Gentlemen, [fo the RCUS]
We received an update on what is happening in South Africa from Eric Kayayan. We do need to keep him in our prayers as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ there.
Mark, What the report does not tell you: 50 foreigners are killed and IT IS gruesome: what about the thousands and thousands of gruesome murders (in particular of elderly White people) since the end of the apartheid era, which go unnoticed by the international community? President Thabo Mbeki speaks of a "nation in disgrace" because this surge of xenophobia is currently exposed by foreign media (and is bad publicity 2 years before the Soccer World cup due to take place here); however torture and murders on a daily basis in SA never led him to speak of any disgrace of any sort. Rather, he and his government associates have regularly dismissed the outrageous extent of violence and crime amidst the "rainbow nation" as just being empty talk of disgruntled Whites who lost political control over the country. Mandela is being praised like a semi god by each and every one around the globe, but nobody will have the courage to state that his legacy to SA is precisely this Thabo Mbeki whom he pushed forward to become the next SA president - as, supposedly, being the most capable one within the ANC, the ruling party -. An estimated 3 millions Zimbabwean crowd our cities (not mentioning thousands of Mozambicans, Congolese, Nigerians, Somalians, Zambians ...), the Zimbabwean crisis has long become SA's crisis, but President Mbeki stated, after the completely chaotic election process in our neighbouring country, that "there is no crisis in Zimbabwe"......
Eventually, after much pressure from various sides, Mbeki agreed to sent troops to help police forces reinstate order in SA townships, but the army (to a large extent made up of HIV positive men and women) is incapable to deal properly with the situation, it is neither trained nor equipped to do so. In the meantime, new refugee camps without sanitations and with minimal conditions of hygiene are growing around cities like Pretoria, sheltering foreigners who'd rather live there than lose their lives. Yes, help comes from NGO organizations or churches, a tribute to people of good will amidst governmental "laissez-faire".
What the report also does not and will not tell you, but what some of my reliable Black South African acquaintances tell me: The main reason behind these xenophobic attacks is neither political nor to be ascribed to some mythological "third force" related to far right elements nostalgic of apartheid (as some, even in the government, would like to make the international community believe) but simply greed and jealousy from the part of Black South Africans who are by far not as hard working as foreigners like Mozambicans or Zimbabweans: the latter are ready to work hard (and for smaller wages if necessary). Despite many hardships, they manage to make a living and even send monies to their relatives abroad (this is for instance the case of the young and able receptionist at the workplace where my wife works).
Somalians even set up their own shops, not expecting any subsidy or help from the State.
South Africans, already largely "socialized" under apartheid (for sure in order to keep them quiet - it did not work...-) have been promised much; many received houses for free under the State sponsored RDP program. This was supposed to improve their conditions of lives. What have many of them done with their free house and little plot? They are renting out tiny little spaces on their premises so that poorer than themselves can set up a shack there, and they ask incredible amounts to these poorer fellows; this is a form of exploitation worse than anything else seen before. Others have sold their RDP house to some foreigners, in order to quickly get cash in hand (up to US$2000), and then they went back to live in their shacks (they could not care less about improving their housing conditions). Now that their cash is long gone (a large deal of it probably spent in alcohol), they see these foreigners with nicer accommodations and they are jealous of them... This is not white propaganda, this is what some of my black (hard working and decent) acquaintances who live in the townships, tell me.
South African Blacks standing along the road to get a job for the day will not accept to perform a task requiring physical hard labor, but foreigners will.... In the meantime, the price of food is soaring (like everywhere else in the rest of the world I guess), petrol price is sky-rocketting and basic services become more expensive by the day. Rather than working harder and saving money, just go and grab defenceless foreigner's meagre assets, killing them by using the infamous "necklace" method if necessary (by the way this gruesome mode of execution was quite popular among ANC members during the years of the "struggle": it was quite efficient as a means to intimidate those who didn't feel like joining the "Liberation struggle".)
Another example of the current mentality: a few months ago our very house nice cleaning lady told us that her father had recently been shot in his arm (he has recovered since). Those who attacked him were jealous that he had received a promotion at work. In the meantime he resigned from his job, by fear of being exposed to some more violence...
About crime that is seemingly not disgraceful in the eyes of our president (who likes to talk about the "Ubuntu" principle, this African concept of humaneness stating that your are a human being through and for other human beings, it is thus a community based notion). I had just returned to SA from the US when I heard the following news: our organist at church (an excellent friend of mine) lost his one cousin, his cousin's wife -who was on a wheel chair- as well as a friend of theirs who had come to help them organizing the funeral of the cousin's mother. A gruseome attack was perpetrated in the morning at their home by a disgruntled employee who had been dismissed (a driver I believe). Their throat was cut, the bodies were lacerated. The wife's mother (80) was slain too, but she survived (she is still in a coma in the ICU).
Three people were brutally murdered, the life of a fourth one is in danger but such vicious attacks have never moved Mbeki to lecture on "Ubuntu". Seemingly Ubuntu is a notion worth expanding on only when the fate of Black people is at stake (and above all when international media report about violence in SA).
Please pass on this message to your friends who might have heard something about SA lately, and wonder what to think of the current situation (I don't think many people in the US worry, but there might be a few).
Greetings in our Lord
The Christian Science Monitor <http://www.csmonitor.com>
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South African churches mobilize as anti-foreigner violence flares
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