Joram Nyathi Spectrum
GIVE it to President Mugabe. He has angered the white world. Worse, he appears to be infecting his neighbours. For the first time in more than half a century, Africans are looking to the Earth for salvation instead of Heaven. And the white man doesn’t like such insolence.
Namibia and South Africa are talking the language of the Earth. They don’t have to do it the (President) Robert Mugabe way. Naturally, pioneering something so daring must come with great risks and grave mistakes.
Zimbabwe has pioneered land reform, offered an armature around which the rest of the sub-region can polish its act. The course of the Earth is unavoidable, for therein lies the African’s redemption, whatever the scary scenarios are being created around Zimbabwe’s land reform, including enlisting the services of black people to repeat Helen Zille’s colonialism benefits mantra.
I am happy for Zimbabwe.
To me the worst is in the past. We will have to learn how best to manage and benefit from our resources in a very hostile white world, which requires of us to piously cling onto their Bible while they reap riches from our Earth. So the war is being taken to President Jacob Zuma’s courtyard.
Figures don’t lie
Let’s face the reality. Zuma didn’t invent the gross race-based economic inequalities in South Africa.
Those inequalities are acknowledged across the racial divide. When President Zuma mooted the idea of “radical economic transformation”, this is what he pointed out, (paraphrased); the top 10 percent of the national population earns incomes which are more than 100 times the bottom 10 percent.
It is reported that about 75 percent of all wealth in South Africa is owned by a mere 10 of the population.
The biggest anomaly in this is that the wealth and the poverty have a racial profile. The richest 10 percent of the population happen to be white. Although they claim to have lived in South Africa for more than 400 years, they constitute about 9 percent of the population, blacks about 76 and coloureds also about 9 percent, according to 2011 census figures.
Whites built their wealth on the back of an oppressed, colonised black majority. Only a society without a “conscience” can live happily with this grotesquery.
The irony is that white capital in South Africa today is appealing to all blacks — the mine workers, the wretched of the earth who live emkhukhwini, the youth, members of the national assembly and the entire ANC membership and its alliance partners — to use their “conscience” against Zuma’s radical economic transformation to maintain the unconscionable status quo.
The demonstrations against Zuma are meant to protect and preserve the socio-economic inequalities, and Africans have been found to be willing tools in this devilry.
Like we have said of President Mugabe in the past, Zuma is far from being a saint. He has proved to be venal. But to suggest that he should not talk about economic inequalities in South Africa because a couple of American dollars were irregularly spent on his private home in Nkandla is insulting.
How much is being daily stolen from blacks by capitalists through cheap labour on the farms, mines, and factories? How does one justify the fact that 75 percent of the wealth in South Africa belongs to 10 percent of the population, a majority of that white? Ingenuity? Entrepreneurship? Predestination?
The dilemma is in how to redress these sins. Those who control South Africa’s means of production and want to cling to privileges of colonial occupation and their colour use the media they control to push for palliatives which will not upset the apple- cart.
They use the language of “reform”, respect for the law and property rights. Their biggest shield is an “admirable constitution” and a “vibrant civil society”, states The Washington Post. The precepts of that constitution are what Zuma swore to protect and is being judged against.
Mantshantsha and Methodolog
The dispossessed and hungry majority have started talking the language of President Mugabe. It’s time for radical economic transformation, itself a “dream deferred” for far too long. The question now is which “methodology” can deliver but is not “disruptive” to white capital, hence the obsession with South Africa’s junk status since Zuma took the bold step to get rid of Pravin Gordhan.
There can be no consensus on methodology. That is unless blacks can be forced to compromise, and one immediate way to achieve that is by getting rid of Zuma. If blacks themselves can be conscripted to discredit Zuma through diversions about Nkandla and the Gupta family, then there is no need for Helen Zille, who can easily be charged of racism.
Sikonathi Mansthantsha of the Financial Mail is one of the straw men who have stepped in to demonstrate how bad Zuma is for the economy, a white economy. Predictably, the bogey of Zimbabwe came handy as a bad model.
I will quote Mantshantsha liberally because his argument fits the class. He acknowledges that Africans lost their land through violence and that there was no compensation.
Then this; “But times have changed drastically since then, when only military strength determined a people’s fate. The armed robberies that yielded land for the foreign occupiers cannot justify today’s armed robberies. There were no rules of engagement then.”
Then he goes for the killer punch; “Societies have since moved on, to civilisation and decency.
It is too late to administer the same medicine to punish the crimes of armed robbery that occurred 400 years ago. It’s time for new rules, based on justice and fairness . . . Such a correction of the mistakes of the past can only be forward-looking, to harmonious and prosperous co-existence, rather than vengeful and equally criminal ‘empowerment’ measures.”
The last bit is a backhanded reference to Zimbabwe where “the importance of livestock has again been elevated to the level last seen before the arrival of Cecil John Rhodes”.
The askari is not even aware that Rhodes and his gang of robbers in fact new the value of livestock more than Africans, hence The Loot Committee set up to loot livestock for the white occupiers from across the country. But that’s an aside.
What we invariably find obscene about these apologists of white colonial robbery is that it is again always the African victim, who is required to compromise and relent in his quest for economic and social justice. It is never the alien aggressor. It is always the colonial rapist who is protected by the law, the constitution, not the African from whom everything was stolen and he was reduced to slavery on the motherland.
Let’s take on Mantshantsha Zille at his word. He tells us; “Societies have since moved on, to civilisation and decency.” That’s another view.
Question: How far on have blacks moved in South Africa since the cursed day Jan van Riebeeck stepped his foot on the Cape of Good Hope? How do we justify a civilisation and decency which tolerate such egregious socio-economic inequalities based on racial conquest in one nation? Whose civilisation? Whose decency? Shouldn’t civilised and decent whites themselves feel ashamed of the African poverty surrounding their opulence and be calling for a radical economic transformation of South Africa for a harmonious and prosperous future, a more inclusive and therefore a safer nation for all?
We have been there here, we know it. That is where President Mugabe’s reconciliation policy with whites fell apart. They would not share land with blacks.
Twenty years down the same road one would expect decent, civilised whites in South Africa to know better the risks of a stiff neck, instead of which they deploy willing intellectuals as stalking horses to camouflage the racist architecture of the economy, pretending to be the voice of reason and moderation.
The neo-colonial struggle has entered a dangerous stretch.
Indeed, “It’s time for new rules, based on justice and fairness.” Not under white justice.
Zimbabwe has the just departed Justice Godfrey Chadyausiku to thank for helping fashion laws that would yield justice and reunite the African with his land. May his soul rest in peace!