What’s wrong with bailing out troubled companies?


IN one of my previous articles I blamed Africans for contributing to the slave trade.
When the Caucasians landed on the African shores off their rickety ships, looking for slaves, it was some of our own African kings, chiefs and ordinary people who helped them load more than 80 million Africans on ships to be sold in America and Europe.
This mentality of trading important African items continues up to this day.
I recently watched South African Minister Blade Nzimande, telling the recent Cosatu general conference that the workers shall not support the call for nationalisation because such a move shall bail out BEE companies in the mining sector!
So according to Nzimande, no attempt should be made towards such an important factor towards the facilitation of wealth redistribution because such a move could bail out black mining companies which are today in some financial trouble.
Two things sound wrong here for me. Nationalisation of essential national assets is the very cornerstone of the communist ideology which Nzimande subscribes to.
It is really very confusing to hear someone who calls himself a communist, let alone a president of a communist, party uttering such a statement.
Karl Marx must be turning in his grave.
Shockingly this approach is not limited to Nzimande.
At the 2010 ANC’s 98th birthday celebrations, Gwede Mantashe told a huge ANC crowd at Boshoff Stadium that the youth league must abandon its call for the nationalisation of mines.
He advised the ANC members that with the implementation of the new post-liberation constitution the mineral wealth of South Africa had been effectively nationalised.
So according to Mantashe the South African mining industry as it is, is nationalised.
Wow! I actually have him on video saying this. I must have rewound it 10 times to make sense of what he was saying.
But it was Thabo Mbeki who conditioned us for this type of confusion. Just before he resigned, or was recalled, he alluded to the existence of two types of communists in South Africa: the ones who understood and pursued the communist ideology and on the other side what he termed “communists by association”.
Members of this group wear red T-shirts and shout Communist slogans, but that’s how deep they go.
I truly believe that Blade is well schooled in the communist ideology. The same goes for Mantashe but for some political expediency they are prepared to go against the very ideology they subscribe to even if it confuses their own constituency.
The other shocking idea espoused by Nzimande is that African businessmen in mining, who find themselves in financial dire straits must not be helped out by the government.
We would rather throw away the whole idea of wealth redistribution if per chance it could help out those BEE guys. It does not matter that the same South African government has doled out billions of rands to help some white foreign-owned mining companies during the recession.
What is wrong with helping a black owned mining company when it is in trouble?
And just how many companies in South Africa today are owned by black people to decide that we would rather not attempt to redistribute the national wealth because such a move would save them? I have observed the same mentality play itself out in Lesotho over the MKM case.
MKM was one of the most powerful businesses owned by a Mosotho in Lesotho.
I know people, especially the educated ones, talk a lot of English around the MKM matter.
Whatever technical justification is there for the liquidation of MKM, to the eyes of ordinary folks like me, the failure of relevant government structures to shape up MKM and legitimise whatever was not legitimate is lamentable and shall always come through as another example of the blackman’s propensity to self-destruct.
The recent international recession was officially caused by over-lending practices by the American banking system something that technically is wrong.
But did we see the government of America liquidating them?
No. On the contrary the American government rescued these banks and made sure they are in business.
The time has come for African leaders to take stock of the African political history for us to be honest to the African cause. It is true that charity begins at home.
l Ramakhula is a freelance writer, historian and film-maker based in Maseru. He was an operative of the Lesotho Liberation Army in the early 1980s.


About Author

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls Telephone: +266 2231 5356

Comments are closed.