Where history is based on lies sundaymail 29/6/2003

By Udo W. Froese in Johannesburg (South Africa)

It was just last week that the leader of one of South Africa’s political
opposition parties, the mainly white Democratic Party (DP or DA),
accused President Thabo Mbeki of taking South Africa away from the
politics of the rainbow nation and towards the politics of race-baiting and
labelling.


President Mbeki replied by quoting an academic from the University of
Stellenbosch, Amanda Gouws, as he did not want to be accused of
playing the race card, if he made the comments himself:


"The struggle against racism will be with us for a long time. This is
because the racist legacy of colonialism and apartheid will be with us for
a long time," Mbeki said.


Mr Mbeki went further in his reference to the DA leader’s accusations
when he stated that there were "some" who felt that black South
Africans should say nothing about the hurt they felt because it was a
denial of the search for national reconciliation. He described those
accusations as a deceitful political manoeuvre to achieve short-term
political gain.


Colonial history was always used to not only confuse African lives, but
also to mislead the white mindset with inaccuracies. The founding of
South Africa’s Democratic Party, the Helen Suzman Foundation and
their leadership are just two of such examples.


How was the Democratic Party/Alliance (DP/DA) founded? Who were its
founders and what was its true position then and what is it today? Who
are the people behind it?


The Democratic Party (DP), or as it wants to be called today, the
Democratic Alliance (DA), was founded in the Saxonwold, Johannesburg
villa of the white rugby boss of South Africa, Dr Louis Luyt. Dr Luyt was
for a long time the president of the South African Rugby Union, at that
time being a white, racist apartheid organisation, openly discriminating
against blacks. Dr Luyt was also involved in the Information Scandal in
the 1970s under the late prime minister John Vorster and his apartheid
cabinet member, Dr Connie Mulder — he, who once said on SABC TV
news that there will be no blacks living in South Africa, motivating the
creation of Bantustans.


His cohort in that Information Scandal was one Dr Eschel Rhoodie. Dr
Luyt founded the South African English daily newspaper with funds from
the Information Scandal. The Citizen is still in circulation today. That
newspaper was published in order to give the ruling, white apartheid
Nationalist Party government an English medium platform in support of
the already existing Sunday Times. Dr Luyt lives in retirement in Balito
Bay, Durban, today.


Another founding father of the Democratic Party was the former
chairman of the all-powerful, covert and exclusive Afrikaaner
Broederbond (AB), then also rector of the Randse Afrikaanse University
(RAU) in Johannesburg and eventual editor of the Afrikaans Sunday
paper, Rapport, Dr Wimpie de Klerk. He is the brother of former
apartheid president of South Africa, F. W. de Klerk.


A former executive director of the powerful Anglo American Corporation
and member of apartheid parliament, however for the white opposition
party, the Progressive Federal Party (PFP), Dr Zach de Beer; the white
apartheid ambassador to the Court of St James in London, the late Dr
Dennis Worral; another member of the white opposition party PFP in
parliament and co-founder of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for
South Africa (IDASA), the Boer academic and multi-millionaire
businessman, former rugby player Dr Frederik van Zyl Slabbert as well
as a so-called liberal attorney from the Johannesburg suburb of
Randburg, Wynand Malan, were all among the founding fathers of the
DP.


It was clear then already that Dr Zach de Beer was the link between
South Africa’s powerful private business sector, Anglo American
Corporation and white political power in colonial apartheid South Africa.
The Democratic Party was known from its inception, as a joint venture of
influential white-owned business and exclusively white-controlled power
politics.


Helen Suzman was the founding mother. She has now a foundation in
her name, the Helen Suzman Foundation. That foundation promotes the
Euro-centric principles of a "US-approved, neo-liberal Euro centric
democracy for Africa".


The patrons of the above foundation are Helen Suzman, who had also
served for decades in the white apartheid parliament under various prime
ministers and presidents such as Verwoerd, Vorster, Botha and De
Klerk; Margaret Thatcher’s former High Commissioner to
colonial-apartheid South Africa, Lord Robin Renwick of Clifton; the
former West German minister of finance, Dr Otto Count Lambsdorf, who
heads the liberal German foundation, the Friedrich Naumann
Foundation, linked to the liberal political party in Berlin, the Free
Democrats (FDP). Lord Robin Renwick of Clifton is perceived as a very
close friend of Helen Suzman.


