I spent three very happy weeks in South Africa at the beginning of this year and while there are some big problems, like not much water in Capetown and corruption, the problems are, from what I could tell, acknowledged and the exit of Zuma is hopeful. (I assume he’s still gone, I’ll have to check.)
But here’s the point: everyone, and I mean everyone, from all walks of life, both white and black, who I came in contact with, seemed happy to some greater or lesser extent. They smile. It was remarkable and too wide spread to be some kind of tourist marketing tool. A real joy to experience.
I came home happy, not like the basket case I was after a week in Jerusalem where so few, except the occasional Palestinian, ever seem to smile or laugh. I sure wasn’t.
Only a few weeks ago I was in a class where the professor who had spent a decade or more at the outset of his career in Johannesburg was describing what a miserable place SA was in the seventies, so much so that he had to leave, first for the UK then the US. And he wasn’t even a white South African, just a brilliant Australian academic who couldn’t stand being complicit.
If I were an Israeli, I would look to SA to see what the future might hold. I guess it’s tough work being an oppressor.
Hint (for a better quality of life)-one person, one vote.
Thanks for the great reporting Phil.