Mhambi has been redeployed.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Democracy is sacrosant (1)

This whole business of Z Pallo warning potential De la Rey song traitors that it's wrong and bad news to organise against a democracy has set Mhambi thinking.

...and Mhambi came to this conclusion, I think Pallo is right, it's morally indefensible to organise against a democracy.

Hillbrow Skyscrapers basking in the Highveldt sun
Originally uploaded by nicky_joburg.

But this week Mhambi was watching telly, BBC 2's Newsnight nogal, and low and behold, up pops Hillbrow, Johannesburg. It was swartgallige reportage. Crime on the streets of Hillbrow is according to John Simpson, on bad days, as bad as anything he has encountered in Iraq.

To compound it all, the South African chief of police is a mafioso and the minister of Safety and Security says those that complain about crime "should immigrate". And the President? Well he is in denial again.

Most of you will know the story. You could be forgiven for thinking its a black comedy, but actually it's a very very sad tragedy, now with an growing international audience. Genugtig, Mhambi thought - South African crime has now gone prime time.

Then Mr. Simpson said something that I heard two other people say recently - something significant and it got Mhambi thinking again. Simpson commented that when he covered apartheid South Africa in the 1970's, Hillbrow was a place where white and black could mix. In spite of apartheid.

I remembered that once, in 1997, a pretty astute police detective told me - I think Fanie was his name - that during the 70's he was a narc and Hillbrow was his beat. Fanie got very animated about his experiences in Hillbrow.

I was a bit of a raver at that time, and like most ravers a sucker for stories of about a sub-culture that begat mine.

He told us how he and his colleagues had to stalk hippies that were tripping out of their skulls, on the roofs of Hillbrow's tall flats, while basking in the highveld sun. I could tell by the glint in his eye that Fanie liked that time.

When I spoked to Fanie, he was a frustrated detective in the investigation wing of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The reason, Fanie and hois team sat around allot of the time with very little direction and little to do.

Democracy is sacrosant (2)

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