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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pambazuka News 769: Dictatorship, corruption and state capture

7 April 2016

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It is troubling that an electoral body that is unanimously declared grossly incompetent for noncompliance of electoral laws by the highest court in the land can still be deemed by the same court to have conducted valid presidential and parliamentary elections. The findings and the conclusions are a contradiction in terms.
Now that the court has found that the President failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law, how should I relate to my President? If we are to continue to be guided by growing public opinion and the need to do the right thing, would he not seriously consider stepping down?’
South Africa’s once revered ANC ruling party now behaves as if it is entitled to the republic. The motto on the country’s parliamentary coat of arms may as well be changed from ‘We, the People’ to ‘We, the ANC.’ Firebrand opposition leader Julius Malema may have a point when he says the liberation party is turning the country into just another banana republic.
If the South African political economy continues to be ‘privatised’ by large business, it will weaken the state through corruption and cronyism and undermine good governance and the rule of law. It will systematically deter new private investment, both foreign and domestic, and create obstacles to small and medium-sized enterprises, the backbone of any competitive economy.
Yet another activist has been killed in South Africa. It is the 58th assassination in the Glebelands Hostel community, where state sponsored violence silences organizing and uprisings systematically. Why is there no media coverage, no civil society outrage or demands for investigation?
The leak once again reveals how states collude with private interests to protect the criminality of the powerful. Or how could journalists uncover the Panama Papers while states which carry on surveillance on millions of people, listen to billions of phone calls and read billions of e-mails were apparently unaware of the underhand dealings?
Three members of the Bohra community in Australia were recently convicted for performing FGM on two little sisters, bringing to global attention continued existence of the condemned practice among this global community whose origins is India. Five Bohra women are working hard to end this practice, as they discuss in this interview.
In almost every nation, punitive drug policies have the greatest impact on women who are already coping with poverty and social neglect, histories of physical and sexual violence, and marginalization. The UN special assembly on drugs to be held this month provides an important opportunity for women’s rights to be included in the global policies on illicit drugs.
Combating the current threat can best be accomplished by enhancing the capacities of the African state, thereby diminishing its susceptibilities to radicalization and violent non-state actors. Radicalization often appeals to some Muslims because it resonates with their personal experiences of discrimination and economic exclusion.
Their high-blown fantasy and improbable outcomes notwithstanding, James Bond films are strangely relevant to project management. They demonstrate the benefits of proper planning with clear implementation strategies and regular and effective monitoring. Further, the films emphasize the importance of networks and partnerships.
The relationship between CNN and the White House can be thought of as not that CNN has a senior correspondent in the White House, but rather that the White House has a trusted correspondent at CNN. This is a very strange situation for a country that lectures others about the need for “independent press and journalists.”
US President Barack Obama expresses pride in his African heritage, but his regime over the last seven years has not demonstrated any substantial commitment to the wellbeing of the African people. He has merely continued the imperial interventions and militarism of his predecessors.

What do African Americans have to gain from their continued support for centrist Democratic candidates? Joblessness, poverty, mass incarceration, police terrorism and institutional racism remain. African Americans must break with the Democratic Party to establish their own organization that will speak in their name, fighting for a program of total liberation and socialism.

This is a provocative book that provides students of international politics, foreign policy analysts, diplomacy, media practitioners and the sensitive general reader a critical entry point into the media in foreign policy formulation and implementation in a post-colonial state like Nigeria.
On Sunday, 3 April 2016, the West Indies beat their old adversary, England, in the Final of the World T-20 Championship in Kolkata, India, to become the only country to clinch the title twice. If you only see cricket as a game – especially when it is played by blacks against nations that have practiced racial discrimination against blacks in the past – you will entirely miss the passion that drives it.
In recent years the world has seen brutal atrocities inflicted upon religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries. Many members of minority groups have been victims of murder, enslavement, forced exile, intimidation, starvation, and other affronts to their basic human dignity. The Marrakesh Declaration contends that such actions have no relation to Islam.

It is not correct to say that racism is a problem affecting black people only. Regardless of whether or not they have the means and advantages of history to institutionalize racism, black people can be racist.



On the 31st March 2016 the Constitutional Court ruled that both the President and parliament had breached democratic principles by covering up and allowing public funds to be used for the private benefit of the President. Thus we support the call by the SA National Defence Force Union (Sandu) of 1st April 2016, for mass action to remove the President and the entire parliament from office.


Amnesty International’s Regional Office is looking for an experienced Human Rights Education Project Manager to contribute to the development of Human Rights Education Programmes Online and Offline for Africa and particularly the integration of human rights education into formal education and the implementation together with colleagues of Amnesty’s Strategic Goals.


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Henry Makori and Tidiane Kasse                                         Yves Niyiragira
Editors, Pambazuka News                                                    Executive Director,  Fahamu

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