Outrage over activist’s ‘settler’ tweet
“ONE settler, one bullet,” is the statement made on a UCT student’s dissertation that caused an uproar on social media after UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng congratulated the pupil on the work.
Prominent #FeesMustFall activist Masixole Mlandu tweeted a few pages from his politics Honours research project‚ titled “The Coloniser/Colonised Dialectic: A look into the settler – colonialism as a socio-economic order of South Africa”.
The acknowledgement section thanked his mother, adviser and friends, and ended thanking the Pan-Africanist Student Movement of Azania for fighting for the emancipation of black people. It concluded: “One settler, one bullet”.
Phakeng commented: “Congratulations. dear son, on completing this paper! I would like to study it at some stage… I am proud of you!”
Backlash followed as social media users inckuding DA Student Organisation said they were shocked at the endorsement of the slogan and said they saw the comments as “vile, polarising and bordering on racism”.
Phakeng distanced herself from the threats of violence in the dissertation.
“Like the VC, UCT distances itself and we do not condone such language… It’s divisive and, in our view, not constructive,” UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said in a statement.
Mlandu said the comment in his dissertation had done exactly what he intended, which was to start a conversation on the settler influence in society today.
“To be offended by ‘one settler, one bullet’ is to agree that you’re a settler – an exploiter,” he said.