Archive for the ‘Personal thoughts on peace’ Category

THE FILM: CATCH A FIRE – TURNING THE DESIRE TO FIGHT BACK

February 8, 2010

THE FILM: CATCH A FIRE – TURNING THE DESIRE TO FIGHT BACK

Tags: South Africa, Films, Patrick Chamusso, Phillip Noyce, Reuters, forgiveness, stories of forgiveness

Sourced from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL3039453220070131

Phillip Noyce explores the making of a terrorist from the dark days of Apartheid, and finds that the example of Patrick Chamusso holds an important message for the world: forgiveness.

A REAL HERO FOR HOLLYWOOD

By Rebecca Harrison
Entertainment | Film
MGANDUZWENI, South Africa (Reuters) – He’s blown up buildings in the name of justice and partied with Clint Eastwood.
But Patrick Chamusso, the former rebel fighter who inspired the current Hollywood political thriller “Catch a Fire,” insists he’s an ordinary guy happiest tending to AIDS orphans in the dusty hills near South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
“They like me in Hollywood,” said Chamusso with a boisterous laugh, at his modest home in north-eastern South Africa. “In L.A. I was in the Four Seasons eating breakfast by the pool but that isn’t my life, this is my life here with these kids.”
Once an apolitical father and husband, Chamusso was beaten and tortured after the apartheid government wrongly accused him of sabotage. Incensed by the injustice of white rule, he left his family and became a guerrilla fighter code-named “Hotstuff.”
But his audacious attempt to blow up a key refinery went wrong and Chamusso was jailed, alongside anti-apartheid heroes Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu.
He was released in 1992, when, after beatings, torture and a decade behind bars, a lesser man might have opted for a quiet retirement with a comfortable house and posh car.
Not Chamusso. He moved to an impoverished rural village and spent his special pension on a home for orphans — becoming a hero twice over.
“What’s the point of living an easy life if all the people around you are suffering?” he said in an interview in his poky office, plastered with pictures of the children he cares for.
“WHERE’S WESLEY SNIPES?”
“Catch a Fire,” written by the daughter of anti-apartheid stalwart Joe Slovo and directed by Phillip Noyce, whose previous films include “Patriot Games,” has already opened in the United States and premieres in South Africa next week.
Chamusso, who is played by Derek Luke, said he was disappointed when he first met the cast and crew.
“I thought Philip looked like a farmer not a director and I didn’t know this guy Derek Luke — I wanted someone like Denzel Washington or Wesley Snipes,” he chuckled. “Tim Robbins was much too handsome to be the policemen, but when I saw them all in their roles I changed my mind.”
During a trip to the United States to promote the film, Chamusso partied with Clint Eastwood and Ricki Lake, ate breakfast with Morgan Freeman and watched baseball with Robbins.
He loved the attention and the glamour, but said his years in jail instilled the importance of serving others, and compares the struggle against HIV — which is ravaging southern Africa — with the battle against apartheid.
Chamusso, 57, and his wife Conney care for 14 children. They found foster homes for another 90 youngsters in the village, who visit their house daily for food, bible classes and to use the shiny bicycles donated by the film’s production company.
He hopes “Catch a Fire,” which won critical acclaim in the United States and was even tipped for an Oscar nomination, will not be dismissed as just another anti-apartheid film.
“It has a message of forgiveness,” said Chamusso, who still sees his torturers in the town near his home. “If other countries could offer the kind of leadership we produced the whole of Africa and even the whole world would be a better place.”

Sourced from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL3039453220070131

Buzzed-about scripts begin with passionate ideas
Fri Jan 5, 2007 5:11am EST
By Stephen Galloway
Film

Sourced from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0522411920070107

