Beware the Stockholm syndrome

Cyril and Roelf, laughing
Cyril and Roelf, laughing

by TAU Bulletin

“Adjusting” to the ANC and the consequences thereof.

Stockholm Syndrome: This syndrome refers to a group of psychological symptoms that occur in some persons or groups in a captive or hostage situation. It is sometimes referred to as a Survival  Identification Syndrome.

In early June of this year, a meeting was held between Afrikaner groups and the ANC. A former National Party minister Mr. Roelf Meyer facilitated the meeting which was attended, inter alia, by some commercial farmers and was designed to discuss the government’s land reform policy. In press pictures, Mr. Meyer was seen laughing and joking with ANC bigwigs including Mr. Gwede Mantashe, secretary general of the ANC, but it was the ANC which was laughing all the way to the bank. TAU SA’s public statement at the time explained why it would not attend – numerous TAU SA requests to see the country’s president, the Minister of Water Affairs and the Ministers of Transport and the Police were systematically ignored. All efforts to get appointments were fruitless.

So what was to be discussed under the sponsorship of Mr. Meyer? If the government is not prepared to meet representatives of organized agriculture, it can only be assumed the Meyer meeting was a public relations exercise for the ANC, with the hapless attendees along for the ride.

There is a growing trend in South Africa, particularly within the Afrikaans press and other organizations, that reconciliation (from one side only of course), a healthy guilt complex  and “live and let live” with the government is the way forward. Attitudes within the English language press seem to have hardened, although there are still sycophants who urge us not to be pessimistic:  that “false alarmism” is wrong.

But the University of Pretoria’s politics lecturer  Mzukisi Qobo says we must “face the truth”. (Business Day  29.6.2012).  He says “peddlers of good news” are trying to convince us that things are not so bad. “Anyone who dares point to the reality of a creaking public service or worsening leadership is likely to be reminded that there are many good stories happening elsewhere in the country”. They point to Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Iraq as being worse than South Africa.

“There is nothing as dangerous as unguarded optimism” says Qobo. “It is a convenient refuge for those who find reality too discomfiting and want to be left alone to wallow in their apathy. They think that to be discontented is a bad thing when in fact it is the absence of meaning and too much comfort in the face of crisis that gives succor to bad leadership. What our optimists don’t realize is that they are fostering idle indifference.  Action is a progeny of discontent.  It is when we are deeply dissatisfied with a political framework which lowers the benchmark for success and excellence that we are most likely to take action and insist on meaningful change.”

Mr. Qobo’s words should cause those who are succumbing to a group version of the Stockholm Syndrome to take stock of themselves. Now that we are enslaved by the ANC, let’s make the best of it. Let’s sit down and chat and try and get them to be “reasonable”.  After all, it’s all we’ve got left. They run the country, they have the power and if we’re nice to them, maybe they’ll leave us alone! For the sake of peace and quiet, we can overlook the ANC’s bad governance, its corruption, its venal theft and plunder of the country’s assets, its corrosive indifference to the needs of the people, its dismissive contempt of criticism and its wholesale destruction of a country that took 350 years of hard work to build. Let’s all be friends, even if the ANC treats us with disdain. They are our captors, but so what? We can’t do anything about it so let’s just get on with it and stop complaining!

Mr. Qobo quotes US admiral Jim Stockdale who survived torture in captivity during the Vietnam war.  He didn’t try and escape from reality by invoking a false sense of optimism. This “cripples human agency by leaving everything to fate”. Stockdale’s counsel is that “you must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end… with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality”. How many times have we heard that “it has to get worse before it will get better!”  Who says it will get better?

At the same time

At the Meyer group’s convivial get-together, the ANC’s Gwede Mantashe assured the meeting that land reform without compensation wasn’t the policy of the ANC. Soon after, at the ANC Midrand policy conference, delegates passed a motion where the “willing seller, willing buyer” principle regarding agricultural property ownership, was rejected.  In mid April, TAU SA’s legal representatives told the Equality Court in Johannesburg that it is more dangerous being a farmer in South Africa than being a member of the police. This evidence was proffered in the case against the ANC and its Youth League’s Julius Malema on the hate speech issue. The song “Shoot the Farmer” has been widely sung at ANC rallies, with no comment from the ANC’s hierarchy and no strong objections from others in civil society who should have been shouting from the rooftops about this exhortation to kill!

During the ANC’s centenary celebrations in KwaZulu/Natal in April and May of this year, President Jacob Zuma sang (in Zulu)  – “We will kill them with a canon (gun); They will flee, shoot them;  You are a Boer, we will kill you;  You will be killed, you will flee”.

(During this period, blacks occupied a farm in Komatipoort and ordered the farmer to leave. The levels of aggression displayed by the crowd were similar to the same type of behavior exhibited by land invaders in Zimbabwe.)

It was AFTER the President’s outburst that Mr. Meyer organized the meeting with the ANC. Did Mr. Meyer complain to the ANC about these obvious crimes, urging people to kill the farmers? Or is this to be cast aside in order to” get along” with the ANC and the President?

The government’s Green Paper on land reform and its Draft Land Tenure Security Bill have caused shockwaves not only within the farming community but throughout the country. Why bother talking to the ANC when they are at the same time undermining commercial agriculture? (Has Mr. Meyer read through these destructive Bills?)   At virtually the same time as Mr. Meyer’s affable June 6 meeting with the ANC, TAU SA declared in a press release that ANC Youth League threats to occupy farms and put farmers’ safety in jeopardy was being taken very seriously. “Is it meaningful to stay involved with government forums?” asked TAU SA. “We are being deceived and cajoled in official circles while being threatened and intimidated outside these circles.”

State president

The State President continues with his obfuscation about land ownership (the old 13% black/87% white  ownership fiction), and it’s time those who care should take action to counter this propaganda. South Africans who do not want to see their country descend into yet another African abyss should do all in their power to disseminate throughout the world the appalling failures of ANC rule. There are not enough “successes” to counteract the decline.

Are citizens really content to “go along” with the third world “values” of the ruling party? Where our hospitals are death traps, where doctors are raped and where a cake and a bottle of Coke will get the nurse out of her chair to attend to you? Where our municipalities don’t function, yet salary increases and bonuses are lavishly awarded? Where the civil service’s inertia, incompetence and corruption degrades us; where you can buy a passport on the street, forge your matriculation certificate and indeed your Ph.D. documentation;  where the government  cannot keep the country clean, where it pollutes the water and trashes school books? The ANC has turned South Africa into the world’s laughing stock, so why the obsequiousness towards them?

If there is no public discontent  and rebellion against certain media and groups who continue to urge us to reconcile with criminals, incompetents and thieves, then we deserve everything we get.

When farm murders figures cease to shock us so that we consider it “normal” that those who supply South Africa’s food are wiped out;  when we say Thank Heaven we were not killed when thugs rob and assault us, then it’s time to take stock. There was a time when the police WERE dependable, when the hospitals WERE the best in the world, when our fences WEREN’T bedecked with barbed wire, when our transport ran on time, our cities were clean, our civil service functioned efficiently, and our borders repelled transients, criminals and illegal entrants to what used to be a sovereign country.

It’s time to remind the ANC that if they don’t ship up, then they must ship out! It’s our constitutional right to do so.