Racial tension building in SA - Jansen

2010-10-03 23:03

Johannesburg - The underlying racial tension in South Africa is like a volcano waiting to erupt.

That was the message from the rector of the University of the Free State, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, on Friday during the first annual lecture of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in Johannesburg.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was the keynote speaker.

They both said the vision of a non-racial nation, as set out in the ANC's Freedom Charter, started waning after the victory over apartheid.

Jansen feels South Africa has failed to develop a sustained sense of nationality in the post-Mandela era.

He said racial fault lines are starting to emerge all over the country.

"I worry when I listen to parents and students.


"We can't simply label incidents like the Skierlik shooting as racism without coming up with solutions." Jansen feels it is especially young, white South Africans who have adopted a policy of anger.

"For a short period during the World Cup (soccer tournament) we were able to build unity. However, it is not our policies but the subtle and non-subtle messages which consistently cause damage.

"Messages such as 'only black people may apply' and 'it's just a matter of time before we take your farms and give them to previously disadvantaged people'. "The time has come to rebuild respect, tolerance and co-operation.

"The main message should be that the battle for development should be about South Africans in general and humanity in particular."

Motlanthe said the dialogue about racism should be encouraged among the youth.

South Africa's "inability" to educate its youth about these ideals has led to, among other things, "the momentum for a non-racial society losing steam".


At the same time an emotional discussion about the damage done to black and white South Africans by the struggle against apartheid was held at the provincial synod of the Anglican Church of South Africa.

This came after Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town expressed his concern about the "inhumane influence" on white South African men in particular, who were ordered to fight for apartheid.

Makgoba opened this discussion by describing the issue as a "unmentionable area we should dare to tackle".

"Many are still wounded from that time and they need to talk about it and find healing," said Makgoba.


  • Lunatic - 2010-10-04 10:08

    Not that it is in anyway aimed at anyone, but honestly, please stop telling us that it's not about race. All we hear, see and get is racially motivated. We the white people of South Africa are tired of being the victims. No matter what the injustices done to the "previously" disadvantaged, there is no need to kill, rape and hurt, innocent, white women and children.

  • Zolani - 2010-10-04 10:20

    Besides, not using a white bus or playing on a park Swing,or carrying a pass book, We all carry our ID's now anyway, How bad was discrimanation realy, at least I did not have to go to the Army

  • WynLib - 2010-10-04 10:25

    I really would love to be part of continual discussion as I have realised over the past weekend that the continual incidents that I either witness (urinating on streets, littering, etc.) or are the victim of (car and house being broken into as well as attacks on street) is forcing me to start believing that black people aren't here to partake on a equal level, but rather to ensure that all whites are driven out of this country. I am in no way a racist - YET!

  • May - 2010-10-04 10:31

    I had so much love for this country. And now its gone... Just got a phone call that a dear friend was murdered outside his shop in Johannesburg. We can't go on like this.. He is the third loved one I've lost to murder in this country in five years. We feel like we are being exterminated. His wife is expecting their second child. If you want to heal the race relations do something, anything about the crime!!

  • Take away - 2010-10-04 10:33

    Take away Malema, BEE, corruption, stupid polygamist culture,stop blaming apartheid for your stupidity and you will fined the answer you searching for...

  • Eileen - 2010-10-04 10:54

    While you have racial laws like BEE and AA supporting a black ideology you are operating in a closed economy loop and doomed to failure !

  • Dick Tracy - 2010-10-04 10:56

    He is right. And as long as we have racial laws and broken promises it will continue. It's all very well our Dept Pres saying this needs dialog. The source of all this racial hatred is the ANC. Don't blame aparthied any more that was last centuary (2 decades ago). From a White immergrant male perspecive, I can honestly see this getting worse as my Kids keep seeing blacks getting preferential treatment and they do not understand aparthied as they are too young. I would like to hear opinoins from Black people as to why they think whites are to blame. Also, what about Indians, coloureds etc.. What do you say to scrapping all racial laws as they are outdated?

  • Freddie - 2010-10-04 10:58

    The current racial tension is as a result of the ANC's policies and actions. They have institutionalised racism along similar lines previously done by the Nats. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

  • digit - 2010-10-04 10:59

    Well spotted Prof. Jansen! Lets just hope something gets done about it before this volcano errupts.

  • Joe - 2010-10-04 11:10

    A rare breed indeed we find in Professor Jonathan Jansen. A leader with vision and balls.

  • GJD - 2010-10-04 11:14

    Jansen... comments like ' Jansen feels it is especially young, white South Africans who have adopted a policy of anger'.. in itself is a racist comments taking the many hate speach slants of Malema and his cronies...???

