PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
VaPunungwe
 
Comments: 6
Article views: 1689
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all VaPunungwe's badges.
 

The Madeleine Albright of South Africa

30 June 2014, 14:27
The plight of DA MP, Phumzile van Damme demonstrates the futility of trying to enforce an 'us and them' approach with people coming from close neighbouring countries.
May I start by pointing out that the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was born in then Czekoslovakia not the USA. That did not stop her from participating fully in the politics of her adopted country. I saw no reason why Phumzile's similar political career should be curtailed.
The nature of national borders in post-colonial Africa makes it futile to strictly police the movement of people. In fact along national borders without a distinct geographic barrier, people often do not know on which side of the border they were born.
Take for example Mozambicans who live between Mukumbura and Zambezi river. After Cabora Bassa dam was built the only way they could catch a bus to anywhere was walk into Zimbabwe first. It is therefore perfectly natural and reasonable to expect most of the them to have acquired Zimbabwean IDs.
In Malawi the main road from Balaka to the capital Lilongwe runs along the border with Mozambique on some parts. Hospitals and schools along this virtually unmarked border cater for people from either side of the border.
Colonial borders were arbitrarily drawn sometimes right down the middle of villages. Thus many people living along the border areas can pick and choose nationality depending on what is convenient for the moment.
Where my wife comes from, in Honde Valley along Zimbabwe's border with Mozambique, people used to live in Zimbabwe and plant the crops in Mozambique and vice versa. Movement was curtailed, but not completely stopped, after the border was heavily mined by the Rhodesians during Zimbabwe's second Chimurenga war.
Even along the famous, or is it infamous, crocodile infested river border, brothers' families live on either side of the river. In the 1980s I went to primary school in Harare with Tsveropile Tlou. A long term tenant at my father's house was a Mr Mbedzi. They were Zimbabweans.
Yet they could easily have moved to Thohoyandou or Louis Trichardt and lived as South Africans. I never bothered to find out on which side of the border they were born and to me it does not matter at all.
That is a fact of life South Africa cannot escape.
Surely, surely you cannot go about making people pay for the sins of colonialists, or even their parents. The digging into Phumzile van Damme's origins is just a xenophobic witch-hunt.
It is no different from Republican 'birthers' digging into Obama's origins and trying to prove he was not born in the USA and therefore should not be eligible for the office he holds.
If Phumzile has been living in South Africa as a South African because of choices made by her parents, how is her case different from that of Madeleine Albright?
It is an open secret that probably more than half the people passing themselves off as Zulus in Gauteng are actually Swazis and Zimbabwean Ndebele speakers. Some of their children do not even know that they have roots outside South Africa.
While Phumzile's parents may not have been perfectly honest about where she was born, she is still a South African.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

11 comments 778 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

5 comments 1526 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 406 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 132 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

12 comments 168 views
Submitted by
MarkH

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Houses R 2 680 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.