Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Xmas Carol

Sacred Heart Home
Bushtick. Essexvale. Southern Rhodesia.
It is the 25th December 1949, Xmas day. We are excited, very excited as the nuns have announced that we are going to have a "Xmas party". It is our first, and "Xmas party" are new words in our lives.
At midday a stream of cars arrive. We set up our customary chant '"moti cars - moti cars - moti cars -
["moti cars" - Meaning - motor cars - ] The occupants are all white strangers. One of the cars has "Toc H Society Bulawayo Branch" emblazoned on its side.
They engage us. Balls, nets racquets and other sporting things are produced. We spend an incredibly exciting afternoon learning and playing new games as well as "old games" like foot races. Winners are rewarded with prizes of balls, puzzle sets and other occupational toys.
As evening falls there is a fireworks display. It is our first time to see fireworks. We go mad with excitement and "ooh - aah", shout, giggle and laugh at every stage. And then ... then the Xmas party - that we have all been waiting for. When the door of the hall is opened we are greeted by an unbelievable sight. The walls and ceilings are festooned with brightly coloured paper trimmings, sparkling baubles and twinkling fairy lights. It is like a dream. Many are dumbstruck and have to be jeed up ' " - common child - isn't it nice - are you not happy - ?"as we stand there, bug eyed and enthralled at what we are seeing. Of course we are happy, more than happy, thrilled to the bone, little hearts are bursting, minds are numb.
We are given Xmas hats to wear. We look at each other sheepishly, giggle and then start to laugh ... and laugh ... and heckle each other ... tease and heckle ... and laugh some more - the happy laughter of children whose hearts are singing a song not sung before. Invited to sit down we are served our Xmas dinner. A lady approaches me with a tray of rice, meat, fish and vegetables presenting in ways I have never seen. We are invited, entreated, cajoled into making choices. It is hard work for our benefactors. We have never seen such fare before. It is overwhelming to little minds. Spoilt for choice, little brains battle to cope. In the end we get there and eventually we are all tucking in, prodding each other and pointing to this and that on the plate of the other with Xmas hats requiring constant adjustment.
After the main course one of the sisters excitedly calls out "children ... children ... quiet ... quiet please ... Father Xmas is coming ... Father Xmas is coming - " Little voices peter out in obedience. A hush descends and soon everything is as quiet as a cathedral at midnight. We look around us, and each other ... looking everywhere ... for Father Xmas. The lights go out and the room is now lit only by the twinkling fairy lights on the Xmas tree in the corner. The atmosphere is almost unbearably charged as expectancy and disbelief contend in little minds and hearts.
And then we hear a sound
 ... a sound on the roof ... from a roof that has never made sounds before. It is a rasping sound of something, someone there. "Oh children" Sister Leonora calls out "did you hear Father Xmas arrive on the roof on his sleigh with his reindeers ... all the way from the North Pole ... I heard it ... yes I can hear it ..." She is answered in so many voices. Some are bright retorts - "yes Sister - yes". Others are forced whispers from mouths hampered by overwhelmed minds. Others simply look wide eyed at the nun and slowly nod ... ever so slowly ... as they struggle to believe ... that a dream is coming true.
Moments later the room is filled with a voice booming out - "Ho, ho, ho - ho, ho, ho ... hello children" As the lights go on we are struck with the sight of Father Xmas swaggering into the hall, ruddy faced, bearded, in red/white garb and a big red bag over his shoulder just as we had seen him in so many pictures. "Come ... come children ... -" he booms out - "Sister tells me that you have been good children ... very good children ... come and get your Xmas presents ... "
The base of the Xmas tree is now covered in boxes of different size and shape, all brightly wrapped and alluring. One or two of us rush forward, others have to be encouraged, even led by the hand. In the end we all get our presents, brightly coloured boxes held tightly, turned and examined from every angle with disbelieving eyes.
Opening of the presents has to be quite vigorously encouraged. Soon the room is awash with the sounds of squeals, giggles and happy little voices as we make acquaintance with our presents. Mine comprises a dinky toy car, a jig-saw puzzle and a book titled "Under Drake's Flag" by George Arthur Henty (1832 -1902). In the months that followed the adventures of Sir Francis Drake (1540-96); the first Englishman, admiral and buccaneer, to sail around the world, captivated and enthralled me and my school mates who would gather around every evening in order to hear me recount what I had read. To this day I have never received a more welcome gift.
Pudding is then served. The lady puts a plate in front of me. She invites me to help myself to ice cream. I have never seen ice cream before except in pictures. I hesitate. She spoons a huge dollop of ice cream into my plate. "Have some jelly" she says pointing to a tray of jelly in all shapes and all colours. "Help yourself ... " she says entreatingly. "You can have as much as you like ... yes you can have as much as you ... " she repeats. I look at all the jelly in front of me ... bright ... quivering ... of so many shapes ... of so many colours ... quivering ...  .
I burst into tears. So did one or two others.
What an incredibly wonderful first Xmas that was. A special mass was later held to ask Almighty God to bless the good men and women of the Toc H Society, a blessing that they richly deserved, having given up Xmas with their families to drive out and bring unbelievable magic and joy to others, little hearts beating on the fringe of society.
The next evening we spend firing off fire crackers that we had been given the night before. This is an awesome experience as "bang", "crackle', "whoosh" merge with "oohs", "aahs" other sounds of enthralled children.
Sister Radigoon does not share in our excitement. She sits on a chair to one side silently fingering the beads of her rosary. Then she calls us to sit in front of her as she has a story to tell. Her hazel blue eyes glisten under the night sky, brimful with tears as she recounts a story of nights, many nights of terror
 ... of the drone of aeroplanes drawing ever closer ... the sound of their engines heralding the terrible carnage to follow ... the chatter of anti-aircraft gunfire vainly trying to fend off the menacing approach of the birds of death.
Then the world would explode as the first bomb hit
 ... and then another ... and another ... building to a crescendo of sound ripping out roofs, flattening walls ... exposing the occupants ... men, women, children ... crying, screaming and scurrying around like so many ants whose ant heap has been blown open. And then the fires ... fires everywhere ... coming in a blood chilling "whoosh" ... waves of blinding light and searing heat ... fire storms swamping the world of the scurrying people ... enveloping all and sundry ... singing, burning and cremating ... amidst the screams, gasping, choking and moans of utter despair.
We listen uncomprehendingly to this incredible story of the bombing of the German city of Dresden on the nights of the 13 and 14, February1945, just four years before. The story comes in fits and starts as this good woman struggles to tell it in a voice that often breaks as she gropes to find the words to describe that which was just indescribable ... how night was turned to day in a process of burning alive, cooking alive, incinerating alive, tens of thousands of ordinary human beings.
There is no anger, only pain, anguish and terrible sadness. After being led in a prayer to ask for forgiveness
to those who did the bombing and to welcome the souls of the victims into His kingdom we go to bed, minds and hearts bursting with the experience of what had been a wondrous Xmas and numbed in sadness for the German people of Dresden.
We are too young to see the irony and pathos of a situation where a German nun was now tending to the unwanted progeny of the very people who bombed her people to death. 

