Saturday, September 20, 2008

so the prez is no more...

And so we understand the prez is no more. Luthuli House has spoken. It's almost unreal, too good to be true- the air of invincibility is now no more, and yes, JZ AKA Umshini Wam is singing, dancing, smirking his way to the Union buildings, waving to us, to the world, his machine gun. Is it possible that this palace revolution has proven that after all, the machine gun politics is indeed stronger then the quasi-philosophical, political schemes of a master tactician ? I mean the prez, literally demolished the political careers of the likes of Cyril Ramaphosa and Pallo Jordan ? Do we hear in the background, the hollow, yet ominous voice of our neighborhood lunatic, asking 'how can a ballpoint pen fight with a gun'.

I was not part of the Thabo fan club. His political machinations was shrewd, calculated, deadly, yet one has to admit, highly sophisticated. One could almost say, in wicked admiration- he was (wow, its almost unbelievable that we talk about 'was'!) of the finest stock in wielding political power- he was the prez. But then, he was also corrupted by this same power. He became a power unto himself, at the expense of the glorious heritage of the struggle for freedom- freedom from tyranny, from evil despots, sacrificing people, even the best of what we as a nation and as the liberation movements had, at the alter of their cult worship.

Whilst others opted to steer clear of the prez, one thing we have to give to JZ and his band of rouges, was that they opted to take him down. They, irrespective of the spin and paintbrushed gloss, however still don't come across as the material of leaders in modern constitutionally based government, honoring the rule of law. The successful Polokwane take-over was staged mostly by a motley crew of firebrand activists, opportunists and literally the second team ( if not the D team, also known as the 'koek en bier' team ) of the ANC. But, possibly, this leadership vacuum does leave open the possibility of newer political movements and parties, around those that remained true to the values and integrity of the struggle. Possibly the leadership crisis within the ANC is now exposed that could lead to new more creative possibilities opening up for our nation. Of course, we need to be realistic and caution, that the average ANC voter could care less about a president or minister of the Republic who has archaic views on woman and sexuality or an evident lack of vocabulary on global markets, genome research or GMO's, as long as they can sing and dance. Yet, they also see the hope in what's happening. Maybe they see it different and as they sing along in the streets, 'the prez is no more', are still hoping for more than koek en bier- still simply hoping for bread, clean water and a safe home and street, irrespective of who delivers it...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

SA athletes made us all proudly South African

With the 2008 Beijing Paralympics drawing close, I can come out of hiding after Beijing 2008 Olympics. Khotso Mokoena made us proud, but what about Shireen Shapiro, Hilton Langenhoven and all the (by now!) household names and competitors of the paralympics team. Maybe we should not single out one or two, but we should celebrate the spirit with which they did it.
I salute our South African athletes. What a proudly South African moment. Indeed, despite the odds, we can rise in greatness !

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Racism in South Africa today

Few commentators have ventured into this hot potato topic. Its probably a matter of fools rush in... yet Ryland Fisher and Sarah Britten, does.

I will simply state that Fisher is provocative in stating, Black people can be the most racist. Indeed he is candid, maybe too candid; because surely this is not a matter of who is the most racist, you or me or they. The fundamantal point that we have to address first is whether black people can be racist? In my previous posts arguing that the xenophobia is simply a form of black racism, colleagues responded by saying that black people cannot be racist. It was actually the poor blacks scrambling for the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich. Fisher is correct in my view, that racism does not have a colour and like the statements of the venerable Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King (jnr), black supremacy thinking, indeed could be as dangerous as white supremacy.

Sarah Britten's post, What is genuine white racism anyway.

Die struggle in Afrikaans

Vandag is mense verbaas om te hoor dat die stryd teen Apartheid, ook in Afrikaans gevoer is.
'... die belangrike mense in die stryd, is nie Allan Boesak, nie, maar die mense van Saldanha Baai, van Veldrift, en van Vredenburg.....'

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Dominees van die Ring van Wellington (VGKSA) ondersteun Pieter de Villiers

Persverklaring van die dominees van die Ring van Wellington oor smeerveldtog teen Pieter De Villiers, Springbok afrigter:

Die Predikante van die Ring van Wellington (VGKSA) het met skok en verontwaardiging kennis geneem van die inkriminerende, afbrekende en ongetoetste aantygings teen Mnr Pieter De Villiers, wat op 7 September 2008 in die Sondag pers verskyn het. As leraars wil ons, ons absolute misnoë uitspreek oor ‘n aangeleentheid waar daar huidiglik net in die pers oor bespiegel word en nie bewys is nie, maar alreeds, tragies genoeg, die karakter en persoon van Mnr De Villiers onder so ‘n verskriklike wolk van verdenking plaas. Die skade en pyn wat hierdie hele aangeleentheid aan hom en sy gesin op persoonlike en emosionele vlak doen is natuurlike verreikend en ingrypend. Dit is ‘n onregverdige hantering van hierdie aangeleentheid en in die proses word Mnr de Villiers gruwelik verontreg en kwesbaar gelaat.

