Libyans start to dream of political parties

2011-09-06 10:15

Tripoli - As Libya's new leaders work on setting the country right and eliminating the last holdouts of Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists, budding politicians are looking forward to the planned elections.

"Our party is being formed," said Abdel Dayem al-Gharabli, a lawyer from Zawiyah, west of Tripoli, after lengthy talks in a cafe with a group of friends.

To be called the National Democratic Encounter, it aims to be broad-based, supporting the rule of law and respect for liberties, he said.

"But it would also be inspired by the moderate Islam that unites all Libyans," he said.

"We're starting from zero because Muammar Gaddafi banned any sort of political organisation in his "republic of the masses" where only the revolutionary committees were allowed," added Sadek Zarruk, an appeal court judge.

Since the uprising against Gaddafi’s rule that began on February 17, few new political groupings have been announced apart from the New Libya Party, formed in July by Libyans living in the United Arab Emirates.

Fighters in Benghazi, cradle of the revolt to topple Gaddafi, also set up an Alliance of the Youth of February 17, which could yet morph into a political party.

There is also a Libyan National Salvation Front in exile, while the Muslim Brotherhood is reported to have had many underground activists during Gaddafi’s rule.

Road map

Sadek Tuwir, a doctor in Gharabli's group, commented, "While we wait to see the Libyan political desert bloom with new parties, the Muslim Brotherhood seems best placed to claim a national presence".

Lawyer Hassan Hawissa agreed, saying that "despite the repression of Gaddafi’s regime the Brotherhood managed to maintain a network of loyalists working in secret."

UN envoy Ian Martin said on Monday in Tripoli the United Nations is ready to assist Libya's new authorities in their preparations for elections.

"The National Transitional Council has put assistance with the electoral process very high on the list of tasks where they seek United Nations assistance and so we have done a good deal of preparatory work," he said.

Martin said it was "too soon for details" on how the transition would unfold as decisions regarding the electoral system, the establishment of an electoral commission and other technical details have yet to be determined.

"The United Nations is certainly ready to move very fast in bringing the electoral expertise that can assist the authorities on moving on the timetable [for elections] that they have established."

The National Transitional Council which piloted the insurgency and has formed a provisional government, has drawn up a road map aimed at the election of an assembly to draft a new constitution within eight months of Libya being declared "liberated".


This would be put to a referendum, with legislative and presidential elections to follow a year later.

Western powers which backed the uprising say they are confident that a democratic Libya respecting human rights will emerge.

Analysts play down the importance of the different regions - Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the west and Fezzan in the south - as well as the multitude of tribes in Libyan society, predicting they will adapt to a democratic system.

"In complex situations there is a tendency to simplify, pitting east against west, tribes against the state, but that is an insult to Libya and the Libyans," Olivier Pliez, of France's National Centre for Scientific Research, commented recently.

  • john - 2011-09-06 11:05

    It'll take them a while to whittle the multitude of parties down to the perennial favourites. Remember how many parties contested SA's first election? Most of which have become defunct now. I'd guess parties like "Alliance of the Youth" will be one-election specials that disband and get absorbed into other parties afterwards. Although I suppose they could always hook up with the News24-inspired Moral Youth Party of SA (remember them?), heh. It's also interesting to see how naive they still are in terms of party manifesto. I mean, "broad-based, supporting the rule of law and respect for liberties" describes, mmmm, just about every democratic political party in the world. They'll need to be a leeeeetle more specific than that when it comes to a manifesto.

  • Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 11:28

    Should the west force its own parliamentary-style (secular and pro-capitalist) so-called democracy on the Libyians; a system where corrupt political parties representing no-one but themeselves get to power and push through unpopular policies in complete disregard to what most of the electorate would want (if they weren't so misinformed)? In many parts of the world the parties are just different interest groups elbowing their way to the trough.

      john - 2011-09-06 12:09

      And your recommendation for an alternative system of governance is...?

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 12:26

      The tribal system that worked for Libyans and gave them prosperity and a true democratic voice in formulating policy.

      john - 2011-09-06 12:31

      Yes, I'm sure Libyans had a "true democratic voice in formulating policy", lol.