Extract from -

Also got to ---

Friday, August 29, 2014

South Africa is in very, very grave danger

Recently many of us have been suffering a measure of cognitive dissonance. 
This has been induced by the spectre of seeing and hearing none other than Julius Malema presenting as a sentient counterpoint to the arrogant ignorance and ignorant arrogance now routinely paraded by the likes of Gwede Mantashe in ANC leadership. 
Compared to Gwede and Jesse Duarte for instance, Julius has come across as a rock of sense and a fountain of wisdom and common sense spewed out in the public interest. 
It is difficult for any reasonable person to reconcile this "new" Julius Malema to past reality, that includes him securing leadership in an elective conference that would have shamed a bad shebeen as it included delegates proudly exposing their anal anatomies. 
We are also aware, as Justice Malala correctly observes that he was born and bred into the ANC, nurtured by the ANC, fattened up by the ANC and then unleashed on the public.   Once unleashed he frothed at the mouth like something rabid, announcing that he "would kill for Zuma". He is credited with having been central to the ignominious downfall of the once revered "I am an African" Thabo Mbeki.  Jacob Zuma reciprocated by publicly endorsing Malema as an ideal future President of this fledgling democracy.  
However once he and Zuma fell out of love with each other he has flown a revolutionary flag, preaching racist divisiveness and committing to tearing up the Constitution and implementing policies that would violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the whole World was constrained to adopt after two (2) bloody World Wars and the Holocaust. 
Now Julius is presenting as a sentient hero. No reasonable person could disagree with one syllable, word or sentence that he voiced in Parliament when demanding that President Zuma comply with the Report of the Public Protector.  So too as regards his rejection of the Speaker's suspension of members of his EFF Party. He is coming across as a true champion of the public interest.
Herein lies a very grave danger. It is a truism that "a leopard never changes its spots". The very reason why there is this clichéd saying is because long history has proved it to be so true. 
What needs to be understood is that it is all too easy to attack, fault and embarrass the ANC. ANC leadership has simply failed the people over the last 16 years, firstly under Thabo Mbeki and now under Jacob Zuma. At the heart of this failure has been a racist reform model that ANC leadership was only too glad to accept from the same big business sector that underpinned the corrupt apartheid system. In the result ANC leadership has always been obsessed with a highly materialistic approach to socio-economic reform, as opposed to an understanding and implementation of true social justice. The result has been the creation of a new African elite in an incestuous relationship with traditional big business, leaving the majority still stuck in apartheid poverty. 
So it is really so very, very easy to attack, fault and embarrass the ANC.  Julius Malema was very much part of this preoccupation with dealing in assets, power and influence, as opposed to advancing the public interest. As President of the ANC Youth League he was one of the architects of the drivers of the failure of social justice. 
It is to be extremely naive and foolish to believe that the"leopard has changed its spots". The reality is that the man is simply employing artfulness and cunning that notoriously present in those that are greedy for politic power. The likes of Julius Malema, Idi Amin, Adolph Hitler ... etc ... know that all you need to do to gain power is to promise the masses what they want to hear, and they will support you ... because they have nothing to lose by doing so.  
It is that simple. It works. This simple populist strategy works ... because people really do have nothing to lose by following you. What you are giving people is Hope, in a situation of hopelessness.  Hope is the most powerful instinct human beings have.  Since current ANC leadership has made such a terrible mess of things it is defenseless. Julius Malema and the EFF are onto a very good thing ... in their strategy to expose the rottenness of the ANC government.
It is harsh irony that the EFF actually has a duty to beat the ANC with the stick of its failures on every aspect of such failures. In particular the EFF is duty bound to hold a brief for the poor ...  something the hypocritical so called SA Communist Part has simply failed to do.
The ANC is check mated as it cannot turn around and say to Julius "a'ah but you were part of the team tat created these problems" as that would be an admission of failure.

