Archive for the ‘Apartheid’ Category

Apartheid illustrated: Israeli soldier shoots another soldier in Hebron – International Solidarity Movement

6th July 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Hebron, occupied Palestine

On Tuesday, 4th July 2017, Israeli forces were conducting a military training in a civilian Palestinian neighborhood near Gilbert checkpoint in Tel Rumeida in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). The result of this military training was a fatal shot by one Israeli soldier to the other. The injured commander was immediately evacuated to hospital by an Israeli ambulance, and was later confirmed dead. The Israeli forces immediately closed the whole area to Palestinians by closing all the checkpoints, collectively punishing the civilian Palestinian population. The army, after the incident, announced that these military trainings will be suspended in al-Khalil.

The whole incident, though, needs to be contextualized: an occupying army conducted a military training near a checkpoint installed for the control and humiliation of the occupied population, in a civilian residential neighborhood. Immediate medical assistance to the injured occupying soldier, with an ambulance that, without any problems, was granted immediate access to the injured.

Military trainings, under international humanitarian law, are prohibited in civilian areas. The Israeli occupying army in al-Khalil, and all over the occupied territories, though, conducts trainings in civilian areas. This serves two functions: for one, it is more real, a training in the area where the perceived enemy population is living, and second, the intimidation of the population. Israeli forces in al-Khalil are sometimes seen practicing the neutralization, as it is called in Israeli rhetoric, of Palestinians at checkpoints. In those cases, a Palestinian that allegedly carries a knife is seen as a threat to the life of the heavily armed and armored occupation forces and thus has to be shot and, as documented in so many cases, left to bleed to death on the ground without any medical assistance. The idea is always to shoot to kill.

Whereas an Israeli soldier or settler from the illegal settlements would immediately receive medical assistance, as Israeli ambulance are free to pass, Palestinian ambulances, and actually any Palestinian vehicles (often including donkeys and bicycles) are not allowed to drive on one of the roads in al-Khalil which conveniently connects the settlements in down-town al-Khalil with the Kiryat Arba settlement on the outskirts of the city. Palestinian ambulances, as they are not allowed on this street, instead, are often detained by Israeli forces at the checkpoints, denied to pass and thus denied access to give first aid.

Immediately after the incident, the Israeli forces closed all the checkpoints in the area, effectively putting the area under curfew for Palestinian residents. Any Palestinian civilian inside the area, thus, was prevented from leaving, and anyone outside trying to reach their homes, was prevented from coming back home. This is clearly collective punishment of the Palestinian civilians, who are not involved in the incident at all other than living in an area that the Israeli forces are trying hard to rid of any Palestinian presence. Whereas Palestinian movement was completely restricted and Palestinians trying to film the incident and its aftermath were stopped and harassed by soldiers. Settlers, however, from the illegal settlements, were allowed to move around freely. In a separate incident, a settler beat up a Palestinian young man, causing his face to be unrecognizable as it was covered in blood. The settler though, can be sure that hell enjoy full impunity under the protection of the Israeli forces.

These kind of military trainings in the aftermath were declared suspended in the city of al-Khalil. However, only because a soldier was killed, not because of their illegal nature in civilian areas or a possible threat to the occupied population.

This incident illustrates the apartheid system installed by the Israeli occupying forces in al-Khalil, and all over the occupied Palestinian territories. An apartheid-strategy that aims to displace the Palestinian population from their homeland in favor of illegal settlements.

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Apartheid illustrated: Israeli soldier shoots another soldier in Hebron – International Solidarity Movement

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UK PR body investigates Bell Pottinger for ‘economic apartheid’ campaign – Moneyweb.co.za

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Patients in South East subjected to ‘medical apartheid’ – Irish Examiner

Patients and families seeking full cardiac care services in the South East region have warned they are being subjected to medical apartheid as campaigners gathered outside the Dil.

Catherine Power holds a picture of her brother Thomas. Pictures: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Ministers and TDs from the region were confronted by cardiac care campaign groups yesterday, while Health Minister Simon Harris was criticised for not meeting families.

Several hundred people marched on Leinster House demanding 24-hour cardiac services and mobilised support after Co Waterford farmer Tom Power died of a heart condition while being transferred to Cork on Sunday, June 18.

His sister Catherine yesterday met politicians and campaigners but had strong words for ministers, including Mr Harris.

Contact me and get these doors opened. Now! The South East deserve this. I dont want another summer just because he is swanning off now, booking his holiday. I expected him to be there.

He doesnt realise the risk he is putting people in from the South East. He has one job to look after peoples health.

Ciara Gore from Waterford, 11, joins protesters outside Leinster House in calling for a 24/7 cardiac facility for the South East.

Hilary ONeil, founder of the South East Patient Advocacy Group, said families in the region were suffering in a medical apartheid. Our lives are as important as people from Cork, Limerick and Dublin, she said.

Mr Power (39), from Bell Lake near Dunmore East, died in an ambulance near Dungarvan. The father-to-be had not been able to access urgent care at University Hospital Waterford where cardiac services close at night-time and on weekends.

The death raised questions as to whether Mr Power would have survived if he had been able to access the type of cardiac services available in Dublin or Cork.

Protesters make sure their voices are heard outside Leinster House.

The Government is relying on a review to reject demands that the South East needs a second full-time cath lab and, instead, have plans for a temporary facility and a further review.

The issue was raised by Fianna Fil leader Michel Martin in the Dil yesterday, where he said a report in 2012 for the HSE had recommended a second cath lab where special equipment is used to examine a persons heart for Waterford.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar replied that money had been set aside for a mobile lab and additional hours provided for staff. A national review will be conducted at a late stage, he said.

Minister Harris, in a statement, said he had expressed his deepest sympathy to the Power family. Extra funding of 500,000 had been provided for Waterford Hospital to improve services, he said.

He reiterated that all decisions on how to configure health services must be evidence based. A further review of the cardiac services at Waterford will also be undertaken.

But other campaigners and patients say they will not wait for more reviews or promises. Jill Hicks from Waterford, who has an irregular heartbeat condition, described how she received treatment for her illness. She was lucky, she said.

I was very aware of my own mortality. I live 10 minutes from Waterford Hospital, yet I have to travel at least 90 minutes to Dublin or Cork if something is wrong. This is unsafe. We want the same cardiac care services that families elsewhere have. A temporary laboratory is not good enough. There are literally people dying on the side of the street now.

Junior jobs minister John Halligan, a Waterford TD, said the review and temporary lab was by no means the final solution: It is an interim measure while we continue to fight for improved services at UHW and that fight is only beginning, judging by the crowd who turned out at Leinster House.

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Patients in South East subjected to ‘medical apartheid’ – Irish Examiner

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John Mitchell: US apartheid system will never be dismantled – New Pittsburgh Courier

We can all agree that there are certain things that well never see in this lifetime. But there are things that happen, events over time that defy our beliefs, thing that give us hope, happenings that those before us believed would never come to pass.

I thought I might live to see the election of an African-American president I can assure you my mother, now 80, did not so in 2008 I was more than mildly surprised. That said, Im not now, nor have I ever been, under the impression that Barack Obamas presidency ushered in an era of American colorblindness, a ruse too often offered up as if it were not the fiction that it is.

While voting remains unchallenged, the single-most valuable authenticator of a democracy if 75,000 more African Americans in Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia acted on this last November, which professional athlete is or is not going to the White House would never be discussed election results do not take the accurate temperature of American race relations.

The last few months have hammered home my belief that racism is an intractable problem in American policing that we are stuck with, and the court system, while willing to be hyper-punitive in the prosecution of Black offenders, is nothing more than a modern day Underground Railroad to freedom for white cops accused of taking a Black life.

