PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
tobiasmuller
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 0
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all tobiasmuller's badges.
 

Learning from Zimbabwe: the Failure of Liberation Politics

18 September 2012, 10:42

Thabo Mbeki was inaugurated for a second term as South Africa’s president in 2004. I remember seeing the televised spectacle on my first visit to the republic after ten years abroad. There were cheering crowds at the Union Buildings as the dignitaries arrived. The adoring multitudes roared as Madiba made his entrance, but the most rapturous applause was reserved for one Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his entourage.

Later on, I asked an acquaintance from Mutare (in Manicaland Province near the Mozambique border) about the apparent strength of support for Zimbabwe’s president from South Africa’s youth, despite him being a figure of derision and contempt in much of the world. He replied that no matter what cruelties Mugabe visited on his people, he would forever be seen as the champion of Black Africa. This is central to understanding how the overwhelming majority of people in Zimbabwe and South Africa think, regardless of their level of education. Post-colonial politics in both countries does not mean that we have entered an era of post-racial reconciliation. The ruling parties in both countries have a vested interest in maintaining a racially polarised atmosphere, something that they have managed to do quite successfully.

There is a fear among Black South Africans that White people will bring back some version of apartheid if given half a chance to do so. I do not believe that this fear is justified. Most South Africans just want an opportunity to live decent lives and secure the future of their children. However, the dream of a rainbow nation was short-lived, and as a consequence, there are many angry and fearful people out there. It thus becomes easy to resort to stereotypes and finger-pointing on all sides. White people are exasperated by the continued strong support for the ANC despite its obvious failures. In feeling so, they are unable to grasp the significance of the party as a liberation movement for their Black compatriots. Recently there have been a number of articles by prominent Black commentators lamenting the state of their communities so many years after liberation. So one can argue that the issues have nothing to do with race; rather they are the consequence of those age-old human failings of greed and vanity.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. In order to hold themselves together, people deny the reality of what is happening. We can lie to other people and sometimes even get away with it. When we lie to ourselves, it always leads to disaster. There are many Zimbabweans who today cling to the mythology of a post-liberation paradise, despite the ugly truth before them. Likewise, there are many South Africans who desperately grasp for the threads of a torn and shredded dream. These are the people who become very angry when reality presents itself, as it must do. They look for scapegoats, who could be anything from foreigners, farmers, White people, poor people (mostly Black), artists, Coloured and Indian people, gays and lesbians, crime victims to innocent women and children. The result is the normalisation and acceptance of the most appalling acts of violence and cruelty.

Will South Africa become another Zimbabwe? I doubt it. This tragedy will have a unique and distinct character all of its own. Moeletsi Mbeki, the Arch, and columnists Simphiwe Dana and Thabo Seroke, are just a few prominent people who have spoken out recently. There are many more (Black and White) who have courageously given voice to what is happening in the country. However, the louder and more powerful voices belong to the politicians, and in the end they know how to manipulate a desperate and angry population. There are no heroes anymore to save South Africa. When Mandela dies, his dream will die with him.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

11 comments 448 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

4 comments 1169 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 378 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 102 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

8 comments 93 views
Submitted by
MarkH

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.