The Burning Man Strikes At The Heart Of Ouattara’s Legitimacy!

By | June 10, 2011 at 1:41 am | 2 comments | Africa, International Solidarity, News, Situational Awareness

The following story which appeared in the Chroniquesénégalaises caught my attention recently. I have been literary traumatised by it. It has become intrusive and repetitive of late that the only way to deal with it is to talk about it. The story states that on 1 April 2011, while committing the killings FRCI Duékoué Sogoni BAMBA, communications advisor of Alassane Ouattara, had a picture of a man burned to death on France 24:

South African policemen attend to Mozambican immigrant Ernesto Alfabeto

This photo was presented by Ms. Bamba as an exaction  by supporters of Laurent Gbagbo, to justify the bloody offensive of FRCI is indeed that of Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave who was burned alive in Johannesburg May 18, 2008 during a riot:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PROGRAMME ON FRANCE 24:« Côte d’Ivoire la guerre civile », France 24 le 01/04/2011, 9ème minute]

Oui ils [les FRCI pro-Ouattara] descendent vers le sud, et je pense que c’est par légitime défense, parce que vous ne pouvez pas avoir un monsieur qui a gouverné un pays, et qui peut accepter de laisser ses partisans brûler des jeunes comme ça ! Vous ne pouvez pas ! Aujourd’hui, on ne peut pas regarder ça. […] Il faut montrer ce que les hommes de Gbagbo ont fait, c’est donc une légitime défense !

Yes they [pro-Ouattara FRCI] down south, and I think it‘s in self defence because you can not have a man who ruled a country, and may be willing to let his supporters burn young people like that! You can not! Today, we can not watch this. [...] We must show what Gbagbo’s men have done, it is therefore legitimate defence!”

This photo has illustrated various sections of the Ivorian press, including that favourable to Mr. Ouattara ( from November 2010.

Xenophobia in South Africa

The Guardian reported: “Mobs rampaged through poor suburbs of Johannesburg in a series of attacks against foreigners, mainly Zimbabweans, over the weekend, killing seven people, injuring at least 50 and forcing hundreds to seek refuge at police stations.

Two of those killed were burned to death and three beaten to death. The injured suffered gunshot and stab wounds. Johannesburg police were warning motorists to avoid the city’s business district. “It’s spreading like a wildfire and the police and the army can’t control it,” said Emmerson Zifo, a Zimbabwean.”

“In a clash between the poorest of the poor, gangs of local black South Africans descended on informal settlements and shanty towns, armed with clubs, machetes and torches, and attacked immigrants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabawe. Locals accused these immigrants of taking jobs away from them, among other grievances. Over the course of those two weeks, over 60 foreigners were killed, several hundred injured, and many thousands of immigrants are now displaced, or are returning to their home countries. Dealing with the aftermath of the attacks has become a large problem for South Africa – prosecuting attackers, accommodating refugees, dealing with a labor shortage, political damage control, seeking to address root causes, and some soul-searching are all taking place.”

Saturday 24 October 2009
5.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Nameless 52

The Burning Man
Adze Ugah
South Africa
24 mins
South Africa, 2008: Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave, a Mozambican national, is burnt to death by a xenophobic mob. The media dubs him “The Burning Man”.

Nigerian filmmaker Adze Ugah tries to understand who Ernesto really was, what the events were that led to this atrocity, and how it could have happened in the post-Apartheid South Africa of the Rainbow Nation… A South Africa where countless people- like the perpetrators as much as the victim of this crime- still live in poverty.

This film seeks to give “The Burning Man” back the dignity of his own name.

Monday, 12 May 2008 21:26 UK

US Supreme Court Allows Apartheid Claims * BBC World Service, Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 21:26 UK

The US Supreme Court has cleared the way for a lawsuit against major international companies accused of aiding South Africa’s apartheid system.

The court said it could not intervene over the case because of a potential conflict of interests.

Four of the nine justices had ties to the firms involved and could not rule on the case, it said.

By law, at least six justices must sit in order for the Supreme Court to hear a case.

As a result, the court could only uphold a lower court ruling allowing a lawsuit to go ahead against firms accused of aiding South Africa’s apartheid system.

Apartheid was a policy which enforced a separation of the nation’s races from the 1940s until the early 1990s.

The victims are seeking damages reported to be worth more than $400bn (£205bn).

