‘Fear of brothers, fathers in wake of femicide’
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.
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.