Category Archives: Africa

ZIM: Malnutrition in Matabeleland

Major deficiencies are Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A and Iodine.

According to the 2012 Ministry of Health and Child Welfare statistics, 26.6 %rural children, 19.5% urban children and 44% women were found to be iodine deficient.

“Iodine deficiency causes goitre, increased incidence of still births, abortions, congenital abnormalities including cretinism and mental retardation.”

Malnutrition wreaks havoc in Matabeleland

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African Youth Leagues: Pawns In Struggle

Before the fall of Apartheid, teenagers faced violence from their former schoolyard mates over the color of a tee-shirt or voiced support for competing political ideologies. Homes are torched, supporters ‘necklaced’, and rival youth gangs held power in the classroom.

The struggle of the adults filtered down to the children, when the liberation movement created ‘youth leagues’, aiming to draft their supporters younger and younger. The children are seduced by free clothing and promise of money, and filled with wild notions, which in their youth, they have not fully understood.

The children are told–and they believe–that the ANC will grant them land and equity. Their rivals claim to see though it, and hold out for something better. Neither side is clearly right or wrong.

The best position for anyone to take to take isn’t entirely clear. But adults have compelled these young men to pick, and wait for violence to finally reach them.

Contemporary: Supporters of the ANC Youth League President Julius Malema, gather during clashes with police forces

Contemporary: Supporters of the ANC Youth League President Julius Malema gather during clashes with police forces.

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SA:’Race-Based’ Rations & Radicalization

Apartheid era menu showing the racialization of food rations.

Apartheid era menu showing the racialization of food rations.

During Apartheid, the political prisoners of South Africa’s Robben Island would frequently go on hunger strike over the quantity and quality of their rations.  Dietitians in the service of the state’s racial system determined ‘racial diets’, according to the Western determined ‘tastes’, with little input from the races themselves. Taste differs from individual to individual.

When prisoners complain, wardens would often respond, “like it,” or “I eat no better at home.” The food would then be quickly traded among the prisoners, until that activity found out and suspended; it later resumes.  There is no need for a racial structure of rations, except but to make detention efforts more backwards and cumbersome. Why should they go through such an effort?

It seems to me that a diet of hunger and frustration only serves to radicalize.

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SA TRC: What Truth & Reconciliation?

Tutu_TRC-1From the onset, declared in the constitution, amnesty for past atrocities was proscribed to all parties of South Africa’s Apartheid era conflicts. Initially, it was commonly represented that amnesty was granted for the crimes of the Boer. Men of all colors lost their hands, their lives, or bore indefinite detention, prison sentences or fire-bombings.

Yes, it is true that the state system of apartheid was an injustice. Anyone who did not recognize it long ago, realizes it now. Many whites might long for standard of living they once enjoyed, but all of us now know the great moral cost it inflicted.

It’s “a new beginning…not about skin color, culture, or language, but about people.” The international press would do well to recognize that, and not characterize the Afrikaner as the stereotypical villain. There are villains enough on all sides, regardless of color.

Amnesty, it turns out, has come to shield the new government from their crimes against humanity. The average individual did not engage in criminality. That was the doing of our government, and one set of tyrants has been traded for another.

Reconciliation will happen in the future, but not now. The wounds are too fresh. The villains have negotiated a compromise, and given themselves immunity from their actions. They will rule for another generation, and then maybe the tree will be cleansed from root to branch.

Image source & Additional TRC coverage: http://www.sthp.saha.org.za/memorial/articles/the_truth_and_reconciliation_commission.htm

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SA: Homeland of the ‘Migrant Labourer’

65-254-E6-168-overcoming_apartheid-a0a7h5-a_3272Blacks came to be considered ‘migrant labor’; never ‘indigenous’ in South Africa. If you were not able-bodied, you were a ‘superfluous appendage’ and subject to removal and criminal penalty.

White children could play in the park, supervised by their black nannies. Black children played in the street, unsupervised. The nanny feeds her charge but her children are malnourished back home. She is lucky, even, if she gets to see them. If the father also lucky, if he gets to play any part in raising the children, because the law forbids their cohabitation. Families are separated, consigned to hostel living, and state barriers to intermingling. 

‘Family’ reached new definitions under apartheid.

Whites, Coloureds, Asians, and ‘honorary whites’ have their own sit-down restaurants. Blacks are made by law to stand and eat the fast-food on their local corner.   Because of this, ALL people in SA are still forced to look over their shoulders in fear. Could policy makers not see how this builds resentments? Did they blindly believe these policies would stand in perpetuity?

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Amnesty Gives Power to ANC Criminals

The extent of the crimes is well known…
and the government is full of perpetrators…
can amnesty really be the mechanism of reconciliation?

1990: Namibian Independence: Winnie & Nelson Mandela with Joe Slovo at the Namibian Independence celebrations.

Winnie & Nelson Mandela with Joe Slovo at the Namibian Independence celebrations.

The many crimes of the ANC have been absolved by amnesty.

