Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Black Lives Matter Supporters March Against Clinton: ‘Hard to Trust’
“Hell no, DNC/We won’t vote for Hillary,” demonstrators chanted during a Black Lives Matter protest during the second day of the Democratic National Convention.

By S.A. Miller - The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton is using the Democratic National Convention to aggressively woo minority voters, whom she is relying on to put her over the top in November, and she enlisted President Obama to spearhead the effort with a keynote speech Wednesday.

But the bid to reunite the coalition of black and Hispanic voters who were instrumental in Mr. Obama’s two White House wins ran into powerful headwinds Tuesday from the Black Lives Matter movement. Black protesters took to streets with calls to shut down the convention just as Mrs. Clinton received the nomination and made history as the first female standard-bearer for a major political party.

As several hundred Black Lives Matters protesters marched through the city toward the convention at the Wells Fargo Center, the crowd chanted, “Hell no, DNC/We won’t vote for Hillary!”

White activists outnumbered black ones in the Black Lives Matter demonstration. But young black men and women in the crowd said they weren’t voting for Mrs. Clinton. Many said they would back Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Samantha Eusebio joined the march spontaneously on her way home from work as a museum educator. She said she used to support Mrs. Clinton.

“Hearing all that’s been happening, I don’t know what to believe anymore,” said Ms. Eusebio, who twice voted for Mr. Obama for president.

The marchers chanted, “Don’t vote for Hillary. She’s killing black people!”

Inside the convention, one of the themes for the day was Mrs. Clinton’s commitment to social justice.

Speakers included former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the first black person to hold the title of America’s top cop, and eight black women dubbed “Mothers of the Movement,” whose sons died at the hands of police and galvanized activists throughout the country.

Her nomination at the convention was seconded by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
Still, Mrs. Clinton has a complicated relationship with black voters.

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was popular with black voters, and Mrs. Clinton shared in some of that affection. However, their support for tough-on-crime laws during the Clinton administration caused mass incarcerations of black men that the activists now denounce. Mrs. Clinton’s warnings in the 1990s of “superpredators” today is being called a racist “dog whistle.”

During this year’s campaign, she repeatedly sided with Black Lives Matter, even when the movement inspired deadly attacks on police officers in Dallas and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Still, she has been criticized for tossing out a Black Lives Matter activist who crashed one of her private fundraising events.

At the protest, 28-year-old Duan Byrd said he was more concerned about Mrs. Clinton’s cozy relationship with Wall Street than her social justice policies. But mostly he didn’t trust her.

“It’s not that her [stated] policies for minorities aren’t good. It’s just hard to trust that she’ll hold true to them,” he said.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, North Carolina Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Mrs. Clinton’s success in November depends on her ability to motivate black and Hispanic voters to turn out at similar levels as they did for Mr. Obama.

“No question about it,” he said.

Mr. Butterfield said he was confident that Mr. Obama’s convention speech would help by “telegraphing a message that they are immovable” in their support for minorities.

He predicted that Mrs. Clinton would win in a landslide, with the help of minority voters.

Mr. Obama, the country’s first black president, drove record high turnout among black voters and received a landslide share of their vote, 96 percent in 2008 and 93 percent in 2012.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump likely needs to crack 12 percent of the black vote to prevail. That is more than George W. Bush won in 2000 (9 percent) and in 2004 (11 percent).

Mr. Trump was supported by 1 percent of black voters in a national poll last month by Quinnipiac University, which gave Mrs. Clinton a narrow overall lead, 42 percent to 40 percent. Mrs. Clinton got 91 percent of the black vote, with the other 8 percent either undecided, not voting or wanting someone else.

Mr. Trump does better with Hispanic voters but still trails Mrs. Clinton by a wide margin, 76 percent to 14 percent, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Luci Riley, a California delegate to the Democratic convention with ties to Black Lives Matter groups, said young black men are tuning out the message from Mrs. Clinton and other establishment figures. “They’re not voting at all. They have given up on the system entirely,” she said.

Indiana delegate Gina Paradis agreed.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of figureheads from minority groups you put up on the stage,” she said.

“Minorities are more distrustful of the establishment than any other group.”

Ms. Paradis, who worked organizing inner-city voters for Sen. Bernard Sanders during the Democratic primary, said the high level of distrust of Mrs. Clinton in the electorate was acute among black voters. “They don’t trust Hillary,” she said.
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
July 27, 2016
Deepak Tripath Correspondent

The recent referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union was a people’s revolt which unleashed a series of unintended consequences. The result was unexpected, and its aftershocks ended more than a handful of political careers. Prime Minister David Cameron, who had vigorously campaigned to remain in the EU, resigned the following day. The euphoria which the Leave campaign’s “victory” generated did not last. Several leading figures of the winning side withdrew from the front line.

Nigel Farage, a vehement anti-EU and anti-immigration politician, stood down as leader of the right-wing populist UK Independence Party. Farage claimed that he had done his bit, and was going to spend time with his family. Boris Johnson, former mayor of London, whose last-minute decision to join and become co-leader of the Leave campaign, announced that he would not enter the race to succeed David Cameron as the Conservative Party leader and prime minister. George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer (finance minister), who was seen as a future prime minister, also decided not to enter the leadership contest.

Amid the shock of Brexit, the party’s “big beasts” Michael Gove and Liam Fox were eliminated from the leadership race in the first two rounds. The Home Secretary Theresa May, a quiet Remainer, found herself in a commanding position among Conservative Members of Parliament. Chris Grayling, another Leaver, made a tactical retreat without even entering the race. Andrea Leadsom, a junior minister, took a distant second place. Her lack of judgment and experience were soon obvious. Leadsom retired hurt after growing criticisms from party members and the press.

Leadsom’s withdrawal left Theresa May as the last candidate standing in the field. Thus she became the leader of the party and prime minister.

Two striking features emerged from May’s appointment of a new Cabinet on taking office. The overwhelming majority of her ministers were in the Remain camp, as she herself was, before the vote. Nevertheless, she did bring some prominent figures of the Leave camp into her cabinet. She has given them departments with the responsibility to negotiate Britain’s exit from the European Union, and to find new trade deals to plug the big hole which leaving the EU will create.

The appointment of Boris Johnson, an outspoken politician who has a reputation for making undiplomatic remarks, as Britain’s foreign secretary, has caused astonishment, ridicule and anger in Europe and the United States. Johnson has few friends, but many foes. The new Brexit Secretary, David Davis, was minister of state for Europe 20 years ago. Liam Fox has been given the department of international trade, and Andrea Leadsom environment, food and rural affairs – a department which has to deal with massive EU subsidies for farmers.

These four politicians were the main faces of the Leave campaign in the governing Conservative Party before the referendum. Now they are entrusted with the heavy responsibility of making Britain’s exit happen. For them, the time for sloganeering is over. Now they must deliver. The presence of some of the most vocal Leavers in a cabinet which has a safe majority of Remainers looks like a Machiavellian device to keep opponents in and, at the same time, contain them. If they fail, people will hold them responsible.

The United Kingdom leaving the EU would be a walk into the dark, for there is no precedence of a member state walking out of the association. Once Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered, the process would be extremely complex, tense and risky. The prime minister has announced that she will chair three new cabinet committees which will focus on the European Union and international trade, economy and industrial strategy, and social reform. The Brexiteers who found a place in the cabinet achieved high office, but with their wings clipped. Theresa May, to whom they should be grateful, will always be watching their every move.

This outcome shows that winners are often losers in the chaotic aftermath of a popular mutiny, for that is what the referendum was. Rebellion continues to simmer under the surface in the governing Conservative Party, which has a working majority of just 16 in parliament. There are about 20 hard-line MPs who will stop at nothing short of complete exit from the EU, and Theresa May has either sacked or not promoted around 25 Tory MPs, who are unhappy. The prime minister may be safe in the cabinet she has chosen now, but the prospects of revolt in the near future are high.

The origins of the people’s revolt in the EU referendum are worth exploring. A close examination of how different groups voted is revealing. While 70 percent 18 to 24-year-old voters wanted the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union, there was a steady decline in support for the EU among older age groups. Among those aged 65 years or more, 61 percent voted to Leave. Britain’s ageing population has been on the rise for years.

Older people with lingering memories of World War II look negatively at the EU, in which Germany is the most powerful member-state.

