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New Frank Talk

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Guardian journalist says New Frank Talk publisher is a “maverick black cloud”

David Smith, a journalist from the UK’s Guardian, attended the launch of the sixth volume of New Frank Talk. Check out the report:

Introduction to The People vs Phillip: How the ANC sold us for a Cup.

Below is an introduction to the latest New Frank Talk written by Andile Mngxitama. It is titled, The People vs Phillip: How the ANC sold us for a Cup. The full version of the essay will be available from Friday 9 July.


The national middle class will have nothing better to do than to take on the role of manager for Western enterprise, and it will in practice set up its country as the brothel of Europe. – Frantz Fanon

The enormity of the crime of the World Cup upon our nation is paralysing.  It has been a Herculean task to keep awake through the blaring vuvuzelas and the constant imploring of  people to celebrate because we have shown the “doubting Thomases” that we can do it.  All critical thinking was suspended.  The only God we allowed ourselves to worship was the success of the World Cup. But we must stay awake amidst the cacophony of noise that is willing us to forget. Nic Dawes, editor of the Mail and Guardian, found an easy enough solution but wondered if we could have done better;

“The simple solution is to enjoy the party and to suspend critical thought until the inevitable August hangover. It is an attractive idea in many ways, but it requires powers of self-deception that are beyond many of us — and frankly, it is unpatriotic.”

It has been extraordinary to see how we have thrown ourselves into self- deception. The White world has, over the ages, held Blacks in contempt, now we will do everything to show the very same  world that we are humans too. Our media, with few admirable exceptions, threw itself to the task of deepening the self-deception with amazing zeal. “Feel it, it’s here!” was drummed into our heads day in and day out. We responded with the general South African creativity. We said “Phillip is here”. We concretised the spirit of the soccer tournament into a person’s name. The World Cup was our close friend, Phillip.

We prayed at the altar of “Phillip” and covered our eyes in the multiple flags of the nations participating in the event. It got worse: we took to lying to ourselves with straight faces and said the country is finally united! Black and white together! One nation, one people! When South Africa was booted out we switched allegiances to Ghana because we needed “Phillip” to stay. The mother of of all ironies is that while we rooted for Ghana, the hungry and despised multitudes of Black South Africa were plotting the next black anti-Black violence that is wrongly called xenophobia.  On the one side we said “Viva Black Stars of Ghana”   while on the other we said, “down with black Africans”.  Such is the nature of our schizophrenia.

The murmurs are growing. Blacks in the ghettos keep saying, “after the World Cup amakwerekwere must go!” We await the floods of mad violence to follow. A people kept in the dark, hungry, and angry, fed a blind nationalism and imbued with self-hatred is bound to unleash its venom on the closest targets it can find. The irony is, we  Black South Africans will kill other blacks from the African continent for jobs! We want to be slaves! We kill to work! Whose country and wealth is this? We don’t want to own the wealth of our nation, we want jobs! Colonialism ate our brains long time ago, and it is continuing to feast on the emaciated bones that remain.

The self-deception continues and we embrace our role of being servants of the West as the last Black colonialists with surprising pride.  The South African Communist party went further than most to declare the success of the World Cup as an example of a “developmental state in action”.  But our capitalist commies obviously did not hear Dawes’ lament;

“We have surrendered national sovereignty to a gang of old, white men in Geneva who conceive of South Africa principally as a sound stage on which a month-long commercial for their sponsors is to be filmed”.

The truth is that we have never had national sovereignty to begin with. What happened in 1994 was a mere change of drivers of the same state system that was designed to serve a White minority settler population.  We went to Fifa to show them what goodies they could derive from bringing the World Cup here.  We volunteered to be robbed. And they robbed us real good.

To make sense of the World Cup and the thinking that drove our government we used Frantz Fanon’s Pitfalls of National Consciousness.  In a sense, post 1994 South Africa is a neo-colony proper.  The World Cup was a costly ritual of submission. Our leaders wished to be accepted in the White world and did everything for such an acknowledgment. And the truth, is we didn’t need this World Cup at all. There are too many pressing national demands staring us in the face yet we still chose to spend money on amusement and thereby bring “infrastructure” where it wasn’t needed. This edition asks what we could have done with the more than R100 billion!

When we look at the 2010 World Cup we should imagine not so much a soccer match but a boxing match  where the referee, the bell ringer, the judges and spectators all gang up against the one boxer.  This is what has happened here. The ANC government, Fifa, our local media, the commentators, academics, and even our artists ganged up against the people to produce the most elaborate dispossession in modern times.  More than R100 billion of the nation’s assets were thrown into a soccer tournament. We ask how and why?

Even though the figure of about  5% contribution to the GDP by the World Cup is being bandied about, such claims are dubious..  We might as well have asked the South African Reserve Bank to print money and give it to Fifa and the South African construction and service industries.  The World Cup was the biggest lottery for business – only thing is, they were the only players and were given the winning numbers to guarantee victory!

We did everything humanly possible to satisfy Fifa’s most outrageous demands – bending laws to give Fifa tax breaks, including setting up special courts which were not even asked for. Many South Africans suffer through long waiting periods for justice to be served but for Fifa the wheels of justice ran smoothly. We are shameless in our slave mentality and disregard of our own!

This example of the World Cup raises serious questions about whether the ANC government can ever serve the people. We know now that it can serve business with admirable efficiency. However, our people still go to state hospitals, which are valleys of death. The schooling system for blacks is a disaster zone. Questions around housing and landlessness remain unanswered. Our country didn’t win the World Cup, but we are world champions of inequality yet our leaders chose to spend money on a month long soccer tournament.