  • Mark - 2010-10-04 11:33

    Well Done Prof we need people to stand up and be counted this ANC racism against whites has to stop Equal opportunity for all almost 20 years and the ANC has not got its act together except to Steal Kill and Destroy

  • Samad Hassen - 2010-10-04 11:37

    Rascism is an in-built prejudice against a single person or group to another group. South Africans are still finding it difficult to deal with day to day issues across the colour lines. The Government prefers to give a deaf ear to the concerns of minority groups. Big business prefers to be Politically correct and don't address the issues that stunt growth (tokenism) of Black people. Indian people feel left out and so do the Coloured people. The talk in corridors and smoke balconies is very different to the way issues are handled in the office, five meters away. The Governement must highlight the issues in parliarment openly and discuss the issues of all groups. The Whites feel their contribution is not recognised, the Blacks feel that their contributions are not recognised. Everybody is guilty and no one is to blame. The givernment needs to seriously start addressing corruption at all levels. Who is initiating the corruption and what are the factors behind it. Is it fair to blame one group only or are all guilty of the same crime. The law is for the majority and the benefits are for the Elite few, both Black and White. Manipulation appears everywhere, both openly and in subtle ways. Yet we have overcome problems as a nation united, and part our ways as soon sensitive racial issues are mentioned, each fearing to speak for or against.

  • EH - 2010-10-04 11:43

    What do you expect. Whites are being victimized to the extend they're no longer safe in their HOUSES any more. Farmers are threatened they'll lose their land, thousands murdered. Young whites are being racially discriminated against for jobs. Who wants to live in a place like this.

  • Albie - 2010-10-04 11:48

    Prof Jansen is a leader with balls. The ANC is not interested in a fair dispensation for us. If it was , there wouldn't have been reverse discrimination like affirmative action,BEE,quota systems and the like. Just look at the goverment departments, and we can see the shambles caused by affirmative action and similar racist policy's. We can only build a nation if people respect one another. How can one respect a person that only got the job/position because of his or her race. You are not respected. Your fellow workers know the reason you got the position, and they don't respect you for it.Another good example is Joburg's municipal billing system and everything that goes with it. Now I suppose I will be labled as a racist for calling a spade a spade. That's OK you know I am stating the truth.

  • Sandra - 2010-10-04 11:49

    At last someone is making sense of the senseless regime. Prof Jansen for president!

  • oneman - 2010-10-04 11:49

    Racism is going to be the downfall of SA, never did my mother told me to hate blacks, I just wonder why tell your children to hate because of what happened in your life if you tell the children about your generations problems, you keep the fire burning but if we can tell our children that they have a brilliant opportunity to become a united rainbow nation with pride and respect for the law, then the children can have a steady foundation.

  • no logic Jansen - 2010-10-04 11:55

    Did you see the white youth murdering, raping children and grannies, hijacking cars, braking the houses, schools? Nop... Why is that you blaming whites for everything? Where is the bloody logic Jansen ?

  • Giveme - 2010-10-04 11:56

    The perpetual victim cycle must be broken ! As a 30 something white SA'en I have suffered a lot for being born where I was and when. Sure we had a maid , but I sacraficed two years of my life in service of my "country" , another lie propagated by politicians , and now spend my life in exile in the UK because I have been disenfrachised in the land of my birth because of my skin colour ..... and that just my story. The problem is EVERYONE has a story in SA. On coming the UK it stuck me how problem free these the English are , the things they think are problems would be laugable in the context of SA. ALL SA'ens have suffered enough under politicians constantly dividing us for the own malicious purposes !

  • Nico - 2010-10-04 11:57

    Prof Jansen makes one massive mistake - it is not only the white youth that gets more aggravated but also both English and Afrikaans adults.

    The ANC is directly responsible for this feeling of animosity towards blacks (not Coloreds, Indians or Arabs in this country). At no stage in our history - not even when Apartheid reigned, was the feeling of hatred towards blacks so strong as it is now.

    The government should do something ASAP and constructive to calm the whites because the situation is reaching boiling point.

  • Big Boet - 2010-10-04 11:58

    The difference between a tourist and a racist is 3 days.......

  • DeWetter - 2010-10-04 11:58

    The racial tension is a symptom of forced integration on university level. Jansen is one of the "leaders" that has introduced forced integration at the U.F.S...hence, he is part of the problem...and still people call him a visionary.
    Have they not learnt anything yet? Nothing should be forced...let things take its natural course.

  • JT - 2010-10-04 11:59

    Policies are also to blame. SPECIAL RATING AREAS will be the last straw on the camel's back - elitist and divisive in every sense causing disharmony both between & within communities. Zille forgets that for most of us the roof over our head is first & foremost our HOME not an INVESTMENT. She has crossed the line and is now playing God, stripping us of our constitutional freedoms of tenure and choice. Her aim to make W.Cape the best run province in the world is nothing short of ARROGANT. The City of CT's SRA policy is sheer STUPIDITY for its short sightedness and would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. This will drive me to leave the land and city of my birth...