Support for remaining in the EU among voters with a university degree was 71 percent. It declined with lower education to the extent that almost two-thirds of voters with a high school diploma chose to Leave. Across the political spectrum, the more right-wing voters were, the stronger their opposition to Britain’s membership of the EU and free movement of people. So Labour and Liberal-Democrat voters backed the idea to remain in large numbers while backing for leaving among Conservative and UK Independence Party supporters was very high. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. England and Wales went against. The referendum has divided families, with young and ambitious graduates wanting to travel on one side. Their parents and grandparents on the other.

Most worrying is the divide between rich and poor in England and Wales. Communities devastated by the demise of the coal and steel industries since the 1980s have still not recovered. Young, able and ambitious have moved to other parts of the country, indeed to other European countries. Left behind are the old, the less educated and the poorly skilled whose wages are easily undercut by new arrivals from other EU countries. Years of hardship, isolation and hopelessness have made them bitter and resentful. A great many of them saw in the referendum their only opportunity to punish the rich and the powerful, who had failed them. To vote Leave was their only weapon.

The United Kingdom has not seen such deep polarisation in living memory. The pound has crashed. Confidence in the economy has suffered a sharp decline. Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she will not trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and start the exit process this year. For the country faces major challenges – to negotiate the exit from the EU; at the same time to maintain as much access to the European single market as possible; to negotiate dozens of new trade deals with countries around the world. These are monumental challenges. It is doubtful whether the United Kingdom has the ability to meet them without having to pay the price.

– Counterpunch
Africa on Course Despite Economic Slowdown
July 27, 2016

Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and Africa is one of only two regions globally achieving growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) levels in 2015. This is according to EY’s 2016 Africa attractiveness survey, Staying the course, which has found that in 2015, FDI project numbers increased by 7 percent.EY explains that although the capital value of projects was down year-on-year — from $88,5 billion in 2014 to $71,3 billion in 2015 — this was still higher than the 2010–2014 average of $68 billion.

Similarly, jobs created were down year-on-year, but, again ahead of the average for 2010–2014.

Ajen Sita, Africa Chief Executive Officer at EY, comments, “Over the past year, global markets have experienced unprecedented volatility.

We’ve witnessed the collapse of commodity prices and a number of currencies across Africa, and with reference to the two largest markets, starting with South Africa, we saw GDP growth decline sharply to below one percent and the country averting a credit ratings downgrade; in Nigeria, the slowdown in that economy was impacted further by the decline in the oil price and currency devaluation pressure.”

Sita adds, “The reality is that economic growth across the region is likely to remain slower in coming years than it has been over the past 10 to 15 years, and the main reasons for a relative slowdown are not unique to Africa. In fact, Africa was one of the only two regions in the world in which there was growth in FDI project levels over the past year.”

East Africa closes the FDI gap

According to EY in 2015, East Africa recorded its highest share of FDI across Africa, achieving 26,3 percent of total projects.

Southern Africa remained the largest investment region on the continent, although projects were down 11,6 percent from 2014 levels. The West Africa region saw a rebound in FDI projects by 16,2 percent, and interestingly in 2015, the region became the leading recipient of capital investment on the continent, outpacing Southern Africa.

North Africa experienced 8,5 percent year-on-year growth in FDI projects. Furthermore, while projects are increasing in North Africa, they are increasing at a much faster rate in Sub-Saharan Africa, the report adds.

Michael Lalor, EY’s Africa Business Centre leader, says, “In a context of heightened concerns about economic and political risk across the continent, FDI flows remain robust, and in line with levels we have seen over the past five years. A key factor here is the structural shift in FDI — from a high concentration of source countries and destination markets and sectors, to a far more diverse FDI landscape. As a result, risks and opportunities are being spread much wider, and there is no longer an over-dependence on a limited group of investors or sectors to drive FDI performance.”

According to EY’s data the US retained its position in 2015, as the largest investor in the continent, with 96 investment projects valued at $6,9 billion. During 2015, traditional investors such as the UK and France, as well as the UAE and India, also showed renewed interest in Africa.

“Over the past decade, there has been a shift in sector focus in FDI from extractive to consumer-facing industries. Mining and metals, coal, oil and natural gas, which were previously the key sectors attracting major FDI flows, have given way to consumer products and retail (CPR), financial services and technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), accounting for 44,7 percent of FDI projects in 2015. In 2015, further evidence of sector diversification came through, with business services, automotive, cleantech and life sciences all rising in significance and becoming the likely “next wave” for investors,” the report continues.

Sita concludes, “Given the growth potential in and relative underdevelopment of many African markets, the primary focus for many companies over the past few years has been on entering new markets, capturing market share and driving revenue growth.

A combination of factors — including tightening economic conditions, increasingly well-informed consumers and citizens, intensifying competition, a heightened sense of global geopolitical uncertainty, and shifting priorities from global or regional Headquarters — is now driving a change in focus toward striking a greater balance between growth, profitability and risk management.”

Brexit impact

In a recent blog post regarding the impact of Brexit on economies, John-David Lovelock, Research vice president at Gartner predicted that business discretionary IT investments will probably suffer in the short term, and new, larger and long-term strategic projects are likely to be put on hold.

“Amongst all the uncertainty, corporations have to take certain actions. CIO clients must determine their risk, how they are exposed for data, location . . . and for technology services clients, we say ‘your goal here is to try to throw a little more in the way of certainty into the market’,” said Mr Lovelock.

— ITWeb.
AfDB Approves Industrialization Strategy
July 27, 2016
Business Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

THE African Development Bank has approved the group’s Industrialisation Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 and has mobilised up to $56 billion as part of efforts to scale up Africa’s economic transformation. The strategy signifies a roadmap for implementing priority programmes to increase the industrial revolution of Africa. The strategy was approved on the 14th of this month.The bank will support African countries by championing six flagship programmes namely fostering successful industrial policies, catalysing funding in infrastructure and industrial projects, growing liquid and effective capital markets, promoting and driving enterprise development, promoting strategic partnerships and developing efficient industry clusters.

In a statement, AfDB said the strategy addresses key issues such as why Africa needs to industrialise, what it will take to industrialise Africa and how AfDB will help to industrialise Africa.

“Africa’s industrialisation agenda, one of the bank group’s top priorities for the continent’s economic transformation, received a boost this week with the approval of the bank group’s Industrialisation strategy for Africa 2016-2025.

“In designing the strategy, the bank underscored the vital roles that industrialisation plays in development as it leverages all the value chains of economic activity ranging from raw materials to finished products.

“It catalyses productivity by introducing new equipment and new techniques, increases the capabilities of the workforce, and diffuses these improvements into the wider economy. It generates formal employment, which in turn creates social stability. It improves the balance of trade by creating goods for export and replacing imports,” read the statement.

The group added that the strategy aims to develop industrial sectors and policy framework, enhance trade and integrate Africa into the regional and international value chains and boost competitiveness and value creation by expanding supply of business services to maximise impact on the performance of industries and vice-versa.

“To achieve these goals, the strategy would rely on five enablers which the bank will mainstream into flagship programmes. These are: supportive policy, legislation and institutions; Conducive economic environment and infrastructure; access to capital; Access to markets; and competitive talents, capabilities, and entrepreneurship,” reads the statement.

The bank said it would increase its level of funding and crowding-in third party resources.

“It would also increase its level of funding and crowding-in third party resources to the tune of $35 to $56 billion over the next decade. The Bank will also leverage additional resources through partnership with other DFIs, relevant UN agencies, AUC, RECs, and special purpose vehicles providing seed funds. In addition, substantial amounts will be mobilised through syndication and co-financing in support of phased programs that would be specific to local contexts and in line with the countries’ development goals.

“Industrialise Africa” will build on synergies across the other H5’s — Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa — by virtue of its cross-cutting agenda.

“Prepared in consultation with the relevant UN organisations such as UNIDO, UNECA as well as internal multi sectoral and external consultations, the African Industrialisation agenda is grounded on the SDGs which recognise that industrialisation is the right path to accelerate growth the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA) Regional Economic Communities (RECs) industrial policies,” AfDB said.
Zimbabwe Government to Launch Women’s Bank
July 27, 2016
Melody Mashaire
Zimbabwe Herald

Government will soon launch a women’s bank that will provide financial support to small and medium enterprises run by women, a Cabinet minister has said. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development in partnership with the International Trade Centre has started collecting data of women business associations and collective enterprises that exist in Zimbabwe with the exercise scheduled to end on August 20.The exercise is being undertaken as part of the European Union trade and private sector development programme assistance being implemented in Zimbabwe.

