Mhambi has been redeployed.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Israel is loosing the media war

I am astonished at how brazen (or is it cavalier) the Israelis have executed their current military operation in Lebanon, regardless of how inhumane this will come accross in an increasingly media saturated and media free world.

The massacre in Qana, and the media coverage it has received, could have the same impact as the Soweto in 1976 had on world opinion.

Here is another example of the compelling but damaging blows to Israel's image.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, July 29, 2006

South African AU soldiers frustrated in Darfur

Barking out the orders is a man who would not be out of place in a Hollywood film - South African sector commander Richard Lourens.

A veteran of wars in Angola and Namibia, he is not a man who takes failure well.

Sporting a closely trimmed black beard and a macho swagger, he has been in Darfur just a few months but he has had enough of being pushed around in this messy conflict.

Large parts of the surrounding desert are off limits to his patrols and twice in the past two weeks Colonel Lourens' men have suffered the ultimate military humiliation.

Stopped by rebels on a road, the South African soldiers handed over their weapons and vehicles without a shot being fired. Some 45 machine guns and four vehicles were taken.

Part of the problem is Mr Minni Minnawi - a rebel and alledgedly a killer of other rebels, America supports and the AU soldiers are protecting. Mr Minnawi's violence has left the African Union humiliated and deeply compromised. When the deal was signed the AU had welcomed him with open arms.

The rebel leader stays inside AU headquarters, eats AU food and his men drive, and on some occasions crash, AU cars. Atrocities have been brushed under the carpet and when Mr Minnawi wants to go into the field, an African Union helicopter is made available to fly him there.

The men of the African Union went to Darfur to help protect its displaced people.

Read the whole BBC report.

Sphere: Related Content

Former settlers return to Algeria

An extraordinary reconciliation has been taking place in Algeria reports the BBC. Former French settlers in Algeria are returning in their thousands to visit what many see as their home country.

The BBC correspondent joined a party of 130 former colonialists for their return to the eastern Algerian town of Bijaya, the port the French called Bougie.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ramaphosa back in the limelight

This article by William M Gumede on the Rhamaphosa entering the ANC presidential race has been published on the BBC news website.

He clainds that:

Shortly after Nelson Mandela became president in 1994, he recommended to the ANC inner circle that his presidential successor should be Cyril Ramaphosa.

The suggestion was declined. The group of former exiles who were then very powerful in the party were adamant that Mr Mandela's successor be drawn from among them.

They insisted on Thabo Mbeki, the heir named by former ANC leader-in-exile Oliver Tambo on his deathbed.

Mr Mandela then proposed constitutional amendments that would see Mr Ramaphosa - who cut his teeth in the domestic wing of the ANC - becoming the prime minister under an Mbeki presidency.

But Mr Mbeki and his supporters did not want a serious rival so close to the throne.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ons hou van melktert, breiwerk, skaapbraai en hard naai

Some South Africans have their knickers in a twist over Rokkeloos's latest lyricks, broadcast on National TV.

Ons hou van melktert, breiwerk, skaapbraai en hard naai


Complaint about the use of the word “naai” in an Afrikaans song, which was a broadcast of a live recording. Only very naïve persons would not realize that the word is used in its secondary meaning which is the equivalent of the English “f” word.

The complainent said:

Another flaw in the argument submitted is that "melktert" and "skaapvleis braai" is things enjoyed by women, however these are things equally enjoyed by men. My interpretation of the group’s name "Rokkeloos" rather suggest to me a group of females renouncing their sexuality (the word translated directly meaning "without dresses"). I don't see them with aprons behind the stove baking "melktert". Referring to the double meaning of the word, during the performance the lead singer mentioned the word condom on more than one occasion. This immediately deletes the better meaning of the mentioned word. I for one would like to see how stitching is performed with a condom. Point three in the report mentioned the following: "The interpretation of the lyrics is left to the mind of the listener...” When listening in how the words where pronounced and screamed no imagination is needed to interpret the real meaning. Point four seems to be using the fact that because it was a "live performance" that this makes it all okay. If I interpret their statement correctly we can go and rape and pillage as much as we like as long as it is a live performance. Looking at the time this music was aired, maybe our babies and toddlers were already in bed, my concern is our teenagers that are still awake at 21H50.”

Read the whole bruhaha here.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ramaphosa to run for South Africa's precidency

City Press reports that Cyril Ramaphosa is to run for president. If true, Mhambi thinks this is very very good news indeed.

To pharaphrase SA rappers Prophets of da City: Excellent! Finally a second great president!

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, July 22, 2006

fokofpolisiekar - Brand Suid-Afrika

The latest track by Afrikaans punk band Fokofpolisiekar is called Brand Suid-Afrika (Burn South Africa). It contains these lyricks:

`Vir jou is daar nog messe wat wag in die bosse buite jou huis in die nag/Ons het petrol gevat en ons het al ons brûe afgebrand voordat ons aan die anderkant was /Jy kla oor die toestand van ons land, maar hoekom doen jy nie iets daaromtrent nie.`.

