This afternoon there were metro police to help with the flow of traffic and as I came towards the most often useless robots a metro cop pointed his finger at me and ordered me to pull over. I stop and took out my drivers license and wind down my window. The officer was not interest he just asked me to switch on my emergency lights I thought that was routine until this guy praised my car telling me how he likes it and ask me if I was selling. I got irritated and asked him “is that all sir? I am sorry I am on my way to Pretoria”. Oh do you know I am also from Pretoria? said the officer? It is at that point that I switched on my engine and left. What was he looking for? is it how they do their work? I don’t under stand their job I am sorry.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
What would you do if in the middle of the night you see a light in your bedroom? Cry, Shout or run away? I am not a superstitious person but what happened to me on that hot September night nearly changed my life. It was during September school holidays and I was advised not to come to Johannesburg, as there was fresh black on black violence between township and Hostel dwellers. Fortunately my mum was in Matatiele with me at that time. One night we went to sleep as usual and that was my first night at home. In the middle of the night whilst my eyes were still closed I could feel that there was something strange in the house when I opened my eyes I saw big bright light. Initially I thought it was a car out side just passing, but there was no sound. The light was so close I could easily touch it; I didn’t know what to do because I was definitely sure I personally locked all the doors of this three-roomed house. As the dogs bark outside my thought were taking me to where I have never been before. I thought way be there were thieves who did not know that my mum was not alone that night, but when the light went off there was I could see clearly that there was no one behind it. I began to panic but I remained silence hoping that it will go away. I switched on my Radio hoping to scare this away if it is some spook or something. Nothing changed really as the light kept switching on for a minute or two and off for few seconds again until I dosed off.
In the morning my mum woke up first and came to me looking very worried and ask me “what happened last night” I told her nothing happened. What she had seen was a shock to her system. My clothes that I wore the previous night were scattered all over the place the main door was opened and there was no sign of forced entry yet the lock was still in the locked position even though the door was open and food had been eaten. That was the only time I realised the extent of what happened. I was so scared I was not going to sleep in that house with no assurance that I will sleep peacefully. . (Maybe the door was opened by magic or something I was not sure but what I was sure of was that I needed help A.S.A.P) I had nowhere to go “ this is my home”, but there was no guarantee that what happened last night wouldn’t happen again. We prayed that morning but I knew that God was along term solution and I needed answers soon. We went to a Sangoma (a traditional healer in South African terms) who told us witchdoctors were trying to scare me so that I could run away and never return. I was so vulnerable everything he said made sense.
For a second opinion we went to another songoma who told us the Spook was my late brother and he is in the yard we simply cant see him during the day but by the sunset we will see him again. I freaked out…The third sangoma told us it was my late brother he was now what is called in Zulu “Umkhovu” (Sethotsela inSesotho) a person whom you all believe is dead when actually he is still alive (a lot of bull in actual fact). I am not sure how true is that but people in the rural areas seem to believe that a lot and it made sense to me at that time. I have heard of all this but I never thought it could be happening to me. Then we were told there was a guy in izingolweni in Kwazulu Natal who specialises in these cases, he is not a Sangoma but the leader of one of these charismatic churches that are popping up everywhere. The same day that evening we left for Izingolweni I was not going to sleep in that house again never. It was a two and half trip that felt like a year. When we reached the area it was very misty and the place was very rural.
Everyone knew the Preacher called Sandile. He was so young probably in his early thirties. People came from as far as Northern Transvaal now Limpopo and Gauteng. There was no place to sleep people depended on the generosity of people from the village. It was a relief for me because at last I could sleep if I find the place to sleep of course. I needed help but the kind of help this preacher was offering was scary. He agreed with what the Sangomas and promised to bring my brother back from the dead. I liked my big brother but a thought of talking to him after identifying him in the morgue and buried him was unreal. We spent a week and my mom was asked to come again with clothes for him. I went strait to boarding school, I told my dad about my ordeal and subsequent reaction, he thought we were losing it but he gave us support none the less.
Now that there were no spooks following me I wanted out. I was raised as a Catholic boy and my mother was a Sunday school teacher…seeing my mother believing this s..t broke my heart, but it was the only hope she had of seeing her son again. I was not looking forward to that instead it gave me creeps. When I finished my exams I came strait to Jozi hoping never to set my foot in Matatiele again. Up to today my brother never came back from the dead and that will never happened, but when you are desperate you believe anything that comes your way. For some strange reason or my memory is too short I still don’t believe in African magic, I still visit Matatiele after all it is my home … but I still haven’t figure out what happened that fateful night.