Minister of Woman Affairs, Gender and Community Development Nyasha Chikwinya said the bank would be opened after the establishment of the database of SMEs operated by women.

“What is even more exiting about this database is we will soon be opening the first women’s bank in Zimbabwe, we will then know who is doing what, not through a project proposal, but through a data base so that we do not have people that will tell us stories that I’m doing this and that .

“This is our fall-back position to identify woman in business and who is going to be assisted with funding.

“We are going to rope in several other partners and the International Trade Centre is going to lead the process,” she said.

She added that women owned and women managed enterprises and associations make a key contribution to Zimbabwe’s economy.

“In order to enable women’s enterprises to grow, become more competitive and fulfil their potential, greater financial and organisational support is needed,” she said.

Minister Chikwinya said the creation of a database is aimed at identifying existing business women’s associations, especially their number, geographic location, sectors they represent, objectives of their associations and key business constrains.

“The Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development needs the collaboration of line Government ministries, intermediary organisations and development organisations in availing their valid databases of existing business women associations in Zimbabwe for collaboration into one comprehensive national data base,” she said.
Zimbabwe President Mugabe Meets War Veterans Today
July 27, 2016
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

War veterans from all corners of the country are converging in Harare today in a show of solidarity with their patron, President Mugabe. War collaborators and ex-detainees have also been invited. This comes in the wake of a treasonous communiqué attacking President Mugabe that was covertly issued to members of the media by a clique of power hungry war veterans last week.

The President has repeatedly stressed the need for unity in the party. Today he is expected to speak on the challenges faced by war veterans and alleged divisions in the party. Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary for lands Cde George Matenda, who is part of a team that organised today’s event, confirmed the solidarity meeting.

He said President Mugabe, in his capacity as ZNLWVA patron, would address the freedom fighters. “It is a solidarity meeting with our patron. All comrades are invited to come and show their support to their patron,” he said.

No one has claimed authorship of the subversive communiqué. Government has since activated its security agencies to establish the origins and authorship of the communiqué.

War veterans disowned it through their parent ministry led by Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Former Political Detainees Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, who expressed doubts that such a document could have been issued by genuine war veterans.

The document was written in a language that could not be ascribed to trained cadres whose loyalty to their leadership is beyond doubt.
Masvingo to Host Zanu-PF Indaba
July 27, 2016
From George Maponga in Masvingo
Zimbabwe Herald

Zanu-PF has selected Masvingo province to host this year’s 16th Annual National People’s conference in December with the ruling party provincial leadership expected to meet to constitute committees to spearhead preparations. Last year’s conference was held in the prime tourist resort of Victoria Falls in Matabeleland North. Masvingo province last hosted the ruling party’s Annual National People’s Conference in December 2003.

Zanu-PF acting Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Amasa Nhenjana yesterday said the province had been chosen to host this year’s National People’s conference. Cde Nhenjana said party secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo wrote to the party provincial leadership recently informing them of the decision.

“We are going to meet at the end of this week as members of the Zanu-PF provincial executive to officially start preparations for this year’s 16th Annual National People’s Conference in early December,’’ he said.

“The dates and other such information as the venue have not yet been revealed, but we will be meeting to set up the various committees that will spearhead preparations for the annual conference,’’ he added.

Cde Nhenjana said the ruling party provincial executive will seek guidance from senior party leaders in the province such as Politburo members Cdes Josaya Hungwe and Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa on the choice of the venue.

“Personally, I think it will be good if the celebrations were to be held at the Great Zimbabwe monuments or Masvingo Teachers’ College, but this is my own opinion and our ruling party leaders in the province will give us guidance. We will stand guided by them,’’ Cde Nhenjana said.

The last Zanu-PF Annual People’s Conference in Masvingo was held at Masvingo Teachers’ College. Masvingo’s selection to host this year’s Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference comes after the province successfully hosted President Mugabe’s 92nd birthday commemorations at the Great Zimbabwe monuments.

The Zanu-PF Politburo will set dates and the theme for the conference that normally runs for a week with around 5 000 party members from across the country and beyond in attendance.
Zimbabwe Soldiers Receive July Salaries
July 27, 2016
Zimbabwe Herald
Bulawayo Bureau

Soldiers received their July salaries on Monday as Government started paying its workers’ salaries for this month. In interviews, soldiers confirmed Government had honored its promise to pay them.

“We received our salaries today and we are happy that the Government honored its promise. We hope that efforts are being made to ensure that our salaries are paid on time every month,” said a soldier who requested anonymity.

The Government released the civil servants’ pay dates for July last week. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said the army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe would be paid yesterday followed by the health sector tomorrow.

She said the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services would be paid on July 29, followed by the education sector on August 2. The rest of the civil service, Minister Mupfumira said, would get their salaries on August 6 while the pensioners will be paid on August 12.

Workers at grant-aided institutions will receive their July salaries as well as their 2015 bonuses on August 16.
Paul Robeson, Black Dockworkers, And Labor-Left Pan-Africanism
JULY 25, 2016

This is a guest post by Peter Cole, a historian of the twentieth-century United States, South Africa and comparative history. Dr. Cole is Professor of History at Western Illinois University. He is the author of Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive Era Philadelphia (University of Illinois Press, 2013) and currently at work on a book entitled Dockworker Power: Race, Technology & Unions in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes on labor history and politics and tweets from @ProfPeterCole

Paul Robeson was one of the greatest black internationalists of the twentieth century. A gifted actor and singer, he was also an unabashed leftist and union supporter. This resulted in his bitter persecution, destroying his career and causing, to a surprising degree, his disappearance from popular–if not academic–memory. Robeson’s connections to the fiery black dockworkers of the San Francisco Bay illuminate a form of black internationalism still left out of scholarly analyses –what I will refer to as Labor-Left Pan-Africanism.

Robeson’s life exemplified Pan-Africanism, a global movement of politically conscious black people who believed they shared much in common with all people of African descent in Africa and across the African Diaspora. In the 1930s, Robeson embraced this ideology, along with communism, and supported the Soviet Union. Robeson and other leftwing, Pan-African black intellectuals and activists—such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Eslanda Robeson, Vicki Garvin, and Hubert Harrison—fought long and hard for racial equality in the United States and for liberation of African and Caribbean nations abroad.

Robeson connected struggles for civil rights with socialism and working class politics. His interest in black equality first came from his father, William Drew Robeson, who was born a slave and successfully liberated himself. Robeson’s leftist politics emerged in the 1930s, first visiting the Soviet Union in 1934, and subsequently embracing socialism for treating black people as equals. He combined politics and artistry from then onwards.

In 1935, Robeson performed in the London debut of the American play Stevedore.1 The reviewer in the NAACP’s Crisis magazine concluded: “Stevedore is extremely valuable in the racial–social question—it is straight from the shoulder.” Later that year, he also played the lead in C. L. R. James’ take on Toussaint L’Ouverture, itself written shortly before James’ classic history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins (1938).

In 1937, back in the United States, Robeson helped to establish the Council on African Affairs (CAA), which promoted African liberation in an era when few Americans actively engaged in such matters. Perhaps its greatest achievement came in 1946, when the CAA submitted a memorandum to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in support of the African National Congress (ANC). Led by its US-educated President, Alfred Xuma, the ANC successfully fought to prevent the annexation of South-West Africa (now Namibia) by racist, white minority-ruled South Africa. Alas, the CAA was red-baited out of existence shortly after this victory.

In 1942, during WWII, Robeson traveled to Oakland to champion the black and white union workers contributing to the Allied war effort on the home front. One of Robeson’s most famous photos shows him singing the “Star Spangled Banner” amidst a sea of black and white workers at Moore Shipyard in Oakland. The image captures his politics brilliantly, all the more so since Robeson had worked as a shipbuilder, during WWI.

After WWII, the Cold War commenced and black people linked to communism, like Robeson and Du Bois, were persecuted by the US State Department, the FBI, and many so-called patriots intolerant of dissent. Historian Penny M. Von Eschen cites Robeson’s “extreme advocacy on behalf of the independence of the colonial peoples of Africa” as an explanation for his career’s destruction in the Red Scare. I would also add his labor activism.