  • Me again@Samad Hassen - 2010-10-04 11:59

    I agree with you when you stated : The law is for the majority and the benefits are for the Elite few, both Black and White: BUT you forget one thing, the implimentation is left to the select few.

  • Zack - 2010-10-04 12:03

    This is nonsense. All the racism is in your heads.

    I go about this country every day and see beaitiful people of all clours engaging with each other in a most fantastic way.

    If you open yourself up to them they will open up to you.

    I love this country and all its people.

    (A white Afrikaans South African

  • pb - 2010-10-04 12:25

    Interesting artice, but the good Prof. must not make sweeping racial slurs agianst the white youth without critically qualifiying his data. otherwise his falls into the trap of making the kind of simplisitc statments coming out of the mourths of politicians. the commnet attributed to the prof. suggests he looked no further than a few white hooligans on his own campus. come on prof. get behind embracing complexity and curbing generalisations that underpin the Nats and the ANC policies.

  • SymbolOfLife - 2010-10-04 12:28 last someone's eyes open. Well, no real news to me. I see it in this hole of a country of our every day. It's only a matter of time before the pot cooks over, and ANC's not doing anything to help.

    I read an article recently, written by an African lady, condemning the ANC due to the fact that their stubborn approach to basically everything is failing, with the possible alternative, communicated by (often white) citizens, fall on dead ears...and this just adds to the tension.

  • Stevie - 2010-10-04 12:34

    Oh please. It's not an "inability to educate the youth". The ANC depends on this racial strife and actively propagates it (through policies like AA and BEE) because that is what gets them the 'fear' votes. They get the 'handout' votes also because of their ludicrous welfare policies.

  • LK - 2010-10-04 12:38

    For as lon g as the likes of the Malema's of S.A. are allowed ro spew out racist hatefull comments at HIS will and discretion - a back lash is not even mildly debateable. But I am sure this is what him and certain high profile politicians want to cover uo their own uselessness and continue fanning the fans of hatred. ProJansen is dead right - S.A. is heading for a huge racial disaster

  • Whitie - 2010-10-04 12:45

    But if the balck people cannot blame everything on racism and apartheid then what will they blame their short comings on?? Their own stupidity and lack of common sense - hahaha dont be daft. It is so easy to fall back on 16 years ago and blame the whities. About time the black people stand up and take responsibility for their continued destruction of SA. Apartheid and racism is a bull$hit excuse. If anything blacks are more racist than whites these days.

  • MIKE - 2010-10-04 12:46

    I agree with Zack

  • DeonL - 2010-10-04 12:48

    Not all people are racist but a lot are turning that way as they get fed up with either BEE or bad service delivery for the poor, maybe the poor must rather look to get working and the people affected by BEE should start another business or join a MLM company.

  • Beki - 2010-10-04 12:51

    It is unfortunate to see the amount of hatred towards black people just from reading the comments on this topic.

    May I remind you my fellow South Africans that crime in SA affects everyone, black and white!

    My issue is: how on earth is our beautiful country supposed to heal if such hatred still exists from the white folk?

    I'm yet to meet a racist black person!

    White people are in no position to dictate to us as to when AA or BEE should end! The imbalances are still colossal beyond imagination. There's no way the perpetrator should dictate to the victim as to when the victim should forgive!

  • Polly - 2010-10-04 13:05

    I am a 60 year old white male who has been forced into early retirement because of my age and the colour of my skin.The South African youth between the age of 25 and 40 should establish a strong youth forum which encompasses all race groups but first and foremost gets rid of the baggage of the past and moves forward on the basis of integrity and high morals. Weed out the fat cats and those riding the BEE train to fill their own pockets. I wish the new generation good luck because I believe they have the ability to succeed provided they work hard and develop cultural respect.

  • Bekkie - 2010-10-04 13:11

    When does this chap do some real work ???

  • Etienne - 2010-10-04 13:11

    Prof Jansen hit hte nail on the head when he states that racism is now more prevailent than any other tim during the 16 years after the regime change. He is right when he says that a lot of it is caused by reversed apartheid rules and regulations. The latter is something that was almost inevitable after the '94 elections. But the race card is being played too often nowadays. It is in our faces around just about every corner. As a white person I do not want to hear what I must give up to be given to a desrving Black. The legislatures forget that White people do not just get things. They work for it. Why must they just give it away? Here I am referring to the handing of shares in companies to PDI's. What did they do deserve it, other than having a black skin. They did not sweat to build the company to where it is.In addition, I want to agree with one of the previous writers that state that intergration is forced upon us. I choose who I mix with. No one can force me to make friends with the Black family that moved in next to me. It is my choice. If I elect not to have any contact with them, it is my choice. There is no law that can force me to have interaction with my Black neighbour, as doing so would be unconstitutional. It is called freedom of assocoation.

