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Zimbabwe cholera: Mugabe will decimate South Africa as well as Zimbabwe

Just over a week ago with sewage flowing in the streets, rubbish piled up in mounds, a broken water supply and the United Nations warning of a cholera catastrophe in Zimbabwe the moron who passes himself off as the country’s Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti told the world’s media that there was no need to declare an emergency ; “The situation is under control”.

One week later with cholera running wild the same government suggests : “”The government yesterday [Wednesday] declared the cholera outbreak … and the malfunctioning of central hospitals as national emergencies and appealed to the donor community for assistance to alleviate the situation,” it said. “The emergency appeal will help us reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with the current socio-economic environment,” Health Minister David Parirenyatwa told a meeting of aid groups, the newspaper reported. “Our central hospitals are literally not functioning. Our staff is demotivated and we need your support to ensure that they start coming to work and our health system is revived,” he added. (AFP/Reuters)

As most of you who have been following this debacle will recall, initially Mugabe’s geniuses had tried to conceal the cholera outbreak. This meant that the citizens of that country were not only unaware of the danger which meant they never took steps to avoid it but just as important, were in the dark as to how to deal with a disease that kills its victims within 10-12 hours if not treated.

By concealing the danger Mugabe endangered not only the people of Zimbabwe but the entire region the results of which we are now witnessing in South Africa.

The depth of irresponsibility by Mugabe and his clowns once again simply staggering.

Today we find Health Minister (by his mother maybe) David Parirenyatwa telling the world how desperate the situation is. Where was he a week ago when Muguti was telling us how everything was hunky dory? Where was he when South Africa’s Health Minister Barbara Hogan dismissed Muguti’s nonsense? Where was he when Morgan Tsvangirai claimed that cholera was the biggest crisis in Zimbabwe?

While the collapse of law and order in Somalia is yielding piracy which can be localised, Zimbabwe’s collapse is occasioning a stampede of desperately ill and starving people who have no alternative but to cross our borders bringing with them all that ails what was once a prosperous country.

Mugabe and the Zanu-PF meanwhile have committed all their resources to protecting Mugabe and the Zanu-PF. Printing more money, using elite soldiers to police soldiers who are starting to rebel, crushing protests, seizing land and attending meetings to explain why they will never concede power.

While they are doing this the SADC, U.N and aid agencies have to look after the people of Zimbabwe.

During xenophobia I went into the townships of South Africa and I spoke to residents ad nauseum. Their grievances were real – Millions of refugees, unregulated, pouring into their communities, bribing housing officials so they could get houses before locals, erecting shacks outside their homes overnight, desperados increasing violent crime exponentially, taking their jobs and on and on.

When the government called those who vented their frustations criminals I tore into the president and ministers concerned – criminals may have jumped on the bandwagon but the vast majority of people protesting were our ordinary poorer citizens with real grievances which were not being addressed. I also warned of the dangers of failing to heed their call and addressing their problems.

Polokwane was definitely a result of the grievances of our poorer community not being dealt with.

If the South African government does not take urgent steps to intervene in Zimbabwe then this second, deadly wave of refugees is going to visit upon them a crisis of monumental proportions.

If you think back even Jacob Zuma battled to calm residents during xenophobia while many ministers failed to turn up at meetings rather than face these angry mobs. If Zimbabwe is allowed to continue to export death and hardship unchecked to its neighbours the anger we witnessed during xenophobia and Polokwane is going to be a picnic.

Even our poor have limits to the garbage they will endure.

Author

  • Mike Trapido is a criminal attorney and publicist having also worked as an editor and journalist. He was born in Johannesburg and attended HA Jack and Highlands North High Schools. He married Robyn in 1984 (Mrs Traps, aka "the government") and has three sons (who all look suspiciously like her ex-boss). He was a counsellor on the JCCI for a year around 1992. His passions include Derby County, Blue Bulls, Orlando Pirates, Proteas and Springboks. He takes Valium in order to cope with Bafana Bafana's results. Practice Michael Trapido Attorney (civil and criminal) 011 022 7332 Facebook

32 Comments

  1. Dave Coventry Dave Coventry 4 December 2008

    David Parirenyatwa’s advice for protecting against cholera?

    “Wash your hands”

    Then they turn the water off! Now they are appealing for funds from aid agencies, which, naturally, have to be channeled through the RBZ. Ker-ching!!

