August 12th, 2011
12:02 PM GMT
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Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) Many South Africans have been smug watching the images of lawlessness, anarchy and violence on London’s streets.

As hooded youths burnt and trashed the streets of London, there has been a sense of self-satisfied bemusement from the country that hosted last year’s World Cup football.  So much so, the spokesperson of the opposition party, the DA, mentioned on Twitter that she was “perturbed” by the tone of tweets posted by South Africans and asked if “the chips on our shoulders are really that deep?”

In the years leading up to the 2010 tournament, the British tabloid press in particular irritated many South Africans with constant assessments of how “unsafe” South Africa is. Proud locals felt that many English football fans were dissuaded from attending the World Cup because of the fear campaign generated by the British media.

Now that the South African government has issued a travel warning to citizens travelling to the United Kingdom some have been questioning the double standards. Had this happened in South Africa - a year before the World Cup - many suggest that the world’s media would have been pressuring the football governing body, FIFA, to move the tournament someplace safer. FIFA would often hint at a Plan B location, such as “safe” Australia, if South Africa became too dangerous or unpleasant to host the World Cup.

However, now that the Olympic Games are to take place in a year’s time in London, some Africans are asking why more people aren’t debating whether England can pull off the world’s oldest sports tournament. After all, they say, the streets are burning! The mobs are in control! The politicians are on the beach! Call in the army!  Is there a Plan B for the Olympics, some ask jokingly? How about South Africa?

Africans are generally ultra-sensitive to comparisons between themselves and Westerners, particularly old colonial bosses. This time around the debate is less rooted in reality - no one really suggests that London is too dangerous to host the Olympics - but in the perceptions that many Africans believe still exist.

If that was happening in Africa … they mumble as they watch the TV.

That said, there is also a reverse smugness about the level of rioting seen in England and the British police’s inability to challenge it. In some cases rioters are dismissed as just a bunch of gormless “hoodies” on the rampage. One South African newspaper headline read: “London riots are tame by SA’s protest standards.”

In many ways, the UK riots, while shocking to many, are relatively meek compared to the violent protests experienced in South Africa for decades.

As a reporter, I have lost track of the number of times we have watched groups of angry South Africans march, protest and then trash the streets. Just last year, I filmed as police fired rubber bullets and water canons at violently protesting doctors, nurses and teachers on one of Johannesburg’s main roads.

In fact, it happens so often that mobs of people gather to slash, burn and intimidate that South Africans are quite used to these unacceptably high levels of public violence.

When it happens in the land of Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and The Ivy - well, that’s different.

It is vastly different. South Africa has a history of public protest that is deeply-rooted in the anti-apartheid struggle. The legacy of police brutality in those pre-democratic days also left many South Africans with a rather jaundiced view of law and order. The simmering anger felt by many is also said to fuel the ugly violence that inevitably emerges during a protest in South Africa.

These are uniquely South African reasons, social and historical experiences, that continue to scar this nation.

However, there is one similarity between South Africa’s rampaging mobs and those in England. It is a theme that has emerged as Tunisians and Egyptians took to the streets. Again and again, we are seeing the effects of a global problem that will continue to define this century - youth who are dislocated, disenfranchised, poor and, crucially, have no prospects for the future.



soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Steve Thompson

    While inexcusable, those participating in the riots are part of the cohort of often unemployed young adults who are experiencing unemployment levels that are far in excess of what is being experienced by the rest of the United Kingdom as shown here:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/08/youth-unemployment-in-eurozone-will-it.html

    It is interesting to note that other EU nations, Canada and the United States all have youth unemployment statistics that show extremely high levels of underemployment. It will be interesting to see what triggers the next angry response to the heavy hand of the ruling class and in which country it takes place.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  2. andrea

    Thank God,is not africa

    August 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  3. Joe Bloggs

    Really, what is the point in this story? Englishmen riot every Sunday at football matches across the length and breadth of England. Riotous behaviour is very much a part of the English way of life.

    August 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  4. toto

    What a stupid CNN report

    August 13, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  5. Steve Portaro

    what if the Holy Land was in Africa? Lots of help thats what

    August 13, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  6. falcon54u

    THIS IS A DEVINE INTERVENTION! THE BRITS HAVE ENOUGH FIRE POWER TO BOMB DEFENSELESS LIBYANS BUT GOD ALWAYS HAS THE FINAL ANSWER. UNJUSTICE WILL NEVER GO UNPUNISHED. ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THE KILLING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE WILL PAY THE PRICE. WHY LIBYA? WHY NOT SYRIA, ISRAEL OR CHINA? THE QUEEN IS ALREADY FAT ENOUGH FOR A LACK OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES. SHE NEEDS TO SHARE SOME OF THE WEALTH WITH THE POORS. JUSTICE WILL COME AND IT WON'T FEEL GOOD TO THE BULLIES! IF YOU WANT LIBYA'S OIL WHY NOT NEGOCIATE? POWER IS NOT THE ANSWER!