This apartheid system will never be dismantled.

In two separate encounters with police that turned violent and resulted in the fatal shooting of Black motorists by a police officer each one captured in high-definition video the cases ended last week without convictions in Cincinnati (Samuel DuBose) and St. Paul, Minn., (Philando Castile).

The retrial of the horrific 2015 shooting of DuBose, stopped by former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond M. Tensing, ended in a mistrial. Youve seen thehorrific shootingand there is no need to rehash it. Worse, history tells us well be discussing another incident featuring the exact same demographic with regard to the person being shot and killed very soon. What you maybe less familiar with is the long history of racial exclusion in hiring police officers that almost guarantees that tragic interactions like these continue to occur.

In 2015, University of Cincinnati saw nothing wrong with having just four African Americans among its 73 police officers. Where was it taking its instruction from? Why, the city, or course. Cincinnati looks nothing like the multi-ethnic cities of the East Coast. It is split down the middle with 48 percent of its citizens white, 45 percent of them Black, and 3 percent listed as other. However, the 1,012-member police force identified 676 (67 percent) as white, 308 (30 percent) as African American and 28 (3 percent) as other.

If damn near half the city is Black, neither the city nor the university can attribute these absurdly high discrepancies to simple oversight. It is unquestionably the systematic refusal to hire African Americans, which would benefit the city on two fronts.

One, it opens up a middle class existence for hundreds of others wondering what happened to the American Dream. Two, it adds faces to both forces that African Americans, distrustful of police from coast to coast, will see as less adversarial, particularly when they have committed a crime as heinous as driving without a front license plate, which DuBose was guilty of.

These discriminatory hiring practices, of course, arent just a problem in Cincinnati as much as they are part of the American status quo. As of 2015, in at least 50 cities with more than 100,000 people, the percentage of police was less than half of what African Americans represent in the cities population.

It is not, however, the overwhelming preponderance of research that indicates the obvious existence of discriminatory hiring practices that demonstrate the intractability of the problem. Truth be told, the only fields in which you dont have these imbalances are the ones that white people dont want, such as sanitation workers in large cities or strawberry pickers in California. You know, the jobs conservatives claim are being taken by people crossing the Rio Grande illegally.

No matter how good the attorney, what cant be put on trial is the color of ones soul. This is the case in the April shooting of 15-year-old African American Jordan Edwards. Edwards, a promising student by all accounts, took a bullet to the head from an AR-15 rifle fired with murderous intent by white Balch Springs, Texas police officer Roy Oliver.

The police department initially said that the car was driving aggressively toward the officer. Unfortunately for him, the life was sucked from this lie when video of the incident proved Jordans car was leaving the party that Oliver had come to break up.

Who is Oliver? Hes former cop now charged with murder. Hes also a liar, proved so by the fable concocted regarding the direction the car Jordan was traveling in was headed when he was shot. Most likely, this account was corroborated by panicking colleagues on the scene. How else would it have gotten out before the department was forced to retract it?

Last week, Oliver was indicted on an unrelated charge for an incident that happened two weeks before the Edwards shooting. Off-duty at the time, Oliver is accused of pointing a gun in the face of a woman alleged to haven bumped the back of his truck. There was a 13-year-old girl in the car.

Balch Springs is 20 percent white. Its police force is 80 percent white.

End, end, end.

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John Mitchell: US apartheid system will never be dismantled – New Pittsburgh Courier

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How Apartheid system colluded with ‘journalists, spies and bankers’ – Bulawayo24 News (press release) (blog)

DURBAN – Apartheid’s legacy is still affecting South Africa and the local media, a discussion held on the sidelines of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-Ifra) conference being held in Durban heard on Wednesday. The conference brings together journalists and media professionals from around the globe.

The discussion, hosted by the Press Club of South Africa focused around author Hennie van Vuuren’s book “Apartheid Guns and Money”, an expos on the economic crimes of the apartheid regime.

Through the use of released secret documents, Van Vuuren details how the then government defended the system through the use of people like journalists, spies and bankers.

Van Vuuren and a small group of people worked on the book for five years. “It is a story about power,” he said.

Van Vuuren said a large amount of information on apartheid was available, even though the apartheid government had destroyed about 44 tons worth of documents. He said he was frustrated that South Africans were not telling more of these types of stories, including that media group Naspers had donated money to the National Party and was the “attack dog” of the National Party.

Dr Iqbal Surve, executive chairman of Sekunjalo, the owner of Independent Newspapers, said the book was well- researched and told the truth. “It is one of the seminal books in South African history.”

Surve said the dominant media groups in the country were completely embedded in the apartheid regime. The challenge lay in trying to tell the truth while being faced by institutions that come from the apartheid era.

Surve said it should be noted that the apartheid regime stole R500 billion from South Africa, money that could have been used for the development of the country.

Investigative journalist Piet Rampedi said journalists were still contending with a culture of institutionalised racism in the newsroom.

“In the newsroom you can see that black journalists are being discriminated against.The media has racialised crime and corruption They presume black people are prone to corruption,” he said.

Rampedi said the media should acknowledge its apartheid past, as this would help the industry to improve.

Van Vuuren said the book was also a story about the private funding of political parties and how there is no law regulating this until today.

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How Apartheid system colluded with ‘journalists, spies and bankers’ – Bulawayo24 News (press release) (blog)

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Jonathan Ancer’s Spy destined to become a minor classic about apartheid’s ruinous path, writes Peter Vale – Books LIVE (blog)

In 1972 Craig Williamson, a big, burly, bearded man, walked onto Wits University and registered as a student. He joined the National Union of South African Students (Nusas), and was on the frontline in the war against apartheid. At one march he was beaten up, arrested and spent a year on trial. Williamson rose up through the student movements ranks to become the Nusas vice president.

After being harassed by security police and having his passport seized, he decided to flee the country to continue his activism with the International University Exchange Fund (IUEF), an anti-apartheid organisation in exile. He was eventually appointed the Funds deputy director. As the IUEFs money man, Williamson had access to powerful ANC and Black Consciousness leaders. He joined the ANC and formed his own unit to carry out clandestine work to topple the National Party government.

But Williamson was not the anti-apartheid activist his friends and comrades thought he was.

In January 1980, Captain Williamson was unmasked as a South African spy. His handler, Colonel Johan Coetzee, the head of South Africas notorious security branch, flew to Switzerland to bring him and his wife back home. Williamson was described as South Africas superspy who penetrated the KGB. Williamson returned to South Africa and during the turbulent 1980s worked for the foreign section of the South African Polices security branch.

Two years after he left Switzerland he returned to Europe under a false name and with a crack squad of special force officers to blow up the ANCs headquarters in London. He was also responsible for a parcel bomb that killed Ruth First in Mozambique and the bomb that killed Jeanette Schoon and her 6-year-old daughter Katryn in Angola. He left the security branch to join Military Intelligence and finally the State Security Council.

Apartheids spies didnt have to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a lot of information about the spies has been buried, burnt or shredded. This episode of our countrys bitter past remains murky

Here, Peter Vale, a professor of humanities and the director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Johannesburg, reviews Ancers remarkable book for the Mail & Guardian:

One can judge a books bleakness by the photograph on its cover. The Mephistophelean figure holding a teacup is Craig Williamson: police informant and apartheid spy and assassin. Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Ancers goal is clear from the get-go. He wants to expose the man on the cover in all his infamy to set himself free. Its no surprise, then, that theres no place in these pages for the political philosopher Hannah Arendts idea of the banality of evil those who perpetuate terrible deeds are mostly thoughtless functionaries.

