Schlagwort-Archive: nightmare

Ubuntu in Germany Column

South Africa would have handled the NSU trial better

(Editor: Alex Smit-Stachowski is speaking in her column about life as a South African now living in Germany. The South African journalist lives in Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia/ Germany).

Germany recently began the largest trial in its history post-WWII –the NSU trial, which is examining the murders of eight Turks, a Greek, a German policewoman and 15 bank robberies by a neo-Nazi gang over the period of seven years.

© National Socialist Underground (NSU) members Mundlos, Zschäpe and Böhnhardt. South Africa would have handled the NSU trial better, says Ubuntu-Columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski. (Source: Bundeskriminalamt)

© National Socialist Underground (NSU) members Mundlos, Zschäpe and Böhnhardt. South Africa would have handled the NSU trial better, says Ubuntu-Columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski. (Source: Bundeskriminalamt)

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Kap-Kolumne: Marikana und kein Ende?

Schere zwischen Lebenshaltung und Löhne geht weiter auseinander. Die Politik ist in der Belastungsprobe.

(Autor: Detlev Reichel ist der Kap-Kolumnist des Südafrika-Portals. Als Missionskind, Sozialist und einstiger West-Berliner Anti-Apartheids-Aktivist berichtet er aus und zu Südafrika.)

Marikana felt like a nightmare, but this is what our 2012 democracy has become„, ruft Desmond Tutu zornig in Richtung Regierung. Der  anglikanische Alt-Erzbischof trifft einen Nerv: Der kollektive Schock und die Trauer über die Ereignisse sitzen noch tief. Das Massaker von Marikana drückt in der Tat schwer wie ein Albtraum auf die Stimmung in Südafrika, mal mehr, mal weniger, je nach dem, von welcher Seite aus der Betrachter schaut.

© Die Vorgänge um das Marikana-Massaker sind eine Belastungsprobe für die Dreierallianz zwischen ANC, COSATU und SACP. Die Masse der Menschen sieht für sich in der Befreiung vom Apartheid-Regime einen geringen sozio-ökonomischen Vorteil. Die Gewerkschaftsspaltungen werden durch diese Unzufriedenheit begünstigt. Im Bild ist AMCU-Präsident Joseph Mathunjwa zu erkennen, der der konkurrierenden Minengewerkschaft NUM die Verantwortung für das Marikana-Massaker in die Schuhe schiebt. Allerdings zeigt sich dieser Gewerkschaftsführer selbst darüber erschrocken, was passiert ist. (flickr/ Pan-African News Wire)

© Die Vorgänge um das Marikana-Massaker sind eine Belastungsprobe für die Dreierallianz zwischen ANC, COSATU und SACP. Die Masse der Menschen sieht für sich in der Befreiung vom Apartheid-Regime einen geringen sozio-ökonomischen Vorteil. Die Gewerkschaftsspaltungen werden durch diese Unzufriedenheit begünstigt. Im Bild ist AMCU-Präsident Joseph Mathunjwa zu erkennen, der der konkurrierenden Minengewerkschaft NUM die Verantwortung für das Marikana-Massaker in die Schuhe schiebt. Allerdings zeigt sich dieser Gewerkschaftsführer selbst darüber erschrocken, was passiert ist. (Quelle: flickr/ Pan-African News Wire)

Alle Fakten sind längst nicht geklärt, aber eines steht fest: Es hätte nie geschehen dürfen. Selbst mit den ärgsten Feinden der demokratischen Entwicklung nach dem Fall der Apartheid wurde so nicht verfahren.

Unstrittig sind die sozio-ökonomischen Verhältnisse, die zu solch krassen Auswüchsen in der Auseinandersetzung zwischen Kapital und Arbeit in Südafrika führen. Die Lage der Arbeiter, hier insbesondere der Minenarbeiter, ist bekanntlich äußerst mies. In dem oftmals zitierten Nebeneinander von „1. und 3. Welt“ in Südafrika, leben die Minenkumpels in der „3.“, also auf der armen Seite der Gesellschaft. Das nimmt sie jedoch nicht aus von den Preisentwicklungen, die sich zunehmend mit denen in der „1. Welt“ messen können.