Just like Robeson, many of the black dockworkers I study adhered to Labor-Left Pan-Africanism. In the San Francisco Bay Area, thousands of African Americans belonged to the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU).2  This leftwing union was renowned for its fierce and proud commitment to racial equality and black internationalism. Indeed, during WWII, Robeson became an honorary member of the ILWU. Robeson and the ILWU were, in many ways, a perfect fit.

The ILWU was—and remains—amongst America’s most radical unions, led for decades by its leftist President Harry Bridges and supported by many leftists in the rank-and-file. The union put socialism into action in its hiring halls, which dispatched members based upon a “low man out” system in which the person with the fewest amount of hours worked, that quarter, received the first available job.

In keeping with its politics, the ILWU attacked racism on the waterfront beginning with its initial “Big Strike” even though the workforce was 99% white in 1934. Local 10 welcomed thousands of African Americans during the WWII-induced shipping boom and these blacks, alongside leftist white allies, fully integrated their union and fought for civil rights in the Bay Area and nationwide. Due to their aggressive efforts, ILWU Local 10, which represents dockworkers in San Francisco, Oakland, and throughout the Bay Area, became black majority in the mid-1960s with blacks elected to every leadership position available. Truly, the ILWU embodied what historian Robert Korstad labeled “civil rights unionism.”

Robeson understood the significance of the ILWU as a platform from which to demand civil rights. Two of Robeson’s best friends– Joe Johnson and Revels Cayton— belonged to the ILWU. Together, these three black men articulated a commitment to Labor-Left Pan-Africanism.

The best example of its Pan-Africanism was ILWU’s commitment to the struggle against apartheid and, more broadly, for the liberation of all the peoples of southern Africa. In the 1950s and 1960s, the union repeatedly condemned white-minority rule in South Africa and also noted the ironic similarities with Jim Crow segregation in the States. In the 1970s and 1980s, rank-and-file members of ILWU Local 10 formed the Southern Africa Liberation Support Committee, which stood at the vanguard of black working class anti-apartheid activism during this period. Leo Robinson, Texas-born and a child of the 2nd Great Migration to Oakland, followed in his father’s footsteps to the waterfront in 1963. In Local 10 Robinson became a communist and activist who helped found the SALSC after the Soweto student uprising of 1976. Although Robeson died that same year, after declining health and decades in forced retirement due to McCarthyism, other radical longshoremen inspired by socialism and liberation movements in Africa joined Robinson and following in Robeson’s footsteps.

The black and white members of the SALSC fought for the liberation of black people in South Africa, Mozambique, Rhodesia, and elsewhere in the best way they knew how: direct action on the job. To leftist, Pan-African dockworkers, the most logical way to attack apartheid and racial capitalism was flexing their economic muscle, i.e. stop work. In 1962, 1977, and for eleven days in 1984 (shortly after Reagan’s landslide re-election), they refused to unload South African cargo. By contrast, other black Pan-Africanists embraced consumer boycotts or economic divestment. Local 10’s actions set the bar for US anti-apartheid activism and helped inspire many in the Bay Area to join the solidarity struggle. Nelson Mandela thanked the union on his first visit to Oakland in 1990 and Robinson received a posthumous award from the now-democratic South African government.

Long after his death, Paul Robeson continued to inspire African Americans in the ILWU including the Bay Area’s Alex Bagwell. Like Leo Robinson, Bagwell’s family moved to San Francisco during WWII. In the 1960s, he dropped out of college after admission to the union, which had elevated so many black folks into the middle class. Like Robeson, Bagwell was a leftist and active in the union’s anti-apartheid efforts. He and his wife, Harriett, belonged to a radical choir, Vukani Mawethu, founded by a South African who belonged to the ANC and had gone into exile. Alex and his wife were among those in Vukani who sang when Mandela visited Oakland.

In the early 1990s, though not yet retired, Bagwell finished his B.A. and then earned his M.A. in Creativity and Arts Education at San Francisco State University. For his graduate degree, he wrote a play on Robeson’s life, conducting interviews with twenty people who knew him including Local 10 member Joe Johnson, Robeson’s long-time friend.

After the birth of a multiracial, democratic South Africa, the Bagwells traveled to the country, as part of Vukani Mawethu, to perform there. Other black and white radicals in the ILWU did so, as well. The Pan-Africanism of these dockworkers clearly followed in the footsteps of Robeson, who first championed the rights of black South Africans in the 1940s. The spirit and ideals of Robeson continue to shape the Pan-Africanism of working class black dockworkers who now have established connections with black dockworkers in South African ports. Robeson would be proud.

 Stevedore is an older term for dockworker or longshoreman, workers who load and unload cargo ships. ↩
The ILWU’s original name was the International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union but, in 1997, a resolution was approved, unanimously at its biennial convention, that made its name gender-neutral. “What’s in a Name? For ILWU, it’s not ‘men’,” Journal of Commerce, May 4, 1997: http://www.joc.com/whats-name-ilwu-its-not-men_19970504.html ↩

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gai Sworn-in as South Sudan’s First VP, Urges One Army
July 26, 2016 (JUBA) – The former chief negotiator for South Sudan’s armed opposition, Taban Deng Gai was on Tuesday sworn-in as First Vice President, replacing Riek Machar who fled the nation following the recent clashes between rival forces in the capital, Juba.

Gai, appointed on Monday by President Salva Kiir in a decree, vowed to work with the former to restore ,, address economic crisis and ensure return of civilians displaced by the conflict to their homes.

He said ending the war required cooperation with the international community.

“To achieve this [peace] Mr. President, we must cooperate with the international community provided that they respect this country,” said a rather emotional Gai.

In what appears to be a shift from the provisions of the peace agreement that requires two armies for a period of 18 months, Gai suggested that this provision be scrapped.

“This country has a constitution, this country have a president and have a law to be followed. Your Excellence Mr. President, as I said, you are my commander in chief. The country cannot have two armies,” he said.

Gai was nominated by armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) in Juba over the weekend as replacement for Machar, who is the chairman of the SPLM-IO. President Kiir formally appointed Gai as First Vice President in a decree announced on Monday.

Kiir, however, said he did not influence the decision to replace Machar with Gai.

“Comrade Taban Deng Gai was selected by the SPLM/A IO to replace Dr. Riek Machar whose whereabouts are not known to all of us,” said the South Sudanese leader.

“I have been appealing to him [First Vice President Riek Machar] to come back to Juba so that we continue with the implementation of the agreement. Of course this agreement cannot be personalized that if X is away, the agreement can be shelved until when that person comes. That cannot happen,” he added.

Machar has said he would only return to the capital, Juba when a third force proposed by regional countries and approved by the African Union is deployed in the young nation.

(ST)
SPLM-IO Accuses President Kiir’s Forces of Fresh Attacks
July 26, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese forces loyal to President Salva Kiir have been accused of carrying out fresh attacks against forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) led by the former First Vice President, Riek Machar.

Machar was replaced on Monday with his ex-minister of Mining, Taban Deng Gai, in a process described as illegal by his officials but accepted by President Kiir, who appointed Gai as acting First Vice President.

President Kiir said he did not know where Machar has been hiding and could not respond to his 48 hours ultimatum. His former deputy has been demanding deployment of third party force in order to guarantee his safety in Juba following fighting two weeks ago which forced him to flee from the capital.

The former first deputy has however remained in charge of the SPLA-IO forces across the country as well as continuing to lead over 95% of the political leadership, according to his officials.

While President Kiir has called on Machar to return to Juba despite being replaced with Gai, his spokesperson said forces loyal to President Kiir have instead gone on offensive to hunt for his former deputy in the bushes, south and west of the capital, Juba.

“Their forces have been on offensive since last week, and our forces have been repulsing them in self-defence. There maybe escalation of fighting due to this violation of the July 11 cessation of hostilities declared by the two leaders,” Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, said on Tuesday.

“Even today [Tuesday] they have continued to dispatch troops from Juba and from other locations such as Maridi to go into the bushes to hunt for our Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Riek Machar,” he added.

He said hundreds of President Kiir’s forces are believed to have been killed in the forests, saying “it is unfortunate to continue to waste lives of soldiers.”

