Being forearmed against some power-drunk idiot

Zimbabwe is an apartheid state. Sure, they don't have laws that discriminate on the basis of colour like the old South Africa used to, but they are for all other intents and purposes similar to the murderous regime that used to call the shots here.

Zimbabwe is an apartheid state. Sure, they don't have laws that discriminate on the basis of colour like the old South Africa used to, but they are for all other intents and purposes similar to the murderous regime that used to call the shots here.

Defining an apartheid state as simply an authority based on racial divisions would be too kind to Hendrik Verwoerd and all his lackeys and successors. Apartheid was about total subjugation of a defined "other group" using all sorts of means to achieve that.

Other than the head full of hair and the moustache, there is no difference between Robert Mugabe and PW Botha. They will share a special place in history books category of people who went on rhetoric drives as their peoples perished.

Generations will recall Mugabe as the man who, however many times he came to the bridge over the Rubicon, simply could not get himself to cross over.

When Mugabe goes to join PW in hell the two will realise how much they have in common. As they exchange memoirs they will realise that they should have compared notes much earlier, since they all had the same goal of entrenching the powers of their murderous regimes, regardless of the cost.

I imagine Botha complaining to his new-found friend Bob, saying the once conscientious members of the Frontline States (a group of southern African states who formulated a common policy to coordinate efforts to fight apartheid) were a tad unfair to his regime.

Botha will argue that if they were driven by the justness of their cause, they would not have been silent when Bob killed his own people. Bob will respond by telling PW not to play the race card, much to the raucous laughter of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot sharing a drink with them.

Things cannot be allowed to go on like this any longer. How many other people must be abducted and tortured before we in the southern Africa neighbourhood start acting neighbourly?

What type of cholera strain should kill more Zimbabwean before all of us who are embarrassed by the South African government's policy on Mugabe start saying: "Not in our name."

Already we have a list with 120 names of eminent South Africans - including President Kgalema Motlanthe - which says: "We fought against apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now."

It is not the purpose of this article to discuss the merit of the petition. The point is that prominent South Africans, including former ministers, are willing to condemn another government for what they see as immoral behaviour.

What holds their tongues and pens when it comes to what our neighbours are doing?

If we can get 120 names to correctly condemn Israel surely we can get thousands making it known what we think of Zimbabwe? Perhaps when we do that the powers that be will start paying attention - or at least explain to us why they are failing to act reasonably.

We forget that we are a democracy and that governments must take cue from us. We should make it clear to those who want to govern us after the next elections that we want a clear position about what they intend to make of Mugabe and his goons.

An old Sesotho adage says: "To give is to save for the future."

Supporting ordinary Zimbabweans is to be forearmed should some idiot get power drunk.

X