Breyten Breytenbach recently wrote an article (17 Dec 2008) for a US magazine, Harpers, in which he criticizes our new "democratic" government (actually the ANC) for enriching a select few and allowing the masses to remain living a community which is rife with crime and poverty. Doesn't this remind one of the King Louis XVI and Marie Antionette spending exorbitant amounts of state money on themselves and allowing the "bourgeoisie" (middle class) and obviously the lower class people to suffer the consequences of their irresponsible spending? Have we not evolved since the 1780's? (Oh yes, that was Europe, we are in Africa...)
Mr Breytenbach's advice for young people? If you can stand to leave - then leave SA now. He is currently based in both the US (New York) and Senegal, and he divides his time as a lecturer at both the New York University and at the Goree Institute in Senegal. Born in Bonnievale (Western Cape) it feels as if he was born and raised on our back stoep. And, this is the best part - I love this - he is (or was) an anti-apartheid activist. Yes, like so many of us he also doesn't support apartheid but he also doesn't support what seems to be "Africa's demise" (a select few enriching themselves and allowing their own people to suffer under their mismanagement of finances and resources....ummmm....Mr Mugabe?). I agree wholeheartedly, Mr Breytenbach, to your sentiments, except I cannot agree that I am ready to reduce my beautiful view of Table Mountain to that of a postcard or painting. Or that I am ready to leave Sundays at Sahara Park Newlands, watching the Cape Cobras or the Proteas play a test match against the Balmy Army. Or to have droewors availible at every supermarket should I get a craving for it...
Certainly we have lost a wonderful citizen in Mr Breytenbach (I salute you sir) - he would be brilliant in politics...New York has gained a wonderful and brilliant philosopher and writer.
(Information re his article I found on www.iol.co.za)