South Africa – Now the real mayhem can begin.
Another good article from David Bullard (South African journalist; fired from the Sunday Times for publishing the truth about the black man; shot 3 years ago during a burglary in his house; and now an independant journalist, doing better than when he was employed full time). Always a pleasure to read his thoughts – he captures the mood of the country….
If you’re going to start a civil war you really shouldn’t be starting it when the country expects a few hundred thousand foreign visitors, many of them from Europe and with pale skins. How keen are they going to be to come all the way to our beautiful country only to realize that they have two problems; they’re wearing the wrong colour shirt and they’re wearing the wrong colour skin? The shirt problem is easily solved; just slip on another shirt. But the skin problem isn’t so simple. So my guess is that an awful lot of people are going to decide to stay away because, let’s face it, who really wants to be caught up in another country’s ugly politics when all you really wanted to do was watch some football?
All of which will come as something of a relief to many because we are obviously not ready to receive visitors. Our roads are a shambles, our electricity is unreliable, our public transport is a disgrace and our crime problem is horrific. Have you noticed, by the way, how the print media have gone quiet on crime? To read the newspapers these days you would think that there’s just the odd incident but that isn’t the case. The newspaper editors were presumably called in and told to stop writing about violent crime in the run up to the world cup. Naturally they agreed because journalistic integrity has always been an oxymoron and, besides, if it’s a case of do what you’re told or lose your job then there isn’t much of a choice to be made is there?
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a bed in the intensive care unit in a hospital? I was in one for a few days three years ago after I got shot. The lights stay on all night so you never really sleep and you can’t do anything without calling a nurse. The worst thing about ICU though is that you have a lot of time on your hands to think terrifying thoughts. I couldn’t feel my left leg and had a whole night to wonder if I had been paralysed. Fortunately the physiotherapist came into the ward the next day and told me that I would walk again and that the numbness was caused by the swelling and the bullet wound.
My friend J wasn’t so lucky. She was held up in her driveway a few weeks ago and froze in panic. The hijackers took the opportunity to pump some shots into her before dragging her from the car and throwing her to the ground. One of those shots hit her spine and she will never walk again. She’s spent an awful few weeks dealing with those demons that come to you when you’re lying in a hospital bed and trying to come to terms with spending the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She’s gutsy and she’ll make the best of things but that doesn’t change the fact that this should never have happened. But J’s unfortunate incident never made it into the papers because it might put off World Cup visitors. And she is just one of many unmentionable victims. Well done you patriotic editors; no need to fear for your spines.
We are deluding ourselves in this country if we really believe that we are sending out signals that we are a normal society. Most of the overseas press agencies have people in this country and they know what is going on. The rise and rise of Julius (Kiddie Amin) Malema is one of the most terrifying things I have ever witnessed in this country. His speech to ZANU-PF youths in Zimbabwe this week and his promise of farm seizures in this country don’t sound like hollow rhetoric to me.The fact that the ANC seem unwilling to control him makes it all the more terrifying. The murder of Eugene Terre’Blanche can only throw more petrol on the racial fires.