Last Friday, two very good stories coming from Angolan crossed my day. A most welcome relief, since often news from Angola, sadly, keep reminding us of how a country’s potential can be held back by corrupt, arrogant, inept leadership ( something we in Spain also know too well).
Firlst, I learnt the news that the judicial prosecution by Angolan generals against Rafael Marques de Morais has ended. Rafael is a great, humble, corageous activist whom I have had the privilege of meeting ( “I would be a couch potato if I things were different” he was told me, implying that most people in such situations would act similarly; sadly that is not true and most of us would not risk nearly as much as he has done to denounce the abuses against Angolans by their leaders).
The news, in a nutshell (thanks Justin Pearce for sharing the news and the succint phrasing), read that:
The journalist and activist Rafael Marques and the Angolan generals’ representatives in the defamation trial over human rights violations and diamond extraction in Angola reached an agreement in court today and the trial will not continue.
The announcement was made by Rafael Marques himself, who added that the agreement that was reached provides for the “non-republication” of the book “Blood Diamonds”, which was at issue in the trial, and for Marques, following an agreement with the relevant generals, to be able to monitor human rights compliance in the diamond producing areas.
This good news, not only mean that the judicial nightmare may be over for Rafael, but mostly that the Rafael will continue to be able to monitor human rights in the country.
To celebrate the good news, one may think, fate sent on Friday night to Brussels, Bonga, an Angolan musician with a long and distinguisehed career. I was thus able to discover this great artist i an outdoors concert (with good Belgian weather on top of it) organised as part of the Brussels Jazz Marathon.
Here is Bonga’s Mulema Xangola
And here is Chalo Correia, another Angolan artist I also discovered today (to celebrate this Africa Day)!
I have just learnt, also via Justi, that, in fact, after the generals dropped their case, it is now the Angolan state prosecution that wants to put Rafael in prison for 30 days… A luta continua!