    August 13, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  7. Original_Devils_Advocate

    It is quiet interesting how karma tends to be the judge in matters of this nature. The British and their hollier-than-thow attitude tried every trick in the book to darken the WC being held in SA, and they were proved wrong. talk about agg on your face.when you spit in the wind, you know what happens, and the Brits are experiencing exeactly just that. Thos who live in glass houses.. .. .. .. I rest my case

    August 13, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  8. Original_Devils_Advocate

    Typos above.. .. .. . you know what I meant

    August 13, 2011 at 2:47 am |
  9. falcon54u

    THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING! GOD IS WATCHING! BE READY. PEOPLE WILL RISE UP AND SEEK THEIR TRUE FREEDOM.

    August 13, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  10. rags

    So true, double standards

    August 13, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  11. Chris

    The largest civil unrest in the UK in 30 years and only 4 people died 3 in the same incident, The unarmed police didn't even use rubber bullets tear gas or even a hose and the whole thing was filmed without any censorship. The murder rate in the UK per year is 1.28 per 100k The south African murder rate is 34! ( the US is 5 and Canada is 1,8) . In a strange way the riots made me more proud of my country. How many other countries would have retained their liberalism in the face of such difficulties? no where is perfect but the way a society reacts to situations like this says a lot about it.

    August 13, 2011 at 2:56 am |
  12. Babak from Los Angeles

    Karma is a Byatch....

    August 13, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  13. Birttyboy

    As a Brit, i find the comments and articles posted on international media sites to be sensationalist and irrational at best. Never before have we seen disorder of such scale restored so quickly. The people responsible have been arrested at a rate close to 1000, all less than a week before the disorder broke out. The UK government initially underestimated the riots. On day 2, they sensed how widespread the disorder was becoming and threw an unprecedented level of resources at it. Within 4 days, the riots were brought under control. That compares with months for Greece's riots and a month for France's riots. The country is completely secure. Oh, and to the idiotic Americans questioning why we dont have gun rights like yours, check out our murder rate in comparison to yours.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:09 am |
  14. Original_Devils_Advocate

    @Chris
    4 people, 3 people, 1 person, 100 people, still one person too many, never supposed to happen in the first place. this is not about scoring points, fact of the matter is that urest happens everywhere and the brits tried everything in vain to blacken SA, even to the point of hiring stupid jounos to interview some wanna-be gangstas from Capetown on BBC with the sole aim of discrediting Africa and its ability to host major sporting events. Karma can be a beitch huh? I gloat not beacuse people suffer, but beacuse there are some in our global society who think they are better than others, let this be a lesson to the brits. ishh can happen right on your dorr step, just like it can happen anywhere else.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:12 am |
  15. Question123

    If your suggesting Karma Is something to do with riots in England, can you explain to me what it is Africa has done to diserve the karma it seems to be permanently on the receiving end of? I think it must be because of the invention of the vuvuzela.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  16. Chantel

    We've been waiting for a leftwing response from CNN. The riots have certainly been a wakeup call for a country that had labored to ignore the effects of irresponsible immigration and social policy. As long as the so called disenfranchised in Britain refuse to take their education seriously and denigrate participation in public life, they will fail and fail miserably. CNN – and its ratings confirm this – is increasingly irrelevant to most Americans today. This article illustrates why.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:44 am |
  17. hero_23

    same with beijing olympus, where uk(and us) media will report every bit of negative news from china

    August 13, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  18. Faïzou

    how can I contact the UK Police Dep ???

    August 13, 2011 at 3:53 am |
  19. LS

    They actually happened because London is Africa by now, overwhemling majority of "youths" were blacks. So they basically exported their riot culture to London, no news, anybody can realize about that, expect PC people and media of course.

    August 13, 2011 at 4:15 am |
  20. @Tos

    Where is the UN,NATO and the ALLIED?they should get ready to drop bombs to protect humans.Its only in Africa that bombs are used to protect human.Where is France?its moved from the middle east its now in Europe.This time the name have change from uprising ,revolution to Riot.Time will tell.

    August 13, 2011 at 4:22 am |
  21. Inspector Fowler

    I will have to join 'others' in calling for "an end to the use of brutal force against protesters in London" lol!!! Yes! It is not Africa this time.

    August 13, 2011 at 4:24 am |
  22. Ozoemena Emma. S

    This reporter is another funny guy. See how he describes the protesters in South Africa with the word "angry", implying in his mind that it was more dangerous, even though he says it was a work related protest by professional doctors etc. Yet the rampaging mob of testostorones not just in London, but all over the U.K , looting, shooting, setting fires, running over citizens and visitors alike in cars, killing those who dare to put out fires, stealing from the wounded appear to him benign, and no need to worry. What a warped, arrogant mind with head in the sand

    August 13, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  23. b

    While South Africans may be exiting protesters, they to not loot. The last time that happened was the fall of Bophuthatswana. There may be some destruction of property, trash cans, traffic signs and such, but destruction like what we've seen in London has never happened in SA. Ever!

