For Mboweni's growth plan to succeed the ANC has to give up certain dogmatic positions that were formulated when 7% growth was the status quo, writes Adriaan Basson.
Lebogang Maile. Photo by Thabo Ramookho.
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Whereas I do not believe that the ANC is inherently antisemitic, there are too many examples that indicate that for some within the party, Jews are a safe target, writes Howard Feldman.
There are no fireworks to mark the
beginning of the Jewish New Year. Instead, the event is commemorated with
prayer, introspection, family and food.
Lots of food.
Although the New Year is a festival,
it is a serious time, as we ponder our own actions over the past year and
resolve how to improve ourselves. The many hours spent in synagogue give us
time to consider our actions, our relationships and our business dealing. We
also use prayer to ponder "who will live and who will die" in the
year that follows. We naturally are more acutely aware of the empty seats at
our tables as the festival marks the passage of time.
Whereas most of the political parties
in South Africa wished the small Jewish community a happy new year, the ANC had
another idea entirely. According to the South African Jewish Report, "Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang
Maile has insulted the Jewish community by accusing Johannesburg mayor Herman
Mashaba of "giving buildings to Jews", but he refuses to apologise,
saying he did nothing wrong. Maile's offensive comment followed a tweet that claimed that Mashaba was
"reclaiming the inner city the ANC [African National Congress] gave to
Nigeria", and was transforming it into "the Jozi we want". His
response to the tweet praising Mashaba's efforts was, "He's actually
giving them [the buildings] to Jews. Ask him who are the new owners of these
not sure which part of the above is the most offensive. Someone is handing out
buildings to Jews and I have not been offered so much as a single story
dwelling? Whereas I accept that the Carlton Centre would be out of the
question, surely there is a small building, somewhere that this Jew could be
than that, no one has made the application process clear and I have no idea how
to apply for such buildings. Are they handing them out at local synagogues or
does one have to actually drive into town to claim it? Further, how Jewish is
Jewish? Do both parents need to be Jewish or does a single Jewish grandparent
qualify a person for the property? I am sure that there are documents somewhere
in history that could assist the ANC's Human Settlements MEC in determining "Jewishness".
Because Jews being barred from buying and owning property is something that we
have some experience in.
Alliance issued this statement: "The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the
Gauteng Provincial Legislature has reported the Gauteng MEC for Human
Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile
to the Integrity Commissioner for hate speech directed at the Jewish Community.
follows a Twitter conservation when one Twitter user praised the Joburg Mayor,
Herman Mashaba for transforming the Inner City.
response to this Tweet, MEC Maile wrote, 'He's actually giving the buildings to
Jews. Ask him who are the new owners of
refused to apologise for his utterances claiming that he did nothing wrong and
that he stated a fact.
MEC is aware of any irregularities in terms of the project of revamping the
Inner-City buildings, he must address it as is his mandate instead of playing a
Jewish Community like any other citizens of this country are allowed to bid for
any tender in the City of Joburg.
irresponsible and horrifying utterances by the MEC in the public space
constitutes hate speech.
Maile has violated his oath of office through his offensive and discriminatory
utterances that serve to inspire others to commit violence against Jews.
calls on the Integrity Commissioner in the GPL to investigate Maile's actions
and make findings. Should he be found guilty, Maile must apologise to the
Jewish Community, retract his Tweet as well as face the consequences of his
The DA are
to be commended for calling out this racism. Most others have remained silent.
Imagine, just for a moment, if the word "Jew" was substituted with
any other group in South Africa and then imagine further what the reaction of
the country would be.
I do not believe that the ANC is inherently antisemitic, there are too many
examples that indicate that for some within the party, Jews are a safe target.
With the global antisemitism at its highest level since before World War Two,
the ANC needs to take an honest look at itself to determine if some of its
members have a racism problem. And if so, they need to nip it in its very ugly
remains to be seen how they will choose to deal with this latest mess.
During this time, it is customary for
Jews to eat apples dipped in honey and to wish each other a "good and
sweet" year ahead. According to Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South
Africa, the reason that we say "good" and "sweet" is
because although we believe that everything that happens to us is "for the
good," sometimes it doesn't taste "sweet," and it is difficult
to deal with.
My wish is that the year ahead will be
a sweet one for all South Africans. My wish is that we will work together, no
matter our differences to create an environment that is both good and sweet and
that we will seek that which unites us instead of that which divides us. "Shana
- Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of three books and is the morning talk show host on ChaiFM.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
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