Financial interests

Among the corporations accused in the lawsuit are oil firms BP and Exxon Mobil, banks including Citigroup and Deutsche Bank and multinationals like General Motors and Ford.

The plaintiffs bringing the lawsuit argue that the corporations violated international law by assisting South Africa’s former apartheid government.

An appeals court in New York ruled last year that the lawsuit, being brought under a US law which allows foreigners to sue in US courts over breaches of international law, could proceed.

The Bush administration, the current South African government and business groups had sought the intervention of the Supreme Court.

They argue that the legal action is damaging to international relations and may threaten South Africa’s economic development.

However, the court’s hands were tied by federal laws requiring at least six of the nine justices to hear any case.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito all had to sit out because they had financial interests in some of the companies concerned.

According to the Associated Press news agency, Mr Roberts owns stock in Hewlett Packard, Mr Alito has shares in Exxon Mobil and Mr Breyer has stock in Colgate-Palmolive, Bank of America, IBM and Nestle.

Justice Anthony Kennedy sat out the case because his son works for Credit Suisse, another company concerned.

‘These people get killed for nothing’


The headlines of the papers at the newsstand at the Bree Street taxi rank on Monday reflect the deadly xenophobic violence that spread around Johannesburg on the weekend.

“Violence flares up,” the Sowetan says. “Flames of hate” is the headline of both the Star and the Times. It’s a normal working day in Newtown, but it’s not business as usual.

In Jeppe Street, several shops are closed for the day. Metal roller-doors are down and the streets are quieter than usual. After a night of anti-foreigner violence that claimed at least 22 lives and in which scores were injured, frightened people fled to the sanctuary of the Jeppe police station.

Rajia Rashid (26), from Pakistan, has opened his blanket shop in Sauer Street, but his brother’s shop in Small Street is closed.

Says Rashid: “In that part [of town], it’s bad. They are beating up foreigners. Malawi people, Mozambican, Zimbabweans, Indians. These Zulu people kill everyone.”

Witnesses of the violence in the inner city on the weekend had also reported that Zulus were among those attacking both foreigners and South Africans of other groups, such as Pedis and Shangaans.

Rashid arrived in the country six years ago and gets on well with South Africans. “They are nice people, nice in helping you, nice for business. But Jacob Zuma is only for the Zulus, that’s why this is happening,” he says.

Although a foreigner himself, Rashid is not afraid. “I am not scared. I’m from Pakistan, I am used to these things.”

Suddenly, the sound of a crowd fleeing the violence is heard. People are running past Rashid’s shop towards Pritchard Street, and customers in the shop start panicking. Rashid’s colleague immediately rolls down the metal doors, urging people to get out, otherwise “you’ll get stuck in this shop”.

Itumeleng (20), one of the people running down the street, is on her way to Braamfontein’s Damelin College to write an exam. “This is ridiculous,” she says. “These people get killed for nothing. These people helped us, a lot of us went to exile in these [foreign] countries. Now these people need help. We might also have a rainy day [in the future].”

Many foreigners are now crowded into the Central Methodist church, known as a haven for asylum-seekers and refugees. On Sunday, 300 more fled to the church looking for sanctuary.

Cyril Sikhosana (24) arrived at the church at about 3pm on Sunday after he had fled his house in Rosettenville. “A group of Zulu guys from the neighbourhood came. They asked around where foreigners lived. They were violent, they had sticks and guns but they didn’t use them.”

Sikhosana managed to escape through the back door. “Initially we ran, but after a while we started to walk, because we realised that we were attracting attention. I was very scared, because I had read in the newspapers that people had been killed.

“I don’t think it is good for foreigners to come here any longer. I worked here and all my property is gone overnight.”

Now that many of these people are no longer going to work during the day for fear of being attacked, the church is packed with people. John Dumba (24), who has lived in the church since March, says: “They [the attackers] rather attack people one by one. Here we are with a lot of us. People are depending on numbers now.”

But, according to Dumba, “they already tried to attack us twice. On Sunday a lot of Zulus came in kombis. They were dropped off by taxi drivers at four places, each group with five people. They were shouting ‘Makwerekwere [foreigners].’”

Bishop Paul Verryn expresses the atmosphere of fear in his church. “Yesterday [on Sunday] at the service you could feel the restlessness. At the end we gave people the opportunity to talk about the things that happened. That calmed things down a bit.”

