Friday, 16 November 2007

South Africa continues its downward spiral

Just back from my latest visit to South Africa, and, no surprise, the country continues its downward spiral. Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu has warned that ‘South Africa is in danger of losing its moral direction’. To which I bemusedly ask ‘you mean it actually had a moral direction to lose?
Referring to South Africa's high murder rate and the rape of children as young as nine months, he said the ‘African reverence for life’ (splutter) had been lost. "The fact of the matter is we still depressingly do not respect one another. I have often said black consciousness did not finish the work it set out to do," he said. Poor old Des. He’s a good man, but did he really believe that?
He’s also upset that presidential candidate Jacom Zuma has again been acquitted, this time on corruption charges (the initial acquittal related to rape). He’s guilty on both counts, needless to say, but his acquittals were political, just as the charges were.

Finally let’s look – if we can bring ourselves to – at legal luminary Jackie Selebi. Jackie is the country’s top cop. He’s also good friends with some of the country’s biggest gangsters. A most interesting involvement goes back two years to when billionaire mining magnate and political benefactor, Brett Kebble, was assassinated while driving in a Johannesburg suburb.

Investigators quickly charged leading drug dealer Glenn Agliotti, in connection with the murder, only to find that he was a close friend of Selebi. In fact, cellphone records indicated that Agliotti called Selebi from near the scene of Kebble’s murder shortly after the shooting.

Selebi later rejected demands that he resign, saying he was not tainted by mere friendship with an accused criminal, and President Mbeki staunchly defended him.

Nonetheless, the State Prosecutor eventually brought an indictment, only to be suspended from his job by Mbeki. You may well ask ‘so what?’ – this is par for the course for Africa. And that's true. However, the clincher is, Selebi is, wait for it – President of Interpol. Please, some sanity in a world gone mad.


Anonymous said...

Have just left that beautiful country myslef and am now in Ireland. Thanks for having me - I intend to be a contributer. Whites and Indians are leaving in droves, even if like me they get nothing for their assets.

There's a small chance that the country wont doi a Zimbabwe, but only a small one.

So sad.

Anonymous said...

Just back from a holiday there and was very impressed. Got little sense of danger. Maybe i was naive?

Anonymous said...

I'd say you were, Lucinda. And lucky!