Archive for the ‘Apartheid’ Category

Another View — Daniel Weeks Apartheid 'won't quite go away' in South Africa

Learning my New Hampshire history back in middle school, conflict was not a concept I encountered. It seemed the biggest tragedy to befall our state in the last 250 years was losing more than a few good men to wars beyond our borders. And too many years of playoff disappointment down at Fenway Park.

Not so in South Africa, where my wife and I moved to from Concord for a time. Here history, poverty, and inequality stare you in the face, tap on your car window at the stop-light, press up against the barbed-wire fence that surrounds your home. Not 20 years have passed since Nelson Mandela moved from political prisoner to president in the first democratic elections of 1994, bringing to a formal close the countrys racist past of colonial and apartheid rule.

A lot has changed since then, and much of it we call progress. There are eligible black yuppies (Buppies) with straightened hair and the Barbie Doll Benz serving as loyal ambassadors for Beyonc. There are businessmen in fitted suits and pointy shoes doing deals by Blackberry in their BMWs . There are young black hipsters in skinny jeans , chowing Belgian waffles and sipping Sauvignon at the farmers market.

More importantly, there are millions of South African poor, raised in a state of moral and material degradation under apartheid, who now have running water, electricity, better roads and schools, and the hope that they might someday see their children succeed. And there are countless of their children who are seizing the newfound opportunities that political equality and a slowly integrating economy afford by working hard and earning their place in society with or without the fancy cars and foreign fads and other stereotypes.

Indeed, with a new generation of South Africans born free of the brutal memories of their countrys past, Nelson Mandelas dream of a multiracial society where there is justice, peace, work, bread, water and salt for all may still come to be.

But the thing about apartheid in South Africa is that it wont quite go away, not yet. By any measure of wealth and opportunity, it would seem the champagne and oysters are mainly still reserved for the rich, white part of town. In spite of South Africas miracle transition to democratic rule by the black majority under the ANC, much of the countrys wealth continues to accrue to whites, thanks to centuries of colonial and apartheid policy designed for just that end. For the 9 percent of the population that is white, per capita income exceeds that of black Africans (at 79 percent) by a factor of eight to one, a slight decline since 1994. While the number of black millionaires is growing every year, by every measure of poverty Africans are still very much poorer than Coloureds (a mixed-race classification under apartheid), who are very much poorer than Indians, who are poorer than whites.

At least half of the countrys 50 million people live in poverty earning less than R500 (US $64) per month. Between 25 to 50 percent of citizens cannot find work, relying instead on family networks and limited social grants. Nearly one in five South Africans is living with HIV, contributing to a national life expectancy of just 52 years. And in the most mineral-rich country on earth, a mere 10 percent of national income is shared by the bottom half while 60 percent accrues to the wealthiest 10 percent making South Africa the most income-unequal country in the world.

Bank accounts aside, the evidence of apartheid is still firmly etched into the South African landscape itself. Although blacks are no longer confined by law to living in urban slums or rural homelands on just 13 percent of the land, the physical separation between rich and poor, white and black is unmistakable. Cruising Cape Towns more elevated enclaves, you pass through leafy white suburbs that are home to high-walled houses with acres of their own, and the effect is all Newton or Greenwich or McLean (except for the Queens English and Afrikaans).

A few kilometers away in a flatter part of town, you find that same plot of land is home to 1,000 black Africans or more, crammed into makeshift shacks with dirt floors and tin walls and little in the way of electricity or sanitation. The roads are poorly paved, the private security guards are nowhere to be found, and what little there is in the way of public amenities is often in a state of disrepair. Here, isiXhosa is the language of choice, although English and Afrikaans are a necessary part of the mix.

In between these two divergent worlds are the historic in-betweens: coloured townships with an occasional Indian or Asian accent, marked by square brick houses and apartment blocks, seedy strip malls, and a dialect and vibe all of their own. In the coloured taxis that ply the busy streets between the city and the townships in search of paying customers, its not uncommon to hear three languages spoken in a single sentence.

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Another View — Daniel Weeks Apartheid 'won't quite go away' in South Africa

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Students Protest Investment in Apartheid South Africa

Between erecting a shantytown in Harvard Yard and disrupting a South African officials speech in the Science Center, anti-apartheid activists at Harvard in the late 1980s pressured the University to fully divest from companies with ties to South Africa.

Even after Harvard tried to placate critics with a policy of selective divestment, student activists continued to protest any investment in South Africa.

