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Anonymous sends a message to ‘the South African people’

Anonymous, the shadowy online ‘hacktivist’ group that is rapidly gaining worldwide fame uploaded a video to YouTube on the 18th of March entitled “Message from Anonymous: To the South African people”, calling on the people to rise up and take back their country from corrupt and inept rulers.

The message, which had been viewed 800 times at the time of writing, begins with some grainy footage of wind sweeping over Table Mountain, evoking the famous Winds of Change speech by Harold Macmillan which foreshadowed the end of the colonial era. The video then cuts to a head shot of a smiling mask and a female computerized voice begins with the words “to the people of South Africa, Anonymous would like to address you on the state of your society”.

The message goes on to detail how the people have been robbed of the wealth of the country, and how companies like Anglo American and the Oppenheimer family have gotten rich at the expense of the masses. This is followed by a list of South Africa’s social problems, from drugs and murder to domestic violence and organised gangs “while the police are rendered impotent by the very laws that govern South Africa”.

How long will we allow this to go on, asks the voice of Anonymous, before exhorting the people to “stand up and show the world that enough is enough”. The final part of the message is a warning to the government that the people will stand it no longer, and drives home the message “expect us”.

The tone of the message shifts from speaking in the third person in the first half of the message, to something more inclusive at the end. “We the people are taking our country back”, “Enough of selling our resources to the West” says the voice, and the switch to first person plural indicates that the message originates in South Africa from a homegrown branch of Anonymous.

It’s been a watershed few months for Anonymous. From highly-publicised attacks against the enemies of WikiLeaks to strategic DDOS attacks on Middle Eastern dictatorships and a strategic humiliation of online security firm HBGary, the “hacktivist” group has gone from strength to strength. Just last week, it declared that it would be taking on the might of the ‘global banking cartel‘ in what would be its most ambitious target to date.

This particular message from Anonymous to South Africa is short on details, and offers no solution to the multitude of problems which, to be frank, even the government themselves are aware of. There are no targets, timelines or direct threats which are all hallmarks of Anonymous modus operandi thus far.

The message does seem to be closely associated with a Facebook group called “Taking Back South Africa! 2011“, a community organisation with 300 followers that seems to be advocating a radical overthrow of the political system in South Africa. It even carries the group’s logo at the end.

When approached by Memeburn about its plans for the future, the organisation wrote “Our plan is first of all to create more awareness of this movement and increase online numbers which will allow us to get more material across. We plan to create more videos and written material which we will release online. OUr strategy is to focus on 3 core fundamental problems which all South Africans suffer from and can agree on: Poverty, Crime and Government Corruption.”

One of the things which the video does do is point to the fact that, in a leaderless movement such as this, anyone can step forward and claim to speak on behalf of the collective. Is this message really from Anonymous, or is it simply the work of some South African activists who are seeking to shake up the South African political scene with some bold pronouncements? We’ll be watching to see if this develops any further.

Watch the video:

Author | Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel
Jeremy Daniel is an online media specialist, as well as an author and musician. He runs Bassline Media & Content Marketing, writes songs as part of The Touch and is the author of My Forever Friend, published by Tafelberg NB. Jeremy was also an early editor of Memeburn.com. More


  1. Andrew

    March 23, 2011 at 5:21 am

    It’s survival of the fittest for Anonymous memes and “messages” and you’ve just given this one a good chance of survival. Never the less, it’s a good indication that the educated youth of South Africa are not oblivious to the rampant corruption and they may or may not do something about it but it’s clearly a consideration which is an important message in itself.

  2. Hank

    March 23, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Looks like sound production isn’t their strong suite..

  3. Potfiction

    March 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

    seriously,this is such a bad rip. Don’t post blindly.

  4. Simon

    March 23, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Oh get a life Anonymous! Help the rest of us bring about peaceful change and stop with your cowardly pantomime.

  5. Gordon

    March 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Take the mask off-grow some balls & have a constructive plan not threats-think & act like a democratic citizen not a ‘hitman’.

  6. Jezza

    March 23, 2011 at 10:05 am

    how do you mean guy?

  7. Potfiction

    March 23, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The video uses parts of the scientology video, and from what i have seen, correct me if i am wrong,none of the previous videos actually features a live person with an mask.Nothing is mentioned on any of their normal communication channels.

  8. Jezza

    March 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Probably just a copycat. Another bunch of empty threats from people that wish they could change things but can do absolutely nothing. (and that have watched zeitgeist a few too many times)

  9. Wastemytime

    March 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    What a waste of time, honestly. I’m going to go put on a mask just now and preach some random prophecies and threats and send you guys the youtube link, just in case you have another slow day and need some more crappy link bait.

