An open letter to the world (from a South African).

With the death of Eugene Tereblanche,as well as the ranting of our “esteemed” Julius Malema,I feel it prudent to give my views as a South African to anyone who will be visiting,or considering a visit to our fantastic country (especially with the FIFA 2010 SWC almost upon us).

I am a South African. A white South African,but foremost,a South African. Born in 1972,I was born into a country that was embroiled in conflict. I did not choose to enter the world in this environment but,growing up,one always knew that things were not as they should be. As much as we were told that this was the right way,and that black people were inferior,you knew that it was not the way life should be.

Our “servant’s” son was my best friend. We were “allowed” to play together but at the end of the day,he was not allowed to eat with us. At that stage,we were too young to really question these instructions as we were brought up to know that one does not question ones elders.

My two children (born in 1998 and 1999) are still brought up to respect their elders as I was. The main difference is that they are also taught that no person is better than another. Respect is something that is earned and not given. My children do not see colour,but rather people,be they good or bad.  My children,I hope,have not been tainted by the past but rather embrace the future of our vibrant country.

With the murder of Eugene Tereblanche,I find that everyone has latched onto the story to promote their respective causes. This is sad as,no matter what you think,your views will be swayed by whoever gets the most coverage. Tonight,on our Carte Blanche program,we had various views aired but none was completely unbiased. Personally,I did not like the man. I also do not like Malema. Both Eugene (AWB) and Julius (GG+) spoke what their hearts said but this was always sensationalised by the media! The beauty of all this is that we have a choice. We can CHOOSE who we like or dislike! Wow! Like a democracy! Wait……we are a democracy and we have a constitution that protects each and everyone one of us even if we voice something that is not “popular”. This is why Julius (GG+) can continue to say whatever he likes!

Why now,does the death of one South African (Eugene (AWB) was after all South African) have to become a political statement? He was not murdered because of anything Julius said. He was not murdered because of his political affiliations. He was not murdered because he was white. He was not murdered because he was a farmer. He was not murdered because Julius (GG+) keeps singing “kill the boer”. He was just murdered! This happens the world over. Employer killed by employees. It does not make it right,but please lets not sensationalise the death of another person.

We live in one of the best countries in the world. We do have crime but then so does every other country in the world. Unfortunately,our crime IS more violent that the rest of the world. At 38,I have only been a victim of crime once,and that was in Rome! Unfortunately,far too many of my close friends have not been as fortunate. Some have left these shores and I can’t blame them as the atrocities they endured are beyond comprehension. However,they all still love our country and long for the “African Sunset”.

We are bombarded by bad world press,some deserved (probably most). We are the centre of focus by the FIFA 2010 SWC and they go to great lengths to reassure the world that all is well in South Africa. All they tell you is both true and false! We have huge problems facing us. As one reporter said recently. Nelson Mandela planted the seeds of reconciliation……..the problem is he forgot to tell anyone to water it! We are still on a learning curve and will continue to falter. The beauty is that we are constantly learning from our mistakes (well some of us anyway) and will continue to grow as a democracy. Do not let the media fool you into thinking that South Africa is in a state of anarchy. This is simply not the case. Eugene (AWB) was not the face of South Africa,and neither is Julius (GG+). The face of South Africa is to be seen in the expressions of the average citizen. This person will not kill you for your “money” but rather embrace the opportunity of meeting and learning from a visitor.

I ask you not to come to South Africa with blinkers on,as to deny that there are problems would be for me to forgo my duty as a South African. Rather come visit us being aware of the situation you are faced with. We DO have crime but if you are aware i.e.:do not flaunt your valuables in dodgy areas,you WILL survive. Please do not let the media paint a sordid picture of our country as they will over the next few weeks. Focus on the positives and be careful and we will show you that we are the greatest country in the world.

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