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Review: A Grim Look at South Africa
The Edomonton Journal ^ | Saturday, March 24, 2012 | Candace Fertile

Posted on 03/24/2012 10:10:12 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican

Absolution author Patrick Flanery


Patrick Flanery

Knopf Canada

400 pp; $29.95

This novel gave me nightmares. It even gave me daymares, but I had to read it. Patrick Flanery’s debut novel is a searing look at South Africa both before and after the legal dissolution of apartheid. But as Flanery shows, the troubles are far from eradicated.

Sam Leroux is a South African who went to New York for graduate school, married an American named Sarah, and is now back in South Africa because of his wife’s job as a journalist and his own plan to write the biography of a noted South African novelist named Clare Wald. Flanery employs multiple points of view and various narratives to show that things are seldom as they seem. One of the key mysteries of the novel is the fate of Laura Wald, Clare’s daughter, who was involved in radical activities, including violence.

Sam starts out in Cape Town, where Clare lives, and anyone who has been to that beautiful city will appreciate the extremes in lifestyles. Clare lives in a fortress: her house has huge walls around the garden, razor wire, panic buttons, metal window shields, and security devices that limit movement within the house. Her whole neighbourhood is like that. The grim level of security has to do with the very real threat of home invasion. And that, of course, stems from an appalling disparity in income among the people of South Africa.

While Sam is interviewing Clare, he stays with a friend of his from graduate school, a fellow South African who has returned and is running a successful art business in Cape Town.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: capetown; southafrica

1 posted on 03/24/2012 10:10:13 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican
the very real threat of home invasion. And that, of course, stems from an appalling disparity in income

Of course.

2 posted on 03/24/2012 10:31:25 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (If my candidate doesn't win the nomination I'm going to kick my feet, cry like a baby, and stay home)
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To: Jeff Chandler

If onlly the levels of income were the same, we would all treat one another well.

3 posted on 03/24/2012 11:18:01 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (A free counttry and a lying media are incompatible.)
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To: The_Media_never_lie

Race hatred of whites is also a significant factor in the murder of almost 70,000 whites by blacks since they took control of SA in 1994. Most of these murders have been extremely brutal, sadistic, torture, murders where the virulent race hatred of the black attackers is graphically illustrated by the details of their crimes:

Afrikaner Genocide Museum:

BTW, this is a murder rate in the small white minority 6 times the murder rate of Detroit, Murder City USA.

4 posted on 03/25/2012 12:00:27 AM PDT by Uncle Lonny
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To: MinorityRepublican

One of my co-workers back in the day after university was a dude from S Africa. What he told me back then didn’t surprise me. Told me that whites are the prey, and no sane white person would dare walk around at night in Capetown. He tells me the black leaders did nothing and even laughed at their faces when they asked for more police. And they in hushed tones, have an extremely low opinion of Mandela who aggravated the situation.

5 posted on 03/25/2012 12:54:58 AM PDT by max americana
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To: max americana
As someone who travels to South Africa a lot I can say that Cape Town has somewhat (keyword: somewhat) improved. There was a lot of clean-up leading to the World Cup - after all, even the South African government wouldn't have wanted to have their dirty linen broadcast on CNN when a busload of, say, Brazilian footballers was carjacked. However, South Africa is still a very interesting place when it comes to crime, and I am saying this as an African who has been in other countries that are not necessarily the safest. The level of crime in South Africa is quite shocking, and ranges the gamut from mundane low-brow gangster-with-a-metal-pipe to some of the most sophisticated white-collar IT/identity fraud in the world. There are also some areas that are truly off-limits unless you have a very very very good reason for being there (and there is someone with you who is known).

A year or two back a friend of mine (a very intelligent banker) was robbed in a car jacking scenario that fortunately did not get any worse. She had just landed at OR Tambo airport in Jo'Burg and went to convert some money into Rand at one of the Foreign Exchange kiosks at the airport. Big mistake, because apparently some crooks hang about and report anyone who has changed money that seems significant to compatriots waiting outside. She got into a vehicle where a driver, also a lady, was waiting for her and they headed home. Unknown to them they were being trailed by a vehicle, and when they arrived at their destination and stopped to wait for the gate to be opened the crooks sprung the trap! They were robbed of their valuables, bundled into the trunk of the car, and driven about for a while. Fortunately they were released with nothing more than some bruises from being in the back of the car (anyone who knows anything about South Africa knows that two ladies taken hostage could have experienced a far worse run of events). Also, it is not necessarily a black vs white thing as it is a criminal vs victim thing (the banker lady was black and her driver was white).

Unfortunately I fear that South Africa may be sitting of a veritable powder keg, and the only question is what will set it off.

6 posted on 03/25/2012 5:25:58 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: MinorityRepublican

“Freeeee Nelson Mandela.
Freeeeee Nelson Mandela.”

7 posted on 03/25/2012 7:32:30 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: MinorityRepublican

I have a couple of acquaintances who came from SA about 10 years ago. They told me their wives hadn’t closed their eyes to wash their face until they moved here. They were terrified at all times of a home invasion. They said BMW in SA means break my windows.

8 posted on 03/25/2012 7:54:58 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: spetznaz

South Africans will celebrate Nelson Mandela’s death by having a “Kill Whitey” day.

9 posted on 03/25/2012 10:55:44 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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