Mandela was buried yesterday 12.15.2013 in keeping with non-deistic rites of African spirituality : an ox was sacrificed to attend his passing into the world of the ancestors, which is fine and good, In an Africa where intellectuals are eager to be buried in accordance with the rituals of Christian or Muslim oppressors. Unlike in Islamo-Judeo-Christian cultures where hierarchies shadow everyman from cradle to grave, community, and equality between human beings and the cult -the reverence for our departed -form the basis of traditional African society. Many Westerners would have wanted to make a pilgrimage to Mandela’s tomb, African culture does not allow it. In this culture, no death is different from any other, and everyone has their own ancestor, a parent, immediate kin. Mandela ,therefore, has became an ancestor to his children, his grandchildren, his cousins, nephews etc.. Not a supreme ancestor of South Africans. Everyone has their own ancestor, as Steve Biko is the ancestor of his own family no less than is Mandela. And it is this communal conception underpinning social cohesion which is the root of the struggle that led Mandela to spend 27 years behind bars. Those who branded Mandela a communist simply did not understand that African tradition did not have to read Karl Marx to understand that social injustice is the worst enemy of any society, far from any possible external enemy. And for having betrayed the African principle of struggle for the equitable partitioning of South Africa’s resources, Mandela has failed in his mission. It all unfolded as if he entered prison because his people was eager to have White friends or neighbours. No, by pillaging South Africa’s wealth, these Europeans have proven themselves thieves, crooks. Emerging from prison, Mandela gave the impression that it was enough to join the thieves in their peaceful slumber inside a toilet instead of demanding some restitution of the nation’s wealth.
It’s not important whether Nelson Mandela is Pougala’s hero or not. What is worth asking if he was a hero to his own people. How have his people lived-out these gaping differences between their daily misery and the images which the media have created of him?
To understand this question, we must revisit the day of the memorial ceremony at the Soweto stadium. This seats were desperately empty. Discounting most of the 90 Heads of State and their delegations, some like the French President even came with 2 aircraft. Add the many journalists who waited 8 hours in queue for accreditation , we see the extent the disinterest which neglected Black South Africans had for this man. But what struck me more, is not what happened on the main stadium. Rather, it is what happened at the other Orlando Stadium , and worse, that didn’t happen. At this stadium, giant screens erected to accommodate the many South Africans who could not attend the main event remained largely empty, with the spattering of Western journalists assigned to cover the atmosphere at the stadium were all forced to invent stories from whole-cloth, because there were no actors in their movie production, the people simply didn’t show up. So we can say that Mandela is a hero for Whites and not for Blacks , but why?
'The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed'
I might add that the greater intelligence of the oppressor is his ability to employ the oppressed in the same service of his own oppression. And in addition, that he should take part eagerly.
Nelson Mandela is the turncoat who had completely turned-over to put himself firmly in the service of the oppressor. He became twice as dangerous as the oppressor, because in acting as proxy against his own people, who bad inadvertently lowered their guard, convinced that one of their own was finally in charge. ?
Not so! A grave mistake. Their man at the helm wasn’t working for them, but was completely manipulated. Mandela was working for the oppressor to serve one singular purpose; that of grabbing the nation’s vast natural resources, in the hands of a few European men and women, serving a well-off minority, always greedy for the treasure and the blood of this doubly betrayed people.
This same Mandela, the bomber, who toured Africa and -in North Africa- acquired the skills to force the foreign oppressor into making concessions and sharing the country’s wealth. 27 years in prison were enough to erase his claims to advocating a just society. Mandela was put at the service of a vile system of injustice and exclusion, one of the worst in the world. He chose to emerge the champion of democratic futility. He’d become a useful idiot who could be recruited to sell Western-style democracy.
But, judging by the results, it was a lie which the seller had sold to himself. Praising the merits of democracy by citing Nelson Mandela’s South Africa has always seemed to me a bad joke or a cynicism that dare not speak its name, because as I've always said: voting has never changed a people’s destiny, voting has never changed a country. And the fate of the African population in South Africa before and after the horrible violence of the apartheid era with its complicity in Western countries, supposed champions of democracy, attests to this fact.
