Thursday, April 17, 2008
2008. Fraser Esslemont & Zulu nurses, Sunnyside Farm, KwaZulu-Natal. (Pietermaritzburg Mental Health Society). "Nor th' exterior nor the inward man resembles that it was."
April 2008. Alleman's dispatch: "Koffiefontein Mine was sold to a company consisting of ex De Beers and Koffiefontein people. Seems to be doing well. The town however is financially depressed with little activity (no chemist shop anymore, etc). Things are changing for the worse. More and more people are talking about leaving SA. You cannot talk to an elderly person without hearing the latest news from children in London / USA / Dubai etc. Today a Big Bug in the education department (with 20+ years service) told us that he's had enough, and has landed a good job in Dubai.
My recent holiday trip to Sun City (near Pretoria) was sponsored by my father-in-law, and our petrol alone cost over R2000. Prices of everything have risen in the last year. Unions are becoming restless and talking about nationalization. Government is talking about expropriation of property. The Zimbabwe crisis is dragging along with no solution in sight. Our power is off Thursday mornings. Then you cannot get money from banks, shop in shops, no traffic lights and chaos on the roads.
I recently travelled through the Northern Cape, Upington to Kuruman... On the platteland there are large areas where speed limits are reduced from 120 kph to 60 kph because of many potholes. Platteland hospitals have been degraded to clinics which cannot function properly because of lack of staff. At Koffiefontein, one electrician must keep the infrastructure of five towns operational. You cannot drink local water in towns, while sewerage works in many are also not functioning properly.
Education in SA is heading for a huge bust up. Schools are producing huge numbers of dropouts and matriculants who can neither read nor calculate properly. I saw an article that calculates that only 3.?% of all school kids that enter the system finish with a 'good' matric (and we are one of the countries which spends the biggest portion of national budget on education). Everywhere you hear things that worry you, because things look 'normal' on the surface. Spoke to a bloke last week about a legal dispute: Both parties are doing everything possible to keep the case out of the Supreme Court, because judgements 'are becoming unpredictable,' (because of poorly qualified people appointed as judges. Todays news: East Rand Chief of Police, MacBride, (Durban Magoos bar bomber) in court for intimidation... Someone broke into two court buildings and stole the prosecution documents. Who's next?
Gwede Mantashe (used to clerk in the mine office next to me for four years, probably the third most powerful man in SA) had a meeting with the SA leader of the opposition, Helen Zille, about disbanding the Scorpions, who wanted to prosecute some ANC Bigwigs for struggle atrocities. He basically told her: 'I refuse to listen to you, because you hate the ANC...'" Gwede Mantashe: Secretary General, ANC; National Chairperson, SACP; Executive Director, Development Bank of SA; Director, Samancor; Head of Technical Task Team, Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA); Zuma acolyte; former General Secretary of NUM.
After two decades of professional life in SA, I was left with a youngish wife, young sons, a mad brother, a container full of stuff, four suitcases, some useless suits, ties, closed shoes and academic gown, athletes foot, smoothness, deafness and dissonance. After thirteen years of a little labouring life in NZ, I was left with an older wife, older sons, an older mad brother, no money, a garage full of stuff, four suitcases, some useful tracksuits and flip-flops, useless academic gown, dhobies itch, a beard, deafness and dissonance.
The proposed communist / terrorist name changes to many Durban city streets were quite mad. Name changers were thieves, stealing others' history. Like apartheid Afrikaners intended destroying English and Indian heritage in Durban North, the post apartheid ANC / SACP intended destroying English heritage in Durban North. Examples: Northway to "Kenneth Kaunda;" Kensington Drive to "Adelaide Tambo;" Broadway to "Swapo." Afro culture vultures forgot that 1976 Soweto Riots were caused by Afrikaners forcing Afrikaans on Afro school cultures.
Chelsea Drive, where I'd lived for 26 apartheid years, ran parallel for some distance between Northway and Kensington Drive, and was walking distance to Broadway, running at right angles to the Drives. "Adelaide Tambo" name change to Kensington Drive made no sense and was irrelevant to Kensington Drive, as all Durban North roads were named after places in Britain. Durban North had been an Anglo-Indian suburb before the apartheid Group Areas Act had forced "black spot" slum Indians to move to separate Indian townships. Apartheid Broederbonders built an Afrikaner hoerskool in Durban North's bulldozed Indian slum to increase the Afrikaner Nationalist vote and stymie English opposition votes. Apartheid Job Reservation reserved Durban North streetsweeper, waiter, postman, rubbish collector jobs for Indian men, so an Indian name like "Sivilingham Naidoo" would be a far better name for Kensington Drive than "Adelaide Tambo".
"Swapo" terrorists came nowhere near Broadway, and would've died laughing should they have contacted Durban North Commandos on South West Africa border. Zambian president "Kenneth Kaunda" came nowhere near Northway. And Ruth First (N2 Freeway) had zilch to do with north Durban suburbs, but got herself blown up about 600 kays northwards in Maputo for having married SACP/ANC commie Joe Slovo. If name changing madness prevailed, why not change Durban Berea's Esselmont Avenue to "Wozamark Avenue?"
Unrest. May 2008: Black on black killings of black foreigners in townships and squatter camps in Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape, Durban. Officials blamed ANC, xenophobia (black racism), Zimbabwe, illegal immigrants, third force, unemployment, poverty, food prices, criminals, tribalism, Inkatha, and any other excuses for depravity they could concoct. (NZTV, The Mercury, Daily Dispatch, Cape Times, BBC online, South African Hell blog). Of about five million immigrants in SA, by letting three million Zimbabwean black refugees and other black foreigners like Somalis, Nigerians, Congolese, Malawians, Mozambicans invade SA since 1994, the ANC / SACP had lost control of mad ethnic cleansing in townships and squatter camps.
2008. Fraser Esslemont, Gardener, Sunnyside Farm, KZN. (Pmb Mental Health Soc.) "With a look so piteous in purport as if he had been loosed out of hell."
Once again my "madman" brother was safer in an asylum than shambling streets with real madmen, and mad women, who were a danger to themselves and others, who were forcing displaced blacks to flee to local shelters and Mozambique and Zambia. Zimbabwean displaced blacks were caught between the SA dragon and the Zimbabwe bird: "Kaaa! Ka-ka-ka-ka-kaaa!" Strange that SA black on black violence against black foreigners began between Zimbabwe's repeated elections between Mugabe and Tsvirangai. As a characteristic of madness was an inability to manage one's own affairs, where did that leave the ANC / SACP?
25.05.08. Information Online Limited (IOL) reported: In Gauteng - 50 dead, 500 arrested, 17000 displaced.
26.05.08. IOL reported about 20 000 blacks displaced in the Cape Town region.
28.05.08. IOL reported "at least 56 people died and up to 100 000 were displaced... at least 50 000 Mozambicans and Zimbabweans have departed SA after the attacks began on May 11."
Although the scale of migration in SA was bigger than NZ, NZ was a nation of immigrants. In our neighbourhood, Asians, Maori, Pacific Islanders, Europeans lived side by side without aggravation. We were welcomed and made to feel useful. Our permanent resident rights were the same as New Zealanders'. As a deaf person I'd experienced some discrimination, but migrant cultures were celebrated, not despised. Because we were foreigners, no one had threatened to kill us or chase us away during our time in NZ. One stupid Kiwi teacher 13 years before told me to "Go home!" as she had a 1980s apartheid protester mindset.
Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.