Monday, June 30, 2008

ag sies, Thabo man

And now Ian Smith, I mean Robert Mugabe, irrespective of worldwide outrage, goes on plundering Zim. The most outrageous revelation since the election circus is however our Prez's support for this predator. Nauseating!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Tribute to Mr L Bergstedt on behalf of the Lückhoff Alumni

One by one the stars that have brightened the firmament of our generation are extinguished. Their voices fall silent, their seats forever empty. And no matter what we do, it seems we cannot replicate their example of honour, of labour, of love.

Now even the greatest of them all is no more. On Tuesday, 24 June 2008, the 1st Honorary Member of the Lückhoff Alumni, Mr Lesley Bigam Bergstedt, has passed away.

This legend in his own time, which has touched so many lives, was teaching at Lückhoff High for over 40 years. His gentle ways, his impeccable manners and his wisdom have inspired generation after generation. Not a single student left Lückhoff without sweet memories of Mr Burg.

His contribution to sports and his professional approach to his subject will never be forgotten. In the history of Lückhoff no one has ever made a contribution of the kind and quality of Mr Burg.

A gentle colossus has moved on, a legend has passed away. We are deeply moved by his death. Now more than ever, as the Lückhoff Alumni we are proud to be associated with him.

Without an opportunity to greet Sir, we are ever so acutely aware of our lost. Yet we grant you the rest, at the feet of your Master. As His angels meet you at His gates, know that we will surely miss you. Please forgive our tears, we find it hard to say goodbye.

Tell those that you join, we labour on. Your legacy will inspire us to greater heights.

In your ears will now ring, the caring whisper of your Saviour, as He takes you by the hand. With a heart full of praise, rest on His gentle breast, as you retire to the promise land.

May His love embrace you, in a land free of pain, free of misery and free of hurt. Join the heavenly host with the words of that beautiful song:
“And I, I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story saved by grace.”

To the Bergstedt family, and to the Principal and staff, we want to express our sincere condolences with the loss of this great man; a colleague, a brother, a friend and confidante. We share your lost and our prayers are with you all.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

sport and the new faith on the pitch

Sport tells a lot about the soul of at least the men of this country. I would think that winning or loosing, flags our commitments and deepest loyalties. Mine is WP/Stormers, Kaizer Chiefs and Man U and of course all South African national teams. I mourn for our Bafana Bafana, I hope all the best for Peter De Villiers, I want Greame and the boys to bliksem that 'water-pommie', Kevin Pietersen and the rest of the British empire- for the sake of our forebears, at least. But it's also about the way sport is run, the culture of it, that wins our hearts. Watching the Euro 2008, in bits and pieces, I could not help but think of one huge religious event- the singing, the kerkklere, the emotion, the prayers around the pitch, on the pitch, the sense of power, the sense of loss. it allways fascinates and amuse me when Bakkies Botha runs on the field, get down on his one knee and say a prayer. What does he pray for ? 'God give my right hand strength to beat those All Blacks into submission, use my hands to 'klap' them, for your name sake, I thank you Lord. Amen'. It's almost a new secular spirituality that re-invents the traditional spaces and articulations of faith. It's there and its real, whatever our positions on it. Maybe this post is an attempt at purging myself from the guilt for the time I spend in the presence of Supersport, I don't know. So as our new soccer coach states, because he was born in the same day as Jesus Christ, we should expect a miracle... and nothing less then a mirackle will let us qualify for the Angola AFCON.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yes, Bob, God will remove you, sooner than you think...

It is in utter disgust, but also disbelief, that we behold the carnage and mayhem that has engulfed Zimbabwe. In a sense the MDC was left with no other option but to distance itself from the so-called 'elections'. In the meantime, the ZANU-PF controlled Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) and government spokespeople, oblivious of the reality that Rome is burning, still pretend to stage a free and fair elections. The show must go on. How are we to understand this ? Is it possible that president Robert Mugabe and his fellow-guerillas, see something or maybe hear some voice, that we, the rest of the world is not able to detect. Maybe, indeed, he has heard that it's only God that can remove him.

Interesting how despots, often invoke God to protect their pogroms. This time however, God is called upon as the only force to remove him, What Bob doesn't realise is that his prophecy might soon be fullfilled, sooner than he thinks. When God is invoked as the protector of evil, of oppression, of murder, standing on the side of the Mugabes of this world, throughout various social revolutions, yes this much abused phrase, paradoxically, it signals the levels of insecurity that are creeping in the psyche of these incarnations of evil. They know and start to realise that there time is up. It is in this context that public opininion must keep the pressure on the structures of lies and misinformation that still keeps large chunks of the population under his spell. They must be reminded that they deserve better, that they are human beings created for life, for abundance, for love, for beauty.