So what is this danger that I seek to warn off?  It is this.  
As the ANC wilts under attack and starts losing ground to the new "Messaih" the point will be reached where, for purely survivalist motives, current ANC leadership will have No Option but to sit down with the EFF and broker a deal.It should be remembered that this Constitution has been a thorn in the side of current ANC leadership for a very long time.  
Feel free to see this in the same vein as the deal brokering that the Mafia routinely indulged in their Al Capone hey days.
At that point our own brand of gangsters will agree to amend the Constitution so that the EFF's lunatic agenda to grab private property can be effected. Between the ANC and the EFF they have to two-thirds majority needed to tear up the Constitution.
That will be the beginning of the end for South Africa as it sinks into becoming a pariah State, like Zimbabwe, and falls out of the 21st century ...... 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear Jesse Duarte

With the greatest respect your statements on the saga involving the Public Protector are actually embarrassing, considering the leadership role you play in this country.
For instance you are insisting, with great passion. that the Public Protector should not have taken a stance with the President on his failure(s) to comply with her directive "because the matter is with Parliament ... and she is not above Parliament." 
This stance is only explicable on the basis of a fundamental misconception of how our democracy is constitutionally structured. 

In terms of that structure known as the "Doctrine of Separation of Powers" the Office of the Public Protector is in no way circumscribed by what Parliament is doing. 
She has a functional duty to ensure that her Report is complied with ... and that is what she is attempting. 
The debate in Parliament about her Report may well be very interesting ... but is actually IRRELEVANT .. for the very good reason that Parliament has no power to reverse, change or second guess  her Report. The reports by the Minister of Police and the Special Investigations Unit are entirely irrelevant in the scheme of things. 

Only the Superior Courts have power to interfere with her Report. !!!! 
Only the Superior Courts have power to interfere with her Report. !!!!

Parliament actually has a duty to ensure that her Report is complied with.
Ditto ... the so called "leak" of her letter to the President. This is simply a red herring for the simple but good reason that there actually should be NO secrecy about whether or not her Report is being complied with.
Both she and the President are fully accountable to the public who are their employers.
A citizen would be entitled to ask her what she is doing about having her Report complied with. In that event she would be obliged to say that she had written to the President. So this so called "leak" is really a "nothing" issue.

 Justice Malala is quite correct in his particularized observation that Parliament has long since ceased to "do its work" as prescribed by the Constitution. Parliament is constrained to hold the Executive accountable to the general public. From the time of the unlawful disbanding of the Scorpions, against majority public opinion, Parliament has simply acted as a "rubber stamp" of whatever the NEC of the ANC wants.

The harsh reality is that Parliament is now actually a superfluous "blah blah shop". You might as well not have it, because whatever the NEC decides is endorsed by Parliament as a matter of course. When two (2) ANC members of Parliament actually acted in accordance with the Constitution and voted against the unlawful secrecy Bill they were disciplined by the ANC.

So sadly Malala is right in his observation that the ANC cannot complain that the EFF members "disrupted" the workings of Parliament, as there is no "working" actually occurring. By asking the question as to when the President was going to comply with the Report of the Public Protector Julius Malema, whatever we might think of him, was actually attempting to get Parliament to do its "work".
There is actually not one word, syllable or sentence that Malema uttered that was not 100% correct.

 Might I suggest that you ask Prof Pierre De Vos or Prof Shadreck Gutto or even me, to run a workshop for ANC leadership on our Constitution ... as misconceptions about it are actually breathtakingly embarrassing.
This puts our fledgling democracy in very real danger.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Prime Evil --- Eugene De Kock --- and the Rule of Law

Why you cannot have the death sentence.
De Kock is/was an evil man, diabolically evil.The law took its course,
He was tried and sentenced to long imprisonment.
He has served over 20 years.
In accordance with prescribed law and procedure a Parole Board has recommended his release on parole.
The Minister has overruled the Parole Board, citing a hitherto unknown need that the families of the victims were not consulted.
Parole Boards have never consulted families of victims.
Such consultation is NOT in the law prescribing parole procedure.
So the Minister is acting out of POLITICAL NOT LEGAL or human rights considerations.
Here we see one very good reason why you cannot have the death penalty.
The President will also act out of political persuasion when exercising his/her prerogative of mercy.

