Motsoaledi, an oppressor of his own people, is just like Verwoerd

Muzi Kuzwayo CITY PRESS columnistPHOTO:
Muzi Kuzwayo CITY PRESS columnistPHOTO:

The people have the right to gratuitously offend and that right should not be curbed by bureaucrats.

It cannot be conferred by the courts, but will be given to us by jokers, satirists and the crazy ones.

It is only when we are not afraid to offend that we can ask the difficult questions and see ourselves for who we are.

In order to ask good questions, we must be allowed to think not only out of the box, but out of the graveyard.

The courts must resist the seduction of handsomely powerful government ministers and never shield them from butt-naked scrutiny using the umbrella of “right to dignity”.

When people assume public office, they are, in effect, agreeing to a public tauza dance – the embarrassing apartheid ritual of stripping a criminal naked and searching every nook and crevice of their body to make sure they had nothing hidden up their rectum.

Mabogo More, the author of the book Biko: Philosophy, Identity and Liberation, asks why write a book about Steve Biko today, more than 40 years after his death?

Could there be any benefit in regurgitating all that has been said about the man or could there be more to add to his own perfect book, I Write What I Like?

More’s book is our badly needed aide-memoire and the author does not fail in his duty.

In his conclusion, he reminds us of what Biko said: “In time, we shall be in a position to bestow upon South Africa the greatest gift possible – a more human face.”

It is not only what the author writes that makes a great book, but what creative thoughts he/she sparks in the reader’s mind.

Let us reimagine today’s South Africa with Biko still a young student, but his colleagues now grown in age and status.

What would he think of today’s minister of bantu administration and development, now called home affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi?

That department has been a historically powerful position since the colonial times.

Its prominent office holders include Barry Hertzog, Deneys Reitz and the devil reincarnate himself, Hendrik Verwoerd.

The department’s role was about influx control and keeping the natives in their homelands, where they were expected to be developed.

So when Motsoaledi accused foreigners of burdening the South African health system, while he was the minister of health, he was not only blaming his failures on others, but he proved that he may be black in skin, but in character he is categorically Verwoerdian.

Verwoerd spoke of “die swart gevaar’ and Motsoaledi is inadvertently sensitising us to a new and dangerous phenomenon of “die buitelander gevaar”, where we will fear and hate other black people simply because they come from outside South Africa.

In essence, xenophobia is tribalism, which makes Motsoaledi a tribalist and as despicable as a Zulu speaker who calls a Venda-speaking South African isilwane, meaning animal, which, for the record, is an official isiZulu word that has been taught at schools for years.

Biko would look at Motsoaledi with the same disdain that he had for Verwoerd.

Furthermore, he would accuse him of self-hatred because under his watch, as minister of health, the entire public health system degenerated to look like non-whites-only hospitals under apartheid.

Motsoaledi is an oppressor of his own people.

What can we expect now that the short-sighted jackal is in charge of the chicken run? More unemployment because home affairs is notorious for making it difficult for foreigners to enter South Africa.

Many African states are starting to return the favour and are using various diplomatic blunt weapons such as delays in visa applications, harassment at airports, and hefty and arbitrary fines to South African businesses.

Let us insult Verwoerd and create a truly better life for all, regardless of skin colour or cultural markings.

Kuzwayo is the founder of Ignitive, an advertising agency

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