He also added that helicopter gunships belonging to the faction loyal to President Kiir have been bombing forests randomly trying to locate and harm Machar and his forces.

Dak however said Machar is together with his troops and will continue to fight back in self-defence, or “even pursue President Kiir’s forces” if the attacks will continue.

He said he has been in contact with Machar whom he described as well protected by his forces.

The opposition leader’s spokesperson said the leadership of the SPLA-IO forces are not however interested in further escalating the fighting. He called on President Kiir to stop his forces from carrying out the attacks in search for Machar.

(ST)
Phyllis Ntantala: Our Greatest Feminist Intellectual
Paul Trewhela
Politics Web South Africa
25 July 2016

Paul Trewhela on a heroic life spent challenging the curse of patriarchal slavishness

Activist academic Phyllis Ntantala, who died in the United States on 17th July aged 96, was surely the greatest South African feminist intellectual of our lifetime.

Born in Dutywa, a daughter of Gqubeni on the Nqabarha River, a daughter of Lovedale College and of Fort Hare, a liberation struggle stalwart and international academic, she was also the wife of one of South Africa’s greatest black academics and scholars of his generation, Professor AC Jordan, and the mother of one of the most eminent political intellectuals of the subsequent generation, the former Culture Minister, Pallo Jordan.

As a member of the anti-Stalinist Non-European Unity Movement in the Cape, she challenged the curse of patriarchal slavishness with all her being, all her life.

With Phyllis Ntantala, the Eastern Cape straightens its spine, stands up, lifts its chin, and remembers its heritage as the cradle of intellectual freedom in southern Africa.

You can just see it in her portrait as a young woman on the updated cover of her autobiography, A Life’s Mosaic (published originally in the US in 1992, and republished in South Africa in an updated edition in 2009).

In the portrait she looks open-eyed straight into the face of the observer, her mouth set, unafraid.

What a portrait! What a woman!

She died, as she lived, and as she presents herself as author, under her maiden name. There she is, her own woman, second to none.

Her story, like its subject, is best told in her own words.

In her essay “The widows of the reserves” published in South Africa in 1958, Ntantala spoke from what she knew from her own childhood, close at hand but not her own experience, writing about “those young women in the prime of early womanhood left to face life alone, burdened with the task of building a home and rearing a family …doomed to nurse alone their sick babies, weep alone over their dead babies, dress and bury alone their corpses.”

This was “the daily lot of tens of thousands of African women whose husbands are torn away from them to go and work in the cities, mines and farms – husbands who because of the migratory labour system cannot take their wives with them and, because of the starvation wages they receive, are forced to remain in the work centres for long periods…”.

Any attempt to summarise Ntantala's poignant account of the impact of South Africa’s urban and industrial growth over the past century and a half, and particularly within the apartheid framework, would be to sell her short.

“Widowhood – a life of void and loneliness; a period of tension, unbalance and strenuous adjustment. And what can it be to those thousands of African women – those adolescent girls married before they reach womanhood, thrown into a life of responsibility before they have completely passed from childhood to adulthood…?”

The men too, she continues, become “strangers in a strange land, but equally strangers at home to their wives and children.”

For Ntantala principle was a primary imperative. A reason for exile: “Like [the Russian revolutionary, Leon] Trotsky, I did not leave home with the proverbial one-and-six in my pocket. I come from a family of the landed gentry in Transkei, the kulaks of that area. I could, like many others in my class, have chosen the path of comfort and safety, for even in apartheid South Africa, there is still that path for those who will collaborate.

"But I chose the path of struggle and uncertainty.”

On her return to the Eastern Cape in extreme old age, she experienced the truth of modern South Africa, as if she’d been an ordinary woman in Khayelitsha, or Duncan Village, or a hundred other places.

She told the modern story the way it is, just as she always told it, with deference towards none.

“Places of death, not life.” That is what she called the hospitals of the poor, of the unwanted, the disposable: South Africa’s millions living outside the safety net of private health insurance.

“The state of public hospitals in the Eastern Cape is horrific. And I understand that the conditions I encountered there also apply to similar hospitals in other parts of the country,” she wrote in an article under her maiden name in the Mail & Guardian in October 2006, when she was 86.

“My assessments are based both on personal experience as a patient at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha in June this year [2006] and on two visits to Mjanyana TB Hospital in the Ngcobo district, as well on information gleaned in discussions with health workers in the province,” she wrote.

“Although I am a retired professor of English and history [at Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan], I also have experience in the health field, having been a certified caregiver in the states of New York and Michigan for 14 years until 2003.”

She then went on to lay bare the painful reality of the Eastern Cape health system.

“I was born and raised in the Eastern Cape. On a visit home I collapsed on the night of June 7 and was admitted as an emergency case to the intensive care unit at Nelson Mandela Hospital.

“There I was stripped and lay naked in bed under an obviously used sheet for two days until a member of my family managed to bring me some night clothes.

“In all my 80-plus years I have never felt as insulted as I did for those two days and nights lying naked in that bed.”

“Never felt as insulted” ... this said by a woman from the Eastern Cape, during whose first seven decades of life apartheid bestrode the sub-continent like a Colossus, and whose son Pallo suffered a near-death experience and serious wounds at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo on August 17 1982 when Ruth First – in the same room – opened a parcel bomb sent to her by the apartheid death squad, which killed her.

Through her words Phyllis Ntantala continues speaking to us as if today.

The hospital in Mthatha was a “modern, state-of-the-art facility, well designed and with the latest equipment.

“Unfortunately, however, some of the equipment malfunctions. Toilet tanks, for example…. Waste is not flushed away.

“Nobody seemed to know why this should be so, or why lights in the wards are dim or do not function at all, or why there are no lights or bells for patients to summon help.”

After two days she asked to be discharged.

“I felt I was safer at home than in the hospital. I only hoped when I left that my already thrice-used sheets were sent to the laundry.”

More shocking revelations were to come.

First, the article was not her first resort to protest.

“I relayed my experience and my findings, in writing, to both the national and provincial ministers of health and only resolved to go public when I did not even receive the courtesy of a reply.”

This was the mother of a cabinet minister in Thabo Mbeki’s government!

Unforgivable. Yet the normal fate of nameless thousands, for whom this woman of letters now spoke about a hospital with the name “Nelson Mandela”….

Then she found even worse conditions when she later visited Mjanyana TB Hospital. “A place of death, not life.”

She later returned to the US.

But even in that distant land Ntantala, never forgot who she was or where she had come from.

Who else would have prefaced her life’s story like this: “It was one evening at the Lincoln Centre in New York. Pavarotti's voice filled the auditorium with 'Mama', one of those arias he sings so well, and the audience, in appreciation, gave him a thunderous ovation. As he came back for yet another bow, my mind suddenly flashed back, and that other world to which I once belonged came into sharp focus – the bends of the Nqabarha River….

“I sat down, cupped my head in my hands and bowed my head, softly saying to myself: ‘How strange! Little do all these people know … I come from Gqubeni along the bends of the Nqabarha River. That's where my roots are. That's me!’”

For Ntantala to have died in the United States is to South Africa’s shame. Not just the shame of the old apartheid system but the shame of the supposedly new and free South Africa, in which her son served in government and helped negotiate the current Constitution.

Yet through A Life’s Mosaic she has bestowed upon us a great legacy.

It should be compulsory reading for the informal groups of high-achieving young women who maintain the best standards in the banks, public companies and other institutions in South Africa today.

The curse of patriarchal slavishness – never so brazen or shamefully coarse in public affairs as today, under President Jacob Zuma’s administration – withered under her gaze, and under her pen.

Nothing was more foreign to this woman than the culture of cadre deployment, the party list and slate politics of the so-called New South Africa, by which women with not a fraction of her qualities are catapulted into the highest offices in the land (provided they shut their mouths or are praise singers of Number 1).

Phyllis Ntantala remains a beacon of courage, achievement, integrity and intellectual stature for South Africa’s women of today and tomorrow – the best of guides to a better future.
It is time to reclaim that heritage.

* Paul Trewhela, a former political prisoner, was editor of the MK news-sheet Freedom Fighter during the Rivonia Trial and is a retired teacher
ANC Mourns Passing of Eminent Academic and Activist Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan
18 July 2016

The African National Congress is saddened by the passing on of eminent academic, author and feminist, Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan this morning at the Beaumont Hospice in Taylor Michigan. Mama Ntantala-Jordan was 96 years old at the time of her passing. She was married to the late literary historian, Archibald Campbell Jordan and mother to ANC stalwart, Comrade Pallo Jordan.

Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan was born in the Transkei and in her own words "Like Trotsky, I did not leave home without the proverbial one-and-six in my pocket. I came from a family of landed gentry in the Transkei" She attended school at Healdtown and Lovedale and completed a degree at the Fort Hare University College. She later obtained qualifications from the University of South Africa, the University of Cape Town and the Madison Area Technical College. She was also bestowed an honorary Doctorate in Philosophy for her life's work.

During her lifetime she pursued various careers, having been a teacher, social worker, linguist, author and activist. She was an accomplished author and also translated into English author A.C. Jordan's first and last novel, Ingqumbo Yeminyanya. She authored various essays and books, including Let's Hear Them Speak, a book amplifying the voices of many unsung heroines being South African women and her autobiography, A Life's Mosaic. Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan was a prolific speaker covering literature, education, women, politics and the economics of apartheid; serving as an inspiration to great many women and men alike.

The passing of Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan has robbed South Africa and the world at large of an astute, inquisitive and inspiring mind. We have lost a champion of gender equality for African women in particular, acknowledging as she said "We are aware of the suffering of the women of other groups. We acknowledge their contribution to South Africa. We are not unmindful of their role in the Liberation Struggle. Some of these women have suffered much and have lost as a result of their involvement to make South Africa a better place for all. But it is the African women more than any others who have borne the brunt of oppression in that country. They have borne it with patience and courage and above all, they have remained human."

Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan is survived by her son, Comrade Pallo Jordan and her three grandchildren, Thuli, Samantha and Nandipha. The African National Congress sends its deepest condolences to them at this time and wishes them strength during this period of profound loss.

Issued by
Zizi Kodwa
National Spokesperson
African National Congress

Enquiries
Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
White Supremacy & Arrogance at the Core of DA's Appropriation of Madiba
26 July 2016

The African National Congress (ANC) views the continued attempts by the DA to appropriate the persona of Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe late ANC President Comrade Nelson Mandela as cheap politicking bordering on desperation. It is a glaring sign that the DA's attempts to woo the black electorate are floundering and they will stop at nothing to "blackwash' their chequered history as a whites-only party by thrusting a few token blacks into positions of leadership and appropriating even symbols that have always shunned them.

Comrade Nelson Mandela himself said as much, telling a COSATU rally in December 2000 that the DA was a party of 'white bosses and black stooges'. He said, "no matter how they cover up by getting a few black stooges, they (the whites) remain the bosses. They remain a white party."

Throughout this election campaign the DA has offended the memory and integrity of Comrade Madiba, using him and his legacy callously for their narrow political gains. In a manner typical of the white supremacist party that the DA is, they are dismissive and irreverent of the feelings of Madiba's family and even his own words in the latter years of his life that: "I will join the nearest branch of the ANC in heaven. If I do not find one, I will launch my own ANC branch."

Because Madiba was black, the white supremacy at the core of the DA holds no regard for his words, his wishes and the historical record that lays bare Madiba's unwavering commitment to the ANC. The DA displays a shocking form of arrogance and presumptuousness in claiming that Nelson Mandela would endorse its organization, were he still alive. Because he was black, they can think for him and show utter disregard for that which he committed himself to. What is most sinful is that all this is done after Comrade Madiba has departed and no longer able to speak for himself as he did all those times before saying "they know they have not produced any credible policies with which they can challenge the vision of the renewal of our country… their success lies in projecting themselves as tireless fighters for the defeat of the ANC."

The DA continues what their forebears could not finish - continued attempts to strip Madiba and his family of their sense of dignity and abusing them to further their own agenda. It is insensitive to Madiba's memory, his family, his organization, the ANC, and the millions of South Africans who suffered at the hands of the white apartheid regime for Comrade Madiba's image to today be used as a tool to advance those who represent all that which he fought against - the protection of white privilege and racism. Throughout his presidency, the DA (then Democratic Party) opposed President Mandela and the ANC, going to the extent of launching a "Fight Back" campaign in 1999 in response to his term of President of the Republic.

The DA has been at pains to remind black voters that it is a party founded on the principles of non-racialism, when in fact it is a reconstitution of the National Party, which found refuge in the DA to carry forward the baton of racist oppression under a new guise. The ANC reiterates its long-held position that the DA is a haven for racists, and its upper echelons dominated by individuals who hark back to the days of apartheid.

The party proudly counts amongst its members known apartheid collaborators such as Haniff Hoosen, who is the DA EThekwini Mayoral Candidate and murderers of our people such as Sam Pienaar, a Cape Town City Councillor, who took part in the orchestration of the Trojan Horse mass killing of our people in Athlone and Crossroads. Hoosen and Pienaar join the ranks of other leading DA personages who claim a commitment to the values of the new South Africa, but whose utterances and histories indicate otherwise.

If the DA were committed to the realization to Madiba's vision, Cape Town, where they govern, would not be a tale of two cities, one rich and white, and another poor and black. It would not be the only city in which the number of informal settlements has increased in the last five years. White representation at senior management level of the City, would not be sitting at 70%, compared to a white population of just over 15% in the province. If the DA wanted to realize Madiba's vision, they would never have opposed the Expropriation Bill intended to redress the injustices of apartheid through fair redistribution of land; a lifelong commitment of Madiba's of which he said, "would foster national reconciliation and stability". The DA would not continue blocking transformation through opposition to affirmative action and Black Economic Empowerment.

As the skeletons continue to tumble out of the DA's closet, we are confident that the public will ultimately see the DA for what it is, the Trojan Horse of apartheid, draped in the deceptive colours of non-racism.

Issued by
Zizi Kodwa
National Spokesperson
African National Congress

Enquiries
Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
ANC Condemns DA As the Party of Whites, Apartheid
South Africa’s first black leader of a main opposition party on Tuesday accused the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of running a racist election campaign ahead of fiercely-fought municipal polls.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane is hoping to lead his party to a break-through result on August 3, as the country struggles with record unemployment and flat-lining economic growth.

“Those who say, if you are black, you must be on this side; and if you are white, you must be on that side. I don’t know about you but that’s not the South Africa we want,” Maimane told an election rally in central Johannesburg.

Last week, President Jacob Zuma told black voters to rally behind the ANC party, denouncing the DA party, which is widely seen as a party of middle-class whites, as the “spawn” of the apartheid government.

Zuma has been engulfed by a series of graft scandals as well as anger over the country’s poor economic performance, fuelling DA confidence that the all-powerful ANC could be dealt a major blow at the election.

The DA is polling about five points ahead of the ANC in Johannesburg, the economic powerhouse of South Africa, where the ruling party’s grip on power has been steadily slipping. Speaking at a weekend rally in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, which the DA also has ambitions of seizing, President Zuma accused the opposition party of having the “same hatred” as the apartheid government.

“They don’t believe black people can lead,” Zuma said.

The ANC on Tuesday released a statement calling the DA a “white supremacist party” for invoking the name of former president Nelson Mandela at its rallies and in election adverts.

“The DA is a haven for racists, and its upper echelons dominated by individuals who hark back to the days of apartheid,” the statement said.

The radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party led by Julius Malema is also seeking to make a major impact in its first municipal elections.

All three main parties will hold their final rallies this weekend.
South Africa Sacked Reporters Win SABC Censorship Case
26 July 2016
BBC World Service

Photo: A protester in chained hands and a gas mask atop his head rallies with others outside the offices of South Africa's public broadcaster on July 1, 2016 in Johannesburg to protest against alleged bias and self-censorship in news coverage ahead of key municipal elections.

South Africa's public broadcaster has been ordered to reinstate four journalists sacked for speaking out against censorship at the corporation.

Labour Court Judge Andre van Niekerk said the dismissals were unlawful.

The journalists, fired earlier this month, had criticised the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for banning footage of violent protests.

SABC argued it took the decision to maintain public order as the TV images might encourage others to join in.

Last week, South Africa's high court ordered SABC to lift the footage ban.

Judge Van Niekerk said the four journalists - Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp - should be reinstated immediately and that all disciplinary measures against them dropped.

The trade union Solidarity, which represented the journalists at the employment tribunal, has welcomed the ruling.

