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Honesty, integrity and fairness

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These are not words we would have used to describe most of the actions by the Nationalist Government during the era of apartheid.

It is true that honest men such as Pik Botha used their integrity to persuade the Nationalists that South Africa was considered a 
"pariah state" under the implementation of separate development - a kind term in light of the denial and deprivation which took place. Eventually reason prevailed and F.W. de Klerk opened the doors to what he and Nelson Mandela believed to be the birth of a new democracy. 

It seems to me that we have not yet properly addressed the apartheid regime and as happened with the majority of Nazis post 1945, many evil people have escaped examination. I mean that to apply on all sides of this equation.

There can be no doubt in the mind's of any with the ability to observe with fair objectivity that bad things, evil things, happened under apartheid. It is also just as true that there were in certain areas and instances, no definitely clear lines of division between people. Just as has happened in the case of the failing European Unity and a lack of full examination of the effects of Brexit, people voted on gut instinct alone. 

We have not been completely, openly honest about attitudes and actions during that time. Not one person that I have met and been able to hold an honest conversation with, has admitted support for apartheid. Some defend good things that happened despite apartheid, but none are prepared to support the notion upon which Verwoerd and others built this racist state.

The TRC was a feeble attempt at addressing and provoking admission of wrongdoing, but what did it achieve? Was this enough? Should we have had a Nuremberg style trial? What did that achieve after WW2? How could just the few punished by that court atone for the slaughter of over 6 million in German influenced areas? Then there was the genocide conducted by Stalin in Poland and in his own Russia.

I have said both here on this forum and elsewhere that we have not properly addressed the evil deeds committed on both sides and their collective effect on people at that time and their long-lasting effects.

On this forum we talk off-handedly, sometimes glibly about equal opportunities and fair selection. My reading of the Sport and Recreation South Africa - Department of Sport (SRSA) Strategic Plan along with its drafts and the National Sport and recreation Act gives me a better perspective of the mindset of those in government. Here again we need to examine a little more closely the background and abilities of those who are our lawmakers. I will not attempt to do that here save to say that Thabo Mbeki was removed from government because he could not draw out of those elected, the skills and knowledge required to run a country.

Jacob Zuma on the other hand was elected by those who perhaps thought he could be manipulated. They were wrong. It is my simple assessment that Zuma believes that he has the right as chief to take what he wants from whoever he wants to take it. That is a cultural instinct and needs to be understood and in some way addressed. We have a democracy but do we truly understand this word's full meaning and the responsibility of those elected to be representatives.

In another post, one of our number suggested that Mandela had "pulled the wool over our eyes" and stated that he would manipulate white people to his understanding. Sadly I believe the opposite. I offer this transcript from the Inaugural Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award, Monaco 2000:

Verbatim Transcript

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you

I am happy to be with you tonight at the first Laureus World Sports Award. Sport has the power to change the world. [applause] It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.

The heroes standing with me are examples of this power. They are valiant not only in the playing field, but also in the community, both local and international. They are champions and they deserve the world’s recognition.


Together they represent an active, vigorous Hall of Fame. A Hall of Fame that goes out into the world, spreading help, inspiration and hope.

Their legacy will be an international community where the rules of the game are the same for everyone, and behaviour is guided by fair play and good sportsmanship. I ask you now to rise and join me in commending the original inductees into the World Sports Academy Hall of Fame."

Nelson Mandela was an extraordinary human being. His speeches indicate a belief in the good of all men. He recognised the evil of apartheid and the greed it had bred in many people across the racial divide. He sought to unite us and was openly delighted by the effect on our people that victory for South Africa's Springboks had achieved in 1995.

Nelson Mandela began his legacy with the appointment of Thabo Mbeki who was a very clever and capable man. Sadly Mbeki was too removed, by his very intelligence, from the people who he needed support from. Mbeki made mistakes and was discredited which is a South African pastime. 

It is my contention that there are many people who appreciate the unfinished work of Nelson Mandela and the need to not only heal our nation, but also to unite us. 

I understand the frustration of the young people who are "born free" and who were promised under democracy, a "New Deal" for all South Africans. I accept that at the same time all children born after or even during the death throes of the apartheid years, have no responsibility for its woes. I also accept that there is a mean spirited group who would deprive all of those in any way associated with apartheid. There are those who sense frustration that the perpetrators of apartheid still live among us in wealth and have "got away with it". That said, there was no genocide in our country. Entire populations were not marched off to concentration camps for the purpose of brutal enslavement or mass murder. Some may describe the "Bantustans" and townships as such, but no actions can be compared to the horrors of Auschwitz or Dachau.

It seems to me that the "liberating government" have failed all of us.

Like Great Britain's failure to examine the full effects of "Brexit", they did not think through all of the implications of governing such a diverse and largely impoverished society. They chose not to dismantle the lopsided wealth of the foreign businesses who were encouraged to remain in South Africa and operate as non-tax paying private entities. They figured on a trickle down form of economics in South Africa which would allow all to benefit from its natural wealth. There have been no new industries established which would be mass employers of the newly liberated populace. Small businesses have been discouraged by pre-existing red tape and a lack of funding. Our banking system is First World whilst we are a Third World "emerging economy". 

In its need to offer some positives to the freed population, sport has been targeted as an appeaser. Take sport from the controlling body's and give it's control to the nouveau free. Simple if it were to have been done by those capable of administration.  

The result in our country is a free but fearful population.

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."

Harry Truman


Just as the Nationalists conducted their campaign of silencing critics for almost 50 years, our country is still not allowed to criticise. Especially criticise those who "serve the nation". That also means those who are appointed to serve the nation in created "quasi government" positions such as sport federations.

I have witnessed the capture of sport by government appointees without really being aware of the overall plan. That plan was and is to use teachers amongst others, to infiltrate existing structures of sport administration in order to create subservience.

It has largely worked but has sadly brought South African sport to its knees. The plan would have worked if those promoted had been capable as administrators, technical officials, coaches and fund raisers. That has not been the case. In many cases even antiquated Constitutions have been allowed to remain in place without any consultation taking place. This is at the heart of the failure of sport prevalent in South Africa right now.

One does not build a house from the rafters down, one builds strong foundations on firm ground. This fundamental criterion has been ignored because of the influence of culture and communist doctrine and dogma.

In business one cannot tell one's customers what they want. One can influence their thinking about needs, but marketing is about "needs satisfaction". 

Philip Kotler says:

Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.  Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.  – source: Kotler Marketing Q&A

Sport is a marketable commodity and has many derivatives which are profitable. We are not properly addressing the needs of our population and seeking ways to engage and solve identifiable problems. The strategy of government is to be dictatorial and intolerant.

We had 50 years of that. We are just beginning to get through another period under Zuma of the exact same policy. Change must happen and a collaborative effort will realise many of the aims of the government, just in a different way.




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I still have an open mind on the Brexit and are yet to be convinced it will in fact be a disaster in the long run.

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imho, my reading of our history shows that from day 1, South Africa has NEVER been an easy country to run, or to rule.

At one time our motto was "Unity is Strength".............what a deeply ironic joke that was and still is.

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