His­tory: get the facts right

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - JR Whit­lock

THE Zizi Kodwa open let­ter to He­len Zille on June 20 refers: Kodwa writes: “I am pained to write to you as one of those who suf­fered and still suf­fer the ef­fects of colo­nial­ism and apartheid”.

I’m sure his mas­sive salary and lav­ish life­style – wed­ding of the year in the Botan­i­cal Gar­dens in Dur­ban, and his wife’s ex­clu­sive birth­day bash at the lux­u­ri­ous Syrene Bou­tique Ho­tel in Rivo­nia – has eased the pain some­what.

He ad­vo­cates “a clean break from… ra­cial op­pres­sion by em­phat­i­cally re­ject­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion based on race”. Yet racist blacks who in­cite oth­ers to kill whites are never brought to book, while whites are pil­lo­ried and con­demned.

He says “South Africa is a new na­tion”. Rightly so. The only prob­lem is that it is de­gen­er­at­ing into a ba­nana repub­lic.

In his de­fence of black con­tri­bu­tions to civil­i­sa­tion he quotes Eli­jah McCoy. He fails, how­ever, to let read­ers know that McCoy was a Cana­dian Amer­i­can, who was ed­u­cated in Canada, not Africa, and sent to Ed­in­burgh in Scot­land for study. He was cer­ti­fied in Scot­land as a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer. He did in­vent the “lu­bri­ca­tor cup”. Kodwa also men­tions Lewis Howard La­timer who was born in Chelsea, a sub­urb of Bos­ton, in Mas­sachusetts. His rise to fame was in the US.

Chris­tian­ity did not orig­i­nate in Ethiopia but in Jerusalem, and spread to Ethiopia when King Ezana adopted the faith. Acts 8:25-39 records this. Is­lam was in­tro­duced to Nige­ria as early as the 11th cen­tury, os­ten­si­bly through Mus­lim cler­ics, traders and the slave trade. Egyp­tians, by the way, are not true Africans. His­tory must be made a com­pul­sory sub­ject in all schools so that the true story can be told. Sun­nyridge , Ger­mis­ton

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