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Tag Archives: Arab Spring

SERIOUSLY?


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It has been an interesting week or so here in South Africa. There have been heat waves, floods, strikes, fires and court cases 

Here are some musings that kept me busy this week while driving to and from work as I don’t use my phone, nor drink coffee, or heaven forbid, put on makeup while travelling:-

Pretoria/Johannesburg Hi-way:

In the last week I have noticed the local traffic officials on the hi-way are traveling in unmarked vehicles with only a sticker on the door stating that the car is being used by the local Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). The blurb at the bottom of the sticker states that the cars are sponsored by Avis. (What happened to all the powerful BMW’s that were donated just the other day?)

Now I was just wondering if there could be a conflict of interest that Avis may request that any traffic fines that their company picks, up be overlooked in the spirit of a mutually benefiting agreement?

I do suppose that both the traffic department and Avis will both deny any knowledge of any agreement but going by the history of how business is conducted by our councils it would still leave me wondering. And what use are they on the hi-way as they have to obey all the rules of the road as they don’t have any flashing blue lights to open the way. (This alone must be tough that they now have to leave home early like the rest of us just to get to work, and not rely on their blue lights to get them through the traffic even though there is no emergency!)

In some parts of the world they are aiming at zero fatalities on some of their hi-ways. There is a drive/campaign currently on here in South Africa to reduce the amount of collisions and deaths on our roads. To quote  the  Deputy Transport Minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga in July 2012, ‘there was nothing normal about 14 000 people dying in South African road accidents every year.’  But this morning I once again witnessed a collision where four cars were involved with related fatalities. Now, I don’t have any personal grudge against busses and taxis but it would seem to me that drivers of these vehicle seem to operate way above the law without any fear of prosecution by the traffic officials. Just prior to the collision, in the lane going the opposite way, I saw a taxi exceeding the speed limit of 100 kph  (for public transport vehicles) travelling in the emergency lane then ducking right across four lanes causing cars in those lanes to have to apply their brakes to avoid the taxi. Then not even a hundred metres further on, the taxi swung back across all the lanes with the same modus operandi as it had used to move from the emergency lane, thereby causing other motorists to apply their brakes to avoid a collision. Just in front of me there was a traffic official sitting in an official traffic department vehicle with all the bells and whistles (lights, decals, colouring etc). He obviously had the exact same view of all of this happening as I did. Yet he just adjusted his posture in his seat to a more comfortable position and continued on his merry way as if nothing untoward had happened. It is this perception that taxi and bus drivers are untouchable that allows them to break the law with dire consequences to other motorists.

I must also mention that the only vehicles I do see them pulling over are those with foreign number plates. Could it be that they are easy pickings? Just wondering…

 Pretoria:    

If I was a tourist, I would never guess that Pretoria was the capital of South Africa if I were to look at the state of the city center and the suburb, Sunnyside. To put it mildly, it is dirty, smells like a latrine, and is in a state of utter disrepair!

But what caught my attention in the news, was an article of a strike of city council bus drivers that was averted. It seems that their gripe is that of the 200 plus busses used to service Pretoria, there are only 20 busses that are capable of running! The mechanics at the bus depot are having to resort to cannibalizing spares from other broken down buses, as they have no new spares that can be used to get the broken down buses back on the road.  My question is what happened to the funds that must have been budgeted for by the council for maintenance and repairs of the bus fleet?  The ratepayers in Pretoria  (apart from government buildings, officials and diplomatic properties) still pay their rates, yet we cannot even keep the cities buses running or keep the city clean.

Bloemfontein:

My current favourite person in South Africa is Free State rector Professor Jonathan Jansen, who has in the last while made some most enlightening statements which really make sense and highlight topics which the government and the population need to take note of.

On Monday Prof Jansen took a full swipe at both the government and the Minister of Education AngieMotshekga. He was addressing the first-year students and told them that they were not to become like South Africa.  He said that it was an utter disgrace that the minister boasted about the pass rate in matric (grade 12) for 2012 when the required mark to pass was only 30%.

He went on to say that he was willing to expel any students on campus threw stones, hit anybody else, treat women without respect and just generally were angry. This stance of Prof Jansen is something that the government should have applied a long time ago but I personally think that the government has been using the strikes and disturbances to further their own agendas.

The quote by Prof Jansen that really made my day, was something that my late mother used to say to us on occasion:  “You may be poor, but you can behave decently.”

anc flag

The ANC and FNB

Now it seems that ANC and its youth branch have put some serious pressure on FNB to withdraw the ad campaign which aired last week. (And this after it was proved that they gave Zuma a loan under suspicious circumstances)

It is very sad that the ANC was able to put on enough pressure that the bank had to withdraw the campaign as they feared for the safety of the children that took part.  It seems that the participants may have been threatened and now feared reprisals as it is alleged that the ANC called the participating children’s action as treason against the state.

No wonder the ANC wants to bring in the Freedom of Information Act! Then they would be in a position where they could just ban children speaking about what they want as free citizens of South Africa.

Here is an extract of the ad campaign where children are expressing their hopes and views of a free South Africa.

Many years ago, in 1976, a group of brave young people stood on the ground where we are gathered tonight.

From this very place, they took their first steps towards freedom.

It is because of people like them, that I was born free, born from the very roots of Limpopo, in the greatest country in the world.

But we are not here tonight to talk about revolution.

We are here to talk about belief, and what belief can do.

Today, we, the children of South Africa, would like to share the following message with you:

There will be a day, when the difficulties we see before us now,

the greed, mistrust and anger, will be behind us.

