Sunday, September 2, 2012

Neo-colonialism still wreaking havoc in Africa -- as the world watches

"It is exceedingly important that we have men at the beginning capable of thinking as white men, and not those who have been systematically oppressed."

That particular "exceedingly important" goal of white supremacy remains in effect -- all over the world. No matter where one turns, the M.O. is sickeningly apparent, as in the recent Marikana Massacres in South Africa.


Were you shocked?  Disgusted?  I hope so.  Indeed, like many of the "Blacks in Blue" here (Danziger Bridge, Sean Bell, these fine specimens in Philly to name but a few), these men have cast their lot with white supremacy, mowing down and beating up folk who look like them, with no apparent conscience, nor morality.  I'm sure they're paid way better than their "systematically oppressed" brothers and sisters; probably have better homes, and even cars; perhaps they even enjoy a few beers with their white counterparts, celebrating that whole, "I'm accepted-but-have-no-real-power," status thing (more on that shortly).

Guess they skipped right over the, "For the sake of your race you should sacrifice something of your present comfort" part, in the beginning of this guilt-tripping sentence in Lincoln's above-referenced address, and headed straight to the, "...for the purpose of being as grand in that respect as the white people" part at the end.

Two articles at Black Agenda Report this week certainly bear that out. The first, "Economic and Social Crisis in Post Apartheid South Africa" by William Bowles, is a must-read that provides an excellent rundown of South Africa's neocolonialism from Mandela to Zuma:

The African National Congress (ANC) won a resounding victory in South Africa's first democratic election in 1994 with a host of promises that it would improve the lives of the Black majority (85% of the population). And whilst there have been gains in some areas, overall, most Black South Africans are materially worse off now than they were under Apartheid.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished; costs for the basics: electricity, water, food and rents have skyrocketed. Ironically, no longer the pariah of the world, South Africa's white minority is even better off now than it was under Apartheid (remember the 'Rainbow Nation'?). The only Blacks to have gained have been a tiny minority, many from the ranks of the (former) liberation movement and the trade unions as well as the South African Communist Party (SACP).

So what went wrong? Did anything go wrong? Has the ANC and its partners in the Tripartite Alliance, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the SACP betrayed their roots and sold out Black South Africa? Indeed, sold out the rest of Africa?" (emphasis mine)

The second, Mark P. Fancher's passionately succinct, "The People's Rage,"  leaves no doubt about who continues to have, "the real power" in South Africa; not only economically and socially -- but militarily:
The massacre in Marikana, South Africa was not a run-of-the-mill wildcat strike that was met by undisciplined police officers. It was instead an event that left no doubts that while imperialism may be willing to allow Africans to sit in government offices, it will not tolerate any disruption in the flow of profits from the exploitation of highly valuable natural resources. Platinum in particular is indispensable in the manufacture of catalytic converters and other motor vehicle parts, and South Africa has more than 80 percent of the world’s platinum group metal reserves.

Even in 1965, Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana’s first president) understood why South Africa was a focal point of mining activities. He said: “A 1957 U.S. government survey of American overseas investments shows the single most profitable area was in the mining and smelting business of South Africa, whose profits are higher than from any comparable investment in the United States. The high profits can be explained largely by the cheapness of African labor.

Nkrumah went on to explain that South African mineworkers earned 27 times less than their U.S. counterparts. More than half a century later, South Africa’s miners are still paid extremely low wages for dangerous, difficult work. One worker reported that he receives about $500 a month. (emphasis mine)

Fancher goes on to make this very crucial observation, one that reverberates all across the Continent:

This violent response should not have come as a surprise. An essential element of every neo-colonial state is an armed force with express or implied standing orders to put down rebellions. Often there are armies that play this role. In the case of the Marikana tragedy, those carrying out the massacre may have been branded as “police,” but they functioned as a military unit. They were heavily armed and ready to kill.

It should also come as no surprise that an overlap in South Africa’s police and army missions means that the U.S. military is lurking in the shadows. In an article published by the South African Institute of International Affairs, writer Thomas Wheeler reported: “U.S. defense attaches have on-going interaction with the [South African] military and police to define ways in which the U.S. can assist them.