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 12:35

      Yes they had, all you need to do is to find out on your own the Libyan system of governance before the terrorist NATO bombed that country, and forget the rhetoric that has been spun the western media.

      john - 2011-09-06 12:57

      Um, no they didn't. I've read a lot about Libya's governance from third party organisations like Freedom House, Transparency International, Reporters Without Borders, and so on. And the list of violations of democratic norms is endless. Corruption was endemic, bribes had to be paid for everything. Government contracts were not awarded in an open, transparent manner. Govt reporting was virtually non-existent. State expenditure was decided by Gaddafi and then merely relayed to the people, they had no means to oppose or even question Gaddafi's policies or budgets. The fact that you take your world view from the Pyongyang Daily News doesn't make it fact. Even Arab banking institutions were turning away deposits/transfers by Gaddafi insiders because they were so obviously corrupt and fraudulent. The Libyan people never approved the building of plush five-star resorts for Gaddafi's sons. They never approved the Gaddafi family amassing a fortune of billions. This use of the nation's oil revenues and other income was never put up for the people's approval in an election, Gaddafi just did it. The whole world knew about it, including the entire Arab world. The tired old cliche that it's "terrorist NATO media spin" is just ridiculous. Your anti-Western propaganda is the only spin around here.

      john - 2011-09-06 13:00

      If you want to see how Libya SHOULD be run, compare them to Norway. Both countries have about the same oil income and Libya has only a slightly bigger population. Compare the individual levels of wealth and freedom between the two countries, and Norway wins by a country mile in every measurable. Of course, you will claim that Norwegians are all starving and have to be fed by the UN, while many have been incarcerated in NATO concentration camps while America steals their oil. But that's just you.

      daaivark - 2011-09-06 13:08

      @john: What on earth does this mean: "claim that Norwegians are all starving and have to be fed by the UN, while many have been incarcerated in NATO concentration camps while America steals their oil." What are you trying to say?

      DeonL - 2011-09-06 13:17

      Last time I checked Capitalism is part of a democracy.

      john - 2011-09-06 13:18

      daaivark, I'm saying that this is probably how Nom-de-guerre thinks life is in Norway.

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 14:02

      Your view of Libyan society/reality must be warped from comedy central, which is comedy. Where are the billions that you purpot to have been stolen by the Gaddafi family. ARE THOSE WHO WANT TO EXPORT DEMOCRACY THEMSELVES DEMOCRATS? And what if Gaddafi’s Libya were more democratic than the USA, France, Britain and other countries waging war to export democracy to Libya? On 19 March 2003, President George Bush began bombing Iraq under the pretext of bringing democracy. On 19 March 2011, exactly eight years later to the day, it was the French president’s turn to rain down bombs over Libya, once again claiming it was to bring democracy. Nobel peace prize-winner and US President Obama says unleashing cruise missiles from submarines is to oust the dictator and introduce democracy. The question that anyone with even minimum intelligence cannot help asking is the following: Are countries like France, England, the USA, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Poland who defend their right to bomb Libya on the strength of their self proclaimed democratic status really democratic? If yes, are they more democratic than Gaddafi’s Libya? The answer in fact is a resounding NO, for the plain and simple reason that democracy in the west doesn’t exist. It's a mirage. Did the voters in the west vote for the wars in Iraq or the bank bailouts? Have they been asked about the austerity measures?

      john - 2011-09-06 14:18

      "The question that anyone with even minimum intelligence cannot help asking is the following: Are countries like France, England, the USA, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Poland who defend their right to bomb Libya on the strength of their self proclaimed democratic status really democratic?" Yes, they are. They hold regular elections and the party that wins gets the chance to govern. The US voted a couple of years ago, removed the Republicans and installed the Democrats. The British voted last year, removed Labour and installed a coalition of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. "If yes, are they more democratic than Gaddafi’s Libya? " Yes. When last did Libyans vote? When last did they have a change of government? "The answer in fact is a resounding NO, for the plain and simple reason that democracy in the west doesn’t exist. It's a mirage." Oh dear, the old Illuminati New World Order again? Don't worry, the paranoids aren't really after you. You have no oil.

      john - 2011-09-06 15:15

      "Did the voters in the west vote for the wars in Iraq" Yes they did. You seem to be unaware of how democracy works. Governments do not hold referendums on every issue. If national government decides to impose toll roads, they don't ask me if I approve. It gets added to the bundle of other issues that involve the fiscus and I base my vote on whether I feel that the financial management is sound. This happens at general elections, not for every fiscus spending issue as and when it arises. Both the British Parliament and the US Congress voted on invasion of Iraq. Both votes passed by healthy majorities. If the people don't like that, then they must vote against their elected representatives at the next election. Ditto with the bank bailouts. "Have they been asked about the austerity measures?" They no longer have a choice. However, the reason that countries like Greece NEED austerity measures is because the populace demanded free everything from the govt. When the govt complied and the country spent beyond its means, disaster ensued. So corrective action is now required. Not because the people weren't given a voice but because they WERE - and they made unwise decisions when voting. They should have realised that the system was unsustainable and should have rejected govt's policies. But they were too stupid and greedy to do that. So now they suffer. C'est la democracy. You get the govt you deserve. If you're stupid and greedy, you'll get a stupid and greedy govt.

