Friday, September 30, 2016


By Subry Govender While groups of university students in South Africa continue their robust protests in support of “free tertiary education”, the vast majority of their compatriots it seems are strongly against the violence, burnings and arson that have accompanied the protests. They want to concentrate on their studies and attain their degrees so that they could play constructive roles in the socio-economic development of the country. This is the view I gathered when I interviewed university students in the coastal city of Durban on Monday, September 26. I had approached the students after some students went on the rampage at the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal on the weekend of September 24 and 25. In this instance, the students set alight a student residence at the campus and caused other damage. These incidents follow the burning down of a library and a number of cars at the Durban campus of the same university recently. Students also went on the rampage at the University of Zululand, near the town of Empangeni, setting alight a number of vehicles and burning tyres. Similar incidents took place at the University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, University of Mpumulanga and the University of Limpopo – north of Pretoria. These universities suspended their academic activities after the violent actions of the students. The University of Johannesburg was also engulfed by protesting students who wanted to disrupt a university function. The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the University of Cape Town had also shut down indefinitely following violent protests. Later on Wednesday, September 28, the University of Rhodes in the Eastern Cape region of the country was also affected with students openly clashing with security guards and members of the police. Ordinary rank and file students, I had spoken to, while supporting the call for free tertiary education, had expressed their total rejection of all forms of violence.
(Mr Ganosiswe Ndwande) One of the students, Mr Ganosiswe Ndwande, told me he suspected that most of the incidents were being instigated by a third force. “These student protests in our country I believe are being funded by people who want to see chaos and instability,” he said. “We want to go to free education but not in this way.”
(Ms Nozi Majola) A sociology student, Ms Nozi Majola, said “free education” was not the solution for the development of South African society. ‘The violence is not right,” she said. “I can see where the students are coming from but I don’t think free education will do good for us. “Free education will only decrease the quality of our education.”
(Mr Kheta Mbili) Mr Kheta Mbili is a Bachelor of Commerce and Accounting student who is also concerned about the violence and the demands for free education. “The violence is out of order. One has to understand that free education is not an easy thing to achieve.”
(Miss Lindele Mchunu) Miss Lindele Mchunu is a student who wants to achieve her qualifications as soon as possible. She told me it was very sad to see what was happening around the country. “You cannot destroy what you already have just because you want something new,” she said. “Actually examinations are around the corner, so we cannot go around and waste our valuable time. The reason why we are at university is because we want to grow and obtain our degrees.” While these students appeared to represent the majority of the student population in South Africa, there are also those who believe that the protests will attract the attention of the Government.
(Mr Senzo Mbongwa) Mr Senzo Mbongwa is one such student who supports the protests. “I am opposed to the violence but the protests are necessary because the Government promised that the fees will be frozen. The protests must continue until both the students and the Government find common ground. The Government should play its role in ensuring that students don’t embark on these protests.” All the affected universities have stepped up their security with the introduction of private security guards and also the South African Police Service members.
(Winnie Madikizela-Mandela) The violent student protests have seen former struggle stalwarts such as Dr Barney Pityana, who worked with the late Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko in the 1970s, and Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who celebrated her 80th birthday on September 26, expressing their disquiet at the violence during the protests. They have called on the Jacob Zuma Government to resolve the problems without delay.
(Dr Barney Pityana) Dr Pityana, who is a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa(UNISA), said “free education” was possible but South Africans must debate this “in a rational and intelligent manner”. “The problem is that because of fixed positions being adopted by the different role players, this makes engagement and dialogue clearly impossible and it becomes a power game. South Africans just can’t go on like that.” (September 26 2016 –