Activist pressure played a key role in pushing the University to reduce its South African holdings significantly, ultimately leading to a decrease of $230 million in South Africa-based holdings between June 1986 and January 1987.

Although Harvard never did fully divest from South Africa, 25 years later the student participants look back proudly on the small role they played in the downfall of the apartheid regime.

THE SPIRIT OF THE TIMES

South Africas system of apartheid was first instituted after World War II, and worldwide opposition to the system of forced racial segregation developed quickly.

In the late 1970s, a significant movement to divest from South Africa began. It aimed to use economic isolation to pressure the apartheid government to change its policies.

As the movement spread throughout the United States, Harvard resisted calls to withdraw its investments and the original movement eventually lost momentum.

However, Harvard activists in the late 1980s were reinvigorated by Jesse Jacksons visit in April of 1985.

In front of thousands of Harvard students and onlookers, Jackson denounced apartheid and urged students to choose the moral high road, according to a 1985 Crimson article.

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Students Protest Investment in Apartheid South Africa

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New playhouse in Soweto, South Africa's most famous township, could spark theater revival

JOHANNESBURG Playwright, director and actor John Ledwaba gave up theater during South Africa’s turbulent 1980s and left his Soweto home to train to be an anti-apartheid guerrilla. But he soon stopped training to lead the fight through theater, staging powerful works that exposed the horrors of racist rule to the world.

Theater mattered in Soweto in those days. With the opening this week of the first state-of-the-art playhouse in South Africa’s most famous township, Ledwaba and others think it can matter again.

Apartheid planners saw Soweto as little more than a dormitory for Johannesburg’s black maids and gardeners, mine and factory workers. But it has long been a cosmopolitan center of political and artistic life for black South Africans.

The 150 million rand (about $18 million) Soweto Theatre complex with a 436-seat main stage and two smaller performance spaces is part of an ambitious redevelopment plan by the city of Johannesburg for Soweto.

Since apartheid ended in 1994, Soweto has seen the building of new parks, homes and malls, the paving of more roads and the renovation of schools. The tiny Soweto home where Nelson Mandela once lived has been turned into a museum, in a neighborhood of other historic sites from the apartheid era that draws tourists from around the world.

The soccer-mad township of more than 1 million people also saw two stadiums refurbished as practice venues for the 2010 World Cup. On the edge of Soweto, a third stadium, where Mandela held his first major rally after being released from 27 years in prison, was virtually rebuilt for the World Cup’s opening and final games.

“The Suitcase,” the production that will open the Soweto Theatre on Friday, brings together some of South Africa’s best-known and most beloved talent. The play is based on a story by the late Es’kia Mphahlele about poverty, desperation and hope. The production has music by Hugh Masekela, choreography by Gregory Maqoma, and is directed by James Ngcobo. The lineup of internationally known South African artists underlines the ambitions behind the Soweto Theatre.

The new theater resembles a giant child’s toy with walls clad in bright blue, yellow and red tiles and a tent-like entrance covered in an awning of white canvass. Sophisticated and modern, it contrasts sharply with the community halls where plays in Soweto were once performed.

Ledwaba had one bit of advice for the new theater’s management: “Please, no weddings and parties!” He wants a stage devoted to theater where audiences can see sophisticated and challenging work.

“I come from a history of using theater to fight,” Ledwaba said.

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New playhouse in Soweto, South Africa's most famous township, could spark theater revival

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Shameful model behaviour

Toxic tweets … Jessica Leandra Dos Santos.

JOHANNESBURG: Two young models – one of them white, the other black – from a generation too young to have personal memories of apartheid, have exposed South Africa’s racist underbelly in recent days with a series of angry tweets.

The seemingly casual racist remarks by the models suggest that some members of South Africa’s ”born free” generation, who grew up after the end of apartheid, nonetheless may sport toxic attitudes.

Late last week, Jessica Leandra Dos Santos, a 20-year-old blonde model who says her days ”revolve around being kind”, sent a tweet that was anything but.

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Tshidi Thamana.

Using a highly offensive racial epithet – kaffir – known in South Africa as the K-word, Dos Santos told more than 6000 followers that she had just ”taken on” an ”arrogant and disrespectful” black man in a supermarket. ”Should have punched him, should have,” her tweet ended.

By hitting send, she torpedoed her reputation, a valuable sponsorship and a modelling award that was handed to her last year by a men’s magazine.

