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South Africans will sleep with anyone

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Cdes, friends and fellow countrymen. Greetings. A note to open us up a little:

Progressive minds have received with skepticism the move and motive behind SA visa scrapping for Zimbabweans. We recall that the issue of visas into SA has been something Zim and the rest of SADC have been fighting to get rid of for a very long time ago. SA has been evasive on this issue yet pushing for an open SADC in the background. Just how open a SADC Pretoria wants we seem to start seeing. It is an open SADC that is in service to SA interests first and last. When it comes to servicing SA interests, S. Africans will sleep with anyone including neo-imperialists like China while lynching the DALAI LAMA. Did they not openly tell the world that the spiritual leader’s coming threatens the interests of S.Africa.

In everything they do, it is all business with S.Africa. A trip along memory lane. RENAMO. We, Zimbabweans went into Mozambique to assist a fellow pan-African brother against a banditry explosion supported by a SA’s apartheid govt, again, driven by nothing but S.A’s commercial interests. But as soon as the war was over, SA crosses floor to partner the Mozambiquean revolutionary govt in the Cabora Bassa Hydro electricity project. Years later, they are selling us electricity generated in the same Mozambique.

The same happened in CONGO. SA folded hands while we fought a war to safeguard the sovereignty of another pan-African brother. Just like the Cabora Bassa project, Pretoria would move in after the war and the attendant threat is gone, and we all know about the deals that they clinched. I keep mentioning the word pan-African to demonstrate its commercial meaning when it comes to S.Africans. Moreso that it has been their mantra when confronted with regional challenges or scrapping visas to Zimbabweans. But as we have been noticing over the years, it is all about business with the Mzansi crew.

The visa scrapping for Zimbos is a business move by S.A and nothing more. Zimbabwe and her people according to Pretoria are now ripe a business opportunity for S.A to pluck and safegurad. For, if we agree it is in the spirit of brotherhood this has been done, then are we aslo agreeing that other Southern African countries excluded here are lesser brothers of Pretoria than Zimbabweans? Now here starts the humour and the exposure.

Why now? Is this not the same country that unleashed xenophobic terror on Zimbabweans when we needed their help most? Is it not common sense for all who are for Zimbabwe’s revival that we need our children back than have them baited away by stronger economies. There is a business catch here coated with a saleable humanitarian veneer.

I will give you the background to my argument before elaborating further so that we are in the same enlightened frame. Lest I may be labeled a spoiler by those excited by the prospects of striking gold in Egoli. Sadly, it is the same blur of this excitement that is the business hook for S.Africa. And the patronizing suggestions will be that nobody is being forced to go to SA. Why are you not saying the same with Botswana and others who for long do not require visas for Zimbabweans? We are all aware that these other countries do not have the same lure as SA and that the exodus to SA will increase due to this. And for that we leave this kind and part of the debate to high schoolers.

See, its clear SA has always wanted Zimbabwe to move from being a competitor as was during the 80s/90s and be an extension of SA; which is what the new Zimbabwe many have been fighting for will NOT allow. Aware of this they have decided to team up with local forces against a fully independent Zimbabwe in the guise of revolutionary rhetoric and comradeship.

As I write today, the sources of fear about Zim being a consumer market in service of SA industry can now be seen in the many products now populating our shops’ shelves. Those that were on Mbeki’s case claiming his impartiality as a mediator was motivated by the fact that SA has and will be the biggest beneficiary of Zim’s crisis are now being vindicated by these developments. The timing is great. After years of empty shelves in Zimbabwe, S.A moves in with their products and get the Good Samaritan tag while making sweet money in the process! Now how good can this get!?

Remember the out-going president of S.A suggested Zimbabwe consider the use of the RAND in place of its own currency? Now how entangled can a country be in the economics and politics of another if they adopt its currency? What it means is that any knock to the rand (even those remotely connected to Zim’s interest or doing) will cascade down to Zimbabwe. Say for example, Zuma gets inspired and has another go of the shower scene, and the rand takes a plunge… Zimbabwe will definitely feel the vibrations of the muchina-wami!

