Ndumiso Ngcobo
Ndumiso Ngcobo

Xenophobic racism and other general idiocy

When I first heard that people of Zimbabwean, Mozambican and Malawian descent had been attacked in Alexandra, I did what I always do when I hear such news. Not to be callous or anything, but I shrugged and wondered out loud why people always seem amazed when these things happen.

I have received a lot of flak when I have made my two favourite assertions:

  • Human beings are idiots.
  • Human beings are racists.
  • One such human idiot castigated me for this declaration and pointed out Mahatma Gandhi as an example of a human being not afflicted by the natural love for people of his own race and some level of contempt for other races. I wasn’t particularly moved or impressed and but merely shrugged and left it to other irrational, racist idiots to send me a link pointing me to a Wikipedia entry that seems to support my assertion that bigotry is universal.

    But of course there’s bound to be someone else who sends me a link proving just what a nitwit I am for believing that rubbish in Wikipedia. And, being the irrational idiots we all are, we’ll have a jolly ole e-fistfight over this and call each other by unsavoury names. Great, wholesome family fun will be had by all.

    It goes without saying that I think that people who go around killing people because of where they were born have a name. Yeah: idiots. And there are lots of idiots around, even when they are not the skull-busting kind. Some are more obvious than others and I thought perhaps I would share with everyone just who I think is an idiot where this whole xenophobic idiocy is concerned.

    Gloried bloggers with a know-it-all attitude
    I thought it fitting that I should listen to Michael Jackson’s words of wisdom and start with the man in the mirror. Let’s list all my great qualifications for writing about xenophobia and ask ourselves the question: Is this particular blog helping the situation in any meaningful way?

  • I have a PC and, on account of possessing opposable thumbs, can work the keyboard.
  • Despite my impressive ignorance on what informs xenophobic feelings, I have very strong views on the subject matter. Read as: I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow Trapido’s views to dominate proceedings around here.
  • I believe that I harbour absolutely no xenophobic feelings whatsoever, which, I appreciate, makes me a one-in-a-billion individual. In fact, some of my best friends are amakwerekwere.
  • Society at large
    This morning, the Eighty20 website, obviously piggybacking on the groundswell of acute love for all foreigners brought on by the bruisers of Alexandra, sent me this “fact”: “Two-thirds of South Africans agree with the statement ‘Most of the problems in South Africa are caused by illegal immigrants/foreigners.’ (FutureFact 2006).” Oh wow, who would ever have thought?

    I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this statistic despite my natural scepticism for that haphazard gathering of only the “facts” that support one’s preconceived ideas commonly known as research. I guess someone sent some 20-year-old starving student out armed with a clipboard and the promise of R500 to ask 3 000 people what they thought to get this useful information. My only conclusion here is that the one-third of correspondents who said they didn’t agree with the statement were sophisticated enough not to have wanted to appear like xenophobic morons to the starving R500-a-day researcher.

    I personally do not know any of the people in that one-third of the population who do not think that the level of immigration in South Africa is causing some kind of problem, unless of course those people are recent immigrants themselves. I have a friend who’s a naturalised South African, having been here for 17 years. He was born in Nigeria and even he has problems with the levels of immigration into the confines of these borders.

    Because I can be such a crappy writer, especially on Monday mornings, I feel the need to specifically state the point I’m making here. South African society in general harbours collective negative feelings about immigrants. In my book, this phenomenon has a name: xenophobia. Oh yes, and this phenomenon has a surname too: idiocy. But more of that later — I’m not at the preachy part yet. I’m still fingering the idiots.

    The state
    Millions of words have been written about the state’s failure to deal with the immigration “problem”. Hundreds of smart people have conducted extensive “research” and come to the conclusion that what we are seeing happening in Alexandra, Diepsloot, Thokoza, Tembisa and everywhere was inevitable. The struggle for meagre resources was always going to lead to the ugly scenes of the past week or so. The double-chinned, well-fed, high-calibre individuals (otherwise known by the misnomer of “leaders”) took the smart documents and shoved them in the “Eskom and Other Mundane Matters” file and concentrated on serious matters of governance such as squabbling over floor-crossing. Enough said there — we have a capable opposition to attend to this one. Or do we?

