Monday, January 2, 2012

Is necklacing returning to South Africa?

Earlier this year, South African townships were rocked by incidents of necklacing - mob-justice punishment in which tyres are forced over victims' shoulders and set alight. Is this notorious form of killing from the 1980s in danger of making a comeback?

Angelina Maholwana, 74, felt that justice was being done as she watched two young men burn to death.

Tyres had been forced over their shoulders, doused in petrol and set alight.

She had just identified Mabhutana Siwisa, 19, and Mloza Gqomfa, 20, as the men who had broken into her home, killed her son, tried to sexually assault her and stolen their belongings.

It was the fourth incident of necklacing in one month, in New Brighton township, in the industrial city of Port Elizabeth.

The practice dates back to the 1980s, when it became the punishment of choice among supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) for alleged collaborators with the apartheid regime - though the ANC leadership said it did not condone it.

It was also used against common criminals.

But necklacing appeared to die away in 1987. There had only been one recorded case in more than a decade - until June this year.

Beating and Stoning

The Port Elizabeth incidents - and a number of others elsewhere in the Eastern Cape Province in June and July - have raised fears that necklacing is returning as the most extreme form of a rising tide of vigilante justice.

Last year's police statistics show that of the 46 killings committed on an average day in South Africa, 5% are a result of vigilantism. Beating and stoning are two of the most common ways the killings are carried out.

Many people in poor communities like New Brighton township have lost faith in the police and see vigilantism as the best way of keeping the streets safe.

"Mob justice is not right but it has its place in our society," says Scelo Lucas, 28.

"It does reduce crime. We have seen a decrease in the crime here. People are scared because they know the community will rise up against them."

Some do worry, however, about the risk of the innocent being punished for crimes they did not commit.

"Mob justice is wrong because sometimes the wrong people get punished," says 19-year-old Siyasamkela Solani. "In the heat of the moment, there is a lot of room for mistaken identity."

Tied Up
The government has warned that those who take part in lynchings may be tried for murder and the police have embarked on a campaign to persuade communities to give it up.

Since July, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has visited the Eastern Cape twice. There are also plans to take the campaign to other parts of the country, amid fears that necklacing could spread to other provinces.

In practice, however, communities tend to close ranks and protect each other when police investigate, so prosecutions are rare.

Ms Maholwana told the BBC that, in her view, the two men who killed her son got what they deserved.

"They killed my David like they were killing an animal," she says.

"They broke into our home and tied me and my son up and then put us in separate rooms. My feet were tied together so tight that they got swollen," she says.

In an ordeal that lasted some four hours, her son was stabbed in the neck and strangled with a power cord. After the robbers had left, she found him lying lifeless in a pool of blood.

The next day, the alleged perpetrators - thought to have been behind a string of house robberies - were brought by a crowd to her house. One was wearing her son's clothes.

After she had identified them, the mob beat them with sticks, pelted them with stones, forced on the tyres and set fire to them.

The more they tried to escape the angrier and more violent the crowd became, Ms Maholwana says.

"I know that killing these boys won't bring back my son but I sleep better now, knowing those boys will never hurt anyone else again."

History of necklacing

Men with burning tyre

  • 1984 -1987: About 672 people were burnt, half of them necklaced
  • March 1985 : Thamsanqa Kinini is killed in the first widely reported case of necklacing, which occurs in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape Province
  • July 1985: The first female victim, Maki Skhosana, is killed in Gauteng
  • 2008 - A Mozambican national is necklaced as a wave of xenophobic violence sweeps the country
  • June 2011 - More than seven people are necklaced in the Eastern Cape

Source: Police; South African Institution of Race Relations

Physical Geographical Separation, and not Segregation

Theodore Gilmore Bilbo (1877–1947) was possibly America’s most controversial politician to ever be elected to high office, including the governorship and senate of the state of Mississippi.

An avowed Southern nationalist, Bilbo was even a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his youth, although he left that organisation before he was elected to office.