Whether we like it or not, many people, even some progressive and liberation thinkers still (!) holds Mugabe in high esteem. Don't be surprise by the Mugabe-like statements coming from the likes of the ANC youth league idiots. As liberator of Zimbabwe from colonialism and the crude apartheid-style racism of Rhodesia, under the Ian Smith regime and tutelage of the United Kingdom, Robert Mugabe is still revered. His initial policy of reconciliation, the softlanding of Ian Smith and his patience with regard to the land issue in Zimbabwe, on the basis of the Lancasterhouse agreement, provides the backdrop for the respect he still commands in steering Zimbabwe on a course of reconstruction and development. Yet, Robert Mugabe, the hero, overstayed his welcome. He first became a nuisance, then a problem, and now a crisis- a humanitarian, but also a ideological crisis. Fundamental to this crisis and state of emergency is the fact that he should have left the public scene long time ago. He should have groomed and made way for someone else, while he was still on top of his game. The just demands of the landless people of Zimbabwe, in the context of globalisation, and the upsurge of neo-liberalism, should have been dealt with by someone else, not some-one who with his fellow war- torn ('bosbedonnerd') veterans, are still having delusions about the bushwar (read 'revolution') that we are still fighting. A modern and sophisticated economic policy, had to be carved, that called for creativity in dealing with the current economic realities, but also a strong commitment to the poor. This would possibly not have prevented the demands that postcolonial Zimbabwe faced, but would certainly have put Zim on a different growth path, possibly a more hopeful one. Am I going soft on the realities of late capitalism, alienating and sucking the life out of the poor? Hopefully not. What was however crucial for Zimbabwe (and what is now critical!) was a change of leadership a shift from leaders calling for machineguns, towards leaders who are willing to dine with the devil, to negotiate a better life for all. For the Mugabes and all his little clones still clutching to their machineguns, the message should go out that they are a parody of the liberation people died for, but that its time now to govern, pull the best that their countries can offer and serve their people. This is not a resignation to defeat, this is building on the victories of the liberation, but also sustaining it for coming generations, to honour those that have gone before. This is about trusting the truth that the revolution is greater and bigger than individuals, irrespective of how significant their historical role has been and therefor still is. Otherwise, they will be removed (by God, they will !) and their legacy of blood on the hands and the disdain of their own, will haunt them...this is no idle threat or liberation song... this is the way history (God ?) deals with them, whether they be Herod, Hitler, PW or Bob...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Malema also want his machinegun

How can JZ repudiate Malema when he himself often calls for his machinegun ? Is the idiotic statements by the leader of the ANC Youthleague simply a measure of what we have in terms of youth leadership? I don't think so. Yet, it does reflect the state of affairs in the ruling party.

The statements coming from the junior president is not out of line. Since we've witness the scenes on the public broadcaster, of the conference in Polokwane end of last year, being labeled as our home brewed democracy, we have in a sense, left behind our innocence. But also, we have lost the moral high ground in terms of our democratic culture and supposedly high regard for the values of political tolerance, vigorous intellectual debate and moral leadership. Do you remember how the chairperson were shouted down, how different voices were danced and sang into submission.... with the hit, 'bring me my machine gun', topping the charts. After that there were some voices stating that they will not accept a situation of JZ being trialled, let alone found guilty. Of course they were silenced and we went on with business unusual. Some more chaotic and unruly conferences came and went, a stabbing here and there, until these statements. It should be noted and commended that Kgalema Motlanthe spoke out statemenly and, by the way, he should be watched... [he should be watched], but on the whole this is the way politics in our country is descending in the abyss.

