Max du Preez

The Great Depression

2008-03-05 08:53

Max du Preez

The wave of depression that has hit South Africans (or shall we be more precise and say mostly white South Africans) of late is increasing in intensity.

People who called themselves New South Africa patriots and swore even three months ago that they would die on South African soil are now announcing their plans to emigrate.

I'm not prone to depression. But thank you for the opportunity to announce on this forum that I am now also officially depressed about the state of our nation.

The fall of Thabo Mbeki and the rise of Jacob Zuma in Polokwane late last year did not depress me. And I was privately very sure that Zuma would be in jail before our next general election, when he was supposed to become our new president.

The Zuma-ANC's vendetta against the Scorpions alarmed me, but didn't drive me into a depression. It was reassuring to see how many ordinary South Africans were against the destruction of this crack anti-corruption unit. In any case, the Scorpions will be around long enough to see the start of the Zuma case.

Not even the Eskom catastrophe depressed me. I thought at least two responsible cabinet ministers and most of Eskom's overpaid leadership should have been fired on the spot, but I didn't think, like so many others, "oh, there we go, just like another failed African banana republic".

I was pleasantly surprised to see how citizens and businesses were prepared to adjust, and I thought the crisis was a blessing in disguise, because we were using energy at a time of climate change as if it were free and ever-lasting.

I also thought the Minister of Agriculture should have been fired on the spot when she declared recently that she would welcome the collapse of the value of agricultural land. How ignorant can a minister be about her portfolio? But it didn't really depress me. I don't have high expectations of politicians anyway.

The first sign...

As I said, I don't get depressed very easily, because I understand that there is a difference between the state of a nation and the state of a government. I don't rubbish my country and its people when I think the government of the day is useless. Oh, and I do think they are utterly useless most of the time nowadays.

The first sign that the Great Depression was going to hit me was when I heard of and then saw the Video of Shame of the University of the Free State. But I was resisting the depression, especially when the disgusting behaviour of these four idiots was roundly condemned even by conservative Afrikaner organisations like Solidariteit, the Voortrekkers, the FAK, the ATKV and the Sunday paper Rapport.

I'm afraid the depression eventually overwhelmed me when I started reading the letters on the internet and on the letters pages of newspapers of people who were saying the video wasn't all that bad. A week after the video became public the number of these letters had increased sharply.

Why don't you people rather condemn farm murders, some asked. Others pointed to the Forum of Black Journalists' exclusion of white reporters at a meeting the week before. What about all the white people who get hijacked and raped by blacks, other letters declared. Some were outraged that it was alleged the students peed in the food while really they squirted water from a bottle.

By yesterday some said there was in fact nothing wrong with the video because the black women were clearly not forced to take part. The university's policy of "forced integration" was what really should be criticised.

I checked LitNet's popular discussion forum, SêNet, last night just before writing this column. The majority of all letters on this topic published yesterday protested that the criticism of the video was unfair to whites and Afrikaners. In fact, the four video makers were the real victims, they seem to say.

So now I'm depressed. As if it's not bad enough that we have a terrible government, we now also seem to have a large number of people in our nation who find it acceptable that men in their early twenties humiliate and make fun of women the age of their mothers - women who are indeed mothers themselves, in the case of one of the cleaners, a mother of a young man who is a student at the very same university.

I am an Afrikaner of exactly the same genetic stock as these brainless clowns who made the video - Free State farming stock. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind what these men and their ilk would have done if they came upon black students abusing white, Afrikaans middle-aged mothers in this fashion.

That campus would have been bathed in blood by now.

Send your comments to Max.

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