Zindzi Mandela’s tweets speak truth to power

Zindzi Mandela. Picture: Loanna Hoffmann
Zindzi Mandela. Picture: Loanna Hoffmann

There has been an outburst on social media about the daughter of former freedom fighters Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela regarding her tweets that went viral for the past few days.

She spoke out strongly against a white minority group that is continuing to thrive in the economy of our country due to the previously advantageous background that favoured them over any other racial group.

White people in South Africa own a vast amount of land because they benefited from the racist project of land dispossession that was legitimised in 1913 under the Natives Land Act.

The spatial arrangement of the Union of South Africa (the British and the Dutch), which still pervades this country, is the legacy of that history in which the state acted on behalf of the entire white population and overlooked the existence of black people.

This was Mandela’s main trigger to take to social media to share her frustration about the systematic unjust, racial and class divided society of South Africa.

Her tweets were met with an outpouring of both criticism – more especially from white right wing conservatives – and support from blacks and other progressives.

We have seen the calls from the DA, AfriForum, Freedom Front Plus, Nelson Mandela Foundation and other civil societies to reprimand her in order to silence her voice that speaks truth to power.

Those with dissenting (sponsored) views justify her tweets as racial and seeking to divide South Africa.

Yet, we are already a divided nation that is not absolute but systematic.

We know the price that comes with when the land question is challenged.

Given the historical context of how land was taken from black people Mandela was correct to generalise her tweets to the entire white population.

The meaningful call for nation building in South Africa cannot be separated from the expropriation of the unjustly dispossessed land that is in the hands of a small, racial-minority population.

The government must take full ownership of land and redistribute it equally among all racial groups in a reasonable, economic and effective manner.

The nation building project must not be a subjective call that safeguards the interests of certain group over the other.

It should be a work in progress that involves active participation of organised interest groups that are ready to fight a genuine call for socioeconomic rights in order to achieve an inclusive sustainable development and growth as a nation.

Those interest groups challenge the status quo rather than defend it and must exercise their powers beyond the jurisdiction of a racial colour.

It’s expected for democratic interest groups to push the government to eradicate all unjust legacies of the former colonial, white, racial government in order to achieve a transformed united nation that will speak in one voice beyond the colour of our skins.

The goals of nation building must not be deterred by narrowing it down to some certain agenda.

However, it must be an objective, effective call that is relevant to the demand from society and common national development vision unconstrained by remote external forces.

Mashego Colverd Khutso is studying a bachelor of law at the University of Witwatersrand. He isa branch executive member (deputy chairperson) of the ANC Youth League, Matibidi ward 8 under Thaba Chweu Municipality, Mpumalanga.

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