This was supposed to be a piece about rebirth, the turning points that determine a trajectory of those bound by the changes in time and space. It is impossible to write that piece without quoting the internationally acclaimed miracle that was to be the democratic South Africa… –miracle or scam is what i’m still trying to figure out. It does seem, there was substantial deluded talk amongst the older in our society that , it was “Majority” rule also referred to as Majoritarianism that was being fought for and ultimately achieved in ’94… Sadly, almost shamefully, it was another system known as democracy, heralded by western countries, colonisers of ours, past -present- and probably future. Steve Biko famously said in one of a few remaining video media files bearing his image, that the black consciousness movement doesn’t subscribe to the notion of the “Guarantee of minority rights” for whites. This prophetic clip, hinting at the very first notions of non-racialism or non fragmentation within a mixed nation state, envisioned a society that guarantees human right to a freedom that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others, minority or not. He sounds ready to denounce a system that can set precedence for the protection of a few of those with an ability to mobilise and organise themselves into a group, and lobby for policy change and access to resources at the expense of the majority.
How is it that an Afrikaans socialist state that catered to the needs of a white minority settler constituency, while regarding the indigenous population as sub-human occupiers of space that would be better suited as slaves and labour, was able to transition to a 1 man, 1 vote system without full scale racial war is beyond me? Over the past 25 years, new institutions that enshrine freedom, equality, justice and socio-economic rights for all have been established, and they remain with the task of creating access to the upholding of human rights as espoused in South Africa’s, “celebrity of a constitution”. The Same celebrity of a constitution whose reputation is being dragged through the mud, and now hated by the working class it was designed to serve. The document is being Viewed as both an (in)animate tool, that can be used in the oppression or emancipation of a people.
The attaining of political freedom was, for a while, the plan best suited to transition to a more egalitarian society through a democratic system. It was President of the ANC, Oliver Tambo who asserted in as early as ’75 at the Organisation of African Union (now African Union), that, “it is only when political power has been won by the masses in South Africa, that we will begin the immense task of completely dismantling the structures and institutions of Apartheid”. Evidently there may be clues as to why democracy has not necessarily been aligned to the interests of the majorities that exist in the country. These majorities, the poor, the black, the working class, The citizens, the Women… are being shepherded by minorities, the rich, the white, the black middle class, the corporations, the politicians, the migrants, the men and as a result, the interests, rights and dues of the majority groups are not as important as those interests of minority groups. This Ningi-Zimu is the most unequal society in the world according to that gini-coefficient… meaning here, at least monetarily, a higher percentage of minorities are benefiting at the expense of the “fragmented Majority” (im still finding a way to articulate this, better).
The plan was not for things to change overnight, 1994 was just the beginning (of what?). In 2018, we seemed to be experiencing a second birth. In the negotiations that brought about a constitutional South Africa, there were sunset clauses that were put in place to secure and protect the lawful ownership of primarily illegally acquired lands, and now, many years later, assets that are an accumulation of the initial theft. The South African public is not privy to these clauses and conditions set out in the Codesa Negotiations of 1992- we still largely rely on speculation – and aggrieved (Pan African Congress) PAC comrades with some unconfirmed Intel. What is Evident and clearly so, is that the Majority has not had such a successful stint with democracy, which can in my view can be summed up to… “Protect and guarantee rights of minorities”, correctly rejected by Bantu Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement… it is important to understand this rejection is not directed towards targeted peoples, who have through ideology and a record of being oppresed have declared themselves minorities in society and remain vulnerable to attacks from those who do not understand the infinite spectrum that is humanity.
President Jacob Zuma resigned late in the night after shortly having announced a version of “free education for all” that will create access to tertiary institutions for deserving African students. What was not dealt with is the legacy of the student loan and it being a tough introduction to a bitter-sweet life of “debt management” before one even earns some from remuneration from the qualification… Jacob Zuma was succeeded by Cyril Ramaphosa, a man who was at the helm of the transition into the “new South Africa” as negotiator and unionist… and now returning, negotiating he has been, but again in the interests of the Minorities it appears, and it is still largely speculation. This remembering disinformation and propaganda is alive and well due to a kind of luciferian beguiling of the electorate… and in these times marked by Fake news echo chambers, the next few months leading to South African national elections will be interesting.
Cyril Ramaphosa is at the helm of what appears to be a transition into a “new new South Africa”, where the possibility of land being in the control of the majority population may be realised. I doubt this will happen as the conversation is slowly shifting towards the nationalisation of the land with the state as custodian. “Controlled not owned”, by the way… They say ownership is the problem, but from observation, the ownership of private property, land and assets, seems a pillar of democracy… which is at risk, because of the failings of capitalists, a minority class, who continue to abuse democratic principles and abuse capital for the purposes of hoarding wealth instead of putting the money back into the community. yes this is much confusing but our largely dispossessed, working class people should at least own their accommodation, even for their own peace of mind and then be given an opportunity to participate in capitalism. Because things are going to get tough in a R350 type of socialism… But without an opportunity to work and build instead of living hand to mouth. It is shameful on the part of the state, that we the people do not own assets we feel need the protection by the democratic constitution. The adage should go, “a piece of land, for peace of mind…” and then we attend to the needs of the people. Will the country still remain as “a democracy” is a good question, “Why should we care if the country remains a democracy” is an even better question.
