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South Africa isn’t neutral on Ukraine Ramaphosa's pretence is starting to unravel

(Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)


June 7, 2023   5 mins

“Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division among us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.” Nelson Mandela, shortly before leaving office as president, urged constant vigilance against South Africa’s enemies, “even if they come from within our own ranks”. Democracy was the cause for which he lived and for which — as he told the court that sent him to prison for 27 years — he was ready to die. For him, the success of the long march to freedom in South Africa was a triumph for all humanity.

When he won the Nobel Peace Prize with Frederik Willem de Klerk in 1993,  for demolishing apartheid and laying the foundations for a free society, Mandela talked movingly in his acceptance speech of how people inside and outside South Africa “had the nobility of spirit to stand in the path of tyranny” since they saw that “an injury to one is an injury to all”. He spoke about fighting for a world of democracy, freed from “the scourge of civil wars and external aggression and unburdened of the great tragedy of millions forced to become refugees”.

How sad, then, to see the betrayal of this legacy by his party and protĂ©gĂ©, Cyril Ramaphosa, who now runs the country as President. The African National Congress promised “a better life for all”, but instead seems terminally corrupt and incompetent, something symbolised by the power cuts lasting up to 16 hours a day, as winter looms in a country that is cursed by high crime rates, rampant inequality, raging unemployment, grinding poverty, and woeful schools. Meanwhile, its flailing leader, Ramaphosa, is doing his utmost to smooth the path of tyranny for Vladimir Putin.

It is no wonder that, after three decades in power, the ANC is widely expected to lose its governing majority in next year’s election. Voters know that the party, founded 111 years ago to fight for rights of black Africans, is to blame for the energy crisis in the continent’s most industrialised nation, following years of mismanagement and theft. Typical was the $27 billion construction of two big coal-fired plants, where costs tripled under Jacob Zuma’s presidency as his cronies plundered the country and yet still failed to deliver their planned power due to delays and defects.

There is toxic talk on the Left of revolution sparked by the power shortages that are blamed for bankrupting businesses, water shortages, huge traffic jams, opportunistic robberies, rotting food, and even decomposing corpses in morgues. Last year, South Africans experienced more than twice as many power cuts than ever before, reducing the nation’s GDP by about 5%. This year has already been worse. Eskom, the state-owned electricity generator, is warning people to prepare for even more blackouts as the cold weather arrives.

Many voters hoped that Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader who became a rand billionaire after apartheid, might set the country on the right track after Zuma’s corrosive nine-year stint in office. Yet the outgoing chief executive of Eskom fled after surviving an attempt to poison him with cyanide in his coffee six months ago, then blamed ministers of covering up corruption by gangs stealing $50 million a month from the firm. But the president’s image was shredded by the “farmgate” scandal, in which he was accused of covering up the theft of between $580,000 and $5 million in foreign currency that had been hidden in sofa of his luxury game ranch. He acknowledged that the cash had been stolen and, having failed to inform the police, claimed it was payment for buffalos sold to a Sudanese businessman. He avoided impeachment due to the loyalty of his MPs.

Even as the scandal broke last summer, Ramaphosa was calling on South Africa’s 60 million citizens to remember and respect Mandela’s legacy — pretty hypocritical given the stance he had taken on the Kremlin’s assault on democracy in Ukraine. Rather than “standing up to tyranny”, Ramaphosa posed as a peacemaker and leader of non-aligned nations seeking a solution to the conflict. South Africa abstained in votes on five key United Nations resolutions on the war, even in the shocked days after last year’s full-scale attack when more than half the continent’s 54 states voted to reaffirm Kyiv’s sovereignty and demand unconditional Russian withdrawal.

Pretoria’s stance contrasted sharply with Kenya’s astute critique of Putin’s “expansionism”, which condemned the dangers of trying to stoke the “embers of dead empires” with “new forms of domination and oppression”. The ANC government claims its refusal to condemn the attack is based on a long-held belief that conflicts should be resolved through negotiation — yet both Mandela and his successor, Thabo Mbeki, rightly condemned the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq for undermining democracy and setting a dangerous precedent. Ramaphosa, by contrast, is shifting South Africa closer to Moscow, infuriating other democracies even though Russia is of minor economic importance, accounting for less than one-hundredth of the value of trade with Europe alone.