Zimbabwe is set to be a S-African province, only that we will not be voting or having representatives in their parliament! Yet we know that S.A will with time go through the same phase Zimbabwe just went through as the nation’s leadership starts doing the inevitable of moving from the revolutionary elites to a leadership of the future. This is a must go route for every African country as the hands of time starts revealing the obsoleteness of liberation war credentials as the only leadership credentials. When that happens to S.A (and I don’t wish them that in a bad way) my heart bleeds for Zim should it be tied to SA for it will have a sequel of the past ten years.

After having stood with their revolutionary mates against the open wishes of the Zimbabwean majority, SA effectively killed the opportunity for a wholesale revival of Zimbabwe in particular our industries. Today our industries cannot compete with SA companies whose operating environment is better than their. The cost of producing in S.Africa is worlds cheaper than producing here in Zimbabwe. At the end the whole process turns out a battle of two unequals. And there goes the last remnants of our industries! Our last few jobs and the potential jobs our industries where set to make in the future.

As the world crisis currently sweeping throughout the world demands that countries find new markets for their industries to survive. For SA, Zim is a good market and a source of cheap labour. The SA/ZIM tale is now the classic baas George farm story. In this tragedy, our children are whipped (free visa) en mass to SA for plantation wages, developing baas George Farm’s produce; then the same wages goes to baas George tuck-shop buying the same produce! Finally we can now say, Goodbye Zimbabwe (1980-2009).

Rest in Peace.

5 comments to “South Africans will sleep with anyone”

  1. Comment by tshepo:

    I’m a South African and naturally do not agree with your sentiments, SA did not push Zim into the quagmire it finds itself in. As for your asserion that SA is destined for a Zim-like future of poverty and squalor, all I can say is dream on! Watch us as we install our 4th president in PTA this weekend while you okes are still saddled with your despot,That’s the problem with Zimbo’s, too much education and not enough common sense…

  2. Comment by Sally D:

    Have to agree with Tshepo here. Although there’s a lot of truth in what you say, Leonard; the end of apartheid only came about because it had become bad for business, and not because the ANC had won any kind of military victory.

    However, that’s where comparisons fall apart. The apartheid Government, unlike ZANU-PF did actually love their country in their own way; and they were able to take most of their supporters along with them when the time came to change the Constitution in the last whites-only vote. They were not prepared to put the country to the sword and live off the carcass; and South Africans wouldn’t have been prepared to let them.

    So, I don’t know what you’re saying here, really. Concern for business has meant that we can afford to take care of ourselves, and as it happens of quite a lot of Zimbabweans too, because for some time we had a healthy fiscus that generated plenty of taxpayers’ money. What, then, are South Africans guilty of? Loving their country and putting it first?

    I know Zimbabweans love their country – I’m one of those that do. But the state of neglect, corruption and shame that has befallen Zimbabwe has nothing to do with an inevitable political process (you’re fully with the Whining When-we’s of former Rhodesia on that incidentally) – and everything to do with a passive political culture where no one person seems willing to stick his or her neck out to save others.

    As Thomas Jefferson once said of the USA, if we can’t be the “home of the brave” we won’t be the “land of the free” for long. Did Zimbabweans think that their freedoms didn’t need defending?

    Hooray for the brave few who are trying to stand up for what’s right in Zimbabwe. That’s a lot more constructive than moaning about the lack of true friendship from across the border.

