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The DA in crisis (I)

RW Johnson
11 November 2013

The first in a two part series by RW Johnson on what is happening to the official opposition

The Democratic Alliance bids farewell to liberalism

The decision by the Democratic Alliance to support the Equity Employment Amendment Bill (EEAB) is a historic moment, an enormous defeat for the liberal tradition and a victory for apartheid-era racial classification. The DA fiercely opposed the original Equity Employment Bill in 1998, saying it would be both damaging and would offend every liberal principle.

The new Amendment Bill is far worse in that it seeks to extend the principle of demographic representivity, which has crippled the public sector, to the private sector. Yet, despite this, the DA, in its quest for black votes, voted for the Bill. Some weeks later and only after considerable pressure from appalled DA activists and voters, the party leader, Helen Zille, did a 180 degree return and said that the party should not have supported the Bill or, indeed, an almost equally noxious BEE Bill. By then, however, the damage was long done.

This suggests a fundamental sea-change in what had been, until now, the principal inheritor of the liberal tradition in South Africa. In the sort of party that the DA - or the old Progs - used to be, both these Bills - and particularly the EEAB a Bill like this would have been thrown out in two seconds flat because it represented the very antithesis of liberal thought. The fact that the party could line up behind these Bills during a period many weeks long is a clear pointer to the fact that it has simply lost its bearings.

Helen Zille provides a long list of excuses for the EEAB fiasco - inadequate preparation, a recess intervening, hurried meetings, defective memos and the like. As for the similarly hideous BEE Bill, apparently the DA representatives were trying to seek consensus with the Minister, Rob Davies and relied on his verbal assurances. But Davies is one of the most hardline Communists in the government. What on earth was the DA doing in trying to reach a consensus with him? And how can it possibly be surprised that they failed to do so? This is just beating around the bush. To be succinct: the DA used to have liberal instincts and now it doesn't.

In any case, even a quick glance through the EEAB reveals how immensely damaging it will be to the private sector. The application of strict demographic representivity at every level, means that 75% of a company's managers and directors will have to be African. Given the narrow pool of available talent this will inevitably mean that businesses are asked to the hand over their hard-earned assets to the management of people not chosen on merit but on skin colour. Only 3% of Africans have tertiary qualifications and only 25% of Africans fall into the 35-64 age group from which managers or directors are normally chosen. Thus, if this requirement is observed it will inevitably lead to the appointment of unskilled and unqualified managers.

It is very difficult indeed to imagine why any domestic or foreign investor would knowingly expose himself to such a regime. Why on earth invest in South Africa if one immediately loses control over how one's top management is picked? And if one is legally required to appoint managers who may not be competent? The only companies likely to survive this will be those who have listed in London and thus have their headquarters staff there, beyond the reach of this legislation. Already one can find instances of South African companies moving their head offices to Mauritius, Botswana or Kenya simply in order to avoid the constraints of South African affirmative action legislation. (Coca-Cola, for example, has moved its head office to Nairobi.) That could now become a flood.

That is, even a cursory glance at this piece of legislation reveals that it constitutes by far the most damaging blow anyone has struck against the South African economy since the sanctions era of the 1980s. Even if the DA could swallow all the racially based criteria in the Bill (as, for a long time, it did) surely simple economics should have meant it was rejected out of hand? The Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote, recently warned that South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment policies were extremely repellent to foreign investors such as himself, but the effects of BEE pale in comparison to the effects of such an extreme affirmative action strait-jacket. One may be sure that if Mr Dangote invested in South Africa he would want the best managers possible, irrespective of all questions of skin colour, to manage his assets.

The ANC: Addicted to apartheid

The fact that the ANC government should pass such damaging legislation can only be explained by a combination of electoral pressures and economic illiteracy. In effect, to support such a law one has to be of the Jimmy Manyi school of thought - expressed when he was Director-General of the Department of Labour - which holds that South Africa's skills shortage is no more than "an urban legend". Given that economists of every political persuasion are in complete agreement that the skills shortage is both very real and large, this can only be attributed to sheer ideological wilfulness.

Electorally, such a policy would have great appeal to the rising black middle class which very largely consists of those who have benefited from affirmative action in the public service. They would naturally love the idea of the entire private sector being opened up by similar policies so that they and their sons and daughters and cousins could benefit from this large increase in opportunities without serious competition from the racial minority groups. For the same reason, this will also mean the political (ANC) colonization of small and medium businesses which have remained happily non-political until now.

One is now well used to the ANC being the party of racial classification and racial distinction. In effect, it is addicted to apartheid - it automatically looks to allocating assets and opportunities along racial and, increasingly, along tribal lines. It has taken entire apartheid policies such as job reservation and applied them in mirror image. It effectively oversees the removal of thousands of white farmers from the countryside - a process of white spot removal. It has taken functioning schools and hospitals and turned them into dysfunctional Bantustan institutions.

It has even - against the advice of the entire higher education sector - decided to found new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, institutions which are obviously going to be merely new versions of the hopelessly inferior tribal colleges. Like the Bantustan governments of old, the ANC depends increasingly on the rural chiefs - les grands electeurs - to whip in support for them. More and more obviously with every passing year, the ANC becomes a Bantustan government - corrupt, tribalist, neo-patrimonial, unconcerned with democratic norms. To such a government, policies based on racial classification come naturally. Indeed, in only a slightly more disguised way, so do policies of tribal classification.

