Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

The ICC can have no credibility till it charges non-Africans as well (such as Blair or Sarkozy)

October 21, 2016

The US is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court which keeps George Bush and Barack Obama outside their purview. However European countries are signatories and the ICC, in the 14 years it has been in existence, has only charged Africans of war crimes. Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy and even David Cameron, have escaped scott free and it has never even been contemplated that they be charged. John Howard was as complicit as Tony Blair in furthering George Bush’s war crimes but he does not figure in the ICC’s investigations either. It is hardly surprising that the ICC is perceived  – in Africa – as being blatantly anti- African. It is not surprising either that Burundi and now South Africa have signed Instruments of Withdrawal and have informed the UN that they are withdrawing.


South Africa has formally begun the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC), notifying the UN of its decision. South Africa did not want to execute ICC arrest warrants which would lead to “regime change”, a minister said.

Last year, a South African court criticised the government for refusing to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir. He is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and war crimes. Mr Bashir was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg, when the government ignored an ICC request to arrest him. He denies allegations that he committed atrocities in Sudan’s troubled western Darfur region. …….

“The Republic of South Africa has found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the International Criminal Court,” the document says. 

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said at a press conference that the government would table legislation in parliament to withdraw South Africa from the ICC. The Rome Statute, under which the ICC was set up, required the arrest of heads of state for whom a warrant was issued. The consequence of this would be “regime change” and the statute was incompatible with South African legislation which gave heads of state diplomatic immunity, he added.

But the anti-African position of the ICC seems inescapable:

The ICC 

  • Came into force in 2002
  • The Rome Statute that set it up has been ratified by 123 countries, but the US is a notable absence
  • It aims to prosecute and bring to justice those responsible for the worst crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes
  • In the court’s 14-year history it has only brought charges against Africans.


The natural world is overturned as the Japanese ” Cherry Blossoms” devour the S African “Springboks”

September 20, 2015

The Rugby Union World Cup is on and the natural order of the universe has been overturned. The carnivorous cherry blossoms from Japan won their first ever World Cup match since 1991 (when they beat Zimbabwe), by bringing down the mighty S African Springboks. Or maybe that should be the once-mighty Springboks.

Holland beating England in a T20 cricket world cup match last year was shocking enough but still does not come close to yesterday’s astonishing result.

The S African team are now probably suffering from PTSD.

sbnation: Japan has stunned the world with a wholly unbelievable 34-32 win over South Africa in the Rugby World Cup. Before Saturday, the Cherry Blossoms hadn’t won a World Cup game in 24 years when Japan defeated Zimbabwe in 1991. They knocked off one of the favorites to win the whole thing.

Carnivorous cherry blossoms

springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)


BRICS is losing BIS as the financial crisis bites

August 20, 2013

Emerging markets have the fundamental problem that their own domestic markets – while promising – are not large enough yet to raise the finances needed to drive their entire economies. They are critically dependent upon foreign investment. And now as funds return to the dollar, India, Brazil, South Africa and other emerging markets are feeling the global financial heat – and some of the heat is intense enough to cause some currency meltdowns.

The Indian economy is shrinking in real terms. Currency controls are on the way though the Indian government is – as usual – doing too little too late. Sovereign ratings of these countries are likely to be degraded which will reduce foreign investment further and raise the cost of foreign borrowing. A vicious downward spiral could ensue.

BRICS is losing BIS.

Economic Times:

A fierce selloff in many emerging currencies shows no sign of abating as the expected withdrawal of US monetary stimulus prompts investors to shun markets seen as riskier because of funding deficits, slowing economies and inflation. 

The rupee fits that bill, as do the Indonesian rupiah, the South African rand and theBrazilian real. The rupiah plunged to four-year troughs on Monday while the rand lost another 1 percent to bring year-to-date losses to almost 17 percent against the dollar. 

Brazil’s real extended last week’s fall of more than 5 percent fall to trade at its weakest level since March 2009 even as the central bank sold nearly $3 billion worth of currency swaps, which are derivatives that mimic an injection of dollars in the futures market. Like the rupee, it has been hammered by doubts over the efficacy of policy actions to stem the rout. 

The rupee and the real, respectively, have been the worst performers in Asia and Latin America since late May when the Fed first signalled that it may begin winding down its monetary stimulus this year. India’s currency has lost 13 percent against the dollar this year while the real has plunged 15 percent in the same period. 