Jüngstes Beispiel ist der Spritpreis, der just diese Woche um 93 Cent (Benzin) bzw. 69 Cent (Diesel) angehoben wurde. Damit kostet der Liter Benzin in Gauteng zwölf Rand (rund € 1,20) und in der Nordprovinz Limpopo sogar mehr wegen der Entfernung zu den Raffinerien an der Küste. Das wirkt sich unmittelbar auf die Preise der Sammeltaxen aus, die hier das wichtigste Verkehrsmittel der arbeitenden Bevölkerung zwischen den Townships und ihren jeweiligen Arbeitsorten sind. Auch die gesamte Kette der Nahrungsmittelindustrie wird, Glied für Glied die Spritpreiserhöhung an den Endverbraucher weitergeben. So gallopieren die Lebenshaltungskosten den mageren Löhnen der Kumpel ständig davon.

Eines der Hauptübel in den Arbeitsbeziehungen der Bergbauindustrie ist die Wanderarbeit. Die gibt es seit Beginn des industriell betriebenen Abbaus von Bodenschätzen in Südafrika. Daran hat sich kaum etwas verändert. Die Wanderarbeit liefert der Industrie billige Arbeitskräfte, sie ist somit eine der wichtigsten Profit-Quellen der großen internationalen Minenkonzerne wie Anglo-American, Lonmin, De Beers usw. Es ist auch kein Geheimnis, dass die südafrikanischen Minen zu den profitabelsten der Welt gehören. Wanderarbeit bedeutet auf der anderen Seite die Zerstörung gewachsener sozialer Strukturen, das Entstehen und die Vermehrung von so genannten Squatter Camps (Blechhüttensiedlungen) samt all den damit verbundenen Merkmalen der Verelendung.

Das ist die eine, nie zu vergessende Seite jeglicher Arbeitskämpfe in den Minen. Ein anderer Aspekt der aktuellen Auseinandersetzungen ist der politische. Die sich weitende Schere zwischen Reich und Arm, die zunehmende Unzufriedenheit mit den sozialen Verhältnissen führt zu Verwerfungen im politischen Machtgefüge. Und weil der regierende Afrikanische Nationalkongress (ANC) eine so genannte „broad church“ ist, d.h. eine Organisation, die alle gesellschaftlichen Schichten und Klassen einschließt, spiegeln sich in dieser Organisation die gesellschaftlichen Widersprüche in Form von Machtkämpfen wider.

Die Vorgänge um das Marikana-Massaker sind auch eine Belastungsprobe für die Dreierallianz zwischen ANC, COSATU und SACP. Insbesondere die Gewerkschaftsföderation COSATU ist durch ihre Einbindung ins Regierungslager in eine wenig beneidenswerte Zwitterposition geraten. Die Regierung will das Investitionsklima in Südafrika freundlich gestalten. Das ist nicht ohne kapitalfreundliche Politik zu haben und geht oftmals gegen die Interessen der Arbeiter. Die wachsende Ungeduld vieler Menschen, die sich ausgeklammert fühlen vom Prozess der Transformation der südafrikanischen Gesellschaft, ist ein nicht zu unterschätzendes Element. Die Masse der Menschen in den Townships und in den ‚informal settlements‘ sehen die Ernte der Befreiung vom Apartheid-Regime im neu-gewonnen Reichtum einer dünnen schwarzen Mittelschicht verschwinden. Das leistet auch einer Spaltung der Gewerkschaften Vorschub. So manche ‚leader‘ haben sich, so scheint es, zu weit entfernt von ihrer Mitgliedschaft. Daher ist Marikana auch ein bedenkliches Zeichen für die Führungsschwäche der Eliten, wie Dr. Mamphela Ramphele feststellte.

