Saturday, August 6, 2016

Slow Saturday Special: South African Elections

"In South Africa, the rule of the African National Congress may be coming to an end" by Krista Mahr Washington Post   August 05, 2016

JOHANNESBURG — Two days after millions of South Africans cast ballots in the most closely watched elections since the nation’s first democratic vote in 1994, the chief whip of the ruling African National Congress party got up early Friday morning to explain its worst showing in 22 years.

Wearing a black jacket emblazoned with the ANC logo of a spear and shield, Jackson Mthembu sat in front of reporters and TV cameras and pondered where the party once led by Nelson Mandela had gone wrong.

Oh, I think I know where.

By late Friday, with 98 percent of results counted, the ANC had won about 54 percent of the vote.

For some parties, that would be reason to celebrate, but for the ANC, which has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid, it was grim news, even though it involved only regional elections.

That new low in the party’s national support — and the fact the party was on track to lose its controlling majority in three major cities — made it clear that the ANC’s undisputed dominance in South African politics is over.

‘‘We must then look ourselves in the eye and say, ‘What happened?’ ’’ said Mthembu, speaking to local news group News24. ‘‘We don’t believe that any of the organizations that are on offer in South Africa have a better solution than the African National Congress,’’ he said. ‘‘If we do have the better solution, what went wrong?’’

For millions of South Africans who voted for those other organizations, the answer is plenty. Many South Africans say they are fed up with the country’s high unemployment (currently over 26 percent), poor administration, and the scandals that have dogged the presidency of Jacob Zuma.

In Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg where the ANC’s beloved leader Mandela once lived, black voters who had supported the party for years said they had finally given up and wanted to see whether another group could do better.

I wonder when American blacks are going to do that with the Democrats that have enslaved and impoverished them while taking them for granted.

Though the ANC has maintained control of most municipalities, the two largest opposition parties — the centrist Democratic Alliance and the newer, smaller, ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters — made significant inroads, particularly in cities. The DA was set to take about 26 percent of the national vote and the EFF about 8 percent.

While they may end up in tricky coalitions, they have an opportunity that could change the nation’s political landscape. The DA and EFF have a chance to perform well in their newly won areas and chip away at the ANC’s share of the vote in 2019.

‘‘The leadership of the ANC is running around like headless chickens,’’ delighted EFF leader Julius Malema said Friday. ‘‘There is no contract between politicians and the voter that says, ‘Till death do us part.’ The tables have turned.’’ Whether the DA and EFF can bring more jobs, cheaper power, cleaner streets, and more accountable public servants in their new jurisdictions is hard to say.

It is unclear whether the ANC is capable of addressing what went wrong. Many say this week’s results are a direct rebuke to Zuma, whose popularity among urban voters in particular has been sinking as his administration has lurched from crisis to crisis.

Though prominent ANC stalwarts have publicly called for his resignation this year, the party leadership has continued to back him.

How is that impeachment going anyway?


Globe campaign coverage:

"South Africa’s candidates in midst of deadly election season" Associated Press  August 02, 2016

JOHANNESBURG — One motivation behind the killings is the chance of a steady job as a councilor in a country where more than 25 percent of people are unemployed, said Gareth Newham, head of the governance, crime, and justice division of the local Institute for Security Studies.

‘‘These are people who go from literally being unemployed to suddenly being able to afford a much better lifestyle. So there is intense competition for those positions,’’ Newham said. Even the lowest-grade part-time councilor was making up to $1,110 a month last year. The posts also come with the chance to control local resources and patronage.

It's the same everywhere, isn't it?

Newham said another factor in the recent killings is the relative impunity of such attacks in the past. ‘‘Ninety percent of the time, people are getting away with it. It’s low-risk,’’ he said.

President Jacob Zuma’s office has urged that the municipal elections remain peaceful, and campaigning in many parts of the country has been calm

Turns out people all across this world turn to every available option before revolting with violence, and I wish the South Africans luck.