There will be a day,  a day when the violence, and our indifference to the violence,

will be a thing of the past.

A day when the children of this land will no longer be slaves to their illiteracy, but free to write their own destiny.

There will be a day when, instead of blaming each other, we’ll build each other.

Instead of hurting each other, we’ll help each other.

The challenges before us, cannot be solved by money, or petty politics, protest or violence.

All of the great things we’ve done, we’ve done together, by helping each other.

 

Now the ANC states that the bank is ‘disrespectful’ and that it is appalled by the campaign which attacks the ANC, its leadership and government.

 “FNB, in an obviously lame attempt to recreate an Arab Spring of some sort in South Africa, uses children to make unproven claims of a ‘government rife with corruption’,” spokesperson Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said in a statement.

Now I’m sorry to say that both the ANC and it’s youth league must sit back and reflect on the very bit where they say that unproven claims are being made against a ‘government rife with corruption’. Just in the last few years we have had corruption charges leveled against members of parliament, ministers, city councils, police, government departments as well as members of the ANC and the ANCYL. What about the various commissions appointed to investigate corruption? The Arms Deal spring to mind, involving the very head of government. What about the violence in the country? Is this just a figment of imagination that the children don’t see? One wonders how come there have been allegations of government involvement in these violent strikes.

I also wonder if this is the start of the ANC applying censorship by pressure instead of the law?

As Bob Dylan once sang – Now is the time for your tears. (The times they are a changing)

 

Oh yes, the campaign went viral, so let’s see the ANC try stop the world from seeing it now. If they had kept quiet it would most likely have stay local J J

 

 

The views expressed on this website / blog / profile are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, political party or affiliations. 

 

 

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Cloak and Dagger


535″>Srdja Popovic

Occasionally one receives an email that has a link to some other site. This link is sent to you by someone who thinks you may possibly find the content interesting.

I enjoy trying to gather information about how things fit together and what the possible causes and reactions are to things happening around us. The link below is very pertinent to what is happening around the world presently.

Far too many people don’t realise that things don’t ‘just’ happen and that there must be a catalyst to kick it off.

Just a pity it hasn’t quite worked out in Zimbabwe. And I don’t think it is going to happen again here in South Africa.

But it is a good article to read to gain a better insight of how the current protests in the Middle East are, and can be, manipulated.

http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/ideas/a-velvet-fist?page=full

 
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Posted by on 12/12/2012 in Musings, World happenings

 

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Time to reflect?


TO GO WITH STORY PACKAGE MIDEAST-HISTORY

Thirty-nine years ago, on Oct. 6, 1973, the third major war between the Arabs and Israel broke out. The war lasted only 20 days. The two sides were engaged in two other major wars, in 1948 and 1967.
The 1967 War lasted only six days. But, these three wars were not the only Arab-Israel confrontations. From the period of 1948 and to this day many confrontations have taken place. Some of them were small clashes and many of them were full-scale battles, but there were no major wars apart from the ones mentioned above. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the most complicated conflict the world ever experienced. On the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world are beginning to ask many questions about the past, present and the future with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The questions now are: What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people. And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars? But, the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.
I decided to write this article after I saw photos and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo souk in Syria, the under developed Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East.
The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is that who is the real enemy of the Arab world?
The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.
These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.
In the past, we have talked about why some Israeli soldiers attack and mistreat Palestinians. Also, we saw Israeli planes and tanks attack various Arab countries. But, do these attacks match the current atrocities being committed by some Arab states against their own people.
In Syria, the atrocities are beyond anybody’s imaginations? And, isn’t the Iraqis are the ones who are destroying their own country? Wasn’t it Tunisia’s dictator who was able to steal 13 billion dollars from the poor Tunisians? And how can a child starve in Yemen if their land is the most fertile land in the world? Why would Iraqi brains leave Iraq in a country that makes 110 billion dollars from oil export? Why do the Lebanese fail to govern one of the tiniest countries in the world? And what made the Arab states start sinking into chaos?
On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel was declared. And just one day after that, on May 15, 1948 the Arabs declared war on Israel to get back Palestine. The war ended on March 10, 1949. It lasted for nine months, three weeks and two days. The Arabs lost the war and called this war Nakbah (catastrophic war). The Arabs gained nothing and thousands of Palestinians became refugees.
And on 1967, the Arabs led by Egypt under the rule of Gamal Abdul Nasser, went in war with Israel and lost more Palestinian land and made more Palestinian refugees who are now on the mercy of the countries that host them. The Arabs called this war Naksah (upset). The Arabs never admitted defeat in both wars and the Palestinian cause got more complicated. And now, with the never ending Arab Spring, the Arab world has no time for the Palestinians refugees or Palestinian cause, because many Arabs are refugees themselves and under constant attacks from their own forces. Syrians are leaving their own country, not because of the Israeli planes dropping bombs on them. It is the Syrian Air Force which is dropping the bombs. And now, Iraqi Arab Muslims, most intelligent brains, are leaving Iraq for the est. In Yemen, the world’s saddest human tragedy play is being written by the Yemenis. In Egypt, the people in Sinai are forgotten.
Finally, if many of the Arab states are in such disarray, then what happened to the Arabs’ sworn enemy (Israel)? Israel now has the most advanced research facilities, top universities and advanced infrastructure. Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than some places in the Arab World. Wasn’t one of the judges who sent a former Israeli president to jail is an Israeli-Palestinian?
The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.

— This article is exclusive to Arab News.
almulhimnavy@hotmail.com

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Posted by on 11/12/2012 in World happenings

 

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