Schlagwort-Archive: crime

Blogger Akanyang Merementsi im Interview

Die südafrikanische Pressefreiheit findet keine Anwendung auf Blogger. Wer schützt die Netzaktivisten?

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Die Pressefreiheit muss in allen Staaten der Welt, auch in Demokratien, ständig verteidigt werden. In Südafrika steht die Presselandschaft besonders unter Druck. Mail & Guardian, das Flaggschiff des investigativen Journalismus, ist mehrfach durch den Staat und einer Reihe von Konzernen vor Gericht gezerrt worden – aktuell durch die Unternehmens- und Managementberatung Bososa. Die Aufdeckung der Quellen, der Whistleblower, ist in den meisten Fällen das Ziel von juristischen Auseinandersetzungen. Die Verfassung garantiere das Recht auf Quellenschutz, wenn ein hohes öffentliches Interesse bestehe, so der Blogger und selbsternannte „Media-Freak“ Akanyang Merementsi aus Rustenburg. Er bedauert jedoch, dass den Bloggern kein Rechtsstatus auf journalistische Privilegien zusteht – ähnlich in Deutschland. In den USA hingegen existieren bereits Organisationen wie Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), die den Bloggern umfassende Hilfe in Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Rechtsberatung- bzw. vertretung anbieten. Bezüglich der geplanten und vom ANC geplanten Presseregulierung, wonach im Rahmen des sog. Protection of Information Bill Journalisten bei der Veröffentlichung von geheimen Informationen mit bis zu 25 Jahren Haft bestraft werden können, führt Akanyang die Zunahme von Falschmeldungen an. Die südafrikanische Presse hat in den letzten drei Jahren nach Angaben des stellvertretenden Presse-Ombudsmann  für einen Anstieg der Beschwerden von 70 Prozent gesorgt. Falsche Informationen und unethische Meldungen dienen dementsprechend als Grundlage zur Presseregulierung.  Ferner bemängelt Akanyang die fortwährende Schwarz-Weiß-Einteilung der südafrikanischen Gesellschaft und vor allem die von Weißen betriebene Assoziation von Problemen wie Armut, Kriminalität, mangelnde Bildung und Korruption  mit der schwarzen Hautfarbe. Er hasst es, dass Schwarze per se  in „Verdacht“ gestellt werden.

© Akanyang Merementsi, media freak & blogger and worker in mining industry

© Akanyang Merementsi, media freak & blogger and worker in mining industry.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste – the German Gateway to South Africa – a Rustenburg based blogger Akanyang Merementsi. Dear Akanyang, according to your Akanyang Africa blog you are a “media freak”. Which aims are you following with your online media?

Answer: My blog addresses a range of topics and these include politics and media developments in South Africa (African and abroad). I am passionate about media and politics and this must have something to do with the fact that I almost became a journalist in my last year (2007) at North West University’s Mafikeng campus in the North West province.

At the time I developed a keen interest in media and politics which played a role in my becoming a writer for the university student newspaper, The Album. The stint, however, only lasted for a couple of months until sometime August that year when the university, strangely, decided to close down the newspaper due to lack of funds. In my first issue I had only written one feature involving a student whose residence room had caught fire and burned most of her belongings. I also contributed in the news snips section of the newspaper.

But as for political interests, I hope my Aquarius star attributes of curiosity and inquisitiveness have nothing to do with it. But I suspect they do.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are criticising several cases of organisation that are in confrontation with press institutions. For example in the juridical case between the enterprise BOSASA against Mail & Guardian newspaper. Is the South Africa state sufficiently protecting bloggers and journalists?

Answer: On the Mail & Guardian vs. Bosasa saga I was merely concerned that there was such great silence from other media houses in the country that previously claimed to support press-freedom but had failed to come to the defence of M&G when it was being forced through the Court to reveal sources that had leaked certain information to it. And as far as I understand newspapers like M&G are protected by the Constitution from not revealing their sources if their revelations are “in the public interest”, which the Bosasa stories were, according to my understanding. Therefore it was sad that only one organisation was behind M&G in court while others like Democratic Alliance, Cosatu, etc. were silent.

So journalists enjoy more protection than bloggers (like myself or any other for that matter). This is because, so we are told, we are not and cannot claim to be journalists who enjoy some great protection from the Constitution.

I do not think bloggers can claim to be journalists and therefore claiming their rights, but I truly believe that we bloggers do not enjoy any protection at all to date.

Not even international organisations I have interacted with can easily help me fight any legal battle for me a South African blogger. Or if they were, it would be difficult as they would first have to find their peer in my country who would be willing to represent me. In June last year I asked Rebecca Jeschke, a media relations director at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – a US-based organisation that fights for what it called the Bloggers’ Rights – about her organisation and what it does. With offices only in San Francisco, Jeschke said the organisation’s “legal guide” whose “law [is] referenced” in the US “likely doesn’t apply to South Africa”.

Asked how EFF defended bloggers in other parts of the world – South Africa as an example, she said they worked on “an activism level”. “We can and do call attention to important international cases, and work on international policy issues. But we don’t do on-the-ground legal work for cases outside of the US”. Although they would not be personally helping bloggers if they faced lawsuits, Jeschke said, however, that EFF can be contacted for assistance and they “will try to help find appropriate legal assistance”. “But we can’t provide that assistance ourselves for cases outside of the US”, she said.

If you will remember a blogger had written a story for which s/he was fined over a million Pounds/Euros/dollars. This, the Court found later, was because, unlike journalists, she was not protected from not disclosing sources. What bloggers can only exercise but with caution is our right to freedom of opinion and expression which are enshrined in the South African Constitution. So this is an indication that bloggers do not have much protection as journalists do.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What is your opinion with regard to the ANC’s planned Protection of Information Bill? Will the government be cutting press freedom?

Answer: I have not read the revised version of the proposed regulation, even the old one I had not finished reading. However, those that had read both versions and whose judgements I trust are of the opinion that the Protection of State Information Bill in its current form might be unconstitutional.

