Archive for October, 2013

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is (has) not ended.”

October 31, 2013

 

lions-head-signal-hill-robben-island_20110728_1272644607

Picture: Lions Head, Cape Town, the beautiful Mother City of South Africa with Table Bay and Robben Island in the distance (where Nelson Mandela, “a true champion of justice, peace and reconciliation” made huge sacrifices being imprisoned all those long years in his pursuit of his cause, his ideals, his dream for a “unified Beloved Country”)

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is (has) not ended.”
― Nelson Mandela

everest

Tweet This Quote

from  http://longroadtopeace.wordpress.com/

“Few things make the life of a parent more rewarding and sweet as successful children.”

October 30, 2013

 

“Few things make the life of a parent more rewarding and sweet as successful children.”
– Nelson Mandela

Shosholoza …. a South African celebration in song and dance

October 25, 2013

Stunning rendering of Shosholoza showing different cultural dance sequence in South Africa. Copyright: A Tekweni TV Production, a Durban video production company http://www.satvchannel.com

PS “Whitey*” never fails to be stirred by this poignant rendition!

* and “totally unmusical”, who can’t dance

“It always seem…

October 9, 2013

Cursed if we criticise Zuma? Think again

October 8, 2013

Cursed if we criticise Zuma? Think again

Cursed if we criticise Zuma? Think again

08 OCT 2013 07:10 VERASHNI PILLAY

President Jacob Zuma’s reading of the Bible misses an important point: we are allowed to criticise his decisions whether he likes it or not.

It’s election season, so that means it’s time for President Jacob Zuma to do his rounds of churches and make inflammatory statements, usually to the delight of the nearest journalist.

It’s no secret our president and the dominant body in the ANC at present have strong conservative leanings, often at odds with the liberal-minded founders of our Constitution.

A church context often gives Zuma the opportunity to indulge in these leanings. Whether it’s strictly biblical or not is usually besides the point: it’s a chance for Zuma to speak to an audience who resonate with his traditional, conservative values that often put him at odds with more liberal parts of our society who find favour with our Constitution – even if they are in the minority.

It’s this tension that has seen our president make homophobic statements in the past and then quickly apologise, or admit archaic views of women and their role in marriage. Throw in a church context and the charismatic style of speaking at these venues often lead Zuma to deviate from his usually bland prepared speeches and make outlandish statements, such as his notorious claim that the ANC would rule until Jesus came, or that those who vote for the opposition were effectively friends with the devil.

This last Sunday brought us more of the same. Zuma was at the 33rd Presbyterian Synod in Giyani, Limpopo, where he told the congregants that those who insulted leaders in position of authority would possibly be cursed.

“If you don’t respect those in leadership, if you don’t respect authority then you are bordering on a curse,” said Zuma.

“Whether we like it or not, God has made a connection between the government and the church. That’s why he says you, as a church, should pray for it.”

The headlines started writing themselves.

“Zuma invokes wrath of God”

“Zuma: Criticise me and be cursed”

“Insult Zuma and face God’s wrath”

But the fact was that Zuma was indeed quoting from the Bible this time, albeit a selective reading that works well for him.

The apostle Paul made the point in one of his most famous letters: Romans, in the New Testament. In chapter 13 verses one to seven, he does indeed encourage a respect for government authorities.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established,” he begins. The verses also point out that the state can use force to ensure compliance with the law, so it was in the audience’s interest to obey the law of the land, pay taxes and so on – not just “because of possible punishment but also because of conscience”.

Needless to say it can be a difficult scripture if taken to its logical conclusion. I have heard Zimbabwean Christians in particularly struggling with verse two, which speaks most directly to what Zuma was saying. In it, Paul says that “all authority” has been established by God and thus “he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted”.

The implications of this verse for dictatorial regimes are a discussion for another time, but for a democracy like ours it’s pretty clear.

So within the context Zuma was showing, for once, that he does “read the right stuff”, contrary to Richard Calland’s criticism.

However, reading it in balance with the Constitution, which the scripture itself says must hold ultimate sway, is where Zuma falls down.

If he was referencing Romans 13, as seems to be the case, he would realise that it was a scripture that was advocating for a stable society.

A bit of context: one sect of Judaism at the time was a militant group called the Zealots, the Julius Malemas of their time, if you will. They expected Jesus, or whoever the messiah was, to overthrow Rome, the government of the day. Paul was clarifying that this was not the case: Christians were to be good citizens wherever possible, particularly in obeying the laws of their country.

As citizen number one, Zuma should do the same. The Constitution that governs South Africa completely separates government and church, and celebrates freedom of expression – including the right to criticise our political leaders. It also includes very carefully thought out balances in the form of Chapter 9 institutions, Parliament and the judiciary to act as checks against Zuma’s executive powers.

Romans 13 does not tell us to mindlessly submit to our government. It tells us to obey the law, pay our taxes and not plot an overthrow of government. Drawing a cartoon taking aim at the president or robustly critiquing his government’s decisions is not covered.

Zuma’s off-the-cuff remarks are usually an insight to his true beliefs, and they generally show poor respect or understanding of our Constitution – and a hyper-sensitivity to criticism. He clearly does not like to be questioned. But the right to do so, alas Mr President, is protected by the Constitution you and everyone else in this country have signed up for, which itself is protected by the very scripture that you quote.


Verashni Pillay is an associate editor at the Mail & Guardian.

Why Kenya should be furious with SA

October 8, 2013

Why Kenya should be furious with SA

Jacob Zuma’s good-news philosophy is costing us lives, writes Verashni Pillay, in the wake of the Kenya attack and the release of the crime stats.

T2T: Three friends, 24 countries, 165 days and 30 901km

October 3, 2013

T2T: Three friends, 24 countries, 165 days and 30 901km

Despite Africa’s impressive economic growth, it’s clear from the way people talk about and do business on the continent that views of Africa have not changed dramatically in the past 20 years. Some views are excessively positive, others overly negative. Both are equally harmful. We – that being me, my husband Matt and our friend Ishtar Lakhani – think it’s high time that changed. And so an idea was born – to do something to make people see Africa differently.

“South Africa: a land, a nation of possibility… and Africa a  continent of  far and grand horizons”

– craig

SAFlag

AFrica (from www.horsesofthesun.wordpress.com)“It’s really beautiful. It feels like God visits everywhere else, but lives in Africa”

~ Will Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

picture: from horsesofthesun.wordpress.com

Top 10 quotes about Africa

October 1, 2013

horsesofthesun

lion and pigeon

1. “It’s really beautiful. It feels like God visits everywhere else but lives in Africa” ~ Will Smith

2. “Every morning an impala wakes up knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning a lion wakes up knowing that it must outrun the slowest impala or it will starve. It makes no difference if you are a lion or an impala, when the sun comes up in Africa you must wake up running” ~ anonymous, Zambia

3. “When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you’re leaving a state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence”  ~ Fransesca Marciano, “Rules of the Wild”

4. “Why is it you can never hope to describe the emotion Africa creates? You are lifted. Out of whatever pit…

View original post 199 more words


%d bloggers like this: