View Full Version : Max doen dit weer

06-05-2013, 11:25 PM

Anti-apartheid journalist and apologist for South Africa’s democratic dispensation Max Du Preez has been caught short with his latest efforts to justify the unjustifiable. In a Natal Mercury piece (30.4.13), du Preez tells us we can “learn from Zimbabwe’s flourishing farms”, and goes on to laud a new book by three London (where else?) left wingers: London School of Economics’ Joseph Hanlon, an anti-apartheid and commonwealth sanctions activist in the 1980’s; Jeanette Manjengwa, Deputy Director, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Zimbabwe; and Teresa Smart, visiting fellow at the University of London.

Du Preez says the book “Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land” shows that Zimbabwe’s radical land grab “has worked” and that “agricultural production is on levels comparable to the time before the process started.” What is meaningful, says Du Preez, is that these production levels were achieved by 245,000 black farmers on land previously worked by some 6 000 white farmers. He clearly does not see the irony in this – does it take 245 000 Africans to produce the same as 6 000 white farmers?

(It is interesting that euphemisms such as “the process”, “land redistribution” and “fast track land reform” are used in the book and by Mr. Du Preez to describe one of Africa’s most haunting and terrifying attacks on any country’s productive agricultural sector. Who can forget the horrifying television footage of mobs of so-called war veterans storming white farms, destroying farm animals, beating to death family dogs trying to defend their owners’ properties, while farm families who couldn’t flee fast enough met sometimes gruesome fates at the hands of these thugs, all in the name of land reform. Ironically, these destructive mobs received few farms at all – the choicer properties were taken by Mugabe’s cronies for, in some cases, weekend parties.)

From the book, Du Preez says lessons South Africans can learn is that new black farmers can actually farm successfully and commercially if given enough time and help, and that an “ambitious land redistribution programme (in South Africa) can play a role in alleviating poverty and providing employment and dignity to large numbers or marginalized people”. (It is reported that the London team spent one month in Zimbabwe before writing the book, and that they used a simplistic method based on a very small section of agriculture – they used three farms that were “taken back” while more than five thousand farms were stolen by the Mugabe government.)

It is further common cause that many “flourishing” farms are owned by the Chinese, and that the few still owned by white farmers operate at the grace and favor of President Mugabe.(He, his courtiers and his army have to be fed after all!). We are also told that when certain farms are targeted by the ubiquitous war veterans, all the owner has to do is phone the Chinese Embassy and nothing more is heard from the mob. Sizeable tobacco contracts have been signed with the Chinese government.

What is to be gleaned from this puff piece by someone who clearly feels the need to continue defending South Africa’s current dispensation?

06-05-2013, 11:26 PM

Black South Africans have existed in Africa for millennia. They never developed anything better than subsistence farming - maybe food for today but little for tomorrow. They had no written language, and it was left to early Christian missionaries to formalize and put into script African languages which had been solely an oral tradition. Thus there was no recorded title to land – it is a non-African concept - so to entitle a book “Zimbabwe Takes its Land Back” is disingenuous. One commentator declared: Zimbabwe takes back its land from whom? It was taken back from Zimbabweans, seventy percent of whom had bought their farms after President Mugabe came to power and whose agricultural skills were the bedrock of a country that had been a savannah until they came.

Yes, in another way, land in Zimbabwe was “taken back” – it was plundered and stolen from white productive farmers whose accomplishments showed up the incompetence and inability of others to produce a surplus, let alone enough to eat for themselves. This highway robbery was based on racial resentment, fuelled by a tyrant afraid of losing an election and who used white achievement as a scapegoat to foster black pique.


Before Mr. Du Preez decided to wax unctuous about Zimbabwe’s “flourishing farms”, he could have visited the websites of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome, the World Bank and a few other organizations trying to keep Zimbabwe afloat. According to WFP director Felix Bamezon (14.3.13), Zimbabwe’s current food insecurity levels are “the worst in four years.” The WFP is presently providing food aid to 1,58 million people in 37 districts of the country. In March this year, the WFP said approximately 19% of the population of Zimbabwe was estimated to be in need of food assistance.

If a government cannot even feed its people, let alone have surplus production, this can hardly be termed “flourishing”. The Japanese government recently provided nearly $6 million for flood, drought and food relief to Zimbabwe. This contribution allowed the WFP to purchase maize for 215,000 people and pulses for 835 000 people for two months. During the last decade, Japan has provided more than $29 million to the WFP’s operations in Zimbabwe.