Which is well and fine if one likes that sort of thing. But for the DA this Bill was, even at first sight, the purest poison. Apart from its damage to the economy and the nation, such a law is, by definition, intended to discriminate hard against whites, Indians and Coloureds, the DA's core constituency. Even if the DA was motivated only by electoral expediency, rejecting this Bill should have been an immediate knee-jerk response.

Moreover, the EEAB is clearly a step back towards the apartheid past, with the wholesale application of a job reservation scheme to all employment, public and private. And this at the very time that more and more American states are dispensing with affirmative action and when the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is sailing through the US Senate - with bipartisan support. Again, these were reasons for an immediate knee-jerk rejection had the DA's liberal instincts been intact. Quite clearly, they are not.

What is happening to the DA?

I asked a senior former DA MP how to understand the party's evolution. "The DA is now like the old United Party", he said. "Its waters have been so muddied by compromise and electoral opportunism that no one in it is quite sure what it stands for any more. The UP wanted to be anti-apartheid but at the same time it was frightened of the Nats' swart gevaar tactics, so it would come up with ludicrous slogans like ‘White Leadership with Justice'. The DA is just the same. It is frightened of the ANC accusing it of racism, so it supports BEE and affirmative action. But since you can't have either of these things without having some system of racial classification, this leaves the DA simultaneously promising to be non-racist AND to bring back racial classification as the basis for policy. Under Leon the party knew what it stood for. Under Zille it is rudderless. Helen has, in effect, become De Villiers Graaff."

This may be a somewhat jaundiced view, but clearly the party has evolved some way from what it used to be. It now attempts to claim that it, and not the ANC, stands for Mandela's values and his heritage. In general, it attempts to cover itself in glowing references to Mandela much as parties in other countries "cover themselves with the flag".

Yet when Mandela was actually President, the DA's predecessor, the DP, was highly critical of his administration and it criticised Mandela personally for his hobnobbing with, and fund-raising from despots like Gadaafi and Suharto. So there has been a complete (and unexplained) change here. No wonder there is now such uncertainty over policy, with 180 degree turns and the like. This is indeed a bit like the situation which Colin Eglin describes in the United Party after its 1958 defeat which led De Villiers Graaff to set up a committee on how better to present party policy.

"Its work proved fruitless: the majority of its members argued that before it could decide on how to present UP policy, it had to know what the policy was. By this they meant, not only where the party stood, but also where it was heading and what the implications would be....."[1]

This may make the UP sound rather comical. Even the UP, however, never voted a Bill all the way through Parliament before deciding that it was actually against it.

A key indicator of the DA's evolution is that it has begun to propagate a completely fictitious version of history. Thus the DA Chairman, Dr Wilmot James, refers to South Africa's past as "three hundred years of asset-stripping". Dr James is an intelligent and well-read man and he quite certainly knows that this is nonsense.

If all that was going on was asset-stripping, how does one explain all the investment which resulted in Africa's largest housing stock and best infrastructure, its best universities and busiest ports, its mines, industries and farms and so on? It's not just that this is hyperbolic rhetoric, clearly aping the ANC; it's also - like the ANC's rhetoric - a deliberate distortion of reality.

Similarly, I was somewhat startled when talking to Ms Lindiwe Mazibuko - for whom I have the highest regard - to be told that it was accepted fact that the ANC had abolished apartheid and also that the DA approved of everything done by the Mandela administration of 1994-1999, with its critique only really dating from the Mbeki period. 

Ms Mazibuko was only ten years old in 1990 when De Klerk made his epochal speech announcing the end of apartheid and the opening of negotiations fora democratic constitution. Anyone who lived through that period as an adult will know that De Klerk effectively abolished apartheid, particularly since after his speech no attempt was made to enforce laws like the Group Areas Act. The truth is that by 1994, when the ANC came to power, the job was pretty much done.

As for the Mandela administration, we all applauded his stress on reconciliation but that is not, unfortunately, the whole story. The administration began with the Shell House massacre in which ANC gunmen shot and killed IFP marchers in the streets of Johannesburg. The investigating judge dismissed as fiction the claim that the marchers were about to attack the ANC's HQ. Mandela simply brazened this out, refusing to hand over either the gunmen or their weapons, or indeed those who held some IFP activists for some time afterwards, imprisoning them in cages and torturing them. Soon thereafter Mandela announced a plan to shrink teacher numbers by getting rid of all the most senior and qualified teachers, a move which crippled the education system. The administration also shamefully tried to ignore the Aids problem, with the result that it got exponentially worse.

In addition, it was under this administration that the first Equity Employment Act was passed despite Tony Leon's furious opposition. This act effectively destroyed the public service. In addition, of course, Mandela's speech to the ANC's Mafikeng conference of 1997 was probably the most illiberal ever given by any ANC leader, accusing the Opposition, NGOs and criminals of all being party to a giant conspiracy against the ANC.

