Saturday, August 25, 2007

NOT Fit to Govern 2

Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation
South Africa

"...The number of violent crimes against women and children has risen dramatically since the ANC came into power in 1994, says National Party. The number of rapes in South Africa had increased by 23% since 1996..."

"...Health officials in South Africa say adolescent girls are twice as likely to become infected with HIV as boys, a reflection of increased sexual activity, often unwilling, with older men. Mamelato Leopeng, an AIDS counselor at the Esselen Street Health Center in Johannesburg, said about one-third of the HIV-infected men she encounters have bought into the belief that sex with a virgin will cure them, and they are further convinced that the needed "dose of purity" is rendered ineffective with a condom. (Dean E. Murphy, "Africa’s Silent Shame," Los Angeles Times, 16 August 1998)

The desire to "get back at women" is the most common reaction among men when they are first told they are HIV-positive, says Mamelato Leopeng, an AIDS counselor at the Esselen Street Health Center in Johannesburg, says. HIV-infected men have even targeted young girls as an act of vengeance. In a case reported by South African police in May 1998, members of a gang of unemployed men in Soweto were allegedly raping schoolgirls, telling their victims that they were HIV-infected and didn't want to die alone. (Dean E. Murphy, "Africa’s Silent Shame," Los Angeles Times, 16 August 1998)"

These People are NOT Fit to Govern

South Africa a major player in human trafficking

"Poverty is the major contributing factor in ‘sexploitation’. Anthony is in charge of a project to free young women trapped in prostitution in Atlantis, an area in Cape Town. She says girls, sometimes as young as four, are drawn into the sex work industry."

"While the government has acknowledged the problem, it has yet to commit itself to solving it. So it is left to non-governmental organisations to do the best they can."

What a Farking Farce!

A fierce debate is raging in South Africa as to whether the Sunday Times had the right to expose the Minister for Health’s medical records for the sake of public interest. The right of the people to know is weighed up against doctor-patient privilege. Even academics and usually sane people are involved in this furore. As sure as God made little apples this will end up in a court battle that should lead to the dismissal of either the minister or the editor but I am not holding my breath as to either eventuality. I can just picture the legal representation of all parties concerned rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the fees involved.

In the blue corner we have the Sunday Times and the red corner the government and more specifically the Minister for Health. A woman who fails to realise that she will be much better served if she can just keep her yap shut for a few minutes at any given time.

Hey Manto! Do you honestly believe that the rest of the world considers you as someone to be taken serious? Go and play Dr. Mengele with a few thousand more AIDS sufferers and let them eat beetroot and garlic. Maybe one will surprise the crap out of you and recover.

The President can not do the rational thing and suspend this specimen, masquerading as a servant of the people, until such a time that a thorough investigation have been carried out covering all aspects of the allegations levelled against her. Nope, that is too much to ask. He will not even consider an investigation because the allegations came from a newspaper.

You see, criticism of the ANC is heresy as preached by their authority figures and will be brushed aside by each and every means at their disposal.

The minister’s alleged theft gets swept under the carpet as of no importance because it happened a long time ago (70’s) in another country. I know South African society and how they view people with criminal records. As a general rule they do not get employment let alone voted into public office. Why should this minister then be allowed to levitate above the law and elevated to godly status?

Come on Thabo! Do the right thing. Ignore her medical condition, place her on immediate suspension, get hold of her criminal record, conduct a thorough investigation of all accusations and fire the woman if the allegations are found to be true. One can always start by going back to your own records, how hundreds of cadres died of malaria in the ANC camps because someone was too lazy and disorganised to place a simple order for quinine.

There is no need to debate the matter further. This whole situation is turning into a farce and I’m beginning to believe that you are actually related to Robert Mugabe. The resemblance in attitude is too apparent to be coincidental.

And then we have the Sunday Times who have exposed all of this because they honestly believe in the people’s right to know.

Ja, right and I don’t fart!

Sensationalism and newspaper sales play absolutely no role in this whatsoever.

There is a misleading notion that journalists are people with highly developed values and norms and that they consider “the people’s right to know” as their first and foremost quest in life.

Good Lord, people!

The term “journalism” does not equal sainthood. It describes an icky career in which very few ever make a real contribution to society. A dog eat dog career that is known for deadlines, fierce competition, sensationalism, inaccuracies, scoops and the quick gratification of seeing their names in print.

They get paid for what they write and how well that sells the newspaper. Do not labour under the illusion that a journalist considers “the peoples right to know” of any importance when chasing a story. That term is legal jargon for total insensitivity when ruining another person’s life and they are quick to hide behind it.