For Ancer, the man on the cover of the book not apartheid, nor his handlers was responsible for a two-decade career of falsehood, cover-up, betrayal and murder. They were Williamsons choice, and his alone.

Class, rather than race

So who is (or was) Williamson? Born into an English-speaking Johannesburg family, he was schooled at one of the citys great institutions, St Johns College.

Gently, Ancer opens to the idea that class, rather than race, may have been at the core of Williamsons inability to tell right from wrong. Awkward and always overweight, the boy was bullied and, in turn, learned to bully.

Other writers might have been tempted to position a propensity for violence at the centre of their narrative. Ancer is near playful when discussing Williamsons school days.

But trawling through old copies of the school magazine, Ancer discovers that, when Williamsons politics emerged, they were of a raw, racist strain, which was integral to the search for a white South African patriotism after World War II.

In 1966, Williamson won a school debatecum-mock election by drawing on the racial ideology espoused by the (now long-forgotten) Republican Party, a right-wing splinter group of the National Party (NP).

If this was the direction of his politics, his gap year confirmed it: this national served not with apartheids South African Defence Force, as was the case for most young white men, but with the South African Police (SAP).

It was 1968. Maintaining domestic order and the travails of white-ruled Rhodesia were uppermost in the thinking of prime minister John Vorster, apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerds successor. Their NP embarked on an offensive to charm English-speakers, an approach that drew on the pervasive anti-communism of the time.

So, young Williamsons choice of national service in the SAP, which was then at the sharp end of racial repression, didnt seem untoward, even in Johannesburgs supposedly more liberal, white, English-speaking northern suburbs.

Student politics

After his year in the SAP, he enrolled to read politics and law at the University of the Witwatersrand. There Williamson began his decade-long career of subterfuge.

He immersed himself in student politics, first in the Wits Students Representative Council and, later, the leftist National Union of South African Students (Nusas).

During these years, Williamson interacted with (and reported on) several generations of student leaders from almost every English-speaking university.

Interviewed by Ancer, several of them report that suspicions about Williamson abounded, but the liberal impulse to believe, forgive and understand stayed any serious investigations of a double life.

After Nusas, and purportedly without a passport, Williamson was catapulted (accompanied by his medical student wife, Ingrid) into the Geneva-based International University Exchange Fund (IUEF). This Nordic-funded body fronted for liberation movements around the world, but particularly in Southern Africa.

This was when the police informant turned to espionage by passing information to apartheids notorious Special Branch.

Continue reading Vales review here.

This review first appeared in The Conversation.

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Project to Retrieve South Africa’s Apartheid Oil Stash Stalls – Bloomberg

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June 29, 2017, 8:53 AM EDT June 30, 2017, 1:56 AM EDT

A South African company that borrowed $15.4 million worth of oil sludge from the government to help fund the recovery of crude stored in a mine during apartheid has yet to implement the project more than three years after the contract was signed, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The project emanated from a request for proposals issuedin 2013 by the Strategic Fuel Fund to recover and reprocess sludge, a lower-value product that accumulates when oil is stored. One of the respondents was Enviroshore Trade and Logistics (Pty) Ltd., which said it believed there could be as many as 5 million barrels of crude in theOgies coal mine in the eastern Mpumalanga province. It offered to retrieve it on condition it be loaned 300,000 barrels of oil from the nations strategic reserves. Under the agreement it would keep 70 percent of any fuel recovered.

International sanctions hindered South Africa from buying oil during white-minority rule, which ended in 1994, and the SFF was tasked with ensuring South Africa had sufficient fuel supplies. The entity continued to manage South Africas strategic fuel stocks and storage facilities after apartheid ended. The government aims to have 60 days of reserves, according to theCentral Energy Fund, which oversees the SFF.

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While a company borrowed crude from the SFFs Saldanha storage facility on the west coast north of Cape Town, the rotation of the oil stockswas irregular because proper procedures werent followed, the CEF said in its2016 annual report, which outlined details of the deal but didnt identify the contractor. It disclosed that the oil was valued at 198.9 million rand ($15.4 million) on the agreed replenishment dateand the contractual deadline to replace it was missed. The person who said the project hasnt started asked not to be named because the information isnt public.

Enviroshore confirmed that it had been contracted to do work by the SFF, but denied there was anything amiss.

Enviroshores contract for the recovery of sludge and the pumping of water from the Ogies storage facility, as well as a subsequent related contract for the recovery of 300,000 barrels of sludge from the Saldanha storage facility, were entered into pursuant to the issuing and awarding of a fully-compliant public tender, Vuyo Mkhize, a public affairs consultant to the company, said in an emailed response to questions. Performance on these contracts is continuing to the satisfaction of both parties.

Founded in 2006 and based in the eastern port city of Durban, Enviroshore trades in petroleum products and offers sludge recovery and storage-tank cleaning services, according to its website.The company declined to respond to questions about how much oil had been retrieved or its loan from the SFF.

The SFF came under fire last year after it emerged that it had sold 10 million barrels of crude stocks for $280 million in 2015, when prices were at an eight-year low.While Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the former energy minister, said the sale was a stock rotation, her successor Mmamoloko Kubayi identified glaring governance problems with the deal and said it will be probed.

The issue of Enviroshore is a subject of a broader investigation undertaken at SFF, the CEF said in an emailed response to questions. We will not be making announcements on this matter until internal process are finalized.

Enviroshore is unaware of any probe, and the need for one simply does not arise, Mkhize said. Enviroshore is awaiting the SFFs official response to its request for an explanation for the statements you are attributing to the Central Energy Fund, he said.

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Project to Retrieve South Africa’s Apartheid Oil Stash Stalls – Bloomberg

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Eastern Europeans bite back over ‘food apartheid’ – EURACTIV

It looks like Nutella, smells like Nutella and yet doesnt quite taste like the famous Italian chocolate spread. Eastern European leaders are fuming after tests suggested that big Western brands use cheaper ingredients in food products sold in former communist countries.

While Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has slammed the practice as food apartheid, Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jureka declared in late February that the east was tired of being Europes garbage can.

Recent government-backed studies in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic indicated that many items sold with identical packaging were of superior quality in richer neighbouring European Union countries.

The findings prompted Bulgaria last month to carry out its own tests.

A team of chemists in Sofia spent the last few weeks diligently measuring, filtering and analysing samples of popular items like butter, cheese, sausages, chocolate, baby puree and soft drinks.

On 28 June, the national food watchdog confirmed there were discrepancies with at least seven out of 31 products bought from the same food chain stores in Bulgaria, Germany and Austria.

A chocolate dessert had less milk and cocoa than its German counterpart, for instance, although this did not have a major impact on taste, according to the national food safety agency.

Soft drinks purchased in Bulgarian supermarkets contained sweeteners, while those in Austria were prepared with sugar.

Many of these deviations are considered minor from the viewpoint of (European Union) regulations, the agencys chief Damyan Iliev told Bulgarian media on Wednesday.

But Bulgarian consumers are being misled in that they believe they are buying the same product when in fact they are not.

The experts also noted that 16 of the tested products were sold at higher prices in the EUs poorest member state than in Germany and Austria, with baby purees twice as expensive.

Eastern anxiety

The controversy has struck a raw nerve in the region where Western foods used to be a luxury that could only be bought with foreign currency in special shops.

The issue perfectly encapsulates the Eastern European anxiety about becoming second-class citizens in the bloc, Bulgarian political expert Ivan Krastev wrote in the New York Times earlier this month.

It feeds into fears over an emerging two-tiered Europe, in which big nations like Germany push for greater EU integration while ex-eastern bloc members demand more sovereignty, Krastev wrote.

