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Twenty years after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, the majority of black South Africans remain excluded from the country’s land and formal economy. Udo W. Froese asks whether the talk of national reconciliation and nation-building is simply propaganda.

Over twenty years ago, on 11 February 1990, South Africa’s retired president and Nobel Peace co-laureate, Nelson Mandela, left the colonial-apartheid prison of Victor Verster outside Cape Town. South Africans and the international West considered Mandela as the African messiah.

The rest of Africa awaited the outcome from a distance, particularly as time went on and the country’s newfound ‘freedom’ hadn’t accommodated the black majority on its land and in its economy.

Instead, it conveniently passed the buck, insisting that it would take a very long time to correct the wrongs. This means in real terms, it would take forever to accept African-South Africans on their own land, to assist them in their growth from historical victims of ‘Bantu education’ to modern day participants in South African economic growth.

Meanwhile the 91-year-old international icon heads the arch-imperial-colonial Rhodes Foundation, now named the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Since then, much has not happened in South Africa. It is a country with an internationally negotiated democracy, all the foreign dictated trimmings and a liberal, un-African constitution, hailed as the ‘best in the world’, versus a centrally ‘colonial-apartheid Caucasian’-owned and controlled economy and its structured poverty for the people.

The international West and its powerful Bretton Woods Institutions hail South Africa’s economy as ‘on course, strong, stable and well done’. They define the discriminating structures as a ‘Free Market Economy’. Whatever that really means.

South Africa’s economy could at best be described as an exclusive, oligopolistic, cartelised, warehouse economy. Organised criminal business cartels are allowed to operate without any shame, to the disadvantage of the poor majority as well as to the country’s economy. In addition, the owners of this economy are well known to manipulate the politics of the day.

Profits have always been firmly placed before humans. This means, the well-heeled are on the right side of the law. So much for the ‘rule of law’ and an ‘independent judiciary’, as preached by its owners.

Historic and endemic mass unemployment, abject poverty, chronic starvation, rampant HIV Aids and way above-average illiteracy for the majority of South Africans, as well as reported crime levels exploited by an equally historic media-propaganda and thin infrastructure – shown off as the best in Africa – is a popular picture.

This created the perception that all that glitters south of the Limpopo River is well and worth it; Africans from all over the continent flock to the south. Yet former president Thabo Mbeki once defined the South African economy as ‘a country with two economies – one well-functional and owned by the well-to-do white minority and their minions and one poor one, suffered by the black majority’.

The ANC has remained as a ‘junior partner’ of the local and the international economic structures.This has led to a vulnerability of the majority of the population and all of those who rush down south to escape the unrests and economic hardships in their countries. It so happens that most of them are black Africans. Naturally, this plays into the hands of those with hidden agendas.

South Africa seems to be held hostage through low-key internal civil strive in the forms of ‘xenophobia’, ‘taxi strikes and wars’, country-wide violent ‘delivery protests’ and hundreds of learners gurgling for the blood of some young local hip-hop star, who killed four schoolchildren and wounded two in a bad drag-racing accident in Soweto.

To add insult to injury, the colonial-apartheid Caucasian Boers (white minorities and their paid up minions) thoroughly exploit a perceived loophole in the constitution – that of ‘minority rights’. Their attacks on the ANC, its government and its structures as ‘reverse racists’, ‘corrupt black Africans, unfit for their positions they now hold, incapable of self-government, let alone governing the country’ are strategic, race-based and vicious.

And they win their days in the courts against historic popular war-songs of the ANC. This flies in the face of ‘national reconciliation’. They also interfere in basic human rights, such as land in sovereign, independent neighbouring African countries, using the country’s judiciary.

Those unashamedly proud heirs of colonial-apartheid formed a host of active institutions throughout the country. They have openly declared their war against everything African, claiming their ‘democratic rights to defend minority rights’.

A hostile, foreign-owned and controlled media – some having sold shares to national trade union funds, thus masquerading as South African – has always been historically used to wage a propaganda war of attrition, in unison with the imperial-colonial-apartheid political opposition, against all democratic African liberation movements.

