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Africa in the Chinese Media: First ever Chinese ANC election candidate; Mandela Day events

This series reviews coverage of Africa in Chinese newspapers and media, aiming to highlight interesting reporting on a range of African topics, countries and regions.

This week we take a look at Nanfei8.com, the online portal for South African Chinese people that describes itself as a “Chinese life and investment information website”. With several news sections, classifieds, jobs, photos and videos, business opportunities, a discussion forum (among other sections), the site is a very good resource on the life and experiences of Chinese people in South Africa. This is however not the only portal for Chinese people in South Africa, others include sa2cn.com and nanfei365.com.

This post is a brief summary of some of the news content that appeared on Nanfei8.com during the week of July 11-17. Regrettably last week saw reports of robbery and murder of Chinese people in South Africa, but also expanding community networking and support provided by the South Africa Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre. In more headline news, South Africa now has its very first Chinese ANC election candidate running for office in Johannesburg, and several Chinese organisations were involved in Mandela Day events on July 18.

South African Chinese women prominent in ANC election campaign in Johannesburg

Zhào Jiànlíng, or Jianling Wu as she is known in local media (or just Jenny), is the first ever Chinese woman to stand in a local election for the ruling African National Congress (ANC), and she is contesting Johannesburg’s Ward 118 in the upcoming municipal election on August 3. Jenny recently came to the attention of some local media; she says she started community organising in China, but moved to South Africa with her family 20 years ago. She is currently out and about in Johannesburg campaigning and engaging with the community, and CCTV has also taken notice of her and produced this news segment on July 16:


Election rally in Johannesburg
On July 16 Jenny and around 300 other ANC members visited Denver, a poor area in central Johannesburg, for an election rally. Jenny and her party colleagues were pictured singing and dancing, but she also visited homes in the area, and promised if elected to implement a large-scale social transformation of the area, which is home to around 15,000 mostly poor people.

Zhao Jianling 3

ANC election candidate Jianling (Jenny) Wu in Denver, Johannesburg on July 16.

Visit to old age home
The next day, July 17, Jenny visited an old age home in Kensington, Johannesburg, and engaged the residents on their living conditions. She was told that the roof of the building leaked, and the sewer is often blocked.

Chinese female entrepreneurs dancing and chanting in the China mall
On July 15 members of the African Chinese Female Entrepreneurs Alliance (全非洲华人女企业家工商联合总会) participated in an ANC rally of sorts at a China mall in Bruma Lake. The event was billed as “ANC Yellow Friday”, and also saw participation by the Southern Africa Shanghai Industry and Commerce Friendship Society (南部非洲上海工商联谊总会). Images of the event show Chinese ladies in yellow ANC t-shirts handing out leaflets in the mall, and there was dancing, chanting and singing, including of the South African national anthem.

Members of the All African Chinese Female Entrepreneurs Alliance at an ANC rally at a Chinese mall in Bruma Lake, Johannesburg.

Members of the African Chinese Female Entrepreneurs Alliance at an ANC rally at a Chinese mall in Bruma Lake, Johannesburg, on July 15.

Chinese female entrepreneurs and the ANC Women’s League
On July 17 members of the African Chinese Female Entrepreneurs Alliance participated in an event with the ANC Women’s League at Linden Bowling Club in Johannesburg. Alliance president Zhāng Shǎoméi played a leading role at the event, which also served as a ceremony for the Alliance’s donation of blankets and food to local communities. There was singing and dancing as well.

Mandela Day events

Sasolburg, Free State province
Several Chinese organisations in South Africa were active on Mandela Day on July 18. The Southern Africa Fujian Residents Association and the Free State province local government held a ceremony in Sasolburg for the donation of goods and supplies to more than 250 poor households in the area to the value of 350,000 rand (US$ 24,500). The Chinese Consulate-General in Johannesburg was also present and donated 20,000 rand (US$ 1,403).

Rustenburg, North West province
On July 18 members of the North West province branches of the Southern Africa Fujian Residents Association and the South Africa Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre visited a poor community in Rustenburg to hand over donated goods worth 250,000 rand (US$ 17,500). Rustenburg mayor Mpho Kunou was also present.

The Southern Africa Fujian Residents Association at a Mandela Day ceremony in Sasolburg, Free State province, July 18.

The Southern Africa Fujian Residents Association at a Mandela Day ceremony in Rustenburg, Free State province, on July 18. Mayor Mpho Kunou is shown seated second from the left.

South Africa Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre

Man from Jiangsu brutally murdered by man from Fujian in Johannesburg (see also subsequent post)
On the evening of July 14 a man from Jiangsu province surnamed Zhōu (周) was brutally murdered in Johannesburg, and the murderer is still on the run. According to the president of the Southern Africa Jiangsu Residents Association, Chén Huī, the murderer is a man from Fujian province named Hé (何) who is a wholesale trader in Johannesburg and who had business dealings with Mr Zhou.

As Chén Huī tells the story, Mr Zhōu asked Mr Hé to transmit 300,000 renminbi (or around 660,000 rand) to China for him, but Mr Zhōu subsequently found out that his money was never transmitted to China, and that Mr Hé had cheated him. On the evening of July 14 Mr Zhōu sought out Mr Hé, and the two sat talking in a car. The encounter apparently resulted in an argument, which led to a fight, and ended with Mr Zhōu being stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors.

Mr Hé apparently recently lost a lot of money gambling at a casino, and is in debt. After the murder was done, the murderer took Mr Zhōu’s house key from his pocket, drove to his house and there encountered Mr Zhōu’s younger male cousin, with whom he also proceeded to scuffle. He stabbed Mr Zhōu’s cousin twice, and then robbed the house to the value of 100,000 rand. Luckily Mr Zhou’s cousin is going to be OK.

Shortly after these events the South Africa Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre (南非华人警方合作中心), a body set up in 2004 to support Chinese people in South Africa and to interact with the local police forces, was on the scene.

Northern Cape Chinese shop owner robbed; New support centre established in province
On July 16 the South Africa Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre reported that a Chinese shop owner in Olifantshoek near Upington in the Northern Cape was robbed of 80,000 rand (US$ 5,600) in cash on the morning of July 15. As soon as they heard of the incident, the centre’s Northern Cape director, Lù Mínghuī, as well as deputy directors Chén Dúndē and Wēng FāBǎo drove 160 km to the scene of the crime.

Three members of the Northern Cape Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre with the police in Upington, Northern Cape.

Three members of the Northern Cape Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre with the police in Upington, Northern Cape.

In fact, the Northern Cape Chinese Community & Police Cooperation Centre was only established on June 25 this year, and the first meeting was only convened by Lù Mínghuī in Kimberley on July 10 – five days before the robbery in Olifantshoek. Lù and his colleagues at the Northern Cape Centre consider their duties to be to visit Chinese shops in the province and have discussions with Chinese business people, to establish social media support groups, to interact with and support the local police service, and to provide other support services to the community.

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