The ANC President Oliver Tambo wrote to this Mandela upon his release from prison:
"The fight for freedom must go on Until it is won; Until our country is free and happy and peaceful as share of the community of man, we cannot rest."
In other words, “our freedom struggle must continue until victory, until what our community is free, and happy."
Question: Did Mandela's ANC win or lose the battle it had undertaken to free its people and make them happy? Are the South African people happy? Compared to the period of apartheid, are they better-off today? The answer is unequivocal: Mandela lost, the ANC lost. And, on several levels:
It’s been barely 10 days since the former South African President died, he’s already been canonized by the Western media, basking with satisfaction in the memory of this well-behaved African, delivering what the status-quo expected of him. Some Africans have even joined this chorus.
WINNIE MANDELA – AN UNCERTAIN DIVORCE
When Nelson divorced Winnie the official reason cited was infidelity. Winnie had cheated with a young lawyer. This act was certainly evidence to support my suspicions that Mandela had signed an agreement to become a spokesman and not a real president.
Recall the man who had always been presented to us: good, generous, patient, forgiving of those who have cost him 27 years of his life, able to forgive those who tortured and killed almost all his companions. Imagine the same man losing his head over a woman, spiteful over a story of jealousy, to the point of excluding his wife from his inner circle during his inauguration as President of the Republic of South Africa. This woman who for 27 years has fought for him, was the father and mother to their children, stayed in prison, organized demonstrations, boycotts etc.. It was too much to not raise suspicions. The documentary broadcast after Mandela’s death by Arte television entitled "Nelson Mandela – The Reconciler" on Friday, December 6 at 20:50 (111 min documentary) delivers fragments of the real truth. The agreement signed by Mandela with his captors is behind the breakup with his wife. Winnie Mandela has accused her husband of having betrayed the people.
According to this documentary, the story goes back a few months before the release of Nelson Mandela. He is abruptly transferred from his prison, separated from his companions 26 years in prison, to a luxurious private residence with garden and pool. Now, this is where you should live, this is the standard that corresponds to your rank, he was told. No sooner said than done, Mandela was comfortably installed at home. His wife Winnie is conducted to this villa by the South African secret services. This was the big day for Mandela to consume his first intimate night with his wife after waiting 26 years. But Winnie refused. On that day, their marriage was over. Winnie visited all the rooms of the residence quietly, going to the pool, looking at the manicured trees. And returned to tell Nelson, she did not feel comfortable and she wanted to go. Winnie understood that her husband had been bought.
Winnie was prudent and didn’t spend any nights there. But others are less so, including ANC members who would take turns visiting the villa to tell their former leader of the new field, attacks, counter-attacks, the rapprochement which they enjoyed with the White community, including White communist militants. We will later discover that the house was bugged by the South African Secret Services, and even the trees in the garden were fitted with microphones. And so, even before Mandela proposed negotiations, Mr. Botha and De Klerk had already gathered as much information on Mandela and the strategies he intend to deploy. In any negotiation, if you can anticipate your counterparts’ weaknesses, you’ve won the game. And this is how everything will be conducted at great cost to the Black community, Whites conceded nothing to the ANC’s agenda.
What surprised members of the ANC who were still imprisoned is that Mandela decided to negotiate with his murderers for the future 80% of the South African population without consulting anyone in the party who for 27 years had carried his torch lest he be forgotten, so that he would not be killed in prison. Nobody knows what really happened. He never explained his decision.
And then liberation day came. A masterpiece of stagecraft worthy of a Hollywood movie: Winnie, who knew that Mandela had betrayed everyone still stood there hand-in-hand with him and raised her other clenched fist. What the people did not know then was that Mandela wasn’t emerging from prison. He had come to love that house so much he built an exact replica in his village where he was buried. We all know what followed: renunciation of the ANC program which outlined its freedom charter in black-and-white: land redistribution, nationalization of strategic companies in mining and energy sectors.
