From Zimbabwe to Gwede Mantashe, readers express their views on some of the stories that have been making headlines.
Zim stands by its thief
Percy Zvomuya's piece ("The world's Zim fantasy is not the reality", August 23) could equally be entitled "Percy's fantasy…"
He says: "Mugabe – after taking away land and giving it to black farmers, who have generally made a success of it – is now moving in on foreign-owned companies."
What absolute rubbish! Only someone blind and stupid, or someone with selective sight and hearing, can possibly make such a statement.
Mugabe, the great thief of Africa, has ravaged Zimbabwe and its people (who, generally, have allowed the rape to take place by voting again and again for the ravager).
Mugabe stole the farms from white people, many of whom had lived and farmed in Rhodesia-Zimbabwe for generations, and gave them not to "farmers" but to his political allies or family members.
Those once productive farms, in general, have also been ravaged by their new owners. In many cases, they sold everything moveable, including the doors and window frames from the buildings. They got drunk, sat in the sun and complained that Mugabe had not really done anything for them because, look, they have nothing and the banks will not lend them money for seed.
More than one million black Zimbabweans who were employed on the farms lost their jobs and, in many cases, were run off the farms by the new owners.
The British do not blame the many invaders of their great land (including the Romans) and demand compensation for land taken by, for example, the Romans to build roads and great buildings. What the British did was retain all the Roman and other names given to their towns and roads, preserved the Roman buildings, and learnt what they could from the invaders before they departed.
Africa needs to stop blaming everyone else for its lot. – Richard Stewart, Johannesburg
The truth needs to come out and it will, no matter how much any one of us tries to hide it. As a law-abiding and loyal Zimbabwean, I am requesting that you release the 2008 [Khampepe] report [on Zimbabwe's 2002 elections – which is the subject of an ongoing court case]. It would be the good and decent thing to do.
I do not have to read reports or newspapers to know that the recent elections are a lie and a farce. I know! The Lord himself has told us that we shall know them by their fruit. All one has to do is look at the fruit that has been Zimbabwe.
It has been the curse of a lie and deception and bloodshed; it has been the curse of economic destruction, oppression and injustice; it has been the curse of arrogance, pride and the worship of man.
And, when millions of dollars were splashed on a spectacle to parade a lie and adulate a mere man in the face of truth and the suffering of millions of Zimbabweans, we heard more of the same: hate, threats, arrogance and the destructive policies of the past. No wonder we are a nation in mourning. – NM Bekker-Smith
Mantashe shouldn't talk about 'personality cults'
I nearly fell off my chair when I heard the secretary general of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, addressing members of police union Popcru during its national political school.
Mantashe gave a stern warning to the workers in trade union federation Cosatu to eschew worshiping certain leaders as that has the potential to bludgeon the federation to death.
How quickly Mantashe forgets that he was part of the "Polokwane forces" that falsely accused the former president of the ANC, Thabo Mbeki, of inculcating the culture of the "personality cult" shortly before his unceremonious removal from office.
After the so-called watershed Polokwane conference in 2007, Mantashe and his ilk consistently practised the same dangerous political religion of "personality cult" they accused Mbeki of, continually exalting President Jacob Zuma to the status of deity.
Today Zuma is a feared and unchallenged leader within the ANC who can use state apparatus to get rid of his political nemeses.
That is a "personality cult" at its worst, rather than what Manatashe perceived to be the case in Cosatu.
In fact, Mantashe is not qualified to lecture workers on such a dangerous culture of worshipping individual leaders in any tripartite alliance structure. Mantashe is an unequivocal beneficiary of "personality cult".
Had he not toed the line in the build-up to Mangaung, he would have not been retained in the top six.
Furthermore, Mantashe's ANC and the South African Communist Party are responsible for the possible rupture that currently threatens the unity of Cosatu, and history will judge them harshly should Cosatu suffer permanent paralysis.
At the meeting, it was shocking to see Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini unfazed by the looming implosion within the federation because of his factional blindness.
That made us as workers understand that a factional leader of his stature puts the interests of his faction ahead of workers' unity. – Mabake wa-Masweneng (an ordinary worker), Benoni
Forgo sleight of hand and favour the facts, please
In "Browne baulks at closure of arms deal commission" (August19), the Mail & Guardian quotes Terry Crawford-Browne as saying: "It is public knowledge that the new management of MAN Ferrostaal acknow-ledges that offsets were vehicles to pay bribes, and that the old management had no intention of complying with offset commitments."
For the executive board and employees at Ferrostaal GmbH, it is extremely annoying to see a prestigious newspaper publish a statement of this nature, one that's entirely unfounded, without any comment.
The facts show how ridiculous the claims are. In 2010, South Africa's government confirmed in writing that all of the offset obligations had been fulfilled.
Crawford-Browne declares, clearly without any authority, that the claims he has made public through a letter were already "public know-ledge". In our opinion, respectable journalism should not cede the field to this kind of sleight of hand.
We would be grateful if, when confronted with allegations that are apt to do serious harm to our company's reputation, you would pay heed to the other side of the story and to the facts. We are available should you have any such questions. – Ulrich Bieger, Ferrostaal corporate communications, Essen, Germany