The firms, however, argue that recipes are merely tweaked to suit local palates and point out that the practice doesnt break any rules.

Under EU directives, companies are free to change a products ingredients from one member state to another as long as they are clearly listed on the packaging.

But that has done little to cool boiling tempers.

I dont see how substituting good chocolate for the cheapest local one will adapt better to my taste? fumed Bulgarian mother-of-two Yana Mihailova.

The 46-year-old said she always stuffs her luggage with jars of chocolate spread whenever she travels abroad.

The price is higher but its totally worth it theres definitely much more cocoa in there, she added.

While the Bulgarian tests did not mention any actual brands, Hungarys food authority in February named food giants Ferrero and Coca-Cola among the culprits.

The agency said the version of Nutella sold in Budapest appeared to be less creamy than the Austrian version.

The aroma of Coca-Cola was seemingly less rich, less complex in Hungary while the flavour of Nestles Nesquik cocoa powder was more harmonious and intense in Austria.

The government of populist Prime Minister Viktor Orbn, a fervent critic of Brussels, accused the EU of double standards over the findings.

The battle is a war horse for populist governments wanting to prove that the European Union is incapable of guaranteeing the equal treatment of its citizens, according to analyst Antony Galabov of the New Bulgarian University.

Bulgarian MEP Peter Kouroumbashev (S&D) has compared ideas for a two- or multi- speed EU, advocated by the European Commission, to apartheid, arguing that such projects would ultimately destroy the Union.

Some consumers see the tests as an important step in the easts emancipation.

Its good that Bulgarians finally try to shake off their mentality of second-class people who put up with being fed with lower quality food, Lyudmila Pavlova, 40, told AFP while queueing in the supermarket.

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‘Zuma wants recreation of apartheid state’ – Mail & Guardian

President Jacob Zuma during his opening address of the fifth annual ANC national policy conference. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

In his opening address at the fifth ANC national policy conference on Friday, President Jacob Zuma used the opportunity to voice a different understanding of democracy to that of his political foes. If opposition parties can use the courts as a means to limit the governing party, is this the democracy South Africa fought for, he asked. The Mail & Guardian spoke to top political analysts about what Zumas words mean for the ANC and the country as a whole.

Susan Booysen

The president was not charmed at all with this idea that opposition parties take the governing party to court. Something he totally left out of his equation was the fact that opposition parties do that, and civil society organisations do that when things in government actually go wrong.

When those rules and principles of constitutional democracy, even multiparty democracy, had not been followed, had not been upheld, and taking things to court when the ANC as the majority party in Parliament had not been holding the executive to account.

It was all of these aspects that the president was objecting to, and that is especially interesting in the context that we have heard Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng recently pronounce very clearly the fact that South Africas Constitution states that the people really come before the interests of a party.

He interpreted that in the context of the responsibilities of the members of Parliament, but it certainly has relevance here as well. And here the president, specifically then stated, not in as many words, but there can be no doubt in his intended meaning there, that the ANC is actually the party whose wishes should be respected. That deviates to quite an extent from what the chief justice was arguing.

Sthembile Mbete

The presidents comments, particularly around this issue of opposition parties taking the governing party to court, saying the ANC won the majority and implying really that they can do whatever they want, saying its anti-democratic to use the court, in order to challenge the government … those comments are deeply problematic.

Theyre problematic on several fronts. The problem is that our system, the system the ANC negotiated for, is about mitigating the worst effects of majoritarian democracy and really trying to avoid the tyranny of themajority, which is a problem and possible risk in a democratic system. A democracy allows for a majority to make their voice heard, but what is important is that we need to be aware of the tyranny of the majority which is why we enter into constitutional systems.

The ANC, unlike the National Party during the constitutional negotiations, was very aware of the need to have the protection of individual rights in a Constitution, which is why our Constitution is based on the protection of individual rights, not the protection of group rights. So the ANC was aware not to use their vast support in the country to become like the National Party government it replaced and fought against.

These are philosophies and positions taken by the ANC itself in constructing our system. So what we have, even though you have a strong governing party, is systems that allow the minority to have their voices heard. Those systems are what you have in Parliament. You also have a strong legal system and the rule of law that is there to protect the rights and interests of individuals and citizens of the country, but is also there to challenge some of the ways the governing party is using power. The irony of this all is some of the greatest users of the court system to settle governance and political problems is the ANC government itself.

Mpumelelo Mkhabela

Its unfortunate that the president shows a lack of understanding of the constitutional democratic system. He seems to be advocating for the supremacy of Parliament rather than the supremacy of the Constitution.

In terms of the former, the majority is always right. But according to the current constitutional design that puts the Constitution above everything else, the majority or minority can be wrong. That is the most basic guideline that our courts follow. Government loses cases in court because Zuma refuses to accept the supremacy of rationality in the context of a constitutional democracy.

This is strange because by accepting to become president, he accepted the supremacy of the Constitution in terms of which he got elected. He seems to enjoy the trappings of the office but dislikes the constraints attached to it and the checks and balances that include judicial review.

This being the year of OR Tambo, it is strange that he would rubbish Tambos constitutional design on judicial review the idea that courts can strike down legislation or executive conduct that is inconsistent with the Constitution. By inviting delegates to discuss whether judicial review is desirable, he is inviting them to spit on Tambos grave.

Mcebisi Ndletyana

Zumas comments are consistent with his neopatrimonial character. His private interests take precedence over the public good. Thats why he has fiddled with public institutions to pursue and protect his personal interests. Courts do not volunteer to adjudicate, but are approached by aggrieved parties. And these cases are occasioned by breach of the law and Constitution. As the Economic Freedom Fighterss Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has remarked, Zuma is a constitutional delinquent. Moreover, courts deciding over constitutional questions brought by politicians is a quintessentially democratic act. The Constitution is sovereign, not the executive. It appears that Zuma wishes for a recreation of the apartheid state that was defined by executive sovereignty, where the judiciary was largely subject to executive whims.

To insist on majoritarian hegemony betrays his self-conception as a political activist, not a national leader. A president must attend to the interests of everyone, not just his supporters. Thats how one builds a nation. Zuma is simply a party apparatchik who simply uses the party for self-interest to the point of betraying the nationalist cause by surrendering executive authority to expatriates.

Lukhona Mnguni

President Zuma definitely does understand constitutional democracy, but he rejects its mechanisms, thats whats going on.

What theyre talking about, and the [ANC] secretary general raises this in his organisational diagnostic report as lawfare, is people are using the courts to fight their political battles. What is interesting about that is they dont tell us why it is that the courts are intervening. At some point, they must try to be honest and say why has it become necessary for the courts to tell our government to do the right thing? Clearly, we have a capacity issue, but on political issues, we have to ask the question, why do the courts intervene? Because the political structures have broken down, and theyve broken down because the ANC has failed to separate the party from the state.

If you look at the example of the National Assembly, where the Speaker has to be taken to the courts to do the right thing, whether its on the Public Protector report or the interpretation of rules of the House, insofar as she said she doesnt have the discretion to allow for a secret ballot. That was clearly stated in the rules and any legal officer could have been in a position to interpret for her, that she actually has the powers and discretion to do that.

The element of checks and balances that have to exist between the legislature and the executive are no longer functioning properly which then forces opposition parties, as a place of last resort, to go to the courts. The courts dont go around looking for cases to be brought before them. They wait for people to bring matters to the court.

