African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema and ANC MP Winnie Mandela leaving the Guateng court where Malema is being accused of increasing racial tensions by singing revolutionary songs from the days of the armed struggle in South Africa., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
S. African courts used to manipulate racism
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 22:05
Courtesy of Zimpapers
By Udo W. Froese in Johannesburg, South Africa.
IT is disturbing as it is unsettling to witness in 2011 how in the new South Africa the law and the courts of this African land are used to manipulate a racial division, which could eventually become volatile.
It could be viewed as a deliberate and intentional misunderstanding based on exclusivity and race. In fact, it is obvious that outside interests are at play, playing AfriForum off against the ANC Youth League leader and vice versa, in order to polarise South Africa's society to eventually take over power in a destabilised country.
Reports reflecting these developments are making headlines in South Africa's media. The aforementioned serves to eventually take over power from within the ruling ANC by 2014.
The two contenders for the presidential chair seem to be a former premier of the Gauteng Province, whom then-President Nelson Mandela sent into early retirement, Tokyo Sexwale.
Currently, Sexwale holds the seat of Minister of Housing and Human Settlement. He has always displayed serious ambitions to be president of South Africa. However, many of his cabinet colleagues say, that it would be well beyond his reach, no matter who sponsors and pushes him.
The other presidential hopeful is Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi. Both seem popular with the white electorate.
The media further published an insider report that the ANCYL leader, Julius Malema, is part of Tokyo Sexwale's team in order to swing the youth behind Sexwale during the national and presidential elections in 2014.
It however remains disturbing to observe the court hearings of a case against the ANCYL leader, who is accused of promoting "killing the Boers" by singing "Dubula ibhunu".
The Johannesburg Equality Court had two clear sides - one Caucasian-Afrikaans attacking and accusing and on other African, defending.
The Caucasian-Afrikaaner and its AfriForum go out of their way to accuse the former oppressed and remaining disadvantaged African majority of singing "hate songs", claiming such songs will and have put Caucasian farmers in South Africa at risk.
Hooligan armchair academics, viewing Africa through their Caucasian Euro-centric eyes, make their declarations in the court case against the ANCYL leader.
Their thesis seem to be based on limited and thin research, as it was done up to 1980 and thereafter, when colonial-apartheid was at its height.
Those academics had no access to the oppressed majorities. Neither their families, nor they themselves had any exposure to black Africa in South Africa.
They formed an exclusive part of an elite whose studies added weight and attempted credibility to maintaining the colonial-apartheid system, as "those black barbarians", or as Africans were then described in their own land on their own continent, "kaffirs", had to remain as "hewers of wood and carriers of water", as the former PM and Bantu Affairs Minister, the late Hendrik French Verwoerd formulated.
Rhodesia's Prime Minister, the late Ian Douglas Smith once said, "The European conquest of the dark continent is a blessing for Africans as we brought you Christianity and civilisation."
Like in the rest of the colonies, African South Africans never had access to proper education, to a decent income and subsequent lifestyle, not to mention the rich mineral wealth and everything that goes with it; the entire infrastructure, all being part of a hostile, racist and therefore exclusive status quo.
Worst of all, Africans had no access to their ancestors' land. It is recorded, Africans, the original owners of the land, were chased off their land by forced removals.
This was the hated racial oppression that had started when Jan van Riebeeck set foot in the Western Cape.
Such was the oppression that torture and murder were the norm. The colonial-apartheid Caucasian in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community region (Sadc) claimed to have had no idea of such. Many members of the media promoted those same structures.
The media and the advertising industry, the industry per se, the finance, the commerce, the economy-at-large benefited.
Not only South Africa's original people, the Africans, but also those in Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo and last, by no means least, Zimbabwe, suffered the brutalities of a colonial-apartheid-UDI settler occupation.
Between 1975 and 1994 right up to the last week before the elections of the ANC into government under the democratically elected president Nelson Mandela, some 15 million black Africans were killed.
This racial war was put down in history as being part of the "cold war", the war between the international West's capitalism and the Soviet bloc's communism.
So much for Western Christian civilisation. The political churches have done their part to retain the colonial-settler status quo without fail.
The role of the songs, the gathering of the people in their streets, their living areas, at school and other venues throughout the Sadc region, every African sung those same songs.
These songs and chants are indeed a valve, an outlet, to express Africa's hurt, Africa's sadness, Africa's fear, Africa's anger at the racial, unchristian, opportunistic, murderous oppression for generations.
These songs are a reminder of where black African South Africans come from, their past struggles, their heart breaks. These songs are an encouragement to move forward towards addressing current economic challenges - the struggle against race-based inequalities is far from over.
The economy remains firmly in Caucasian control only, despite weak efforts at "BBBEE" and "affirmative action", as those seem rather a counter-revolutionary effort to keep the majority of the population out of the economy.
We, the Caucasians, should actually feel blessed that Africans are forgiving and sing their pain out into the open, in a way disciplining us, the exploiters and oppressors and owners of the economy and land.
We should apologise and repeatedly apologise, open our hearts and minds as well as "our" economy and land in a civilised fashion, accepting Africa's culture and history, also in the colonial legal court system.
May a historically wiser and humane judge in Johannesburg's Equality Court understand South Africa and Southern Africa's political African history and culture. May he truly respect and care for the country's toddler democracy.
Udo W Froese is an independent political and socio-economic analyst, published columnist and businessman based in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can also visit his blogsite: udofroese.wordpress.com.