Exklusive Interview with Zapiro

4000 Cartoons and 15 books. Johnathan Shapiro about his life, freedom of opinion and politics

(Editor: Annalisa Wellhäuser)

Open any South African newspaper today and you will most probably find a cartoon that comments South African politics drawn by the artist Zapiro. Who doesn‘t know the famous sketch picturing the current South African president Jacob Zuma with a shower above his head alluding to his statement that he took a shower after having had sex with an HIV-positive woman. Zapiro, born 1958 as Jonathan Shapiro in Cape Town, is the most famous cartoonist of these days in South Africa. His drawings appear in the Mail and the Guardian,Sunday Times and The Times. Moreover his art has been published in exhibitions all over the world and he has won numerous awards.

© Cartoon by Zapiro: President Jacob Zuma is taking a shower after having sex with a HIV infected woman.

© Cartoon by Zapiro: Lady Justice in danger.

© Cartoon by Zapiro: Whites have benefited from Apartheid.

„SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, met Zapiro in his office in Cape Town to find out more about this artist who is not afraid to say what he thinks with if it comes to politics.

Zapiro already discovered his passion for art as a child. Back then he used to have nightmares about frightening monsters and in order to deal with those scary dreams, he started drawing about them. Indeed that kind of self-therapy did help him to overcome his nightmares. And not only that; He enjoyed the drawing a lot. It was his dream to become an artist. He entered drawing competitions and also was active for the school newspaper. He invented the little character “Prepi“, who commented on what‘s going on in preparatory school.

Soon ,he was also confronted with the politics happening in his country. His mum made him aware already at a very young age that they were living in a society “that was wrong“; his very first “kind of political experience“ was when Verwoerd 1 was assassinated in 1966. In school they were asked to pray for the “architect of apartheid“ and Zapiro remembers being confused and thinking“ Hey, this was not a good guy!“. Throughout his school time he was “at odds” with the general trend of supporting Apartheid amongst even English speaking white people, but he was not yet involved in any political actions at that time. After school he started studying architecture; not because he was passionate about it, but in order for him to stay out of the army. When he decided to change to graphic design and try to become a cartoonist, they „got him„, he had to enter the army. In the army Zapiro refused to carry a gun, so they made him carry a heavy wooden dummy and made fun of him. Once a colleague made him stand guard with it, „which was ridiculous, I became a bit of a laughing stock but in a funny way, like a clown thing„, Zapiro says.

However, the joke actually backfired, because he showed the other conscripts that he could handle this heavy arm very well as by doing exactly everything that they were doing with it. This was his way of rebelling against this and spreading his political message. He was regarded as a political consciousness non-commitant, as a communist, as dangerous. At that time he was not yet involved in any political organization, the UDF (United Democratic Front) formed just over a year after he was conscripted. But when it was formed in 1983, it was absolutely clear for him that he would join. Same appealed to his mum, his sister and a lot of his friends. Suddenly there was this non-racial grouping that felt right for them: much more elegentarian, much more open and much more connected to national politics. It was also connected to the ANC-but he didn’t want to be involved into nor speak about it, because that was dangerous when they found out they were linked. Him and some of his family members even got detained at some point.

However, Zapiro has never wanted to be a politician. He sees a big difference between being enormously involved as an activist and becoming a politician. ,,Professional politics are very different from being a political activist.” In his opinion only a few people managed to retain this integrity and those principles that guided them and made them passionate. Other people do things now out of personal gain or party political aims; they have become corrupt, comfortable and a bit apathetic compared to what they used to be. Also there are those who are within a party and are against those who are outside the party and maybe doing good things. „All those things I would hate„, he states. He has seen people he knew who have made this trancession- only a few managed it successfully. According to him the country needs people who become politicians and remain focussed, altruistic and incorruptible. But the country also needs civil society and media-so in his opinion his best role is to be a visual columnist- and still to a little extend an activist. To produce his drawings, he obviously needs to do a lot of research on politics. For that Zapiro listens to the radio a lot, reads many different newspapers and consults the internet in order to look at the same sort of issue dealt with in different ways. Also he records some things broadcasted on television.

