Previous postings on the same topic:
The above pic is a screenshot-capture taken from the album titled, “South Africa is Burning!” – sourced from the Facebook page Red October.
The album’s description reads as follows:
31 January 2014, 20 year of so called Democracy and South Africa is BURNING! From Milnerton in die Western Cape to Louis Trichardt in Limpopo... yet we are supposedly NOT at war, there is no State of Emergency and the Government is mum! Here are a few photographs taken today in Bronkhorstspruit, Tzaneen, Griekwastad, Tshwane University of Technology, Brits, Roodepoort, Louis Trichardt, Bekkersdal en Milnerton...
All hell has broken loose and no one is saying a word!
“… and no one is saying a word” ???
I believe what the writer meant with this phrase, is that the populace, locally and abroad, are either not aware that a low-intensity civil war is raging in South Africa, or don’t really care much - principally because they've been hoodwinked by the local media’s use of the words, "protests", and "protesters". If we were living in the, much despised, old South Africa right now the situation would have been declared a National State of Emergency long ago!
- Milnerton protesters block roads - News24
- Limpopo protesters wreak havoc - News24
- 18 held for Limpopo protests - News24
- West Rand protesters face charges - News24
... and so on.
The chances are pretty slim though that the current situation in South Africa will ever be branded by the media as a "civil war" even though the current situation is verging dangerously close to various definitions of what exactly constitutes a civil war, for example:
A civil war is a high-intensity conflict, often involving regular armed forces, that is sustained, organized and large-scale. Civil wars may result in large numbers of casualties and the consumption of significant resources.[Source: Ann Hironaka, Neverending Wars: The International Community, Weak States, and the Perpetuation of Civil War, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass., 2005, p. 3, ISBN 0-674-01532-0]
The intensity at which a civil disturbance becomes a civil war is contested by academics. Some political scientists define a civil war as having more than 1000 casualties, while others further specify that at least 100 must come from each side. [Source: A Matter of Definition: What Makes a Civil War, and Who Declares It So? - The New York Times]
BBC News once asked the same question with the situation in Iraq: What makes a civil war?
The New York Times article points out that governments and people embroiled in a civil war often do not want to label it as such. “In Colombia, officials insisted for years that the rebels there were merely bandits.”
In South Africa they’re called “protesters” or in worst case scenarios “robbers” -- no matter how militant and violent they are.
Democracy allows peaceful protests - South African Government News Agency
The fact that South Africa’s Constitution permits protests and enshrines freedom of expression only complicates the whole issue further, even though it states that this should be done peacefully. The truth of the matter is that in South Africa most protests (close to 80%, according to my observations) are accompanied by large-scale vandalism, looting, stealing, and intimidation of others, often by violent means.
South Africa has been dubbed "the protest capital of the world" on Wikipedia.
Furthermore, the abnormally high incidence of protests in the country is diverting police resources away from fighting crime.
The term “civil war”, I presume, will thus probably only become an accepted description of the situation when the country’s streets start showing a likeness to what we see in the following picture:
|Remains of a T-62 tank after rebels enter Addis Ababa at the end of the Ethiopian Civil War, 1991 - (Sourced from Wikipedia)|