CONSTANTIA, South Africa – Despite its idyllic beauty and cosmopolitan flavor, Cape Town, South Africa, is now a city barely staying above the increasingly chaotic existence of towns and rural areas of the Dark Continent, leaving residents with feelings ranging from hopelessness to guarded optimism.
Travelers who journey to Cape Town will find all manner of interesting places to see and things to do. Some of the world’s finest vineyards, along with sunshine, pristine beaches and intriguing people await the interloper. Cape Town’s signature feature is Table Mountain, which dominates the landscape. When white puffy clouds drift up from the Antarctic at the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean, it can appear that steam from a cosmic pot of boiling water is flowing down over the mountain.
Those rolling clouds provide a metaphor for the many changes that Cape Town faces at the dawn of the 21st century.
A changed continent
As Swiss-born South African pilot Aggie Dent banked her Albatross aircraft with a hard left, the sea below was sparkling like green emeralds in the sunlight.
“Look, a whale is rising above the water with her calf,” she exclaimed to WorldNetDaily. “There is so much beauty here. Sometimes it’s scarcely believable.”
Yet Dent, who flew fighter jets as a female mercenary against the former Soviet Union during Somalia’s war with Ethiopia in the early 1980s, fears that Africa’s problems are drifting all the way down to Cape Town.
“I’ve lived and worked ‘up country.’ Yet more and more Cape Town reminds me of the problems to the north. When [former Rhodesia leader] Cecil Rhodes used the phrase ‘Cape Town to Cairo,’ I think he meant a continent that would challenge the industrial might of the United States, not a total meltdown,” she said.
Aggie Dent’s plane banks over the Cape Peninsula.
Dent, along with her flight-engineer husband Steve, is hoping to land a Florida-based U.S. Navy contract flying Hawker Hunter fighter jets as part of an anti-ship missile program. She told WorldNetDaily she has “seen Africa change a lot” in her lifetime.
“I grew up in Kenya on a cattle farm,” explained Dent. “We used to take blood samples from the cattle and inoculate them ourselves. I flew as a 15-year-old in a plane over our ranch and shot at poachers. That was an era of self-sufficiency and freedom.”
Above the carnage – barely
Known as “Kapstad” in Afrikaans, Cape Town is a city with a storied history. Sailors seeking to circumnavigate the world passed off her coast 500 years ago.
Even today, “Cape Town is a strategic maritime checkpoint,” says Dr. Lewis Tambs, former U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica and national-security expert in the Reagan administration. Tambs also taught history at Arizona State.
A good percentage of the world’s oil and manufactured goods sail around the Cape of Good Hope. During the Cold War, Russian submarines were parked in the waters facing the city, their missiles aimed to fire at one of the West’s staunchest allies.
While the African continent as a whole continues to deteriorate under the strain of Islamic jihad, Marxism, HIV/AIDS, civil wars, dictators, man-made famines, as well as the natural resource expeditions of Western corporations, Cape Town still stands above the carnage – albeit barely. It is a jewel where both South Africans and Europeans continue to flock in droves. Cape Town is often compared to San Francisco.
“Sometimes I wonder if, in the end, we’ll have 700 million Africans all living in Cape Town. Everyone is moving here,” South African Cathy Slade commented. Slade runs a local bed and breakfast in the Cape Town suburb of Constantia. “We have a choice – in Constantia, in Cape Town, in Africa and in the world – as to whether we make things work or not.”
On the exterior, life in Constantia seems more than just serene – it’s positively idyllic. The malls and shops are filled with both goods and customers. Everyone’s tan and attractive, it seems. Church services are lively. Children play safely in parks. Yet there is a feeling in the air that not all is quite right. Still, a sense of cautious optimism permeates the atmosphere.
“Recently, we had scores of residents in a Hout Bay township nearby protesting … at the Cape High Court while carrying around Zimbabwean flags. It’s scary,” says Slade’s mother, Margie, a retired schoolteacher. “Constantia is still safe, but Cape Town is changing.”
Slade’s brother Chris, who runs the biggest seedling nursery in the entire Cape peninsula, told WorldNetDaily that he and his girlfriend, Briton Jennifer Bearpark, were renovating their home and thinking about expanding their business. As they walked the lush grounds of their nursery, gleaming in the sunlight beaming down over the picturesque Table Mountain to the south, Slade seemed more concerned about genetically modified foods than about a complete societal meltdown.
“If the ANC (ruling African National Congress) wanted to confiscate all of the white-owned property, I would just call in subcontractors and put out a bid on this place,” Chris Slade told WND.