© Johnathan Shaprio alias Zapiro, South Africa´s most influential and provocative cartoonist. He has been in conflict several times with the government.

Zapiro explains that cartoons are primarily about thinking and communication; about finding a device to say something that one believes in. „They are 80% idea and 20% drawing.„ According to him there are cartoonists out there, who are good, but not necessarily the best cartoonist in the world -however they are really able to communicate by their art. On the other hand it would not be possible to carry weak ideas with good drawings. „It`s about thoughts. „ To give an example, Zapiro speaks about one cartoon that he did, which displayed a little line of text on top saying „Whites who never benefited from Apartheid„ and a blank page underneath he states that at the time of the release of the cartoon, there were people denying to have known about Apartheid. There were white people avoiding responsibility for the benefits that they were given while living under Apartheid.

Zapiro was irritated by that attitude and got inspired to create this „cartoon„. This cartoon did not even have a picture, but still, so Zapiro, „ This cartoon was conceptually really good and really powerful, one of the best cartoons I have ever done.„ It is Zapiro`s intention to trigger strong reactions with his drawings amongst the people. He wants to make people think. Maybe some people say „That’s exactly how I feel, I didn’t know how to express it.„ But he is not only addressing the people who think exactly like him- which, in his opinion, would not make any sense. He knows that there are people, who might agree and as well disagree on his thoughts on certain issues. However it is not his intention to convince the people, who think completely different. According to him it is all those people in the middle-he can make them see something in a new way by being a little bit persuasive to them.

When asking him what subject he would like to draw a sketch on, that he is not allowed to draw one on, he replies that there is nobody who can tell him not to do a cartoon on a certain topic. It is rather him who holds himself back. When he started as a political activist he used to be quite constrained by political correctness, whereas these days he is ready to accept those rules. „ I don’t like to gratuisly insult people in a hurtful way, who are in a way vulnerable.„ Still, even then his feeling of what is acceptable to draw a cartoon on would be way further down the line than that of others. If he felt that people are the aggressors, he wouldn`t care about them. For instance, if it comes to religion. In his view religion has done a huge amount of harm with regard to gay people and women and it has even promoted spread of HIV. Concerning this topic he would go really hard for the people in power.

Zapiro says he has done things that people would consider totally insulting. He states that some things around traditional culture are quite difficult to deal with in cartoons, because people treat them in a way religion is treated. According to him there exists some kind of communality. And at the moment there would be plenty of times when cartoons can be misinterpreted on purpose to make people out as racists even though they are not.

After the feedback that Zapiro is receiving is not always positive; president Jacob Zuma has pressed charges against him already for doing certain drawings on him. Zapiro says that he believes in the South African institutions, in the constitution , and he feels that these are strong enough to keep up freedom of speech -which he supports and which is part of what gives him resolve. Zapiro explains that his politics haven`t changed a lot, but politics of some people in power have changed and he considers himself lucky to not have as much constraints as people in power. If he believes in something he will go for it.

Further I ask him about his opinion concerning voices in this country saying that some kind of reversed apartheid is arising, where it is now black South African people against the other cultures. Zapiro responds that this is one of the topics, where he will get either into one form of discourse or another depending on who he is speaking to. On the one hand, if he would be speaking to his old political comrades he would be mouthing off at the death of non racialism and at the rise of a certain form of nationalism and elitism. On the other hand, if those amongst the white South Africans, who have never had “political bone„ in their body during apartheid era come and complain in an uninformed way to him about how bad things are and so called „reversed racism„, he gets into a whole different conversation. He would try to explain how much better things are now than they were then. And after all it is still white people who are at the top of the power in many important fields. He says that there is a certain kind of racism that still exists very strongly in the white community of South Africa. He continues saying that there are some absurdities in the way that affirmative action has been taking place; not the way it should be. And that he is the last person to say that all is ok. But to claim that things are the same way as they used to be in Apartheid, simply reversed, was not true, but absolute rubbish.