  • ir8m8 - 2010-10-04 13:11

    I have no issue with the way political stewards taunt the electorate with the racism card...its politics afterall. I just wish that the ANC would show their true colours and tell us that its time to look for an alternative home...maybe i am hoping for too much.

  • Anton MN - 2010-10-04 13:12

    I'm currently reading a book by George Orwell called Animal Farm, perhaps all South Africans should read it and see our post apartheid history in +/- 100 pgs.

  • Durban Student - 2010-10-04 13:18

    What nonsense, only young white people are angry. Lets not forget about coloureds and asian communities who are consistently being sidelined by this wonderful post apartheid government. All this struggle heroes go on about liberation and anti racism. In SA you have Black African and the rest. I'm not black or white and I'm very angry to the point that I plan to leave the country as soon as I've graduated. Lets leave SA for Black Africans and they can have their cake and eat it to.

  • Lucky - 2010-10-04 13:20

    Racism is still within peoples' heart, and they show it behind doors. As long as minerals, resources and land is in hands of whites we are still oppressed

  • suzie - 2010-10-04 13:20

    Some of you are real mamparras. Jansen did blame....he is caring and concerned. He is warning the government that they must stop with the "only blacks may apply and we will take your land" stories. Thankyou prof Jansen. I really hope that we will have more people in future like you. The white people pay tax but no whites may be employed any more in the government departments. No whites may submit their CVs to the financial institution where I work. Young white people just don't find employment and start hating black youth. Thanks prof Jansen for acknowledging the problem. Maybe whites should stop paying any taxes like black people did in the apartheid years

  • No racist - 2010-10-04 13:21

    It's true - Anger is risen amongst the white South African youth because the ANC-government is discriminating against them on account of their white skin athough they were never being part of the apartheid regime. This should be rectified urgently if the government is serious about their vision of a non-rasial nation.

  • G - 2010-10-04 13:24

    Zack, I agree.. Love this country, everyday you get smiling people of all races..even though the most of them are struggling, they still have hope

  • KG - 2010-10-04 13:31

    @Zack, please don't tell me racism is in my head. I think it's great that you are experiencing this in a different way, but unfortunately racism is there & very much alive. I love my country, but the things happening in this country is scary & to be honest, I am so sick & tired of being scared & having to look over my shoulder the whole time as you never know when you going to become part of this country's crime stats (unfortunate to say, I am already part of the stats, more than once). This is a lovely country & yes, there are some lovely people living in this country (of all races) but the reality is that a lot more is wrong in this country than right.

  • GeorGe2 @Zolani - 2010-10-04 13:33

    Zolani for President. Care to go for a beer? I'd like to meet you and discuss all this bad history. You have hit the nail on the head. Me as a whitey agreee that aparthied was a bad thing BUT I cannot help that I was born with a white skin. BUT my parents and then we children never voted for nor supported apartheid. Yes, we did have things better than the blacks but I was not part and parcel of Verwoerd's dream. I just wish we could all get along in this beautiful country now. Please!!

  • AP - 2010-10-04 13:35

    Racism is thriving, it doesn't matter from which side of the fence you originate its there and it impacts all our lives, the issue is more about the cultural inability of south africans to give a damn about their fellow man Ive been in the frontline and seen what horrific things are done to both blacks and whites in the name of race, wake up and develop the morals and ethics that a 1st world country should have and not the backward racist feudal anarchy that reigns at present

  • @Zolani - 2010-10-04 13:36

    If you understand that to be the extent of apartheid, then either you are too stupid, or your parents did a good job of shielding you from its effects

  • CdeO - 2010-10-04 13:47

    Zack - you are about to get cyber macheteed for your comment, but let me say this... it's nice to see comments like yours on these forums.

    (a black Zimbo)

  • Liza - 2010-10-04 13:47

    Zack, I suggest you get yourself a well trained Labrador, you're obviously blind!!

    Congratulations Prof Jansen, you are a very sensible man. We need a solution soon as things cannot continue to deteriorate at this rate. We need honest and reliable leaders to whom we all, black and white, can look up to, trust and respect. Unfortunately our current leaders have failed all South Africans in all ways.

  • epdur - 2010-10-04 13:50

    Being a white male has been a real disadvantage. We [my family and I] made a decision to stay in SA based on faith and optimism. This oppinion remains even though realistically I have been really concerned partically the last couple of years. Still I feel I have been discriminated against, especially since my race and gender warrant that this discrimination is deemed fair by the very government which should protect me.