Tag Archives: South Africa

Zuma In South Africa May Defy Mugabe

Newly elected president Jacob Zuma in South Africa is not like his detested opponent, Thabo Mbeki who refused to take any action against his old friend, Robert Mugabe, and thus helped create the present chaos in Zimbabwe. Zuma is an activist who regards himself as a leader in Africa and will not allow Mugabe to create conditions which have led to three million Zimbabweans fleeing to South Africa as refugees. Zuma recognizes that his nation played a key role in creating the current power-sharing arrangement in Zimbabwe and unless he supports opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the ensuing chaos of a Mugabe run country would send even millions more headed toward South Africa.

Thabo Mbeki knew the revolutionary leader Robert Mugabe from the old days of conflict and he could never grasp that allowing Zimbabwe to slip into chaos created turmoil for his own nation as millions crossed the border in search of refuge. Hopefully, Jacob Zuma will work with fellow African leaders to ensure there is stable and honest government in Zimbabwe.

Zuma And Human Rights

The emergence of Nelson Mandela to power in South Africa enabled people in that country to point with pride to a man who embodied every concept associated with human rights. In 1993, Mandela pledged “human rights will be the light that guides our foreign affairs.” Jacob Zuma has not been prominent in any aspect of human rights and strongly opposed granting a visa to the Dalai Lama because of fear it would damage his nation’s ability to secure Chinese investment. Perhaps, the strongest failure on the part of South African governments in recent years has been their continued support for Robert Mugabe’s dictatorial rule in Zimbabwe which has ruined that nation’s economy as well as driven millions to flee. At several points, Zuma did criticize Mugabe, but in the end gave him support.

There is also fear within South Africa if Zuma will use power to oppress those in opposition to the African National Congress. If Zuma goes down that road it will inevitably lead to a white flight along with money and business investments. Hopefully, he does not follow the lead of his friend in Zimbabwe who allow hatred and power to over-ride his need to respect human rights.

McZuma And McMandela Lampooned In South Africa

Although the African National Congress machine led by Jacob Zuma is headed for a victory in the upcoming elections, the people of South Africa are still able to laugh at the antics of its leaders including the beloved Nelson Mandela whose acceptance of the corrupt officials of his party are an insult to every thing he fought to achieve. A new play, “MacBeki: A Farce To Be Reckoned With” lampoons everyone with equal fervor. The Mandela character in the play is a remote Shakespeare quoting intellectual more concerned with power than with confronting the issues of his nation. Zuma, who three years ago was on trial for rape of an HIV positive woman, has his stage persona respond when asked: “Did you protect your penetrative member? Your machine gun?” with the comment: “I have no need of a plastic bag. After the act, I took a shower.”

Cartoonists like Jonathan Shapiro and young comedians are making fun of just about every aspect of the current corrupt political scene. Unfortunately, as the nation laughs, the incompetent and corrupt political leaders gain control of the government. Nelson Mandela was trotted out to give an endorsement to Zuma, the man who doesn’t believe in medicine or condoms to protect against HIV infections.

Cry the beloved country of South Africa. OK, if you can’t cry, at least laugh!

South Africa Still Dealing With Dalai Lama Incident

Nearly a half century has passed since the Dalai Lama established a Tibetan government in exile, but the issue of where does Tibet stand in the eyes of China and the world continue to be an important issue. The Chinese government, despite its efforts to portray the Dalai Lama as a feudal lord continue to confront anger and violence from Tibetans. It announced a new holiday, “Serf Liberation Day” to signify the end of monk rule in Tibet. Yesterday, there were reports of violence in northwestern China and police arrested 93 monks from the monastery at Rabgya. In South Africa there is still anger among many human rights activists over denial of a visa to the Dalai Lama who was attempting to attend a peace conference.

The Chinese government insists there is no room for compromise with the Dalai Lama. Only one who lives in fantasy believes Tibetans can drive out the Chinese. It is time for a sensible compromise which allows return of the Dalai Lama, restrictions on the power of monks to revert back to their former control of society, and creation of freedom of religion. Time will tell if Tibetans seek to retain their belief in the rule of monks.

South Africa Still Dealing With Dalai Lama Incident

Nearly a half century has passed since the Dalai Lama established a Tibetan government in exile, but the issue of where does Tibet stand in the eyes of China and the world continue to be an important issue. The Chinese government, despite its efforts to portray the Dalai Lama as a feudal lord continue to confront anger and violence from Tibetans. It announced a new holiday, “Serf Liberation Day” to signify the end of monk rule in Tibet. Yesterday, there were reports of violence in northwestern China and police arrested 93 monks from the monastery at Rabgya. In South Africa there is still anger among many human rights activists over denial of a visa to the Dalai Lama who was attempting to attend a peace conference.

The Chinese government insists there is no room for compromise with the Dalai Lama. Only one who lives in fantasy believes Tibetans can drive out the Chinese. It is time for a sensible compromise which allows return of the Dalai Lama, restrictions on the power of monks to revert back to their former control of society, and creation of freedom of religion. Time will tell if Tibetans seek to retain their belief in the rule of monks.

