Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, September 10, 2007

Running for the hills
I can imagine there's a whole raft of people who are thinking of running for the hills because of Helen Zille's arrest at a protest over the weekend. Zille was arrested for breaking the rules of the peaceful protest, seemingly for standing on somebody's driveway.

Two things are important here. Firstly, Zille has had a somewhat combative relationship with the police force, and this is undoubtedly the work of some overzealous and undoubtedly disgruntled policeman. Secondly, the move has been condemned at the highest levels of the ANC, including Thabo Mbeki and today, ANC Secretary General Kgalema Motlanthe. Motlanthe stated that "It's an unfortunate incident. If incidents like this are reported abroad, it creates a very negative picture of South Africa. We would consider that someone in such a high position would be treated with a measure of respect," he said on behalf of the ANC."

It was what it was, an unfortunate incident.