Remembering David Webster

#105. Mark May Day. Under leaden skies we drove to Troyeville to Bloemenhof Park for a view of the city’s past and its future. From the park you can see the Johannesburg Athletics Stadium and the massive upgrading of the Doornfontein area where one of South Africa’s premier Soccer World Cup 2010 stadiums – Ellis Park – is located.  Just a few blocks from there marks the spot on Eleanor Street where David Webster, anthropologist, humanitarian, and anti-apartheid activist was murdered for his beliefs. Today the park was renamed as a tribute to his life and memory.

Twenty years ago today South Africa was in the grip of a State of Emergency Continue reading

Let in the Dalai Lama

#93. Join the call to let in the Dalai Lama and restore South Africa’s good karma. The Times is reporting that Constitutional Court judge Kate O’Regan has come out in support of Health Minister Barbara Hogan who earlier this week was quoted as saying: ‘‘Just the very fact that this government has refused entry to the Dalai Lama is an example of a government [that] is dismissive of human rights… I believe [the government] needs to apologise to the citizens of this country, because it is in your name that this great man who has struggled for the rights of his country… has been denied access.’’

Hogan’s comments were referred to as “unfortunate” by a government spokesperson.

O’Regan added: “I also want to say that, like you, who remembers the years of the 1980s when South Africa was so fortunate to have friends all over the world assisting our human rights struggle, that it is a matter of dismay that human rights does not seem to enter into the picture of some foreign affairs decisions that are made.”