Some South Africans still think along racial, tribal lines - academic

2016-06-23 08:42
March against xenophobia in Johannesburg.

March against xenophobia in Johannesburg. (Denzil Maregele)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

The ANC can't bring a Zulu to rule Pedis, Tsongas - Tshwane taxi driver

2016-06-21 11:51

News24 speaks to local taxi drivers in Tshwane on Tuesday about this week's unrest in the metropole's townships following the ANC's decision to name Thoko Didiza as the party's mayoral candidate for the upcoming municipal elections. Watch. WATCH

Durban – Greater efforts are needed to create a unified South African identity that does not rely on tribal or racial identities, an academic has said.

“The psychological damage that has been done by decades of apartheid-era segregation laws and systems still seems to run deep in the psyche of many South Africans, who may still subscribe to an ‘in-group’ and ‘out-group’ mentality,” said Dr Lubna Nadvi, a lecturer in political science and international relations at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

Nadvi was referring to a remark made by a taxi driver during an interview on Tuesday.

The man referred to protests in Tshwane following the ANC's decision to name Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate for the upcoming municipal elections.

“The ANC cannot bring a Zulu person from KwaZulu-Natal to rule Pedis, Xitsongas and TshiVendas. If you are saying that she [Didiza] is from Pretoria, then tell us where in Pretoria she is from,” the unnamed man was quoted as saying.

“She must go back to KZN." 

Nadvi said tribal identity appeared to be linked to the acquisition of political and economic power. Those groups who felt marginalized possibly resented their exclusion.

Nadvi said some South Africans still thought within the categories of racial, ethnic and tribal identities.

There was an increased tendency towards factionalism and forming cabals in the post-apartheid era.

“The contestation over scarce resources needs to also be addressed, as people tend to align themselves to groups where they can access resources and these may often be constructed along tribal lines,” said Nadvi.

Lack of understanding

Cultural expert and founder of the Umsamo African Institute, Velaphi Mkhize, said South Africans formed perceptions about one another based on a lack of understanding of others’ values, traditions, customs, and upbringing.

“For example, there is a perception that white English people are pretentious while Afrikaners are more direct. That Indians are untrustworthy. Zulus are arrogant and violent, while Xhosas think they are intelligent and know it all. Sothos and Tswana people are humble and good-hearted people. This is not necessarily true.”

He said the taxi driver’s comments showed that a lot still needed to be done to ensure people appreciated their differences and learnt from one another.

The justice department was drafting a document that aimed to eradicate racism and intolerance, which he said should have been done in 1994 already.

He said former president Nelson Mandela was a Xhosa, who never said he was fighting for other Xhosas, but for humanity.

Former president Thabo Mbeki was Xhosa, but could not be compared to President Jacob Zuma, because they were raised differently. Zuma always emphasised that he was a shepherd and never went to university and was not an “arrogant Zulu”.

Mkhize said for example polygamy was not a Zulu practice, but an African one.

“We all show that we are Africans in different ways. These perceptions that exist were created by the apartheid government.”

Such perceptions were rife in the corporate sector. They had to be addressed to ensure progress.

“Democracy must be embraced holistically, spiritually and physically. We have only embraced it physically. We are still shackled and haven’t been decolonised,” Mkhize said.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.