[DEBATE] : Backbench ANC MP lashes white NGOs, Deon de Lange, The Star
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Wed Jun 11 06:03:54 BST 2008
Backbench ANC MP lashes 'white' NGOs
Heated xenophobia debate over 'instruments of imperialism'
Deon de Lange, The Star, Johannesburg, 11 June 2008
An ANC MP has launched a stinging attack on NGOs working feverishly to
feed, clothe and house refugees who escaped the violent attacks.
Speaking during the home affairs budget debate in parliament
yesterday, ANC backbencher Mtikeni Sibande accused white-run NGOs of
threatening national security while pretending to help xenophobia
"Our leadership must alert our security institutions about the
so-called NGOs that are operated by unknown whites in those affected
areas because, in our society, we don't need people who are
instruments of imperialism - who are here to destroy our beloved
country - pretending as if they are good Samaritans to those who are
affected," he said.
Sibande was participating in a heated debate during which the
government came under tremendous fire for its response to the
Andre Olivier from HDI Support - one of the NGOs contracted by the
City of Cape Town to assist in emergency relief operations - was loath
to respond to Sibande's comment.
"I can't think what he meant by that. If he actually knew what we are
doing to assist the refugees he would probably not be saying these
things. But I don't want to be drawn in - it will just make us
negative. We are not political. If the need is there, we go out and
assist," he said.
Democratic Alliance MP Mark Lowe compared Sibande's attack on NGOs in
South Africa to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's contempt for
particularly foreign-based NGOs.
"What this chap is saying is Stalinist and Mugabe-ist. It is intended
to cover the guilt of knowing that your government has failed to
respond effectively to a crisis," he said.
"In fact, it was - and still is - the NGOs who are going out there and
saving lives," he added.
Sibande's comments differ from views recently expressed by other ANC
MPs, such as former Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo, who was last
week "heartened" by the work of NGOs in the Western Cape.
Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan has also thanked the "thousands
of ordinary South Africans" who have provided assistance to refugees.
But the mistrust of NGOs is not new in South Africa - or the world.
Former president Nelson Mandela in 1997 accused elements in the NGO
sector of working with foreign donors to undermine his government's
develop- ment programme.
President Thabo Mbeki has - without naming them - also questioned the
bona fides of NGOs operating in South Africa. Talking in 2006, Mbeki
suggested that some NGOs were being manipulated by foreign donors to
the extent that they were no longer politically independent.
n Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula yesterday made it
clear - in delivering a teary-eyed budget speech - that she would soon
be "handing over the baton" to a replacement.
This has led some MPs to speculate that ANC deputy president Kgalema
Motlanthe, who was this week installed in the home affairs committee,
could be appointed as her replacement as soon as next week.
Blog at: http://domza.blogspot.com/
Communist University web site at: http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/
Subscribe for free e-mail updates at:
Library of documents (CU "CD") at: http://cu.domza.net/
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
More information about the Debate-list