Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily.com’s international correspondent LoBaido has lived, worked and traveled in South Africa. He filed this report on recent developments there.
Not long ago, Dutch journalist Adriana Stuijt was a devout anti-apartheid journalist and crusader. However, she has done an about face in her views after analyzing the current state of affairs inside troubled South Africa – once one of the richest nations in the entire world. Stuijt spoke with WorldNetDaily about how her views of South Africa have changed since the Marxist ANC, or African National Congress, took power in 1994.
“I am very concerned about the growing lack of democracy inside South Africa – which is leading to widespread destabilization of the entire Southern African region. I used to work as a medical journalist in South Africa for many years and have covered a large variety of epidemics in those years. Nothing I have seen compares to the current slaughter inside the country today: More than 200,000 people have already been murdered in crime-related violence. The latest international crime statistics, as compiled by the authoritative Council of Europe and the UK Home Office, noted that South Africa is at the top of the world’s crime-related murder list. This means that South Africa’s small number of remaining commercial farmers are indeed the world’s most endangered profession!” Stuijt told WorldNetDaily.
As reported by WND, more than 1,100 white farmers in South Africa have been murdered in recent years. Stuijt has been a leader in the fight to draw global attention to the killings.
Sadly, the entire country is sitting on a time bomb of disease outbreaks, with the spilling of raw sewage into water sources reported in 95 municipalities in the past 15 months. More than 100 people have died of cholera in the country in recent months.
Also, AIDS and rape are out of control. There is a rape in South Africa every 28 seconds. By 2005, the World Health Organization predicts, over 30 percent of the blacks in South Africa will have AIDS. At a minimum, at least 10 percent of the population is carrying the virus and three-quarters of the entire health budget will soon be spent on treatment.
As one South African has said, “Doctors are leaving in droves; beggars live in the marble foyers of derelict banks; farmers are butchered in their fields; the parks and beaches have become killing fields; carjackings are a daily occurrence; the murder rate is running at 27,000 a year.”
In June 2000, the World Health Organization found that South Africa has one of the worst health systems in the world. Worse than Afghanistan or Rwanda, South Africa was No. 175 on the list, and only 16 other African countries were in a worse situation. In the meantime, the situation has continued to degrade. Illnesses that were totally or largely under control a few years ago have been reintroduced. Last November, there was a crisis in the Johannesburg Hospital. The hospital was unable to handle the sudden increase in patients.
The waiting list for some operations was longer than a year, and patients died because of the inability to treat them. There have been reports about too little and unhygienic food, dirty bed linen and theft of medicines. A year ago, the Human Rights Commission said South Africa is being devastated by the worst tuberculosis epidemic in history and that millions of children in the country suffer from malnutrition. Malaria, which was almost totally under control a decade ago, is now out of control in parts of Natal, and it has increased drastically all over the country. Even sleeping sickness is increasing radically.
South Africa undevelopable?
An article written by Jim Peron in the June 11, 2001, edition of the Laissez-Faire Times, details some of the seedier and more depressing aspects of modern South African society.
“Two weeks ago I was invited to lunch with the local head of a German aid foundation. He told me of a study that some German academics, all experts on Africa, had written. They argued that Africa was structurally undevelopable. They weren’t saying that Africa won’t do the right thing. They were saying that Africa can’t do the right thing.
“Film crews captured an incident in a rural village. A monkey had wandered into the village. This is not unusual, but someone decided the monkey must really be a witch. The entire village banded together to corner the monkey and stone it to death. Here in South Africa, Africa’s most developed country, some 300 people per year are killed for being witches. In some areas, there are entire villages of people who fled there because they were charged with witchcraft. You can walk through any major city and find muti shops where sangomas (witch doctors) will mix magic potions for you. And it is widely believed that human organs are very powerful magic indeed.
“It is not uncommon for small children to go missing. When their bodies turn up, they have been butchered for muti. In the same communities, it is believed that having sex with a virgin girl will cure a man of AIDS. The result of the belief is that young girls are often raped by men seeking an illusive cure. Both the rapist and his victim are condemned to death by a disease that they simply cannot comprehend. We can go right up to the office of the presidency here and find the same culture. The ANC has been destroying the infrastructure of South Africa for eight years. Crime is so bad that the government has embargoed crime statistics because they say they damage the reputation of the ruling party. Taxes have skyrocketed, and yet we have no real emergency services left. And yet the ANC cannot, and will not, see that these are the natural results of bad policy decisions on their part.”
Added Stuijt, “The United Nations Human Rights Commission’s Johannesburg commissioner was in fact approached by leaders of the Afrikaner ethnic minority this month, led by Dr. Pieter Mulder of the multi-ethnic Freedom Front. [Mulder handed them a] formal petition demanding an immediate investigation into the ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign against all Afrikaners. Many community leaders, advocates, judges, lawyers, magistrates, doctors, dentists, nurses and business people are being targeted for deliberate assassination by groups of young black men armed with AK-47s. Most of these assassins are never caught.”
