No words necessary II

But sometimes rules must be broken and incisive footballing acumen documented:

Kevin Miles, of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said: “I feel a mixture of delight and relief, especially after the disappointment of missing out on Euro 2008.
“But all the emotions are positive and we have the best chance in years in South Africa. A 100 per cent record in competitive international matches is a pretty good basis for a World Cup campaign. If they keep it up, then we will win.”

Brilliant, Kevin. If England win all their games in South Africa, then they will win the World Cup. And presumably, to do so, all they need to do is score more goals than the opposition. Who knew?

They (we) hate us (them) for what we (they) did to them (us)

Following allegations from his wife that he only married her to stay in Canada, the Brandon Huntley saga rumbles on, with new allegations surfacing today that the “white” man that “blacks” love to hate may not actually be “white” at all. Which make his ongoing allegations that black people attack him simply because he is white seem even funnier.

A new study has revealed that Brandon Huntley, who has been granted asylum in Canada after claiming to have been attacked by blacks several times, is the new black. Or more precisely, the former Capetonian is the descendant of one Francina van der Kaap, a woman “of colour”, and more than half of his relatives are similarly coloured – in the verbal sense.

I don’t want to turn this into a racial thing – and I’d be far too late anyway, because Huntley turned it into a racial thing with his ridiculous claims in the first place – and the boundaries and definitions of race in South Africa are complex, clumsy and overused.

However, there is some good news for Huntley; now that it appears to have been shown that his roots are not as pale as previously thought, Julius Malema will surely be at OR Tambo International to welcome him “home” when he is finally deported.

Moody Mountain

Yes, Spring is supposed to have sprung, and indeed it may be happily bouncing around the rest of South Africa, but the Cape coast remains distinctly wintery. A delectable cocktail of 13°C, strong winds and heavy showers is forecast for today after a hailstorm of note woke the family from its collective slumbers at 3:30 this morning.

Spring, it certainly ain’t.

Table Mountain was decidedly moody this morning as I paused to snap a couple of quick pics on the way to work. It refused to smile and turned its back on me. Grumpy bugger.

A measure of the rain that we have had over the past couple of days are the waterfalls coming off the top of the mountain. These are temporary affairs – usually only seen after prolonged heavy rain: it has been wet.

Accompanying the rain were some nice high winds, hence these pictures of the ship – a Turkish coal carrier – which broke anchor last night and was (and still is) beached at Blouberg.

And finally – desperate for something warmer and drier – a lovely summary (geddit?!?) of the Brandon Huntley saga from Jeremy Nell. Funny stuff.

EDIT: Since I had my camera to hand, I took this photo too. I quite like it.

Quick but important…

Having just arrived home after a hellish day, I find that I have a hellish evening in front of me.

Although I wanted to blog about Justice Malala’s column in The Times this morning, I have to empty the old study completely this evening so that it can be converted into a playroom for the kids – tomorrow – even though my new study (or my new playroom, depending on how you look at it) is yet to be completed. Thus, I am going to be struggling for space and connectivity for a week or so and I have absolutely no time spare for blogging this evening. Joy.

Anyway – that column had some iffy writing at the start (in my humble opinion), made some rather unfounded claims in the middle and ended with a weak, watery and emotional conclusion, but did hit a few nails on a few heads in between.

The real problem with the Huntley decision is its unbelievable ignorance. Those from the middle classes, such as myself, suffer from crime daily. The majority of this class is white. This class happens to have a voice, reach and power. The stories of middle-class and primarily white suffering from crime make the news headlines every day.

This is not to say these stories are not true, or that the murder of a white woman in Parkview, Johannesburg, is less painful or tragic than that of a black woman in Soweto. However, the story of the woman in Parkview is more likely to make the news headlines than that of a woman in Phiri, Soweto.

Democratic South Africa is 15 years old. Before that we had 46 years of apartheid racism characterised by ruthless enforcement of policies aimed at keeping blacks down and pushing whites up. The division and racism that characterised apartheid South Africa can still be seen in many parts of our country: in business hierarchies, in school pass rates, in academia.

The number of blacks who have broken out of the poverty imposed by the apartheid reality remains minuscule. We can have debates about how one resolves this, but the reality exists — and persists. And therein lies the rub. Are whites targeted by criminals? The Canadian panel seems to have swallowed this story. In its own perverse way, the panel’s decision reflects the hugely skewed manner in which many in our own country and others in the outside world view South Africa.

For this grouping, white supremacy has been replaced by black supremacy. White terror on blacks has been replaced by black terror against whites. That view is as wrong as it is dangerous. The reality of a unique democracy in Africa, with the complexities of race and poverty and division thrown in, is too hard to engage with.

Which is basically what I have been saying all along. It’s not that Huntley’s stories were untrue – it’s just that they were unrepresentative. That’s why there’s been all the fuss about the whole affair and that’s why – apparently – he’s about to be kicked out of Canada.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to get kicked out of my study.

Name that bird

We were down at the Waterfront today, terrorising sealife in the aquarium, watching eco-friendly puppet shows and drinking chocolate milkshakes.
While I was enjoying a coffee at the pub [shurely shome mistake?], I spotted this little fellow, who later tried to defaecate on me. Despite consulting Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton’s Birds of Southern Africa (which, after all, is where I are finding myself today), I have no idea what sort of bird this is – anyone able to accurately ID it for me, please?

newbird

As there is nothing to relate the size to, I can tell you that it was about… this big. And it was only while reviewing the day’s photographs this evening that I noticed that it was ringed. I’m pretty sure that makes no difference to what species it is, though.

Answers on a postcard, please.
Or just leave a comment.