Letters to the Editor: March 29 to April 5

Mad right a threat? Please!

The headline “Radical right plugs swart gevaar” shocked me. Then I realised it was an article full of invective, half-truths and slanted at an inconsequential fringe group.

Was reporter Lloyd Gedye’s brief to build up hate against this small band of Walter Mittys, and by association, white people — even though they have probably never heard of this tiny “evil” group?

Dredging up rumours from more than 20 years ago was followed by what can only be described as misrepresentation. Parliament did not vote to “review the possibility to allow for land expropriation without compensation”. It voted to do so. The committee dealing with this has been broken into two groups — one will look at the coastal provinces and the other the five inland provinces — according to the chairperson. There is no “possibility”. It’s a done deal, which Parliament will rubber-stamp.

Gedye gets better. He tries to link Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to “the cause” Gedye has discovered — the fringe looney-right cause. Anyone who has read the National Examiner will know there are enough kooks in the United States to start their own country.

Killings of South African farmers and farm incursions get a bigger press outside South Africa than within. Local TV fawns to the ANC and the press is not far behind.

Sadly, South Africans think they own the news about South Africa. The truth is when South Africa joined the rest of the world news control disappeared.

During the bilge of Gedye’s article, immigration is raised. Why should the Suidlanders want to leave their own country? Gedye should look closer to home.

A current white paper on immigration shows the ANC’s intent. All permanent residents in the country would be disenfranchised and become visa holders. In effect, they would no longer be afforded the rights they have now. The plan is to “give” their jobs to a person from the Southern African Development Community area, if possible. Visas would be reviewed regularly and only those deemed “desirable” could stay. — Tom Morgan

■ Although AfriForum and the Mail & Guardian disagree on many a matter, AfriForum and I have always greatly appreciated the major role that the newspaper and its journalists play in exposing corruption and stimulating people’s minds.

But on March 23, the M&G severely tainted its good reputation by publishing a dubious article by Lloyd Gedye, which is based on untested conspiracy theories. Gedye argues in the article that, with the help of Nazi sympathisers and Ku Klux Klan supporters, a relatively unknown South African group, the Suidlanders, has succeeded in getting the mainstream media abroad to report on farm murders and expropriation without compensation. Do Gedye and the M&G really think that people in their right minds would believe these preposterous assumptions? The M&G’s readers deserve better.

The only assumption that I can make for Gedye and the M&G serving up such a far-fetched story is that Gedye is attempting to create a false impression that the well-founded, worldwide concern about farm murders and expropriation without compensation is founded on an untruth spread by extremists.

The real threat that expropriation without compensation poses to South Africa’s economy and as the reality that a farmer has a three to four times greater chance of being murdered compared with the average South African provide sufficient reason for moderate people the world over to raise their concern. — Kallie Kriel, chief executive, AfriForum


ANC, disband five regions

The past weekend’s ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting and its outcomes are warmly welcomed (“E Cape ANC warns of ‘crisis’ if top brass is ousted”). The NEC under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa showed its strength when it comes to rebuilding the ANC, and indeed reaffirmed the new dawn of renewal and unity.

The outcome in the Eastern Cape is embraced. It is a relief to the people of the province and the ANC branches that during the eighth Eastern Cape provincial elective conference (PEC) Oscar Mabuyane was elected as the provincial chairperson. The endorsement of the PEC is a clear message that the new NEC will never allow anarchy.

Those who were behind the disbandment of the PEC because of their selfish interests have been told clearly that the ANC is not an organisation of anarchists. Most branches feel vindicated.

My call to the PEC is to ensure that the Eastern Cape is a home of discipline. Those undermining the PEC, which was endorsed by the NEC, must be disciplined.

Further, the reshuffling of the executive council in Bhisho must happen speedily. Those MECs who don’t toe the line must be reshuffled. The PEC must not purge, but rather must show that the ANC is the only centre of power. It should further communicate to members that deployment is not an entitlement attached to status.

Five regions (Nelson Mandela Metro, Amathole, Dr WB Rubusana, Joe Gqabi and Chris Hani) must be disbanded. They are sowing divisions in the ANC and their municipalities are dysfunctional because of structures defying the PEC. The ANC should disband them and appoint task teams with a mandate to deliver united regional conferences that respect the ANC.

We need leaders whose hearts are devoted to our people, not just their immediate families and friends. — Viwe Sidali, East London

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

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