Time to make up your mind

The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE - Themba Sono

OUR gov­ern­ment has a split per­son­al­ity. In a com­bined show of force, the SAPS, JMPD, Home Af­fairs Depart­ment, the Hawks and Joburg Wa­ter author­i­ties de­scended upon il­le­gal gold min­ers, de­mol­ished their shacks, con­fis­cated their gold pro­cess­ing equip­ment and ar­rested many zama za­mas.

Why? Be­cause they were en­gaged in il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties, say our of­fi­cials. Fair enough. But why does our na­tional and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments’ bel­lies ache when Joburg City mayor seeks to get rid of il­le­gal for­eign­ers? Both par­ties are en­gaged in il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Oh, you see, there is a White Pa­per deal­ing with for­eign­ers and the gov­ern­ment has signed in­ter­na­tional agree­ments, not only with the UN but other treaties stip­u­lat­ing how we deal with for­eign­ers seek­ing sanc­tu­ary in our coun­try, as­serts the Home Af­fairs di­rec­tor-gen­eral. Her­man Mashaba must read that White Pa­per.

Strange, com­ing from a gov­ern­ment that stub­bornly re­fused to com­ply with some treaties that they solemnly agreed to hon­our.

Just think of the Rome Statute man­dat­ing us to hon­our the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court in the Hague.

Did our gov­ern­ment hon­our the de­ci­sion of the ICC that we ar­rest the Su­danese Pres­i­dent Omar al-Bashir when he landed on our shores? Of course not.

The breach of the law by our gov­ern­ment is no­bler than the breach of the law by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Joburg? One form of lo­cal breach is un­ac­cept­able while an­other form of na­tional il­le­gal­ity is per­mis­si­ble .

The zama za­mas’ ac­tiv­i­ties are il­le­gal, but the in­fringe­ment of the laws by il­le­gal for­eign­ers should be tol­er­ated? Cen­tu­rion

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