Elections in Africa are free and fair

العربية: الخريطة الهجائية لأفريقيا English: Or...

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I know what you’re thinking. You’re from one of the first world countries.

But it isn’t this: elections on the African continent are free and fair. Free for the politicians who stand for elections because both donors and the taxman is paying for it. Fair to the person or party that wins.

That’s right. And the politicians don’t have to work too hard to manipulate a win either. The people – the majority – are surprisingly pliable. You, from the first world can speculate why. It’s not that hard to figure out.

The winners join an elite body of rulers on the African continent,  the Organization of African Unity, otherwise known as the LAD’s – League of African Despots. You, from the first world will catch them on television every once in a while. They will be in a meeting of sorts, talking about shit that will never happen…. and drinking wine, expensive wine paid for by the voters of the country unfortunate enough to host them.

From Abdoulaye Wade to Mugabe, Mswati, Mbasago, Mosisili, Meles Zenawi, Mohammed VI, Mbeki (deposed), Muammar Gaddafi (dead), Malema (not yet… ruling that is), and all the way to Zuma. I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks. All given power by the people…

What were you thinking? You’re from Africa.

National Women’s Day will prove to be politically expedient once again

International Women’s Day (IWD) is commemorated on 8 March every year around the world. So why does South Africa celebrate an additional National Women’s Day (NWD) on 9 August?

Officially, NWD is celebrated (literally by many people) to mark the march on the Union Buildings by thousands of women during the Apartheid era, on 9 August 1956, to protest the infamous Pass laws, and was led by Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophie WIlliams and Lilian Ngoyi. This act of defiance was a significant event in the struggle against Apartheid; the fact that it was orchestrated by women repudiates the lie that women are the weaker sex.

So is this day worthy of being commemorated? Most certainly! And is the role of women in the struggle against racial oppression worthy of acknowledgement? Off course it is!

But is it necessary to create a separate Women’s Day to that of the rest of the world, as a public holiday to do so? I think not! Especially when the politicians who promulgated the holiday openly exhibit disdain towards womanhood in general.

How can one trust their intentions, especially when their daily behaviour is both dishonourable and contemptuous? It becomes pretty easy to perceive that National Women’s Day, far from being a day to celebrate women, is just an expedient day for politicians (mostly men) to gloat about pseudo-freedom and hitch the event to the bandwagon of political expediency.

Let’s examine some of the reprehensible behaviours of which I write: the President of the country, Jacob Zuma is a polygamist as indeed are many men who revere culture, tradition and religion above the sanctity of womanhood. The President recently granted a multibillion Rand loan (aid) to the despicable neighboring tyrant, King Mswati of Swaziland, another bigot who collects wives: at last count, 14. Mswati is well on his way to attaining the disgusting feat of his father: a harem of 70. Perhaps the loan will help him in his quest for trophies.

Polygamy is disgusting and an outrage towards women. No amount of religious, cultural or social posturing can endorse it.

The ruling ANC government; the ones’ who promulgated this holiday, tend to surround themselves with women who tow the party line and support their self-enrichment schemes; those who are critical of party policy and behaviour, such as Barbara Hogan are quickly silenced and sidelined.

On National Women’s Day tomorrow, the politicians will pay lip service to women, at public events, and use the opportunity to solidify their political power. This much is certain. Only greedy and immoral men will benefit. We must never allow the politicians to perpetuate the exploitation of women.

Women must be celebrated, not because their kind marched against tyranny at some point in the distant past; women must be celebrated because they are fellow human beings, deserving of respect and acknowledgement just as men demand it.

An open letter to Helen of Tafelberg

Dear Helen,

Southern Sudan will start voting tomorrow in a historic referendum that will enable them to secede to form a new country. In so doing they will at last escape the tyranny of that madman al-Bashir, and the Arabic Islamic North.

You and I, both live in a country being slowly ruined by several madmen who occupy the seat of power. I therefore seek desperately to move somewhere where my taxes wont find its way into the back-pockets of these despots-in-the-making, but into filling those potholes I routinely drive into on my daily commute, among other more pressing things like education systems that produce graduates who can score more than 30%, and a police service that can actually see their toes while standing upright. I dread the future that the products of this education system will undoubtedly create once they start working, and I sure as hell don’t want to live in constant fear of criminals who actually can see their toes.

I need security, and many others like me just want to be able to live in peace, and not worry about that next pothole that will ruin our cars, or that car-jacker who will ruin our relationship with our insurance companies.

I believe you can help us. Secession is going to be all the rage in 2011; I can feel it in my bones. Wink! Wink! Nudge! Nudge!

The Kingdom of the Cape sounds so much better than the land-locked one run by that despotic, polygamist, reed-dancing pervert. I would be honoured to be a citizen of another country and not have to cross an ocean to be there. And you would make such a good President…or even queen.

Please let me know if you will be interested in creating the push for independence; I will start getting my papers in order for emigration.