Monday, 26 May 2008

The SA 'bubble' divide...

The Xenophobia catastrophe has reminded me once again that there is still a large portion of South African’s living in a bubble [surprise, surprise you say]..well yes and no..

After chatting to people I think that bubble has got bigger because certain sections of the population are ‘shutting down’ from communication and what’s happening around them in order ‘to cope’… How much can people take with the constant reports of corrupt officials, lack of leadership, greed, crime, violence, rape [including children] etc etc. it all seems to have just got too much for some to bear.

Giving, caring and humility has been ‘drummed’ into me my whole life, as I result I have a mindset [according to my mom] of trying to save the world. I have an extreme dislike for violence, unfairness and anything that is inhumane and I have admittedly had a few sleepless nights about the Xenophobia massacres. The whole thing has challenged my constant quest for balance. On one side I get involved and feel I need to be informed but I realize that this also makes me sad and depressed, especially when faced with the detail of the crimes. The other side of me wants to make this all go away [push the ‘undo’ button]. Now I have recently had a new thought emerge..… I understand why some chose to hide in the ‘shut down bubble’. I know that kind of thought process will not help matters but I understand it. Its hard to manage when you have been taught to put yourself in another’s shoes and tap into their pain. So, are we building a country a thick skinned, heartless people? I think not, it has alot to do with survival. The bubble = survival, the ostrich will be familiar with that tactic...we have 'leaders' who teach it well.

What has recently happened in our country is a serious blotch on our human rights record. We cannot take back what has been done and I am finding it harder and harder to find hope and faith knowing we have no Leadership. The future is now an uncertain place. A good friend of mine lives and works in Liberia and she recently gave me sound advice to ‘take a conscious decision not to be discouraged’ as 'South Africa has been through a lot worse'. I suppose it has, but the fact that I live amongst those that think burning people in the street is funny, or bashing old people to death is their right ..etc etc just because they are foreign is a frightening thought]. It does make the rest of the world question [and yes we should ‘care’ about the rest of the world, we need investment, skills, tourism, 2010 etc] whether we are what they thought we were…the Rainbow Nation...the shining light of the ‘dark continent’. One other thing differs, we have less skill to lose now then we did in 1994. We simply cannot afford to not be investing in our future.

No matter what anyone says, the recent events have shown that this time, we are very much part of the ‘pity box’ that is seen as Africa and we clearly don’t have the tolerance or control we should have for our African brothers and sisters or their children. Even when our people [in years gone by], have been hosted by other African countries in their time of need. Someone mentioned the government is to blame for allowing poor communities to be burdened with more poverty. I agree with that, but we as South Africans still have a choice, why such violence? Some people do need to wake up and get involved but we are still grappling with the problem of the ‘emerging world’ meets ‘first world’ conflict in our country with the divide being enormous between rich and poor and having a deaf government just adds to that divide. The 'emerging world' needs help, not more pressure....whilst some in the ‘first world’ look on, living in their bubble in order to ‘cope’ and not feel the pain of their brothers and sisters. Sound familiar…? So I am making attempts to not 'be discouraged’ and retreat to the 'safety' of the bubble. I know we need to work hard to fix the pain otherwise very soon we could all be burning in the streets [lets hope that never happens]…So try leave the bubble and help us try save SA from itself, the fight is worth it.

Thanks Zapiro for another 100% interpretation of recent events:

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Cloudy it rains on foreigners

I don’t intend to ‘government bash’…but they seem to leave me with little choice nowadays…what the hell are they doing as we watch our country descend into chaos…The xenophobia is out of hand and still I am sure someone would say ‘there is no crisis’. I am ashamed to be a South African today after reading The Star.

Our own people, with persecution still so fresh in their minds, seem to have no issues with beating [in some cases murdering]/raping and taking from foreign nationals. Some of which have been in this country for years. It seems that some people have been waiting to have a ‘shopping spree’ on the back of the hard work of others?!! What kind of person rationalises that in their heads? There are currently over 500 police in Alexandra township [a picture on the front page of The Star shows one shooting a live round!]. Don't we need the the police fighting crime..? It seems like a war zone with armored vehicles being the order of the day?!