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 17:40

      Non westerners don't wish to subject their own families to the torments and tribulations of an inherently enslaving control obsessed culture like the west's, which is not only extremely foreign to them, but has been deliberately, and systematically created to be the very antithesis of their own. I’m still waiting to find evidence somewhere in the world that bombing poor civilian populations of the Third World from the air is good for their voting rights, democracy, medical care, education, welfare, national debt, and enhancing personal income and wealth distribution. War and occupation can never be reconciled with the principles of democracy. As used by the ruling class, ‘democracy’ and’ freedom’ are code words for capitalism and free markets. Making the world safe for corporate plunder does not pave the way for democracy. It opens the door to economic exploitation and subjugation. Local culture and local justice doesn't mean that there's no social justice in non-western countries.

      john - 2011-09-06 18:11

      "I’m still waiting to find evidence somewhere in the world that bombing poor civilian populations of the Third World from the air is good for their voting rights, democracy, medical care, education, welfare, national debt, and enhancing personal income and wealth distribution." It isn't. War is the bad part. Democracy is the good part that follows after. SA blacks didn't get jobs and healthcare and education and rights because the All Blacks refused to play the Boks, or because the ANC planted a bomb in Amanzimtoti. However, the sanctions/isolation and armed struggle helped to remove the govt that was denying these things to blacks. But removing the obstacle is just the first part. You then need to follow through and do the rest properly as well. Countries like Japan and South Korea did this properly and have reaped the rewards. Japan was bombed severely, two nukes. Bombing them, on its own, didn't make them the third biggest economy in the world with excellent social services and human rights. They needed to work towards that AFTER the bombing. And they did. And they are now reaping the rewards. You can't GIVE democracy to people, they have to work for it. The West and the UN can do nothing for Libyans' prospects under democracy, they must do it themselves. They have a choice now. Their future is in their hands. They can make best use of the opportunity or not. Their choice. But at least they HAVE a choice now. Under Gaddafi, they didn't. It was his way or the highway.

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 18:55

      The traditional anglo saxon "democracy" works when there are no important minorities. They invented it for themselves - not for others. In a great part of the world it is a disaster as it pits one group against another. If one group represents 40% of the population, by race or tribe, it could quite possibly be excluded forever. One-person-one-vote happening once is not democracy. Nothing is good for everyone. As a negotiated human construction, democracy is no panacea. It is a system made within the context of history and the diversity of human identities. It is not one institutional form, or a single set of processes. There are, have been, and can be as many forms of democracy as people need to deliver the reality of human dignity and well-being to all. The most undemocratic thing is to assume you have the complete answer and insist everyone else does democracy your way. This neo-con conceit is inherently totalitarian. Governing by majority creates minorities - whose interests are then more often than not underserved. And when you combine democracy with capitalism, the resulting governmental stew becomes an economy of haves and have-nots. Democracy is a valued notion but fundamentally impossible in most societies. I think that the sooner we rid ourselves of the democratic pretense, the better.

      john - 2011-09-06 19:35

      People who vote by race or tribe, rather than according to policy or manifesto, are not practising democracy. They are practising racism. In industrialised democracies, people don't vote by race. Or, at least, not by race alone. If they did, John McCain would now be President of the US. Democracy is a great system with few inherent flaws. It's not perfect. But when people vote according to the policies they want, rather than the skin colour or tribal affiliations of the candidate, it works very well. If white Americans are objective and mature enough to vote for a black President, then the developing world has no excuse not to follow suit.