Verryn is very worried about the situation, calling for the nation to no longer to ignore the gap between the haves and the have-nots. “We must no longer ignore that communities are very disgruntled; this is really the poor fighting the poor … It’s an out-of-control paradigm.”

How is he going to cope with the increase of refugees in a church that is already packed with people? “We are not going to cope. It’s becoming impossible now with 1Â 800 people. But we do what we have tried to do the last four years.”

Says Sikhosana: “All these people are involuntary unemployed now because they can’t go to work. We don’t have food, how are we going to live here? … I was sitting all night, there is no space to sleep.”

Dumba adds: “We all don’t sleep. We are anticipating an attack all the time.”


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  • Djignab

    Thank you for the work on this very interesting site. There are a number of other sites apart from Chroniques Sénégalaises that chronicle events in Cote d’Ivoire from a different angle than the one put forward by the general media:

  • Kwame PIankhi

    The Global Afrikan Congress Calls for Boycott of French Products

    One week ago, the Global Afrikan Congress, the trans-national Pan-Africanist organisation that was founded in Barbados at the 2002 anti-racism conference, launched an international campaign aimed at achieving a world-wide boycott of products manufactured in France, such as French wines and other liqueurs.

    The reasons given by the GAC for this campaign against France, are the continuing refusal of the French authorities to acknowledge their historical debt and to pay reparations to Haiti, as well as the perfidious role currently being played by France in orchestrating the ongoing military assault on Libya.

    But there is a third good reason why France should be singled out for punishment by all right thinking people and nations: 50 years after European colonialism formally ended in Africa, France continues to clandestinely impose an oppressive system of neo-colonialist domination on all of its former African territories!

    †Indeed, from the very beginning of the de-colonisation era, France signalled that it had no real intention of giving up its imperial stranglehold on Africa. Thus, when the pro-independence “winds of change” began to blow across Africa in the 1950s, the French response was not to proffer independence, but instead, to establish the so-called “French Community”, under which the African colonies would be treated as dependent French protectorates.

    At the time, the only really serious challenge to this French ploy was mounted by Sekou Toure and the people of Guinea. They insisted on and achieved outright independence in 1958, but not before the French had punished and sabotaged Guinea by destroying virtually every public building and facility before withdrawing from Guinea!

    However, after a few years of operation, it became clear that the French Community was too obviously colonialist, and so, once again (in the early 1960s) the French shifted gears and offered the African territories a special kind of independence — an independence that was bound up and confined by a system of bilateral and multilateral agreements between France and the 14 so-called Francophone African countries.

    This system of agreements is known as the Colonial Pact, and after 50 years of existence, it still binds and controls the Francophone African nations of Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gabon, Cameroon, Togo, Chad, Central African Republic, Niger, Congo Brazzaville and the list goes on.

    Under the Colonial Pact, for example, these supposedly independent African nations are obligated to deposit 85 per cent of their foreign exchange reserves at the French Treasury in Paris. The African nations therefore have access to only 15 per cent of their own money for national development purposes in any given year, and if they are in need of additional foreign currency, they are obligated to borrow from the French Treasury at commercial rates!

    In addition, under the Colonial Pact, France has the first right to buy or reject any natural resource found in the land of the Francophone African countries. Furthermore, it is the rule that French companies must be considered first when it comes to Francophone African governments awarding commercial contracts.

    Needless-to-say, the Colonial Pact has also wrapped Francophone Africa up in a number of defence agreements that permit France to maintain military bases in the African countries, and to intervene militarily.

    And, of course, the end result of all of this is a virtual French African Empire in which almost all the major public utilities — water, electricity, telephone, transport, banks and ports — as well as the major enterprises in commerce, construction and agriculture, are French owned or controlled!

    One of the few present day Francophone African leaders who signalled a serious intention to extricate his country from the Colonial Pact was President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast. Gbagbo has long been an opponent of the Colonial Pact, and therefore earned for himself the enmity and hatred of the French establishment.

    From as far back as 2002, the French revealed their determination to get rid of Gbagbo by any means necessary, when they instigated a military coup against him. They were unsuccessful then, but finally prevailed in 2011, with the help of an election dispute and the complicity of the United Nations Security Council.

    France has shown that it is determined to keep French-speaking Africa in neo-colonialist thraldom, and this is another reason why we should all support the GAC campaign and refuse to purchase French wines!

    * David Comissiong is president of the People’s Empowerment Party