This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Africa's Rainbow Nation

Nobility of spirit is a rare commodity so that when it modestly exhibits its presence it takes people aback, they sit up, they take notice, they applaud. The team of Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu transformed the spirit of South Africa. Of course they had a little help from their friends, countries like Canada which undertook to exert diplomatic and trade embargo pressure on the Apartheid government.

And South Africa was also indebted to its neighbours, like Zimbabweans, Mozambicans and Angolans who kindly gave shelter to black South Africans fleeing the violence of their country during the paroxysms that finally led to the surrender of the country by the ruling white Afrikaans back to the rightful owners, black South Africans. At which juncture Mr. Mandela was finally freed from prison and governed his country offering equal rights to all.

And Bishop Tutu presided at the spectacle that became a healing circle called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where victims gave witness to the unspeakable and the suffering, and violators confessed their sins and all was forgiven. And the country settled in to become other than what it had been, with an honoured place for all and promises of housing and jobs.

A noble dream to be sure. What happened next was a slow, agonized climb in the resolute determination to become a fair and free society, but it was fairer and freer for some, not all, and endemic poverty was scarcely relieved, and decent living conditions still eluded in the slums. And tribal antipathies proved as resistant to enlightened thought as the moneyed-class system.

Where wealth could be achieved, but it had to be lived behind barbed wire and stone walls, sheltered from the crass thievery of the mobs who would take advantage if they could, of the riches known to reside there, protected by armed marksmen. So it is not they who are targeted, but the easier prey, the poor, murdered, their scant belongings looted, children violated.

One of the most crime-ridden, violent societies on Earth now; most unfortunate. And what is particularly notable is the resurrection of ancient primitive tribal and clan hunts. Where South Africans armed with chains, spears, whips, axes, cudgels, shovels, metal sticks; just about anything serviceable to the purpose, set out to hunt down defenceless refugees.

People who have fled the dangers in their own countries, from Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria, Somalia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. There are said to be over three million Zimbabweans seeking haven in South Africa. Robert Mugabe's people amidst their home-grown tribal 'misunderstandings', prefer to flee to where they might stand a chance of survival.

Even though they are hunted mercilessly by South Africans for whom an evening of blood games, of looting, beating, killing, raping, provides entertainment and a purpose in life.

From the time of Apartheid's Soweto killings and Winnie Mandela's sporty bodyguards under her direction abducting Stompie Moeketsi, a 13-year-old boy to torture and "necklace" him to the present where the very nationals who had once offered protection to South African asylum seekers are now set on fire for the entertainment of the mobs.

Even the retired Desmund Tutu who entreats South Africans to "Please, please stop! These are our sisters and brothers. We can't repay them (for their past support of desperate South Africans fleeing violence before the end of apartheid) by killing their children", exercises his conscience in vain, for no one hears, and none are interested.

"They set you alight ... and laugh at you while you are burning. It's so shameful right now to be a South African, seeing all these things happening here, while claiming to be a rainbow nation, after all the struggles that our parents have gone through."

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