    August 13, 2011 at 4:36 am |
  24. Jannik

    thanks to Chris for doing the actual reporting, and not the CNN populist "journalism".

    August 13, 2011 at 4:48 am |
  25. Lexxvs

    This kind of riots can happen in most of countries of the world –except those very well off or too tyrannical-, the difference is not only in the immediate response, but in the long time answer. In a country with such a big welfare system and economic development as the U.K. the charade of “the poor people were rioting for a plate of rice and the right to have a future” doesn’t stand. And in fact it was revealed than many of them just joined to take advantage of the opportunity to loot, many even having jobs and all.
    So, the thugs weren’t demanding jobs, housing, health, food or rights. They just were showing the product of their upbringing: the certainty of impunity or at worst just a mockery of a penalty, their idealization of criminality as an expression of moral nihility, their lack or respect for a society they feel they don’t belong nor they want to, and their willingness to repeat their acts as long as the occasion presents and they are allowed.
    It was always astounding how gullible some pseudo pundits seem to be as to think that certain mild and constructed methods -that can work for some cases- can be projected and used for the worse cases, where any softness and pardon is understood as utter weakness, an opportunity to cheat and repeat and an entitlement for their misconduct. Society at large can not suffer the confusion of those who claim to have social understanding have with their failed hypothesis of “whatever the problem, use a band aid to cure it and it will heal, give it time. And more band aids if necessary”.

    August 13, 2011 at 4:50 am |
  26. Paul

    No double standard at all. South Africa has much more unemployed "YOUTHS" than the UK.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:04 am |
  27. SF

    As a South African, I find the above article to be most inaccurate and rather ridiculous. No nation, no matter how filled with violence would wish such unrest on another. The world has looked on with shock and much disdain on England, not because there is a sense of karmic retribution, but rather a sense of disbelief that such acts can occur in a first world Western country such as the United Kingdom.

    On another note, I find it rather interesting that the UK has become so consumed with South Africa's opinion on this matter, and felt the need to shed so much attention on the reactions of South Africans – which quite frankly, is rather justified, as there is a large South African community living in the UK. Yes, we do have a problem with crime, an issue that has haunted our country for years and tarnished our reputation more than once – but we do not have daily mass mobs looting and burning up streets without reasoning and with no clear intention.

    Each country, no matter the size has its unique form of crime, and South Africa, no stranger to the immense levels and types of crime, experiences its own fair share on a daily basis. But this, no matter where you are from or what you have learnt to accept as 'normal' is unsettling to even the ordinary South African. The fact that this can occur in UK, is the most unsettling of all. And now, the world will earnestly look on as to how the matter is dealt with.

    What I do however find most interesting, is the attention that is being given to the reactions of the South African population. Is it really so relevant to the current situation? Has any attention been given to the fact that South Africa has offered assistance to the UK government? Instead of pulling on pigtails, greater concern should be given to substantial subject matters that are relevant to the outcome of such a situation.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:12 am |
  28. o

    the headline i saw on cnn seems to attack the british, on their misfortune.. and when i opened news.bbc.co.uk, the british showed 'Syria: Clinton urges states to cut ties over crackdown'... How funny it is to see those are attacking each other by means of journalism

    August 13, 2011 at 5:13 am |
  29. Sammy Young

    You western world are all the same,a country that's full of violence is always like that,don't tell me there is a different between the South Africa and London,who wrote this article?you are trying to defend the british in the act of violence or what?

    August 13, 2011 at 5:24 am |
  30. OmastilRockin

    As an American working in Europe, and having visited both London and South Africa, I don't see a difference in the level of safety. I was welcomed in both places and used common sense safeguards I would use in any city. With the exception of NYC, in which I was more nervous than any other. Every country has there places of unrest. I do think the European press was hard on South Africa before the World Cup. I think South Africa a magical place and a wonderful people. I wish I could go back and spend more time getting to know them better. To all South Africans, the world press are more like gossips in school, ignore them and continue on. Those who visit and get to know you, think you are wonderful!

    August 13, 2011 at 5:24 am |
  31. Ed Elefante

    looting is passion of west

    August 13, 2011 at 5:44 am |
  32. The Old One

    Whilst Apartheid was in sway, South Africans needed no visas to visit the UK, post Apartheid they do. Britain tried to destroy the white tribe in South Africa by imposing, with the help of the gullible international community, racial integration.. but then had to cover themselves by not having racial discrimination in their own immigration policies. Now they reap the fruits.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:46 am |
  33. Roelof

    Most of Africa is to be found in those neighbourhoods. All immigrants are concentrated there in those London suburbs. Multiculti.
    For extra cheap UK stuff go visit .. geenstijl . nl

    August 13, 2011 at 6:11 am |
  34. Kay

    UK has always been arrogant about itself and look down on others. The UK media publish positive opinions around the world on the recent riots to shore up self image. When it come down to reality there is a dark void of opinions.It is left to the rest of the world to reflect the reality to them. UK prime minster belong to the elite class brought up in private school and famous university. These people will never venture into the under privileged area for fear of safety or simply for self superiority. How can these people see reality?

