‘Fear of broth­ers, fathers in wake of femi­cide’

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

WHEN the sun goes down, fear en­gulfs black women and chil­dren.

It is not the fear of dis­ap­pear­ing at the hands of white apartheid po­lice, but the fear of their broth­ers and fathers.

This was the as­ser­tion of stu­dent ac­tivist Bu­sisiwe Se­abe while ad­dress­ing the sec­ond Tsi­etsi Mashinini Memo­rial Lec­ture at Mor­ris Isaac­son High School in Soweto on Satur­day.

Se­abe was speak­ing against the back­drop of the re­cent wave of femi­cide, which has seen a num­ber of women and chil­dren go­ing miss­ing, only to be later found dead.

“It is un­for­giv­able that at this present time, when the clock strikes 5pm and the sun starts go­ing down, all the moth­ers and the girls in this room will have a sense of fear in­stilled in them,” Se­abe said.

“They are not scared that they will dis­ap­pear at the hands of white colo­nial apartheid po­lice, but be­cause of our broth­ers and fathers. The fact that, as black peo­ple, we are ab­duct­ing, rap­ing and killing each other is a prob­lem we need to deal with.”

Se­abe also touched on the im­por­tance and need for a de­colonised ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, say­ing it would not only serve to hon­our the youth of 1976, but would also aid black peo­ple in rec­on­cil­ing with their true iden­ti­ties.

She said it was para­mount to de­colonise the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in a bid to hon­our those who died while fight­ing an op­pres­sive sys­tem.

“Ours is to rec­on­cile with our iden­ti­ties as Africans, ours is to then rec­on­cile with our­selves as black peo­ple.

“There is no rec­on­cil­i­a­tion among black peo­ple, and that’s one of the most pow­er­ful lega­cies of apartheid; the fact that, 23 years later, we are still liv­ing un­der the con­cept of di­vide and con­quer.

“To un­der­stand the com­po­nents needed for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion we need free, de­colonised ed­u­ca­tion. Not so that we can catch up with the set­tler, not so that we can catch up with our white, In­dian and coloured coun­ter­parts, but so that we can catch up with our­selves as black peo­ple.

“That is why de­colonised ed­u­ca­tion is so im­por­tant. And I be­lieve this is why Tsi­etsi fought against de­colonised ed­u­ca­tion, be­cause he un­der­stood that we would lose our iden­tity, we would lose who we were out­side of be­ing op­pressed,” Se­abe said.

She said the 1976 youth were taught un­der the Bantu ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, which was im­ple­mented to cre­ate labour­ers, but added that it was no dif­fer­ent to the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in the demo­cratic era.

“To­day it might present it­self (ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem) as some­thing that has prom­ise and is rich and can of­fer us our dreams, but un­til this ed­u­ca­tion is de­colonised, it is only turn­ing us into labour­ers for the West­ern world.

“It is only mod­el­ling us into the per­fect white black peo­ple. We can­not for­get who we are,” she said.

Ad­vo­cate Du­misa Nt­se­beza SC spoke about his shock that 34 minework­ers were mas­sa­cred un­der the cur­rent demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion at Marikana.

He ac­cused pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Cyril Ramaphosa of “cheap pol­i­tick­ing” after the deputy pres­i­dent apol­o­gised to the min­ers’ fam­i­lies, say­ing he was will­ing to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Nt­se­beza also said there was a need for the elec­toral sys­tem to be re­formed and politi­cians to be more ac­count­able.

“In Marikana, be­fore and even after the Far­lam Com­mis­sion of In­quiry find­ings, there are un­de­ni­able facts.

“It is undis­puted that 34 min­ers were killed by SAPS mem­bers. And to date none of the of­fi­cers have been ar­rested,” he pointed out.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI

RE­FORMS NEEDED: Ad­vo­cate Du­misa Nt­se­beza SC was among the speak­ers at the sec­ond Tsi­etsi Mashinini Memo­rial Lec­ture for 2017 at Mor­ris Isaac­son High School in Soweto.

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