None of that would come to pass. In its place, we had the world's biggest farce to insult the memory of all victims of slavery, colonization and apartheid. Trivializing the suffering of an entire people to the point of asking the victims of indiscriminate apartheid-era violence to testify; to recount how they had applied their survival instincts to protect themselves against crimes committed under this depraved system. This is the punishment that Black South Africans have been subjected to by their leader: Mandela.
What is curious is that this committee shed no light on the assassination of the prominent ANC figures like Steve Biko. It did not tell us that the South African Secret Service gave orders to assassinate Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, on Friday, February 28, 1986 at 11:21 p.m., for his fight against the abhorrent apartheid system? Worse still, the TRC in no way pretends to investigate what the spy Craig Williamson Boer was doing in Stockholm the day Palme was assassinated. The farce of the TRC did not tell us what toxic substance the founding chairman of PAC Sobukwe was inoculated with during his years in prison, only to be released from prison in 1969, and then dying slowly until 1978 ? Who subsequently murdered his successor in exile, David Sibeko on June 12, 1979 in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania? The TRC told us nothing about how the South African intelligence services had sabotaged the plane of Mozambican President Samora Machel causing his death in 1984, because of his support for the armed wing of the ANC on its soil, with training camps. And most importantly, who gave the orders to kill the Mozambican president?
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Approached by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa, led by a certain Peter Hermes, to shed light on the Paris assassination of the African National Congress (ANC) representative of in France, he stated in his report to the committee:
" Dulcie September was killed March 29, 1988 by the South African secret services with the complicity of the French secret services (…) Dulcie September was an easy target for the South African Secret Service who believed that the anti-apartheid movement was not sufficiently implanted in France to provoke protests in Paris, unlike London or Amsterdam. But the real motive for the murder was elsewhere: Dulcie September was too closely interested in the arms deals between Paris and Pretoria. "
Question: Why the commission did not demand that France come and explain and apologize to Black people of South Africa? Or for its Interior Minister at the time, Charles Pasqua, whose name is mentioned in the report? Or was it all supposed help in confusing the executioners from their victims?
To counteract the psychological violence by such an initiative on the vulnerabilities of victims already traumatized by long years of apartheid-era police and military violence, he should have been asked to testify in exchange for the a general clemency. The question has always wracked my mind was this: why have Western nations who suggested a reconciliation commission never applied one in their own countries? Here is an example.
COMMISSIONS IN EUROPE FOLLOWING THE SECOND WORLD WAR ?
GERMANY: Nuremberg Trials
Held from November 20th, 1945 and October 1st, 1946 to prosecute 24 henchmen of the Third Reich, the Nuremberg trials defined Nazism as a crime against peace and crimes against humanity.
The curiosity is that the court invented powers and handed out retroactive sentences. In other words, this special court which was established on the basis of no international legal text, violated all agreements to achieve the sole purpose of marking a break with the sad era of Nazism and the men who incarnate it.
On October 1st 1946, verdicts were issued: all appeals for clemency were rejected. Several very heavy sentences were rendered including 12 death penalties. Several inmates committed suicide before the trial ended. On October 16th, convicts were promptly hanged.
The Nuremberg trials would have one memorable victim: an innocent man would be convicted, hanged, before the mistake was uncovered some years later. This is the case of the officer Alfred Josef Ferdinand Jodl, born 10 May 1890 in Würzburg and hanged 16th October 1946 in Nuremberg. It wasn’t until March 2th, 1953, i.e. almost 7 years after his execution that the Munich court will declare him innocent. Too late, he’d already been hanged in the rush to close the chapter on Nazism.
Why would those who have found it useful to establish a tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, to prosecute leaders of a system of violence and discrimination as Nazism, cheer on in South Africa, which did not do the same to end apartheid? Isn’t this the default double standard whenever it comes to applying the basic laws to enforce the rights of Black people?
IN FRANCE : The Purification
For General de Gaulle, encouraged and supported by the Americans and the British, anyone who was complicit in the German occupation did not deserve to live. There was no debate that these disreputable people should be allowed to pollute the new history by their deviant complicity with criminals from the previous regime. Thus France, once the war was over, undertook one of the cruellest purges in the history of mankind. According to one French daily Le Figaro, on April 6, 1946, a million French who held any sympathies with the war-time occupier were arrested and imprisoned, i.e. one tenth of the workforce, the newspaper said. In just two years, more than 100,000 of these prisoners will be executed and their properties confiscated.
