South Africa
A planet called Corona

A planet called Corona

  The crisis arou...

News from the Gang of Brabant

News from the Gang of Brabant

Update: update 12/17/2...

Die Stem van die Apartheid (1/1999)

Die Stem van die Apartheid (1/1999)

South African diaries of ...

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A planet called Corona

  • Published in World


The crisis around the globe

The Corona crisis has affected the whole world.

In many places, public life has come to a complete standstill. One wonders how it could have come to this. It seems that civilisation has lost sight of its goals. Fear of contracting the virus is everywhere. For the most part, the security measures of the respective local authorities are being observed. On the Norwegian peninsula of Frosta, the epicentre in Norway, the numbers are falling due to the lockdown. On a small scale, it gives hope for the world. 


In Trumpistan

Trump is mobbing the big US car manufacturers with his ideas of what they should or shouldn't produce. He literally "screams" on Twitter. As the serious-looking warlord in a designer suit. It shows again that he is incapable of dealing with the crisis. Money heals everything, thinks the soul-searching Trump and in the afternoon he signs a support program for 2 trillion US $ for the "helicopter economy" of the USA until the elections. Intellectually, he has not understood the real problems at all. But the crisis shows that guys like Trump have outlived their usefulness, not because they didn't really understand the meaning of the crisis, but because these strange characters are still playing with the crisis. Following the crisis as a kind of big event that serves their whims and stupid nationalism. Trump is trying to make his mark with a type of election campaign event. 

Ridiculous is almost the theatre between the United States and China, who accuse each other of being somehow responsible for the pandemic. The US that China tried to cover up the crisis last year. None of this is understandable. On the other hand, an influential functionary is accusing the USA of having brought the disease to the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan. It shows the inability of both states to deal with the real problems of humankind. A scapegoat is sought for the situation. 


Since Trump completely underestimated the situation at the beginning, he now appears even more helpless and aggressive.


The world

In South Africa, a national lockdown began last week, and in India, life has come to a complete standstill.

The pictures and contributions of the beating police in India are unprecedented: 

Elsewhere, in Kenya, the immaturity of the whole system is evident in the crisis:

blockquote class="twitter-tweet">

While in Kenya blacks lynch on each other in a brutal shut down.#CoronaVirusSA#coronavirus#SouthAfricaLockdown
? ?

— COVID - 19™ (@The_LocalGuy) March 28, 2020

Africa's geographical and infrastructural location could lead to the second wave of corona in Europe. People do not want to think at all about what will happen if the virus breaks out in the refugee camps and is, so to speak, reimported into Europe.


It will undoubtedly lead to a global economic crisis. Anyone can calculate that not entire economies can lie idle for months on end. But shouldn't we see this crisis as an opportunity to change fundamental things? It does not help to put more money into the economy - something has to change in the structure of rich and poor. 


Shocking parallels

In France this week the word of horror from the wartime was circulating. "Triage", it means selection. It's usually used over coffee or something. 


It means nothing more than that the doctors decide who else has a chance of survival. These patients are then helped by modern medicine. The others are released as painlessly and gently as possible into death. The physicians at the University of Tübingen described this as follows: "Dying with opiates and sleeping pills" Terrible to think about the fact that the virus itself can put you in a situation where doctors have to decide whether you are viable. On the battlefield in the medical tents, this may have been the case during the I. and II. On the battlefield in the medical tents during World Wars I and II this may have been a partly inhuman alternative, but not in modern times, in Europe. Now sick people are flown from France to hospitals in Germany. 




Wounded Triage France WWI


Instead casually mentioned this morning in the Federal Republic of Germany is that the Minister of the Chancellery, Braun, has made it clear that the measures will be maintained until 20 April. It is probably better that way, given the exploding infection figures. He'd better think about how the nursing staff will be relieved, instead of the call for collective "gossiping". Not just with money. 


By the way:

"Our solidarity against your isolation."


The left-wing scene does not stop anything from committing further attacks, even during a national crisis.

On the contrary, in some places vehicles have been set on fire, further fuelling fear. The left, like the right violent scene, is a problem that needs to be solved immediately after the crisis, because the violence has reached a level that can no longer be justified. Not violence anyway.

It has long since become impossible to justify the behaviour of the masterminds of these scenes under the guise of fighting against capitalism. Radicals of all stripes can confidently be seen as another virus. 

In Italy, the situation has got entirely out of control. People are already trying to explain why this is the case in Italy.