In an apology published the next day, Dos Santos said she was angry when she tweeted, claiming that the man in the supermarket had sexually harassed her.

”I tweeted rather irresponsibly last night using a harsh and unkind word about the gentleman who had confronted me with sexual remarks and sounds. Please do understand that I was acting in pure anger and frustration at the time and although we know this is no excuse, it is a lesson learnt and again I am sincerely apologetic.”

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Shameful model behaviour

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Students experience traveling Apartheid Wall

Students were able to learn about Palestinian conflict and the Israeli Apartheid Wall last week when Cal Poly Pomonas Muslim Student Association hosted its annual Palestine Awareness Week.

The weeks events started off with the Apartheid Wall which was to be on display in the University Park Monday through Friday, but the wall was only kept up through Wednesday as it was needed at another school.

The wall, which travels between several Southern California universities, displayed a variety of facts explaining current issues dealing with Palestine occupation.

MSA students took shifts to stand by the wall and help explain what was depicted to passers-by who would take the time to stop and look at the large display.

The wall was a passive type of protest as a way to display information and better inform CPP students about what is really going on, according to fifth-year Manufacturing Engineering student Jelani Haider who as MSAs brothers chair, helped with the weeks events.

I realized what type of world we live in, said Haider. Everyone is consumed in their own reality and sometimes that will never change, but sometimes people will stop and get out of what theyre consumed with. Whether that means they agree or disagree, at least they took the time to stop and look.

The wall is a mock Apartheid Wall, which resembles the Apartheid Wall being built by the State of Israel that separates Israel and Palestine along the West Bank. The building of the wall is a very controversial subject between Israel and Palestine in regards to arguments of Israel occupation of prior Palestinian lands.

Not only did MSA students stand by waiting to inform CPP students about the issues going on in Palestine, but students from CPPs organization of Jewish students, Hillel, also had a board posted with Ask us about the wall written on it, and students there answered questions about the controversial topic.

Hillel President, Orr Karny explained that their goal is not to argue with MSAs presentation of facts, but to be there to logically show both sides of the situations so students can be better informed.

The real important issue is to inform and make sure people know whats going on, because otherwise they get skewed either way, said Karny. Its great when people support Israel. Its great when people support Palestine, but we need to make sure that when people believe in it, they believe for the right reasons. They need to look at the reasons otherwise; were not making any logical conclusions.

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Students experience traveling Apartheid Wall

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Anti-apartheid singer spreads African spirit

The musical ‘voice of South Africa’

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Editor’s note: African Voices highlights Africa’s most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera.

Watch the show: Friday 0730, Saturday :1430, Sunday : 0800,1730, Monday : 0930,1630, Tuesday : 0430 (all times GMT)

(CNN) — He is lauded as one of Africa’s most unique voices, with a fanbase stretching across the world, but South African singing sensation Vusi Mahlasela remains faithful to his roots.

For more than 20 years, the legendary singer has been celebrated globally for his powerful vocals and universal messages of freedom and human kindness. He has toured the world extensively and collaborated with major music stars such as Sting, Paul Simon and Dave Matthews.

But despite all his success and international acclaim, Mahlasela still resides in Mamelodi, the small township northeast of Pretoria where he grew up and nurtured his passion and talent for music.

He says it all started for him here.

“Quite a lot of inspirations and also some of the songs that I wrote, I penned them here in Mamelodi,” says Mahlasela, who is known in South Africa as “The Voice.” “I still have very strong connections with this place,” he adds. “I feel rooted and connected to this place, I love it.”

A humble star, Mahlaselas roots are reflected in his songs and lyrics, many written during one of the toughest times in South Africas history — the fight against apartheid.

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Anti-apartheid singer spreads African spirit

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IS ISRAEL AN APARTHEID STATE? – Video


16-08-2010 23:59 Renown journalist Jonathan Cook and top Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard on apartheid & Israel.