  10. Memeburn

    March 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Honestly, Anonymous is what its name says: Anonymous. It’s just a random group of people who decide they want to support some cause on 4chan and then DDOS the site in question. They can’t send a message.

  11. Rob Dickens

    March 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    What a load of crap? It’s not anonymous. It’s some douchelord piggybacking. Not to mention that they insist on ending sentences with a preposition. No threat here… except maybe a retaliation from anonymous to these douchelords to put them in their place. Please someone go onto /b/ and tell them there’s some wanktards trying to be clever.

  12. Anonymous

    March 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    MoralFags…Moralfags everywhere

  13. Alex

    March 24, 2011 at 12:04 am

    “grow some balls and act like a democratic citizen” What a paradox!
    It takes no balls to act like a democratic citizen, to pay your taxes, to be part of the system instead of fighting it. Voting every 4 years politicians who after they’ve been elected say “Well, I didn’t really mean that”. Voting while the media and the education system keep indoctrinating us, while corporations keep raping the environment, destroying the 3rd world, keep voting while they are stealing our future offering only the dream of the consumerist “good life”.

    Damn that! Anonymous are not violent. They’ve done more for raising awareness and helping free speech than any of you sad moaners complaining here. They’re trying to disrupt the system that brought the world to this mess. What are you Mr Democracy doing for a better tomorrow?

  14. Gordon Parkin

    March 24, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Alex, you single out the “3rd world” what about the rest of the world? People can and do create change without being Anonymous. Look at what has happened in north Africa and the Middle East. It happens all the time and not always with violence. My point is let’s have less ‘theatre props’ and get on with constructive change. Offer solutions not threats. The strength of proposing solutions creates social awareness which in turn creates action that has purpose that can lead to change. Take WikiLeaks as an example: we know where the information comes from and who made it public so why the cloak and dagger stuff? If you want to be taken seriously, stand up and be counted as a ‘real’ person. I don’t disagree that there is a lot wrong with governments and corporations but if you want change take it to them in person not a mask.

  15. Chavicaplan

    March 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Someone should enlighten Anonymous to the fact that the “people of South Africa” generally dont have access to the internet- let alone youtube, they are preeching to the wrong audience.

  16. Anonymous

    March 28, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I bet this is another fucking Nando’s ad.

  17. Anonymous

    March 28, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I bet this is another f$%#@#@ Nando’s ad!

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  19. Mekyla Wilsnauch

    March 31, 2011 at 9:28 am

    What a load of BS , focused your energy on something of more importance. Like human trafficking.

  20. Brightbilly

    April 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Enjoy the ride Anonymous! The white Afrikaner deprived the black man of rights and heritage for 47 years…and failed, there is nothing for him to take back! Stop moaning and get a life!

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  23. Tony Lopes

    December 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    What’s with the Terminator soundtrack in the background?

  24. Tony Lopes

    December 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    What’s with the Terminator soundtrack in the background?

  25. Madhatterme

    March 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I agree with the facts that is stated I agree with the slow fall we are seeing, no we are not democratic, cause people vote based on fear, intimidation and traditional believes, If you live in South Africa you would know this, unless you are one of the few living in luxury, depraving the rest of the population. I agree that change is about to happen, and due to the nature of South Africans this will not be a pretty picture. In a way this video ties in with what we experience. Anonymous is not and organisation with leaders and yearly fees, anyone can be Anonymous … it’s an ideal … it’s a dream … it is something that has been brewing for the last 200 years … it is becoming a reality … and the corrupt, the sick, the evil that is currently abusing laws and making new ones to oppress people are slowly waking up to the fact that you can not arrest, detain or even ban something that exists in every individuals mind. 
    Anonymous is not an organization. It is not a club, a party or even a movement. There is no charter, no manifest, no membership fees. Anonymous has no leaders, no gurus, no ideologists. In fact, it does not even have a fixed ideology.All we are is people who travel a short distance together – much like commuters who meet in a bus or tram: For a brief period of time we have the same route, share a common goal, purpose or dislike. And on this journey together, we may well change the world.Nobody can speak for Anonymous. Nobody could say: you are in, or you are out.

  26. Madhatterme

    March 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Then I guess it is your job as one of the few privileged to get the message to them

  27. Madhatterme

    March 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    If you send a message as Anonymous … then you are part of them … look you already started by not using your real name, you are 50% there

  28. Madhatterme

    March 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Isn’t it funny how we saved the country from our Socialist “old government” in quite a similar fashion … the both start with A. But like we all know once leaders taste money and the good life, BANG there goes their ideas and moral standing. Problem for any government is this,  this ANC does not have a leader or structure or base. Now what? do they fight everyone? They might just have to!

  29. Madhatterme

    March 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Would love to see this on government controlled TV :D

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