In social media there are so many who contend that De Kock should “rot in jail”, and that “the laws is an ass”.  There are some that even lament the adoption of our "world beating Constitution". 
The view here is that his conduct was so reprehensible and evil that, in effect, disregarding the law in this case is justified.
This is a very, very dangerous argument indeed, because it is the antithesis of what is at the very heart of a constitutional democracy.  In a constitutional democracy every human being is guaranteed the same rights and protection under what is known as the Rule of Law.
You either have the Rule of Law, or you don’t.  There can be no exceptions.
As a High Court judge I often made decisions that I personally did not agree with. I did this as I understood that the Rule of Law was the ultimate and fundamental protection for every one of us. Once you start making exceptions the guarantee is lost, because to-morrow you or I could be the exception.
The argument that there is good reason to make an exception of De Kok is bad. One can always find “good reason” to make exceptions. Despots and tyrants do it all the time.
Certainly DE Kock was a very evil man. He actually deserved to be hanged many times over. However he was no more evil than his masters. He should be seen as just one little finger on a very huge hand of diabolical evil.
The harsh reality is that South Africa let his masters get away instead of having Nuremburg type trials and hanging the lot. As regards De Kock it prescribed a procedure in law, in terms of which he was tried, sentenced, served over 20 years and has now been recommended for parole by a Parole Board acting in accordance with its legislative mandate. 
It did this with “open eyes” about De Kock, his evil masters and the horrors of apartheid.  It even has the likes of Marthinus Christoffel Johannes van Schalkwyk in its Cabinet.
It did this as part of its birth as a constitutional democracy. Had it not done this South Africa would not have been lauded by the whole world.
It would not have secured the World Cup.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela would not have become the most revered human being in the history of the planet … just for a start.
Now we see why we have to have good judges and why they take an oath to “administer justice without fear, favour or prejudice”.  When you make an exception of De Kock you are pandering to fear, favour and prejudice on political and moral grounds.
You are pandering to the very thinking that ensured the likes of De Kock and the apartheid system. Under that thinking Blacks were to be the exception as human beings.
Politics is always a “dirty” business. Morality is a highly problematical, unruly, volatile thing. Just try settling the bitter, irrational, emotive arguments about gays and lesbians.
A very good way of seeing this issue clearly is to agree that we would all laud and praise the Police Commissioner if she were to uncover a plot to blow up Parliament and its somewhat sleepy attendees.
However would we still agree if we found out that she had uncovered the plot by torturing to death 6 human beings, including your innocent child?
In this simple analogy we see, at a stroke, why the rule of Law must never be breached.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oscar Pistorius and Luis Suarez

So what is the connection?
There might be a connection.
Suarez, a superb athlete, has now bitten another player on the field of play for the third time.
It seems probable that he does this in terms of what is known in law as "automatism", i.e, an involuntary reaction. 
He certainly cannot be doing it out of hunger, lol.
The issue of involuntary reaction and/or automatism arises as regards Oscar Pistorius, another superb athlete ... because it is known that the brain is indeed a mischievous and sometimes capricious organ.
It already controls very important functions "involuntarily and/or automatically", like our breathing.
Sometimes it gets just a bit treacherous.
So is this a situation where, given the right stimulus, the one bites and the other attacks ... automatically/involuntarily?

A shocking experience: -
I grew up in racist Rhodesia.
It was a rough tough life for us Coloureds.
This was reflected at all levels.
So there was much physical confrontation in my life.
I had many, ,many fist fights.
At all times I was in control, even when under very severe intoxication.
I worked in the Courts, as a Prosecutor, then as a Magistrate, then as a Advocate, then as a High Court Judge.
A case came out in South Africa that brought out the concept of “sane automatism” as a valid defense to criminal conduct.
I was absolutely disinterested and dismissed this as nonsense, since I had always been able to maintain control even in the most violent of circumstances.
Then, one day, we were driving from Lake McIlwaine (now Lake Chivero) when another driver nearly wrote us off and them gave me the finger.
I became overcome by a need to get him, deprive his brain him of oxygen and then reprogram his brain with good manners. I knew from experience that when a man has been throttled to near unconsciousness his mind is thereafter very receptive to good ideas about behaviour.
So I went after him, very relieved to see that he was due to be stopped at the next set of traffic lights.
I accelerated to get there, block him and get him. I had a .45 H&R Revolver on my person that I was undoubtedly going to use if things got bad for me.

At the same time I was having a conversation with myself --- “Chris Greenland, you are a High Court Judge; you cannot do this; it is against the law; you cannot take the law into your own hands; it is wrong; it is unlawful …”
But there was NOTHING I could do to stop myself ... nothing whatsoever.
It was if I was a robot that had been programmed … as if I was possessed by something from within ... with no power to resist.
Nothing was going to stop me throttling him to near consciousnesses and then mentoring him on good manners as I allowed him oxygen. Past experience had proved that this was a sure fire way to reform a human being instantly.

