RIP Ernesto Nhamuave

As this morning’s Cape Times reports, Ernesto Nhamuave – the “burning man” whose image brought the horror of the xenophobic violence in Johannesburg sharply and sickeningly to the attention of the world – has been laid to rest in his village of Vuca in Mozambique.

Two weeks on from that violence and those images and the world has moved on to the next big news story. In one way, I suppose that we should be glad that things have settled down, but once again, it demonstrates just how fickle the world’s media are.

The UNHCR estimates that South Africa has 42,000 people in need of shelter (and a whole lot more besides) having been displaced by the xenophobic violence. People in Cape Town and other affected cities across South Africa have pulled together to provide shelter, clothing, food and service for the refugees displaced by the troubles of the last few weeks; in our case, this is despite the well-publicised, childish spat between the City Council and the Provincial Government that has reportedly delayed help getting to those who need it. Sometimes, politicians are utterly pathetic. This is an ugly and embarrassing display by both the City and the Province. But guess what? It’s always the other party’s fault.

Although we had a bright weekend, it came after a run of several days of cold, wet weather and there’s more on the way this week. And while there is still no shortage in the number of volunteers or those willing to give items to help, one has to wonder how long that will last once the refugees’ plight starts to slip from the news and therefore from the public eye. Just in time for winter.
Sadly, it’s only vivid images like that of Nhamuave and stories like that of Adam Degol, who has not seen or heard from his wife or 8-month old son since he was attacked in Lower Crossroads two weeks ago, which will keep this matter in the news for any length of time.

How you can help refugees in Cape Town.

6 thoughts on “RIP Ernesto Nhamuave

  1. As I sit in the rain-swept south-east of England, just three weeks before the Summer Solstice, with tales of unspeakable, inexplicable crimes on the BBC in the background (“Crimewatch” is a catalogue of such events) – not to mention a 30% increase in UK knife-crime in the first 5 months of this year – I really do wonder if the whole world has gone mad?*

    *On reflection, that question is almost certainly rhetorical.

  2. Arg shame man poor soul. His death could have been avoided. Those responsible are warm and toasty in their shacks or mansions , in the case of the minister of home affairs and thabo mbeki. life is really unfair

    Darkchocolate’s last blog post was: women of old (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  3. Sad. In a way he will live on forever in those horrific pictures.

    Emil’s last blog post was: When God Paints (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  4. I think that the media’s obsession with what is current means that it misinforms as often as it informs. Information without context amounts to part-truths, which lead to very false impressions.

    I had a friend tell me, in the context of recent headlines, that he had the impression that SA was just like Zimbabwe. I just looked at him thinking “What!!”?? I can think of a few reasons why SA is nothing like Zimbabwe . . . you know, things like infastructure and available food. That information is context though, which the media never gives because it is not “news”.

    I think that watching the news can often make people feel like they’re informed, or that they care, when really you have to pay a lot more attention in order to care or understand.

    Sherrin’s last blog post was: Helping your own husband (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

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