Why do we all not wade through this crap and see it for what it is. Even though well disguised and served up as figs, it’s still a load of fresh horse manure.

In my mind none of the parties in this dispute are right. All have abused their power and the trust placed in them by the people.

The Sunday Times knows the current ANC leadership and knew that this would be the attitude. Why did they not take their information to somebody that could have used it effectively and ensured an investigation? Even an international body if none could be found in South Africa.

As for the government; what can one say? Nothing surprises me anymore. A bunch of crooked misfits who have tainted the image of the struggle that got rid of apartheid forever and puts the names of Nelson Mandela and Govan Mbeki to shame. Have they no moral fibre or remorse?

This hogwash of a dispute, and not the real issues, will remain news headlines for weeks to come and the plight of sexually abused children and HIV/AIDS sufferers will be ignored.

I feel sick to my stomach.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fraud, Deception and Depravation

I have mailed a draft of this article to the deputy editor of a regional newspaper in South Africa 24 hours ago. I clearly stated that I will post it on my Blog if they do not respond within a reasonable time. I have not named the paper as yet, but if no response is forthcoming by the end of the workday on Friday, August 24th, 2007 I will do so. I will also approach the press ombudsman in South Africa, the owners of the newspaper and post all relevant correspondence as wide as possible on the World Wide Web. It is high time that the normal man in the street be heard.

One of the things South African society is known for is their callousness towards victims and specifically victims of violent crime. The attitude of their police force towards rape victims illustrates this. A few other aspects that comes to mind is the governmental stance on supplying anti-retroviral drugs to HIV/AIDS sufferers and lack of involvement with the plight of sexually abused children. Society as a whole is so snowed under with crime and cruelty that they have to develop very thick skins as a defense mechanism for the sake of their sanity. This has an unfortunate backlash. Petty crimes are shrugged off with a “we don’t care attitude.”

“What on earth is he on about again?” you might ask.

Let me explain my situation.

I am a struggling first-time author using a small publishing concern in South Africa. Together we decided not to send copies of my book to newspapers with the hope that some would respond and do a review. We have not got money to waste. We therefore did not, ‘doorstop’ the newspapers as some authors do, and just sent them a copy. We first contacted the newspapers and only when they showed interest did we forward them copies, at our cost, for review purposes. A regional newspaper is on record asking for a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. A trail of e-mail messages confirms this.

Not only have this newspaper not done a review in a reasonable time i.e. approximately 4 months but repeated enquiries about the status remain unanswered. I know that journalists are busy people and sometimes ‘forget’ about responding to correspondence but this paper have not made any effort to return the book to my publisher and reimburse him for his postage and time. They have stated no reason as to why they can not do the review either. They clearly have no intention of doing the review. In my mind they thus obtained a copy of my book, by devious means, and intend to keep it. They have also had ample time for all the staff and their families to have read the book by now without any payment or acknowledgement, so returning it now, serves no purpose. There is no more choice in this matter. The newspaper is under an obligation to do an objective review of my work, publish it and to include the contact particulars of my publisher. That was our agreement.

I have had enough of this attitude of “to hell with the small man on the street, he counts for nothing.”

See what other readers say about my book. An interview was even carried on Reuters and I'm thus lead to believe that my work is seen as "good enough" and also relevant to the current political situaution in South Africa..

A quick search on the web brought up a few “layman’s terms.”

“Defraud” means to knowingly obtain, by deception, some benefit for oneself or another, or to knowingly cause, by deception, some detriment to another.

“Deception” means knowingly deceiving another or causing another to be deceived by any false or misleading representation, by withholding information, by preventing another from acquiring information, or by any other conduct, act, or omission that creates, confirms, or perpetuates a false impression in another, including a false impression as to law, value, state of mind, or other objective or subjective fact.

"Deprive” means to do any of the following:

(1) Withhold property of another permanently, or for a period that appropriates a substantial portion of its value or use, or with purpose to restore it only upon payment of a reward or other consideration;
(2) Dispose of property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it;(3) Accept, use, or appropriate money, property, or services, with purpose not to give proper consideration in return for the money, property, or services, and without reasonable justification or excuse for not giving proper consideration.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Nightmare of a Child

In the middle of the night we were woken up by heart rendering sobs coming from the room of our 9 year old. I dragged myself out of bed to see what was wrong. The child was absolutely devastated and I got the dream out of him in panting little sobs. It went like this:

“Gerrie, I dreamt of a terribly cruel leader of a far-away country. Nobody knew exactly how cruel this man was because he could hide it very well. Nobody actually wanted to believe that this man was capable of such cruelty. He was the pre-destined ruler of the country and was groomed and schooled by reasonable people to one day take charge. When he came to power he also practiced a policy of silence diplomacy so nobody could question his motives because he would not respond.