In January of this year, the Zimbabwean finance minister admitted to journalists the country only had $217 in its bank account! David Smith of the London Guardian wrote on 30 January of this year that “from 2000 the seizure of white-owned farms led to chaos in the agriculture sector and the economy shrank by half. In 2008 hyperinflation of 231,000,000% broke the national currency and left millions of people hungry.” (Emphasis ours)

Where did the money go? The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says that income from diamond sales is being stolen by President Mugabe’s Zanu/PF party to finance the forthcoming election. The watchdog “Partnership Africa Canada” said last November that at least $2 billion of diamonds form the Marange fields has been stolen by Mugabe’s ruling elite.


In the October 2009 edition of THE ROSARIAN, a publication distributed by the Flame Lily Foundation (created to secure the interests of former residents of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), Dr. Mick Gammon writes a lengthy piece on the destruction of Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe, with particular emphasis on agriculture. (Dr. D.M. Gammon was a former specialist in the Department of Conservation and Extension in the Rhodesian Ministry of Agriculture.)
“The first white traders and missionaries who came to the region in the 19th century found a land devoid of infrastructure. The wheel was not yet in use. Travelers went for days without seeing any human habitation. With a population of around 250 00 at the time, most of the land was not occupied. Commercial farming started in the 1890s on what was for the most part, virgin land. There were no roads or railways, no electricity or telephones, no fences, boreholes, pumps, windmills, dams, irrigation schemes; no cattle dips, barns or any other farm buildings.

“These first farmers had to discover how to contend with predators that killed their livestock and other animals that consumed their crops; how to control diseases, pests and parasites of livestock and crops that were foreign to them. Knowledge and experience built up over generations in the developed world had limited application, since the local climate, oil and vegetation was vastly different.

“From this starting point, agriculture developed faster than it had anywhere else in the world. Soon the country became self-sufficient in most agricultural products. In many cases yields per hectare and quality equalled and bettered those in the developed world.

“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Year Book 1975 ranked the then Rhodesia second in the world in terms of yields of maize, wheat, soya beans and ground nuts, and third for cotton. In the combined ranking for all these crops, Rhodesia ranked first in the world.
Rhodesia’s Virginia tobacco was rated the best in the world in yield and quality, while maize entries in world championships were consistently placed in the first three places.

“The world’s largest single citrus producer was developed early in the country’s history. The indigenous cattle were developed through breeding and selection to highly productive breeds. Wild life was incorporated into farming systems to develop a highly successful eco-tourism industry, and endangered species found their most secure havens on farm conservancies.

“Zimbabwe was the world’s second largest exporter of flue-cured tobacco. This together with exports of maize, soya beans, cotton, sugar, coffee, tea, fruit, vegetables, flowers and beef, made agriculture the major source of foreign currency. It was the largest employer of labor, providing employment for about a third of the country’s work force.

“The country’s state departments of veterinary services, tobacco research, plant and seed research, livestock and crop management were world class. Each farm was, to a large extent, an outpost of civilization and many farms established schools for the children of their workers. Every farm was a clinic and dispensary and ambulance service for the surrounding areas.”

What happened to these farmers has been splashed around the world. It is a tragic history. From prosperity to a government balance sheet of just $217; to perennial food aid, to a tyrannical dictatorship, corruption and government theft; to poverty and large-scale emigration. From a bread basket to a basket case. The only thing flourishing in this scenario is the scary imagination of Mr. Du Preez.

Jannie van Graan
06-07-2013, 06:00 PM
Mnr du Preez jy moet 'seblief nie so snoep wees met daai goed wat jy rook nie. Dit moet wonderlik sterk wees om jou al die mooi versies te laat sien. Meneer, ek het tot onlangs nog in daai land gaan werk en dit is baie duidelik sigbaar uit 'n vliegtuig waar SA ophou en Zim begin, ek dink tog u moet dit probeer in plaas van in daardie kantoortjie te sit en zol rook. Dit is tog jammer dat die mense wat die snert lees nie die "voorreg" het om self te gaan kyk nie.