In a special issue of the magazine "Defence of the West," a study released in 1951 on the subject of purges said the following: "if we factor in people who were affected under the professional purification initiative, who lost their livelihood either under pressure from unions, or by various causes relating to the enforcement of the process, the number of French who lost their status or their livelihood from purification has far exceeded 1 million people.”
How many people were executed under “Purification”?
To find out, we must look back to February 1945, when the French Interior Minister under the government of De Gaulle, the Socialist Jean Tixier, presented Colonel Dewavrin with the prefects' reports on which it was clearly stated that between June 1944 to February 1945 some 105,000 French citizens who were executed under orders of General de Gaulle, for complicity with the enemy during the war.
And it wasn’t until 1951 that the National Reconciliation Act, known as Minjoz law of 5 January 1951 was passed by De Gaulle’s Lieutenants pardoning all crimes committed until January 1, 1946. This reconciliation commission was nothing other than the self-amnesty of those who had assumed power, in case anyone should harbour ideas of bringing them to justice in turn.
The purification spared no one; even the military were heavily affected. It is estimated that among the 30,000 men in arms, 20,000 were victims of purification.
Even the press had been purified; any who had written any positive word about the Nazi occupation were immediately arrested. Most publishing houses were simply closed.
During the apartheid era, there were marching-roders among African Heads of State: never use the word South Africa when discussing the country where Mandela was held in prison, use “Azania” instead since both outlawed anti-apartheid parties had wanted it so, the ANC and the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress), which would later be renamed "Pan Africanist Congress of Azania" in objection to the fact that a country would call itself SOUTHERN EUROPE, SOUTH ASIA or SOUTH AMERICA. They told us that the day Blacks would win the struggle, that country would be renamed Azania and the result was that all official speeches delivered in Kinshasa, Nairobi, Dar-Es-Salaam and Yaoundé, the Heads of State systematically used the name Azania when referring to South Africa, to mark their commitment to the fight championed by the PAC and the ANC. Until one day, Nelson Mandela was released from prison and with no explanation to anyone forgot the name Azania and instead, like the Boers, adopted the name “South Africa”. Much to the dismay of all Africans who had held up the torch on instructions from the ANC and the other anti-apartheid party, the Pan-African Congress (PAC). He did not even give a press conference to explain this sudden change.
CENTRAL BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA
Across the African continent, South Africa is the only country where the central bank is in private hands. In other words, Blacks who struggled for years to claim the rights over their resources and now they’ve been served with news that Mandela has worked wonders, in fact, the people have sunk into one of the worst economic and racial dictatorships in Africa. In fact they are the same racists of bygone years who still print the currency used by all South Africans. Mandela didn’t see fit to rectify this South African anomaly.
Mistakenly, you would think that this is a South African problem confined within South Africa. Unfortunately, South Africa is the laboratory in which trials runs are conducted for most of what will subsequently be applied across sub-Sahelian Africa. We'll see how in the following lines.
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE IN SOUTH AFRICA, PREDATORS IN AFRICA
In Cameroon, there are two private mobile network operators: the South African operator MTN and French operator Orange. I have seen people tell me they prefer MTN because it is an African company. I struggled to explain that MTN and Orange have exactly the same shareholders who expect the same profits from the Cameroon market. And these shareholders, whether resident in South Africa or Europe, are all from the same group: a European population.
