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« The Consequences of Our Hate | Main | Rogue Democracy »

May 27, 2008



It would be funny if it wasn't so horrifyingly sad.


Do you really believe that the "political change", looming on South Africa's horizon, will improve anything ?? Have you seriously brought into that nonsense?

The only thing that concens the present, and future govt is how rich they and their cronies can get. Kasrils, of course, is unusual in that he has another interest... the destruction of Israel.


Remember that nothing is created in a vacuum.
While experts are trying to analyze the root causes of this violence rather than addressing the violence itself, it should be noted that term xenophobia is most probably incorrectly used, as many South Africans have been targeted while the large Nigerian population have been largely unaffected by the violence.

With regards to Red Ronnie, I have to agree that the "minister of intelligence" has happily used his official capacity to lambaste Israel in a manner that is completely unrelated to the office with which he is charged. Yet this same minister whose function it is to prevent and anticipate the premeditated violence plaguing South Africa, is suddenly unable to explain his inadequacies and is suspiciously unable to take responsibility for his blatant failure.

Perhaps the minister should review the laughable results of the "Durban 1" racism fiasco and consider reapplying to host the UN conference on racism and Xenophobia again. Better yet, Mr. Kasrils should join the rest of the inadequate old-guard dismissed at Polokwane.


50-50 he blames the "zionist elements".


You give Kasrils too much credit: Many of his articles are written with the assistance of others like Virginia Tilley. So maybe his eye is off the ball period?? However, re his writings/rantings, if the article is particularly crude and short then you should consider that he wrote it himself....



I never said I supported the Zuma camp. I think he and his Leftist cronies could in the long term be even worse. I think we need real political change in this country. Some sort of alliance of moderate and competent people.


Zero chance of an "alliance of moderate and competent people."

If Zuma comes to power, Kasrils will be persona non govt-grata. Perhaps he will then get a job at the Media Review Network?


Mbeki does not sack incompetent ministers. As a proudly South African member of the cabinet, Ronno Einstein knows that his seat next to Manto is safe.
Ronno and Manto are, I am sure, the best of friends!


Is there another major city in the world that now has refugees living in tent in the midst of “civilization”?
Interesting, moreover, to consider tha Jobug is going to host 2010 and hopes that thousands of fellow/neighbouring Africans will make the trip to support their teams.
Perhaps this seems a trivial point when so many people have been made homeless but I cannot believe that FIFA is still willing to allow South Africa to host the games.
South Africa over the last few days has witnessed savagery that is reminiscent of the post Kenyan elections. As a result, it is evident that she lacks the social cohesion necessary for 2010.



South Africa's government has denied it is setting up massive migrant or refugee camps for the tens of thousands of foreigners who fled recent attacks.
Aid agencies had said the government would reveal plans to set up seven camps for up to 70,000 people.
But a home affairs spokeswoman said temporary shelters accommodating 2,000 each would be set up instead. A formal announcement will be made on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the UN said it is helping South Africa plan relief efforts.
It is conducting a survey of the conditions in the police stations and municipal halls in which the displaced people are currently living, UN spokesman George Nsiah told the BBC .
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) has warned that those sheltering in makeshift camps or outdoors have been left without protection - either physical or legal.
"It's very cold at night, it's almost like one or two degrees. It's been raining in the last few days," said MSF South Africa programme director Muriel Cornelis.
"And then legal protection - most of them do not have any status, no legal status, no temporary status."
A spokesman for the UNHCR said very few of the displaced foreigners fit the formal definition of "refugee".
Nevertheless, the government is coming under considerable pressure to organise better accommodation than the makeshift camps currently housing most of the displaced people.
Correspondents say it has made it clear that any option which isolates rather than integrates foreigners into the community would be contrary to its policy.
The government said in a statement that reports that it intended to set up "refugee camps" for tens of thousands of displaced foreigners were "baseless and therefore not true".


South Africa: about 51,000
Gauteng: 28,000
Western Cape: 20,000
KwaZulu Natal: 2,500
Mozambique: 27,234
Malawi: 480
Zimbabwe: 123

In pictures: Displaced life in SA
Home affairs department spokesperson Siobhan McCarthy said temporary shelters would ensure displaced migrants had access to health services, food and sanitation, the South African Press Association reports.
MSF said it was finding cases of diarrhoea and chest infections in overcrowded existing shelters near Johannesburg.
The International Red Cross's Francoise Le Goff told the BBC it was vital people found alternative places to stay.
"We have problems with sanitation; it's cold; people are getting sick, so their security is barely there," she said.
"People need to leave this place and have an area where they can settle a little better and where they can reorganise a better life."
The unrest, targeting migrants from Zimbabwe and other African countries, began near Johannesburg earlier this month.
Fifty-six people have been killed and more than 650 injured in the attacks, according to officials.
Aid agencies say the true number of displaced people is at least 80,000.
Nigeria says it will press for compensation from the South African government for its citizens who were victims of the violence.
Nigerian Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe said that no Nigerians were killed in the attacks, but many have lost their properties and others have had their shops looted.
Many people have fled South Africa to countries including Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana.
Resentment against foreigners who are seen to be harder working and better educated than locals have been cited a factors fuelling the violence.


So the question remains unanswered... "Could the SA government have done anything to stop the violence?"
If it could have, then one must ask why it failed to act. Was it incompetent? Uncaring? Xenophobic?
In a healthy democracy, govt ministers would be under much more scrutiny and would be being asked these questions, ad infinitum, in and outside of parliament.


It should be noted that many more people have died and been injured in the xenophobic South African attacks over the least couple of weeks than in Gaza/Israel/West Bank. It is quite clear that Ronno Einstein is in no position to lecture other states about their human rights record, when he has failed so dismally at home.
Of course, one should not underestimate the violence in the Middle East but it is not on the scale of South Africa.
At the next United Nations conference on racism, will South African xenophobia be at the top of the agenda??


What responsibility under international law does the South African govt now have for the people who have been displaced and now living in make-shift camps?
Can the South African govt force them to return to their countries of origin without their consent?


"indigenous people of palestine". indigenous my ERSE!


Kasrils is not the only one who has been blind.
Tutu, having sorted out xenophobia in South Africa, jets off to Gaza...

(Eyeless in Gaza is a novel by Aldous Huxley, first published in 1936. The title originates from a phrase in John Milton's Samson Agonistes:
... Promise was that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;
Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him
Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves ...

As blindness overtook Milton, it becomes a major trope in Samson Agonistes, and is seen also in Paradise Lost (3.22-55) and his 16th Sonnet. Many scholars have written about the impact of Milton's increasing blindness on his works.[citation needed] This recurrence of blindness came after Milton temporarily gave up his poetry to work for Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth government. He continued this service even though his eyesight was failing and he knew that he was hastening his own blindness. The correlation is significant to the Agonistes plot: Milton describes Samson as being "Eyeless in Gaza", a phrase that has become the most quoted line of Agonistes. Novelist Aldous Huxley used it as the title for his 1936 novel Eyeless in Gaza.

Samson's blindness, however, is no way a direct analogy to Milton's. Rather, Samson's blindness plays various symbolic roles. One is the correlation between Samson's inner blindness as well as outer, the fact that he believes his "intimate impulses" to be divine messages, yet is never in any way divinely affirmed in this, unlike the rest of Milton's divinely influenced characters. Samson's inability to see that his inner vision does not correlate to divine vision is manifest in his physical blindness. It also plays on his blindness to reason, leading him to act overhastily, plus the fact that he is so easily deceived by Delila, "blinded" by her feminine wiles.)

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