A decline in the Fed’s bond purchases will push government debt yields higher, which should raise the attractiveness of the dollar and dollar-denominated assets. In Brazil, the currency weakness has complicated policymakers’ efforts to rein in inflation, leading many investors to bet the central bank may speed up the pace of monetary tightening next week.  

In India, the rupee’s sell-off threatens to drive Asia’s third-largest economy towards a full-blown crisis. 

“Our primary concern is that the policy authorities still don’t ‘get it’ – thinking this is a fairly minor squall which will simmer down relatively quickly with fairly minor actions,” Robert Prior-Wandesforde, an economist at Credit Suisse in Singapore, wrote in a note on the Indian currency on Monday. 



Stone-tipped spears were being used for hunting 500,000 years ago

November 16, 2012

It is thought that wooden spears could have come into use as early as 5 million years ago since chimpanzees and orangutans have been observed using wooden spears and because the human – chimpanzee split is dated to around 8 million years ago.  Stone tipped spears however were thought to have come into use only around 300,000 years ago during the time of the Neanderthals. But a new paper in Science finds archaeological evidence from South Africa that stone spear tips were being used around 500,000 years ago.


Controlled use of fire now dated back to at least 1 million YBP

April 3, 2012

How fire came to be discovered and then brought under control by our ancestors will probably always remain a matter for speculation. There is evidence that forest fires were occurring “naturally” at least 350 million years ago when plant life colonised the land. It may have been earlier since volcanoes were active long before this but the combustible matter needed (fuel and oxygen) which volcanic eruptions could have ignited would have been plentiful only around 350 million years ago.

Many animals have learned to take advantage of the benefits of wildfires – mainly after the fire is over. Some birds of prey take advantage of fleeing insects and small animals while the fire is still raging. Carnivores search in the ashes for animals killed by the fire but still with edible remains. Herbivores gather to lick the ashes for tasty “elements” and salts. Our ancestors would have been observers and beneficiaries of the accidental “cooking” and the warmth from forest or bush fires for many millions of years.


South Africa could join the shale gas band-wagon

March 9, 2012

Karoo, South Africa: image Wikipedia

The Karoo is a semi-desert natural region of South Africa with two main sub-regions – the Great Karoo in the north and the Little Karoo in the south. The region is known to contain shale-gas deposits some 4,000m below the surface but the extent of the deposits have yet to be fully investigated.

Now Econometrix has published a new report on the potential for growth that Karoo shale gas could provide. The report is supported by Shell who are planning to explore the deposits. A pdf version of the report is available from Shell here: Karoo Shale Gas Report – February 2012

To put quantitities in perspective the 485 trillion cubic feet of gas (14 trillion cubic metres)  thought to be in the Karoo compares with 25 trillion cubic metres in China and about 13 trillion cubic metres in the US. (The Age of Gas: China has enough shale gas for 200 years).

IOL, South Africa reports:


Peter Roebuck committed suicide after accusation of sexual assault on young cricketers

November 14, 2011

Yet another case of predatory behaviour by sports people in authority over young boys. Peter Roebuck committed suicide in S. Africa by jumping out of his hotel window after being questioned by police about drugging and sexually assaulting a young boy. Many people must have known anout his behaviour.

He wrote very well and I always enjoyed his articles. But he had some dark secrets and they are not very pretty. In 2001 he was found guilty of caning 3 young S. African cricketers he was training.

Daily Telegraph Australia: In 2001, the former Somerset cricket captain was given a suspended jail sentence after admitting caning three young cricketers he had offered to coach. Roebuck, of Exmouth in Devon, pleaded guilty to three charges of common assault involving three South African teenagers between 1 April and 31 May, 1999. He had pleaded not guilty to three counts of causing actual bodily harm, which was accepted by the prosecution. Roebuck was sentenced to four months in jail for each count, with the sentences suspended for two years, at Taunton Crown Court. Judge Graham Hume Jones told Roebuck he had abused his power and influence over the boys, who were far from home and far from friends and family.

Update! I see that tributes, and here, are flowing in about his writing and his cricket career. But I am afraid that whatever he may have done well, his sexual predations and the lives of all the young people he has traumatised is too heavy a price.
Better that he had never written a single word if that would have meant that his horrible behaviour to young cricketers under his authority could have been avoided.


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