See through the white nos­tal­gia for apartheid

The #Zu­maMustFall cam­paign is just an ex­cuse to flaunt racism and fas­cism, write Adile Mngxi­tama and Zanele Lwana

CityPress - - Voices -

The #Zu­maMustFall cam­paign is a racist re­sponse by white peo­ple to per­ceived threats to their in­ter­ests by the os­ten­si­ble in­com­pe­tency of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

The cam­paign is an ini­tia­tive of white right-wingers, the cor­po­rate me­dia and other re­ac­tionar­ies – from the DA to the (for­mer Cosatu boss) Zwelinz­ima Vavi sup­port group­ings – un­der the pre­text of fight­ing cor­rup­tion. The ide­ol­ogy and agenda of the cam­paign are racist and pro-cap­i­tal­ist, and there­fore fas­cist.

It is no sur­prise to see apartheid flags waved in the march and racist mes­sages on the plac­ards.

It is not the first time Vavi has made an al­liance with self-de­clared racists. We saw how he joined hands with AfriFo­rum dur­ing the “anti-cor­rup­tion march” ear­lier in the year.

The or­gan­is­ers of the cam­paign hope to ma­nip­u­late the gen­uine anger the black ma­jor­ity has against the fail­ures of the ANC and Zuma, and turn it into a strat­egy to de­fend white in­ter­ests.

Black peo­ple have to be ex­tra care­ful not to be used in pro­grammes to bring back apartheid un­der the guise of fight­ing cor­rup­tion. Whites have nei­ther par­tic­i­pated in nor sup­ported any of the strug­gles of black peo­ple against the ANC and Zuma, from the Marikana mas­sacre to the #FeesMustFall cam­paign.

What is hap­pen­ing now is the ap­pro­pri­a­tion of the fruit of black strug­gle that has been gained from suf­fer­ing tear gas, smoke, im­pris­on­ment, po­lice beat­ings, sus­pen­sions from uni­ver­sity, etc. The hash­tag MustFall is a prod­uct of dif­fi­cult strug­gles; now whites have stolen it to fur­ther their nos­tal­gia for apartheid.

The cam­paign shows the para­dox in South Africa’s pol­i­tics. The racist right-wingers are op­pos­ing Zuma be­cause they feel he is not pro­vid­ing enough pro­tec­tion of ne­olib­er­al­ism.

The march was in de­fence of the JSE, which lost close on R200 bil­lion in a few days af­ter the mar­kets’ re­ac­tion to the dis­missal of Fi­nance Min­is­ter Nh­lanhla Nene.

In South Africa, the JSE is syn­ony­mous with white in­ter­est – 20 years af­ter democ­racy, blacks own only 3% of the JSE-listed com­pa­nies. It there­fore makes sense for whites to be up­set with any­thing that up­sets the mar­kets. But the same mar­kets ex­clude blacks.

The ANC and Zuma have failed black peo­ple. Zuma has done noth­ing to change the ne­olib­eral poli­cies that are anti-black, which started un­der for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela and were per­fected un­der his suc­ces­sor, Thabo Mbeki.

The ANC is the last to com­plain that the march is racist be­cause they have kept racism alive for the past 20 years. The ANC and Zuma must in­deed go, but it will not be done un­der the com­mand of whites in ser­vice of their apartheid agenda.

The strug­gle for change must be prin­ci­pled, hence we will not join hands with racists un­der any cir­cum­stances. Those who choose un­prin­ci­pled al­liances of hate, wit­tingly or not, are work­ing to main­tain white power.

Black First Land First (BLF) re­jects Zuma and the ANC’s neo­colo­nial and ne­olib­eral poli­cies that put mar­kets be­fore peo­ple. Equally, the BLF re­jects the fas­cist cam­paign un­der the #Zu­maMustFall protest. Th­ese are two sides of the same bloody neo­colo­nial and ne­olib­eral cap­i­tal­ist coin. One is not worse than the other. Only a black-led and con­trolled strug­gle will bring real change. Mngxi­tama and Lwana are the na­tional con­vener and na­tional co­or­di­na­tor, re­spec­tively, of the

Black First Land First move­ment

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