HEY MR JR, HIS­TORY WON’T AB­SOLVE YOU

Daily News - - OPINION - BUSANI NGCAWENI Ngcaweni is co-ed­i­tor of We are No Longer at Easter: the Strug­gle for #FeesMustFall (Ja­cana Me­dia, 2018).

I THINK Power FM’s Chair­man’s Con­ver­sa­tion is prob­lem­atic in many ways.

The in­ter­view must not be a di­a­logue (we might as well watch it on YouTube not prime time TV).

It needs more an­chors to cover dif­fer­ent an­gles. It needs schol­ars and well-read news­men and news­women.

Oth­er­wise this is like a Destiny Man in­ter­view. In fact, it was. For sure the ed­i­tor, Thabiso Tema, will sum­marise it there for feel good read­ing about “enig­matic” busi­ness­men.

The #FeesMustFall ac­tivists would have served Jo­hann Ru­pert for break­fast. The guy had easy pas­sage on crit­i­cal his­tor­i­cal and con­tem­po­rary facts. He chose white prej­u­dice about night clubs and cars over real po­lit­i­cal econ­omy is­sues. He walked all over us, man!

Given Mkhari served us as sorghum beer at a Maskandi fes­ti­val.

More sub­stan­tively, Ru­pert rewrote his­tory and told al­ter­na­tive facts about his fam­ily’s re­la­tion­ship with apartheid. He made us be­lieve that his suc­cess is only a func­tion of ini­tia­tive, not state pa­tron­age.

For him, the Stel­len­bosch mafia, thing is noth­ing but a myth. Stel­len­bosch only hap­pens to be the res­i­den­tial area where the Afrikaner su­per rich ei­ther stud­ied or own wine es­tates. That most of their busi­nesses started there with clear in­ces­tu­ous re­la­tion­ships is mute to him.

He in­tim­i­dates us by show­ing off his black friends and black celebri­ties who model his wares. Why not show off the wealth he has cre­ated for black peo­ple or his trans­for­ma­tion record. Why not show off how his banks have opened fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for black busi­nesses – not just con­sump­tion fi­nance.

I agree with David Maimela that it was a great in­ter­view: it re­minded us of the big strug­gles ahead, the need to move moun­tains to re­claim our dig­nity. We were re­minded that white elites value the tribal ticket for it di­vides us while they ex­ploit the riches of the coun­try.

Ru­pert re­minded us of how low white cap­i­tal thinks of us: that if we get money we will go club­bing.

JR, as Mkhari pa­tro­n­is­ingly called him, says the prob­lem in South Africa is Afrikaner ver­sus black na­tion­al­ism. He stops there. He doesn’t say the for­mer is racist and the lat­ter is rev­o­lu­tion­ary and anti-white su­prem­a­cist. Black con­scious­ness is the an­tithe­sis of white con­scious­ness. But it is pro­gres­sive, for­ward look­ing and in­ter­na­tion­al­ist.

Pity Ru­pert learnt noth­ing from his claimed meet­ing with Steve Biko.

What is most painful is see­ing com­rades con­demn Ru­pert yet spend mil­lions on his prod­ucts. They proudly drink his wine (R&R) and wear his clothes as if Louis Vuit­ton is equiv­a­lent to Che Gue­vara T-shirts that rep­re­sent some­thing rev­o­lu­tion­ary.

One thing is clear, the rain­bow na­tion lul­laby is no longer hyp­notic. His­tory won’t ab­solve you Mr JR.

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