“I work hard, 16 hours per day, seven days per weeks, 365 days per year. There is no substitute for hard work.”
Bearpark, who has a degree in history and whose father “rebuilds countries for the United Nations,” believes there is a future for South Africa.
“Even though I have a degree in history, I’m looking forward to learning the seedling business.” As she speaks, Bearpark holds Slade’s nephew Cameron, age 2, and a kitten named Gimzo No. 2. Their German shepherd, Floyd, wags her tail happily while following them around the nursery.
“We’ve got to get cracking and make the future happen,” Bearpark says.
The Slades’ Zulu maid, Olivia, told WorldNetDaily that Cape Town, like all cities, has its positive and negative aspects.
“I moved away from Zululand for the sake of my children. There was too much violence there – murders and shootings. Cape Town is beautiful. Better weather. Better schools. I believe that we can build a South Africa that works for all of us. It was the white people who built this country. ‘Forgive and forget’ – that is my motto. If we work together and do the right things, people can look at us and say, ‘South Africa is a good example for other peoples in conflict.'”
Like many of the Zulu, Olivia points to her faith in “Unkulunkulu,” the Zulu word for the God of the Bible, as her guide to life. As she goes through her daily chores, Olivia often tends to Cathy Slade’s 2-year-old blonde son, Cameron.
“When we walk the grounds, if Cameron wants to wander away from me I tell him, ‘The kgo-kgo’ (the Zulu word for ‘monsters’) are in the fields and then he runs right back to my skirt,” Olivia said.
“But the kgo-kgo are everywhere now. Real monsters, killers are coming to Cape Town every day. We have to be careful now.”
Said Hildegard Dippennar, a Cape Town advertising executive, “I used to think that Cape Town would be the Monte Carlo of Africa. I thought the ANC would have to at least maintain standards of Western civilization here in order to accommodate the European expatriates and travelers on vacation. Now I am not so sure.”
“I don’t feel safe,” Dippennar continued. “Being raped is every woman’s worst nightmare in South Africa. There is a rape every 23 seconds. Mandela and the ANC emptied the prisons of rapists and murderers, and their anarcho-tyranny is destroying our beautiful country. It’s hectic, hey?”
Most South Africans – of all races and classes – want the death penalty brought back, 100 percent in a recent You magazine poll. You is akin to People magazine in the United States.
Recent killings in the northern suburbs of Cape Town have shocked the citizenry. For example, in October, a 22-year-old white man was executed by black youths near the trendy and swank Cavendish Square Mall. His girlfriend was taken to Khayelitsha, a nearby black township, and raped. She will most likely die of AIDS. The police, who are out-manned, out-gunned, demoralized and under-funded, have no leads in the case.
Criminals descending from ‘upcountry’
Cape Town, which was thought to be relatively safe compared to Johannesburg, has suffered a crime spree in 2002 as South Africa’s open borders have been overrun from “upcountry.”
One of the reasons Cape Town is seeing a crime wave (carjackings are up 50 percent over 2001) involves a convoluted link to globalization. When the Bush administration blocked American acceptance of an International Criminal Court, that wasn’t the end of the issue. That is, at least not as far as Africa was concerned.
Instead, the U.S. is setting up a series of “individual courts” in African nations like Sierra Leone, where diamond pirates hacked off the arms and feet of children in a bloody civil war. This has driven many hard-core soldier/criminals down out of nations like Sierra Leone, Congo and Rwanda to Cape Town.
“Many of the worst ‘war criminals’ are fleeing the countries where the U.S. is looking to put them on trial. There are easy pickings for these hardened criminals down here in Cape Town,” says one South African intelligence official who asked that his name not be used.
“Whom would you rather fight, another armed militia member or some college kid driving around in his BMW? More and more, the shooters we are able to identify come not from South Africa but from countries to the north – Nigeria, Tanzania and others.”
Statue at Cecil Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town overlooks the city.
Toni Zeeman, a Bacardi Breeze executive, told WorldNetDaily she is concerned about crime: “My father was murdered three years ago. The police never found the killers.”
Another factor that contributes to destabilization in Cape Town is the fear that South Africa’s Muslims, who belong to a group called Pagad, will once again begin bombing Western targets – as they did with the Hard Rock Cafe bombing a few years back.
Baby rape, crime and the killing of white farmers in other parts of South Africa have not been lost on Cape Town residents.
Lauren du Toit, a waitress and student who lives in Plumstead says she believes she has the solution to Cape Town’s escalating crime problem.
“I say that when the police catch the criminals, just turn them over to the victims’ families for punishment.”