For example, at the time of doing writing veteran Human Rights lawyer George Bizos of the Legal Resources Centre reportedly had his submission to Parliament on the bill that: “as it stands, [it] runs contrary to and indeed threatens many of the fundamental values and principles enshrined in the Constitution”. This is the general view in the country and of course many of us are inclined to believe that for as long as the bill is not in line with the constitution as alleged – where the media and press rights and freedom and their constitutional obligations to report without fear and or favour are not recognised, where whistleblowers are protected and that any information can be leaked and or reported in the “public interest” – then we need to be worried and concerned as a nation because many secrets (often by political parties, corruptable businesspeople, government departments and private businesses) are very much likely to be covered up with the passing of these laws.

So by introducing a law such as this and the ruling party’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal – our media would be very much limited to reporting alleged/suspected corruption where leaked evidence thereof do exist. Therefore, to a great extent, these laws would be “cutting press freedom”.

Having said this, however, the media (especially on MAT proposal) is as much to blame for many of its unethical and irresponsible reporting, some of which are way out of line with the South African Press Codes.

For example, I blogged on May 7 last year, asking: “Is Sunday Times living up to this Code of Conduct?” In another blog entry published at the same time, I asked: “Has Sunday Times breached the Press Codes on its ‘Dis-Grace’ story?” Below is just a few of my articles published on my blog in which I criticise the press/media:

  • M&G newspaper fighting solo Court battle to protects its sources
  • Is Rupert Murdoch doing a Bosasa on M&G?
  • Why our media should sleep on its ‘self-regulation’ bed now more than ever
  • Does the media report or assume news?
  • Is there ’copy and past’ in SA newsrooms?
  • What editors need to do to avoid a repeat of The Star and Daily Sun (newspapers) on Malema
  • Is Avusa Media consistent with columnists?
  • Did Avusa and Sunday Times “raise controversy without thought for the consequences” with Roberts’ column?
  • When should “sources” be used?
  • Interview with SA Press Council and Press Ombudsman
  • Did Sunday Times act “ethically” in publishing “Against The Rules Too” report?
  • Public Protector vindicates me on Sunday Times’ “unethical and unlawful” publication of Against The Rules Too
  • M&G playing political games with anonymous sources?
  • Was Mbeki wrong about Press Freedom in 1996?
  • Sunday World and Sunday Times “slave for formula”?
  • Has Mail & Guardian confused you on the Maharaj saga?
  • Was Sowetan’s Mathale “dare” Zuma claim misleading?

In February this year South African Press Council released figures in which it noted the increase of complaints against newspapers. Deputy Press ombudsman said at the time that there was a 70% increase over the last three years in the number of complaints about incorrect or unethical newspaper reports. He said the complainants grew from 150 in 2009 to 213 in 2010 and 255 in 2011.

While criticising the media on 13 March, Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe said his office experienced “problems… with the way ([newspapers] ignored correspondences” from his office, naming The Times newspaper as one of the culprits. This, however, is not to say the press should be suppressed as it now is tempted to with these laws although the government has denied this.

© Screenshot to the blog "Akanyang Africa" by Akanyang Merementsi

© Screenshot to the blog „Akanyang Africa“ by Akanyang Merementsi

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is still challenged with many socio-political problems like crime, corruption and poverty. Is the government by President Jacob Zuma doing enough for the South African people or which policies should be changed?

Answer: I would like to believe that the government is doing its best – though not enough – to fight poverty and corruption the country. On 11 March 2012, I was called an “idiot” by someone on Twitter when I put it to him that we – especially white people in the country – have a tendency of saying crime, education and corruption is a “Black problem” or the “ANC problem”. Which are not. So for as long we have people who still 18-years into our democracy see crime, education and crime as a “black person’s problem” then we have a long way to go in overcoming these challenges.

I would also like to believe that we have good policies in fighting these but sometimes lack of community involvement (for whatever reasons) is probably one of the reasons why there is little success in sorting out our education, crime and poverty and corruption challenges.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Some voices are denouncing the continuous fragmentation of the South African society in blacks and whites. Would you confirm this perception?

Answer: I have realised that we have accepted and see ourselves on racial terms: black and white people. To achieve the rainbow nation envisioned by former President Nelson Mandela will take probably longer than it took apartheid to rule South Africa. Seeing ourselves as just one human race will be hard-work and not an easy road, I must add.

One of the issues that often come up is that of white people failing to accept some of the awful things their forefathers had done to ours. And it is sad that some of these things still happen to this very day. To address this, I would suggested that we have some sort of a Race Debate because surely Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission did little job in helping both blacks and whites accept one another and our differences. But at the same time – as mentioned in my blog post published on 25 March 2012 and titled “My ‘Black Man Code’ or is it a ‘Trayvon Martin’ moment? – I think white people “… tend to treat us blacks with suspicion” and I hate it.

Associate Press Writer Jesse Washington coined The Black Man Code and he told his son to “Understand that even though you are not a criminal, some people [white in particular] might assume you are, especially if you are wearing certain clothes”. So to a “black male… [to] go above and beyond to show strangers what type of person you really are” – as Washington told his son to do – it will be difficult because this always gives us blacks The Black Man Code. Worse, it sometimes makes us experience that “Trayvon-Martin moment”.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which impressions do you have from Germany and Germans?

Answer: Unfortunately I cannot form any opinion of Germany and or its people because I have not had any interaction with them.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Akanyang Merementsi – media freak & blogger – thank you very much for this interesting interview!