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Inspiration, it seems, is the easy part. Talk to any number of this year’s buzzed-about original screenplay writers, and what lies beneath the surface is often a decades-old passion for their subject matter.
Take Shawn Slovo, whose “Catch a Fire” lit up when her late father Joe Slovo, a hero of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, told her about an ordinary man who took a stand. There’s Paul Bernbaum, whose “Hollywoodland” came to life thanks to his childhood love of the TV series “Superman” and a latter-day curiosity about star George Reeves. And Emilio Estevez remembers the 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy — which he saw on television at the age of 6 and wrote about in “Bobby” — “as if it happened yesterday.”
They join other screenwriters, including Pedro Almodovar (“Volver”), Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine”), Guillermo Arriaga (“Babel”), Andrea Berloff (“World Trade Center”), Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), Paul Greengrass (“United 93”), Zach Helm (“Stranger Than Fiction”), Richard Maltby Jr. (“Miss Potter”), Nancy Meyers (“The Holiday”) and Peter Morgan (“The Queen”), in the race for Oscar consideration this year. But no matter how easily their stories came into being, no matter how polished the screenplays are now, the journey from original idea to shooting draft is rarely simple.
Estevez spent years thinking about his script, trying to define the style of film he wanted to see made.
“‘Is it a biopic? What is the approach here?’ I wrestled with what to do,” he recalls. “I wrote 30 pages and got a horrible case of writer’s block in the summer of 2000. That lasted for a year. And the 2000 elections came and went, and whenever anyone would ask what I was working on, it became the go-to excuse: ‘I am writing this thing.’ But I was truly paralyzed.”
In the summer of 2001, Estevez’s brother, actor Charlie Sheen, suggested he try a fresh environment for writing the script, and he ended up in a ramshackle motel at the beach — where it all came together. Says Estevez, “I finished the script about two weeks before 9/11.”
The events of that September gave Greengrass something to write about, too — specifically, what happened aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed that day in a field near Shanksville, Pa.
“I very often start collecting pieces on things that might or might not turn into a film one day — books, cut-out pictures, material,” he explains. “At any one time, I have a couple of dozen little things, and I stick them in a file and put it up on the shelf. I started collecting pieces about United 93 quite early on.”
Greengrass was intrigued, he says, by “the fact that the passengers on the airplane were really the first people to inhabit our world, which is the post-9/11 world, because they knew what had happened on the ground. They knew this was an attack, and their choices spoke to me.”
A 25-page treatment was snapped up by Universal almost at once, but Greengrass had another challenge to deal with next: turning that treatment into a script based in reality. He approached the families of the flight’s victims about using their memories and descriptions of the passengers and crew in order to lend veracity to the film. None objected.
But the treatment held the most essential element, he says. “When you make a film like that, the only guide ultimately is whether you feel you’ve got something to say. You’ve got to feel in your heart and soul that you’ve got something to say about it. You are dealing with entirely real events, painful events, personal tragedy. If you didn’t search your conscience and approach it very carefully, you’d be making an error.”
Bernbaum also found his conscience to be part of the equation as he tackled George Reeves’ story, even though it happened decades rather than years ago.
“I really wanted to do right by Reeves because I grew up as a fan of the show,” he says. “I ran around in a little Superman costume when I was a kid. This was a project that I wanted to do for years and years, but I always wanted to do right by him.”
That task proved easier said than done. Reeves died in 1959, and Bernbaum’s only original source still living was “Superman” co-star Jack Larson. Additionally, Reeves’ death was the source of much controversy: Was he murdered, or did he commit suicide?
“There was a question of not really knowing that the research was accurate because there was always another side to it,” Bernbaum acknowledges. “I found everything that I could on him. I watched everything he did. I tried to get as much information as I could, but there were still areas of contradiction.”
Beyond deciding how to deal with Reeves’ death, Bernbaum also had to figure out how to approach the narrative of his chronologically fragmented story. Along the way, he chose to do so through the eyes of a detective (played in “Hollywoodland” by Adrien Brody), a composite of several real-life people on both sides of the legal system. Initially, he says, “They were all in the script, and then I kept paring it down until it was just the one private eye who is the gateway into the whole story.”
When the real-life people in the story you want to tell include your father, paring down the characters is another challenge altogether. That’s what Slovo faced with “Catch a Fire.”
Patrick Chamusso was a black South African who had remained passive under apartheid. But when he and his wife were wrongly accused of terrorist crimes, he was inspired to become a freedom fighter — and was trained by Slovo’s father. They eventually blew up the Secunda Oil Refinery, where Chamusso worked.
“He told me the story just a few months after that incident,” Slovo recalls of her father. “Like all screenwriters, you are always looking for a good story. He said Patrick Chamusso was an ordinary man who wanted a good life, a family and a future — all those boring, bourgeois things — and because of what happened to him, he took a different path. And that’s what appealed to me.”
This heroic tale took a more individual turn when Shawn Slovo met with Chamusso two weeks after his release from prison on Robben Island. He revealed that it was his wife who had ratted him out to the authorities.
Says Slovo, “Then I thought, ‘I have a story!’ That is the thing I went for: the effect of the political on the personal.”
Research shifted the story further. Slovo was surprised to discover that the security police would take good cop/bad cop routines to extremes just to soften up their captives. “There is a scene where (police officer Nic) Vos takes Patrick to his house, and that came from interviews with the security personnel. This is what they said they used to do: They tried to psychologically destabilize the suspects and confuse them,” she says. “Some had prisoners to stay in their house for the week. That was part of their tactics.”
Slovo knew these men and their thinking — they had murdered her mother. And perhaps because of that, she felt willing to take certain liberties in writing about them. But when Phillip Noyce came aboard to direct and the script entered its final stages, she was guided to return to facts over fancy.
“I am a lazy writer. I don’t like to travel; I don’t like to research,” Slovo admits. “But Phillip insisted on it. And the changes brought it much closer to the truth.”
That, in its manifold forms, was the ultimate point at which each of these writers wanted to arrive. “The film has a truth that only fiction can give,” Slovo says. “A truth and a power.”
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0522411920070107

**********

A STORY OF THE MIRACLE OF SOUTH AFRICA

CATCH A FIRE – THE MAKING OF A TERRORIST
Sourced from http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?a=12513&s=Features

Phillip Noyce explores the making of a terrorist from the dark days of Apartheid, and finds that the example of Patrick Chamusso holds an important message for the world: forgiveness. Andrew L. Urban reports.