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


IF YOU ARE A SMALL, MEDIUM AND MICRO BUSINESS PERSON BEWARE OF EMAIL FRAUDSTERS I was nearly taken for a ride by a fraudster who had hacked the email of a Tongaat business person who specialises in awnings. I want some work to be done at my place in Ottawa and I invited this business person to give me a quotation. After visiting the home, the business person sent me a quote by email. I wrote back to him and said I will make a deposit as soon as possible. Then, the next thing I received the following message: “Hi Good morning,I receive a message from my bank. that my banking details is currently undergoing update,Please you can make payment to my other banking details below Fnb Account name : Gianne general Trading Account Number : 62599117142 Branch code : 250655 Pleas send proof of payment.I really appreciate doing business with you . Regards Thanks”. I was a bit puzzled but I wrote back to the business person and wanted to know what has gone wrong. I don’t know whether he received this message because he did not respond. Then on Monday (Sept 19 2016), I visited a branch of FNB at La Lucia Mall to include the business person’s account details in my account as a beneficiary. I gave the clerk the second bank details that were sent to me. The clerk looked at me and said: “You know what there is something wrong with this account. There is an hold on this account.” I immediately telephoned the Tongaat business person and informed him that there was something wrong with second account details that he had given me. “What second account details?”, he asked. I informed him that he had sent me the account details in a second email and that I had queried this but he did not respond. “I did not send any second account details,” he said. “I only have one account and that I sent you in the first email.” I then informed him that it seemed that a fraudster had hacked his email and that I nearly became a victim. He responded by saying that he would have to change his email address. The FNB clerk then informed me that he had included the first account details of the business person and there was nothing wrong with it. But, he warned, that because people are allowed to open bank accounts via the internet, there are a lot of people who can easily hack emails of business persons and take their customers for a ride. “You must always be on guard and don’t answer any suspicious emails. Immediately delete them,” he said. I am always careful but this was the first time that I was nearly robbed by an email fraudster. I AM NOW EXTRA CAREFUL. BUT AT THE SAME TIME I HOPE THESE FRAUDSTERS WILL BE CAUGHT AND THEY ARE DUMPED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN FOR WHITE SHARKS TO DEVOUR THEM.


GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, COMMUNITY LEADERS AND OTHER PROMINENT PERSONALITIES TO ATTEND THE TRIBUTE SERVICE A memorial and tribute to the life and legacy of the spiritual leader of an India-based international spiritual organization, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, will be held at the Wits Great Hall at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on Saturday, September 24. Swami Maharaj, who was the leader of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), passed away on August 13 at the age of 94 at the pilgrim headquarters at Sarangpur in the state of Gujerat in north India. Mr Shaynil Lalla, a spokesperson for BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, South Africa, said a special assembly had been organised to pay tribute to a spiritual leader who was celebrated internationally “for his spiritual and humanitarian services as well as his caring guidance as a guru to millions around the globe”. Lalla said Government officials, community leaders, and well-wishers were expected at attend the assembly. Since his passing on August 13, prominent world leaders had paid tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life and legacy.
(BARACK O BAMA WITH INDIAN PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI) The latest world leaders to pay their tributes President Barack Obama of the United States, who will be stepping down from office in a few months, and the newly-elected Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May.
In his message, President Obama said he joined in the mourning of the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj who was “blessed with the kind of wisdom and faith that transcended boundaries”. “Premukh Swami Maharaj spent his life using the power of his inner goodness to lift others up. He was a trusted ear and revered voice for countless people, and the lessons of his humility stirred not only the hearts of his followers, but also of men and women across the globe who were fortunate enough to have crossed his path. “By paying tribute to a man who believed in the worth of all people and dedicated himself to serving those in need, we are reminded of the ways our common humanity will always bind us together – and of the enduring obligation we have to love and care for one another in the world we share. May the memory of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj continue to guide you, and may his legacy give us the courage to be our best selves.”
(BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY) In her message, the newly-elected British Prime Minister said Swami Maharaj “inspired millions with his powerful motto: ‘in the good of others lies our own’.” She said Swami Maharaj’s legacy of selfless service would continue to benefit humanity for a long time to come. “I remember fondly my visit to Neasden Mandir in March 2013, as Home Secretary, to speak at an inspiring conference for International Women’s Day organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. “I also had the opportunity to see the fantastic work that BAPS does across the world to improve the lives of others, and people giving up their time generously to do it. “H.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj exemplified the values of British Hindus whose contribution helps make the United Kingdom one of the world’s most successful multi-cultural, multi-faith democracies.”
Ends – Sept 19 2016 Subry Govender