It struck me forcefully that this was what was meant by “sane automatism”.
I did block him at the lights, but he managed to reverse out of it and get away as my vehicle was towing a boat.
This experience came as a huge shock to me .. a very huge shock indeed ... and has remained as a salutary lesson and education about the capriciousness of the brain.

Order ---

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brown Velvet Awards. Arcadia Community Center. Harare. Zimbabwe. 24 May 2014

Speech by the Hon Mr Justice Christopher Navavie Greenland
“Simple Truth and Great Hope”

Thank you everybody.
I would like to start with some acknowledgements.
In the history of this Community Center we can accept that it has never looked better. The décor and ambiance is simply fantastic.
I also must express my appreciation to Tracey Jane Bell for having accorded me the honour of leading us in this conversation.
I do this with love; love of truth; love for all of you; and love for social justice.

There comes a time as regards every person, community, country, when it must seek to review itself, to see who and what it is. That review, as always, entails looking back.

Everything has a beginning.  So I must start somewhere.
I thought I should start on another historic occasion, that was played out on this very stage all those years ago.
This was when Herbert Foya Thompson, a renowned champion of social justice, turned to Bernard Ponter, a Parliamentary Candidate for Ian Smith’s Rhodesia Front Party in the Willowvale Constituency.
He said to Ponter, “What is it that you have in your heart? Do you really have no love in your heart; as a Jew, who endured the Holocaust, where millions of your people were incinerated and others even had their skins turned into lamp shades? How are you now able to come here and seek to oppress others? Do you have no shame?
Ian Smith had made a speech in which he solemnly promised to take us Coloured people “along” with him and his party, to take us along, like we were some sort of luggage.
Led by Eugene Robinson, God rest his soul, we then formed a “guard of dishonour” for Ponter and his entourage, and slowly hand-clapped them out of this Hall, never to return.  The Rhodesian Front was never able to hold another meeting in any Hall in our community across the country.

You see Herbert Thompson was concerned with truth. Truth is indeed ever simple. “Veritas oratio simplex est”, the motto of one of our great Schools, Founders High that, incidentally I did not attend, being a product of Sacred Heart Home and Embakwe Coloured School.

The truth starts with acknowledging history. What we can all accept beyond all doubt is that throughout history the World has always been a mess. It has been a litany of wars and strife from the very beginning; from the time Cain killed Abel.
This was because man has always been obsessed with difference; racial, ethnic, religious, cultural … difference. The obsession with rejection, on the basis of difference, has been a scourge on this planet. Right now we have a terrible problem of young girls who have been abducted in Nigeria because of this obsession. 
We also know that historically man had a culture of “invade, conquer and subjugate”. Apparently this was in response to the biblical exhortation to “go forth and multiply” .  So this is what man did, from time immemorial. The Greeks did it. So did the Romans. Genghis Khan is credited with killing more human beings when he overran Asia than were killed in the last two World Wars.

Of course, this region was not spared; and that is how we had colonialism. Our White brothers arrived and took over. The culture was “might is right”, as it had always been. In this region, King Shaka Zulu, Mzilikazi and Lobengula did the same.

And, of course you never treated those that you have conquered as equals. So when the brown baby arrived a problem needed to be resolved. It seems to me that it was resolved by keeping Black folk oppressed and keeping us sort of half oppressed.

And this caused us a problem; and still does. This business of being caught in the middle, has ensured that we have always been beset by problems to this very day. I recall an eminent Black journalist penning an article, in which he postulated that colonialism had brought much trouble to this region; including “bringing the Coloured”. I took issue with him on this and boxed him up good and proper. We are not a scourge like small pox.

The problem of being caught in the middle has never left us. We have always been seen and treated as being irrelevant. There has been ambivalence about us. The dominant groups, White and Black, have always been concerned with each other as “us … and them …” but with our community being treated as “the other”, irrelevant, ambivalent.

It is important to understand that the World only changed its “might is right” culture in 1948, after two bloody World wars and the Holocaust. It was only then that the World reviewed its culture and said to itself that this cannot be right. In the result it conceived and signed off on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations, as a paradigm mindset change. For the first time the World decided that there was such a thing as human rights, that you could not just go around grabbing and certainly could not enslave others. This was a paradigm culture shift for the whole planet.
The evil was that South Africa and Rhodesia defied this paradigm shift and repudiated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

And as said, we were always caught in the middle … as irrelevant … ambivalent … the other.

Now we need to go back to truth. What is the truth?  Before answering that question might I point out another truth … that the most powerful instinct that human beings have, is that of Hope. Hope surpasses all other instincts and feelings, even the instinct of survival and sex.  For instance, it is why people have voted the current government to power. It is because the government gives them hope. It is always about Hope.

So when we look at our community we find that, from day one, it is about the only community in the World that has never been obsessed with difference. In terms of skin tone and colouring our Black brothers and sisters range from midnight black to a nice shade of brown. White folk range from mid brown to snow white. We cover the whole spectrum. We range from ubu’m nyama tsu to ubu’m hlophe khe, that is from midnight black to snow white.