The African National Congress party, which has ruled South Africa since the first all-race elections 22 years ago, faces a serious challenge in some of the country’s most important cities. Those include the largest city, Johannesburg; the Tshwane metro area around the capital, Pretoria; and even the eastern coastal municipality named after the ANC’s star, Nelson Mandela Bay.

God rest his soul, and good thing he was so demented at the end of his life he couldn't see what South Africa has become under ANC rule.

Many of the political killings this year have not been in such contested areas, instead occurring in the traditional ANC stronghold of KwaZulu-Natal, which has a history of political violence. 

Yeah, good thing we don't have that here.

The killings have forced some candidates into hiding, said Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, co-chairman of the National Coordinating Forum of community groups that partner with the Electoral Commission on observing and other activities....

Must be why the Globe didn't report much more.


Also see: Hanging Chads

RelatedMalawi man arrested after describing sex with young girls

In a statement, Malawi’s president said it is unacceptable to commit violations under the guise of culture, and they are talking sex with young girls once they reach puberty as a form of ritual cleansing. Must be what's behind al the elite sex rings that serve the wealthy and powerful. 

You know, the kind that are buried by the pre$$ -- if they bother to report them at all.  

"Interpol arrests Nigerian accused of $60 million cybercrime" Associated Press  August 01, 2016

LAGOS, Nigeria — A Nigerian accused of scamming $60 million from companies around the world through fraudulent e-mails has been arrested after months of investigation, Interpol and Nigeria’s antifraud agency said Monday.

One company paid out $15.4 million, according to an Interpol statement.

The ringleader of a global scamming network, identified only as 40-year-old Mike, was arrested along with a 38-year-old accomplice in Nigeria’s oil capital, Port Harcourt, in June, the statement said. He is on administrative bail, which implies that officers do not yet have enough evidence to charge him.

The man is accused of leading a network that compromised e-mail accounts of small- and medium-sized businesses around the world including in the United States, Australia, India, South Africa, and Thailand. The statement didn’t name any targets.

The network involved about 40 people in Nigeria, Malaysia, and South Africa who provided malware and carried out the frauds, with money-laundering contacts in China, Europe, and the United States providing bank account details.

A supplier’s e-mail would be compromised and fake messages sent to a buyer with instructions for payment to a bank account under the network’s control, the statement said. Or an executive’s e-mail account would be taken over and a request for a wire transfer sent to an employee.

The extent of my e-mail interaction these days is checking the box after about three months and deleting all. I never even open anything anymore.

Lawyer Gary Miller of the International Fraud Group said the amount was ‘‘minuscule, a drop in the ocean’’ in a cybercrime industry estimated to be worth $1 trillion to $2 trillion.

He said it is ‘‘quite unusual’’ to track down a cyber-criminal because ‘‘they’re usually protected by a few tens, if not hundreds, of zombie servers which hide their identity.’’ His group traces looted funds for individuals and companies.

Nigeria is notorious for internet fraud. The US Embassy says it receives inquiries every day from Americans who have been defrauded.

And yet the calls keep on coming.


Maybe a change of leadership over there would help:

"Wednesday’s announcement indicates a coup by Boko Haram breakaway group Ansaru against  long-time leader Abubakar Shekau, and follows a trend of extremist Islamic groups moving away from Al Qaeda to the Islamic State, analyst Jacob Zenn said."

Yeah, ISIS doesn't do that except in Syria, Iraq, Libya.... WTF?

"Shekau’s declaration could pave the way for a break from the Islamic State and Boko Haram’s possible return to the influence of Al Qaeda. It also could cause insurgent rivals to turn their guns on each other."

One can always hope. 

What I see there is the CIA's man got booted by the locals (now called ISIS) so now the groundwork needs to be laid for Al-CIA-Duh to get back in there.

I wouldn't stay in Somalia, either:

"2 suicide car bombs near UN offices kill 13 in Somalia" Associated Press  July 27, 2016

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Two suicide bombers detonated explosives-laden cars Tuesday outside the office of the United Nations’ mine-clearing agency and a Somali army checkpoint in Mogadishu, killing 13 people, including seven guards, Somali police officials said.

