BREYTENBACH’S 180-DEGREE TURNAROUND.
Who would ever have thought …?
Well it seems that Mrs. Paton isn’t the only disillusioned one as far as the country itself is concerned - many, many others have expressed the same sentiments - but that Breyten Breytenbach, the passionate former activist who spent seven years in South African prisons for his anti-apartheid activities prior to 1994, should find fault with his hero, Nelson Mandela, even going as far as to allude to him as 'Moneydeala,' is almost beyond belief! Can it be that his own ‘emperor’, like Aesop’s, was actually not ‘wearing any clothes’? Whatever the case, he supports this reference by accusing Mandela - in an article that appeared recently in Harper’s Magazine, and cited in the Boston Globe - of surrounding himself with ‘greedy, always needy sycophants, and enjoying the ‘idolatry’ (which the famed poet describes as ‘obscene’) as though he, Mandela were an ‘exotic teddy bear to slobber over’.
1994 – THE YEAR OF 'THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA!'
Since then, if one may rely on some of the Internet statics - 3025 South African farmers have been murdered. The daily violence and the shocking crime rate are no secret to people around the world, and when Breytenbach, was asked about whether he would advise people to stay and stick it out, his response, according to the Harper’s Magazine story was, “My bitter advice to young South Africans, would be to go.” - Since his own nephew was stabbed in a parking lot, it is perhaps not surprising that his reasons correspond with those offered by the thousands who have already left: ‘Ghastly, violent crime!’
More discouraging observations
Hassan Masiky, an author who resides in Kenitra, Morocco, supplies details of a posting on the Morocco American Community Board to the effect that South Africa's stint at the UN Security Council (UNSC) was “disastrous; and bitterly disappointing to the aspirations of the African continent." This observation ends with a blunt: "Good riddance!!”
“The African National Congress (ANC), a treasured political organization that embodies the struggle of Africa against oppression and colonialism," he goes on to state in a blog, “was torn apart due to Mbeki's intransigence and self-serving interests. Mbeki's refusal to accept his dismissal from the ANC has plunged the country into a turmoil that would undoubtedly further the suffering of poverty stricken South Africans.”
UPDATE December 28, 2008
Wouldn't you know it? I have just received, via a Google Alert, the following headline from a publication called Plus News:
SOUTH AFRICA: Global Fund money gets stuck with health department.
The reference is to the fact that South Africa's Department of Health has failed to channel the US$3.9 million in donor money - a grant delivered to the health department in mid-November - to 13 HIV/AIDS organizations. The delay, which has left these organizations underfunded, is attributed by the Global Fund spokesperson, Jon Lidén, to the department's 'slow and inefficient system for dispersing funds.'
"The department has been slow to appoint full-time staff to deal with the allocation of this money."
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