneges on its promises, so long as there's money involved, and their power guaranteed by foreign powers and fiscal interest of those Countries. The tenets of the Freedom Charter, make more sense than the convoluted and very long South African Constitution. What it was going to deliver for the African people, was what they envisioned in Kliptown in the 1950s. The 1996 South African Constitution is remote and unknown to the masses of the people
Over the years, ordinary, and now, mostly the elderly and aging populace of Africans in South Africa, knew about the Freedom Charter. In exile, arguments erupted when discussing the Freedom Charter and a future new South Africa. Today, inside the country, only a paltry few engage in these exchanges, and the Freedom Charter has all but been forgotten, except when time comes and the ruling African elite tout it is legit. In furtherance of the objective of educating ourselves as a People, I revisit the some of the tenets of the Freedom Charter, just so that they youth will have a sense of what it is all about... Not some written words painted on some obscure buildings in a dead Johannesburg city-far from the masses in the Townships.
In order to juxtapose the themes of June 16 to the dysfunction of African education above, I have added features that are about the students, themselves, and their education, and the blundering and blustering education, and their tired educational policies. The failure of African students abound. As I have discussed fully in the Hub titled: "Pedagogy Of Ignorance Post Apartheid," already published here on HubPages, in it I have outlined some historical accounts as to why our education is as it is today. In this Hub, I am looking at and talking about African education, "post-Bantu Education," which to many people, was far more better than our Anglicized children in Private Schools, know as Model C schools, which have further alienated us and our children, and has made our children more dumb.
In this Hub, I keep the youth in check and informing them about their role, today, in south Africa. I am not talking about the elitist movements of "Fees Must Fall"(Aping American civili disorder tactics), "Zuma must fall," or the "Marikana" fiasco and debacle, on the part of the government, and now made into an alcoholic binging spree by your present youth in their get-togethers. I am writing this Hub for the youth to begin to learn how to take off the chains off that are wrapped around their heads, and begin to learn the right way of what this whole struggle is about.
This is a toll order, but only time will tell… Our children will have seriously written articles that are dealing with our present concrete and decrepit reality. How our government has been formulated and is controlled is one other important thing that our youth need to be exposed and taught about. This I address in this Hub in various ways the reader will come across. Hub like this one keep the critical eye on the struggle in many fronts, and this education front as well.
The problem I am trying to deal with is the level of ignorance that is displayed by many of my country-men. Many are political and economical opportunistic and vultures, subsequently… As I have alluded to in the Hub, "Pedagogy Ignorance, Post Apartheid," in this Hub, I am at presently talking about it directly. I live in my enclave of the Ghetto of Soweto, and it is debilitating to see how much we have regressed as a people. Some might measure success and freedom about the amount of material wealth they have amassed, many may point out to their international connections, and so on.
I gauge ourselves as to how smarter have we gotten since the June 16, 1976, Revolution. I am sadly admitting that we have dropped below levels that I hardly recognize. We are not reading, and we do not know how to go about it, as a nation, educating our people and ourselves, seriously. I am aghast at ourselves today, in South African, how thoroughly ignorant and dependent on our master we are, whilst pretending to be autonomously free. I consider that bogus and a farce and one thing that is going to have to change if we are going to take steps towards cohesive nation-building, and world class education of our making and choice.
The upcoming local elections votes, political killings(which have not abated), the new political challenges by the EFF and DA, rising people's anxieties, mis-education of the Poor, Looking at our dumbed-down education, and why the New Ignorant reality and existence should not be the 'new normal', is followed in this Hub by Asa teachings about African Education; Jose Marti is utilized with his brief blueprint for National education followed by messages and information feed for the youth in contemporary society. A much more closer look into the life for the youth and their parents in present-day South Africa will be in order here. At some point in the Hub I take a much serious look at the mental illnesses that affect and effect the African people today in Mzantsi.
Another important aspect of our struggle is to begin to teach the youth about the stories of shack-dwellers and those ho are houseless and homeless. This too is included in this Hub for readers to indulge. It is also at this juncture in the Hub that I address the Grassroots issue a bit more, and hope to delve as much as I can into issues arising from that side of the struggle. The Grassroots Struggle have never abated, and there is one historical account pertaining to them has not yet been addressed, and I hope to be delivering some Hub that traces the history of contemporary struggle by the grassroots in order to put this issue into proper perspective.
What I wanted to add for this Hub is a piece I wrote about Youth and African Consciousness. My thing writing this piece is to question our youth, "Whither, our brothers and sisters?" I hope to help they young ones begin to understand what consciousness for themselves and their people means and is all about. These are the material that our youth should learn and know and apply in their daily lives. But it all starts with reading, and this is what I want to see our youth do very well, first: "Read"! A further critique on and for the youth and their nation is what I have utilized in order to begin to build up some form of base for the youth to begin to mull upon and ponder.
The following Hub is an exercise in many aspects of our struggles, and other might do it better than I have presented it here, but my closing thoughts at the end of the Hub will be basically about education, youth, nation-building and upgrading our people by any means necessary. My hope is that Hubs like this one will begin to fill the yawning gap of historical material for Africans and written by Africans from an African-centered perspective
Mandarin Is our Present Realty And Struggle That Has Begun
A Intensive Look At the Mandarin Debacle...
The ANC has really destroyed itself and the African people. Okay, let's stick to education as one area where we see and learn more about the actions of the ANC, and the stories that will follow will show how much we are still lagging behind, and here comes the ANC introducing All these languages. Our children can hardly talk and write our own mother tongue proficiently and eloquently. The reader should consider this:
"Last year(2015), the government announced plans to introduce Mandarin as an elective in Public schools. Also approved were German, Serbian, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Telegu, and Urdu, but this fact was almost lost in the ensuing uproar. The Teachers Union, (SADTU), called it tantamount to a new form of colonization. Others argue it will give our Kids a global advantage and strengthening ties with economic ties with China."
Now, this is what the ANC has done thus far, and now they have agreed with the Chinese to bring in a hundred teachers for the next five hears, and who will be presenting and injecting a Chinese Culture and Tradition to our children, for as long as this will be allowed to go on…
We better understand that speaking and learning Mandarin requires more than remembering its structure.
[Learning Chinese is] a work for men with bodies of brass, lungs of steel, heads of oak, hands of spring-steel, hearts of apostles, memories of Angels, and lives of Methuselah - (Missionary William Milne, 1785-1822)
We learn form Teagle and Chiu that:
"The language dismantles more [un]naturally[for African people] into a way of thinking and viewing the world than it does into logical grammatical rules. Everyday dialogue is sewn with idioms, values and cultural references, sometimes referring to obscure episodes in China's history."
Our African children, I know that some Whites kids are affected, too-by Mandarin-but for now, I am focusing on African children, who do not know nor understand neither have a realistic historiographical know-how and understanding about us, their own parents, and here we go teaching them Mandarin which requires a different and total strange way of speaking and understanding Chinese, and yet, the kids are ignorant of their own languages and cultural history... This is wrong.
"Consider the stories behind two common phrases. One refers to a long-ago king called Gou Jian who, for 10 years from BC 492-482 slept every night on brushwood and drank gal (from an animal’s gallbladder) to feed the bitterness he would need to take revenge on someone who had wronged him. “Sleeping on brushwood and tasting gall” means doing whatever it takes — generally a good dollop of self-discipline — to achieve a goal.
"Another casual sentence refers to the time when Zhuge Liang, the 'Hidden Dragon,' a brilliant strategist who lived during the period of the Three Kingdoms [AD 220-280] was faced with an impossible mission. His superior, Zhou Yu, jealous of Liang’s talent, commanded him to produce 100,000 arrows within three days. Zhuge waited until fog and darkness descended over the river and sent a boat manned by more than 1,000 straw men across to enemy territory. The enemy took the scarecrows for soldiers and rained arrows down upon them. The boat turned around triumphantly, carrying the fresh ammunition straight to Yu. All of this is summarized in just a few characters (草船借箭 or “cǎochuánjièjiàn”), and means achieving one’s goal by wisely making use of others’ resources.
"Except that even the building blocks are different. Mandarin doesn’t have an alphabet. It is based on characters that represent words rather than component sounds. There are more than 50,000 Chinese characters in total, although modern dictionaries typically contain about20,000. Being able to make sense of a newspaper requires knowing about 2000-3000 characters.
"In China, characters are typically taught through rote learning — for example, kids will be given essays of increasing complexity to memorize and then write out word for word, thus gradually improving their vocabulary and grasp of sentence structure. In Western schooling systems, which favor learning through experiential enquiry, kids are not used to learning in this way. This is believed to be a key reason that Mandarin programs in Australian schools have had limited success: school-leavers with 13 years under their belts typically know only 500 characters.
"Cantonese has six tones; Mandarin four; English and Afrikaans none. IsiZulu, iso-Xhosa and most of the other Bantu languages are also tonal, which means speakers of these tongues might find learning Mandarin slightly easier. In addition, people who can speak two or more languages, as most black South Africans can, generally find it easier to learn another one."
This is false for both writers of this articles are not African, first of all, and they do not really speak our languages here in Mzantsi, and do not understand the fact that we have never lived with or side-beside with Chinese people, and we can neither hear nor understand their totalization, inasmuch as they will never understand ours-we are totally different people in all aspects of life, culture and history.
I also disagree with the authors of the piece above when they venture and say that African children have an advantage in learning Mandarin… this is not true, and as has been see, in Australia this has been tried and has failed, what will make our children, from poor families, know how to deal with the mammoth task of learning Mandarin?. This is Preposterous!
Our children do not have to learn our African languages like they have to go to school for that. They grow up with us, speaking our African languages, but, since the ANC came back, they have done everything to debase and discard of our own African languages, and we still have a crisis of our children not really knowing our languages, but try to speak English which they learn, as children, form TV.
In learning English, and Afrikaans, and not knowing our own African languages, what more could be worse for our children, Ms. Motshega? You even point out somewhere that you do not really know if there's a need for Mandarin in the African community because you have never found out about that fact… Going on further to say that the Chinese will do the research as to whether there is a need for Mandarin in the African communities or wherever? This is garbage, and we have puppets for leaders who are Pons in Chinese Checkers.
"For example, the Chinese government-funded Confucius Institutes, which partner with universities around the world to teach Chinese, have been criticized for political influence and inhibiting academic freedom, and in some parts of the US were closed last year for this reason. Because of China’s central economic position in South Africa, any perceived attempts to project “soft power” are likely to be received particularly badly, as the strongly worded response of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) demonstrates. There are five Confucius.
"As it stands — and as has been emphasized ad infinitum — ours is a country in which there is insufficient capacity to teach even our own languages; where the standard of maths and science is so low in some schools that even exceptional students stand little chance of getting through; where textbooks — and furniture — still aren’t a guarantee.(Teagle.Chiu)
Why is the ANC selling us out so blatantly and without regard to what we, as the poor people, have to say about this? They are simply serving their masters whom they claim are in trade with them. With our own natural resources, we are beholden to the Chinese and their so-called Soft Power… It is power, nonetheless-It has ANC in its grip, and we are watching this, haplessly and hopelessly…
Whilst we are at it, it would be better to take a much more deeper ad intimate look at our education in Mzantsi, below.
So, Mandarin Is Now Better Than Afrikaans?.. Really!
The Fight Against The Afrikaans Language, And Today, Mandarin, in 1976 And Today in 2016 For The next 5 Years - Part Deux...
The following Hub is a follow-up on the Hub written before it called, "African South Africans' June 16th 1976 Revolution", already published and one can read it. In this Hub, I begin to talk about the different issues related to the Education of African South Africans in contemporary ANC ruled South Africa.
The Hub below is mostly about the aftermath of the 1976 Revolution, the opening salvo will be about Language and Power today in South and dumbing-down education dispensed to our children.
Below I would like to post an article I wrote recently about the issue of foreign language rammed-down our children throats and brains that I think I will start of this article with the following piece:
"Mandarin Has Been Introduced in 43 South African Schools in 2016"
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, says 43 schools across the country have introduced Mandarin at schools in this academic year.
In a parliamentary reply, she says 11 of these schools are in Gauteng, 27 in the Western Cape, three in the Eastern Cape and three in KwaZulu-Natal.
The department has a vision to introduce Mandarin in 500 schools over the next five years.
Motshekga says two teachers have been brought from China to teach the language and all relocation costs and salaries are paid for by the Chinese government. Only one South African teacher is qualified to teach the language.
Ultimately 100 teachers will be trained for this year and 500 will be trained over the next five years.
Motshekga says South African teachers will undergo a three week long training programme, which is sponsored by the Institute of Global Chinese Language Teacher Education.
From Afrikaans To Mandarin....We Are Not Self Confident As a People And Nation Here in Mzantsi
What's Happening? - "Di Ntshang?", "Zikhiphani"?
What we were fighting for in June 16th 1976, was the imposition of a foreign language on us as children, and against the jagged intolerable edges of Apartheidom. This was a very important thing to us, and it was important to the communities we lived in. It is not that we did not speak Afrikaans at all, but it was the fact that it was forced down our gullets with disregard to any protestations we made-was unconscionable... This was in June 1976.
Anyone can read the article I have written about this matter, albeit brief, if one were to scroll down this timeline. Now, the Education honcho and oaf, Motshega is presenting us with another same problem. she has proudly decreed that our children are now learning Chinese Mandarin, and that they had said, some time ago, this is going to happen. Well it's happening now, Chinese culture and history.
All this is happening in the year and time when we are now celebrating our 40th commemoration of the 1976 fight against the imposition of a foreign language, and Motshega proudly pronounces her carreer achievement of beginning to teach our children, at the lower grades, and phasing this throughout the years and over to higher standards-The learning of Chinese Mandarin and Culture! Really!!!
This is serious, now... The apologists of and for this move inform us that this is being for better .relations with the emerging Super power, China, and so that in the future we can have our children handling our affairs better with their Chinese counterparts.
Now, earlier reports on this move are articulating the discomfort and toughness on our children are facing learning Chinese Calligraphy and the spoken Mandarin, which by the way, is not a common nor spoken, neither known form of language among us African people of Mzantsi.
Our children scarcely know nor understand our diverse African culture and philosophies/languages of their parents, here comes Motshega, with a very brilliant idea, to teach our children how to read and write Mandarin. I call that the Chinafication of our African children, and now, for real, we are "LOST"!
What is going on here, for real... Why is is not the case of the Chinese learning and speaking and talking our 10 different languages here in Mzantsi? Why is this not the point of contention and issue? What is happening to us that we end up have numb-skull pseudo-politicians destroying our African children's education, and we are watching this and doing nothing about it? On the 40th Anniversary of the June 16th Revolution of 1976?
What has happened to us? What is happening to us? Of all the dreaded things we are experiencing, we seem to be sitting idly by and allowing the likes of Motshega to take us 40 years ago and back to the Dark days of Apartheid rule.
Why is it important for our children to be thoroughly more confused by them being sent to Germany, Europe, China, Russia and everywhere else, through education, sports, badly managed and not controlled by us? Why is it important to impress the emerging Chinese superpowers by sacrificing our children at the linguistic, cultural and social mores of these cultures, and our children knowing nothing about our own languages, culture, history and the whole bit about us? Why?!
How come we are all taking a back seat as if this is a noble thing that has ever befallen us who are non-people here in Mzantsi? That is, to the extent that we go begging the Chinese to send their army of teachers to come and indoctrinate our children, right under our noses and in front of our eyes, in our houses, and we stay mum!
We were carrying on in many ways throughout our abodes/Townships, speechifying about the sacrifice of the students of 1976, and here we are today, more silent than our filling up graveyards when we are simply told that our children are going to be learning Mandarin. Our children speak a lot of English, and in rare cases speak our own languages, and here we are, on the commemoration of the rejection of Afrikaans, we are welcoming Mandarin and Calligraphy!
This is Insanity As A Model Of Sanity.. Big Time!!
Language And Power
When we get ready to create a revolution, we must redefine the world, and redefine words; there's no way around it. In Genesis, Adam was given the power to name things(if we are to speak about this matter from a Biblical point of view-I am neither a Christian for that matter-just a spiritual African).. He was also given dominion.
The connection between dominion and naming, between naming and bringing into reality, is the most important point being made by the article above. Nations use their mother tongues to rule and run their national business. Where do we get off and do the imposing, on our children, of this Mandarin language, and go and sleep soundly in our mansions?
When we permit another people to name and define, we permit another people to gain dominion and control over us.
"The languages that people learn and speak are most frequently directly related to the power relations between them. Many people will now learn Japanese(Chinese in our case today), as for a while they learned Russian(We have sent a whole load of children to Russia under the pretext its for IT learning purposes!!..
"And for a while people learned German, Latin, Spanish, Italian, etc. Why? Because the people who speak of spoke these languages were or are ascendance or in power at that or this time.
"There is no "good" English or "bad" English, nor "good" language or "bad" language; there is language that's connected to Power. People tend to learn first after their native tongue, whatever language is spoken by the people in power.
"There's a connection between the capacity to have other people speak your language and to call things by the names you give them, and Power. If we wish to assume Power, then we must assume the capacity to name and define things."
This precisely what we did in 1976.. We assumed the Power to name and decide our own future, at great risk, but we did not cower into our job positions and social statuses and unfocused timidity to make our point clear.. We did not want Afrikaans and its imposers and imposters, and we fought and many died because of that-I am still writing about it 40 years after June 16th 1976...
No To Mandarin and Chinese Philosophies!
We are further instructed by Wilson that:
"The psychology of a culture is to a great extent a symoblic precipitant of the kinds of experiences forced upon a group of people by their history."
This is what we are going to have to pay attention to as the last line intimates.
Wilson further teaches us that:
"We must recognize the intimate relationship between culture, history and personality. If we do not know our history, then we do not know our personality And if the only history we know is other people's history/language, then our personality has been created by that history/language.
"We must recognize that in European/[and Chinese history]. It is not so much that we know [and will know Chinese History/language], (because 90 percent of us do not know European history and have not read it), but that we are left with some residue of it - that we have a sense of it - is all the hegemonic European"[Chinese about to be], needs to begin to dominate and control Africans in Mzantsi.
In the absence of knowledge of African history, we will keep on hallucinating every night. These hallucinations are called dreams, and they occur at the point where we become detached from reality. We maintain our mental balance and sense of self by input into our senses.
It is necessary that for human beings to maintain sanity that they receive random input (and changing input) from the world. That is why we suffer so much when we are put into solitary confinement - where we can't see or hear anything - we may begin to have visions and hallucinations as a result thereof.
In some article to come, I will address the point above much more fully. Right now, our loss of ourselves in this decrepit Mzantsi, has to be addressed.
Wilson says we must keep this in mind:
I do not care what institutions we may talk about: whether we talk about the family institution, the criminal justice institution, the economic institution, the religious institution, the health establishment, the educational institutions; they all have one thing in common in a Eurocentric(Chinese are taking over) oppressive system(s) - to maintain the 'status quo' and to maintain African people in oppression.
The gendarme element that is our present-day government here in Mzantsi is quick to kow-tow to foreign master whims and wishes, and trample on our Human and Bill of Rights with impunity.
It is interesting to note that many people, during the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Revolution, seem to think and behave like it only took that one day.
What many do not know is the fact that the next day, on Thursday and the weeks and months/years that followed, everything got worse, and fighting grew and spread like wildfire throughout the country of South Africa in all the different communities oppressed by Apartheid.
So that, when Motshega proudly trumpets that Mandarin has now been introduced in our children's schools, those are the fighting words. It is time we began thinking like we ought to. We are going to have to act, in the coming months and years, fight like hell to stop this form of colonization.
We say this with a finality unsurpassed:
"No to Mandarin" Come what may and it should be stopped by any means necessary
Educating The Nation Is The Upper Most Priority
A lot has happened after the June 16th African Students Of Soweto's Revolution that will need to be put in context. But, going further than the article, or, adding more historical perspective into the lead to the 1976 Revolution, will be given some redress here.
What I am talking about here is that, there are historical facts and events that led to the type of education we are seeing here in South Africa. It was roughly during the historical era of Sir George Grey that attitudes of Europeans were shaped and cast in hideous laws that continue to plague us today in south of 2016.
The way the present education system is and has been set up, it has guaranteed failure for African people and their children. I am not yet even talking about the fiasco of Mandarin by Motshega, here. Long before this dastardly deed of introducing Mandarin, the Europeans had gotten about the reality that they needed to shape the education of Africans to suit their economical operations and political power.
This is what i will attempt to discuss first. Secondly, how tis is tied to economic power of the ruling Europeans, below in the historical piece on this Hub, I will trace how the ebb and flows of the economic front of the Europeans was designed so that it can allow a few Africans let into the system, and in dire economic needs, this affects the education of Africans, and empowers the White ruling elite along with their African side-kicks.
This historical analysis and its empowerment of White ruling people in South Africa, is going to be important to understanding the depth and breadth of the June 1976 Trilogy of articles that I have already published here, this one being the third, that goes to show that, our present educational malaise, is not an aberration, but a well thought out plan by the White ruling elite of South Africa.
The foregoing forthcoming historical discourse will enable us to better to understand education in contemporary South Africa much more better. Today we are witnessing a broken education system for African with no continuity of educational worth for and townwards our African people. Our schools are ill-equipped to teach ad have our children learn in them, especially in the Townships and many rural areas.
The results that we are churning out are sadly poor and very discouraging. We have educational authorities who are engaged in lining up their pockets at the expense of our children and people. We have Educational authorities in South Africa making educational decisions without consulting on the masses of African people. In fact, they use the system they found Apartheid ruling and boring over, to exploit it for their own children and people, and reinforced Apartheidized schools in the African poor communities, throughout South Africa.
As I have pointed out in short above, the historical narrative that I am going to be delving into below, will begin to make it much more clearer why our schools are dysfunctional and do not or were not designed to serve nor develop/improve us as an African Nation of Mzantsi. The students today, along with some hooligans and people who are trying to serve their own political interests, like Malema, and such African political opportunists/hucksters and economical Pirates.
But plainly speaking, the education of African people has never been controlled and dictated to by African people, to date. Those who are put in positions of power, are only there as workers and not as policymakers. This who determining the policies and theorem the Education of Africans should take today, are foreigners, and this has had a deleterious and adverse effect on education. All are following the age-old protocol of educating Africans to the needs and dictates of the economical potentates in our country.
But if one were to understand the way the education has been set up and controlled by The British, the Boers and the Americans, today, one, in learning from the historical background, will notice that all has been set up to go against the interest and education of Africans in South. No wonder we have an imploding educational system that does not serve nor cater for Africans. Even today as we speak,a lot of ordinary African poor people are perplexed by the amounts of money they have to spend on private schools which are not really educating our children, but dumbing them even more-worse than Apartheid.
The presentation of the history of how African educating was gerrymandered by the foreign rulers who advocated for 'separate development'(English), Apartheid with its Bantu Education(the Boers), and useless and education of confusion. Biko, and Chinweizu have addressed the effects and affects of How Apartheid(Biko), "The West and Rest Of Us"(Chinweizu), have build a system of education that is indoctrinating and mis-educating the Africans, that I suggest people Read their books to g=get to come to grips with this reality of underdeveloped education of Africans in Africa and particularly in South Africa, as per this Hub.
Below I begin to flesh out by party discourses above concerning the shenanigans that were undertaken by foreigners to derail and dumb-down Africans when it comes to their own education and intellectual progress. I will firstly deal with the history of our academic miasma, and will synergies my thoughts about what I think about the history and how we got to be here, and what needs to be done/understoood by Africans tow
The Puppet Minister Of Miseducation Of African Children
The article above is about how students changed South Africa and the articles I have cited below show how the students today have been made to pay a huge price for the radicalism of the 1976 students and beyond. The students of South Africa today are very disorientated, and they need articles like this one in order to reorientate themselves to the role they are supposed to do.
The historical account above, should form a background/backdrop in their attempt to deal with the present situation as it is being described below.What is said the Minister of Higher Education wants the passing rate to remain at 30% for African students, so as to keep them "Dumbed Down" in order to have control and rule over them.
I have written about this issue in my Hub about how Apartheid Murdered Kids, and one lady felt that I should not write about such horrible things since she is teaching a multiracial class, and what is it that these kids can learn from that, and why don't I publish it somewhere in a book, or data place, and not on the Web. The same thing, in so many ways, is being echoed by John Taylor Gatto who narrates it this way:
"A lady named Kathy wrote this to me from Dubois Indiana, the other day:
"What big ideas are important to little kids? Well, the biggest idea I think they need is that what they are learning isn't idiosyncratic - that there is some system to it all and not just raining down on them as they helplessly absorb. That's the task, to understand, to make coherent."
"Kathy has it wrong. "The First Lesson I Teach Is Confusion." 'Everything' I teach is out of context. I teach the unrelating of everything. I teach disconnections. I teach too much; the orbiting of planets, the law of large numbers, slavery, adjectives, architectural drawings, dance, gymnasium, choral singing, assemblies, surprise guests, fire drills, computer languages, parents' nights, staff development days, pull-out programs, guidance with strangers my students may never see again, standardized tests, age segregation unlike anything seen in the outside world ... What do any of these things have to do with each other?
"Even in the best schools a close examination of curriculum and its sequences turns up a lack of coherence, a host of internal contradictions. Fortunately the children have no words to define the panic and anger they feel at "constant violations of natural order and sequence" handed to them as quality education.
"The logic of the school-mind is that it is better to leave school with a tool kit of superficial jargon derived from economics, sociology, natural science, and so on than with one genuine enthusiasm.. but quality in education entails learning about something ind-depth. Confusion is thrust upon kids by too many strange adults, each working alone with only the thinnest relationship with each other, pretending, for the most part, to an expertise they do not possess.
"Meaning, not disconnected facts, is what sane human seek, and education is a set of codes for processing raw data into meaning. Behind the patchwork quilt of school sequence and the school obsession with facts and theories, the age old human search for meaning lies well concealed. This is harder to see in elementary school where the hierarchy of school experience seems to make better sense because of the good-natured simple relationship between "let's do this" and "let's do that" is just assumed to mean something and the clientele has not yet consciously discerned how little substance is behind the play and pretense.
"Think of the great natural sequences - like learning to walk and learn to talk; the progression of light from sunrise to sunset; the ancient procedures of a farmer, a smithy, or a shoemaker; or the preparation of a Thanksgiving feast. All of the parts are in perfect harmony with each other, each action justifying itself and illuminating the past and the future.
"School sequences are crazy. There is no particular reason for any of them, nothing that bears close scrutiny. Few teachers would dare teach the tools whereby dogmas of a school or a teacher would be criticized, since everything must be accepted. School subjects are learned, if they can be learned, like children learn or memorize Thirty-nine Articles of Anglicanism.
"I teach the un-relating of everything, an infinite fragmentation the opposite of cohesion; what I do is more related to television programming than to making a scheme of order. In a world where home is only a ghost because both parents work, or because of too many moves or too many job changes or too much ambition, or because something else has left everybody too confused to maintain a family relation. I teach students how to accept confusion as their destiny. That's the first lesson I teach."
That's what the Hub is teaching, the history of the youth to the youth and those elders of today who have already forgotten that the "Struggle Continues", not as per the ANNC well-fed elites, but for the poor people who the ANC is robbing blind and treating callously. By expanding this article, I am walking the line of education and creating a historical record which I have written above and it goes back to some thirty-eight years since.
In fact, the article of the students revolt covers the history of this revolt far back in the 1700s. What has happened today, is what I am constructing this Hub on, below. The story and history of Education did not end with the june 16th Revolution, but continues under the ANC today The students have become the most confused and miseducated, non-studying, and less reading group in our society. Totally clueless, as Tutu said, "blase", and functionally ignorant. How could I say this, well, if the reader has time, one should read the posts below.
The youth of '76 was targeted by Apartheid to remain slaves through the Bantu Education system, as discussed above in its historical and contemporary sense above. The real-politik today is how are we going to teach our people and Youth to be able to put it together. This will the part I will be dealing with toward the conclusion of the this part of the added section I am dealing with now.
Huffing And Puffing For An Image and The Poor People's Vote: Education At The Crossroads
A Shot Rang Across The Bow - Mzantsi 2014 Elections
As Africa Check discovered, the ASC results, which improved again, are not a reliable barometer of the quality of education in SA, writes Kate Wilkinson.
For the fifth year in a row, South Africa’s education authorities have announced dramatic improvements in the matric pass rate.
“(W)e are sending a strong message that basic education under the new administration has the capacity to improve the quality of education in South Africa,” Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said this week as she made the announcement.[This statement has proven to be a disaster and misinformation]
“(T)his is the best matric class since 1994,” president Jacob Zuma enthused. “We are… pleased to note this consistently upward trend in the matric results, with the pass rate going from 62.6 percent in 2008, dipping to 60.6 percent in 2009, only to rise to 67.8 percent in 2010, 70.2 percent in 2011 and 73.9 percent in 2012.” (Note that it hasn’t been entirely consistent. As Zuma himself pointed out, the pass rate fell by 2 percent in 2009.)
Others have been far less complimentary.
In a scathing opinion piece, Jonathan Jansen, the vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State and a prominent commentator on education, wrote that the country’s education system was a “massive fraud”.
Government “wrongly, but conveniently” used the matric results as “a barometer of the state of the school system," when all other data “reveals we have been stagnating, or doing worse," Jansen argued.
The DA has called on Motshekga to “institute a full-scale independent audit of the 2013 results," citing concerns over the quality of the markers, the process of moderation and the high drop-out rate.
While conceding that there is “still a lot of work that needs to be done," Motshekga remains adamant that education in South Africa is on the “right track”.
Addressing a business briefing yesterday, Motshekga said that the pass rate — which has improved from 60.9 percent in 2009 to 78.2 percent in 2013 – is “an indication that indeed the system is on the right track”.
She also claimed that, “(t)here is overwhelming evidence that we are improving learner performance”.
But is the system really on the right path? And has the quality of education in South Africa improved along with the pass rate?
For starters, Motshekga’s claim that the increase in the pass rate “is an indication that indeed the system is on the right track” is contradicted by her own department.
The Department of Basic Education says on its website that, “(c)ontrary to popular belief, the matric pass rate on its own is not a good measure of academic achievement in the schooling system, (and) nor was the pass rate ever designed for this”. Rather, the pass rate serves as a “measure of the opportunities open to our youths”.