Die politieke en sosiale opset waaruit Springbok Rugby kom ( ons apartheidsverlede) moet in die aangeleentheid nie onderskat word nie.

Gegewe die beweerde rede, wat agter hierdie smeerveltog teen hom sit (soos in die pers verwoord), is dit vir ons meer as ooit te vore duidelik, dat swart leiers wat hulle in die voorheen bastion instellings van apartheid bevind, altyd ‘n teiken sal wees van diegene wat steeds die ou Suid Afrikaanse samelewings kultuur, praktyk en orde as norm en raamwerk beskou vir wat moet wees en bereik moet word.

Binne hierdie ou orde moet Pieter de Villiers ondergaan, sodat die ou verlede geprys kan word as bevoeg, deeglik en beter. Hierdie aangeleentheid teen Mnr de Villiers moet dus in ‘n baie breër konteks gesien word, veral teen die agtergrond van die gevoelens wat teen hom en die Springbokke in afgelope tyd uitgespreek is, soos verwoord in die openbare media.

Mnr de Villiers en sy gesin is aktiewe lidmate van die VGKSA en as sulks het ons geen ander uitweg as om in hierdie moeilike tyd by hom en sy gesin te staan nie. Ons keuse vir hom word deur niks anders gemotiveer, as ons geloof, ons geloof in ons Belydenis van Belhar: Om te staan waar God staan, by die verontregte. Hiermee betuig ons ons ongekwalfiseerde steun aan hom en sy gesin.

As Ring van Wellington bevestig ons ons absolute vertroue in sy integriteit en geloofwaardigheid.

Mnr de Villiers is ‘n lidmaat, wat ten spyte van die hoogtes wat hy bereik het, en sy enorme besig program, steeds tyd maak om die kerk te dien. So het hy op 4 September 2008 tyd ingeruim om as spreker by die kerk op te tree.

As leraars van die Ring van Wellington (VGKSA) betreur ons die onregverdige en venederende behandeling van Mnr. De villiers. Ons bid hom en sy gesin die Here se krag, wysheid en sterkte toe.

UITGEREIK OP 8 SEPTEMBER DEUR Ds James Mac Kay, namens die Ring van Wellington
(Voorsitter: Ondersteuninsdienste)

Kontak besonderhede: cell: 083 449 0808

Monday, September 08, 2008

Let the NG Kerk be

Why is everyone so obsessed with the NG Kerk to become one ? If they don't want to re-unite with the rest of the family of NG churches, let them be, I say. I have been an ardent supporter of the process of unification, now I am not so sure anymore.

At the last Synod of the former NG Sendingkerk, back the days, I, fresh from seminary at Stellenbosch and full of theological pearls of wisdom, argued that the unification process to form URCSA, should include the white NG Kerk. I was laughed of the mic. Today I understand why. It's not that there are none within the NG kerk who want to talk unity; in fact most of the NG scholars and theologian-dominees are evidently experts in talking and writing unity and Belhar theology, but the truth is that the price to live it, is to high. Hence, it would take too much from these advocates to say, like the reformer, 'here I stand, so help me God', to literally walk the plank. It is too high a price to take the verbal commitment to Belhar Confession to its logical conclusion.

So, I too am disillusioned and disappointed at the fact that the poll of congregations and church councils, overwhelmingly shows that this church is not prepared to accept Belhar as a confession. I agree with Gerrit Brand, that it is time for NG congregations and pastors, who do accept Belhar Confession, to make it public and official, to form a confessing community within this church- also linking with others in the 'Afrikaanse susterkerke', but also, on the basis of this same faith that we share to join the URCSA as one, non-racial, non-sexist, open Reforming church. This will allow the NG Kerk to stay their course in evidently accommodating people, who remain committed to a theology and faith that supports apartheid.

As for the URCSA, this church will also have to listen again to Belhar Confession in building a diverse, postcolonial, inclusive community and let the NG kerk be.