Monday, Monday #2
07 September 2009 : Week #36 : Day #250 / 115 Days Remain
HUNTLEY DECISION UNDER REVIEW
Big story of the past days has been Canada’s decision to grant (ex-) South African Brandon Huntley refugee status in that country, based on the fact that he would “stick out like a sore thumb” and continue to face persecution in SA due to the paleness of his skin. Much has been said about this story, (including here at BlaBla) and the present status of his application is now being challenged.
Aside of the base Huntley issue though, there is another interesting development in the the Refugee Status of South Africans story: weekend reports suggest that up to 600 more South Africans have been granted refugee status in their adopted countries.
The Saturday Star reported that more than 600 South Africans are living around the world as refugees, including 33 in Canada, 111 in the US , 25 in the UK and 46 in Ireland. (No indication of where the other 385 are though…)
Applications for refugee status are treated as confidential, but it would be perhaps prudent of authorities that granted these asylum seekers their refugee statuses after 1994 to be a little more forthcoming with some more information. Even if it’s just a breakdown of the reasons accepted. This, particularly in light of the United Nations’ statement that fear of criminals is not sufficient reason for an applicant to be granted refugee status.
JACKSON LAID TO REST
In other news, Michael Jackson was eventually laid to rest in a mausoleum at a private ceremony at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles. About 200 people, including Elizabeth Taylor, Lisa Marie Presley, Macaulay Culkin, Quincy Jones and many other celebrities, attended the nearly 90-minute ceremony behind the gates of the heavily guarded cemetery. (TMZ.com)
The family subsequently have slammed the media who ignored a no-fly zone over the area, and broadcast a fair amount of the ceremony after filming from a number of helicopters. Not nice.
FUNEREAL & BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR VANILLA
In a celebration of another life cut tragically short, Cape Town satirist Justin Nurse and his fiancée, Camilla Colley, had a private cremation for their daughter on Saturday followed by yesterday’s celebration of Vanilla Charlotte Nurse’s “sweet short life” at Lievland, the Stellenbosch wine farm of Colley’s parents. The two-year-old died after the car she was sleeping in caught alight last Wednesday, which would have been her second birthday.
The event at Lievland was to have been her birthday party. (The Times)
Forensic experts are still investigating the cause of the freak accident, which resulted after Colley had parked the vehicle at their home, and had entered the house to drop off the groceries, before returning to collect the sleeping Vanilla. The black Honda Jazz was already engulfed in flames on her return, and she sustained burn injuries to her arms in her efforts to save the little girl.
COACH QUITS AFTER SEMENYA EMBARRASSMENT
Chief coach of South Africa’s athletics teams Wilfred Daniels resigned from his job last week because his conscience was bugging him over the way he and Athletics South Africa had handled Caster Semenya’s gender testing scandal. He admitted that she had not been treated properly by the body and should have been better advised on how to handle the situation. Instead she was given no guidance. (IOL)
Daniels said he could not live a life of lies and stand aside after everything he had witnessed during the scandal. “I should have known better. I should have handled the whole situation better,” he said.
“For their part, ASA handled the matter very badly. Why was Caster gagged when the bombs started going off around her? It is a disgrace the whole story was driven to a head at a world championship, the biggest moment of her life. She’s intelligent but South Africa wasn’t allowed to hear her side of the matter.” (News24.com)
It was revealed that gender evaluation tests had been done on Semenya – the current 800m world champion – shortly before the world championships in Berlin after a request was made to South African authorities in great secrecy by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). This is the same IAAF that has been vilified by ASA head Leonard Chuene, and those other sporting greats Winnie & Julius, as being blatantly racist, and being driven by white racist South Africans.
As a brother of colour (like the IAAF chief) let me just say that I am embarrassed for all of those involved in this shambles. They have turned this poor, young athlete into a political tool, and destroyed a huge opportunity for her.
Now we hear that since her triumphant “where are the whites?” return from Berlin, she has been unable to accept many invitations to big international events in Europe as her passport had “disappeared” on her return to OR Tambo. She has lost thousands due to her not being able to travel to these events. Home Affairs Minister Dlamini-Zuma was very quick to be phoning the athlete to commend her after her win, and is on record as saying, “Caster deserves our support as a nation against the onslaught being waged against her.”
Surely with such firm support from Dlamini-Zuma we could have arranged temporary travel documents for Caster (“our national hero”) to enable her to attend the other lucrative meetings she has now missed? Or are ASA, the ANC, Julius, Winnie, and all the other people who supposedly have her best interests at heart, the ones who are responsible for now gagging her and not allowing her to speak freely about what she wants?!
- ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe promises that the ANC will soon start conducting a performance assessment of all its councillors as part of the party’s preparations for the local government elections in 2011. The first assessment will occur by December, and another will take place by mid-2010.
- Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel releases green paper on the National Planning Commission. It sets out to put an end to the short-term planning and lack of co-ordination that have seen good policies founder through botched implementation, costing the taxpayer billions in wasted spending.
- Bafana Bafana lose 0-2 to Germany in a friendly match played in Leverkeusen. A good effort by the team, but Germany just too strong. Bafana move to Ireland for another friendly on the weekend.
- The Springboks lose 6-21 to Australia in a Tri-Nations match in Brisbane. Captain John Smit promises “fire” in Hamilton where the Boks take on New Zealand, and another chance to secure the Tri-nations trophy.