Friday, October 21, 2011

Kim du Toit used to have a piece called "Let Africa sink"

and he explained in detail why he said that. Things like this tend to make you think he was right.
One witch-doctor led us to his secret shrine and said he had clients who regularly captured children and brought their blood and body parts to be consumed by spirits.

Meanwhile, a former witch-doctor who now campaigns to end child sacrifice confessed for the first time to having murdered about 70 people, including his own son.
Bad enough. The excuse for not actually investigating and prosecuting the bastards involved?
Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo believes that "to punish retrospectively would cause a problem... if we can persuade Ugandans to change, that is much better than going back into the past."
Yeah. I mean, if you actually INVESTIGATED it might turn up embarrassing numbers, and people, and such...


Windy Wilson said...

I recall some alumni day course at my alma mater on conflict of laws. The intro was a hypothetical in which you were an official of the British colonial government in what was once known as "British East" (Africa), and two natives were brought to you, each having killed another native. One killed a man, having been told by a witch doctor that he had to kill a stranger in order to be free of the spirits that plagued him. The other killed a man he met in the middle of the night on a road outside his village, thinking the man was a spirit come to kill him.
The essay asked, which should be condemned and which freed, and why? The problem, of course, was that the official was bringing an alien belief system to an ancient culture.
My answer was that the first man should be condemned, as he knew he was attacking and killing a human being, but the second should be freed, or given reduced sentence, since he believed he was defending against a spirit, i.e. not a human being.
I bring this up because I think Britain, France, Portugal, and especially Belgium did a poor job of bringing modern ethical morality to these countries, letting the populace do as they pleased so long as the colonialsts were left alone and raw material was shipped out. I mean, Sir Charles Napier was able to eradicate suttee and the Thuggee cult from India, but that is the only success story as I can see it. This child sacrifice story shows that they have a long ways to go in Africa, and it's probably too late to expect much change.
And as for embarassing highly placed people, wasn't there some 20th century Congo (Republic of or Zaire, I forget which) leader that killed and ate his enemies?

Sorry for the long post, but I think Kim is in this matter, as in so many, correct. Government-to-government aid in Africa merely empowers the chiefs, and these atrocities will continue.

Firehand said...

As to the length, no problem.

As I recall, Idi Amin was found- in some cases seemed he almost bragged about- to have engaged in cannibalism. Considering a number of other things that have come out over the years, wouldn't surprise me to find it's much more- make that 'less uncommon' than we think.

Keith said...

There are several versions of "let Africa sink", all said with an aire of bitter resignation.

"Africa wins again" is one


That is Africa, or, This is Africa

"T.I.A. Squared", refers to the especially trying circumstances frequently met with in Angola.

There were a spate of murders and grave robberies of Albino Africans a year or two ago, apparently for witch doctoring.

A Preacher near Kitui in southern Kenya used to undertake a ceremony which he said rendered the participants both un able to carry out magic, and immune to the effects of other people's magic. Apparently he used to get plenty of customers.

Near by was a witch doctor, to whom people flocked from all over Africa. The guys were very reticent talking about him...

Keith said...

I once watched a documentary about Amin. One of his former kitchen staff said he'd found a human head in the fridge.

The story became ridiculous when the guy went on to recount the head speaking to him, and what it said.

Charles Taylor was supposed to be worse than Amin.

There are stories of foreign diplomats arriving at his house, and having a body which had just been thrown from the house roof, land at their feet. I don't know whether it was still kicking.

That is the thing about Africa, things like that are out in the open. There is no pretence.

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