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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Freedom Charter

As adopted at the Congress of the People, Kliptown, on 26 June 1955

We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
    that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people; that our people have been robbed of their birthright to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality; that our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities; that only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief; And therefore, we, the people of South Africa, black and white together equals, countrymen and brothers adopt this Freedom Charter; And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes here set out have been won.

The People Shall Govern!

    Every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and to stand as a candidate for all bodies which make laws; All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country; The rights of the people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour or sex; All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities shall be replaced by democratic organs of self-government .

All National Groups Shall have Equal Rights!

    There shall be equal status in the bodies of state, in the courts and in the schools for all national groups and races; All people shall have equal right to use their own languages, and to develop their own folk culture and customs; All national groups shall be protected by law against insults to their race and national pride; The preaching and practice of national, race or colour discrimination and contempt shall be a punishable crime; All apartheid laws and practices shall be set aside.

The People Shall Share in the Country`s Wealth!

    The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people; The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole; All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people; All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.

The Land Shall be Shared Among Those Who Work It!

    Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger; The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers; Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land; All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose; People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.

All Shall be Equal Before the Law!

    No-one shall be imprisoned, deported or restricted without a fair trial; No-one shall be condemned by the order of any Government official; The courts shall be representative of all the people; Imprisonment shall be only for serious crimes against the people, and shall aim at re-education, not vengeance; The police force and army shall be open to all on an equal basis and shall be the helpers and protectors of the people; All laws which discriminate on grounds of race, colour or belief shall be repealed.

All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights!

    The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organise, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship and to educate their children; The privacy of the house from police raids shall be protected by law; All shall be free to travel without restriction from countryside to town, from province to province, and from South Africa abroad; Pass Laws, permits and all other laws restricting these freedoms shall be abolished.

There Shall be Work and Security!

    All who work shall be free to form trade unions, to elect their officers and to make wage agreements with their employers; The state shall recognise the right and duty of all to work, and to draw full unemployment benefits; Men and women of all races shall receive equal pay for equal work; There shall be a forty-hour working week, a national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and sick leave for all workers, and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers; Miners, domestic workers, farm workers and civil servants shall have the same rights as all others who work; Child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.

The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!

    The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life; All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands; The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace; Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children; Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit; Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state education plan; Teachers shall have all the rights of other citizens; The colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished.

There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!

    All people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security; Unused housing space to be made available to the people; Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no-one shall go hungry; A preventive health scheme shall be run by the state; Free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children; Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, creches and social centres; The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state; Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all: Fenced locations and ghettoes shall be abolished, and laws which break up families shall be repealed.

There Shall be Peace and Friendship!

    South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations; South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war; Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all; The people of the protectorates Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland shall be free to decide for themselves their own future; The right of all peoples of Africa to independence and self-government shall be recognised, and shall be the basis of close co-operation. Let all people who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jaque Fresco and the Venus Project

Jaque Fresco can best described as a visionary who had the ability to foresee the inability of our world to continue along its path of unsustainability. His idea for our future is a system based on a resource-based economy with no money. Yes, you heard correctly, the abolition of the monetary system.

At first this sounds impossible, but once one realises that most of the problems in the world are caused by a money-driven society his ideas suddenly do not seem all that crazy. The world began to "develop" towards its downward spiral the day money was invented. If the world economy continues along with its Global Ponzi Scheme one also needs little brain power to grasp that it has to collapse at some stage so we probably will have to do without money anyway at some point in the future.

His vision of future cities is based on them running on renewable energy with all the major needs for humans seen to. The idea is a place where human interaction takes priority and in this new world where there is no money we will see an end to psychosocial disorders as the money motivation will not be there, just like the crime-free days of the Native Americans and all natives around the world.

As Jaque Fresco and his believers continue to spread this word of sustainability around the world only time will tell if he was right. The point is we will probably find out in the not too distant future as the current recession shows no signs of  ever abating ...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My South Africa by Jonathan Jansen

This is inspiring ...

My South Africa is the working-class man who called from the airport to return my wallet without a cent missing. It is the white woman who put all three of her domestic worker's children through the same school that her own child attended. It is the politician in one of our rural provinces, Mpumalanga, who returned his salary to the government as a statement that standing with the poor had to be more than just a few words. It is the teacher who worked after school hours every day during the public sector strike to ensure her children did not miss out on learning.