What the ANC must ask is why is it that the opposition is taking matters to the courts? What the ANC must ask is why is it that they have become so morally bankrupt? In a way, they also talk about creeping political bankruptcy within their own structures. This sense of moral bankruptcy, political bankruptcy, ideological and consciousness bankruptcy that is finding the ANC, is probably spelling an ANC that is ailing, an ANC that is on its knees. And if it doesnt do anything to come back, the opposition wont use the courts to fight battles. It will actually use the electoral process to fight. That is why 2019 is suddenly a big talking point and whether its up for grabs by the opposition or not.

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‘Zuma wants recreation of apartheid state’ – Mail & Guardian

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Apartheid illustrated: Israeli soldier shoots another soldier in Hebron – International Solidarity Movement

6th July 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Hebron, occupied Palestine On Tuesday, 4th July 2017, Israeli forces were conducting a military training in a civilian Palestinian neighborhood near Gilbert checkpoint in Tel Rumeida in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). The result of this military training was a fatal shot by one Israeli soldier to the other. The injured commander was immediately evacuated to hospital by an Israeli ambulance, and was later confirmed dead. The Israeli forces immediately closed the whole area to Palestinians by closing all the checkpoints, collectively punishing the civilian Palestinian population. The army, after the incident, announced that these military trainings will be suspended in al-Khalil. The whole incident, though, needs to be contextualized: an occupying army conducted a military training near a checkpoint installed for the control and humiliation of the occupied population, in a civilian residential neighborhood. Immediate medical assistance to the injured occupying soldier, with an ambulance that, without any problems, was granted immediate access to the injured. Military trainings, under international humanitarian law, are prohibited in civilian areas. The Israeli occupying army in al-Khalil, and all over the occupied territories, though, conducts trainings in civilian areas. This serves two functions: for one, it is more real, a training in the area where the perceived enemy population is living, and second, the intimidation of the population. Israeli forces in al-Khalil are sometimes seen practicing the neutralization, as it is called in Israeli rhetoric, of Palestinians at checkpoints. In those cases, a Palestinian that allegedly carries a knife is seen as a threat to the life of the heavily armed and armored occupation forces and thus has to be shot and, as documented in so many cases, left to bleed to death on the ground without any medical assistance. The idea is always to shoot to kill. Whereas an Israeli soldier or settler from the illegal settlements would immediately receive medical assistance, as Israeli ambulance are free to pass, Palestinian ambulances, and actually any Palestinian vehicles (often including donkeys and bicycles) are not allowed to drive on one of the roads in al-Khalil which conveniently connects the settlements in down-town al-Khalil with the Kiryat Arba settlement on the outskirts of the city. Palestinian ambulances, as they are not allowed on this street, instead, are often detained by Israeli forces at the checkpoints, denied to pass and thus denied access to give first aid. Immediately after the incident, the Israeli forces closed all the checkpoints in the area, effectively putting the area under curfew for Palestinian residents. Any Palestinian civilian inside the area, thus, was prevented from leaving, and anyone outside trying to reach their homes, was prevented from coming back home. This is clearly collective punishment of the Palestinian civilians, who are not involved in the incident at all other than living in an area that the Israeli forces are trying hard to rid of any Palestinian presence. Whereas Palestinian movement was completely restricted and Palestinians trying to film the incident and its aftermath were stopped and harassed by soldiers. Settlers, however, from the illegal settlements, were allowed to move around freely. In a separate incident, a settler beat up a Palestinian young man, causing his face to be unrecognizable as it was covered in blood. The settler though, can be sure that hell enjoy full impunity under the protection of the Israeli forces. These kind of military trainings in the aftermath were declared suspended in the city of al-Khalil. However, only because a soldier was killed, not because of their illegal nature in civilian areas or a possible threat to the occupied population. This incident illustrates the apartheid system installed by the Israeli occupying forces in al-Khalil, and all over the occupied Palestinian territories. An apartheid-strategy that aims to displace the Palestinian population from their homeland in favor of illegal settlements.

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UK PR body investigates Bell Pottinger for ‘economic apartheid’ campaign – Moneyweb.co.za

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Patients in South East subjected to ‘medical apartheid’ – Irish Examiner

Patients and families seeking full cardiac care services in the South East region have warned they are being subjected to medical apartheid as campaigners gathered outside the Dil. Catherine Power holds a picture of her brother Thomas. Pictures: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie Ministers and TDs from the region were confronted by cardiac care campaign groups yesterday, while Health Minister Simon Harris was criticised for not meeting families. Several hundred people marched on Leinster House demanding 24-hour cardiac services and mobilised support after Co Waterford farmer Tom Power died of a heart condition while being transferred to Cork on Sunday, June 18. His sister Catherine yesterday met politicians and campaigners but had strong words for ministers, including Mr Harris. Contact me and get these doors opened. Now! The South East deserve this. I dont want another summer just because he is swanning off now, booking his holiday. I expected him to be there. He doesnt realise the risk he is putting people in from the South East. He has one job to look after peoples health. Ciara Gore from Waterford, 11, joins protesters outside Leinster House in calling for a 24/7 cardiac facility for the South East. Hilary ONeil, founder of the South East Patient Advocacy Group, said families in the region were suffering in a medical apartheid. Our lives are as important as people from Cork, Limerick and Dublin, she said. Mr Power (39), from Bell Lake near Dunmore East, died in an ambulance near Dungarvan. The father-to-be had not been able to access urgent care at University Hospital Waterford where cardiac services close at night-time and on weekends. The death raised questions as to whether Mr Power would have survived if he had been able to access the type of cardiac services available in Dublin or Cork. Protesters make sure their voices are heard outside Leinster House. The Government is relying on a review to reject demands that the South East needs a second full-time cath lab and, instead, have plans for a temporary facility and a further review. The issue was raised by Fianna Fil leader Michel Martin in the Dil yesterday, where he said a report in 2012 for the HSE had recommended a second cath lab where special equipment is used to examine a persons heart for Waterford. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar replied that money had been set aside for a mobile lab and additional hours provided for staff. A national review will be conducted at a late stage, he said. Minister Harris, in a statement, said he had expressed his deepest sympathy to the Power family. Extra funding of 500,000 had been provided for Waterford Hospital to improve services, he said. He reiterated that all decisions on how to configure health services must be evidence based. A further review of the cardiac services at Waterford will also be undertaken. But other campaigners and patients say they will not wait for more reviews or promises. Jill Hicks from Waterford, who has an irregular heartbeat condition, described how she received treatment for her illness. She was lucky, she said. I was very aware of my own mortality. I live 10 minutes from Waterford Hospital, yet I have to travel at least 90 minutes to Dublin or Cork if something is wrong. This is unsafe. We want the same cardiac care services that families elsewhere have. A temporary laboratory is not good enough. There are literally people dying on the side of the street now. Junior jobs minister John Halligan, a Waterford TD, said the review and temporary lab was by no means the final solution: It is an interim measure while we continue to fight for improved services at UHW and that fight is only beginning, judging by the crowd who turned out at Leinster House. Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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John Mitchell: US apartheid system will never be dismantled – New Pittsburgh Courier

