July 15, 2008


Some of you have e-mailed me about the continuing tragedy of Zimbabwe. It is a story that dominates the news here and there are Zimbabwean immigrants/refugees living in Mthatha, as there are all over South Africa. Fortunately, Mthatha appears to have been spared the xenophobic violence that hit other parts of the country. The “quiet diplomacy” of President Thabo Mbeki is roundly criticized by everyone I’ve ever heard talk about him, from the opinion and editorial pages to the members of my Bible study, and has made him an even lamer duck than he was before.

I don’t have much to say about the topic that you can’t read someplace else but let me point out something that interested me. The Sunday Times I bought this week cost me 12.50 South African rand (just less than $2). If I had bought it in Namibia, it would have been 16.90 Namibian dollars. In Zimbabwe, because of the staggering inflation there, it would have cost me 50-billion (with a b) Zimbabwean dollars. Yikes!