In addition, we include all racial, ethnic and tribal groups, as well as religions and cultures.
If you just look at a picture of our heroic soccer team that won the Castle Cup, all those years ago, you will see the whole spectrum of colour.
At my old School, Embakwe, every child could speak an indigenous language and we came from all the tribes in the region, covering then Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, Bechuanaland and Nyasaland. Some could even speak KhoiSan and could click away, sounding like typewriters.

We know that about 100,000 years ago a black woman, somewhere in this region, had children, who left and populated the whole planet. She is called Mitochondrial Eve. DNA coding has confirmed that she is the mother of nearly all of modern man.
I contend that our community represents the return of those children

The point to be made here, in the name of truth, is that despite this huge admixture our community has never been obsessed with difference. Our heroes have covered the whole range or spectrum of humanity.

So the truth is that … it is our community that is an example for the whole World, no more; no less.  It is … in our community that Hope reposes for this country, for this region, for Africa, for the rest of the World, for the whole planet, still beset with strife. The World needs to accept and appreciate the richness of diversity … as we do as a matter of course.

So Brown Velvet is the brand of Hope.

Before ending I think we should acknowledge the sacrifice made by many of our members such as Thomas Zerf, Charles Grey, Sisco Stool … who risked their lives to join the liberation struggle.  I was never brave enough.
We include those like Foya Thompson that were detained at Gonakudzingwa and David Kilpin who was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment for assisting freedom fighters and had his farm and possessions sold in execution by the Ian Smith regime.

Lastly can we have a moment’s silence in memory and honour of Richard “Sweetpea” Robinson who was hanged by the Smith government for trying to free all of us from oppression.

……. silence …….

Thank you.  May Brown Velvet be the brand of Hope.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Being Honoured at the Brown Velvet Awards

Being Honoured
On 24 May 2014 our Coloured Community in Zimbabwe came together, for the first time in history, to acknowledge and honour its own in a gala evening of joyous celebration titled the Brown Velvet Awards.
Awards were conferred in various categories of outstanding contribution to our people and society in general.
I was privileged to receive the award, in the Groundbreaker category, for having served the course of justice as the first non-White magistrate in this region, then as a Judge in Zimbabwe and South Africa and for having been an expert advisor to three governments in this region, with Botswana and Namibia now enjoying internationally unmatchable Road Crash Compensation systems.
Serving as an expert on Carte Blanche's live coverage of the Oscar Pistorius Trial of the Century was seen as bringing honour to all of Zimbabwe.
No one can be more greatly honoured than by his or her own in his/her country of birth. It was the most wonderful moment of my life.
I can go on to rest in peace knowing that my life was not wasted, because it made a difference, howsoever small, to other human beings during revolutionary and trying times.
It is the hope of my community and I that our example of NOT being obsessed with difference, be it race, ethnicity, tribe, skin tone, religion or culture, will be followed by all of mankind. 

May the Brown Velvet brand be the message of HOPE for the planet.

The event was organised by Ms Tracey Jane Bell whose conceived the brilliant concept of Brown Velvet.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rhodesians-Worldwide --- pitiful

This site is postured as being for Rhodesians to share their memories, thoughts and anything of interest.
By pure accident of birth I was born a Rhodesian and spent nearly 40 years of my life there.
Like any other country Rhodesia was an admixture of good, bad and ugly.

So all our memories are infused with this admixture of good, bad and ugly, as much as the specific details may vary from individual to individual.
It naturally follows therefore that when members discuss their memories we should see that admixture of the good, the bad and the ugly in varying degrees of balance at times.We should also expect to see debate, agreement, disagreement, even robust disagreement on aspects of claimed facts and circumstances.That is how humans behave. They agree. They disagree. They agree to disagree.

However if they are civilized, sentient and tolerant, they do this in a climate of mutual respect.What they do not do is to take virulent exception to that which they do not agree with, to the extent of then mounting a highly personalized attack and imputing bad motives to others in a way that is insulting and vilifying.

What they also do not do is to disentitle others from including the bad and/or ugly in a post about their memories.Good, bad and ugly were the reality and they occupy the same space in our psyche. They are inseparable. They make up who we are as human beings.

The reality here however is that we have what can only be described as a minority “vigilante” group, on the site, who take every opportunity to immediately go into attack mode, with insult, abuse and vilification if one dares include any bad and/or ugly in one’s memories, even if the post is receiving substantial appreciation in terms of “likes” clicked by others.

This morning the site administrator, Chris Whitehead, expelled me from the group.The reason was simply that I had challenged him to copy and paste just one comment by me that could be said to be “anti-White”, “racist” and/or objectionable in any way. Having failed to do this for some 12 hours he resorted to the bully boy solution of expelling me from the group.

This is the 5th Rhodie site from which I have had to leave.In each case the reason was very, very simple.The minority of vigilantes in the group ensured that I was hounded out.