We can all agree that there are certain things that well never see in this lifetime. But there are things that happen, events over time that defy our beliefs, thing that give us hope, happenings that those before us believed would never come to pass. I thought I might live to see the election of an African-American president I can assure you my mother, now 80, did not so in 2008 I was more than mildly surprised. That said, Im not now, nor have I ever been, under the impression that Barack Obamas presidency ushered in an era of American colorblindness, a ruse too often offered up as if it were not the fiction that it is. While voting remains unchallenged, the single-most valuable authenticator of a democracy if 75,000 more African Americans in Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia acted on this last November, which professional athlete is or is not going to the White House would never be discussed election results do not take the accurate temperature of American race relations. The last few months have hammered home my belief that racism is an intractable problem in American policing that we are stuck with, and the court system, while willing to be hyper-punitive in the prosecution of Black offenders, is nothing more than a modern day Underground Railroad to freedom for white cops accused of taking a Black life. This apartheid system will never be dismantled. In two separate encounters with police that turned violent and resulted in the fatal shooting of Black motorists by a police officer each one captured in high-definition video the cases ended last week without convictions in Cincinnati (Samuel DuBose) and St. Paul, Minn., (Philando Castile). The retrial of the horrific 2015 shooting of DuBose, stopped by former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond M. Tensing, ended in a mistrial. Youve seen thehorrific shootingand there is no need to rehash it. Worse, history tells us well be discussing another incident featuring the exact same demographic with regard to the person being shot and killed very soon. What you maybe less familiar with is the long history of racial exclusion in hiring police officers that almost guarantees that tragic interactions like these continue to occur. In 2015, University of Cincinnati saw nothing wrong with having just four African Americans among its 73 police officers. Where was it taking its instruction from? Why, the city, or course. Cincinnati looks nothing like the multi-ethnic cities of the East Coast. It is split down the middle with 48 percent of its citizens white, 45 percent of them Black, and 3 percent listed as other. However, the 1,012-member police force identified 676 (67 percent) as white, 308 (30 percent) as African American and 28 (3 percent) as other. If damn near half the city is Black, neither the city nor the university can attribute these absurdly high discrepancies to simple oversight. It is unquestionably the systematic refusal to hire African Americans, which would benefit the city on two fronts. One, it opens up a middle class existence for hundreds of others wondering what happened to the American Dream. Two, it adds faces to both forces that African Americans, distrustful of police from coast to coast, will see as less adversarial, particularly when they have committed a crime as heinous as driving without a front license plate, which DuBose was guilty of. These discriminatory hiring practices, of course, arent just a problem in Cincinnati as much as they are part of the American status quo. As of 2015, in at least 50 cities with more than 100,000 people, the percentage of police was less than half of what African Americans represent in the cities population. It is not, however, the overwhelming preponderance of research that indicates the obvious existence of discriminatory hiring practices that demonstrate the intractability of the problem. Truth be told, the only fields in which you dont have these imbalances are the ones that white people dont want, such as sanitation workers in large cities or strawberry pickers in California. You know, the jobs conservatives claim are being taken by people crossing the Rio Grande illegally. No matter how good the attorney, what cant be put on trial is the color of ones soul. This is the case in the April shooting of 15-year-old African American Jordan Edwards. Edwards, a promising student by all accounts, took a bullet to the head from an AR-15 rifle fired with murderous intent by white Balch Springs, Texas police officer Roy Oliver. The police department initially said that the car was driving aggressively toward the officer. Unfortunately for him, the life was sucked from this lie when video of the incident proved Jordans car was leaving the party that Oliver had come to break up. Who is Oliver? Hes former cop now charged with murder. Hes also a liar, proved so by the fable concocted regarding the direction the car Jordan was traveling in was headed when he was shot. Most likely, this account was corroborated by panicking colleagues on the scene. How else would it have gotten out before the department was forced to retract it? Last week, Oliver was indicted on an unrelated charge for an incident that happened two weeks before the Edwards shooting. Off-duty at the time, Oliver is accused of pointing a gun in the face of a woman alleged to haven bumped the back of his truck. There was a 13-year-old girl in the car. Balch Springs is 20 percent white. Its police force is 80 percent white. End, end, end.

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How Apartheid system colluded with ‘journalists, spies and bankers’ – Bulawayo24 News (press release) (blog)

DURBAN – Apartheid’s legacy is still affecting South Africa and the local media, a discussion held on the sidelines of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-Ifra) conference being held in Durban heard on Wednesday. The conference brings together journalists and media professionals from around the globe. The discussion, hosted by the Press Club of South Africa focused around author Hennie van Vuuren’s book “Apartheid Guns and Money”, an expos on the economic crimes of the apartheid regime. Through the use of released secret documents, Van Vuuren details how the then government defended the system through the use of people like journalists, spies and bankers. Van Vuuren and a small group of people worked on the book for five years. “It is a story about power,” he said. Van Vuuren said a large amount of information on apartheid was available, even though the apartheid government had destroyed about 44 tons worth of documents. He said he was frustrated that South Africans were not telling more of these types of stories, including that media group Naspers had donated money to the National Party and was the “attack dog” of the National Party. Dr Iqbal Surve, executive chairman of Sekunjalo, the owner of Independent Newspapers, said the book was well- researched and told the truth. “It is one of the seminal books in South African history.” Surve said the dominant media groups in the country were completely embedded in the apartheid regime. The challenge lay in trying to tell the truth while being faced by institutions that come from the apartheid era. Surve said it should be noted that the apartheid regime stole R500 billion from South Africa, money that could have been used for the development of the country. Investigative journalist Piet Rampedi said journalists were still contending with a culture of institutionalised racism in the newsroom. “In the newsroom you can see that black journalists are being discriminated against.The media has racialised crime and corruption They presume black people are prone to corruption,” he said. Rampedi said the media should acknowledge its apartheid past, as this would help the industry to improve. Van Vuuren said the book was also a story about the private funding of political parties and how there is no law regulating this until today.

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Jonathan Ancer’s Spy destined to become a minor classic about apartheid’s ruinous path, writes Peter Vale – Books LIVE (blog)

