SA history needs rewrite, says Nzimande

2012-10-30 16:51

Johannesburg - South African history needs to be rewritten to correct the effects of colonialism on intellectual production, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.

"The history of SA not only has to be rewritten - that is, reinterpreted - but must also be researched and written up in the first place," he said in a speech prepared for delivery in Cape Town.

"Large swathes of this history have been left untold, or told in a very one-sided manner."

Nzimande was speaking at the announcement of the SA History Online student internship programme.

Undervalued subjects

He said humanities and social science subjects were undervalued as society became more materialistic.

"It is sad that at this time when, at last, our political freedom allows us to pursue the truth about our past... we no longer seem to be able to do so with vigour and enthusiasm, due to a preoccupation with narrow economic interests which have starved the humanities of funds."

Nzimande said he was pleased the SA History Online project would absorb young history graduates as interns.

"I hope also that many of you will go on from this base to become researchers who will help to shed light on the history of our country and our region."

Others would go on to share their knowledge at schools and universities.

Popular understanding of history was important for society, and so it was important that academic research be converted into accessible media forms such as television, radio and the internet, Nzimande said.

  • richard.bosmano - 2012-10-30 16:58

    Sure blade. Just whip out king Shaka's journal for us and we'll add his story from his point of view then.

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-10-30 17:14

      If some of today's leaders could be history, we will gladly rewrite the history.

      danie.strydom.7 - 2012-10-30 17:23

      The history of South Africa pre 1652 .... .... .... (riveting stuff hey)

      brad.ken.18 - 2012-10-30 17:24

      What an illiterate poxhead! How the eff do you re-write history? Its the past! Its already happened!!! Just shows you the sad caliber of grey matter in this organisms appendage attached to its neck!

      fussed.anderson - 2012-10-30 17:35

      If only history could be changed, we would not be in the MESS we are now. And YOU would not be born.

      harold.pennington.5 - 2012-10-30 17:38

      What an ignorant statement!

      fussed.anderson - 2012-10-30 17:46

      Wank$#ing will also give you a happy ending, so go fourth

      claudia.meads - 2012-10-30 17:50

      This is exactly what the Nazi's did in Germany – ie create a false history in the interest of insidious nationalism (black nationalism in this case) - specifically under one of Hitler's main henchmen - Heinrich Himmler and through (eg) the Ahnenerbe Organisation. This drunken morosoph (Nzimande) should rather focus on the fact that all he has produced, is ILLITERATE GRADUATES, than to spew out more inconsequential red-herrings...

      hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-30 17:57

      And do not forget it was Dingane who invented the quill, ink and paper. - 2012-10-30 18:03

      Blunt Blade, once more opens his mouth and shows his ignorance. History is history. How about they rather concentrate on making the future better for everyone? Duh!!

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-10-30 18:06

      "And then, using a stick and three leaves, Mpo invented the telephone. It was stolen by the whites and sold to AG Bell... Some time later Zipper, a young Zulu invented corruption..."

      alastair.grant.98 - 2012-10-30 18:08

      Let's imagine, for a moment, that our government is deliberately dumbing down the voting masses (is there any other explanation for producing illiterate matriculants, despite a truly massive education budget?) Now imagine the long-term agenda of the same government is to follow the illustrious footsteps of comrade Robert Mugabe, down the golden path of, ahem, land redistribution and indigenisation of the economy (in which there are billions to be made in hard currency, for example by manipulating foreign exchange and selling national assets to the Chinese and Arabs). But how do you do that, within a nominally democratic country, so that the western nations leave you alone? Easy, you treat your schoolkids like mushrooms - keep them in the dark, and feed them manure. And that manure, ladies and gentlemen, is rewritten history. Of course it would be awkward having the damn media sneering at your history books, throwing contemporary documents and archeological analysis in your face, so you'd need to have some kind of protection of information act...