A couple of years before this man came to power a terrible disease struck the people of his country. Scientists warned the world of this horrible illness and started research to look for an effective medicine. Soon they had prototypes of medicine available and needed to develop this further.

Because a big pharmaceutical company knew that this man would one day be the leader, they approached him and told him to invest in their brand of medicine as he could become very rich out of it. They did not tell him that there was also another brand of medicine in development. They silently hoped that he would promote their prototype to take over the market. The leader saw this as a golden opportunity and got his family and close circle of friends to invest a lot of money into it.

Fate did not smile upon this man and medical research soon proved that the other brand (the one he did not invest in) was the most effective and the one to be used worldwide. This made the leader very angry and when he came to power he made it government policy not to supply the medicine to the very sick people of his country that desperately needed it. He decided if he could not get rich then nobody will get the medicine.

He makes the people of his country die by the hundreds of thousands because of his anger. The rest of the world allows this because they do not know his real reason. Only his close circle of confidants does.

One of them is the Minister for Health. She drinks and steals but he can not fire her because she tells the people that the medicine is not needed by them. She also knows what his real reason is and he can not act against her because he is afraid she will tell the world.”

I comforted the boy and told him it was only a dream and that things like that do not happen in real life.

Soon he was sound asleep again but I lay awake thinking…

Still Trying

Posted on BNN on August 20th, 2007 and titled "Current Affairs South Africa: The Week that Was: 2"

As usual the Mail & Guardian cartoon by Zapiro sums it up quite nicely. (See top of page)
There are plenty valid reasons to call for and insist on an immediate termination of the ANC government in South Africa. Even their staunch allies, the Swedes, now turn their backs on the ANC.
That alone should be reason for some serious introspection. Let us however push the known reasons aside and list a few more that are probably a lot more sinister.
It is deemed fit to prosecute a few “apartheid” offenders. That is fine and probably long overdue but at the same time files of ANC leaders who were denied amnesty by the TRC are now missing.
This does not say much for reconciliation and if true, I begin to side with the white people who believe that there is an orchestrated campaign against them.
In the event of somebody else having a valid different opinion then I would like to hear about it.
The government is trying to hide their incompetence behind scaremongering.
All of a sudden their Intelligence Services have now uncovered a conspiracy that aim to destabilise the state.
I seriously doubt that, as their Intelligence Services are not known to be able to recognise a plot if it came up and bit them on the behind whilst in the pub. (The normal venue where most of their collection of intelligence takes place)
Is this not an attempt to infringe on the constitutional right of people by implementing draconian measures?
Put forward a threat as well as counter measures which entail invasion of privacy and denial of human rights.
Is that not what Colin Powell did in Iraq and Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe?
Be warned. This will be the next step.
Coerced silence as preached by authority figures does not bode well for democracy. “If you are not with us then you are against us.”
Trade union leader’s criticism of the unfair dismissal of a deputy minister leads to a quick rap on the knuckles from the president himself and then they withdraw their initial valid complaint.
Hitler used those tactics.
Any one with a bit of intellect that questions government stupidity gets ostracized.
Pol Pot used that one.
The official presidential spokesperson, Rat S**t Anga (sorry that is Ratshitanga – my mistake), now promotes a full-frontal lobotomy as room for improvement of political figures.
“The President knew her style from when she was deputy minister of Defence. If he didn’t like it, why did he appoint her to the post of deputy Health minister?
She, like other human beings, is capable of improving.”
The worst failure however, which should galvanise the world into action, is the fact that the current politicians have no other vision than seeing how many zeros can be added to their bank account balances before their term of office runs out.
They have no known vision for the future of South Africa and their stance on the plight of sexually abused children reflects this.
I can find no reference to any active participation of the political leaders regarding prevention and intervention of child abuse. (I’m not saying there are none – I’m just stating that it is in no obvious place like a newspaper headline)
Suggested legislation and amendments do not count. Any idiot can make a suggestion and then expect others to follow up.
This issue seems to be on the “pending pile” and will remain there if somebody does not wake up.
Since quite a substantial numbers of rape cases originate from an environment that’s run by the Government namely the school, one could have hoped that every single politician should personally get involved in serious effort to ensure a safe school for every child.
The report from 2006 by Human Rights Watch gives ample proof of this. And so far, the reaction to a very serious problem is a deafening governmental silence.
As I am not known for my tact I will put it another way; the current South African politicians do not seem to even regard the protection of children as one of their responsibilities and could not care less.
This plight is left to understaffed, underpaid and under funded charities, non-governmental organisations and other organisations like SASPSCAN, Child Care, Childline SA, Rape Crisis etc.
Please donate to their cause!
These organisations should be lauded and given our outmost support. But having said this, I maintain that it’s a sad and appalling fact that organisations like these are needed. We’re addressing a massive, national trauma that will continue for generations to come.
Isn’t it therefore an issue for the politicians elected by the people of South Africa to get involved in right now?
If I was a politician I would shout the figures, which are known, from the rooftops and ensure that a large part of my budget is channelled into the future of my country instead of spending all of my time protecting an alcoholic thief that happens to be the current Minister for Health.
What an idiotic legacy to leave behind! It is deemed more important to defend that champion of human rights, Robert Mugabe, in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
No wonder the law abiding citizens of South Africa are totally dumbstruck by the idiotic views and antics of their politicians.
The callousness of South Africa society is once more illustrated by this article.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Just A Thought

