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Thursday, 09 November 2006


Roy Blumenthal

Hiya Clive...

The OTHER side of the story is worth considering too.

In this country, two generations of white males are trained killers in one of the most effective anti-guerrilla armies in the world at that time. (I'm talking about conscripts and permanent force members in the old South African Defence Force.)

Some of these people are STILL soldiers, but not in any formal army. They're militia in the service of a right wing agenda.

And they're sitting on arms caches that we know very little about.

Waiting for the powder keg to pop.

One way to spark that keg would be for Mbeki to snub the ex 'leader' of these people. You want to piss off some rabid, armed, white militants and have them go on the rampage?

I think diplomacy is completely the right option for Mbeki to have used.

His going to the funeral does not DISMISS the deaths Botha caused. It FORGIVES them. And this is a very important distinction. Because if this country is to survive, we NEEEEEEEED to forgive. And forgiving is NOT the same as forgetting. Going to the funeral is NOT the same as forgetting what the bastard did.

And I tell you this as a leftie who pulled zap signs out of my car window in celebration of the signs telling me Botha had died. I also screamed 'Amandla!' out the window till my throat was raw. I have NO sympathy with Botha or his supporters.

But I DO have empathy for the fact that they're just human beings doing their best to make sense of a world gone mad in their eyes.

I think small gestures CAN make a difference in reconciliation. And pointed measures to deny reconciliation are just brute pig-headedness.

Mbeki's gesture gives me a little bit of faith in his ability to lead.

Now all we've gotta do is prepare to flee the country if Zuma gets elected by the populace.


Blue skies

Clive Simpkins

Roy dear Bra' - of course you're correct. But I believe there needs to be a termination of the 'backwards-bending' at some point. Particularly when it's clearly posturing rather than sincere.

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