Perhaps most notable of all, it was under the Mandela administration that the enormously corrupt arms deal took place. To this day we do not know whether Mandela benefited from the deal. All one can say is that in the typical Third World arms deal there have always been big pay-offs for the Defence Minister and the President. Perhaps Mandela was different. But even so, this scandalous abuse took place on his watch. For any liberal to argue that his administration was beyond reproach is simply incomprehensible.

However, once you start this game of historical revision, there is a tendency to bracket-creep. Thus the DA's Gauteng leader, Mmusi Maimane, has only praise for Thabo Mbeki - "During his presidency, we saw progress." Yet the DP and later the DA were bitterly critical of the Mbeki administration - over affirmative action, over BEE, over his Aids denialism, over his support for Mugabe and over the failure of governance which resulted in major power cuts.

"In those days", Maimane adds, "I was an ANC voter" - suggesting that he was tolerant, to say the least, of AIDS denialism, a pro-Mugabe stance and such nonsense as Mbeki's paranoid "President's plot". Yet Mbeki's Aids denialism cost some 365,000 lives according to the Harvard study. The truth is that Mbeki is extremely fortunate not to be facing charges for crimes against humanity at the Hague. How on earth can one of the leaders of a liberal party - unrebuked by the party - support things like this?

The DA leadership is now in a very messy state. Hitherto the party has always chosen its leaders on merit but in effect Helen Zille has all but promised that the next leader will be black. A determined - but absurd - attempt was made to give away the party leadership to the arrogant and autocratic Mamphela Ramphele, who has been a failure in every institution that employed her.

Now we seem to face a situation in which the likely contest for the post-Zille DA leadership is between Mazibuko and Maimane. Both contenders are a mere 33, at least 10 years too young and both have a notion of recent South African history which could easily sink the party. If one of the key tasks of leadership is to prepare the succession, this is not a task that has been performed well.

Click here to read the second article in this series.

Footnote:

[1] C. Eglin, Crossing the Borders of Power. The Memoirs of Colin Eglin, p.64.

This article was published with the assistance of the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF). The views presented in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FNF.

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Comments

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 responses to this article

so in essence...
The ANC are better organized and have a plan that they can and are implementing? no wonder they get the majority of votes...

by . on November 11 2013, 21:42
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So, in essence, liberalism is dead
And that, mein wit kinders, is the hard truth you will have to face. For a few brief moments in 1994 it seemed as if SA really was going to strive to build a non-racial society. But the implementation of race quotas and anti-white discrimination in 1995 . .more

by Realist on November 11 2013, 22:31
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Stupidity
ANC this is so much you and all those still voting for you. "Everyone has the right to be stupid - but some is abusing the privilege there off". Because the DA see the sun shine over all black pink yellow and white they are being accused of everything . .more

by Leonie Booysen on November 11 2013, 22:41
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owl critic
The author is an untransormed racist.sees nothing cmpetent dt can come from a black person.to him d status quo of having majority of whites enjoying d fruits of motherland while africans r relegated to nonentities is ok.at least I would have appreciated . .more

by hhay khona on November 11 2013, 23:05
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The problem is zille
As the writer says she wants to be all things to all people - she wants to keep the white vote while trying to garnish black votes with ill timed and ill judged sound bites. However the worst,the worst is to say that the DA has morphed into the united . .more

by Robertinsydney on November 11 2013, 23:25
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Helen Zille hoping to become Tony Blair?
Tony Blair so successfully took over Conservative principles, while cloaked as a Laborite, that the two parties in effect, became interchangeable. This enabled Blair to rule for quite some time while the Conservatives rallied and re-formed themselves into . .more

by Guy Mullins on November 11 2013, 23:31
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"The DA is now like the old United Party"
Nail hit on the head.

There must be second and third level leaders, who are Liberal in outlook that know what is needed if the situation can't be turned around. There must be someone in the party, that fully understands what Suzman's example . .more

by Anon on November 11 2013, 23:36
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liberalism, open society
Johnson is right and it's good to hear the voice of liberal conscience speaking up in this way.

The DA is getting entangled in the spiderweb that the ANC has spun across the nation's legislation and regulations and sentiments. That's an . .more

by liberal on November 11 2013, 23:39
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@owl-critic.....

.....the author (RW Johnson) is nothing of the sort you ascribe to describe him.

Moreover, RWJ is a reputable & highly skilled & knowledgeable academic of High Ox-Bridge pedigree.

To label him a "racist" simply demonstrates your . .more

by John Austin on November 12 2013, 00:10
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Thought provoking
And nicely researched and written, as is usual from RW Johnson.

At the risk of repeating myself, the solution to this racial madness is simple - all good South Africans should refuse to classify themselves or others, using long abolished . .more

by Sad Days on November 12 2013, 00:42
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@Leonie Booysen
Go away you silly racist woman.

by Jerry on November 12 2013, 00:54
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Crisis
Forget about the DA.