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 20:25

      'War to bring democracy' is such a non compelling proposition. The failure of democracy to control unaccountable elites in Western countries as they go on colonial rampages, murdering people - is itself the proof that the system is flawed and not worth bringing to other people through violence.... The riposte to the lie that Democracy is worth killing for lies in the corrupt system that allows the killing in the first place. The current exporters of democracy are doing what the conquistadors did: bringing death and plunder to foreigners cloaked in the justification of universal values. Then it was Christianity and civilisation, now its democracy. Democracy can't be imposed from outside, it has to grow from within, the west can support peoples efforts but they cannot create a democracy for them by boming the life out of them. The sad thing is that Iraq has lessened the west's ability to support democratic aspirations. Westerners can have whatever political system they choose. The point is, so can we as Africans. This is what we are fighting for – our inalienable right to self-determination – to freely decide our own destiny. That is what it means to finally throw off the yoke of colonialism and imperialism, and that is what Libya dared to do under the leadership of Muammar Qaddafi. And Qaddafi dared to extend this vision to the entire African continent.

      john - 2011-09-06 20:43

      Except that he didn't throw off the yoke of imperialism. He was just as dependent as any other oil-producing country on the expertise and technology of IOCs. It was only through Western industrialisation that oil gained any value in the first place, it had no use to ancient Africans. So, by inviting in foreign companies to extract and process the oil which Libyans couldn't do on their own, and then by selling it in world markets because ancient African markets had no need for it and placed no value on it, he wasn't throwing off the yoke of imperialism at all. Quite the contrary, he was an active player in industrialised technology and world markets. Both of which are Western developments in which the West still has a dominant global share. For Africa to throw off the yoke of Western imperialism, they will have to go back to the traditional way of sitting outside a grass hut counting cattle. Few modern Africans relish this. Instead, like everybody else, they want a Beemer and a Saville Row suit, a holiday home at the coast, the latest electronic gadgets, Johnny Walker Blue Label. That isn't throwing off the Western yoke, it's buying into it 100%. The only way you can attain is either selling your resources to the West or otherwise engaging the West in world markets. How does Africa intend to beat the West at its own game?

      john - 2011-09-06 20:59

      We hear this a lot from Africans: economic liberation, getting rid of imperialism, the African Renaissance, the African Way. Look at the people spouting this rhetoric. Do they look like traditional Africans to you? Does Julius Malema look like he relishes the traditional African way of life, wearing a blanket and sitting outside a rural hut watching cattle graze? Malema wants to be a Westerner. So does everyone who votes for him. So do Gaddafi's sons. Reading the descriptions of how they lived (alcohol consumption, Western-style mansions with Western toys like gyms and jacuzzis and wide-screen TVs and iPods and whatnot), does it sound like they were satisfied with the traditional Arab way of life, sitting in a tent and eating dates and drinking goats' milk and praying to Allah five times a day? These people want to be Westerners. They despise the traditional Arab way of life. This is where the West has them by the short and curlies. Ask any ANC official who grew up in a rural village in Transkei and now lives in a Sandton townhouse whether he wants to go back to life in his ancestral village. Africans want the toys of the Western lifestyle. Well, there's only one way to get those toys: give Western customers what they want. If you can't offer manufactured goods or services, that leaves only one thing left: your natural resources. If Africans think they'll all get Beemers and whatnot, without giving Western customers something in return, I have bad news for them.

      john - 2011-09-06 21:14

      Humans, regardless of colour or creed, are all greedy. They all want the best and biggest and shiniest toys. And capitalism provides them. Even Russia and China, once the most staunch opponents of capitalism, have relented and now practise it openly. And just look how well they're doing! The Chinese must be wondering wtf they were doing all those years under Mao, subsisting on a handful of rice a day and reading their Little Red Book avidly in pursuit of some collectivist utopian dream. All it got them was the mass starvation of their people, at least 20 million even by China's own admission. And the state execution of millions more. Capitalism works because the free market balances greed against greed. Sellers want the highest price possible, buyers want the lowest price possible, the system forces them to come to a compromise based on what the market will allow. One party states and dictatorships fail because they don't balance the greed of the ruling elite with anything. There is no mechanism for the greed of the masses to find expression. The dictator can take all the wealth and the people can't do anything about it. If a Western leader allowed his sons to build mansions like Gaddafi's sons on public funds, he'd be booted out of office pronto. If our leaders get too greedy, we have a means to remove them. The Libyans had no such mechanism. Gadaffi could take what he wanted and nobody could do anything. It's not a healthy system. You need to balance greed with greed.

      tommy 2 - 2011-09-06 21:25

      @john, How high can you get............

      john - 2011-09-06 21:35

      tommy 2, hush. The grown-ups are talking.

      tommy 2 - 2011-09-06 23:12

      @john, The high you on,will make you think that you are grown up.

      john - 2011-09-07 00:02

      tommy 2, your child-like spelling and grammar, coupled with your complete ignorance of world affairs, your lack of facts or anything constructive to add to discussions, makes me KNOW that you aren't grown-up. Even though I disagree entirely with him, at least I can debate issues with Nom-de-guerre because he offers a rational series of points and cognitive arguments beyond "eish, wena, what drugs you on?" and similar random ad hominems. Your education has not prepared you for adult discourse. You should go to Comrade Blade and demand a refund.