When it comes to youth leaders we should look beyond this abyss, and from Africa and South Africa, the recently announced list of Africa's young leaders might be a starting point. We need to redefine our parameters for the next generation of youth leaders, beyond political and opportunistic vultures parading as the cream of our nation and our continent's young people.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Doing urban public theology in Africa: shaping communities of hope- Jesse Mugambi at UNISA

You are hereby invited to attend a lecture by Prof Jesse Mugambi on Tuesday 17 June, 14:15, Samuel Pauw building 6-22. Topic: Doing urban public theology in Africa: shaping communities of hope.

prof Mugambi is most probably one of the most prolific African theologians today and apart from his many books he is at heart a pastor, missionary, a servant of the world. Come and lets take further the conversation on being church in postcolonial Africa today, enaging with one of Africa's giants.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Benny Hinn should stay at home

Controversial prosperity preacher Benny Hinn is on a crusade to South Africa. As far as I am concerned he should stay home and deal with the inquiry into the financial affairs of his ministry. He should not come and preach to us here in South Africa. God is also here. What irks me, is the fact that these con artists, are paraded as the epitome of Christianity, whilst they are under serious investigation in their own countries, but more, they come here to Africa pretending to have the needs of the poor and the needy on their hearts and then they pilfer the feeble income of desperate poor people, all in the name of Jesus, amen.

So, yes, I vote that his crusade to save and heal Africa, be stopped and he be shipped back to sort out his life and his tax-exempt empire, he calls 'ministry'. Of course, those that invited him and set the table for his plunder will go forth, in the Name of the Lord. They themselves stand to gain immensely from this and will of course thank the Lord, on their way to the bank. The thousands from the Lord's money that they spend to get him here will multiply in an act of faith and they can begin to think of their next German sedan or private Jet, leaving behind the poor communities with possibly a bracelet or a card blessed by Benny Hinn, for real.

I was in Uganda, when the Bennie Hinn concert/circus, were advertised, last year, flying the face of poverty and need. He was on Uganda TV with a bracelet with the names of God on it, selling for a few dollars. With this bracelet, which he prayed for, people who wear it will be healed. What a load of crap ! I agree with David Kuo, where he states,
My only thought is that if Mr. Hinn takes so much a single Ugandan schilling from the desperately poor and sick people longing, begging, for a miracle it will make him a spiritual predator, a spiritual terrorist.

It's not the time again, for vile Crusaders from the US, to re-colonise Africa, building their Empires, it is time for us to drink from our own wells, to think for ourselves, to hear from ourselves the word from God. So, maybe then we can help and save Benny. In the meantime he should rather stay at home

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wat is bruinmense se regmatige plek in SA ?

Jan-Jan Joubert worstel met hierdie vraag. Ek wonder waarom ? Is hyself bruin of voel hy homself bekwaam om oor (of dalk ?) namens die bruinmense te kan praat. Deon Maas het dit eenkeer probeer en is die week daarna deur Tim Du Plessis (die Here) gefire, glo a.g.v. die artikel oor Satan. Jan-Jan waag dit egter, bewus van die feit dat hy homself nie bruin of as intellektueel beskou nie.

In 'n resensie oor die boek van Gilliomee, Nog altyd hier gewees, skryf Allan Boesak tereg dat ons moet wegbeweeg van die vraag of witmense iets oor ons bruinmense mag of self kàn skryf. Ek verstaan daardie argument. Die vraag is hoe geskryf word. Uiteraard is dit ook waar daar ook gevra moet word hoe ons oor onsself praat en skryf. Laat ons egter vir eers stilstaan by Jan-Jan, politieke redakteur by Die Burger. Hy betoog vir nierassigheid. Vir hom is nierassigheid, om o.a. te sê, dat bruin kinders eintlik nie bestaan nie, of dat daar, (ten minste in sy nierassige) teorie nie bruin intellektuele of bruin leiers bestaan of moet bestaan nie. Ons is dus almal Suid-Afrikaans en dan, vreemdgenoeg, noem hy dan 'n paar, wat hy noem, 'nierassige' bruin denkers, wat sy denke in die verband gevorm het.

Dit lyk vir my asof Jan-Jan, homself weerspreek. Aan die een kant bestaan daar in sy 'colour-blind' nie-rassigheid geen bruin mense nie- daar bestaan net Suid Afrikaners. Aan die ander kant kan hy nogtans, homself 'afskei' as 'buitestaander...omdat jy nie bruin... is nie' en beroep hy homself nogsteeds op sy sg 'nierassige bruin denkers' naamlik, Prof Richard van der Ross, me Rhoda Kadalie, dr Edna van Harte, ens. Dit sou interesant wees om te hoor op watter gronde hy hierdie groepie, onderskei van die res van die Suid Afrikaners.

