Tag Archives | South Africa

The World Unites Behind Mandela: An Unreported United Message From The United Nations

Mandela Funeral ProgrammeMillions of South Africans mourned the death of Nelson Mandela as you would expect, but the rest of world also joined in an unprecedented display of the same international solidarity that for years helped South Africa isolate its enemies and overthrow apartheid.

Mandela was not the first Third World revolutionary to become so popular in the West–just think of all the images of Cuba’s Che Guevara that remain proudly displayed on T-shirts the world over. Yet, Mandela built an international community of supporters that transcended ideological/political differences, races and cultures.

Nations not known for being supportive of the liberation movement he headed want to be thought of as Mandela backers.

Even Israel, whose Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu begged off an invitation to attend a memorial service in Johannesburg because he ostensibly ‘could not afford’ to come—other Israelis did attend—is now floating claims that their intelligence service assisted Mandela through support from a Intelligence operative in the Mossad back in 1962 who gave him a pistol.… Read the rest

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As the End Draws Nigh: Will Mandela’s Burial Also Bury His Memory?

Nelson_MandelaAs the body of Nelson Mandela heads for its “final rest” in the rural community where he was born, reverential exhilaration is turning into emotionally draining reflection tinged with criticism and self-criticism.

Mandela has moved from a person into a historical figure as in “now he belongs to the ages.”

In the world at large, this final Mandela moment has been bathed in media attention as have earlier spectacular events like his release from prison and inauguration as President. This time, there were more than two billion social media references leading to growing backlash of negativity from those who never supported him in the first place, as if the events were a distraction from the daily news parade of war, economic decline and political scandal.

Despite his death, this saga is largely considered “positive,” good news in a sea of bad. You can be sure that once he is in the ground, all you will here from media mavens is “We did Mandela, next.”

Wrote the Daily Mail in London, a newspaper that has over the years disseminated nasty and questionable criticisms of Mandela (even as in the thirties it was worshipful of fascists): ’… while some reflected on the remarkable life of Nelson Mandela, some world leaders saw it as the perfect opportunity to grab a quick ‘selfie’ with their peers – prompting a backlash from web users accusing them of undermining the seriousness of the event.… Read the rest

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There Is More To Learn From Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela 1998Nelson Mandela is back in the news, not just due to his passing, but also because of his teaching. His daughter Makaziwe Mandela told the state-owned television network SABC that her father (from his first marriage) taught the family life lessons from what she termed his “deathbed.”

“Even, for a lack of a better word, on his deathbed, he is teaching us lessons; lessons in patience, in love, lessons of tolerance.”

Thanks to the release of the new epic movie, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom starring Idris Elba and Naomi Harris, the public is learning other lessons about the freedom struggle that he led.

On Christmas day, it opens nationwide in the US on 2000 screens with a majority of reviews very positive. It is already showing in France and England will be next in January.

In South Africa, the movie that shows Mandela’s early days as a boxer broke all box-office records.… Read the rest

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Shanty Town Resort Lets South Africa’s Wealthiest Pretend to be Poor…. Kind of


Wealthy South Africans who want to pretend to be poor can arrange a stay at “Shanty Town”, a part of the South African Five-Star game reserve and spa Emoya Estate.

Via Oddity Central:

A Shanty is a small hut made out of old corrugated iron sheets or other waterproof material. It is a place of dwelling for the poor, often lacking in basic amenities like electricity or running water. To be living in one, you’d have to be going through an extremely rough patch in life.

Except of course, when your shanty is located in Shanty Town, and you’re just playing ‘poor’. Yes, as bizarre as it sounds, there are people in this world who think playing poor is a fun sport. And resorts like Shanty Town exist to help them achieve the experience.

Shanty Town is a part of Emoya Estate, a South African five-star luxury game reserve and spa.

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The New South Africa Bans a Major Film Festival Entry as Protests Mount

Durban, South Africa: It was Nelson Mandela’s birthday, and the international day of service in his honor. The reports were that the man they call Madiba was recovering, according to upbeat accounts from his wife of 15 years and daughter Zindzi from his marriage to Winnie.

