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Initiate deaths blamed on witchcraft

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brianvds
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« on: May 30, 2013, 05:17:16 AM »

This what happens when you allow witches to fly above 150 m on their broomsticks...

Initiate deaths blamed on witchcraft

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Initiate-deaths-blamed-on-witchcraft-20130529

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Hermes
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 13:37:37 PM »

We regularly hear politicians waxing lyrical about “the advent of democracy” in 1994, but what we see on the ground is an escalating erosion of the rule of law.  The deaths of 34 teens would have caused international shock and dismay, had it happened in any developed country, but here the police have declared that they are not going to close down these initiation “schools”, even though they admit that they are illegal.  King Mabhoko III has impunity to sanction massacre.  Now it appears that the investigation has been left to the Ndzundza Tribal Authority, which suspects witchcraft.  Democracy indeed …
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 13:44:55 PM »

I don't see the democracy connection here... this shit has been going on long before any of us were born. I'd say if anything it's more frowned upon now, at least we get to hear about it, unlike under apartheid.

I think what we see here is simply a failure of basic education.
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Hermes
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 13:58:26 PM »

What I see is a failure of democracy.  If the rule of law collapses, so does the democracy.  The fact that this may be an ancient ritual does not exempt it from the law and to point fingers at apartheid is disingenuous.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 14:27:01 PM »

… and to point fingers at apartheid is disingenuous.
But a good scapegoat is so darn hard to find!  And when you do find one, you must milk it dry at every opportunity… Wink

The basic error in this shambles is the unsustainable kneejerk imperative declaring cultural and religious practices to be essentially unassailable and that they must be preserved at all costs.  A suspicious person might surmise that that approach has much more to do with not losing votes than with protecting people against the consequences of their own ignorance.

'Luthon64
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brianvds
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 15:14:42 PM »

The basic error in this shambles is the unsustainable kneejerk imperative declaring cultural and religious practices to be essentially unassailable and that they must be preserved at all costs.

Perhaps white South Africans should re-institute slavery and call it a sacred cultural practice... :-)
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Hermes
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 15:24:15 PM »

.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 16:02:11 PM »

What I see is a failure of democracy.  If the rule of law collapses, so does the democracy.

That's a bit cyclical, no? Which failed first, democracy or the rule of law? They would seem inextricably linked to me.

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The fact that this may be an ancient ritual does not exempt it from the law and to point fingers at apartheid is disingenuous.

Whoah there I'm not pointing fingers at apartheid, I'm merely saying this prob. also happened back then and we just weren't aware. I'm not saying apartheid is the cause. The point I'm making is at least democracy brings these things to the surface.

A suspicious person might surmise that that approach has much more to do with not losing votes than with protecting people against the consequences of their own ignorance.

Now that would be a failing of democracy. As in: a flaw of the democratic system, not a failure to uphold democracy.

Or as I said, going to the source and doing more to combat the ignorance, but that can happen under different kinds of regimes (not that I expect it would).
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cr1t
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cr1t
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 16:04:23 PM »

.



So Republicans are Muslims,  
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Hermes
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2013, 17:22:07 PM »

So Republicans are Muslims,  
Smiley

If the moon is made of cheese, is cheese made of the moon?

PS: The implication that US Democrats "support" Muslims is nonsense, but the cartoon has other merits and fits the discussion.
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Hermes
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2013, 18:52:47 PM »

What I see is a failure of democracy.  If the rule of law collapses, so does the democracy.

That's a bit cyclical, no? Which failed first, democracy or the rule of law? They would seem inextricably linked to me.

Cyclical?  I fail to see any recurrence or sequence here.  Hypothetically it may be possible for a monarchy to flaunt its own laws.  A dictatorship acting unlawfully is more difficult to imagine, because its actions are by definition not subject to any law.  I do agree with you that the rule of law is an inextricable element of democracy.  A failure of the rule of law will therefore necessarily equate a failure of democracy.  When a tribal leader can overrule laws made by a democratically elected house of parliament, we have such a failure to apply the rule of law and therefore a failure to comply with democratic process.  I therefore hold the view that law enforcement agencies' failure to enforce the law in this case undermines the sovereignty of the house of parliament, the rule of law and the democracy of the country.  I further feel that the deaths of 34 young people is a very serious matter and that what is happening here is a very serious threat to our democracy.        

