The very idea of apartheid draws an unusual similarity with the present actions of the South African government and her treatment of Israel than its opposite. It is in reality an obvious disparity with the pioneer position of South Africa’s foremost civil rights activist Nelson Mandela, whose idea of interactions with other nations was premised on their support for the South African cause much more than any form of similar downtrodden or perceived oppression (although in the Israel-Palestine conflict, it really isn’t the case of an oppressor-oppressed relationship, but rather an obvious crisis, fueled by some extreme elements and desire to annihilate the Jews and the resultant Jewish struggle for self-preservation).
In a public interview, Mandela made in 1990, when asked his position on the Palestinian conflict, Mandela restrained taking a side, and rather affirmed that South Africa will deal with countries based on how much positive influence such relationship would have on South African overall national goals, as well as how much cooperation such country yielded during the apartheid struggle. In his view, “anybody who changes his principles depending on whom he is dealing (with), is not a man who can lead a nation.” This principle, which we may more properly link to be a fundamental driving principle of international relations in Mandela’s position, is rather to be hinged on the inherent necessities of the South African state than any action deemed as an acclaimed solidarity, which may be to her own hurt.
However while the present hostility of South African government to Israel can be seen more as an enactment of hatred much more than a love for truth, the most recent pressure campaign by South African government officials on the 24 year old Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane, as well as the public backlash and withdrawal of support for her, being pushed also by the government, just because of her desire to participate in the upcoming Miss Universe beauty Pageant set to hold in Israel, on a pretext that Israel is an apartheid state, isn’t just a ‘new low,’ but a much deeper depth of ‘hate at its peak.’ A hate, not just for Israel, but for the young woman, whose very career is now at stake, because of her desire to interact and participate in entertaining activities amidst other humans created by God, whom South Africans themselves revere.
But then, must the freedom of an individual to interact and participate in events be determined or regulated by government no matter what challenges exist between both countries? Isn’t entertainment aimed at being value-free, that is; free from animosities, hostilities, and rather an avenue to build friendships and foster interpersonal cum interracial unity?
Without mincing words, there appear no correlation in any way so-ever between an individual’s choice to participate in an entertainment event; in the spirit of sportsmanship, and a country’s choice to subject such individual to her ‘own governmental hate’ policy. South African’s May not necessarily be a hateful people, like all humans they are inherently full of love, although we may affirm that some elements of their national history have been rift by experiences of racial hatred, such as displayed in the apartheid and more recently in the xenophobic instances, a much obvious hostility by blacks again other blacks. However to force an individual into a governmental group-hatred, is an obvious abuse on the individual freedom of choice, and an obvious new low for the government of Cyril Ramaphosa. We may be forced to place Ramaphosa’s government as one which spread hate, a hate much in the spirit of apartheid than of the struggle against it, which animated the Nelson Mandela years.
Basically, even amongst nations openly at war, sports and entertainment are sometimes kept away from being tools in furthering hate. There are even heartfelt stories of British and German soldiers putting off their guns and engaging in football games during the second world war. However, this new attack by the South African government in line with the Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, targeted, not on the economy, but on entertainment, depicts an obvious lack of understanding about the very basic constituents of individual freedom, inter-state cooperation and international peace. It is an obvious reflection of hate, brewed in the very pots of a country whose history of hatred requires a concentration more on internal healing, than an external venting of spills. The South African government have slidden down the path of a new low, an obvious new low, worst than the apartheid.