Cry the Beloved Country, indeed!

An ex-Capetonian who has lived in Chicago for many years wrote the following on Facebook to me:  “I wonder if David Hersch would be happy about maintaining a statue of Yasser Arafat. That is how black people probably feel about a statue of Rhodes”.

I would have thought that more contemporary “Apartheid” statues could have been described in this manner. How many South Africans, black and white, alive today actually know much about Rhodes? I think my friend from Chicago assumes too much.

My Response:

I do live and have to live with your example of Yasser Arafat. The ANC government, in its infinite wisdom and tasteless stupidity has setup many examples which I have seen and have to live with. The highway in Durban to the old airport is now the Yasser Arafat Highway. There is a Che Guevara Road there too. In Durban’s Berea, what was Cowie Road, is now Problem Mkhize Road, which sums up the whole situation.

To add insult to injury, they renamed Point Road near the Durban docks where the prostitutes hang out Mahatma Ghandi Street, which has thrilled the Indian community no end, and the whores continue to hang out there.

Johannesburg has a monstrous statue of Mandela in Sandton Square and Naval Hill in Bloemfontein in the Freestate Province has an equally large Mandela statue with arms outstretched and waving ala the Corcovado in Rio at the CBD end of Naval Hill overlooking the city defacing a pristine hill, the brick base of which, just by the way, is already crumbling. Pretoria has an equally over-sized Mandela on the front lawns of the Union Buildings.

In Cape Town, in front of the main entrance to Parliament, is another Mandela bust. Highways in Cape Town, such as the neutrally named Eastern Boulevard, is now the Nelson Mandela Boulevard and the Western Boulevard running from town to Sea Point is the Helen Susman Boulevard. The aptly, geographically and historically named Table Bay Boulevard that runs past the harbour to Milnerton and Bellville is equally tastelessly renamed the FW de Klerk Highway.

I have to live with all of this whether I like it or not and I certainly don’t splash excrement nor paint over anything to do with these name changes and tasteless statues, as happened to Rhodes’ statue at the University of Cape Town. The justification being used was that this is all against colonialism and history. A bit late I would say and history cannot be rewritten.

I am against glorifying communism and naming areas after Stalinists like Joe Slovo, but I have no say and just live with it as “the times, they are a changing”. There are far more important things to concentrate on and oppose and fight against.

There is a Monty Python skit about there being no Roman statues in Britain with the question of what did the Romans actually do for Britain? This can apply to modern times and this situation in South Africa. The Romans gave sanitation, roads, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, aqueducts, fresh water systems, public baths, brought peace and stopped the Brits fighting amongst themselves. That made for the civilized Britain of today.

I have never been a great fan of Rhodes, but he also contributed to what is the modern South Africa, good, bad and indifferent. In the mean time the ANC and Black xenophobia is rampant and poor foreigners trying to survive and who escaped the chaos of their own countries are being murdered. Not so long ago in April 2015 there was a photo in the press of a foreigner being burned alive. What is the ANC doing about it? NOTHING!!!!

Shall I add for good measure the over 3,000 white farmers killed since the ANC took over?

Thankfully we have recently been spared the revolting view of a half naked over-married Jacob Zuma singing and dancing calling for his machine gun. With all his wives, we know where his machine gun is.

Instead, everything run and controlled by the ANC in South Africa is falling apart or bankrupt. Every state owned company/enterprise is insolvent or failing with hugely overpaid executives who got their positions simply because they were party apparatchiks and black.

We have had daily load-shedding because Eskom failed through the ANC government’s reluctance and refusal to plan for increased electricity demand whilst rolling out the electrification of the likes of Soweto in Johannesburg and other townships around the country. The maintenance of a fine infrastructure they inherited has been neglected.

The SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) is bankrupt and dysfunctional. The Post Office is bankrupt. South African Airways (SAA) is also bankrupt. The railways (Transnet) hardly run and are neglected. Telkom is also not much better and I could name more with infrastructure breaking down.

The Cape and Cape Town, run by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), is the only province with a clean bill of health, but their leader, Helen Zille, has resigned and we will now have blacks take over and the DA will ultimately become the ANC-Lite.

Consider that all this bull about Rhodes and statues is just contrived and designed to take attention away from the ANC’s kleptocracy, ineptitude and incompetence while President Zuma’s private residence has cost the SA taxpayer R250 million with another R100 million still to go. It is not as if the state does not provide him with at least two official residences. One in Pretoria and another in Cape Town.

Add this to the kickbacks and bribes from the arms deal which has never been solved or properly followed up. We now sit with Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighters that have no pilots. Even if we had pilots, South Africa cannot afford the fuel to fly them. Of the three submarines South Africa bought from Germany, one is on the hard, one was crashed into the quay and I think we have only one functional, but how functional is a question in terms of its seaworthiness and the competence of its captain and crew.

The modern destroyers we bought from Germany lie in Simonstown harbour and are hardly taken out and I am not too sure how armed and ready they are. Luckily we are not under attack or threat even if the former Minister of Health, the late Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, once justified the purchase of the submarines with a comment that South Africa needs them as we may be invaded by America.

Add to this the extraordinary salaries paid to the executives put in charge of state enterprises, the tenderpreneurs who get government contracts and the accompanying kickbacks. I haven’t touched on the government’s Black Economic Empowerment laws, which is essentially legalized theft where companies are forced to give away 25% of their shares, not to mention appoint blacks to positions they are not always suited to. I acknowledge the sins of Apartheid have to be addressed, but this has now become a means to instant wealth for the well-connected ANCniks.

South African universities are hugely in debt and after student protests, the government, after fee increases for the new year were announced, were forced to make statements last week that there will be no increases for the next year. How will the government pay for free higher education when even Britain and America can’t afford it? South African universities will increasingly dumb down and many will have to close if not bailed out by the government, but where will the money come from? A once prosperous and dynamic country is becoming a failed state and eventually the IMF will have to step in. If this leads to the eventual fall of the ANC, I strongly doubt they would give up power.

As for the Jewish community, increasingly under attack and pressure with the main English newspaper group now owned by Muslims with an almost daily agenda to attack Israel and the Jews. The Sunday Times having sung the praises of the ANC government’s new alliance with Hamas, refused to publish a paid for advert from a concerned Jewish group laying out the realities and background of Hamas. It should be noted that this advert was an independent communal response from concerned members of the community and not the official communal bodies such as the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation, both of which lack strong leadership and should have done a lot more than issue yet another ignored press statement.

Our newspapers, especially the Independent group of papers, have become the equivalent of Izvestia and Pravda. They are run and owned by Muslims with their own nefarious and obvious agenda.

Yasser Arafat Highway! Bloody hell!!! But I live with it in a dumbing down country that is extraordinarily beautiful, but increasingly dangerous from every perspective and becoming infinitely classless and dysfunctional. Think of South Africa’s beauty as very fine but very thin veneer under which is increasingly rotting chipboard.

The Muslims in South Africa have a disproportional influence on the ANC government with a foreign policy that is easily bought. One of these days, as the old Aesop’s Fable about the frog and the scorpion relates, the Muslims/Islamists will turn around and sting the ANC and this country.

Cry the Beloved Country indeed!

About the Author
David Hersch is Chairman of SAIPAC, the South African Israel Public Affairs Committee. Former chairman of the South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council) as well as a former national vice-chairman of the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF). Also a former member of the South Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council). Retired businessman and broadcaster.
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