First Ramaphosa echoed the Kremlin’s line by blaming Nato expansion for Putin’s attack, ignoring the desire of Ukrainians to determine their own future like South Africans. Then came 10 days of naval exercises with Moscow and Beijing, timed to cause maximum offence on the anniversary of Putin launching his full-scale invasion, complete with military vessels bearing the loathed pro-war “Z” symbol docking in Cape Town. “It is a slap in the face of our trading partners to be this clearly on the side of Russia on the anniversary,” said Kobus Marais, defence spokesman for the opposition Democratic Alliance. “We’re the useful idiots.”

Next came accusations from the United States that a sanctioned Russian ship clandestinely collected weapons under cover of darkness from a base near Cape Town six months ago. An investigation by the Financial Times found no signals coming from the vessel’s transponder over the dates of mooring, implying that it switched off the device that allows tracking of its position — although the ship was seen at the military site. Now South Africa, which denies the allegation, has responded by accusing the West of fuelling the conflict by providing military aid to Kyiv. And in the coming weeks, there are reports the government plans to change the law to enable Putin — a dictator wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court over genocidal child abductions — to attend an August summit of the BRICs economic bloc without being arrested.

So much for Ramaphosa’s protestations of neutrality. South Africa, sometimes seen as the de facto leader of sub-Saharan Africa, has slid steadily closer to the Kremlin over the past decade. ANC officials often refer to Moscow’s historic support for their liberation movement, admire Putin’s anti-Western rhetoric, and speak of Russia as “a friend”. The disgraced Zuma even wanted a Russian energy giant to build several nuclear plants in South Africa, which would have given the Kremlin a grip on the economy (and presumably offered hefty kickbacks).

Thirty-three years ago, Ramaphosa was beside Mandela as the anti-apartheid hero left prison and those powerful images of hope and optimism were broadcast around the globe. He even held the microphone as Madiba famously greeted the crowds “in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all”.Today, having made his fortune and reached the pinnacle of power, he is trampling over the idea of democracy with his support for a dictatorial regime trying to crush freedom in a neighbouring nation. As Mandela said, “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.


Ian Birrell is an award-winning foreign reporter and columnist. He is also the founder, with Damon Albarn, of Africa Express.

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Martin Layfield
Martin Layfield
11 months ago

One gets the impression from western liberal left types that because they opposed apartheid and they supported the ANC in the 70s and 80s that the ANC ought to support western left-liberalism. As usual, the left-liberals suffer narcissistic delusions.

The ANC were always anti-western, and it comes as no surprise to me at least that they are wary of abandoning links with Russia and China despite the supposed shock of western liberals. There was massive corruption under Mandela too so can we stop the pretence of jim being some kind of saint too?

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Indeed, it’s now beyond doubt that the ANC is a thoroughly corrupt organisation (which eventually guarantees incompetent government). And that is part of Mandela’s legacy. Not to diminish what he achieved – no one can be exceptional at everything.
We must still hope for the best for South Africa. A country with fantastic potential if properly managed and run. But plan for the worst. Which seems a far more likely outcome. Perhaps the corruption isn’t quite so embedded at every level that change through elections is no longer possible.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

Also, is there any actual difference between the nature of the regimes in SA and Russia, birds of a feather and all that

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago

What few understand is that there was never such a thing as “South Africa” in the sense that most understand the concept of Nation State to mean or represent. Rather, there were only ever “South Africas” – plural – embedded within horizontal (regional tribal/ethnic/demographic/micro-economic), vertical (class/race/cultural/ideological) and narrative-driven (unshared origins/histories) differences that are finally becoming visible to all. As they were always going to do. Which SA one wishes – or hopes – to believe in or subscribe to is therefore just a derivative of ones personal alignment with a preferred collage of these underlying drivers.
So observe closely over the next 3-5 years. Widely read and historically literate realists will discern that SA’s past and its now certain fate represents fractal of what is playing out in many parts of the world – and in the ever more rapidly decaying West in particular.
Sure, we have rampant corruption and spiraling external debt. Heck, probably a colour revolution or 2 thrown in as well just for “spice”; we know the playbook! Most of the causes endogenous of course; many of them incubated and finagled from abroad. None of this is new or unique, but the SA version comes with…uniquely local…dynamics.
But the point is that, whatever Brussels (or it’s little UK-spinoff) might think, SA’s future ultimately lies in greater alignment with a new multipolar world led by BRICS, the EAEU and the SCO. The road ahead is fraught, but aside from the deep corruption and internecine jockeying for power here, history has taught that Africa’s problems can only be solved by locally developed solutions, however long that may take. That nothing sustainable has emerged thus far is as damning of our long-time colonial overlords and their now tired and (finally!) increasingly widely rejected “divide and rule” playbook as it is of our own unforced errors and opportunities missed. But onwards we must. And will.
So bring on Russia and China, we assert. The West had it’s shot at ruling us for 300 years and blew it: again, and again, and again. And yet now, drowning in your own debt-traps, your social cohesion unravelling widely and with your vaunted “institutions” either fully captured or rotting, you still dare lecture us on the “risks” of even considering a different path.
Please.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter Buchan
Bruce V
Bruce V
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

