This and that with Maluphosa - Remember Vote Yes, Vote No way back in 2000

This and that with Maluphosa -  Remember Vote Yes, Vote No way back in 2000
Published: 01 April 2012 (1710 Views)
Do you remember the 'Vote Yes' 'Vote No' way back in 2000? And boy the consequences were nasty for both sides, including those who had vowed remain wholly apolitical since the 1980 vote? Godlwayo says in a country as politically turbulent as ours it is nigh impossible to be apolitical. The politicians are prepared to take their dirty game into your turf, in the name of the vote. With them, it is either you are for us or against us, like the 'Vote Yes' 'Vote No' exercise. There is no way that a person could be purely and wholly neutral! If you are neutral, then you are against us, hence a very politically conscious population. Most Mthwakazians are exiles because of politics, one way or another.    

Rumour has it that there will be a 'Vote Yes' 'Vote No' exercise here. But it will not be to test the popularity of the government as was in our case; it is merely to vote for or against the return of the suspended police commissioner, General Bheki Cele! The commissioner was suspended after a lot of allegations were leveled against him, ranging from arming gangsters in his rural home in KZN, to corruption and bribery running into millions. A lot of people have refused to testify in his inquest which is under way as we speak. They are scared for their lives, they claim.     

A lot of my home boys have declared publicly that they are definitely voting against the return of Bheki Cele. They observe that there were unprecedented levels of deportation of foreigners when Cele was appointed; and there are many outstanding law-suits against the police, for deporting even some South Africans because they were too black to be South African! Some say he was a simple gangster whose rise to the top bordered on nepotism. Because of his 'criminal'record  had already been written in the appointment later. This is why, they say, it was so easy for him to attack criminal head-quarters because these are the guys he worked with. It was easy for him also, to ask those with unlicensed fire-arms to letha umshini wakho, because most of these were his friends who would not have loved to disappoint him.            

Yes, my home-boys can vote; they have the book of life, the green-book, the id. Abantu balapha believe that the book of life is much more important than an education. They believe once one has this book they automatically qualify for a job in the office, a bank loan regardless of your ability to pay it back, food packets, an RDP house, a disability/ laziness grant, food packets and the right to protest violently if these are not delivered at your mkhukhu. And most will be able to vote yes or no when the exercise kicks off whenever it kicks. Not many people love this man when he appointed police commissioner, least of all foreigners, who blamed him for mass arrests and deportations and xenophobic attacks in 2008. Even some of his countrymen felt he was too over-zealous and interfered in people's everyday lives. The foreigners felt he was appointed just to take them on. They felt he should have been named foreigners' commissioner, or something to demonstrate his love to unsettle foreigners. I remember some of his speeches a few days after he was appointed.

'We have observed a trend where foreigners commit crime - taking advantage of the fact that we have an unacceptable crime level - to tarnish our credibility and image," The Times newspaper quoted him as saying one Monday.  And he had openly vowed to catch them and take them back to their countries. I remember him, a week after appointment when he raided High Rise, a flat in Berea known to house only Mthwakazians, Zimbabweans, and Nigerians. He came out empty handed, to his utter disappointment.  A certain man I lived with in Yeoville, claimed that Cele's boys armed their home boys for izimpi zomdeni emakhaya Ko Zulu. Do you remember how we used to fight for territorial integrity with boys from across the river or beyond the mountain? We would fight over petty issues such as '- - -why are you dating my sister?' ukudlisa emasimini angakithi, looking at us with a 'talking eye',grudges from school, petty jealousies especially if the victim was better than us at school – uyazenzisa or uyimbulu! They could also be assaulted for merely passing through ama eri ethu, if there was no other excuse. And the most dangerous weapons we used for fighting were isavutha, irekeni, umqwayi, or just bare hands., not guns     

One time we forced one of those boys from across the rail line to sit down with knees raised; we tied his elbows to his knees using a stick to immobilize the limbs (imbila zika Khonde). We assaulted him so bad he passed out. We tossed him into a muddy pool teeming with tadpoles, dead frogs and dung beetles, cow dung, worms wriggling for survival. He spent a cold night there until he was discovered by men who work at a near-by ranch.  And it was just boys doing their thing.                                            

But in KZN even an old man must go fight, otherwise he would be labeled an impimpi, and his whole family would perish with him. And imizi iyavalwa ngehlahla, literally. But abakithi say since Cele was suspended there are few or no road blocks manned by Gumba Gumbas mandated to net foreigners and 'sardine' them back where they came from. But the referendum is pending anyway, and I hope the aftermath will not be the same as what was witnessed back home in 2000. At least lapha they have something called the Freedom Charter, a unique document in that for the first time ever, the people were actively involved in formulating their own vision of an alternative society, post apartheid. The existing order of State oppression and exploitation which was prevalent in the 1950's (and earlier) was totally rejected. This is what the Congress of the People, a series of campaigns and rallies, huge and small, held in houses, flats, factories, kraals, on farms and in the open, came up with. The National Action Council enlisted volunteers to publicize the C.O.P, educate the people, note their grievances and embark on a "million signatures campaign". Hence, the Charter is a significant document because it embodies the hopes and aspirations of all South Africans. And it gives them the right to choose. So they get a chance to say whether they want to see Mr. 'Stomach in Chest Out' in uniform once again.                        

Some of the areas covered by the Freedom Fharter include the declaration that the people shall govern. This made it easy for the 'people' to recall Mbeki from deployment when he was seen as no-longer relevant, or as wanting to govern without the people. They also declared that all national groups shall have equal rights and also share in the country's wealth. They also declared the land shall be shared amongst those who work it. NOTE: not those who want it; All shall be equal before the law; All shall enjoy equal human rights; not just a certain part of the country; There shall be work and security; the doors of learning and culture shall be opened; There shall be houses, security and comfort, and there shall be peace and friendship.    

How does this compare with the 17 points that were written by our neighbours, mainly to impede on our freedom, education, cultural consciousness, housing, security, and comfort, equality before the law, job assurances and prosperity? Is it too late to start afresh for the good of both states – to come up with our own aspirations and make sure that no laws are passed that seek to block our freedom? Of course, there isn't much comfort in South Africa, even for most South Africans, but a Freedom Charter would be a good start for us, Mthwakazi.

Ngiyabonga mina.

Clerk Ndlovu can be contacted at

- Byo24News

Tags: Maluphosa,

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