It goes on: “Comparing pass rates in different years is, in fact, not like comparing apples to apples… Examinations like our matric are simply not designed to compare the performance of the schooling system across years. They are designed to test whether the individual learner qualifies for a certificate, based on the subjects the learner has chosen.”
The department suggests that “(i)f one wants to compare how well the system is doing, one should turn to testing systems like the international TIMSS and SACMEQ programmes, where South Africa has participated for some years”.
A further flaw in using the matric pass rate as a barometer of national performance is that thousands of school pupils drop out long before they reach their final year. The drop-out rate is not taken into account in the final pass rate.
For example, when the 2013 matric class started Grade 1 in 2002, there were 1,261,827 pupils. But by the time they sat the final exams, their numbers had fallen to 562,112.
Nicholas Spall, a researcher at Stellenbosch University who focuses on primary education, says that, “Students are pushed through the system until Grade 10, and then schools realize that if they put these kids through, they are not going to pass Grade 12”.
“Getting low pass rates in matric is problematic for schools, so they weed out these students.”
The matric rate is thus bumped up, and gives no indication of how the 50 percent that fall by the wayside are doing. Jansen, in his opinion piece, called it a “culling process” that has left behind half a million people with little or no proper education.
Mary Metcalfe, former head of the University of the Witwatersrand School of Education and a former provincial government minister for education in Gauteng, echoes these concerns. “[The pass rate] doesn’t tell us about the large number of children who didn’t make metric, who didn’t pass Grade 10, who didn’t pass Grade 11, and who failed at Grade 12,” she said.
The drop-out rate has had a significant impact. A 2011 report revealed that, “60 percent of youths are left with no qualification at all beyond the Grade 9 level”.
Also, whether as a result of school pressure or individual choice, pupils are increasingly taking easier subjects.
In 2010, 263,034 full-time pupils wrote maths. This decreased to 241,509 pupils in 2013. Conversely, numbers of full-time pupils writing maths literacy, the easier subject, increased from 280,836 in 2010 to 324,097 in 2013.
The Department of Basic Education acknowledges the impact this has on the final pass rate: “A key factor is the spread of learners across subjects. When this changes, the pass rate can change, even if performance in individual subjects remains the same. In particular, if learners move to easier subjects, more learners pass.”
The matric results also conceal the underperformance of the majority of pupils who write the exam. Strong performances in a minority of schools will mask the poor performance of the majority of schools that are judged as dysfunctional.
This skews the average, and does not present a true reflection of the mean for most pupils. This point was also highlighted in Jansen’s criticism of the matric results: “(I)f you removed the top 20 percent of schools — mainly former white, privileged schools — from the national averages, then a very dark picture emerges of a mainly black and poor school system performing far below what the combined results show,” he wrote.
The improvement in the matric pass rate is good news for those concerned, but it is not a sign that the “system is on the right track," or that the quality of the education system is improving.
An Africa Check report looking at claims made about the 2012 matric results came to the same conclusions.
The matric results are not a good measure of academic achievement in the education system. As the department has acknowledged, they are not designed for yearly comparison, or to be a reflection of academic achievement in the education system. The good performance of a minority of schools can also skew the results, as can pupils electing to take easier subjects.
The results only account for about half of those who entered school together. South Africa’s high drop-out rate means that many young people will never get the chance to write their matric exams, let alone pass them.
"Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini warned on Saturday that it was cold outside the ANC and people should not run away from the party if they were unhappy.
“Challenges will always be there, but we must engage,” he told African National Congress supporters at the party's election manifesto launch in Nelspruit.
“We call on those who run away to come back. If you run away you can't engage.”
Dlamini said the Congress of SA Trade Unions would always support the ANC.
Last month, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) decided at its special congress not to support the ANC during this year's election. Numsa is Cosatu's largest affiliate.
Earlier this week there were rumors that Numsa was in talks with Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters but this has been denied by both the union's general secretary Irvin Jim and the EFF.
Cosatu has also been dealing with its own internal battles after its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended for having an affair with a junior employee, among other things. Both Vavi and Numsa have lodged court applications against Cosatu on the matter.
Dlamini on Saturday warned that Cosatu's unity was not for sale.
“The unity of Cosatu is not a playground... That unity we will defend with the last drop of our blood,” he said.
“Even when leaders go astray, it is workers' responsibility [to call] them to order.”
Dlamini said Cosatu endorsed the ANC's election manifesto and had participated in putting it together.
“We have carried a mandate from Cosatu... that we influence debate. We have engaged, we have fought, we have harassed each other to make sure [we do this].”
He said the trade union federation would help the ANC implement its manifesto.
This manifest has already been question because it demonstrates that the ANC is not going to change anything it has been doing for the past 20 years of its rule. The only difference this time is that the ANC is going to begin its rule without the presence of Mandela. We are beginning to hear the threats and other forms of intimidating talk that is coming from the ANC cadre and their trying to garner the vote.
We also see the ANC trying to defend the failure of students in the recently released under and below par results. The students have been sold out to the wishes and dictates of the IMF/World bank who do not want to see any type of radical students as described above in the Hub. They are working assiduously to confuse the youth and miseducate them. Below I will post some noted historical precedents regarding the attack on students by the ruling authorities of the day.
As we take a look below at the state of edumacation that is taking place in South Africa, below, at the end of the Hub, I will add my own impressions about this sad and confused education train-wreck that afflicts kids and adults in South Africa. The ANC has begun to bellow across the South African talking points and media, it would be worth watching how are they going to present themselves now that Tata is gone.
Contemporary Underdeveloped Education Of The Poor Today
Meaningless Miseducation: Pedagogy of the Poor and Ignored
Despite the concrete and multiple improvements in the quality of education, it boils down to how much confidence the public has in state schooling.
"The government's trashing of anyone who dares to ask what matric pass rates reliably signify about schooling quality is by now a well-established political tradition. As I have noted many-a-times above.
It stretches back to one of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's more gifted predecessors, Kader Asmal (minister from 1999 to 2004): his formidable intellect and scathingly articulate tongue turned such trashing into something of a fine if not constructive art.
We invoke this history urgently now in order to understand why 2013s all-time high 78.2% matric pass rate has sparked such widespread incredulity — and, further, to suggest that this skepticism is solidly justified.
Exactly 10 years ago, in January 2004, Asmal announced a then all-time high matric pass rate: 2003s 73.3%. Public disbelief of the kind we have seen this week erupted, plunging the whole school system into a crisis of credibility.
Despite the concrete and multiple improvements in quality since then, for which Motshekga can indeed take credit, we now have a similar crisis. As in 2004, it boils down to this: how much trust and confidence does the public have in state schooling?
To answer this, we cannot allow ourselves to remain trapped within the parameters of Motshekga's party-political broadcast on TV and radio set this week — the one on Monday night that masqueraded as a speech about education. Her shallow historical narrative centered on the ever-increasing pass rate since she took over in 2009. But, just in case anyone had still failed to get the political point about where the credit lies for all this wondrously sky-high quality, Motshekga then hammered it home (artfully disguised as a query): "The key question remains, though: Why have we improved performance so well over the past four to five years?" (italics added).
In other words: the 2013 matric accomplishments originate wholly from the Zuma administration's accession to power in 2009. Simple. However, this is not only politically dangerous complacency: it is also educationally absurd.
Most of the 2013 cohort began school in 2002. This means they spent more of their 12 years at school — at least their first seven — under Motshekga's two predecessors than under her: first Asmal, then Naledi Pandor.
It is hardly news to say that the foundations laid in the early grades comprise among the most powerful determinants of success in the later grades. So where are the grounds for Motshekga's claim?
Far more objectionably, her narrative of self-congratulation ignored volumes of serious research we now have, but little of which existed when Asmal was minister. This research exposes a huge range of desperate, often illegal and always unethical measures to which officials at all levels, particularly in schools and districts, resort so as to "engineer" high pass rates. These include weeding out before grade 12 those pupils expected to fail matric: by far the highest dropout rate during 12 schooling years occurs after grade nine.
Another is to register weaker pupils as part-time candidates. The results of these pupils are not used to calculate a school's, a district's, a province's or the country's pass rate — indeed, their results get little attention at all. As we note elsewhere in this edition, though, the tiny particles of information on their performance released this week suggest a 40% pass rate.
To these pupils must be added those who fail — this year, more than 122,000. Yes, they can write supplementary exams, but one of the less-publicized statistics here is how well they do (no TV show for them). In May last year, Motshekga's department very quietly released figures suggesting that only 23% of those who wrote the 2013 supplementary exams passed.
And there is yet another marginalized group we must add: those who pass without university-entrance results — about 70% of the 2013 cohort. Yet, as we report this week, pupils themselves regard such a pass as effective failure.
All this (and more) data, and such practices, are perfectly well known to Motshekga and the government — indeed, much of it can be found on the department's own website. Is it any wonder, then, that — before she even began her matric speech — an avalanche of skeptical analyses was published in weekend media? This skepticism precisely echoed that which the public itself angrily expressed back in January 2004, because — rightly — they found Asmal's enormous increases in the pass rate simply not believable.
Pandor's ministry restored a measure of education realism: the pass rate dropped from 70.7% in 2004 to 63.2% in 2008. She took plenty of flak as a result, but for experts such figures more accurately reflected schooling's real levels of quality than Asmal's implausible highs.
Now, however, we are back to those heights — and public incredulity has inevitably followed. This is dangerous: What happens when the public at large stops trusting public schooling?
One dismal answer is that those who can afford it will send their children to quality private or a few high-fee-charging elite public schools. But the rest — the majority — will remain marooned in mediocrity and decrepit and dying schools.
With this week's trashing and demonizing of critics in mind, we repeat: schooling certainly now offers higher quality to more pupils than ever before.
But, by massively and crudely overstating these gains, Motshekga and the administration she loyally serves have unwittingly manufactured a political time bomb: in effect, they have denied the huge education-quality gap between rich and poor and so ensured it will widen. Can we expect a rethink from them?
Well my take is that we are back where we were at prior to the coming to power of the ANC. The thing about the present educational system and opportunities(if there are any) is that the students of Africans in South Africa is divided into the rich students and poor ones. how different is that from the Prefects who got better food and status just because they were able to pay more and those paying less had terrible food and were treated as an underclass" One can read this part on the June 16 article already published here on HubPages.This is no different if one has read the whole Hub up the point that I am writing this piece here.
A Matric Pass Means Nothing by Victoria John
"What do you do with a matric pass? You do nothing," said Koketso Hlongwane, a 2013 matriculant from Alexandra High School in Johannesburg, this week.
Many of the pupils the Mail & Guardian spoke to when they received their results on Tuesday echoed her low regard for the matric certificate.
Their views mirrored several skeptical views from educationists, the business sector and union leaders about the dubious value of the matric certificate even before the pass rate of 78.2% was announced on Monday.
Hlongwane passed, but her marks are not high enough to make her eligible to study at university. She is not happy. "Our standard of education is too low. Thirty percent [as a passing mark]? It's nothing — 40% or 50% is something, at least," she said.
She will try to find a job or "maybe go to one of those [further education and training] colleges … but I wanted to go to university, not a college," she said.
Almost 88% of her school's matric class passed. Many achieved university entrance passes. Hlongwane's classmate Anna-Marie Shabangu was one of them. She has been accepted to study political science at the University of Johannesburg.
"A matric pass means so little," she told the M&G, standing in her school's parking lot with the trash and traffic of the poverty-stricken Alexandra township just outside its walls.
"If you get just a pass, you will have to rewrite matric so you can try to get a university pass."
Boitumelo Kganyago, who matriculated at Allanridge Secondary School in the township of Kaalfontein, near Midrand, is one of those with "just a pass".
"I wouldn't get a good job now if I tried … so I'm going to rewrite matric next year and try to get a university entrance pass".
The pass requirements — 30% in three subjects; 40% in another three — "give us a matric that is too low [in] standard," she said.
"Even 50% is too low, because if you try go to university you will see they want higher than that."
The deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Tinyiko Maluleke, was one of many who severely criticized the value of a South African matric the day before Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the country's highest matric pass rate to date.
The matric certificate is in "grave danger" of "meaninglessness, worthlessness and irrelevance", he wrote in the Sunday Independent.
The day after the glittering function at which Motshekga announced the results, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's chief executive, Neren Rau, said the certificate "Should be a fundamental signal to the labor market that a school-leaver can perform in at least a low-skilled position.
"Sadly, this is no longer the case, given a growing body of evidence of ill-equipped school-leavers as reported by the business community."
The M&G's visits to schools in Gauteng suggested at least some pupils share this skepticism.
Allesandro Petrus matriculated from Parktown Boys' High School with a university entrance.
But "the matric certificate is not enough any more," he said. "Companies want to see a degree."
And what about the 30% pass requirement? One of his classmates jogged past and shouted: "I think its rubbish, personally!"
A degree means success
Yannick Ndjibu sat on the pavement outside his school – Barnato Park High School in Berea, Johannesburg – surrounded by friends poring over the lists of names and results in the newspapers laid out on the tar in front of them.
The group of about 10 all achieved university entrance.
"What do you know if you pass with subjects with only 30% or 40%?" Ndjibu said. "You can get that without even hardly studying."
A degree means success, said a friend on his left, Richard Lukalanga. On his right, Daniel Biyekele agreed: "Getting a degree is the best way into the professional world."
Nongovernmental organization Ikamva Youth tutors pupils from grades 10 to matric from Ivory Park and Ebony Park townships outside Johannesburg. Its branch coordinator, Nyasha Mutasa, said pupils who get a non-university matric pass "are so disappointed".
"They see a matric certificate as not being able to get them good jobs or offer opportunity. A lot of them will be rewriting matric to try to get a university entrance pass," Mutasa said.
The constant and regular theme is the drop-out rate and expected drop out of matric levels as it was way back in the 1800 and 1900s-and the students level or pass their matric ill-prepared for anything( a large number of them)and only a few get jobs with their matric or get a university entrance.
The bottle-neck reach the top sieves more and leaves the rest out of the system of becoming educated-literally left in a no man's land vicinity. The thing about present-day education is that it does not even educate students about civic studies and or present them with such articles to help them have a grip on their present reality, through reading about the past of their educational system. Learning and writing our history ourselves from an African centered perspective is very important and critical to our development and nation-building.
Fake Matric Passes Pretensions; Failing And Unerdeveloped Schools and Classrooms..
Nzimande defends 30% matric pass requirement
Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has defended the low matric pass requirement, saying SA is becoming "dangerously elitist".
"Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande on Thursday defended the 30% pass requirement for three out of six subjects needed to pass matric, saying young people would miss out on post-school education opportunities if it was raised.
"What do we do with those who don’t get 50%?" he told a press briefing on post-school opportunities for learning in Pretoria.
"There is no dustbin where a human being goes."
He said South Africa was becoming a "dangerously elitist" country if it was considering "throwing away half of our young people" who did not achieve a 50% matric pass.
Nzimande said the higher education system would take a matriculant who had passed metric but did not achieve a university entrance pass "to our further education and training colleges not because you are 'dom' [dumb] but because that might be your inclination".
Education experts, teacher unions and business leaders strongly criticized the quality of the matric certificate before and after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the 78% matric pass rate on Monday evening. They said it did not equip matriculants with skills to successfully enter the job market and universities.
DA leader Helen Zille’s even questioned the credibility of the results and called for an independent audit of the matric results. Nzimande said this was "offensive".
" … not because it’s the DA … [but] I find it insensitive and an insult to the effort made by the class of 2013 ... "
The pass rate equates to 439,779 full-time pupils who passed matric, Nzimande said. Of these 171,755 are eligible to apply to study a bachelors degree and 173,292 are eligible to apply to study a diploma — an increase of 20,411 compared to 2012.
There were 92,611 part-time pupils who wrote the exam. So far incomplete data the basic education department has released on their results suggest only 40% passed.
"This significant increase in successful candidates with predominantly bachelor and diploma entrance National Senior Certificates will have implications for the department in relation to enrollments within higher education institutions," Nzimande said.
He announced that there are 396,449 "opportunities available to them within post-school education and training system" at 25 universities, 50 further education and training (FET) colleges.
197,946 new entrant opportunities at universities
93,000 apprenticeship or learner-ship opportunities in collaboration with FET colleges, SETAs and employers 23,000 engineering and business opportunities at FET colleges
44,000 National Certificate Vocational program opportunities at FET colleges 10,000 artisanal opportunities at FET colleges
What happens to the approximately 70,000 pupils who might find they cannot enter the post-school education system because there are not enough places for everyone?
"It is true … that is why we are driving so hard to expand and diversify the post-school system," Nzimande told the Mail & Guardian.
"But we are pushing to change this idea that you must go to university. Learners must know they can go to FET colleges."
After a woman died in a stampede by walk-in applicants at the university of Johannesburg in 2012 Nzimande announced that a Central Application Clearing House (CACH) went live on Tuesday.
The CACH service is for pupils who "qualify for higher education studies but have not been accepted at an institution of their choice at the time the matric results were released".
Pupils looking for spaces at universities can contact CACH which will "verify the learners’ information and forward it to institutions that still have unfilled places".
From reading the article above, one can see how our ministers and those charged with the education of the people are dabbling in statistic to make their point-In a way, attempting to obfuscate the educational mess we are witnessing amongst our children, let alone the fact that they are not even talking about adult education amongst the poor… They are no different from the apartheid Superintendents who came one a year or every two years to see the end test if the Africans knew their ABC's.
It is said, if one were to read the history of schooling and education, that today, far beyond Y@K+, we still not able to stabilize and regulate the education of the Africans properly, and that, as these numbers are churned out above, we are still have a large swath of the poor being uneducated, poorly educated, badly miseducated, exacerbating the already worn out and dysfunctional Bantu Education. Have we learned anything, up to this point and time? Apparently, nothing.
It is also interesting, from the days of Sir George Gray, throughout the missionary schools, then taken over by the Apartheid government, that today, we hear and read from the ANC that kids need not necessarily think college only, because there are not enough places or slots fro everyone.
This sounds like the Boers during the Apartheid era, only this time anAfrican face is trumpeting these tired phrases which are designed to tell the African poor that not all are going into Higher Learning, yet their children, these very officials, attend prestigious and private schools inside South Africa and overseas.
The history in this Hub shows us that we are back into the vinegar bottle, under the ANC and its PR-formed educational protocol. If Jose Marti is anything to go by, we are nowhere close to changing and reforming the Education institution in South Africa. The reader is redirected back to the post of Marti and his take on Education, to see much clearly that we are being sold damaged and spoiled educational good and products, akin to the Apartheid era. Things change to remain worse or less than the same in South Africa.
Education Minister Of Miseducation: Education For Failure
Motshekga's omissions say a lot about The Matriculation Results(Dismal and Failing Results)
David MacFarlane wrote the following article:
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's eloquence on the credibility of the 78.2% matric pass rate for 2013 lay more in what she did not say.
"Releasing the 2013 matric results on Monday evening, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's eloquence on the credibility of the 78.2% pass rate lay, unfortunately, in what she did not say rather than in what she did.
"Similarly, it was into the gaps she left that we had to peer if we wanted to judge how reliable a measure the national pass rate provides regarding the quality in the school system.
"Helpfully, though, she signaled early during her TV extravaganza that it would be more rewarding to listen to her silences than to her words. Ten-seconds in, she revealed how pleased she was that she could announce "definite signs of a stabilizing education system".
"Stabilizing" was the first signal. Motshekga and her predecessors have used this word so many times over so many years about a school system patently crippled by poor quality that its use has moved well beyond cliché to sheer meaninglessness.
"Definite signs" provided the second signal. "Definite"? Education assessment (in any sector, not only schooling) is in reality a minefield of complexity and controversy — one in which the experts themselves move with well-justified caution and carefully weighed nuances.
But there was nary a nuance in sight on Monday night. Aside from a few routine rhetorical gestures, modestly conceding less than divine perfection ("a lot of work is still needed," and the like), her narrative had a fairy-tale simplicity — and a lot of that genre's magical wonder and surrealism too.
The tale was that she inherited a bit of a mess when she became minister in 2009 but, since then, the government's relentless, persistent and tireless efforts (her words) have jet-propelled schooling quality on to a magnificent "upward trajectory".
Her evidence? The first and overriding one was the increase of 17.6 percentage points in the national pass rate since 2009s 60.6% to this year's 78.2%
The silence was nearly deafening: Where was the more nuanced qualification Motshekga expressed when she announced the 2009 results?
Matric 2013: Highs and lows
- 562,112 full-time pupils wrote (only their results are used to calculate the national pass rate), an increase of 50,960 on 2012
- 78.2% of full-time pupils passed;
- 92,611 part-time candidates wrote (up from 81,552 in 2012);
- 30.6% of the full-timers received university-entrance passes (up from 2012s 26.6%);
- Provincial pass rates in ascending order, with 2012 figures in brackets, are: Eastern Cape 64.9% (61.4%), Limpopo 71.8% (66.9%), Northern Cape 74.5% (74.6%), KwaZulu-Natal 77.4% (73.1%), Mpumalanga 77.6% (70%), Western Cape 85.1% (82.8%), Gauteng 87% (83.9%), North West 87.2% (79.5%) and Free State 87.4% (81.1%);
- 59.1% of full-time pupils passed maths (54% in 2012);
- 67.4% of full-time pupils passed physical science (61.3% in 2012);
- For the first time, none of the country’s 81 school districts achieved less than a 50% pass rate; and
- Gauteng’s Sedibeng East district was top, with a 90.7% pass rate.
Matric results are "an important indicator of quality" in the whole system, but we need to place equal emphasis on teaching and learning in the earlier grades as well, she said then. "We cannot only sit up and pay attention" or "begin to concern ourselves" when pupils approach matric, she added.
This sensibly acknowledged that the quality of the system as a whole simply cannot be measured reliably by the matric pass rate. But this week, mere silence on the matter: Why?
An equally suggestive silence lay in Motshekga's breathtaking attempt to dismiss the most scandalous reality of South African education — quality for the rich, mediocrity for the poor.
"Contrary to what some would like the nation and the public to believe — that our results hide inequalities — the facts and evidence show that the top two provinces, Free State and North West, are rural and poor," she said.
The silence here was vast, but two points only must suffice. First, among those who persuasively argue that pass rates are unreliable by themselves is, as it happens, Umalusi, the state's own quality assurer.
"We must guard against any obsession with pass rates, which hide more than they reveal," Umalusi chairperson Sizwe Mabizela said last week. "We must acknowledge that we have an education system that still fails dismally to realize the full potential of the majority of our young people."
And Mabizela didn't need to add that the majority is indeed poor and predominantly rural or peri-urban.
Second, in the 700 pages of data Motshekga's department released on the results, one table provides the "unsaid" in the minister's assertion. It shows that vastly more poor schools achieved pass rates of between 0% and 70% than richer schools did, and that by far the greater concentration of the richer schools' pass rates was in the 80% to 100% category. Equality? No.
Fewer maths pupils
On maths and science, where Umalusi's considered view was that, "The majority of learners still perform at lower levels," Motshekga chose rather to tell us that the pass rates in both subjects were higher this year than in 2012.
The unsaid? About 50,000 fewer pupils wrote maths in 2013 than in 2009; and about 48,000 fewer enrolled for physical science in 2013 than in 2009.
Another deafening silence concerned the part-time candidates. There were more than 92,000, a whoppingly significant number relative to the 562,112 full-timers.
The unsaid? Motshekga had nothing to say about them, presumably because their results are not used to calculate the pass rate.
But among the 700 pages of data, again there was a single table suggesting a bloodbath among these unfortunate 92,000 pupils: based merely on the (incomplete) figures the table provided, nearly 60% appear to have failed.
Well, it is an election year and Motshekga has a lot of face-saving to do — remember Limpopo textbooks? But for a more complete triumph of political over educational interests, her Monday TV show will take some beating.
Semantics and political talking points and jargon along with fudged statistic is the way our officials today talk and misinform us… Meanwhile, in the background, and unseen by the public, are guzzling large amounts of alcohol, and only read what is written for them to say by their foreign consultants and highly paid PR's firms.
It is the unsaid that confirms and buttresses the point I have been making above about the repetition of the same old tricks payed on us, particularly in the day and age of ANc. This time, educational all types of PR's of all stripes are bunching up on the educational carcasses, each gulping down what they can. The end results is an educational system that hides its shortcomings and inadequacies-maladministration by using statistics and omitting some image and credibility damaging to the ruling elite.
To look good, they spin the facts, and repeat often told lies(which end up being the truth to their intended audience), and then we have these handkerchief head administrators huffing and puffing homilies, lying and attempting to confound and compound the facts and the truth: we know that they are aware that they have failed the people who voted them into power, for the last 20 years, and they have nothing to show for it, but try and damage control of the apparent dismal results of the Matriculants poor and failing performances splurged throughout the different media and mediums.
The unsaid things are the most important and devastating for the ruling party, ANC. It is these that we should be talking about today, and analyzing them thoroughly, and put them in their correct African centered perspectives.
Education for Dumbing Down Students
Miseducation Of Africans Of South Africa
They Passed, But Can't Read
The piece below is not just a happenstance, but a carry-over from history of the poor Africans and how it had been handled from the 1700s, 1800s and beyond as described in the Hub above in the beginning. I gave this historical background so that the reader may have a better understanding what is all the hullabaloo about the education of Africans being inferior and designed to make Africans more ignorant and illiterate.
The historical timeline and the process, progression/regression of African history, gives the reader an idea how and why we have a situation of school failures, 20 years into ANC rule, which is not dissimilar, but instead, a follow through of what the Apartheidizers wanted to happen with African education. The article below is a contemporary historical account of what the 'edcumacation' of Africans has wrought. This is what we learn below:
"Many matric students cannot write in paragraphs, do not understand matric exam questions and are unfamiliar with the key terminology used in their subjects.
"In short, many pupils can barely read and write in English.
This was the main finding of the Third National Diagnostic Report into the 2013 matric exams.
Senior markers analysed 100 exam papers from each subject before compiling the report, which is aimed at helping teachers prepare this year's matrics for their final exams. The report also found:
- Pupils fared better responding to questions that required short answers. They battled with questions that required longer, more complex answers, and did not use paragraphs in their answers;
- Pupils struggled to argue points and substantiate their ideas;
- Questions related to the curriculum taught near the end of year were particularly poorly answered, suggesting that teachers had not completed the curriculum; and
- Pupils did not understand terms that are standard in most questions such as "quote", "explain" and "analyse".
In the mathematics exam, poor literacy led to "responses that were far removed from the required answer".
Many pupils were also unable to read graphs and maps.
Markers also concluded that many history pupils did not have access to textbooks.
The report made a number of recommendations to teachers, including teaching "assessment vocabulary" so that pupils could understand words like "identify" or "quote" and answer questions appropriately.
Teachers were urged to teach content in greater detail, and to refer to the provided examination guidelines, which set out what content pupils will be tested on in the final exams.
The report further recommended that regular tests be held in class throughout the year.
National and Professional Teachers of South Africa chairman Basil Manuel said the union was not surprised at the low level of literacy in English.
"We must remember that more than 70% of matric pupils are writing in a second language.
"It has long been known that many teachers switch from English to the vernacular to make themselves better understood.
"Teachers in rural areas need opportunities to improve their English skills."
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga is quoted in the report as saying: "Though the class of 2013 has recorded the highest pass rate in six years, the quality of passes in key subjects such as mathematics, physical sciences and accounting are still below desirable levels."
What she is saying is that during the past 20 years of her party's rule, they can come back and tell us that the quality of passes of these Matriculants are dismal and there seems to be no way of correcting the present state of education. That is what I hear and read her as saying and proclaiming. The training of teachers and building of Teacher's Colleges was and has/still is not a national priority. Teaching and learning is not an embedded culture in the rural, Township and such other schools and related institutions.
We have people in power and administration who are not consulting with the parents of the students and the communities where these backlogs and insufficient pedagogical material, techniques and instruction should be at its finest. I always recall Jose Marti's points above-I still suggest/remind the reader to revisit them above in this Hub posted, on Jose Marti "On Education".
Our present administrators, as pointed out in the Hub above, cannot tell us they have fulfilled what Jose is points to as out to as "Popular" Education. We have an education that is dumbing-down the poor armies of the poor, more specifically: African People of South Africa.
As a chronicler of history, I think the eye of history and our ancestors will not look kindly and forgiving to these quislings and turncoats who are working hard to preserve their crumbs, and subject us to unimaginable human rights abuses, and violating our Bill of rights with impunity and arrogance never before seen from Africans by Africans here in South Africa.
The Business Of Miseducating African Children:The More Things Change, The more They Stay The Same...
How The African Child Was Miseducated
The Revolutionary generation of 1976 were not led nor advised by the pot-bellied old men we now see running in and ruling South Africa today. This was a true and well supported grass-roots revolt and we pulled it off. We made it easier for the ANC to have some clout in the land because some of us chose to belong to it, even though some were not registered nor known-and many of us have not even registered today because there is no reason to.
The talking point of the day had strategy and fully fledged discussions between the students, along with the parents and communities. This led to a tentative, but diverse movement of street committees and the like that were the firm foundation against the marauding police, army and the many death-squads that roamed the land. These street committees were more active and functional in the strikes of the years 1976-'77 uprisings, and they dramatically intensified the struggle post 1976 all the way into the mid-to-late 80s. I have already lined up a Hub and am about to get to the point of putting this research here, which is Contemporary Struggles in South Africa Post 1976 Rebellion.
This is a very interesting and exciting period of the struggles as they unfolded throughout South Africa and in all sectors of public live and engagement. These are the struggles led by street and local committees that defeated Apartheid and ushered-in ANC rule which this Article will apparently have as part of its construction, a very Serious Critique of the AN and its 120 to 24 year rule.
These Street committees went on to transcend the politics of race as the determining feature of ideology and political stance… As Struggle intensified, new organizations and new alliances emerged and they defied analysis along the old and predictable fault-lines of race
With the articles above, one begins to discern an ominous sign of a leadership that is content and is intent on preserving their status quo on the backs, blood and sweat of the depression, oppression and ignorance/powerlessness of the poor Africans.
I have chosen to post the article below I took from the "Black Educator," which I find that it is relevant to the whole article and puts many historical issues into a narrative format that is digestible and buttresses the Hub above, immensely. The Educator opens up with a quote from Dr. Carter G. Woodson wherein he states:
"When you control a man's thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. He will find his "proper place" and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will protest until one is made for his use. His education demands it."