    Reality is these troubled youth mostly black are born and raised in UK. Since all human regardless of race and color are born innocent and pure what happened? I believe it is the very decay of education and moral values in society. This is to an extend a world problem . UK and most western countries love to exploit this against non friendly nations and nations with different value or ethnicity to the west. When problem arise countries should look more at self than window dressing. Using other countries dissatisfaction among citizen as an excuse to attack that country has become the norm in western medias. When it happen to itself they are expert window dresser.

    UK need to really study itself. What happen to its society, education system, morality and most of all the integration of it multi-ethnicity mulit-religion society. Much like what the article said this riot has similar root to other popular up rising in the rest of the world. The current world economic problem that started in USA.

    August 13, 2011 at 6:23 am |
  35. Casper

    Anglo-Saxons very adept at practicing double-standards with especially pious expressions on their faces.

    August 13, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  36. RK

    Of course this is double standards. If the same had happened in a third world country, sportsmen would have withdrawn, media would have said 'go @ your own risk' and the populace would have gotten really wary. I don't have any problems with the British people but I do have a problem with British media. Not a single meaningful article has focused on even honestly asking 'Can we really host the games?' – why is that? Even for argument sake? If that is not blind sightedness, I don't know what is. Laughable vanity of a faded empire.

    August 13, 2011 at 6:32 am |
  37. winston

    Comparing South Africa to England is like comparing an anus to a mouth!

    August 13, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  38. White African

    The most riotors are a result of illegal African exports that are too lazy or dumb to find employment. To use the excuse of not having a job is unacceptable. Just look at other countries like India and China where the people pulled up their socks and created their own jobs. I never believed inn evolution of the human specias until realising the connection betwen the origin of half ape half human and Africa and the poverty and violence in countries like Sudan and Somalia. Facts speak for themselves.

    August 13, 2011 at 6:44 am |
  39. World Citizen

    The arrogant Brits have angered and made so many people suffer all over the world throughout the history that most of the world would be happy to see UK destroyed and shred into little pieces.

    August 13, 2011 at 6:50 am |
  40. Artofwar

    ....While you knuckle-heads go back and forth as to the intricate nuances of good reasons to riot/upraise, and bad reasons to riot/upraise–the truth is riots are riots, and uprisings are uprisings, regardless of reasons– it merely depends on what side of the fence one is standing.

    Another truth is that the youths of the world are pissed off, and quite frankly, I cannot say I blame them--look at the world we have left them. Even for the young adults that go on to graduate from universities and earn high-end degrees–even armed with their degrees, most will still find themselves at-best managing fast-food joints.

    The youths of today are quite aware of their grim future, and If I were young facing what their future holds, I too would not be above pickup a brick or two, and throwing them though a window or two.

    We have destroyed the future of our children, and they have all the reason in the world to be pissed....Artofwar

    August 13, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  41. Richard

    Unemployment among the Deaf has been as high as 70% for decades even when the economy is good and yet you don't see them rioting in the streets, do you? These hearing kids have better prospect than most of us Deaf people. You hearing people treat us like dirt, and put us in he too hard to deal with basket. We are just as capable as you hearing people. Some of us have university degrees and yet we struggle to get jobs.You are all just too lazy to learn to understand us and our beautiful language.

    August 13, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  42. jim in hilversum,NL

    One big diffence is that riots in South Africa are commonplace,in London they are not.

    August 13, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  43. chenkui

    the british people's human rights is threatened, the government is so crude.

    August 13, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  44. Bangla

    London cannot pull off a good nor a safe game, period. We demand FIFA to come up with a specific alternate location.

    August 13, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  45. Allen

    Look at the entire continent of Africa for a moment. Civil War, starvation, genocide over almost the entire continent and it's been that way for how long? Are you going to compare what happened in England to say Somalia, Darfur, Congo, Liberia? As far as what the future holds for the children? To: Artofwar none of these lazy kids had to fight in a world war or watch their city burn not from looting but from enemy bombers so stop making excuses.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  46. VampireJack

    Joe Bloggs claimed that Englishmen riot every saturday after football matches.
    This is incorrect. During the 70s and 80s this was a problem – not so much anymore.
    Rioting after the match doesn't really happen these days – on very rare occasions yes, but you may as well say all Americans riot constantly due to incidents after certain Hockey games.....

    August 13, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  47. Marney

    The irony is that 98% of the riotors in England are indeed AFRICAN!!!!