    The opposition and other general parliamentary types
    Some arbitrary double-chin called Vasco da Gama (I know) who claims to speak for some other obscure entity called the Johannesburg DA caucus had this to say (among other things): “It is also clear that people are angry that the government cannot control immigration.” Yes, genius, the crack squads of skull-busters in Alexandra have a valid excuse for their general idiocy. And it’s all the government’s fault.

    It doesn’t end there. A document, compiled by the entity called the DA, has also made an appearance. Apparently the DA has solid proof that the angry mob’s initial gripe that started all of this — that is, that foreigners were stealing South Africans’ RDP houses — has merit. It seems that a Mozambican national was, in fact, assigned an RDP house in Section 7 of Alexandra. One can only conclude that this is proof that this government is not in control of this immigration situation and may, in fact, have caused it. This is the type of revelation that I like to call “well, duh”.

    But I think I may have another more important question. Is this revelation helping the situation or making it worse? Let me ask the question differently. If I’m part of a mob that has clearly lost its goddamned mind and we are in hot pursuit of a random illegal immigrant and someone with a loudhailer interrupts us to share this news with us, are we likely to put down our pangas and form a human chain of peace with our Mozambican brothers?

    Not to be outdone, ANC president Jacob Zuma found space in his condemnation speech to protest over the theme song the skull-bashers were using as they went about cracking skulls. Zuma seems to think it is a pretty serious matter that the idiots were humming Umshini Wami as they went about in the grips of their madness: “That is a serious matter, for that song belongs to the ANC, it doesn’t belong to unknown people.” By show of hands, who thinks it’s important what song the murderers were singing?

    The nation is forever indebted to the astute journalist who gave us this scoop, assigning the “Attackers using my song” title to the article and then proceeding to write a story specifically quoting Zuma as saying the song belonged to the ANC. That point naturally leads us to the media.

    The media
    Just like the glorified bloggers (see above), I cannot help but wonder whether the media, in general, are helping this situation.

    On Friday morning, Talk Radio 702’s ordinarily sensible John Robbie went on air and in his usual excitable voice embarked on a 60-second rant about how Jacob Zuma had been silent on the matter and how he hadn’t condemned the attacks in the strongest possible terms. He went on and on about how Zuma was just a populist who wouldn’t be brave enough to speak strongly on the matter.

    And now this idiotic, over-glorified blogger, stuck in the traffic, was confused. He was pretty sure he had seen Zuma doing just this on the news. In fact, he thought he had just driven past a newspaper poster screaming “Zuma: Stop the attacks”, or something to that effect.

    Then this nonplussed blogger was relieved when someone called in a few seconds later and made this correction. To his credit, Robbie humbly accepted that he may have had it wrong. But then cognitive dissonance kicked in and grabbed Robbie by the nuts: he went on another rant about how it really didn’t matter that Zuma had made these statements, especially from hundreds of kilometers away in KwaZulu-Natal, and how he should have been there on the coalface of it all and how … well, Zuma is still just a populist anyway, he concluded. The blogger wondered again if this rant was helping the situation or whether the plight of the immigrants had ever been the real reason for the veins-bulging-in-the-neck harangue in the first place.

    On the same Friday morning, the Times led with a story about Zuma condemning the attacks — but with a sidebar about how Mbeki was still quiet on the matter. This generally ignorant and now seriously confused blogger was quite concerned about his sanity at this point. He was pretty certain he had read somewhere (perhaps reading is not a compulsory requirement before one writes articles?) how Mbeki had condemned the attacks. Sure enough, 10 seconds into his Googling, he found two references containing Mbeki’s condemnation.

    And this is ignoring the fact that condemnation seems to be the cure to all of our societal ills in this country. When our “leaders” do not condemn stuff, we get really upset. Our president could take two minutes between the 17th and 18th holes of his golf game to condemn the burning of innocent people and do bugger-all about it and we’ll all let out a collective sigh of relief. “Phew! Well, he condemned it in the strongest possible terms.” These are the great analytical angles emanating from our newsrooms; compiling a Great Condemners’ list.