Du Toit’s co-worker “Joe,” a black runner at the same restaurant, told WorldNetDaily last winter he “saw a man in our [black] township kill his own brother for one piece of bread. It’s madness!”
American sailor Leslie Grace, from Long Island, echoed Zeeman’s fears.
“I was mugged at knifepoint when we docked in Cape Town,” he said. “I was told I was lucky it wasn’t uglier. There are a lot of Taiwanese sailors, drugs and prostitutes in Cape Town.”
Indeed, Cape Town is now a haven for “sex vacations” on par with Bangkok. A spokesperson with the South African multiracial African Christian Democratic Party told WorldNetDaily that the ANC is undermining the nation’s morals.
“Prostitution should not be legalized,” the spokesman said. “We need to reclaim the Christian heritage of this nation.”
American writer Joan Veon, who attended the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, told WorldNetDaily, “It is only a matter of time before whites in America have the same kind of walls as the South Africans.”
“These people in Cape Town live in a dream world. They have five years at the most before this place turns into another Zimbabwe,” said “Angela,” a British expatriate who works in the online-casino industry.
Retired U.S. Army Gen. Albion Knight Jr. told WorldNetDaily, “When I visited South Africa [in the 1980’s], I couldn’t help but think ‘this is the future of America.'”
An evolving culture in changing times
In the midst of all the uncertainty, Cape Town’s citizens try to go on with living a “normal life” as best as they can.
Tyron Shultz, a South African chef from Observatory who also holds a British passport, says, “We don’t need negative people here. Things are too negative. We need to be more positive. The blacks who work in my kitchen, most of them are better than a lot of the whites you might meet on the street.”
Shultz’s girlfriend, Allison, seconded his opinion: “We need to talk about cooperation, about helping one another. We need common ground and to speak a common language with one another, a language of peace and … most importantly, cooperation.”
Cape Town is a city that boasts a unique ambiance that blends various cultures and more than a few languages – including English and Afrikaans. There are 11 official languages in all. Afrikaans, the mixture of Dutch, German and local languages, was forced upon the citizenry during apartheid.
“Cape Town is soos lekker,” says Jade Maxwell-Newton, one of South Africa’s brightest rising stars in the film industry. She is the step-daughter of Charles Newton, the Emmy-winning cinematographer for the BBC’s “Blue Planet.” Translation: “Cape Town is so nice.”
Like many white South Africans, Maxwell-Newton is hoping to create her own future in this troubled nation dominated by crime, affirmative action and quotas aimed at redressing the ills of apartheid.
“I’ve nearly had my arm bitten off by a shark while filming underwater. I’ve gone skydiving. I’m willing to take risks. There are stories that aren’t being told. I want my work to count for something,” she told WND. Maxwell-Newton has been working of late producing television commercials.
As she speaks, Maxwell-Newton interjects Afrikaans, as English speakers are apt to do. It is a microcosm of the many cultures that come together to form the South Africa people.
While former President Nelson Mandela told the impoverished blacks to burn down their schools and boycott “the language of the oppressor,” it is a language that, along with English, enables all citizens to communicate with one another. Mandela even spoke in Afrikaans during part of his inaugural address in 1994.
“South Africans find refuge in their slang,” says Dippennar.
Kate LeBlanc, a bartender from Constantia, told WorldNetDaily that her favorite slang words and terms include “pull in,” meaning “come along,” “fully,” as in “I fully agree,” and the classic South African expression “It’s hectic, hey?” which is used to describe just about any stressful or emotionally charged situation.
In the world that is South Africa, a “hooker,” isn’t merely a sex worker walking the streets, but the ruby player who throws the ball into the “scrum” from the sidelines. “Biscuits” are what Americans would call “cookies,” not a Saturday morning treat to be covered with gravy.
“Don’t ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; you might not like what you get,” chef Shultz warned. “Jelly” is the name for “Jell-O” in South Africa.
While Cape Town’s language, slang and culture is constantly changing, other deeper cultural norms and mores are undergoing a radical transformation – not the least of which is South Africa’s Christian heritage.
For example, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, or WSSD, held in Johannesburg in late August, former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev paraded a “new Ark of the Covenant,” which encloses 16 eco-friendly, New Age, neo-pagan commandments.
The launching of Nepad, or “New Economic Program for Africa,” was also a major theme at the WSSD. Nepad is the brainchild of South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki, who would ostensibly lead a “United States of Africa” from an African parliament based in Libya. This United States of Africa would have a common defense, foreign and economic policies.