    August 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  48. joe m

    what a really dumb link. more people were murdered in South Africa (and probably raped as well) during the time of the riots than were killed in the UK. so in other words, SA was STILL more dangerous during it's normal time than London or the UK is during the worst riots. get a clue, media, your false narratives dont hold up. also the rioters are not futureless (unless they choose to be), another false narrative.

    August 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  49. Dave

    Yes, the British holier than thou policy! Let's hope America doesn't have a power cut or hurricane so you can show us all again how your communities pull together to loot, rape and murder your fellow countrymen properly.
    Double standards are amazing are they not brothers!

    August 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  50. Rob

    As a proud South African living in London, I was amazed to see the London police force arrive at a riot scene facing an angry mob armed only with a small shield and a truncheon! I have to be honest and say, back home we would have opened fire with live rounds on the first night... The bravery of the London police was incredible. It reminded me of the very stark differences in each society.

    August 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  51. John

    Exactly, everyone who lives in this cesspit of UK, knows exactly what people been watching on TV. This was Tony B-liar of Grand plane of multi-culturism on a grand. 3M legal people, all from tird world country, then we have another 3m illegals, then on top, Bliar open the floodagate by allowing all easern european who join EU, to move in unrestricted. That's another 3M polish and another 4 millions of the rest of those thri world stage.

    Anyone foolish enough to come here for Olympics will be surprised to see like Kabul, big Somalian, little Warsaw and the rest in that cesspit called Londonistan

    If you care for your life do not come here ever, you have more chance of dying here, than in a project in USA.

    August 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  52. John

    It's not US who's arrogant

    All born brits knows this. It's the media and country who makes the world think it's Mary Poppins land's

    Exactly, everyone who lives in this cesspit of UK, knows exactly what people been watching on TV. This was Tony B-liar of Grand plane of multi-culturism on a grand. 3M legal people, all from tird world country, then we have another 3m illegals, then on top, Bliar open the floodagate by allowing all easern european who join EU, to move in unrestricted. That's another 3M polish and another 4 millions of the rest of those thri world stage.

    Anyone foolish enough to come here for Olympics will be surprised to see like Kabul, big Somalian, little Warsaw and the rest in that cesspit called Londonistan

    If you care for your life do not come here ever, you have more chance of dying here, than in a project in USA.

    August 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  53. wtfever

    'self-satisfied bemusement'

    Ms. Curnow, I hope a social worker comes and takes your words away.

    August 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  54. Les

    Unemployment will be the ruin of civilised countries if we don't/can't do anything about it.
    I would love to see how the politicians would bear up living on dole money with no skills to be proud of and getting no answers from hundreds of job applications.. I feel for any man who cannot get a job to support his family.
    No one condones the rioting but goes some way to explain the looting.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  55. Rob

    @ John: I think we'd take your reactionary ranting post a little more seriously if you learnt some proper grammar, punctuation and spelling before posting!

    August 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  56. Zinko-mahajaned

    All of a sudden you call them African not british anymore because of their looks, this further isolate and dislocate minorities who are marginalized already and tell me its not double standard??. Thanks to social network media we were able to see bad things that took place in the background than what british media tried to make us believe. The more cover up by media they ignore all burning issues. Watch-out the aftershock is coming sooner or later.

    August 14, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  57. mark

    I was in the U.K 20 years ago and couldn't beleive how angry EVERYONE seemed to be, on my numerousvists over the last years not much has changed, I feel very unsafe in the public arena, i.e pubs and stuff because you don't know what is going on in the pommies heads, especially after losing their empire.I think they have a huge chip about that and their yobbo mentality means they may do it again...

    August 16, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  58. Job

    The distress in the West is simply due to the fact that they used to enjoy lavish lifestyles when it was still easy to loot from gullible Africans while leaving bread crumps for the very Africans who would then be told to implement economic policies designed to make their situation all the worse. Now that they are getting wiser and demanding fair compensation for their resources, its now the West to practice the so called prudent economics, which they can't.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  59. oliver

    people in the UK are generally rioters.they loot at football matches and one wonders if they will change the approach during the olympics.killing 1 person,2 or multiple is all wrong.try to kill 1 american in uk & you will how the famous SEALS will come rip you apart.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  60. Omar

    Comparing South Africa to full of cockroaches and rats England is really unacceptable .