"As African children head back to school to face another school year I would like to make an attempt to explain to our community and particularly to young parents why and how the African child has been systematically mis-educated in the western world during the last 500 years, so that they can better understand the root causes of some of the aberrations and self destructive forms of behavior they see in our community and to help them realize that if they want a brighter future for their children and for our community.
Then it is imperative that they no longer leave the education of their children solely in the hands of the western educational system, but rather to follow the advice of Malcolm X who told us years ago that, "The black child's education starts when the school bells rings at 4 p.m. in the afternoon." (This may vary depending on what time school ends in your country) We didn't follow his advice then and today our youth are suffering the consequences.
The situation of African children around the planet has considerably deteriorated since the days of Malcolm X, so that we are now forced to follow the advice of Dr Asa Hilliard one of Africa's great educators who died recently and left us these parting words. "The education of African people is an urgent necessity. It is a matter of life and death. We cannot abide another generation of children who have no identity and who are ignorant about Africa."
The late Professor Amos Wilson, another one of Africa's foremost educators of the 20 century, posed a crucial question that all African parents and our community need to ask. What is the purpose of an education? He said that most black people have been 'trained' to think it is 'to get a job with one of the 'Fortune 500' companies". However, according to Dr. Wilson, they are seriously mistaken, because the purpose of an education is to improve and further the interests of one's own group and to ensure its survival.
Obviously the Indians, the Chinese, the Jews and other groups understand this, since that is what they do. Our people often look at them and marvel at their unity and wonder why in contrast our community seems so fragmented and disorganized. Yet, when we study African civilization we can clearly see that it was well organized and group oriented and there is even an African proverb which states "it takes a whole village to raise a child."
If it took a whole village to raise a child, it must have been because our ancestors worked as a group and understood that on reaching adulthood that child would in turn do everything to promote the interests of their group. Our ancestors therefore never left the education of their children to chance because the cohesiveness of their society was of prime importance.
So, how have African people become such a fragmented and disorganized group of people today? "Why can't we be like the Indians and the Japanese?" the question one of my 17-year-old nephews asked me some years ago. The answer is quite simple: "We cannot be like them because we do not have the same historical experience."
We do ourselves a great disservice when we compare ourselves to other people since we can only compare that which is similar, not dissimilar. We are different because Africa was attacked by Arabs and Europeans, and our people were forcefully taken to another land and enslaved. Neither the Indians nor the Japanese have had that experience and therefore it is absolutely pointless to compare ourselves to them.
When slavery and later colonization took place the vision that our ancestors had of educating and raising African children was taken out of their control and a new way was imposed on African people. Worse, this new system of education ran counter to the interests and needs of Africans. As a result, today, as Prof Wilson has again pointed out, "African people have never had so many talented and educated economists, educators, sociologists, doctors, lawyers, artists, etc, yet we suffer the worst health, housing, and education on the planet because our education was never designed to promote our interests but rather the goals and the interests of our oppressors. The self destructive behavior and derogative lyrics of the rap generation is a striking example of children who have not been taught to promote their interests."
Furthermore, our people hold advanced degrees from some of the most prestigious Ivy League schools and universities and can solve any myriad of problems for other groups but since they have not received an African centered education when it comes to their own, all their knowledge is null and void. Sometimes the more educated they become, the more alienated they are from African culture and more of a menace to our group, because in their zeal to promote the interests of others they often end up doing harm to their own people.
So, Colin Powell, who sent African American soldiers to kill other African people in Grenada, should never be considered a good role model for our children, if we want to liberate African people from oppression. If African leaders allow the West to take their wealth to feed Europeans and leave Africans to starve and face death, it is because they too have been taught to work against their own interests.
For example, at the end of apartheid instead of putting reparations and land redistribution as a top priority for South Africa's black victims, reconciliation with whites, the criminals, became the main goal. As a result, Nelson Mandela is feted all over the western world and the British even unveiled a statue of him recently in London, yet the only thing that South African blacks have received to date is some propaganda about living happily in a mythical rainbow colored society. This is one of the reasons why African parents must be extremely careful with the kind of role models they present to their children. Danny Glover is a much better model for our children to emulate than Condoleezza Rice.
This new manner of raising and educating black children however has always posed a problem in the western world. Once again, Dr. Wilson gives us an explanation. It is problematic he says, because African people were not brought to the West to be educated. They were brought to be the slaves and servants of the people who enslaved them, in other words, to work. I used to teach African culture in an after school program several years ago and the first question we asked the children was the reason for our people's presence here in the West.
None of them ever responded by saying that African people were here to work as servants for white people. In fact, most black people will answer this question by a vague "we were brought here as slaves." Have you ever noticed that anything meant for African people is often vague? For example, "Jesus is coming back soon" or "we are going to reduce poverty in Africa" or "we want to help Africa" What date specifically is Jesus coming back?
By what date exactly are they going to reduce poverty and by how much? Or what specific area of activity are they planning to focus on? We don't know. The language is vague because it's not meant to be taken seriously and they know that our people will not demand anything more specific. In return, we are asked to blindly believe, watch and pray and hope for a better day... Also, that is very, very vague.
Yet what black people actually do is very specific. We serve our white masters. In sports and in music all the owners are white and the players and singers are black. This imbalance exists even in countries where the majority of the population is black. For example in the Caribbean most of the business and hotel owners as well as the tourists are white, while the workers are mostly black. In Africa, our people extract the diamonds and gold from the ground while Indians, Jews, Lebanese and Western businessmen sit in their offices all day and reap the benefits.
This inability to understand the real reason for our presence in the West has led our community to the false assumption that we are here to 'live in peace and harmony with whites.' How many times have we heard black people say, "They don't see color" yet when they move into a white neighborhood, the whites move out, so obviously they do. If we are so mistaken about why we are here and our relationship with its inhabitants, is it any wonder that our children and our community are so confused and have so many problems in their daily lives?
In 1888, Ernest Renan, a racist French philosopher described Europe's economic vision of our world when he said, "Nature has given us a race of workers, they are Chinese, a race to till the soil, they are Africans and a race of rulers and soldiers, they are Europeans". This is exactly the world we live in today. Yet, this racially organized economic system has existed for the last 500 years but sadly African people are totally unaware of this fact because they are kept ignorant and uninformed the world over.
It is also this racially segmented economic system which is responsible for the persistent poverty and underdevelopment in Africa and the other countries where our people reside, but because of our ignorance western propaganda has made us believe that it is because our leaders are incompetent and corrupt. We are meant to transfer our hatred to our leaders rather than to the racist economic system that Europeans have willfully put in place to impoverish Africans. Luckily, the masses of poor people are passive if not there would be thousands of revolts every day, everywhere on this planet.
To keep African people impoverished the West intentionally bypasses Africa and the ghettos where many of our people live and invest in the Asian countries. The reason Chinese investment in Africa today terrifies the West is because they fear it may actually help lift Africans out of poverty and thus threaten their racially segmented economic system. To punish the Chinese, the West has simply mounted a propaganda campaign accusing them of selling tainted products and of ignoring human rights in Africa, but when and where in Africa has the West ever respected human rights? In fact, most of the anti democratic leaders in Africa are still in power because of the West.
Corruption in Africa therefore is not the cause of poverty but a consequence of it. People in Africa are corrupt because they do not earn enough money to live decently and therefore must resort to illegal methods to make ends meet. In fact, where ever you see crime take a good look, you will usually find high unemployment and intolerable living conditions because it is a consequence and not the cause. Improve the living conditions and corruption and crime will quickly disappear.
It's a very simple equation but of course no one is interested in this option because the capitalist system, which is really the old Roman slave system under a different name, cannot survive without access to a large number of unpaid workers or people who are barely paid. Under globalization, its modern name, 80% of the world is still exploited by the 20% who still continue to own all the wealth. Changing the name periodically (feudalism, industrialization, capitalism, socialism, communism and now globalization) is simply a strategy that the West uses to make us, the ignorant masses believe that there is genuine change taking place in society.
Now you understand why every country you visit and in every area of activity the owners and those who make money are always white or are close to white, while those who work, serve and are exploited are always black or close to it. This is what African parents must begin to understand so that they can explain to their children why African people are consistently at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.
This whole Hub is an effort of presenting and preserving a history of Africans of south Africa to better understand their past and present, and maybe they may configure a better future. This is serious work, and it needs to be taught to the children of south Africa, of all races, and it is also important because it has been written by the African author from an African Centered Perspective and historical Mode.
Edumacated Africans Should Read This Book
Retro Ancient History And Its Prejudices: Education For Conscientization
Now that we know that African people were brought to the West exclusively to work and serve whites, and not to "live in peace and harmony" with them, where did the rationale behind the education of black children come from? After Europeans had succeeded in making our ancestors almost as ignorant as the animals they said they were after years of chattel slavery, some of them began to realize that in order to further their commercial interests, it was better for the 'negroes'(Africans) to have at least a minimal amount of education.
A few continued to believe that "negroes"(Africans) should continue to be worked like beasts of burden and be "kept in total ignorance," however, they finally agreed that it was in their best interest to educate our ancestors. In their original plans Europeans had had no intentions of educating African people.
The education of the black child in the western educational system therefore was never designed to develop the individual personality or the intellect of African children and to help them reach their fullest potential. The decision to educate was strictly based on the economic requirements of the day which needed a number of educated Africans in order for the West to achieve its goals.
We would still be uneducated today if Europeans had not deemed it a necessary requirement. In fact, one of the reasons that African children are doing so badly in the educational system is precisely because their education continues to depend on the needs of the western economic system.
If you listen to propaganda, however, you may easily believe it is because they(Africans) are intellectually inferior and lazy. The stark reality is that the business world is linked to education and therefore whatever happens in the economic sphere will have an impact on education. The educational system works like a bottleneck to control the flow of students entering the workforce. This is important to remember.
So, if the economy is experiencing a boom, more students will graduate from college and university in order to enter the work force and if there is a recession, it will do the complete opposite. I.e. fewer students will graduate and thus fewer will enter the workforce.
The western economy has not been doing well for several years now because the new technology has not been able to provide the large numbers of jobs which the old industries like steel and coal did, years ago. This has led economists to conclude that long term unemployment will now be a permanent fixture of the western economy. As a result, universities and colleges have been forced to reduce the number of people entering the workforce.
It is obvious that if the economy is suffering this will have an adverse effect on African people since our education, since the days of slavery, has been intricately linked to the state of the Western economy. This is the real reason why there is very little investment in black education because there is an economic imperative to considerably reduce the flow of African children graduating and entering the workforce, since there are no available jobs for them and thus it is pointless to waste money educating them. Verwoerd was a vehement proponent for this type of education for Africans-Thus, Bantu Education. A great book to read on this subject, titled: "The American slave: From Sundown To Sunup".
Might I remind all and sundry that 400 years ago, Black/African unemployment was totally unheard of in the West since every African man, woman and child was fully employed from sunrise to sunset. In fact, Europeans couldn't build ships fast enough to go to Africa to kidnap Africans and bring them to the West to work. Isn't it ironic that curbing immigration from Africa is the biggest issue in the West today where quotas and fluency in Western languages are requirements for emigrating to the West? In France they are even planning to test the DNA of relatives who simply want to rejoin their families. How unfortunate that Europeans did not enforce these practices 500 years ago because they would have saved Africans a tremendous amount of pain.
If we accept that in the western system an individual's importance depends on their financial worth, then it is clear why African children have become a liability rather than an asset and are underachieving in school. Knowing the kind of social disruption that able bodied, young men of working age unable to find a job can create in society, the West has decided to channel them into prisons as a solution in order to prevent the kind of revolts that occurred in the French suburbs 2 years ago.
This is why 'tolerance zero' was introduced and why a 15 year old African American youth who stole a simple chocolate bar would receive a 15 year jail sentence from a US court. To deaden the pain of those who have lost all hope of a better future, they inject drugs into our communities and pray for a quick demise either by a drug overdose or a bullet to the brain as our young men pretend to be mafia bosses fighting over turf. One can clearly see this same pattern in south Africa with the scourge of drug abuse decimating large swaths of the African population.
After the Europeans had finally decided to educate African children, they had to deal with the problem of the content of their education. What were they to teach these 'Negroes/Africans?' All of the aberrations and self destructive behavioral patterns that we see in our community can be traced right back to this moment when Europeans had to make a decision about the kind of information they were going to transmit to African people. I always harken back to Verwoerd and his Apartheid Bantu Education Doctrine in this instance. I have written Hubs that dealt with the whole draconian collection of Afrikaner laws that were designed to keep Africans in perpetual slavery.
When African children entered the western school system for the first time, there was great fear among the slaveholders that if Africans were taught 'the wrong' information, (the truth) they would lose complete control over them especially since our ancestors numerically outnumbered whites in the new world at that time.( African people have since become the minority.) Verwoerd said that he did not see nor envision a South Africa where the African child would be educated to the extent that he becomes better than White children, and he thought it useless for the Boers to Teach African children for jobs they will never get nor work at.
To understand why Europeans were so afraid of the content of African education we must go further back into our past. Before they had even set foot in Africa, Europeans had heard about African glory and its extraordinary civilizations. Philip of Macedonia, like the typical warmongering European megalomaniac, decided that as he was the most powerful person in the West he had to conquer Egypt, the most advanced African civilization at the time and own it for himself. Fortunately, he was killed while waging another one of his numerous wars.
Unfortunately, his son Alexander, who only a twisted mind could call great, decided to fulfill his father's dream and did eventually conquer Egypt. When Europeans entered Africa for the first time and saw the tremendous civilization our ancestors had methodically collected, stored and preserved from millennia they were mesmerized. They were overwhelmed by its organization, its opulence, its style, its architecture, its creativity, its intelligence, in short, everything but most particularly, its tremendous wealth.
Today in the western media we are inundated with propaganda of "a poverty stricken Africa" but Europeans knew then and still know now how tremendously wealthy Africa is. In fact, it is precisely because of Africa's genius and its tremendous wealth why African people were enslaved in the first place. Africa is the richest continent on earth, and it is neither a so-called Third World Country/Continent.
Europeans were envious and wanted to have Africa all for themselves but they also felt ashamed and it was at this moment that the crime which they would carry out later in the 15 century when they discovered the New World, began to take shape in their minds. One of the things that struck me as I studied Ancient Egyptian civilization was the number of times the word 'shame' appeared in the writings of many of the European travelers to Egypt. It's a leitmotiv in their writings. Even Jean Francois Champoleon who deciphered the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone felt shame when he visited the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of Kings and saw the different races depicted there. This is what he said.
"We also found Egyptians and other Africans depicted in the same way, which could not be otherwise: but there were some important and strange differences between the Namou ( the Asians) and the Tamhou ( the Europeans) ……
Finally (and I am ashamed to say this because our race was the last and most savage of all in those ancient times) but we must be honest and admit that we did not paint a very pretty figure in those days. Here I am referring to all the people with blonde hair and white skin, living not only in Europe, but in Asia, their place of origin. " [Asia here means people from the Middle East and not from China].
This forces us to ask the following question, Why did Europeans feel shame when they came into contact with Africa? Where did their shame stem from? It is this shame which is behind our enslavement and oppression along with mis-education and Dumbing us down perpetually..
Keeping History Alive Is The Ultimate goal for Africans
History in Focus: War And Civilization: African History In Vogue ~ At Issue is The Education Of The African Child
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the end of western civilization and we have all heard conservative and right wing politicians in the West lamenting the loss of western values. But what is Western civilization? What exactly are Western values? If you have traveled across Europe as I have, you will see walled cities, military forts, canons, pistols, guns, all manner of swords and statues of war heroes.
In short, you will see an arsenal of weaponry and materials for waging war. In my opinion, war is not what most people imagine when they think about civilization. This may surprise many people but the West has never had a civilization if you exclude war from that definition. So where did the West get all its architecture, laws, religion, human rights ideas, its so called values, etc?They got them from Africa. Before they visited Africa they had none of these things.
In fact, Europeans had spent their time on the planet developing more and more lethal weapons to wage war and kill each other. Africans in contrast, had spent their time on this planet mapping the stars, studying the changing seasons, inventing literature, the arts, architecture, mathematics, writing, inventing the calendar, medicine, worshiping their gods, mummifying their dead, preparing for the afterlife, even inventing the very wig that so many black women can no longer do without today, in short, trying to build the things that we consider today, as Civilization.
As a result, when they came into contact with Africa's splendor, Europeans felt inadequate, ashamed, inferior, because they had built nothing similar in Europe, only weapons of war, and so they were envious and started plotting to take Africa for themselves and enslave African people and that is exactly what they have done. So what has been promoted as Western civilization during the last 500 years is none other than the civilization of African people which they have simply confiscated and claimed as their very own.
Today, the West has reached the peak of its power and it is still in the warmongering business, and still sowing death and destruction in its path. Iraq is a recent example and perhaps Iran will be next in line, however, it now prefers to let the other races kill each other while it concentrates on supplying all the materials necessary for them to accomplish this task and rake in the profits from their deaths, especially from the deaths of African people who unfortunately have become infected with the western warmongering virus after centuries of close contact, to the point where Rwandans exterminated 4 million of their own people in the short space of only 3 months.
As many people are unaware that the West has claimed African civilization as its own, they are often confused by the contradictions they see in Western society. So they can't understand for example how slavery and human rights can co-exist side by side but if you understand that one comes from Europe (slavery) and the other comes from Africa (human rights), then there is absolutely no contradiction whatsoever.
Furthermore, as they do not genuinely believe in such concepts they often end up only paying lip service to them. Do you remember that Europeans were holding a book in their hands which clearly stated 'thou shalt not kill' while they were raping and killing our ancestors? Worse, the ships our ancestors traveled across the Atlantic ocean on had biblical names such as 'the good ship Jesus' or "John the Baptist."
Today, Mr Bush talks about god and drops cluster bombs which kill women and children in the same breath. This is exactly what his ancestors, the founding fathers, did when they exterminated the Amerindians, the original inhabitants of the USA. This dichotomy can be observed in many areas in western society because they have simply juxtaposed their warmongering culture to African civilization and promoted it as their own…
Now you can understand why there is so much injustice, poverty and exploitation on one hand and false philanthropy on the other in our world. If you have ever wondered why there are so many humanitarian and Christian organizations all over Africa apparently working to help lift Africans out of poverty, yet Africans still do not have access to clean drinking water now you know why. Next time the G8 countries get together and begin to wax lyrical/economical and political about how they intend to lift Africans out of poverty, please do yourself a favor and turn off your television.
The education of the black child caused great fear among the Europeans because they knew the genius of the people they had enslaved. What could they therefore teach African children whose birthright they had stolen? For a start, they certainly couldn't allow black and white children to compete equally because the white children would have been humiliated by the brilliance of the Africans.(Recall the history of Verwoerd mentioned above in the Hub and his Apartheid policies towards the enforcement of unequal education between African children and White children)
The problem was only solved when the minority white population realized they were the sole decision makers in terms of what information was to be taught or withheld from their black students and furthermore, they had the monopoly in the writing and in the publication of the books, manuals and other materials that black people would read.
So, they simply decided to give our children an inferior quality of education instead. That is why some of us write Hubs that are long and involved because we have had our development anything arrested for over 500+ years now, and now we are trying to cover all that lost ground-thus the story and history of Education had been one place where could start.
Professor Wilson says that the education of the black child has never been and can never be the same as that of the white child because the white child must be taught how to rule and dominate others, while the black child must be taught how to serve and obey, hence the dual role of the western educational system.
In spite of all the talk about equality, desegregation and. Mr Bush's famous 'no child left behind policy, the educational system in the West has not changed one iota since the days of slavery and continues to ensure that African children receive an inferior quality of education in comparison to their white counterparts. Neither has our own education not changed a scintilla since the earlier 18th century
In order to maintain this two tiered system they have invented all kinds of covert strategies such as intelligence tests, special education classes, hierarchy between schools, etcetera, In short, they continue to teach our children how to serve and obey which of course our young males totally reject.
In fact, it is the information they teach in the school system which destroys the self esteem and the will to succeed in our children and that is exactly what it is intended for. As a result, they lose interest in school, begin to experience difficulty and eventually they drop out and become delinquents.
Sounds like the Hub above, and this is not only in South Africa, but where African people were colonized and enslaved. And also what is happening to our education system in South Africa today, is caricatured in the paragraph above
This fear of being humiliated by African people is still very strong today and is one reason why many whites abandon certain professions and sports that black people enter and why they are so hesitant to allow black people into certain professions.
When black people dominate an area of activity or profession, whites often give the impression that it is really of no value whatsoever, however, this behavior is simply a self defense mechanism which they adopt in order to avoid feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and the pain of being outperformed by African people, in other words, the same feelings their ancestors experienced so many centuries ago when they first encountered Africans.
Teaching African children about their glorious past would have been counterproductive because of their fear of being humiliated by Africans, so instead they decided to distort both African and world history by teaching falsehood.
For example, many people today are unaware that Egyptian civilization predates that of Rome by thousands of years because they have erroneously been presented as contemporaneous, yet Roman civilization had not even begun when Pyramid building stopped in Egypt around the 14th Dynasty.
Worse, most people still do not know that there are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt, or that this is where this style of architecture originated. In fact, the civilization of Nubia (Sudan), predates that of Egypt… Since most of our people are unaware of the importance Sudan in our history the impending catastrophe which the proposed Kajbar Dam represents leaves them totally indifferent.
This dam, just like in Egypt with the building of the Aswan Dam will erase forever all of Africa's ancient history in the Sudan, thus making this knowledge inaccessible to future generations of African people.
Today, because of these distortions most black people are totally ignorant about their true history. Instead of teaching African children that their ancestors, the ancient Egyptians, were the true builders of civilization, ( the pyramids, obelisks and temples still stand as proof today), they were taught that it was the Greeks and Romans. Instead of being told that Imhotep the Egyptian was the father of medicine, they were taught that it was Hippocrates. Instead of being taught about the first universities founded by their ancestors in Timbuktu and Djenne in Mali, they were taught that Africans were an oral people who knew nothing about writing.
Instead of being taught about the great Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and Shona civilizations of Stone builders in South Africa, Zimbabwe that built a city bigger than London or the artistic genius of the Nok civilization of Nigeria, they were told that their homeland was a "dark" continent, where their primitive, savage, ancestors roamed the wild jungles from morn till night practicing cannibalism and that luckily, God sent kind-hearted and charitable European Christians (Tarzan) to civilize them and to teach them his word in order to save them from themselves.
To add insult to injury, they invented a racial hierarchy with themselves at the top, and Africans at the bottom and justified it by saying they were "god's chosen people" and therefore superior and that God had given them 'a land overflowing with milk and honey,' (Africa) while our ancestors were heathen, devil worshipers who God himself had cursed and therefore we deserved to be their slaves.
These vicious lies continue to be believed by millions of people, both black and white and is one of the reasons for the rampant and chronic racism in our societies today.(One can read Biko's book on this very account which he talks about at length and very seriously).
Today whites continue to promote African genius as their own. For example, African people invented rock and rap but it is Elvis Presley who is known as the king of rock and roll while Eminem became the first rapper to win an Oscar. Likewise, Bill Gates has become a household name and a millionaire but without the genius of Dr. Mark Dean and Dr.Philip Emeagali, two African scientists, the computer would not have become accessible to the masses of people on the planet today.
This was how the theft of African civilization, the brainwashing and the mis-education of African children and African people took place. If their plan has been so successful it is because they knew that in order to succeed they would have to target African children at a very early age. They, like our ancestors, understood that if you 'train up a child in the way that you want it to go, when it is old it will not depart from it' and that is why from the beginning of slavery, African children were divested of their names and their languages.
Furthermore, to submit Africans to their authority, they used religion to terrify African children by teaching them the fictitious story of the bible, plagiarized from the Egyptian Osirian myth, as fact. This story promised African children a life of suffering (hell) if they were disobedient to their master, (the slave master, not a supreme being as many black people mistakenly believe) but heavenly wealth after death if they obeyed.(paradise).
As has been shown above in the Hub, that the education of African children has long been designed to be destined for failure and underdevelopment. And the Hub above breaks it down over many decades and centuries how this was done, and why the colonizers of the day did what they did. It is therefore, I assert, important to write our own history, Stories and so forth, and learn from what each of us has to contribute towards throwing an enlightening reality to our decrepit reality that is setting us back and under-developing us.
Dr. Carter's Aphorism
The Faslification Of The African Narrative History: Delayed Total Revolution
The real tragedy is that this distorted African story that generations of black children were forced to memorize, continues to be taken literally by millions of African people around the globe, who have spent their entire lives waiting for this ancient Superman named Jesus Christ to burst through the clouds and deliver them from evildoers.
The tragic irony is that today it is African people, the victims, who are keeping to this religion which was forcefully imposed upon our children during slavery, alive-are its ardent followers.
They are its most fanatical adherents in contrast to their oppressors' own people who have long since stopped believing in this myth. Reparations can never ever compensate for the incalculable damage this myth has caused to millions of African people who have literally put their lives on hold in our world because they sincerely believe that only after death will they truly begin to live.
The Western educational system therefore will always produce dysfunctional African children because having committed the most horrendous crime on this planet and lied about it they are forced to continue.
Their propaganda machine must continue to make African people believe in the fantasy/fiction of the Bible, believing that whites are superior, that western civilization is better than their own, also believing they must fight in the illegal wars waged by the West all around the planet, convinced by their conquerors that Africa is a continent without a future, and was backward that it needed Western religion to be saved from its barbaric past.
This belief that Africa is poor, riddled with poverty, injustice and self-exploitation has always existed and was foisted onto in our world,led many African people to think that Africa is facing a demographic explosion (overpopulation) and dying from Aids (depopulation) at the same time (an illogical equation), thought that they must work hard to promote Western interests and all the other fantasies which Africa people accept as fact/truths which are too numerous to mention here-and are in the main lies and untruths.
This is the reason their media feed our children distorted and negative information 24 hours a day that is designed to sap their energy, destroy their confidence, intensify their feelings of worthlessness and self hatred and increase their admiration for the West.
The goal here was to make every African child a Michael Jackson-Reject his physical and natural identity, and worship the values and norms/imperialist cultures of the West and other foreign nation-reject and dismiss his own culture, history, traditions, customs and so forth completely.
This is the strategic destruction of the African psyche that the West has put into place and that is why it is important that African parents and the African community understand these negative forces which are working to destroy our children in order to delay the liberation of African people.
This is also the reason they(The present government and their sponsors) treat us in the most despicable manner. We suffer the worst health, live in the most horrible conditions imaginable, are the most disrespected and abused people and do not live life as it should be lived. That is why African churchgoers often say, 'we are only passing through' in this world.
What else can they say considering the decrepit and downgraded lives that most of our people lead? On the other hand, Westerners live comfortably, eat properly, enjoy good health and live long and happy lives. They do not have the impetus to give up their power. As Prof. Clarke put it: "People in power do not readily give up power nor educate their underlings to take power from."
In short, they are alive while we are dead because they have killed us. But we can be resurrected by erasing them from our minds in the same way that they erased African history from ours. This is what I believe Dr Kamau Kambon was trying to get across when he said 2 years ago that, "The solution to the black man's problem was the white man's extermination" .
Many people in their ignorance thought he meant the physical extermination of white people. It is ludicrous to think he was talking about their physical elimination since the West has weapons which can annihilate every single African person on the planet.
What he obviously meant was that in order for African people to come out of their comatose, zombie state and lead happy and fulfilling lives, they must kill the white man metaphorically, mentally by replacing his lies with the truth-thus reeding themselves in the process.
The West will never willingly admit the truth because they have too much to lose. They would have to admit the theft of African civilization, the mass murder of African people and the perpetuation of lies. Furthermore it would raise too many questions.
For example, if the Bible is fiction, then who are its real authors? Is it true that Shakespeare was one of its writers and that is why he is known as the most famous writer ever? If there are no chosen people, then who are the people in Israel parading as Jews? Why have they been placed there? Why does the USA defend them so stubbornly?
What is the real purpose of the Pope? What information are they hiding in the Vatican? What have they done with the information they took out of Africa? What really happened during the Second World War? Who was Hitler? Why did the church protect neo-Nazis?
That would raise more questions about the recent past. These questions and a million more is what the Western world would rather not have to answer African people and the rest of the world after 500 years of telling them nothing but lies. It is not possible for them to do so, and the situation of the world today is more high tech, and conspiracy theories abound… So that, we, as people of African descent, we need to work on making ourselves better than we are at present
On the internet under the Bible story about the stolen birthright this is the warning that you will read "It never pays to tell a lie. Once you tell a lie you must tell another, and another to cover up the first lie. Not only will all these lies catch up with you, but they can cause you many troubles, just like it did for Jacob and Rebecca". That is what the West has done but their lies are catching up with them and they will have to pay the consequences.
We must no longer allow the West to claim African civilization as their own because our ancestors spent millions of years painstakingly observing, collecting, recording, creating and preserving it for us, their heirs.
To allow Western bullies who refused to do the same for their people to simply come along, steal it and claim it as their own simply because they had more advanced weapons than our ancestors should not be the cause of our fears to try and protect and write our own history in order to create a new civilization for man
. .More and more African people are only just beginning to realize this. We must tell the truth. We must reclaim our pyramids, our obelisks, our medicine, mathematics, astronomy, physics, writing, our administration, our laws and our concepts. We must reclaim the famous 10 commandments which we have been taught god gave to a man named Moses.
They come from Africa and there are 42 of them which our ancestors called the MAAT (the divine principles of peace, harmony, balance and justice) while the West calls them the 'negative confessions. '[Readers can go to my Hb Page and look up the Article I wrote about the 42 Negative Confessions from the Egyptians].
Even the very cross that the church uses is African. It's called the 'Ankh.' We must study African history to find out what our ancestors left for us and every single concept or object that they invented we must take back.
Our ancestors demand that we reclaim our birthright that was stolen from us. But it is also important to begin to know how this can be achieved, and our scholarship should try and rise above these issues, and we should work hard to write and research our own history and write it as we see fit.
We will know that our people have reclaimed their birthright when African people want to study and receive diplomas from African schools and universities rather than those in the West, when African people want to work for African companies rather than western multinationals.
When our young men and women especially our famous people want to marry African people rather than European men and women, when African parents prefer to give their children African looking dolls rather than European ones, when African people stop bleaching their skin because they prefer their own, when they prefer to give their children African names rather than European ones.
