ANC economic policy favours whites, says Miyeni

2011-08-23 14:36

South Africa’s economic policies favour whites, former columnist Eric Miyeni wrote in an open letter to the ANC.

The ANC said it would respond to the letter later in the day. “We are looking at it,” said spokesperson Brian Sokutu.

In the letter, Miyeni wrote: “It’s been 17 years since you started running South Africa. An old petrol attendant summed up your leadership throughout this period when he told a friend of mine just before our latest local elections that if anyone should vote for you, it’s South Africa’s whites, because, in his opinion, nothing has changed.

“In many respects the old man is right. Many black South Africans are worse off today than they were under apartheid.”

A freelance journalist, Miyeni was recently fired by the Sowetan after writing a column titled “Haffajee does it for white masters”, in which he called City Press editor Ferial Haffajee a “black snake in the grass deployed by white capital to sow discord among black people”.

Miyeni wrote that in the 80s, Haffajee would have had a burning tyre around her neck.

Haffajee later said she would not take him to court over his comments, but would lay a complaint with the Human Right’s Commission or the Public Protector instead.

In his letter to the ANC, Miyeni wrote that the gap between South Africa’s rich and poor was the widest on Earth.

“In a nutshell, you have super-charged white people’s stockpiling of wealth, while black South Africans have remained where they were before 1994 or had their fortunes reversed.”

He said the ANC had been a brilliant political fighter, but a dismal economic warrior for black South Africans.

Miyeni said South Africa’s white-owned media were fighting against the advancement of black people in the economic arena, using the same tactics they used during apartheid to block blacks from attaining political freedom.

“Those who consumed this media then saw black people as the scariest, least humane and the most crazed people on Earth.

“South Africa’s white media sold this lie as truth in preparation for apartheid politicians to step in, detain us for as long as they wanted for whatever reason they deemed fit, torture us in whatever way they chose and murder us at will without guilt.”

He said white media used “black danger” tactics to hold black South Africans back on the economic front. “The new lie that they are peddling is that we Africans are corrupt thieves who know nothing about financial matters ...”

He found it disturbing how the ANC had acted at the behest of the corrupt, racist and selfish media ever since its return. “The countless number of your true friends that you have kicked in the teeth whenever a white headline traduced them.

“You did this to Mac Maharaj. You did this to [President] Jacob Zuma. You did it to me twice at the SABC,” he wrote.

The ANC had invited 5FM DJ Gareth Cliff for tea with Zuma when he welcomed the death of one of its “truest friends and followers” former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and called her “a selfish and wicked bungler of the lowest order”.

Miyeni said the ANC’s loyalty to whites seemed to be unwavering. “Your loyalty to black people, on the other hand, extends as far as the white media dictate.

To this day, ANC, you still haven’t honoured those black people who represented you internally while you were in exile through organisations such as the United Democratic Front, like the late Archie Gumede. Yet, you give lectures to honour your white comrades on an annual basis.”

He said he wrote the letter to remind the ANC who put it in power, that its supporters’ love was not unconditional and that its economic bias towards white South Africa was undoing all its victories.

“When you look in the mirror next time, ANC, I want you to remember who you are.” 

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