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South Africa on the Brink?

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South Africa on the Brink?

Old 16th Oct 2018, 07:11
  #121 (permalink)  
Man Bilong Balus long PNG
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Back in the land of the Rising Sun for another three months of Glider towing, eating great Japanese food, perving on lovely Japanese Ladies and continuing that search for a bad bottle of Red.
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Pinky--if you scroll down on the pop-up, at the bottom it states "continue without supporting us"----click that and it disappear.
I did, and it didn't! No idea why.

But likewise, thanks ian16th.
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 13:46
  #122 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Africa
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Another Opinion from an ANC member.

Pik Botha, Evita Bezuidenhout and a hospital visit from Madiba

5-7 minutes2018-10-17 07:38





"Is dit Melanie Verwoerd?" a voice on the other side of the phone asked. I immediately recognised the deep, nosy tone. It was, after all, the voice that throughout my youth filled our TV screens, defending the government's policies while insisting that foreign governments were mistaken in their opposition to apartheid.

For a moment, I panicked. "How do I address him?" I wondered. My Afrikaner upbringing kicked in and it felt hopelessly too familiar to call him "Pik". Then again, "Oom Pik" didn't feel right either.

"Meisiekind," he said in Afrikaans before I could think any further. "You don't know me, but my name is Pik Botha." "Natuurlik weet ek wie u is," ("Of course I know who you are,") I answered in my best, respectful Afrikaans, letting the "meisiekind" comment slide.

It turns out Botha was calling me, because I was chairing a session a few days later at the 2018 Woordfees in Stellenbosch. He was due to appear on a panel together with Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout and (!) Pieter-Dirk Uys. Knowing that this could be a challenging discussion to manage, I had e-mailed the participants earlier to discuss the content and arrangements.

Botha was responding to the mail, but first wanted to get a few things clear. "Kyk hierso, jy moet een ding goed verstaan," ("Look here, we have to get one thing clear,") he said gruffly. "I had the greatest respect for Dr Verwoerd."

"But, of course" I responded. "I would have expected nothing less."

"Ja," he responded – the irony in my voice clearly passing him by – before launching into a long history lesson filled with Verwoerd anecdotes.

I listened patiently… what else could I do? After about 20 minutes he passed the phone to his wife, Ina, so I could discuss the arrangements and content of the discussion, before ringing off.

On the day of the panel, the room was packed to the rafters. This was clearly one of the key events of the festival. I finally met Botha, who was frail, but full of beans. He still had a twinkle in his eye and even at the age of 86 he flirted with the women who came to greet him.

But the real surprise came when Evita Bezuidenhout arrived in all her glory. Botha, who was already on stage, immediately lit up. He got up slowly, but determinedly and grabbed Evita in a bear hug.

"Piiiik," cooed Evita. "My darling, I have missed you." The audience laughed and applauded. After all, it had been rumoured for years that he and Evita had had a fictional affair. The hug went on for ages… so the crowd applauded and laughed more. "Goeiste Pik," tannie Evita said after a while. "Let go of me."

I tried to control the conversation, but neither Pik Botha nor Evita Bezuidenhout was going to pay any attention to me as chair. Watching the two chat and share anecdotes like two old timers on a park bench was hilarious. Watching Botha flirt with Evita was confusing. Eventually tannie Evita excused herself – she had something urgent in Parliament to attend to. A few minutes later, she was replaced by Pieter-Dirk Uys.

The tone of the conversation changed as we finally got to the topic of the panel discussion: Nelson Mandela and his legacy. Botha discussed the 1994 transition with clarity and passion, sounding again like the feisty and formidable foreign minister of my youth.

As we were about to close, Botha said he wanted to share a personal anecdote of Madiba. He explained how he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998. When he woke up in ICU after a procedure to remove the cancer, he found Mandela sitting at his bedside. Seeing his eyes opening, Madiba took his hand and said: "Don't worry Pik, these doctors are good. Please just relax now and get better quickly."

As Botha told the story he became emotional. "He was an exceptional person," he said, choking up. I saw many in the audience wiping away tears.

Over the last week many people had written about the contradictions of Pik Botha. On the one hand he was the face of apartheid to the world for almost two decades. Yet, he was also the person who angered his National Party colleagues by insisting long before that South Africa must get a black president. He was the one who attacked the ANC and their communist links for many years, yet was the man who the ANC could relate to during the negotiations. Someone who, to quote Mathews Phosa, "wanted the same outcome as we did".

I also felt many contradictory emotions during that panel discussion. Yes, I remembered his role during apartheid, but up close he was human, funny and strangely charming.

At a time when there is an increasing tendency to again categorise both issues and people simplistically as "black or white" and "good or evil" it is perhaps good to be reminded that it is always more complicated – especially when it comes to individuals. This is something Madiba understood so well.