Monday, 22 October 2007
Jake White to his credit did a good job at a junior level to give blacks chances not only blacks as in Coloureds but blacks as in African as well. Some of the boys that were playing in this world cup actually represented South Africa at junior level but for some peculiar reasons Jake didn’t pick any of the black boys he coached at junior level when he joined the senior team… the question is why? My answer is politics.
White politics are still dominating rugby world. But I must also add that Jake White played more blacks in the national team more than any other coach before him, but when it comes to the crunch white politics dominate and blacks fall on the wayside. When South Africa was demolishing Argentina White (Jake) couldn’t even give Akhona Ndungane 2minutes of play. Maybe he thought Ndungane would claim glory that he didn’t deserve? I don’t know.
Rugby is a funny game if not stupid; Percy Montgomery is the player he is today because he was given a chance when he was showing potential. The Coaches played him even though he was performing below par. Look at him today SA is benefitting. If he was black he would only be in the history books of rugby by now. Why the powers that be not apply the same principle to other players?
It looks like rugby bosses have kept one spot for blacks in rugby team. If you are black you will replace another black in that spot Paulse replaced Chester Williams, Ashwin Willemse replaced Paulse and now we have been upgraded to two spots. Maybe we need to celebrate, does that mean in the next two World cups we will have guaranteed two spots for players of colour? It is obvious blacks are fighting a losing battle… will whites ever embrace the unity like blacks do every time they are asked to. South Africa was green on Saturday if I could I would freeze that day, but I know it won’t be long before we hear stories of blacks that were beaten up by whites for wearing that Jerseys. Oh I heard that the springboks will be taking their trophy to SOWETO good for them and I know most of them if not all of them have never been there before. Blacks are quick to embraces white and most white are so far from doing the same. How is that for a rainbow nation?
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Yesterday when I was driving home listening to SAfm phone issue topic on Gary Player I couldn't help to realize that only one out of ten callers had something positive to say about him. They were saying things that I have never heard off. Funny enough Most of the callers were white males, probably they know him better I thought. Today I stumbled across a little or not so little piece written by Terry Bell a Business report labour columnist on Gary Player. I thought let me share it with you maybe you like him.
Gary Player’s history has caught up with him again, for the second time in little more than two years. This time it was the involvement of his United States based company with the brutal military dictatorship in Burma; last time it was the exposure of his more than cosy links with and support for the apartheid state.
The Burma connection has once again thrown up the mass of contradictions in Player’s life, contradictions that have seen this “black knight” of the golfing world publicly dubbed everything from a “consummate chameleon” to a “distasteful opportunist”. The only area in which there exists no contradiction is in the assertion that Gary Player, in his trademark black kit, is one of the greatest golfers the game has known.
However, as former human rights lawyer, amateur golfer and now judge Christopher Nicholson made clear in 2005 in his excellent book, From pariah to legend, potentially one of the greatest golfers South Africa produced, Papwa Sewgolum, had his career stymied by an apartheid system Player supported. As Nicholson pointed out, the black knight also did nothing to assist the illiterate former caddy who won the 1963 Natal Open.
In 1966, the year after Papwa had beaten Player in the Durban Open, Papwa was banned from playing against white golfers. There was no protest from Player. In fact, it was the same year that his Gary Player Enterprises rejected a plea to help the impecunious Natal Indian golfer play in the US.
Many of Papwa’s supporters expected this reaction. For 1966 was also the year that Gary Player’s long awaited autobiographical Grand Slam Golf was published. Amid a mass of insensitive and frankly racist comments, Player noted: “I am a man of Verwoerd and apartheid.”
It was not that Player was not confronted about his attitudes and the effects of apartheid. He was. Even in the quite timid local media. Time magazine also joined other overseas publications in warning Player that his support for the apartheid state would soon see him targeted by the growing international anti-apartheid movement.
He was and often had to be provided police escorts at tournaments. He complained that anti-apartheid demonstrators were infringing his civil liberties.
But by then, Gary Player was very much a part of the apartheid state’s propaganda machine. He was not only a member of the misnamed and department of information sponsored Committee for Fairness in Sport, he also played a role in the then government’s sanctions busting campaign.
A frequent golfing partner of President John Vorster, Player invited leading US businessmen to South Africa to play golf with himself and Vorster. Where such appointments caused him to miss out on lucrative overseas golf tournaments, the state ensured that these losses were made good.
Vorster and the department of information realised that Gary Player could leverage greater economic participation by so winning friends and influencing business leaders.
