IS THE ANC OVERREACTING OVER THE SEXWALE "ARREST"?

2013-10-30 08:13

It must be said that Americans are in general, and this is a major generalisation, a fairly ignorant bunch when it comes to other nations and their workings. I guess a population of roughly 300 million and a country as vast as it is diverse allows them this little luxury.

So I was not at all surprised to have read earlier this week, news reports that our venerable struggle icon, former Gauteng Premier and one time Cabinet minister, Mr Tokyo Sexwale had been detained at JFK International Airport.

What did surprise me however was the almost comical response of the African National Congress (ANC) to the same news reports. The ANC had expressed outrage at the brief arrest of the former Human Settlements Minister because his name remains on a US terror watch list of ANC “terrorists”. Spokesman Keith Khoza said on Sunday night that while the ANC was not aware that the list still existed, South Africa would need to take up the matter “sharply” with President Barack Obama’s administration. A further statement by the ANC stated:

The very fact that the Government of America continues to view members and leaders of the African National Congress as terrorists is an affront to the global anti-apartheid movement, in which many compatriots from the United Nations including that country's sitting President, were part of. The African National Congress toiled selflessly with the people of America, despite their government's opposition at the time, for the liberation of the people of South Africa.

I wish to remind the ANC that this is the same country that allowed a 16 day government shutdown due to squabbling between members of the DemoRepublican party (yes I am of the belief that America is a one party state with two factions, but that's an article for another day) but even worse a country that played brinkmanship with the world economy by only agreeing on an increase to their debt ceiling at the 11th hour (Hollywood theatrics anyone?).

But back to the arrest. Imagine the scene...... you are an immigration officer at what can only be considered the front door of America and a well dressed, well spoken man approaches your desk and hands you his passport. Firstly you think you are being "punked" as the gentleman's passport states that he is a Tokyo Sex Wale and worse still when you punch this into your computer it appears that your country considers Sex Wale's from Tokyo to be terrorists. The poor ignorant immigration official must have been in a state but chose to follow procedure in clarifying this identity issue by ordering the detention of the esteemed Sex Wale from Tokyo.

Now i'm not saying that the US should not completely and immediately update its list of terror suspects and remove all former and current ANC members, unless of course they remain terrorists, but lets not make a storm in a tea cup. Another question springs to mind, has Mr Sexwale not visited the States since 1990 and if he has why was he detained on this occasion alone?

The ANC in my view are trying to highjack the sad state of affairs that led to Mr Sexwale's detention in an effort to once again grandstand as the ultimate liberation movement this world has ever seen, surely it can't hurt with 2014 rapidly approaching. It must be remembered that Sexwale, a rival of President Jacob Zuma who was ousted as housing minister, a portfolio he ran with aplomb, in a cabinet reshuffle in July. All the while Ministers like Angie Motshekga remain to sit plum in their ministerial jobs all the while portraying dismal performance.

So for the ANC to come out guns blazing claiming to be fuming and fighting for the dignity of Mr Sexwale is somewhat disingenuous.

Lets look beyond the smoke and mirrors and see the ANC's ploy for exactly what it is.......An attempt to convince black voters that it is still the mouthpiece of the liberation, a title we sadly know they relinquished many years and scandals ago.

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