It was astonishing that one could already read that about 400 people want to sue Tyrol because the virus was transmitted during après-ski in Ischgl. Again a scapegoat is being sought. Germs and bacteria are a general life risk. 



Dead days in St. Pauli 

Stop Reeperbahn, tt/kasaanmedia, 2020


There, where usually thousands of people pass through every hour, there is currently nothing going on.

The Reeperbahn is no longer the centre of the fun; everything is closed. Trains of the Hamburger Hochbahn are parked here, where trains usually arrive and depart every minute. On Facebook, people are made aware that Hamburg's homeless, who typically have their quarters on the Reeperbahn, are in a complicated situation. There is help through private initiatives. The Senate did not want to do anything, as can be seen from another entry.

In difficult times, specific right-wing forces in Germany also look for scapegoats. These time gender studies are being misused for these purposes, as a tweet which the so-called "Union of Values" dropped proves. To stir up hatred against people, to endeavour as subtle as possible, the operators of the right spectrum are perfectly capable.



SARS Covid19 and the consequences - We stay at home and practice social distancing

  • Published in World


Loss of reality is a matter of life and death.

What is so difficult for some contemporaries to understand about this, no one can comprehend. 

After almost the whole of Europe is in a coronavirus-influenced exit restriction, there are still people who think they have to have bigger parties to stay in touch. In this respect, madness knows no bounds.


Those who do not stay at home may make themselves the murderer of their neighbour. No one has that intention. But pure ignorance and stupidity lead to so-called Corona parties.


How can groups get together to have parties while elsewhere people are dying from the virus they spread?


The generation of the fun society has lost touch with reality. This issue isn't a movie on a cable network; it's the sheer reality. This reality is far crueller than the hollow gibberish of a late-pubescent 23-year-old who believes that he or his immediate environment is immune to SARS Covid 19. Young people are also affected by lung disease. And die. 


The state is threatening punishment. The question remains how to punish people who do not understand the necessity in such a biblical crisis. The risk of permanent virus infestation up to the supposed herd immunity, after infecting an estimated 70% of the population, is quite high. Corona, as even the last should have understood, is not a type of beer that can be poured and gulped down. Everyone will have something from Corona for a long time. 


Europe's understanding of freedom and the desire for other shores certainly does not set an initial limit to the establishment of a dictatorship, as was read in the social networks.


Entirely only, the health system has already reached the limits of what is possible. There is only a certain number of ventilators available to patients. Thanks are due with the utmost respect to those who endanger their own lives to cure the patients. Also, the cashiers at the many cash registers, who make people's lives possible, are in the front line against the virus that can also infect them at any time.

In this context, what doctors and nursing staff can give is exhausted. 

It is not only in Spain and Italy where the situation is dramatic. In Madrid and the Corona hotspot Bergamo, a drama of undreamt-of magnitude is looming on the horizon. The world is entirely overwhelmed by a virus that has been warned of for years, decades. It does not help to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the sick and those who have to fight the immediate consequences of the daily smouldering corona crisis. The images of the military trucks driving away the corpses are probably one of the symptoms of the carelessness that the world now has to attribute to itself. Even, if it shakes to the core, what is happening in extreme mercilessness, so to speak, before the eyes of the world public. Yet, the experts will not be able to say how the demoralized population can be helped soon. The comparison with the plague, smallpox, cholera or typhoid fever is misleading. Modern medicine will find a way. It is probably because the world has known about the SARS virus for more than a decade. Then and in the time since SARS has been far away. This pandemic virus was warned not just once, but in many meetings and calls by the WHO, the United Nations World Health Organisation.

Toilet paper hoarders


The ordinary Homo sapiens could imagine a lot before the crisis. The fact that once in one of the leading industrial nations of this world, toilet paper would be hoarded as if there were no tomorrow is in keeping with the spirit of the times. The fact that this led to skirmishes and real arguments at the cash register is something that leaves the average citizen speechless. Noodles and rice, potatoes and meat, everyone could understand if the stock had to be a little larger in uncertain times. Some contemporaries seem to have a chronic distrust of the state's statements regarding the supply situation. 

Again, this concern is unfounded because the governments have a strategic reserve for decades. 


Donald Trump - the apocalyptic fake news rider from the Wild West



Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed doer, learns for the first time that money cannot cure a crisis. Now he still feels like a warlord, with anti-malarial drugs. Trump first thinks about the financial aspect of the situation and not about the people, the suffering and the possible consequences. He intends to maximize profits. 

The martial behaviour of an uninformed person is Trump's homemade disaster.

