Schlagwort-Archive: vote

Ubuntu in Germany Column

Make your mark when you cast your vote

(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).

Sunday was Africa Day and when those in Europe took to the voting stations, to cast votes in the European and communal elections. As a South African, the two recent elections have proved quite interesting. We should treasure our right to vote!

linke

© One of the parties in the communal and EU election is DIE LINKE and they promise no weapon exports to Africa – pertinent to a South African living in Europe.

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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.

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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!

History Documentary from South Africa

The real face of Apartheid

(Editor: Annalisa Wellhäuser)

The largest film festival in Germany, the „Berlinale„, has been attended by „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa. With thanks to the Berlinale section Generation, we have observed selected events and made a report. „History Uncut: Manenberg“ and „History Uncut: Crossroads“ – a documentary collection –  are focussing on South Africa during the apartheid.

Afravision (Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin): History Uncut

Co-curated by Darryl Els and Claus Löser

Sunday, 2/13/2010, Cinema Arsenal at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin

Episode 1: Crossroads

Switch off the lights, the movie starts, open your eyes: as if I had used a time-machine for a journey back into the past ,out of a sudden I find myself in May/June 1986 of the former Apartheid-State of South Africa. Place of the setting: „Crossroads„, an informal settlement for „ black„ South Africans ,important centre for movements of resistance; actually it was given the status of an „emergency camp„ and therefore being immune to the mass clearance of townships by the state. Of course the government was not pleased about this immunity…..So here I am….in the middle of a brutal battle between-well, one does not even know who belongs to which group, it is a chaos…People ,especially boys who are only teenagers are running from one site to the other…they are chasing each other….shooting….screams…wherever I look I see destroyed and burning houses of corrugated iron sheet…It is this group with the strips of white cloth, they are attacking us…it is the „Witdoeks„, our vigilance committee. Why are they doing that? It`s our own people! Where did they get the weapons from? We have to fight back…self-made arms out of wood, stones, gunpowder in plastic bottles, which are being thrown…on the street: two men on the floor…covered by blood all over… they are dead…. I see women sitting on the street corner with their babies and the things which they still managed to rescue from their homes…they are waiting for help….

© Scene from „Histroy Uncut: Manenberg“ (Source: Berlinale)

© Logo of film festival „Berlinale“ (Source: Wikimedia)

Cut- change of scene

Women standing with their babies at the entrance of the parliament of Cape Town. They are hopeless and are looking for help. „ We don`t know what you are talking about, we cannot do anything for you„, they get told in Afrikaans by a politician. As a symbol of protest the women start to feign crying and lay down their crying babies in front of the parliament.

According to the TRC, the Truth Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, South African police contributed weapons to and supported groups of „black„ South Africans like the ,,Witdoeks„, a vigilance committee in Crossroads, and thereby „used „ them in order to suppress movements of resistance during the time of Apartheid. Thus the government seeked their aim without being blamed for anything. In total 60.000 people became homeless and 60 people died.

Episode 2: Manenberg

It is September 1989, the election day of the tricameral parliament of South Africa. „white„ and limitedly „coloured„ and „indian´` South Africans are allowed to vote.

The „black„ population is excluded from the right to vote. In „Manenberg„ , a township for „coloured„ South Africans there are protests taking place. And me- I see, no, I experience closely what happens on that day in the streets of Manenberg: I am in a house and I am looking out of a window. The police pitches up out of nowhere and starts shooting randomly with rubber munition at the residents of the place. Yes, it even seems like they do so because they enjoy seeing other people suffering. The police men throw stones at the people, use tear gas and chase them into their houses with whips. The inhabitants ,especially young people, react by throwing stones as well and by building street barriers out of car wheels, litter, pieces of furniture and stones to which they set fire. It is a seesaw. The police arrives frequently and it results in a conflict: Shooting, screams….I`m afraid that they will discover me, but I`m lucky-they don`t.

Cut- Change of scene:

A boy is lieing half covered in a bed, his entire body is full bullet wounds caused by the rubber munition of the police. Another boy`s head is bandaged up and his nose is covered by plasters…A women expresses a direct appeal to the South African government, she claims a democratic, NON- racial discriminatorial electoral system.

These scenes were never shown on South African television; they are part of the archive`s material of the video collective Afravision, which contains the biggest documentation of video of the history of resistance. Afravision was founded by Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin und Mokoenyana Moletse in order to keep records of the numerous battles in South Africa in the 1980s .

An extraordinary and fascinating contribution to the Berlinale of 2010. Uncut and pure- this film shows simply the reality and truth-the tragic reality of the past South Africa. Such a close experience of history; it feels as if having been present at that time. It is unbelievable, because suddenly it is not a „story„ anymore that one happened to read in a „history book„ and that seems unreal and far away from oneself. Out of a sudden it is my own reality too. I`m part of it. After watching the film, I`m only left with one single thought dominating my mind: While I can return into my secure reality of the present Germany, this „ film„ did continue for the people in South Africa at that time. Those people, who I met just now, could not flee in contrary to me who just switches off the movie. For them it was a nightmare and they did not know if it would ever end. This is horrible.

The 2010sdafrika-editorial staff would like to thank to the team of Berlinale section Panorama for supporting our service.