And this is precisely the reason given by NMCF spokesperson, Oupa Ngwenya for Player having “traditionally been invited” to participate in what is the country’s leading charity sports event. According to Ngwenya, Player had, in the past, been called upon because it was thought he would “leverage greater participation” by the business people and celebrities who make the Nelson Mandela Tournament a major fund raiser.
But Player has never been a simple invitee. Ever since the first tournament in 2000, he has been the official host and guest of honour. Even the debacle two years ago when much of his apartheid supporting past emerged, failed to have any effect on his position with the tournament.
But when British polymath, journalist and global justice campaigner, George Monbiot, exposed the fact that Player’s company had built a golf course used by the Burmese generals, the outcry reverberated around the world — and was taken up by leading figures such as Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu.
The protestors were aware that history seemed to be repeating itself: in the first place, the Player golf course was being used by the Burmese generals to do business in very much the same way that Vorster and Player had done in the apartheid past; in the second, Player appeared again to be in the sanctions busting business since the US had imposed sanctions on Burma in 2000.
Tutu versus Player was another case of deja vu. In 2004 when the SABC launched its 100 Greatest South Africans contest, it chose to feature Player, “the black knight”, and Tutu, “the black bishop, on billboards, calling on the country to choose.
Many of Tutu’s friends and supporters were outraged and, amid a wave of protest, Player’s apartheid past and his refusal to apologise for it, received a wide airing. The SABC dropped the project, but Player continued to host the charity golf tournament which is listed as benefiting both the NMCF and the Gary Player Foundation.
For Player makes much of his dedication to South Africa and the “good works” he is involved in. His motivation at all times, he has said, is to “support my country”. He even went on record in 1977 to condemn fellow golfers Sally Little and Brian Henning as “lousy chickens” for emigrating.
However, in yet another contradiction, Player’s major business enterprises are based in the US and his website lists his residence as the very exclusive town of Jupiter Island in the US state of Florida.
I read in the media that parents will pay a whooping R300.00 for giving their children a hiding. That made me think, ever since we won our democracy we are busy giving rights to the wrong people …criminals, children, fraudsters, and we don’t empower the law enforcement or empower educators on how to deal with the new set of rules. Children as young as 12 are allowed to abort without their parent’s permission. Teachers are helpless as kids go on the rampage raping, filming private parts of girls by force and even killing each other. I watched with disgust the reaction of the three the boys accused of murdering another schoolboy on TV last night. For them it was the sixty seconds of fame whilst the mother of the dead boy was crying her lungs out. By the way what was she doing trying to confront those boys? Some things are best left as they are.
We have criminals roaming the streets committing the same crime that they were supposed to be arrested for in the first place. Now as if the police have not enough on their table they will have to run around on Saturday mornings trying to arrest parents who are smacking their kids who didn’t come without a permission. That will be a mission. Are they increasing the number of police as they increase their scope? No they will have to do with the resources they have now if they do have … we know the story when you call the police station they tell you there is no car available.
What is being done to empower the teachers as children get more rights, what is being done to ensure that the Police have an upper hand to criminals as criminals are increasingly knowing their rights. The government is taking away our rights as parents but when that child commits crime you will be expected to take the blame children.
Monday, 8 October 2007
Friday, 5 October 2007
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
Do South African Indians consider themselves South Africans? Or maybe Africans as Dr van Syl Slabert put it? I watched Twenty 20 world cup with interest when South Africa took on India.I don't understand the wisdom of supporting another country against your country, I guess that is how things go. Was it really a good advert of South Africa overseas to sea the Indian community supporting the Indian team against South African team on South African soil? Let me also add that I supported India when it was playing against any other team and I am glad they won.
When South Africa was unceremoniously booted out of the competition the Indian community was rejoicing as if nothing happened to what I think is their team. I guess they would be very sad if South Africa won that match. That is where my question is coming from, do they really care about SA sport or do they aspire to go back to India like Jews do? I don’t think so they are South Africans their roots are here. I think it is one thing to be proud to be an Indian but it is a different story when it comes to supporting your country. Most blacks in South Africa don’t like the composition of South African Teams especially Rugby and Cricket but I can’t imagine myself Supporting Zimbabwe or Kenya playing against South Africa because they are Africans and South Africa is still lily white.
I am not sure of their reasons but to me it was a strange behaviour, I think it would be very weird to see African Americans support Nigeria in Soccer at the expense of the USA in America. It is okay for Indians to be Indians no one can dispute that, but at least lets draw the line between patriotism and foreign alignment. I think South Africans who are left now are those who know that we are all South Africans, those who think otherwise have left already (Rathbone, Pietersen and the likes). Good for them, but for us who are left can we stop shooting at our selves?