ANC Attacks Anti-Corruption Investigators

The African National Congress in February stepped up its public war of words with an anti-corruption unit — dubbed The Scorpions — designed to ferret out abuse of power in the South African state.

The Scorpions, whom are modeled on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, have been focusing on a large travel-related scandal in which Members of Parliament are accused inflating their travel expenses to scam upwards of $2 million.

Rather than getting to the bottom of that scandal, however, the ANC has predictably chosen to attack the investigators.

ANC chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe, for example, accused the anti-corruption unit of timing its announcements to harm the ANC, noting that The Scorpions had released a press release about the extent of the travel scandal on the same day that Thabo Mbeki delivered his State of the Nation address,

I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think it’s a planned, desperate kind of act of vengeance to really undermine parliament and create this impression that members of parliaments are by definition cowboys and crooks.

The ANC has even taken to accusing members of the anti-corruption unit of having been spies for the apartheid-era government.

Mbeki himself promised a thorough investigation, not of corruption but of the anti-corruption task force, in February.

Of course the winds were taken out of the whole “we’re being persecuted” claim when five ANC Members of Parliament plead guilty to fraudulent billing of their travel expenses. Presumably, they were framed or were apartheid spies working with The Scorpions all along to discredit the ANC.


Mbeki to probe elite crime unit. The BBC, February 14, 2005.

ANC’s anger over cowboy ‘smears’. The BBC, February 4, 2005.

ANC to act against convicted MPs. iAfrica.Com, March 18, 2005.

Mbeki: Complaints about Rape Rate are Racist

South African President Thabo Mbeki and South African activist Charlene Smith have been battling it out in that country’s press this month over just how serious of problem rape is in that country. Smith said that Mbeki is in denial about the true extent of the problem, while Mbeki responded that critics like Smith are racists who want to portray black Africans as savages.

The backdrop of this was an official report showing a minor drop in South Africa’s sky high rape rate. According to official South African statistics, the rape rate declined from 115.3 per 100,000 in 1994 to 113.7 per 100,000 in 2003/04.

Smith and others questioned those statistics and charged the drop is the result of “massaged” statistics. Frankly, that’s rather moot since 113.7 rapes per 100,000 population is unbelievably high. To put it in context, in 2000 the U.S. rape rate was just barely over 32 per 100,000. As a whole, South Africa has a rape rate three-and-a-half times as high as the United States. That is a mind-bogglingly high rate and does, as Smith claims, demonstrate just how crime-ridden South Africa is.

Mbeki responded with an article on the African National Congress web site saying,

She [Smith] was saying our cultures, traditions and religions as Africans inherently makes African man a potential rapist . . . [a] view which defines the African people as barbaric savages.

In fact Smith never said anything remotely like this and never mentioned race at all in her critique. instead she criticized the government for failing to take rape victims seriously, noting numerous problems with the way that rape allegations and rape victims were treated.

Mbeki seems to be using the same script here that he used to defend his atrocious policy of denying that HIV caused AIDS and refused for too long to allow pregnant women to be given anti-retroviral drugs. The script goes like this — find someone white who is making the criticism and then claim it’s all about colonial oppressors trying to disparage blacks. Who cares, after all, if black women are the major victim of South Africa’s out-of-control crime rates?

After all, what sort of government is pleased that rape rates fell from 115.3 to 113.7 per 100,000 over a 10 year period? That’s not progress, that’s dereliction of duty.


Mbeki says crime reports are racist. Mail & Guardian, October 6, 2004.

Mbeki slammed in rape race row. The BBC, October 5, 2004.

Rape has become a way of life in South Africa. Charlene Smith, Sunday Independent, September 26, 2004.

Mbeki blasts crime stats critics. Sapa, October 1, 2004.

Mbeki Continues to Adopt the U.N. Approach

Thabo Mbeki has really done an excellent job of adopting the United Nations approach to wars, ethnic conflict and human rights violations in Africa. Just ignore the proble, court dictators, and justify the unjustifiable 90 percent of the time, and then once or twice a year make a pretty speech at an international conference.

Whitewash, rinse, and repeat.


Mbeki: End conflict in Africa. The Natal Witness (South Africa), May 26, 2003.

Documentary, Human Rights Reports Chronicle Zimbabwe’s Use of Rape Against Dissidents

The United Nations Regional Information Networks recently carried a report about the premier of “In A Dark Time,” a documentary about groups affiliated with Zimbabwe’s corrupt government using rape as a weapon against dissidents in that country.

For example, the film includes a 16-year-old girl describing how a pro-government militia seize her and her siblings and then raped her as a punishment for her mother’s support of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and Physicians for Human Rights have all documented the ongoing systematic use of rape in Zimbabwe over the past several years. A 2002 Amnesty International report warned of “mounting reports of rape and sexual torture by the [pro-government] militia . . .”

UNRIN reports that studies of the use of torture and other illegal tactics by the government of Zimbabwe and its supporters have found that 40 percent of those subjected to such attacks have been women, who are frequently stripped naked and beaten. Beginning in the summer of 2001, pro-government supporters began using rape and other means of sexual torture with increasing frequency against female supporters of the opposition.

According to UNRIN, the pro-government militias are also illegally kidnapping women and forcing them into concubinage. The young women are forced to perform various domestic duties for the soldiers as well as have sex with them.

All of this, of course, is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention and other international treaties. Ironically, the documentary about these abuses was premiered in South Africa. South AFrica’s Thabo Mbeki has been a leading proponent of a policy of constructive engagement toward Zimbabwe, and has called, for example, for the readmission of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth after its membership was suspended due to rising levels of political violence (Mbeki has also restored to calling critics of his appeasement policy “white supremacists”).


Focus on rape as a political weapon. UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, April 8, 2003.

What Is Wrong with Thabo Mbeki?

Unbelievably as the 14th International AIDS Conference is getting under way, South Africa’s government is still fighting for the right keep AIDS drugs out of the hands of pregnant women.

And Thabo Mbeki had the balls to show up in Canada last month begging the West for more development aid saying,

The common thread here is the renewed determination among political leaders and civil society to build a humane world of shared prosperity.

Yeah, unless you happen to be an HIV positive pregnant woman.

In fact, in Mbeki’s vision of South Africa, many AIDS deaths don’t happen. Mbeki worked hard, for example, to suppress a report that found AIDS was the leading cause of death in South Africa.

Politician, heal thyself.

South African Court Orders AIDS Drug to Be Given to Pregnant Women

For years now, the government of South Africa has refused to allow the distribution of the anti-AIDS drug nevirapine to pregnant women. In December 2001, the Pretoria High Court ordered the government to provide the drug to HIV-postive pregnant women, but incredibly the government insists it will appeal the ruling.

Nevirapine is used widely around the world to reduce the risk of an HIV-positive mother passing along the disease to her unborn child. Studies show that pregnant women taking the drug cut in half the risk of passing HIV along to their children.

Although 200 HIV-positive infants are born every day in South Africa, the government has refused to allow distribution of the drug. The government claims it is not sure the drug is safe, although it has been tested extensively. It also argues that the drug is too expensive, but the drugs’ maker, Boehringer Inglheim, has offered to provide the drug free of charge to South Africa for at least the next five years.

The real reason the drug has not been distributed seems to be due to people within the government — including president Thabo Mbeki — who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS.


SA to fight Aids drug ruling. The BBC, December 19, 2001.