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Blog Posted in avatar   Tamara Aspeling's Blog

South Africa's Dirty Little Secret

blog:18239:10::0
By Tamara Aspeling
Posted Sep 2, 2012 in Politics
The recent violence at the Lonmin mine at Marikana in South Africa made news headlines - and took many people back to the apartheid era thanks to the images of violent protesters and implacable police.
The truth is, however, that while the images the world saw may have shocked them, they did not have the same effect on locals.
When one talks about South Africa, even today, the immediate response is usually a question about apartheid, or about the World Cup. Both of those are long gone, however.
In the early days of post apartheid South Africa, there was a hope that was almost tangible amongst people of all races. Sadly, that too is long gone.
These days, the only emotions you're likely to hear articulated by South Africans are fear, hate, or anger. Most of the people you speak to will have different reasons for those emotions, but it's clear that the 'rainbow nation' that so many hoped for is a faded memory.
The thing is, however, that while poverty, hunger and the plight of poor, unemployed, largely non white South Africans still makes the news, there's a deeper, darker secret that doesn't.
That secret is one that is brought into stark focus on the Genocide Watch website.
South Africa is currently ranked a 6 out of 8 for genocide risk - with 7 being actual genocide, and 8 being the aftermath. The potential targets of that genocide are white South Africans.
Why should you care though? After all, white South Africans were all apartheid supporters, and they deserve it, right?
Actually, the truth is very different from that highly simplistic view.
First, there's the simple matter of chronology. It's been 18 years since the ANC took power, which means that in order to have voted in those elections, you would have to be at least 36 years old. The referendum that ended apartheid took place several years earlier though, so the fact is that in order to have voted for the National Party in apartheid South Africa, you would have to be at least middle aged.
With deaths and births, the vast majority of the white population of South Africa would never have voted in an apartheid election.
Bear in mind too, that even at the height of their power, the National Party only ever got about 60% of the overall vote - so of the remaining apartheid era electorate, approximately 40% would never have voted for the apartheid government.
The next issue is migration. Between 1994 and now, about 6 million white South Africans have left the country, leaving an ever dwindling minority of white South Africans - all of whom are blamed by the majority for apartheid regardless of their involvement (or lack thereof.)
All of this may seem like pointless numbers, however, consider the following.
Between 1994 and now, nearly 4,000 white farming families have been killed by hate fuelled black racists in the country. Among the dead, two year old infants like Wilmien Potgieter, who was shot in the face by attackers on her parents' farm.
Political figures like Julius Malema actively drum up hate of white people in South Africa. After all, they're a convenient scapegoat for ANC failure.
Songs like 'Dubul Ibhunu' - Shoot the Boer - are sung by top government officials at official party meetings. Even South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, has been filmed singing this hate filled anthem.
The simple fact is that South Africa has not changed. It's still a racist society, where fear, hate, violence and murder by one race on the other is the norm. The only difference is that now, the formerly oppressed are the guilty party.
Apartheid fell mainly because of international pressure. As a South African who does not want to live to see genocide or civil war in South Africa, I beg you - start putting the same pressure on the NEWpartheid government, before it's too late.

blog:18239:10::0
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