It’s hard to hear the name ‘Mandela’ without also recalling ‘Mandela United’ (football club) or the South African Communist Party. While the man himself may or may not be a Saint, he endorsed something which became so barbarous and wild. Near the end of his revolution, children were killing children. Who could know the number killed or maimed by land mines. Not to mention, conscionable dissenters, ‘rehabilitated’ at Camp Quatro. Is this how they will steward this new nation? the How could anyone, black or white, sleep safe.

If one was lucky to survive a revolution (which has the color of klepto-communism), must they now face a ring of violent conspirators and tortuous murderers as their newly elected ministers. Is this an improved South Africa; for everyone, black or white? Can the media be trusted to examine the corruption, or will they look over the scandal? Are they willing to challenge the ANC on behalf of their readers or viewership? Time will tell if this new nation will be victims, again, unless the rotten are purged.

The Party of a violent Revolution should not be the party of the people and state.

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SA: Land ‘Protection’ Racket

Horse safaris are popular in Bhangazi, SA

Horse safaris are popular in Bhangazi, SA

The Bhangazi’s claim on the Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia is currently the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.  It has been labeled a World Heritage Site of ‘international importance’.  Is it important to protect these lands? Does international need trump local need? Were these lands protected to keep them from the Zulu in the first place? How much weight does the titanium of its dunes hold in the negotiation?

In 1998, the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR) asked people if they would rather a monetary payout than land and “the overwhelming majority” chose money. Would money solve their problems? Is a payoff in their best interest? Would it solve squalor, hunger, and HIV? Does it make sense to allow the disruption of productive white-owned farms for the newly enfranchised black novice? The government needs to sponsor holistic solutions.

What about the mines? Will Anglo-American extract the resource and export them as it suits their bottom line? Diamonds are plentiful here, yet most are poor. The mines should be African ran and should suffer no want of employment or lull in production. South African diamonds on the open market, for all purposes, beyond Western jewelry, could better the lives of people throughout the world.

image via https://www.facebook.com/kznhorsesafaris

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AIDS Patients of Khayelitsha SA

Khayelitsha+township+xgold+2012

Most of South African AIDS patients of Khayelitsha live in shacks. They don’t have access to water or electricity in their hovels. They are unemployed, and probably lack the diet necessary to take the drugs. Just as many have tuberculosis. More than 5 million people in South Africa have HIV, and probably more than 1000 die every day HIV/AIDS and the diseases that accompany it. AIDS affects South Africa more than any other country. There us access to drug therapy, but their use must be regimented for them to be effective.

These drugs will have to be taken for as long as the patient lives. People need to be trained in their use for them to hold back the virus effectively. Low-cost generic versions which work just as well, but there are just so many people to reach. It is a logistical quandary short of manpower.

There are not enough hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, counselors, or meals to meet the need of the afflicted. An effective state program to combat the matter is the only hopeful solution. Until then, many will go without.

Alongside anti-retroviral therapy, the government must find a way to treat the human—clinic access, food, water—or any other obstacle that stands in the way of ARV distribution and efficacy. The selection must be fair, as this epidemic has elevated AIDS treatment to a human right. Because Khayelitsha is one of the apartheid regimes final attempts to enforce separate development, it is the mandate of the ANC to assist in resolving its problems.

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The Return of Africa’s Strongmen

The Return of Africa’s Strongmen – WSJ

“After World War II, Britain, France and other European empires withdrew. But the militaries of many newly independent African states continued to suppress their own civil societies. Africa weathered more than 60 coups between 1960 and 1990.”

How can that be good for any country/continent?

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Biko Was No ANC Communist

Mr. Biko understood that society must acknowledge its group consciousness, and do so under one banner, as opposed to multiple, self-defeating fronts.

He was disheartened by the committees which advocated revolution, feeling that there was no need for violence–that the overall numbers gave them the leverage they needed. Biko hoped that barbarism and riotous behavior could be avoided. He believed that black South Africans would have a free nation, one day, in ANY outcome, because the untenable situation mandated it and that it would be quite sad if it came by way of bloodbath, when it needn’t be.

The ANC claimed ‘solidarity’ with the working men of the world, but failed to unite their own people against their local oppressors. Biko feared they were at the suggestion from outside influences and willing to use violence when the most effective approach would be peaceful confrontation.Biko felt that submitting to the ANC’s claim of representation, meant sharing the guilt in their crimes, and suffering the penalty of their actions.

The ANC overlaid the nonsense of foreign geopolitics on top of the liberation struggle. This resulted in justice seeking blacks like Biko being called a great many things: ‘agitators’, ‘communists’, while holding no sympathies to Russia or planned economies. From what I have studied, Biko believed that there were more liberating philosophies, and perhaps room for both the public and private sectors in the economy.

Biko believed that participation in the economy had been legally denied, as well a voice in that process. From his point of view, no white representative could suffice in fully representing the concerns of black South Africans. Nor, he felt, should he be the speaker of the people his race marginalizes. What Biko sought was representation and the ability to represent. The same status before the law.

But many of South African leaders leaders disagreed, aligning with the ANC, content to subscribe to borrowed notions to solve the disparity. Biko believed that Communism would not solve South Africa’s woes, in the same way that the Western Democratic model would be ill suited. Biko suggested the solution must be African, and borne of black Africans, who recognize their entitlement to such freedom under God.

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