Blogs

The African Union (AU) February summit that marked its 20th year of existence, replacing the Organisation of African Union (OEU) founded in 1963, took place against a successful coup d’etat in Burkina Faso on the 23rd January – one of several in recent times. On the 1st February a coup attempt failed in Guinea-Bissau, a country that had suffered four coups since its independence from Portugal in 1974. Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad spoke of a disaster, calling coups absolutely unacceptable, with the summit condemning such unconstitutional power grabs.

Are African countries ready for real change? Or even a revolution?
I was recently asked why many African countries are bedeviled by governments unwilling to accept and suppress any dissent, labeling the opposition bad apples and worse, while disregarding the deep divide between the greedy, newly rich party elite and the poverty-stricken masses, endemic corruption, stagnant economies, economic and political refugees. Given the autocratic tendency and kleptocracy of many post-independence political elites and many more issues, what does the future hold? The one-time liberation movements turned into party governments considering it their right to rule. They will not go easily.

The second part of the Zondo Commission Report that has been handed to President Ramaphosa is truly mind-boggling, listing pages of racketeering incidents. The Commission worked for more than three years to probe how state-owned entities were penetrated and looted. The third and final part will be issued at the end of the month.

What does it say about hate, if a twenty-year-old woman spits on an eight-year-old because of his background? Last week the New York police arrested a woman, who had lowered herself to do just that, adding for good measure “we will kill you all, I know where you live, and we’ll make sure to get you all next time.”

In our garden in Harare’s Avenues grew a huge avocado tree, whose fruit – and shade – we loved. When I can, I still enjoy this export item from South Africa (SA) and elsewhere. Yet now I learn from the ever-busy NAD team’s latest newsletter, firstly that Kenya has outpaced SA in exports, secondly that Kenyan gangs have created a black market in the fruit! Drones swarm around avocado plants to deter thieves, while the authorities had banned exports from November to January.

In his remarkable report on his journey in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) published on 1.6.2021 by the online South African Daily Maverick, Dave Martin talked about the new DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and a current quasi-partner Moise Katumbi, a possible rival.

The 4th January 2022 will become a red-letter date in South Africa’s history. On that day Justice Raymond Zondo personally handed President Cyril Ramaphosa the first of three parts of the Zondo Commission (ZK), the others will be submitted by the end of February. The ZK has been busy with the investigation into “State Capture” by certain individuals for almost four years.

South Africa has lost its best-beloved citizen – Desmond Mapilo Tutu is no longer among us. The first black Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town aged 90 – virtual head of the Church in his home country – passed away on Boxing Day 2021.

The 2021 Peace Prize was won by FREEDOM OF SPEECH in the shape of the first Philippine Nobel Laureate, the fearless MARIA RESSA and the equally brave Russian DMITRY MURATOV, two courageous journalists.

GREETINGS FROM LAURE JOYCE –Counsellor political SA Embassy Berlin 30.11.2021
WELCOMING WORD BY LAURA JOYCE (COUNSELLOR POLITICAL)
I am deeply honoured to represent the South African Embassy at the event, entitled “Jewish Refugees from Germany in Apartheid South Africa”. I am all the more honoured to find myself in the presence of what, in Jewish parlance, would be a “Mensch”, in the person of Mrs Ruth Weiss.