“taught that Africa’s problems can only be solved by locally developed solutions”
“So bring on Russia and China we assert”

Last edited 11 months ago by Bruce V
Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Bruce V

Nothing incoherent there, but I see you miss the nuance and so let me clarify: These states have a different playbook to the proselytizing West. Oh sure, they extract – just like everyone else – but history shows they tend to let locals get on with their affairs.
There. Fixed it for you.
The world is too interconnected for anyone to isolate, nor should they. But it is too diverse for anyone to rule and/or homogenize to suit transnational corporations and self serving ideologies. Like the West has done – and does. The facts are in: “Liberal democracy” has become little more than a stalking horse.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Bruce V

Nothing incoherent there, but I see you miss the nuance and so let me clarify: These states have a different playbook to the proselytizing West. Oh sure, they extract – just like everyone else – but history shows they tend to let locals get on with their affairs.
There. Fixed it for you.
The world is too interconnected for anyone to isolate, nor should they. But it is too diverse for anyone to rule and/or homogenize to suit transnational corporations and self serving ideologies. Like the West has done – and does. The facts are in: “Liberal democracy” has become little more than a stalking horse.

Michael Webb
Michael Webb
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

All of which assumes the ANC and its military wing EFF actually gives a damn about the ‘country’ = which they don’t. Greed for power, influence and material gain is all ‘they’ care about. To hell with the rest.

Last edited 11 months ago by Michael Webb
Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Michael Webb

I don’t deny that for a moment. As it happens I am familiar with much of the back-room dealings, not only in SA but in the surrounding states. Would it surprise you to learn that it is – mainly western – foreign NGO/donor and corporate “funding” props up most of these pungent regimes and oligarchies?
Teasing out how much of Africa/South America/Middle Eastern corruption and instability was truly “home grown” versus foreign-instigated will be clearer to historians a generation or 2 from now.
For what it’s worth, I have been fortunate enough to criss-cross the globe and am invested in businesses outside of Africa. I could leave anytime but choose to stay, and we actually employ many more people than need or commercial prudence dictate. Despite its many foibles, living in Africa is a conscious choice – the choice engage in true, human problem solving as opposed to succumbing to the creeping existential torpor of the “civilised” West.
It’s not for everyone, of course. But most of us are trying. And who knows? We might even get somewhere one day once the cynically imposed colonialist borders are finally redrawn and leaders are encouraged (or allowed) to serve their voters rather than foreign expediency.
I’ll be long gone by then. But the souls of “Gobal South” will have their say, and take their rightful place, in the end. Despite the West.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Very correct. Anyone from the global South as me would agree with you. The problem is that the divide between the West and the non West is getting stronger by the day for the simple reason that most in the West are still stuck in an age frozen in the last century….while we have moved on.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Very correct. Anyone from the global South as me would agree with you. The problem is that the divide between the West and the non West is getting stronger by the day for the simple reason that most in the West are still stuck in an age frozen in the last century….while we have moved on.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Michael Webb

I don’t deny that for a moment. As it happens I am familiar with much of the back-room dealings, not only in SA but in the surrounding states. Would it surprise you to learn that it is – mainly western – foreign NGO/donor and corporate “funding” props up most of these pungent regimes and oligarchies?
Teasing out how much of Africa/South America/Middle Eastern corruption and instability was truly “home grown” versus foreign-instigated will be clearer to historians a generation or 2 from now.
For what it’s worth, I have been fortunate enough to criss-cross the globe and am invested in businesses outside of Africa. I could leave anytime but choose to stay, and we actually employ many more people than need or commercial prudence dictate. Despite its many foibles, living in Africa is a conscious choice – the choice engage in true, human problem solving as opposed to succumbing to the creeping existential torpor of the “civilised” West.
It’s not for everyone, of course. But most of us are trying. And who knows? We might even get somewhere one day once the cynically imposed colonialist borders are finally redrawn and leaders are encouraged (or allowed) to serve their voters rather than foreign expediency.
I’ll be long gone by then. But the souls of “Gobal South” will have their say, and take their rightful place, in the end. Despite the West.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

