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E-NEWS BULLETIN 2 February 2018 Links to present possibilities

The announcement last week of the much delayed commission of inquiry into state capture comes at a time when the influence of private businesses over the South African government is being highlighted as corruption of democratic institutions since 1994. Sampie Terreblanche, the economist and author of History of Inequality in South Africa, 1652 – 2002, offered a farewell address on the corrupt heart of South African governance that saw the liberation movement capitulate to neoliberal economic policies within two years of taking power. Moreover, writes Prof William Gumede, institutional racism continues to bedevil the transformation of South African workplaces.

After the Steinhoff collapse, the spotlight on corporate malfeasance turned to Capitec Bank for its practices of ‘predatory lending’. For all the billions of rand misappropriated by the Gupta family, it seems South African business – and more pointedly, White Monopoly Capital – is the kettle calling the Gupta pot black. Yet, the visit by Cyril Ramaphosa to the World Economic Forum showed how irrepressibly capital calls the shots while holding a domestic elite in its grip.

The call to order by monopoly capital sounded though the South African media space as well with the cancellation of the Gupta-linked ANN7 channel on DSTV. The owner of DSTV, Naspers, which stands implicated in the capture of the Department of Communications through millions paid to ANN7, for the presumed influence this would give the corporation over digital migration, is suspiciously engaged in damage control.

In Palestine solidarity news, this week saw the launch locally of the Free Ahed Tamimi and all Palestinian children campaign. Ahed Tamimi celebrated her 17th birthday detained in an Israeli prison. She is but one of hundreds of children arrested by Israeli security forces. This week too, Israeli forces shot and killed another 17-year-old Palestinian youth in al-Mughayer village.


As MultiChoice axes the Guptas’ ANN7, Naspers bends with the political winds

ann7The decision by Naspers subsidiary MultiChoice to axe ANN7 from the DStv bouquet is nothing more than an attempt by the media giant at bending with the new political winds that have been gusting since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president in December.

numsalogoNUMSA condemns Multichoice for attacking media diversity

ANN7 workers are being punished for the sins of their bosses! Multichoice has no tolerance for dissenting views. NUMSA calls for law enforcement authorities to speed up their criminal investigations into the Guptas. And in the meantime all Gupta owned businesses must be nationalized in order to protect workers from losing their jobs.

Terms of Reference of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector including organs of state [688KB pdf]

Authorised by President Jacob Zuma, 23 January 2018

The co-optation of the African National Congress: South Africa’s original ‘State Capture’sampie terreblanche tribute

The ideological shifts that took place in the ANC’s economic views from 1990 can only be described as breathtaking: from an explicitly socialist, redistributive approach towards embracing the American ideologies of neoliberal globalism and market fundamentalism. By Sampie Terreblanche

Institutional racism is still alive and kicking in the workplace

Recent studies have confirmed that, although the formal colour bar was codified by apartheid, this situation remains mostly unchanged. Even when black people occupy senior positions, they usually earn less, and have fewer benefits and less responsibility than white people – By William Gumede.

capitecExplainer: Why Capitec Bank is in the hot seat

On Tuesday morning, a financial research group called Viceroy released a report looking into the business model and practices of South African lender Capitec. It is damning in the extreme, accusing Capitec of “predatory finance” and massively overstating its performance and value.

50,000 litres of sewage flow into SA’s rivers every second

South Africa’s municipal sewage system has largely collapsed. Of the 824 treatment plants, maybe only 60 release clean water – an article from 2017 highlighting the onset of crises in water and sanitation.

sao pauloSão Paulo – anatomy of a failing megacity: residents struggle as water taps run dry

Despite the Brazilian state government’s prevarication over possible imminent rationing – consisting of two days of water followed by four days without – in reality, millions are now getting just a few hours of water per day, with many struggling with none at all for days on end. This article from 2015 is some reflection of the stresses urban environments are under outside of the Western Cape.

r2k logoR2K rejects the ‘new National Key Points’ Bill

While the National Key Points Act has promoted secrecy and undermined accountability and the right to protest, we believe the new Bill that will replace it will do more of the same. the Right to Know campaign believes that the Bill replicates the weaknesses of the Protection of State Information Bill and fails to protect people who expose secret information in the public interest.


trump wefThe hypocrisy of the Davos set is finally being exposed

The emperors of neoliberalism claim to be addressing inequality, but stay silent on fair wages. Now capitalism is having to face its contraditions.

iraq15 years after the invasion of Iraq, and now largely out of the glare of the media, US and UK oil corporations start to flaunt the spoils of imperial conquest

After 15 years of repudiating claims that the invasion of Iraq was only initiated to seize Iraqi resources, large oil corporations fronted by former architects of the war who vacated to the private sector are flagrantly advertising their contracts for exploration and production of Iraqi oil fields to potential investors.