Should West Aid A Mugabe Led Zimbabwe?

Jacob Zuma, head of the African National Congress (ANC) which is the leading political party of South Africa, denounced western nations for refusing to provide aid to the government of Zimbabwe. Zuma argued that President Robert Mugabe is the head of the government and has the support of many people in the nation. “This is very unfair to the Zimbabwean people. Because here is Mugabe, he is a factor. He is there. He heads a party that has been in government for over 20 years.” But, the facts he presented are exactly the problem. The Mugabe government has ruined the nation by allowing its cronies and henchmen to rob people of their property and become wealthy. It was Mugabe who drove three million from the country, it is Mugabe who created a nation with an 80% unemployment and it is Mugabe who created an inflation rate that is the highest in the world. What exactly does Zuma believe such an incompetent government can do to make the nation become prosperous again?

Part of the problem is that former President Mbeki of South Africa had the power to force Mugabe to abide by the Zimbabwean Constitution, but he did nothing because Robert was his old friend. South Africa has to share responsibility for what has transpired in Zimbabwe because it refused to support the people of that nation. Western donors are correct to hold back on giving aid until it can be proven the aid will go to the people of Zimbabwe, not to the crowd around President Robert Mugabe.

No Peace At South Africa Peace Conference

It was not a particularly controversial conference, just some people sitting down to discuss how to foster peace in the world. The conference was scheduled for South Africa and among prominent people, Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu were to appear. But, the South African government decided things were too peaceful so they denied Tibetan leader Dalai Lama from attending on the pretense it had something to do with causing controversy about the 2010 World Cup. It was simply a ploy to avoid angering China which is investing heavily in Africa and South Africa has a yen for the yen.

Irvin Khoza, who helped organize the event noted sorrowfully, “given that the purpose of the conference is peace… the convenors have decided in the spirit of peace to postpone the Peace Conference.

South Africa Denies Visa To Dalai Lama

The South African government has denied a visa to Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama on grounds, “it would not be in the best interests of South Africa.” The government claimed such a visit would detract from it being the host country for the 2010 World Cup. Of course, the denial of a visa has nothing to do with soccer or a World Cup, but it has everything to do with huge Chinese investments on the African continent and a desire to attract such investments to South Africa. The Nobel prize committee said it would not participate in a conference in South Africa unless the country reconsiders its decision to deny the 1989 peace prize laureate, Dalai Lama an entry visa. Several prominent South Africans such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu said they would not attend the conference in light of a visa denial for the Tibetan leader.

Africa is moving ever steadily into the economic sphere of the Chinese. They are investing huge amounts of money and linking their economy with raw materials from Africa. As the United States fights in Iraq and Afghanistan, China uses the opportunity to move into Africa and South America. George Bush has proven to be a savior for Chinese economic expansion.

Refugee Camps For Zimbabweans In South Africa?

The plight of Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa is reaching the critical point as thousands continue arriving in flight from the chaos and economic disaster created by the inept, criminal government of President Robert Mugabe. The South African Department of Home Affairs is now exploring the possibility of creating “transit camps” to house the over three million refugees who scrounge for jobs and anger native born South Africans who regard them as economic competitors. The conditions under which poverty stricken Zimbabweans live is daily becoming desperate. The Home Affairs department is trying to find a way to care for the refugees while at the same time facing reality that jobs for Zimbabweans means fewer for native born South Africans.

The best solution lies in creating a Zimbabwean government that is not under the control of Robert Mugabe. South African leaders have supported this corrupt leader under the belief that any and all Africans leaders must be aided regardless of what they do to the people of their nation. Until that attitude and belief ends, it is impossible to stem the exodus from Zimbabwe. If they remain in Zimbabwe they face the reality that over 4,000 have died of cholera and 90,000 are infected.

Stand up for the people of Zimbabwe and end support for the criminal, Robert Mugabe

Should Robert Mugabe Be Placed On Trial?

The decision by the International Criminal Court to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sudan President al-Bashir raises interesting questions as to whether Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe should also be placed on trial for crimes against the humanity of the people of Zimbabwe. South African presidential candidate, Mvume Dandala running on the Congress of the People (COPE) demanded the question of Mugabe’s crimes should be investigated. “Given the tragic situation in Zimbabwe I personally feel that if President Mugabe was taken to the International Court… he would be given a chance to actually explain himself.” There have been over 4000 deaths from cholera and at least 90,000 are infected due to the disastrous policies of Mugabe. Over three million have fled the land and the unemployment rate is over 80%, and this in a land, that once was among the richest on the African continent.

A major reason Mugabe was able to survive for so long was failure on the part of South African leaders to fight for the people of Zimbabwe. Instead they defended their old comrade. It is wonderful that finally South African leaders are beginning to think about the people of Zimbabwe and not about old friendships.