The famous tabling of a motion by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to amend section 25 of the constitution which deals with ownership of land, has caused much debate and international media are framing it as “reverse racism” and “white genocide”. The motion was supported by the African National Congress (ANC) who for a long time, preached nationalisation without much action and finally saw that ignoring the question of the disparity of land ownership and access to appreciating assets among the races may cost them the majority vote in Parliament and compromise their position as governing party. And we will wait for the land to come back as if the land had gone somewhere, but it was the same land our ancestors lived from before the colonisers began to chop the trees from which they made the paper books now betraying the history of a Various people.
There was a dizzy idea that was perpetuated by NGO’s, sport, arts and culture organisations, that through shared symbolism, a braai, some castle beer advertisements, Afcon, a rugby world cup and Mandoza’s crossover hit, caught in the daze, the working class would forget and the country would unite, plebs and celebrities alike. This notion has been quite opaque and fading to nothingness in the last few years as social media reveals the conversations happening amongst the people… and not disregarding psy-ops agent bots who create polarised views on social media, to influence emotions, objective reasoning and ultimately the behavioural patterns of a group. Sometimes, the conversations are clear; that the black struggle was not one whose objectives were to fraternise with the settler class on beaches and benches, private schools and gated communities with increased proximity to established power. The struggle was to reclaim and have access to the land which African ancestors were forcefully removed off… and NOT hand it to an Authority or even government prone to capture by minorities.
I would really like to believe the leaders, citizens and non-politically affiliated agenda setters of the time pre-94, had they not been bombarded with the idea of civil war, and black on black violence fuelled by the arming of counter-productive black militia, could’ve cut the niceties and discussed land on the 28th of April 1994. But the history of expropriation of lands and assets without compensation or consideration of settlers and their ties to international industry has proven to be detrimental to African countries and their well-being in a globally connected economic framework.
Sanctions and embargoes can render the richest countries petrified, unable to trade with the rest of the world as previously colonised countries are signatories to international treaties and statutes, which protect the rights to private property. It should be noted that a large part of the problems that undermine sovereignty, stem from this very fact that African countries are signatories to international statutes that would much rather protect the interests of multinational corporations (minorities), more than the wellbeing of indigenous populations who are in the majority. The cases of Guinea and Zimbabwe are two different cases with a common thread. Land was expropriated without compensation and there were dire consequences seemingly designed to instil the fear of the white god in any other African nation that wills to expropriate land and assets with the mind-set of transferring ownership to the people instead of a few multinationals and a few politically connected individuals, a minority.
Part of the rebirth process is assuming a new name. Most of the African countries who gained independence changed their colonial names. Our neighbour, Namibia, was known as a cardinal point, South-west Africa, much like ourselves. South Africa, whose original name, or the name designated to the same land mass as we occupy is said to be Mapungubwe…others claim Azania… and this is the thing… it doesnt matter as the people existed on a land mass inhabited by a host of mixed nations in the southern most demarcation of Africa… there are plenty ruins of what appears to be stone mason civilisations, again betrayed by conventional western and settler history. The name should have changed – end of story – and it makes a thinker beg the question – was it true sovereignty or a disguised autonomy that was achieved by the negotiators in the transition to a democratic South Africa? But our questions should never leave us to a point of pessimism where we lack an understanding of the new frontiers we face as a mixed nation state… yes, again, mixed Nation state… I’m still finding ways to articulate this without making it sound as a problem.
Freeing ourselves from a crippling pessimism and understanding that we as a country have the potential to have the world witness another miracle is key… But it seems it will be difficult time. The unbundling (currently understood as privatisation) of Energy company Eskom was proposed recently and without even a waste of time, there are threats of rolling black outs, at a cost of R2Billion a day in what seems like an effort to convince the electorate why the country desperately needs to Privatise electricity (a “utility”), not enough information is available about what this means for the future. The masters have pledged to support our “land reform programme” by throwing money at the problem… but if we are talking about Nationalising the land, Maybe lets threaten the Multinational Corporations Lands and Assets, instead. We think Ingonyama trust must be the first to fall… yet we assemble Mercedes bens in a South African manufacturing plant but the country cant produce a locally branded vehicle to create competition for these foreign Brands. Still, it is the land of indigenous people that is paraded in the media and threatened to be expreopriated, not the fenced off , unoccupied, unused and appreciating farms belonging to multinationals and foreign individuals.
I think we need the same PR team that sold us the rainbow nation ideal to sell another campaign to the world. A campaign that seeks to tell the truth, not “a majority of the truth”, but a truth that resonates with the majority, instead of the minorities. I’m observing, democracy was a perfect system to protect minorities who found themselves existing in metropolitan western societies, from a majority that would otherwise oppress them for their differences. In this current Africa, as Africans we have no business favouring democracy over other systems of Governance, ie: Majoritarianism. Democracy teaches us many truths, especially the respect of the truth according minorities (as mentioned above) at the expense of the truths of the majority… and perhaps i am asking for a guarantee of majority rights… Experience has not elevated my thinking to the non-racialism advocated by the ascended Black Consciousness Movement.