Die debat tussen die ideologie van nie-rassigheid teenoor swartbewussyn word in menige gesprekke, doelbewus, skeefgetrek op so 'n wyse dat die realiteite van onregmatige bevooregting versluier word. Daar word verklaar dat ons ahistories, op gelyke speelveld is en nog altyd was. Bruinmense, wat deel was van die swartbewussynsbeweging, soos bv bekroonde skrywer Chris van Wyk, huldig juis vanweë hierdie onreg, die mening dat die verdruktes onder wit oorheersing moet saamstaan onder die banier van swart-wees. Onder die vlag van die Freedom Charter, wil die ander spreek teen die onregte op rassegronde en 'n oop nie-rassige samelewing in die visier stel, teenoor die rasgebasserde onreg van die verlede. Hierdie standpuntname ontken nie die onreg of ongelykhede, wat nog steeds bestaan nie. Hier word ook nie geargumenteer dat bruin identiteit, maar ten diepste die bruin ekonomiese realiteite ontken mag word, in die nasiebou planne van die dag nie. Dit moet juis as sodanig erken word, en regestel word, ten einde koers te kry na 'n nie-rassige SA. Die vraag is hoe ?

Ons moet erken dat bruin identiteit nie vasgeanker is in 'n etniese essensie nie. Miskien stem ek hier met Jan-Jan saam. 'Ons moenie ons uitdagings etnies afkamp nie'. Bruinmense is etnies nie uit dieselfde lap geknip nie. Bruinmense, Jan-Jan, het egter kultureel unieke denk en leefpatrone ontwikkel, wat onderskeidend is van witmense, asook van swart mense. Miskien is die 'Afrikaners' juis die naaste, alhoewel hulle histories en nie te naby aan bruin mense wil wees nie, die bloedverwantskappe tenspyt. Hierdie kulturele lappieskombers, is uit verskillende lappe geknip, en hierdie nuwe kreatiewe rykheid, gee aan ons ons karakter, maar as ons wicked wil wees, daaarom glo ons dat juis hierdie uniekheid, essensieel is en vir ons 'n kykie gee vir die toekoms van die Suider Afrikaanse kulturele landskap. Maak geen fout nie, ons is bewus daarvan dat die leading egde ontwikkelinge op hierdie terrein juis uit die bruin gemeenskap ontwikkel. Miskien is Jan-Jan ook reg as hy bedoel dat die toekoms van die kulturele en intellektuele landskap vir Suid-Afrikaners, juis erns moet maak met ons almal se ervaring van gemengd-wees. Die toekoms waaroor ons droom, lê juis opgesluit in die wyse waarop ons gevorm word deur mekaar en daardeur nuwe Suid Afrikaanse waardes, lewenspatrone ontwikkel.

Verder, moet ons ook erken dat in die kolonialistiese konteks bruinmense selektief bo swartmense bevoordeel is. Ons wil dit nie altyd erken nie, maar bruinmense, is deur wetgewing, spesifiek in die Kaapkolonie, voorrang gegee ten op sigte van werksgeleenthede, asook opleiding. Vorige kolonialistiese regerings het meer spandeer op bruin onderwys en opleiding, as aan die van die swart kind. Hierdie onderskeid moet inaggeneem word en daarom die rasgebaseerde onderskeide, ten einde dit regtestel. Om te maak asof dit nie gebeur het nie is oneerlik. Aan die ander kant, egter, is kinders uit wit gemeenskappe meer bevoordeel as die kinders uit die bruin gemeenskap. Ons regmatige plek is om hierdie realiteite te erken en bewustelik daaraan te werk, om ongelykhede reg te stel. So lank as wat ons as bruin mense maak asof dit nie gebeur het nie, ontneem ons onself die verantwoordelikheid om ook 'n rol te speel in ware versoening, maar ook die ontwikkeling van alle Suid Afrikaners. Ons sal onssself 'n guns doen en die wêreld, as ons bevry word van die slagoffermentaliteit en ons hand aan die ploeg slaan.

Laastens, oordeel ek dat nierassigheid, as ideaal, nogsteeds die transformasie en die regstellende aksie van ons land aanvuur. Nierassigheid val nie op 'n miraculous day' soos 27 April 1994, uit die hemel nie. Nierassigheid, word nagestreef, gebou in die harde skewe werklikhede, vanuit die geskiedenis, waar die magsspel van die ekonomiese elite en toegang tot die openbare media, die spelreels bepaal. Dis hier waar Jan-Jan se worsteling, nie 'n onskuldige mymering is nie, maar waar dit menings vorm, vanwaar die ons worsteling van bruin identiteit vir hom, handig te pas kom.