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-10-30 18:12

      @mlungisi: so then we will have to re-write these "new" history books in 10 years time to reflect the fact that they were never delivered to the schools?

      brad.ken.18 - 2012-10-30 18:14

      @mlungisi.magada - you dude should not even be commenting whilst sitting there, with your long blonde straightened hair, your fancy European cars parked inside a triple brick built garage, hot and cold running water, being able to read and write, using Loreal d'Paris products to lighten your skin, shopping at Woolworths etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. Be grateful!

      spookhuis - 2012-10-30 18:59

      mlungisi.magada ...and what infrastructure did you have?

      brad.ken.18 - 2012-10-30 19:01

      What EFFS me off, is single cellular halfwits like mlungisi.magada NEVER have the know how, to take on valid comments and DEBATE. Much like their SHOWERHEAD! COWARDS! They simply are too illiterate! So come now mlungisi.magada, I eagerly await your response!

      Pieterse.hc - 2012-10-30 21:05

      yes please write the history about the bomb planting and planning of violence by these leaders, how they did it, inspired the nation and fueled the mindsets of the culture they envy, but refuse to follow - welcome globalization....

      george.outremer - 2012-10-30 22:08

      This reminds me of a cartoon I saw in the Zimbabwe Herald in 2000. The caption was: 'Zimbabwe with all vestiges of colonialism removed' The British ambassador had just parked his Rolls Royce next to three African huts, and the Induna was announcing his arrival to his excellency: Bob Mugabe whose eyes were visible from the darkness of the hut. Summed up the situation nicely with respect to the African obsession with the colonial past. The really sad part of this is that these individuals who choose to dwell on the past are not only limiting the progress and prosperity of their own people but driving them deeper into poverty with their misguided focus. History will ensure that such people are quickly forgotten after their passing - or at best remembered for the opportunity cost of their folly - as it should be.

  • tw2066 - 2012-10-30 16:59

    This guy must be a communist. Rewrite history to reflect what we wish was reality. Lets rather say Andrew Zondo, the guy who bombed a shopping centre, was a saint. Or let's paint the picture that only the ANC brought about change. Let's let our history reflect that Zuma was a hero for building his mansion and suppressing press freedom? Crazy stuff.

      classwar.trotsky - 2012-10-30 18:15

      I am a communist, and even I think he is talking sH!+.

      TSR01 - 2012-10-30 18:47

      Forget being a communist, forget being "Higher Education Minister" (what a sick joke!!!), this guy doesn't need to lobby for re-writing history, South Africa should lobby for this guy (Nzimande) re-writing his school exams! What a twit. :)

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-10-30 18:48

      Whatever! But for the sake of accuracy, the last sentence in the new history book should end with "...and the land was left in tatters."

      Desilusionada - 2012-10-30 19:16

      Mfecane (Zulu: [m?f?'|a?ne], crushing or scattering), also known by the Sesotho name Difaqane or Lifaqane, was a period of widespread chaos and warfare among indigenous tribes in southern Africa during the period between 1815 to about 1840. As king Shaka created the militaristic Zulu Kingdom in the territory between the Tugela River and Pongola River, his forces caused a wave of warfare and disruption to sweep to other peoples. This was the prelude of the Mfecane, which spread from there. The movement of peoples caused many tribes to try to dominate those in new territories, leading to widespread warfare; consolidation of other groups, such as the Matabele, the Mfengu and the Makololo; and the creation of states such as the modern Lesotho. The death toll has never been satisfactorily determined, but the whole region became nearly depopulated. Yes, and please give us more detail about the above. Like how you overcame your tribal prejudices and what happened to the remaining people? And how they kept track (on their iPads, made of beads, skins and calabashes, I presume?), of the plots and farms sold to the white trekker people when they moved through these depopulated areas. Especially since all land belonged to the killed people who lodged their "Kaart en Transport" in the local municipalities that were only established many years later.....

