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Pallo – another uppity darkie brought down? PDF Print E-mail
By Moegsien Williams 
Group Editor, The New Age
So, the liberal media would like us to believe that Pallo Jordan is a faux intellectual? 
Much is being made since the weekend about Jordan's paper academic qualifications that could not traced at various foreign and local universities. 
One can sense the schadenfreude in certain quarters, the high fives and the fist pumps. Ah, another uppity darkie brought down! One of the brightest in the ranks of the African National Congress has been put in his place, has been the tone of the reportage.
We are led to believe he is really just an intellectual pygmy, a liar about his qualifications.
Who defines whether Jordan is suitably qualified? First, he has a superb struggle pedigree. He was born in 1942 in B Location, Kroonstad in the Free State, the son of novelist Archibald Campbell Jordan and Priscilla Phyllis Jordan, a teacher and lecturer. Both his parents were members of the Non-European Unity Movement.
He started at the age of seven selling copies of the Torch, the NEUM’s publication. He left the country in 1962 and worked fulltime for the ANC from 1975 as a researcher and deployed to Angola in 1977 to run Radio Freedom. He was also involved in Mkhonto we Sizwe and later appointed as one the ANC’s chief propagandists, eventually becoming the director for information and publicity in Lusaka.
After the unbanning of the ANC, he had stints in the cabinet as minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Broadcasting in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet. He aslo served stints as minister of Environment Affairs and Tourism and as minister of Arts and Culture in Thabo Mbeki’s cabinet.
With or without qualifications, his is undoubtedly a distinguished history of service to the overthrow of apartheid and the creation of a new South Africa.  
But personal experiences tell their own story. For those of us who have engaged him, sparred with him intellectually, who were hosted by him in Lusaka before the unbanning of the ANC or had him at the other end of a phone, withering in his criticism about a mistake in one of our newspapers, Jordan is an intellectual of outstanding quality.
If reading degrees is about, well, reading, he is extremely well read. Others will be able to speak about his courage when he was locked up by the ANC in exile, mainly because of his outspokenness.  
Hundreds if not thousands of ANC members who crossed his path at conferences or NEC meeting will tell about his well-honed debating skills, a preparedness to be the odd man out when weighty decisions have to be made. His willingness to take a stand based on principles.
Just one example of his intellectual brilliance and bravery will suffice.
Danielle Mitterand, the wife of the then French president Francois Mitterand, followed up the famous Dakar conference with a meeting of "inziles" and exiles in a freezing Paris in December 1989.
Mrs Mitterand managed to pull together a stellar cast of South Africans at a well-guarded college/dormitary facility at Marly le Rois, a few kilometres west of the capital. They included Thabo Mbeki, Jackie Selebi and Albie Sachs among the exiles. The "inxiles" included Judge Laurie Ackerman, Peter "Terror" Lekota, Franklin Sonn, Trevor Manuel and a number of senior journalists.
The debating sessions about the future of South Africa’s political, judicial and economic systems lasted for days but proved less fiery than the drinking sessions that followed. One particularly memorable one pitted Mbeki against Anglo American’s Murray Hofmeyr.
Dissapointingly for us “strugglelistas”, Mbeki was defeated by the drinking prowess of “white capital” and literally drunk under the table by Hofmeyr, then a doyen of the white business community. Mbeki’s “defeat” had consequences the next morning when the entire contingent of Mitterand’s guests was invited and due at the French National Assembly. The arrangements entailed addresses to the assembly by Lekota, representing the United Democratic Front, Ackerman, representing the white/business community, and Mbeki representing the ANC.
As the buses waited, however, Mbeki could not be roused from his slumber. Hastily, the ANC had to appoint a replacement and it fell to Jordan who had no time to prepare an address except gather his thoughts as the busses made their way to the Palais Bourbon in Paris.
Ackerman made his address first, followed by Lekota who was followed by Jordan. With no notes, Jordan delivered an off-the-cuff analogy of the French revolution and the struggle against apartheid. It was a speech of sheer brilliance.
His depth of knowledge of the French revolution and the storming of the Bastille in 1789 flabergasted even the French deputees present. He named among others, the baker, the plumber and many others who took part in the charge on the prison of Louis XVl.
The end of his 20-minute speech was greeted with a standing ovation with some of the French politicians conceding they had been given an object lesson in French history.
Jordan bereft of academic paper qualifications? When it comes to grey matter, he is worth at least half a dozen doctorates.  

Manjra rebuttal of Helen Zille on the Middle-East PDF Print E-mail

by Shuaib Manjra

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Last Updated on Saturday, 02 August 2014 10:18
5 Facts on the Biggest Predicament for Israel PDF Print E-mail

Adverse demographic trends are at the heart of the problems for Israel.
By The Globalist, July 31, 2014

1. The population of Israel at the end of 2012 was just under 8 million.

2. Of the 8 million people living in Israel in 2012, three-quarters were Jewish – and just over a fifth Arab (with some Christian and Druze).

3. In the whole land controlled by Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, there are now about 12 million people.

4. As of April 2012 Jews constituted a minority in the lands under Israeli rule – 5.9 million Jews compared to 6.1 million non-Jews.

5. The Jewish minority in land controlled by Israel is growing smaller, given that the Arab birth rate is higher.

Source: The Central Bureau of Statistics (Israel) and Israel:drifting towards disaster? (Prospect).

12 Ways Tunnels Shaped Warfare PDF Print E-mail

From antiquity to Gaza, tunnels let insurgents take on a powerful enemy
By The Globalist, July 30, 2014

1. By providing concealment, tunnels are a labor-intensive but cheap alternative to battlefield engagement.

2. In more than 2,000 years of warfare, tunnels have mattered most for their impact on the psychology of combatants.

3. The value of tunnels is magnified in asymmetric conflicts: a small insurgent force takes on a more powerful enemy. Tunnels let the insurgent change the rules of engagement.

4. In the 1st century A.D., Germanic troops dug tunnels and ambushed their Roman opponents from seemingly unoccupied ground.

5. In the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judea in 132-136 A.D., Jewish rebels used tunnels to launch raids on superior Roman forces.

6. In 256 A.D., Sassanian armies dug a tunnel under a Roman fortress. When the Romans dug a counter-tunnel, the Sassanians filled their tunnel with sulfur dioxide gas, the first instance of chemical warfare.

7. In WWI, British miners dug 22 mines under German trenches and detonated 19 of them in June 1917, killing 10,000 German soldiers.

8. In the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong dug more than 200 miles of tunnels at Cu Chi, from which they launched attacks and then disappeared.

9. The Chu Chi tunnels are a symbol of the determination of the Viet Cong and patriotic struggle, now promoted as a tourist site by the Vietnam government.

10. Islamic extremists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen are thought to be constructing tunnel networks in response to US drone attacks.

11. In 2006, Hamas used a tunnel to attack an Israeli army post, kill two soldiers and take one hostage. The operation lasted six minutes. The hostage was traded five years later for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

12. Tunnel tactics have rarely, if ever, fundamentally altered the course of a war — but they have always been effective in sowing fear.

Source: Gerard DeGroot, The Enemy Below (Washington Post)


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Float lightly amongst the angels, madiba

zubeida with madiba

Memorial Service for Reginald September

Memorial Service for Reginald September Tuesday 3 December at 5p.m.
St George's Cathedral.

reg september

Tribute to Jakes Gerwel


Gathering of curious minds