Sunday, September 11, 2016


(Pix Karunen (BY SUBRY GOVENDER) A prominent academic and cultural exponent, Professor K G Moodley, has called on the people to emulate the values and principles of Saint Subramaniar Bharathiar when propagating and building their cultures, languages and religions. Professor Moodley was the guest speaker at a function held to observe “Maha Subramaniar Bharathiar Remembrance Day” at the Shri Siva Subramaniar Alayam in Umdloti Drift, Verulam on Sunday, September 11. The function was organised by the Verulam Cultural Co-Ordinating Committee and the participants included members of the Verulam Kalay Khzuham, Shri Siva Subramaniar Alayam, Verulam Sival Sabay, Verulam Cultural Group, Avvyaar Kalay Sungam and the Havenridge Saraswathi Praathynaa Kootum. One of the active proponents of the Tamil culture and language in the North Coast, Mrs Saro Moodley, led a group of members of the Verulam Kalay Khzuham in a vibrant “flag march” in honour of Subramaniar Bharathiar. Mrs Moodley also led a group of colourfully-attired women in a traditional Tamil dance called “Gummi”. Subramaniar Bharathiar, who was born on December 11 1882 in the Tiruneveli District of Tamil Nadu, was one of India’s greatest journalists, editors, poets, freedom fighters and cultural leaders. Although he only lived for 39 years, he made an enormous contribution, not only in the freedom struggles against the British colonial power, but also in promoting the Tamil language and culture. In 1919 when the struggles against British rule was gaining momentum, Subramaniar Bharathiar, held talks with Mahatma Gandhi, who had just returned to India from South Africa where he devised the philosophy of Sathiyagara or Passive Resistance in the struggles against racial discrimination and oppression of the black majority. Professor Moodley said Subramaniar Bharathiar respected all cultures, languages and religions but emphasised the importance of the Tamil language and culture. Professor Moodley also said Subramaniar Bharathiar emphasised through his articles, poetry and songs during his short life that “unity is strength and divided we fall”. “We also must advocate these values and principles in our daily lives and in our different organisations and groups,” he said. He also said much more must be done to attract the younger generation to the cultural and linguistic functions. He said this could be done by taking advantage of the modern information technology that the young people easily adapted to and understood.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


By Subry Govender At a time when the whole world has been focusing its attention on the sainthood bestowed on Mother Theresa of Kolkota, another Indian spiritual leader has also been recoginised for his contribution to humanity. The South African branch of an India international spiritual organisation, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), have joined world leaders and millions of people around the world in paying tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who passed away on August 13 at the age of 94. Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha, which has its pilgrim headquarters at Sarangpur in the state of Gujerat in north India. The BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mission of South Africa along with the President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Mrs Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party presidential candidate in the United States, the Dalai Lama and other world leaders have described Swami Maharaj as an international spiritual leader who was always concerned with the “welfare of humanity” and “service to mankind”. Mr Hari Patel of the BAPS South African Mission, who has just returned from Sarangpur after attending his spiritual leader’s funeral, said great spiritual masters and heads of state had been deeply touched by Swami Maharaj’s “humility, saintliness and noble works” over the past 76 years since renouncing the worldly-life and joining the spiritual world at the age of 18. Some of the leaders who were touched by the Swami’s spirituality and “humanitarian services to society” included the late former president of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam; former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan; the late Sheikh Isa bin al Salman Khalifa of Bahrain; and current Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi.
(PRABUKH SWAMI MAHARAJ BLESSING THE LATE FORMER PRESIDENT OF INDIA, DR A P J ABDUL KALAM) Swami Maharaj, who was born to a humble farmer’s family in the village of Chansad, near Vadodora in Gujerat, was elected head of BAPS in 1971 after serving under several spiritual leaders for more than 30 years. “For more than seven decades he had been travelling tirelessly, visiting more than 17 000 towns and villages in India and abroad spreading the gospel service to humanity. His untiring efforts in uplifting the tribals, liberating thousands from vices and addictions, providing relief and rehabilitation to innumerable people in times of calamity and catastrophe, and inspiring character and faith in hundreds of thousands of children and youths were some of his many outstanding services to society,” Mr Patel. “He also created and consecrated 1 100 mandirs and cultural complexes like the Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and Gandhinagar to portray the cultural and spiritual heritage of India. “The news of his earthly departure has created a pall of deep sadness among countless devotees and well-wishers. A massive concourse of devotees and others are streaming into Sarangpur for his last darshan and to pay their final respects to him.” In her message, Mrs Clinton said Pramukh Swami Maharaj did not only teach virtues but also “lived them everyday”. She said: “That’s what made him a Guru to millions of devotees around the world. From the Akshardham Mandir in New Jersey to the countless temples that he blessed in the United States, Pramukh Swami built a global faith and community founded on Vedic values. “Bill (Clinton) was fortunate enough to visit with his Holiness, both here in the United States and at the Akshardham Mandir in Gujarat. In meeting many of his followers, I’ve been touched by his wisdom as well. “Pramukh Swami’s deep sense of devotion led him to spend his life revitalizing communities in need. His worship of karma inspired him to promote peace and justice in India, America, and all around the world. His example helped his followers find more harmony – both with others, and within themselves. And we hope that humanity will build upon his legacy for generations to come. Jai Swaminarayan.”
The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, said in his message said “Swamiji was a pious soul, always concerned about the welfare of humanity”. He added: “A constant crusader for spiritual values, Swamiji's teachings of service to mankind have great relevance in the present world. Swamiji's words and wisdom will remain a source of inspiration to all his followers and people at large, guiding them on the path of love and compassion. Please accept my heartfelt condolences and convey them to the countless followers of Swamiji in India and abroad.” – ends Sept 4 2016