  2. Siobhan Siobhan 4 December 2008

    I think I need new specs. I could swear that I read that the Zim Health Minister asked ‘donor countries’ for help.

    Nah, impossible. Africa doesn’t need ‘Western’ money, food, medicine, clean water, clothing, bedding, tents, transport, or ‘infra-structure’.

    No, no. Those are the weapons Colonials use to make us think they are ‘helping’.

    Just wait a few weeks and Mugabe’s minions will be blaming the ‘West’ for the cholera outbreak just as they blame the failure of the re-distributed farms on the ‘West’. They’ll scream: “too little, too late”. “Western medicine is ineffective”. “They gave us outdated drugs, one-time only syringes and not enough plastic gloves!”

    As ever, the ‘donor’ countries will come to the rescue and as ever they will be abused for it and Zim will be back to normal with all ‘Western’ aid officials refused visas.

    By the way, the headline about Zanu-pf nearing an agreement with the MDC is just another feint to deflect attention from the fact that the idiots had to ask the ‘West’ to bail them out. Again.

  3. Oupoot Oupoot 4 December 2008

    Traps, all and well to say we need to do something, but make some recommendations. Should we simply institute sanctions and close the Beitbridge border post? Offer blanket refugee status to Zimbabweans in SA so we could use these highly educated persons to address our own skills shortage, if not private sector positions, then at least as teachers of higher(?) quality in our schools? Should we send in troops like we did in Lesotho in 1998(?)? Arm the Zim refugees and send them back a.k.a. CIA and old SA agents? Send a “request” to “remove” Mugabe? Indeed, even if SADC decides that Mugabe should simply retire and new elections undertaken under SADC authority be held (i.e. no more GNU negotiations) would the Zanu-PF govt accept it? Hardly. What other suggestions do you have?

  4. michael j michael j 4 December 2008

    Hi Traps,
    Most informative and thought provoking as usual. I have picked up on a commentator in Zim by the name of Denford Magora (denfordmagora.blogspot.com). His insight and speculation is something out of Jeffrey Archers novels, and quite scary to say the least. Give him a try and let us know what your thoughts are. Perhaps even our illustrious editor could invite him to post his blogs on “Thought Leader”?

  5. Sue Sue 4 December 2008

    Unfortunately Traps, I believe you are right. Continued assertions by our political leaders that a Zim deal will be signed ‘any day’ will not prevent the insidious, and terrifyingly rapid spread of this killer disease, to SA’s population. Is that our problem, or once again is there no crisis??

  6. Michael Trapido Michael Trapido Post author | 4 December 2008

    Oupoot – I have called for Mugabe to go. I tried to push the power sharing agreement but it seems Mugabe and the Zanu-PF are just incapable of understanding anything other than their own self interest. If South Africa pulls the plug they won’t last 5 minutes.

    Michael J – I will read your reference bud.

  7. Reinhard Reinhard 4 December 2008

    Hi Traps,

    as I have said earlier: This is nothing like a clear sign of complete failure on behalf of South Africa, SADC and the AU.

    What’s more, as you point out very accurately, South Africa has not only failed Zimbabwe it’s also failing its own population.

    This is a shocking sign of the reign of the incompetentsia, this and that side of the border.

    South Africa has moved itself in such a mess due to its past stance on Zimbabwe, on top of which we are now facing turbulent elections in 2009, that I am now for the first time worrying that the soccer world-cup won’t be carried out here in 2010. The crisis in Zimbabwe may have reached its zenith already next year but if there’ll be enough time to clean up the mess is doubtful. Should this happen, than we’ll have to brace ourselves for a serious economic melt-down in this region and, most likely, serious civil unrest in this and other Southern African countries.

    Maybe somebody should come in and make clear to the local government(s) that applying the Dilbert principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dilbert_Principle) to filling in leadership positions will only get you so far, ie closer to the brink.

    It doesn’t help if some political leaders call the situation in Zimbabwe what it is, a crisis, and maybe go as far as to demand the resignation of Mugabe. They are not believable anyway considering the fact that they have been quiet for the last 10 years, in fact supporting Mugabe all the while.

    Unless, of course, South Africa itself stands up and calls for sanctions against Mugabe at the UN.

    Forget the power-sharing deal once and for all. How ridiculous is it to sit on a table with a mass murderer and discuss the allocation of cabinet posts? This is a farce! Somebody needs to step in with brute force, and it would be good if South Africa would take a leadership role in this.