Now that is exactly how Rhodesia was some 40 years ago. A rabid racist minority secured dominance over the White majority, many of whom were confused, concerned and ambivalent about embracing democracy for understandable reasons given the performance of African democracies at that time.However the real and imaginary fears of accepting democracy, equality, tolerance, acceptance of difference and diversity are long gone. But it is clear that they linger on in the hearts and minds of these rabid Rhodies.They are trapped in a time warp. They have been unable to step out of their Ian Smith contrived cocoon of ignorance, driven by fear. They are vainly perpetuating their unreal world of inequality and false privilege (a not too dissimilar malady now infects Trump supporters in the USA).

What they especially don't understand is that their hero Ian Smith was a racist hypocrite in that he actually fought in the 2nd World War to stop the 3rd Reich from denying his own people the very thing that he was denying the people of then Rhodesia, i.e, the right to choose a government of their choice.Ignorance drives them. Bigotry is their culture and mode. They imagine that Rhodesia was Xmas for all and that Ian Smith was some sort of Father Xmas .. lol .. lol. 

They don't realize that Ian Smith did not create the "good" that was part of Rhodesia. He inherited it and did NO good whatsoever, only bad, very very bad.  He turned Rhodesia into a pariah State, by declaring UDI, (right pic)  and plunged it into a bloody war from which it has never recovered.

These poor Rhodies are to be pitied. Really. 

PS: In May 2014 a lady named Suzan Bondi queried why I had been banned/expelled from the site. Being unable to explain or proffer any valid reason Chris Whitehead then expelled her from the site without setting out any reason. Suzan had taken a stance during the course of a debate on the sacred right of free speech. She was treated to a fascist reaction. Whitehead, in effect, had no option if he was to pander to the sad lot of racists that control that site.

PPS: I would encourage Rhodesians to join Zimbabwe, Rhodesia Worldwide.There they will find Rhodesians and Zimbabweans who understand that we are all equal, 

PPPS:  In early May 2015 I was expelled without warning from another Rhodie site titled "Born in Rhodesia".
This was done even though the majority of members were appreciative of my posts.The problem was my contention that Rhodesia also had bad and ugly and that I did not share their naive love of I D Smith.
The Adminstrators of this site (
Roland John Mauseth) are the same lot that belong to a blog site titled "Rhodesians Worldwide" []  that propagates fanciful nonsense about the past that they cling to in their bigoted ignorance.

because we always were.
Order ---

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dear President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

You are sanctioning the condemnation, persecution and even killing of Gays and lesbians because of the way they achieve sexual gratification.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it was my impression that human beings achieve sexual gratification in countless different and even very imaginative ways.
This ranges from a man penetrating a lump of meat or a pumpkin to a woman using a cucumber or dildo.
No one on the planet has even suggested that humanity should take a stance against those who indulge themselves in this way.
So we all need clarification here as you are a leader.

Would you please enlighten us on what we need to make of the following --- ?
a) a person who uses a condom to enhance enjoyment of sex, i.e, "super ribbed";
b) those who indulge in oral sex;
c) a woman using a vibrator and/or a dildo;
d) a man using a blow up doll and/or blow up sheep;
e) men and women that masturbate ... have you not done this Your Excellency?
f) men who get "penis enlargement;
g) women who have labia enlargement;
h) men and women who bite and scratch during sex;
i) men and women who use whips ... etc ... during sex;
j) men and women who are gratified by watching others having sex or watching porn movies;
k) ......

We need understanding on why it is anal sex between men and mutual titivation between women that you think, believe, imagine and suppose should attract condemnation, vilification, persecution and even death for participants?
It just appears illogical, confusing, even silly to try to make distinctions between the activities listed above and your objection.
In all the above instances we seem to just accept that this is what human do ... because they are free ... free to choose how they want to achieve sexual gratification ... free to engage in what they find pleasurable ... that does not harm others, the planet or its creatures.

It seems to me that you are promoting hatred because these people are different.
This is exactly how so many people of Africa, in particular, suffered terrible.
They were condemned, persecuted and oppressed because they were seen as different.

Most importantly Mr President, can you explain what right you or I have to decide how two human beings should love each other and how they should express and act out that love?
This seems to be the cardinal question here.

Is it really right that we hate, persecute and kill others for bienf different and call it "our culture"??

It really does need a simple clear and sentient answer?

