Sunday, 19 April 2009

South Africa: If Gordon Brown were Jacob Zuma

Link: He has four wives and he faced 783 counts of corruption: PETER HITCHENS on South Africa's next president

“Imagine how you would react if Gordon Brown opened and closed his election rallies by bursting into a song called Bring Me My Machine Gun, swaying and jigging to the hypnotic chorus of this menacing ditty.

And how would you feel if the Prime Minister were alleged to be taking campaign money from Colonel Gaddafi; faced 783 counts of fraud, racketeering, tax evasion and corruption which somehow never came to court; and had been acquitted of rape while his fearsome supporters mobbed the courthouse?

Then ponder how you would despair if, despite all these things, Mr Brown's party was certain to win the election whatever he did or said.

If you can picture all this happening here, then you have an inkling of the horrible process South Africa is now going through. Except it is much, much worse”

For a supposed political blog, I've kept pretty quiet about the situation in South Africa, the country of my birth. There is a very good reason for that. I am sad and despondent about the state of affairs in South Africa.  I believe that a rapist and fraudster is about to become president and I am ashamed to admit that in the rush to go on holiday to South Africa, I forgot to register to vote here in the UK.  That means that according to my own morals and values, I have given up my right to complain about whoever does win the election.

People fought for the right to vote of all minority groups, whether they be based on gender, race, nationality or class.  I believe it is our right to vote but it is also an obligation - one that I forfeited and I am not proud of that fact.  I can assure you I will never make the same mistake again.

Therefore, you won’t find too much on this blog on South African party politics.  If I find evidence of human rights violations, I will certainly report on that.  I may also one day report on the crime situation in South Africa, when I am able to take an objective stance and report fairly on the situation.  I know too many people who were murdered, raped or who were victims of other violent crimes in South Africa, myself included, and it is too soon for me to report on it.

I maintain that I will return to South Africa when the crime situation is brought under control and I wouldn’t really care who is in power then and what their politics or past crimes may be.  The saddest thing is that I am not sure this will happen before I turn 50.



  1. I very much understand your position no vote, no right to a voice as in Portugal we also have a recent history of the right to vote being denied. I grew up with freedom, and always amazed at my grandmother who insisted on voting every time, and did so with an energy and determination that inspired me. It is sad that so many people fought for so long all over the world, and are still fighting, for a right that so many shrug off so easily... Democracy can be weird sometimes.

    But I think that you should go on writing about this. You won't be voting because of special circumstances, not because you willingly join abstentionists. And you have a good mind, and are educated, and well you're my main source for this subject ;) I think your voice is quite valid, and needed.

    I'd also like to see this blog become a discussion pot for your SA friends, in SA and in the UK/ elsewhere.

  2. @ 125azul: Thanks for the encouragement! I guess I will try talk about it then but I'll have to undertake to be completely impartial.

  3. Do you really think that things will improve in 15 years?

  4. @ Kitty: Hi, thanks for commenting. First and foremost, I would like to return home one day so I want to hope that things will be sorted out eventually.

  5. I am not being funny or sarcastic, but it took the ANC 15 years to bring this country to its knees, do you think that we can come right in the same time period?
    I am not sure that they even want to turn things around
    It would really be fantastic if they could, or even better, maybe we will have a coalition govt, then we will see progress.
    You can bet I will be glued to the news channel tonight

  6. I know... at the end of the day it looks like we'll be retiring in UK, US or Australia but SA would be my first choice (mainly because of the weak rand!).


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