2016-01-07 07:31

The national geographic describes a rainbow as an optical illusion that is to say it does not exist and its appearance depends on your position relative to where the sun is shining. Therefore I can posit that the Rainbow Nation only exists in the heads of people detached from reality and to many it remains a utopia.

Psychologists have broken down how a person deals with grief into five stages namely: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As a nation we are currently going through these stages of grief as we try to cope with rampant corruption, landlessness, crippling unemployment, dehumanising poverty and racial inequality. When can we say our problems as a nation began? Some may say in the year 1652, others may say in 1820, while others might say in 1913 or maybe 1948. I will focus on the Rainbow Nation delusion of 1994 as most of the grief we are currently going through emanates in large part on the 1994 fraud. The Black majority after years of white domination and economic exploitation had high expectations that under a Black Government their lives would radically change for the better and the State would work to the benefit of all.

The People’s Movement was coming home, the Messiah had avoided a civil war, and White people had collective amnesia of the racial oppression and economic exploitation they meted out against the natives with impunity. The comrades were criss-crossing the country addressing scores of abused and defeated people, selling them dreams of A Better Life for All. The Reconstruction and Development Programme was the talk of the town, finally decent housing for the poor, free health, adequate sanitation, free quality education, equal opportunities, sharing the wealth of the country, the restoration of land as the promises came flying from the Messiah who had spent 27 years in prison well some of those 27 years were spent in a fully furnished house with a dog, a chef and 24 hour access to the Apartheid government well someone had earlier warned that prisoners cannot negotiate their freedom seeing the danger of fraternising with the enemy from a weakened position. The Messiah liked this house so much that he built himself a replica at the village of his birth.

Something was amiss as the first stage of grief which is denial quickly set in, on the 10th of May 1994. After years of senseless killings by the apartheid death squads, torture, dehumanisation, forced removals and dispossession the People had to forgive and forget the unrepentant racists. The Messiah without even a blink stood in front of thousands of abused followers and with confidence said ‘You must forget the past.’

Something was broken returning exiles were in disbelief, rural folk and urban dwellers who are the real heroes of the liberation struggle were confused. The squatter camps were springing up like mushrooms in the wild, poverty was on the rise and the land was not changing hands. The People had pinned their hopes on the People’s Movement with the hope that it would never sell them out. Little did they know that the RDP inspired by the Freedom Charter would be abruptly abandoned as a program of government and their leaders were busy implementing neo-liberal economic policies that would prolong their suffering. Ties were being made between the old elites and the new elites in an unholy pact of crony capitalism.

The process of denial was to be facilitated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which had the task of selling the falsehood of a Rainbow Nation. The Springboks won the rugby world cup, Bafana Bafana followed suite with the Afcon win to foster national unity and social cohesion another delusion of the Rainbow Nation.

This was the birth of the good story to tell, South Africa the land of hope. This phase can be said to symbolise the bargaining stage. This stage is characterised by a massive propaganda campaign that sought to entrench the former liberation movement as the only legitimate party in pursuit of a one Party State as a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Heroes had to be created, national days airbrushing the South African struggle history were set up in the process of depoliticization, one-sided name changes were effected were one struggle hero could have an airport in one province, a boulevard in another and a municipality all named after him.

Hopelessness was starting to creep in and the elites had to lull the poor Black masses with food parcels, social grants, t-shirts pledging allegiance to the Messiah and hollow government sponsored music festivals were people engage in reckless behaviour. In this stage misguided patriotism is used to blackmail those that question the status quo as Agents sent to destabilise the country. As the first five years of democracy were drawing to a close the country started to move into the stage of anger.

The infamous Arms Deal would come to symbolise middle class anger towards government and in the townships anti-privatisation campaigns were starting to shape how community struggles and public anger will be like under the ANC Government which was starting to show its true colours by the drive for the commodification of basic services like water and electricity. Some chose the easy escape of drugs and a life of crime to ease the suffering. African immigrants would also be the recipients of People’s anger through xenophobic attacks, as the law of the jungle dictates that caged animals turn to cannibalism as a survival instinct in a controlled environment with limited resources like the congested squatter camps, villages and townships of South Africa.

My People ever so familiar with the burning tyre as the weapon of struggle would take to the streets to vent their anger towards the “Government for the people, by the people” which was blatantly revealing itself as a government of the elites. Community activists bore the brunt of the repressive ANC government, Andries Tatane was the first to be killed in full view of cameras for demanding basic services, extra judicial killings of urban land activists in Natal and Marikana was a turning point towards acceptance that the ANC was never ready to govern and represented a self-serving political elite willing to bend over backwards to protect white capital.

Then came the Naked Emperor of Nkandla to amplify the anger to the stage of depression. The Emperor would speed up the process of grief and allow for acceptance to take place that political freedom without economic freedom is meaningless. The great depression under the Emperor allows for an opportunity to awaken a people. The former liberation movement with its colourful and bordering on dodgy struggle history, he revealed what a few had known all along that the ANC is a zama-zama scheme from its days in exile not shy to hobnob with the criminal underworld and carry out violence against its own MK combatants and the infamous People’s War. This was indeed a government by the worst of the people, concerned with the self and stomach. Some proudly said they did not struggle to be poor and saw national treasury as their legacy.

Now 2016 presents us with an opportunity for closure as a nation as the last 21 years were a false start. Acceptance is the last stage of grief, as painful as it is, it is necessary for the People to accept that the ANC was never in the struggle for the total liberation of occupied Azania, but only fought for 20% share schemes for the ANC national elites, tenders for the ANC regional elites and the preservation of white privilege to the decrement of the majority of poor Black South Africans.

Reconciliation without justice is an empty gesture, we need to take lessons from the past in order to move forward as a nation and correct all historical injustices. From there we can build a nation free of prejudices and all complexes. Only then can we embrace the values of humanity and take this great nation forward with a common vision for the future.


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