No system is perfect for sure and none has lasted for more than a couple of centuries….ever. However, you are certainly entitled to believe that the proven horrors of communism will suddenly reverse its playbook and offer hope and freedom for all.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Nice try, but don’t put words in my mouth. I’m as capitalist as they come (refer my reply to Webb for a bio). Looking past your straw man, surely you must at least be even peripherally aware of the tectonic shifts underway in the West towards Orwellian/Huxleyan panopticon dystopia – now seemingly irreversible – while bureaucratic overreach and transnational corporations feed off an ever-rising tide of poverty and nihilism generated by ballooning debt, fiscal excess and political gerrymandering?
Come on Mr Trees. “They” are not even hiding it anymore: your future is universal basic income backed by “Modern Monetary Theory”. Look at the welfare/transfer payment burden. You call that capitalism? Luckily UnHerd pages aren’t made of glass because, man, there’s no shortage of rock thorwers here.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Nice try, but don’t put words in my mouth. I’m as capitalist as they come (refer my reply to Webb for a bio). Looking past your straw man, surely you must at least be even peripherally aware of the tectonic shifts underway in the West towards Orwellian/Huxleyan panopticon dystopia – now seemingly irreversible – while bureaucratic overreach and transnational corporations feed off an ever-rising tide of poverty and nihilism generated by ballooning debt, fiscal excess and political gerrymandering?
Come on Mr Trees. “They” are not even hiding it anymore: your future is universal basic income backed by “Modern Monetary Theory”. Look at the welfare/transfer payment burden. You call that capitalism? Luckily UnHerd pages aren’t made of glass because, man, there’s no shortage of rock thorwers here.

Bruce V
Bruce V
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

“taught that Africa’s problems can only be solved by locally developed solutions”
“So bring on Russia and China we assert”

Last edited 11 months ago by Bruce V
Michael Webb
Michael Webb
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

All of which assumes the ANC and its military wing EFF actually gives a damn about the ‘country’ = which they don’t. Greed for power, influence and material gain is all ‘they’ care about. To hell with the rest.

Last edited 11 months ago by Michael Webb
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

No system is perfect for sure and none has lasted for more than a couple of centuries….ever. However, you are certainly entitled to believe that the proven horrors of communism will suddenly reverse its playbook and offer hope and freedom for all.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Mandela should have been hanged, no ifs, no buts, just plain common sense.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Indeed, it’s now beyond doubt that the ANC is a thoroughly corrupt organisation (which eventually guarantees incompetent government). And that is part of Mandela’s legacy. Not to diminish what he achieved – no one can be exceptional at everything.
We must still hope for the best for South Africa. A country with fantastic potential if properly managed and run. But plan for the worst. Which seems a far more likely outcome. Perhaps the corruption isn’t quite so embedded at every level that change through elections is no longer possible.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

Also, is there any actual difference between the nature of the regimes in SA and Russia, birds of a feather and all that

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago

What few understand is that there was never such a thing as “South Africa” in the sense that most understand the concept of Nation State to mean or represent. Rather, there were only ever “South Africas” – plural – embedded within horizontal (regional tribal/ethnic/demographic/micro-economic), vertical (class/race/cultural/ideological) and narrative-driven (unshared origins/histories) differences that are finally becoming visible to all. As they were always going to do. Which SA one wishes – or hopes – to believe in or subscribe to is therefore just a derivative of ones personal alignment with a preferred collage of these underlying drivers.
So observe closely over the next 3-5 years. Widely read and historically literate realists will discern that SA’s past and its now certain fate represents fractal of what is playing out in many parts of the world – and in the ever more rapidly decaying West in particular.
Sure, we have rampant corruption and spiraling external debt. Heck, probably a colour revolution or 2 thrown in as well just for “spice”; we know the playbook! Most of the causes endogenous of course; many of them incubated and finagled from abroad. None of this is new or unique, but the SA version comes with…uniquely local…dynamics.
But the point is that, whatever Brussels (or it’s little UK-spinoff) might think, SA’s future ultimately lies in greater alignment with a new multipolar world led by BRICS, the EAEU and the SCO. The road ahead is fraught, but aside from the deep corruption and internecine jockeying for power here, history has taught that Africa’s problems can only be solved by locally developed solutions, however long that may take. That nothing sustainable has emerged thus far is as damning of our long-time colonial overlords and their now tired and (finally!) increasingly widely rejected “divide and rule” playbook as it is of our own unforced errors and opportunities missed. But onwards we must. And will.
So bring on Russia and China, we assert. The West had it’s shot at ruling us for 300 years and blew it: again, and again, and again. And yet now, drowning in your own debt-traps, your social cohesion unravelling widely and with your vaunted “institutions” either fully captured or rotting, you still dare lecture us on the “risks” of even considering a different path.
Please.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter Buchan
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Mandela should have been hanged, no ifs, no buts, just plain common sense.

