“Since 1994, our country has been facing an increasing threat of espionage because of inadequate provisions in the 1982 Act. The foreign spies continue to steal our sensitive information in order to advantage their nations at the expense of advancement of South Africa and her people. The ANC government may never allow such undermining of our national security to continue.” - Siyabonga Cwele
The week before South Africa’s parliament passed the Protection of State Information Bill, a controversial bill that would punish whistleblowers and the media for possessing or disseminating sensitive information, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele delivered a speech in its defense at the National Assembly in Cape Town. He claimed that the public had given significant input into drafting the bill and that the authors of the legislation had taken their criticisms and suggestions very seriously. He thanked the public, and the consponsors of the bill, Nhlanhla Nene, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Ronnie Kasrils. In presenting the African National Congress’ rationale for the bill, he invoked section 198 of South Africa’s Constitution, which outlines the government’s duty to its citizens in upholding national security:
Floods are rampant worldwide just at the present. There has been one disaster after another between the flooding in the northern Australian state of Queensland, South Africa, Brazil and the Philippines. The spectre of the 2010 Pakistani floods in everyone’s minds. One wonders how much more flooding the world can take, and at the extent of our collective capacity for endurance.
Actually, it isn’t the collective the world is concerned with here precisely. I’ve barely heard a televisual or newsprint word about the situations in South Africa, Brazil or the Philippines, but a lot about Queensland. The thing is, while things are terrible in Queensland, the state is getting a lot more attention in the international media than are those three nations.
The world will probably best remember World Cup 2010 as the dawn of the Age of the Vuvuzela, but a few other things also happened, most of them soccer-related.
This World Cup feels more diverse than in years past, and many of the tournament’s new stars are playing under the flags of countries like Germany thanks to improved immigration laws. It’s a welcome change, to see teams of insanely talented (and good-looking) young men that don’t appear to have been grown in Rocky IV-era science labs.
The less diversity-friendly narrative and legacy of this World Cup took place in the officiating. In a tournament with 64 matches, the first World Cup held in Africa, the calls that stood out, the calls that may finally lead FIFA to change its rules and adopt new review processes, were matches that went against the giants of the first world. Continue reading →
We rejoin Popular Opinion CourtTV’s coverage of the Vuvuzela Trial, already in progress:
“… Welcome back to Popular Opinion Court TV’s coverage of the Vuvuzela Trial. I’m , the prosecution has just wrapped up its’ case for the banning, stuffing in a closet and locking up forever of the controversial Vuvuzela horns. Let’s go over some excerpts from today’s testimony.”
RICK REILLY, ESPN.COM: It was the dreaded vuvuzelas, the yard-long plastic horns (voo-voo-zella) that South African fans blow all the time, without rhyme nor reason, when something is happening and when it’s not (it’s usually not), during timeouts and time ins, during halftime and at the breakfast table and while they’re on the bus and while doing their taxes, until you just want to stab two fondue forks deep into your ears and stir.
JOHN LEICESTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: “Fifteen minutes into the opening game and I already took two aspirin,” lamented Boaz Gabbai, from West Hills, California.
“Those vuvuzelas are making me nuts!!!” wrote Myriam Seyfarth from Venezuela. Continue reading →
A shocking video which outraged Afrikaners in 2008 has resurfaced, if only to once again emphasize the privileges of its elite, white male students.
The University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, a South African college, has reinstated two white students who were expelled last year after serving four black female housekeepers and one elderly black male housekeeper with beef stew which one of the men had previously urinated into. But it was not enough to harass these workers: the students filmed their heinousness, as well as the vomiting of the five housekeepers after learning they had been served urine-soaked stew.
At the end of the video, the students boldly announced, “That is what we think of integration.” The video was purposely filmed, the students claim, as a “satirical slant” while the campus prepared to racially integrate the residence halls and dormitories. At that point, the campus was still divided into white and black dormitories, nearly twenty years after the end of legal apartheid in South Africa.
“District 9” proves that nothing unites the human race better than a good old-fashioned alien invasion. We forget our own racial hatred for two minutes to gang up on slimy spacemen, exploit their advanced technology, extract their DNA and stamp all over what’s left. From “War of the Worlds” to “V” through to the god-awful “Independence Day,” we may take a pasting at first but sooner or later those bug eyed bastards are going to pay the fiddler.
The aliens in Neil Blomkamp’s debut feature are certainly ugly, but they’re not invaders in the martial sense. They are more akin to the ‘Newcomers’ in “Alien Nation.” In 1982, their immense mothership appears over Johannesburg like a battered power plant and remains silent for three months. Finally the South Africans cut their way in to find the inhabitants starving and close to death. In the quick-fire montage that follows, we find out how a sinister mega corporation, MNU, has now taken charge of the aliens’ ‘welfare’.
Twenty years later the aliens, now known as ‘Prawns,’ live in abject squalor in a ghetto called ‘District 9.’ They are disgusting creations, guzzling overpriced cat-food hawked by Nigerian gangsters. Rotten meat oozes into the garbage as flies and MNU gunships buzz overhead. Just as we are busy recoiling from the truly repugnant filth the ‘Prawns’ scrabble around in, we remember this state of being already exists for humanity in Brazil, India and South Africa itself.
Eudy Simelane was an athlete and a lesbian. In a perfect world that validated love in all of its forms, her sexuality would be a non-issue. In South Africa, however, identifying as a lesbian (or being accused of lesbianism) all too often leads to a violent death, despite a constitution that protects the rights of its GLBT citizens. Simelane was known as a top striker and she became the captain of the nation’s soccer team. Her position would normally have placed her in high esteem.
Instead of being her country’s sports hero, however, Eudy Simelane now lays buried beneath the soil: she was brutally gang-raped and stabbed exactly twenty-five times before dying. For Eudy, the issue was not just that she was a lesbian but that her appearance and gender expression were commonly understood to be butch.
According to the Times Online, at least twenty South African women have been killed in what are known as “corrective rapes” in the last five years. Lesbianism is considered to be unnatural and therefore women are systemically raped to convince them that their “true” orientation is heterosexual. This phenomenon reflects multiple forms of oppression for lesbians, bisexuals and queers who are victimized through these “corrective rapes.”