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-10-30 16:59

    Blade you are right bloody moron.It should be documented as to how the communist jumped into bed with the capitalist,how the anc created a culture of dependency (rdp's and grants) among poor blacks,how the anc ruined the healthcare and education system.They should also document how the country assets were looted by incompetent bastards like zuma and how corruption has been allowed to be a norm.

      russell.l.tait - 2012-10-30 17:23

      Hey good one, but then communism is state capitalism.

      grant.hide - 2012-10-30 18:42

      @mlungisi.magada We are the masters of our Universe, each and to their own. Find a job, learn skills, use skills, make moola then multiply. It's nice to have second chances at dreams and i do believe some people have to unfortunately learn things the hard way. I am my own Master, i have learnt and now i will use my brain. Duck next time someone throws something at you, the world is round.

  • sean.redmond3 - 2012-10-30 17:00


      andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-30 20:54

      @Seanred. HA !!! HA !!! "Ok" a sign of resignation ?? I also give up.

  • JamesMWood - 2012-10-30 17:01

    Here's the problem, unlike most societies both current and long gone, the africans in south africa have not really kept a form of written history of events that have affected them. I have yet to hear of scrolls or the likes being discovered like that which has happened in ethiopia, morroco, egypt, dead sea etc. What history they gonna write? A new one that suits their needs?

      harold.pennington.5 - 2012-10-30 17:39

      Ever heard of the oral tradition? No I thought not. Archaeology?

      harold.parsons.37 - 2012-10-30 19:27

      Africans had thier whole history on hard drives and it was the colonials who stole these computers with the plans to build them and left the poor africans with no means to recover the information and their history. To day in Timboktu the elders and african scientests are working hard under the guidance of comrade Blade to try to recover the information from paper copy given to them by aliens.

      JamesMWood - 2012-10-30 20:20

      @harold, I have heard of the oral tradition and had they practised that there would be less of them, jokes aside, that's somewhat unreliable as the story will change every single time its retold by different members of the same community so the same group of people will have many different versions of the same story. Think of the fisherman and how big his fish was!

      JamesMWood - 2012-10-30 20:31

      With regards archaeology, I seriously doubt that a bunch of tribes living in grass huts had the know how to dig tunnels\\caves to store their precious manuscripts.

  • ro.jhb.1 - 2012-10-30 17:02

    He is clearly joking. How can one rewrite history - Blade you are a disgrace

      fussed.anderson - 2012-10-30 17:36

      He must have had an educated guess

  • marina.poniatowska - 2012-10-30 17:02

    Bwaaaaahaaaaaaahaaaaaa... What a joke.

  • boris.dietrol - 2012-10-30 17:03

    You cannot rewrite history Blade, unless you mean to just lie about everything. The truth remains the truth regardless of how people like you, you colossal moron, seek to distort it.

      harold.pennington.5 - 2012-10-30 17:41

      Truth in history is a relative concept. It's a matter of perspective but I guess you'd need an education to know that.

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-10-30 18:00

      'Truth in history is a relative concept' ---- I will give you one thing Harold --- you sure as hell know how to nail your ignorance and fear of academic rigour to the mast. The mark of one's integrity and intelligence is the measure of contempt and revulsion one has for 'relative concepts'. If you are in the market for comic book histories , I can get cracking on some fine episodes. The first concerns the rise of the Gobbledegookian empire and how they conquered half the world , invented toasters , pi and electric razors while leaving a huge linguistic legacy permeating many languages today including the type of English you burped onto these pages. OK lets get busy on the Goobledogookians. Shall we say they came from Siberia and had Asiatic features ?. And that they suffered terribly from penningtonitis ?.( A made up 'relative disease' - but I am sure you will not mind )

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-10-30 18:09

      Harold sorry about that. I see you are living in the land of 'make it up as you go along' , factoids and 'infotainment'. The land where words mean roughly , just about and more or less what the speaker intended them to mean. You must have picked something up there.

      snot.gurgle.3 - 2012-10-30 18:11

      Yes Harold, but what about..."the effects of colonialism on INTELLECTUAL PRODUCTION.."

  • george.slade.161 - 2012-10-30 17:05

    With Idiots like this in Govt : South Africa is basically History ! Minister of "higher" Education : Qualification =Communist Idiot .