It would be fruitful for the oppressed to pray to an African God(Of their conception, imagination and creation), and reject the warmongering religions of their enemies and return to the religions of ancestor worship. This might help them to feel more empathy and compassion(Ubuntu/Botho) for African people first.
They will begin to use their resources to develop and improve the lives of their people first before anyone else's. That would show a people uniting and working towards their own empowerment by/through setting up their own economic system, political system, own laws currency rather than continue to use/depend/be controlled by the currency of the West, and other foreign government/nations
The remove the artificial borders created by the West and returning to Africa's natural borderlesness, working on developing and crating new African languages out the present and existing African languages to be fused and made the official languages of Africa, will need some things to be made clear first. Those Africans who say that, 'they don't see color' and are proud to be Human beings, well, I will defer to Prof.Clarke on this matter:
"Once An African, Always An African"...
"Let me explain what I am talking about. No matter where are and no matter what religion you might belong to, and no matter what kind of schooling you have gone through, you are distinctly an African person. You are a supporter of some loyal feelings for every African person that walks this earth and if you have confusion about that, you have confusion that is detrimental to the freedom of your own people." ...
-Professor John Hendrik Clarke - 1991.
This was made even more soul-fully-reggae tight dub by Peter Tosh below:
Peter Tosh - "African"..
The ANC's Discarded Freedom Charter
What About The Freedom Charter: Are We For Real?
The ANC was afforded a chance for the past 20 years to better the conditions of Africans that were destroyed by Apartheid. What the ANC has done is exacerbate this condition, ignore the cries and pleas of the poor, and for the past 20 years kept on coming back to have them voted into power.
The photo I posted above of Zuma rallying his troops, has got a large print "Struggle" projected in the background-yet the man has built himself a R230($23) million mansion and yet he prances in front of a picture that wants to tell the people "Struggle"? How and Why/When and with Who(m)? This is just a joke and taking advantage of the ignorance of the people that it was time they were asked by the ANC to allow them to fleece them for the next five years.
The struggle of 1976 was what put the ANC into power. The present relations of the ANC and the poor masses is at a low ebb. The leaders of the ANC, since the passing of Mandela have gone onto various media and propaganda blitz. In the mix are threats and intimidation that scare-off the powerless, who cow and vote them back into power. But their corruptive ways and other dreadful acts of their cadre has wiped off the credibility front they had put on during Mandela's life.
What is worrisome is the state of mind of the school children and education in general. The lack of reading and studying is endemic and it is wasting the youth's time who are warehoused in the townships unemployed and idle(very hungry). The elite is keeping up with theWhite Jones's and working very hard to maintain and keep the status quo intact. Ignorance is a constant reality, and the matric results this year have not changed an iota prior to the coming of the ANC, and during its 20 years of rule. They have totally destroyed Bantu Education, and have replaced it with utter and complete ignorance/confusion and dysfunction.
Nobody's got time amongst the elites to reverse this downward trend of the ANC. With their manifesto, what they have done is to assure and keep in place the manner of business as they have been carrying it out for the past 20 years. It is known that the ANC is quick to contract out parcels of land and other economic advantages to any willing investor or a fee/commission. They are agents of systems that are in the process of buying South Africa, lock, stock and barrel-included in the deal is the labor and power of the poor Africans. This is basically what they do and work of: enslaving and keeping the African masses in Mzantsi ignorant and confused. Meanwhile, this is what Mandela said:
“We are limited in South Africa because our democratic Government
inherited a debt which at the time we were servicing at the rate of 30
Billion Rands a year. That is thirty billion we did not have to build
houses, to make sure our children go to the best schools, and to ensure
that everybody has the dignity of having a job and a decent income.”
With a quick look at the brief history as to how the 20 years, to date was set up, we learn from Naomi Klein that"
"In January 1990, Nelson Mandela, age seventy-one, sat down in his prison compound to write a note to his supporters outside. It was meant to settle a debate over whether twenty-seven years behind bars, most of it spent on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, had weakened the leader’s commitment to the economic transformation of South Africa’s Apartheid State.
The note was only two sentences long, and it decisively put the matter to rest: “The nationalization of the mines, banks and monopoly industries is the policy of the ANC, and the change or modification of our views in this regard is inconceivable. Black economic empowerment is a goal we fully support and encourage, but in our situation state control of certain sectors of the economy is unavoidable.”
History, it turned out, was not over just yet, as Fukuyama had claimed. In South Africa, the largest economy on the African continent, it seemed that some people still believed that freedom included the right to reclaim and redistribute their oppressors’ ill-gotten gains.
That belief had formed the basis of the policy of the African National Congress for thirty-five years, ever since it was spelled out in its statement of core principles, the Freedom Charter…
The process began in 1955, when the party dispatched fifty-thousand volunteers into the townships and countryside. The task of the volunteers was to collect “freedom demands” from the people—their vision of a post-apartheid world in which all South Africans had equal rights.
The demands were handwritten on scraps of paper: “Land to be given to all landless people,” “Living wages and shorter hours of work,” “Free and compulsory education, irrespective of color, race or nationality,”
“The right to reside and move about freely” and many more. When the demands came back, leaders of the African National Congress synthesized them into a final document, which was officially adopted on June 26, 1955, at the Congress of the People, held in Kliptown, a “buffer zone” township built to protect the white residents of Johannesburg from the teeming masses of Soweto. Roughly three thousand delegates— Black, Indian, “Colored” and a few white—sat together in an empty field to vote on the contents of the document.
According to Nelson Mandela’s account of the historic Kliptown gathering, “The charter was read aloud, section by section, to the people in English, Sesotho and Xhosa. After each section, the crowd shouted its approval with cries of ‘Africa!’ and ‘Mayibuye!’” The first defiant demand of the Freedom Charter reads, “The People Shall Govern!"
…What the Freedom Charter asserted was the baseline consensus in the liberation movement that freedom would not come merely when blacks took control of the state but when the wealth of the land that had been illegitimately confiscated was reclaimed and redistributed to the society as a whole.
South Africa could no longer be a country with Californian living standards for whites and Congolese living standards for blacks, as the country was described during the apartheid years; freedom meant that it would have to find something in the middle.
That was what Mandela was confirming with his two-sentence note from prison: he still believed in the bottom line that there would be no freedom without redistribution. With so many other countries now also “in transition,” it was a statement with enormous implications.
If Mandela led the ANC to power and nationalized the banks and the mines, the precedent would make it far more difficult for Chicago School economists to dismiss such proposals in other countries as relics of the past and insist that only unfettered free markets and free trade had the ability to redress deep inequalities.
On February 11, 1990, two weeks after writing that note, Mandela walked out of prison a free man, as close to a living saint as existed anywhere in the world. South Africa’s townships exploded in celebration and renewed conviction that nothing could stop the struggle for liberation.
Unlike the movement in Eastern Europe, South Africa’s was not beaten down but a movement on a roll. Mandela, for his part, was suffering from such an epic case of culture shock that he mistook a camera microphone for “some newfangled weapon developed while I was in prison.”
The ANC went into negotiations with the ruling National Party determined to avoid the kind of nightmare that neighboring Mozambique had experienced when the independence movement forced an end to Portuguese colonial rule in 1975.
On their way out the door, the Portuguese threw a vindictive temper tantrum, pouring cement down elevator shafts, smashing tractors and stripping the country of all they could carry. To its enormous credit, the ANC did negotiate a relatively peaceful handover.
However, it did not manage to prevent South Africa’s apartheid-era rulers from wreaking havoc on their way out the door. Unlike their counterparts in Mozambique, the National Party didn’t pour concrete—their sabotage, equally crippling, was far subtler, and was all in the fine print of those historic negotiations.
The talks that hashed out the terms of apartheid’s end took place on two parallel tracks that often intersected: one was political, the other economic. Most of the attention, naturally, focused on the high-profile political summits between Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk, leader of the National Party.
De Klerk’s strategy in these negotiations was to preserve as much power as possible. He tried everything—breaking the country into a federation, guaranteeing veto power for minority parties, reserving a certain percentage of the seats in government structures for each ethnic group—anything to prevent simple majority rule, which he was sure would lead to mass land expropriations and the nationalizing of corporations.
As Mandela later put it, “What the National Party was trying to do was to maintain white supremacy with our consent.” De Klerk had guns and money behind him, but his opponent had a movement of millions. Mandela and his chief negotiator, Cyril Ramaphosa, won on almost every count.… But in the smoke-filled backrooms of negotiations, the Apartheidizers won all what they wanted
Running alongside these often explosive summits were the much lower profile economic negotiations, primarily managed on the ANC side by Thabo Mbeki, then a rising star in the party…South Africa’s whites had failed to keep blacks from taking over the government, but when it came to safeguarding the wealth they had amassed under apartheid, they would not give up so easily.
In these talks, the de Klerk government had a twofold strategy. First, drawing on the ascendant Washington Consensus that there was now only one way to run an economy, it portrayed key sectors of economic decision making—such as trade policy and the central bank—as “technical” or “administrative.”
Then it used a wide range of new policy tools—international trade agreements, innovations in constitutional law and structural adjustment programs—to hand control of those power centers to supposedly impartial experts, economists and officials from the IMF, the World Bank, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the National Party—anyone except the liberation fighters from the ANC.
It was a strategy of balkanization, not of the country’s geography (as de Klerk had originally attempted) but of its economy. This is one fact/strategy/modus operandi of the creation of the present-day South African government that is still being unknown/misunderstood by many would-be revolutionaries in South Africa today.
This plan was successfully executed under the noses of ANC leaders, who were naturally preoccupied with winning the battle to control Parliament. In the process, the ANC failed to protect itself against a far more insidious strategy—in essence, an elaborate insurance plan against the economic clauses in the Freedom Charter ever becoming law in South Africa.
“The people shall govern!” would soon become a reality, but the sphere over which they would govern was shrinking fast… And ultimately, that approach was dumped by the ANC
“We were caught completely off guard,” recalled Padayachee, now in his early fifties. He had done his graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He knew that at the time, even among free-market economists in the US, central bank independence was considered a fringe idea, a pet policy of a handful of Chicago School ideologues who believed that central banks should be run as sovereign republics within states, out of reach of the meddling hands of elected lawmakers.
For Padayachee and his colleagues, who strongly believed that monetary policy needed to serve the new government’s “big goals of growth, employment and redistribution,” the ANC’s position was a no-brainer: “There was not going to be an independent central bank in South Africa…” All fiscal ownership, control and holding were party to, and controlled by foreign Banks and multi corporations, with the assistance of the powerful governments.
Padayachee and a colleague stayed up all night writing a paper that gave the negotiating team the arguments it needed to resist this curveball from the National Party. If the central bank (in South Africa called the Reserve Bank) was run separately from the rest of the government, it could restrict the ANC’s ability to keep the promises in the Freedom Charter.
Besides, if the central bank was not accountable to the ANC government, to whom, exactly, would it be accountable? The IMF? The Johannesburg Stock Exchange? Obviously, the National Party was trying to find a backdoor way to hold on to power even after it lost the elections—a strategy that needed to be resisted at all costs. “They were locking in as much as possible,” Padayachee recalled. “That was a clear part of the agenda.” At by most accounts, to date, that strategy has succeeded.
Padayachee faxed the paper in the morning and didn’t hear back for weeks. “Then, when we asked what happened, we were told, ‘Well, we gave that one up.’” Not only would the central bank be run as an autonomous entity within the South African State, with its independence enshrined in the new constitution, but it would be headed by the same man who ran it under apartheid, by Chris Stals.
It wasn’t just the central bank that the ANC had given up: in another major concession, Derek Keyes, the white finance minister under apartheid, would also remain in his post—much as the finance ministers and central bank heads from Argentina’s dictatorship somehow managed to get their jobs back under democracy. The New York Times praised Keyes as “the country’s ranking apostle of low-spending business-friendly government.”…
What happened in those negotiations is that the ANC found itself caught in a new kind of web, one made of arcane rules and regulations, all designed to confine and constrain the power of elected leaders.
As the web descended on the country, only a few people even noticed it was there, but when the new government came to power and tried to move freely, to give its voters the tangible benefits of liberation they expected and thought they had voted for, the strands of the web tightened and the administration discovered that its powers were tightly bound-they could not do as they pleased-they had to consult and if possible, get the consent of the Central bank and its cronies-and usually, their petitions and suggestions were voided and rendered useless. These programs were cut off and left out of the negotiations and government protocol for ruling.
Patrick Bond, who worked as an economic adviser in Mandela’s office during the first years of ANC rule, recalls that the in-house quip was “Hey, we’ve got the state, where’s the power?” As the new government attempted to make tangible the dreams of the Freedom Charter, it discovered that the power was elsewhere. Meaning, they had not power and they were just Pons in a huge International Chess Game.
The self-entrapment that the ANC created for itself thus far, is about to continue for the Gravy is to sweet to let go or forgo. The rulers of the ANC would rather sell their souls to money than listen and take care of the needs of their poor people. They have essentially told them that now they are free, it's every man for themselves… It is indeed.
Because, just reading the piece above, the reader begins to get a sense that the ANC are amateurs in this game of governing(The Johnny-Come-Late-lies), and that is why they do not control the economy and currency of the country. They are all paid workers for obscure and covert powers that they themselves are still unable to discern nor comprehend. They have not even spoken about or legislated according to the premises enshrined in the Freedom Charter… And this will never anytime soon, or ever.
It is at this point that I will introduce John Perkings, because what he has to say, makes much clearer what I have been saying above.
Affluence In The Middle Of Dire Poverty
Ruling In Name Only-Form Of Vorster Petty Apartheid
Want to redistribute land? Impossible—at the last minute, the negotiators agreed to add a clause to the new constitution that protects all private property, making land reform virtually impossible.
Want to create jobs for millions of unemployed workers? Can’t—hundreds of factories were actually about to close because the ANC had signed on to the GATT, the precursor to the World Trade Organization, which made it illegal to subsidize the auto plants and textile factories.
Want to get free AIDS drugs to the townships, where the disease is spreading with terrifying speed? That violates an intellectual property rights commitment under the WTO, which the ANC joined with no public debate as a continuation of the GATT. Need money to build more and larger houses for the poor and to bring free electricity to the townships?
Sorry—the budget is being eaten up servicing the massive debt, passed on quietly by the apartheid government. Print more money? Tell that to the apartheid-era head of the central bank. Free water for all? Not likely. The World Bank, with its large in-country contingent of economists, researchers and trainers (a self-proclaimed “Knowledge Bank”), is making private-sector partnerships the service norm.
Want to impose currency controls to guard against wild speculation? That would violate the $850 million IMF deal, signed, conveniently enough, right before the elections. Raise the minimum wage to close the apartheid income gap?
Nope. The IMF deal promises “wage restraint. And don’t even think about ignoring these commitments— any change will be regarded as evidence of dangerous national untrustworthiness, a lack of commitment to “reform,” an absence of a “rules-based system.” All of which will lead to currency crashes, aid cuts and capital flight.
The bottom line was that South Africa was free but simultaneously captured; each one of these arcane acronyms represented a different thread in the web that pinned down the limbs of the new government.
A long-time anti-apartheid activist, Rassool Snyman, described the trap to me in stark terms. “They never freed us. They only took the chain from around our neck and put it on our ankles.” Yasmin Sooka, a prominent South African human rights activist, told me that the transition “was business saying, "We’ll keep everything and you [the ANC] will rule in name-[only]."
You can have political power, you can have the façade of governing, but the real governance will take place somewhere else.. It was a process of infantilization that is common to so-called transitional countries—new governments are, in effect, given the keys to the house but not the combination to the safe…
In the first two years of ANC rule, the party still tried to use the limited resources it had to make good on the promise of redistribution. There was a flurry of public investment—more than a hundred thousand homes were built for the poor, and millions were hooked up to water, electricity and phone lines.
But, in a familiar story, weighed down by debt and under international pressure to privatize these services, the government soon began raising prices. After a decade of ANC rule, millions of people had been cut off from newly connected water and electricity because they couldn’t pay the bills. At least 40 percent of the new phones lines were no longer in service by 2003.
As for the “banks, mines and monopoly industry” that Mandela had pledged to nationalize, they remained firmly in the hands of the same four white-owned mega-conglomerates that also control 80 percent of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
In 2005, only 4 percent of the companies listed on the exchange were owned or controlled by blacks. Seventy percent of South Africa’s land, in 2006, was still monopolized by whites, who are just 10 percent of the population.
Most distressingly, the ANC government has spent far more time denying the severity of the AIDS crisis than getting lifesaving drugs to the approximately 5 million people infected with HIV, though there were, by early 2007, some positive signs of progress. Perhaps the most striking statistic is this one: since 1990, the year Mandela left prison, the average life expectancy for South Africans has dropped by thirteen years.
TalkingStickTV - John Perkins - Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - Part I
The Checkered Chartered Freedom
Underlying all these facts and figures is a fateful choice made by the ANC after the leadership realized it had been outmaneuvered in the economic negotiations. At that point, the party could have attempted to launch a second liberation movement and break free of the asphyxiating web that had been spun during the transition. Or it could simply accept its restricted power and embrace the new economic order.
The ANC’s leadership chose the second option. Rather than making the center-piece of its policy the redistribution of wealth that was already in the country— the core of the Freedom Charter on which it had been elected—the ANC, once it because the government, accepted the dominant logic that it's only hope was to pursue new foreign investors who would create new wealth, the benefits of which would trickle down to the poor.
But for the trickle-down model to have a hope of working, the ANC government had to radically alter its behavior/ideology to make itself appealing to investors.
This was not an easy task, as Mandela had learned when he walked out of prison. As soon as he was released, the South African stock market collapsed in panic; South Africa’s currency, the rand, dropped by 10 percent. A few weeks later, De Beers, the diamond corporation, moved its headquarters from South Africa to Switzerland.
This kind of instant punishment from the markets would have been unimaginable three decades earlier, when Mandela was first imprisoned. In the sixties, it was unheard of for multinationals to switch nationalities on a whim and, back then, the world money system was still firmly linked to the gold standard. Now South Africa’s currency had been stripped of controls, trade barriers were down, and most trading was short-term speculation.
Not only did the volatile market not like the idea of a liberated Mandela, but just a few misplaced words from him or his fellow ANC leaders could lead to an earth-shaking stampede by what the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has aptly termed “The electronic herd." The stampede that greeted Mandela’s release was just the start of what became a call-and-response between the ANC leadership and the financial markets—a shock dialogue that trained the party in the new rules of the game.
Every time a top party official said something that hinted that the ominous Freedom Charter might still become policy, the market responded with a shock, sending the rand into free fall. The rules were simple and crude, the electronic equivalent of monosyllabic grunts: justice—expensive, sell; status quo—good, buy. When, shortly after his release, Mandela once again spoke out in favor of nationalization at a private lunch with leading businessmen, “The All-Gold Index plunged by 5 per cent."
Even moves that seemed to have nothing to do with the financial world but betrayed some latent radicalism seemed to provoke a market jolt. When Trevor Manuel, an ANC minister, called rugby in South Africa a “white minority game” because its team was an all-white one, the rand took another hit.
delete up down float right edit A Charter That Is Still Hidden In Plain Sight
The Selling Of The Struggle Of South Africa: Imperial Covert Actions
…Rather than calling for the nationalization of the mines, Mandela and Mbeki began meeting regularly with Harry Oppenheimer, former chairman of the mining giants Anglo-American and De Beers, the economic symbols of apartheid rule. Shortly after the 1994 election, they even submitted the ANC’s economic program to Oppenheimer for approval and made several key revisions to address his concerns, as well as those of other top industrialists.
Hoping to avoid getting another shock from the market, Mandela, in his first post-election interview as president, carefully distanced himself from his previous statements favoring nationalization. “In our economic policies . . . there is not a single reference to things like nationalization, and this is not accidental,” he said.
“There is not a single slogan that will connect us with any Marxist ideology.” The financial press offered steady encouragement for this conversion: “Though the ANC still has a powerful leftist wing,” the Wall Street Journal observed, “Mr. Mandela has in recent days sounded more like Margaret Thatcher than the socialist revolutionary he was once thought to be."
The memory of its radical past still clung to the ANC, and despite the new government’s best efforts to appear not threatening, the market kept inflicting its painful shocks: in a single month in 1996, the rand dropped 20 percent, and the country continued to hemorrhage capital as South Africa’s jittery rich moved their money offshore.
…In South Africa only a handful of Mbeki’s closest colleagues even knew that a new economic program was in the works, one very different from the promises they had all made during the 1994 elections. Of the people on the team, Gumede writes, “All were sworn to secrecy and the entire process was shrouded in deepest confidentiality lest the left wing get wind of Mbeki’s plan.”
…In June 1996, Mbeki unveiled the results: it was a neoliberal shock therapy program for South Africa, calling for more privatization, cutbacks to government spending, labour “flexibility,” freer trade and even looser controls on money flows. According to Gelb, its overriding aim “was to signal to potential investors the government’s [and specifically the ANC’s] commitment to the prevailing orthodoxy." To make sure the message was loud and clear to traders in New York and London, at the public launch of the plan, Mbeki quipped, “Just call me a Thatcherite."
Shock therapy is always a market performance—that is part of its underlying theory. The stock market loves overhyped, highly managed moments that send stock prices soaring, usually provided by an initial public stock offering, the announcement of a huge merger or the hiring of a celebrity CEO.
When economists urge countries to announce a sweeping shock therapy package, the advice is partially based on an attempt to imitate this kind of high-drama market event and trigger a stampede—but rather than selling an individual stock, they are selling a country.
The hoped-for response is “Buy Argentine stocks!” “Buy Bolivian bonds!” A slower, more careful approach, on the other hand, may be less brutal, but it deprives the market of these hype-bubbles, during which the real money gets made.
Shock therapy is always a significant gamble, and in South Africa it didn’t work: Mbeki’s grand gesture failed to attract long-term investment; it resulted only in speculative betting that ended up devaluing the currency even further…
Some commissioners felt that multinational corporations that had benefited from apartheid should be forced to pay reparations. In the end the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made the modest recommendation of a one-time 1 percent corporate tax to raise money for the victims, what it called “a solidarity tax.”
Sooka expected support for this mild recommendation from the ANC; instead, the government, then headed by Mbeki, rejected any suggestion of corporate reparations or a solidarity tax, fearing that it would send an anti-business message to the market. “The president decided not to hold business accountable,” Sooka told me. “It was that simple.” In the end, the government put forward a fraction of what had been requested, taking the money out of its own budget, as the commissioners had feared.
South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission is frequently held up as a model of successful “peace building,” exported to other conflict zones from Sri Lanka to Afghanistan. But many of those who were directly involved in the process are deeply ambivalent. When he unveiled the final report in March 2003, the commission’s chairman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, confronted journalists with freedom’s unfinished business.
“Can you explain how a black person wakes up in a squalid ghetto today, almost 10 years after freedom? Then he goes to work in town, which is still largely white, in palatial homes. And at the end of the day, he goes back home to squalor? I don’t know why those people don’t just say, ‘To hell with peace. To hell with Tutu and the truth commission.’"
Well, to further the core of the paragraph above, I have decided to use John Perkings' speech below…
The Charter That Has Never Been-Yet Public
John Perkins - "The Secret History Of The American Empire...
The ANC Blame The Debt They Inherited After Apartheid
“The fact that the ANC dismissed the Commission’s call for corporate reparations is particularly unfair, Sooka pointed out, because the government continues to pay the apartheid debt. In the first years after the handover, it cost the new government 30 billion rand annually (about $4.5 billion) in servicing—a sum that provides a stark contrast with the paltry total of $85 million that the government ultimately paid out to more than nineteen thousand victims of apartheid killings and torture and their families.
Nelson Mandela has cited the debt burden as the single greatest obstacle to keeping the promises of the Freedom Charter. “That is 30 billion [rand] we did not have to build houses as we planned, before we came into government, to make sure that our children go to the best schools, that unemployment is properly addressed and that everybody has the dignity of having a job, a decent income, of being able to provide shelter to his beloved, to feed them . . . . We are limited by the debt that we inherited."
…What makes the ANC’s decision to keep paying the debt so infuriating to activists like Brutus is the tangible sacrifice made to meet each payment. For instance, between 1997 and 2004, the South African government sold eighteen state-owned firms, raising $4 billion, but almost half the money went to servicing the debt. In other words, not only did the ANC renege on Mandela’s original pledge of “the nationalization of the mines, banks and monopoly industry” but because of the debt, it was doing the opposite—selling off national assets to make good on the debts of its oppressors.
Then there is the matter of where, precisely, the money is going. During the transition negotiations, F. W. de Klerk’s team demanded that all civil servants be guaranteed their jobs even after the handover; those who wanted to leave, they argued, should receive hefty lifelong pensions.
This was an extraordinary demand in a country with no social safety net to speak of, yet it was one of several “technical” issues on which the ANC ceded ground. The concession meant that the new ANC government carried the cost of two governments— its own, and a shadow white government that was out of power. Forty percent of the government’s annual debt payments go to the country’s massive pension fund. The vast majority of the beneficiaries are former apartheid employees.
A Charade, Farce And Fiction
The More The Votes Are Cast, The more Things Will Stay The Same
In the end, South Africa has wound up with a twisted case of reparations in reverse, with the white businesses that reaped enormous profits from black labour during the apartheid years paying not a cent in reparations, but the victims of apartheid continuing to send large pay cheques to their former victimizers.
And how do they raise the money for this generosity? By stripping the state of its assets through privatization—a modern form of the very looting that the ANC had been so intent on avoiding when it agreed to negotiations, hoping to prevent a repeat of Mozambique. Unlike what happened in Mozambique, however, where civil servants broke machinery, stuffed their pockets and then fled, in South Africa the dismantling of the state and the pillaging of its coffers continue to this day.”(Naomi Klein)
It is the last line by Klein that has made me write the Hub as it stands. This pillaging and emptying of public coffers is being negotiated by the ANC and its cadres amongst the poor, and the very same thing they have been doing for the past 20 years, will go on unabated and unchecked. No accountability and corruption to the hilt, is the mantra of the pot-bellied and double-chined shiny leaders that today are milking the poor dry, even if it destroys the masses, it is good for them to keep on fattening their pockets and illegally rule the country.
Then we have ahistorical clowns like Malema who wants to Nationalize the Mines. Onkgopotse JJ Tabane responded in this way in the following article:
Nationalism Won't Happen In our Lifetime
"So, nationalization will be debated — big deal. When Mandela was released from jail 20 years ago, one of the first PR gaffes to be associated immediately with his name was the claim that the ANC was going to nationalize anything that moves. Typically none of that happened because you cannot take at face value anything a politician says, even if it is Mandela. So he was called aside quickly to be told: “Tata, actually this is not really what we are going to do … lest the markets punish us.”
So to be frank, Julius Malema’s noise is not new. The ANC has not adopted the nationalization of mines as a policy 20 years on — no prizes for guessing why. The recent chance they had to do this saw them simply postpone the debate to 2012 where, frankly, it will be summarily quashed.
They have cynically given permission for the debate to continue so the minister of minerals can again say: “It is not a policy of government — this nationalization.” She can say this until 2012, whether Julius and his cronies like it or not. It would be foolhardy not to learn a simple lesson: those who attempted to be bigger than the organization have never succeeded — especially in the ANC.
The ANC storybook is full of examples of people like that, people who thought that shooting from the hip would get them somewhere, but I digress.
Nationalizing the mines is a lazy and foolish idea that will cause us to go the way of all African countries that forgot the place of the state in a budding economy. All you have to do is glance at the dilapidated African capitals that last got a facelift from the colonial masters before independence.
The common denominator of them all was attempted shortcuts to economic recovery. This is what we are being invited to. There is frankly nothing magical about putting something under the state’s control and hoping that this will automatically achieve efficiency and redistribution. Frankly this is banal.
You don’t even have to cross the border to look at collapsing parastatals that have bled the taxpayer dry. How about making the only mine under the state function first before running amok with profitable enterprises.
Some children still study under trees and 80% of our schools don’t have libraries and laboratories 16 years after democratic rule. There is no youth league campaign to stop the bleeding parastatals whose CEOs earn more than their counterparts in listed companies. How about getting some of these basics right first fellows?
The ANC youth league is calling for the chaos that often results from fixing that which is not broken. There is the accusation — curiously coming from the communist party — that nationalization will bankroll failed BEE deals in the mining sector. I do not advise that you hold your breath for a sensible post-matric answer from the youth league about how that is going to be avoided.
In 2003, the then minister of minerals and energy suggested that 50% of SA’s mines be owned by blacks and that the royalties be revised at some point to achieve this. Overnight, billions of capital flight from our stock exchange resulted from that ill-timed pronouncement alone, made before any kind of engagement could be concluded with the mining sector.
Today the law requires mining moguls to only give up 26% in 10 years. This pittance of equity is unlikely to be achieved in this lifetime. It simply won’t happen. There is no example in recent history of an insurrection, because that is the only way you can achieve what can only be described as a belated economic revolution.
Yes, yes indeed it is a time bomb, but you need a trigger event like a famine or a war to even have something like nationalization make it to the agenda of any sensible government’s economic framework.
It’s the stuff that the collapsed Soviet Union was made of. The ANC has never pronounced itself a socialist organization. That is the fight that the youth league must go and have with its mother body, not through misguided nit-pickings … why not banks? Why not farms? Why not forests? What is so magical about mines? The debate over socialism actually is the elephant in the room.
Now this straight talk is what the ANC’s national general council should have told its youth league instead of egg dancing with what the whole world already knows. Nevertheless one must commend President Zuma for lambasting the youth league for being a bad example.
He implied that the naked bum chaos at its conferences cannot possibly produce anything worthy of consideration by the mother body and that they will never be taken seriously until they take themselves a tad more seriously. All those who have had a decent matric pass would have heard the sentiments loud and clear … nationalization — it ain’t gonna happen in our lifetime.
There's a lot of learning to be done before we can even start of the nationalization issue, which will not benefit the poor in any way. It is apparent with the present state of the economy and politics that nationalization will be for the paltry few who are at present gaming and gaining from a system they have set up to make profit and gains.
So that, as good as it may sound for the ignoramuses like Malema, there are some picayune issues that should be dealt with first-erasure of poverty, improving health services, improving and upgrading education, and getting rid of drugs. Nationalization is somewhere down the laundry list of 'to do' things that are immediately needed by the poor.