    But then, this is not going to happen likely, they don’t have the guts, the confidence and, what’s more, lost the moral standing anyway in matters of Zimbabwe a long time ago. All that’s going to happen is that South Africa will watch the melt-down doing little more than concealing the heat.

    This is actually scary, not promising at all for this country; not at all…

  8. Reinhard Reinhard 4 December 2008

    There you go: Robbers raid Safa offices (just been posted on http://www.news24.com).

    Take this and similar news about the crime, mix it with the current situation in Zimbabwe, and tell me what type of promotion and marketing you can apply to convince the world to come here in 2010?

    Maybe some voodoo-marketing and a beetroot mash will do the trick.

    The Dilbert principle does work well for the RSA police as well, I assume…

  9. BenzoL BenzoL 4 December 2008

    SA has three options for ZIM:
    (1) close it off completely and forget about it or (2) go in, guns blazing
    (3) option 1, wait till all are dead, walk in and annexe ZIM as the 10th province of SA.

    Just hear the news that they will have a government “any day now”. Good news if you lie there dying of cholera.

  10. Mark Robertson Mark Robertson 4 December 2008

    Thabo Mbeki has a lot to answer for.

  11. Anna Anna 5 December 2008

    Anyone remember Nicolau Chauhescu?
    As much as I feel for poor, ill and starving people, they should be denied foreign aid – and solve their problem once and for ever.
    Just remember Nicolau Chauchescu. Did you light a candle and shed a tear when Nicolau Chauchescu was hanged? Do you condem the people of Romania who took to the streets dancing? How many people of Zimbabwe are well fed and in no danger of cholera – and still stand by good old Bob? Who still defends him? Who still helps him to stay in power? Foreign aid does.

  12. jay jay 5 December 2008

    Mr. Trapido,

    From your own headline here
    “Zimbabwe cholera: Mugabe will decimate South Africa as well as Zimbabwe”

    And from the Websters dictionary,
    dec⋅i⋅mate
       /ˈdɛsəˌmeɪt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [des-uh-meyt] Show IPA Pronunciation
    –verb (used with object), -mat⋅ed, -mat⋅ing.
    1. to destroy a great number or proportion of: The population was decimated by a plague.
    2. to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.
    3. Obsolete. to take a tenth of or from.
    Origin:
    1590–1600;

  13. jay jay 5 December 2008

    AND for the part that was cut off

    Origin:
    1590–1600;

  14. jay jay 5 December 2008

    Looks like the last part keeps on being cut off for some reason or other – here is another attempt….

    And now from the web – the CIA factbook

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sf.html#People
    Population:
    Definition Field Listing Rank Order – 48,782,756
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)
    Age structure:
    Definition
    (with a sub note for migration (sic))
    Net migration rate:
    Definition Field Listing Rank Order
    4.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population
    note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2008 est.)

    Now let us round out the figure a bit for simplification and make the SA population 49,000,000 (or if you prefer forty nine million people)

    Let us also now assume that by “DECIMATE” you also will take the literal meaning that one in ten will actually die in this scourge?

    Do you have 4,900,000 graves ready for the people who will be marked for death?

    Who will chose those so marked to die by Cholera (and possibly the subsequent Anthrax?)

    Will you also subscribe to the vision whereby he will be given sanctuary in South Africa, so that he can live out the rest of his live in luxury, peace and safety – while the rest die in agony and abject poverty? After all he has called himself the worlds greatest freedom fighter……. even if he did kill off a few million here and there.

    I do believe that you have stated often, that you are a fully paid up member of the ANC – will you also accept the proportionated blame of your leaders (and former leaders) stance in protecting this proscribed African terrorist butcher from the north? Yes indeed he is a terrorist – not a freedom fighter – and his groveling sycophant Mbeki, is no better – after all how many has he killed off with his own AIDS denial – You can not even afford the Nuremberg defence!
    http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/references/nurcode.htm

    From the book The Nuremberg Trials – By Doug Linder
    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/nuremberg/nurembergACCOUNT.html

    No trial provides a better basis for understanding the nature and causes of evil than do the Nuremberg trials from 1945 to 1949. Those who come to the trials expecting to find sadistic monsters are generally disappointed. What is shocking about Nuremberg is the ordinariness of the defendants: men who may be good fathers, kind to animals, even unassuming–yet who committed unspeakable crimes. Years later, reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt wrote of “the banality of evil.” Like Eichmann, **most Nuremberg defendants never aspired to be villains. Rather, they over-identified with an ideological cause and suffered from a lack of imagination or empathy: they couldn’t fully appreciate the human consequences of their career-motivated decisions.**

    and also from the same paper another quote, one now has to wonder how different it is in Africa now – be it Zimbabwe – or South Africa and the present power struggles….?

