Further information is coming out of the townships where xenophobic violence has erupted – namely that those individuals perpetrating the attacks on foreign nationals and immigrants have allegedly been singing Jacob Zuma’s infamous Umshini wam “theme” song. Cue another ZumaRuma™.
Zuma is unimpressed:
He said he had heard that people attacked others while singing the song Umshini wam.
“That is a serious matter, for that song belongs to the ANC, it doesn’t belong to unknown people.
The question is, who are those people who are misleading the public by singing an ANC song when they’re doing the wrong thing?”
Who indeed? I’m certainly confused. I could give you the shortlist* I’ve made up if you wish. Just ask.
But it’s brought a heap of somewhat unjustified criticism onto Zuma’s shoulders and has played right into the hands of his detractors.
Let’s get this perfectly clear and right out in the open – seriously – JZ is not personally responsible for the xenophobic attacks in Alexandra or anywhere else for that matter, is he?
Just because the person with the big stick is singing his song, that doesn’t mean that it’s actually him. If that were the case, I’d have been going around for the last 10 years wearing a wig and battering people while singing Sicky Dion’s My Heart Will Go On in a perfectly reasonable attempt to get her put away in a (preferably soundproof) (actually, preferably airproof too) cell.
It’s all getting a bit silly now. Stop trying to score cheap political points and sort this mess out.
* Said shortlist does not contain the name of any fmous Holly wood actors. Or does it?
We, more than many other nations, should know better. We should know better because we have just emerged from more than three centuries of the horror of settler colonialism and apartheid… This madness has to stop. There is simply no justification for attacking people simply because they are not South African nationals.
Editorial, City Press
But xenophobic violence continued today, especially in the townships around Johannesburg. The police (SAPS) who had previously warned of a growing undercurrent of xenophobic unrest have accused criminal elements of hijacking the issues which have caused these attacks and worsening the situation. And while the police responded to the trouble with rubber bullets and tear gas, they have regularly come under fire from live ammunition.
Immigrant alight (BBC)
Section 201 of South Africa’s Constitution allows for the army to be called in by the President to assist the SAPS:
Only the President, as head of the national executive, may authorise the employment of the defence force … in co-operation with the police service;
I would suggest that the time for that decision has already passed. With every news bulletin, we are hearing of more problems, more casualties, more deaths. However, whether Mbeki will (for once?) act decisively in this situation remains to be seen.
Now there is the distinct possibility that the situation will spread to other cities across SA, including Cape Town:
About 30 Somali shopkeepers trading and living in Du Noon have received warning letters telling them to leave the area, fuelling fears that xenophobic attacks occurring in Johannesburg could spread to Cape Town.
It seems likely that this situation will certainly get worse before it gets better. In fact, listening to the news on the radio, it’s getting worse even as I write this. Once again, huge negative publicity for South Africa and huge issues for the 3-5 million (depending whose figures you believe) immigrants in this country at the moment. And what choice for the Zimbabwean immigrants particularly – starvation in their own country or the threat of violence in this new home.
I’m sorry. I don’t have any answers. Even deploying the army in these hotspots will only see the trouble move elsewhere and does nothing to cure the underlying issues which have led to this situation.
“Send them back where they came from” suggests to these people that violence is the answer. It surely isn’t.
And me? An immigrant here myself – “taking their jobs”. I’m just glad that I am where I am and not facing what those less fortunate than me are facing right now.
More on this issue will surely follow over the next few days on here as the situation develops. Don’t miss out.
I am writing this with tears in my eyes.
I have just finished watching the sixth part of a documentary series on Mnet called Rocky Balboa.
It is the story of an aging homosexual boxer who, together with his partner Adrian, overcomes all odds to win a boxing match – a true triumph of courage over adversity.
Real life can be so inspiring. Hollywood could never write a story like this. No-one would believe it.
Time for an admin post, I think.
I’m well aware that 6000 miles…is not a particularly big hitter in the blogging world, but obviously I’m doing something right. Check out my feedburner stats. Slow and steady, with a brief dip in December last year when I was left marooned by Fasthosts, but definitely on the up.
I’m not a big fan of those who go out of their way to crow about their achievements all the time – there’s a time and place for that sort of thing: job interviews, mainly. And when you see impressive feedburner graphs, I think you should be allowed a little bit of showing off too. So I am. A bit.
And who are you to buck the trend? Click the little orange button: and then you too can tell your grandchildren that you were one of the first 1,000 to subscribe. You’d just better be quick about it.
In other admin matters, Entropy.za has disappeared and has been replaced in my “what I read” section by An Ordinary Life, fresh from the village of PE down the coast. Well done, Pammie: the competition was tough – the waiting list is pretty long and I refuse to have more than 10 links in my blogroll – any more would surely devalue my favourite sites. I’m also going to review those 10 more often. Any suggestions for new additions are more than welcome – who is number 2 on your blogroll (after me)?
Finally, I have added the CommentLuv plugin so that commenters who blog using wordpress (and a few others that have a suitable RSS feed) will get an automatic link to their last post at the end of each comment they make here. Make a comment and try it out.
Admin posts, hey? Dull as dishwater. But you’ve got to slot one in every now and again. Anyway, check out your RSS reader for the next update on 6000 miles…, which will definitely be far more exciting*.
* terms and conditions apply. Additional fees may be charged outside the Republic of South Africa. Danger, Will Robinson!
Thanks to the wife Skypeing friends in the UK, when I came to use Harold this evening, I found the chunky Skype headset still plugged in. Bonus.
Whilst I look pretty daft beneath said headset (but there’s no-one here to see me anyway), it provides surprisingly good sound quality and since I don’t get as much chance to listen to decent music as loudly as I would like to, I’m taking the opportunity to get reacquainted with Koosh’s favourite man, Jared Leto, and his 30 Seconds to Mars cronies.
This in turn brings back memories of My Cokefest and that in turn reminded me of Koosh’s heartfelt plea to her readers to not join the Facebook group concerned with objecting to those local residents who complained about the noise of this years event. Still with me?
I was going to show you that post, but she’s deleted it. Shame.
My wife, 5 months pregnant and a self-confessed hater of “shouty music” spent 12 hours in the burning African sun that day, listening solely to “shouty music” and humouring me as Matt Bellamy dissolved me into a quivering jelly of raw emotion. Such is love. Unconditional love. (Me and the wife, not me and Matt.)
Or so I thought.
It turns out that there was (at least) one condition. A biggie. And yes, in exactly a fortnight’s time I will be at Grand West Arena watching (and – sadly – listening to) James Blunt. Through gritted teeth, I admit that it could be worse. But not even my wife, despite her bizarre musical tastes, would stoop so low as Sicky Dion or we wouldn’t be married.
“Are you a Sicky Dion fan?” was usually my second question to any eligible young lady, right after “So, do you come here often?”. Best to get those awkward and embarrassing things out of the way as soon as possible.
So there you have it. James Blunt. I wonder if I can sneak my iPod in?
Meanwhile, I’m sat here waiting for my download of MGMT’s brilliant Oracular Spactacular to complete. Specifically the Flaming Lips/Polyphonic Spree-esque Time to Pretend with its übercatchy keyboard riff. Here, in a Fleet of Worlds stylee, is the video for your perusal. Enjoy.
P.S. If you have 102MB of bandwidth to spare (i.e you’re not in South Africa), a hi-res copy of this video is available here (right click/save target as). Awesome.