How refreshing it is to read something that for once says and sees things for what they are. Made that much more compelling because it is written by a black South African with insight and the courage to say it as it is. For this he must be commended. We may not like what he says but at least it is the truth and dealing with truth makes decisions a lot easier than when dealing with myths, untruths, misconceptions and fairytales. Are we not all sick and tired of the mainstream drivel written by liberals who have no contact or concept of the grasp of the reality of Africa? How many more lessons do we need before the truth hits home?
To not steal anything from Prince Mashele’s thunder– the author of this excellent article – it is necessary to quote heavily from his article to bring the point home. Prince Mashele is Executive Director of the Centre for Politics and Research. He writes the following:
“In the midst of the political confusion that has gripped our country many people are wondering if we have come to the end of South Africa. The answer is simple: the thing called an “end” does not exist, not in relation to a country. SA will be there long after Jacob Zuma is gone.
What Zuma has done is to make us come to the realization that ours is just another African country, not some exceptional country on the southern tip of the African continent.
During the presidency of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, some among us used to believe that the black people of SA are better than those of other African countries. We must all thank Zuma for revealing our true African character; that the idea of rule of law is not part of who we are, and that constitutionalism is a concept far ahead of us as a people.
How else are we to explain the thousands of people who flock to stadiums to clap hands for a president who has violated their country’s constitution? Such people have no idea of constitutionalism.
Now that we have reclaimed our place as another African country, we must reflect on and come to terms with our real character, and imagine what our future portends.
In a typical African country, ordinary people don’t expect much of politicians, because people get tired of repeated empty promises.
In a typical African country, people have no illusions about the unity of morality and governance. People know that those who have power have it for themselves and their friends and families.
The idea that the state is an instrument for people’s development is a Western concept…..
Africans and their leaders don’t like to copy from the West. They are happy to remain African, and do things “the African way”. (Did not President Zuma recently say he would prefer to do things the African way!)
The African way is rule by kings, chiefs and indunas in a setting of unwritten rules. Is there anyone who has seen a book of African customary laws?
The idea that a commoner can raise questions about public money spent on the residence of a king is not African. The ANC MPs who have been defending Zuma are true Africans. Asking a ruler to be accountable is a foreign – Western – idea. In a situation where there is conflict between a ruler and laws, Africans simply change the laws to protect the ruler.
The problem with clever blacks is that they think they live in Europe, where ideas of democracy have been refined over centuries.
What we need to do is to come back to reality, and accept that ours is a typical African country. Such a return to reality will give us a fairly good idea of what SA’s future might look like.
This country will not look like Denmark. It might look like Nigeria, where anti-corruption crusaders are an oddity.
Being an African country, ours will not look like Germany. SA might look like Kenya, where tribalism drives politics.
People must not entertain the illusion that a day is coming when SA will look like the US. Our future is more on the side of Zimbabwe, where one ruler is more powerful than the rest of the population. Even if Julius Malema were to become president, it would still be the same.
African leaders don’t like the idea of an educated populace, for clever people are difficult to govern. Mandela and Mbeki were themselves corrupted by Western education. (Admission: this columnist is also corrupted by such education.)
Zuma remains African. His mentality is in line with Boko Haram. He is suspicious of educated people; what he calls “clever blacks”. Remember that Boko Haram means “Against Western Education”. The people who think we have come to the end of SA don’t realize that we have actually come to the beginning of a real African country, away from the Western illusions of exceptionalism.
What makes most people restless about the future of SA is that they have Western models in mind, forgetting that ours is an African country. The idea that a president can resign simply because a court of law has delivered an adverse judgment is Western. Only the Prime Minister of Iceland does that; African rulers will never do that.
Analyzed carefully, the notion of SA coming to an “end” is an expression of a Western value system – of accountability, political morality, reason, and so on. All these are lofty ideas of Socrates, Kant, Hegel, and so on. They are not African. All of us must thank Jacob Zuma for introducing us to the real African Republic of South Africa, not some outpost of European values.
Thank you Mr. Mashele for saying things as they are.
This dear readers, is the reality of the country we are now living in. It is not so much a question of race – black, or white or Asian – it is a clash of incompatible civilizations and cultures.
If whites of South Africa want to live in a European / Western type of civilization where the norms and standards of western civilization apply then there are only three options open to us. The first is to immigrate to a first world European / Western country which is becoming progressively more difficult to do. The other problem is that Western countries are being flooded (invaded?) by African and Muslim “refugees” who are changing and are intent on changing the whole face of “western civilization” so this is going to lead to confrontation and a clash of cultures and civilizations there as well. The second option is that somehow by way of negotiation or struggle the whites of this country will have to create their own homeland /country where they can practice their own culture and norms. The third option is to accept the status quo and the consequences that come from being a white person in Africa. Our options are very limited and time is running out.
If we want to face reality and, based on what has been written by Prince Mashele, the idea of a multicultural rainbow nation is exposed as nothing more than an illusion – a pipedream conjured up by liberal people who are out of touch with reality – then we must accept that this is unattainable – the divide between cultures and civilizations is just too great to bridge. When all accept this, then and then only, can one can start looking for workable solutions. Until then ….dream on.
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