The SPCA, South African Law, the 2010 World Cup and the Planned Sacrifice of Animals

When President Jacob Zuma won the South African Presidential elections, he too was

Blessed

in

BLOOD

Just in case you have not heard the story, yet:

South African ‘traditional leaders’ intend performing ritual animal slaughters in order to bless the Soccer Football Stadiums to be used during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. Zolani Mkiva, chairman of the Makhonya Royal Trust, said the tournament has to to be blessed in true “African style” and that they are going to slaughter cows in sacrifice at each of the 10 stadiums to be used for the event.

Any reasonable person will immediately think: Surely this can be prevented. After all, South Africa does have Animal Protection Laws and an N SPCA. You are right if that is your response – on the latter part of your thought anyway. BUT, as I am about to explain, NOT  on the former part. Here is why.

 

The SPCA

When Reuters broke the news, the N SPCA of South Africa made it clear that they will not prevent or oppose the animal slaughter / sacrifice planned in honour of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. In a very politically correct media statement, they indicated that they are

“respectful and supportive towards cultural and traditional practices”

and that

“the N SPCA stresses that its role will not be to preach or dictate but to act in a welfare liaison capacity”

A cop-out if ever I heard one!

The N SPCA has a history of allowing these kinds of things to go ahead. For instance, when Jacob Zuma became president of South Africa earlier this year, they endorsed (YES, endorsed) the slaughter / sacrifice of 25 Cows to bless Jacob Zuma’s newly acquired President-ship. (See http://iluvsa.blogspot.com/2009/06/25-cows-to-die-for-zuma.html and http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1480885.php/Zuma_party_rolls_on_25_cows_face_the_chop_for_village_feast) Bear in mind that these slaughters will have been done in the TRUE AFRICAN way….

Don’t expect any support against the 2010 Soccer World Cup animal slaughter / sacrifice from the N SPCA

 

South African Law

Sure! South Africa DOES have laws governing the treatment of animals – about 40 of them – and that does not include the many bylaws passed governing our behaviour and conduct towards animals. We also have a Consitution. A Consitution that allows religious freedom INCLUDING, in this instance, slaughtering animals for religious purposes and, by the looks of it, to BLESS the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The law is extremely vague as the humane-ness of such killings, saying that it should be done in – and I quote:

” in a humane way as is reasonable within the particular religious or cultural values of the person effecting the slaughter and subject to the requirements of the SPCA.”
Killing tethered – their legs are bound together and they are flipped on their sides – bulls with bare hands (see yesterday’s blog: https://thewordwright.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/2010-soccer-world-cup-animal-slaughter-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/) and slitting (although HACKING would be a better description) fully conscious cows’ throats, leaving them to slowly bleed to death (see https://thewordwright.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/2010-soccer-world-cup-animal-sacrifice-planned/) are perfectly REASONABLE and ACCEPTABLE religious and cultural values and not contrary to the social standards of the bulk of the population in South Africa.
Don’t expect any  protection against the 2010 Soccer World Cup animal slaughter / sacrifice under South African Law

 

What now?

 

Stopping the proposed, torturous deaths of the animals intended for sacrifice in honour of the 2010 Soccer World Cup is going to be NO easy matter! I started a petition two days ago to try and rally as much support as I can from people across the world. Please sign this petition if you disagree with animal sacrifice: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Stop-2010-World-Cup-Animal-Sacrifice.
So far we have 327 signatures. The target is 50,000. Your support in terms of creating awareness among friends, colleagues etc will go a long way towards achieving the targeted number! The petition will be submitted to the FIFA Executive Committee and 2010 Soccer World Cup Organising Committee of South Africa. I am also busy rallying support from Animal Rights Organisations across the world and approaching the media to solicit additional support. I am of the conviction that if sufficient pressure can be brought to bear, the animal sacrifice planned by South Africa to celebrate and bless the 2010 Soccer World Cup can and will be stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zimbabwe: The Runoff Election Farce

It is useless saying that the presidential runoff in Zimbabwe must be or should be free and fair because the truth of the matter is that it simply won’t be. If free encapsulates the human right of choosing freely, without blatant or latent threats of retaliation, and if fair comprises of all things equal and honest, then running a credible election in Zimbabwe is as credible as China’s denial of harming Tibetans (or baby girls for that matter).

Information from the beautiful country of Zimbabwe is scarce and getting scarcer by the day. Only isolated reports manage to find their way to those of us who live in the rest of the world – and then only in drips and drabs. Video footage has all but disappeared as those found recording anything that could be even remotely incriminating are cast into jails on one or another trumped up charge. This is a best case scenario. Some are poorly treated; others are tortured, while others still are killed.
Such is the transparency of the tyrant.