ANC Vote-Getting Modus Operandi: Same Old, Same Old
The more promises that the ANC trumpets, the more things will stay the same. For the past 20 years, we have seen what is repeated in this election round, the same tactics and false promises. The following article by David Bruce attests to this observation I have made above:
:"Can ANC Rein-In Grass Roots Coercion?"
The party's leaders decry intimidation, but some local despots in its ranks use fear to retain power.
How will the ANC be remembered by historians? Certainly it will be as the liberation movement and party that played a central role in the achievement of democracy in South Africa. But will it be remembered as a party that maintained this commitment in the ensuing decades?
As the 2014 election draws nearer, and in the years to come, this will be a defining question that the ANC has to grapple with. How it answers this question will have important implications for the role played by political intimidation in electoral politics in South Africa.
After obtaining 65.9% of the vote in 2009, there is no danger of the ANC losing power in 2014. But dissatisfaction with service delivery and corruption, the president's homestead in Nkandla, Guptagate and other scandals have worn away at its credibility. Opinion polls suggest that there is potential for it to lose significant electoral support.
Since 1994, electoral competition in South Africa has revolved mainly around more affluent and racial-minority voters. But less affluent Africans vastly outnumber wealthier South Africans. The ANC's position of dominance will only really be threatened if there is a change in the voting behavior of this constituency.
In the past, poorer South Africans have overwhelmingly voted for the ANC. Those who are dissatisfied have tended to withdraw their support from the ANC without transferring it to another party. With a few regional exceptions, no opposition party has been adopted by poorer South Africans as an alternative political home.
"Before they look at the policies, promises and candidates of another party, voters look to a party's overall image," said researcher Collette Schulz-Herzenberg.
No Substantial Challenge
Nothing suggests the probability of a mass defection of poorer voters away from the ANC in 2014. If there was the possibility of a split in Cosatu, leading perhaps to the formation of a workers' party, this, for now at least, has been averted.
However, though there is no substantial challenge to the ANC's position of dominance as the party of poorer black voters, there clearly have been shifts in the character of opposition politics.
Most notably, the Democratic Alliance is a far more robust and racially diverse party and is not restricting its contestation with the ANC to the more affluent parts of South Africa. In addition to the established opposition parties, there are also several new groups, including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Agang and the Workers and Socialist Party, all of which to some degree have an eye on the support of poorer voters.
The EFF, for instance, may be well positioned to present itself as a voice for the aspirations of young, poor and disaffected voters.
As Jacob Zuma's ascendancy to power demonstrates, the criminal charges facing Julius Malema are not inevitably a political liability. But to compete successfully in the 2014 elections, the EFF will need to go beyond relying on Malema's charisma and celebrity status and develop the political machinery to mobilize voters.
But if any parties do begin to contend credibly for the votes of poorer South Africans, it is also likely that political intimidation will come more prominently into play during electioneering.
As reflected in the build-up to Mangaung, internal rivalry within the ANC has come to be characterised by various strategies to "fix" the outcome of what should be internal democratic processes. At the extreme, these strategies involve political killings. In areas where a single party is overwhelmingly dominant, as is the case in much of poorer South Africa, much intimidation is directed against internal party opponents.
Since 1994, political killings have mainly occurred in KwaZulu-Natal. But these killings give little sense of the scale or geographical distribution of political intimidation. There are likely to have been many more instances where people have withdrawn from political contests after being given notice that continued participation may result in undesirable consequences for themselves or their family members.
In response to a question about how much one fears becoming a victim of political intimidation or violence during election campaigns, 33% of respondents to the 2011 Afrobarometer survey in KwaZulu-Natal said "a lot".
In the North West, a combined 26% responded in the same way. Other than in these two provinces, only 20% (in the Western Cape and Mpumalanga) or fewer people replied in this way.
But these figures do not mean that intimidation can be dismissed as a minor problem. People who support the dominant party in the area in which they live have little to fear about openly expressing their political preferences.
Where a party maintains a strong majority of support in an area it is only likely to be among a minority that intimidation or violence, or the denial of opportunities for participation in government work programmes, for instance, are concerns.
Only when people begin to identify with a party that is not dominant in their area will they become conscious of anxieties about the risks of openly expressing their political preferences.
The Afro-barometer statistics may be taken to imply that a large proportion of potential opposition voters in poorer South Africa fear the consequences of openly expressing their political preferences.
At election time, the leaders of political parties are required to commit themselves to standards of conduct consistent with the holding of free and fair elections. This includes speaking out against violence by their supporters. But the rhetoric of political leaders is not necessarily aligned with the conduct of politicians on the ground.
For many ANC politicians, retaining ANC dominance is a sophisticated game that involves optimum exploitation of the party's historical credibility, the relative ignorance of many voters in poorer communities, as well as their anxieties and fears.
For these politicians, releasing poorer people from the fear of openly expressing "alternative" political preferences enhances the chance that other parties may make inroads into their monopoly of power over poorer communities. Related to their dependence on the resources that political power provides them access to, this is a risk that they are not prepared to take.
If it is genuinely a party of democracy, the ANC must take steps to rein in the local despots of this kind who are within its ranks, even though they contribute to securing its political dominance.
Since the passing of Mandela, the ANC has come to the realization that since their coming into power 20 years ago, they did not rule South Africa with Mandela no in the background. Now that he is gone, they have to begin ruling South Africa with no front to cover their shenanigans. The article above is like a shot that rang over the bow of the incoming ANC rule without Mandela. This is a blueprint of what people in South Africa must expect now.
There is not going to be any changes as sprouted by the declaration of the manifesto as authored by the ANC and its handlers. The same if not worse forms of corruptions which have stained the credibility of the ANC, will be reinforced and carried out without any accountability and anarchic arrogance that will shock the people of south Africa. Education is not going to fare well. The economy will tilt in favor of those paltry few who receive its crumbs. Drug addiction will grow worse, and now, the ANC wants school to be made to go up to 14 years.
The state of national ignorance will be made much more evident by the confusion that is being sown in the Education field, and the youth will remain ignorant and very despondent. The struggle ahead is even much more tougher than the one we faced in 1976. This time, we are facing ourselves, our own people who have been put in power, and they in turn cater to Capital investment and ignore the poor. This will not change, it might only get worse. Those thugs who are ANC operatives will continue doing what they do and getting well-paid by their leaders. Not much will change, the only change we'll see will be the worsening of the present decrepit conditions the poor have to live with and in.
Build The Ramshackle Tin-Canned Habitat, Just Like During Apartheid-Now In 2014
Discounting Education and Confused Pedagogy/Miseducation of The Poor People
Since we are talking more about education, I found the article by Thabang Motsohi very informative and instructional about the state of education, schooling and progress in the education of African Children in the article below"
"School Drop-out Rate Still Too High
As expected the 2013 matric results have unleashed deserved pride and joy about the performance of the class of 2002. Various analysts have also provided very informative analysis in order to have a deeper appreciation of how well the system has been working over the past 12 years.
The 2013 results are simply an outcome of an effort that started in 2002 when 1,261,827 learners were enrolled in the public schools system for grade 1 (DOE, Education Statistics in SA at a Glance, 2002, p8). We can only have a deeper and meaningful appreciation of the challenges that impact on the system if we have a more comprehensive view and understanding of some of the key drivers that affect its performance.
Research by Nic Spall of the University of Stellenbosch says, “Identifying policy priorities to improve outcomes for poor primary school learners” provides a good perspective on some of the challenges facing a critical segment of the system that feeds into the secondary and senior secondary levels.
I reproduce in full the policy implications identified in this research:
Preschool education: Providing at least one year of quality pre-school education to all students is likely to improve student performance. This is especially true for poorer students who would otherwise start primary school at a disadvantage. Improving the quality of preschool education offered to the poor is also necessary if the full benefit of this policy intervention is to be felt. These recommendations are in line with those made in previous policy briefs.
Access to reading textbooks: Learners from low-income households are less likely to have direct access to textbooks. Since there is a strong positive correlation between reading-textbook access and reading performance, targeting policies and funds towards reading-textbook provision will have an impact on student performance. This is especially true for learners from a disadvantaged socio-economic background.
Homework frequency: The research shows performance gains associated with those students who received homework either once or twice a week or most days of the week. Practical policies that encourage teachers to prescribe homework and enable students to complete that homework should be explored. These policies are likely to be inexpensive, but yield significant gains in student performance.
Teacher knowledge and quality: Teachers? Subject expertise has a small positive impact on learner performance. While improving teacher subject-knowledge is likely to provide modest gains, at the grade 6 level policy should focus rather on helping teachers convey the subject material to their students.
We should be proud of the progress we have made in all of the above areas. Challenges still remain though especially in poor schools.
- Improvement of school infrastructure consistent with minimum acceptable standards in poor areas has been slow and contested. Progress seems to follow threats of legal action by various NGOs in the education sector.
- Quality of teachers has been demonstrated to be very poor and Sadtu has resisted all efforts aimed at performance management in the areas where they have influence.
- The roll-out of early childhood development centers has not matched demand especially in poor areas.
- Provision of textbooks and other support materials has been the subject of public contestation with the department of basic education in the past few years.
– Management of schools in order to attain normal functionality has been disrupted very frequently by Sadtu. In a number of instances the appointment of principals has been influenced by patronage rather than skills and qualifications. (Cash for post of principal.)
– Teaching environment in terms of high teacher /student ratio has been a challenge.
An equally relevant research has recently been done by Martin Gustafsson: “New evidence in the case for improving the quality of secondary school learning outcomes” (Stellenbosch Policy Brief No. 01/2011). The policy implications flowing from it are reproduced below:
- Continued focus on educational outcomes: To a large extent, the findings add weight to the existing prominence given to improving the quality of educational outcomes. Grade-on-grade academic improvements at secondary level are below those found in similar countries, which confirms the need to improve the quality of learning and teaching across all secondary grades.
- Improved access to learning resource: One way to achieve better outcomes would be to improve access to learning materials, since households cite lack of books as their main challenge. This supports the existing policy shift aimed at addressing this problem.
- Focus on core skills: Proficiency in reading and writing English, along with computer literacy are shown to be vital determinants of employment and earnings prospects. Policies should ensure that learners are sufficiently equipped in this regard.
- Increase learning time: Only about half of learner absenteeism is attributable to poor health, with a further 10% caused by a lack of money. This indicates that there is considerable scope for increasing learning time in schools through, for instance, advocacy campaigns aimed at parents that emphasize the importance and benefits of secondary school education.
- Enrollment vs performance: The analysis shows that secondary level enrollment in South Africa is already high by international standards, with marked improvements between 2003 and 2009.
But when it comes to the number of learners passing matric, the country does not perform well. Many learners reach the grade 12 insufficiently prepared for their final exam. A key and immediate objective should be to increase the completion rate for those learners who do in fact reach grade 12.
This does not imply that increasing grade 12 enrollment should be ignored. It should remain as a (secondary) long-term goal. But in the medium term, the focus should be on improving the quality of educational outcomes, both in terms of the completion rate, and in terms of the quality of skills and knowledge learners gain in the process.
The net effect would be to equip learners and improve their chances of entering tertiary education. This is desirable at individual level, since further education improves employment prospects and earnings potential. But it will also be beneficial at national level, because an increase in secondary and tertiary graduates has been shown to improve a country’s economic growth potential in the long run.
If we shift our attention and focus more to improving the quality of education outcomes, reporting on the performance of the 2002 class requires more than the information we are given at the very public and chest-beating announcements that we are accustomed to. The following statement by Equal Education identifies the problem with respect to the 2013 results:
In total, there were 1,407 schools with a pass rate below 60%, the standard used by the DBE to identify ‘underperforming schools’. 1,209 these schools, or 86%, are in Quintile 1, 2 and 3. These are the poorest and most under-resourced schools in the country. In comparison, only 36 schools in Quintile 5 had a pass rate below 60%. 631 Quintile 1 schools had a pass rate of between 80% and 100%, compared to 620 Quintile 5 schools. However, the number of schools in Quintile 1 (1,659) is much larger than the number of schools in Quintile 5 (740). In reality, 38% of Quintile 1 schools compared to 83,79% of Quintile 5 schools had a pass rate of between 80% and 100%.
The issue of the drop-rate between grade 10 and 12 deserves more discussion and public engagement. And, dealing with the issue will require a systemic and contextual evaluation by education researches so that targeted interventions can be made.
Currently a number of very useful and different interventions with varying successful outcomes are being tried by the provincial education departments. Clearly a much more coordinated strategy is required to yield the outcomes we all desire.
While it is important to celebrate the achievements of the class of 2002, it is equally very crucial that key contextual data is presented and properly interpreted. It is understandable that we give publicity to the announcement of the final matric results. But it is even more important to account fully for the unacceptable high rate of drop-outs between grade 10 and 12.
If opportunities for these learners are not drastically improved in the short term, the system will be making an unwanted contribution to possible future social instability. The public needs to understand the depth and complexity of the challenges to be able to work with education authorities for even better outcomes.
Education In "Post-Apartheid" South Africa
Putting Present-Day Education in Its Proper Perspective
With the whole hullaballoo surrounding the Matric results in South Africa, and the article above about the students revolt of 1976, it is very poignant to read the article written below by Siphiwe Sithole, who states:
I must congratulate the class of 2013 for achieving what is said to be the highest pass rate of 78.2% since 1994 in South Africa.
It is always exciting to watch newly matriculated youths get into the real world, some get jobs, others further their studies while others journey to find themselves wherever life takes them, all very interesting growth paths young people must go through. I’m confident that I speak on behalf of every South African by saying the 78.2% that the class of 2013 reached has made all of us really proud, I won’t be talking about the authenticity of those results, that’s a story for another day.
But the hard truth is that we cannot congratulate the class of 2013 without reflecting on the many shortcomings of the ministry of education or the severe impact this has on black children — children who only have some sort of an education as the only tool to set them free — free from present-day racism, poverty and the burden of their predecessors which lingers on for many to this day.
The department of basic education lead by Angie Motshekga won’t stop talking about this year’s results. I’m not surprised given that not so long ago they failed to provide schools in Limpopo with textbooks for almost six months! To make things worse, the Eastern Cape department of education was almost non-functional at some point, horrific given that the leading party claims to have prioritized education in the country. Clearly from this we see that this isn’t entirely true.
What the department of education must concern itself with instead is the post grade 12 lives of these young people finishing school every year. For many black school leavers life after grade 12 is not as rosy as the 78.2% pass rate that’s being forced down our throats in the media.
Many black children will not make it to university or any further learning institution. Many black township-educated children, with or without the talent and ability, will never compare to an average white kid who went to a private school somewhere in a white suburb of South Africa.
The dualistic nature of our economy is far reaching. The evil collective system of apartheid coupled by present-day racism still ensures that black children do not get the same opportunities a white child would. Even in a democratic South Africa 20 years into freedom.
We must also make the honest distinction between a public school, which is predominantly black, and a private school, which is largely white. The difference is really who can afford to go where, and most black people rely on public schools for obvious reasons — public schools with a compromised, substandard curriculum, with little if any decent extra-curricular activities such as good sports facilities, debate teams , etc.
All are extremely important for grooming a child. I must mention, some black people will send their children to private schools, but these are mostly exceptions and don’t really make a significant difference anywhere.
The greater majority of black people only dream of sending their children to private schools.
You must understand that I am no cynic, I went to a black (public) school in a township and can proudly say I’ve witnessed very talented kids produced from that system. The problem and my contestation, is solely around the fact that these are only exceptional cases. Again these do not make the sort of impact that is needed to change the fate of an ordinary South African.
Only smart kids make it out of the grossly oppressive system created by a white-dominated country that seems to aim to keep a black man in a township and send his kids to public, under-par schools — whereas white kids from a private school have a better chance at making it. It surely isn’t true that every white kid is smart and ready to take on the world.
While some white people are affected by unemployment it is mostly blacks who suffer this fate. Walk the streets of Johannesburg or anywhere else in South Africa and count the number of black people sleeping in the streets, begging for money at the traffic lights and women carrying babies with empty stomachs. Perhaps some of them even have a grade 12 certificate.
Private, white-run schools still produce better results and this is not particularly due to the fact that white people are smarter. White kids from white suburbs, who are beneficiaries of apartheid are still better off than black children, regardless of what these black children have to offer the country and the world. It is these rather depressing facts that have led me to question the authenticity of a black matric certificate in a South Africa riddled by a competency challenged, classicist, elitist, racist South Africa.
The Past Has To Inform The Present: Education Of Underdevelopment
Pedagogy of the Dumbed Down: Ignorance Is The New Normal
It is interesting that in 2014, we have writers who decry the unfairness embedded in the educational system. In 1976 we fought Afrikaans being imposed on the foisted upon us Bantu Education system. Today, the White schools which African people are in a hurry to send their children to, has not made them any better than White students.
This has been what Verwoerd spoke of. May people have not really studied Verwoerd and how he set about implementing Apartheid, particularly Bantu Education. Now, what we have, is some system of education worse-off than Bantu Education was. Students cannot read or write and neither study for lack of books and well-trained teachers.
The present leaders of the ANC are in no hurry to improve and upgrade education of the poor masses, and they do not even pretend to offer some form of 'free-education'. The teachers colleges are not up to par for they produces teachers that are incompetent. Books and lab materials/computers are hard to come by.
The culture of reading and learning/studying is nonexistent amongst the students and the community. So that, we have here a perfectly ignorant studentry which does not antagonize nor threaten the present status quo. We have a dumbed down cadre of African South African students that do not know any better, and are programmed to be self-destructive and not think about any revolution. This is what has happened to the Student of South Africa today: confused, ignorant and dysfunctionally illiterate.
Pratish Mistry writes:
"Earlier this year, Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga proudly donned a brilliant grin when president Jacob Zuma announced the improvement in the Matric pas rate as part of his annual State of the Nation address. When presented with the results of the recent assessment, she described them as very sad. Very sad, indeed."
Contrary to the Department of Education’s belief, one does not need to be a rocket scientist powered by millions of assessment tests to figure out what is going on. One does, however, need to transplant one’s ample behind from the ivory tower and actually visit a school or two. Such visits would reveal some basic, glaring facts:
- Teachers struggle to maintain their motivation levels;
- Student discipline and attendance is appalling;
- Parental involvement is far from what it should be;
- Principals and teachers are overwhelmed with departmental admin;
- There is no concrete plan that is committed to by all stakeholders — the system is plagued by ad-hoc requests and regular goal-post changes
If there is any further proof required that South Africa has lost another generation with outcome based education, this latest study is it. The Western Cape scored the highest in terms of performance in literacy and numeracy with a tally of a very sad 43%. Mpumalanga fared less well and sits at about a very sad 19%.
So, what is the way forward?
Firstly, South African Education needs to get the basics right. Educators need an annual plan that does not keep changing every time an ample bottom in the Department lifts a cheek to pass some wind. Gathering reams of statistics from teachers will not improve literacy — increasing quality teacher time with students is likely to do a better job of that.
Admin is inevitable, and obviously some reporting is necessary, but it needs to be scheduled and streamlined, which it currently is not.
Secondly, the Department of Education should be focused on improving teacher quality and on metrics that count. Fudging Matric pass statistics annually may make certain individuals look good but it clearly does not measure knowledge, literacy or numeracy currently.
Thirdly, and this is by no means an easy task, government needs to drive a change agenda to build the mental link between education and prosperity. Such links exist in developing powerhouses like India and they contribute hugely to their success and growth. This in Wonkie’s opinion, is one of the key areas where the post-apartheid government has failed miserably to date. Until the value of education becomes ingrained in South African culture, the mentality of entitlement without effort will prevail.
The very same things that Pratish Mistry is talking about I have alluded to above. The present state and need-for-change that is required by the new government, will need to haul the whole system up and set up a simple, but effective blueprint for education for all children and adult South Africans. The government is just content to keep as many people as ignorant as possible and confused so long as it secures their rule over them effectively and for a long time.
Educated Into Ignorance: Education For Slavery Since Apartheid To Today Under The ANC...
Asa Hilliard's Ruminations About African Education
The Standards Movement: Quality Control of Decoy?
This is relevant to the present state of Education in South Africa. I think many of the points that Asa makes are and will be lessons and affording South Africans some answers as to how to set up, reform and control the Education of Africans as advised by Asa below.
The following is condensed from a speech by the late Asa Hilliard (joined the Ancestors in 2007), former professor of urban education at Georgia State University in Atlanta…
Is the standards movement a quality control movement, as it is advertised, or is it a decoy for something else?
We have been here before, with the standards movement. In fact, we reach a standards movement almost every three or four years. Some governor wants to manipulate the test score requirements or get a new test. Some president wants to manipulate test score requirements or get a new test.
Somebody wants to change the standards of education, presumably as a way of raising the quality of schools and schooling and the achievement of children. I say presumably because I don't think that I can remember a time when that was really the reason for having a standards movement. If you want to raise quality, then standards manipulation is probably the last place that you would start.
Let me say at the outset that no one fears high standards, at least no Africans that I know. We do not fear clear standards. We do not fear uniform standards. We do not fear public standards. In fact, we have been at the forefront of standards of the highest order. [Asa Hilliard, Barbara Sizemore, et al, Saving the African American Child. Washington, DC: National Alliance of Black School Educators, 1984].
But what we need is honest school improvement that acknowledges both high standards and high quality of school input. The standards movement as it is now progressing at the national and state level is half the solution to the problem. To establish the standards of output without having standards of input is a travesty. To hold children responsible for outcomes without giving the same level of sophisticated attention to guaranteeing the standards of exposure is an abandonment of the responsibility of adults for the education and socialization of children.
That's why I used the title that I did: "Standards as Quality Control or Decoy?" I believe that the standards movement is generally a decoy. I don't care whether it's a Democrat or a Republican who calls for it. Usually, when people put so much emphasis on standards as a school reform tool, it means that they want to look like they're performing a reform effort, but they're actually moonwalking. They look like they're going forward but they're going backwards.
What most of us fear is that we will be held responsible for achievement without being given the same quality of treatment on the front end. We're not afraid of standards. We're afraid of hurdles, of obstacles. Standards, Assessment, and Instruction
There are several things to deconstruct here, because they're all tied together. When we say standards, you can talk about setting standards. You can also talk about the instruments to measure the standards, whether they're valid, invalid, biased, or unbiased. And you can talk about the quality of instruction to enable people to meet the standards. All of that is tied together.
But we generally break these apart. As a result, we usually make mistakes in our analysis. If you're talking about using standards to get the achievement level of Americans up to snuff, then you're going to have to talk more broadly and deeply than we've been talking so far.
I'm a little bit tired of people getting credit for improving education by doing the cheapest thing they can do, which is to call for the manipulation of test scores or to create new standards. These new standards are not going to be any better than the ones the College Board developed in the College Board's Green Book: What Students Need to Know and Do in Order to Graduate from College.
They're not going to be any higher or better than the standards of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, [Hilliard and Sizemore, et al. Saving the African American Child. Washington, DC: National Alliance of Black School Educators, 1984]. In fact, I'll take any standards that you come up with as long as they're high enough. If you get a consensus of a group of thinking people, I don't think you can write a set of standards that won't make sense.
Are you going to say, "No" to calculus as a standard for the high school level? I think calculus is a reasonable standard. All children are brilliant enough to learn calculus, if you want to offer it to them. But if you want to teach calculus, you have to know calculus. And most teachers don't. So why blame the child for the inability to achieve when the deficiency is in the other place? Obviously, if you want the child to achieve in calculus and teachers don't know calculus, then now you've got to prepare the teachers. Now you're talking about staff development. See how it's all connected?
If someone really wants to raise the achievement of children, you've got to recognize reality in the classroom. Once you do so, you'll know that we'll have to do what we did in the 1960s. When this country thought that the Russians were ahead in the space race, when they put up Sputnik, the next thing that happened was that the US massively mobilized for science education. It was science, science everywhere. We had a National Defense Education Act. Look at the language: education became a matter of national defense. When the rubber met the road, they knew they had to do something and they funded the process of doing it.
What's happening now? The budget is bankrupt on social welfare issues and nobody wants to do anything about it. So you manipulate the standards to make it look as if you're doing something. But you cannot fix the problems that are wrong in the public sector without providing resources.
If you want to reform schools, don't do it with testing. We used to say, "If you want elephants to grow, you don't weigh the elephants. You feed the elephants." Children will not grow unless they get quality instruction.
In some ways, I see the standards movement as Trivial Pursuit. We know it's not a reform tool and yet we move ahead as if it's a reform tool. I know why we ended up with national standards. After the Republicans gutted the social services budget, the politicians still wanted to look good to the people, so they could say they were making the best effort they could under the circumstances. In other words, they had to address the question, "What can I do with no money?" Basically, nothing but showboat. IQ Is a Scam
I also want to say something about irrationality and mental measurement, because part of this job is to find tests that tell us the truth. The mental measurement movement is typified by irrationality.
IQ is the biggest scam in the history of education. Nobody needs IQ testing. Nobody benefits when you do it. I'm in a very different position than most of you; I don't want an IQ test for Black kids, and one for green kids, and one for yellow kids, and one for red kids. I don't want any for anybody, because it offers no benefits to anyone. The issue is not bias. Sometimes, people get up here to discuss bias, when we should be asking, "Why is this foolish question about IQ being asked? Who said that a teacher has to know a child's ultimate capability before they start to teach?"
I have friends who are abandoning IQ because they know it's hot water right now, at least the old IQ test. Now they're all running to the Seven Intelligences measurement, so that we can have seven ways to rank kids instead of one. The problem is, the purpose of testing does not change when you shift from the one-dimensional intelligence to the seven-dimensional intelligence. If your purpose is to rank, rather than to diagnose and to fix, then you never shifted paradigms. You just changed the language. Maybe you changed some of the activity.
I was on a panel with Howard Gardner, author of Multiple Intelligences, and I asked him, "Do you know what people are doing with your tests? They say, 'Well, you don't have mathematical intelligence but maybe you have artistic intelligence, maybe a little musical intelligence.'" He said, "Well, I didn't mean that by that." I said, "I know. I didn't think you did. I think your constructs have much more to do with curriculum than they do with 'intelligence.'"
We have got to learn to ask new questions and not simply give a Black version of the white question. So intelligence testing should go out the window, as far as I'm concerned. Now if you want to know how we know it's irrational, get the book edited by Helga Rowe, Intelligence: Reconceptualization and Measurement, which are papers from a summit meeting of psychologists in mental measurement in Melbourne, Australia, in 1988. They were trying to figure out what was the state of the art in measurement, especially intelligence measurement, and they came away with three conclusions. Actually, there were probably more conclusions, but these are the three that interested me:
1. They couldn't agree on what intelligence was. That's what you might call a construct validity problem. It's a little hard to measure precisely when you don't have agreement on the construct.
2. There's no predictive validity to IQ tests unless you use low-level thinking as your achievement criteria. If you use high-level, complex, conceptually oriented problem solving, then there's no correlation between IQ scores and achievement outcomes. This is serious, because that's where the IQ test is supposed to be making its contribution, in predictive validity. But it's not there unless you measure something that somebody has already had time to process.
3. If they can ever agree on what intelligence is, and if they can ever measure it, they will have to take context into account. That's what the Black psychologists have been arguing for before I was born: that the context is what gives meaning to a response. You can't universalize a dialogue, linguistically or culturally. It's scientific idiocy to do so. So, you have to understand whose IQ is being tested -- those who make the irrational IQ tests. IQ testing doesn't do any good for anybody other than people who need work. It's a professional welfare program.
The disproportionate placement of African-American males in classes for the mentally retarded should have taught a prudent person that something is wrong with intelligence testing. When you get 25% of African-American males in Mississippi public schools in classes for the mentally retarded -- and no other group has a proportion like that -- maybe there's something with the tests that we ought to look at. But if you're irrational, you don't. You go ahead as if it couldn't be your test.
IQ tests, universally, are invalid. You cannot measure in absence of understanding of the context of the person. That means their culture, that means the political situation, that means their exposure to curriculum -- all of that adds up to context. Standards and Curriculum
I'm often called on to testify in court cases. In one case in Florida, the judge asked me, very impatiently, "Well, just give me an example of a biased item!" I said, "Well, Judge, all of them are biased." And he said, "No, no, no. I don't want to hear that; I want to hear a specific example!" I said, "Well, OK."
The transgressions are so gross in these tests, it's so easy. That's a softball question for me. So I said, "You know, let's take this section here of this test. This is about geography, the section on geography." He said, "Well, what's wrong with it?" I said, "Florida doesn't teach geography."
Wouldn't you think that would be a content validity problem? He reluctantly had to rule in favor of the plaintiffs. Afterwards, officials actually had to go back and institute a statewide curriculum in Florida. So now Florida has a curriculum, supposedly. They went through a process and now they say, "We have a curriculum, so we can have a test, and we can make measurement." But all they really have is a standard measure with no match between the standard and what is actually taught in school.
We're going to run the risk of the same thing at the national level. Why? I sat on a subcommittee of the Goals 2000 national goals panel when they were talking about national standards. One of the biggest problems they had was political, because the states don't want to be dictated to. Each state will set its own standards, if it wants to set standards. This potentially means 50 standards. But you're going to have one test, at the national level, to measure the 50 different standards? That's irrational. That means you can't be serious about what you said you were wanting to do.
I could go on. But the issue is, when we finally get down to the end of this standard dialogue, where will we stand on national assessment? What kind of assessment, achievement or otherwise? Will the assessment be rational? Will it be true content validity? Will there be an empirical way to test it or will we still fool ourselves on mental measurement?
There's also the question of a common national curriculum. If you're not ready for a national curriculum, you're not going to have national standards. And you certainly won't have national, standardized assessment, because there'll be a mismatch between the assessment and the sets of standards that go with each state, and maybe even substandard within each state. Opportunity to Learn
The real issue is one of common treatment, that is, opportunity to learn. One of the things we find is that there are a lot of people that don't want all children to learn at the highest level. I read Lisa Delpit's book, Other People's Children, and it's clear there are a lot of people that don't want to teach other people's children, that don't want to pay for other people's children's education. [Alfie Kohn in the April 1998 Phi Delta Kappa]
Let me give you the bottom line on vouchers. The voucher movement is a movement of greedy people who don't want to pay for other people's children. They're trying to get money into their pockets so they can pay for the private schools they're already paying for.