Mnr du Preez, verduidelik tog 'seblief vir Jannie hoekom daar so 'n paar miljoen van Bob se onderdane hier in SA rond swerf. As dit dan nou so goed gaan daar soos wat u so onomwonde verkondig dan sal die volkies mos baie beter daaraan toe wees as hulle terug gaan na daardie land van melk en heuning, of hoe dan meneer? Miskien het hulle darem nog nie u pragtige boodskap van hulle geboorte land gelees nie. Of miskien, net miskien het hulle dit gelees en is hulle net so min beindruk met die lugkasteel as wat Jannie is. Meneer, wie verf die lugkastele wat u so met ywer bou, 'n Zimbabwier? Wat is dit nou werklik wat die dryfveer agter so 'n klomp str0nt is? Het die mense van Natal Mercury werklig verstaan wat u skryf of het hulle straks gedink dit is een of ander satire.

black farmers can actually farm successfully and commercially if given enough time and help,

Hoeveel tyd en hoeveel hulp? Given enough time and help, I may be able to build a spaceship and go to Mars...But then again.... Rook maar lekker

06-07-2013, 08:22 PM
Hehe Jannie ek het darem nou lekker gelag vir jou kwinkslae. Jy slaan die spyker senter op sy kop.

06-07-2013, 08:23 PM
Ignoreer die idioot.

06-07-2013, 08:59 PM
Ignoreer die idioot.
Die probleem is dat die gemiddelde suid afrikaner dit nie sal ignoreer nie, maar sal glo.

06-08-2013, 07:56 PM
Max se somme kan nie klop nie.

Die statistieke in Suid-Afrika het vir ons gewys dat elke werker op ’n plaas, gemiddeld agtien mense onderhou. EK kan nie dink dat dit in Zimbabwe anders sal wees nie.

Jannie het dit ook uitgewys dat dit nie die plaaslike bevolking is wat die landbou aan die lewe hou nie maar dat dit ’n paar wit boere en buitelandse maatskappye is wat groot boer. Kom ons veronderstel dat die kwessie so eenvoudig is soos wat Max dit bespreek en dan vergelyk ons dit teenoor die statistieke.

Die eerste statistiek is reeds bewys en dit is dat bestaansboere presies doen soos wat hulle naam hulle beskryf. Hulle boer om te bestaan. Hy maak nie geld nie. Hy oorleef net. So onthou ek ’n onderhoud wat ons TV2 eendag met ’n bestaansboer in Natal gevoer het wat met piesangs boer. Die plaas was kleiner as my werf en hy het as ek reg onthou vyf piesangbome gehad waarmee hy kwansuis geboer het. Hoeveel mense sal hy kan onderhou ? EK glo nie dat hy homself vir ’n jaar lank kan onderhou nie, wat nog van ander. Maar hy boer.

Die meeste oumanne wat grensdiens gedoen het, kan die klein landerye van bestaansboere onthou. Dit was nie veel groter as twee hektaar nie en daardie twee hektaar was gewoonlik met produkte aangeplant wat bier kan maak. Wanneer ons dit met die tradisionele gebiede in Suid-Afrika vergelyk lyk die prentjie vir geen oomblik anders nie. Bestaansboere boer om te bestaan.

Kom ons kyk na Max se somme.

245,000 swart boere boer nou op grond wat deur 6000 wit boere bewerk was. Met ander woorde dit is 245 duisend bestaansboere wat elkeen net vir homself kan leef. Vergelyk dit met 6000 boere wat gemiddeld elk vir dertig mense werk gegee het, kry ons ’n som van 180 duisend mense wat ’n werk met ’n goeie inkomste gehad het sodat hulle ook vir hulle families kon sorg. Gebruik ons die Suid-Afrikaanse syfer van 18 op 1 beteken dit dat die wit Zim. Boere gesorg het dat 3.24 miljoen mense elke maand kos gehad het om te eet.

Met 3.24 miljoen wat toe bevoordeel was teenoor die 245 duisend wat nou skaars hulleself as bevoorreg kan beskou, is daar vir die nuwe bestaansboere van Zimbabwe nog baie ruimte vir verbetering. Maar kan die agterstand ooit ingehaal word.

Nie volgens my kennis van die Afrika kultuur nie. Afrika is baie naïef en het mooi reëls om geweld te vermy. Een van die reëls is juis vooruitgang. Omdat die Afrika kultuur van almal verwag om hulle rykdomme met die wat nie het nie te deel, word die wat het gedwing om nie meer te vervaardig as wat hyself nodig het om te oorleef nie.

Afrika is sy eie grootste vyand en sonder die wit man sal en kan Afrika nooit die moondheid word waaroor hy droom nie. Maar vertel dit nou vir Max.

