Apartheid's legacy lingers on

When 74-year-old Dlingiziwe Ngubane was able to cast his vote for the first time 20 years ago – on April 27, 1994 – he had hoped his life would take a turn for the better. But he was utterly disappointed. “We wanted to see changes in our lives. But we still don’t have running water and electricity,” he told DW in his remote village of Mtunzini in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, a half hour drive from the province’s capital Pietermaritzburg. Most of the 2,000 people here in Mtunzini, a village located in a beautiful valley surrounded by wattle trees, live in rondaval Zulu mud huts. People make a living as laborers on a nearby white-owned farm and by cultivating their own small fields. Some of the children have to walk four hours every day in order to attend higher primary and secondary schools. There is no running water, electricity or paved roads. Deeply disappointed Ngubane said he is also worried about ownership of the land his ancestors have been staying on for more than 200 years. Despite his disappointment, he said he and his family would still go to the polls in May. The residents of Mtunzini village still don’t have running water and electricity “My dream for the future is to see my children and grandchildren obtaining a decent education so that they can improve their lives and one day become nurses, teachers and doctors,” he said. “I don’t want them to keep working as servants to other people, like we are.” Apartheid’s legacy Siyabonga Sithole is a community activist who has been trying to help the villagers of Mtunzini. He works for the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA) to promote the rights of farming communities who have been discriminated against and marginalized during the apartheid years.

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April 22, 2014  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

A visit to modern-day Soweto

The township of Soweto was created for blacks by South Africa’s oppressive apartheid government in 1963. Under apartheid, South Africans were classified as ‘black’,'colored’ (or mixed race), ‘Asian’ or ‘white’. Today, seen from a distance, Soweto looks old and unremarkable. The old style houses and slum areas would in normal circumstances make it a no-go area for most people. However, the legacy left by apartheid has turned it into a tourist magnet. Apartheid Museum Outside the township, on the road from Johannesburg of which Soweto is now officially a suburb, is the Apartheid Museum which was opened in 2001. Here visitors see the history of apartheid in all its brutality, presented through pictures, videos, audio installations and symbols portraying a system that equated blacks with dogs and massively curtailed their rights. Apartheid was introduced as an official policy in South Africa in 1948. Visitors to Soweto head for Nelson Mandela’s house, now a museum The permanent exhibition includes pictures and videos showing blacks being evicted from the towns and regions of their birth, others working like slaves on farms and in mines while white South Africans dined and partied. Discriminatory signs like “Europeans Only” and “Dogs and Blacks Not Allowed” bring home to visitors the ugly face of South Africa during the apartheid era. Deus Mwale, a Zambian national, recently attended a workshop in South Africa together with people from other African countries. Before they returned home, the group paid a visit to the Apartheid Museum and Soweto. “We are excited that this evil system is now over. It is good that this history is preserved so that such a thing is not repeated,” Mwale told DW. Mandela’s house now a museum The group’s first destination in Soweto was Vilakazi Street, formerly home to two Nobel Peace Prize laureates and apartheid struggle icons, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tourists from all over the world regularly descend on this street to see Mandela’s house which has now been turned into a museum.

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South Africa's ANC set for two-thirds majority: poll

The African National Congress (ANC) is on course to win nearly a two-thirds majority in May 7 elections, a poll showed on Sunday, confounding analysts who had predicted a fall in support for South Africa's ruling party 20 years after the end of apartheid. The poll, published by South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper, said the ANC was likely to win 65.5 percent of the vote, only a shade lower than …

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Nelson Mandela: mourners pay tribute at South Africa House in London

Shrine grows up to late South African president at building in Trafalgar Square that became focus for anti-apartheid protests Standing by the steps of South Africa House on Trafalgar Square, the focus for decades of anti-apartheid demonstrations in London, Simphiwe Sikhosana could hardly have been a better representation of the transformed nation bequeathed by Nelson Mandela. Wearing a T-shirt …

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The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa – Video

The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa The College Board announced that it will be removing some of its harder words from the SAT exam by 2016. – As the world focuses on Tuesday's historic handsha… By: B.W.N

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South Africa’s townships, twenty years after apartheid – Video

South Africa's townships, twenty years after apartheid Twenty years since the end of apartheid, conditions for many in South Africa's townships remain as poor as they did under white minority rule. Duration: 02:18. By: AFP news agency

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Apartheid abuse cases against Ford, IBM go ahead

A federal judge on Thursday declined to toss out decade-old lawsuits that accuse IBM Corp. and Ford Motor Co. of supporting apartheid by letting their subsidiaries sell computers and cars to the South …

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Ford, IBM to face renewed U.S. lawsuit over apartheid-era abuses

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co and IBM Corp will again have to face a U.S. lawsuit claiming they encouraged race-based human rights abuses in apartheid-era South Africa, despite a series of recent court decisions limiting the right to pursue such cases. Reviving a 12-year-old lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan accepted an argument from a group of …

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Apartheid-era abuse lawsuits against Ford, IBM move forward in federal court in New York

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A federal judge in New York has given new life to lawsuits that seek to hold IBM and Ford liable for apartheid abuses carried out by South Africa's government.