Werbeanzeigen

NGO-Direktor Braam Hanekom im Interview

Polizei in Südafrika ist von Rassismus gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge befallen

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Südafrika hat ein großes Rassismusproblem im Zusammenhang mit afrikanischen Flüchtlingen. Insbesondere die Behörden des Landes, allen voran die Polizei und die Einwanderungsbehörden, sind von xenophoben Strömungen gegen Afrikaner betroffen. Ermittlungsverfahren im Hinblick auf die Misshandlung von Ausländern durch Polizeibeamte werden all zu oft erst gar nicht betrieben. Zu dieser Erkenntnis kommt auch Braam Hanekom, Gründer und Direktor der NGO PASSOP. Der gebürtige Simbabwer versucht mit seiner in Kapstadt ansässigen Organisation die Grundrechte von afrikanischen Flüchtlingen, Immigranten und Asylanten durchzusetzen. Denn nicht jeder, der Recht hat, kriegt auch sein Recht. Vor allem dann nicht, wenn diese keine Aufenthaltspapiere bekommen. Nur hochqualifizierten Afrikanern steht der legale Aufenthalt am Kap offen. Vor 2009 sind pro Jahr rund eine Viertelmillion Simbabwer abgeschoben worden. Trotz der Einheitsregierung in Simbabwe von 2008, welche aus den Parteien MDC and ZANU-PF zusammengesetzt ist,  machen sich – bei einer Arbeitslosenquote von 85 Prozent durchaus verständlich – weiterhin viele Simbabwer auf dem Weg in das südafrikanische Nachbarland. Diese erwartet nicht nur eine fremde Umgebung, sondern auch Fremdenfeindlichkeit durch Staatsdiener sowie Township-Bewohnern und ein unsicherer Rechtsstatus.  Flüchtlinge, so Hanekom, werden in der Regenbogennation als Gefahr wahrgenommen. Einige Hilfesuchende stellen einen Asylantrag, die anderen leben illegal im Untergrund. Bei absoluter Armut, hoher Arbeitslosigkeit und unzureichenden Schulplatzkapazitäten mündet der Wettbewerb um die begrenzten Ressourcen in einen Hass gegen Afrikaner ein. Der NGO-Direktor spricht in diesem Kontext von der „Afrophobia„; einer Xenophobie, die sich ausschließlich gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge richtet. „Die Armen greifen die Armen an„, hält Hanekom mit Bedauern fest. Solange in Südafrika die Ungleichheit bestehen bleibt, wird die Fremdenfeindlichkeit fortbestehen. Hanekom erwartet in naher Zukunft die nächsten Ausschreitungen gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge. Im Mai 2012 jährt sich zum vierten Mal die Gewaltwelle gegen Flüchtlinge im Johannesburger Stadtteil Alexandra.

© PASSOP is counting to one of the most important NGOs for protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. (Source: flickr/ PASSOP)

© PASSOP is counting to one of the most important NGOs for protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

© Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO PASSOP

© Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO PASSOP

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – Mr. Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO „People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP)“.  You are originally from Zimbabwe and assisted the most important oppositon party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) by president Morgan Tsvangirai. How would you describe the actually situation in your native country, if you are hearing the government hasn´t money to finance elections?

Answer: Thank you for giving me this opportunity – it’s great to see people in Germany taking such an interest and caring about issues in South Africa and the region. To answer your question, the situation in Zimbabwe remains much unchanged since the formation of the unity government in 2008. There is a still a political deadlock between the MDC and ZANU-PF. While Mugabe has been pushing for early elections this year – probably because he currently has the finances to run a big propaganda campaign through the diamonds that were recently uncovered, as well as the fact that he is not getting any younger – the MDC and regional partners have maintained that the preconditions for fair and sound elections outlined in the Global Political Agreement have not yet been met. It is clear that although there has been a minor economic recovery in Zimbabwe, it has been the rich who have prospered while the vast majority of the population is suffering in poverty and have to cope with a 85% unemployment rate. Therefore, the situation remains precarious and we are trying to push the South African government to take a more active and assertive foreign policy approach towards Zimbabwe to ensure it’s stability. 

© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. There are estimates that 5 million African refugees living in South Africa, mostly from Zimbabwe. Which are the biggest problems for these humans?

Answer: Immigrants that come to South Africa find it extremely difficult to get documentation. Only people who have advanced degrees are able to get work permits. All others, including teachers or nurses, for example, are unable to get work permits. As a result the only chance immigrants have to document themselves is to apply for asylum. The vast majority of applicants are however rejected, and are forced to live in South Africa without documents. This has negative implications for the realisation of their basic rights. They are often exploited, discriminated against and left in vulnerable positions. They are also often faced with a hostile and xenophobic environment in South Africa, and are subjected to verbal threats and physical violence. To put it simply: people come here fleeing hunger and conflict, but once they get here, life does not get much easier for most of them. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Several South African communities are strucked by xenophobic violence such as Du Noon in 2008, Imizamo Yethu in 2008, De Doorns 2009, Masiphumelele in 2009, as well as Mbekweni in 2010. What are the factors for these hate outbreaks?

Answer: There are many theories. I guess this ‚hate of foreigners‘ is common in countries around the world, including the States and Europe. Like in other regions, hence, xenophobic tension here is essentially the result from the competition for scarce resources, like jobs or access to schools, and many South Africans feel that foreigners are making lives more difficult for them in these ways. The difference in South Africa compared to other parts of the world is that the tensions here more often turn violent. This excessive violence here is the result of a number of factors, including that the scars from the Apartheid regime have not yet fully healed in South Africa, there are deep inequalities and frustration across the country, and the media is making it worse by being flooded with gruesome images of murders or crime, which perpetuates the ‚culture of violence‘.  By the way, it is probably more appropriate to call this ‚afrophobia‘ rather than xenophobia, because you don’t see any Europeans being attacked, just other Africans.  It is the poor attacking the poor, fighting over the crumbs left behind by the (mostly white) elite and rich. It’s very sad.

© PASSOP demonstration in Cape Town. The NGO held in 2009 a demonstration calling for all Zimbabwe's political prisoners to be released. (Source: flickr/  Sokwanele - Zimbabwe + PASSOP)

© PASSOP demonstration in Cape Town. The NGO held in 2009 a demonstration calling for all Zimbabwe’s political prisoners to be released. (Source: flickr/ Sokwanele – Zimbabwe + PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Would you agree the opinion that the South African police is afflicted with racism against African refugees?