The four are among eight journalists, known on Twitter as the #SABC8, who had challenged the broadcaster's controversial editorial decision.

Three other full-time employees and a freelance TV anchor are also fighting their dismissals.

Demonstrations against what some see as the poor delivery of public services are not uncommon in South Africa.

Critics had criticised the SABC's move, accusing it of political censorship ahead of crucial local government elections next week.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng, SABC chief operations officer, said the ban was in line with "nation building" and denied the public broadcaster was clamping on dissent, says the BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

The SABC says its lawyers will study the labour court judgement in full before commenting.
Egypt Says Close to Securing 3-year IMF Loan Program
Reuters
Tuesday 26 Jul 2016

Egypt said on Tuesday it was close to agreeing a lending programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease its funding gap and was seeking to secure $7 billion annually in financing over a three-year period.

The prime minister ordered the central bank governor and minister of finance to complete negotiations for the programme with an IMF team that will visit Egypt in the next few days, the cabinet said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from the IMF. Cairo's statement was the first official confirmation that talks with the IMF were indeed under way.

Economists welcomed the news coming after a turbulent few weeks for Egypt's currency, which has plummeted to new lows on the black market as confusion mounted over the direction of monetary policy.

"It's great. Finally," said Hany Genena, head of research at Beltone Capital. "Confidence will be restored in the government and central bank. Secondly, we will see flotation of the pound, if not tomorrow, next week, the week after."

Egypt's economy has been struggling since a mass uprising in 2011 ushered in political instability that drove away tourists and foreign investors, both major earners of foreign currency. Reserves have halved to about $17.5 billion since then.

The dollar shortage has forced Egypt to introduce capital controls that have hit trade and growth, while the value of the Egyptian pound has plummeted on the black market in recent weeks as expectations of a second devaluation this year mount.

The government has pushed ahead with its existing reform programme, which includes plans for Value Added Tax (VAT) and subsidy cuts that were put on hold when global oil prices dropped.

A VAT bill is in its final stages but has faced resistance in parliament due to concerns over inflation, which has touched seven-year highs since the currency was devalued by 13 percent in March.

Egypt's ambitious, homegrown fiscal reform programme formed the basis of a $3 billion three-year loan deal with the World Bank that was signed in December. But the cash has yet to be disbursed since the World Bank is waiting for parliament to ratify economic reforms including VAT.

A cabinet minister told Reuters last month that Egypt had started negotiations with the IMF and that the central bank was leading the talks.
Turkish Generals Nabbed in Dubai
Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:40AM
presstv.ir

Two Turkish generals, detained in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while away from their posts in Afghanistan, have now been returned to Turkey.

The generals, detained by Emirati authorities in connection with Turkey's abortive coup, have been identified as Major General Cahit Bakir, who commanded Turkish forces under NATO command in Afghanistan, and Brigadier General Sener Topuc, responsible for education and aid there.

The arrests are widely believed to be linked to Turkey’s sweeping crackdown against people deemed involved in the July 25 putsch.

The botched coup began when a faction of the Turkish military declared that it was in control of the country and that the government was no more in charge. Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers then clashed with police and people on the streets of the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul.

A total of 290 people were killed in the attempted coup d’état, which was harshly suppressed. More than 13,000 people have been detained ever since.

Also on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his government’s intention to reintroduce the death penalty, which the country annulled in 2004 as part of a raft of measures to qualify for joining the European Union (EU).

Europe ‘not honest’ with Turkey

Erdogan, who was being interviewed by German public broadcaster ARD, also accused European states of lax commitment to their arrangements with Turkey.

He was talking about an EU-Turkey deal sealed in March under which Ankara agreed to take back all the asylum seekers and refugees reaching Europe via Turkey in return for financial aid, visa liberalization and the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership negotiations.

“The [European] governments are not honest,” Erdogan said, adding that the EU had promised USD three billion (EUR 2.7 billion) under the deal but so far only paid a nominal USD one to two million.

“Three million Syrians, or people from Iraq, are now in Turkey,” he said. “The EU has not kept its promises on the matter.”
Turkey-Risk Model Shows Nation’s Markets Going From Bad to Worse
Phil Kuntz  Ahmed A Namatalla
Bloomberg
July 26, 2016 — 5:00 PM EDT

Turkey’s failed coup and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown could hardly have come at a worse time for investors worried about the riskiness of the country’s bonds. Now they may get even dicier.

Even before rogue generals tried to seize control on July 15, the country had a relatively high default probability. It was greater than about 80 percent of nations, according to Bloomberg’s sovereign risk model, which uses debt, currency reserves and political instability metrics to calculate such odds.

“There’s nothing in these factors that will not get worse,” said Salman Ahmed, the London-based chief strategist at Lombard Odier Asset Management, which uses similar gauges to assess government bonds and is staying underweight on Turkey’s debt. “Political risk is going to go up, growth will go down and external debt will go up as a percent of GDP.”

S&P Global Ratings’ post-coup downgrade of Turkey -- and a threat by Moody’s Investors Service to do likewise -- helped stoke a debt selloff. Bloomberg’s index of the country’s sovereign bonds fell as much as 5.2 percent, the most in three years, before rebounding slightly.

Turkey said in January it plans to raise as much as $4.5 billion from international capital markets this year, of which it has so far borrowed $3 billion.

Underperforming Bonds

The government’s borrowing costs, as measured by the premium investors demand over U.S. Treasuries, have now risen to near parity with the global emerging-markets average. They haven’t been at the same level since 2008. The weakening lira, which reached a record low on July 20 as forward markets signaled further declines, will only make borrowing pricier.

“We expect the bonds to continue to underperform the rest of emerging markets,” said Stephen Bailey-Smith, who helps manage $3.2 billion in such securities at Global Evolution Fonds A/S in Denmark. The coup’s “failure supports a more totalitarian government and an increase in tensions and security risk,” he said.

Two days before the coup, credit-default swap traders appeared to be under-pricing Turkey risk, with five-year CDS spreads at 222 basis points. Bloomberg’s sovereign-risk model, based on statistics that are updated monthly or annually, said the cost for insuring Turkish debt should have been 235 basis points.

The Bloomberg model uses the Economist Intelligence Unit’s political risk score, which was 50 for Turkey as of June 30, the midpoint of the scale. Bailey-Smith and Ahmed predict the coup will increase political risk. If its EIU score climbs 10 percent, Turkey’s model-implied CDS spread would increase to 272 basis points, near the current market price of 275. An EIU score of 60, still less than after the last military coup in 1997, would imply a spread of 316.

That assumes the model’s other variables remain unchanged, which Lombard Odier’s Ahmed said is unlikely. The model’s current estimate for economic growth of 3.5 percent a year is in line with forecasts. But economic expansion slowed in the first quarter, and the two economists that have updated their predictions since the coup both see weaker growth, one as low as 2.7 percent.

Debt Issue

Ahmed said he’s worried about Turkey’s financing of its short-term external debt because “the market may make it difficult for them,” he said. The country’s short-term external debt as a percentage of gross domestic product, one of the measures Bloomberg uses to calculate default probabilities, was trending into riskier territory even before the current turmoil.

Debt with an original maturity of a year or less has almost tripled to more than 18 percent of the economy since 2007. Among eight emerging-market countries that rank just above and below Turkey for default risk, the average is less than 8 percent of GDP with none higher than 12 percent. If Turkey’s level increases at the average of the past four years, it will top 20 percent in 2016.

Turkey’s 12-month forward debt obligations soared to a record 30 percent of economic output at the end of 2015, having risen for four years from 19 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

S&P pointed to similar statistics in explaining its downgrade of Turkey. The country’s net foreign exchange reserves of an estimated $32 billion cover only about two months of current-account payments, giving it little room to maneuver, the firm said. Turkey will likely have to roll over about 42 percent of its external debt, more than $170 billion worth, in the next year, and political instability makes promised reforms to reduce dependence on foreign financing unlikely, S&P said.
The De-Gulenification of Turkey
If one needs to define what is going on in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup attempt, besides the arrest of the actual putschists, here is an accurate term: The de-Gulenification of Turkey. Just like the de-Baathification process in post-occupation Iraq, the aim is to cleanse the whole public sector from a cadre that is considered to be the enemy of the state.
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Mustafa Akyol
July 26, 2016

First, let’s see how Turkey came here. The infiltration of state institutions — especially strategic ones such as the police, the judiciary and the military — by the Gulen community is a fact harped on by secular journalists for decades. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, the infiltration went even further, for Erdogan considered Fethullah Gulen a key ally.