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GM South Africa Apartheid Lawsuit Given Another Chance in U.S.

General Motors Co. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F) and International Business Machines Corp. lost a bid to stop victims from suing them in U.S. for allegedly aiding the former apartheid regime in South Africa. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled that corporations may be liable for human rights abuses committed overseas under a law that allows non-citizens claiming violations of international laws to sue in the U.S. She rejected the companies argument that earlier court rulings interpreting the 1789 Alien Tort Statute shield multinationals from such lawsuits. No principle of law supports the conclusion that the norms enforceable through the ATS — such as the prohibition by international law of genocide, slavery, war crimes, piracy etc. — apply only to natural persons and not to corporations, she said. Scheindlin said plaintiffs in the 12-year-old lawsuit could seek to file an amended complaint showing that the companies actions touched the U.S. with sufficient force to overcome the presumption that theyre not liable under the Alien Tort law. They must also show that the defendants acted not only with knowledge but with the purpose to aid and abet the South African regimes conduct as alleged in the lawsuit. Greg Martin, a GM spokesman, and Kristina Adamski, a Ford spokeswoman, didnt immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment after regular business hours. An e-mail sent to IBMs media office after regular business hours wasnt immediately returned. The plaintiffs in the case, including people who were tortured or relatives of those killed, invoked the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act. They say the companies knowingly helped the former South African regime by selling it weapons, providing it financing and otherwise doing business there. Apartheid, or the institutionalized system of racial segregation, came to an end in South Africa in the early 1990s, in a series of steps that led to the formation of a democratic government in 1994, the U.S. Department of State says on its website. The U.S. Supreme Court insulated multinational companies from at least some lawsuits over atrocities overseas when it threw out out a lawsuit in 2013 accusing two foreign-based units of Royal Dutch Shell Plc of facilitating torture and executions in Nigeria. A majority of the justices said the Alien Tort law generally doesnt apply to conduct beyond U.S. borders. The law has been a favorite legal tool of human-rights activists seeking to hold corporations liable in the U.S. The case is In re South African Apartheid Litigation, 02-md-1499, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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John Nichols: The singer who danced with Mandela returning to Madison

When Nelson Mandela died last fall at age 95, powerful pictures and video images of the man were widely circulated. Perhaps the warmest and most joyous of the videos featured him dancing with the great singer and songwriter Johnny Clegg, as Clegg performed the song he had written about Mandela during the anti-apartheid struggle: Asimbonanga. It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world. And at peace with myself, the South African president announced that night in 1999, when he surprised Clegg on stage in Frankfurt. Mandela delighted in joining Clegg, who on Saturday will return to Madison as part of a tour that recalls the struggles of the past and carries forward a shared vision of a vibrant African, and global, future. In 1969, Clegg formed a groundbreaking multiracial band in South Africa. He challenged the apartheid regime from within by writing and performing songs that championed voting rights, economic justice and diversity and that recognized the heroism of imprisoned foes of apartheid. With the Zulu guitarist and singer Sipho Mchunu, Clegg formed the band Juluka and in the late 1970s released a groundbreaking album chronicling the lives of migrant workers in South Africa, Universal Men. South African broadcasters censored it. There were bans on performances, arrests and threats. But Clegg and the bands he formed, Juluka and then Savuka, played on, embracing the struggles of the South African trade union movement (Work for All), speaking the names of martyrs such as Steven Biko, and hailing Mandela with “Asimbonanga” (Zulu for “we haven’t seen him”). The role that music and culture played in forging an anti-apartheid ethic cannot be underestimated. Mandela understood this. And, as South Africa moved toward democracy, he joined his countrymen in celebrating Clegg as a national treasure. Yet Clegg is more than that. The cultural anthropologist who left academia to sing of undoing the distance between peoples, communities and countries is an international treasure. During the apartheid years and afterward, Clegg toured America frequently, forming a living link that was especially poignant and powerful for residents of Madison, where in 1976 the City Council hailed the South African freedom struggle and ordered administrators to seek contracts with companies that did not cooperate with the apartheid regime. When Clegg returns to the Barrymore Theatre this Saturday night, he will renew those connections, reminding us of the great journey to secure a democratic and nonracial South Africa. He will, undoubtedly, recall Mandelas charismatic openness, straight aim, direct but respectful communication with his opponents, which Clegg hailed as a singularly rare quality in a time of racist and right-wing demagoguery.