Answer: Yes, and even if it is not just racism, it is definitely a very clear apathy or indifference towards foreigners, which means that in practice, many cannot access their rights. We constantly hear cases in which police officers refuse to open or investigate cases for foreigners, as stipulated by law. This police apathy is in fact what makes outbreaks of xenophobia possible. If the police doesn’t protect vulnerable foreigners, then who will. It is a major problem, but it is acknowledged by political leaders. I recently laughed when I had a debate with a police chief on the radio about this, and he admitting that it was a massive problem but that there were ‚pockets of excellence‘ in the police force.  

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do you think xenophobic violence could arising in the near future again?

Answer: Definitely. We are now coming up to the four year anniversary of the major outbreak of May 2008, but the tensions are still boiling right under the surface because the preconditions have remained the same. As long as South Africa is plagued by the current levels of inequality, they will keep resurfacing. I am not saying that the majority of South Africans are xenophobic at all, but there is a certain group of frustrated young South African men across the country that are prone to violence. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What should the South African government and first of all the Department of Home Affairs undertake for avoiding xenophobia?

Answer: The government needs to create more jobs and work harder to reduce the inequality. The Department of Home Affairs should give foreigners a chance to document themselves by issuing temporary work permits, rather than forcing them to be undocumented and then deporting them in their thousands. This deportation of foreigners is an important issue. The deportation of Zimbabweans was stopped between 2009 and 2011 – prior to 2009 about 250,000 Zimbabweans were deported every year. Going into communities doing immigration raids and targeting foreigners was one of the key factors that triggered the xenophobic violence, because it legitimized the mistreatment of foreigners in the eyes of many in the townships („if the government can kick out foreigners, so can I“) and it also led to huge instability. Five months ago deportations of Zimbabweans was resumed, and already 20,000 have been deported and immigration raids have started again. This is dangerous for stability and needs to handled very differently. 

© Braam Hanekom is originally from Zimbabwe. His organisation PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“

© Braam Hanekom is originally from Zimbabwe. His organisation PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“ (Source: PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We took notice that with your programme coordinator David von Burgsdorff a German citizen is engaged in your NGO structures. Is PASSOP maintaining relations to Germany and if yes, which ones?

Answer: Yes, David is my right-hand man who has helped me build up this organisation. He embodies the classic stereotype of ‚German efficiency‘ – it’s amazing how he gets things done. In fact, he is the only of our 11 full-time staff members who is not African, although I suspect at heart he is by now more African than German…  We don’t receive any funding from Germany, nor have any formal relations with the German Embassy at this point, but what is certain is that through David our staff have become big admirers of your country and it’s people! 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Braam Hanekom, PASSOP director, thank you very much for this interesting interview!

Sarah Britten in interview

„The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Sarah Britten ist in Deutschland weitgehend unbekannt. In Südafrika zählt sie zu den Who’s Who der nationalen Blogger- und Journalistenszene. Eigentlich kommt sie aus der Werbebranche und analysierte für ihre Doktorarbeit die nationale Identität Südafrikas aus der ökonomischen Perspektive heraus. Dementsprechend hält Sarah Britten fest, dass das Multikulti-Konzept in Südafrika besser funktioniere als in den USA oder Australien, wenn es beispielsweise um die muslimische Gemeinde geht. Zwar steht dem Land noch viel Arbeit bevor, doch verbinden eine gemeinsame Nationalflagge, Verfassung und Braai das Volk. Die infolge der Kriminalität ausgelöste Abwanderungswelle von mehrheitlich gut ausgebildeten Südafrikanern weißer Hautfarbe, welche als „brain drain“ bezeichnet wird, begegnet die Journalistin mit einer zu beobachtenden Gegentendenz. Denn zunehmend mehr Bürger kehren in ihre Heimat zurück. Die Regierung ist nun in der Pflicht, die Arbeitsbedingungen – vor allem für medizinisches Personal – zu verbessern und die Ursachen der Kriminalität anzugehen. Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit in Südafrika sieht Sarah Britten durch die geplanten Regulierungsvorhaben seitens der Regierung als nicht ausrangiert an, sondern eher als eingezwängt. Sie betont, dass die größten Leidtragenden der Secrecy Bill die Armen selbst sein werden. Deutschland besuchte Sarah Britten im Oktober 2011, wobei ihr Berlin sehr gefallen hat und sie diesen Ort auf Basis ihrer Erfahrung als beste Stadt für Touristen bezeichnet. Gegenwärtig bloggt sie für das renommierte südafrikanische Online-Medium Mail & Guardian.

© Sarah Britten, blogger, journalist and book author. She is also a blogging member of Thought Leader from Mail & Guardian.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Ms. Dr. Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author.

You completed your PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand with focus on new national identity in South African advertising industry. Is South Africa counting to the successful multicultural societies?

Answer: We have our problems but for the most part we muddle through. In one respect, we manage multiculturalism far better than most: unlike other nations, Muslims are one of our many communities and are not seen as a threat as they are in the US or Australia.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you describe South African identity? Does it exists?

Answer: South Africa is very diverse and we have a long history of division between groups. So we have had to work hard to find something we have in common. We have our flag, which is a very important symbol of the nation. There is the braai – our version of the barbecue – which is now celebrated as National Braai Day on September 24. And there are other aspects of life that only people who are South African or who live in South Africa will understand: minibus taxis, biltong, robots (traffic lights) and so on.

We also have our constitution, which celebrates its 15th birthday this February. This document is the bedrock of our democracy and I have worked closely with Media Monitoring Africa on the strategy for a campaign we are launching soon. We will be asking ordinary South Africans to publicly declare their support for our constitution, as a nation-building exercise.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South African media are reporting constantly about the brain drain phenomena, which means, that well-trained South African citizens – especially whites – are emigrating to UK, Australia oder New Zealand. How should government counteracting to this challenge?