    THE DEFENSE CASE
    Hermann Goering took his seat in the witness chair wearing a gray uniform and yellow boots. His defense attorney, Otto Stahmer, asked whether the Nazi party had come to power through legal means. In a long answer delivered without notes, Goering gave his account of the Nazi rise to power. He told the court, “Once we came to power, we were determined to hold on to it under all circumstances.” Goering was unrepentant. He evaded no questions; offered no apologies. He testified that the concentration camps were necessary to preserve order: “It was a question of removing danger.” The leadership principle, which concentrated all power in the Fuhrer, was “the same principle on which the Catholic church and the government of the USSR are both based.” Commenting on Goering’s performance in the witness box, Janet Flanner of the New Yorker described Goering as “a brain without a conscience.”

    Just how clean is anyone’s hands in the matter? BUT – I am forgetting
    http://www.mg.co.za/zapiro/all

    and
    http://www.mg.co.za/article/2008-11-28-a-harbinger-of-doom

    And so goes South Africa……. Cry my Beloved Country

  15. Alan Alan 5 December 2008

    The cholera and anthrax is flowing down the Limpopo river into Mocambique. It is possible that SA will be dealing with thousands of sick and dying people from Mocambique as well as Zim. The human tragedy that is unfolding could well have a destabilising effect on the region far greater than the (Bush) economic meltdown. I hope your emergency plans are well thought out and that your medical infrastructure can handle the human tide. Bringing down the dictator will become a secondary concern in these circumstances. He will of course survive to carry on the destruction once the dead have been burried and forgotten.

  16. Old,female,paleface Old,female,paleface 5 December 2008

    Thank you Michael, I feel vindicated for my “racist, venom spewing” negative continuous utterances of 11 months ago! I dared to slate the incompetence of our “rulers” who do not know how to ‘govern.’
    Now, tackle the SKILLS export, imploding utilities, and its consequences. I do not want to be vindicated again!. It is no comfort to be proved right when disaster occurs.
    You have access to ANC – use it! Shout loudly, get press coverage. You will be supported by the silent masses, soon to be vociferous about the sticking plaster solutions. Now – as our country is sinking, they want to spend billions on “long overdue maintenance.” How many more years before lack of skills, sticky palms, exacerbate SAZIM’s meltdown.
    New cadres will be enriched with corruption and contracts to ‘fix’ the problems. Yeah.
    This is deemed a solution at the same time as social welfare state spending on baby making machines?
    We can call in the hated West, as is the custom, in Africa’s solution to African problems.
    Give aid to us, while sticking plaster heals a dying country.
    Send your money and SHUT UP is the proviso for the acceptance of charity.
    Tyranny does this you know? 2009 heralds our own form of ANC alliance tyranny.
    Believe the lies and prepare to suffer.

  17. michael j michael j 5 December 2008

    Traps,
    The international community, including SADC and AU especially, have put Mugabes’ Zimbabwe on a life support system. It is time we all pull the plug. Everybody has always said that it is a Zim problem let the Zims sort it out. By constantly aiding and abetting, we are giving the Zim people hope that we will sort out the problem of Mugabe, they are sitting back and waiting for us to clean up their mess. I say pull the plug, and the people of Zim will soon rid themselves of the dictator they so despise. We keep giving them pain killers, take them off the pain killers, let them feel the pain, they will then take action.

  18. George Annandale George Annandale 5 December 2008

    THE government is planning a massive humanitarian intervention in Zimbabwe as fears grow that the country is about to collapse.
    South Africa believes that Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has lost control (The Times)

    I hope this is true.