The blasts occurred near the African Union base in the area of the Mogadishu airport, Somali police chief General Mohamed Sheikh Hassan said.

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, Al Shabab, claimed responsibility, according to the group’s Andalus radio station.

That's Al-CIA-Bob but spelled phonetically by the pre$$ so as to trip you up.

Unlike previous attacks by the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab, gunmen did not accompany the suicide bomber, said police Captain Mohamed Hussein. The first suicide bomber tried to speed through the barrier at the UN office but guards shot at the car, he said. The guards were from a private security firm, said a police official, who insisted on anonymity.

The deputy spokesman for the UN secretary general, Farhan Haq, told reporters that if the guards had not stopped the car from entering the UN premises, there ‘‘would have been considerably more damage and loss of life.’’

A second suicide blast targeted a checkpoint manned by Somali security forces near the African Union base in Mogadishu, Hussein said. Casualties there remained unclear.

Al Shabab is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s weak UN-backed government with the goal of establishing an Islamic emirate, ruled by a strict form of Islam.

More than 22,000 peacekeepers serve in the multination African Union force. Al Shabab opposes the presence of foreign troops in Somalia.

Although Al Shabab was ousted from Mogadishu in 2011, it continues to wage a deadly guerrilla campaign.

‘‘Al Shabab is desperately seeking relevance and will do anything to keep in the news headlines,’’ the AU special representative for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, said in a statement.

Globe helped 'em out, too!


Then they must have thought wiser of it.

"Witnesses say South Sudan soldiers raped dozens near UN camp" by Jason Patinkin Associated Press  July 28, 2016

JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudanese government soldiers raped dozens of ethnic Nuer women and girls last week just outside a United Nations camp where they had sought protection from renewed fighting, and at least two died from their injuries, witnesses and civilian leaders said.

The rapes in the capital of Juba highlighted two persistent problems in the chaotic country engulfed by civil war: targeted ethnic violence and the reluctance of UN peacekeepers to protect civilians. At least one assault occurred as peacekeepers watched, witnesses said.

UN peacekeepers don't do much of that at all, do they? Not in Africa anyway.

On July 17, two armed soldiers in uniform dragged away a woman who was less than a few hundred yards from the UN camp’s western gate while armed peacekeepers on foot, in an armored vehicle, and in a watchtower looked on. One witness estimated that 30 peacekeepers from Nepalese and Chinese battalions saw the incident.

‘‘They were seeing it,” the witness said. “Everyone was seeing it. The woman was seriously screaming, quarreling, and crying also, but there was no help.’’

He and other witnesses interviewed insisted on speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals by soldiers if identified.

A spokeswoman for the United Nations, Shantal Persaud, did not dispute that rapes took place close to the camp. The mission has documented 120 cases of rape and sexual violence against civilians throughout Juba since the latest fighting began, she said Wednesday.

‘‘The mission takes very seriously allegations of peacekeepers not rendering aid to civilians in distress, and the UNMISS force command is looking into these allegations,’’ Persaud said.

The reported assaults occurred about a week after rival government forces clashed in Juba, forcing opposition leader Riek Machar from the city and killing hundreds of people. As a cease-fire took hold, women and girls began venturing outside the UN camp for food.

The camp houses more than 30,000 civilians who are nearly all ethnic Nuer, the same ethnicity as Machar. They fear attacks by government forces who are mostly ethnic Dinka, the same as Machar’s rival, President Salva Kiir.

As the women and girls walked out of the UN camp, they entered an area called Checkpoint, in the shadow of a mountain on Juba’s western outskirts. In interviews, women described soldiers in Checkpoint allowing them to leave to buy food but attacking them as they returned.