In the financial services sector, for example, both public and private sector actors adopt predatory methods to get their hands on the financial sector across Africa. The strategy begins with the bailout fund with some banks that were desperate for cash and then, since they are unable to repay, the South African company would take a stake in the target bank. Often, even when the bank can repay its debts, the South African company was less interested in its money. What interested the South Africans was access to the African company’s shareholder capital. This is certainly what happened to Ecobank’s Togo subsidiary created in 1985, with its presence in 32 African countries can boast to be the most reputable bank on the continent. In 2011, this bank which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, crossed paths with an institution that Africans would hardly recognise, one which is the worst predator on the continent, it is the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). It is a public institution managed directly by the South African government. It is a sovereign wealth fund created in 1911 to manage the pension funds of retired South African public servants. And who are these retirees? 95% are, of course, White people who served the odious apartheid regime. Her booty is huge by African standards, able to bring any public or private company to keel. It has cash worth 1,000 billion South African Rand, that is to say, about $100 billion. In April 2012 the PIC became the largest shareholder in Ecobank by acquiring 20 % of its capital.
When in September 2013 Ecobank published its third-quarter results for the year worth $250 million in profits, up 65% compared to the previous year, it is the South African institution Nedbank which leapt to claim its share of the cake and decided against the advice of Ecobank to convert its loan into $285 million in shares. That is to say, laying its hand on 20% of Ecobank’s Capital. But who is Nedbank? It is simply the South African subsidiary of the British insurer Old Mutual. Ultimately, this is how the UK with the South African government under Jacob Zuma lay their hands on the first African bank, proving how the South Africa created under Mandela became the launch-pad of ultra-liberalism to conquer the entire African continent.
In Ghana, in 1999, the South African bank Standard Bank, which began its assault on Africa, by getting its hands, quite easily, on 93% of Union Mortgage Bank, later renamed Stanbic Bank Ghana. In 2012, South Africa's FirstRand bought into the Merchant Bank Ghana with only 750 million rand, or US$ 75 million. And the more Ghanaian firms were swallowed by British and South African firms, the more media lies were sold us Ghana being a model country.
MOCKING BLACK POVERTY IS LEGAL IN SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa is the only country in the world where European robbers, because of the farce which led to impunity of the so-called reconciliation, allows himself to flaunt the poverty of his victims, to make fun of extreme Black poverty as the apartheid system validated by Mandela is maintained until today.
It is, in any case, what is offered by the Boer company Buks Westraad, Owners of Emoya Hotel & Spa, South Africa, offering a chance to its wealthy clientele to experience misery, a short stay into the pits of human misery.
They’ve even coined a rather exotic name for the initiative: Shanty Town. Misery Tourism.
This is the advertisement that Buks Westraad has on his pamphlet:
“Corrugated iron shacks, oil lamps, radios, batteries, outhouses, you will discover the joys of living in a slum without the noise, unsanitary condition and crimes that go with it.
Now you can experience life in a cabin in the secure environment of a private reserve.
This is the only slum in the world equipped with under-floor heating and a wireless internet connection!
Our cabins are completely safe and suitable for children."
This cynicism defies explanation. I’d like to bet on the future of a peaceful South Africa, but with such provocations, I fear that even the most patient of poor South Africans won’t bear this for long.
This project has shocked the world even in the United States of America where the commentator Stephen Colbert described it simply as:
“At best, insensitive, and at worst, it is poverty porn.”
Here's how the newspaper News of 20th November 2013 wrote:
'Luxury shanty town' Emoya Estate Called 'poverty porn' in South Africa subtitle: "A RESORT That Allows rich people like to live in shanty towns like poor Africans while enjoying five-star comforts has-been labeled "poverty porn ".
The METRO newspaper of the same day 11/20/2013 put it this way:
"In South Africa, a fake slum for rich people seeking thrills" subtitle: "In South Africa, Emoya Hotel & Spa offers a rather special experience: a few days in the shoes of a "poor African" but with running water, electricity and Wi-Fi. There are limits to precarious lifestyle."
Except in South Africa, the authorities have not deemed it necessary to ban it. Damn! We’re in a mode of national reconciliation, and some may accuse me of inciting Black people to revolt. And as Voltaire wrote in Candide, "everything goes better in the best possible country in the world," South Africa. But to what point?