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Africa and the First World War

The most impressive monument for African victims of the First World War (1914-1918) is not to be found in Africa but in France. At the battle of Delville, one of the engagements of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the South African 1st Infantry Brigade sustained heavy casualties. John Del Monde knows the site well. He is a member of the board of the South African Legion veterans’ association. Together with partner associations from other Commonwealth member states, he has made it his life’s work to keep alive the memory of all those who fought for the British monarchy. To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, ceremonies are being held in South Africa and Namibia and a new monument unveiled in Flanders, Del Monde told DW. Askaris and bearers in German East Africa Some 10,000 South African soldiers died in Belgium, France, Pakistan, North Africa and former German colonies in Africa. The South African Legion is one of the few bodies in Africa which honors their sacrifice. There is limited knowledge about WWI among the black African population, Del Monde says. During the conflict, some 2 million people from across Africa were actively involved in the military confrontations, as soldiers or bearers, in Europe and in Africa. At the start of the war, some Africans volunteered to take part, encouraged by the prospect of a modest income. From 1915, the Europeans began conscripting thousands of African men. The French alone sent 450,000 African soldiers from their colonies in West and North Africa to fight against Germany on the frontline in Europe. One million killed in East Africa When war broke out in Europe in 1914, English and French troops prepared to seize the four German colonies in Africa (German East Africa, German South-West Africa, Togoland and Cameroon). Fighting was particularly brutal in German East Africa where German General Lettow-Vorbeck adopted a guerilla strategy, drawing more and more areas into the war. More than 200,000 bearers transported weapons, ammunition and food for the troops. The myth of the “faithful Askari” (the Swahili word for ‘soldier’) still exists today in German history books. In reality these men had been torn from their roots and were looked down on by local populations. Back home, they were missed in the fields. Harvests suffered or were plundered and destroyed by troops passing through to ensure there would be no food left for their pursuers. African bearers were looked down on by soldiers and local populations There are no accurate figures saying how many people died of hunger. The fact that the colonial administrative area of Dodoma in what is now Tanzania lost 20 percent of its population in 1917/18 gives some indication of the deprivation and misery. Historians estimate that a million people died in East Africa as a direct result of the war. The outbreak of Spanish flu, which spread rapidly among the weakened population shortly after the war ended, accounted for a further 50,000 to 80,000 deaths. “The war changed some regions to such an extent that they needed decades to recover, if indeed they did recover,” sums up Jrgen Zimmerer, history professor at Hamburg University. In today’s Tanzania, which made up a large part of the former colony of German East Africa, the 1914-1918 war is largely absent from public consciousness. The country’s National Museum told DW that no memorial ceremonies were planned. It’s no different in Cameroon, also a former German colony, where several thousand black soldiers and bearers died. Jean-Emmanual Pondi, head of the Institute for International Relations in the capital Yaounde, told DW that WWI features less and less in school curricula. “It is a memory that is steadily disappearing,” he said. “The protagonists are long dead. They were our great grandparents!” New masters, the same suffering

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The Other Man – F.W de Klerk and the End of Apartheid in South Africa – Video

The Other Man – F.W de Klerk and the End of Apartheid in South Africa Coming in Fall 2014 ! F.W. de Klerk was the last State President of apartheid-era South Africa. In less than 4 years he went from being Mandela's jailor to h… By: Nicolas Rossier

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Welcome to Ukraine

Ukraine is situated in the south-eastern part of Central Europe and has its own territory, government, national emblem, flag and anthem. It borders on Russia, Byelorussia, Moldova, Slovakia, Roumania, Hungary and Poland on land and Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Roumania and Turkey on sea. The territory of Ukraine is mostly a level, treeless plain, calls “steppe”. There are the Crimean Mountains in the Crimean peninsula and the Carpathians in the west, but they are not very high. Mixed forests of pine and fir-trees, beeches, limes, oaks and elms cover the mountains, but the thickest woods can still be found in the northern part of the republic, in Volyn. Kiev and Cherkassy lie in the midst of Ukrainian southernmost pine forest. The main Ukrainian river is the Dnieper. It is one of the longest European rivers and one of the republic’s main source of hydroelectric power. The Dnieper and its tributary the Ross had been the cradle of the Ukrainian and Russian people in time immemorial. The climate of the country is moderate. Winter is rather mild, with no severe frosts but with regular snowfalls everywhere except the south. The rivers and lakes freeze in winter. The average winter temperature varies -20 Centigrade in the north to -3-5 in the south. Summer is quite hot and dry, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. The fertile black soil is well watered in spring and autumn and gets plenty of sunshine in summer. Due to favorable climatic conditions, Ukraine is traditionally an agricultural area. It grows wheat, maize, buckwheat and other corn, red and green vegetables, all kinds of fruit, melons and berries. Ukraine is one of the world’s main centers of sugar production. It produces sugar both for her own needs and for export. The country is rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, color metal, oil, gas, mineral salts, clay and potential water power. It has developed a varied industry, concentrated mostly in and around big cities, such as Kiev, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Dnyeprodzerzhinsk, Odessa, Kharkov, Lviv, Nickolayev and other. It produces planes and ships, lorries and buses, motorcars and locomotives, computer and electronic equipment, precision instruments and agricultural machines, TV and radioset, chemicals and textiles and various consumer goods. Odessa, Sebastopol, Nickolayev, Kherson and Kerch are main ukrainian ports.