Thankfully, this has just happened. ----

Monday, February 24, 2014

The dung beetle gets my vote

I managed to hook my wife by employing others to convince her that I was “a real dog”. However, once married, I was expected to prove that I was not. Women are strange? They are very interested in a man of questionable reputation, but once married, the husband must be absolutely above reproach?
So, to prove that I was rehabilitated, I would do the chocolate and flowers thing. I would also sing to her and recite poetry. This would include terms of endearment in different languages like – 'Je t'aime’ ‘Te amo’; ‘my liefling’; and round it off with “isigiqathuvi yami”. Since she did not understand isiNdebele, she naturally assumed that isigiqathuvi yami meant something endearing like the other terms. It actually means “my pooh/crap roller”, i.e dung beetle.
I was in very serious trouble when she eventually found out. But she has forgiven me. Like me, she has come to have the highest regard and love for the little creature that is referred to – the dung beetle, Scarabaeus viettei. Chikutamandove in Shona.
I first came across these wonderful creatures when, as a toddler, my granny would allow me to help her collect cow dung. This would be thoroughly hand-mixed and spread on the floor and walls of her hut. I don’t think there has been a happier toddler in the history of mankind. In the process we would have to pick out the dung beetles from the dung.
It is very difficult to explain how enrapturing the dung beetle was to my young mind, hungry for knowledge, exploring so diverse a world. The dung beetle is an insect, but he is not small and pesky. He does not sting, bite or give you a rash. No, he is beautiful to look at, ranging in colour from solid black to an admixture of other royal shades like emerald green and ermine. With his armor plated body and articulated limbs he radiates quiet dignity and immense strength. He is a picture of indestructibility. However he is completely non-aggressive, never seeking to threaten or destroy. And, despite being built like a tank, he can fly.
I was mesmerized at how this wonderful creature would get to work, rolling a ball of dung, with single minded purposefulness. The fact that he would do it going backwards, and that he was never deterred by the enormous size of
 the ball, made a huge impression on my hungry mind and other sensibilities. From day one I knew that the dung beetle was special, very special indeed. Some idea of how special this creature is can be gleaned from ---   
“Dung beetles play a remarkable role in agriculture. By burying and consuming dung, they improve nutrient recycling and soil structure. They also protect livestock, such as cattle, by removing the dung which, if left, could provide habitat for pests such as flies. Therefore, many countries have introduced the creature for the benefit of animal husbandry. In developing countries, the beetle is especially important as an adjunct for improving standards of hygiene. The American Institute of Biological Sciences reports that dung beetles save the United States cattle industry an estimated US$380 million annually through burying above-ground livestock faeces.
In Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) commissioned the Australian Dung Beetle Project (1965-1985) which, led by Dr. George Bornemissza, sought to introduce species of dung beetles from South Africa and Europe. The successful introduction of 23 species was made, most notably Onthophagus gazella and Euoniticellus intermedius, which have resulted in the improvement of the quality and fertility of Australian cattle pastures, along with a reduction in the population of pestilent bush flies by around 90 percent.
An application has been made by Landcare Research to import up to 11 species of dung beetle into New Zealand. As well as improving pasture soils the Dung Beetle Release Strategy Group say that it result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.
Like many other insects, the (dried) dung beetle, called qianglang (蜣蜋) in Chinese, is used in Chinese herbal medicine. It is recorded in the "Insect section" (蟲部) of the Compendium of Materia Medica, where it is recommended for the cure of 10 diseases.” [1]

Pooh, crap, or whatever you want to call it, is a reality. You can’t wish it away. It is everywhere, produced by all creatures, all of the time. What goes in, must come out. Were it not for the dung beetle, the planet would be drowning in it. So while the elephant trumpets triumphantly, the buffalo bellows, the springbok pronks, the male impala fights over dominance, the male lion struts about marking territory, and man goes about polluting the planet … this little unpretentious creature quietly goes about its business of cleaning it all up. The dung beetle is the world’s sanitation department. It invented the concept of recycling.

The dung beetle gets my vote. It gets my vote on any number of counts; solid good looks, functional construction, efficient, effective, non aggressive, unassuming and diamond hard functional integrity. Which other creature embodies all these qualities and attributes? Which other creature can match the dung beetle on a cost/benefit or any other benefit test? Whatever cliche test you may wish to employ; making a difference; adding value -- this little fellow is champion!!!

At the moment the cockerel (jongwe) is the symbol of the ruling party in my birth country, Zimbabwe. Our national symbol is the "Zimbabwe Bird", a mystical bird conspicuous by its absence from the general scheme of things.   The cockerel is the epitome of a self centered, self serving culture. It has produced nothing to be proud of. We need the service culture of the dung beetle. The cockerel contributes little to the general welfare of its environment. It struts about lording it over others. It will crow loud and long. It is difficult to understand about what.  Certainly its highly aggressive micro sex sessions are nothing to crow about.

I vote that the Zimbabwe bird, which appears to have been chased off by the ZANU-PF cockerel in any event, should be immediately replaced by the dung beetle as Zimbabwe's national animal. Even symbolically the dung beetle is the obvious choice. Zimbabwe is in it. Proverbially, it is in deep crap … 75% unemployment, politically inspired violence, just for starters. It has got there, largely on account of the uncaring self serving, aggressive culture, epitomized by the cockerel. It now needs the only creature on the planet that has the skills to turn our crappy situation completely around to that which is wholesome and beautiful. It really is a no brainer.

Let us recognize this little creature for what it is. Let us accord it the recognition that it deserves. Let us show our appreciation. Let us open our minds and let it in.
As our collective psyche becomes imbued with this incredible creature, we will begin to understand. We will be concerned with truth; truth about physical and mental pollution, the well being of our planet and its creatures. We will set a new vision. Our mission statement will change. Our core values will change forever. We will commit to the common good as world citizens.

So vote with me that the dung beetle be adopted as our national animal, and that its picture be proudly festooned on all official flags and plaques, as our national emblem.


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