Friday, April 07, 2006

South Africa

Kim du Toit reports on a highly disturbing article today- the number of "farm murders" in South Africa is high, 1700 since the end of apartheid in 1994, making farmers and their families risk of murder ten times higher than any other group-the most dangerous non-military profession in the world. The police seem entirely disinterested in investigating. The Times piece is well worth reading.

The situation is not quite so bad as Zimbabwe yet. I've heard before from relatives who used to live in South Africa that there used to be quiet talk of mass revenge against the whites- once Nelson Mandela passes on. Those relatives have since moved elsewhere in the world.

Zimbabwe’s cull of farmers can be repeated by default, as well as by design. There are signs of growing haste and impatience in land reform. New possibilities of legalised expropriation were opened on March 1. The deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, spoke at a recent conference in Pretoria. “We’ve got lessons to learn from Zimbabwe,” she said. “How to do it fast. We need a bit of oomph. So, we might want some skills exchange between us and Zimbabwe.” The remark was made with a smile, it was reported, and “to muted laughter”.

The world has thus far turned a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing of the whites in Zimbabwe. Will it do the same again if it happens in South Africa?

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