South Africa is in crisis, and is following the rest of Africa down the slippery slope.

by Oldbok on November 12 2013, 05:13
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DA in Crisis - where?
This first part of this diatride contains 2581 words of sleep inducing drivel. Had he a valid point to make it could be done in 50 words surely?


by Chris Potgieter on November 12 2013, 06:27
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@ helen zille
I hope you are carefully reading all that is being said about this disastrous lapse of your leadership. There is still time to undo the damage and restore the DA to its rightful place as the only hope for a democratic future in SA. If this means a . .more

by anton kleinschmidt on November 12 2013, 07:00
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DA has always been in crisis
This crisis was long coming and i am not at all surprised the person I feel sorry for is Helen Zille and a few of her lieutenants who tried hard to attract black voters to racist DA. To a large extent she give us a run for our money as the ANC but we knew . .more

by Arnold Phasha on November 12 2013, 07:21
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Question
You state: " 75% of a company's managers and directors will have to be African" but I am an African and I am classified white. What you should have said is "Black and Honorary Black" like the new Chinese immigrants.

by Storm Ferguson on November 12 2013, 07:31
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Opposition is South African Focused
I understand Robert Mugabe is the only president in Africa with many of degrees, that does not make him the wisest president. The author is a clearly a white racist who sees nothing good about black person. If being learned make one wise then Mugabe . .more

by Proudly South African on November 12 2013, 07:38
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@oldbok
How right you are, I have just read the TAU's latest International bulletin. The agricultural and rural areas are a pressure cooker...and Julius Malema is turning up the heat!

by wendy on November 12 2013, 07:55
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@John Austin
There is nothing reputable and intellectual in this article.De Klerk did not just wake up and decided 2 end apartheid wthout any pressure from d ANC and d rest of d world.He picks up one incident in Shell house.what about d inkatha killing squads who . .more

by Hhay Khona on November 12 2013, 07:58
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a question for the likes of Arnold and Proudly et al
To all you who a accuse DA supporters of racism because they are unhappy with the DA parliamentary caucus, I have a very straight forward question..........

Presumably you unequivocally support current employment equity laws.

This being . .more

by voter on November 12 2013, 08:04
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'The FUD Factor'
The ANC is the FUD Party. They use Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, evoked intentionally in order to put us at a disadvantage.

They refuse to explain their actions to us the people and so now we are confused as to their true . .more

by Paul C on November 12 2013, 08:06
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DA in crisis
The madness of the whole BEE and EE approach can be seen that ALL the net increase in jobs in a country as diverse as the US over the past decade have come from small company start-ups.

Individual entrepreneurs, perhaps laid off from the big . .more

by Jon Quirk on November 12 2013, 08:08
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Purpose of this Article
What the heck is the purpose of this article? And placed on politicsweb nogal?

by Lize-Ri on November 12 2013, 08:19
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@ Arnold
You cannot see the wood for the trees

The DA has made remarkable progress as an opposition party precisely because of their liberal ethos. They have steadfastly refused to submit to the type of racist engineering that was the hallmark of of the . .more

by anton kleinschmidt on November 12 2013, 08:23
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SOTE
The DA is a better option than the cANCer party but the likes of mazibuko and maimane - no they are all tarred with the same brush
SA is a disaster - repulsive nation in general

by Misanthrope on November 12 2013, 08:28
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The DA made their choice :
Racism combined with mediocrity is their new flag. Will fit in well in the stuffed up rainbow nation.

by Walter on November 12 2013, 08:34
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When reality bites
The minorities who voted for the DA, and who now feel betrayed, will feel obliged to continue to vote for the DA for the simple reason that they want to keep the WC out of ANC control.
Naturally, there will be no let-up from the ANC, or indeed the . .more

by Jingo on November 12 2013, 08:35
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WHITE and PROUD !
It would appear than in SA to speak the truth is to be labelled "racist"
Newspeak
Meanwhile it gained ground steadily, all Party members tending to use Newspeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday . .more

by Bibliophile on November 12 2013, 08:36
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DA IN CRISIS (I)
So, who does to idiot think will bring a prosperous South Africa? Is this article about the ANC or the DA? He has a big mouth which sees fault everywhere. Get off ur high horse and expose ur racist ideology stupid

by Tumi on November 12 2013, 09:01
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What is liberalism
The author of the article says "may be it's the end of liberalism. I am really stunned with this saying. What is the real definition of liberalism. Does it mean the abolishing of all values and norms in order to attain political aims. If it means this, . .more

by Willem on November 12 2013, 09:05
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Trekking On
RW may not be a Sociologist / social "scientist" along the lines of van Zyl Slabbert or Lawrence Schlemmer but I am sure he is aware of the internal migrations taking place in SA ( we will leave emigration for the moment )

Just as the ANC has . .more

by Bibliophile on November 12 2013, 09:06
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Hooker or leader?
There is a difference between striding out with a banner held high and sauntering the pavement in a mini skirt and high heels.

by DABB on November 12 2013, 09:08
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@Hhay Khona on November 12 2013, 07:58
You REALLY want to know what happened in "getting-rid-of-Apartheid" ???

This vitally important trip was financed by Anglo-American, which paid Lowenstein $7,000 for his services, $1,000 to his aide, Mark Childress, and $1,000 to Lowenstein' s . .more

by Bibliophile on November 12 2013, 09:23
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An interesting discussion
.