Angela Merkel expressed it differently in her television address: the most severe crisis since World War II. To compare World War II or its end with the invisible enemy Covid 2019 is also due to the situation.


Even politicians are only human; populists expose themselves through the virus as completely incompetent puppets of their system, which they have created in complete ignorance of competence and political blindness, like Boris Johnson in England. The population must fear an absolute catastrophe. 


You might be tempted to understand Trump as the apocalyptic horseman, when he then wants to give every American a 1000 $ bill with his new concepts about helicopter money, and sends a friendly letter to his friend Kim Jong-un, brother in spirit and also cheeseburger-lover, about the friendship between him and the North Korean dictator after all. However, at the moment, there are other things demanded of Washington's ruler than to emphasize the good relations with North Korea. But even Kim's sister, Kim yo un, had to emphasize that Trump wants to maintain the friendship with her brother to attract attention again. 


Martial language


French President Emmanuel Macron also used these comparisons, saying that France was at war against the virus - the coronavirus.  Meanwhile, field hospitals are being established in France and Baden-Wuerttemberg is taking in sick people from France's completely overburdened health system. 

The brittle apparatuses of Europe are gaining momentum. Sometimes we no longer know what to be more afraid of, the virus or the economic crisis that will follow, which once again serves any fear of the disintegration of the economic structure of Europe. 


Messenger of Terror

As in every crisis, the ambassadors of horror come with news that the world can only marvel at secret laboratories - a conspiracy by criminals in China, mutual recriminations. China accused the USA of having brought the virus into the country through some members of the army. The USA and numerous other Western nations publicly reprimanded the unwillingness of the People's Republic of China to have wholly underestimated the virus at the beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan and to have suppressed the news of the "Chinese virus" with the methods of a totalitarian regime.


One wonders whether the figures from China are correct or whether the epidemic simply changed its location. 


Criminal networks in China claim to have made money from the crisis.  These are accusations that are difficult to prove. But they cannot be refuted either. In North Korea, there are said to be no diseases so far, which nobody can imagine any more. Comrade Kim even had time to watch another missile test through the telescope and to devote himself to his favourite pastime, the war game. There is nothing in the North Korean media to indicate any infection. Allegedly, the excellent cooperation between the regime in Pyongyang and Beijing at the beginning of the crisis had helped to ensure that North Korea's hunger and missile paradise was spared the capitalist virus.


But the world's greatest crisis will only come when the virus breaks its path in Africa and depopulates entire regions. The current hotspot is in South Africa, and here on the ground, a corrupt regime has destroyed the health system. Due to the many refugees in South Africa and the crowded squatter quarters, the virus will be able to multiply unhindered. 

Here, too, only social distancing and the unrestricted observance of curfews will help. 


Die Stem van die Apartheid (1/1999)

South African diaries of the 1980s (1st volume)


A poem from Pietermaritzburg, from  December 21, 1984


Where is freedom?
Did freedom ever exist?
Or was it just a trick, a strange, unknown promise
ready to break it at any time.


It's hot. Freedom melts in the crucible of power,
while the normal hero moves on, killing and laughing,
the South African people are awakening.


In the street, there is a dead man, a second bloody one next to him,
Flies swarm around the place without life,
this callous place,
Screaming and wailing, it was murder. It was murder!

The death of freedom goes around like a dark, unfathomable ghost,
is it the love of freedom that leads us to believe in it?


Marinella Charlotte van ten Haarlen


The "bogeyman" named Pieter Willem Botha

The Song is you - Jack Denny 1932

Kroonstad, Oranje Vrystaat, Republiek van Suid Afrika


Now I am sitting in this horrible hotel with thousands of mosquitoes on the road to Bloemfontein. Literally in the middle of nowhere. And I have to go further. The journey on the back of the pick-up yesterday was arduous.

I just called Harold at the office. Usually, the call went through the switchboard; probably the censor was listening. The line was cut several times. It's about 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

Harold told me to come right over. He can hardly believe I'm here. Harold's happy as a clam. If he even knows what a snow king is. Everyone speaks Afrikaans here; it's easy for me. Thank God, I learned. The coloureds speak isiXhosa, Bantu dialects and Fanagalo, which the whites here call KafferKitchen. That's pretty disrespectful. Subhuman is still the friendliest thing the hardliners here think and say about the majority of the population. Many locals seek shade under the trees along the road.

The Department van die Binnelandse Sake casts long shadows not only in the morning sun.

Moment of calm

I've never seen a breakfast like this morning in my life.

Must have been six eggs and a large sausage ring. It's called Boerewors. The meat was delicious, unlike in Europe. Better. Much better.