South African writer Shawn Slovo admits she was amazed that Tim Bevan and Debra Haywood of UK’s Working Title agreed to back her screenplay about her father’s friend, Patrick Chamusso; “It is an absolute miracle as far as I’m concerned that they backed a story about the making of a so called terrorist.”

And while topical all right, it might also seem at first glance to be a questionable subject, if a film is to make a hero of such a figure. But as director Phil Noyce points out, this is exactly the kind of story the world needs to hear. “It’s about forgiveness … and nothing can be achieved in this world without forgiveness.” That, coupled with the theme, is a powerful message – although Noyce makes sure the film is not a sermon but a drama.

To understand what Noyce means, we have to understand the story of Patrick Chamusso, who in the 80s was serving a 24 year prison sentence for an act of terrorism – albeit not the murderous terrorism as we have come to know it today, more an act of sabotage. Shawn’s father Joe Slovo, a former head of the military wing (MK) of the African National Congress (ANC) and later minister in Nelson Mandela’s first government, told her about Chamusso. If she ever wanted to write a story about the ANC’s armed struggle against Apartheid, then she should tell the story of Patrick Chamusso, an ordinary man who joined the ANC and tried to blow up the Secunda Oil Refinery. The refinery, one of the largest in the world, was a symbol of South Africa’s self-sufficiency at a time when there were economic boycotts in place to protect the regime’s policies. It was also a symbol of the wealth and riches of South Africa, earned in part by the exploitation of cheap black labour. Joe planned the mission and Chamusso carried it out single handedly, earning him the codename ‘Hotstuff’.

There are two key elements to Chamusso’s story that make the difference: first, he was a political innocent with no involvement in sabotage when he was first arrested, tortured and jailed on suspicion. These experiences radicalised him and propelled him into the arms of the ANC, where he sought to help change his world. His act of sabotage was carefully planned so as to avoid any casualties. It didn’t quite succeed.

But the second key element is about Chamusso’s character: he was sentenced to 24 years and sent to the labour camp on Robben Island. In 1991 when Nelson Mandela was finally freed after 27 years imprisonment, Chamusso had spent 10 years there; he was released as part of the amnesty granted to all political prisoners. Joe put Shawn in touch with him and they met two weeks after his release from prison. For the next three days, Shawn recorded Chamusso recounting his story and those conversations provided the inspiration for the film. Chamusso chose to forgive his captors – and now runs an orphanage in northern South Africa for children whose parents have died of AIDS.
“a character who audiences all over the world could identify with”
Shawn says. “I recognized in Chamusso, a character who audiences all over the world could identify with.” She explains, “He’s not a typical hero of South Africa’s struggle in that here is a man who had no political history, education or background before joining the ANC. He is an ordinary man who loved his family, had a good job and was passionate about football. But when things did go wrong, instead of giving in or being immobilized, he decided to take control. That is extremely heroic to me.”

Noyce took the film seriously enough not to be over confident. “For the first three or four months of working on this movie I did virtually nothing else but meet people, trying to recreate the mood back in the early 80s, trying to understand things from a black and a white South African viewpoint.”

This involved travelling around with Robyn and Shawn and interviewing everyone that he could possibly meet who might have been involved in Chamusso’s story. They also visited the locations where the actual story took place, from the oil refinery at Secunda, through to the ANC villa in Maputo, Mozambique, retracing Chamusso’s journey out of South Africa to Angola, back into South Africa again and finally to prison on Robben Island.

He says, “In the end it was something rather simple that allowed me finally to have the confidence to make this movie and that was taking a car and driving around South Africa for about ten days. Once I could turn left and right and sort of navigate around the country I felt as though I had my feet on the ground, and now armed also with all the research, I could make a film about that place and that time and maybe do it justice.”

It was on the same research trip that Noyce met Chamusso for the first time. This first meeting had a profound effect on the screenplay as Noyce worked to have even more of the true events put back into the story. Shawn explains, “I had fictionalised the story because however good a story is, and however true to life it is, it doesn’t always make a film. When Philip met Patrick and spent hours and hours listening to his recounting of his story, his first reaction was, ‘well if this happens why isn’t it in the script?’

Noyce explains, “I just wanted to sit Chamusso down and intensively debrief him, get him to tell me the story of his life from birth as he remembered it right through to the present day. And for about two days he just spoke into a camera, into a microphone, going over it all.”

Noyce wanted to hear the reasons why Patrick felt that he had to leave that relatively comfortable life, cross the border to Mozambique and become a soldier? Why he felt that he had to take up arms and fight back against the Apartheid regime? Importantly he wanted to get all the minutiae, the details; how did Chamusso break into the Secunda refinery? What was it like training to be a soldier in Angola? What happened to him when he was imprisoned on Robben Island?
“a story about the miracle of South Africa”
The three key characters in the film are Chamusso, his wife Precious and the South African security officer Nic Vos; in the film they are played by Derek Luke, Bonnie Mbuli and Tim Robbins – the latter because Noyce wanted to avoid stereotype casting. “I felt that in Tim I’d found an actor who would be able to go beyond the stereotypical white South African racist villain that we’ve sometimes seen on the screen. I knew he could reveal how any one of us, the audience, could behave in exactly the same way as Nick Vos.”