Maybe it's better for me sitting on the sidelines to make an observation. I am fortunate not to be bombarded daily by farcical political antics in South Africa.

Something is wrong with the ANC government's approach to the investigation of "alleged" misconduct by the Minister for Health.

"This mirrored earlier responses on the matter by the Presidency. Spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga earlier on Monday said the Presidency would not launch an investigation into the matter until the evidence was produced." Mail & Guardian.

They first want evidence before they investigate!

From watching TV I've learnt that evidence is a result of an investigation.

They don't want evidence. They want to know who the sources are so that they can use their Intelligence Agencies to try to discredit and intimidate the ones who were brave enough to speak out.

These politicians should watch a bit more TV and spend less time scheming how to hide incompetence before they come up with crap like this but I guess that is also too much to ask.

How to Recognise a Swede Part 5

1. After realising that someone is standing on their foot in the subway, they think it best not to say anything at all and maybe cough or nod a little in order to attract attention.
2. They are stuck in front of their TV’s watching curling during every Olympic Games.
3. They actually understand the rules of curling.
4. They have been accused of being from Switzerland, repeatedly.
5. They never use public transport without a valid ticket even though it’s ridiculously overpriced.
6. They can not see why the 1st floor they walk into should be called anything but the 1st floor and the next one up the 2nd and so on. They get confused by this with every multi-storey building they enter.
7. They look forward all year round to August when they gather their friends, put on stupid paper hats, drink vodka, sing and eat crayfish.
8. They don’t mind ladies using the men’s bathroom in clubs if the queue to the ladies is too long.
9. They all love Carola and know almost all her songs by heart even though she is a bit of freak these days.
10. It still disturbs them that Carola did not win the Eurovision Song Contest the 1st time she participated back in 1983.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Plain Truth

An extract from a letter by Peter Karaszi as published in the Sunday Times dated Aug 19, 2007.

"Soiling the struggle"

The editor of the leading Swedish daily Expressen writes, regarding the sacking of Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, that “the ANC has certainly soiled the struggle that crushed apartheid”.

When previously staunch allies like Sweden turn their back on the ANC, then something is seriously wrong. And it is not only the HIV/Aids mess that raises eyebrows around the world. The ANC government’s refusal to criticise African dictators like Robert Mugabe and the recent perceived witchhunt of apartheid leaders — “Hey, weren’t you guys supposed to be reconciled?” — all contribute to the erosion of the enormous international goodwill that South Africa had built up during the Nelson Mandela era...

The Plain Truth

An extract from an article by Dr Lucas Ntyintyane of Cresta as published in the Sunday Times dated Aug 17, 2007.

"Criticism bolsters democracy"

...Advocate Christine Qunta has declared it heresy for any black person to criticise the government of the day. To do so is worse than being a racist and you would belong to the “right-wing” agenda.

Difficult as all this may be to fathom, these are the beliefs of Qunta, who is, by the way, an inspiration to many of us, and a struggle hero.

Nevertheless, coerced silence is contrary to the principle and spirit of democracy. Blind loyalty to party leaders is the reason for the flourishing of dictatorships — and Africa’s economic stagnation...