I’m having coffee at a coffee shop around the corner and boy do they serve coffee well. “Shosholoza” is playing in the background and the soft noises of quick and confident fingers hitting their keyboards is a constant reminder that I have so much to be grateful for. The word Shosholoza is a combination of both Ndebele (of Zimbabwe) and Zulu (of South Africa) words meaning “to push forward, endeavor, or strive.” It is said that the song helped to lessen the workload of gold and diamond minders back in the day and it help them create a rhythm to work to through the long and hard days. Although I was raised in a middle-class family I am now a somewhat struggling millennial, finding myself in the same boat as others my age. Yet I eat everyday, mostly good organic food I buy at farmer’s markets (although I wish I could grow my own) and I am able to work for a living, earning just enough to get by. I have an education and I kind of know what I want. Those are things not everyone has and I am especially thankful seeing as South Africa’s wealth inequality is among the highest in the world. A state that embodies the exact opposite of what Ubuntu means A person is a person through people. Is this way of life achievable or simply a Utopia, too good to be true?
My dreams of a shared economy and people living together in harmony gets bashed pretty much everyday when I look at the news (that’s why I just don’t) and it makes me feel like a weird pseudo witch looking for something that is unattainable. But my hope in humanity was once again revitalized as I heard about Mark Shuttleworth’s suing the state of South Africa for illegal taxation. Did you know South Africa is registered as a corporation? The “REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA” is registered as a corporation on the US Securities & Exchange, among other well recognized corporations like Anglo American, Old Mutual, ABSA and Standard Bank. Interesting! Who is the CEO of this corporation? I doubt it’s Zuma, he might just be one of the greatest and most successful puppets around, if you think Zuma is incredibly stupid, well then you’re wrong. This guy is racking it, laughing all the way to the bank. Look, in no way do I want to be a negative Nelly, but I care deeply about social issues and people are waking up to these social inequalities and are demanding a better way of you know…life.
Shuttleworth is known as that guy who bought himself a trip to space as the first South African to do so. He created Ubuntu, an open source software with limited proprietary components, meaning that users are encouraged to upload it, improve it, upload those improvements, and make the world—or, rather, the computer—a better place. But it didn’t reach the potential it could have because well…free stuff doesn’t make anyone any money. And sadly we have too many non-visionaries who can only see as far as they can smell money. Oh and Fuck You Thomas Edison. Read more on why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek alive, then you’ll catch my hater drift.
But anyways, back to the state of affairs we’re in. Ubuntu destroys the central idea of any capitalist society, in which we are all conceived as lone lions chasing down tasty four-legged treats, and well if you’re too slow, you won’t get to snag that delicious Kudu. Too bad for you, you probably didn’t have the right mindset. No shit! The monetary system is a made-up hoax that has forced people into slaving away their lives for little or no money and if you don’t have an education, well then you’re going to have a really bad time. For those lucky few who have been able to divorce themselves from this state,kudos to you. The present lot of multi-hued middle and upper classes live in a totally different universe from the have-nots. There is hope though, people my age, no matter what hue are seeing the worthless struggle of separation. “It fills me with a lot of pride in South Africa and in my lifetime has helped me to connect with my own sense of what it is to be from here. I remember my first experiences of it being during the 1995 world cup and that it was something black and white people sang together. Unity.”-Edward O’Reilly, age 24.
It’s no wonder the have-nots have become totally disenfranchised from the system. The system doesn’t work for them, the corporation of South Africa doesn’t work for you. Once you realize that my brothers and sisters, you have a distinct advantage in life. The governments only job is to rebuild a patronage network that benefits a narrow, politically connected elite at the expense of the country’s taxpayers. It’s a hard realisation to wake up to…no doubt. It fucking sucks. Yet let us not cry over things that can not change but let’s steer them in a different direction. If you’re thinking of a revolution with guns and war, then please, go away. The revolution will be fought with love and I will be on the forefront of that battle field, giving out hugs and holding on tightly to my dreams. I am not the only one! John Lennon would agree with me.
Back in court, Shuttleworth and his lawyers went after SARB. The Pretoria high court ruled against him, so he went to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The ruling?
The SCA held that a founding principle of Parliamentary democracy is that there should be no taxation without representation and that the executive branch of government should not itself be entitled to raise revenue but should rather be dependent on the taxing power of Parliament. The Court stated that the levy raised revenue for the State in that it brought in ten per cent of the value of any capital in excess of R750,000 exported out of the country, into the National Revenue Fund. Whilst in force, it raised approximately R2.9 billion. The SCA found therefore that the levy thus fell within the category of ‘taxes, levies or duties’ contemplated by sections 75 and 77 of the Constitution.
So Shuttleworth won and decided to take his R250 474 893,50 (plus interest) and give it to—us! The people of South Africa, aww yeah!
“I will commit the funds returned to me today by the SCA to a trust run by veteran and retired constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers, that will selectively fund cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves, where the counterparty is the state,” Shuttleworth said in a statement on his website. That’s not all. “The mandate of this trust will extend beyond South African borders, to address constitutional rights for African citizens at large, on the grounds that our future in South Africa is in every way part of that great continent.”
In an article on the Daily Maverick by RICHARD POPLAK exclaims how: “The middle-class dream propagated by everyone from Nelson Mandela to Julius Malema is a chimera, and there isn’t a revolutionary in this country worthy of the name. Nonetheless, Mark Shuttleworth, billionaire denizen of the Isle of Man, one-time space cowboy who gazed down upon the little blue marble that is Earth, has given us a glimpse of the future. He’s reminded us that we are networked, that our lives are open-sourced, that any nation is a software programme that only works if the code above and below is properly rendered. He’s reminded us that South Africa has ideals as native as the soil, and that perhaps its time to start digging them up again.
And while you’re at it, go out there and sue the government. It’s on him.”
With that said, let’s rewire some minds!
What do you think friend? I smell a good time, or is that Mary-Jane? Well they do go hand-in-hand don’t they…Viva South Africa. Our differences is what unites us, please don’t forget that, the world would be terribly boring without all the colours of life and hues of people we get to appreciate every day.