‘‘When we reached Checkpoint, the soldiers come out and called the women and said, ‘Stop, please, and sit down,’ so we stopped and sat down, and they took one woman inside a shop,’’ a woman said. ‘‘Four men went inside the shop and they raped the woman while we three stayed outside.’’

In another incident, one woman said a group of soldiers pulled two women and two underage girls from their group and gang-raped them in a shop, with more than 10 men to each victim. One girl later died, she said.


"Food shortages, sexual assault plague South Sudan’s displaced" by Jacey Fortin New York Times  August 04, 2016

JUBA, South Sudan — At a sprawling displacement camp on the outskirts of the capital, women have faced a wrenching choice: risk starvation or sexual assault.

It's not that I have no sympathy or compassion for their plight; however, it was likely caused by the very same forces now showing such concern and I no longer trust those forces when they are waving women at us in furtherance of some war aim.  The Jewi$h war media cares about the Syrian war refugees, cares about the Sudanese, but doesn't give a damn about generations of Palestinians living in camps thanks to expansionist Israel. 

I no longer trust the good intentions of my lying war pre$$. 

Is that wrong?

When her family ran out of food last month, Angelina Nhokmar, a 20-year-old mother of two, ventured outside the camp’s gates. She said she was lucky to have made it to the market and back unharmed, because dozens of women were raped by government soldiers in recent weeks as they made the same journey.

“It’s not safe,” she said, tossing handfuls of sorghum into a pot of boiling water. “Our enemies are outside.”

It's the enemy within in AmeriKa.

The civil war that ripped apart South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, ended on paper months ago.

But clashes between the country’s rival factions in July put a chokehold on regular food distribution for the tens of thousands of people stranded in United Nations-run displacement camps. As families struggled to find sustenance, they endured an increase in health care crises, ethnic tensions, and sexual violence.

Nearly 30,000 people have been sheltering at UN sites around the capital, Juba, since South Sudan erupted in civil war in 2013. For more than two years, soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir — who belongs to the Dinka ethnic group, South Sudan’s largest — battled troops led by Riek Machar of the Nuer ethnic group, which is believed to be the second-largest.

Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the war, and troops on both sides committed human rights abuses against civilians on a devastating scale.

A peace deal officially ended the fighting last year. Machar, who had served as vice president before being fired in 2013, agreed to become Kiir’s deputy once again and moved back to Juba in April.

But then fighting broke out again between the two sides on July 7, killing hundreds. Machar’s residence was destroyed, and he fled the capital. He has refused to return to Juba unless more international troops are deployed. Kiir opposes this, arguing that the 12,000 UN peacekeeping troops already stationed here are enough.

For years, the displacement camps have been worlds unto themselves: communities complete with churches, shops, and schools. But they are also plagued by overcrowding, recurring shortages of basic goods, and the uncertainty faced by residents who have no idea when, if ever, they will feel safe enough to leave.

In the Palestinians case they have nowhere to go, and for all I know it may be the same for the Sudanese.

So they stay, cloistered inside barbed-wire fences guarded by UN troops who have failed to keep peace in the capital or even to prevent assaults just outside the camps’ perimeters.

You know what those camps could be called?

Sexual assaults in Juba surged last month, to at least 217 reported cases, the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a statement Thursday.

Members of South Sudan’s own national army, he said, seemed to be responsible for most of the assaults. And most of the victims, he added, were displaced Nuer women and girls.

Many were women living in the camps who ventured out to the markets when food ran out. Others were fleeing the clashes and making their way to the displacement sites for the first time.

The civilians who came to these camps in 2013 were overwhelmingly Nuer. Last week, thousands of them demonstrated against Kiir for recognizing a new vice president to take Machar’s place in the transitional government, calling it a violation of the peace deal.

Such a gathering would be unimaginable now in central Juba. The streets of the capital are firmly under the control of the president’s forces, though they are still tense. Many properties have been destroyed, and many more looted — often by men wearing army uniforms.