Martin Layfield
Martin Layfield
11 months ago

One gets the impression from western liberal left types that because they opposed apartheid and they supported the ANC in the 70s and 80s that the ANC ought to support western left-liberalism. As usual, the left-liberals suffer narcissistic delusions.

The ANC were always anti-western, and it comes as no surprise to me at least that they are wary of abandoning links with Russia and China despite the supposed shock of western liberals. There was massive corruption under Mandela too so can we stop the pretence of jim being some kind of saint too?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

The ANC has always been ideologically close to Russia.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
11 months ago

It has always been the SACP with a few white liberals for window dressing

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
11 months ago

It has always been the SACP with a few white liberals for window dressing

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

The ANC has always been ideologically close to Russia.

Friedrich Tellberg
Friedrich Tellberg
11 months ago

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was very revealing. The anti-imperialism of many in the Global South or “non aligned” countries turned out to be only against American imperialism, not against non Western imperialism, which they almost welcome. Because their resentment proved to be stronger than their moral ideals. Human, all too human. At least we now know how strong their resentment is. We better take care.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Indeed, the Ukraine war is in many ways that of a former colony against a revanchist imperial power trying vainly to recolonise it. The sort of thing Hungary would have liked to do after WWI given the chance.
Not sure we have too much to directly worry about from South Africa destroying itself though. Which seems to be where they’re heading.

Sarolta RĂłnai
Sarolta RĂłnai
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Sorry, but that is absolute bulls…t what you write about Hungary. Hungary never in its history had any colonies, so how on earth could have it “recolonise” anything? It wanted to get back its own territories, which belonged to it for 920 years and which were not lost due to conquest but to an extremely unfair peace treaty (Trianon, 1920).

Sarolta RĂłnai
Sarolta RĂłnai
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Sorry, but that is absolute bulls…t what you write about Hungary. Hungary never in its history had any colonies, so how on earth could have it “recolonise” anything? It wanted to get back its own territories, which belonged to it for 920 years and which were not lost due to conquest but to an extremely unfair peace treaty (Trianon, 1920).

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

And this came a a surprise?
Also they do not have any moral ideals they just pay lip service to them to mollify their lickspittles in the west to keep the dollars following

Martin Layfield
Martin Layfield
11 months ago

In fairness it probably has much to do with the fact that Russia was not their colonial power as such. Poland understandably has more suspicion and grievance with German-Russian imperialism than say British or American imperialism, because the latter were never the imperial power lording over Poles. Likewise Serbs, Greeks, Hungary etc have a much bigger problem with past Turkish imperialism than they do Spanish or Portuguese equivalents.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Indeed, the Ukraine war is in many ways that of a former colony against a revanchist imperial power trying vainly to recolonise it. The sort of thing Hungary would have liked to do after WWI given the chance.
Not sure we have too much to directly worry about from South Africa destroying itself though. Which seems to be where they’re heading.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

And this came a a surprise?
Also they do not have any moral ideals they just pay lip service to them to mollify their lickspittles in the west to keep the dollars following

Martin Layfield
Martin Layfield
11 months ago

In fairness it probably has much to do with the fact that Russia was not their colonial power as such. Poland understandably has more suspicion and grievance with German-Russian imperialism than say British or American imperialism, because the latter were never the imperial power lording over Poles. Likewise Serbs, Greeks, Hungary etc have a much bigger problem with past Turkish imperialism than they do Spanish or Portuguese equivalents.