Although a firm defender of Southern state’s rights and segregation, he was unusual in that he was one of the few who realised that racial segregation provided no answer to racial issues, and invoked considerable opposition from his fellow Southerners because of his demand that physical geographical separation, and not segregation, was the only way to preserve America and Western Civilization.

This book, written while Bilbo was awaiting a ruling by the US Senate designed to strip him of his senate seat, summed up his core beliefs about race, civilization and what he called the only solution to racial conflict: separate geographical states. It is a valuable historical document which accurately reflects racial thinking in the Deep South prior to the Civil Rights Era.

"If we choose any plan short of the physical separation of the races, we are in effect adopting the scheme of amalgamation of the races. We have thousands of years of racial contact in world history to prove to us that where different races live side by side, their blood will intermingle and a mongrel people will be the result. The road of amalgamation and mongrelization leads to the destruction of both the white and the Negro races and to the decay of our civilization which is the product of the white man.

Any student of racial history knows that if the Negroes remain in the United States, the last American will be an octoroon or a mongrel with some portion of Negro blood. If the Negroes are not removed, this condition may come about in three to five hundred years: The fact that it will come sooner or later is a certainty." P/B 257 pp

Zuma hails SA's 'visible progress'

President Jacob Zuma claiming great strides had been made in improving South Africa!!!!

The year 2011 has ended better than it started in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday, claiming great strides had been made in improving healthcare, education, service delivery and fighting crime.
"We have made visible progress in reducing serious and violent crimes, in improving healthcare, rural development, education, social security and the general expansion of access to basic services," he said.

In 2011 the government created partnerships for job creation and made firm plans to improve infrastructure. A great achievement for the country was hosting the COP17 climate change conference.

Hosting the event in Durban, and the International Olympic Committee General Assembly in July, enhanced the country's image as a first class organiser of international events.

Zuma urged South Africans to make 2012 a year of unity and to celebrate the country's political heritage.

"We have an opportunity to showcase our country's remarkable successes, given the historic celebration of the centenary of the ruling party, on January 8 2012.

"Our country proved to the world that it is possible to rise above institutionalised racism, hatred, colonial oppression and apartheid, and build on its ruins a modern democracy which enshrines justice, human rights and dignity


I think he has got it the wrong way round, he should have said we ruined a prosperous country, who held its own during sanctions, we killed the manufacturing industry, go take a drive through your local industrial area, then we destroyed the best railway system in the Southern hemisphere, we f****d up your hospitals, we f****d up your roads, we are over charging you to maintain these with ridiculous taxes on your fuel and have now decided to burden you even further with foreign companies taking the last of what you have got left with their toll gates of which the ANC government will only see 45% of the takings, we closed most of the schools in the rural areas especially farm schools, so we at the ANC can force you to make your kids walk the 30 plus kilometers to the nearest town school. We have also decided that it would be more prestigious to host a Soccer world cup than to build our people homes with the money we spent on the cup and of which we still are in dept for to the different foreign investors, for those of you living in the peace and tranquility of the Karoo, you will get to know us in the very near future when we are going to drill a lot of holes and poison you water supply, but don't worry, we will be creating jobs by having to hire or out source the different companies to deliver drinkable water to your house.
I forgot the bit with the over filled jails, because the criminals have more rights than the law abiding tax payer. Taken our guns to make it safer for them to climb through our bed room windows, once they have gained access over my electric fence, poisoned my dog and would like to have their way with my Mrs against her will, then take all the money and jewelry and be off in the dark of the night, it wont help phoning the cops, because they don't have the funds to maintain their one and only vehicle at my local cop shop, if its running it probably on its way to collect the next shift of coppers.