International partners have also suffered, including the UN peacekeeping mission, which lost two Chinese soldiers to crossfire inside the camp last month, and the World Food Program, whose main warehouse in South Sudan was looted from top to bottom in one of the worst such episodes the organization has experienced in years.

It wasn’t just the food, which totaled about 4,500 metric tons and consisted mostly of nutritional supplements for children and pregnant or nursing mothers, according to a spokeswoman, Challiss McDonough.

It will fetch more on the black market.

“Everything was stripped,” she said. “Technical equipment, generators, fuel stocks — every single thing was gone.”

Also stolen were several trucks specially outfitted to deliver food across the country, a near-impossible task for normal vehicles in the current rainy season. That means the warehouse looting in Juba, which would have required a herculean effort involving hundreds of people over several days, will have ripple effects all across this desperately hungry country.

Last week, the World Food Program, which still has a smaller warehouse in the vicinity of the capital, delivered a new shipment of food to the camps. But there is not enough for everyone. People said they had been asked to share their rations with thousands of newcomers.

This has led to some friction, said Charles Longa, 25, a new arrival. Like many of the most recently displaced, he is not Nuer but Equatorian, a catchall term encompassing several ethnic groups from the country’s diverse southern regions.

“The people who have been living here for a long time are telling us we’d better go home,” he said, blaming food shortages for the rising tensions. “We Equatorians don’t want to be in here, begging. We want to be out there, farming.”

Some who fled the clashes last month crowded into schools and churches in Juba, saying they did not want to risk the journey to the UN camps.

Others said they had made the dangerous trek, but were turned away.

“If you give shelter, you should give it to everyone,” said Azen Aziuphia, 41, who said that he, his wife, and his son had been denied entry. He accused the peacekeepers of refusing to admit Equatorians like him, though the United Nations says it does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity.

The UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien, acknowledged the sites had limited space, and that the registration of newcomers had been slow. He added that the camps were meant to accommodate only those who have nowhere else to go.


Only one thing left to do: head for Zimbabwe, and from there on to South America.

I wonder how many coups she will approve in Africa should she be selected president.


"African National Congress suffers worst-ever election results" by Cara Anna Associated Press  August 06, 2016

JOHANNESBURG — Since South Africa’s first all-race election in 1994, the ANC has had widespread support on the strength of its successful fight against white-minority rule, while bringing basic amenities to many people. But its hold has been weakened by corruption scandals and a stagnant economy that has frustrated the urban middle class, while poor communities demand better services in a country with one of the highest inequality rates in the world.

‘‘Election after election, the ANC has hung on to its past glory and kept its place in the hearts of most South Africans. . . . This time round, though, it’s not enough,’’ the Mail & Guardian newspaper said in an editorial. On social media, South Africans mocked President Jacob Zuma’s recent claim that the ANC would rule ‘‘until Jesus comes back.’’

In a brief address shortly before final results were announced, Zuma, 74, thanked South Africans for a vote he called largely peaceful, free, and fair.

‘‘Our democracy is maturing,’’ he said. ‘‘Let us get back to work and build our country together.’’

The election was notable for its peaceful power shift away from an entrenched government in Africa, where some leaders have been in office for decades. In neighboring Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, 92, has kept control since independence in 1980 with disputed elections and crackdowns on dissent.

There have been attempts in the past to remove him, but the pre$$ always dropped the matter once Mugabe got back on board.

Before this election, the ANC had never lost a major black-majority municipality. Now it has lost two, including Nelson Mandela Bay, named for the ANC’s star and the country’s first black president.

The Democratic Alliance already runs the country’s second largest city, Cape Town, the only major municipality where blacks are in the minority among white and mixed-race residents. The party, which has roots in the antiapartheid movement, has declared that its brand is good governance.

‘‘For far too long, the ANC has governed South Africa with absolute impunity,’’ the party’s leader, Mmusi Maimane, 36, told reporters earlier Saturday. He said the idea that his party was a white one has been ‘‘completely shattered.’’

I love it when people come together.

Oh, look, another elite sex criminal ruling over the masses.