Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Beginner Guide to dooming in South Africa

This article is so good that I ended quoting a good deal of it without providing any commentary. I only rearranged quotes to give a slightly different flow and direction to the narrative. However, it may still be necessary to say a couple of words on why South Africa matters. This basically pertains to the concept of paradigmatic collapse. That is, South Africa is an important symbol globally. It's a symbol of racial co-existence, a living proof that such a co-existence works.

The unraveling of South Africa would be comparable to the fiasco of the Arab spring that laid waste to the idea of democracy as a kind of magic wand that works its magic like a clock in every part of the world. If the Arab spring had turned a resounding success, this could have seriously undermined the opposition to immigration from the Middle East in Europe. As it is now, however, anti immigration movements can easily draw parallels between the failure of Arab countries and their thesis about the inability of the bulk of Muslim immigrants to integrate into modern Western society.

For unclear reasons, people often appear unable to acknowledge the importance of their symbols. But regardless, the demise of the Rainbow Nation of Nelson Mandela is likely to become an epochal event to reverberate far beyond South Africa and Africa in general.

Kevin Sieff (Independent) {

Date = 17 February 2016

Source = Death of two black farmers prompts a racial reckoning in South Africa

[...]

White farmers say they are the ones under threat, their farms raided and their families attacked in crimes that often feel like the expression of racial outrage. In 2014, black men in Parys raped an elderly woman and put her body in a freezer, where she died. The previous year, a white farmer was killed when intruders dragged him behind his truck. Last year, members of a primarily white group, the Transvaal Agricultural Union, complained to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that white farmers in South Africa were a persecuted minority. Sixty-two people were murdered during 270 farm attacks in 2015, according to the farmers, who say the number is growing.

“In some ways it feels like there’s more tension now than there was during apartheid,” said Wynn Dedwith, a farmer in Parys. “All it takes is a little spark to ignite a keg of dynamite.”

“For us, the reality facing farmers can sometimes lead to an overreaction,” said Ernst Roets, deputy chief executive of AfriForum, an Afrikaner advocacy group helping to defend the accused farmers. “You have a friend who was killed, or you know the lady who was put into the freezer, and maybe you think, ‘Finally, we caught the bastards.’”

Qokotha, Mr Tjexa’s mother, heard the news from a friend. “The whites think they can do anything here,” she said. “It’s still apartheid.”

The whites called into their local Afrikaans-language radio station, Koepel Stereo, and spoke about the threat of more farm attacks and their sense of insecurity.

“We’re being killed like flies,” said the host, Sakkie van der Schyff. “The only reason you aren’t seeing a revolt by the whites is that we’re good Christians.”

The blacks called into Lentswe Community Radio, their own station three miles away, furious that the four farmers were granted bail. “If these guys are acquitted, there will be revenge,” said Seun Tladi, its newsreader.

[...]

Mr Tangasha was part of the generation that would profit from the rainbow nation, his grandmother remembers thinking. He would go to university. He would own a house, maybe a business. But, like most black South Africans, he dropped out of a crumbling public education system before he turned 16. He found work on a farm, earning about £6 a day. He was never paid on time, his relatives said.

He started voting for the Economic Freedom Fighters, the party led by firebrand Julius Malema, who said in a speech last year: “We want a total overhaul of the state. We want a state that is not scared of the white minority.”

“Farmworkers imagined that when we had a democratic government with black politicians in power that their exploitation would go away,” said Moeletsi Mbeki, a political economist. “But that’s never what the democratic struggle was about.”

[...]


When the four accused farmers had a bail hearing in their murder trial last month, whites and blacks gathered at the courthouse, separated by barbed wire.

“I could see the anger in their eyes,” said George de Beer, a white farmer.

“They looked at us like we were nothing,” said Ruth Qokotha, Mr Tjexa’s mother.

The whites sang the apartheid-era national anthem and held the flags of the 19th-century Boer Republics.

The blacks shouted: “Kill the Boer! Kill the farmer!” - a reference to South African whites of Dutch descent. }