Judge Ezra - With Much Much Love
SAVE OUR PEOPLE
John Kane-Berman says our commentariat continues to turn a blind-eye to cadre deployment and EE
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I strongly believe that judges should speak only through their judgments and not otherwise publicly at all on anything the least controversial. I think that even retired judges like me should be very reticent before talking. But we live in an unusual time of grave danger to our people whom I love and empathise with too closely to remain silent.
I was diagnosed with Covid on 31 July. I spent days enjoying gratefully the great privilege of great treatment at the Linksfield Hospital, three in ICU. I witnessed things which reinforced my love for our people and my faith that they are heroes and can, and in fact do, daily achieve the greatest heights of Ubuntu and expertise and creative delivery. We are on the edge of a great precipice of grave potential harm to so much that I love that I repeat that I cannot remain silent.
Corruption is not our only problem. John Kane-Berman has identified in a recent article, that can be accessed below, what we need to do to save our beloved people from disaster and so I am circulating the article as widely as I can to every email address I can find on my system or elsewhere.
We are on the point of becoming another Cuba or Venezuela or, God forbid, Zimbabwe.
I have constant contact with our people from Zim. They are wonderful and kind and capable and they enrich my life. But my heart breaks when I hear of their anguish, of spouses separated from each other, parents from children, and of the anguished reports they receive from home of joblessness and poverty and an oppressive and cruel regime enforced by the military. We in Africa and indeed the whole world is doing nothing to end the agony of our people in Zim. Of course, there must be a doctrine of national sovereignty but there must be cases too where the level of the suffering of the people combined with the possibility of effective intervention overrules that doctrine. Surely Zim is such a case. The world should arrange an overwhelming armed force to unseat the Zim regime, call for and supervise fair and free elections and liberate our people there from the hell they are experiencing. Mugabe promised equality and fairness but he had homes throughout the world and lived in a palatial home in Zim and went to Singapore for medical treatment in the midst of all the misery of our people there. Very little could be more dastardly wicked than that.
We have made the grave mistake of concentrating our concern on leaders instead of on our people; our people who struggle to make ends meet are the heroes - the woman who sits and cooks and sells pap and wors on the road to send her son to school- people like her should enjoy our every attention and admiration, if not our adoration. And she doesn’t send him to school to come last in his class or to get some sort of average “equal” mark; she sends him to work hard and come first! And that is how it should be. We don’t play soccer to draw. We play to win.
The lie of the communist socialist is that there can be equality. There is no equality in the world. We can only try to equip our children with as much skills as possible to survive and thrive, but we lie to them if we promise them a world of equality. The 10th Commandment of our Holy Bible tells us not to envy, not to covet, and that applies not just to some of us, but all of us are told not to covet. Our Holy Bible is telling us a very important truth about life: we will all have reason to covet, to envy others because life will always present us with inequality. The Holy Bible is telling us the truth. But the communist socialists lie: they say there can be equality. Imagine this: Karl Marx, without any evidence that his ideas of equality had ever been applied or worked in practice, devised a theoretical scheme called communism which actually promised equality. Of course in practice the communist elite enjoyed far from equal treatment with the people and communism brought terrible suffering to millions of people. And Stalin, without any evidence, destroyed farms, caused mass starvation and killed 20 million people whilst you can be sure he did not go hungry and lived very comfortably
What our people desperately need is money. Without money you cannot buy a piece of bread; you cannot pay for the taxi; you cannot feed your family.
There are very important policies which are stopping our people from making money. Let us discuss each one in turn.
This means that the very best of our people are not given the job; this means that the job may not be well done and possibly even the business will collapse. This means our people who work for the business will earn less money or maybe, God forbid, even lose their jobs. It also may mean that the business does not grow and therefore cannot provide more money for jobs for our people.
TIGHT LABOUR LAWS
If it is very hard to fire an employee employers will be reluctant to employ new people and so there are much less jobs available and less money for our people to earn.
If there is a family of five, parents and children of, say, 21, 23 and 27 years old living in a tiny shack together and starving, and they can get a job on a factory nearby for R1000 per month each they can bring home R5000 monthly to their shack and at least not starve, and very importantly, they can learn a skill and perhaps make more money later. But R1000 is below the minimum wage and so they cannot be employed and they starve.
If there is a man better suited to a job than a particular woman she may get it. But because he was better suited the job may not be as well done and the business may fail, God forbid; our people may lose jobs or get paid less or the business may not grow to provide money and work for more of our people. In any event, our women are great; for years they have been making money for their families, performing wonderful services for many, bringing up children and often even grandchildren. No self-respecting woman wants to be told she got her job not because she was the best for it but because a better man was disqualified because he was a man and not a woman.
EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION
Anyone with money to invest to buy a property and build on it and provide jobs and money to our starving people will not do so because the government may take away his property without compensation and he will lose a lot of money. But more serious, our people who could have been employed there to build and to run the business get nothing and make no money to look after their families. In any event, how will a piece of land help our people to make money. We know you need a tractor, a plough, diesel, and fertiliser and many other things, and you are far from the towns where there are jobs and opportunities to make money.
For years SAA has been a failure. But many private airlines are run successfully by our own people. SAA’s continued failure means many of our people there have lost their jobs and the money the need to live. But there is more than that: because of SAA’s failure it has not grown as a business and has not created more jobs and money for our people.
STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES
Many of our SOEs are failing. That must lead to job losses for our people and their failure to grow means less jobs and money for our people in the future. It’s not surprising they fail. Most governments cannot run businesses. That may be because governments employ civil servants who work from 8am until 4pm and go home and relax. But running big businesses like SOEs is very hard demanding work – early to work, late sleepless nights worrying and planning and struggling every day.
BEE and GENDER
I venture to think that when we make these appointments we concentrate on the interests of the prospective appointee and perhaps overlook the people he or she has to care for. I think we need always to ask: how many of our people could be adversely or beneficially effected by this appointment. For example, the head of a large hospital will affect many of our people but the cleaner, important though his or her work may be, may only affect a small number of our people in that little area of the hospital.
What we desperately need to save our people is not rocket science; it’s faith in our precious and beloved people, and in their ability to achieve absolutely massive, massive economic growth. Only massive economic growth can free our people from joblessness and hopelessness. And massive economic growth is only possible when you believe enough in our people, made in God’s image, to let them work and trade and do business as freely and easily as possible. So everything that impedes massive economic growth, and certainly all the things discussed above must very very very urgently disappear. We cannot wait four long long years for the next election. Too many of our wonderful precious people are starving. We need to free them right now from the policies which are stopping them from making money and looking after their families. I believe in our people. That’s why I have written all of this. They are close to my heart. I know all our people working together, whether they are born here, or come from elsewhere in Africa or from Europe or Asia, can make this precious country of ours rich and successful, but only if we free them from policies which strangle their freedom and strangle their growth..
John Kane-Berman has shown us the way. Please do not waste any of your precious time answering this article. Rather use your time to share this article and Kane-Berman’s article as widely as possible. Our people are too precious for you not to do that.
If you are involved in any legal proceedings before me you are directed most firmly not to react to me on the above because if you do so I may have to recuse myself.
May God bless you with His boundless love and may God bless all our people of South Africa and all our people of Africa.