3 March 2007

Widows, Orphans and Freedom Fighters

Fifty thousand people, and perhaps a few more than that, have been hit by a disaster. All their names and addresses are known. Yet in our present society, nobody can respond to their needs. The government will not take part of its ten million Rand “surplus” and help these poor widows and orphans. It is afraid that a “precedent” will be set and that it may become by this precedent the guardian of all such widows and orphans.

At least we can say that the bitter truth is being faced in some places. Glynnis Underhill of the Saturday Star “Personal Finance” section puts the situation in a sharp, strong light. So does her colleague Bruce Cameron, who concentrates his fire on the trustees, and quite rightly so. See the first two links below

Some people have been saying that the trustees were too simple, or needed more training. Others have said that trustees have been lazy, and only attend meetings for the stipend they receive. But all these speculations simply take the eye from the ball. It is certain that the problem here was none of these things.

The problem was that some of the trustees were themselves crooks, and were in league with other crooks. Other trustees who were conscientious, were victimised and suppressed, or pushed out. If the problem is not seen for what it is, there will be no proper remedy. The crooks must be sought, caught and charged, starting with those of them who were trustees first of all, because all of the trustees’ names are on record.

To find out who the crooked ones are, a spreadsheet needs to be made with all the trustees of the three main boards, that of Living Hands, Mineworkers Provident Fund, and Kopano Ke Matla, down all the years from their beginnings. Beside this chart should be placed a chronicle of the events, so that it can be seen who were trustees when those events occurred. Then those trustees should be found and interrogated, until we know everything.

In Nepal, a process similar to what happened in South Africa after 1990 is under way. The US Ambassador there is shamelessly lobbying all other parties to exclude the liberation movement, always referred to as “the Maoists”. According to the report below, which may not necessarily be true, the Indian Ambassador to Nepal is doing the same as the US one. He is none other than the hard-smoking, convivial and witty Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, formerly Indian High Commissioner in Pretoria.

The US tactic is the same as that used against the Irish Republican Army by the British. Once the peoples’ armed formations agree to disarm, with all the modalities that are put in place, the peoples’ enemies loudly start trying to undermine confidence, by accusing (in Nepal’s case) the communists of secretly evading the agreement.

This tactic is designed to make the communists fear that the agreement will be breached by the other side. In Nepal’s case the other side means the autocratic anti-popular monarchy, supported by the USA. In effect it is a threat of attack on the liberation movement at the vulnerable moment when they are disarming. It is a calculated attempt to destroy the process. This is typical of US tactics. Let us hope that the Indians have more sense.

Click on these links:

Widows and orphans go hungry, Glynnis Underhill Saturday Star (312 words)

Now you see it, now you don’t, Bruce Cameron, Saturday Star (738 words)

India, US envoys oppose Nepal Maoist entry IRNA (201 words)


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