If commentators, spectators and journalists are too scared to venture into the hell hole of current day on-the-spot Zimbabwe politics, how can we expect the average Zimbabwean to play Zimbabwean Roulette with the Mugabe gun? The average Zimbabwean has parents, a husband or wife, children, grandchildren and friends. And, the average Zimbabwean knows that there is an un-penned law of oppression that states that your sins against Mugabe will visit you and those who are near and dear to you. In fact, it may even visit those who simply live near to you regardless of their political persuasions.

Such is the wrath of the tyrant.

Looking forward to runoff day, there will be relative peace. But looking towards the run-up towards runoff day, there won’t: Villagers will be tortured into submission using the techniques learnt from Mugabe’s Chinese handlers. In the sky smoke will rise from the homes and business burnt as a grim warning to those who dare to vote differently. The blood from wounds caused by Chinese supplied arms is set to flow across the Zimbabwean soil. And then, when all have been cowed, maimed, incarcerated and killed, runoff day will dawn quietly. Not with the quiet associated with contentment, but with the eerie quiet associated with death.
Such is the rule of the tyrant.

Is there hope?

Unless UN peacekeeping forces are deployed now and unless UN observers are present on the day and unless these UN observers guard the ballot until the results are released…the answer is…

!NO!

Zimbabwe: Ruling on Releasing Election Results Postponed Until Monday

Sigh…

It is a little disappointing that the courts don’t see (or don’t want to see, are not allowed to see, whatever) the urgency of this matter. Another four or more days for Mugabe to ‘cook the books’, another four days for him to intimidate the ordinary folk of Zimbabwe with his megalomaniacal quasi-military campaigns, and another four days for death by ‘natural causes’ of electoral officials and opposition party members…

So, it is more of the waiting game, fellow Africans.

Zapiro’s cartoon is a picture that speaks a thousand words …

Avaaz Petition: Mugabe, Release the Results!

 I received this Avaaz petition in my Inbox a short while ago. They aim to collect 10,000 signatures to present to Mugabe. Please read, and if you would like to support the cause, click on the avaaz link. Perhaps the Zimbabwean people need to know that they are not alone in this…

Dear friends,

Zimbabwe is on a knife’s edge between democracy and chaos. Results still have not been released from the 29 March elections–and fears are rising that Mugabe will resort to violence and fraud to hold on to power. South African president Thabo Mbeki said today that “it’s time to wait”–but time has run out.

Observers, NGOs, and the opposition have appealed for international support. To respond, we’re launching a new campaign to all Avaaz members throughout Africa. Click below to add your name to a petition calling for the results to be released, verified, and peacefully honored. We will send the petition to Mugabe’s government, and to leaders and media organizations throughout Southern Africa and the world:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/democracy_for_zimbabwe/1.php?cl=72012816

Every day brings new developments, and the more time passes, the greater the danger grows that the will of Zimbabwe’s people will be ignored. The faster we can grow this petition, the more powerfully we can show that the people of Africa and the world are looking to Mugabe to honour the choice of Zimbabweans.

In a crisis like this, a petition is just a small step–but it’s something all of us can do, to raise our voices and call for what’s right. And as history shows, international solidarity can be a powerful thing.

With hope,

Ben, Graziela, Ricken, Galit, Paul, Iain, Pascal, Milena, and Esra’a–the Avaaz.org team

 

 

 

PS: A year ago, in one of the first Avaaz campaigns, we called together for Mugabe and his government to end their brutal attacks on opposition leaders. More than 45,000 people around the world took part. Now, there’s a hope for much more substantial change–a new hope for the 12 million Zimbabweans struggling with hyperinflation, starvation, and HIV/AIDS. Please do sign the petition, and forward this email to friends and family–they can sign at http://www.avaaz.org/en/democracy_for_zimbabwe/1.php?cl=72012816. 

ABOUT AVAAZ

Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

 

Mugabe: Divide and Conquer Zimbabwe

Some people thought that I was crazy when I published my Blog: “Zimbabwe: A New Wave of Land Grabs?” yesterday. Quite frankly, even I was starting to doubt the Associated Press information I received…and wondering whether I was not becoming a sensationalist. Fortunately, it appears that I am still quite sane. The reports on land grabs were confirmed by the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7333918.stm)  just over an hour ago.

 

As I write this, there are goose bumps on my arms and heaviness in my heart.