As Botha started to leave after the discussion in Stellenbosch, he said: "Sien jou volgende jaar, meisie," ("See you next year, girl,") "and remember, I had a lot of respect for Hendrik Verwoerd." He waved his finger at me, laughed and then the broad shoulders, slightly bent, disappeared around the corner.

- Melanie Verwoerd is a former ANC MP and South African Ambassador to Ireland.
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Old 19th Dec 2018, 10:25
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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It would be 'unwise' for Grace Mugabe to visit SA again, say legal experts
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 14:20
  #124 (permalink)  
bnt
 
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Eskom's power infrastructure continues to crumble:
Eskom has announced that the rotational load shedding it first notified South Africans of yesterday, and which they said this morning would take place from 9am until 10pm, has now moved from Stage 2 to Stage 4. This means 4,000MW will be shed, double what was initially expected.

The power utility says in a statement the reason behind this is that they have lost an additional six generating units since this morning “unexpectedly”.

Stage 4 was once the severest form of load shedding, until Eskom added an extra four stages in November. The stages of load shedding now go up to Stage 8.

Stage 4 can mean blackouts with no warning and outside of the usual schedule. South Africa’s power problems have not escalated to this level since 2008.
They also have a background piece, here:
The main cause of its troubles is its decision to build two of the biggest coal fired generating plants in the world, (Medupi and Kusile). These plants are running way behind schedule, they’re over budget and the bits that are complete don’t work properly. They are probably the single largest disaster in South Africa’s economic history.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 14:34
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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I am sure that most people now "Cry for their beloved country"

IG
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 21:28
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Have to say met many Afrikaans in my time... they are thoroughly decent people and ironic really (given the press) actually some of most anti-racist people I have met. Many left the country during the 90's dispersed throughout the world invariably come across them on my travels... to a man (and woman) pleasant people. Well only met one guy (a certain "Van <snip>") who sneered at what he called the K...s, however even his fellow white Afrikaans avoided him... which taught me a lot... and the women... my god... bright, beautiful and feisty.. just flashy's type.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 22:27
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flash8 View Post
Have to say met many Afrikaans in my time... they are thoroughly decent people and ironic really (given the press) actually some of most anti-racist people I have met. Many left the country during the 90's dispersed throughout the world invariably come across them on my travels... to a man (and woman) pleasant people. Well only met one guy (a certain "Van <snip>") who sneered at what he called the K...s, however even his fellow white Afrikaans avoided him... which taught me a lot... and the women... my god... bright, beautiful and feisty.. just flashy's type.
Have to agree. Met a few in my time here in Ireland. Great people with unpronounceable names. Great people. Talented Engineers too. There were also several ex SAP working in security. Admirable people. Changed my view of them.

A good friend of mine is Lancashire born but lived most of his life in Zim. Back in '16. I was in Oshkosh. We met up with his South African friends. They were gloomy. There is no future for the white man in South Africa was the refrain. They are right.

But what is striking to me was the fact that white man's privilege in both Zim and South Africa still exists.

It's like they live in a parallel country.

Meanwhile my friend has moved to Dublin, his eldest son is now studying here and his youngest will follow. Getting him out of Zim is a priority. An EU passport is another.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 06:26
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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The remaining whites in both countries are mostly too old, poor with no in demand skills, or too rich to leave and start again. Young skilled workers with families who qualify for migration to the usual destinations or who can obtain a foreign passport are dwindling rapidly in numbers.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 19:09
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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But what is striking to me was the fact that white man's privilege in both Zim and South Africa still exists.
It's like they live in a parallel country.
I have heard this... actually after reading this thread at the gym today I went up to a South African who I am on nodding acquaintance with and asked him if we could have a coffee sometime because as an older gentleman (well, older than me anyhow) he must have experiences growing up through the old apartheid era and I want to hear his views. So looking forward to this.

Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
The remaining whites in both countries are mostly too old, poor with no in demand skills, or too rich to leave and start again. Young skilled workers with families who qualify for migration to the usual destinations or who can obtain a foreign passport are dwindling rapidly in numbers.
I think you are right here, witness the 90's when huge numbers of professionals left, never to return, the tragedy before that of course was the ostracization of the country's professionals, witness Christiaan Barnard not winning the Nobel.

After his breakthrough surgery Barnard "faced his critics" (1968) which can be seen here BBC - Archive - Tomorrow's World - Tomorrow's World Special | Barnard Faces His Critics

I implore anyone with an interest in.. well anything... to watch this absolutely stunning performance by a South African at the top of his game (during apartheid)... often come back to this programme and marvel in the brilliance of the man, even his (world class) critics were in awe of him. Truly somebody the country can be proud of, and a legend, even his sidekick (assistant) has his moments.... dry but fully in control.
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