Lets assess the root of the problem….the total lack of control and corruption that appears to exist amongst our border patrol [and our police, government and.. and.. and]. Perceptions are a dangerous thing and with the total lack of consistent communication or action from our government, the average South African I am sure formulates their own perceptions regarding what is happening by the very facts presented. Thank God for the media.

Thousands of people are getting through our borders from a desperate situation in a country run into the ground by a mad man. Instead of assisting the crisis by [acknowledging there actually is one] and creating refugee camps for these people [we could then feed people through international aid programmes], we are letting them through to fend for themselves in any way they see fit. It seems that those that are caught and ‘deported’ are back the next day! Most I am sure attempt to find work [and will probably work for less out of total desperation] and others I am sure turn to crime. I the meantime our president makes a statement that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe…wake up Mbeki the crisis has moved right into our country…but hey government doesn’t seem to care….Still no refugee status for Zimbos has been declared…there is almost an ostrich approach to this situation [and many others] that makes me think that our okes are either 2 busy squabbling over how much cash they can get their hands on, how much power they can get or how to dodge convictions by crying conspiracy to even worry about South Africans are taking the law into their own hands.

All it takes is one ‘clever’ to see a gap to create a mob mentality that is more frightening than anything because mobs don’t have a brain…What has happened in Alexandra is terrible. The message is clear, people are desperate, both foreigners and South Africans alike and there needs to be action and quickly to resolve the situation…we have a large dark cloud over our nation today...the rainbow has long since gone along with tolerance.

[UPDATE 14 May: Can you imagine being thrown out of your house that you have lived in and paid for for years and come back to find a lazy South African thief in it when you return telling you 'this is no longer your house'. That is happening in Alex at the moment. I cannot believe this kind of 'land repatriation' is happening to foreigners on our phase Sandton?]

Wednesday, 07 May 2008

SA Criminal's National Anthem..Cry Conspiracy

Have any of you noticed the new trend of crying conspiracy by criminals...This is a worrying trend because it indicates there is a thought process [that seems to be working in some cases] that thinks the law can be manipulated by creating doubt and confusion. If the public had faith in the legal system would this kind of thing happen? Read this story not because the criminals involved have cried conspiracy [like the Knysna DJ that raped and murdered 2 young girls and DNA proved he was the person who committed the crime...but its a conspiracy you see..right!] but because if they were caught they probably would cry conspiracy!

A friend of mine recently went to write her learners at the Auckland Park License Dept. She failed by 1 point so she duly went to the licensing officer and said …'Ahh come on it was just one point’... to which the guy said if you wanted to get that extra point you should have mentioned that before the test.

My friend 'interrogated' a little more on this ‘option’ only to find that the public servants there are… surprise…. surprise, completing the test for you before hand and bringing your paper back saying you forgot to complete your name etc…. Sorry to sound cynical but it is unrealistic to expect the public to have any faith in the government or their departments when there are constant reports of corruption and non delivery, so blatant.

You apparently have to pay the bribe up front to avoid all the anti corruption steps that have been put in place after the test. And the price of the sin… R350.00 per bribe and that is at a discount. Considering that your learners costs you around R110 odd rand [if you do it legally] I would say these guys are making a killing. ‘Great’ business that is slowly choking our country but hey who cares right?! I do, but I am one person with a blog..big deal.

What is scary is that in one sitting my friend saw 3 people 'that forgot to complete information' in other words…bribing rotten stinking corrupt bastards, which in my book makes them just as bad - it happens because it can. Sorry I am so mad I could spit.

What is happening to our country [so tired of that question] that this can happen so blatantly out in the open.. There is no fear of the law anymore as we are slowly becoming a lawless society. We need to fight against this…the problem is when some of our ‘leadership’ have a question mark hanging over their heads the message is clear…its a free for all….'see what you can get because nothing will happen to me approach'. The worst thing that can happen is maybe in 10 years time going to trial and then the case being dismissed because someone 'mislaid the file' or the public simply forgot about it.

I am sure these people have no fear of being caught [no matter how much evidence] the new national anthem for the criminals of this country is ‘its all a conspiracy or a public vendetta’ that ‘has no merit’ and is untrue 'provoked by the press' - of course. So hey create enough mud in the pond to ensure clarity is lost.

The implications of this….we have an entire generation that have illegally got onto the road but have the documents to say they are legal….its no wonder we cant control the death toll on our roads. Let me know what you think about this because I am furious. Cry...our beloved country...