    Now here comes the obligatory preachy bit. It may seem that I am treating this serious matter in the same fast-food, flippant manner with which I treat everything else. And perhaps I am guilty as charged. But I just cannot help myself. All I ever see is the absurdity that is inherent in any situation. I’m just another human idiot and I’m just tweaked that way.

    I just think that history will judge our root-cause analysis skills very harshly here. We’re busy fiddling while Alexandra burns — literally. But for as long as immigration is seen as a “problem” that the government must tackle only where immigration pertains to people of Zimbabwean, Mozambican, Nigeria and Congolese extraction, to name a few, we’re just a bunch of irrational, idiotic racists. The whole lot of us.

    Most of us who are here were immigrants at some point or the other. What is the cut-off date for being a legitimate South African? Let’s not hide behind technicalities about who is here legally and who is not. Quite frankly, that’s a sideshow. Deep down in places that people don’t talk about in polite company, people just hate that people cross these presumably very legitimate borders and try to make a life for themselves. Even if not a single crime in South Africa were attributable to a Zimbabwean, people would find other excuses. But we never deal with these issues honestly, do we?

    I wish people would just say what’s on their minds; that they wish that the Nigerians, Zimbabweans, Somalis would just go home — ignoring the fact that people tend not to find any reason why the Eastern European, Indian, Chinese, British or any other kind of immigrants should leave. Then some of us would start wondering if this was pure xenophobia or xenophobic racism or racist xenophobia. From people of all colours. And then we would have a jolly good time engaging in South Africa’s favourite pastime: bickering about it. I cannot even begin to imagine how fascinating the exercise of figuring out who came from where and when would be.

    I bet it would only be a matter of time before someone told Vasco “The People Are Angry” da Gama that he got here on a ship on Christmas Day of 1497 and that he must also voertsek from here. And then we’d have an excuse to bicker about that one for weeks on end until it ceased being topical and joined Aids, poverty, unemployment, racists pissing in people’s food and whiteys with acute passion for FBJ membership as former flavour-of-the-month excuses for us being generally disagreeable with each other.

    • rockvillian

      Ndumiso its amazing how you left out Thabo Mbeki from your idiot list, could you please explain that?
      And could you quote the exact words he used to condemn the riots in Alex and other townships and then tell me if they would make any sense to a stampede of angry, hungry ,”got nothing to do all day but hunt foreighners” people.
      He made absolutely no effort to make his address understandable to us who didn’t attend Harvard Unirversity, and he expected people to stop and go look up what he said in a dictionary.
      This guy should be your BIGGEST IDIOT… Right after you for making him look all good

    • Ant K

      What’s a spear “chugger”?

    • J-H

      People in SA are feeling robbed, they feel they deserve more (money, land, opportunities etc.). They don’t want to blame the government, or even the ministers in charge of any specific thing they are unhappy with, instead they turn on foreigners, easy scapegoats for all of the problems of the poor man. If people instead channel their energies into something more constructive the world would be such a better place.

    • Etienne

      As I sat back in my comfortable couch at my peaceful Cape Town southern suburbs residence and watched the horrors unfolding on television I was once again struck, not by lightning (as is the case here these days), but by the bubble-like faction of South African society that I have been part of since coming to this country 10 years ago. After clicking past all the thought provoking programs that etv has to offer, I inevitably came ‘face to screen’ with the reality of TIA (“This is Africa”) – a concept I often forget when driving past a Ferrari outside a Camps Bay mansion and Clifton beach on a summer’s day.

      The context of South African society in which us ‘bloggers’ exist is but another fortunate and well-off minority in an African country whose leadership has yet again failed to rise to the demands and expectations of its citizens. The citizens I refer to are not Ferrari drivers whose main concerns revolve around shopping, drinking, and getting nice photos at speed traps but the men and women who search the highs and lows for opportunities of employment to offer their children a dream of a better future, away from a life of crime.