They give my child $1,800 in a voucher, let him show up at the Moon Glow Private School that's charging $12,000 a year tuition with his $1,800 voucher, and say, "I would come to school over here, but I don't have transportation either, and all I got is this voucher." Do you think that's a solution to the educational needs of the masses of our children, Black or white? It isn't.
It's disingenuous of those people who support vouchers to say what they're trying to do is school reform. What they're trying to do is get their greedy paws on another couple bucks to reduce their private school tuition. That's what it's about. I told you I was going to tell it to you exactly the way it is.
What I want to talk about is the common treatment opportunity, that is, opportunity to learn. You can't hold children to the standards unless you give them a chance to master those standards. You have to check to see if the opportunities are there. We are a country typified by savage inequalities -- I love the title of Jonathan Kozol's work, Savage Inequalities -- and it's not the children who are savages, it's the people who savagely distribute the resources inequitably.
Here's what Kozol finds out: $10,000 per year per child at New Trier Township High School. $5,000 per year per child at DuSable High School. Where you live determines what level of resources you get. That's a policy issue that is not being addressed by the standards movement. They're not even looking at the inequality. They're looking only at the output, not the input.
Content validity of achievement tests, and the standards, and the curriculum -- all three must be aligned with each other. But I see no hope that that's going to happen in this country any time soon. Too many vested interests have reason not to see that happen. Quality Teaching
Another problem is that many of the people who are talking standards have no idea of the importance of quality teaching and leadership. I was senior advisor on a video series with Dr. Barbara Sizemore [Every Child Can Succeed, Agency for Instructional Technology, Bloomington, IN] looking mainly at public schools where the children from the lowest quartile in economics are performing in the top quartile and higher in academics. How often do you think that happens?
Well, I can tell you it happens a lot. We started with some of the schools that Barbara had been working with in the Hill District in Pittsburgh. The kids are all coming out of the housing projects, through the crack-infested neighborhoods, through the gang-banging neighborhoods. The Vann school and Madison school in that neighborhood are number one and number two.
They have good leadership and good teaching, which accounts for their quality output. Unless we accept that good teaching is efficacious, that it can move kids in a profound way, then all the discussion about standards will have no meaning whatsoever.
We also need to locate and destroy what I call "doubt production." As an academic, I'm interested in origin of doubt, especially the doubt that all children can learn. I got a chance to speak at the American Psychological Association last August on the racism in psychology.
One of the things that I charged was that the association itself contained members who for years have been manufacturers of doubt. The ideology of the absence of intelligence of African people was constructed by several of the most prestigious psychologists that we know.
If you want to do something, instead of manipulating the standards, go into the programs that teach the genetic inferiority of people of color, in psychology programs, in sociology programs. Go into those places and undo what is being done. For example, there's a book by Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman,
The IQ Controversy . In the book, over 1,000 prestigious psychologists were surveyed and over half of them agreed with the conclusion of The Bell Curve with respect to the difference between Black and white IQ. In other words, they believe that the IQ test is valid, which means that the gap in intelligence is real and it's not just a gap in test scores.
Now when the elite of the profession still profess this publicly, you've got a problem of the manufacture of doubt. How are you going to fix the school if on the one end people are talking about how all children can learn, and on the other end they're talking about how Black children aren't as intelligent as white kids?
So where do we go from here? As I said, we need to connect standards with instruction so that the standards themselves are content-valid, and then we need to connect the assessment instrument to the standards. If that happens, then maybe we can make some moves forward.
I have no expectation that that's going to happen, however. Therefore, I think the standards movement is going to be abandoned and we'll be doing this again in another five years when somebody else has the problem of how to raise achievement with no money.
But if we can turn the discussion around so that it focuses on the quality of service rather than on the analysis of children and their families, then maybe, just maybe, we might be one step ahead when the topic comes up again
Europe-centered National Core Standards
How To Educate A Nation by Jose Marti
1. Instruction is not the same as education: the former refers to thought, the latter principally to feelings. Nevertheless, thee is no good education without instruction. Moral qualities rise in price when they are enhanced by qualities of intellect.
2. Popular Education does not mean education of the poorer classes exclusively, but rather that all classes in the nation, tantamount to saying the people-be well educated. Just as there is no reason why the rich are educated and not the poor, what reason is there for the poor to be educated and not the rich. They are all the same.
3.He who knows more is worth more. To know is to possess. Coins are minted, knowledge is not. Bonds or paper money are worth more, or less, or nothing; knowledge always has the same value, and it is always high. A rich man needs money with which to live, but he can lose it and then he no longer has the means of living. An instructed man lives from his knowledge, and since he carries it with him, he never loses it and his existence is easy and secure.
4. The happiest nation is the one whose sons/daughters have the best education, both in instruction of thought and the direction of feelings. An instructed people loves work and knows how to derive profit from it. A virtuous people will live a happier and richer life than another that is filled with vices, and will better defend itself from all attacks.
5. Every man when he arrives upon this earth has a right to be educated, and then , in payment, the duty to contribute to the education of others.
6. An ignorant people can be deceived by superstition and become servile. An instructed people will always be strong and free. An ignorant man is on his way to becoming a beast, and a man instructed in knowledge and conscience is on his way to being a god. One must not hesitate to choose between a nation of gods and a nation of beasts.
The best way to "defend our rights is to know them well"; in so doing one has faith and strength; every nation will be unhappy in proportion to how poorly educated are its inhabitants. "A Nation Of Educated Men Will Always Be N Nation Of Free Men". Education is the only means of being saved from slavery. "A Nation Enslaved To Men Of Another Nation Is As repugnant As Being Enslaved To The Men Of One's Own".
Jose Marti, Guatemala (Mexico) 1878
José Julián Martí Pérez is the Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature.
Jose Marti On Education For The Nation
Soweto !976 Redux In 2014:
"We Are Much Better Than This."
Well, what do I really mean, or what am I trying to say? What information or deed/action do I want parlay to those I say it to?
Well, the question above wants to know something about what should the youth's 'role should be in the community and overall society.' I can only answer this question if I talk about what we did in my youth, and I will post another article that deals with this phenomena from a revolutionary stand-point in another country, I will take up on it from our Kasi(Township) perspective and African people's collective experience and perspective.
Before I address the question, I will like to make some remarks about the part as to how we grew up, and we the unfortunate victims of the Institution of Bantu Education had to contend with. We were primed for failure and to be perfect savants (Savant syndrome is a condition in which a person has serious mental disabilities) of which are so rife today in our midst, it's amazing we are not even talking about it on FB, like that. There are people on FB who really do not understand how the FB works. It is not a local thing, it is Global, and the sooner we grasp the implications of that, the quicker we will deal with other things that need our attention.
Anyway, with the advent of Bantu Education, our teachers imprinted into our minds in the lower and higher primaries as to the importance of reading and writing; we were encouraged to go to the library and take out books, or at times encouraged to sit there for hours reading. We were told that, 'we were better than this', and we had to do our utmost best to be the best.
Some other teachers emphasized the African literature and other learning material or issues we needed to know; geography and math along with English and one African vernacular or 'mother tongue' was required; then there was gardening, or hand craft, sports-but the most important lesson everyday, for us was to be 'better than what we were because we were better than that'.
So that by the time we strode into the late sixties and seventies, we were already aware of the world, World News from many sources; we read profusely African literature,(of course European History and some African history(distorted of course), and learned things from Biko's Frank Talk(the original one); also, some of us attended different organization's meetings, and we were never forced to enter them, since we knew how to deal with community issues from learning about this from our grandfathers and fathers and mothers and grandma's 'what ought to be done', and how to do that, within and along and with the community.
There were many things we did; we took up on the young babies and those who could walk and strong enough to engage in any sport, library visits, and doing some hard work within our peers and upgrading and updating those that were slacking or lagging behind.
Oh well, there was also too on the other side of this youth who wanted nice time and parties and the whole shindig(this activity was called many names over the decades-but people said they were having "Jam' and other such nomenclature and jargon of the Townships(Kasi slang)-then, in those days Known as "Tsotsitaal/Flytaal(Thug language)-as dubbed by the Boers-and it took hold onto the lingua franca of the Ghettoes of Johannesburg and the whole hinterland of the African people's enclaves).
At times, we too would frequent these places, but they turned out to Booze orgies and loud music- and a lot of pettiness. And the side I am talking about above, was the one that were of the agitators and instigators of action spoiling for open revolt-what you would call enforcers and soldiers within and of the revolution of 1976.
I am talking her about people like Jackie Mashabela, who when realizing that they had been caught and captured by the police and were about to be interrogated, jumped on top of the table and dared the cops to take him on. They obliged and pounced on him; he fought back gallantly and they outnumbered him and killed him on the spot.
Biko was the same: one Boer cop slapped him in one interrogation after he was arrested; he slapped the Boer back and sent him sprawling and crashing badly on the tables and chairs nearby. That is why when they interrogated him the final time of his death/murder, they(The Boers) stripped him naked and handcuffed his hands on his back, and five Boere cops went for him-His head, neck, and his lower and upper torso, while the rest pummeled him and held him down for others to snuff life out of him.
Ya, they, the same cops admitted in some court documents that, even with hands bound and naked, Biko gave them a real good fight for his life, when they then proceeded to brutally murder him(The photos of his badly beaten body can be Googled and images of Biko in his coffin can be found in the Web).
There were many of the youth who sacrificed their lives in the most amazing ways, that still need to be told. Some of the Youth Were Buried in Doornkop and Avalon alive. One Cemetery guardian told of children brought in helicopters and in black plastic bags and being buried alive in the dark of the forbidding and fateful night). He told of one girl(inside plastic, who through a hole who said in 'Sesotho' she was asking for water, and the Boers covered her and others and finally filled this mass mass grave with dirt moving tractors-he had to run away to London for telling this and could not come back to Mzantsi.
The Youth of today should be working very hard to create and support and stand in the fight with and for the local people wherein they reside, grow up and so forth. They cannot do this today because as they are growing up, they are facing a dying population assailed by AIDS, Alcoholism, Drugs and other Deadly and devastating ailments which decimate a large number of their people.
The responsible adults are dying off too, and they, the elders that are left watch helplessly as the youth has become ineffective because they too, have been affected over the years by their Wars-with its type of low-intensity-warfare(I have published a Hub addressing the nature and patterns of this low-intensity conflict, today, in South Africa) Against leading finally to the coming of the ANC into power. This is another saga that has not been fully told. I will be posting about this time period very soon.
They see their elders dying off from hypertension, Sugar diabetes, cancer, alcoholism, kidney failures, HIV/AIDS, TV, Poverty, ignorance and generally debilitating existence. Some look up to TV and the Internet and whatever they see and do in both mediums, ape and copycat it. There is no serious attempt to counsel the youth as the elders rush pell-mell into material looting and hoarding-Big houses, Foreign flashy cars, designers suits and perfume- and al the accouterments of gluttony and wanton material consumption of the turncoats and quislings that our contemporary leaders and monied Africans have become.
In the days leading to the 1976 revolution here in Mzantsi, although we, as the Youth of the day, were cognizant of our plight and seriousness of the struggle we consumed African High Culture, well along with those White musicians and actors as promulgated by the US Music industry and Hollywood with its films, and nowadays, Cable/Satellite tV rules-were critical in our consumption and exposure to all the splurged Imperial cultural 'zines' and 'memes'. Inasmuch as we consumed everything I mentioned above, we did not lose sight of the struggle but also did not become dogmatic as to our ideas and life which was already dreadful and bleak, anyway.
Needless to say that there needs to be a serious vision adopted by all who are in the struggle to emancipate Africans. In order for me to put it into a better perspective of the local motion, pace and vibe, I will defer to others who make this subject much more clearer. Just as I am onto this piece answering the question, the articles and the videos I have posted is one where we can use the media(social network to network) and its viral splurge for our intentions and aims, like informing the Youth about those issues and events and realities of the past.
In this case, using the social networking media as information bases and data collection, dissemination and propagation of our views, culture, history music, dances and so on, which are what we are and how we would be viewing ourselves and giving the world a heads up as to our gig-is but one way to go.
I like how Akbar talks about "The Vision For Black Men' - Wherein he informs us:
"The visions for Black(African) men must have several elements. On the one hand, it must be panoramic in its integration of ancient and the pre-European-intervention in the African experience(African Holocaust, and Colonization), and it must away from the traditional social science.
".. The most important aspect is a recognition that our continued survival in spite of these conditions is a phenomenon of grater significance than the fact that the conditions which take and threaten our lives have not changed throughout this era. The fact that we still have casualties as a result of this unrelenting attack on our "Humanness" and our lives is far from a 'profound and positively lived experience'. With the ongoing economic, educational, psychological, political and even military assault on the Black(African) life, there is no wonder that we have prisoners of the war-poor, uninformed, self-destructive, and confused people."
This above is describing the Africans of Mzantsi as I am onto this article thus far. The condition above, as Akbar describes it, is the same as that of the Africans of Mzantsi living under the confused, opportunistic, gendarme, quisling, turncoats and cut-throat ANC, which has exacerbated this situation it took over from the Apartheid regime. When we pick up from where Akbar left of, we are informed that:
"Whatever modern techniques of warfare which might characterize this attack on Black(African) men, the conditions are essentially unchanged for the fallen dead and dying, whether in hubs of slave ships/[or Townships], On southern plantations, in police inflicted urban ghettos, in the states, Europe and Africa, on AIDS death-beds… Death is death and death has been a constant companion to the Black Man and woman throughout our encounter with Europeans."
Every one knows or meets here in Mzantsi today is either dead, or going to someone funeral , and by the end of the day, he might attend several more before calling it a day. Funerals are everyday life, and used to be, not so long go we used to bury people on weekends only, but now, 'it's an everyday thing, in the Ghetto' of Soweto and throughout the land of the Africans in South Arica. Akbar adds:
"We were never intended to survive and our survival has been in direct defiance of the most consistent and devastating assault on human life in the modern history of humanity.". Our concept of our experiences will be a constant state of correction rather than the restoration of an order which affirms our progress as human beings.
"This simply means that our society will be nothing more than a few handouts of transitory crisis intervention, remedial programs, methadone treatments, larger prisons,more effective crime control, drugs for human restraint and politics of compromise. This is not stuff that human progress is made of. Human Progress requires a vision." This is the reality we are faced with here in South Africa today, and we seriously lack people with a true vision for the whole country of south Africa.
Now, I cited Akbar to buttress the social malaise that has beset and is ravaging our people. It is like Akbar is talking to the situation in Mzantsi today. In order of us to figure out our problems, we will have to talk about them concretely. Concretely speaking, then we are facing a very dire situation which in of itself with its myriad issue contributes to he ailing mental state of so many people, and acquirement of social status and acquiring lots of money is equal to power.
To be a powerful person, you have to live by certain standards; adopt behavior that highlights one's status-this means a lot of things which in the end have nothing with helping or upgrading the poor.
The culture of imports is the practices carried by those who happen to harvest from the Gravy train, to date. We have even imported foreign cultures and other foreign customs and traditions into our very being that it is making us sick in various ways. We have no soul and "Ubuntu" of our own, our own way, so much so were just shells and poor caricatures molded by foreigners and made this present self to ourselves, that we have eventually become supra-amnesiac and that means we are extinct and nor more existent-"Disappeared and dis-eased"...
The Youth need to learn by example because they are our children, so do't they grow emulating some elder in the family. The family, that where we have to start. There are families that need other families to help them up in various ways and means. There are many ways to implement the cultural dictates to present-day situation and these be put in real practice and made a way of life in the milieu that one wants to change their situation to better than it is, today.
Different generations deal with their predicament the best way they know how. The "Best" way, and the arrogance regularized and made common, instead of humility the youth is displaying in of itself is a hinderance towards them growth and grasping the larger issues and the world.
They emulate the adults who too, like kids, behave like they have been let-loose in a candy store and can hardly their glee and tend to over exuberantly be uninhibited and can hardly contain themselves-meaning irresponsible adult behavior in most cases results in teen revolt. The lack of Adults in our government and those irresponsible opportunist people, causes a generation gap that will remain forever there, and forever the people will mot be able to solve even their basic problems.
This is not only a problem with the Youth(of which problems they are), but it is a problem of a society where the adults went AWOL, and titillated and inebriated by the crumbs of the wealth of the inheritance of an imaginary free Rainbow society-which only exists in their wishes and imaginations-has still yet to be realized and lived. Yes, I said Crumbs.
They(We), have sold our commitment for the struggle of the Africans for mere left-overs on the table on the master(after he retires away from the table)-the quislings slither into the seats of their owners and eat their bellies full, for this opportunity was rare. It was not only crumbs in the form of food that was sought after by the enslaved and colonized africans. Akbar informs us that:
"These material objects or property became equate in the African-American[African of Mzantsi's] thinking with the full power of freedom and self-determination which the master enjoyed. We can observe a similar pattern in our developing children who play at being mama and daddy by putting on the object of their clothing or other objects associated with them."
The legacy of such experience with property and materials, has made these objects powerful influential in the lives of many African-Americans(Mzantsi Africans). Large sums of money are thrown away yearly on expensive flashy clothes and cars. Uncomfortable, impractical and showy items of furniture drain our budgets and fail to satisfy our longings because of this persistent wish to look like the slave master. And we have still yet, others persist in trying to attain it.
"Many of our judgements about people and their worth are disproportionately determined by what those people own or wear. We spend great energy and wealth acquiring these objects associated with power rather than real human,social, political and economic power. There is a frequent tendency to confuse token of power with genuine power, based upon the slavery/colonial/Apartheid experiences.
"The major thinkers and scholars [potentially our most powerful agents of change] in African-American(Africans in Mzantsi) communities are often neutralized by a pittance of material goods. This socially destructive phenomena has its roots deep in slavery/colonial experience. Too often the leaders in our communities have equated a small trinkets of material gain with "having arrived." The leadership is soon lost to the african-American(Africans in Mzantsi). It is a recurrence of the old image of wearing "Massah's", (Baas's) discarded hat and thinking you are "Massah".(Like I have just shown above about slave sitting sat table and eating Massah's(Bass's left over food), and carrying on like they're Massah/Baas, when he has retire to bed). This is a very real problem and we have a class that is willing to protect and maintain that type of life-style.
We are the most poor copies of our masters today, whatever we think or conceive of ourselves as being; the sweet taste of money, opulence and success is alluring and those with money could care less about what I have just been talking about.. It has become acceptable lore that money is life and life without it is meaningless and leaves one in the cold out there. Seemingly this holds true for those demoted and and thrown of the greasy gravy train, and cannot survive outside the cocooned world they were weaned within in the Fast Track Gravy Train(meaning, left-overs). This is one power lever that the ANC pulls on dissenters, and enables it to keep many of its cadres in line and in tow.
Youth lives in all this and sees it daily, how then can they be anything else when everything is going bye them and nothing is dribbling from the greasy hands and elbows of those pigging at the crumbs and public coffers? The problem is not only the youth but they exist in a milieu that is dysfunctional and that should not be the case, concretely speaking: adults bear the brunt of the blame fully and totally.
So long as a people we stand for nothing then we will fall for everything-so will our youth...
Mzantsi (South Africa): What Happened To CODESA?.. Go Figure
Mzantsi: Let's Talk Sharp with One Another...
Having said what I wanted to say about the youth, the article below is more addressed to my peers and elders and all the youth that is interested in figuring out what's happening to us.
What's Going On Here In Mzantsi Today: A Close Up On social Reality In South Africa
As a media enthusiast, I have been viewing several Wall on FB that portend to carry out the struggle. What these are, critically looking them, are just bellicose knee-jerk reactions and rants on our part, pretending to be caring and talking about our problems and plights. Well, in so far as the diatribes are concerned, it seems like a conscious people are engaged in a positive palaver, but that would be far from the truth. Our cream of the crop is rushing pell-mell into being accepted and seen as being European, and not Africa… This is a fact, and I can argue with anyone contrary point of view on this matter.
In all earnestness, we have lost our bearings, moorings and campus in life. We are under great and grand delusions of grandeur, that if one were to accumulate more money, and sacrifice ones soul and human beingness(Culture, Customs, etc), that does not matter, but money does. We have dug ourselves, we Africans of South Africa, into a hole that we cannot climb out of. We glorify, cherish, and work very hard to be a poor copies of other cultures and are strung-up on material wealth and technological gadgets and nothing more-we have forgotten about our history, culture, customs, traditions, etc., that there has arisen a dire need to begin to pay attention these.
We have become adept at scoffing and dismissing our cultural, linguistic, musical and other heritages that make us Africans of South Africa, and have become lackeys of other peoples around the world. We are a confused, scared and dumbed-down peoples. We of Mzantsi, have no sense nor direction of what is happening. We are all filled with uncertainties, distrust, and have to live with an irresponsible petty bourgeoisie which is very opportunistic.
They have a tendency to enquire as to ones status in our meetings in any situation, what kind of car one drives, where does one live, or was edumacated, wear western contemporary fashion, smudge ourselves with foreign perfumes, jewelry(which we now put on our teeth, too), live in shameless opulence, and strive hard to maintain that type of status quo and wealth acquirement to our dissatisfaction-and desire to be accepted as Europeans, not African-on the other hand constantly putting pressure on the poor to live it up…
Today, because we have become very good at rejecting our culture, we have become an illiterate nation, with a miseducated youth and totally blank adult population. The matric results are one indicator of this charge. We are becoming sick nowadays, most of us suffering from flues, pneumonia, dysentery, diarrhea, in the middle and heat of the summer. We do not control our water/food (by we, I mean the army of consumers of this drinking water and buyers of groceries). We are inept in all what we do. We depend on nepotism, cronyism, which has been shepherded by a cabal of a motley crew of thugs posing as our government and leaders.
The people that are supposedly being put in position of national social responsibilities are ignorant, inept, dysfunctional, unknowing, arrogant, and pilfering upon the public coffers; corruption is rampant; rape and murder are chronic in our communities; Alcoholism is a pandemic disease; drug abuse and proliferation has becoming the new normal in our midst; churches are fleecing their parishioners; the much touted and oft abused concept of Ubuntu is no more existent in our divided and shattered African collectives; our children do not even know our part history, custom, cultures, traditions languages and other sacred rites and their practices; and we, the present elderly, are not even helping them, nor we ourselves are functionally capable of capturing our culture, customs, traditions and the whole bit.
People are scared of critiquing the ANC; the ANC has arrogantly abrogated to itself all powers and is distorting and making its own polity ignorant and uneducated so's to rule over us effectively. They, the present government, wants us to accept that all these social malaise are because we are now experiencing a new democracy, newly found freedoms, in the face of all that they, our present leaders are doing that is wrong. No one wants to be told that we are a failure and being wiped out of the face of our land in all aspects of our decrepit existential reality. Yet we are...
Reading up on Wilson is an eye opener for us, if we will ever have the gall and guts to face our weakened state of being and try to ameliorate the stated conditions. Wilson writes:
"… The way we think, the way we behave, helps to create the kinds of victimization from which we suffer. The oppressive configuration the White man has assumed in relationship to the African man is in good part the result of the fact that we have permitted ourselves to remain in complementary subordinate configuration conducive to his oppressive designs. "The White man Cannot Be What He Is unless We Are What We Are As A People".
"And one way of transforming the White man is through 'self-transformation'. "He cannot be what he is if we are not what we are".
"Therefore, we must take responsibility for that part of our personality, that part of our community, and that part of ourselves over which we have control, and change that part. And if we change those parts of ourselves and our community, we shall change this man. Who gives a damn about changing him anyway? It does not matter!
"One of our major problems is that African leadership has been involved in converting Whites. That misleads us time and time again. Give it up! One of the major steps in the rehabilitation of the African man/Woman/Child, etc, is to give up the White man and forget about him!"
This is one helluva tough thing for the African elite in Mzantsi to wrap their heads and thin skins around. Why should they give up their stolen and ill-beggoten loot? Why should they give up their income, life-styles, power, importance, and standard of living for the sake of the good for all Africans? Why should they?
This is the conundrum that that stops any one of these 'latter-day' South African millionaires are faced with. Why should they not hobnob with the celebrities and people of power? Give up golfing? Have no 'helpers' in their house? Are they not providing job creation, they wonder? Why should they not imbibe the accoutrements of the world of wealth and modernity?
Why should they be bothered with paying obeisance and respect to an ancient and decrepit useless African culture, customs, etc, when the world is modern and moving along in the 21 century? Yes, these people who ask these questions and more are part of us, they are us. Here is looking at us; here's talking to each other.
We have to learn how to critique ourselves and accept our shortcomings and over-inflated sense grandeur. We should get rid of our confusion as to who we are as African People. We neither American nor European, nor will we ever be. We shall never be accepted as those people, instead, they would respect us more if we were our selves, without trying to ape others.
Our culture should guide our thinking. Our custom condition our behavior; our tradition determine ourselves as a people and nation. We cannot afford to be hoodwinked by television, and other western cultural imperial artifacts and gadgets. We should know these, but use them to suit ourselves. We cannot think like we are of European origin in our psyche and other distorted cultural unrealities we so apt to adopt, at the expense of our own indigenous cultures, traditions, customs and so forth.
On The Cusp Of An African Cultural Renaissance
When Fu-Liau visited Bahia Brazil, he was shocked to discover Congo descendants who still maintain their traditional ancestral cultural customs; far more authentic than what is practiced in the Congo today. He was startled after being invited to observe secret education systems which proved to be virtually identical to his own initiation in the Congo years ago; initiations long since destroyed by the colonials.
Traditionally, varied rituals address every occasion in African traditional life. The rituals provide individuals with an opportunity to stand before the community for naming ceremonies, enstoolment ceremonies, initiation rites, harvest festivals and other times to link and collectively give thanks to god, the ancestors, and nature.
These rituals, and the purposes for them are common in Africa and the Diaspora. They provide an opportunity to promote community unity, to outline purpose and expectations, to reinforce the positive aspects of the culture, and to acknowledge the power of the Creator.
Most of these ceremonies give validation to the elders, the children, the leadership, and to any links that contribute to community health. Ceremonial practices help communities to affirm community ties and values.
Our communities can benefit greatly if we could collectively resist the meaningless holidays and ceremonies which are promoted in contemporary capitalistic societies. These holidays, and their aggressive promotion, are meant to encourage spending to enrich certain businesses and corporations. These holidays have no positive transformative value for individuals and communities participating in them.
Regardless of years of separation from Africa and constant pressure to ignore all things African, Africans in the United States have managed to maintain African Cultural Retentions. One example of this is the strong community commitment to and participation in child-care and socialization in rural areas and in strong urban communities that persisted for years. Even when there was little money, these African communities were consciously and subconsciously committed to quality child development.
A few of these practices include the use of folktales as a means of teaching about community mores, encouraging youth participation in all community activities, childbirth techniques, post childbirth rituals, natural healing practices, and more. These diverse retentions could be found in may rural communities, such as Bay City, Texas, but they could also be found in pockets of urban communities those within Harlem, New York.
African socialization practices served to assist communities in da-to-day operations, collective survival, interpersonal relations, and basic quality of life issues. The content of an African education and socialization process contains many components which are modified according to the specific goals and aims of a community.
'Madness(Mental Illness) And Rage'
The African community must examine itself and see to what degree it has contributed to its own madness, demise, oppression and powerlessness.
When one looks around our own communities, there's an exaggerated reality of madness and mental health. We learn from Wilson that:
"A part of the problem of mental illness in not what people do to each other, and not what mama, daddy, or somebody else does to a child. A part of it is also how what mama does is reacted to on the part of the child. It is not so much that to the European we are inferior, and that, this and that, and, as the European maligns our character, et cetera: It is the reaction of anger, as Cobbs and Price point out, "The reaction of rage."
"Yes, we are going to find rage in teenagers, and rage in people that destroy and prey on the community; and it is the this reaction that distorts reality, distorts the individual's creativity, distorts the necessary unity and distorts the very mechanism that can get the individual out of his/her behavior," writes Wilson.
"I was talking to one drug addict who was outlining the regular thing about mama; mama not loving her and mama mistreating her. And so she saw herself as having only two choices; either would become what mama said she would become, or she would become better than what mama said she would become-both being reactions to mama, both still tied to her mama, both making her a creation of mama.
"The African(Black) bourgeoisie is as much a creation as is the African(Black) criminal; they are both reactionary styles, and both a means by which people try to deal with their dilemma of White oppression. And quite often people think, (and she thought) that there are only two choices: Either I react to it that way or I react to it the other way; I react to it in terms of rage or I overachieve.
"But if reactions of rage, hatred, and vengeance are not permitted to capture the personality, to consume and concentrate consciousness and attention, perhaps then, another alternative, another approach will be discovered.
"This is the thing that we must recognize in ourselves as a people. Reactions in terms of depression, rage and anger, reactions in terms of compensatory mechanism, are reactions that help to deny the criminality on a certain segment of our people, and that obscures the behavior of many of our teenagers in our current situations — which help to maintain the situation in and of itself.
"Why can't our leadership deal with that issue? Why is it we say that African people are losing out in the so-called "alms" race. As they call it? Alms Race! Why aren't we questioning our leadership when since the 1950s (and 1960s), the situation of our people worsened? We have leadership, today, that refuses to confront forthrightly the issues and the circumstance in which we find ourselves.
"For not capturing economic and social control of our communities, and for not building up An African Orientated philosophy, and for not building our brains, and studying, and reading, and writing, and organizing, and developing, we must hold ourselves responsible, in part, for the madness. I therefore suggest that the issue then is not so much one of diagnosis for the patient, but a diagnosis of ourselves, a diagnosis os the system, and more so than that — getting on with the work of revolution." (Wilson)
I began by titling this piece as "Let's Talk Sharp With One Another". We can all wax revolutionary and political until we turn some other color either than our melanin, that will not alter the fact that we are in serious trouble here in Mzantsi. Our leadership is made up of quislings, sell-outs and turncoats. This is an undeniable fact. Some of us here in Mzantsi are averse to such talks for it threatens their present status and reality in our(the poor's) shredded present decrepit existential unreality. Well, talk, some of us will
Well, it's about time we started talking to each other and not at each. We have to talk and listen to one another and stop dictating our half-cooked mind-sets to those we deem to be lower than us, and yet we are in the same prison, the same devastated reality that we face as the Africans of Mzantsi. I am not going to be talking so much about White people in my posts, but will directly address ourselves(Africans) as to what is happening to us today.