SANCTFYING MANDELA IN ORDER TO HUMILIATE OTHER AFRICAN PRESIDENTS
There is a well-defined strategy afoot to use the Mandela’s image to humiliate the less docile African leaders. The French Catholic daily "La Croix" on the day after Mandela death, gave us a preview. In its December 7, 2013 edition, through its star journalist, Laurent Larcher unveiled the future strategy. He took advantage of the defense summit to in Paris to ask 4 African journalists what they think of the news about Nelson Mandela’s death. And rather than comment on his accomplishments or the man’s life, all four unanimously unleashed charges against the same leaders they had accompanied to Paris for the summit. The instrumentalization of Mandela has just begun and unless we’re all taken for idiots, how can journalist claim he gave his microphone to 3 African journalists to talk about the death of someone and all three would rather inveigh against sitting African Heads of State , all of them . This seemed rather suspect. These are some of its daily reports:
This subheading includes statements attributed to the Guinean journalist Lanciné Camara, President of the International Union of African Journalists (IN Paris): "These are crocodile tears. They salute the memory of resistance, and they do the opposite at home. They cling to power while Mandela served only one term. They privatize power with their family, they foster inter-ethnic strife to cling to power, while Mandela kept his family away from power, and he never stoked tribes against each other. How can Paul Biya, Sassou Nguesso, Idriss Déby, Blaise Compaoré … salute without betraying the memory of this great man? They should start by emulating Mandela: taking themselves out of the equation and making room for change and in the democratic process. "
A VAST MASQUERADE
When I read this title, I quickly imagined Westerners were orchestrating a charade over the death of Mandela. Nope , the masquerade are African leaders. Read these comments attributed to Freddy Mulongo, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s special envoy to the Paris Summit for the radio Kinshasa called "International Alarm FM ": " The tributes by African Heads of State , with rare exceptions are a gross masquerade and incredible hypocrisy. Some came to power by force of arms like Blaise Compaoré, others cheated at elections and tinkered with Constitutions. Mandela never did that. And his work on dialogue, the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: many Heads of State have been inspired, without ever giving him serious consideration, in my country, the DRC, for example. And about the relationship with journalists? How many journalists did Mandela imprison? None! I am stunned by this circus surrounding a larger-than-life man who just left us! "
ABOVE POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Ms. Ahamed Houmi-Mikidache is a Comorian journalist, and Paris correspondent of the Comorian weekly "The Inquisitor".
"It is natural that they honor him. But it would be nice if others followed his example in other areas. We lack a Mandela to fight for education, health and the environment in Africa! "
Does the fact of living in Paris prevent African journalists from breaking with the French public media campaign led by RFI and France 24 against non-compliant African presidents? Are they afraid of not having their residency papers renewed or is it just the journalistic mediocrity?
TRUE FREEDOM IS ECONOMIC: MY POST-TRC(Truth & Reconciliation Commission)SOUTH-AFRICAN MISADVENTURE
This story can be read on page 202 of my autobiographical book "In Fuga slab Tenebre" (Fleeing darkness) published in 2007 by Einaudi in Italy. I speak about my South African misadventure, which led me to conclude that Mandela had been wrong on all counts, because there is no independence without financial autonomy. There is no liberating people chains from slavery without the economic resources enabling them to be effective and not creating a nightmare for people who have known nothing else in their lives but submission.
It all happened in 1997. A few months after the verdict from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of 28 February 1997 which was supposed usher in a more peaceful day across the country. My Italian company’s mission is providing turn-key construction solutions. The enthusiasm of the release and the arrival of Nelson Mandela to power pushed me to try to develop my business on South African soil. Contacts were made with a food production company located in one of the industrial areas of Johannesburg. For several months, I have to bring out the heavy artillery to convince the company to favor my solution over those of my British , German , Danish and Americans competitors. I offered the cheapest price, with an after-sales service guarantee by the most skilled engineers prepared to intervene in South Africa in short order. The order includes a line of several machines. For months , discussions were held to deliver samples of South African products to be tested and identifying the perfect technical solution. I was called up several times by customs officials at the Turin International Airport because they did not understand what these powders addressed to me from South Africa were. In doubt, and before the umpteenth laboratory analysis by customs to ensure they were not banned substances, I had to provide explanations under oath that these powders were not drugs. Until the day everything was technically validated. And I had to go to South Africa to sign the final contract, I received the first cold shower at the Consulate in Milan , because of my Cameroonian passport, required to transfer a large sum to the bank account of South African Consulate. This amount would be refunded after my return to ensure I would not stay there permanently. My disappointment was that I quickly changed my passport to another where it was not written that I could not travel to South Africa in respect the boycott established by African countries. Italians who had not boycotted apartheid could travel to South Africa without a visa, not me or Cameroonians who had participated in the boycott.