      What shocks me is not the violence itself but the persistent nonchalance of the South African community I am associated with, towards social and political issues. As a student at the University of Cape Town my deep worries about the future of this country lie not only in the appalling display of leadership within the ranks of government but mostly by the lack of interest among students in political and social issues. The presence of such nonchalance in a place of higher education where tomorrow’s leaders are created is highly detrimental to the preservation of democratic values the people of this country have been fighting for long and hard.

      The new generation of South Africans with who I spend my days with, seems to be more worried about the alcohol percentage of their drinks than national issues. The only problem they seem to have an opinion about is the failure of authorities to combat crime in the areas where they reside and party. The irony of the arrival of democracy seems to have been the death of student action in South Africa. Student action seems to have also died through the identical reflection of internal political problems of government in the means of governance of the Student Representative Council: a body so crippled by its power-seeking individuals, and issues that do not stretch beyond the borders of the Jammie steps.

      Students in this country no longer have clear and straightforward political objectives, such as the attainment of democracy and the abolition of Apartheid. Many have thus fallen back into their comfy couches of their quiet residences to exercise their brains through the thoughtful prime-time television programming (usually involving beast-like men in speedos slapping each other) before heading out for a couple of drinks hoping tomorrow’s hand-in about current social issues will be best written hung-over.

      The xenophobic attacks the country is currently experiencing goes, I believe, way past the simple idiotic nature of human beings. It forms part of natural political and social evolution given the Southern African context. South Africa’s failure in helping to resolve the Zimbabwean problem for the past 10 years, mixed with the arrival of the popular and militant figure of Jacob Zuma, has led to the collapse of the patience of South Africans who have seen little change since 1994. “Umshini wami” resonating through the crowds of assailants shows the awakening of a militant mindset that had been dormant since the end of Apartheid and once again brought to the forefront South African politics by the new ANC president.

      The democratic future of South Africa is only growing in precariousness as a result of these current atrocities. The rainbow over our nation may well fade out over time as the rains of ethnic tensions begin to pour and the new generation fails to rise against the failures of the state.

    • Jack

      Why is it though that the attacks are directed at black foreigners … there’s a lot of white foreigners here and no one sees them being burnt on the streets of Houghton and Camps Bay.

      Why are we fighting each other (black on black violence)? Funny how we always preach about Ubuntu but when we have to be on the giving end, we just turn a blind eye.

      Whoever suggested the should be a sport called scapegoat hunting was right … south africans would be unbeaten world champions

    • Question

      What is happening in SA is only remotely connected to lack of opportunities and poor immigration policies. Givent that by law no foreigner can get a job before a South African (and more so a black SAn), and employers would hardly employ some unskilled foreigner that doesn’t speak any of the local languages as the other South African unskilled workers often do, the arguments about taking our jobs (and our wives??) just doesn’t hold water. It is outright/bone laziness and as someone said in another blog, “unrealistic expectations” and a spurious sense of entitlement. These bunch of unwashed rioters that have vehemently refused to be educated or to educate their kids (which is an excellent long-term solution) believe they must be given food, money, houses, cars AND WOMEN simply because they are nationals.
      It is strange that no one has asked this million-Rand question:
      When they’ll turn around and not see any foreigner to attack, who’ll be the next target?

    • Liansky

      It’s a petty that this remarkable blog entry has been tainted by a buncha racist whites who sees this as an oppertunity to promote their ideal of replacing the black government with a white government that will show us Africans how to act civilised when scrubbing the masters toilets.

    • katse

      Before asking rhetoric questions, have you ever bothered to find out what the PW Botha Bursaries’ requirement was then? It went like: you must be of European origin, with some military background?

      Now whilst you and your fellow refugees where in class somewhere in Bulawayo, the fellow toyi toyers were not vehemently refusing education, but rather denied at all costs by their masters. They toyi toyied for the then system to be abolished, now you come flocking down to spew on their faces how best your education is; you know what? You are just pouring petrol on the fire by doing so.