With the defeat of the common secular enemy, these two Islamic powers began to dispute and ultimately resent each other. The AKP had the legitimacy of popular support, while the Gulenists had the cultish self-confidence that they know everything better.

When political war between these two groups broke out in late 2013 with a Gulenist-orchestrated corruption investigation, I took a nonaligned position: The corruption was real, so the AKP had to be honest about it. Meanwhile, it was clear that the Gulenists had indeed created a “parallel state” within the state that had to be cleansed, but their “civic wing,” (schools, charities, media and economic assets) had to be respected. Among the political leaders of the time, only Abdullah Gul seemed to support that position. After the bloody coup attempt of July 15, however, it is impossible to pursue such nuances in Turkey. Even the “civic institutions” of the Gulen community are being seized by the state, for they are seen — not so wrongly so — as breeding grounds for, or the facades of, the dark side within the state.

The reason for this massive purge must be understood first, before being criticized. The coup plot of July 15 was, arguably, the greatest assault the nation has ever seen since its founding in 1923. In no previous coup or coup attempt was the nation’s parliament bombed or its civilians crushed by tanks. Moreover, not just the government, but also the chief of staff, the National Intelligence Organization, all major opposition parties, mainstream secular media, many anti-Erdogan journalists and most nongovernmental organizations seem to all agree that this coup was mainly a Gulenist operation, as a last-ditch effort to topple Erdogan, who had become the Gulenists’ No. 1 enemy.

One may wonder why this national consensus in Turkey is not reflected at all in Western media. My answer is that while Erdogan’s authoritarianism, of which I have been quite critical, is all blatant and clear, Gulenist operations are always stealthy, covered nicely by successful public relations and insistent denial of involvement. That is why many Western journalists keep on believing that the only problem in Turkey must be Erdogan and everybody who opposes him must be “good guys.” This even makes them open to anti-Erdogan conspiracy theories, such as that he orchestrated the coup just to get political credit, which is totally ridiculous given the fact that the coup was very well-organized and nearly succeeded.

Of course, the truth can come out only at the end of a fair trial, as I argued in The New York Times. But even at this point, the Turkish state has the right to defend itself by outing the people in its ranks who are suspected to be members of the Gulenist network. Being a member of the movement in itself, however, cannot be considered a crime. Hence, I agree with Ali Bayramoglu, the prominent secular liberal who first exposed the “parallel state” in 2010 and who has lately been critical of Erdogan as well, who wrote:

“It is inevitable that government employees about whom there are serious suspicious of being a Gulenist will be demoted to passive positions or will be fired. Legislation for this end will be only natural. But this logic cannot be used in prosecutions. It cannot be a crime to work in Gulenist institutions or to have relations with Gulenists. Being a member of the Gulen community is not a crime either. It is only a crime to be within the illegal organization and the illegal actions of the group. Even then, principles such as the presumption of innocence and individual criminal responsibility have to be upheld.”

But will these principles be really upheld by the government, which is not only alarmed by but also furious about the Gulenists?

There are some worrying signs. First of all, the recent report by Amnesty International suggesting that some of the suspects may have been subject to torture, even rape, is horrifying. The government must prevent all such crimes against the detainees, no matter how guilty the suspects may be, and “give independent monitors access to detainees,” as Amnesty International demanded.

Second, those who are to be detained now include journalists who have merely written in pro-Gulen media outlets, either as Gulenists themselves or merely as Erdogan opponents who have no religious connection with the group. This is unacceptable, unless there are serious signs that the journalists in question knew about the coup plot and tried to help it. It is only good news that one such journalist, the renowned human rights defender Orhan Kemal Cengiz, who has no religious ties with Gulenists, has been released after being detained for three days.

Third, there is clearly a furious mood among Erdogan’s supporters, which may turn the prosecution of the coup plot into a crackdown on all “traitors,” which for them may easily include mere Erdogan critics. The government must not give in to this zeal, or take advantage of it. Quite the contrary, it should use this opportunity to build a broad democratic consensus in Turkey, as most mainstream commentators are rightly calling for.

Western media, nongovernmental organizations and governments can help Turkey in this critical period by calling for restraint and lawfulness and by criticizing human rights violations. But in order to be taken into account, they first must understand the severity of the coup plot and the complexity of the religious group that seems to be behind it.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/turkey-coup-attempt-degulenification.html#ixzz4FZ4Cwa71
Turkey Detains Kabul-based Generals in Widening Purge
Stuart Williams with Fulya Ozerkan in Istanbul
July 26, 2016

Ankara (AFP) - Defying international alarm, Turkey on Tuesday widened its crackdown after a failed coup, detaining top generals serving in Afghanistan as well as prominent journalists.

In a move apparently reflecting a shift in diplomatic strategy, Turkey also announced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin next month after months of chill between the two countries.

Two senior Turkish generals serving in the NATO force in Afghanistan were detained at Dubai airport on suspicion of links to the attempt to overthrow Erdogan, an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The source named the pair as Major General Mehmet Cahit Bakir, the commander of Turkey's task force in Afghanistan, and Brigadier General Sener Topuc.

The detentions followed cooperation between Turkish intelligence and UAE authorities, the state-run Anadolu news agency added, saying the pair were now being brought to Turkey.

"The Turkish contingent continues its mission," a spokesman for the NATO force in Afghanistan said, without further comment.

In a separate development, police were searching a naval academy just outside Istanbul in a probe into coup plotters, reports said.

The attempted putsch of July 15 has sent shockwaves through all aspects of life in Turkey, with institutions from the police to Turkish Airlines and the media.

Some 13,000 people have been detained and over 9,000 of them remanded in custody ahead of trial over the coup, which the Turkish authorities blame on reclusive Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

- Journalist detained -

Veteran journalist Nazli Ilicak was detained on Tuesday at a traffic checkpoint in the southwestern region of Bodrum, a day after the authorities issued arrest warrants for over 42 reporters, Anadolu said.

According to the Dogan news agency, eight of the 42 have now been detained including Ilicak and the former pro-Gulen Zaman newspaper writer Hanim Busra Erdal, who was picked up in the western city of Manisa.

Also held in the coup investigation was former governor of Istanbul Huseyin Avni Mutlu, Anadolu said, while a Turkish official said two senior foreign ministry diplomats have been removed from their posts.

According to Anadolu, more than 47,000 civil servants have lost their jobs since the coup, including almost 43,000 in the state education sector.

A major shake-up of the Turkish armed forces is expected to be announced on Thursday when the country's Supreme Military Council meets.

With 143 generals and more than 3,000 soldiers arrested on suspicion of links to the coup, there are gaping holes in the command structure which will have to be filled.

The government says the stringent measures are needed to clear out the influence of Gulen from Turkey's institutions, claiming he has created a "parallel state" inside Turkey.

Gulen -- who lives in a compound in rural Pennsylvania and whose foundation runs a global network of schools, charities and media interests -- has strongly denied the accusations.

In an apparent sign of Turkey's post-coup diplomatic strategy, Erdogan will visit Russia on August 9 to repair ties harmed by the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets last year, officials said.

He will meet President Vladimir Putin, Turkish deputy premier Mehmet Simsek said, after talks with Russian counterpart Arkady Dvorkovich.

- Coup shock -

Turkey has undergone a seismic shift since the night of July 15, when renegade soldiers sought to topple Erdogan but were stopped by crowds of civilians and loyalist security forces. At least 270 people were killed on both sides.

A bridge over the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul -- which saw some of the fiercest fighting -- is to be renamed July 15 Martyrs' Bridge after the victims of the failed coup bid, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

Thousands of Erdogan supporters continue to fill city squares across Turkey every night with the president telling them to stay until further notice in a "vigil" for democracy.

The crackdown and announcement of a three-month state of emergency has prompted sharp exchanges with the European Union, which Turkey has for years sought to join but which has sternly warned Ankara to obey the rule of law.

Erdogan took a swipe at the EU on Tuesday, accusing Brussels of not paying its way under a deal to send Syrian refugees back across the Aegean.

"The (European) governments are not honest," Erdogan told German public television station ARD.