South Africa, Made In China?

It used to be that one could boast about "The New South Africa" and our widely admired constitution. Now, one finds himself having to justify and explain a lot of things to defend the image of this once epitome of good governance and reconciliation. Corruption, Xenophobia, Lack of service delivery, Constant strikes, etc. 

Yesterday at a press conference regarding the embarassing situation with the Dalai Lama visa, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu warned our government to "watchout!" falling short of comparing it to dictatorships. Who thought we'd ever see the day that the government led by ANC could to compared to such. It's a sad day in Mzansi in deed.

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama cancelled his planned trip to South Africa to spare the SA government any further inconvenience, his office said. He was invited to attend the birthday celebrations of Tutu, a friend and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

The actions of our government angered Tutu who has never been one to mince his word when he has to speak-out against the ill-treatment of others.

A visibly angry Tutu told the media;
“Wake me up and tell this is actually happening here [in SA]. This is quite unbelievable,”
"Our government is worse than the apartheid government, because at least you were expecting it from the apartheid government," 
"But our government, we were expecting more [that] we would have a government that was sensitive to the sentiments of our Constitution." 
"Clearly, whether they say so or not, they were quite determined that they are not going to do anything that would upset the Chinese," 
“May I just remind you – the minister of international relations and co-operation [Maite Nkoana-Mashabane] two years ago said the Dalai Lama can come anytime. 
“She was being very, very, economical with the truth or she didn’t know her work.” 
“I am warning you, watch out! Watch out!” he angrily said to the ANC government. 
"Hey Mr Zuma, you and your government don't represent me. You represent your own interests. I am warning you out of love. 
“One day we will be praying for the defeat of the ANC government. You are disgraceful. You have... a huge majority – that is nothing. Watch out ANC government watch out.”

So why would our government allow such a PR disaster?  Just pick up our national rugby team jersey and look at the label inside - Made In China. It's widely believed that the decision by our government to delay issuing the Dalai Lama's visa is because of pressure from China. 

The issue has now sparked the debate about Money vs Morality. It's no secret that China is one of our country's biggest investor and pissing off the Chinese would not be a good thing for the ANC but where does one draw the line?

Are we willing to risk the image our nation just to keep China happy? The government represents the people and judging by the furore of disgust from our people surely the government should have known better than to defy its people's wishes. 

Which then begs the question; if the ruling party does not care about offending its legendary supporters like Tutu and image of our country, what hope does any of us regular folks have of trusting them?

 “When you think Madiba was able to say to most powerful country, look you don’t choose our friends for us. To say that to the US about Cuba, it takes something, but he did and they did nothing. If anything, their respect for him grew.”
Disappointed and defeated, Tutu said.

Read more about the visa issue HERE

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