Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

When Ordinary People Speak


While Thabo Mbeki might be dancing around skittishly and refusing to condemn his comrade Robert Mugabe’s latest violation of democracy in Zimbabwe, ordinary South Africans are speaking out. There is a shipment of Chinese arms and ammunition waiting in Durban harbour, which has been approved by the South African government for transit to land-locked Zimbabwe. There are already rumours of violence by Mugabe’s henchman, and there is every chance that the three million rounds of ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades will be used against ordinary, innocent Zimbabwean citizens whose chance of democratically electing their own government appears to have been wrenched from them.

While the South African government has approved the transit, the dockworkers who belong to the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) have refused to unload the cargo.

The Times quotes SATAWU spokesperson Randall Howard as saying, “We do not believe it will be in the interest of the Zimbabwean people in general if South Africa is seen to be a conduit of arms and ammunition into Zimbabwe at a time when the situation could be described as quite volatile.”

Hooray for the unionists! How wonderful to see ordinary South Africans standing up for ordinary Zimbabweans despite the intransigence of both governments.

Long live the workers, long live!

(For more details, read the whole Times article here.)


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

10 thoughts on “When Ordinary People Speak

  1. What a wonderful post! And thank you also for the news link!
    What a contrast these brave people are to their cowardly President!
    And how disgusting to see China’s direct involvement in the world’s current atrocities!
    Thank you again. I am sharing the link!

  2. brilliant news. i heard about the ship this morning, but hadn’t heard about the blockade. thanks for that!

  3. Pingback: Jen’s Den of Iniquity » a few good men

  4. Thank GOODNESS we have people standing up. Our president down right scares me when he says there is no problem in Zim.

  5. I’ve been following this with utter horror but was quite buoyed up by the actions of the dock workers.

  6. Seeing brave people in action is always profoundly moving. There aren’t enough of them, nor of writing like this. But I have hope.

  7. I’d be interested to hear what Mr Mandela has to say on the matter. So far there’s been nothing reported from him.

  8. That’s amazing. There really is nothing as profound as ordinary people recognizing the right thing to do when their governments have gone astray.

  9. If only the ordinary people in the country I live in would stand up and do the right thing now that our government has gone astray! Unfortunately, Many of them are too all busy looking around corners in fear of the “boogeyman” while trying to figure out how to pay their bills and keep off the “No Fly” list to do anything more meaningful than wring their hands and answer polls by saying they are disapproving of the Prez.

  10. This was one of the best pieces of news I had heard in weeks. I was also thrilled when the Hight Court joined in and ruled that if the ship docked, the cargo would be offloaded and impounded pending arrangements by China to return it all to China. I have been linking to the developing story on my blog, and This Is Zimbabwe is a great source of info too. Unsurprisingly, following the court order, the ship left but there is always a chance that it tries to dock elsewhere on the African coast. There is now a campaign to try and mobilise unions in other African states to make sure that if the ship docks there, it will face similar problems. Isn’t it great when ordinary people save the day?

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