The other day an Afrikaner friend of mine, dismayed by the turmoil of race conflicts that are slowly gripping our country, wondered whether the state of affairs will all end up in ashes.
‘Hardly’ said I optimistically despite the haggard look he flashed at me. I pressed on and said that in the face of the present situation it all rests on how we South Africans, both black and white, respond to the racial crises that is being played out before us. It is through a collective work-harmony why we have gotten so far in our democratic rule. Why then should the democratic mindset entrenched a decade and a half ago be bowed out and brushed aside while the serpent of tyranny assume rule through political polarization? Surely the Centre of power is not composed of misers moping around while so much security in our Republic is at stake. The haggard look contorting my friend’s face was accentuated by threats which are presently being thrown around through Malema’s Facebook account towards the Afrikaner society in our country and they in turn responding vehemently at the threats with similar racial gumption. As I tried to quelled the worries of my friend a similar event that occurred in cyberspace last year cropped up in my mind.
About a year ago, towards our national election date, when Motlanthe was caretakering our nation and JZ had been resuscitated from a political wilderness there were several disheartening e-mails that did the rounds amongst the working class, who spent their days at work hooked to a computer. They were perpetual e-mails that did the rounds almost everyday. Worse when the country inched closer towards the general elction: This e-mail warned the recipients that should they vote for the same political party again things were bound not to improve but continue to disintegrate into decadence and mayhem. The negative rhetoric of this chain reaction e-mail (http://wp.me/puRfy-u) was reinforced by photos of African countries that, having gained their independence, had declined into failed states in terms of economy and physical infrastructure.
An assessment of this e-mail, which acted decisively like a spam; reinforced by images of particular sites of several African states before democratic rule, which were beautiful and images of similar sites after democracy showing the same sites in dilapidated states following majority self-rule alluded with perfect clarity of an existing section in South African society which was cold to the ensuing democratic rule and had made it their home work to discredit it via cyberspace. In the wake of the election week there was now an additional email that showed parts of the City of Johannesburg which have turned into squalor ‘due to neglect and service delivery’ the e-mail claimed. One will never be sure what the recipients of these negative communication made of those e-mails. The conspirators never won their war. Perhaps they may have instilled some hint of doubt in some of us. But the overall plan did not work. Come Election Day people, many of them young, turned in large numbers at the polling stations to vote and the Center went through restoration.
Fast forward to almost a year later…here we are Facebookers, Twitterers and Youtubers we are encountering hate speech especially with reference to JM’s Facebook account, promising assault, rape and murder to the Afrikaner community glossed by the banned lyrics of the black liberation struggle song. Is it a hoax?
Assaults, maltreatment, rape and murders in South African farms either those of workers or farmers themselves is as real as daylight in daylight. These are atrocities of a silent war that has ensued way after the birth of the Rainbow Nirvana and had been in existence way before. Go through the work of Henry Nxumalo and you will trace just how far it goes.
Are the farms the last battleground metaphorically encapsulating the land question which in essence represent the actualization of capital control? What of or culture of brutality through child labour and low wage remuneration of the farm labourer? Should we undertake the race summit as some commentators have suggested we ought to ride shod horse into this factor otherwise we are doing harm by imposing a delay into the true nature of the silent hate that is prevalent in us while we ought to talk Das Kapital
Anyone who is a true Republican, a South African, anyone who accepts the history of our nation; a true patriot who accepts racial injustices that black South Africans, and to a certain extend white South Africans have suffered through the Ideological State Apparatus of Apartheid. Anyone who fully acknowledges that we have not arrived yet at our destination but that we are still matching on steadily towards our goal of unity, will brush away the cobwebs of genocide as they dispel the schizophrenic tendencies fuelled by cyberspace and stop thinking that war is imminent when they realize that we have put hard work in our interrelations within our country to loose it all up. As I said at the opening of the present meditation it all depends on how we respond to internal and external stimuli that threatens harmony within our Republic. We do know that there are those who are opposed to democracy, pockets and pockets of resistance fueled by race hate; And more also at a higher level we know that the majority of South Africans are peace loving people henceforth the progress made thus far in our countries democracy. The fact of the matter is, we all have to contribute positively in our little way as much as possible.
Lastly any seasoned person who appreciates the effects of politics and is conscious of the political canvas in our country knows that they, our politics, are shaped by race. That very someone can also see that until race tensions are quelled through class parity, an answer to the negation of polarization in any society, every time we go to the polls we can never move beyond race when we make our mark because we are yet to be convinced that there is an alternative ruling realm. May the conspirators to our present situation be more constructive and creative for as our democracy matures so are its custodians – South Africans.
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2010