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IS ISRAEL AN APARTHEID STATE? – Video

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ANTI-APARTHEID PROTEST SONG: BIKO by Peter Gabriel (Inc LYRICS) – Video


15-10-2010 16:51 Song about Steve Biko, a noted black South African anti-apartheid activist. Biko had been arrested by the South African police in late August 1977. After being held in custody for several days, he was interrogated in room 619 of the Walmer Street prison in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. Following the interrogation, during which he sustained serious head injuries, Biko was transferred to a prison in Pretoria, where he died shortly afterwards, on 12 September 1977. Gabriel often plays the song at the end of concerts, encouraging the audience to join in the singing, and eventually leaving only the drummer on stage. The album version of the song is bookended by a recording of the South African song “Senzeni Na?” as sung at Biko’s funeral. It was first played on South African TV and radio stations after apartheid was abolished in 1990. BIKO LYRICS: September ’77 Port Elizabeth weather fine It was business as usual In police room 619 Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja -The man is dead When I try to sleep at night I can only dream in red The outside world is black and white With only one colour dead Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja -The man is dead You can blow out a candle But you can’t blow out a fire Once the flames begin to catch The wind will blow it higher Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja -The man is dead And the eyes of the world are watching now watching now

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ANTI-APARTHEID PROTEST SONG: BIKO by Peter Gabriel (Inc LYRICS) – Video

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road map to Isreali apartheid – Video


18-10-2010 09:15 Winner Israeli Apartheid Video Contest. offers a comparison of South African Apartheid To Israeli Apartheid. excerpts from feature film Road Map to Apartheid

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road map to Isreali apartheid – Video

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Another View — Daniel Weeks Apartheid 'won't quite go away' in South Africa

Learning my New Hampshire history back in middle school, conflict was not a concept I encountered. It seemed the biggest tragedy to befall our state in the last 250 years was losing more than a few good men to wars beyond our borders. And too many years of playoff disappointment down at Fenway Park.

Fair Usage Law

May 25, 2012   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

Students Protest Investment in Apartheid South Africa

Between erecting a shantytown in Harvard Yard and disrupting a South African officials speech in the Science Center, anti-apartheid activists at Harvard in the late 1980s pressured the University to fully divest from companies with ties to South Africa.

Fair Usage Law

May 25, 2012   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

New playhouse in Soweto, South Africa's most famous township, could spark theater revival

JOHANNESBURG Playwright, director and actor John Ledwaba gave up theater during South Africa’s turbulent 1980s and left his Soweto home to train to be an anti-apartheid guerrilla. But he soon stopped training to lead the fight through theater, staging powerful works that exposed the horrors of racist rule to the world. Theater mattered in Soweto in those days.

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May 21, 2012   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

Shameful model behaviour

Toxic tweets … Jessica Leandra Dos Santos. JOHANNESBURG: Two young models – one of them white, the other black – from a generation too young to have personal memories of apartheid, have exposed South Africa’s racist underbelly in recent days with a series of angry tweets

Fair Usage Law

May 9, 2012   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

Students experience traveling Apartheid Wall

Students were able to learn about Palestinian conflict and the Israeli Apartheid Wall last week when Cal Poly Pomonas Muslim Student Association hosted its annual Palestine Awareness Week. The weeks events started off with the Apartheid Wall which was to be on display in the University Park Monday through Friday, but the wall was only kept up through Wednesday as it was needed at another school. The wall, which travels between several Southern California universities, displayed a variety of facts explaining current issues dealing with Palestine occupation.

Fair Usage Law

May 9, 2012   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

Anti-apartheid singer spreads African spirit

The musical ‘voice of South Africa’ STORY HIGHLIGHTS Editor’s note: African Voices highlights Africa’s most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. Watch the show: Friday 0730, Saturday :1430, Sunday : 0800,1730, Monday : 0930,1630, Tuesday : 0430 (all times GMT) (CNN) — He is lauded as one of Africa’s most unique voices, with a fanbase stretching across the world, but South African singing sensation Vusi Mahlasela remains faithful to his roots. For more than 20 years, the legendary singer has been celebrated globally for his powerful vocals and universal messages of freedom and human kindness.

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May 9, 2012   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

IS ISRAEL AN APARTHEID STATE? – Video




16-08-2010 23:59 Renown journalist Jonathan Cook and top Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard on apartheid & Israel.

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ANTI-APARTHEID PROTEST SONG: BIKO by Peter Gabriel (Inc LYRICS) – Video




15-10-2010 16:51 Song about Steve Biko, a noted black South African anti-apartheid activist. Biko had been arrested by the South African police in late August 1977. After being held in custody for several days, he was interrogated in room 619 of the Walmer Street prison in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

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road map to Isreali apartheid – Video




18-10-2010 09:15 Winner Israeli Apartheid Video Contest. offers a comparison of South African Apartheid To Israeli Apartheid. excerpts from feature film Road Map to Apartheid

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