When a white South African, Brandon Huntley, was granted asylum in Canada after claims of being the victim of racist violence, many of us - Richmark Sentinel included - went pear-shaped and labeled the board who had approved it, a bunch of morons who never took the time or trouble to investigate the reality of the situation.
South Africa, after all, does not condone racism in any form and had this panel bothered to check their facts, they would have noticed that Huntley was one of 5 million whites, rather than some sort of isolated survivor from the switch over from apartheid to a multiracial democracy.
The Canadian government itself then slammed the ruling as perverse, irrational and based on a "jaundiced assessment" of South Africa.
This however is all going to come under intense scrutiny following the stabbing of two white expatriates, now living in Canada, who were hiking in Fernkloof Nature Reserve near Hermanus.
Janet and Martin Stern were stabbed in the back, pushed us to the ground - where Martin was hit in the face with a rock - robbed and then bound. They managed to break free after their assailants had left and summon help from the Joubert family from Bloemfontein. This has resulted in their being hospitalized from which they have now fortunately been released.
Needless to say that if you Google this story, with reference to Canada, you will find that all of their newspapers have covered it and will no doubt be following it up with the Sterns upon their return home. Questions being asked about the so-called" jaundiced assessment" of South Africa by the board in Huntley and whether in fact it was not accurate after all.
The fact that nowhere (correct us if we are wrong) does it appear what race the attackers were, is not going to be noticed in the clamor to regard South Africa as a no-white zone. That just a few months away from the 2010 World Cup, the venue is a crime-infested cesspit.
The Canadians are going to spin this one over and over and form the opinion that South Africa is not the place to go if you are white. Their government might tell them of the reality, the South African tourism board might paint a vastly different picture but in the end each time we send home body bags and victims of extreme violence the damage done to South Africa's reputation in the countries from which these victims emanate, is enormous.
Unfortunately Canada is by no means unique with examples from many countries around the world.
Worse, South Africa is also not a country for black foreigners either as the horrendous violence of xenophobia demonstrated. Countries who had risked enormous backlash from the apartheid regime in order to liberate black South Africans watched in horror as their citizens were attacked and killed, driven into sanctuaries and the subject of verbal abuse.
An absolute disgrace and a kick in the teeth for South Africa's African friends.
Recently we were even treated to claims of a new threat in the form of the "yellow peril" which makes one shudder at the thinking that has to be going on behind that one.
The answer to this national disgrace is not to tell the police to shoot anything that moves, as an innocent 3 year old boy found out recently. It lies in a credible criminal justice system underpinned by politicians who walk the talk.
A good example being Kader Asmal in his quest to find justice over Judge John Hlophe. Give the man a medal and pin his picture up in parliament - there is a role model for government to follow.
South Africans need to think long and hard about this culture of violence and intolerance so that some day they can laugh off the claims of the Brandon Huntley's of this world. That day is unfortunately still some way off.