Thirty years ago… Way down south…

Exactly thirty years ago today, a large gathering of students took place in the South Western Townships of Johannesburg: then and still now, one of the most miserable place you could ever set a sight on. On that day, a few thousands black students were protesting yet another humiliating law passed by the pro-apartheid government, when armed policemen started firing real bullets at the crowd.

The resulting mayhem and deaths of many children had for indirect consequence to force the world into reconsidering its fairly lenient take on the Afrikaners’ quasi-aryan policies. The international community slowly but surely issued official condemnations and accompanying trade cutbacks. Although it should be noted that, until 1986, any UN attempt at imposing worldwide economic sanctions against South Africa was promptly vetoed by both US and UK.

Indeed, neither Maggie nor Ronnie ever deemed it necessary to have any lower an opinion of their South African (white) friends over such trifling details. I’ll let you guess which of the two, in 1987, labeled the ANC a “terrorist organization” and equalled the chances of it ever gaining power to “living in cloud cuckoo land”… though I must say the flowery language is kinda giving it away.

Worry not yourself, you may have done your part to help teenage-shooting, citizen-torturing, white-supremacist pro-Apartheid government of South Africa survive through most of the 20th century: all you had to do was getting engaged more than a dozen years ago.

Eventually, beside internal Black resistance and increasingly disadvantaging demographics, the fall of the apartheid system would seem to hang more on South Africa’s loss of credit on the financial market and ensuing economic turmoils, than any concerted efforts from so-called civilized nations to put significant pressure on its leaders. As it was, these countries were in no rush to lose their privileged trade relations with the ever courteous and oh-so-exquisitely well-mannered good old fair-skinned boys leading South Africa at the time. You know, the same countries who will jump on the first occasion to bomb moustachioed dictators back to the stone-age, out of their deeper concern for the well-being of the people and the advancement of freedom and democracy throughout the world.

Happy Soweto Riots Day.