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Ukraine: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture …

President: Oleksandr Turchynov (acting; 2014) Prime Minister: Serhiy Arbuzov (interim; 2014) Total area: 233,089 sq mi (603,700 sq km) Population (2012 est.): 44,854,065 (growth rate: 0.625%); birth rate: 9.59/1000; infant mortality rate: 8.38/1000; life expectancy: 68.74; density per sq mi: 199 Capital (2010 est.): Kyiv (Kiev), 3,648,000 (metro. area), 2,797,553 (city proper) Other large cities: Kharkiv, 1,440,676; Odessa, 1,003,705; Dnipropetrovsk, 1,001,612; Donetske, 977,257; Monetary unit: Hryvna More Facts & Figures Located in southeast Europe, the country consists largely of fertile black soil steppes. Mountainous areas include the Carpathians in the southwest and the Crimean chain in the south. Ukraine is bordered by Belarus on the north, by Russia on the north and east, by the Black Sea on the south, by Moldova and Romania on the southwest, and by Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland on the west.

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Apartheid in South Africa Laws, History: Documentary Film Raw Footage (1957) – Video

Apartheid in South Africa Laws, History: Documentary Film Raw Footage (1957) Apartheid (lit. aparthood) (pronounced [uh-pahrt-heyt, [uh-pahr-hahyt]) is an Afrikaans word for a system of racial segregation enforced through legislatio. … By: TvSeriesS

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Anti-apartheid hero urges SA voters to shun ruling ANC

One of South Africa's ruling party stalwarts will launch a campaign urging voters to shun the African National Congress in upcoming polls in protest at rampant corruption in government, media reported on Monday. Ronnie Kasrils and other anti-apartheid struggle veterans will on Tuesday launch a 'No Vote' campaign to encourage South Africans not to cast their ballots for the African National …

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The Cape Jews . A Journey to Capetown, South Africa – Video

The Cape Jews . A Journey to Capetown, South Africa In Cape Town, we learn about the story of the South African Jews and the challenges faced by its small but cohesive community. Stunning beauty, opportunity a… By: Jewish Discoveries

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Good to meet you Tim Goodwin

An actor whose family fled apartheid in South Africa and loves the Guardian's dedication to campaigning on personal privacy and individual freedom I was born and brought up in South Africa, where I lived until I was 14. My parents were involved in the ANC, which resulted in my stepfather being jailed and my mother being "listed". My family came to England in 1968 as political refugees. I had …

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Dersh: South Africa is a failed country – Video

Dersh: South Africa is a failed country Dersh: South Africa is a failed country videolarn Alan Dershowitz joins Piers Morgan to discuss the Oscar Pistorius trial and says that South Africa is a f… By: NEWS Official

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League of the South Protests Mark Herring in Richmond – Video

League of the South Protests Mark Herring in Richmond Video of the League of the South's and the Council of Conservative Citizens' demonstration protesting Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's refusal to def… By: RedShirtArmy

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Tributes paid to Nelson Mandela at rain-soaked memorial service

Dignitaries from more than 100 countries, celebrities and tens of thousands of South Africans attend service in Johannesburg Tens of thousands of South Africans and dozens of world leaders gathered in Johannesburg to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, taking a downpour of rain as a fitting farewell to the anti-apartheid icon. "This is how Nelson Mandela would have wanted to be sent on," said Cyril …

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Suicide Terrorism in South Asia – Part 1 (29 August 2012) – Video

Suicide Terrorism in South Asia – Part 1 (29 August 2012) Suicide Terrorism in South Asia – Part 2 (29 August 2012) videolarn French telecom company Orange is investigating a rash of staff suicides, a majority of … By: News

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Apartheid and New Apartheid of South Africa – Video

Apartheid and New Apartheid of South Africa The beginning and outcome of apartheid, and how it affected South Africa. By: Charlie Bartels

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Nelson Mandela's literary legacy

Stuart Kelly considers the responses of South African writers to apartheid, and looks at how a new generation of novelists is depicting the challenges facing the country today It isimpossible to write about contemporary South African literature without writing about apartheid. In terms of both reading and writing, the racist regime was like an eye infection, distorting what could be seen …

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