Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Times Front Page (May 19)

Image Credit

I am in shock and lost for reason. What kind of humanity can direct such a brutal murder, and do so amid laughter?

What kind of nation are we?

President Mbeki has hardly proved himself too concerned about the course of events that have left 50 migrants dead and more than 25 000 displaced from their homes.

All he has done so far is to release a statement saying that the violence against migrants was a "humiliating disgrace", and he only did so one week after the first xenephobic attacks began.

As of this writing, Mbeki has not appeared in public to address the violence directly. He has not appeared on state television or radio to call for calm and order. In fact, the president has not visited any of the areas affected.

As is his usual jet-set leadership style, he was in Tanzania while the violence ensued.

Violent xenephobic attacks have spread to seven of our nine provinces. Here in the Northern Cape we remain mostly unaffected. It must, however, be noted that isolated xenephobic attacks have taken place in our province in the previous months.

I am not surprised by our AIDS denialist and Mugabe-supporting president's aloof distance from the mayhem. His habitual distance is why he is a despised and discredited lame duck president.

South Africa would benefit greatly if President Mbeki stepped down, though I hardly expect he will.


***Update(May 25: 10:32pm)***
At about ten minutes before seven this evening (today is Africa Day), President Mbeki read a prepared statement that included a denunciation of the violence against migrants.

Too little and too late was my thinking.


Eugene said...

There are no words to describe this horror. But to me, like the Israeli's became that which they alleged to detest, the South African xenophopes are becoming like the apartheid government.

Dione said...

The world is full of angry selfish people who only care about themselves.
What we can do about it, is call attention to it, be activists and live as good people everyday. It really is what individuals are willing to give up, for the welfare of the rest of the world. On some level, this seems to apply itself to almost every situation.


Anonymous said...

white supremacists must be rejoicing when they see Africa inflicting pain to it'self... what happened to us? As for Mbeki he is too far distanced from reality so we couldn't count on him on this one. I watched his prepared speech which he read with no emotion at all. For him it was just another task of a presidential incumbent.

GiGi - The Shy Giraffe said...

I'm so lost of touch since on vacation. But for this to happen is horrifying. If Mbeki steps down, do you think it would be a much better govt taking place? Guess I have lots of reading up to do.

I hope you're well bro and thanks for looking in my spot =:O)

Ridwan said...

Eugene, Dione, Anonymous, and Gigi thank you all kindly for commenting.


Shus li said...

Ridwan -

I am shocked by this image and the violence being done to the migrants in SA. Yet, I sit here in a country which despises its "illegal" immigrants similarly. And I wonder when and how this violence done to "others" will ever end.

Hoping it is soon.


Ridwan said...

Thanks for looking in sista Shusli. There are very troubling similarities between the US and South Africa.

I hope this violence against so called "illegals" will end ... I don't expect it will, sadly.

Peace to you,