Oh dear. This is about as meaningful as the late Dear Leader of North Korea and his newly appointed son and heir. I've read the sad speech and it's partly fantasy about SA's achievements, mostly generalised and mostly out of step with what really is, and partly a lot of partisan fluff about his own political party's centenary. Hardly the way to go for a nation's head, but I guess that he just asks some henchman to draft some vapid spin for the occasion. And I guess that he anticipates that a large proportion of ANC voters don't really have daily access to any form of critique of the abysmal performance of this exhausted and incompetent governing party.

Anyway, happy new year one and all, and may we have the guts and resources to make good and find peace in 2012 despite this goon at the helm.     

Mr. President, you cannot distinguish between right and wrong, so how can you say that the country has progressed? Progressed backwards or progressed forwards? How would you know?

"Our country proved to the world that it is
possible to rise above institutionalised racism, hatred, colonial
oppression and apartheid, and build on its ruins a modern democracy
which enshrines justice, human rights and dignity."
Mr President, I hope the above words were sincere and not just thoughtless political utterances. Especially when we remember that your nephew has violated human rights and dignity by leaving thousands Aurora Mine workers with nothing to celebrate this Christmas and new year.     

Are you really talking about South Africa? Our country has racist legislation in another guise, there is a lot of hatred, service delivery in ALL departments (except SARS) is virtually non existent. Look at education, defence, health, welfare, and all the rest. Corruption has grown out of proportion. Without colonialism, SA would have had no infrastructure at all! SA has become the word capitol of murder, drugs, aids, and most attributes in the negative!

It is the only country where laws are made against the minority to protect the majority. I would implore you to open your eyes and see what really is going on!     

I think the only ones who have benefited are government ministers and tenderpreneurs Mr President. Your family has benefited tremendously - one of them at the expense of the unpaid miners working for Aurora.

The Slow Death Of A Black Nation

I picked up an article in the Sowetan Newspaper on the 30th December 2011. For those of you who don't know it is a Black Newspaper printed daily in South Africa.

The follwing was written by a black matric student - probably something a standard 3 or 4 White student would write.

Submitted by Lwazi Nyanakancesh Nongauza for Youthtube: By the Youth, for the Youth. Written the day after her matric exams.

Chaw - chaw cheers quietly - peaceful - surprisingly they passed away, Boom boom like sick ants they die, In shock, anger , disbelief and frustration, We swear, Futsek this metric stupid black curse.
We cry - cry and cry

Why her- why him - why – why???

In despair we mourn

But she was cute, friendly open nice little kid.

Sobbing , we curse , question, curse and questions

why - why - why- why

In anguish , in depression - we blame

Even statistics SA show increase of matric kids suicides

But why?

Damn most of them are black kids.

But why?

Why most of them are black kids?


Is it because they are denied the luxury benefits Afrikaner students have in examination classrooms?

Is it because exams question papers are not translated into understandable languages?

In democratic 2011 but still like in Apartheid

Black kids are still underprivileged.

In Mzantsi under a black lead government are black kids still inferior creatures.

Indeed in this Mandela rainbow nation skin represents lower class citizen

In our days black race get the last end of the stick

In 2011 democratic but still in apartheid black kids still systematical oppressed

who will immense black kids from this men made hell in south Africa?


Why most black matriculations failure kill themselves?

Can it be the publication examination results to be one of the reasons?

But why?

Why is passing or failing Matric have to be a Public issue?

For 11 years passing or failing exams has been kids and tier parents business.

Why should the public know any of the Matric student results?

Where did who get person to publicly publish exams results

By the way who benefits from Matric publication business?

Matric students suicides be new to you.

But this belief has been like this for years.

Maybe the right question should be, why nothing is done about this issue?

You and you might not know.

Maybe those who want, can answer have bigger fish to fry.


For now, more black Matric students will continue to die.

For now, more poor black parents will mourn.

For now, black kids lead suicides statistics.

For now, more black cloud will continue to hang over our generation.

Chaw - chaw cheers quietly - peaceful - surprisingly they passed away

Boom boom like sick ants they die

In shock, anger , disbelief and frustration

We swear

Futsek this metric stupid black curse

We cry - cry and cry

Why her- why him - why – why???