Jannie van Graan
06-08-2013, 09:10 PM
Goeie opsomming Lukas. Ek dink Max is maar, soos sy gewoonte dit wil hê, net besig om bollie te praat. Hy moet iets sê om die aandag van sy vele flops af te lei. Hy was voor 1994 een van die groot kampvegters vir die cANCer oorname. Gedurende daardie tyd het hy erg gal gebraak in sy koerantjie en erg gevry na die terroriste-organisasie. Maar, hulle het hom uiteindelik ook maar op die ashoop gegooi toe hulle agterkom dat hy maar net 'n dop is, 'n klinkende simbaal wat raas en raas vir geen ander rede as om te raas nie. Ek wonder soms of die sulkes soos onse Max regtig daar diep binne in hul self die bollie glo wat hulle verkondig. Ek dink nie regtig so nie.

Soos ek sê, ek het baie daar gaan werk en wat ek van die "locals" ervaar het verskil totaal van wat meneer du Preez probeer verkondig. Afrika is 'n selfverteerende virus. Die enkele grootste probleem is "tribalism". Dit, gekoppel aan die verskil tussen die "gewone" burgers en die moslem burgers is die twee grootste onheile; hier by ons is dit alreeds duidelik in die manier wat zumatello homself met sy eie ninja-turtletjies omring. Wat ons sien as die groot geveg tussen die unies op die myne is inwerklikheid 'n deel van die "tribalism" en ondertone van die hele zuma plan om homself as diktator (ala Bob) te vestig.

06-08-2013, 10:23 PM
Die monargieë in Afrika is baie interessant en dit is soos jy sê, dit is ’n virus wat homself opvreet. Die Porras was lank voor ons in Mosambiek. Toe hulle daar gekom het, was daar amper nie swart mense nie. Die slawehandelaars het hulle slawe in Tanzanië gaan vang. Teen die tyd toe Rhodesië en Noord Rhodesië hulle name gekry het, was daar minder as ’n miljoen mense in daardie streek. Vandag is net in Noord Rhodesië meer as 75 verskillende tale. Waar het al die mense vandaan gekom?

Botswana is vir my ’n goeie voorbeeld dat wit mense vir Afrika baie nadelig kan wees. Botswana was van die begin af baie slim en het hulle eie land as te ware weer van die Britte terug gebedel sodat hulle lank voor ons onafhanklik kon word. Hulle was in geen rewolusie nie en die rewolusionêre treurspel van Afrika het Botswana nooit geskend nie. Die resultaat van hulle eie beheer is ’n bevolking wat vandag moontlik al minder as ’n miljoen mense is. Soos jy sê. Afrika is ’n virus wat homself vernietig.

Wat ons eie land en die ninjas betref, sal die Afrika reël wat die res van Afrika teister ook weer hier getoets word. Wanneer daar ’n mag is, moet dit uitgedaag word want Afrika word deur die sterkste bul regeer. In Afrika is daar nie nasies nie daar is stamme. Die stam wat mag kry, sal altyd die ander stamme onderdruk. Maar omdat die Afrika kultuur so na aan Kommunisme is, dink die kommuniste en die sosialiste dat Afrika natuurlike sosialiste en kommuniste sal wees. Op die oog af lyk dit so maar dit is nie heeltemal die waarheid nie.

Die stam wat die mag kry, sal altyd probeer om die mag te behou. Dit is waarom dit so moeilik was om Mbeki uit die stoel te lig. Die Xhosa was net vir te lank in beheer en die Zoeloes wou ’n beurt hê. Noudat die Zoeloe daar sit, wil hy weer nie sy posisie prysgee nie. Maar die Pedi en die Venda en die Tswana wil ook nog ’n beurt kry om Suid-Afrika te regeer en die tyd loop uit. Elke stam wil dit in sy leeftyd sien en hoe vêrder ons die nuwe Suid-Afrika ingaan, hoe ouer word Motlanthe en Rhamaphosa. Een van die stamme sal nie die droom sien waar word nie.

Met die mooi planne om die nuwe grondwet gevestig te kry, sal die realiteit seker ook materialiseer. My vermoede is dat die stam wat tydens die nuwe grondwet in bewind gaan kom, nooit weer sonder geweld van sy troon sal klim nie. Tog is dit nie noodwendig vir ons slegte nuus nie. Ons wat wit is, is die enigste oplossing vir Afrika. Ons moet dit net begin besef en die geleenthede reg bestuur.