  3. Comment by Sally D:

    Sorry, I forgot to add: none of my earlier comments should be taken to imply that South Africans have no responsibility for what’s happened in Zimbabwe. We do, and that’s one very good reason why we can’t complain now when millions of Zimbabweans arrive, desperate, at our door. We knew what was coming, our Government knew very well. Yet on the one hand we had Thabo Mbeki denying the significance of human rights in Zimbabwe (compared with the importance of land redistribution, which bizarrely he thought wasn’t an “upside down view” of Africa), and SA voting to protect Mugabe again and again in multilateral institutions like the UN. On the other, South African corporates and utilities eager to ensure that their Zimbabwean business partners could keep up with ever-increasing debt repayments, even as the Zim currency collapsed and the Chefs spirited their millions away overseas. And even now, the SA Government calls for “sanctions” to be removed on these same kleptocrats and their foreign bank accounts.

    I can remember the exact place I was when I heard on the radio news that our Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ably assisted by convicted fraudster Tony Yengeni, reckoned the Zimbabwe Presidential election of 2002 “substantially free and fair”. It was completely sickening!! And COPE supporters should note that Terror Lekota, our brand-new Defender of the ANC’s Democratic Heritage, had previously professed himself “deeply satisfied” with the reasons Mugabe gave him for refusing international election monitors – despite months of vicious State- sponsored violence against the oppostion, detention and deportation of journalists, and so forth. Someone should ask Lekota whether he’s still satisfied now that the full extent of the plunder and ruin of a beautiful, productive country has become obvious to the entire world, even us; and someone should ask Mbeki why he ever thought that the elimination of property rights could lead to people’s needs being met in Zimbabwe, whilst at the same time telling people that this kind of redistribution would never happen in SA.

    A more academic (but thorough, and interesting) study of the so-called Quiet Diplomacy from a broader International Relations perspective can be found here:


  4. Comment by Janet Moyo:

    I see your concerns but do not agree with most of the things you say. Zimbabwe – at most levels has since abandoned the will of the people and is largley motivated by personal interests at many levels. Zim went into DRC and did well in enriching a few people at the expense of everybody and who can you blame for that/ And now as you say for its economic gain SA is opening up by scrapping the visas, I would like to ask you – whose problem is it that Zimbabwean leaderships does not have the socio-economic interests of their cizitens as a priority, why should SA be blamed for being strategic for the benefit of its people. Your departure point should be to look at the internal problems – root causes of all this lack of vision and strategy in Zimbabwe which SA is taking advantage of. I am a Zimbo and if my government was going all out – like SA is doing – for my benefit and for a sustainable future for my country – I would not be complaining. The problem is in our own beloved Zim not wih SA

  5. Comment by william james obrien jr:

    greetings from virginia, usa – not far from jefferson’s old stomping-grounds……leonard makes some very good points – his is a warning to be heeded. especially, on account that the Red Dragon i do believe does lurk about and people don’t realize. i can’t forget the winter of ’83 around bulawayo and y’know northkorean troopies don’t just alight like so many ‘tinkerbells’ – bejing, like captain hook ultimately calls the shots all-the-while the old ‘crock’ with the clock in his gut still shares(?) power in salisbury. snaks, where’s peter pan when you need ‘em! Well but to hold-fast e luta continua, da watilaai we, wabatata o tango aiwe. truly pad werk voor! or is it as Wittgenstein fretted “the open road before-us is permanently closed” I believe not. open hearts and minds armed with art and song of the left-brain will wrestle-back the day from the right-brained, violence worshiping reptiles in laager wherever, whenever. it seems dark now – but – remember your Dante! we’ll all walk out of the “inferno” that is of others and our own constructed’ past into as the poetess levertov called a calm dawn where we can begin again. e quindi uscumo a rividere le stella….from there that we emerged to see once more the stars. enough, my head/heart still hurts from casinga to ft victoria and body’s tired from past ‘lovetaps’ in mutare…..but mark me true love will prevail, though errant knaves-all i/we defy agury. ad astra peace of christ’s luv ty’all . the motopos will be there in the morning just as the shenandoah and alleganies that hold my gaze this eve. stand-fast Zimbabwe?Rhodesia the dawn will come for the just (sally D you hit the nail on its head my email is obrienwags@aol.com also on facebook…godspeed) wildbill out.