Noyce adds, “Although this is a story about the past it’s also a story about the miracle of South Africa. And Chamusso is just one example of that miracle.”

Published November 23, 2006

Sourced from http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?a=12513&s=Features

The Economy of Peace

February 7, 2010
Article Title: The Economy of Peace
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Key words (Tags): South Africa, economy, economist, peace

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and

Submitter’s Note:

The following are some short extracts from two novels, ‘Endless Possibilities, Far and Great Horizons’ and ‘Peace Lives WITHIN’ on which Craig is currently “working” (or rather they seem to be ‘writing themselves. Hope they are not too “heavy heavy”. Enjoy.
Publishing Guidelines:
All my articles and extracts from my various writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
*
The ECONOMIST, THE MEDIATOR
The West should do more to help local people with new investments in roads and other infrastructure, education and crop assistance.”
– Corporal (General) Mullen: “We cannot kill our way to victory (in Afghanistan).”
For now at least, Syria is following a model resembling China’s: Crack down on dissent, liberate the economy and try to manage the growing gap between rich and poor.
In summary, there needs to be an open approach and a willingness to interact with a wide variety of sectors in the economy. The leaders must make decisions (brave) that liberate the economy and try to manage the growing gap between rich and poor. They should liberalise and diversify parts of the economy.
There needs to be a multi-pronged approach to peace initiaves
Strategic:
D iplomacy
E conomic
P olitical
S cientific
Cultural contacts (alignments)
and finally (and as a last resort),
M ilitary efforts.
*
ECONOMICS AND GROWTH (the ideas of a complete layman”)
Here are a few central ideas in marketing South Africa as an investment destination.
I have seen first-hand how successfully New Zealand has attracted foreign investment; so hope that the following information might be of use in your difficult task.
Some of the conditions which made New Zealand successful were as follows:
* a “stable democratic” country
* a stable currency
* stable interest rates offering a real return to investors, ie. in excess of inflation.
* relatively cheap labour?
* liberal labour laws, however with a sufficiently strong trade union movement to protect workers.
* most importantly, various investment incentives, such as tax abatements and a lower company tax rate.
* very low import and export tariffs – making it a competitive environment in which to do business.
* removal of government subsidies on virtually all industries.
*
“New Zealand has been particularly successful in attracting investment from the “tiger” economies of South-east Asia, eg. Malasia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Though tiny, it is a productive efficient economy with increased exports; though deregulation and privatisation has meant some loss of jobs (especially in the civil service).
I hope that these thoughts may be of interest for what it is worth, although I realise that South Africa has it’s unique problems.”
So said Mr Ishmail Pahad, Foreign Minister of South Africa to the delegation of foreign visitors and businessmen.
* *
“The Zimbabwean people deserve a lasting democratic settlement, that will bring reform, economic recovery and stability. We look forward to seeing the full details of the agreement. announced yesterday by President Mbeki.”
About the Submitter:
Craig is currently “working” on ‘Endless Possibilities, Far and Great Horizons’ – true inspiring stories of the human condition in overcoming seemingly impossible odds.

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and

“Together, one mind, one soul at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, encourage and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials. Change YOUR world and you help change THE world.”
THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED
“Peace is the greatest weapon for development, that any people can have.”
– Nelson Mandela

President who dared to preach peace

February 6, 2010

Sourced from: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/government/news/article.cfm?c_id=49&objectid=10624404&pnum=0

Tags: South Africa, FW De Klerk, Nelson Mandela, Peace,  Observer, Alex Duval, New Zealand Herald
President who dared to preach peace
By Alex Duval
4:00 AM Saturday Feb 6, 2010

Twenty years after the end of apartheid, F. W. de Klerk fends off accusations from some white South Africans that he gave South Africa away. Alex Duval meets the man who freed Mandela.

After 26 years in captivity, Nelson Mandela did not want to be set free straight away. Two days before his release, the world’s most famous political prisoner was taken to see President F. W. de Klerk in his Cape Town office. The president got a surprise.
“I told him he would be flown to Johannesburg and released there on February 11, 1990. Mr Mandela’s reaction was not at all as I had expected,” said de Klerk. “He said: ‘No, it is too soon, we need more time for preparation.’ That is when I realised that long hours of negotiation lay ahead with this man.”
Twenty years after the event, sitting in the study of his Cape Town home, Frederik Willem de Klerk, now 73, still has the headmasterly style and deliberate speech that the watching world came to know as he played a crucial role in dismantling apartheid. But the winner of the 1993 Nobel peace prize still recalls the enormous leap of faith that was required to negotiate the end of white minority rule with what he describes as the “fundamentally socialistic” African National Congress of the time.
Just after 4pm on the date appointed by de Klerk, Mandela, then 71, walked free, holding the hand of his wife, Winnie. The prisoner had lost his argument for a later release date but had persuaded de Klerk to allow him to leave directly from Victor Verster prison, in Paarl, near Cape Town.