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-07 06:48

      The beauty of the strategy of liberal imperialism is that you can rob their oil and gas while convincing millions that this is a worthwhile trade off in exchange for 'elections' in which all the options are already arranged to make sure you really have no choice at all. Gaddafi, like Saddam Hussein six months before the Iraq invasion, also planned to refuse to trade oil supplies in dollars (possibly why US oil contracts have been cancelled in recent months) and Euros. Instead they intended to use the Libyan Dinar tied to a new 'African Gold Standard' (backed up by 144 tons of libyan gold) which could be used in most African and some Arab countries - support for this idea was apparently strong amongst these African nations, though Sarkozy and other Western leaders have spoken fiercely against it. Secondly, Libya's economic system is based around 'The State Theory of Money' whereby currency creation is exclusively controlled by the national state banking system - this method cleverly bypasses the private banking monopoly and control of money and credit creation favoured by the Bank of International Settlements and the IMF which is commonly practiced in Europe and the US.

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-07 06:56

      By all accounts this system of investment halves the cost of public infrastruture and redevelopment programs and has been highly successful - primarily because it is difficult for Western multinationals to have any leverage or to apply economic pressure - as they do with African nations at present - when trading within this system. Western countries have established hundreds of military bases all over the place which is the only reason they have such sway on the world stage and can force open markets for their industry. This is how the world works, all the talk of democracy and whatnot is just the way power sells what's it's doing to its citizens and other countries. It's all about trade when it comes down to it and ensuring rules are in place so that resources and markets can be accessed under the most favourable terms possible. Just like your local gangsters and protection rackets but in the big leagues. At the end of WW II, China, India, and Africa ALL had about the same level of development, about the same population, and about the same level of literacy. Both India and China chose since to throw the Westerners out and deal with them on their own terms, Africa did not. A further observation: Africa and India bought into the "democracy" koolade, China did not. The rest is history.

      john - 2011-09-07 10:56

      Nobody robs anybody of oil. It is a commodity that is bought and sold like any other. Iraq is making $60bn a year from oil sales now, soon to increase to $100bn a year. In what sense have they been robbed? The petrodollar is a widely discussed issue in the oil industry. For obvious reasons, it is easier if sales are done in one currency. There is one oil price, if oil is traded in one currency it means that the price is the same all over the world - you are paying x dollars for one barrel. If sales are transacted in different currencies, then currency fluctuations come into play. US military bases have nothing to do with trade. China has no military bases anywhere, yet they are still buying up gobs of industry and resources all over the world. You don't need an army presence to do business. South Africa sells gold to world markets, quite willingly, without foreign troops on our soil pointing guns at us. Regarding India and China, their success is not because they "threw Westerners out", it's because they have burgeoning manufacturing and services capacity. Any half-baked economist will tell you that primary activities (agriculture, mining, etc) are not as profitable as secondary (manufacturing) and tertiary (services). Africa is still focused on primary economies, ie selling natural resources. When they can transition to secondary or tertiary economies, and match China for manufacturing output, they will boom.

      john - 2011-09-07 14:35

      The rest of the world is focused on transitioning to knowledge economies. JuJu is concerned about giving all black South Africans an acre of land so that they can grow mielies and keep chickens. It's a no-brainer that Africans are going to lag even further behind when JuJu gets his way. India now produces its own indigenous cars like the Tata and Mahindra, China has Chana and many other brands. In addition, companies like Tata and Dongfeng (China) have stakes in, or JVs with, car manufacturers from other countries. What indigenous car brands does Africa have? Walk into any department store in SA and you can see row upon row of goods manufactured in China. Which department store has row upon row of goods manufactured in Malawi, Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe? China sells its indigenous goods to markets all over the world. African countries can't even compete in their own domestic markets, let alone world markets. At best, they'll get a licence to produce an existing brand, like SA producing BMWs. But an African brand of car, fridge, TV, digital camera? Forget it. Even the ME has woken up to the reality that the oil boom isn't going to last forever and they need to diversify into financial services, retail, IT or whatever when the oil runs out. What plans does Africa have? If Africa's natural resources vanished overnight, what would African countries do for an income? In what industries would they compete? Kicking out the West isn't going to solve Africa's problems.