      Check your records, since 94 a lot of blacks have been getting educated through the TEFSA’s and so on, that black neighbor of yours in that suburb is one of them.

      And for your information our women are one of the the most beautiful in the world I don’t blame you for dieng to get them; I just feel sorry to your own ones back at home, as they are left behind to suffer the Mugabe regime whilst you are in haven.

    • katse

      the above post goes to @ Question for this remark “These bunch of unwashed rioters that have vehemently refused to be educated or to educate their kids (which is an excellent long-term solution) believe they must be given food, money, houses, cars AND WOMEN simply because they are nationals.
      It is strange that no one has asked this million-Rand question:”

    • http://mandrake.amagama.com Mandrake

      Mandrake takes notes and phones around for a venue to hold the premier for the Scapegoat Olympics

    • itai

      i remember months back watching a movie titled idiocracy. funny how some people can have a perfect view of the future

    • Stevland

      Before lay claim to being a South African I take cognisance of the fact that I am an African. Wish everybody shared my sentiments.

      .5

    • snooty white bloke

      It’s sad when we, the current enormously priviledged custodians of the cradle of mankind, lose sight of our own origins and refuse succour to our brothers …

      What’s happening. I’m just confused …

    • Tony M

      I appreciate the need for social scientists and human behavioral analysts to try and get to the “root” of this problem and find the historical or environmental ill that has plubged us into this dark time of the soul and blah blah blah.

      Everybody needs to take a step back and remember that someone who kills another person in cold blood is a sociopathic murderer. Now once you accept that premise then it changes the nature of the discussion. You can then ask the right questions like what drives a sociopath? what do they eat for breakfast? and then you can write your own version of “Silence of the Lambs”

      Society at large will always have it’s ills and it’s problems, and it’s social castes (overt or covert) and there will always be hves and have nots. Yes we must work to correct these imbalnces as they are a refelctions of our own shortcomings as human beings, but fir the love of God do not explain away cold blooded murder as an outpouring of frustration. There will always be frustrated people but that does not give them Carte Blanche to take their frustrations out on random individuals.
      Once you realize that these people are sociopaths, then you will accept that these are crimes of oppurtunity. These instigators and murderers have had hostility and disregard for life and law inside them all along. They saw a crack in the wall of society so they broke the wall and walked right on in.
      There are so many things that make so many of us upset, but I can say with confidence that I have not taken my anger and killed someone who had nothing to do with anything i was feeling. The thought never even crossed my mind. Why? coz I am not a sociopath. I possess a sense of rationality that prevents me from descending into neanderthalic rage of destruction and death.
      I admit alot of people just get sweot up in mob mentality, but really folks personal accountability has to come in somewhere and you must realize on some level that I am about do some Kak. If you don’t have that inner voice you may be a sociopath.

      Accordingly every single particpant should be treated with same indignation and punishment as you would any other murderer and those that didn’t get their chance to kill but went along for the ride should be charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Then let the law deal with them accordingly. Too Harsh? what is going to happen when they find something else to be upset about and you unhappily fall into that hated demographic.
      Come on guys… Xenophobia? Racism? really we’ll hash out the why on an individual basis when each person can explain to the judge what their specifi problem was with that guy that they wanted to burn, and why they should be spared

    • Consulting Engineer

      @Ndumiso or any other Blacks that have an opinion on this issue:

      Can someone please answer the following questions from a Black SA perspective:

      Why is it that Mbeki and the ANC have no real problems with arms shipments to Zimbabwe or Mugabe killing Zimbabweans in their own country (while he stays silent), yet he doesnt want it happening here? Does he really care about zimbabweans or anyone?

      The arms have reached Zimbabwe and Mbeki refuelled the ships, so guess the SA taxpayer foots the bill for more murder in Zimbabwe.

      Why is it that the ANC can call out the army so quickly for 42 dead foreigners in one week, but when that many SA blacks are killed each day in the townships (as well as white farmers and white ciovilians in their homes) he does nothing and denies it is a problem? Are the lives of illegal aliens more important than those of South Africans? Worse he calls out the army AGAINST his OWN PEOPLE.

