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South Africa's media wants "regime change" in neighbouring Zimbabwe

By Udo W. Froese
The South African publication, Business Day's reliable ranting against the head of state of neighbouring Zimbabwe, Robert G. Mugabe, cannot go unnoticed.

In its Tuesday, February 21, 2012, edition, Business Day of the AVUSA stable (also publishers of Sunday Times, Business Day, Financial Mail, Sowetan, Sowetan Sunday World, Summit TV, a business and finance closed-circuit television channel) in Rosebank, Johannesburg, attempts to discredit Mugabe in two different articles and its editorial. It so happens to coincide with the 88th birthday of Zimbabwe's head of state.

That publication with a minuscule circulation of 36 103 copies daily, in a country with a population of 50,5 million people according to the Statistician General of South Africa, sketches a stubborn picture of Robert Mugabe as a "globally reviled devil, contrasting starkly with (SA's media saint) Nelson Mandela".

'Business Day' reviewed a book from a Heidi Holland on the ANC. The narrow, neo-liberal author is hailed as Nelson Mandela's close friend, often dining with him. By its own admittance, the 'Business Day' review states, Holland never had dinner with Zimbabwe's president Mugabe.

The 'Business Day' review quotes from Heidi Holland' new book, taking a swipe against a real struggle icon, Winnie Mandela: "In her recounting of the ANC's struggle, she does not let Winnie Mandela off the hook, describing her leading role in the death of Stompie Seipei Moeketsi.

Holland writes of the boy being assaulted on Winnie's orders, "as well as by her personally".

The paper further publishes Holland's writing; "She (Holland) reminds us that when Moeketsi died from his injuries, the Soweto doctor who had urged Winnie to get him to hospital "was shot dead in mysterious circumstances".

"Holland does not spare Mandela's role in trying to safe his "mesmerizingly beautiful wife" from her misguided actions"; the 'Business Day' publishes. It finally needs to be put on record that Winnie Mandela (75) has not murdered Stompie Seipei Moeketsi, nor did she order for him to be murdered. Madikizela-Mandela was not found guilty of murder of Moeketsi either, or anyone else. In fact, Winnie Mandela acted as an African mother. The late Falati from the East Rand came to inform Madikizela- Mandela of the "abuse of young boys in the Methodist Manse, some of them as young as 13 years of age, by the then Reverend Paul Verreyn."

Winnie Mandela acted, like most African mothers would, and took the boys away from that Manse and away from the situation, they had found themselves in. This, of course, seems alien to the Caucasian mindset and upbringing.

It has actually become clear that many of the "atrocities", Winnie Mandela was framed with, were strategised by colonial- apartheid covert operations to discredit the name Mandela, as well as that of the ANC. Both occupied the moral High Ground for the majority of the population, not only in South Africa, but also throughout the African continent and the Diaspora.

The established neo-liberal civilisation however, would not have any of that. The status quo of 1948 had to be protected, therefore, racism/classism and so-called minority rights had to prevail.

Like almost all media, this Johannesburg based publication insists on continuously attacking African leadership, simultaneously hailing international Western neo-liberalism for its interference in Africa.

One of the three headlines in 'Business Day' reads, "Mugabe hanging on to life and power". Herein, the publication shows its true-blue whole-hearted support of that criminal and treasonous act of "regime change".

Unnamed "observers say (in that article of 'Business Day', February 21, 2012) the next election which would end the three-year-old unity government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, could mark the swan song of Mr. Mugabe's 32- year rule", the said article comments.

In the words of another 'Business Day' political analyst, Charles Mangongera, the paper admits, "the undoing for the MDC has been their inability to galvanise the nation in pushing for the reform of state institutions.

They have also lost their strategic linkages with their civic partners once they went into the government and this has weakened their ability to mobilise against ZANU (PF)'s recalcitrance."

It comes as no surprise at all, when 'Business Day' comments in its editorial, "Mugabe is a poor reflection on SA", forgetting, or ignoring the then ruling British Labour Party and its Prime Minister Tony Blair's strategic, deliberate and intentional breach of an historical, binding international agreement, the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979. This agreement forms the corner stone of Zimbabwe's independence and souvereignity.

Adding insult to injury, London (UK), with the assistance of Washington (US), Toronto (Canada), Brussels (EU) and Canberra/Perth (Australia) put out international sanctions against Zimbabwe. And, the well-resourced ultra-rightwing, ex-pat Rhodesian community did its best to cause further isolation of Zimbabwe, also operating from South Africa.

In its editorial 'Business Day' then writes about South Africa's role in Zimbabwe, "It reflects badly on SA, the would-be continental economic powerhouse that cannot even bring to heel an economic pipsqueak on its doorstep."

The publication with its miniscule circulation figures seems misinformed. In fact, it seems as if it has no knowledge of Zimbabwe's mineral wealth and South Africa's huge investments; its geo-strategic position as South Africa's gateway into Central and East Africa, its rather strong and well-disciplined armed forces and last, but by no means least, Zimbabwe's strategic alliances with powerful partners in the SADC region and beyond. That paper also ignores to investigate the real grand theft of Zimbabwe's diamonds, its gold and platinum resources, despite evidence being abound.

Advocating neo-colonialism, 'Business Day' comments, "It (Zimbabwe) reflects badly on the international community, and as much on the former colonial power, the UK, not for interfering too much but, if we are honest, for caring too little."

Some kind of honesty The newspaper blatantly demonstrates its isolated arrogance by writing on, "Zimbabwe is of no consequence internationally, a fact that Mr. Mugabe cannily realised some time ago. As a result there are no real sanctions imposed by the "West" on Zimbabwe for electoral theft and creating economic chaos."

Now it is clear, the writer of this editorial has no clue what damage the breach of the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979 has done; no idea of the size of the international financial sanctions and their isolationist effect on Zimbabwe and its economy and no care, what the continuous disinformation campaign particularly by the media has done to a neighbouring country, its elected, souvereign government and its population.

The newspaper ends its editorial admitting defeat, strangely giving Mugabe credit for his strategic-political manoeuvres, "Yet, every time SA tries to play Mr. Mugabe at his own game, it seems to loose more than it gains."

'Business Day' asks, "What is to be done? In short, if they are not to loose again, Mr. Zuma and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation need to up their game. They need to hunker down for a long, drawn-out battle."

All in all, this is indeed a poorly tendentious concoction of a historically biased South African media, trying to influence public opinion.


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