One concrete example of this “assistance” was last year’s “Exercise Shared Accord.” The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) website explained that this joint exercise between 700 U.S. Marines and about twice that number of soldiers in the South African National Defense Force was an opportunity for the soldiers to, among other things: “…engage in live-fire exercises…”

All of this raises logical questions about who South African forces are training to kill. The answers are found in the historical record. It shows that in general, African soldiers are used in conflicts with other Africans, both in their own countries and elsewhere on the African continent. The tragedy of this was not missed by Nkrumah who suggested: “…the ordinary soldier who is after all only a worker or peasant in uniform, is acting against the interests of his own class. (emphasis mine)

On another, indirectly related post over at AfroSpear, I commented, "I am so disturbed and hurt by the massacre of miners at Marikana in S. Africa! WTH?? Apartheid didn’t go anywhere, it just seemed to have melted into the ANC. {smdh}" To which Bro. Amenta replied, "Deb, when we really see and know who controls ALL of these countries; It will be clear who is the true enemy and who is not. A U.S. company owns the mine. The government agents (policemen) work at the behest of the company. Peace"

His comment, along with the two above pieces, sent me looking for some names, so I went straight to Lonmin's site and clicked on its "Investors" tab where, not surprisingly, I found the "usual suspects."  Turns out the company is owned by the UK, but yes, the U.S. is right there with them, as both "investors" and "advisers."  As for names --  JP Morgan, Bank of New York Mellon and Citigroup Global Markets.  Glance at the "About Us" and "Our Business" tabs while you're there, the information on each is particularly laughable, especially given the video above.

Finally, adding insult to injury, we have this:

On Thursday, 270 miners were charged in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court with the murder of 34 of their comrades, who were shot and killed by police at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana in the North West. A further, 78 injured by the same force, have realised a charge of attempted murder for all accused. The legal vehicle used to charge the accused in the Marikana massacre case is called 'common purpose'; it was masterminded by the architects of Apartheid and used during the darkest times to send MK cadres to the gallows. (emphasis Daily Maverick)

This is just imperial madness run amok (and please, don't say, "But they're all Black!"-- it'll tell me you've not really read, nor understood a word I've written).

Briefly, from the Daily Maverick piece:

“The state began to fall back on the common purpose doctrine, which originated in English law and was introduced into South African law via the ominously named ‘Native Territories Penal Code’. At the time the courts interpreted this doctrine to apply to all members of a crowd who had ‘actively associated’ with criminal conduct committed by one member of the crowd – even if those charged were not involved at all in the commissioning of the crime,” writes De Vos. (emphasis mine)

For a concise explanation of the 'common purpose' doctrine, please, do read the first related article below by De Vos, a South African Constitutional Law professor (don't worry, he seems very unlike the one selected president of this country).

On Asabanga's latest post, "270 South African miners charged with murder of their 34 collegues killed by the police, " Bro. Amenta left this comment:

"When I read how the law was from Apartheid era, it actually made me recall how so similar the laws are here!"

Given the 'common purpose' doctrine originated in the same place as the doctrine of white supremacy brought here by the English, I'm neither surprised by the similarity, nor am I surprised at the inequity with which it is enforced there, or here -- if you're Black.

Remember last year when James Anderson was beaten up by a group of white, Mississippi darlings and then run over by Deryl Dedmond with his pick-up truck?  And it was all caught on a hotel surveillance camera?  There were seven of them.  As of March of this year, three were charged and pled guilty to murder and hate crimes and are serving life sentences; one was charged with simple assault, pled not guilty and is free on a $5,000 bond because he left the scene before Anderson was killed; I could find no criminal charges filed against the other three -- two of whom, were females (James Anderson's family has filed a civil lawsuit against all seven of them).

And the world just keeps on watching...

**UPDATE!!!** 9/2/12South African miners to be freed after prosecutors drop murder charges

- Abuse, Inc: The 'miners made us do it' murder charge
- Marikana Is the Latest Chapter In a Long Saga
- Mnikelo Ndabankulu speaks at Marikana memorial service (video) -- (h/t to Asa @ AfroSpear)
- The murder fields of Marikana. The cold murder fields of Marikana.


Asabagna said...

Excellent commentary. Hope you don't mind but I linked it at AfroSpear!


DebC said...

Asa...Thanks, and you know I don't mind, Brother! Just added an update -- charges dropped, for now.

Blessings right back atcha, and a hug for the Prince and Princess! ��

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