In despair we mourn

But she was cute, friendly open nice little kid.

Sobbing , we curse , question, curse and questions

why - why - why- why

In anguish , in depression - we blame

Even statistics SA show increase of Matric kids suicides

But why?

Damn most of them are black kids.

But why?

Why most of them are black kids?


Here is a comment a good FaceBook friend posted on a FaceBook page I contribute to:

Johan PB Prinsloo

"Why is passing or failing Matric have to be a Public issue?" Matric results have always been published in the mainstream media, but now it would need to be stopped, because the black children are committing suicide.

 I don't want to go into this too deeply, but I'm wondering if this is not because of expectations and pressure that kids were never used to before.
Black kids now being faced with competitiveness, which is something that never really existed in their culture before. Its something I'll definitely take up with some of the sober thinking blacks I know and get their opinion on.
Black kids suddenly have to compete on an equal basis with whites, coloured, Indian & Chinese students and the disgrace of not being able to keep up is too much for them.

 I experienced this while I was at MEDUNSA in the 1980's We had a few white students entering at the university at the time and the black students went on riot to get rid of them, because they outperformed the rest of the students. Once they achieved that they again went on strike to get rid of the Chinese and Indian students for the same reason.

 One has to question whether the competitiveness and pressures of western society, the expectations to perform are not overwhelming. Its too much too soon.

 WE also see it with blacks being put into top earing positions and they become alcoholics, because, suddenly they're earning so much money they don;t know how to handle it, they have to perform and keep up with the rest and meet dead-lines, while in their traditions time is of no concern, tomorrow is another day.
Having all this money suddenly they get into drinking and jolling like never before and they end up drinking all-day and even drugs, so much part of SA high society these days.

 The problem with the majority of black people, and I know I'm generalising here, is that they cannot take responsibility for their own shortcomings and mistakes, they always find someone or something else to blame.

 The publishing of the results in public is not the problem, its the inability to cope with what they're suddenly being confronted with thats the problem.

 This may perhaps be compared with what has been happening in SA sport for many years, where young guys enter a sport, the coaches suddenly realise the chap has great potential and they push him to fast. We saw this with young boxers so many times and also in Rugby. Where this young sportsman should have gone places, a year or two later he is gone, burned out and buggared, because he could not cope.

 I've been in tertiary education for many years and I've even been registered as an Evaluator for the Council for Higher Education and served a a High-school's governing body for 15 years and I've seen what they've been doing with these black students.
When I started at MEDUNSA in the 1980's we saw how they dropped the standards, just to get the numbers. Since 1994 this has been much, much worse as the standards have now been dropped so low these qualifications are not worth the paper its printed on.

 The late Prof. "Van" Myburgh always said to me that MEDUNSA is the most modern, the best equipped Medical School with the best lectures money could buy, ..... with the worst product being produced at the end.
For our foreign / international friends MEDUNSA was a black medical school built by the National Party Government in the 1970's. It still remains a black medical school, but there is very little left of it today.

 Now what happens is that this qualified, yet poorly educated graduate enters the job-market, he gets put in a job based on that qualification, but cannot do the job. He earns the salary and holds the title, he is expected to perform and compete, but he cannot. The end result is that he procrastinates, misses days at work to avoid the wrath of management and starts drinking. He slowly commits career-suicide and eventually ends up on the street a broken individual.

 Now imagine the young black kids suddenly ending up in a school among other rich white, coloured and indian children who are themselves being pushed like hell by their snobbish parents. Parents push their children to perform where they themselves could not, hoping that their kids would make up for their own failure. White children cannot cope, how do the black parents who are not used to and do not give their children any support of any kind expect those kids to perform and cope with it?

 I know I've already spoken too much again, but I just wanted to get this across that they are again finding something to blame rather than to seek the cause and address it.
Johan my friend - you never speak too much! Thank you for your post.