    My gut tells me that Mugabe is going to outfox them all. I see the following:

    – Mugabe will take the credit for the SA and British aid.
    – He will device a scheme whereby it will appear that his regime has control over the aid (He is already collecting British aid rubbishing whilst holding out his hand)
    – He has now managed to move the sympathy of the world to the suffering people and they will, feeling guilty for allowing things to get to this situation, put pressure on Tsangvirai to accept terms form Mugabe that will cement Mugabe’s position of power.
    – Mugabe carries on for a few more months thus ensuring the destabilisation of the neighbours.

    This is the typical Africa solution to problems only one winner and a lot of losers.

    One thing about Africa solutions. Many of the losers think they’re winners.

    – Winners: Mugabe, Zanu inner circle
    – Losers thinking they are winners: Mbeki, Nsosasana Zuma, Africanists
    – Losers: Zimbabwe citizens, Citizens of neighbouring countries that are exposed to the humanitarian disaster, neighbouring economies, Britain, western aid givers.

  19. Veruschka Veruschka 5 December 2008

    Excellent article as per your usual, thank you. I am pondering at the non-crisis our former president was talking about a ‘few months’ago. Sadly we are going to see the full crisis hit our streets with in weeks-sorry state of affairs this support of a dictator. Funny in France after the 2nd world war-the women and men who supported and helped the Nazi soldiers, had their heads shaved and made to walk through the streets and all tarred and feather’d I cant wait to be there to do the same to these fat fellows supporting RGM.

  20. Owen Owen 5 December 2008

    This period of written history on Zim will probably be filed in a library under fiction as future generations will find it hard to believe that a ‘government’ can be so disconnected from its own people. I find it hard to beieve. So much for ubuntu. But hey .. maybe ubuntu (I am becasue you are) is as working as ‘the people of zim are because Bob is’. (maybe that is just reversed ubuntu)

  21. Michael Trapido Michael Trapido Post author | 5 December 2008

    Jay – I have never been a fully paid up member, or a member of the ANC nor ever stated it.

    I am an ANC supporter and have declared that.

  22. AntonS AntonS 5 December 2008

    “the moron who passes himself off as the country’s Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti told the world’s media that there was no need to declare an emergency ; “The situation is under control”.”

    Didn’t Mbeki say the same thing, when it was evident to everyone a while ago, except himself, that the converse was true in Zimbabwe !

  23. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 5 December 2008

    Reinhart

    The Dilbert Principle relates to the Peter Principle – that corporations (and ,it would appear, political parties) promote everyone to one level ABOVE their level of competancey.

    What is much less known is that the author of The Peter Principle, many years later, wrote that the principle did not apply to women – and that they actually usually worked one level below their competancy level, and were often the ones actually doing their boss’s job.

  24. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 5 December 2008

    Reinhart

    There are rumours that the success of treasury is a result of the admin systems installed by Maria Ramos as DG. This, if true, is proof of The Peter Principle (revised version).

  25. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 5 December 2008

    All SADC, SA, AU, NGOs, EU and everyone else has to do is get food, seeds,medicines, water purification etc sorted out by DIRECT means – no more money given to Mugabe or his illegal government.

    Unpaid soldiers and police will return to the villages – provided the villages have food. It has happened before in Africa (The Congo).

  26. Belle Belle 5 December 2008

    Zimbabwe’s devastation is Reality TV at its best. Its rather like watching a gigantic snuff movie.

  27. GS van Zyl GS van Zyl 5 December 2008

    Michael…

    I have enormous respect for you as a writer and think you are mostly spot on with your articles.

    But – South Africa aided Mugabe in his destruction of Zimbabwe by doing nothing. Even now the most powerful government in the SADC seems to be doing nothing. That government is controlled by the ANC.

    You say that you are an ANC supporter. How can you write an article like this and be an ANC supporter?

  28. Michael Trapido Michael Trapido Post author | 5 December 2008

    GS – I’m glad you asked me that.

    I’m a supporter not a member precisely for that reason. As a member I would have to toe the party line.

    Briefly (scroll back for detail) I believe that the ANCs policies, primarily those aimed at uplifting our previously disadvantaged communities represent this country’s best hope of achieving a strong and prosperous country.

    I am in favour of affirmative action, BEE suitably amended and land redistribution (urgently). I disagree with the SADC decision but if it assists the process by ensuring compensation (which means more sellers will be amenable) I’ll live with it. (Lyndall I will give you your post)

    I believe that the alliance partners drive towards added socialism is in our best interests. I don’t believe they should be given quotas of seats.

