Mhambi has been redeployed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My traitor's heart 2

Rian Malan, South African author has had another change of heart. Two years ago the rebel Malan - who had lived in New York and had written My Traitor's heart, a lucid, eloquent and intellectual defence of white fears of black South Africans (some would argue racist) - had recanted.

He confessed that he choked on the generosity and enormity of Mandela's gift and had not seen it for what it was.

So redeemed was he in the eys of the left, that he was even qouted in the UK Guardian by Rory Carroll on returning to Johannesburg: "Foreigners think we're nuts, coming back to a doomed city on a damned continent, but there's something you don't understand: it's boring where you are." (Yes, that Rory Carroll.)

Now Malan has written in the British Spectator "Not a civil war but sad decay" (registration required), that he recanted too soon.

When the winter rains closed in on Cape Town I thought, bugger this, I’m selling up and moving somewhere sunny. To this end, I asked the char, Mrs Primrose Gwayana, to come in and help spruce up the house. We were scrubbing and painting and what have you when Primrose’s broom bumped the dining table, and crack — a leg snapped off, its innards hollowed out by wood-borers. I thought, uh-oh, here’s an omen. Something awful is going to happen. And it has.

Nine months ago South Africa seemed to be muddling through in a happy-go-lucky fashion. The economy was growing, albeit slowly. Trains ran, if not exactly on time. If you called the police, they eventually came. We thought our table was fairly solid, and that we would sit at it indefinitely, quaffing that old Rainbow Nation ambrosia. Now, almost overnight, we have come to the dismaying realisation that much around us is rotten. Nearly half our provinces and municipalities are said to be on the verge of collapse. A murderous succession dispute has broken out in the ruling African National Congress. Our Auditor–General reportedly has sleepless nights on account of the billions that cannot be properly accounted for.

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