Sep 12 2008

The Kiwis should stick to rugby

Published by at 10:48 am under Opinion,South Africa

First published on my old blog on 30/1/2008.

My, my…if ever there was someone who doesn’t have a clue about South Africa, then it’s this guy! And he gets nominated for prizes for what he has done to change the country…! 

I often feel uncomfortable for being so outspoken, while I sit so far away from the fire and haven’t got all the information, but now I feel better – there is someone out there who has even less information than me, with an even bigger mouth. 

Here is his latest batch of nonsensical utterings on SA. It’s lifted from a Naspers publication. Very entertaining, I thought:

SA following Zim, warns Minto


Activist rejects top SA award

by Louise Luttig, Beeld 

Auckland – If the South African government doesn’t change its economic policy to meet the needs of the country’s unemployed masses and the poor, it will follow the path of Zimbabwe. 

This is the warning of John Minto, leader of the anti-Springbok Tour movement and a political activist in New Zealand. 

Minto says he has decided to decline his nomination for the Companion of OR Tambo award put to him by a government official in November last year, as he could not associate him with the award. 

However, Mukoni Ratshitanga, a spokesperson for President Thabo Mbeki, said on Tuesday that Minto had not been nominated for any of South Africa’s orders. 

A 2005 documentary on New Zealand’s top 100 history makers listed him as No 89. 

In an interview, Minto said he was deeply dismayed at the African National Congress’s following of the free-market economy, which is mainly based on profit, and has not met the needs of the poor and the unemployed. 

Millions of South Africans are worse off than in the days of apartheid, or, at best, their already poor situation has remained the same. 

In response, he has written an open letter to President Thabo Mbeki explaining his reasons. The contents have been covered extensively in the media. 

According to Minto, the ANC government received a mandate in 1994 to improve the lives and circumstances of all in the country, something for which he and many others fought bitterly, and has failed miserably. 

Minto acknowledged that he had never been to South Africa, but had an intense interest in what was happening in South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

He also had contact with many organisations there and followed events on the internet. 

He said the South African government was making the same mistake as Zimbabwe did 20 years ago when they adopted a free-market economy. 

And, when it did not work in Zimbabwe and the poor started to show their frustration, President Mugabe played the race card, and blamed the whites for the country’s problems, with tragic consequences. 

Minto said the ANC would do the same. 

Instead, the South African government should take control of the infrastructure, such as electricity and water, and govern it to improve the circumstances of each man, woman and child, not only those who were able to pay for it. Minto said he put it to President Mandela’s delegation when Mandela visited New Zealand in 1992, that they should learn from the mistakes of New Zealand, which also adopted free-market principles, and which he believed did not benefit all in society. 

He was aware of state-owned Eskom’s inability to meet the electricity demands, but saw that as a management problem and not the result of government policy. 

He did not believe Jacob Zuma, with his leftist support base, would make a difference, said Minto, as it was all rhetoric and no policy. 

He hoped South Africans did not get sucked in by such rhetoric. 

If the ANC did not drastically change its policy, the country would follow Zimbabwe, he said. 

Minto believed it was only the legacy of Nelson Mandela that ensured the ANC of its huge support. 

He believed that if Mandela was no longer there, and economic policies remained unchanged, the country was facing a destructive outcome. 




Minto intends to visit South Africa later this year to get to know the country and its people firsthand, and to meet with the many organisations with whom he has had contact. 

Comment: Good idea, old chap. It always helps to have some information, before you make broad statements like the one’s above. When in SA, ask the people about Zim. They might tell you Mugabe ruined Zim, because he took away the free market and replaced it with central planning (eg. price fixing by the state etc. By the way, that’s something the ANC now also wants to do in SA’s medical and housing sectors, namely fix prices. Let the circus begin!)

Oh, before the drum-roll, let me just add: Mr. Minto, no. Unfortunately, the Eskom managers cannot be blamed for the black-outs. Mbeki recently admitted his Cabinet turned away requests from Eskom managers years ago to invest in additional capacity. (In fact, Eskom is proof that your “centralist” ideas are wrong for South Africa – as they are for New Zealand.) 

(Isn’t that strange? Minto says he follows what happens in SA on the Internet. Ach, maybe the Kiwis have their own Internet…)

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