Mandela held up his fist in an ANC salute. In an instant he switched from being a symbol of oppression to the global symbol of courage and freedom that he remains today.
Mandela’s release did not signal the end of apartheid. In fact, the white-ruled pariah state was entering the most dangerous chapter in its history since the introduction of racial separateness in 1948.
Four hours after leaving prison, Mandela arrived in Cape Town to address thousands of people gathered outside city hall. The impatient crowd had clashed with police and bullets had been fired. But Mandela did not bring a message of appeasement. “The factors which necessitated armed struggle still exist today,” he told the cheering onlookers.
Mandela called on the international community to maintain its sanctions.
“I have carried the idea of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. I hope to live to see the achievement of that ideal. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die,” he shouted.
With hindsight, Mandela used the fiery address to take up a negotiating position and convince the black majority that he had not made a secret pact with the authorities.
De Klerk had his moment of truth nine days earlier, in an address to the all-white parliament that coined the phrase “a new South Africa”. “There were gasps in the house, yes,” said de Klerk, “but not at the news of Mr Mandela’s release. The gasps came when I announced the unbanning not only of the ANC but also the South African Communist party and of all affiliated organisations, which included the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe.
There were gasps then and, from the far-right party, protests and boos.”
De Klerk speaks slowly and clearly – and charmlessly. He is a lawyer from a strict, Calvinist tradition in which displays of emotion are a seen as a sign of weakness. His one quirk seems to be the incessant chewing of gum.
He has lived in this modern house in Fresnaye for 18 months, having moved into Cape Town with his second wife, Elita, from his farm in Paarl. He points out that, from his garden, he has a view of Robben Island, where Mandela spent 18 years in prison. It is a fact. He does not reveal whether it leaves him hot or cold.
But radical change requires steely nerves. De Klerk had become president in September 1989, the son of a National party cabinet minister and the nephew of a prime minister. He grew up with Afrikaner fear in his DNA – the dread that after 400 years on the tip of Africa and the struggle against British colonial rule, his Huguenot descendants would be chased into the sea by the black majority. That fear contributed to policies that built his nation – forced removals to create racially segregated areas and blacks being deprived of their citizenship. It led to “passbooks”, introduced to restrict black people’s movements beyond those that were necessary to the economy, and separate beaches, buses, hospitals, schools, universities and lavatories for blacks, whites, mixed-race “coloureds” and Indians.

As he prepared his February 2 speech at his holiday home in Hermanus in the Western Cape, de Klerk claims he had no confidant. “My predecessor, P. W. Botha, had an inner circle and I did not like it. I preferred decisions to evolve out of cabinet discussions.
That way we achieved real co-ownership of our policies.”
He says his consultative style was a break with National party culture. But he also claims – in a line of argument that allows him to avoid condemning apartheid outright – that the system unravelled through a gradual process.
Even today, he admits only that international sanctions against South Africa “from time to time kept us on our toes”.
In 1959 prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd’s government divided black South Africans into eight ethnic groups and allocated them “homelands” – nations within the nation. The move was a cornerstone of an Afrikaner nationalist dream to create a republic, but it led to international isolation. De Klerk was a vigorous supporter. “I wanted us to take a more adventurous approach to the nation state concept, but the project ultimately failed because the whites wanted to keep too much land for themselves.
“The third phase – which coincided with my entering cabinet but was not started by me – was a shift towards reform. It focused on making separate development more acceptable while still believing it was just. But by the early 1980s we had ended up in a dead-end street in which a minority would continue to hold the reins of power and blacks, outside the homelands, really did not have any meaningful political rights. We had become too economically interdependent. We had become an omelette that you could not unscramble.”
In 1986 the National party abandoned the concept of separate development.
“We embraced the idea of a united South Africa with equal political rights for all, but with very effective protection of minorities. Then my predecessor lost his enthusiasm. When I took over, my task was to flesh out what was already a fairly clear vision, but we needed broad support. We needed negotiation.”
De Klerk moved quickly. In October 1989, a month after succeeding Botha, he released Mandela’s political mentor, Walter Sisulu, and seven other prominent Robben Island prisoners. De Klerk says: “When I first met Mandela we did not discuss anything of substance, we just felt each other out. He spent a long time expressing his admiration for the Boer generals and how ingenious they were during the Anglo-Boer war. We did not discuss the fundamental problems or our political philosophies at all.
“Later, during the negotiations, it became clear that there was a big divide. On the economic side, the ANC was fundamentally socialistic, the influence of the Communist party was pervasive and they wanted nationalisation. They also wanted to create an unelected government of national unity which would organise elections. We insisted on governing until a new constitution had been negotiated and adopted by parliament.”
De Klerk’s successive negotiated victories potentially saved South Africa from the post-colonial governance void suffered by many other countries on the continent. They also entrenched minority rights constitutionally and set the country on a capitalist path. “The government that came into power after the April 1994 elections was going to need a budget. It was drafted by our finance minister, Derek Keys, and he convinced them of the necessity to stay within the free-market principles that had been in force in South Africa for decades.
The ANC has stuck to these principles and that is one of the great positives.”
He worries that the left wing of the governing alliance – which supported President Jacob Zuma’s offensive to oust Thabo Mbeki in 2008 – will win its campaign for payback. De Klerk, who retired as deputy president in 1997, also believes South Africa is ripe for a political shake-up, maybe as soon as in next year’s municipal elections.
“You cannot say we are a healthy, dynamic democracy when one party wins almost two-thirds of the vote. We need a realignment in politics. I am convinced there will be further splits in the ANC because you cannot keep together people who believe in hardline socialism and others who have become convinced of free-market principles. The 2011 elections will be the opportunity for some much-needed shock therapy. I hope people at those elections will use their right to vote less with emotion and more through reason to express their concerns about the failure of service delivery.”
The foundation he runs in Cape Town officially exists to defend the constitution but places a strong focus on minority rights – those of Afrikaners and the Afrikaans-speaking “coloured” population. “The ANC has regressed into dividing South Africa again along the basis of race and class. We see an attitude in which for certain purposes all people of colour are black, but for other purposes black Africans have a more valid case in the field of, for example, affirmative action than do brown or Indian South Africans. The legacy of Mandela needs to be revived.”
He says some whites still accuse him of having given the country away. Asked what would have happened had he not made the February 2 speech, de Klerk has a ready answer. “To those people I say it is a false comparison to look at what was good in the old South Africa against what is bad today.