Well said Mr Johnson.

I would strongly advise Helen Zille to take Johnson's words very seriously. He is simply reflecting what many of us feel and all bets are off as to whether I vote DA next time round.

I am sick to . .more

by Matanzima on November 12 2013, 09:23
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What is the liberal solution?
Dear RW

I think your article is plain racist and is not about the state of the DA. You interestingly use 'race' references to make your point, but at the same time criticize racial classification.

It'd help all of us (including . .more

by Mpho Tsekwa on November 12 2013, 09:34
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Who then do I vote for?
I have for a long time not known who to vote for and now I have proof of of why I could not support the present parties. Please give us info on where Dr Ramphele has not succeeded

by RA on November 12 2013, 09:43
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We live in interesting Bantuheid times...
Perhaps it was the best thing that could have happened...
Suddenly the reality can clearly be seen, not only by its intended victims, the minorities' rank and file, but by the investors and the International community at large.
-Bantuheid is no . .more

by Injala Apera on November 12 2013, 09:48
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The rate of economic illiteracy amongst ANC supporters is frightening
and now it has spread to the DA. WHat is to be done?

Communicate with them via comics? Like Irvin Jim does?

by Brett on November 12 2013, 10:03
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@Hhay Khona
If you think that blacks can do without whites, why 53 African countries are such sh1tholes? Why when you travel north of SA you see nothing but misery, poverty and shambles? Why your black brothers are mounting rickety boats and try to sneak into Europe? . .more

by PLiny the Elder on November 12 2013, 10:06
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Wow, the Apartheid Dinosaur finally CRAWLS from its Houtbay stone!
Fangs, multi tongues, paws all out and spitting fire in all directions. What got it so enraged? And it thinks we stil live in Apartheid era and r scared of these EVIL creatures? Let them all come out so that we can CRUSH them for good. B******* Apartheid . .more

by Mute Fool_Makoya on November 12 2013, 10:10
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On a serious note, if DA supporters and society (in general) wil be voting for ANC; who wil vote DA?
Admit it, u saw how desperate yr supporters were in Kempton Park; even kneeling in front of Ramaphosa.....hehehe running for cover from EFF. Go on Malema and co; get us that two thirds majority so that we can LEGALLY change the Constitutional papers and . .more

by Mute Fool_Makoya on November 12 2013, 10:16
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they all toss principles for a shot at power
I am surprised that people are surprised that the DA is like all political parties - expedient, slave to realpolitik.
Like the ANC cannot be democratic (in the true sense of the word) due to its underlying philosophy, so the DA cannot be liberal if . .more

by alexxzarr8 on November 12 2013, 10:26
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The ANC are rubbish and the DA is stuttering along with some useless ID people
Also Mazibuko is not nearly up to the job. Zille has made a lot of mistakes so far. Time for her to go.

by Time Up on November 12 2013, 10:42
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@ . That all-important vote
The ANC get the majority vote because of the prolific numbers of the black population who vote for the ANC. There is no other reason.
This particular segment of the population is largely uneducated, illiterate and unsophisticated - according to . .more

by Jingo on November 12 2013, 10:42
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Building a small chapel
As always, R.W.Johnson exposes and demolishes cant with facts, succinctly and coherently.
The ANC, and its marxist and populist offshoots, is proudly racialist, its overriding aim being the advancement of its own race. It is not racist, in that it . .more

by Leslie Melville on November 12 2013, 10:56
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DA IS SHEDDING LIBERALISM (RACISM)
When you speak about Mandela everyone likes him but he stood for non-racialism. Whites are the' most racists people I have come across. If you believe that the ANC is evil then why don't you go to a country that is not run by evil people? You know very . .more

by Monde on November 12 2013, 10:59
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A little less racialism can take you further . . .
The ANC is racially motivated? Maybe true but, aren't the very organizations you are referring to employing racial strategies to conduct their businesses? Aren't you in fact being racialist yourself?

A great piece which has been marred by your . .more

by X on November 12 2013, 11:02
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Accurate analysis
I wish Dr Gavin Lewis were still here to read this article. He would have agreed with every word. What a pleasure to read an accurate analysis of events based on true scholarship.

by Colleen Lewis on November 12 2013, 11:06
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Johnson article
This conservative wholeheartedly agrees with this liberal

by Andries Beyers on November 12 2013, 11:14
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Building a small chapel
The DA could be home to South Africa's non-racialists if they were not so disunited themselves. It would have to accommodate snotty English-speakers who cannot overcome their prejudice against Afrikaans-speakers; arrogant postliberals who berate liberals . .more

by Leslie Melville on November 12 2013, 11:18
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@Hhay Khona
'There is nothing reputable and intellectual in this article.De Klerk did not just wake up and decided 2 end apartheid wthout any pressure from d ANC and d rest of d world.He picks up one incident in Shell house.what about d inkatha ....'

Is this . .more

by agncvw on November 12 2013, 11:32
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@jingo 08h35 and 10h42
Accurate comments that are wasted on most of the contributors on this page. That day when the gloves come off is too awful to contemplate

by shiksa on November 12 2013, 11:40
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I am an African!

I have not had time to read the article yet, but my hackles rise at the author's implying that "white" South Africans are not African.

The EEAct does NOT require 75% of employees to be African, it requires them to be Black!

I am a . .more

by Mute Fool on November 12 2013, 11:55
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Ivory Tower
A missile from an Ivory Tower indee!!!. It must be wonderful to have the luxury of academia as a vantage point...far removed from the realities of South African politics and life on the ground. So what if they compromised on a few principles(assuming they . .more

by Phillip George on November 12 2013, 11:56
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Crisis
Firstly a very well written article by RW Johnson. Even if one does not agree with him his mastery of the english language is a pleasure to read compared to for example the statements issue by ANC propagandists. I look forward to the next . .more

by James Bell on November 12 2013, 11:59
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RW: same ol racist..
The idiot was long declared racist by 73 prominent writers and academics..

see http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2010-07-22-rw-johnson-shames-himself-disgraces-london-review-of-books-del/

I am not suprised by his latest . .more

by voice of reason on November 12 2013, 12:01
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The writer is being indulgent
He can distort history to his satisfaction, but that won't wash away the collective guilt of white electorate during apartheid. This includes Helen Suzman and all the so called progs. The all helped to prolong the apartheid system by taking part in the . .more

by Mush on November 12 2013, 12:02
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Not only that Colleen Lewis on November 12 2013, 11:06
He would have spelled out the economic implications clearly so that all could understand. Even Lindiwe. Before the DA set off on this disastrous duplicitous course.

by Brett on November 12 2013, 12:07
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beginning of end for zilles social democrats,enter leons neoliberals
all of this acrimony was precipitated by little julius's EFF who have disrupted DAs key objective of winning over the black young vote.now that this dream is becoming more of a distant possibility this contest for the sole/soul of the DA has to rear its . .more

by vukaintsizwa on November 12 2013, 12:07
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Well, now you'll be part of nothing Phillip George on November 12 2013, 11:56
Enjoy. If you think I'm exaggerating leave your own ivory tower for the company of people who used to vote for the DA.

by Brett on November 12 2013, 12:09
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You're emotionally invested X on November 12 2013, 11:02
You can't be rational nor objective on the issue.

by Brett on November 12 2013, 12:10
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would never have happened
correction

by ntsizwa on November 12 2013, 12:13
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@Mute Fool_Makoya
Mute Fool_Makoya, start preparing your boat to sail to Europe. It won't be long now when SA will be driven back to STONE AGE.

by Pliny the Elder on November 12 2013, 12:17
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Anglo American Liberals true proponents of "Rooi Gevaar" and "Swart Gevaar"
Prof RW Johnson says it as it is.

The political landscape in South Africa has changed dramatically.

But none of the concerns about the destructive skills shortage in SA is new.

It was known before whites voted "Yes" in the . .more

by Barry Saayman on November 12 2013, 13:10
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How the DA should prove their worth
Proof of the ANC's incredible adherence to cadre deployment is the placing of Robert McBride as Head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
The enlistment of criminals and incompetents to oversee organs of state proves that they . .more

by Anthony Caenazzo on November 12 2013, 13:40
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Oh no, not again! Codswallop posing as scholarship.
The assertion that only 3% of Africans have tertiary qualifications is patently nonsense but not surprising coming from a race obsessed dogmatist like Johnson. The proportion of African students in the public higher education system as a whole increased . .more

by Veja on November 12 2013, 13:49
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Black to Front
The claimed need for Afirmative Action is based on a falsehood; the same one that sporned "Previously Disadvantages". It come from the idea that Colonialism was a negative influence. Yet any realist would note that the only added-value that Africa . .more

by The Clever Native on November 12 2013, 13:51
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Fact is we do recall
So nice to read RW again,. Pity the masses who read not nor follow actual history,..

by Born free's - Born sold? on November 12 2013, 13:55
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@Mush
RW Johnson has not distorted history, it was your mentors that did.
We 'progs' did suffer the guilt of white electorate during apartheid and that was why we opposed the iniquitous system. We did not prolong the apartheid system by taking part in the . .more

by Anthony Caenazzo on November 12 2013, 14:02
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Veja can't understand basic stats
RW's figure of 3% is 3% of the total population, not 3% of the number of people who are in education. Do you understand the difference?
In any case, the fact that more blacks than whites are in education does raise the question why whites are . .more

by Realist on November 12 2013, 14:06
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Racism clothed as economics
At least the author could put his racist views out there unlike those making racist comments while remaining anonymous

by Lea Petersen on November 12 2013, 14:09
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Article bordering on hate speech
Educated bantus such as myself (I hold a B.Eng (Industrial) degree from the University of Pretoria) take note of articles and sentiments like these. We see it in the workplace and how we get treated by so- called professionals whose services we pay for . .more

by Lea Petersen on November 12 2013, 14:17
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A history lesson for @ The Clever Native
White South Africans include:
•Afrikaners, descendants of Dutch, German and French Huguenot who came to the country from the 17th century onwards.
This group was largely made up of low level sailors and deck hands harvested from the uneducated . .more

by Sun Tzu on November 12 2013, 14:24
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WHAT A RACIST AUTHOR
THIS MAN NEEDS TRANSFORMATION ...HE JUST LOOKS DOWN ON BLACK PEOPLE CLEARLY (MANDELA, MBEKI, MAZIBUKO, MAIMMANE,)

HE IS SEXIST AND DISCRIMINATES BASED ON AGE.

