catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile


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Abiola Lapite doesn’t go for the ‘Be polite to dead people’ etiquette if the dead person is sufficiently repulsive. I agree. Understandably, he has nothing good to say about PW Botha and links to this Guardian obit.

Written by Admin

November 3, 2006 at 5:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

14 Responses

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  1. The old crocodile is dead. Who would have believed?

    Ironically, despite all the evil that he did, PW did start South Africa on the path that eventuated in democracy.

    Sinclair Davidson

    November 3, 2006 at 5:10 pm

  2. Yes, Sinclair, I did think Abiola’s commentary was a little on the harsh side, but as I say, understandable.

    Jason Soon

    November 3, 2006 at 5:12 pm

  3. He’s no bogie-man.

    The problems in South Africa were inherent.

    It was always going to be a tough gig.

    Of course once SYSTEMIC evil kicks in well thats not nice.

    But its very hard to see how things could have worked out very well in the century of socialism.


    November 3, 2006 at 5:18 pm

  4. In general, don’t speak ill of the dead is good advice. I’m just wondering what the South African press is saying. Often people are eulogised after their deaths, which I also think is wrong. If a person was a dickhead when they were alive, they’re still dickheads after they’re dead.

    Sinclair Davidson

    November 3, 2006 at 5:19 pm

  5. You were in Saffieland when PW was about, Sinc. What was he really like? I know de Klerk didn’t have much time for him.


    November 3, 2006 at 5:21 pm

  6. Graeme
    You’re not equating the ANC with commies are you? They’re just pragmatists. And some of them turned to the commies because the commies were the only ones who seemed helpful.
    FTR some of the really extreme black separatist groups like the Pan Africanist Congress were more anti-communist and right wing than the ANC (correct me if I’m wrong, Sinclair). But would you have preferred that?

    Jason Soon

    November 3, 2006 at 5:23 pm

  7. Mandela on the PAC – I think you would have even more bloodshed in SA if the PAC had taken power instead

    In 1962, when I had first been on the island, the PAC had greatly outnumbered the ANC. In 1967, the numbers were reversed. Yet this seemed to harden the PAC in their positions. They were unashamedly anti-Communist and anti-Indian. In the early years, I had talks with Zeph Mothopeng, who had been on the PAC’s National Executive Committee. Zeph argued that the PAC was more militant than the ANC, and that in prison, the ANC should follow the PAC’s lead.

    Jason Soon

    November 3, 2006 at 5:30 pm

  8. “I know de Klerk didn’t have much time for him.”

    Now you’re talking. Now we are talking about a Saint.

    What good fortune to have TWO saints in the same place and the same time.

    De Klerk and Mandela.

    Gorbachev is a phoney Gorbachev.

    De Klerk is the “REAL” Gorbachev.


    November 3, 2006 at 5:33 pm

  9. De Klerk didn’t have as much blood on his hands but I’m not sure I’d call him a Saint. He did what he had to do.

    Jason Soon

    November 3, 2006 at 5:37 pm

  10. one should shed crocodile tears.

    Bring Back EP at LP

    November 3, 2006 at 5:37 pm

  11. The White population of South Africa were “NO PUSHOVER” as I once heard Pik Botha say.

    Pik Botha didn’t think that there would EVER be one man one vote. And really none of us thought that could be possible.

    Now sure there was much racism, contempt and systemic evil loaded into that system.

    But after Ron Reagans delayed-death-blow on the communist world De Klerk and the South African ascendancy saw their opportunity to do the right thing and they did it.

    We really have to hand it to them.

    Unlike the Russians they actually HAD a choice.

    They were well armed and had good cash-flow.

    They did the right thing at the first safe opportunity….. I’m not diminishing the clear and obvious and massive evil that went on in the former system…

    But the first time it was really pretty safe to give the other people their rights they did it.

    Have we really seen such a thing?

    We seldom see this sort of thing.

    Or people like De Klerk and Mandela.


    November 3, 2006 at 5:44 pm

  12. ‘What was he really like?’

    The man was a fascist with few, if any, redeeming features. He did start South Africa on the road to democracy, but either lost faith, or had too narrow a vision, early in the peace. He should have been prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

    Sinclair Davidson

    November 3, 2006 at 7:21 pm

  13. GMB what’s wrong with Gorbachev?


    November 4, 2006 at 2:29 am

  14. What was particularly good about him?

    You don’t get to be leader of the Soviet Union without being a bit of a thug. He was afterall a communist.

    You know out of those Mullahs there is probably one or two that aren’t that bad. But nonetheless I’d have to assume that they were all pretty rotten.

    Same goes for Gorbachev. He has had rather good press. But I can’t see anything particularly special about him.

    Whereas De Klerk really didn’t have to act like he did. White South Africa wasn’t on the brink of economic collapse nor were they on the verge of being overrun militarily.

    Gorbachev didn’t end the cold war. He was out of town and some people staged a coup. Yeltsin got up on a tank and said ‘I’m in charge here’ and then he dissolved the whole Evil Empire just like that.

    The whole thing engineered by Reagan in the multi-dimensional cash-starving and confidence-destroying exercise… to get things to that tipping point where everyone was willing to move at once.


    November 4, 2006 at 1:03 pm

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