In 1972 Craig Williamson, a big, burly, bearded man, walked onto Wits University and registered as a student. He joined the National Union of South African Students (Nusas), and was on the frontline in the war against apartheid. At one march he was beaten up, arrested and spent a year on trial. Williamson rose up through the student movements ranks to become the Nusas vice president. After being harassed by security police and having his passport seized, he decided to flee the country to continue his activism with the International University Exchange Fund (IUEF), an anti-apartheid organisation in exile. He was eventually appointed the Funds deputy director. As the IUEFs money man, Williamson had access to powerful ANC and Black Consciousness leaders. He joined the ANC and formed his own unit to carry out clandestine work to topple the National Party government. But Williamson was not the anti-apartheid activist his friends and comrades thought he was. In January 1980, Captain Williamson was unmasked as a South African spy. His handler, Colonel Johan Coetzee, the head of South Africas notorious security branch, flew to Switzerland to bring him and his wife back home. Williamson was described as South Africas superspy who penetrated the KGB. Williamson returned to South Africa and during the turbulent 1980s worked for the foreign section of the South African Polices security branch. Two years after he left Switzerland he returned to Europe under a false name and with a crack squad of special force officers to blow up the ANCs headquarters in London. He was also responsible for a parcel bomb that killed Ruth First in Mozambique and the bomb that killed Jeanette Schoon and her 6-year-old daughter Katryn in Angola. He left the security branch to join Military Intelligence and finally the State Security Council. Apartheids spies didnt have to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a lot of information about the spies has been buried, burnt or shredded. This episode of our countrys bitter past remains murky Here, Peter Vale, a professor of humanities and the director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Johannesburg, reviews Ancers remarkable book for the Mail & Guardian: One can judge a books bleakness by the photograph on its cover. The Mephistophelean figure holding a teacup is Craig Williamson: police informant and apartheid spy and assassin. Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Ancers goal is clear from the get-go. He wants to expose the man on the cover in all his infamy to set himself free. Its no surprise, then, that theres no place in these pages for the political philosopher Hannah Arendts idea of the banality of evil those who perpetuate terrible deeds are mostly thoughtless functionaries. For Ancer, the man on the cover of the book not apartheid, nor his handlers was responsible for a two-decade career of falsehood, cover-up, betrayal and murder. They were Williamsons choice, and his alone. Class, rather than race So who is (or was) Williamson? Born into an English-speaking Johannesburg family, he was schooled at one of the citys great institutions, St Johns College. Gently, Ancer opens to the idea that class, rather than race, may have been at the core of Williamsons inability to tell right from wrong. Awkward and always overweight, the boy was bullied and, in turn, learned to bully. Other writers might have been tempted to position a propensity for violence at the centre of their narrative. Ancer is near playful when discussing Williamsons school days. But trawling through old copies of the school magazine, Ancer discovers that, when Williamsons politics emerged, they were of a raw, racist strain, which was integral to the search for a white South African patriotism after World War II. In 1966, Williamson won a school debatecum-mock election by drawing on the racial ideology espoused by the (now long-forgotten) Republican Party, a right-wing splinter group of the National Party (NP). If this was the direction of his politics, his gap year confirmed it: this national served not with apartheids South African Defence Force, as was the case for most young white men, but with the South African Police (SAP). It was 1968. Maintaining domestic order and the travails of white-ruled Rhodesia were uppermost in the thinking of prime minister John Vorster, apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerds successor. Their NP embarked on an offensive to charm English-speakers, an approach that drew on the pervasive anti-communism of the time. So, young Williamsons choice of national service in the SAP, which was then at the sharp end of racial repression, didnt seem untoward, even in Johannesburgs supposedly more liberal, white, English-speaking northern suburbs. Student politics After his year in the SAP, he enrolled to read politics and law at the University of the Witwatersrand. There Williamson began his decade-long career of subterfuge. He immersed himself in student politics, first in the Wits Students Representative Council and, later, the leftist National Union of South African Students (Nusas). During these years, Williamson interacted with (and reported on) several generations of student leaders from almost every English-speaking university. Interviewed by Ancer, several of them report that suspicions about Williamson abounded, but the liberal impulse to believe, forgive and understand stayed any serious investigations of a double life. After Nusas, and purportedly without a passport, Williamson was catapulted (accompanied by his medical student wife, Ingrid) into the Geneva-based International University Exchange Fund (IUEF). This Nordic-funded body fronted for liberation movements around the world, but particularly in Southern Africa. This was when the police informant turned to espionage by passing information to apartheids notorious Special Branch. Continue reading Vales review here. This review first appeared in The Conversation. Book details

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Project to Retrieve South Africa’s Apartheid Oil Stash Stalls – Bloomberg

By June 29, 2017, 8:53 AM EDT June 30, 2017, 1:56 AM EDT A South African company that borrowed $15.4 million worth of oil sludge from the government to help fund the recovery of crude stored in a mine during apartheid has yet to implement the project more than three years after the contract was signed, according to a person familiar with the situation. The project emanated from a request for proposals issuedin 2013 by the Strategic Fuel Fund to recover and reprocess sludge, a lower-value product that accumulates when oil is stored. One of the respondents was Enviroshore Trade and Logistics (Pty) Ltd., which said it believed there could be as many as 5 million barrels of crude in theOgies coal mine in the eastern Mpumalanga province. It offered to retrieve it on condition it be loaned 300,000 barrels of oil from the nations strategic reserves. Under the agreement it would keep 70 percent of any fuel recovered. International sanctions hindered South Africa from buying oil during white-minority rule, which ended in 1994, and the SFF was tasked with ensuring South Africa had sufficient fuel supplies. The entity continued to manage South Africas strategic fuel stocks and storage facilities after apartheid ended. The government aims to have 60 days of reserves, according to theCentral Energy Fund, which oversees the SFF. The most important market news of the day. Get our markets daily newsletter. While a company borrowed crude from the SFFs Saldanha storage facility on the west coast north of Cape Town, the rotation of the oil stockswas irregular because proper procedures werent followed, the CEF said in its2016 annual report, which outlined details of the deal but didnt identify the contractor. It disclosed that the oil was valued at 198.9 million rand ($15.4 million) on the agreed replenishment dateand the contractual deadline to replace it was missed. The person who said the project hasnt started asked not to be named because the information isnt public. Enviroshore confirmed that it had been contracted to do work by the SFF, but denied there was anything amiss. Enviroshores contract for the recovery of sludge and the pumping of water from the Ogies storage facility, as well as a subsequent related contract for the recovery of 300,000 barrels of sludge from the Saldanha storage facility, were entered into pursuant to the issuing and awarding of a fully-compliant public tender, Vuyo Mkhize, a public affairs consultant to the company, said in an emailed response to questions. Performance on these contracts is continuing to the satisfaction of both parties. Founded in 2006 and based in the eastern port city of Durban, Enviroshore trades in petroleum products and offers sludge recovery and storage-tank cleaning services, according to its website.The company declined to respond to questions about how much oil had been retrieved or its loan from the SFF. The SFF came under fire last year after it emerged that it had sold 10 million barrels of crude stocks for $280 million in 2015, when prices were at an eight-year low.While Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the former energy minister, said the sale was a stock rotation, her successor Mmamoloko Kubayi identified glaring governance problems with the deal and said it will be probed. The issue of Enviroshore is a subject of a broader investigation undertaken at SFF, the CEF said in an emailed response to questions. We will not be making announcements on this matter until internal process are finalized. Enviroshore is unaware of any probe, and the need for one simply does not arise, Mkhize said. Enviroshore is awaiting the SFFs official response to its request for an explanation for the statements you are attributing to the Central Energy Fund, he said.

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Eastern Europeans bite back over ‘food apartheid’ – EURACTIV

It looks like Nutella, smells like Nutella and yet doesnt quite taste like the famous Italian chocolate spread. Eastern European leaders are fuming after tests suggested that big Western brands use cheaper ingredients in food products sold in former communist countries. While Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has slammed the practice as food apartheid, Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jureka declared in late February that the east was tired of being Europes garbage can. Recent government-backed studies in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic indicated that many items sold with identical packaging were of superior quality in richer neighbouring European Union countries. The findings prompted Bulgaria last month to carry out its own tests. A team of chemists in Sofia spent the last few weeks diligently measuring, filtering and analysing samples of popular items like butter, cheese, sausages, chocolate, baby puree and soft drinks. On 28 June, the national food watchdog confirmed there were discrepancies with at least seven out of 31 products bought from the same food chain stores in Bulgaria, Germany and Austria. A chocolate dessert had less milk and cocoa than its German counterpart, for instance, although this did not have a major impact on taste, according to the national food safety agency. Soft drinks purchased in Bulgarian supermarkets contained sweeteners, while those in Austria were prepared with sugar. Many of these deviations are considered minor from the viewpoint of (European Union) regulations, the agencys chief Damyan Iliev told Bulgarian media on Wednesday. But Bulgarian consumers are being misled in that they believe they are buying the same product when in fact they are not. The experts also noted that 16 of the tested products were sold at higher prices in the EUs poorest member state than in Germany and Austria, with baby purees twice as expensive. Eastern anxiety The controversy has struck a raw nerve in the region where Western foods used to be a luxury that could only be bought with foreign currency in special shops. The issue perfectly encapsulates the Eastern European anxiety about becoming second-class citizens in the bloc, Bulgarian political expert Ivan Krastev wrote in the New York Times earlier this month. It feeds into fears over an emerging two-tiered Europe, in which big nations like Germany push for greater EU integration while ex-eastern bloc members demand more sovereignty, Krastev wrote. The firms, however, argue that recipes are merely tweaked to suit local palates and point out that the practice doesnt break any rules. Under EU directives, companies are free to change a products ingredients from one member state to another as long as they are clearly listed on the packaging. But that has done little to cool boiling tempers. I dont see how substituting good chocolate for the cheapest local one will adapt better to my taste? fumed Bulgarian mother-of-two Yana Mihailova. The 46-year-old said she always stuffs her luggage with jars of chocolate spread whenever she travels abroad. The price is higher but its totally worth it theres definitely much more cocoa in there, she added. While the Bulgarian tests did not mention any actual brands, Hungarys food authority in February named food giants Ferrero and Coca-Cola among the culprits. The agency said the version of Nutella sold in Budapest appeared to be less creamy than the Austrian version. The aroma of Coca-Cola was seemingly less rich, less complex in Hungary while the flavour of Nestles Nesquik cocoa powder was more harmonious and intense in Austria. The government of populist Prime Minister Viktor Orbn, a fervent critic of Brussels, accused the EU of double standards over the findings. The battle is a war horse for populist governments wanting to prove that the European Union is incapable of guaranteeing the equal treatment of its citizens, according to analyst Antony Galabov of the New Bulgarian University. Bulgarian MEP Peter Kouroumbashev (S&D) has compared ideas for a two- or multi- speed EU, advocated by the European Commission, to apartheid, arguing that such projects would ultimately destroy the Union. Some consumers see the tests as an important step in the easts emancipation. Its good that Bulgarians finally try to shake off their mentality of second-class people who put up with being fed with lower quality food, Lyudmila Pavlova, 40, told AFP while queueing in the supermarket.