Happily, on that night, it was also a time of celebration as film fans packed into the annual opening of the film festival in Durban.

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For 34 years, the Durban International Film Festival  (DIFF) has brought a world of cinema to the East coast of South Africa with an impressive range of films, filmmakers and related events. The screenings are often packed with over 150 films or more on display.

The Festival is organized by the Center for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, up on the big hill overlooking Durban. In recent years, its setting went from the academic to the commercial, from a mountain to a beach, with the opening this year, once again, based in cinemas at the Suncoast casino where it is attended by a multi-racial, and multi-generational crowd.… Read the rest

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Media Waits for Mandela To Die: Are They ‘Vultures’?

Bill-Clinton-with-Nelson-MandelaThere’s anger amidst the apprehension in South Africa as the numbers of “journalists” on the Mandela deathwatch grows. Members of his family have about had it, comparing what even the New York Times called a “media swarm” to African vultures that wait to pounce on the carcasses of dead animals.

With President Obama in South Africa, carrying a message that he hyped as one of “profound gratitude” to Nelson Mandela. The Times reported,

“Mr. Obama said the main message he intended to deliver to Mr. Mandela, “if not directly to him but to his family, is simply our profound gratitude for his leadership all these years and that the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with him, and his family, and his country.”

It doesn’t seem as if the South Africa’s grieving for their former president’s imminent demise are too impressed with Obama seeking the spotlight. Some groups including top unions protested his receiving an honorary degree from a university in Johannesberg.… Read the rest

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Spying Far Worse in South Africa than the US

Via Mail & Guardian tumblr_m4jhzjBIcq1roy6jeo1_500

Americans are shocked and ­outraged at ­revelations that their government is vacuuming up information about their phone conversations and internet browsing habits, but compared to South Africans, they have little to worry about.

According to ­exposés by the Guardian and Washington Post over the past week, the US government’s intelligence apparatus has “direct access” – or a close equivalent – to the systems of major internet service providers.

The National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters, stand accused of using that access in ways well beyond what is contemplated by the laws under which they operate.

As more details about the Prism programme have emerged, the seriousness of those concerns has been much disputed. But that has done little to stem the wave of outrage and political condemnation that has seriously shaken confidence in the entire administration of Barack Obama.

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TV Network Prematurely Reports Nelson Mandela Died – Do Some Want Him Gone?

A South African media outlet, no doubt eager to be first, aired a TV obituary of Nelson Mandela. It was very positive and respectful, except for the fact he hadn’t died.

It brought back memories of writer Mark Twain’s famous observation when the same thing happened to him. His comment: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

When someone turns 94, medical risks are hardly an exaggeration, and its good to know that Mandela has just been released from hospital again. I was told that he told family members he intends to live to l00.

The sad truth is that there are some in South Africa who are distressed that his health seems to be the only news from South Africa that routinely attracts world attention and social concern. Perhaps that’s because so many  other stories have been grim—often about corruption of public officials or the case of the famous disabled runner who allegedly murdered his girlfriend.… Read the rest

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Nelson Mandela Fights For His Life…Again!

Nelson Mandela 1998 croppedNelson Mandela is fighting for his life again—his third hospitalization in four months as the world looks on with silent prayers. The media attention he is receiving speaks to the respect with which he is held, even though most of the coverage points more to his age than the fact that the respiratory condition he has was contracted under brutal prison conditions and he clearly, even now, is a victim of the apartheid system he battled into submission.

The world media is pumped by another deathwatch. In South Africa, Madiba, as he is known by his clan name, is called a “FBR”—the Freelancers Best Friend—because of all the work the around the clock coverage his condition inspires. At the BBC in London, striking staffers ay they will return to work to cover his death.

When he and his comrades arrived on South Africa’s draconian Robben Island, he was the 466th to be incarcerated in 1964.… Read the rest

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