Then we speak about Julius Malema singing the old song „Kill the boers„. Zapiro calls Malema`s behaviour „crass and wrong„, he could not sing that song in the context of the new South Africa. He explains that the song was an apartheid era song, which had a metaphorical reason. It was about killing the system of apartheid, to fight those police men and farmers, who really were brutally assaulting and killed people .„And that was all understood then.„ Zapiro states that it is wrong to sing that song today, because its purpose is essentially to try „to mobilize disaffected youth, because the ANC is not delivering properly to them and try to make them focus some of their anger on people, who these days are not necessarily aggressing, at least not the same extent as before.”However, he thinks that one cannot ban a song and that the high court`s decision to try to prevent him from singing the song was wrong. As a supporter of freedom of express he does not agree on it. „You can call somebody a political opportunist without saying you are not allowed to sing that song. It is a lot more nuanced and complicated than saying: Julius Malema is the equivilant of what Terre Blanche2 was…it doesn’t work like that.„ Zapiro has done cartoons criticizing that decision of the court. I support the human rights commission and the UN`s determination on the definition of hate speech and that it should be prevented. He explains that that would be hate speech where you could make a connection between something that was said, such as a speech, a song or a piece of writing, and the active going out and killing somebody. However, he doesn`t think that “ people went out killing people because of what Julius said…. “3 “If you can make that connection, that because of that song that person was killed..that`s where you can draw the line. But that’s very far down the line of speech before you can make that decision.”

Zapiro says that there was a complaint about his cartoon „Lady justice„ and that the human rights commission exonerated him for doing the drawing and its publication, because of their determination that it is not inciting anyone to do anything to anybody else. „It was a metaphor about what Zuma was doing to the judiciary.„ „Freedom of express is very important to me.„ So if he started saying ,they should ban that song, then he could as well allow somebody to say to ban his cartoon, because both of them could be interpreted in a way that they could be objectionable.„There has to be consistency.„

Zapiro is producing with his cartoons political messages

Before the interview comes to an end I would like to find out from Zapiro what are his wishes for the new South Africa, what kind of development he thinks is necessary for it to become the peaceful rainbow nation everybody is longing for. Zapiro answers, „I remember when Tutu came up with the rainbow nation idea during the meeting of the inconscription campaign in 1985.It was always a bit idealistic. „ According to Zapiro, Tutu wished for rainbow coalition of different groupings in the political movement fighting for the same aim: freedom, non racialism, democracy. However, Zapiro believes that South Africa has only had a few rainbow-moments since democracy. As an example he names the rugby world cup in 1995. “I`m afraid to say now, that unlike before, where I thought the white community was hugely responsible for not apologizing and not taking responsibility, I still say that ,I think now a lot more could have been done if the ANC had not become fat, comfortable and corrupt, and if say the people at the top were not promoting this narrow elite and not just paying lip service to delivery, but really were delivering and trying to bridge the wealth gap. That is where is should go.„ Zapiro believes that only then people can have some real reconciliation, because so far there are a lot of unresolved matters after truth reconciliation commission hearings. According to Zapiro, it is most important to close the inaquity in this society.„ South Africa has become the most inequal society in the world , we are even behind Brazil. And for that to be the state almost after 17 years of democracy is outrageous.„

Finally I would like to find out what Zapiro`s personal plans and dreams are for the future. „For the medium term I want to continue what I`m doing, but want to make sure I`m still feeling like I`m relevant and got something to say, because if I do not- I want to pull out and go for something in the long term.„ He has managed to produce over 4000 cartoons and 15 books , but he doesn`t want to do the same thing for ever, he also wants to do other things. In the long term Zapiro would like to move into some other genres of cartooning and storytelling, which he loves. He would like to become a bit more balanced person, because the intensity he has with the cartooning does tend to overwhelm a great part of his life. He wants to spend more time with his family.

HIER FINDEST DU DAS INTERVIEW IN DEUTSCH.