    August 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  61. Dreden

    White African, your comment was total uncalled for. you need to get you head right. white people are not African thus u should change your name especially ones with that inane sense of reality

    August 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  62. AConcernedWhiteAfrican

    Perhaps before anyone, living outside of the designated countries in question, throw their highly educated stones, live in the country in question, not as an immigrant who can fall back on their original passport and run when the candle flame turns out to be a furnace.
    Beware of statistics as they correctly respresent the responses, hopefully honest, of the sample group only and upon presumption, the assumed following of suit by the rest of the populace.
    For a more representational perspective from the fortunate few who are literate and have access to the medium required to respond here, who also are educated enough to understand political-economics as well as the socio-political environment in especially South Africa where the soccer world cup was held, please read News24's site and the responses to what is currently transpiring in South Africa: the repeated riots which start off as an apparent peaceful march resulting in arson of property and theft, mismanagement of tax funds to benefit a limited few concealed behind the claimed majority, fraud, etc.
    A little bit of an improved knowledge before the empty barrel echoes crescenduously may be in order.
    In closing, Dreden, people born in a country acquire citizenship of that country thus many, like myself, are White African's. Sure, they may hold dual citizenship where the parent holds citizenship in another country, but many White South Africans do no have that liberty available to them anymore. Respectfully, presuming you are American, what nationality shall I therefore conclude you are? American Indian? Again, a little more knowledge per experience before speaking?

    August 19, 2011 at 5:30 am |
  63. Tanade Darood

    "mac sonkor caleyn shaah" .....An African phrase meaning "you truly deserved it"

    Now that was a taste of your own medicine. The west has always been busy tarnishing the image of the rest of the world, i.e. China, India, Africa, Middle East, basically the 90% of the world that is not 'White'.

    The west aka the 10% of the world's population is responsible for 99% of the poverty, corruption, wars and diseases in the world.

    - Who started WW1, WW2, SLAVERY, COLONIZING/ATTACKING the rest of the non-white nations??
    - Dropping a huge bomb in hiroshima(Japan) inhumanely killing innocent people en mass??
    -meddling in the affairs of the middle east constantly that there is a war in the middle east/north africa every decade,
    i.e. Iraq War part 1, Iraq war part 2, Afghanistan war,
    - Bunch of "WHITE CHRISTIAN" nations gathered together to invade Libya, what the F**K is that?

    Why is the rest of the world so asleep and paralyzed from having any sense to stop this 10% group of the world, that's really focking it up for the rest of the 90%.

    What should WE ( CHINA, INDIA, AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, JAPAN, KOREA(north & south gotta unite) do TO GET RID OF THIS 10% PROBLEM safely and humanely(No wars, just democratic unity and purpose).

    August 19, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  64. Tanade Darood

    oops i forgot to add the sad and tragic "HOLOCAUST" we all know who did it, it certainly wasn't Africa, Arabia, China or the Muslims......

    there's no other nation on earth that can come close to the incredible horrendous, barbaric, vicious, hateful and sick crimes against humanity committed by the Western Nations.....
    WW1, WW2, Slavery, Holocaust, Colonizing the rest of the non-white countries, dropping the Hiroshima bomb on the innocent asians(japan), Iraq War part 1, Iraq War part 2, Afghanistan Invasion, Libya invasion.

    The list is too large for me to list, but really whoever said the west was fit to lead the rest of the 90% of the world??
    I certainly wasn't asked, nor was there ever a vote.

    What the hell do you make of the G20, and UN VETO Holders??

    why are we all so blind to let this suffering of the Majority go on???

    August 19, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  65. frank ngai

    THE BRITISH THE FIRST COUNTRY TO INDUSTRIALIZE AND DE INDUSTRIALIZE.A COUNTRY WHOSE PEOPLE SAY GOD BLESS THE QUEESN THEN GOD BLESS ENGLAND AND YES HE HAS BEEN DOING JUST THAT AS EVIDENCED BY SKYROCKETING POVERTY IN BRITAIN.THE BRITISH ARE POOR WITH VERY FEW PEOPLE HAVING THE ABILITY TO BUY CARS AND HOUSES, TELEVISIONS AND EXPENSIVE CLOTHES AND JEWELLERY.AND YET THE BRITISH MEDIA IS BUSY SHOWING THE BECKHAMS AND OTHER RICH BRITISH MAKING THE YOUNG JEALOUS AND HOPELESS.AS SUCH I SUPPORT THE LONDON RIOTS AND I BID THOSE BOYS AND GIRLS FAREWELL,KEEP ON BURNING CARS AND YOUR STREETS UNTIL YOUR STUPID GOVERNMENT GETS THE MESSAGE.

    TO MY FELLOW AFRICANS DO NOT TRAVEL TO BRITAIN IT IS NOT SAFE,BESIDES WHAT IS IN BRITAIN ANY WAYS?GAYS AND BINGE DRINKING IDIOTS.IF THIS HAPPEN IN ZIMBABWE OR ANY AFRICAN COUNTRY BBC AND SKYNEWS AND CNN WOULD HAVE BEEN SHOWING IT TO SHOW POVERTY IN AFRICA.SO IS IT THIS POVERTY IN BRITAIN?

