Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Was it right to grant refugee status to white South African?

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Canada’s decision to grant refugee status to white South African Brandon Huntley has drawn anger from the ruling African National Congress, which described it as racist, and has again stirred the race debate in South Africa 14 years after the end of apartheid.

Huntley had cited persecution by black South Africans as the reason why he could not return to the country of his birth. The chair of the Canadian panel that granted his request said he had shown evidence “of indifference and inability or unwillingness” of South Africa’s government to protect white South Africans from “persecution by African South Africans”.

“I find that the claimant would stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ due to his colour in any part of the country,” the chair of the tribunal panel, William Davis, was quoted as saying.

In his application for asylum, Huntley said he had been a victim of multiple crimes by black South Africans and added that white South Africans were a target.

Black or white?

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Nowhere was Michael Jackson mourned more than in Africa. Young and old, people wept openly when news broke of his death, struck by disbelief and sadness. His funeral was followed across the continent anywhere that a television set could be found.
 
Jackson’s link with Africa strengthened when he visited the continent at the age of 14 as lead singer of the Jackson Five. Emerging from the plane in Senegal, he responded to a welcome of drummers and dancers by screaming: ”This is where I come from.”
 
But by the time of his death, it was unclear whether Jackson was so proud of his origins. Surgery had altered his appearance to such an extent that many felt he looked as white as he did African-American.

His comment that he was “neither Black nor White” drew controversy during a visit to Africa in the 90s. Although he was happy to be crowned chief of several African villages and to shake hands with hundreds of people, the trip was a public relations nightmare – with allegations that police had beaten the crowds who went to see him and complaints in the local media that the pop star had been seen holding his nose, as if to keep out a bad smell.

Was white Kenyan aristocrat’s conviction fair?

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It’s been almost three years since the son of the 5th Lord Delamere, Thomas Cholmondeley, first hopped down from a police  truck and entered into Kenya’s High Court to face murder charges  over the death of a local poacher on his estate.

 

Cholmondeley sat as impassively this week as he did that  first day in court as the judge convicted him of a lesser charge  of manslaughter.

Can Zuma live up to unity pledge?

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Pledging to work for national unity is pretty much a formality for any election winner, but in the case of South Africa’s Jacob Zuma it may be more than a platitude. It may need to be.

“The new President of the Republic will be a president for all, and he will work to unite the country around a programme of action that will see an improvement in the delivery of services,” Zuma said after the African National Congress won its sweeping victory.

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