OMG WHAT A RACIST OLD MAN!!!!!!!!!!

by Hector on November 12 2013, 14:29
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@ Sun Tzu
Son Zoo, you must have passed woodwork.
How did you spell your name before the written word.

by The Clever Native on November 12 2013, 14:34
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Perhaps Mandela was different. But even so, this scandalous abuse took place on his watch
And what happened under the watch of all the SA presidents pre Mandela? Please this article is nothing but racism hidden behind so-called intellectualism.

Funny how AA, BEE and BBBEE has liberals like these criticising Mandela. They are not . .more

by Lea Petersen on November 12 2013, 14:35
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LIBERAL HYPOCRISY
Biko indeed warned of liberal hypocrisy, I thought it was a myth, but this article has been a wake up call. The old racist is trying to conceal his racism and contempt towards black people but it just finds its way out on the margins of all he says...

by Guy on November 12 2013, 14:39
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Yet Mbeki's Aids denialism cost some 365,000 lives according to the Harvard study. The truth is tha...
Oh yes, we "liberals" care about the BANTUS when they die of aids but heaven forbid that the government puts in place AA, BEE and BBBEE policies to try and enable a few to escape a life of poverty that hundreds of years of colonialism and ultimately . .more

by Lea Petersen on November 12 2013, 14:42
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Plain Racism
After reading your article I came to question why are blacks people still in the DA because what you have written here is exactly what most white people like you long for , white privileges , which seem to be eroding with blacks emerging in every sector . .more

by Kumar on November 12 2013, 14:49
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@by Jingo on November 12 2013, 10:42
You claim they are largely uneducated, illiterate and unsophisticated...that may well be, but at least they are not as stupid and naïve as the supposedly educated, literate sophisticates who voted to give De Klerk the ego-ahead for reforms and now whine . .more

by . on November 12 2013, 15:39
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Brett how so . . .
I tend to disagree with you on that one Brett. Perhaps my wording leads you to believe as such but my take was holistically based on what I have read coupled with my understanding of the past and present state this country is in. But then again, this . .more

by X on November 12 2013, 15:44
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Dotting the i's
In the moral absurdity, confusion and double-standards that characterises contemporary discourse, it is completely acceptable for blacks (or Chinese or Indians or whoever) to have "group interests" and practise identity politics. Thus, as Dot so correctly . .more

by Realist on November 12 2013, 15:49
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@by Realist on November 12 2013, 15:49
interesting spin...but the best interpretation would be "vote in your own self-interest, or your children's self interest"...

by . on November 12 2013, 15:58
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How the DA should prove their worth
Proof of the ANC's incredible adherence to cadre deployment is the placing of Robert McBride as Head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
The enlistment of criminals and incompetents to oversee organs of state proves that they . .more

by Anthony Caenazzo on November 12 2013, 16:03
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To all those non-racist non-liberal african patriots
Have you ever listened to yourselves? You call, everybody who do not 100% agree with your views of whatever racist. You appear to think that the word "racist" is the worst epithet that can be slung at somebody and once having done so it is the end of any . .more

by James Bell on November 12 2013, 16:09
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Whether the DA supported the bill or not
It doesnt make a difference if the DA supported the bill or not. The ANC still has the majority in government and the bill would have been voted into constitution anyway. It would have been a good tactic for the DA to support the bill to get more votes . .more

by The Patriot on November 12 2013, 16:16
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To all those non-racist non-liberal african patriots (2)
that works, does not cost the earth, gets finished on time etc. We build schools where teachers teach instead of toi - toing, even our politicians are for the most part people with integrity. I have written about our value system before numerous times. . .more

by James Bell on November 12 2013, 16:24
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@by Bibliophile on November 12 2013, 09:23
Thank you for that interesting link on namebase.org . Even RW and his source of funding gets a mention... and then given the US channeling money through Germany it made me chuckle when I remembered "This article is published with the assistance of the . .more

by . on November 12 2013, 16:28
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@James Bell: Confessions of a racist
Finally you came out of the wood works and laid claim to your heritage of being a racist. That's good because living in the shadows of your real self must have been tough? You declare "I am proud to be a racist. It means I am in touch with reality," with . .more

by Veja on November 12 2013, 16:54
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by Lea Petersen
Please spell concisely for everyone to see what Blacks had before the frightful Whites arrive some three hundred years ago, as you say, as well as before the Mabuno's Apartheid just some fifty.
Please let us also know on how long exactly the same . .more

by Injala Apera on November 12 2013, 17:13
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Democratic Alliance
I will continue to support the DA regardless because they are the only party capable of providing a strong opposition to the excesses of the ANC, and they have been successful in the Western Cape. I will not put that at risk.

by Jane Muller on November 12 2013, 17:21
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@The Patriot
Clearly you are not the sharpest tool in the box.

