Monday, 17 February 2014

Shell House Massacre 20 Years Later

Revisiting Shell House Massacre 20 years later

On the 28th of March 1994, allegedly having received ‘intelligence’ that a group of IFP supporters who were marching up Jeppe Street- one of the main access roads to central Johannesburg- was going to attack ANC supporters in Shell house, Gary Kruser gave the order to the security personnel under his command- who were on the roof of Shell House- to fire on the people in the street below. The ‘intelligence’ was never produced, never verified- but it was alleged, and in due course insisted upon as being fact.

8 unarmed IFP supporters died and many, many more were injured. At least 12 IFP people, including women, died in hospital later. 

ANC Campaign of Violence

Up to that point there had been a concerted campaign of violence directed by the ANC towards the IFP and other political groups, primarily in KwaZulu Natal and throughout South Africa. Thousands of IFP supporters died and hundreds of ANC supporters died. Eventually the IFP approached Lieutenant General John During to arrange for the training of self defence units in KwaZulu Natal in an attempt to stop the carnage- particularly in KwaZulu Natal.

If an IFP Councillor dies and nobody reports it- it never happened! 

The popular ‘historical’ view is that the IFP were armed and that an attack on Shell House was not only suspected, but imminent. A handful of people were carrying guns because their job was to protect Prince Gatsha Buthelezi’s life. Everyone else was carrying traditional weapons, knobkerries, assegais and shields, which are often carried in Zulu gatherings. Buthelezi was warned as the march gathered not to attend- because a Zulu ANC member didn’t want him killed.

On February 12th, 2014, 20 years later, ANC supporters threw bricks and stones at DA marchers as they gathered to march through Johannesburg. The crowd of angry, aggressive ANC members shouted threats of violence and murder, and many were carrying guns.

The ANC uses its rank and file, and its military and security forces, to rule by violence. Very, very few of those left behind after all the murder and bloodshed in KwaZulu Natal ever stood witness against their attackers, for to do so was to have one’s family killed, one’s friends killed. That was well known by the ‘people on the ground’. Once again IFP and other political leaders and supporters will be killed, as many as possible, before the elections. If a person dies and nobody reports it- did it happen?

People Dying Again After 20 Years of ANC Rule

Now the ‘people on the ground’ are dying again. South Africa is heading towards elections which are due to be held on 7 May 2014, and the path leading up to that election will be slippery with the blood of people who don’t support the ANC. A few ANC people will die when some of the victims act in self defence, and their deaths will be publicised by the media as IFP aggression- again.

We as South Africans, no matter what our ethnic grouping or religious backgrounds, must demand the right to march freely without risk of violence being done to them by ANC supporters. No political party has the right to stop a political, civic, union or any other kind of march with violence- violence that promises to become murder if the marchers continue to march.

Marikana Likened to Apartheid Era Massacres

People reading of the Marikana massacre would have been forgiven for thinking South Africa was still under apartheid. Police fired on unarmed striking miners. There had been incidents of violence- a man had been pulled from his van and beaten to death on the mine compound- but tensions do run high whenever any group is striking for better pay and better working conditions, particularly among those with high-risk jobs like mining. There was no justification for opening fire on unarmed civilians, however afraid some of the police there may have been

The ANC speaks to the country- and the world- about democracy, the struggle to better the lives of all its citizens and the country’s infrastructure, pollution laws and rampant human rights violations, including the container loads of human beings who come in through our ports, destined for brothels and plantations throughout Africa and beyond.

No Accountability For ANC

Accountability is almost totally lacking, from the top down, and from the ground up. Consequences for failing to do one’s job efficiently or for lining the pockets of oneself, one’s family and friends, is also lacking.

So: Nobody in the ANC is looking for faults in their own. When faults are found the guilty party is protected to the hilt, and any complaints perceived as attacks on the ANC itself.

Where then is accountability, oversight and good governance? On any level?

Who then answers for (and that means criminal charges and jail time) the destruction of the school system and our hospital system- to name only two- through maladministration, money laundering, political cronyism, corruption and direct theft?

Who then disciplines the unruly members of the ANC for forming a mob to attack a peaceful DA march and planned mass meeting in the centre of town? Nobody. Their acts of thuggery will be lauded, praised by their ‘handlers’ and brought forth as proof of the unshakable loyalty (even to the point of murder) of members of the ANC.

There are many other failed projects not mentioned here because they are off-topic, but the fact is that the ANC as a governing power is ineffective and, if not directly harmful to its citizens, at least incapable of controlling its own members in positions of power.

Zimbabwe Cannot Happen is South Africa!

It has been said that what happened in Zimbabwe can't happen in South Africa because there the sheep have teeth. The time has come for the ‘people on the ground’ to show those teeth and to demand good governance, accountability and oversight, and punishment of people in leadership positions for graft, fraud, corruption and gangsterism. We must, before we lose all power to fight back- and the police and military start detaining journalists without trial and killing civilians in the streets.

And remember, ANC cadres have been entering the police, military, government departments and all communication services, including the South African Broadcasting Corporation, in large numbers since 1994- at the behest of the ruling party!

The ANC cannot, and must not, threaten other political groups, marching, meeting or doing anything else that is not direct aggression. It is the Constitutional right of those political groups to demonstrate, march and hold meetings in our not-so-fledgling ‘democracy’.

People cannot, and must not be intimidated, removed from their positions, arrested, beaten, tortured and killed for having alternative viewpoints to the ruling party. 

ANC Continues Political Violence and Intimidation

Yes, these things have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen if the ‘people on the ground’ of all political, ethnic and other persuasions don’t band together and demand good governance from their leaders, and act against them with all the legal resources available if they don’t provide it.

The ANC is still attacking political marchers who need to march up the main road that runs past Shell House to get to the centre of Johannesburg. It is still justifying attacks on such marchers as being perceived threats to ANC members.

As it was in 1994 in the violence against unarmed IFP supporters, the violence that almost spilled over against DA supporters was simply violence against an opposition party, designed to intimidate and shatter cohesion. Military tactics against civilians.

Any lie repeated often enough becomes the truth said Adolf Hitler. So did Joseph Goebbels, Vladimir Lenin and William James. So, it seems, have many people - names unnamed- within the top leadership of the ANC.

Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it, said the Spanish philosopher George Santanyana. That is still true today. We must learn our history- not just the politically approved versions of it- all of it- and remember, lest the nationalist government we have now, which replaced the nationalist government we had pre-1994 becomes the same animal, with wider stripes and sharper teeth and claws.

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