My South Africa is the first-year university student in Bloemfontein who took all the gifts she received for her birthday and donated them - with the permission of the givers - to a home for children in an Aids village. It is the people hurt by racist acts who find it in their hearts to publicly forgive the perpetrators. It is the group of farmers in Paarl who started a top school for the children of farm workers to ensure they got the best education possible while their parents toiled in the vineyards. It is the farmer's wife in Viljoenskroon who created an education and training centre for the wives of farm labourers so that they could gain the advanced skills required to operate accredited early-learning centers for their own and other children.

My South Africa is that little white boy at a decent school in the Eastern Cape who decided to teach the black boys in the community to play cricket, and to fit them all out with the togs required to play the gentelman's game. It is the two black street children in Durban, caught on camera, who put their spare change in the condensed milk tin of a white beggar. It is the Johannesburg pastor who opened up his church as a place of shelter for illegal immigrants. It is the Afrikaner woman from Boksburg who nailed the white guy who shot and killed one of South Africa's greatest freedom fighters outside his home.

My South Africa is the man who went to prison for 27 years and came out embracing his captors, thereby releasing them from their impending misery. It is the activist priest who dived into a crowd of angry people to rescue a woman from a sure necklacing. It is the former police chief who fell to his knees to wash the feet of Mamelodi women whose sons disappeared on his watch; it is the women who forgave him in his act of contrition. It is the Cape Town university psychologist who interviewed the 'Prime Evil' in Pretoria Centre and came away with emotional attachment, even empathy, for the human being who did such terrible things under apartheid.

My South Africa is the quiet, dignified, determined township mother from Langa who straightened her back during the years of oppression and decided that her struggle was to raise decent children, insist that they learn, and ensure that they not succumb to bitterness or defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. It is the two young girls who walked 20kms to school everyday, even through their matric years, and passed well enough to be accepted into university studies. It is the student who takes on three jobs, during the evenings and on weekends, to find ways of paying for his university studies.

My South Africa is the teenager in a wheelchair who works in townships serving the poor. It is the pastor of a Kenilworth church whose parishioners were slaughtered, who visits the killers and asks them for forgiveness because he was a beneficiary of apartheid. It is the politician who resigns on conscientious grounds, giving up status and salary because of an objection in principle to a social policy of her political party. It is the young lawman who decides to dedicate his life to representing those who cannot afford to pay for legal services.

My South Africa is not the angry, corrupt, violent country whose deeds fill the front pages of newspapers and the lead-in items on the seven-o'-clock news. It is the South Africa often unseen, yet powered by the remarkable lives of ordinary people. It is the citizens who keep the country together through millions of acts of daily kindness.

Jonathan Jansen is  a professor of education at the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Code of Conduct for Uniformed Members of the SANDF

I pledge to serve and defend my country and its people in accordance with the Constitution and the law and with honour, dignity, courage and integrity.

I serve in the SANDF with loyalty and pride, as a citizen and a volunteer.

I respect the democratic political process and civil control of the SANDF.

I will not advance or harm the interests of any political party or organisation.

I accept personal responsibility for my actions.

I will obey all lawful commands and respect all superiors.

I will refuse to obey an obviously illegal order.

I will carry out my mission with courage and assist my comrades-in-arms, even at the risk of my own life.

I will treat all people fairly and respect their rights and dignity at all times, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, language or sexual orientation.

I will respect and support subordinates and treat them fairly.

I will not abuse my authority, position or public funds for personal gain, political motive or any other reason.

I will report criminal activity, corruption and misconduct to the appropriate authority.

I will strive to improve the capabilities of the SANDF by maintaining discipline, safeguarding property,

developing skills and knowledge, and performing my duties diligently and professionally.

Cycle for the Winning of the Battle

Pictured is the G6 Leopard of South Africa, the best artillery weapon in the world.

During the Bush War a very good South African mobile warfare tactician by the name of Col Roland de Vries coined the thinking behind the Cycle for the Winning of the Battle in his book "Mobiele Oorlogvoering: n Perspektief vir Suider-Afrika", Mobile Warfare: A perspective for Southern Africa.

In the phases of war there are many cycles such as the OODA cycle and the core functions of a commander, find, fix, strike. The Cycle for the winning of the battle ensures you win the battle if you could not avoid war in the first place:

- Dislocate the enemy: Ensure the enemy cannot operate with impunity or not at all and has just become a target for the infantry to mop up with armour.

- Create initiative and freedom of action: Ensure you can move and operate with freedom.

- Exploit the conditions created by the previous two points.

- Destroy the enemy: If the fight is now on equal terms you have a chance to lose the battle so ensure you have the initiative and have appreciated the remaining enemy centre of gravity correctly.

A good commander does not know these four points, but knows how to apply them by using which resources when and that comes with experience and reading many books on military issues.