    I don’t believe that Cope, which is the progeny of the Mbeki faction, is the answer because it is from them that our disgusting foreign and health policies arose. They also have an elitist stigma to overcome (as far as I’m concerned anyway)

    The Democratic Alliance are a great bunch of guys and gals but their overall ideology (as you can see above) differs slightly from mine. I’m mad about Helen Zille but that doesn’t make me DA.

    I am an ANC supporter but I will continue to let them have it where I think they go wrong.

  29. Michael Trapido Michael Trapido Post author | 5 December 2008

    GS – sorry before I forget (was thinking about this the other day)- why is it that people who support our parties think they cannot take issue with them?

    In the USA Republican journos think nothing about hammering on about those who support America First as opposed to say Intervention in other countries. Both sides Republican. Or when McCain supported the bail out – the lashing he got from the GOP journos who opposed it was staggering. Neocons are often blamed for everything by Republican journos.

    The same applies to Tories, Labour, Democrats etc.

    Locally journos duck the issue of who they support (unlike many overseas) and those that do come out feel they have to pay lip service to the party line.

    Bullshit!

    I’m ANC but I let them know when I think they’re wrong.

  30. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 6 December 2008

    Traps

    AHA! At last! I knew it! You totally misinterprete ANC spoken alleged policies, and ANC peformance of such policy(which is mostly the opposite of what they say).

    You are ANC only out of sentiment.

  31. Lorretta Lorretta 15 December 2008

    “Our central hospitals are literally not functioning. Our staff is demotivated and we need your support to ensure that they start coming to work and our health system is revived,”

    I thought, for a moment, you were quoting some honest soul from the KZN Health Department!

  32. Tara Tara 31 January 2009

    I find it disturbing that not one post in this long conversation has commented on this paragraph in Michael’s article:

    ‘During xenophobia I went into the townships of South Africa and I spoke to residents ad nauseum. Their grievances were real – Millions of refugees, unregulated, pouring into their communities, bribing housing officials so they could get houses before locals, erecting shacks outside their homes overnight, desperados increasing violent crime exponentially, taking their jobs and on and on’

    Of course people living in the informal settlements and townships have real grievances: corruption in housing allocation, violent crime, unemployment… but to say that it is ‘millions of refugees’ causing these things is simply not true. It is a strong perception, yes, but not based on fact at all. There have been audits of RDP houses and there are very few non-citizens living in them – those that are are renting from citizens (which is legal) or are living there with their partners who are citizens. The isolated cases of actual corruption in the housing system should surely be blamed on the corrupt officials, not the poor people looking for housing – and if you want to blame the corruptor, what about the many South Africans who are jumping the cue by buying their way into the system? Concerning crime, again, blaming the rise in crime on foreigners is simply factually wrong. Crime rates are not higher in places with more foreigners than in similarly poor and informal places with fewer foreigners. The police do not arrest many foreigners for crime (that is, apart from not having documentation – remember what it was like for the police to ask people on the street to see their documents and then arresting them for it?) and the prisons have very few non-citizens in them. This is not because foreign criminals don’t have IDs – who ever heard of a policeman letting a suspected criminal go just because they don’t have an ID? The criminal justice system doesn’t work like that. Finally, jobs – which jobs are these ‘refugees’ supposed to be taking? Spaza shop owner or street trader? That’s basic entrepreurship – it is not as if that job is ‘there’ before it is created, so it can’t be stolen. Temporary construction worker? Sort out the subcontractors who don’t respect labour law so everyone competed for the same level of wages, don’t blame people for trying to earn a living. Formal jobs as teachers, secretaries, bus drivers, bank managers, what-have-you? Many of the people complaining about losing jobs (and hitting people over the head with pangas because of it) are not qualified for formal jobs (which is often not their own fault, but the fault of the education system), and if they are qualified they have a much much much higher likelihood of getting those jobs if they apply for them than any non-citizen. The law says that employers can only hire non-citizens if they can prove that there is no citizen who can do the job. The citizen doesn’t even have to be better qualified for the job than the non-citizen – they just have to be able to do the job.

    Please, Michael. Think carefully before repeating unfounded accusations about migrants and refugees. Yes, the grievances of the poor in South Africa are real and I agree fully that they need to be listened to and addressed. But by blaming the wrong people and the wrong causes for the poverty, we not only unfairly accuse people, but we also make it impossible to solve the real problems and the real reasons people are still poor and marginalised.

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