      Charles Frederik Robberts - 2012-10-30 17:32


  • janis.moolman - 2012-10-30 17:08

    Rewrite history you the one who dont believe it. How the hell do you want to rewrite it.

      Andrea - 2012-10-31 13:53

      By hand, I imagine, or maybe they will build a pyramid and document the new history in hieroglyphics.

  • george.michaelides.71 - 2012-10-30 17:09

    Rewrite the History of the last 18 years Blade.....but leave the rest alone...our kids in school dont even get taught about the Boer War..or how many South Africans of all creeds fought in the 2nd WW etc etc....what history you chop....

  • gec2122 - 2012-10-30 17:12

    Blade, you do have your own history, just go out and find all the rock paintings of your ancestors. If it wasn’t for colonialism, which is technically not part of SA history anyway, you would still be making paintings on rocks today. Go ahead and write your own history, but leave mine alone.

      pravda.che - 2012-11-02 10:34

      forgive me if i am wrong here. i think that it was only the San that did rock paintings in southern africa. i do not think our illustrious commie rat is a San unless his ancestors raped some poor prisoner/slave?

  • valkyriaza - 2012-10-30 17:14

    Even the communists, Blade, acknowledged the fact. Then again, the man has an intelligence of a tree stump. The idea of rewriting history has always lead to something more sinister, one only has to look at the Nazi regime for an example. What's next? Burning of 'colonialism' books?

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-10-30 17:24

      How can you re-write history? It has happened. There are facts linked to what happened. Nothing can change fact.

  • parys.fotograaf - 2012-10-30 17:15

    Each nation's history should be written by that nations own people. What Stomp wants is one mass of info that will for-sure not do the smaller nations and minorities any favours. We are not one nation, but merely a unity state with several nations forced together, for some against their will. Time to face facts and then do what is right.

  • bennie.burger.12 - 2012-10-30 17:15

    Never mind, the "new" history books will never reach schools in time. Futile and utter lunacy.

      pravda.che - 2012-11-02 10:37

      it will take about six commities,about ten years and another R2b to rewrite our history. just enough cash to siphon off for his account in Zurich.

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-10-30 17:16

    I think someone needs to rearrange that face.

  • man.zanilla.73 - 2012-10-30 17:17

    But go for it. Don't just have intellectual discussions about it. Don't even appoint a committee. If wrongs was done then correct it. Now is the chance. Just don't correct one wrong with another. Blade is in charge and the ANC will not rule for much longer according to JZ's definition so go for it.

  • Spearshaker@Inkandla - 2012-10-30 17:20

    Yep! In true Stalinist form, ol' Blade.

      vaaldonkie.visagie - 2012-10-30 17:35

      member of ye ole SACP.

  • motleleng - 2012-10-30 17:20

    I thought as a democratic country we were rewriting SA's history. If we rewrite the past 18 years of cANCer corruption, let's do it right now....

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-10-30 17:20

    Oh yes, how stupid of us, how could we forget.... Anything negative that happens, or is done wrong by the ANC, is because of whites, apartheid and the effects of colonialism. We are unique remember...? Every single colonised country, that had segregation is unsuccessful. Oh but wait, there are a few countries that we colonised and had segregation... and lo n behold, they managed to not lay blame but take responsibility. Eg. Australia, United States, New Zealand, Singapore etc... Poor ANC, apartheid will forever be the cause of your utter f**kups

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-10-30 17:21


  • russell.l.tait - 2012-10-30 17:21

    Colonialism is a mythe, when the Westerners/Europeans got here or migrated south just as the blacks did there was nothing here, they had sibblings, built schools , banks , buildings etc and built at nation as anywhere yes add that to the story as TRUTH too.

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-10-30 17:25

    Just make sure to include what has NOT been done right or NOT done at all (e.g. failure to deliver textbooks) to rectify issues since 1994...

  • joe.whiteman.9 - 2012-10-30 17:25

    @Mzimba No, I just hate boxes like you, Super Chop !!!!