Answer: The brain drain dominated public discourse in the earlier part of the 2000s, but in the wake of the recession, some South Africans returned. In general, government needs to improve working conditions, especially for medical staff. The underlying factors that drive emigration – mainly crime – have been there for a long time. To address crime is no simple matter, because it means tackling the root causes,  poverty and a culture of lawlessness, as well as improving policing and the criminal justice system. Affirmative action policies have also been cited as reasons driving skills from the country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are blogging on Thought Leader, an editorial group blog of quality commentary and analysis from Mail & Guardian. Thought Leader is known as a thought-provoking forum. Do you think, that the freedom of speech & press freedom could be scrapped by the South African government (e.g. by Secrecy Bill)?

Answer: Freedom of speech and press freedom won’t be scrapped, but they will be constrained. The Secrecy Bill will have implications far beyond the media. Because it will make it more difficult for civil society to have oversight of state activities, especially corruption, it will impact all aspects of life. The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you characterize your profession as journalist and blogger? Which aims are you following with your editorial writings?

Answer: Blogging is quite different from journalism. Because it isn’t paid, I write about whatever I feel like – anything from politics to lifestyle – and I don’t spend as much time crafting it because I can’t justify it. Journalism, because I get paid for it, requires getting quotes from sources, checking facts, and crafting.

Both blogging and journalism are sidelines for me, as my main source of income is communication strategy and social media.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What kind of perception do you have from Germany and German literature?

Answer: I visited Germany in October last year – Bonn and Berlin – and enjoyed my time there. There is so much culture and history, and Berlin is the best city for tourists I have ever visited. I would recommend it to anyone. Interestingly enough, my first book was translated into German! I don’t think we see enough German literature here in South Africa. I know German literature through my university comparative literature studies, and German philosophy has had an immense impact on Western thinking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which further dreams would you like to realize, especially in editorial and literary context?

Answer: I have many projects in the pipeline – too many in fact. I would like to publish more serious fiction, as well as non-fiction and commercial crime fiction. I will be kept busy for a long time to come!

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author – thank you very much for this interview.

1.460 Kinder verschwinden jedes Jahr

Im Interview mit Judy Olivier, Nationalkoordinatorin der NGO Missing Children South Africa

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Wenn es um das schlimme Schicksal von Kindern geht, dann wird oft geschwiegen. Ob in Deutschland oder in Südafrika – der Missbrauch von Kindern bleibt ein Tabuthema. Allerdings grenzt sich Südafrika von Deutschland dahingehend ab, dass der Verbleib von verschwundenen Kindern am Kap ein deutlich größeres Problem darstellt. Bisweilen führt die Regierung keine Statistiken über den Handel und die Zwangsprostitution mit Kindern. Nach Angaben des „Missing Persons Bureau of South Africa“ ist lediglich bekannt, dass jährlich über 1.460 Kinder als vermisst gemeldet werden. Diese Zahl wird von mehreren Experten in Frage gestellt, wenn man bedenkt, dass die jährliche Anzahl der vermissten Kinder in Deutschland bei bereits 50.000 liegt. Die Statistik-Misere und Defizite der öffentlichen Verwaltung am Kap sollen jedoch in diesem Artikel ausgeblendet werden.

Missing Children South Africa, eine national agierende NGO, setzt seit 2007 hierbei an und bietet besorgten Eltern Hilfe beim Aufspüren ihrer Sprösslinge an. Ihre Mission ist es, dass aus Vermissten keine dauerhaft Verschwundenen werden. Laut Judy Olivier, Nationalkoordinatorin der Organisation, werden jedes Jahr 380 Kinder an Missing Children gemeldet. Die meisten Minderjährigen können durch die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit dieser NGO und in Zusammenarbeit mit Polizei, Medien, Gemeinden und Schulen gerettet bzw. aufgespürt werden. Die Erfolgsquote liegt nach eigenen Angaben bei 87 Prozent. Für rund 3 Prozent der 380 Kinder ist allerdings jede Hilfe zu spät – sie sind tot. Ferner macht Missing Children South Africa auf Missstände aufmerksam. Beispielsweise gehen immer noch etliche Polizisten davon aus, dass auch bei vermissten Kindern eine Wartezeit von 24 bzw. 48 Stunden zu beachten ist, bis die Polizei einschreiten kann. Diese Annahme ist falsch, beklagt Judy Olivier, da die Frist zur Vermisstenanzeige und der damit verbundenen Einleitung von polizeilichen Maßnahmen nur bei Erwachsenen eine Anwendung findet. Denn die ersten 24 Stunden sind entscheidend, ob ein Kind lebend oder tot aufgespürt wird, heißt es in kriminalistischen Kreisen. Für 2012 möchte Missing Children South Africa weitere Polizeistationen besuchen, mehr Leute erreichen und ihre finanzielle Situation verbessern. Denn auf der nationalen Ebene arbeiten nur drei bezahlte Kräfte für diese NGO.

————————————————————————-

© Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa

© Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – Ms. Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa. Ms. Olivier, your NGO has been launched in 2007 in response to the kidnapping and brutal murders of children. What is your organisation doing exactly?

Answer: To provide a structure of re-active support to the family, authorities and other NGO’s when a child goes missing. We design a flyer of the missing child and then our aim is to distribute it to as many people as possible as quickly as possible to create as much awareness as possible about the missing child.

To provide pro-active national awareness to children and their families, media, authorities, communities and schools. Visiting schools and communities, educating/informing them about the reality of children going missing, what to do when a child goes missing, sharing safety tips and also informing communities about the reality of human trafficking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Could you tell us, how many children are kidnapped and murdered each year in South Africa?

Answer: Again, based on the cases reported to Missing Children SA, 3% of the children reported missing to our organsiation were tragically found deceased.  3% of children are victims of kidnappings – this includes stranger abductions as well as non-stranger abductions. If we look at parental abductions, approximately 7% of the cases reported to our organisation falls under this category. Where one parent takes the child without the permission from the other and disappears with the child.

