Saturday, December 3, 2022

South Africa’s liberation was a mask of hypocrisy!

The failure to introduce measures to redistribute wealth to those who suffered under Apartheid has made the concept model of a Rainbow nation, a farce. The periodic eruption of violence and crime in South Africa is a result of unemployment and impoverishment of Black people. Majority of Black South Africans are still living in big slums like Alexandria, where families of fifteen people are forced to share a shack. The so called “xenophobic” attacks are signs of disillusionment and resentment in the townships.┬á Democracy has made little difference to the lives of Black South Africans. Majority of them are still on the fringes of the economy. They are redundant with no jobs and have no essentials of existence. Half of Black South Africans live under very despicable conditions. Nothing has changed at all.

The ANC government has allowed the minority few to hold on to land, and industrial wealth under the pretext of free – market. Its Black Economic Empowerment has benefitted only the black elites some of whom happen to be relatives of the ANC ruling class. The Black Economic Empowerment is an insufficient attempt to solve the injustices of apartheid. In fact it is apartheid by other means. Their President, Jacob Zuma has recently been afforded the luxury to build a range of mansions amounting to over two hundred and twenty million South African rands for his private benefit, whilst the majority poor live on empty stomachs. One might conclude that people voted to have a democracy of privilege and poverty!┬á┬á┬á

The ANC government has failed to attain the reconstruction of dignity that it promised under its Freedom Charter. Its ideals were replaced by neo-liberal policies favouring big businesses. The multinational corporations continue to flourish. The ANC historical compromises made during the first dawn of democracy under Nelson Mandela did reinforce the economic power of the pillars of Apartheid.  The majority poor Black South Africans are still victims of removals from public land, whilst a small number of white elites own and run big property estates. The wealth of South Africa from minerals to tourism, property to retailing is still concentrated in the hands of Anglo-American corporations. The institutions which gave Apartheid respectability like the judiciary are still administrated by the same white judges.  Apartheid was never put on trial as a whole system.

The South African democracy of non-racist ideal was constructed on an imaginary plane that hid and disguised the image victory of the old white power, which it then both historicized and universalized. ANC government has failed to consolidate both peasant and working class victory, a stable market, the potential for economic expansion, and new spaces to invest and civilize. It has failed to construct a national identity that guarantees a sacrosanct unity.

The ANC democratic reformism was entirely invested in the neo – liberal politics conceived in the name of a rainbow nation. It was a compromise between class interests, that is, between the poor dominated Africans and certain strata of the white bourgeois hegemonic structure in South Africa. The reformism was about the ignoble history of betrayal in which segments of the ANC leadership and workers movements supported the imperialist enterprises of the European nation-states. It was also about the unpardonable folly of consenting to have the masses continue living in the slums and shacks. The ANC has failed to ensure fundamental transformation of society so that Black people do not feel they are still sacrificing even after Apartheid.

Its historical compromises in the sacrifice of the Freedom Charter under the leadership of Nelson Mandela continue to promote stasis and restoration of wealth in the hands of the dominant. The program of historical compromise ignored the fact that the concept of nation-state is not divisible but rather organic, not transcendental but transcendent, and that even in its transcendence it must be constructed to oppose every tendency to re – appropriate social and economic wealth. The claim to democracy and non-racism by ANC government has failed to affirm the dignity of the people and legitimate the demand for equality of its people. The authors of historical compromises celebrated the notion of a Rainbow nation, whilst mystifying the destructive power of the historical compromises through the ‘Madiba Magic’.

The nationalist dream of an autonomous, self-centered development has really ended up being a perverse trick. Everything is different and nothing seems to have changed. The structures that played a defensive role in the interest of furthering the power, autonomy, and unity of the communityÔÇö function in reverse. While seeking to liberate the masses from foreign domination, ANC course of action has perfected capitalism and not destroyed it. The same level of primitive accumulation is guaranteed to the class figures that already dominated the processes of accumulation. The liberated poor find themselves subordinated in the international economic order. The revolution is offered up, hands and feet bound, to the new bourgeoisie.

The new ruling group is dedicated no more to a democratic notion of community struggles instead it has erected domestic structures of domination that are equally severe. The oppressive functions of capitalism continue to blossom in full force. Protection and oppression has become hard to tell apart. Power is used to exert internal oppression, repressing internal difference and opposition in the name of national identity, unity, and security.

The working class, and unemployed are still cruelly marginalized – they remain outcasts and objects of resentment. The end of modern apartheid has not really opened an age of freedom. The liberation was really nothing more than another turn of the screw, a further extension of the subjugation and domination. South Africa like the rest of other national liberation states has become the poisoned gift of colonial subjugation. The struggles of change and revolution it seems were prepared by the colonial power.

The crisis in South Africa has led to the negation of social life of the majority poor and hence practically stripped away the very possibility of mutual co-existence with citizens of foreign nationality. This has now caused the poor South Africans to breakaway away from their democracy concept of a rainbow nation and its apparatus of subjugation and domination, and to now dedicate themselves instead to a democratic notion of community. The poor South Africans have formed a single will and taken action that is independent of and often in conflict with the various wills and actions of everyone they see as sponsors to their subjugation. In their frustrations and desperations, poor South Africans see the foreign multitudes as beneficiaries from their lack of access to economic empowerment which the ANC government has failed to facilitate. The violence against foreigners is exacerbated by the non existence of informal sector policy from ANC government which could ensure financial support and protection of South African citizens from competing with foreigners on small business enterprises.

Being sick and mad at false promises and betrayals from the ruling elites, the majority poor now avenge their anger and deep sadness in the attack of foreign multitudes. Their suffering has made them to develop malignant conspiracy and a spirit of revenge and vindictiveness against anyone outside their botched, oppressed life. 

Misery has thrown them into crooked paths, which lead to a tyranny over other communities. Poverty has driven them to develop insane hate against anyone that they view as a beast of prey. And at any rate the violence will continue to cool-off and rise again, until the poor just like the rich gain access to good health, strength, pride and the sensation of power.

The majority poor South Africans just like the minority rich, seek for love, and superiority, not increased awareness on how their struggle was supported by fellow African countries for such stories will not make their poverty dissappear. In short, the violence against foreigners in South Africa must be blamed on the neo-liberal policies adopted in the 1990`s by ANC and not the poor South Africans who happen to be diseased by the effects of the ANC neo-liberal agenda. The sad reality is that the same hand that has broken the chains of apartheid has enslaved the majority blacks of South Africa anew!            
Gaontebale Mokgosi


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