Stuijt has set up her own website that deals with current issues in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“I had originally started this MSN Community site only to post some of my stories and pictures from my journalism days inside South Africa. Within a month, my colleagues back in South Africa had joined as members (without invitation) and started posting their uncensored news items on it. We now have 116 members and more joining each day, and many of these stories do appear in brief form inside South Africa. However, the self-censorship inside South African news media is now greater than ever.”
Stuijt’s husband is retired South African press photographer Pierre Oosthuysen. She told WorldNetDaily that she and her husband are planning to travel to the United States next month. During their trip, they will present a personal petition to U.N. Security Council representatives.
“[The petition will] express our deep concern for the worsening security situation around the Cape of Good Hope sealanes, which are posing an international threat to all the Western trade routes between Asia and the Northern Hemisphere. We will also demand official UK protection for the Afrikaner-Boer minority inside South Africa, since our family are still living in that country – and trying very hard to survive,” Stuijt told WND.
Plenty of room for shoppers
Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has come under the influence of a variety of global forces, including Russia and China. The resulting mix of power brokers has, in the view of some observers, contributed to the general decline of South African society.
Communist Chinese investments, for example, have soared to R$20 billion (8 Rand equal US$1) in South Africa since Nelson Mandela’s government severed all links with capitalist Taiwan. But some of these Beijing-linked business ventures, it turns out, are shrouded in secrecy.
One mysterious investment is the Chinese-owned shopping center that never advertises for shoppers – a $12 million investment called “China Gate Shopping Center” near Tembisa. It is located conveniently close to Johannesburg International Airport and a major highway, but throngs of shoppers seem non-existent.
This “shopping center” is owned by a mainland Chinese company, Zhejing Yiwu Huafeng Industrial Company Ltd., and operated by a South Africa-registered company called China Castle Pty Ltd.
From all outward appearances, China Gate Shopping Center is just a small collection of drab shops – it only has 22 units – but it also contains a surprisingly large warehousing complex, much too large for the goods required for the few shops nearby. There isn’t much evidence of any advertising to draw local customers either, in spite of claims of large crowds mentioned on the shopping center’s website.
Residents of nearby 300,000 resident-strong Kempton Park, about 10 kilometers away, weren’t aware of the mall’s existence when questioned, and neither were the adjacent Tembisa township residents.
Still, China Gate Shopping Center is being held up as the shining international symbol of friendship between Beijing’s government and South Africa.
So who are China Gate Shopping Center’s customers? Perhaps they are residents of a self-contained, high-security housing complex where Chinese families rent homes in an apartheid-style compound that is “regularly inspected by the local Chinese ambassador.”
This exclusive, closely guarded residential district close to Johannesburg airport is equipped with round-the-clock security systems, a swimming pool and its own satellite-receiving station for Chinese TV programs.
Its staff handles local trade letters of introduction, local registration of new work permits, import-export transportation facilities, customs clearances for all its imported and exported goods, insurance and banking facilities, as well as its own attorneys, accountants and translation services.
Stuijt told WND, “In reality [these new shopping centers] turned out to be Red Chinese compounds with their own satellite communications links direct to Beijing.”
Checking color at the door
South Africa’s new telecommunications act is creating something of a firestorm. The act forces all telecommunications providers into “a shareholding of up to 30 percent” for the alleged “economic empowerment of persons from historically disadvantaged groups.”
In non-ANC-speak, this means that any telecommunications licensees – both existing and all new applicants – must take on shareholders, and 30 percent of them have to be African. The other ethnic minorities in South Africa – European, Chinese and Asian – are not included in this provision. The 30 percent requirement is reserved only for black South Africans.
Moreover, under the new act, South Africa’s telecom providers will not be allowed more than 49 percent financial voting interest or control for “foreign persons or entities, either … directly or indirectly.”
In addition, all public schools will have the right to 50 percent discounts for all Internet and telecom charges, and 30 percent of all the new telecom services – including new jobs – must be reserved for the “economic empowerment of historically disadvantaged groups, including women.”
Any telecommunications providers who cannot comply with the regime’s “30 percent for Africans” rule will first have to apply for a permit and could be subject to heavy fines or the revocation of their licenses if they cannot comply. The industry will also have to maintain detailed registers of their attempts to comply with this apartheid-style provision and will also have to regularly report to the government.
Under the new law, licensed operators will be required to snoop for the government. According to the act’s section entitled “Subscriber Privacy,” all operators will be required to “provide assistance to law enforcement agencies” to intercept and monitor Internet communications.
Centrally accessible public databases will also have to be set up by telecom providers for all pre-paid telephones and all Internet addresses inside South Africa.