DON’T LUMP IT ALL UNDER WHITE RACISM
I WISH to respond to the letter by the the ICHAF Training Institute chief executive, and I want to start a discussion on the other side of the coin by quoting a case-study.
The medical faculty of a university had a policy for the admission of first-year medical students: 10% may be white (In this instance, “white” included coloured and Indian) while 90% has to be black. A white scholar had a matric pass figure of 89% and his application was not successful. The average pass rate of the “white” group was 91%, while black pupils were allowed with pass rates of 50%.
The scenario conforms to the definition of “racism”, but this position has been defined in our constitution as not being racist and is seen to fall under the umbrella of affirmative action, a programme to rectify the imbalances of the past.
The young white person arrived as a born-free, but if you find that he and his parents do not have warm feelings towards the new dispensation, then one must surely understand where the negativity comes from and should not label them as “white racists”.
You will find other instances where racial quotas are applied, where skilled persons are overlooked due to their race, where, especially in the technical fields, a candidate from a designated group may be offered a salary of up to three times more than his white counterparts, this in an effort to employ such a person and move onward in the achievement of targeted quotas.
Oliver Tambo dreamt of a “colour blind” South Africa where the race of a person was irrelevant. Tambo, regrettably, took this dream to his grave, but may we yet see his dream come to fruition.
Imker Hoogenhout DEATH SENTENCE INEXCUSABLE
WITH Judge Ramon Leon’s death, the question should be asked whether apartheid judges realised that capital punishment, which they lavishly applied, would one day be revealed as racist, inhuman and a violation of the right to life.
One spends one’s whole life building one’s legacy, but if that legacy includes the taking of lives, what remains of it for one’s loved ones, one’s country and the world to celebrate?
Leon and many apartheid judges were known as “hanging judges” by the large numbers they sent to the gallows. He is remembered for sending ANC cadre Andrew Zondo to the gallows. However, Judge John Didcott never sentenced a single person to death as a matter of principle and morality. He was one of the 11 justices of our Constitutional Court who abolished capital punishment in 1995.
Now that most countries have abolished it, what will their loved ones and people who call for its re-imposition, say to justify their belief and their actions? Did they “follow orders”, like the Nazis said when trying to exonerate themselves?
What remains is for the loved ones of all these pitiful civil servants and those who want judicial killing to continue, to promote our healing process by atoning and seeking forgiveness from those they harmed and continue to harm.
Koert Meyer SABC, WE WANT ANSWERS
THE CHANGES at the SABC are motivated by political considerations and an anti-african bias.
Why was Sakina Kamwendo removed from a rewarding three hours current affairs radio show and the Media Monitor show? She was replaced by an incompetent white male, Stephen Grootes.
She was removed because she is one of a few, if not the only, objective presenter. The last straw on the camel’s back was when she showed Robert Sobukwe’s picture on Media Monitor and asked if the PAC was justified to question the renaming of Sharpeville Day to Human Rights Day. It was the first time we saw Sobukwe’s picture on SABC television. She did radio shows on Sobukwe, Zephania Mothopeng and Jafta Masemola, something unheard of.
She crossed swords with the communications minister and party hack Nomvula Mokonyane several times during interviews on corruption in her former ministry.
The SABC hasn’t explained why it removed Kamwendo halfway through the last hour of her last morning show. Why were Elvis Presslin,tsepiso Makwetla, Richard Nwamba and Mandla Shongwe removed? Unions are also not happy because they were not consulted about these changes and the firing of about 30 employees.
Need the SABC apparatchiks be reminded that they are a public broadcaster?
SHUT UP and listen to treble clefs in the air, turbines tilting off their axis. To branches swaying and blades of leaves dancing in the wind.
It could be a serious matter that has to do with the lives of poor people. Slaves to minimum wage.
So when treble clefs were floating and turbines swirling amid Parliament’s air conditioning, it was only fair that tempers flared.
We forget the contortion of our mothers’ spines sometimes.
How they bend to fend for us with R20 per hour.
The magic they conjure up to feed us, clothe us and send us to school.
We forget sometimes that our fathers died in Marikana, where they stood on the opposing side of that R20.
How our mothers live on their knees, praying to clocks for a few extra hours in a day.
So, when the elders dialogue with time masters; shut up, you Steenhuisen, and listen.
When the Living Conditions of Households in South Africa survey still says whites earn five times more than blacks, shut up and listen.
Our bodies are mosques, they are churches.
Our being is a pilgrimage, an exodus. We are trying to free ourselves. These bodies are gardens. You just stop to smell the roses. We live in the dirt.
Shut up and listen to the crashing crescendo of raindrops when they collide before hitting the ground. Do you understand that sound? Do you hear how it speaks of a white lady at a corporate asking the tea lady, our mother with a cracked spine, why she is wet? Even when it is raining outside.
Do you hear how the white lady walked into her garage from her sitting room into her car?
Remotely opened the garage door and gate?
How she drove out without interacting with a single drop and parked in the basement of the building they both work in. Only to take the elevator up?
Do you understand what the crescendo means?
Do you understand how our mother stood up from her knees tired of unanswered prayers. Clicked back her vertebrae, walked to catch a taxi to town dodging raindrops under a teetering umbrella she bought from a Pakistani shop two days ago.
Look at her shabby clothing. Wetter than a dog’s nose.
Only her face is dry since her hand doubles as a wiper. At least that one works.
The same can’t be said about the taxi she is in.
The sun is still slumbering at the depth of the horizon. It has not conjured up energy to begin rising.
It is still many hours before cocks imagine they would crow this morning.
There is no time for mourning over the little things that die inside of her.
She has to catch another taxi. Every day when she takes that second walk down Kruis, right into Smal and then Von Wielligh Street, straight into Noord.
There she stands in a queue of travelling men and women who are almost ready to be driven to the brink of their madness somewhere in the North.
Where telephones are loud, and corporate ladders are wobbly because that ground is not firm.
Mother with a broken spine, how dare this lady ask you why you are wet? When you explain this to her and she interrupts, tell her to shut up and listen! This poem was co-written by Magnum Opus. Rabbie Wrote is one of three founding and current members in the ensemble of award-winning poets including Thobani Mntambo and Sibusiso Ndebele. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com