Then there is the matter of South Africa’s new foreign policy, which under white rule forged strong anti-Marxist and anti-globalist alliances with Israel, Chile, Taiwan and El Salvador, but which has suddenly done a 180-degree turn.
“Now the ANC is in bed with mainland Communist China, Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Congo, North Korea and other rogue states,” says South African Police intelligence officer Koos Britz.
Mbeki recently spent 600 million rand on a new Swiss-made Air Force One-style presidential aircraft to ferry him about the world for important meetings. When the plane touches ground, it is said opposition lawmakers are apt to say, “The ego has landed.”
Among the many problems he faces, Mbeki is perceived as anti-Afrikaner. Recent bombings by the extreme right wing in South Africa in response to the cultural marginalization and isolation faced by the Afrikaners, as well as the massive farm killings of white ethnic Boer farmers, have caused trouble for Mbeki.
Additionally, the ANC’s Cold War-era partners, the Convention of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, have criticized the ANC government’s globalist, neo-liberal economic politics. In response, the ANC has recently joined forces with the New National Party, which is the political afterbirth of apartheid’s founders. This new alliance recently delivered control of both Cape Town and neighboring Stellenbosch to the ANC through “floor crossing,” in which politicos can change parties after an election.
While a revolt may be brewing in South Africa, in purely economic terms, the ANC hasn’t privatized all that much. Rather, it has adopted a “mixed economy” approach as modeled by South Korea. When the ANC recently announced that all new mining ventures would have to be 50 percent black owned, mining stocks collapsed to the tune of 80 billion rand or US$8 billion. As such, the ANC announced it would keep its affirmative action quotas and racial business targets away from public scrutiny.
The South African rand, worth 25 percent more than the U.S. dollar as recently as 1973, has all but collapsed. A German bank was found to have engaged in currency raiding on the rand, much in the same way financial mogul George Soros started the 1997 Asian Meltdown in Thailand by raiding the Thai Central Bank and causing Finance One, Thailand’s main financial investment vehicle, to collapse.
“South Africans work hard. There are very low salaries in Cape Town, which haven’t increased along with the high cost of living,” says Dippennar, who made half a million rand working overseas as an advertising executive.
Ninieve Malan, an Afrikaner who recently opened up her own graphic design company told WorldNetDaily, “Cape Town is expensive. You have to watch every penny.”
The employment outlook for white South Africans, says Dippennar, is “bleak at best. In Pretoria alone, you have 5,000 young Afrikaner men walking the streets as male prostitutes. Ten years ago, you might be hard pressed to find 50 or even 20.”
Adriano Zurini, the owner of Cafe Vaccamatta, told WND that he doesn’t like the idea of communist economic policy making a comeback in South Africa, or anywhere for that matter.
Said Zurini, “Economic refugees are coming to Italy, fleeing Islamic nations in North Africa and former communist nations. Why work and give the fruit of your labor to others who did nothing?”
Zurini owns two Cafe Vaccamattas, one on the waterfront in Cape Town and the other in Tiger Valley.
“We are the hottest club since the Hard Rock Cafe. … We are successful because of one reason – hard work.”
Nel Bergman, an American from Chicago who is the manager of Vaccamatta, said, “I think Marx was very pro-capitalist.” Bergman is the daughter of an American professor. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Zimbabwe. “I think Marx is misunderstood in many ways. And now even Communist China is embracing capitalist entrepreneurs in a big way.”
A devout Marxist , Mbeki recently told his South African comrades, “In our situation, because of the colonialism of a special type, the victory of the national liberation struggle did not result in the departure of the foreign ruling class.”
Former Vaccamatta bartender Michelle Omo commented, “My mother moved overseas to Florida. I’m left behind here, trying to figure out how to pay to get my laundry done. I love my laundry, but it is expensive.”
Ian du Toit, the former bodyguard for South African Defense Force chief Magnus Malan, told WorldNetDaily he is happy for the changes that have come to the new South Africa. “I make a lot more money now as a waiter. I’m happy,” he said.
Caroline Kretz who serves as du Toit’s superior, told WorldNetDaily she is optimistic about the future. “My boyfriend is a millionaire diamond trader. I have a stake in our new restaurant branch opening up in Johannesburg. Life couldn’t be better.”
Siswe Xhosa, a black African gardener who works in Claremont but resides in the black township of Khayelitsha, told WorldNetDaily that his economic reality has gone from “bad to worse” since the end of apartheid. For example, Xhosa said he had been robbed three times in the last month alone.