Knives are still waiting for you in bushes next to your house in the night / We took petrol and burnt all our bridges before we were on the other side / You moan about the the state of our country but why don't you do something about it.

The music video contains images on Ossewa Brandwag (a WW2 Afrikaner facist organisation) drum majorettes, groping in the back of a car, two macho khaki clad Boere (Boers) making out, cars drawn in a lager and lots of burning. What could it all mean....?

Rumour has it that the band has read The Afrikaners: Biography of a people by Herman Giolomee as well as Rian Malan's My Traitors Heart.

Gilomee's book has been described at such: Without downplaying the influences of racial bigotry, power politics, and economic competition, Giliomee argues that from the nineteenth century onward, the fundamental force in Afrikaner political life was a fear of cultural obliteration. That same purpose underlies Giliomee's own scholarship, which he hopes will help bring young Afrikaners to terms with their heritage and better equip them to preserve their language and traditions.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, July 09, 2006

South African police arrest more than 500 people

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African police arrested more than 500 people in Johannesburg this weekend as the country tried to clean up its image as one of the world's most crime-ridden nations, local media reported.

South Africa's high level of violent crime, among the worst in the world, has again come under the spotlight as it prepares to host the next soccer World Cup in 2010.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Athol Fugard on ‘Tsotsi’, truth and reconciliation, Camus, Pascal and “courageous pessimism”

An edited interview from an Australian blog The Morning After with South African playwright Athol Fugard (in San Diego) on the publication of his only novel Tsotsi in Australia.

Fugard reveals he is a fan of Camus and his fondness for the concept of courageous pessimism.

Gosh, you must give yourself that treat. I owe so so much to Camus. I do a lot of reading, and I still do, but Camus was a decisive influence. If one’s going to look at influences in terms of my thinking -- whatever little things are stitched together to make a personal philosophy that works for my life and how I live it -- it’s encompassed, unquestionably, in the notebooks.

The concept that comes to mind immediately -- it remains as true for me today as it did for me back then -- what I think he defines at some point in one of his notebooks as “courageous pessimism”. The fact that the condition is ultimately pessimistic -- the one that we face as human beings in a hostile world, in a hostile universe -- but that we need courage. Given courage, there are certain things we can do which gives us dignity.

Sphere: Related Content

Crime Expo South Africa - a force for good?

The websiste Crimexposouthafrica (Crime Expo SA) has ruffled a few feathers in South Africa. The site launched by Neil Watson states its aim as:

"By exposing the truth about the danger within South African borders, we aim to spark a re-think on the side of our government on the issue of safety and security. It is the duty of any government to protect all and to prioritize the right to live. Issues like sport should not dominate the right to live! Since we have notified the government and media about our intention in launching CRIME EXPO SA, the National and Safety Minister (01) apologized to the nation for his "take-your-stuff-and-move" remark in Parliament, (02) admitting that police officials lack the skills in dealing with the horror situation and (03) calling the top police structure for a meeting, A start perhaps, but not good enough. We aim to get the government to stabilize violent crime to acceptable levels, otherwise WORLD SOCCER 2010 fans are going to step into hell on earth!

Already there has been rumblings about moving the World Cup to Australia because of the South African crime situation. All of them officially denied.

2005_South Africa_Centurion_DSCF0242
Originally uploaded by hmvh.

I cautiously support Crime Expo and sent them this message:

Your website can be a very useful and successful tool in combating crime effectively in South Africa. There is little doubt to my mind that the South African government has not given nearly enough attention to fighting crime itself.

Internal pressure by the media and opposition parties has so far seen few results, and appealing to another pressure group, a world audience, now amplified by the focus of the coming world cup, can be a very successful strategy.

I hope that you will stay clear of party politics and include a wide a selection of South Africans concerns on your site. That will make your site more effective. I hope your site is indeed to there to affect a change and not out of malice.

You are right to mention that poverty per se is not often the direct cause of crime. But inequality is the cause of crime. Countries that have large scale poverty across the board have allot less crime than countries like South Africa, Brazil and Columbia that suffer from inequality.

I hope that you will also focus attention on the causes of crime and how this could be addressed. It is my opinion that the majority of middel class and rich South Africans, would rather pay higher taxes and see effective government spending on social upliftment, than immigrate.

South Africa's crime figures are notoriously unreliable. But murder and car hijacking crime figures is said to be an exception. That is because of the grim detritus, bodies and insurance claims, these crimes leave behind. Both figures have been falling significantly since 1994. If indeed these figures are true, then there is a duty for us to say so and work for an even faster decrease in these numbers.

(Although it's cold comfort if you are one of the thousands of South Africans killed and raped every year.)

May I make a few practical suggestions. Make a page where victims of crime can enter their details, including the crime numbers, and the location. Investigate how these locations can be mapped.

Use blogging software for parts of your site. It will make it easier to publish news on your site and make syndication possible, but what more, search engines will pick it up easier.

Crime Expo South Africa


South Africa

Sphere: Related Content