  • siyanda.kobo - 2012-10-30 17:25

    ... and this is Higher Education Minister?

      russell.l.tait - 2012-10-30 17:52


  • tim.brink.1238 - 2012-10-30 17:27

    Someone needs to have their head re-wired!

  • john.cryink - 2012-10-30 17:30

    Very important make sure that blacks are taught that they stole the land from the San and Khoisan.e

  • terry.burne - 2012-10-30 17:31

    Re-write History! Classic communist stuff - ala 1984 (the George Orwell Book). It seems like Orwell was writing about South Africa - we have some pigs being more equal than others, and now we will re-write history. "Double-plus-ungood"!

      pravda.che - 2012-11-02 10:41

      you have the text right but the title wrong. its Animal Farm. just like our government.

  • vaaldonkie.visagie - 2012-10-30 17:34

    Well, he IS a communist* after all... *literally. He belongs the the SA Communist Party.

  • darryl.earnshaw - 2012-10-30 17:36

    Just make sure that you pencil in how the San were here long before you "blacks" moved from up north.........lest we forget how you came to be in South Africa and not from this land, much like the whites and indians!! Then educate your buddy Malema and company

  • blindfolded.cynic - 2012-10-30 17:41

    Suffering Jehosephat! I know the guy's a communist but he and his ANC fellow-travelers are stuck in a time warp. This is exactly what the Soviets did from the 1930's to the 1960's and what the Cultural Revolution in China sought (with much bloodshed) in the 1960's. The problems - and dangers - do not lie with discovering and recording previously unknown historical facts, but rather with the re-interpretation (key word there) and re-emphasis of historical events and their meanings. As was so chillingly shown in Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', the next step is the invention and revision of 'history' on a daily basis in order to suit the needs of Big Brother. And, as with Soviet Russia and Red China, a sinister prelude to everything from totalitarianism, genocide and more. This is becoming seriously scary, folks...

  • melikaya.grootboom - 2012-10-30 17:42

    Can they stop trying to brain wash us , they did enough on tv. They must deliver what they promised us and stop trying to brian wash us with apartheid. We all know all people who came with apartheid are dead and some are old looking to their grave. So please let's forget about past cz it will never come back. Black people these people are fooling us , they good on brain washing us , making us not to forget about apartheid while they doing nothing for us. I think its time to try COPE or DA . Apartheid will never be active again we need to know that

  • melikaya.grootboom - 2012-10-30 17:45

    Can they stop trying to brain wash us , they did enough on tv. They must deliver what they promised us and stop trying to brian wash us with apartheid. We all know all people who came with apartheid are dead and some are old looking to their grave. So please let's forget about past cz it will never come back. Black people these people are fooling us , they good on brain washing us , making us not to forget about apartheid while they doing nothing for us. I think its time to try COPE or DA . Apartheid will never be active again we need to know that

      fifi.stewart.71 - 2012-10-30 17:51

      melikaya pleae read my comment to Mzimba58.

      Muffin_man_can - 2012-10-30 18:22

      Wow l wish l could shake your hand grootboom.. I hope that the rest of your black brothers will also awake from the spell the anc has blinded them with.

  • louis.nolte.3 - 2012-10-30 17:46

    Minister of no education. With all the crises in your department, the only thing you can think of is apartheid. You're so stupid, that's why I (and many others) know more than you, not because of apartheid...

  • luke.dekoker - 2012-10-30 17:47

    Yes monk blade, just remember to put in the truth about how you and fellow Terrorists (past and precent bastards)planted bombs and killed a lot of innocent South Africans. And also don't forget to tell the truth of how the CancER crooks have been stealing taxpayers money since you lot came to power.

  • jaun.lombard.9 - 2012-10-30 17:51

    "Once upon a time a country named South Africa existed, but was run to the ground not my imperialists and politicians but by the sick public who raped and brutally murdered themselves and everyone around them"

  • Greypatriot - 2012-10-30 17:52

    Yes Sure - History will make people understand business and the skills to build roads and bridges, houses and cars. Without history teaching the brain can only think of one thing.