 

Divide and Conquer

Mugabe’ traditional and unfailing modus operandi is to maintain his dominion by dividing the Zimbabwean population. He achieves this division by inciting hate between different races, ethnic groups, cultures and classes through classical means of disinformation. Disinformation is an easy objective for this dictator. He controls the printed and the broadcast media in the country, and does not hesitate to use these to fulfil his personal agenda.

 

The land grabs and the disinformation about the land grabs are collectively one of the tactics in a carefully constructed overarching strategy to regain his control over the prevailing Zimbabwean situation.

 

Mugabe’s current land grabbing tactic was executed as follows:

Violence: His militia (Green Bombers) was instructed to oust several white farmers in Masvingo, a province in the south of Zimbabwe. The latest count is the seizure of eight farms.  

Misinformation: He then (mis)informed the media via spokesman, Patrick Chinamasa, that Tsvangirai is “unleashing former white farmers on farms occupied by new farmers to reverse the land reform programme”. Mugabe was also personally quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper, as saying that: “Land must remain in our hands. The land is ours; it must not be allowed to slip back into the hands of whites. We cannot afford to retreat in the battle for land.”

 

Conquer by Force

Jabulani Sibanda, leader of the War Veteran’s Association (Green Bombers), which has been instrumental in the seizure of white owned farms since before the 2000 presidential elections, alleged on Friday that several farms have already been ‘confiscated’ from black farmers and restored to their previous white owners.

 

According to Sibanda the new black farmers were told to leave “or else face the wrath of an incoming MDC government’. He also told reporters that: “Those white people trespassing on the small-scale and medium-scale farms should know that it is an invasion of our country. We will defend our sovereignty. We will be compelled to repel that invasion.”

 

 

The Outlook

He may be old and he may be a raving lunatic, but Mugabe is both intelligent and cunning. This is exactly why he is such a dangerous man.

 

I expect pockets of violence to erupt as he orchestrates his latest offensive and executes on his latest strategy. I expect an increase in hate speech, which could see Zimbabweans turning on one another instead on him. I expect ‘Cleaning out the Filth’ operations in MDC strongholds, which will see many people – yet again – tortured, killed and homeless.

 

I expect all this, unless a miracle happens. Perhaps the miracle will come in the shape of a Zimbabwean High Court ruling favouring the MDC. Perhaps it will come in the form of South African intervention.

 

But then, perhaps is will never come at all.

 

Zimbabwe: The Showdown Has Begun

It is not even two hours after I told you that Zimbabwe might be an option for investment from a property perspective, should Tsvangirai manage to oust the despotic, murdering Mugabe regime. Now it appears that this particular prospect may well be a pipe dream.

I suppose that only the naive could believe that the Zimbabwean president would heed the outcome of any election that he could not substantially rig in his favour. From news articles released (read: Mugabe begins Zim crackdown at http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Zimbabwe/0,,2-11-1662_2299749,00.html), it appears that this time is not an exception:

1) Tsvangirai’s proposed meeting with the current regime generals to reassure them of his honourable intentions under an MDC rule, were cancelled by the generals after being ordered to do so by Mugabe.
2) Mugabe sent his terror-inspiring Special Forces (CIO) and Police to raid the Meikles Hotel in Harare where the MDC had their temporary election offices. According to MDC officials, Tsvangirai is safe.
3) Mugabe declared that a presidential run-off ballot will, if necessary, take place within 90, instead of within the constitutional 21 days. Reliable sources on the ground seem to think that this delay will enable Mugabe to regroup his militia.
4) Foreign and local Journalists were arrested on pseudo-charges of practicing journalism sans licenses.

Where is this going to? For a great many years the rest of the world (and that includes South Africa), has stood by passively, watching how Zimbabwean citizens were being left to starve, and wilfully murdered by somebody who makes even some of the most notorious tyrannical rulers of the past, seem like saints. South Africa, I am afraid, bears the brunt of the guilt. Our president, Thabo Mbeki, has welcomed this political murderer and criminal into our country as a guest on many occasions, instead of censuring his actions as he should have.

The average South African has felt the impact of the influx of Zimbabweans into our country. There are not only a great many of these who come in seeking employment at the expense of the local population, but also a large amount of absconded Zimbabwean militia who come here to rob, rape and murder – something that is felt by everybody, from paupers to princes.

Perhaps, President Mbeki, you will come to your senses now and take the responsibility demanded from the leader of the strongest Southern African country.

Perhaps even, some other world powers will take pity on the people of Zimbabwe and step in to lend the support they so desperately need.

But then, perhaps not.

Like many other South Africans, my heart, my sympathy and my prayers are with you, the Zimbabwean people, right now.