Expats are trashing SA

2008-02-15 00:00

It is the right of every South African, no matter what their colour, race, creed or gender, to choose to leave this country and live anywhere they like in the world without being made to feel that they are traitors.

I have no intention of leaving this country because I tried it for a couple of years in the seventies during the apartheid era and didn’t like it one bit. But that’s just me. Other people like it a lot and I would fight for their right to choose where they want to live.

But, nothing on earth annoys me more than those South Africans who have decided to leave the country and then continually write letters to the South African media and berate their friends and families back home about how bad things are in South Africa.

I believe they do this because they have this overwhelming need to keep convincing themselves, their friends, their families and anyone who is prepared to listen, that they made the right decision about leaving South Africa.

Over the years million of Irishmen have left Ireland to live somewhere else. Brits have left the UK in droves. And right now there are more Austrians living abroad than there are left in Austria.

But, I don’t hear as many of these expats trashing their countries with such venomous passion.

Of course not all expat South Africans behave this way. But far too many of them do and one can’t help but wonder about their real reasons for leaving. Did they really believe that the grass was greener on the other side? Did they actually hate our climate, sport, holiday resorts and game parks? Or did they just hate the fact that black people were in power and that the cushy days of apartheid were over forever?

One can’t help feeling that it all boils down to the fact that a lot of them just did not like having to share their country with black people.

I suppose we should just be grateful that they did leave the country.

Last week in this column I wrote about the fact that I believe South Africans can overcome our present political and power problems. Like many other South Africans I reckon we have two choices. Sit around and whinge or get off our backsides and do something about fixing it.

I am happy to say that the enormous response to this article, which has now been published on several other websites, was positive. But there were critics of what I had to say.

Such as a husband and wife who, judging from their e-mail address, live overseas and who sent me this charming little note: “You are a braindead f**king a***hole who wouldn’t have the guts to move to another country. Get your facts right you ANC puppet — South Africa is finished just like the rest of Africa has been f**ked. Wake up you tosser.”

For someone to get so steamed up, the only conclusion I can come to is that they desperately want to be proved right in their decision to leave a country that they clearly love very passionately.

But, I also got some very encouraging e-mails, from people of intelligence, such as this one: “Having been born in SA in 1949, I am old enough to remember the fear which gripped white South Africans at the time of Sharpeville and people were selling their magnificent farms in Stellenbosch and villas in Clifton for next to nothing. How I wish I had been old enough to buy them —retirement now would have been a no-brainer and I could do so and live in the lap of luxury in a country which has a population of resourceful people and a climate which must be one of the best in the world.”

Which of these people would you like to have as your neighbour? — News24.

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