Friday, March 05, 2010
Let's lift sanctions on Zimbabwe - WTF!
The editor of The Times, writing in his blog, has backed president Zuma's appeal to have sanctions against Zimbabwe lifted. Ray Hartley reckons Zuma is right. On this point, Hartley is an idiot.
When I worked at AVUSA, the Group that owns The Times, I remember Jacob Zuma actually visiting our offices and having closed meetings behind closed doors. I also remember headlines following the sham elections in Zim, in The Times along the lines of: PACK YOUR BAGS, and BOB MUST GO! Little did Hartley know, or even guess, that when a corrupt leader is in place for as long as Bob has been, you don't leave or have to leave if you've infiltrated government with henchmen, when you own the military and police. Anyone who took that election seriously, or thought that Mugabe would simply fade from political office were really naive. But naive or not, when Mugabe defied public will, and international pressure, no one stepped forward and said, "No." Mugabe has been our Saddam Hussein, except, instead of being across the Atlantic, he is right next door.
A few months [or is it years now] later and Zimbabwe is much the same sorry state, and we've watched the sorry state worsen and worsen and worsen. We've joked about trillion dollar notes, and all of this, right on our doorstep. I can think of only one reason to lift sanctions, and it's a feeble one. If conditions improve in Zimbabwe, the pressure of illegal immigrants streaming into South Africa might ease. Well, it's a very indirect approach in fact. Maybe South Africa should try to do...well...something, to police its own borders. Erecting a fence might be a first step.
Let's expand on that one issue though, shall we. About 1.5km from where I live, every day, a pair of Zimbabweans ply their trade, begging at an intersection. I've been giving them R1 and R2 and sometimes R5 or R10 on a daily or weekly basis for some time. Today I thought about the fact that every day more Zimbabweans are entering this country. More money is going to more people, which means, effectively, less money is going to each successive person, and of course, our own swathes of beggars and criminals and car guards are getting less and less. Crime becomes an easier or more likely option with each increasing immigrant - both for our locals and the immigrants. In a country with 34% unemployment, illegal immigration ought to be a HUGE priority.
It's interesting to me that Zuma would ask for support not for South Africa [perhaps to fight AIDS, or for investment in South Africa] but instead for Zimbabwe. It's interesting too, because South Africa has been dodgy in terms of lording over Zim's democracy or lack of, but when you see the socialist and kleptocratic leanings in our domestic leadership, and the sheer dissembling, he's been even dodgier on home soil. Zuma didn't even bother to explain his way out of the unemployment promise versus reality situation in his state of the nation speech. Of course the manner in which 'little Hitler' Julius Malema has been allowed to make populist but divisive statements, involving himself in everything from Caster Semenya to the bottom of a bottle of Moet, well it's clear what the priorities are of Zuma and the ANC.
To be explicit, the priorities are not the poor, or health care, or safety and security. The priority is to get more power, to have a one party state and to revel in excess.
The request Zuma makes, to lift sanctions, is really about a leader asking for a crime against a nation to be excused, and in fact rewarded. It is a lazy attitude to governing. Brown is right to resist such lazy leadership, such lazy attempts at democracy in Africa. And South Africa's leader should know better..
Brown resists S.Africa pressure on Zimbabwe sanctions
"We applaud the efforts that President Zuma is making to bring stability and change to Zimbabwe," he said at a joint press conference after the talks at his Downing Street office.
However, "We however must be absolutely sure that progress is being made", he added.
And of course, is any progress being made?
Zimbabwe needed the intervention of a local powerhouse. It didn't get any sensible intervention from South African leaders; not Mbeki or Zuma. For a nation hellbent on freeing people from oppression, the ANC have shown that oppression by blacks on blacks is fine. That they want to be rewarded for this, and we have our own editors of newspapers like The Times buying into this bullshit beggars belief. It shows the extent to which corruption has clouded our ability to think critically, or even sensibly. But then any intelligent person who chooses to recognise and support a leader without so much as a high school certificate - that also shows a lack of discernment from our own apparently educated media and fellow South Africans.
We're experiencing a great dumbing down of standards and services. Those who criticise and complain are called racists or pessimists. Those who remain positive are the real clowns in this dark episode. Has anyone noticed that the Eskom debacle has not been solved. It's a crisis that is sort of stewing, constantly, in the background. That is a good analogy to the manner in which all South Africans are dealing with reality. We aren't. We think by being positive we are, but what we're doing is actually, simply, being stupid. And lazy.