According to you, it makes no difference if the DA supports the bills or not. The ANC would have voted it through. By the same logic, Helen Suzman should never have resisted the Nats. After all, . .more

by Merlin on November 12 2013, 17:24
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i am surprised that noone calls for tony leon back as leader of DA;
zille is also not a target of attack despite that she is responsible for the so-called crisis in the party but instead the black secondary leadership is under attack with some declaring that being a 10% party will even be better-that is without blacks.DA . .more

by indodoyamadoda on November 12 2013, 17:49
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it now makes sense why mamphele ramphele was asked to lead the DA
it means the DA was aware of this impending catastrophe of legitimacy and parachuting mamphele was to them the solution.i cant just imagine how the DA will pull itself out of this mess except for them to dissolve into a new party with all the other . .more

by moonwalker on November 12 2013, 18:09
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@Veja
I am surprised that you can even spell irony.

Just for your info, I doubt if the DA would be proud of me but then I do not speak for them nor have I ever pretended to. The cloud cuckoo land I spoke about, the DA/DP/PFP/UP were the architects and . .more

by James Bell on November 12 2013, 18:25
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Idiot! The Patriot on November 12 2013, 16:16
The only ones who are going to benefit are insolvency practitioners and auctioneers!

No, not 'Idiot'! FI!

by Brett on November 12 2013, 19:50
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Dear Mr Johnson
What you don't acknowledge is an intrinsic human ability to learn from Error, and change direction as a result.

If humans did not have this capacity we would still have slavery, feudalism, and colonization. When democracy hit humanity in the face . .more

by Panjandrum on November 12 2013, 20:05
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Tony Leon and the DA
Tony Leon has had much to say recently about the DA's support for "pernicious social engineering", but I will never forget his rush to merge the then liberal Democratic Party with its ideological antithesis, the illiberal New National Party. I find that . .more

by Jane Muller on November 12 2013, 20:42
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Want less rape murder violence corruption theft stupidity incompetence?
Leave South Africa for almost any place in the world and you will have less of the above.

by Time on November 12 2013, 22:14
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Breaking news
I have just tweeted mederm zille saying I find it unbelievable that she is standing back while her party is being torn to shreds on this blog. I have suggested she calls it a day and move to OZ- where I am sure Gail Kelly (former Nedbank teller) who now . .more

by Robertinsydney on November 12 2013, 22:27
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@time
And that puts the whole situation in sa in a nutshell!

by Robertinsydney on November 12 2013, 22:59
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@ Robertinsydney
Your stupid little tweet is not even a blip on her radar. She knows that she can count on the support of people who know that the Western Cape is the best run province.

by .... on November 12 2013, 23:00
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Spot on
Spot on

by Paul Smith on November 13 2013, 09:34
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@James Bell
I have studied your posts which is why it was singularly dissapointing to hear you proclaiming the antithesis of what I thought were your principled beliefs. Maybe I got it wrong you were just making a point and yes, using 'IRONY'.

Your . .more

by Veja on November 13 2013, 11:48
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Arpatheid
De Klerk abolished arpartheid?
He must be ruling the country
today if SA was sensible.

by Cuji on November 13 2013, 14:44
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Racist hangover
Let me take issue with racists sentiments overtly expressed and implied by Mr RW Johnson in his article of 11 November 2013, “DA in crisis”. An old white man who has lived through the system of black denigration and dehumanisation such that it is, in his . .more

by Sithembele Phakade on November 15 2013, 13:16
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fg
Da is becoming black

by giving on November 15 2013, 20:06
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@Veja nov 13 14.44
Why Veja, I am touched.

by James Bell on November 20 2013, 15:46
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@ Bibliophile
Whatever it is that you are taking, I think you should stop now. Immediately!

by Mike Berger on December 23 2013, 22:50
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Yea right.
The DA in crises - dream on...

by Paul C on December 24 2013, 08:00
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Don't forget - Only the cattle vote for ANC - DO NOT VOTE ANC

Anyone with half a brain will not vote for the ANC.

They are corrupt, liars and incompetent.

Mandela will turn in his grave as he watches the ANC as it is today.

WHATEVER YOU DO .....DO NOT VOTE ANC

by Sithembolo on December 24 2013, 10:16
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Lets do something new
The DA is following the path of the old Nats and the ANC, they boost their cronies and they try to capture the black middle class vote. They offer no viable alternatives to a divided ANC. Whilst saying that neither do any of the other parties except . .more

by Ceghi on December 24 2013, 12:44
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Stupidity of most ANC followers
The ANC have so little faith in the abilities of most of their followers that they have to implement BEE otherwise the majority of their followers will never make it into senior or any other position in the private sector. This is born out by the collapse . .more

by Madoda on December 25 2013, 19:20
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Race is no longer the issue.
Let me make this point.

The DA is not racist.

There may well be racists within the DA - but then there are racists within the anc too.

by Paul C on December 27 2013, 10:17
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DA and EEAB
The writer forgot one thing that Africans are unskilled because of the Apartheid government through which she gained all the knowledge at the expense of the blacks in particular. The ANC is correcting the past through this Bill and it will be correct for . .more

by Charles Kubhayi on December 28 2013, 09:37
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