That same cacophony of media propaganda went all out to ridicule President Jacob Zuma and reduce him to a buffoon-like Idi Amin of South Africa.

The timing of the aforementioned is obvious. All of the above-mentioned is rolled out just before the global FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa in June/July 2010. Global media focus is on South Africa.

To date, nothing has changed in sunny South Africa, except for some Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Africans (BBBEEA), sitting in boardrooms, being used as shareholders to upkeep the old doctrine. Africans have also been recruited into the newsrooms, writing exactly what their white predecessors wrote before them. They were created by foreign white capital and made to form the buffer between black and white.

Without a doubt, it is colonial and race-based and it is deliberately and intentionally undermining not only the ruling ANC, but the ruling SWAPO Party of Namibia, Mozambique’s Frelimo, the governing MPLA of Angola, Zanu PF in Zimbabwe, as well as Swaziland’s King Mswati III and his government.

There seems an all-out effort to achieve a ‘new’ South Africa under ‘new’ white rule by 2014, this time possibly accepted by South Africa’s angry, hungry and tired black majority, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, as well as the international West.

Imagine if Germans were to attempt to further Nazi doctrines and policies after the Nurnberg Trials in post-Second World War Germany and the European Union (EU), enjoying foreign funded and directed ‘civil society’s’ propagandistic support?


Senior researchers of South African history explain that a transformation in the ANC leadership took place from 1980. Many in the leadership had become over-compromised during talks with a host of imperial colonial-apartheid representatives across the board, South Africa’s powerful foreign owned and controlled industry as well as the international West during the ‘Cold War Era’. It was thus transformed to a capitalist elite.

The established senior advocate and anti-apartheid veteran, George Bizos, also known as Mandela’s attorney, said on national television in Johannesburg, the ‘SABC TV 2 Morning Life’ programme in the morning of 11 February 2010, ‘Nelson Mandela was the master of his own destiny, of his own life since 1985’.

While Mandela served his time in Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, he had a chef who cooked for him; free access to his family and the outside world; house attendants; newspapers, television and radio; and flights to Pretoria to meet with then State President P. W. Botha, his minister of justice, Kobie Coetzee and the head of National Intelligence Services (NIS), Dr Niel Barnard, in order to discuss and negotiate.

In other words, Mandela had from 1985 to 1990 – five years before his release – to prepare for the historic leaving of his prison.

Revered late ANC President, Oliver Reginald Tambo, referring to Nelson Mandela’s meetings with the colonial-apartheid regime in the crucial 1980s, observed, ‘Prisoners can’t negotiate their freedom’. He added saying, ‘Whilst still in prison, terms and conditions would be laid down to accept and agree on a take-it, or leave-it basis during talks with the regime’.

Tambo remarked during his visit to the ANC camps in exile, ‘We are singing the same national anthem, raise the same flag and talk about our ANC’. According to aged ANC veterans, Tambo seemed disturbed about senior members of the leadership, who could have compromised the organisation. He seemed to question whom to trust. This, according to those veterans, eventually led to Tambo’s first stroke.


The terms ‘national reconciliation’, ‘free market economy’, ‘equality before the law’, ‘equal participation’ and even ‘democracy’ including the hailed ‘freedoms’ remain an absolute cynical farce for as long as the imperial-colonial-apartheid beneficiaries, their economy, the banking cartel and organised crime structures dictate the terms and conditions for the aforementioned without any compromise, without any access to land and the economy.

To quote Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild global banking dynasty: ‘Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.’

For as long as Caucasian economic plunder barons, the ‘former’ colonial occupiers, all their minority groups, including Indians insist on being African and in return, Africans remain kept as ‘hewers of wood’ and ‘carriers of water’ with a dysfunctional democracy, no access to their land and the economy, South Africa’s and Africa’s blacks have simply been betrayed. National reconciliation and nation-building remain propaganda.


* Udo W. Froese is a journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
* Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.