    August 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  66. Tut

    some africans are white;look at tunisia for instance

    August 19, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  67. Pleb

    Service delivery riots happen every day in south africa – looting burning and destroying property so it is in africa

    August 22, 2011 at 5:49 am |
  68. Ibrahim Osman Adam

    an unforcasted civil un-rest can happen every city on earth. reasons might be verrities on ground. controlling if fire inflames needs experience. Like wise, UK govertment and citizens proved an overwhelming steps to tackle what went wrong. with even respecting their internal mechanisms to govern in such events. they have taken the right steps in which getting togather in the most low full cleaning procedures was agreed. Basically, no one can predict or think to forcast what might staple home or community's tommorow will look like. But what one can hope is that if he/she sleep peacefully, then will wake up peacefully, and hope his/her entire day be peace as routinely expected. But chances to hope that children carrying on their enjoyment in the coast will meet a bullet shot from sick person and an uncounted number will loss their lives was not there. Assumptions that wrong person is targeted from security Police can happen every where, But turning into civill unrest that might create large youth mistakes event couldn't have been the result. or even expected. and thousends simmilar incidents in which the time reads every where in the globe. Therefore, Americans, Britian, Africa and the said comparisons are not there. Lets all hope good in our cities. avoid sentiments that looks poor justifications, Lets condem all unlowfull acts togather and welcome the best practicall handling if it happens around the globe. put aside defference of religions, race and locations of incedents. I personally was pleased the way British gov and citizens defused the mess in days.

    August 23, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  69. John Mo

    I find the comparison between England and South Africa in this case unsound and rather a weak analysis.
    According to reports I read, there were no deaths in London attributable to these riotous events whereas Sth Africa has one of the highest per capita murder rates of anywhere on the Globe!

    The events lasted a couple of days and the pictures spectacular and shocking. There was a most tragic case in the Midlands where three men were run down and killed by a lone car driver. However, the reality is, there is just no comparison to the scale of direct threats to human life in certain African locations.

    This is a classic example of hysterical reactions to sensational media coverage although there are serious issues in UK society that require attention. It wasn't Mogadishu and comparing it with that is crass. Please stay real.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  70. Another White African

    Wow Dreden, you really don't have a clue do you... My ancestors arrived in The Cape (where I live now) in 1673, LONG before the first black tribes arrived (black, as in black, the Koi was here, but they are woefully under represented in our country). I therefore do not have dual citizenship. I only have South African passport, which is becoming more useless by the day as visa restrictions become stricter and stricter. Are you a native American? Your family probably arrived in America much later than 1673, yet you can call yourself an American, but I can't call myself African because I'm white?

    August 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  71. South African

    Actually many people living in South Africa come from Western descent , so that is a ridiculous comment to make that we are sensitive to comments made by Westerners and furthermore Whites born in Africa, are as African as the Black Africans, South Africa is my country therefore rightfully I am South AFRICAN! I am so tired of discrimination!

    August 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  72. South African

    I thought journalists were supposed to be unbiased and factual,which is clearly not the case here, it is very narrow minded to brand all South Africans with the same stick.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  73. John Mo

    Just one additional point I have to make here: There is no unbiased journalism. The moment a journalist choses to write about a particular story reflects the bias of choice. As with "history" .... Journalism is the story of whoever's shoes you're standing in.

    August 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  74. Terransun

    As a white mixed South African, I must say the media do not get all the facts before writing, they need to get their heads out of the sky and come down to earth. I've lived among wealthy South Africans, middle class South Africans, and even in the slum side of Sunnyside among drug dealers and prostitutes, of which not one I have spoken too was a South African citizen. On my journey and communicating with these people they all had something in common, they were raised in to their situation, selling drugs, themselves and stealing vehicles to earn money for their families needs such as school fees, food and homes. The cases of murder and rape is due to individuals with little to no parenting, as it has also been found that in some township homes the "guardians" of children being raised has sexual intercourse in front of the children, some times with the children, so they see it as normal behavior.

    Many of the protests on the news here is for salary increase demands by the labor unions. From township citizens up to even the middle class struggle to live in some cases, after having paid rent, school fees, utility bills, insurence ( If they can even it ) and food they are left with little or no savings, little chance of enjoying life as they slave away to put money in the pockets of the fortunate few.

    As a skilled educated citizen I have barely earned enough to live with some luxury and I have seen this with other university students as well holding law, engineering, medical degrees barely making rent at the end of the month and barely able to afford a healthy diet. Many people in South Africa is taken advantage of, and so many of struggle to make a difference. There has been cases in which I have seeked better employment only to be turned away because of the B.E.E, and I have met others that have experienced the same problem.

    This angers a few, leads to depression, trying to cope with a stale lifestyle at a young age, unfortunately we struggle with corruption with some members in government and some companies that take advantage of illiterate and less educated citizens. There is however a fight to weed out the corruption, hopefully helping to use tax payers money on development. I just hope the development benefits all South Africans, bringing them closer and breaking the cultural barriers in the diversity as there is still a divide between the many cultures in South Africa, whether they are Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, English, Indian, Chinese, etc.