“After dark it becomes hell, with murders every night. People are blaming the white farmers who keep the price of bread so high. My white friends say, look at Mbeki’s R600 million jet before the farmers. I must reluctantly agree. Of course, it is always easier to point at the whites – less awful than to acknowledge your own people betray you. Things are definitely getting worse here when black people start to complain about rising crime in townships that have always been crime-ridden. It is good for journalists to hear the frustrations of the other side. It is a warning to South African whites,” he told WorldNetDaily.
“Then there is a brain drain of my ex-Khayelitsha friends, which I find odd but interesting. You always think it’s mainly whites who flee overseas, but, like Zimbabwe, now even black people are leaving if they can. Again, it is due to unlivable earnings. The cost of living keeps rising. The one thing that is not rising are the salaries, which have been the same since 1996.”
Dakota Godfrey, a Nigerian drug dealer who lives in Newlands, a Cape Town suburb, told WorldNetDaily he moved to Cape Town because he wanted a better life.
“Africa’s dictators profit off of instability. Therefore, they will always work to maintain that instability,” he said.
A sunset over Cape Town.
Frank Manley, a Rhodesian War veteran, says he still believes in South Africa’s future: “The Afrikaners are tough. We have to teach the younger generation of Afrikaners that nothing is going to be handed to them. There’s more to life than beer and rugby. Rugby is not war, merely a substitute for war.”
Heeding his father’s advise, Ian Manley, Frank’s son, a journalism student at the University of Cape Town, paid his own way to Johannesburg to cover the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development.
“We get the typically liberal view of the world in our journalism classes at varsity,” Ian Manley told WorldNetDaily. “I want to go beyond that.”
Clive Burwell, another Constantia British expatriate who served in the British army, told WND he thought Cape Town was a “perfectly wonderful retirement destination.”
“I have come to loath political correctness in the UK,” he explained. “It is the kind of ideology that says the British Empire never existed and all the good things Britain brought to the world in terms of Western civilization also never happened. Hospitals, schools, roads, putting an end to suttee in India [the practice of widows burning themselves on their husband’s funeral pyres]. That means that all we fought and bled and died for was a mistake.”
Potchefstroom resident Narina Coetzee, who works in public relations for the South African Police told WorldNetDaily she believes an independent state for the Boers is the answer to the nation’s white Euro-ethnic community.
“A Boer state can work in this country. I would move there,” Coetzee said.
“When the elections were happening in 1994, the blacks driving around in Potchefstroom would shout at me: ‘Hey you blue-eyed devil. We will kill you!’ In the days of the Boer War, we Afrikaners only controlled the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. That was enough back then. Under apartheid we got greedy.”
New York-based immigration secretary Carrie Tolan told WorldNetDaily that she has thought of moving to Cape Town.
“South Africa is particularly attractive to me. It has a strong remnant community of people with good moral values. You hear time and time again that South Africans, especially the Boers, are the best people in the world. Sure there are racial and class issues. But the Afrikaners and other Europeans are smart and adaptable. Our numbers have always been small. We will survive. First we’ll have to cut away the fat – the greed of the globalists who want to rule the whole world.”
Bartender LeBlanc commented that there is “no other place quite like Cape Town on earth.”
“I’m not sure how long white people have left to live here,” she said. “But I want to stay here as long as possible. I love the beach and the sun. People ask me, ‘Are you still surfing?’ I tell them, ‘Every day!'”
LeBlanc’s best friend, Tracey Benoit, a college student who spends her afternoons caring for a sister with Down syndrome, told WorldNetDaily, “This is the most beautiful city in South Africa and perhaps the world. We just love it here. I couldn’t even imagine being anyplace else.”
As to the question of whether Cape Town will weather the current storms battering South Africa and the African continent as a whole, Dippennar said she believes the only real solutions to the survival of the city lay within the hearts of all her citizens.
“Recently, the U.S. judicial administrators working to try the ‘war criminals’ in Sierra Leone for hacking the limbs off thousands of children asked the victims to testify against their persecutors. At first, the children refused. Many of them had both feet and both hands cut off. Others expressed joy that they had either feet or hands. Most of them refused to cooperate with the investigation,” she told WorldNetDaily.
“Finally, these children relented and agreed to testify, but only on one condition, that condition being that their parents be given one sack of rice per week for life. They are not asking for clothes or CD players or other material goods. They are living proof of what happens when men become greedy. In Sierra Leone, men were hacking off the limbs of children in their mad quest to take control of that nation’s diamond mines. You see, these child victims in Sierra Leone know that they have to live with the killers in their towns and villages.
“The children of Sierra Leone are learning to forego materialism and to forgive and forget. It they can do it – minus their limbs – how can we South Africans – black, white, brown, yellow and red – who have our limbs, do any less?”