“If we had not changed in the manner we did, South Africa would be completely isolated. The majority of people in the world would be intent on overthrowing the government. Our economy would be non-existent – we would not be exporting a single case of wine and South African planes would not be allowed to land anywhere. Internally, we would have the equivalent of civil war.”
– OBSERVER
By Alex Duval

Prayer for South Africa (and especially Southern Africa and specifically, Zimbabwe, Darfur in Sudan and Somalia)

January 30, 2010
Article Title: Prayer for South Africa (and especially Southern Africa and specifically, Zimbabwe, Darfur in Sudan and Somalia)
Shared by: Craig Lock
Category/Subject: South Africa, inspiration, “inspirational writings”, prayer, Nelson Mandela, forgiveness, peace, Craig Lock, social and political issues/problems

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981 (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management (how boring now, craig!)
Publishing Guidelines:
This Prayer was originally written in 1994 (before South Africa’s first “Democratic” election. I have updated it slightly (today – 4am!) and am sharing it with a view to helping create global awareness of the current desperate plight of South Africa’s northern neighbour, Zimbabwe.
This prayer (together with all my articles) may be freely published electronically and in print (and prayed). If these writings make a difference in people’s lives by encouraging or bringing some joy in an often very dark world, then I’m very happy.
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PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA (AND ESPECIALLY SOUTHERN AFRICA… AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, ZIMBABWE AND DARFUR IN SUDAN

Author’s Note:
This prayer was originally based on the most inspirational ‘Prayer for America’ by Marianne Williamson (www.marianne.com). Incidentally, I received a most appreciative and gracious message from former South African President, Nelson Mandela for sharing these thoughts with him “many many moons back” in 1994 (“names-dropping” again there, craig!). This icon of reconcilation and magnanimity has and will remain a great inspiration to me in my writing… for ‘Madiba’s’ integrity, immense ‘nobility and immense generosity of spirit’.
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“We join in prayer to celebrate this new nation and surrender its destiny to you.
We give thanks in our hearts to the founding of this vibrant nation of diverse peoples,
a beautiful yet tragic land built upon the rivers of blood, that flowed from our forefathers;
yet still flow today…a ‘happy sad’ land of such contrasts.
We give thanks for and bless the souls of those,
who came before us and prepared this nation,
to nurture and to save it;
because so many gave their lives for it,
some selflessly and many needlessly.
We ask that God’s Holy Spirit now fill the hearts of all this great nation’s citizens – with thoughts of goodwill, righteousness, justice, acceptance and respect for others.
In this may we be cleansed of all destructive thoughts. May judgement of others, bigotry, racism and intolerance be washed clean from our hearts,
like the blood of our forefathers.
God, instill in us especially a generous spirit of forgiveness and hope for the future.
May we play our parts, all of us,
in the healing and the furtherance of our diverse country; so that South Africa will one day fulfill its immense potential, a bright promise yet to be fulfilled.
To do the very best within our abilities in developing “The Beloved Country” socially, politically, economically and spiritually…
in a spirit of acceptance, co-operation, reconciliation and peace – each and every one of us.
Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls.
Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace.
Let our leaders look at the future with a vision:
to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.
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Dear Almighty God, you are all-powerful and omnipresent. You hold each one of us in the palms of Your mighty hands.
May our minds be filled with the thoughts of You;
Your unconditional love and Your acceptance of all Your people, Your children.
May this nation be forgiven its transgressions against its fellow citizens of all races and creeds and any and all others…
so that we as a nation can move forward in harmony and prosperity.
May our lives be turned to instruments of resurrection and reconciliation,
to reach out and bring all our peoples together,
that the sins of our fathers might be reversed through us, His children.
Let us forgive, even if we can never forget.
May the rich promises of this beautiful country of such contrasts be fulfilled…at long last.
The greatest resource in any nation is its citizens;
so may the beauty and greatness of this rich, diverse and vibrant land burst forth in the hearts of all it’s people.
Out of the mistakes and tragedy of the past,
may the dreams of our forefathers be realised in us;
so that we might live with thoughts of goodwill, honesty, integrity, excellence and peace with our neighbours in a bright new dawn.
May this country become a light at the top of the hill unto all the nations of this world (but especially in the “dark” neglected continent of Africa):
so that our country will be a beacon of goodness, tolerance of differences, freedom, peace and especially hope.
(Because the human condition has far more in common, than our cultural, ethnic and racial differences).
May violence and darkness be cast out of our midst.
May hatred no longer find fertile ground in which to grow here.
May all of us feel God’s, the Ultimate Source of Life’s Immeasurable Mercy, Infinite Grace and Love upon each one of us.
Dear God, please, please ignite in our hearts,
in the depths of our souls the spark of Your light.
Let us pursue the Spirit of Truth.
May our newborn nation be given a new light:
one of justice, rightiousness and peace,
that will be seared into our hearts,
the sacred fire of freedom, democracy, the spirit of reconciliation and Your forgiveness for past transgressions:
So that the flame of ‘ubuntu‘, the generosity of spirit burns brightly in the heart of all New South Africans.
A new light of Love that will shine so brightly right across this vast land as a beacon of hope for the future –
from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean,
from the Limpopo in the north to the Cape of Storms at the southern tip of Africa.
May we be forgiven – each one of us.
May our children be blessed.
May we be renewed.
May each one of us be filled with the spirit of the Almighty, the Divine.
In our lives may the “Rainbow Children of the Beloved Country” manifest the glory of God,
that lies within every one of us.
Dear God, please bless South Africa
Amen”
Craig Lock (1994)
P.S: These days please pray especially for all the citizens of South Africa’s neigbour, the “blighted” Southern African nation of Zimbabwe, as well as the poor persecuted citizens of Darfur in Sudan and in Somalia.
“Lest we forget!”

Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributor, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)
(January 2007)

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
– Albert Schweizer

“May you have the courage to speak your truth, may you find peace within, and may we all one sunny day know peace on earth.”
– Debbie Milam
(with a couple of words added by craig)

“Deep within us there is a flame that burns,
and that flame is the spark of God.
In some it burns brightly,
in others it is barely distinguishable;
but always it burns…and with love, tolerance and acceptance of others the flame gets higher and brighter. We can help others to kindle this flame by seeing the good in them,
even if they don’t see it themselves.”
anon (and words slightly adapted by craig)
“When the world is filled with love, people’s hearts are overflowing with hope.”
– craig
Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and
“Many small (though significant) steps by many ‘ordinary  (what’s that?) people with eventually reach their destination.”
– craig
“In the midst of darkness, light exists.”
About the submitter:
Craig likes, no loves, to share information and insights to encourage others to be all they are capable of being. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. In his various writings he strives, little by little, to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers.

In his novels Craig writes about “the beloved” country of South Africa. Anyway, what other job would be suitable for him? Craig Lock’s novel on South Africa ‘Over the Rainbow’ is available at: http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html+www.lulu.com/craiglock

A look at the many colourful peoples, who make up this diverse and vibrant society, as seen through the eyes of a newspaper reporter.

Craig is presently “working on” (it’s not really “work”) his latest novel ‘The Awakened Spirit’, based on some true and inspiring stories of the indomitable will, together with the unquenchable human spirit of some ‘ordinary’ people put in extra-ordinary situations. An unconquerable spirit that lies within each one of us, if “drawn/called upon”, as told against the backdrop of a troubled, yet exciting and vibrant continent.

“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.
– craig
One of his ‘little missions’ is trying to help promote peace in some small way by helping and encouraging others to find inner peace, as peace begins within.
“The task ahead of you can always be overcome by the power within you…and the often seemingly difficult or even “impassible”) path ahead of you is never as steep with the great spirit that lies within you.”
Try not to become a man or woman of success, but a person who strives to add value to others lives in some way. That then is true success”

– craig

“Let us reach for the world that ought to be, that spark of the divine, that still stirs within each one of us.”
– the words of US President, Barack Obama in accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway

“TOGETHER, one mind, one heart, one soul, one life at a time, let’s encourage, impact, uplift and perhaps even inspire the world. YOU be the change you want to see in the world.”

THIS PRAYER MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED
(AND PRAYED)

“Blessed are the peace-makers… because they will accumulate plenty of Frequent Flyer points.”