Oregon woman evicted from senior housing for $328 in late rent freezes to death in parking garage

homeless in the USFive homeless people have died of hypothermia on the street in Multnomah County in as many years, and eighty-eight died on the street from all causes, “mostly from either drugs and alcohol or diseases,” in 2015 alone.

A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America

St Boniface SFSkid Row has had the use of nine toilets at night for 1,800 street-faring people. That’s a ratio well below that mandated by the UN in its camps for Syrian refugees.


ahed tamimiEnd the detention of Ahed Tamimi and all Palestinian Child Prisoners!

Ahed Tamimi is a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was arrested after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral. The slap was in response to a group of Israeli soldiers attempting to forcibly enter her home, allegedly to use her house as a vantage point for intimidating other Palestinian children in the area with gunfire.

The campaign to FREE AHED TAMIMI and ALL PALESTINIAN CHILDREN was launched at a press conference held at the Cape Town Press Club on Wednesday, 31 January 2018. A recording of the press conference is available here.

Laith Haitham Fathi Abu Na’imIn Excessive Use of Force, Israeli forces Kill Palestinian Child in al-Mughayer Village, northeast of Ramallah Israeli forces killed a 17-year-old Palestinian child when they moved into al-Mughayer village, northeast of Ramallah. The follow-up by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights’s staff shows that the Israeli forces have intensified the use of live ammunition to confront unarmed civilians in dozens of incidents deliberately, noting that the protestors did not pose any threat or danger to the lives of Israeli soldiers.

Abdel Raouf al-BilawiYoungest children held by Israel jailed for months

Israel has sentenced two of the youngest Palestinian children in military custody to months in prison: Abdel Raouf al-Bilawi, 13 and Razan Abu Sal, 13.

In a Major Free Speech Victory, a Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott

Israel security vs palestiniansA federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S.

Local news from Khayelitsha, East London, Port Elizabeth, Alexandra and Orange Farm in English and isiXhosa

Install the Elitsha app on your phone:


Federal 5G Network Proposal Is Panned by F.C.C. and Industryagit pai

Federal regulators and major telecommunications companies pushed back on Monday against a proposal circulating in the White House that would put the government in control of a next-generation mobile broadband network to address economic and security concerns related to China.

gps spoorLocation History allows Google to track every move you make with an Android phone

Phones using Android begin silently transmitting data back to the servers of Google. That data can be used by the company to sell targeted advertising. It can also be used to track the stores those consumers who saw ads on their phone visit. This also means governments and courts can request the detailed data on an individual’s whereabouts.

amazon worker‘Power Hour’ Or Workers’ Power?! – Reports From Two Amazon Workers, Hemel Hempstead, Winter 2017/18

We want to dismantle the myth of Amazon being the all-powerful and well-organised global giant. We want to support the small but important efforts to turn Amazon’s international structure into the basis for a global exchange and coordination of workers.

Billionaire Bezos Amazon Owner Rips amazon food stamp queueOff The Public Again-A new study found that 700 Amazon employees in Ohio are on food stamps

As Amazon grows, so does its impact on local economies. As of August, more than 700 Amazon employees that live in Ohio were dependent on the modern-day equivalent of food stamps.

Your pizza order! [Google giggle]

– Hello! Gordon’s pizza?
– No sir this is Google’s pizza.
– Sorry, I must have dialed a wrong number?
– No sir, Google bought out Gordon’s Pizza a short while ago.
– OK. Take my order please.
– OK sir, would you like your usual?”
– The usual? You know me?
– According to our caller-ID database, your last 12 orders were for pizza with cheese and sausage toppings, thick crust and crisp.
– OK! That’s it…
– May I suggest this time you add ricotta, arugula with dry tomato toppings?
– What? I hate vegetables.
– Your cholesterol is not good, sir.”
– How do you know that?
– We cross-matched your phone number with your name and your online medical portal. We have the result of your blood tests for the past 7 years.
– Okay, but I do not want those toppings, I already take medicine …
– Excuse me, but you have not taken your medicine regularly. We can see from our database, 4 months ago, you only purchased a box with 30 cholesterol tablets at CVS.
– I bought more from another pharmacy.
– Such a transaction is not showing in your credit card account.
– I paid in cash.
– But you did not withdraw that much cash according to your recent bank statement.
– I have another source of cash.
– That is not showing as per your latest tax return unless you obtained it from an undeclared income source. WHAT THE…..
– “I’m sorry, sir, we use such information only with the intention of helping you.
– Enough! I’m sick of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp. I’m going to an Island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to spy on me.
– “I understand sir but you’ll need to renew your passport first as it expired 6 weeks ago!