© Vermisst wird seit dem 16.01.2012 das Baby Mlondi Thwala, zum Zeitpunkt des Verschwindens rund 1 Monat alt, aus der Provinz Kwazulu-Natal. Mit solchen Vermisstenanzeigen macht Missing Children South Africa in Zusammenarbeit mit Polizei, Medien, Gemeinden und Schulen auf diese Fälle meist erfolgreich aufmerksam. Die Erfolgsquote liegt nach eigenen Angaben bei 87 Prozent.

© Vermisst wird seit dem 16.01.2012 das Baby Mlondi Thwala, zum Zeitpunkt des Verschwindens rund 1 Monat alt, aus der Provinz Kwazulu-Natal. Mit solchen Vermisstenanzeigen macht Missing Children South Africa in Zusammenarbeit mit Polizei, Medien, Gemeinden und Schulen auf diese Fälle meist erfolgreich aufmerksam. Die Erfolgsquote liegt nach eigenen Angaben bei 87 Prozent.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which information do you have in regard to child trafficking in South Africa; in which provinces are children most in danger and who are the offenders?

Answer: Unfortunately statistics about child trafficking in South Africa is not available from MCSA at this stage. The possibility exists that the children that are still missing, could have fallen victims of trafficking, but we can unfortunately not prove this at this stage. We are slowly but surely compiling stats on human trafficking. Please try the organisation ANEX. It focuses specifically on exploitation of children. I am sure they will be able to assist.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Missing Children SA is also collaborating with the South African Police Service (SAPS). Which structural police deficits in context to child abuse prevention should be encountered?

Answer: We are very fortunate to work closely with SAPS and it is wonderful to get the necessary collaboration from the different stations. The assistance received from the stations differ from town to town and province to province. Some of the officers working with missing children, for example, are not yet aware that there is no waiting period to report a child (or any other person) missing. A lot of the officers (and other South African citizens) are still under the impression that one has to wait 24 hours (or even 48 hours) before reporting a person missing. This is an area we try to improve on a daily basis.

About prevention of child abuse, please be sure to try the organisation Matla-A-Bana.  Matla-A-Bana focuses specifically on child abuse in South Africa and works very closely with SAPS as well. They will be able to give you thorough feedback about this.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The in Durban located NGO Bobbi Bear is criticising the patriarchal Zulu tradition. Bobbi Bear is denouncing the South African police and justice for missing will to defeat the child abuse situation in KwaZulu-Natal. Are you agree with this perception?

Answer: I am familiar with the NGO Bobbi Bear, but unfortunately cannot comment on this. I am unaware of this statement. We work only with children/individuals reported missing to SAPS. Maybe again you can try Matla-A-Bana for a comment about his, as its focus is again on child abuse.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which projects in 2012 are pursuing by Missing Children SA?

Answer: In 2012 we will continue to expand our network and get more and more people involved to assist us when a child goes missing. More SAPS stations will be visited, and we will continue to strive to build relationships with them to be able to work together even more efficiently. On 25 May 2012 – International Missing Children’s Day – we will be aiming to create as much awareness as possible about the reality of children going missing, using the media and other resources. We are partnering with more and more NGO’s on a daily basis and our focus this year will be specifically on getting more involved with organsations fighting against Human Trafficking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Is Missing Children SA cooperating with German organisations or authorities?

Answer: At this stage Missing Children SA are working within the borders of South Africa only. Once an international case comes to our attention, we will refer them to Interpol or the Missing Persons Bureau. We hope to change this in the future. However, at this stage we are only 3 paid employees running the organisation nationally. As soon as we get the necessary financial resources to appoint more permanent employees, we will definitely look into expanding our borders.

I thank you for your interest in our organisation. Should you require any further assistance, please be sure to let me know.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Thank you very much for your assistance offer! Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa, much success in your work!

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

Insight into Orania

1000 inhabitants, 10000 fellows and 70 businesses making Afrikaner homogeneity possible

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Exklusiv konnte „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ einen Einblick in Orania erhalten und mit dem Vorsitzenden der Orania-Bewegung ein Interview führen.  Bei Orania handelt es sich um eine nach außen abgeschottene Burengemeinschaft, die auf ihre eigene soziopolitische Souveränität beharrt. Bislang ist es nur Spiegel Online und NZZ Online gelungen, diesbezügliche Hintergrundinfos zu bekommen. Orania ist jener Ort, welcher als letzte Bastion der Apartheid bezeichnet wird und 1990 als privatrechtliches Unternehmen gegründet wurde. Einem Ort, in welchem keine schwarzen und farbigen Bürger wohnen dürfen, sondern nur weiße Afrikaner – die Buren. Einer Zuflucht für und von „Rassisten“, die über eine eigene Ora-Währung verfügt. Hingegen duldet die südafrikanische Regierung die Orania-Gemeinschaft und zeigte darüber hinaus bereits mehrfach die Gesprächsbereitschaft. Jacob Zuma und Julius Malema statteten dieser Gemeinschaft einen Besuch ab, welche sich selber auf das Selbstbestimmungsrecht nach Artikel 235 der südafrikanischen Verfassung beruft. „Die Erhaltung der Afrikaner-Kultur“ und die Aufrechterhaltung einer kulturellen Mehrheit werden als oberste Ziele verfolgt, so der Vorsitzende von Orania, Jaco Kleynhans. 1.000 Afrikaner und 10.000 Oraniërs [Sympathisanten] bekennen sich zum eigenen homogenen Gesellschaftsmodell im heterogenen Staatsmodell Südafrikas. Rund 70 Geschäfte bestehen in Orania, so Kleynhans. Auf die Frage hin, ob Orania nicht gegen Artikel 1 der Verfassung verstoße, wonach nicht nach rassischen (non-racial) Kriterien diffenziert werden darf, erwidert er, dass Orania vielmehr eine Gemeinschaft mit kultureller Identität sei. Orania hat nach eigenen Aussagen nur Kleinkriminalität und keine Arbeitslosigkeit. Jedoch betont Jaco Kleynhans, dass zunehmend mehr Afrikaner dorthin ziehen möchten und die Gemeinschaft dementsprechend an ihre Grenze stößt. Verbindungen zur Rassistenpartei ´Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)´ von Eugène Terre’Blanche bestehen laut Kleynhans nicht. Die Anwendung von Gewalt, so der Interviewte, verstoße gegen die die Prinzipien von Orania. Hinsichtlich der Informationen, wonach verschiedene Parteien Südafrikas in Orania Wahlkampf betreiben, betont Kleynhans, dass in der Gemeinschaft solche Vereinigungen nicht zugelassen sind und vielmehr nach dem Verhältniswahlrecht gewählt wird. Denn Orania verfügt auch über eine eigene Volksvertretung; einem Quasi-Parlament. Zur abschließenden Frage, was der Vorsitzende vom deutschen Multikulti-Modell halte, lässt er diese im Grunde genommen unbeantwortet bzw. beruft sich erneut auf das Selbstbestimmungsrecht und diesmal im Kontext mit der deutschen Minderheit im italienischen Südtirol. Die Veröffentlichung dieses Beitrages fällt bewusst auf den heutigen ´Internationalen Tag gegen Rassismus´ und soll verdeutlichen, dass weiterhin enormer Handlungsbedarf bei der Bekämpfung von Vorurteilen besteht – vor allem in Südafrika.