Friedrich Tellberg
Friedrich Tellberg
11 months ago

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was very revealing. The anti-imperialism of many in the Global South or “non aligned” countries turned out to be only against American imperialism, not against non Western imperialism, which they almost welcome. Because their resentment proved to be stronger than their moral ideals. Human, all too human. At least we now know how strong their resentment is. We better take care.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

“Today, having made his fortune and reached the pinnacle of power, he is trampling over the idea of democracy with his support for a dictatorial regime trying to crush freedom in a neighbouring nation.”
And you expected a different outcome?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

“Today, having made his fortune and reached the pinnacle of power, he is trampling over the idea of democracy with his support for a dictatorial regime trying to crush freedom in a neighbouring nation.”
And you expected a different outcome?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

South Africa is a bust totalitarian state, like most of the rest of Africa living 2000 years behind the civilised world.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

South Africa is a bust totalitarian state, like most of the rest of Africa living 2000 years behind the civilised world.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
11 months ago

Mandela wasn’t so great …

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
11 months ago

Mandela wasn’t so great …

si mclardy
si mclardy
11 months ago

Not disputing the corruption in South Africa. I have visited Soweto a number of times and know there are problems, BUT this article implies that we, usa, are a democracy! Lol. Nobody asked me if we should bomb innocent children in Afghanistan and then lie to cover it up. That was a fitting end to decades of butchering families with drone strike after drone strike. Nobody asked me if we should destroy the nord stream pipeline going into winter. Nobody asked if they could spy and manipulate the American people and torture journalist who try to expose this truth. Please lose the holier than thou attitude when you speak of the splinter in the eye of another country.

Last edited 11 months ago by si mclardy
Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  si mclardy

If you really don’t like it in the USA and don’t think it’s a democracy, try living somewhere else. Chances are you won’t like it any better, likely far worse.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Such a product of you time, you are, Mr B. That’s the best you got? a modest proposal: you might do better in helping us explore complex issues unfolding in a complex time if you would cogitate a little more before smugly shooting volleys from the lofty heights of your Western tower.
Following your excellent logic the only thing that’ll save us all is if we, the uncivilized and unwashed, sought shelter under your fine and “eternally democratic” Western umbrellas.
Oh. Wait. We’re doing it. Nope: done it! Spoiler alert: contemporary demographic science indicates that, even if the original European tribes started breeding like bunnies and raised their fertility rates to 4 TOMORROW, you’re going to be ethnic minorities in the lands of your forefathers by 2050. Ah, noit to worry. You’ll still have “institutions”.
For a useful diaspora-playbook you might want to have your youth take a break from social media, Minecraft and Chat GPT to consult the Old Testament?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Insulting those who disagree with you reveals you’re not a “product of a complex time” rather a product of a more simplistic time.

That’s not an insult btw, just an observation.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’m sorry if you consider my comment to Peter B “insulting”. Perhaps you could do a sweep of his posts over the the past year and familiarise yourself with his bullying and haughty style? You reap what you sow.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’m sorry if you consider my comment to Peter B “insulting”. Perhaps you could do a sweep of his posts over the the past year and familiarise yourself with his bullying and haughty style? You reap what you sow.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Europe ‘invented’’ the Vernichtungslager and the Gulag. There will be NO need of the Old Testament thank you.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Insulting those who disagree with you reveals you’re not a “product of a complex time” rather a product of a more simplistic time.

That’s not an insult btw, just an observation.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Europe ‘invented’’ the Vernichtungslager and the Gulag. There will be NO need of the Old Testament thank you.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Such a product of you time, you are, Mr B. That’s the best you got? a modest proposal: you might do better in helping us explore complex issues unfolding in a complex time if you would cogitate a little more before smugly shooting volleys from the lofty heights of your Western tower.
Following your excellent logic the only thing that’ll save us all is if we, the uncivilized and unwashed, sought shelter under your fine and “eternally democratic” Western umbrellas.
Oh. Wait. We’re doing it. Nope: done it! Spoiler alert: contemporary demographic science indicates that, even if the original European tribes started breeding like bunnies and raised their fertility rates to 4 TOMORROW, you’re going to be ethnic minorities in the lands of your forefathers by 2050. Ah, noit to worry. You’ll still have “institutions”.
For a useful diaspora-playbook you might want to have your youth take a break from social media, Minecraft and Chat GPT to consult the Old Testament?

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  si mclardy

If you really don’t like it in the USA and don’t think it’s a democracy, try living somewhere else. Chances are you won’t like it any better, likely far worse.

si mclardy
si mclardy
11 months ago

Not disputing the corruption in South Africa. I have visited Soweto a number of times and know there are problems, BUT this article implies that we, usa, are a democracy! Lol. Nobody asked me if we should bomb innocent children in Afghanistan and then lie to cover it up. That was a fitting end to decades of butchering families with drone strike after drone strike. Nobody asked me if we should destroy the nord stream pipeline going into winter. Nobody asked if they could spy and manipulate the American people and torture journalist who try to expose this truth. Please lose the holier than thou attitude when you speak of the splinter in the eye of another country.

Last edited 11 months ago by si mclardy