      john - 2011-09-07 15:20

      Regarding China not buying into the "democracy Kool-Aid", how sustainable is their current model? They're not the first Asian country to gain market share by undercutting Western prices due to cheap labour. I remember, as a kid in the Sixties, sneering at toys that were "Made in Hong Kong" because of their cheap and trashy quality. Japan also started out cheap 'n nasty before upgrading their product lines. The Chinese labour force is not going to be content with low wages forever. As their national wealth grows, Chinese citizens will become increasingly resentful that they are not earning what their Western counterparts are, nor are they receiving the same perks and benefits. Despite having the second largest economy on the planet, their average household income is far down the list, behind even Mexico, Turkey, Hungary, etc. How long can this be sustained?

  • IC1 - 2011-09-06 11:43

    I hope JZ and Juju dont get involved here

  • vegetarian - 2011-09-06 13:19

    Shame on the people of Libya (the so called rebels) for allowing their country to become another client state of the US and its lapdogs, France and Britain.

  • vegetarian - 2011-09-06 13:31

    The much touted democracy "according to the west" is such a convenient tool to impose sponsored puppets on a target people as well as getting rid of leaders who make it difficult for western companies to plunder the resources of a target people. The target people of Libya have been hoodwinked into believing that NATO is fighting Gaddafi to liberate them. The truth is that the west has been fighting Gaddafi to liberate the trading space for random plunder by the west. Gaddafi was a problem for the west because he was jealously guarding Libya's resources for the benefit of the Libyans. That is why everyone in Libya is relatively well off while Libya has zero debt. The same cannot be said of client states like Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. The resources of these target countries are plundered at will by the west with applause from the so called leaders of the people.

      john - 2011-09-06 13:43

      Angola and South Africa "client states of the West", ROFTL. What SA resources are being "plundered at will by the West"??

      john - 2011-09-06 13:53

      BTW, Gaddafi didn't "jealously guard" Libya's resources. If he had, they'd have had no national income. Instead, he signed deals with Western oil companies to exploit the nation's reserves. Even Gaddafi was smart enough to realise that the needed IOCs to gain maximum benefit from Libya's oil reserves. What's your excuse?

      tommy 2 - 2011-09-06 19:35

      @john, What drugs are you on.........

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 20:30

      South Africa's banking industry is almost entirely owned by the Barclays group. It's shipping industry is essentially just a subsidiary of Denmark's Moller-Maersk. Under the ANC, valuable uranium-rich land has been sold to British mining companies at the expense of South African ones. Sadly, the ANC has more in common with Libya's "National Transitional Council".

      Peg-Leg-Sven - 2011-09-06 21:26

      @nom-de-guerre, I was not aware that ABSA was the majority of South African banking. As far as I am aware, Standard Bank is bigger than ABSA and if you add Nedbank to the mix, I would say that ABSA does not have more than a third of South Africa's banking share. Now that the Bank of China has 50% of Standard Bank, I would say that the Chinese are starting to eye taking over South African banks and not the West. But then again, what do I know. I am sure you are convinced that it is nothing but a Western plot to subjugate the peoples of Africa. I personally am not so sure, as they have already done that and have the T-shirt, that is why they were in such a hurry to give Black African countries their "FREEDOM" as it was becoming to expensive to keep them going. It was far cheaper to just buy the minerals from the corrupt African governments and not have to keep feeding those that were to lazy to actually WORK their way out of poverty. The "Mahala" mentality can be found throughout Africa.

      john - 2011-09-06 22:09

      Nom-de-guerre, selling land to British mining companies does not = plundering. If Game sell me a TV, have I "plundered" their goods? According to you, I have. The dictionary defines plunder as "anything taken by robbery, theft, or fraud." When you pay for something, you are not stealing it. When you sell something, you are not being stolen from. If you look at any country in the world, it will have industries or resources in which foreign countries have purchased an interest or even a controlling stake. China has bought in to Canadian oil/shale fields and numerous industries in the US. MultiChoice sells satellite services to Africa. Arabs have bought up department stores and other businesses in the UK. Why is it "plundering" when Western firms do it but "business" when other continents do it?

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