Quote of the day, from AL, referencing the case of Oscar Pistorius, the South African paralympian accused of shooting his girlfriend:
I'll bet South Africans love that celebrity gun violence has joined non-celebrity sex violence, non-celebrity gun violence and apartheid as the things for which that country is famous.Ha! Quite.
The story is sad, no matter what happened that night, certainly for the family of Reeva Steenkamp, the victim.
It's also, however, a useful lens with which to examine how a certain mindset continues to view problems in South Africa. If you want to enjoy some schadenfreude, Hector Lopez points us to this breathless more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger ABC 7:30 report story on the subject
GINNY STEIN: Amidst the heartbreak, another round of soul searching has begun in a nation that despite its violent nature still believes in the miracle of Nelson Mandela.
LULU XINGWANA: We still have to deal with the consequences of the war of Apartheid and the brutality of Apartheid that has actually affected the psyche of our society.Some possibly roided-up athlete, who apparently wasn't a saint simply because he lacked legs, killed his girlfriend, maybe intentionally, maybe because he thought she was an intruder, and the problem is ... wait for it ... Apartheid!
To paraphrase Menachem Begin: white guy kills white girl and they blame a long-dead racist government.
Amidst the heartbreak of deploying every threadbare cliche on the subject, yet another clueless progressive reporter fails to revise any of her hypotheses no matter what the evidence says.
We're coming up to, what, 20-odd years since the end of Apartheid? So how's the great universal suffrage experiment working?
Perplexingly, the effects of Apartheid just seem to get larger and larger the greater the time elapsed since the event. Odd, huh?
If you look at the overall trends, the good news is that they've apparently managed to reverse some of the large increase in crime that occurred in the first 8 years since the end of Apartheid:
The bad news?:
The good, but largely inexplicable news is the decrease in so‐called social fabric crimes; crimes that the police have little ability to affect. Murder, the most reliable of all police statistics, has reduced by 7.2% in the last year and by 15% over the past six years; attempted murder, common robbery and common assault have also reduced fairly dramatically since 2003/4. While this may represent a positive social change, it could also just reflect under‐recording of at least common robbery, assault and attempted murder.
David Bruce of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation argued in a SA Crime Quarterly article in March this year that the discrepancy between the rate of change in these social fabric crimes strongly suggests that the police are under‐recording the less serious interpersonal violent crimes as a way to improve the performance ratings of stations to meet the target to reduce violent contact crimes by between seven and ten percent per annum.The idea that police may be underreporting crime in order to improve statistics isn't a big surprise. The more grimly ironic part is that crimes like 'common robbery, assault and attempted murder' are just part of the "social fabric", which police have little ability to affect. Come on! You want the police to try to prevent all sorts of nickel and dime stuff like attempted murder? Don't make me laugh.
On the other hand, some murders are more notable than others. Let's ask the impeccably left-wing Genocide Watch about the situation in South Africa:
On 15 September 2011, Genocide Watch placed South Africa at level 6, Preparation, saying "we have evidence of organized incitement to violence against White people".... Genocide Watch stated that by 2001 "2.2 percent of ethno-European (White) farmers had already been murdered and more than... 12 percent of these farmers had been attacked on their farms". As of December 2011 approximately 3,158 - 3,811 White farmers have been murdered in these attacks.What's that, you say? There's a genocide going on in South Africa? Quick, send in the Marines!
Oh, you mean it's blacks killing white South African farmers? Never mind then, nothing to see here. I bet they had it coming, those racists!
Surely this is just three-thousand-odd isolated incidents that have received widespread condemnation by the government?:
On 8 January 2012, after giving a speech at the ANC Centennial 2012 celebrations in Bloemfontein, South Africa, president Jacob Zuma sang the same "shoot the Boer" that had been the subject of Julius Malema's hate speech conviction.So take your pick - either the South African government is implicitly supporting a genocide against white farmers, or it's simply unable to prevent the widespread murder of white farmers as part of a general murder epidemic! Either way, it's a win-win for South Africa.
Apartheid is the gift that just keeps on giving for progressive do-gooders trying to explain why the 'miracle of Nelson Mandela' has entirely failed to reduce the penury and misery in South Africa.
Apartheid, like most of the other undemocratic systems that were opposed by Western democracies, is so dead that its revival is not only inconceivable, but even the fact that the system existed in living memory seems hard to fathom. So be it - it's hard to think of any political viewpoint (mine included), no matter how outlandish, that would view apartheid as anybody's ideal system of anything. This holds no matter how much scorn you may have for the current governing arrangements. Lord Cromer didn't need apartheid in Egypt, and I doubt he would have needed it in South Africa either.
Which makes it all the more puzzling that the impeccably un-racist (against blacks at least) universal suffrage democracy that replaced it has been such a disaster. How can that be? The system it followed was such a corrupt and racist disgrace. Surely virtually anything else should be a clear improvement, no? And if you replace it with the democratic consent of the governed, in the best form of government that the world has ever known, surely prosperity and stability should follow.
And yet ... they don't.
Not in Libya, not in Egypt, not in South Africa, not in Zimbabwe, not in Iraq.
At some point, surely one must perhaps consider the possibility that democracy and universal suffrage in Africa are not in fact solving any of the problems that they were meant to cure, and may in fact be making them worse?
Let me pose the same question I ask of colonialism opponents when it's cited as the catch-all explanation for Africa's social ills - assuming things continue to stay wretched, at what point will you be willing to acknowledge that the fault is no longer that of Apartheid?
It's a joke question, of course - liberal opinion will never, ever stop blaming colonialism and apartheid for African problems. Not in 20 years, not ever. If in a thousand years humanity has colonised the stars and South Africa is still a hellhole, you can bet that liberal opinion will still be blaming apartheid.
The genuinely good news is that universal suffrage is taking somewhat longer to completely wreck South Africa than it took in Zimbabwe.
This means that you've got a bit more time to get out, should you have the misfortune to still be there.