Weekend paper wrap with Bob Mabena
Two international stories crudely caught my attention this past week. Let me throw a few names at you: Augusto Pinochet, Ratco Mladic, Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milesevic, Charles Taylor – all these guys were handed over to the ICC and they were prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Sure Bush, Blair and PW Botha should be on that list and we know why but can we as South Africans or even as Africans, use that excuse to not abide by the Roman Statute; to which by the way, South Africa played a pioneering role in its establishment? Let me briefly remind you why Omar al-Bashir must be arrested and put on trial by the ICC and why we should have handed him over. This despot is charged with being responsible for death and displacement on an almost unprecedented scale in our time in Darfur. He is charged with attacks on civilians and perpetuating genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups – victims of his crimes were black Africans. Just because the ICC may not have any evidence and or political will to arrest so called Western leaders, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to look the other way and allow murderers of our fellow Africans get away with murder as it were. Most, if not all ICC cases have arisen as a result of requests for action from African states themselves or from the UN Security Counsel.
Back when South Africa had some moral authority, it would have been clear what direction our government would have taken; faced with a choice between appeasing a block of Continental elites or to abide by our own law and constitution. Unfortunately the current administration chose to have a coward come to our country and leave like a thief in the night. I thank God that this man at least looks very healthy because his day will come – Malawi, Senegal and Tanzania are on the side of victims of rape & genocide and have called for al-Bshir’s arrest.
The last story is that of the hate crime that saw nine parishioners slaughtered by young white boy. When one continues to read the 101 analyses of this young man’s road to destruction and how he actually planned this callous and cowardly attack, you see it for what it is – this boy was full of hate, there was something inside him that was boiling and it reached boiling point to a very tragic end. The Obama administration is quick to point to gun control or lack thereof and the gun associations are on the back-foot. My take on this is very simple and perhaps religious. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. For far too long religion has been used to subjugate, kill and maim people and if you really think about it; there is no religion that actually forces people to kill. We kill inspire of the teachings of human religion. Whichever God we pray to, we need to do just that. We need to pray and observe the tenants of our respective religions. There is way too much evil and hate in these days