Category Archives: Politics

“Ayisafani” The Video The ANC Does Not Want You To See

This week we saw the state run SABC trying unsuccessfully to block a Democratic Alliance (DA) TV advert from airing on national television.

Well, predictably the “Streisand Effect” has now kicked in and the video has gone viral on YouTube. Oops.

“Ayisafani” means “It’s not the same” in Zulu.

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Mandela: 15 Pearls of Wisdom

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela – Photo: Carlo Allegri/Staff/Getty Images

Mr. Mandela is one of the most politically gifted individuals of all time and one of the most admired men in history.

Together with other brave South Africans, he helped engineer the first peaceful, non-violent revolution in the history of the world.

In Africa there is a concept known as ubuntu – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others.
-— Nelson Mandela, 2008

As an anti-apartheid activist, he was tried for treason and imprisoned for 27 years. Mr. Mandela was the first South African President to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

The great man’s leadership style is embodied in a stunning new book by Time editor Richard Stengel: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love and Courage (Crown). Here are Madiba’s 15 life lessons, from the book:
Continue reading

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Native Indian Class Action Lawsuit Scores $680 Million From USDA

North American Native peoples
North American Native peoples -- click to enlarge

On Thursday this week a nationwide class action lawsuit was settled. The historic Keepseagle settlement agreement requires the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pay $680 million in damages to thousands of Native Americans and to forgive up to $80 million in outstanding farm loan debt.

The Indians filed the Keepseagle class action lawsuit 11 years ago. They alleged that for three decades Native American farmers were denied the opportunity to obtain low-interest rate loans and loan servicing from the USDA. The Indians alleged that this resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses for Indian farmers. They said that these loans were given instead to their white neighbors.

Native American Indians once inhabited the present United States from Coast to Coast. Today they number 4.9 Million (2008). Apart from language, the differences between Indian tribes is barely perceptible. They were once grouped into eight radically distinct languages, four of which are still in existence today.

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Mr Gene Sharp: Why Dictators and Despots Fear His Name Everywhere

Gene Sharp
Gene Sharp -- photo: Evan McGlinn for The New York Times

Gene Sharp is relatively unknown to the American public. Around the world he is held in high esteem by activists and is regarded with fear and animosity by many authoritarian leaders.

This humble, shy 83-year-old intellectual, through his practical writings on non-violent revolution, has had a broad influence on international events for two decades. Though he is quick to dismiss his role, his ideas are credited with helping to advance a global democratic awakening.

In 2005, two Moscow bookstores selling Russian translations of a book written by Mr. Sharp were mysteriously burnt down. In June 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused Mr. Sharp of stirring unrest in Venezuela. In 2010 in Vietnam opposition activists were arrested for distributing a book written by Mr. Sharp.

Most recently his 102 page pdf document, “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” which is available in 28 languages, has inspired dissidents in Tunisia and Egypt Continue reading

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Revolution Comes to Egypt and Sweeps Across The Arab World

Mohamed Bouazizi
Mohamed Bouazizi, a humble vegetable vendor started the revolution in Tunisia when he set himself alight as a sign of protest

Tonight as I write this a revolution of change is sweeping the Arab countries of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen.

The revolution was started in Tunisia by Mohamed Bouazizi (26), a humble vegetable vendor. He set himself alight in December as a sign of protest. Mohamed had endured police bullying that resulted in the “last straw” confiscation of his vegetable cart. He died of his wounds in early January and instantly became a martyr to students and the unemployed. A wave of protests against poor living conditions began. Three weeks ago the country’s dictatorship fell sending a spark to ignite the unrest that is now burning out of control in this region of autocratic rulers.

The next dictator to feel the pain of revolution was Hosni Mubarak of Egypt after a 30 year autocratic rule which subjected Egyptian citizens to the suppression of political opposition, detention without trial and torture. Continue reading

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Information Leak of WikiLeaks and Why the World Has Changed Forever

WikiLeaks and Why the World Has Changed Forever
Assange's WikiLeaks Has Changed the World

In October 2010 nearly 400,000 Iraq war log documents were released to the media. This was the largest leak of information in history. Julian Assange and his organization, WikiLeaks, have changed the world again, as 911 did. Things will never be the same again.

The leak of information continues. An avalanche of embarrassing secrets, of such diverse interests as the Vatican and McDonald’s fast food chain, are now in the public domain. Every day, as each new juicy bit is turned over and dissected and then revealed in the media, things get “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice in Wonderland said.

Those who support Julian and what he stands for say that he is a hero, a champion of Freedom of Speech, that WikiLeaks shines a light on information hidden in dark Continue reading

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