      Why is it that on the media persistent allegations are left that the culprits are Zulus? Why do so many of those interviewed say it was Zulus? is there any proof? Of the 500 arrested, are they predominantly Zulu? I doubt it. What is to be gained by raising such doubts except more factions fighting. Also they keep referring to Zulu hostels as being the hotspots, which to me seems they are finger pointing but dont provide evidence.

      Does anyone think this is an attempt to undermine Zuma and his Zulu followers (raising doubts like this is what we can expect from Zulus)?

      I for one think the objectives of the xenophobes (send the illegals home) is correct, but I dont agree with the methods. Does anythone agree with the objectives and the ends, but not the means?

      Who do you think will gain the most from this?

    • Tebza

      Ndumiso, nice article mchana!

    • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

      Katse

      I got an education bursary. I am white – but I assure you I have no military background.

      CE

      Zuma is a “token” Zulu. The Zulu they are afraid of is Buthelezi – the real Zulu.

    • http://Webmail Misha & Mvulane

      Hey wena! If you say that a researcher who earns R500 a day is a starving, what does that make us? Peasants? We work for a very distinguished professor and earn less than that(the two of us), doing his research and photocopying, does that mean he exploits us? Guess you got lots of money. How much do you earn? Do you get pain for blogging here?

    • http://Webmail Misha & Mvulane

      Sorry Ndumi, we didn’t edit. We meant to say; do you get paid for writing this blog? If so, how much…hope that is not too personal a question. If you can talk about other people’s salaries, sorry you don’t mind talking about yours. Also do you stay in Durban.
      We must also say that we won a copy of your book in a magazine competition. Have a nice weekend.

    • Fanie de Villiers

      I’m Afrikaans, married to a Zulu woman. I’m must admit she’s not highly educated … one may use that as an excuse for some the opinions she holds. We never talk about this, because it always leads to an argument: She holds the opinion that NO Xhosa is to be trusted. No even Mandela? I ask. No one, she answers. And then we argue. That’s why this topic is now taboo in our house. I just wonder how widespread this attitude is among Zulus. My wife is as brain-washed when it comes to Xhosas as we as Afrikaners were in the aprtheid days about black people in general.

    • daniel

      Now that is just common sense….DUDE you back
      to good writing! AWESOME read.

    • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

      Fanie

      Tell your wife Mbeki is not Xhosa – he is Mfengu.

      Liansky
      “scrubbing the masters toilets”
      Are you American? They did not used to call them master – they used to call them baas.

      J-H
      “They don’t want to blame the government” so they blame the foreigners? Best argument I have ever heard as why Africa should have had a qualified franchise, and not given “one man one vote” democracy to a tribal people.

      Jose
      “Who does all this benefit”?
      Looks like the ANC to me. Can blame someone else for lack of delivery and unrealistic exspectations. Blame the foreigners or blame the Zulus – but just don’t blame the government.

      It was probably orchestrated for “The Lord of The Hill” to come in as saviour. However, whoever started it has lost control.

      Someone
      “no student politics”
      You are joking! Have you seen what the ANC Youth League is up to on the Vasity campuses?

    • http://www.amapencils.blogspot.com Mhlanguli

      Sequel to “Some of my Best Friends Are White”… “Some of My Best Friends Are Amakwerekwere” might be appropriate at this jucture. Go on.

    • Maya

      Consulting engineer – I totally agree send the illegals home, the illegals know the risk they undertake when they get into SA and make all the necessary adjustments to stay under the immigration or authorities radar. However the method is not by mob violence. And most certainly some illegals are refugees and that distinguishment needs to be made.And this should go across the board, illegals are illgeals despite what race or country origin, the target should not be just the zimbabweans, zambians and mozas.

    • Lilly

      Fanie…LOL@ your wife. Funny enough, it’s not just “uneducated” black people who harbour major intolerances (if i can call it that) towards “the other” black. I’m 25 and I have friends who won’t trust a Xhosa, wont marry a Xhosa. Friends who would never befriend foreigners and so on. It’s sad actually and I’m sure Biko is having a mini fit in his grave.