© Orania-Flagge - Selbstbestimmungsrecht in Form eigener Symbolik und unter der Duldung der südafrikanischen Regierung

© Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Mr. Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement.  The Orania Movement has been established in 1990. You are holding an enterprise character within South Africa. What does it mean, that Orania is an „Afrikaans cultural movement with the aim to restore Afrikaner freedom in an independant, democratic Republic“?

Answer: The Orania Movement believes that the future of Afrikaners in ‘n multi-cultural South African wil depend on our own efforts to preserve our culture in a part of South Africa where we can be the majority. The North West Cape is an area with a very small population and therefore we want Afrikaners to move here in larger numbers so that we can be the majority in the region and therefore control things like education, local government, etc.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How many Afrikaner and shops/ firms are placed in Orania? Is your community getting foreign investments? And what is about taxes?

Answer: Taxes in Orania is the same than in the rest of South Africa. There’s about 1000 people living in Orania with thousands more ‘uitwoners’ (people who call themselves ‘Oraniërs’ but who don’t live in Orania yet. There’s about 70 businesses registered in Orania and economic development is a strong focus.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Are blacks or coloured allowed to live in Orania and if not, isn´t transgressing the article one of the South Africa constitution: „The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values: … Non-racialism and non-sexism…“ ?

Answer: Orania doesn’t focus on race, but only on culture. We’re a took for Afrikaners – thus people adhering to Afrikanerculture.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How far is poverty, unemployment and crime facing Orania?

Answer: We don’t have much crime, only minor crimes from time to time. There is nearly no unemployment in Orania. There is an increase in poor Afrikaners moving to Orania and we are trying to find sustainable solutions for Afrikaner poverty. We do have a large worker class in Orania and people may sometimes view them as ‘poor’ as most Afrikaners still cant understand the need for a strong Afrikaner working class.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In German Media, the Orania Movement has been described as the last colony of racists in South Africa after Apartheid. Does relations existing between Orania and the by Eugène Terre’Blanche founded Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)?

Answer: Orania has no relationship with the AWB and we strongly differ in strategy from them. We don’t believe in the use of violence and strongly condemn the violent actions by right wing Afrikaner organisations in the past.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The South African government is toleranting your movement. Orania has been visited by coloureds and blacks; in 2009 by ANCYL president Julius Malema and in 2010 by president Jacob Zuma. What do you think about the reasons, that your project hasn´t been prohibited yet?

Answer: What we’re doing in Orania is in line with the South African government and specifically article 235 which give cultural communities the right too selfdetermination.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In 2004, Orania introduced its own currency, which called Ora. Which meaning has local money in a globalized world? And is the South African Rands accepted in Orania?

Answer: The Rand is accepted in Orania. The Ora is used to improve local trade and is an internationally recognised model of localization.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The Orania Representative Council is acting like a parliament. Is it right, that the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Congress of the People (COPE) competed in the election of 2009? Is it allowed to the ANC to participate in Orania elections?

Answer: Our local election isn’t based on political parties so no political party can take part in Orania elections. We vote for individuals. In the South African municipality around us any party can take part in that election and we also host an polling place in Orania.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What do you think about multicultural societes like Germany?

Answer: We simply believe in the right of all cultural groups to practice their own culture, language, religion and traditions in a fair way. We also strongly believe in selfdeterminination and therefore support the efforts by the Flemish people in Belgium , the German speaking people in South Tyrol (Italy), the Catalions in Spain and the French speaking people in Quebec (Canada) as they strive for greater selfdetermination.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement, thank you very much for this insight interview!

Review of „Gangster Project“

Pure violence as basis of interaction between people in Bonteheuwel

(Editor: Ghassan Abid, Translator German-English: Serge Aka)

Violence, drugs, unemployment, jail and shot holes in walls, such is how one imagines the daily life of a community dominated by gangsters. With the documentation „Gangster Project“, the director Teboho Edkins introduces the audience to Bonteheuwel, one of the poorest and most criminal suburbs of Cape Town.

© Outtake from documentary „Gangster Project“

In January 2010, Edkins went with a cameraman to a world, where life in prison seemed nicer than that in this dreary place. Bonteheuwel, like many places in South Africa is in the hands of several gangs. Entire streets are under the control of a certain gang. In Bonteheuwel, gangs like Wonder Kids, Stupaboys, youngsters or Junior Night Pigs reign over the territories and their residents. From childhood, the inhabitants of these suburbs realized that pure violence is the only remaining option for them to survive. With bestial film sequences, like the fight of dogs, Edkins brings the viewers in an atmosphere of another South Africa beyond TV glamor.