We should not kid ourselves that this is a problem that is faced by Africans in South Africa only. African Americans, those who are naive enough and come here to South Africa and behave with some haughtiness and arrogance, are in the same boat with us. I need not say this because I might be dismissed as an African in Africa, but Wilson bears out my assertions, and this is what Africans, all over the world, are having to deal with, equally and in the same way, no matter what.
You are not better because you are an African American in America, nor am I better because I am an African in the Motherland… We are all in the same ship, prison and enclosed oppression, depression suppression and you name it, the same mess. It is at this juncture in this part of my first installments of the articles to make us aware of, the way, we, Africans in Africa, and all those in the Diaspora, desperately need for own sanity and survival as a people...
Wilson says we cannot be slaves and be Africans at the same time, because if one is to become what we see ourselves as today, slaves, we have to discard of our those characteristics that makes one Africa.
The Need For An African Codesa: Notes From The Grassroots...
Silenced Loud Murmurs And Repressed Actions From The Grassroots Today
One thing that should not be lost by and in this Hub is the fact that the students revolts were against their dreaded stated of existence, and they were prepared to change it. The students of 1976 took it upon themselves to lead the deadly struggle against Apartheid, and die for. So that, as I continue to reflect on their deeds today as students, I look at them from the perspective of coming from the poor people's community-based organizations.
To make my point more concrete, I will utilize the article below a talk given by S'bu Zikode in order to reflect on the contemporary struggles to of the shack dwellers and their communities throughout South Africa, and what they are going through. Grass roots talk is plain and simple, and it harbors nor obfuscates nothing.
It puts its goals and programs without any confusion, and in a way, and land language that is understood by all those who participate or are involved in this movement. These are the situations and conditions from which the struggle of the 40s, 60s, 0s and 80 emerged from.
The ANC has created even worse conditions of oppression, poverty and repression that the struggle is on. There are strikes and demonstrations of all sorts throughout the country and general low intensity warfare, and the youth today are participating in it, and are still to be baptized by fire in order for them to grow up quickly and realize that it is their duty to be organized and protect their communities and people. for now, the level of consciousness has not yet reach a revolutionary fever that gives the youth the courage and strength to carry the load of the struggle on their shoulders and backs.
But for now, different communities are working in tandem with each other and resisting the ANC-s' bull-tactics and Mafia-like operations in check-and many are paying with their lives for it. S'bu Zikode informs us about the grassroots in the following manner:
This is the full text of a talk given by S'bu Zikode to a group of students from the University of Chicago at the University of Cape Town today. Zikode is the leader of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a militant but very thoughtful, creative and democratic squatters' movement which is the largest social movement to have emerged in post-apartheid South Africa.
Friday 11 February 2011
I have been asked to speak on the politic of land and housing in our cities. I only get these invitations because of the strength of the movement of which I am part and so, on behalf of Abahlali baseMjondolo, I thank the University of Chicago Civilization program for this platform.
The churches have rallied to our struggle in difficult t times — after fires, after arrests, after beatings and of course after the violent attack in Kennedy Road settlement in September 2009. We know about the role that the churches have played in Brazil, Italy, Zimbabwe and in Haiti and we believe that the churches can play the same role here if they take a clear decision, as some church leaders bravely have already, to be with the people, to clearly take the side of the people instead of being just another 'stakeholder'. Bishop Rubin Philip has stood strong in the politics of the poor.
The right to land and the right to housing remain huge problems in South Africa. These problems are not technical, they are political. These problems will not be solved by consultants' reports, academic conferences at the ICC and meetings with the MEC at Sun coast or Sun Cities. These problems will be solved when the people who do not count in this system, the people that have no proper place are able to stand up and to take their place and to be counted as citizens of this country and our world.
Our politics starts by recognizing the humanity of every human being. We decided that we will no longer be good boys and girls that quietly wait for our humanity to be finally recognized one day. Voting has not worked for us. We have already taken our place on the land in the cities and we have held that ground. We have also decided to take our place in all the discussions and to take it right now.
We take our place humbly because we know that we don't have all the answers, that no one has all the answers. Our politics is about carefully working things out together, moving forward together. But although we take our place humbly we take it firmly. We do not allow the state and its councillors to keep us quiet in the name of a future revolution that does not come.
We do not allow some NGOs or academics to keep us quiet in the name of a future socialism that they can't build. We take our place as people who count the same as everyone else. Sometimes we take that place in the streets with teargas and the rubber bullets, sometimes we take our place in the board rooms and sometimes we take our place in other countries as we believe there are no human boundaries. Sometimes we take that place in the courts. Sometimes we take it on the radios. Today we take it here.
Our politics starts from the places we have taken. We call it a living politic because it comes from the people and stays with the people. It is ours and it is part of our lives. We organize it in our own languages and in our own communities. It is the politics of our lives. It is made at home with what we have and it is made for us and by us. We are finished with being ladders for politicians to climb up over the people.
Sometimes it gets hard but we keep going forward together. Sometimes we don't know what to do any more but we keep thinking together. Sometimes a settlement stays strong. Sometimes a settlement fails to stay strong. But we keep going forward together.
Today we need to talk about the politics of land. We need to talk about the politics of housing. We need to talk about a politic of the poor — about a living politics thought, organized and owned by ordinary people.
We need to talk about the politics of fire. We need to talk about the politics of toilets. We need to talk about the politic of class. We need to talk about the politics of AIDS, the politics of xenophobia and the politics of rape.
To think about all this we must start with the history of where we come from. Who are we and what type of society we want to build.
It has become clear to us that whenever we talk about history we are seen to be launching an offensive. It has become clear to us that this is because the rich want to believe that we are poor because we are less than them — less intelligent, less responsible, less clean, less honest, less educated. If we are poor because we are just less than the rich then we must be happy for every little thing that we are given, we must be happy with a hamper or some old clothes when our children are dying in the rats and the fire and the mud.
But we are not poor because we are less than the rich. We are poor because we were made poor. The rich are rich because they were made rich. If your ancestors had the land you will go to university and get a nice job and look after your family well. If your ancestors lost the land you will be lucky to find a dangerous job that you hate so that your family can just survive.
The growing poverty in rural communities encourages mostly young people to migrate to the cities. Therefore as long as the cities grow in the same way as poverty, urbanization is not an exception. People will have to keep moving to the cities in search of hope. This reality calls upon all city authorities to learn to share the cities and to accept this growth.
It is the same poor people that build cities and then get kicked out to rot in places like Parkgate and Blikkiersdorp once they are finished building for the attraction of foreign investments. It is the same poor people that wash and iron for the rich while living in shacks where it is very difficult to wash and iron their own clothes.
It is the same poor people that bravely guard the homes and business of the rich who come home to find their homes illegally destroyed by the criminals that are called the Land Invasions Unit. It is the same poor that look after the children of the rich as they grow to become even richer. This is wrong. We need democratic cities. We need fair cities. We need welcoming cities. We need cities for all.
Every child that is born into this world has the same right to grow in safety and to reach their full potential and to shape their world in equality with all other people. When you take this seriously your politic does not impose ideas on people — it imposes people on ideas. Taking the value and dignity of every person seriously — and taking it seriously now and not after services have been delivered, development achieved or socialism built — is a simple politic.
But it is also a dangerous politic. It is threat to oppression which is always justified by making some people count for more than others. Anyone who threatens oppression will find that they are called criminal, violent, unpatriotic, short minded, treasonous and more.
We need to think about how we can create a new kind of communism, a new kind of togetherness. A living communism that recognizes the equal humanity of every person wherever they were born, wherever their ancestors came from, whether they are poor or rich, women, men or GLBTs. This new togetherness must also understand that the world, what God has given to us all, must be shared by us all. The earth should be recognized as God's gift to humanity and not something to be fenced in and bought and sold for private profit.
The system we suffer under now keeps the land in the hands of the descendants of those who had stolen it through the barrel of colonial guns. The system turns the once most trusted leaders in our cities into enemies. The enemies that do not only hate and neglect the poor but the enemies that send police to beat the poor, arrest and shoot them whenever we voice out our concerns.
The enemies that hire the thugs to attack us. The system talks a lot about democracy, but it does not practice democracy. The system talks more about all the rights, gender equality and justice but does not make any of this real. Progress in courts and conferences doesn't always mean progress in ordinary people's lives. We continue to insist that the real lives of people, all people, must be the measure of progress.
This is a system where almost everything is done in the name of the poor but only for the poor to be betrayed and undermined again and again. This is a system that allows formations of many institutions such as NGOs, NPOs, businesses and states to violate the human rights of the poor and the marginalized in our society.
We need to ask ourselves what is this system? This system is a system where the people are separated into two — those that count and those that do not count. Those that count are those with money. Those that do not count are those without money. This system values business profit before humane value. This system turns democracy into a way to become rich. Money is made to dominate human thinking. Therefore we have to turn it upside down and put the human being first. Always we must start with the worst off.
What went very wrong in our society is when business profit is put ahead of human value. What went very wrong in our society is the thinking that sees development as being only the job of the few clever technical people, who are meant to think about development for the majority. Grassroots organizations such as Abahlali baseMjondolo are strongly opposed to this top-down approach to development that sees people as nothing else than the helpless individuals who cannot think for themselves.
In this view the work of the poor is to vote when we are told and to be passive receivers of services. This is why the so called experts on the poor and our struggles always want to call our protests as 'service delivery protests' even when we clearly state what we are struggling for. They are failing to understand that our politic is actually based on a demand for dignity and equality.
Our demand for active citizen participation is just a demand for democracy. In fact citizen participation is required by any democratic state yet it is seen as act of violence. The fact that our demand for dignity is taken as violence means that we have to accept that change may not always be easy or sweet. We will be beaten, we will be demonized. Some of us will be killed. Right now these realities lie before the whole world in Tahrir Square in Cairo in Egypt.
We are the people that are not meant to think. We are the people that are not meant to participate in planning and to debate on issues that affect us. We are the people that should be happy to live on hampers. The poor are strongly opposed to these dehumanizing characteristics of the top down system that has terrorized our communities and our lives.
Abahlali have said over and over that the majority of our people believe in a true democracy, a democracy that caters for every Gogo(Grandma) and Mkhulu(Grandpa) at home, a democracy that does not see people differently, a democracy that does not make few people better than the majority, a democracy that is not driven by the wealth that has torn our society apart.
We believe in a participatory development of the people, for the people and by the people themselves. We are concerned that at least most of the houses that are being built, they are built for the people, without the people. This is why some people reluctantly accept these houses and then they either rent them out or sell them to some desperate fellows and run back to shacks.
This is not a matter for the police and the National Intelligent Agency (NIA). The reason for this is not that shack dwellers cannot think or are stupid. The reasons for this is the failure of authorities to involve shack dwellers not only in the planning but right from the project identification through to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation — in fact all through the project cycle.
If you take people out of their communities, sometimes at gun point, and move them to rural human dumping grounds where there is no work they will not stay there. People have to survive. We want it to be clearly understood that the bottom up development approach that recognizes that a properly human life is what the majority of the poor prefers. Thus communication and consultation is vital if authorities are to be serious and respecting of those that they call 'beneficiaries'.
It is very sad that some businessmen, like Ricky Govender in Motala Heights, have been terrorizing their communities in search for a land to expand their business and wealth. In Motala Heights the settlement leadership and very senior families have been forced up and down the lawyers and courts to defend their right not to be evicted from their land.
It is the same with the e-Nkwalini community who have consistently been threatened with eviction by the farmer, who had just bought the farm in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. What is more upsetting with all the evictions that are taking place in the country is that they are not only illegal because they are carried out without the court orders but that they are also criminal.
We have had to advise the police and municipal officials quite several times of Section 26 of the South African Constitution and the Prevention of Illegal Occupation of Land Act that protects the homeless, the poor and most vulnerable members of our society, children and women.
Abahlali baseMjondolo has managed to stop most evictions in e-Thekwini in settlements like Motala Heights, New Hanover, and Tumbleweed in Howick just to mention a few. The old settlements, which were founded by land occupations, are now safe. But the new occupations are still at risk of eviction. We have seen this recently in Motala Heights and eMmause.
The shack dwellers believe that land and housing in the cities will bring about a safer environment, an environment that is free from shack fires, an environment that is free from rats, rapes and crime when our children and women have to find water and toilets in the bushes. If we were to be serious about caring cities, the first step will have to be to respect human life and human dignity.
Mnikelo Ndabankulu a spokesperson for Abahlali baseMjondolo often says that "we do not need electricity, it is needed by our lives''. Our settlements are not temporary. Some of us have lived our whole lives in them. Our children have grown up in them. Electricity, water and sanitation can no longer be denied to shack dwellers.
The e-Thekwini Municipality has often told us that money is not a problem, but that the problem is land. But the problem has never been just that there is no land in the cities as we have always been told. There is land. The political problem is that that land is privately owned by companies like Tongaat-Hulett.
That problem can be solved but that would require recognizing the humanity of everyone and there has never been human recognition in the first place. In all our cities being poor, living in a shack or selling in the street, is seen as a crime.
Until this is fixed right the poor will always be taken as trouble makers when in fact they are excluded from positive thinking that could contribute in the building of a caring city. A city where everyone has a say and an equal opportunity in shaping and reshaping these cities into a caring cites.
One of the biggest mistakes when planning development in the cities is when the City does not provide basic services that are urgently needed by human lives. I am talking about services like the inadequate provision of water supply, not enough toilets, the no electricity provision and no proper collection of refuse as there is no access road to inner shack settlements.
The result of these denied services is very serious. Without refuse removal there are rat bites and diseases. Without electricity there are shack fires. Who is to be blamed for the fact that we still live without these life saving services other than those who are meant to serve and to save the public in governments?
We have seen the authorities shifting blame to the poor themselves with childish claims that the shack dwellers are dirty or lazy or drunk or that we do not want to move from filthy conditions.
People are often confused about what our movement stands for when it comes to land and housing. Today I want to suggest a list of ten demands on the political questions of land and housing that could be used to begin a discussion about a platform for a united front on land and housing.
These demands came out of years of discussion in our movement. We would be very happy if you could discuss them in your own university and organizations so that we can, together, start the work of shaping a new vision for our cities and our world.
1. There must be no more homelessness and poverty.
2. Life saving basic services, including electricity, water, refuse removal and toilets, must be provided to all settlements.
3. The land on which the settlements have been founded must be transferred to the collective ownership of the people living in each settlement.
4. Settlements must be upgraded where they are where ever this is possible.
5. When people have to be relocated they must be given the option of moving to well located land.
6. Unused land must be expropriated from big corporates or rich individuals to house the poor.
7. There must be no more forced removals. People must only be relocated voluntarily.
8. Government must negotiate with the organizations that represent each settlement and not with the councilors.
9. Shack dwellers, tent dwellers or farm dwellers have a right to disagree with the government, big corporates or NGOs.
10. Shack dwellers have a right to organize themselves outside of the political parties and outside the state control.
We have asked people to speak to us, not for us. We have asked people to work with us, not for us. We have asked people to think with us, not for us. We have asked people to understand that our movement will always belong to its members and never to any NGO, political party or individual. We have asked people to understand that we need a living solidarity, a solidarity that is built in partnership with our living politics, a solidarity that is built around the real everyday suffering and struggles of our people.
I hope that this is clear.
In recent days comrades have been arrested in Mandela Park, here in Cape Town, and in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. We stand in solidarity with these comrades.
We also, together with people all over the world, stand firm with the comrades in Tahrir Square. We are far apart in distance but close in spirit and their courage in an inspiration to us all.
I thank you all.
The Restless Majority
Contemporary Struggles Against The ANC by Abahlali baseMjondolo
The spirit of the 1976 Revolution can sensed, captured and be observed from the Abahlali baseMjondolo. the very things they are talking about, rotten housing, oppression by the state(ANC) and murder of their leaders and followers, aggression of the ANC thugs, unresponsive police, and a consistent effort to destroy them, has the same issues and discontent showed by the 1976 students Rebellion. below I cite a piece from the Abalhlali wherein they stated in an article titled:
We Mourn Twenty Years of UnFreedom
Twenty-plus years of shack life has not been easy for us.
Twenty years of ANC rule with its evictions, its disconnections, its lies and all its greediness and violence has come to mean an abusive relationship with us. Twenty years after apartheid we live like pigs in the mud, our children die of diarrhea, we are forced into transit camps at gun point, the police beat and shoot us in the streets and the assassins kill us with impunity. If we stand up and demand that our humanity is recognized we are removed from the housing list and placed on the death list.
We were promised housing but we got evictions, forced removals to rural dumping grounds and transit camps while Jacob Zuma got Nkandla. We were promised jobs but even a job picking rubbish needs an ANC card. We were promised democracy but when we want to be part of discussions and decision making we are taken as a dangerous threat to society.
We were promised the rule of law under a Constitution that would respect everyone but from Durban to Cape Town the Municipalities treat the poor as if we are beneath the law. We have seen miners murdered in cold blood in Marikana. We have seen Thembinkosi Qumbelo, Nkululeko Gwala and Nqobile Nzuza murdered in cold blood in Durban. No one is held to account. The truth of our society is that we are people that can be freely killed. No one can deny this.
This is not democracy. It is oppression.
As usual when Freedom Day comes we are lectured about our freedom by people who do not know what it is to make a child sleep with only water in their stomach and who have never been beaten by the police for expressing their views. As usual we are told to accompany politicians and businessmen to the stadiums to cheer our oppressors.
As usual we refuse.
As usual we will be mourning the loss of our freedom to the alliance between the politicians and the rich. As usual we will gather together to insist that shack dwellers and the poor in South Africa deserve real freedom and real democracy. Freedom means that all human creatures must be respected and allowed to live freely. Freedom means that everyone has the right to organize freely and participate in all decision making that affects their lives and their wellbeing. Freedom means that South Africa belongs to all who live in it and that therefore we have a right to this land, a right that is free from eviction by the land invasion units.
Freedom day is celebrated on the 27 of April. Abahlali will hold its Unfreedom Day Rally on Monday, 28 April 2014, at 10am at Siyanda Settlement in KwaMashu. We will use this opportunity to remember our fallen heroes with a special gesture.
We remain committed to a struggle for a world in which everyone counts. We remain committed to a world in which land, cities, wealth and power are shared fairly. We remain committed to our right to organise ourselves and to speak for ourselves.
Next year we will celebrate ten years in struggle. Our struggle will continue until we are really free. Even if the struggle of our parents will have to become the struggle of our children we will not give up.
Abahlali baseMjondolo In The Forefront of their Struggle Against The ANC
Youth And African Consciousness
YOUTH: What's To Be done? The Way Forward
Conscious Of Consciousness: Youth Lessons
Consciousness: How Can We forget? Looking Now Into The Present Future...
For us to gain "True Consciousness, We've got to know and understand what Consciousness is, means to us and for us and what can we do about it. To be conscious is to be aware of the 'here and now,' What it all means to one and ones collective(people). It is to be aware of one's history: Past, Present and Future, very well. For, if we read up and try and understand Wilson below, this will help in being conscious, achieving consciousness in the Biko sense(African Consciousness).
"To manipulate history is to manipulate consciousness: to manipulate consciousness is to manipulate possibilities; and to manipulate possibilities is to manipulate power. Herein lies the mortal threat of Eurocentric historiography to African existence. For what must be the form and functionality of African consciousness and behavior if they are derivative of an African history written by their oppressors?
"The history of the oppressed, as written by their oppressors, shapes the consciousness and psychology of both oppressed and oppressor. It helps to legitimate the oppressive system and to maintain the imbalance of power in favor of the oppressor. Eurocentric history writing is essentially an exercise in publishing apologetics for the European oppression of African people; often a gross and crude attempt to create and shape subordinate and inferior African consciousness and psychology.
"It seeks to impose a social/historical/cultural amnesic tax on the heads of African peoples and thereby rob them of the most valuable resources — their knowledge of truth and reality of self; their cultural heritage and identity, minds, bodies and souls; their wealth, lands, products of their labor and lives. Eurocentric historiography is the most formidable ally of White racism and imperialism.
"It's treacherous role in this regard must be explored and reversed by an African-centered historiography, written by African historians, and dedicated to historical accuracy and truth — historians who are unafraid to speak truth to power. The clarion call for the writing of a restorative African-centered historiography — a critical undertaking — is a call for the healing of the wounds of African peoples; for African unity; for the freeing and expansion of African consciousness; for the re-conquest of African minds, bodies, lands, resources, and African autonomy.
"Every Eurocentric social institution conspires with Eurocentric historiography to handcuff and incarcerate African consciousness, to justify and facilitate the subordination and exploitation of African peoples." (Wilson)
According to Wilson, our Consciousness has been "handcuffed" in order to facilitate for the "subordination and exploitation of African peoples."
"What are we talking about here? We are in effect seeing ourselves in the piece above. We have been conquered, Apartheidized, and now a discombobulated half-slave society that is running around like a headless chicken. We do not even want to face that reality and possibility that we have been had… Bamboozled..flumoxed and outwitted that we end up thinking that condition is our natural state of self and national development.
That could not be far from the truth because so long as we do not accept the fact that we have been dominated and socialized by Apartheid, and now being dumbed-down by the imperial invested interests in our minerals, lands, people, labor, families, communities, societies, and everything else that we do not own, it is important that we begin to reconsider this statement up to this far.
Our Youth cannot go it alone. That is a recipe for disasters. The elderly need to begin to speak their truth and with strength conviction, whenever talking to our out of control youth. To the Youth I will, it is very futile to go against your people, because when time comes, it will be necessary to become a fish in the masses who will be your ocean for sailing and hiding.
Just because you can speak English, or are now using a smartphones, are working and are the highest earner in you household or family, that does not mean the youth has to become arrogant, abusive and ignorant and very mean spirited to their elders. The task of the Youth is to build and organize, move forward the people in their struggle for liberation and dignity-plus ownership of the land and its people and resources.
It is the duty of the Youth to organize sports, community safety, education, reading, perpetuating cultural continuation and propagation, take care of the young and very old, work very hard to read and understand the world. The Youth has to understand that to be "Men" of tomorrow begins now when they are young.
As it is oft said, "You reap What You sow": the lifestyles and mannerism and disrespect that the many of the Youth cadre are displaying, are going to be detrimental to them 10, 20 and 30 years down the road. We might see the re-enslavement of our people, again. And this process has just about begun.
Drunkenness(Alcoholism), Drugs, Sex, Aping Western values and mores, discarding of our own cultures, traditions, languages, history, customs, traditional sacred rites and practices, our own local music(and that of the Diaspora), can no longer be acceptable. We are not Americans, nor British, neither European no Asiatic.
We are Africans, and we better recognize that and be very cognizant of that fact and reality. We should not apologize to nobody whenever we say we are Africans. That we are, and even if we use the foreign English language, that should not be at the expense of our mother tongues.
The parents and elders should begin to talk to the Youth in a way that is informative, even if so many of them are not yet ready to listen. The elders should stop hero-worshiping their children. Love them, Yes. Discipline, Very much. And there should be impartation of our culture and traditions in their diversity, and our cultures, customs, traditions, music and so forth, are not different, but a diverse mosaic of one culture of the Africans of Mzantsi. We should get this straight:
"Our culture in South Africa is one even if it is made of 10 peoples, and will never accept us being referred to as 'Tribes'". No. We are a Nation with a very diversified and unique culture-of one people - Nguni/Bakone, etc. We have a very dynamic culture, and we cannot talk about it if we do not know it. This means we have to go back and study all the 9 cultures of the Africans of Mzantsi and then we can begin to talk about our culture from an informed perspective.
By informed we should know all the traditional, customary, cultural, historical, musical, sacred rites and practices of the Africans of Mzantsi. This is our homework, we better know ourselves, thoroughly. We should also work on enhancing the fusion of our language by knowing each fully and developing from that knowledge to create a language of the Africans of Mzantsi, and make it official and national.
Our Youth should be encouraged to teach their elders in Night and day school and vocational training institute; the youth should be encouraged to learn about culture, sports, drama, arts and the whole bit. The whole act or action is the raising of consciousness-the here and now. I am more enamored by the formulation of our struggle from the perspective and lives of the people, more than from some unrelated intellectual to our struggle.
Our people offer too much material to work with in order to set them in motion and help them champion their own liberation.
We have already seen the past twenty of Shamocracy here in our country. We have heard and are still hearing some vain and lies about what to vote for and why. We know the deal. We ain't -..ish here in our land, no matter how you cut it. You might be rich today-tomorrow is not guaranteed. You are not sure whether your bond house and your futuristic foreign car will last till you age and die.
There is no guarantee even to those who consider themselves our elites for they are fully dependent on a local or foreign master to be rich and prosper. We all know we are not depended on the army of the poor, except to abuse and exploit them. All of us with heady titles and are in the employ of foreign capital, so is our government of the day.
Our culture, politics, education, society, psyches and the whole bit, are still being shaped and dictated to by others. We do not want some of us to point to the opportunistic tendencies and nature of what some of us imbibe, and yet, we are going nowhere fast.
We are all in a rat-race(Marley) to be one-best to your neighbor, friends, and all the farce of upmanship-poorly copied from western civilization of the day.
So that, to be conscious, then, is to begin to be a pro and master of ones destiny and whatever ones existence is left from the cruel oppression and miseducation that we have suffered for many centuries. The combination of the elders and the youth is very urgent. The youth have to begin to calm down and learn to listen, and read a lot. We need to try and use Facebook to get books from all over the world and of all types. We should also begin to write our own books, just as we need to develop our musical traditions/performances, drama, art, culture, and so forth.
We do not need to ape nor copycat nobody but our modus operandi should be from what we already have. The world adores our culture, but we do not think so, nor know that. We have been suffused with the mind-set of 'imports', that in the end we have ignored the local motion and paradigms. We shift with foreign values, cultures, dress, locomotion, are on Facebook and all types of social media, but never at home/to ourselves.
We better understand the media and its mediums. Here we have been afforded a chance to dialogue with one another, but we present and pretend by staying aloof of the contents, issues and topics that concern us. The social media fall right into the middle of our culture in its nature of communication with one another. We do not respond nor care, we think like our former masters, and that is a design of an imprisoned populace.
We know that everything we say is being monitored here on Facebook, but we can at least talk to one another unless there's a more non-public way like the viral stream. Understanding the Media(as espoused by Marshall McLuhan) is key to our contributing to the liberation. Social action is and should be the norm. Tangible results should be the objective, and social gluing and cohesion the primary focus.
Consciousness therefore, in my own paltry way, is an attempt to wake up the people, everyone, to the reality that is looking at us in the face and eliminating us in various ways. The awareness of such truth about ourselves is one other steps towards resuscitating our embattled people.
The immediate past, Apartheid, is still with us.
We have now one more load on our tortured backs, our own elected leaders. We should always make the point that we all consciously demand that we come first, we the people of Mzantsi. Everything that happens in our country must first benefit us-the rest we will decide later at our own discretion. There is nothing wrong in saying that, and we should be instilling and helping our own folks understand what it is we mean when we say, "WE Come First!"
A Conscious people can demand social and engage in social change. Those two are inseparable. Whatever action it is, it should be geared towards the upliftment of the common and poor Africans. We cannot all be filthy rich, but all of us can live decently and comfortable enough in the land of our birth. In a short historical summation I say:
There are many issues which need to be put in correct historical perspective so that we can see the history of Africans, not through rose-colored glasses, but what it is that has happened to Africans, and why the present Africans are still persona non-grata in many institutions, in their countries and within their history.
The actual and present condition of Africa is one of deep trouble, worse than the one imposed during the colonial times. Deserts have grown wider every year; the broad Savannas have lost their communities and have lost all their means of existence; tropical forest have disappeared through feeding the export maw; cities that do not deserve to called such, have spawned large scale poverty and plagues never seen, known or dreamed-of in human history.
Harsh and evil dictatorships who have ruled and are still ruling over people who distrust and hate them, and for a good reason; and in the case of Africa, one dismal tyranny gives was for another more worse one; despair rots civil society, and the state becomes an enemy, and bandits flourish.
Meanwhile, the Developed World, or the industrialized world continues to take its cuts of Africa's dwindling wealth and America and countries of Europe have expanded in value annually. While this is going on, multitudes are starved, suffer many diseases, and are troubled by internecine wars with millions murdered, annually.
Africa's crisis of society derives from many upsets and conflicts. These arise from the social and political institutions within which 'decolonized Africans' have lived and tried to survive. African nationalism produced nation-states of newly independent Africa after the fall of colonialism. These nation-state state began with liberation and looked like liberated states.
What was happening was that this was not Africa's restoration of its own history but a perpetuation of new and indirect rule to the history of Europe. The 50 or so African states were formed as though its peoples possessed no history of their own, and they became the 50 or so states or nation-states formed and governed from the models of Britain and France. African liberation led to African alienation.
As we look at African Nationalism, we must also present its history in the different epochs and geographical locations throughout Africa and the Diaspora. Marcus Garvey achieved this and it even spread right here in South Africa.
There are a lot of books written about South African African Garveyites one can look for and read up on. There are books that give the history of Africans who were fighting aware units during the Anglo Boer War and yet no mention is made of those. Our History will only be valid when we begin to talk and write about it.
There's still a lot to be done, as Lenin once wrote a book called "What's to be done". I will be citing from him too, to answer the persistent question, if we are to achieve our own and earned autonomous Consciousness, What's To Be Done? I think we should be more Consciously immersed, embedded and swirling/acting within our communities, maybe we can affect and effect the much needed change, today.
Think, Act And Be Conscious: Message To The Youth
Unity In Action-And Action In Unity-What The Youth Did not Understand And Missed: Murmurings from the Armies Of The Poor
The role played by our Youth in the past election cycle was very much ambivalent. I am about to post this Hub Online so's to point out this discrepancy that was displayed by our Youth. They, the so-called born-Frees(a misnomer I might say), still have to wrap their heads around the fact that we are not "Free". If any of them believe that fiction, then they are pining and wishing for something grandiose that was an illusion in its grandest amorphous form, today.
What I am talking, with a much more post-elections 20/20 viewpoint, is that the Youth missed an opportunity to learn and apply their knowledge and experience from the lesson of the people on the ground.The ordinary folks had their mind set and made up, and they were assisted, surreptitiously by the ANC machine to see their point of view(The ANC's). Rather than listening to the opportunistic and irrational leaders of the newly formed EFF, led by Malema and Dali Mpofu, what they did not know is that they were used as fodder in a very high stakes game. They brought a knife to a gun battle. The brought no money into their organization, but futile hope and dreams that were sprouted by their inexperienced and ignorant leadership of this new party.
