I thought this comment from a Jewish journalist in South Africa shed light on the chaos and deteriorating conditions in that country:
Pamela, I am a Jewish journalist, living in Johannesburg.
Last Saturday I met many of my peers at a party. Throughout the night everyone was talking about Malema, Eugene Terreblanche and WTF is going on with SA journalism? Why isn't anyone standing up to this moron, not even the president. As my one friend noted: "The problem surrounding Malema is that he is basically a "dumb orator with popular support".
And there's no way that a speech from the president will ever really resolve matters, least of all for the discontented masses.
And that's what the rest of us are concerned about.
Things here are going downhill politically and socially. The ANC has tabled a controversial "Green Paper" (not yet put before parliament) that focuses on land redistribution; with a special clause that addresses the re-allotment of farmland to indigenous peoples....
The green paper on agrarian transformation, rural development, and land reform is expected to be submitted to Parliament by the end of April, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Wednesday.
Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on his budget vote, Nkwinti said the paper would propose that the current land tenure system be overhauled.
A three-tier system would be proposed -- state land under leasehold, private land under freehold with limited extent, and foreign ownership with precarious tenure linked to productivity and partnership models with South African citizens.
This system would be based on a "categorisation model" informed by land use needs at the levels of household, smallholder, and commercial farming.
"National sovereignty is defined in terms of land. That is why, even without it being enshrined in the country's supreme law, the Constitution, land is a national asset," Nkwinti said.
"We must, and shall, fundamentally review the current land tenure system during this medium-term strategic framework period.
Nkwinti acknowledged that the land reform programmes implemented to date had not been sustainable and had not provided the anticipated benefits to the recipients of the programme.
To date, about six million hectares of land had been transferred through restitution and redistribution and much of this land was not productive and had not created any economic benefit for many of the owners.
"There has been an over emphasis on hectares at the expense of development and food security," he said.
This had contributed to declining productivity on farms, less employment in the agricultural sector, and deepening poverty in the countryside. -
This despite what we have seen in Zimbabwe; despite what we have seen in SA: +3000 white farmers murdered since 1994, hundreds of farms taken over by blacks with most of the newly owned farms failing (see the closing paras of the linked article).
By and large everyone I know: (my journo) friends, analysts, activists - are saying / thinking the same thing: South Africa is going one of two ways:
1. Nigeria-style corruption; or
2. Zimbabwe-style corruption.
My one activist friend asked me out for drinks last week just after Terreblanche, the neo-Nazi, was murdered and said to me: "I used to think all we had to do was connect people with the money and it would all be fine. That the politics would sort itself out once it was aligned with capital. But it's not about money. What's going on now in SA is not about money. I'm worried. (Educated) People are being marginalised. Shut out."
And in a way it's true. Last night at the restaurant there was a table full of young black women arguing about the current situation. It was a heated discussion as these things tend to be but good to hear it getting out in the open.
Sad thing is: they are in the minority. Everywhere we went yesterday there were lots of young hip black people. they talk English (with white accents) among themselves and they are very into technology, etc. But these are not the people who support Malema. These are educated people with a global opinion. And they don't constitute a large percentage of the population. Sad.
All the recent ballyhoo over Malema just makes it seem all the more important.
At the end of the day I know there is no future here. Happy to have an Israeli passport which I hope to be using after the World Cup.
Previously here: "Rape all the white whore bitches and burn all their children"South Africa in Crisis: Universal Calls for Resignation of Black Supremacist Julius Malema of ANC