The production was not without risk, and despite the skepticism of his own parents, the director went forward with the film production. Edkins succeeded immensely into this underworld by means of an insider, called Thurston, who made the contacts to the different collectives of the criminal milieu possible. With Macho behaviors and verbal claims to power like “We have to fight ” (to German: Wir müssen kämpfen) or “We try to protect the area” (Wir versuchen das Gebiet zu schützen), it is clear to the outsider that the social situation in Bonteheuwel can completely overturn any time and especially unexpected.

Edkins deliberately confronts the gangster with gangster-stereotypical perceptions of western life culture, according to which a gangster is for example, someone who comes with a lot of charisma in appearance. “Gangster Project” brings the audience within these 55 minutes to a total realization, that death is omnipresent.

Edkins makes clear with its documentation that the gangster existence is connected primarily with the lack of perspectives of young people, who basically have nothing to lose. The gangsters do not look – like us – in the future, but only in the present. No one wants to be a gangster, if not has to, in order to finally survive. With drug consumption such as TIK these young people try to escape their hopeless reality – even if it’s only for few hours.

Each of these protagonists ultimately illustrates the failure of the South African government, to have this problem under control. The effects of gangs remain open of course on the role of the women, who are after reports of several NGOs in many cases victims of sexual assaults by gangs. It also remains uncertain how the relationship of the gangsters to their own relatives is; and what the parents think of the criminal careers of their offspring.

„SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ recommends “Gangster Project” as impressing, thoughtfully making and frightening film about the true life of millions of South Africans, who know nothing else other than blood, violence and the fear of death.

Absolutely worth seeing!

The German review to „Gangster Project:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/bonteheuwel-toten-oder-getotet-werden/

Bonteheuwel – Töten oder getötet werden!

Rezension von „Gangster Project“, ein Dokumentarfilm von Teboho Edkins

(Autor: Ghassan Abid)

Gewalt, Drogen, Arbeitslosigkeit, Knast und Schusslöscher in sämtlichen Wänden. So stellt man sich das Alltagsleben einer Gemeinschaft vor, welche durch Gangster dominiert wird. Mit der Dokumentation „Gangster Project“ entführt der Regisseur Teboho Edkins den Zuschauer nach Bonteheuwel, einer der ärmlichsten und kriminellsten Vororten Kapstadts.

Im Januar 2010 begab sich Edkins mit einem Kameramann in eine Welt, wo das Leben im Knast schöner erscheint, als jenes an diesem tristen Ort. Bonteheuwel ist wie viele Orte in Südafrika in der Hand mehrerer Gangs. Ganze Straßenzüge stehen unter der Kontrolle einer bestimmten Gang – in Bonteheuwel herrschen Gangs wie Wonder Kids, Stupaboys, youngsters oder Junior Night Pigs über die Territorien und deren Anwohner. Im Kindesalter wird den Bewohnern dieses Suburbs bereits klar, dass die pure Gewalt für das eigene Überleben als scheinbar einzige Option übrig bleibt. Mit bestialischen Filmsequenzen, etwa dem Kampf von Hunden, schafft es Edkins den Zuschauer in eine Atmosphäre des anderen Südafrikas jenseits von TV-Glamour zu entführen.

© Gangster Project – Filmsequenzen (oberstes Foto: Hunde im Kampf, mittleres Foto: Gangster als Familienvater, unteres Foto: Jugendliche mit Schusswaffen)

Die Produktion verlief nicht ohne Risiko und wurde trotz der Skepsis der eigenen Eltern vom Regisseur durchgezogen. Edkins gelang das Eintauchen in diese Unterwelt mittels eines Insiders, welcher den Namen Thurston trägt. Denn war es dieser, der die Kontakte zu den verschiedenen Kollektiven des kriminellen Milieus ermöglichte. Mit Macho-Verhaltensweisen und verbalen Machtansprüchen wie „We have to fight“ (zu Deutsch: We müssen kämpfen) oder „We try to protect the area“ (Wir versuchen das Gebiet zu schützen) wird dem Außenstehenden klar, dass die soziale Situation in Bonteheuwel jederzeit und vor allem völlig unerwartet kippen kann. Edkins konfrontiert die Gangster ganz bewusst mit stereotypischen Gangster-Perzeptionen westlicher Lebenskultur, wonach ein Gangster beispielsweise jemand ist, der mit viel Charisma in Erscheinung tritt.

Gangster Project bringt den Zuschauer 55 minutenlang in eine völlig neue Dimension der Erkenntnis, in welcher der Tod allgegenwärtig ist. Edkins macht mit seiner Dokumentation klar, dass das Gangster-Dasein in erster Linie mit der Perspektivlosigkeit von jungen Menschen verbunden ist, die im Grunde genommen nach nichts zu verlieren haben. Die Gangster schauen nicht – wie unser eins – in die Zukunft, sondern lediglich in die Gegenwart.Ein Gangster will man nicht werden, sondern man muss es werden, um letztendlich überleben zu können. Mit dem Drogenkonsum wie TIK versuchen diese junge Menschen ihrer trostlosen Wirklichkeit zu entfliehen – wenn auch nur für wenige Stunden.

Teaser zur Dokumentation „Gangster Project“

Jeder einzelne dieser Protagonisten verdeutlicht letztendlich das Scheitern der südafrikanischen Regierung, diesem Problem Herr zu werden. Offen bleibt der Einfluss von Gangs auf die Rolle der Frauen, welche nach Berichten mehrerer NGOs in vielen Fällen Opfer von sexuellen Übergriffen durch Banden sind. Auch bleibt unklar, wie das Verhältnis der Gangster zu den eigenen Familienangehörigen ausgestaltet ist; was die Eltern von der kriminellen Karriere ihrer Sprösslinge halten.

„SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ empfiehlt Gangster Project als einen beeindruckenden, nachdenklich machenden und erschreckenden Film über den wahren Alltag von Millionen Südafrikanern, die nichts anderes kennen als Blut, Gewalt und die Furcht vor dem Tod. Absolut sehenswert!