When we reached the point of the Revolution of 1976, we had loosely formed intelligence system that informed all who were involved. At times there was chaos, because of all the death and destruction wrought by the regime's Death squads and army units operating independently. We knew all this, but could not really fathom its structure, but saw their operations. We read and heard about the struggles throughout Africa; we were spot on about the situation and the events as they spiraled out of hand; the consultation between the parents(Communities) and the students of 1976 was one of 'unity in action'.
There was no unity and there was lack of knowledge and understanding pertaining to the Bill of Rights and other crucial parts of our Constitution. Our children thought that power was within their reach, as touted by these fake mis-leaders, they were in awe of. Opportunists of all stripe jumped on the Malema bandwagon, but it had no machinery that was from the bottom up with the youth. The Youth was enthralled by the new possibility of taking power, nationalizing the Mines, and giving land back to them and they will, a utopia which was unreal and not possible.
In giving support to the EFf, the Youth imagined that they will be better off.. The results, they managed to wring 25 seats for Parliament, which, in one of their petty and delusional stunts, went to the opening ceremonies wearing red jump suits(overall) and knee-length black water-rubber boots, and looked like the clowns they were. not serious and depending on the dwindling sensationalism that will not in the end serve nor help the Youth who voted them into power, along with the elderly opportunist who were holding to a whimsical hope that they will replace the ANC government.
This missed opportunity made me go back to an article I wrote about what was happening during the elections and what did the people think and saw as the outcome of the 2014 voting. It is incumbent upon the Youth to take some lessons from the whole Hub posted above, and learn about the elections, maybe they might see the point I make that they missed an opportunity-because the struggle is not a fashion,' but a harsh and concrete reality when one aims to make permanent change for a whole nation of people. So, for this article about June 16 1976, I am adding the piece below to begin to help the Youth and other readers to ferret and vet the missed opportunity to make change in the just gone by elections-an opportunity to begin to organize in a way that was demanded and dictated by the conditions amongst the people whom they ignored, and cared only about themselves. That will not cut it.
And nothing is going to change nor happen with ignoring the majority of voters who were listening but were hearing nothing of substance from the Youth. The post below then is a moment captured of the voting vibe that was existing on that day, and I was trying to put it into perspective, by chronicling what the majority of voters were saying and thinking. The Youth, at that point, was not engaged with the public to win their hearts and mind-instead, they arrogant, ignorant and out of touch with the reality of their own people, who formed the majority that voted for the ANC. The after thoughts of the win by the ANC, was the sour grapes mumbling heard from the Media, elitist intelligentsia and general rumors that the ANC had lost a certain percentage of the voters, and some wrote books about the fall of the ANC.
Well, the ANC is back in power, and undergoing some changes, although the critics still feel the new chosen cabinet and the change of the guard, is still same old, same old. Well, that will need another article to address as to whether there's change , and this will be reworked maybe two or three years from now. For now, I will revisit the 2014 elections and what they majority of voters who voted for the ANC had to say. Although this is not really that thorough, it will give the Youth and other readers a chance to re-evaluate how they deal with the ANC in the next cycle-Well, what remains to be seen is whether the Youth will have grown up, matured and organized now with a much better approach and understanding of their real politic and political standing in their communities. This is what I will reevaluate when the election come after four years from now on.
"Indaba"/"Taba"(View Of Story) From The People: Critique and Anti-Critique Of The 2014 Elections...
We are now a day or two away from the elections and so much is happening. It is throughout this chaos that some of us who chronicle our people's events go back to basics. The Internet/FB is a form of social communication without seeing the intended audience or listener. But when you go into the places where one lives and visits, there is a different kind of face-to-face palaver taking place. The parties have been jostling for attention by any means necessary, and the people, as one would say, on the 'ground' are watching all these actions with and incredulity bordering on frustration and anger. A lot of people who write about the core voters of the ANC, do not really hang with them, live with them, know them, listen to them, write what they have to say or not say, act and carry-on. Nobody thinks that they are part of the national dialogue of the nation as the elections approach.
I have always been a proponent of the fact that we must write our own stories, histories customs, traditions, be our own musicians, script our dances as we see fit and know how-from an African Centered perspective and through our people. Also, when it comes to The "MEDIA," we all know that we are basically an Oral people, but this orality, at present, swirls(linguistically) in our social collectives and communities of 'peoples'. Our reportage aims at reaching a broader audience to the effect that many of our chroniclers do not know how to tell our stories, but are good in regurgitating what other ethnic groups are saying about us, we just repeat it verbatim-with no imagination, creativity and originality…
The task at hand, then, is to capture and articulate, without much alteration, what the buzz is all about in the Townships, and what do the people have to say to this "Indaba/Taba"- And they are not at a lack for words, poignancy, raw and earthy observation, which is what many writers or reporters do not want to hear, or are not comfortable with printing or writing about. They're direct and unadulterated uncensored expressions makes one who is listening squirm and twist on hearing these views which are not main-stream by any stretch of the imagination. Mainstream in this case means White audiences
Even if many people can dismiss this article and the views espoused by the respondents below, it is also interesting and important to read comments below many of the articles below the posted stories of the South African Newspapers Online, just to get a smidgen of the mind of the 'public' here in Mzantsi… Because it is important we talk about us and what is going on in our midst-without altering or making the voice of the people palatable to others who do not understand them.
I have always regarded myself an African of Mzantsi, First. An African of Africa, Secondly. And An African of The Diaspora Thirdly-and lastly. A Human being... My education came from people, formally and informally. I cut my political teeth and activities in the streets of Soweto, pre '76 and post Y2K(One can Read my post below where I was commemorating Elombe Brath, and, I briefly discuss how we became political active and educated by Mpanza-See the article posted down in this Hub)..
What has been happening so far, is that most of us do not have a grasp of what we are dealing with here. When it comes to access to the Web/Internet, a large swath of our people are outside the loop. Some of the rates to clamber onto the Web are very costly indeed and prohibitive, and so, this curtails, in a covert way, mass communication access to all of the people of Mzantsi with these prohibitive and exorbitant charges.
So, by default and purposeful censorship, a large majority of our people do not have easy and unlimited access to the Web/Internet, and this empowers those ruling over us and passing tight Bills attacking the press and mass communications. The offering of tenders to companies that control Internet access is biased and not in favor of the local people. There are many such discrepancies that are foisted upon the poor that dislocates them from the national dialogue/wealth both in the media and amongst themselves, orally and fiscally. We have also been handed a "Dumbing-Down" type of education-miseducating our Youth, and making the elderly even more ignorant and illiterate
So, I decided to use the old approach/technique of 'participant observer' and try and write what I am gathering from many people I really do not know, nor ask their political affiliation and so on. What I do, I direct our discourse to the issues of the elections and what are [any] of their impressions about the elections. These people do not need any probing and prodding, because they will tell you what they think you want to know; tell you what you do not know; and add their own Township spin on their stories, not embellishing anything, but put in a colorful way/language that's only possible in Township jargon/parlance and colloquial-they freely tell you their narrative...I remain visibly/invisibly present and only occasionally ask question for clarity and simplification.
I must add that listening to the people is a different dimension from the social media communications. The 'mano-a-mano,' face-to-face interaction has its own dynamics, no editing, no clicking, deleting or alt/send-return or holding back, and in many ways,this was the unheeded voice of the critical mass population of South Africa speaks freely and openly. Many of us are no more adept at this form of face-to-face communications. We are so caught up with the technological gizmos and their techniques that we have given up the face-to-face communicating and mediation/interaction. This is what I am going to post below, what it really means to be amongst and with the people and listening-in to their verbalized thoughts: Orally.
The following discourse was taking place in different areas throughout Soweto, and the way the people talked about issues, I culled from the notes I was taking during their conversations. This is in no way pro-any party, but ordinary folks talking to each other, and me(by being acknowledged and respected) I was allowed to make notes and I told them I am going to synthesize it into an article. They gave me the go-ahead. I also told them I will not mention any names, which I have kept to and not done in this article.
At this point, in this particular setting in the Township, everyone was kicking around various topics:
"We are now 'bored' and sick and tired with the TV and other news, when all you hear coming out of the mouths of these politicians is 'Nkandla this and that...' Another jumps in, 'Why is this Casuals talking about 'not voting'... Who is he, by the way? .. Look at the timing of his pleading with us like that?" One other respond during such a discussion observed wryly that: "Maybe Nkandla is good or bad timing..."... One other responded: "Why bother raising the Nkandla issue, why not Investigate the whole of the ANC..." someone in the group recalled: "Yah! neh! Moestan these people who are implicated are the government departments-the Police, Department of Works, the Army, the Parliamentarians… So, neh! Look into the whole 'mcimbi'(Organization)."
In some other part of the Township, I got this part from a different group of people of Soweto: "People on the ground here on the Township do not really understand all of these shenanigans. They do not have time/wherewithal invested to look into the Thuli report... "For us the Thuli Report happened overnight-it's been overtaken/pushed back by other events and the TV coverage, Radio, Newspapers, 'Wa Jaja'.('You see?')
I interjected and asked, What causes that 'forgetting? ."Cava hierso"(See here)We have been made ignorant thus far. So, in this instance, the people forget very quickly and move on with the 'fashion' of the hour, or day." By fashion it means tendency, what's vibing/trending. So others say that' these other parties have given ANC a chance, and ANC does not give them a chance. So, in the end, whatever chance they get these parties, all they speak about to us is Nkandla... "
Some intellectual in a tavern displaying his oratory gifts by hogging that conversion, divulged that: "These other parties retreat in the advances ANC makes. They are really not working cleverly enough to get votes properly("too many rallies which are just a nuisance now. Outing, yes, entertainment-never. Too much of Nkandla talk, less on what they can do for us…"
One lady in a Mall noted that: "These other parties do not work enough together to get the vote. They are unable to break it down to an ordinary person what it is all about. They do not even listen to you when you try to make some input. A car mechanic in his yard said: "We steal ideas, we want ready-made things and situations, no one wants to work had for anything-there is some sense of entitlement — "Vir was?'(For What? .. 'Vokol'(Nothing).
His friends hanging around and doing other things chimed in: "All you hear on their lips is My Nkanlda was built by my family-no scandal here," Zuma; Whereas the others, Ramphele, Zille and Malema all talk about that Nkandla, and what about our issues? He? Hmmm? And we are so 'naar'(bored").
One school teacher sitting with her nurse friends said: "People should go back to reading and studying. They must learn to read and analyze what they read. What is stopping this from happening is that the people, in their majority, have no time for that and lack interest-everyone is focused on getting money or being in or close to some 'Tenderpreneurs'."
The ANC put up a "Good Act" at FNB and I have discussed a bit of this in my article prior to this one. My take is that compared to the booing and jeering of Zuma, the followers were pumped up to fever pitch; the roar and response they gave to their leaders, was well timed. The ANC Die-hards in the ANC were gushing all over themselves in anticipation of the giddying win just within their sights. On hearing me say this, one of the respondents said: "People have forgotten. Yes, there was tension during the Mandela memorial, and there were many reasons for that tension-Yes Zuma was booed, and that too has many implications. But for now, who cares… it's electioneering time-'Sizonqoba!'[We'll Win!]"
"But the FNB rally this weekend was different," volunteered the person next to me. "People looked and seemed excited in droves and throngs, and Zuma worked the crowd by exploiting the celebratory, victory-like gig at the stadium. That was the core of the ANC hopefuls and followers and many other 'types.'"
"Bona hierso, Ntozo",("See this here, Brother/Bruh"), the person continued, "Zuma knows his crowd and he plays it well… The people are wishy-washy-not firm... They do not hold on or hang on to one thing… with us, that is an overnight thing, now is now..." And I threw in a question and asked, Why is That so? "You see "Sbari," Our lack of education makes us not to even know how to stand firm.". And I added: If We do not stand for Anything, We Will Fall For Anything/Everything…
A very close and childhood friend of my mine keenly observed: "At the end of the day, people ask themselves that if they do not vote for the ANC, who will they vote for?.. The rich, the poor and the worst off, the middle class and filthy rich hold up a lot of hope for the ANC to win. And if you listen to many of our people, they simply say, 'at least the ANC is paying us".
That could be attacked in many ways one wants to, but seeing its recipients talk about it, one is really taken-aback at the poverty life during the rule of Apartheid-it was dismal… And that's what these people think-The ANC is offering us something(a bribe)?, but what do the others have to offer and show for it…? Niks!(Nothing). Seems to be the underlying question among the ordinary people here in Mzantsi.
The Interesting thing is that the people are leery of DA because they think that they are taking care of Whites just like apartheid did-and some of these people point out to the lack of delivery services, bad housing, and many other contradiction that DA cannot extricate itself from that easily. Many of the Sowetans are critical of Zille's rule in the wards she runs all over the country, and they see Whites living lavishly, as opposed to the poor Africans in those areas. The image of DA is akin to the Nationalist party of yesteryear(I have had this view expressed in many places and many times).
One brainiac and connoisseur of local gossip and Township realpolitik broke it down for me as follows:
"In many shacks and slums of Cape Town, Africans and Colored are living in squalor and dread. Unpaved roads, no running water, taps at the far-end of the corrugated domiciles. One thing these are parties are not aware of is how finicky the present-day voter is. All these parties, along with the ANC, failed us dismally. Whatever people of all these parties have to say, it really does not matter to the people, today-it was one passing episode in the many that continue to hold their attention-span-which is very short indeed."
One person I was having a pow-wow with in a braai[cook-out] told me the following story:
"An old woman in my street told me that she is going to vote in her house. When the door-to-door ANC vote canvassers came to her house, they checked the registry for her name, and then marked her thumb with the voter's ink…
"The ANC used to bus these old ladies to the pools on bus, but in this election, this is one of the ways that some votes are gathered. They also asked the old lady who some of her friends were and relatives, where they were, and these were followed up, too. Which other party does that-I now this looks like its illegal, but the ANC is giving the impression that it is taking care of its own."
One critic I found to be having a unique perspective was the one who said that:
"If you want people to read what you write, then talk about the USA. We the people are enamored and taken up by the US and all its particularities. Our people here in this country follow "fashions"-by that I mean what's happening and is 'cool,' or makes one look and seem important and knowledgeable("Clever"). What You Praat?(What Are you Saying?) Some want to be a Beyonce, they become Beyonce in their looks and imitated behavior. For that person to be seen as and knowing about her(Beyonce), means that person is the person-VIP person(Some form of Status Symbol)."
"But when it come to us and about us, we have no interest in that… It's not worth it."
"The drugged and sexed lives of the US celebrities hold our interest and influences our behavior and languages. Many of us pine for that celebrity role and life. What has become a common culture in our midst is our want of power and fame. We are all caught with the attitude and notion that people ought to know where I work, my place of abode, the type of car I drive, and the clothes I adorn and the perfume I am wearing. And it must be American, French, Italian… or depending on the preference of those involved. Many of these people want to project his behavior as to what America is all about-here in Mzantsi-The word import, is key to understanding this.
"But Write about anything to do with being rich or about riches, then you have something there. Talk about and advertise about tenders and where they will be issuing them, the responses to your writing will spiral; you will receive comments you never thought existed. Here in Mzantsi, we are all about money; how can we make it as easy as possible and not have to work hard for it.
"My neighbor knew this boy in her hood who was puling very hard and she came up on someone wanting a person to dig a hole for a serious pay, so he called the boy and told him about the job… The boy told the lady in no uncertain terms that, 'he is not a mole'(Mvukuzani), and won't do it."
There had been rumors about a meeting that is supposed to take place where the Pakistanis who own the "Spaza Shops[Tuck Shops]" are to be removed, and these shops are to be run by locals. Someone in Deep Soweto retorted: "The Problem with us is that we have become lazy, and sleep early and wake up late. So how will we be able to run our own Spazas?
Many of us are asleep by 8 pm, and the Pakistanis open well late into night. These Pakistanis wake up early, long before our local Spaza shop people are up, and who wants to deal with that?" We have become lazy, don't want to work for our keep and we are good at blaming others and the government for our own shortcomings which we desperately need to deal with." Others obviously disagree with this assessment. They want the Pakistanis out of the yards of the homes here in the Townships
The people in the Townships are tired of the politicking and have already made up their minds who are the clowns, and who are the devils. They have chosen to go with the devil they know, than the unconvincing clowns, as they say, who do not know what time it is.. One gets to identify the real feeling of the people about this whole voting mess-listening to them is priceless. They know that they are being gypped. Also, they know that putting the ANC into power, does not automatically earn them a better life and a good job, but they say, what could be worse than that, especially these parties who will want to outdo the ANC once in power.This is the general logic that runs the gamut in the Kasi.
Where do we begin? Well, I have begun by trying to find out how and what people talk about when it comes to the elections. But it does not end there, I have taken this probe to different levels and many other issues, which I will use those on my blogs. What does it all mean then? I think that learning to listen to our people talk is a step in the right direction. We need to articulate and chronicle our lives with utmost care. From here we can begin to develop some form of unofficial curricula as to how to deal with the education process of the people. I have found that I am a better and learned person from saying less and listening more to what the people have to say. this gave me a sense that we can really fashion and design our own education without these tired PR from overseas sowing confusion in our educational system
I have posted Cabral and his notion of what is "Our People," and what their struggles are about-and Cabral, in the process, informs us how to comport ourselves in dealing with "Our People". Social media today, and many are not aware of this, is another form of what I call technological Orality-which is in our lane of our culture. The problems we face are vast, and we need to make or have made easy access to the Web. We have to launch ourselves and the armies of the poor onto online activities and reception. Many countries like Egypt and so forth have shown us the Power of the social media, and we need to begin to use it to be a better people.
We are going to have to deal with the large number of our poor, be with them, amongst them, and show/teach them about the uses and importance of present-day social media and their emerging and merging technologies/techniques. We might feel 'special' or 'important' because some of us can afford 'smart phones' and 'tablets'. To be honest, if we do not have our people hooked-up online, we are just wasting time and going nowhere fast.
Independence In Our Thoughts And Actions
Andre Gunder Frank Soberly stated:
"What, in you judgement, is the scientific value of the study of the development of underdevelopment?" While the capitalist system, which generated underdevelopment and avails itself of exploitation and alienation for development, subsists-and even while the class struggle in the establishment of socialism subsists-science can only have an instrumental political and ideological value, and no value in and of itself.
"On the contrary, capitalism and the bourgeois ideology have long been employing both social and natural science as purely reactionary tools in denfense of their interests This is the case, for example, with the concepts and even the very terms 'development and underdevelopment" that are used in the class struggle on the ideological level, to make it appear that entire peoples develop through their own efforts, thanks to national capitalism, while other entire countries remain underdeveloped because of supposedly inherent conditions-the lack of capital and inadequate intelligence and institutions or cultures-that is to say, because of traditionalism(stated to mean backwardness). This focus or, better yet, this deviation from the problem, hides the real cause of underdevelopment and the necessary remedy in order to maintain underdevelopment and the exploitation that the aforementioned cause determines…"
What I was trying to capture by going to find narratives from the people was to capture What Cabral calls "Independence in our thought and in our actions." When one talks to people without handcuffing their ideas and free thoughts, this is easy when they become aware of that independence they have to talk, and the real and actual action they can take. In essence, I was learning about our people, and I was learning from the people. I did not inject my opinions anywhere throughout the weeks leading to these elections, as I am re-searching them incessantly and until the day after the votes.
Andre Gunde Frank opens our minds as to how we are manipulated and splurged helter-skelter so's not to be united, because we have to begin to understand the social sciences and the natural sciences-were used thoroughly to guard the interest of the US. It is from these disciplines that the USA is controlling South Africa and the World.
And yet, Wilson informs us that, "The psychology, consciousness and behavioral tendencies of individuals and societies are to a very significant extent the products of their personal and collective histories. Both personal and collective psychology are constructed from those experiences which can be consciously retrieved from memory as well as hose experiences which have been forgotten or repressed, but which still represent themselves in individual and collective habits, tendencies, traditions, emotional responsivities, perspectives, ways of processing information, attitudes and reflex-like reactions to certain stimuli and situations. both types of experiences interacting with current perceptions are utilized by individuals and groups to achieve certain material and non-material ends."
One can deduce from the cited responses all the qualities attributed to a psychologically sane and consciously aware people.
Sankara addressed this issue this way:
"But you must understand that not everyone views political problems the same way. For some, if you have arms and a few units of the army with you, that is sufficient to take power. But others have different convictions. Power must be conquered above all by a conscious people. tThe question of arms is merely complementary to this, necessary at given moments and under specific circumstances"
"Also," Sankara added: "not everyone see politics the same way. Though we spent hours - entire nights — in discussions with these officers in an attempt to convince them, they acted on their plan and the November 7 coup took place. Of course, given the contradictions that arose among them, they were unable to install Colonel Some Yoryan as head of state. Though certain people were happy to see some elements of the Third Republic freed from prison, there were those who were disappointed to see other Third Republican elements freed. You must understand these contradictions too.
"I know that the media repeated this information, thus condemning us to accept political responsibilities that we had rejected for political reason and yet that we were beginning to be forced to accept for strictly political reasons. As you can understand, a regime born in this way could not last very long.
"In acknowledging that we are part of the Third World we are, to paraphrase Jose Marti, "Affirming that our cheek feels the blow struck against any man, anywhere in the world." Until now, we have turned the other cheek. The blows were redoubled. The evil heart did not soften. The truth of the righteous was trampled under foot. The word of Christ was betrayed and his cross was transformed into a club. They put his robe and rent our bodies and souls asunder. They obscured his message. They westernized it, while we undertook it as one of universal liberation. Well, our eyes are now open to the class struggle, and there will be no more blows.
"We must state categorically that there is no salvation for our people unless we turn our backs on all the models that charlatans of all types have tried to sell us for twenty years. There is no salvation outside of this rejection. There is no development separate from a rupture of this kind. All those new intellectual giants who are emerging from their slumber — awakened by the dizzying rise of billions of men in rags, aghast at the threat of these hunger-driven multitude weighing on their digestion — are beginning to rework their speeches.
"Far it be for me to ridicule the patient efforts of honest intellectuals who, because they have eyes to see, are discovering the terrible consequences of the devastation imposed on us by so-called specialists in the development of the Third World. My fear is to see the fruits of so much energy co-opted by Prosperos of all kinds who — with a wave of their magic wand — spirit us to world of slavery dressed up in today's "fashions.
"My fear is justified even more by the fact that the educated petty bourgeoisie of Africa - if not the entire world — is not prepared to give up its privileges, either because of intellectual laziness or simply because it has tasted the Western way of life. Because of these petty bourgeois forget that all genuine political struggle requires rigorous, theoretical debate, and they refuse to rise to the intellectual effort of conceiving new concepts equal to the murderous struggle that lies ahead of us. Passive and pathetic consumers, they wallow in terminology Fetishized by The West, Just As They Wallow In Western Whiskey And Champagne In Shady-Looking Lounges.
"Ever since the concepts of negritude and African Personality, now showing their age, the search for ideas that are genuinely new produced by the brains of our 'great' intellectuals is in vain. Our vocabulary and our ideas come from elsewhere. Our professors, engineers, and economists are content to simply add color — from often the only things they brought back with them from European/American universities that have produced them are their degrees and their velvety adjectives and superlatives!(Sankara is confirming what Andre Gunder Frank was saying above).
"It is both necessary and urgent that our trained personnel and those who work with the pen learn that there is no such thing as neutral writing. In these stormy times we cannot give today's and yesterday's enemies monopoly over "thought," "imagination," and "creativity."
"Before it too late — and it is already late — this elite, these men of Africa and of the Third World, must come home to themselves, that is, to their societies and to the miseries we inherited. They must understand that the battle for ideology that serves the needs of the disinherited masses is not in vain. but they must understand, too, that they can only become credible on an international level y being genuinely creative — by "Portraying A Faithful Image Of Their People, An Image Conducive to Carrying Out Fundamental Change In Political And social Conditions And To Wrenching Our Countries From Foreign Domination And Exploitation, Which Leave Us No Other Perspective Than bankruptcy."
I could go on citing Sankara above, but he has already made my point that I have been constructing throughout this article, so did Wilson and Andre Gunder Frank. But Sankara goes to the heart of my these is that, going back to the people and talking to them teaches one how people talk and give you information that they think you need, and some of it you had not known up to that point of being told, and the rest is made up of Township spin, talking points and uttered in Slang and other variations of Kasi-speak, that makes for colorful, stimulating and tasty discussion and narratives, and these can be gotten by holding a face-to-face contact and talking with the ordinary people in the Township. this we should and can do.
I did so, went to the people and tried to record their conversations, impressions and all the other aspects pointed out by Wilson above, that, I state, it is from the people that we will be able to build our nation and control our country. The elections at this stage are past, and now we are facing the post 2014 election hangover, and we need to sober up and work on the new ideas that have come to pass because of all that has happened long before and now most recently.
In trying to overcome our social malaise, we can take comfort from these words by Wilson:
"To manipulate History is to manipulate consciousness; to manipulate consciousness is to manipulate possibilities; and to manipulate possibilities is to manipulate power."
History is the past, present and future… I have been looking at the present from a past we are still living in and under, and in the present, I am beginning to learn about our people and our role our society in tandem with our people. I may not hit the bulls-eye with my messages, but I am consistently calling for a return to the people, as Sankara intoned above. It is in our people that we would come in touch with ourselves and our Nation. "Everything is Everything".. "Each One Teach One; Each One Reach One (Others)....
Unity In Action And Purpose
Revolutionary Democracy As The Fulcrum Of Our Thoughts And Actions Today
Unity of thought and action is a very revolutionary concept were one to try and talk about unifying a people. But, before one can embark on this crusade, one needs to train and maintain self-discipline in all spheres of life. Mental toughness and smarts are a requirement. Patience, virtue and bravery other aspects of the whole thought forming processes in creating a modern African nation. Many of us take this for granted, flaunted the rules, and disrespect one another, and persecute our women and children, and grind-down the elderly, disavow and destroy our own families, communities and not care one bit what the aftermath will be like.
Amilcar Cabral advises us as follows:
National Independence Of Thought And Action
We are struggling for the independence of our land, for the independence of our people. The first condition for this is that our Party and its leadership should be independent in its way of tackling questions and of answering them, and in its action inside or outside our land. ... But we must understand that independence is always relative. In many things we have to decide, for example, we have to gauge them in the light of the interests of our neighboring countries as well for us to go forward.
"In many decisions we take on the African International place, we are guided by the interests of Angola and Mozambique as well. Some positions we may take, or even some decisions on war material, for example, or our action, are not solely dependent on us, but are also dependent on our friends who give us aid. But this does not destroy the truth of the principle.
"Our leadership has always acted on the basis of independence of 'Thought and Action'. We have been capable, and constantly be more so of thinking deeply about our problems, so as to be able to act correctly, to act strongly, so as to be able to think more correctly.
Many of the comrades have not done this in keeping with their responsibilities. Some have limited themselves to acting without thinking, and others have lots of ideas without doing anything in practice. We must be able to bring these two basic elements together: 'thought and action,' and 'action and thought'. This independence in our thought and action is relative. It is relative because in our thought we are also influenced by the thought of others.
"We are not the first to wage an armed struggle for national liberation, or a revolution. Others have done this, there are other experiences. We did not invent guerrilla warfare — we invented it in our land. But in the framework of this relative independence, we must be aware that no struggle can be waged without alliances, without allies. In all struggles, www must make a choice, that is, we have to choose one path or another. We cannot wage a struggle without knowing what path we must follow. So, we must first know one thing: Who are our allies in Africa and the world."
The main objective and task that I cited as far as I have with Cabral's musings, is simply to make the point that many of us do not eat nor dare begin with the discipline amongst themselves as the servants of the liberation of the people. Take our case here in Mzantsi. We have a political and economical vulture class ruling and destroying us its people and the land of our forefathers. The only sad thing is that our present-day ANC government has found allies amongst the Imperialists and treacherous governments around the world. What the ANC really did, was to accept and defer power to the investors of big capital in South Africa. Our present ANC government serves as the servants of the World Trade Organizations,(WTO), World Bank(WB) and the International Monetary Fund(IMF), and are working assiduously very hard to please them at their whims, and in the process suppress, depress, repress and ignore the plights and cries of their own voting polity. This has been demonstrated by the present local elections results.
But as its often said, 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'.. Remain true and relevant to this discourse. After its ascendancy into power, with a whopping and overwhelming majority votes from the African voters, ANC easily cruised into victory and onto power-with Mandela at the helm. This bears mentioning here, for the past twenty-plus years, the ANC has seen a declining in its popularity and trustworthiness. The Voter's roll has dipped significantly since the recent 2016 Local election.
Consider the following election results:
- African National Congress:
Votes - 16,103,206
Seats Won - 5,163
Councils - 176
Support - 53.91%
- Democratic Alliance (DA)
Votes - 8,033,502
Seats Won - 1,776
Councils - 24
Support - 26.89%
- Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF)
Votes - 2,448,493
Seats Won - 761
Councils - 0
Support - 8.2%
- Overall Votes Counted - 100%
- Hung Councils - 27
- Councils Drawn - 0
- Councils not yet Calculated - 0
- Total Controlled Councils - 186
In sum, about 18 million people did not even bother to vote, which was ANC's 40 percent of the voting polity. This is what I want to direct my comments upon:
This simply shows disunity within the ANC itself and its followers and voters. If as many as 18 million did not vote, then we can see what Cabral has bee instructing about has not taken place in any form inside and outside South Africa for the Suffering masses.We have to get the land, power and wealth of the land of south Africa into the hand and control of the indigenous of the land. Plainly speaking: We are going to have to give power, plus make it reside and be within and by the power's control and use.
We should not also reject opportunism, because we can see this in man of our regions here in Mzantsi, and it should be acquired, this power, by those who are equipped for is tasks, and not because they were chiefs yesterday, or family and friends of the officials or leaders of the ANC, and so forth. If we keep up within form of opportunistic nepotism, cabals, favoritism and so forth, we will simply be mortgaging our futures and everything about ourselves. We cannot achieve any unity of purpose and thought in action when we have sell outs, charlatans and western African lackeys selling us for a mere pittance to our former and present detractors. We should at least at this point be talking about revolutionary democracy.