    • Consulting Engineer

      @Maya

      It seems to me they have also been targetting pakistani and other illegals who have shops in townships.

      Some of my black workers have bought on lay-by from these indian shops, and the terms are usurous. Its disgusting how they rip-off the poor. If they miss one payment they forefeit all their payments and the price they pay is more than twice what the same thing can be bought for in a normal franchise shop on credit.

      I now buy it for them cash and deduct their salary until the goods are paid for and tell them to never go to such shops again, to ask me and I will buy it for them. Im not suprised the poor get fed up of being cheated and torch the place. Cant say I feel sorry for these people either.

      Ezekiel 18:13 – He lends at usury and takes excessive interest. Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he will surely be put to death and his blood will be on his own head.

    • http://www.mramz.co.za mpho ramugondo

      we as south africans have to stop this babaric act of xenophobia as it will bring bad publicity for s.a and also foregin investors will lose interest in investing in our country let us try to welcome anyone to s.a with open arms.and foreigners will not stop getting higher positions at the work place because they are not bibliphobes (concerened student)

    • Maya

      I can understand the hate for the asian shopkeepers it really goes across borders on this. Asians in malawi have been propoerous on the backs of the locals patronising their shops of which are many for years on end . But I do not see an black malawian owned hardware store or cloth shop etc but these are the very things rural folk in their numbers trek into the towns/cities to get little items to sustain their existence. So hate the asian is not going to give the blacks the initiative to open their own stores and reap the same rewards….mindsets are different we be still in the fields trying to reap a good maize harvest.

      Consulting engineer – who allowed that pakistani shopkeeper to open the shop and impose those kind of pricing of goods on its customers whether by lay-by or not. And why are your workers going there if they know the prices are exorbant. Its all good and humanitarian of you to fork the cost of the goods your workers want, kudos, but what about all the other black folk patronising those stores?

      Its ecomically frustrating but I guess we all have a right to protect what we think belongs to us, our turf, our backyards, our territory, so if strangers keep coming into your backyard, they are going to be a few many reactions and drastic ones if it has been an ongoing for some time.

    • MySon

      Lyndall Beddy:

      My daughter tells me they say neither Mugabe nor Mandela should have been let out of jail.

      Who says that and what informs their opinion? Missing the “good old days”?

    • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

      MySon

      The ordinary Brits in her pub in London. She doesn’t approve – she is only telling me how ignorant they are about anything to do with Africa. She takes the p..ss out of them all the time. Tells them I hear elephants at night (which I do – the Knysna Elephant Park is nearby), and thatsnakes hibernate in my house – which has only happened once!

    • Geejay

      The truth is always hard and we are not ready for the truth. If you want the truth please put R50.00 rand into a envelope and send it to ” I Love Amkwerekwere troos Bob”…

    • MamaBones

      So what’s going to happen when the poor & hungry run out of foreigners to attacke? I think the black middle class should be afraid, very afraid.

    • http://www.thetimes.co.za Fred Khumalo

      Silwane has gone AWOL. His last post was published a century ago. Silwane, the masses are waiting impatiently. Maybe I should ask your fellow Zulus, those lovely people who love order and focus, to drive some urgency into you? Sikhokhile la, wena ungadlali ngathi!

    • http://weblix.blogspot.com/ Lucius Sulla

      Most of Silwane’s fellow Zulu’s are scared and in hiding. There is a legion of pissed off, wors wrapped Shangaans on the hill, waiting…

    • http://scuzzbucket.wordpress.com/ Craig

      Silwane

      Long bro’too long!

      What about the role of the military in Zim and their influence in the region?

      Check out my blog for a very one-sided opinion piece on this issue.

    • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

      Craig

      I once owned a house in Westdene – overlooking the park, with an old coal stove and a fruit garden, when it was still very much a lower class area. Many times I wish I had not sold – but then I would never have had the money to hitch hike around Europe and to go scuba diving in Mozambique!