Friday, May 10, 2013

Swiftboating - SA style

The underbelly of SA media is once again revealed in all its shameful glory this weekend as our mainstream media went into overdrive "swiftboating" the Guptas. This time, on a mission to intimidate the Gupta family and send a message to other Indian businesses to stay out of South Africa, or else! The despicable tactic of swiftboating  was expertly employed during the 2004 US presidential elections by Republican neocons against John Kerry to get George Bush re-elected. 

It all began with a wedding of the niece of billionaire Indian South African businessman, Gupta,  who wanted to host the the most lavish wedding in SA history, in one of South Africa's entertainment centers known as Sun City. Ironically, Sun City originally developed by one of apartheid's sons, a Jewish hotel magnate Sol Kerzner in 1979, located in what was a "Bantustan" called Bophuthatswana  conveniently located outside SA national borders, it was apartheid regime's scheme to workaround the international sanctions during the height of the apartheid era. This diabolical plot was the only way to bring world class entertainment to the doorstep of the decadent white minority isolated from the world community for supporting apartheid - one of the greatest crimes against humanity.  

Anyway, the Guptas followed standard government protocol, used all over the world, and requested appropriate  permission to use the Waterkloof military airbase for the security of Indian dignitaries and its proximity to Sun City was more convenient. The use of a military airbase for private aircraft is not unusual, so it all seemed to make sense. Now granted, this may not be the most appropriate use of military facilities given the circumstances, but the sheer volume of the hysteria whipped up by the usual suspects in mainstream media suggests more sinister motives. The front page articles in the image below, a small sample of the hype, reveals an underhanded agenda reminiscent of the Rupert Murdoch style fabrications and character assassination combined with apartheid style race-baiting and fear-mongering, all designed to embarrass and intimidate.

So who are these Guptas and why is our media so fixated on them?  
Cursory research show that they probably come from the linage of the ancient Gupta Dynasty on the Indian subcontinent circa 300 CE. Their business interests in SA straddles aviation, mining, technology, media and much more. The rapid rise of the Guptas are seen as a threat to the status quo - the current economy is still dominated by the old guard - white minority together with ex-colonial multinationals, almost twenty years after SA's liberation! So Indian business ventures closely aligned with the new BRICS economic bloc are now seen a direct threat to the continued dominance of the old guard on the African continent. Bringing down the Guptas is thus pivotal since this strategy enables the old guard to continue to cling to political and economic power assimilated over centuries of white supremacy. You see, the old guard hates competing on a level playing field.

Its ironic this plane landing, for a lavish wedding which brings in significant foreign revenue to a South African economy battered by high unemployment among the black majority, should suddenly become a dire "security threat" by mainstream media.  The hysteria deliberately generated by mainstream media initially:
1. Pointed to corruption - ie. President Jacob Zuma granting presidential favors to his friends.
Pure speculation, since this has been officially denied by the President himself!
2. Viewed it as a dire "security threat" 
Quite a stretch for a country with no terrorist threat, not at war with anyone and no threatening neighbors! Anyway, permission was explicitly requested and granted by the South African National Defense Force almost a month beforehand to land at Waterkloof!
3. Portrayed a private use of a military airbase as taboo.
In reality however, private use of military airbases is not unusual in most countries around the world. A few examples are US (Moffett Federal Airfield, Burlington Airport), China (Beijing Nanyuan Airport), Japan (Ibaraki Airport), UK (RAF Brize Norton) etc.
4. Passengers not subject to customs duty. 
How feeble! Not only is is unproven that passengers did not go through customs, its laughable considering the the wealth of the families involved.

However, things start to get really bizarre with these outlandish headlines:

"Big fat Gupta hangover"
Portrays the traditional wedding guests as a bunch of drunks, when in reality liquor is not a customary part of the Indian wedding as in other cultures.
"Gupta guest accused of sex assault" 
Shows the depravity of Indians, like that old English classic "Passage to India"
"Race relations at risk" / "Wash first, blacks"
The old apartheid mindset of black and hygiene that still seem to fester in the twisted minds of our apartheid beneficiaries. Race-baiting at its worst. 
"Air Gupta"
A fabrication photo-shopped by Daily Maverick to make it look like its Gupta's personal jet when in reality its a charted Airbus from Jet Airlines.
"DA intensifies Gupta probe"
The white tribal DA party with their media cohorts, see Indian business as a threat to their hegemony of the SA economy and will resort to any means score cheap political points and slow down transformation of our economy. 
"Down with the Guptas, shout staff"
More false reporting in a pitiful attempt to paint the staff as being abused by the wedding guests. A subtle implication that the wedding guests are brainwashed by the "caste system"  to look down upon African staff. Makes no sense whatsoever. This old divide-and-conquer" strategy is regularly used as a last resort by white supremacists when they people of color getting along.
"treason charges"
When all else fails, they dust off and trot out their old bogeyman, Julias Malema, to come up with even more outlandish claims of treason!

The scale of the media hype shows the desperation of the corporate media serfs to take out the Guptas by any means necessary, so basic ethics in journalism fly out the window! Their fear is palpable since Indian business are rapidly gaining momentum in making strategic investments throughout the African continent, using SA as a launchpad to reach into the other African countries lacking in infrastructure. This YouTube interview shows the dramatic pace of Indian FDI into Africa. No doubt, this greatly unnerves the old guard, the beneficiaries of apartheid who currently dominate our economy through privileges assimilated through centuries of black domination.

This wedding , and auspicious event, that was supposed to be mutually beneficial to the family and South Africa, has now been tarnishedfurther degraded race relations, negatively impacted SA's image  and once again exposes our media mafia for what it is - a purveyor of gutter politics. These slash and burn tactics is déjà vu, of the 2010 World Cup ( ), when FIFA had to take the unprecedented step to bar certain local journalists from covering the event. This incident however, is another clarion call for media reform and a more importantly, greater diversity in media ownership in SA.