1   He was the 3rd national party prime minister after DF Malan and Jacob Strijdom
2   Formed the Afrikaaner Resistence Movement during Apartheid< was seen as white supremacist
3   Discussion in South Africa about a possible connection between Malema singing the song,,Kill the boers“ and the murder of Terre Blanche

Schriftsteller Roger Smith im Interview

Die Wahrnehmung des demokratischen Südafrikas aus der Sicht eines Bestseller-Autors

Bestseller-Autor Roger Smith

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Südafrika ist jetzt eine Demokratie mit der Möglichkeit einer politischen Partizipation für alle Bevölkerungsgruppen. Welche sind die größten Herausforderungen, die diese Nation zu bewältigen hat?

Antwort: Die Apartheid endete Mitte der 90er Jahre und Südafrika wurde unter Nelson Mandela vom einstigen Paria der Weltgemeinschaft zum Liebling aller Nationen. Bedauerlicherweise platzte die Blase als Mandela abtrat.

Die Lücke zwischen Reich und Arm war niemals größer. Wir haben heute die höchste HIV/AIDS-Verbreitung weltweit und Kriminalität sowie Korruption haben die Apartheid als größtes gesellschaftliches Übel abgelöst. Südafrikas Spitzenpolizist [damit gemeint ist Jackie Selebi] – während seiner Verhaftung Police Commissioner und Präsident von Interpol gewesen – steht wegen kriminellen Geschäften und der Annahme von Bestechungsgeldern durch die Organisierte Kriminalität unter Anklage.

Die südafrikanischen Tötungsdeliktstatistiken sind erschreckend – eine von vier südafrikanischen Frauen wird im Laufe ihres Lebens vergewaltigt. Um die 1.500 Kinder sind letztes Jahr in Südafrika ermordet worden. Die meisten dieser Kinder wurden zudem sexuell missbraucht.

Südafrikaner haben eine Menge worauf sie stolz sein können und sollten sich trauen, die sozialen Übel in unserem Lande nicht zu ignorieren.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Ihr neues Buch „Wake Up Dead“ (zu Deutsch: Blutiges Erwachen) gibt eine atemraubende Wahrnehmung der südafrikanischen Gesellschaft wieder. Das deutsche Magazin FOCUS bezeichnete Ihr Roman als „blutiger Bilderrausch“.  Um was geht es in Ihrem Buch und in welchem Kontext steht es mit der Realität?

Antwort: Meine Bücher sind natürlich reine Fiktion, beschreiben jedoch sehr realistisch Südafrika und Kapstadt. Das ganze Kapstadt, nicht nur die touristischen Gegenden.

Roman "Blutiges Erwachen"

Die „Cape Flats“ – die Kehrseite einer Postkarte Kapstadts – handeln von gewalttätigen Orten, welche man außerhalb von Kriegsgebieten findet. Vor 40 Jahren  hatte die Apartheid jeden nicht weißer Hautfarbe in diesem windgepeitschten Hüttenlabyrinth und Streichholzschachtelhäuser abgeladen. Regiert von Drogenbossen und Verbrechern, haben diese Hütten die höchsten Vergewaltigungs- und Mordraten in Südafrika überhaupt und die Sexualdelikte gegenüber Kindern sind erschreckend.

Mein Partner – welcher in einem dieser Hütten aufgewachsen ist – berät missbrauchte Kinder und erzählt mir Geschichten, die mir Albträume bereiten. Wenn dies im Westen passieren würde, würde es zu einem Aufschrei kommen. Hier bringt es kaum Schlagzeilen.

All dies hat seinen Niederschlag in meinen Büchern gefunden.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Denken Sie, dass Südafrika in der Lage ist die Weltmeisterschaft 2010 abzuhalten und die Basissicherheit von einer halben Million Gäste – so die Erwartung des Gastgebers – zu gewährleisten?