Nonetheless, I was about to sign one of the biggest contracts in my life. For the 12 -hour flight from Turin to Johannesburg via Paris, bought a first class ticket. Thanks to my frequent trips, my miles allowed me to upgrade. But it was the first time I was paying out of my pocket for such a long distance. Arriving in Johannesburg , Sunday , as agreed, the hotel sent the shuttle to pick me . Monday morning, quite happy , I informed my client by phone (who wanted to send me a driver) that I had arrived in South African soil and had rented a car and driver for my stay and I'd arrive at anytime at the factory. After about 45 minutes, with the driver, we entered the Johannesburg industrial zone. And at the entrance to the factory, there was a security guard who asked whom we were visiting. I called out their name. The guard picked-up the phone and spoke to someone in Afrikaans. Discussions dragged on. Several people succeed each other at the other end of the line asking explanations from the guard. They were indeed expecting someone – a person from Italy, a Dr. Jean-Paul Pougala who could not be me, or at least for them could not be Black. After the umpteenth detail to my interlocutors , my ethnic Zulu driver informed me: "The guard is telling them that you're really Black as tar ." And that’s the problem. The guard repeated for the umpteenth time to the umpteenth caller on the other side of the phone that the Pougala before him was neither French nor Belgian nor Swiss, just as Black as tar. And after an hour of this monstrous circus, the verdict came down: I was declared persona non grata (unwanted person) within the concession of company property and I was asked to go back to the hotel and return in Italy , without further explanation … We were in the so-called rainbow-nation where Whites and Blacks had become partners, but I did not have right skin color to be there to talk about the economy , to talk about industry to sample the cake of South African Eldorado . My return trip was undoubtedly the longest journey of my life. Ll the unanswered questions I spent asking myself.
Previously, while I was a student , I was beaten by young Italians who shouted "monkey go back to your forest." Despite deep wounds all over my body, the Perugia police refused to take my complaint classifying my case as that of a simple alcoholic rage and the Hospital Perugia refused to hospitalize me , claiming that my status as an African student gave me a valid medical coverage only for transporting my body back to my country. I have no other choice but to go home and quietly wait for the pain to subside and fade away.
In my 4th year of university, my Economic Policy teacher, during an oral exam, asked me a question which I had trouble answering, addressed me in front of all my Italian classmates that I was the stupidest student he had ever met throughout his long career as a university professor, because according to him, Africans had a melon instead of the brain. Scared by so many misunderstandings and disrespect, I could not contain my tears.
In the Air France flight which took me from Johannesburg to Paris, no one insulted me, no one hit me, but the pain I felt deep within me was 10 times more horrible than those blows by right-wing Italian activists or insults from my Italian teacher. This pain was even more unbearable because of the hypocrisy surrounding the release of Nelson Mandela and where, suddenly, all the racists from yesteryear suddenly seemed to have discovered the virtues of living together. The most credulous this fable was Nelson Mandela himself. What he did not realize was that yesterday’s racists had agreed to play the game as long as it deprived them of nothing and especially as long as they were convinced that Blacks would not approach their reserved area, the economy, and they do not dare to claim rights to their slice of the south Africa’s wealth.
Even in the Rainbow nation, the only place where national cohesion is played out is inside the wallet. While there remains a majority of citizens excluded from sharing in South Africa’s wealth, one does not need to be an economist or a wizard to predict that sooner or later it will collapse. The empty stadiums in Soweto and Orlando, jeers against President Zuma at the official ceremony for the funeral of Mandela show that people are disillusioned and realize that they’ve been cheated by politicians in the pay of the status-quo and that ultimately, the so-called democracy has only served to validate names which the system had already carefully pre-selected from a casting mold which gives no consideration towards competence, but prizes simplicity and the degree of submissiveness of its candidates.
WHAT LESSONS FOR AFRICA ?
It pleases me to conclude as we began, with my hero.
The “Garden of Remembrance” the cemetery where Stephen Bantu Biko is buried in King William’s Town, a sentence a recorded which was uttered by Biko himself:
“It is better to die for an idea that will survive rather than to live for an idea that will eventually die.” Bike died for an idea of social justice, resource sharing and social harmony as a guarantor of long-term peace and sooner or later, if South Africa wants true peace, and not this time bomb called social injustice, it is obliged to implement it. The contrary is an idea by which Mandela lived, an idea that will eventually die: lying to the people, economic discrimination against them and social marginalization of almost all of his people, in a still covertly oppressive status-quo, with chains of slavery screwed tightly around the feet and hands of African people in South Africa, which had made him, Mandela, their standard bearer.
In an article on the Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald, of December 10, 2013 entitled “Was Mandela an African Hero?" the thinker Zimbabwean Ranga Mataire argues that Mandela’s libertarian record definitively excludes him from the list of African heroes like Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Abdel Nasser, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Patrice Lumumba, Samora Machel, Steve Biko and Chris Hani, because having supported and accompanied ultra-liberalism provides evidence that he is at the service of the oppressor against his own people, unlike all these African heroes, Nasser Hani. To prove it, he took to witness the words of Mandela himself at his own defence at trial in 1964 which was expected to end in a death sentence. Mandela said he was ready to die for his people to achieve "equal opportunity". Mandela has stopped being an African hero after his release from prison, by forgetting the principle of "equality of opportunity" for which he was one prepared to die. He orchestrated a circus called Forgiveness and Reconciliation. Why has the U.S., which egged on this stupidity but still hasn’t made peace with Russia? Why have they still not reconciled with Cuba? Why does Israel continue to hunt German criminals involved in the Holocaust to their deaths all over the planet? Are they crazy to continue their hunt more than 60 years after the end of World War II ? Why did all European countries applaud Mandela for this reconciliation but do not release all the murderers they have in their prisons to lead a good initiative by apologizing to the families of the victims, clearing all their crimes and becoming "brothers and sisters" the next day? It is not possible, because human beings do not respond to this logic. As Hannah Arendt said, genocide, mass atrocities are paradoxically part of human normality. And it is only through thoughtful action; an admixture of repression and forgiveness which creates breakage in the cycle of violence against this human normality of violence and crime. In South Africa, pushing forgiveness without repression was a historic mistake that has served as the backdrop to show to the world the Black guilty naiveté in their believing that they could the page of slavery without group therapy for victims and holding no perpetrators to account. The abominations of slavery were repeated again under colonialism and apartheid, giving Europeans the arrogance to flood Africa with Christian sects to teach humanism and to preach morality to Africans.
Upon his release from prison, Mandela did not have the courage that characterizes a hero who must take head-on the oppressive system which humiliated his people. Ceding the spot of Vice President to De Klerk shows that he was well aware that the entire system remained in place, controlled by the same people, without any fear of having to give account for the odious system they’d incarnate. The result today is paying back: the Bantustans into which Blacks were confined during apartheid have simply changed names and become slums, where, as during the apartheid years, it lacks everything: no electricity, no toilets, no water, but places par-excellence where poverty, according to the United Nations in 2011, haunts 30% of the Black South African population ( that figure remained unchanged in 30 years).
The former president and successor to Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, has unsuccessfully tried to nationalize the largest electricity company which according to the African Development Bank (AfDB ) because of its frequent power cuts forced factories and mines to close, was responsible for South Africa’s 5% to 3 % decline in the growth between 2008 and 2009. Mandela should have used his charisma to make such nationalizations a requirement to revive the country's economy on basis of rebalancing and wealth redistribution. Mandela did not have the courage to touch these privileges, those of a predatory class that is hell-bent of handling back South African society. This is why I say "No, he is not my hero."
Yaoundé, 17 December 2013
Jean- Paul Pougala (Ex sugar cane cutter)