Monday, September 5, 2016


The ruling ANC in South Africa – which is just trying to recover from the poor showing in the recent local government elections – on Monday faced another crisis outside its headquarters – Luthuli House – in Johannesburg. One faction of the ANC was prevented to march to the headquarters to handover a memorandum demanding the removal of President Jacob Zuma amidst chaotic scenes. The faction was prevented by the ANC’s military veterans, the ANC Youth League and the ANC Womens’ League members. The latest crisis comes against the background of deep divisions within the leadership of the ANC over Zuma’s leadership. Subry Govender FILED THIS RADIO STORY FOR RADIO DEUTSCHE WELLE ON SEPTEMBER 5 2016 …….. .

Thursday, September 1, 2016


(MINISTER PRAVIN GORDHAN WITH JUDGE THUMBA PILLAY AT A FUNCTION IN DURBAN EARLY IN 2016) By Subry Govender A group of about 150 former struggle stalwarts and activists have given the besieged Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, their full support and solidarity against the harassment he is facing at the hands of the Hawks. They submitted a message and attached their names in a letter to Minister Gordhan on Thursday, September 1.
(Mr Paddy Kearney, Mr Swaminathan Gounden and other stalwarts at a recent get together in Durban) The former struggle stalwarts and activists include Mr Swaminathan Gounden; Mr Kay Moonsamy, Ms Ela Gandhi, Ms Linda Zama, Professor David McQuoid-Mason, Dr Farook Meer, Ms Lindiwe Maqutu, Mr Paddy Kearney, Professor Jerry Coovadia, Judge Thumba Pillay, Judge Zak Yacoob, Dr Dilly Naidoo, Professor Yousuf Vawda, Ms Philadelphia Masuku, Ms Maggie Govender, Mr Yunis Shaik, Dr K N Ginwala, Ms Bongekile Mkhize, Mr Sam Ramsamy, Professor Warren Freedman, Mr Paul David, Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Ms Stohambile Memela, Ms Nomfundo Kakaza, Mr Devan Pillay, Mr Balan Gounder, Mr Subry Govender, Mr Charm Govender, Ms Duduzile Msomi, Professsor Imraan Coovadia, Mr Coastal Govender, Professor Carolyn Williamson, Mr Eben van der Merwe, and Ms Mpumelelo Sithole. In the letter to the Minister, the activists said as citizens of South Africa they were concerned at the continued harassment against him and his colleagues over the past few months “by the Hawks and other state agencies”. “We are concerned,” they said, “not only at the unwarranted attack on your persons but also at the wider economic, social and political implications of this abuse of state power”. They further stated: “It is apparent from public documents and information available to us that there is no factual or legal basis to bring charges against you. Despite this, these agencies have persisted in their punitive and unjustifiable conduct, which is negatively affecting your work in this important portfolio, as well as on your personal life. “We note, with appreciation, the sterling contribution you have made over four decades in the struggle for liberation, in helping to write the new Constitution, and in the democratic transformation of our society.” “Your work in the public service has been impeccable, be it as a Member of Parliament, Commissioner of SARS, or as a Cabinet Minister. Your example of service, integrity and clean governance appears to have made enemies of certain powerful forces, but you can take comfort from the fact that you have earned the respect and admiration of all fair-minded South Africans. “We stand in solidarity with you and your family, friends and comrades who have shared your ideals without compromising the vision and values of the liberation struggle. “We applaud the stand taken by you, as well as Ivan Pillay and others, in trying to maintain the National Treasury and SARS as credible institutions serving the public and not a few politically-connected business interests, and assure you that you are not alone. “The forces of corruption, nepotism, theft of public funds, and abuse of state institutions will be defeated.” Ends – subrygovender September 1 2016