To dearest mom, Hazel, your unique and generous spirit lives on…forever

The Road to Global Peace

August 8, 2009

Article Title: The Road to Global Peace Key words: Inspiration, peace, global peace, leadership, Zimbabwe, South Africa Web Sites: http://www.creativekiwis.com and http://www.webng.com/writernz/ Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles.html + http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981 (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management (how boring now, craig!) Publishing Guidelines: This piece (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print. * THE ROAD TO GLOBAL PEACE (UPDATED) In the light of the current state of the world (and after the assassination of Benadir Bhutto) here are a few personal thoughts that may be of interest, based on the “rather miraculous” transformation of South Africa. From one time “pariah” apartheid state wracked by violence and conflict… to a relatively peaceful country governed according to the “will of the people”, a new power-house and leader on the African continent. As their neigbour of Zimbabwe slides miserably down an apparently bottomless slope of corruption, violence and economic collapse, the moral shadow of Nelson Mandela looms over the failings of leadership across the continent. Which leads to a powerful message to other places of seemingly intractible conflict… Things change for the better from pressure (mainly internal – based upon basic common human needs), but also external pressure and co-ercion from other countries. Though economic sanctions on their own have never proved to be particularly effective and always hurt the ordinary people hardest and not those in power. Other countries should look at the big picture and just do what is RIGHT for the ordinary citizens of war-torn countries and other “rogue states” and not take actions out of vested interests. So wouldn’t the world be a better place and the myriad of seemingly insurmountable problems, like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Zimbabwe and countless other countries around the globe be solved. Once ordinary people see the benefits of security, stability and consequently economic growth, they will feel better about their individual lives and will no longer tolerate living in the darkness of fear and opression. When the masses of ordinary people express their needs, their wishes, their aspirations, no matter how long that may take. As with the opening up to China, the process starts with the seed of initially helping to create conditions to open the lines of communication through talking (even amongst enemies). I believe the solution to all conflicts and wars throughout the globe is a lasting and comprehensive peace plan agreed to by all parties. Initially there has to be an understanding among all parties willing to negotiate that a regional approach to peace is required…and peace benefits all through a “win-win” situation. There needs to be vision and planning for a long-term solution, so politicians think ahead. Most major world problems come about due to neglect and the lack of will and mental effort needed to tackle them by leaders. And military solutions are always the LAST option for an enduring peace, once all other avenues have been exhausted). Communication, negotiation and ultimately the prospect of possible reconciliation offers hope and benefits to conflicting interests, as well as prospects for a peaceful, secure and vibrant future. In the short term world leaders must concentrate on education, reconstruction, unoffiocial dialogue (as with some representatives of the apartheid SA government and ANC leaders in Lusaka and Dakar in the late eighties, setting the pre-conditions for dialogue) and diplomacy. The road to peace always begin with dialogue (that is conversation), which leads to better understanding of opposing viewpoints. As South African writer, Michael Cassidy in ‘A Witness For Ever’ once wrote: ” It’s a matter of creating conditions in society which provide the basic framework for a harmonious and fruitful human community. ” Albert Einstein once said, the problems of the world can never be solved at the same level of thinking that created them. We can in our own ways raise our levels of thinking, our individual “consciousnesses” (and consciences). * “In South Africa repression and resistance cycled and spiralled. But there was no possible military victory against the people, no matter how powerful South Africa’s military machine. In the end, only a negotiated settlement could end the violence – and that required moral leadership, from all sides. Israel, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, the United States and many others will one day get the point; alas for those doomed to suffer till then.” – Andrew Ladley (director of Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies reviewing ‘Mandela: A critical Life’ by Tom Lodge and ‘Mandela: The Authorised Portrait’ writing his excellent review of the forementioned books in the Dominion Post Indulgence, Wellington, New Zealand of Sat Nov 4 2006. The path to peace is never through war… and peace can one day arise from the ashes of war. Each ONE of us can be part of the solution to these seemingly insurmountable global problems, if we so chose: by doing our “own little bits”, what we can do in our individual spheres of influence. Enough ripples can someday make a giant wave. As in the “beloved country” of South Africa, global peace is one day possible… but only if as many of us work towards it and encourage others to do the same with all of our hearts and beings… a time that may herald a new dawn for the world. As Norman Vincent Peale (the US preacher and author of the classic ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’) said so eloquently: “I’d rather attempt something great and fail rather than than attempt nothing and succeed.” No matter where we may live in the world, let us ALL succeed in doing what we can do … towards a better and more peaceful world. Craig Lock “I am one. I cannot do everything…but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do” – Edward Everett Hale PS: Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.” “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.” – J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India P.S: I am reminded of something Mahatma Gandhi’s said not long before he was assassinated: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible; but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, ALWAYS.” “When the world is filled with love, people’s hearts are overflowing with hope.” – craig About the submitter: In his writings Craig strives to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting (and watering) ideas as ‘seeds of hope'”. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. Craig is presently working on his latest novel ‘The Awakened Spirit’, based on some true and inspiring stories of the indomitable human spirit, that lies within each one of us, told against the backdrop of a troubled and exciting continent. The various books that Craig ‘felt inspired to write’ are available at: http://www.creativekiwis.com http://www.webng.com/writernz/ and http://www.myspace.com/writercraig “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion, mystery and even the occasional miracle in the magical journey of life.” “Blessed are the Peace-Makers… because they’ll accumulate plenty of Frequent Flyer points.” THESE WRITINGS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED (with acknowledgment, please) “Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, uplift, empower, encourage and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”