Saturday, April 12, 2008

SA's president covers up for dictator Mugabe again.

This blog has repeatedly warned that the crisis in Zimbabwe is made worse by the support that South Africa’s president, Thabo Mbeki, gives to Mugabe. Mbeki, who was a prominent member of the Communist Party, had regularly played up to Mugabe and supported him. I wrote:

But just as this election will tell us much about Zimbabwe it will actually tell us more about the African National Congress in South Africa. While the West refuses to criticize the party of their "saint" Nelson Mandela the reality is that the ANC is an authoritarian party very similar to Zanu-PF. And South Africa's regime, dominated by the Communist Party, has continued to help keep Mugabe in power and lied on his behalf. The South African government notoriously declared one election in Zimbabwe "free and fair" before the voting actually started -- yet the election was dominated by Mugabe's thugs beating and killing opposition party supporters.

South Africa’s president, the “former” Communist Party member Thabo Mbeki, has come out of the closet and openly defended the thuggery of Robert Mugabe. Mugabe has refused to release election results which are widely believed to have shown he lost the election. This was followed up by attacks on opposition leaders by government goons. Yet Mbeki says there is no “crisis” in Zimbabwe and said: “It’s a normal electoral process in Zimbabwe.”

Mbeki calls his strategy “quiet diplomacy” but what he means is that he goes and meets Mugabe and encourages him to continue to stamp out political freedom. The West is still enamoured with the African National Congress and wants to believe the fantasy that they are modern, liberal and open to a free society. The ANC has always been dominated by authoritarians and that tendency has only become worse in recent years.

The ANC is in a close alliance with the Communist Party of South Africa, a fact the mainstream media in the West tends not to mention. The government is officially made up of three organizations. One is the ANC, the second is the Communist Party and the third is the Congress of South African Trade Unions. Each gets to nominate one-third of the seats in parliament. The SACP nominates their third. Then COSATU, which is controlled by the SACP nominates a third, most of whom are also members of the SACP. Then the ANC nominates a third, many of who are SACP members. Mbeki was a member of the SACP and his father was a prominent leader of the party trained in Moscow.

The African National Congress will NOT condemn the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe -- they admire him for it.

One member of the Mbeki family, however, is not buying into the propaganda of the ANC and the SACP. That is Moeletsi Mbeki, who I had the privilege of meeting in London a couple of years ago. Moeletsi has been a strong advocate of private sector development as opposed to having the State operate the “commanding heights” of the economy. He authored a paper for the Cato Institute on the topic of private development.

Moeletsi’s brother’s government made sure that he (Moeletsi) was banned from appearing on the government owned broadcasting system. The Washington Post reported that the creation of a blacklist which banned critics of the government from the airwaves, “emanated from SnukiZikalala, the top news executive for the agency, a publicly funded behemoth that many fear is reverting to its apartheid-era roots as a tool for government propaganda.”

This is true. The SABC is wholly-owned by the government. And regulations prevented private cable channels from presenting news. The so-called Truth and Reconciliation Committee targeted the private newspapers and raked them over the coals for reporting on the rampant corruption under ANC rule. That was enough to stifle much of the criticism. The reality is that the SABC, at least under the latter days of apartheid, was actually freer than it is today. Critics of apartheid did appear regularly on the SABC before the ANC took power. I know many such people and appeared on three or four television shows myself.

The Post, hardly a “right-wing” publication, noted that nine commentators have been banned by Zikalala, “a former government spokesman who received his journalistic training in Communist Easter Europe.” A report from the SABC itself confirmed the existence of the blacklist. The government then tried to prevent the report from seeing the light of day. The Post describes the new SABC:

Many newscasts are dominated by the pronouncements of government officials. Critical reporting into societal problems remains rare. And controversy often is played down, making the SABC on some days resemble less the BBC than the state-controlled newscasts common throughout much of Africa.

It appears that many on the ANC blacklist were banned from the airwaves entirely over their criticism of Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwean journalist Trevor Ncube has been banned from discussing the situation in his own country. Journalist Elinor Sisulu, Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube and Moeletsi Mbeki have also been banned from appearing -- all because of their outspoken criticism of Mugabe. Journalist William Gumede was banned for writing a book about President Mbeki. The Post writes:

"The big influence there was the Communist Party," Moeletsi Mbeki said of Zikalala. "The ruling party must control the way people think. That's the school of thought that he came from."

Karima Brown, a former ANC activist is one of the journalists banned from appearing on the air said: “The ANC may have abandoned its socialism, but has it abandoned its Stalinism. I don’t think so.” I believe she has over stated their abandonment of socialism as well since the Mbeki government nationalized all mineral resources not that long ago.

Moeletsi Mbeki has been clear that the Zimbabwean elections have been routinely rigged and that his brother’s government has helped cover this up. The one point I disagree with Moeletsi about is that he believes the ANC regime has a “do nothing” policy in regards to Zimbabwe. I believe they are actively supporting the regime and that includes selling Zimbabwe electricity, on credit, at rates that South Africans can’t get. The purpose of President Mbeki’s policy is to support Mugabe.

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