Mhambi has been redeployed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Xenophobic attacks in Plettenberg Bay

Violent attacks by South Africans against foreigners in Plettenberg Bay emanated from a march that took place on Tuesday, Western Cape police said on Friday.

"According to the information police received, individuals in the community demonstrated their dissatisfaction regarding foreigners taking job opportunities from them," said Captain Malcolm Pojie.

Originally uploaded by rev_bri.
A global issue that's getting bigger

He said locals marched to the Plettenberg Bay municipality to complain about business and job opportunities they claim were taken by foreigners on Tuesday.

Later that evening in Qolweni informal settlement, the locals gathered and started ransacking and assaulting foreigners who were believed to be from Somalia.

A special investigation team was established and police were deployed in the area to sustain public order over the weekend.

More than 40 people were arrested when they gathered outside KwaNokuthula township.

The foreigners say the violence against them is taking place in all the towns in the southern Cape.

Plettenberg Bay
Originally uploaded by couvoisier1.
Plettenberg bay

Word on the street is that at least 13 foreigners have been killed since last Monday. But police say they are currently only investigating one murder after the body of an unknown man was found. Police say these reports can only be regarded as rumours at this stage.

Charges of robbery, housebreaking and assault are being investigated against the group that was put in custody on Friday afternoon.

Large numbers of police officers from the surrounding towns have been deployed in Plettenberg Bay, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported. -- Sapa

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kwaito is too Western

According to the Financial times, the reason why there are few new South African stars in the international music world is that South African music has become too Western.

What went wrong with South African music? The unpalatable answer may be the elections of 1994. Apartheid gave South Africans something to sing about, and the cultural boycott, wrongheaded as it was, shielded musicians from the pressures of globalisation. As in any island ecology, diversity flourished. Today, too many sing from a western songbook, whether aping gangstas or serenading tourists.

I can't agree. In the article Kwaito is compared to rap. Kwaito is not akin to rap, although recent exponents of it, like Zola, have produced Kwaito which resembles it more. Kwaito has its roots firmly in music that has been around South African cities for decades.

soweto fashion
Originally uploaded by REPRESENT.CO.ZA.
Kwaito is urban south Africa

Truth be told South African black music has been influenced by Western music for a long time, and their are few examples of Mali-like indigenous music. The South African music that made it world-wide in the 50's to 80's came from its cities, where it absorbed American influences like jazz and gospel.

Kwaito is a South African music genre which reflects its dynamic urban culture. It was not made for export. It is mass music genre for the young and energetic urban South African, and interestingly, it crosses South African colour lines. So while it might not appeal to the International market, it is more significant than its predecessors.

Read more here

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A startling takeover in Africa

From today's UK Guardian archive, a report on the annexation of the Transvaal:

A startling takeover in Africa
Thursday May 10, 1877
The Guardian
Prince Bismarck once spoke of England - somewhere about the time the Ionian islands were transferred to Greece - as a ceding Power, and therefore, wanting in one of the "notes" of true imperial vigour.

When a State ceases to annex and begins to surrender territory, it may be taken as certain, in the opinion of the German Chancellor, that it has passed its climacteric. Tried by this test, it cannot be said that the British Empire gives signs of decay.


There is a general feeling in this country that our responsibilities in South Africa are sufficiently onerous. It is not a mere question of annexing a slice of territory here or there. That could be a small matter; but with every mile we increase the burdens and risks which accompany dominion over savage or semi-savage races.

We are not in a position to pronounce a definite judgement. The situation in the Transvaal country had become deplorable. A chronic state of anarchy had set in. The Portuguese are reproached, and not without reason, with the marked deterioration which seems to overtake the national character whenever it is brought in contact with inferior races, as in Africa.

The Dutch appear to suffer in the same way. In Europe they are unsurpassed as representatives of the principle of order. In South Africa we see in their kinsmen a degree of lawlessness scarcely matched by any other community of European descent.

Read the full text here

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