  • mollie.kruger - 2012-10-30 17:56

    Don't change history, create your own, you dumb idiot!

  • lynette.nortman.7 - 2012-10-30 18:02

    Oh Blade, take a hike!

  • pj.egolie - 2012-10-30 18:05

    Will he also write about the fact that 99.99% of the black population came here as immigrants from the north ?

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-10-30 18:09

    Is this like changing town and street names? If the masses can see no improvement in service delivery or education, change things that make it look as if you are actually doing something. Preferably just before an election. And how much sense is there in writing new history textbooks if they will never be delivered to the schools?

  • - 2012-10-30 18:15

    Blade will you also be including the Church Street massacre, farm attacks, land mines on farm roads, Magoo's bar bombing, St. James's church massacre, etc.?

  • jaap.kotze - 2012-10-30 18:25

    Rewriting history, to suit a certain point of view, is nothing but telling lies!

  • amanda.matthews.14811 - 2012-10-30 18:30

    @blindfolded cynic My thoughts exactly. Very scary stuff. And he is making it very clear too. I suppose anyone who dares to disagree with the historical revolution crap will be marched off promptly to the nearest Gulag. It is time for the voters to wake up and smell the coffee about who is actually going to run this country post Mangaung if Zuma is re elected! It is clear that this SACP moron has hijacked the ANC.

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-30 18:35

    ZAPIRO please re-draw BLUNT BLADE NZIMANDE's BRAIN (if he has ANY) for the kind of POLITICAL JOKER

  • mfana.sobukwe - 2012-10-30 18:48

    dis is rite. it is abt time dat da ppl finds out da truth. we blacks hv sufered long enuf cz of aprtheed. we stil sufer cz da whytes stil has all da money dat was stoled frm us and our land. if my bradas can see what da whytes hv done then there wil be a revolusion. we wil taek da houses and busnisses and then SA wil finaly be free.

      sgcrampton - 2012-10-30 19:01

      Is it not bad enough that you are spewing unnecessary hate but you have to misspell 90% of your words not to mention your grammar is atrocious. Why people are worried is that when Blade says "... re-interpreted ...." people fear that things will be omitted that shouldn't or even added. It is a dangerous road whereby subtle propaganda can be introduced to the scholars of tomorrow, this government has created an atmosphere of great distrust in it's citizens!

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-30 19:10

      I suspect that you are NOT A REAL SOBUKWE-you've 'F'ed your Africa-now you want to CORRUPT OUR SOUTH AFRICA?

      melikaya.grootboom - 2012-10-30 19:16

      Dude we never had money , plz don't be stupid. You embarrassing me as a black person

      yvonne.joseph.1612 - 2012-11-02 11:51

      How did the whites steal your money. When they arrived you did not even have a barter system ,never mind a functioning economic or monetary system

  • lovenergy - 2012-10-30 18:50

    History shall be written by the victors. Its always been like that and South Africa is not exempt from that loop. Either the ANC will be exposed for true Communists or they will truely include us all in the rich history of SA for the betterment of all so that we can heal and move forward and save what we still can together as equals

  • Gert van Coller - 2012-10-30 18:50

    Will it be an objective search for the truth, or will it be rewritten for political mobilisation? Btw Blade, there are some good historians out there, like Herman Gilliomee. Ever heard of him?

  • raymond.j.radley - 2012-10-30 18:50

    Gosh Im sorry, but Blade certainly isn't easy on the eye..

  • gary.landman - 2012-10-30 18:58

    OK..lets take the history as recorded before the White Imperialist Robber Barons arrived. Lets remove the 1652 to 1994 section and rewrite that and voila,,, a script for the movie SAW xivvi.. but with more blood.

  • Jason - 2012-10-30 18:58

    History cannot be re-written. It is past fact, cast in stone. Presenting both sides of that history is fair, but if that's what you meant, why didn't you just say it?