Others are Colin Eglin, who together with Dr Zach de Beer were
Suzman’s colleagues in Cape Town’s parliament, and the former Pan
Africanist Congress (PAC) Member of Parliament, Patricia de Lille. De
Lille is not an elected Member of Parliament, but an appointed one.
Today, De Lille has her own party, the Independent Democrats (ID).


None of the above is known to be an Africanist, carrying the interests of
Africanism at heart.


The Helen Suzman Foundation networks with mainly opposition parties
in the Sadc region such as the Zimbabwean MDC, the Mozambican
Renamo and Namibian parties, in order to promote their philosophy of
the "US-approved, neo-liberal Euro-centric democracy for Africa".


It was Suzman through her party political seat in Johannesburg’s most
affluent suburb of Houghton who had groomed the new leader of the
Democratic Party, the party that followed the PFP — Tony Leon.


Tony and Peter Leon are the sons of the retired South African judge,
Ramon Leon. Leon senior was notorious during his years as a judge in
white colonial-apartheid South Africa when he was feared as the
"hanging judge". Ramon Leon, who upon retirement, advised the
government of Lesotho, achieved that reputation as he had sent many a
black South African to the gallows who had refused to respect racist
apartheid laws. Leon senior has retired to Durban. Today, his son Tony
heads the Democratic Alliance (DA). Brother Peter represented the DA
in the Gauteng province legislature. Peter Leon, like his father and
brother, is a qualified attorney, represented, among others, the interests
of the world diamond giant, De Beers.


Tony Leon, who took over from Helen Suzman, had celebrated between
1975 and 1977 the South African Defence Force in its official magazine,
Paratus. In those days Tony Leon called a military detention centre at
Voortrekkerhoogte outside Pretoria, where severe torture and chemical
castration were practised, "strictly regulated and humane".


In his articles for the white apartheid defence force, the DA head, Tony
Leon, described the brutal and illegal SADF invasion of Angola "one of
many splendoured tasks of the army".


In an article published in the South African daily newspaper, The
Sowetan, the author Ronald-Suresh Roberts writes that Leon celebrated
the formation of the Bantustan, Transkei, in the Eastern Cape Province,
which was specifically intended to banish black people into poverty, as a
"magnificent freedom day".


Leon even exerted himself on the apartheid military’s behalf in a bit of
comparative research writing: "Rapid and efficient casualty evacuation:
how they do it when Israel goes to war" was the title of one of his
articles in 1975. At a time when the United Nations had declared
apartheid a crime against humanity and was moving towards the crucial
1977 arms embargo, Tony Leon sought to dignify the apartheid military
machine, saying that the SADF was caring and humane and that it was
committed to non-racialism.


"Sightless — She Helps Others in Need" was the title of Leon’s
touching tale in which Betty Robertson, wife of Brigadier L. H.
Robertson, overcomes her disability so as to "give the lead to the civilian
element" in working for the war.


The DA leader also boasted then that black troops in 1 Transkei
Battalion (a dress rehearsal for Gen Magnus Malan’s so-called
"black-on-black" violence in the 80s and 90s leading up to the elections
of 1994 and openly described by South Africa’s white-owned media as
"typical black-on-black violence" and even "tribal war") were given rations
identical to whites and were selected on the basis of "individual aptitude
and merit". Does this not sound familiar?


While the world saw the apartheid-SADF as a vicious murder machine,
Leon called it "a giant helping hand" and painted it as a force for good,
similar to the Salvation Army. In this he had quite a subtle strategy. He
wanted to clothe the murderous apartheid military and its white racist,
rightwing officers in the dignity and reputation of the Second World War
army that fought against fascism. Upon apartheid’s victory in 1948, the
apartheid government inherited a range of heroes who had returned
victorious from the war against Hitler and Mussolini.


Leon’s clever trick in the 1970s was to seek an interview with many of
these anti-Nazi heroes so that he could present the very different fascist
apartheid military of the 70s as though it had a proud past of fighting
against racism and fascism.


Leon explicitly connected the Second World War against Hitler with the
apartheid violence of the 70s.


"Twenty four years have passed since his departure from the South
African Navy. Today he reflects with great admiration on developments
since he handed over," Leon wrote in early 1976 of Commodore
Frederick John Dean, OBE, who had contributed valiantly against Hitler
and whose forbears (so Leon) belonged to a glorious British naval
tradition dating back to the 17th century.


Leon’s past was always absolutely unprincipled and racist and his
concoction — the Democratic Alliance (DA) — is indeed equally so.




- Parts of above article were written by Ronald-Suresh Roberts and
published in The Sowetan on November 28 2000.






Mitayo Potosi

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