    As a white African that has a bloodline from Irish, French, Russian, Dutch, Indian and Cape Malay descent I am proud to call my myself a white african, I have little interest in the ways of western life as history has shown how filthy the wealthy truly are in those nations, I believe in teachings of Jesus Christ, the idea of brotherly love, I believe in something we here call Ubuntu, a dream I hope is realized.

    As for those rioting there were even adults in their 40's among the teens, sure there were chancers, some just criminals, others maybe afraid of their future. Maybe education is to blame, maybe bad parenting with little moral value and no religious teaching, maybe government or a society that writes off those less fortunate. I think a good start is to really communicate with people around us, especially the youth, just to take the time and hear them out, help them find their talents, to swap ideas and broaden each others perspective of the world around us.

    Inspire the youth with knowledge, give them ideas to start their own business, help them on the way, be generous, and generousity will spread. Even just giving them books about interesting people could spark something in them, Walter Lippman, Aung San Suu Kyi, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Dalai Lama, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar, Ernest Miller Hemingway. Even lesser known people out their could be of inspiration like Michelle Pelletier, Victor Li, Richard Mason, Sonja Kruse, or even blind eight old Ying Shun playing Tchaikovsky's Flower Waltz.

    So many people take the smallest and some of the most beautiful things in life for granted, the birth of new life, blooming flowers, a friendly smile, a hug, even the water we drink. Make a difference in society. Why do we even rely on the words and ideas of 4% of the global population that classify themselves as elite when last time I checked they defecate as well and aren't much bigger than the next human trapped on this tiny blue planet, hidden away in the milky away in this vast universe.

    Not sure where to start? Talk to your kids, become their friend, try to understand their feelings, show them that you appreciate their existence, after all you made them, tell them that you love them no matter what their faults, nobody is perfect and work with them through it and teach them and yourself about the beauty and importance of life. Forget about materialism and just focus on the simple things that truly matter. Learn to truly love again, not sure how, look at Jesus and there are even others figures in his likeness that shared the same type of generosity.

    Might not be able to change others, but you can change yourself and help future generations to create a better world. We only live once and fueling the fire just wont help extinguish problems that has been around for ages. Many of the youth today have little to look forward too and shoving gadgets into their hands will not help fill that void, and they need to understand as well that it takes two to tango.

    And really if you read through all of what I had to say, bravo, God bless you, i'm off now to smoke a doobie and listen to dubstep. ("")(=^_^=)("") RAWR!

    August 29, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  75. joey

    those are ur hypocritical dirty and smelly brits

    October 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  76. Colossus

    LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO

    MANY PEOPLE ARE CALLING THE ARTICLE "USELSS", BUT THE ARTICLE IS RIGHT ON. AFRICA AND BLACKS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DEMONIZED BY THE WEST AND USA. NOW YOU HAVE COUNTRIES LIKE SPAIN AND GREECE RIOTING, CANADA RIOT AFTER LOSING THE STANLEY CUP. BUT THEY ARE NEVER DEMONIZE.

    AFRICA NEED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE WEST AND START DOING BUSINESS WITH CHINA. SO FAR COUNTRIES LIKE MALI, SENEGAL AND GHANA HAVE BEEN DOING GREAT BECAUSE THEY DO BUSINESS WITH CHINA. THE WEST IS OVER.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  77. David Jefferson

    Yes this is the time to know that their is no perfect stuff, also good roads has at least a little "hole" i agree with my fellow Africans, could it be a country in Africa all world could be viewing the worse part of the scenario but i thank God its time for England, the land which has won the mind of many people around the world that it can stand on its on. Shame on you, failing to implement equal opportunity for all. Bragging that you've resources for all of it citizens and you can handle what i can call "Domestic Affairs"

    October 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  78. Ben

    Children , children , children ...what's with all the bitterness amongst each other ? You should all go home have an ice- cream to calm you down , or a glass of lemonade if you are on diet.And let us all not forget that Africa is not one country , so don't generalize things like that , mention a country by it's name. Those against London give the place some credit they handled the mess fast enough.Once again children i remind you avoid the hostility amongst yourself , this problems are affecting the whole world – educate yourself a little more before you make ignorant and unlettered comments that are guided by nothing but the need to blurt out thoughtless words.Now , off you go , grab yourself an a snack and a book and when you are schooled enough come make a sensible comment. Does all the hating really benefit any of you ?

    October 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  79. David Wanjala

    When articles are written about Africa, the reference point is always South Africa. Do these reporters realise that there are 53 countries in Africa?

    October 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  80. Fiskani

    A very stupid article indeed. As an African, I am sick and tired of stupid writing like this... what exactly is the point of this article? Get a life... or another job!

    October 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  81. KEMOLI

    please stop pretending that you know africa and stop likening London with africa. do your assignments well. were you told africa is a jungle? and if its a jungle, would people loot and break class houses...in the jungle. you are worried of what you don't know.

    October 20, 2011 at 6:33 am |
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