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‘Zuma wants recreation of apartheid state’ – Mail & Guardian

President Jacob Zuma during his opening address of the fifth annual ANC national policy conference. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G) In his opening address at the fifth ANC national policy conference on Friday, President Jacob Zuma used the opportunity to voice a different understanding of democracy to that of his political foes. If opposition parties can use the courts as a means to limit the governing party, is this the democracy South Africa fought for, he asked. The Mail & Guardian spoke to top political analysts about what Zumas words mean for the ANC and the country as a whole. Susan Booysen The president was not charmed at all with this idea that opposition parties take the governing party to court. Something he totally left out of his equation was the fact that opposition parties do that, and civil society organisations do that when things in government actually go wrong. When those rules and principles of constitutional democracy, even multiparty democracy, had not been followed, had not been upheld, and taking things to court when the ANC as the majority party in Parliament had not been holding the executive to account. It was all of these aspects that the president was objecting to, and that is especially interesting in the context that we have heard Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng recently pronounce very clearly the fact that South Africas Constitution states that the people really come before the interests of a party. He interpreted that in the context of the responsibilities of the members of Parliament, but it certainly has relevance here as well. And here the president, specifically then stated, not in as many words, but there can be no doubt in his intended meaning there, that the ANC is actually the party whose wishes should be respected. That deviates to quite an extent from what the chief justice was arguing. Sthembile Mbete The presidents comments, particularly around this issue of opposition parties taking the governing party to court, saying the ANC won the majority and implying really that they can do whatever they want, saying its anti-democratic to use the court, in order to challenge the government … those comments are deeply problematic. Theyre problematic on several fronts. The problem is that our system, the system the ANC negotiated for, is about mitigating the worst effects of majoritarian democracy and really trying to avoid the tyranny of themajority, which is a problem and possible risk in a democratic system. A democracy allows for a majority to make their voice heard, but what is important is that we need to be aware of the tyranny of the majority which is why we enter into constitutional systems. The ANC, unlike the National Party during the constitutional negotiations, was very aware of the need to have the protection of individual rights in a Constitution, which is why our Constitution is based on the protection of individual rights, not the protection of group rights. So the ANC was aware not to use their vast support in the country to become like the National Party government it replaced and fought against. These are philosophies and positions taken by the ANC itself in constructing our system. So what we have, even though you have a strong governing party, is systems that allow the minority to have their voices heard. Those systems are what you have in Parliament. You also have a strong legal system and the rule of law that is there to protect the rights and interests of individuals and citizens of the country, but is also there to challenge some of the ways the governing party is using power. The irony of this all is some of the greatest users of the court system to settle governance and political problems is the ANC government itself. Mpumelelo Mkhabela Its unfortunate that the president shows a lack of understanding of the constitutional democratic system. He seems to be advocating for the supremacy of Parliament rather than the supremacy of the Constitution. In terms of the former, the majority is always right. But according to the current constitutional design that puts the Constitution above everything else, the majority or minority can be wrong. That is the most basic guideline that our courts follow. Government loses cases in court because Zuma refuses to accept the supremacy of rationality in the context of a constitutional democracy. This is strange because by accepting to become president, he accepted the supremacy of the Constitution in terms of which he got elected. He seems to enjoy the trappings of the office but dislikes the constraints attached to it and the checks and balances that include judicial review. This being the year of OR Tambo, it is strange that he would rubbish Tambos constitutional design on judicial review the idea that courts can strike down legislation or executive conduct that is inconsistent with the Constitution. By inviting delegates to discuss whether judicial review is desirable, he is inviting them to spit on Tambos grave. Mcebisi Ndletyana Zumas comments are consistent with his neopatrimonial character. His private interests take precedence over the public good. Thats why he has fiddled with public institutions to pursue and protect his personal interests. Courts do not volunteer to adjudicate, but are approached by aggrieved parties. And these cases are occasioned by breach of the law and Constitution. As the Economic Freedom Fighterss Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has remarked, Zuma is a constitutional delinquent. Moreover, courts deciding over constitutional questions brought by politicians is a quintessentially democratic act. The Constitution is sovereign, not the executive. It appears that Zuma wishes for a recreation of the apartheid state that was defined by executive sovereignty, where the judiciary was largely subject to executive whims. To insist on majoritarian hegemony betrays his self-conception as a political activist, not a national leader. A president must attend to the interests of everyone, not just his supporters. Thats how one builds a nation. Zuma is simply a party apparatchik who simply uses the party for self-interest to the point of betraying the nationalist cause by surrendering executive authority to expatriates. Lukhona Mnguni President Zuma definitely does understand constitutional democracy, but he rejects its mechanisms, thats whats going on. What theyre talking about, and the [ANC] secretary general raises this in his organisational diagnostic report as lawfare, is people are using the courts to fight their political battles. What is interesting about that is they dont tell us why it is that the courts are intervening. At some point, they must try to be honest and say why has it become necessary for the courts to tell our government to do the right thing? Clearly, we have a capacity issue, but on political issues, we have to ask the question, why do the courts intervene? Because the political structures have broken down, and theyve broken down because the ANC has failed to separate the party from the state. If you look at the example of the National Assembly, where the Speaker has to be taken to the courts to do the right thing, whether its on the Public Protector report or the interpretation of rules of the House, insofar as she said she doesnt have the discretion to allow for a secret ballot. That was clearly stated in the rules and any legal officer could have been in a position to interpret for her, that she actually has the powers and discretion to do that. The element of checks and balances that have to exist between the legislature and the executive are no longer functioning properly which then forces opposition parties, as a place of last resort, to go to the courts. The courts dont go around looking for cases to be brought before them. They wait for people to bring matters to the court. What the ANC must ask is why is it that the opposition is taking matters to the courts? What the ANC must ask is why is it that they have become so morally bankrupt? In a way, they also talk about creeping political bankruptcy within their own structures. This sense of moral bankruptcy, political bankruptcy, ideological and consciousness bankruptcy that is finding the ANC, is probably spelling an ANC that is ailing, an ANC that is on its knees. And if it doesnt do anything to come back, the opposition wont use the courts to fight battles. It will actually use the electoral process to fight. That is why 2019 is suddenly a big talking point and whether its up for grabs by the opposition or not.

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July 2, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed


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