Antwort: Die Weltmeisterschaft wird ein gewaltiger Auftrieb für Südafrika sowie für den afrikanischen Kontinent sein und ich prognostiziere einen großen Erfolg. Südafrika veranstaltete 1995 die Rugby-Weltmeisterschaft, 2003 die Cricket-Weltmeisterschaft sowie letztes Jahr den COSAFA Cup [ = regionale Fußballmeisterschaft]. Natürlich kommt keine dieser Veranstaltungen an die Bedeutung der FIFA-Weltmeisterschaft heran, aber was ich sehe ist, dass die Infrastruktur/ Kapazitäten vorhanden sind.

Ich denke nicht, dass die Besucher der Weltmeisterschaft in Gefahr sein werden. Denn die traurige Wahrheit ist, dass die meisten Opfer von Kriminalität und Gewalt in den Ghettos und in den ländlichen Regionen leben; weit weg von der Blase der privilegierten Touristen, in der sich diese selbst befinden, wenn sie Südafrika zu Besuch kommen.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Roger Smith, wir danken Ihnen für Ihre Sicht der Dinge!

—— Das Interview wurde in Englisch geführt und ist ins Deutsche übersetzt worden. Unten ist das Originalinterview ebenfalls abgebildet.

BUCHBESTELLUNG DIREKT HIER ÜBER AMAZON.DE:

—> Blutiges Erwachen

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

The perception of South Africa by Roger Smith, South African bestseller author

(Editor: Ghassan Abid)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is now a democracy with political participation for all sections of the population. Which are the biggest national challenges?

Answer: Apartheid ended by the mid-nineties, and South Africa went from being pariah of the world to everybody’s darling under Nelson Mandela. Unfortunately, the bubble burst when Mandela moved on.

The gap between rich and poor has never been greater. We now have the highest incidence of HIV/ Aids statistics in the world, and crime and corruption has replaced apartheid as our number one social ill. South Africa’s top cop – still commissioner of police and head of Interpol at the time of his arrest – is on trial for racketeering and taking bribes from organized crime.

The South African homicide statistics are off the charts, and one in four South African women will be raped in her lifetime. Nearly 1 500 children were murdered in South Africa last year. Most of these children were also sexually violated.

South Africans have much to be proud of, be we dare not ignore the social ills in our country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Your new book „Wake Up Dead“ (in German: Blutiges Erwachen) is reflecting a very breathtaking perception on the South African society. The German magazin FOCUS declared your novel as „bloody inebriation of images“ (in German: Blutiger Bilderrausch). What is your book talking about and in which context is it connected with the reality?

Answer: My books are fiction, of course, but they are a very realistic depiction of South Africa and Cape Town. All of Cape Town, not just the tourist spots.

Novel "Wake Up Dead"

The Cape Flats – the flipside of the Cape Town picture postcard – is about as violent a place as you’ll find outside of a war zone. Forty years ago, the apartheid government dumped anybody who wasn’t white out in this windswept maze of shacks and matchbox houses. Ruled by drug lords and gangsters, the Flats has the highest number of rapes and murders in South Africa, and sex crimes against children are off the charts.

My partner – who grew up out on the Flats – counsels abused children, and tells me stories that give me nightmares. If this was happening anywhere in the West there would be an outcry. Here it barely makes the newspapers.

All of this has found its way into my books.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do you think South Africa is already poised for hosting the World Cup 2010 and to ensure the basically security of the estimated half million of guests?

Answer: The World Cup will be a huge boost for the country, and for the African continent, and I predict that it will be a great success. South Africa has hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, as well as the COSAFA Cup last year. Of course, none of these are on the scale of the FIFA World Cup, but from what I have seen, the infrastructure is in place.

I don’t think visitors to the World Cup will be in danger. The sad truth is that most victims of crime and violence live in the ghettoes and rural areas, far from the bubble of privilege tourists find themselves in when they visit South Africa.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Roger Smith, we would like to thank you for your personal view to this matter!

ORDER OF BOOK HERE BY AMAZON:

—> Wake Up Dead: A Thriller