Quote
Quote
The fact that this may be an ancient ritual does not exempt it from the law and to point fingers at apartheid is disingenuous.

Whoah there I'm not pointing fingers at apartheid, I'm merely saying this prob. also happened back then and we just weren't aware. I'm not saying apartheid is the cause. The point I'm making is at least democracy brings these things to the surface.

It is well known that there were some restrictions on the media during the apartheid era, but I do not recall any that would have prevented them from publishing reports on deaths due to initiation.  Neither am I aware of any restrictions that would have prevented publication of such news during United Party rule, the Transvaal Colony or the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek.  Under the circumstances I fail to see why you raise the issue of apartheid at all.  Let's not forget that the incumbent government has recently passed the "Secrecy Act"; another threat to democracy.

There is a growing tendency in SA to bestow powers on tribal leaders that are not subject to the laws of the country.  The failure to apply the law in a case where 34 people have died illustrates the disastrous consequences of this flawed regime. 

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 10:16:08 AM »

What I see is a failure of democracy.  If the rule of law collapses, so does the democracy.

That's a bit cyclical, no? Which failed first, democracy or the rule of law? They would seem inextricably linked to me.

Cyclical?  I fail to see any recurrence or sequence here.

Sorry I should've said "circular".

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When a tribal leader can overrule laws made by a democratically elected house of parliament, we have such a failure to apply the rule of law and therefore a failure to comply with democratic process.

Me point is, and I'm not arguing with you as much as trying to clarify, isn't this failure to apply the rule of law itself a function of a failing democracy.... I hope I'm explaining this clearly enough. It's a chicken and egg thing, which is causing which? As Mefiante points out, the converse is that people are voting in corrupt politicians, a trade-off you get with democracy, and that is leading to the erosion of the law.


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I further feel that the deaths of 34 young people is a very serious matter

Agreed.

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... and that what is happening here is a very serious threat to our democracy.

As you point out later too, it seems as of late that our democracy is under threat from many quarters. I come back to my point about education though:

Quote from: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.

What I'm trying to say is that I think you and I are seeing the same effects and you're labelling them as causes and I'm seeing them as symptoms. Doesn't mean one or either of us is correct. It's just my viewpoint.

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... but I do not recall any that would have prevented them from publishing reports on deaths due to initiation.

Apathy. I really think no-one cared.

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 10:48:30 AM »

The root problem, of course, is humanity's infatuation with ritual, and the weird desire to see our kids follow in our footsteps. Especially, sick as it may sound, if it involves them going through some hardship or danger.

Rigil
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cr1t
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2013, 10:59:33 AM »

It is well known that there were some restrictions on the media during the apartheid era, but I do not recall any that would have prevented them from publishing reports on deaths due to initiation.  Neither am I aware of any restrictions that would have prevented publication of such news during United Party rule, the Transvaal Colony or the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek.  Under the circumstances I fail to see why you raise the issue of apartheid at all.  Let's not forget that the incumbent government has recently passed the "Secrecy Act"; another threat to democracy.


Well I think there is two things to mention, 1 these initiations would probably have happened in what was called the homelands,
2nd papers only print what they think people want to read, i doubt many who bought news papers would have cared. So I think that
is why we never heard of it before.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2013, 18:06:05 PM »

Perhaps white South Africans should re-institute slavery and call it a sacred cultural practice... :-)
Ha ha, yes, you’re right, of course.  I prolly should’ve said, “…declaring certain specially selected cultural and religious practices…” (where “certain specially selected” means “does not cost us votes”). Cheesy

'Luthon64
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