It was served with fried tomatoes, bacon, toast with salty butter, deliciously bitter jam, over which I drizzled a lime.
It can't be bitter enough.
The moon I saw last night is the same all over the world.

The black woman sat down with me, at the table by the kitchen. The black girl is alone; otherwise, it would not be possible. It is forbidden. Something like fraternizing, after the war. "Slegs vir Blanke!"
Whites only!
Because of Apartheid.
She comes from the town of Pietermaritzburg. In Natal on the Indian Ocean. The air conditioning hums and rattles. On the radio are ancient songs like Bert Lown - Loving You The Way I Do




It's like a colony here. A pretty lovely but evil settlement. A bad colony. White men in blue uniforms are everywhere with their yellow emergency vehicles. There was sometimes the riding-whip pulled, but not against horses, but the black passers-by on the road.

In the night tanks rolled past in front of the window. Army for hours in earth brown cars until the dawn over the Kalahari. I listened to the radio, music, Springbok radio.

The woman who spoke Afrikaans, sometimes whole sentences in Fanakalo, with me, of which I understood only half, meant something like this:
"If you want to start a new life, you have to be strong." I was somewhat ashamed to have the right skin colour for South Africa from fate. It is a lousy dictatorship; I realized that after a few hours.


I probably drank a litre of lychee juice for breakfast and a large cup of very bitter, but delicious coffee. And this incredibly beautiful music, which is like honey in my ears.

After my adventure yesterday, I was quite happy that I could listen to music in the morning. This music from Jack Denny never goes out of my ears.

Yesterday I was still in Johannesburg, Egoli, city built on gold. Burning barricades on the road to Vanderbijlpark. Men lying in the street, dead. They were dead. They couldn't have been more dead. Brains and blood everywhere. Bone fragments. The Hiace's windshield shot out. There was a lot of ammunition and casings in the street. Poor guys' bodies were so twisted you'd think rubber men were lying around. Death is omnipresent here.

The almost hour-long approach to Johannesburg, to Germiston (Jan Smuts Lughawe), was gigantic. One could see the spoil heaps. Huge mountains, white and they shone in the sunlight—rays in the middle of the red, very sandy earth of Africa.
Now I am here. The fan buzzed in the same deep sound as the tank engines. It's a frightening noise in the middle of the night.

It is a frightening sound amid the silence.

And the song is in my ears again.

Tea in the shadow of Steve Biko


The editor took his time. He tells about the 1950s when he travelled across Europe. It's almost noon, we eat sandwiches with mayonnaise-chicken and drink coffee, lemonade, with lychee juice, which cures everything here. Then rooibos tea with milk and sugar. Nobody in the newsroom trusts anybody.

There's something in the air.

He spoke to me for a long time and gave me a phone number. A black woman served us tea with lemon afterwards.

A serious man who thought I should arrive first. The mistrust is all about Muldergate. -I'm supposed to call him in the next few days. He invites me to a Braai. And the Boerendans.

The Boer is a chain smoker of the worst kind. He smoked Lexington, 30 cigarettes was enough for half a day.

They say he's not getting on with the government in Pretoria.
There's a climate of fear. It's deliberate.

Which sane person can get along with Nazis who made skin colour the criterion of their politics?

He was arrested several times. I was warned that at any moment a jamboree unit could descend on the newsroom. Some wacko kept coming forward.

And, please?

My youthful recklessness amazes me. But it's an honour to fight against the Nazi edge.

SAP came and took away plenty of unpopular editors.

On the street, everything seems peaceful. SAP patrols.
Why not, thought the man with the riding-whip in his hand. The right hand was always sitting loosely on the holster of his pistol. Ever since the Potgieter Commission, the police's behaviour has been more like that of an informer.

"The murder of journalists is not unusual here when we think of Steven Biko."

I didn't know much about Biko. The editor gave me a folder with articles, Afrikaans and English.

Pieter Botha was like the bad man who came for you and nobody else.

I sit for hours at the Wawiel Bridge, reading, at the monument from the Anglo-Dutch Boer War.
There were concentration camps here that the British set up during the Boer War.

Here are still Nazis.

What do people do to themselves?

Living mummies are coming back from Angola. Soldiers who are only alive because they eat, breathe and drink and sleep, their eyes are blank. A few minutes ago, some of them passed me in a wheeled tank called "Casspir". Direction Welkom, Thabong, which sounds like a swearword to the soldiers.

It gets dark over the thorny bushes, which form the end of the Karoo at the edge of the city.


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