The abusive ‘mother city’ by David Le Page – an extract


”…government officials are trying to muzzle the media and block civil society assistance….”

“…This is a tourist city. But it does not welcome those who are black. At the foot of Africa, something revoltingly close to apartheid is alive and kicking.”

“……Earlier this evening, we heard that officials from the Department of Social Development, were telling the manager of one of the sites out on the flats, Father Louis, to keep out TAC, and to keep out journalists. So government officials are trying to muzzle the media and block civil society assistance.

Fortunately they are not succeeding. While there are now 21 000 people in recognised sites around the peninsula, many in church halls and mosques, there are many as well in private homes. They are the fortunate ones. I spoke today to a man in Paarden Island whose non-profit company is cooking meals for 6 000. Donations are pouring in to TAC. Many are helping. Conditions in the camps are bad, in many instances. Tomorrow I’ll know more.

What should I tell them? That the mayor, Helen Zille, once considered a determined leader for human rights would rather shut them up in internment camps than allow them into smaller, more humane community halls – because to do so would disrupt some weddings!!? That she, the mayor of an entire city of millions, was indignantly telling TAC (the small volunteer-based organisation with which I’m working) this morning that the city had done at least as much as us? That the government has spent the last two weeks mostly sitting on its collective backside while the president contemplates his evaporating legacy through thick glass and amber fluid? That the authorities are now forcibly preventing people from leaving some of the camps……….”

To read the full article go to
LINK – David Le Pages’ website
May 27, 2008

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One Response to “The abusive ‘mother city’ by David Le Page – an extract”

  1. 1 sandrar

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