Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

South Africans thought they were better Africans than black Africa: Thanks Zuma has set the record straight

11 Jul 2021 at 15:17hrs | Views
"All of us must thank Jacob Zuma for introducing African Republic of South Africa and not some outpost of European values." This comes from a Sowetan column sent to me by a friend. The article is an interesting read, it embodies facts, satire, and irony. We have been saying this for a while that since South Africa became independent in 1994, Xenophobia destroyed black African lives: African migrations to South Africa was met with hostility and arrogance. The people of South African have low opinion of black Africans north of them. We are made to believe that they are better people than all of us put together for many reasons.

Firstly, their aquiline features and light-colour-skins make South Africans think and behave they are better Africans. Added to this fact is the country's super economic development of Apartheid era they inherited; They rightfully boast about this because it was the black African cheap labour that made South Africa a giant of African economy. The Xenophobia attacks on black African people was an expression of top-down hierarchy in the nation's settings. So many factors made South Africans believe they are better Africans than the rest of us and South Africa did not at all belong to Africa even if the geographical evidence said so. They forced themselves to imagine South Africa as some nation away from the Africa we have: an island of its own only by imagination.

Their economy is the one still intact in reference to other economies north of them hence the push and pull of migration to the giant South Africa. South Africa became the only country that introduced social benefits for the unemployed, a policy unheard of in all countries north of them. South Africans shunned unemployment they characterized as inferior: they would rather they received social benefits than to do dirty work for a living.

Black Africans from the north who went to South Africa were innovative, they set up thriving businesses, some got those dirty jobs that were not preferred by South African citizens and their lives became better than the South Africans blacks together in the squalid home areas they shared. Animosities began to grow and lastly, they demanded their repatriations back to where they came from.

The trickle-down economy in South Africa failed according to planning when independence was negotiated between Apartheid government and the ANC liberation party. This created what Naomi Klein eloquently termed: The USA California on one hand and the DR Congo on the other hand. This, she meant the widening scissors of poverty and richness is supposed to be the bone of contention and not the migrant worker.
Anger emanating from the black majority deprivileged section of the population was vented on black foreigners. Hundreds of Blacks in South Africa were burnt to death, some died of stabbed wounds and most of their investments were looted and destroyed by black South Africans who were not able to realize or determine were their political and economic woes originated from. It can be said with equal truth that some South Africans could be apolitical in understanding political and economic discourses in their own country.

A simple question would have been, why are we still poor in a rich country like South Africa? How are the nation's resources shared by the government we trust to remove poverty in the lives of predominantly black South Africans? South Africa's ANC has always been a corrupt party the day they took overpower from apartheid South Africa. The corruption started when someone murdered Comrade Chris Hani. The economic negotiators especially slept on the wheel. A lot of horse trading was done because to some those negotiations and those who negotiated were beyond their academic scope.

Whoever was party to eliminating Comrade Chris Thembisile Hani is responsible for the mess South Africans find themselves in today. Why did ANC renege the Freedom Charter in the negotiations for economic independence? There is no need of repeating what Ms Naomi Klein already alluded in her book; "The Shock doctrine" there is a lot in the book whose facts can combine with the current social, economic, and political situation in South Africa today. What is happening today in South Africa had to come to pass in retrospect.

Prince Machela in The Sowetan Times sincerely thanks Jacob Zuma for giving back black South Africans their black identity and to realize that South Africa is an African state like all of them. Questions are flying all over the show amid political confusion: is this the end of South Africa? To quote the article verbatim: The thing called "end" of South Africa does not exist, not in relation to a country. South Africa is going to exist even beyond Jacob Zuma.

"We must thank Zuma for revealing our true African character; that the idea of rule of law is not part of who we are, and that constitutionalism is a concept far ahead of us as a people." Said Prince Machela. This statement is telling: The reactions of millions of Africans regarding the incarceration of Jacob Zuma is implicated in the above statement. Jacob Zuma has no respect for the constitution just like many other African Presidents. The reaction of Africans across the continent suggest that they are pained with his incarceration hence #FreeZuma is burning in some parts of South Africa as we write.
In retrospect Zuma thought he was above the law; he was once President of S. Africa and Africans are a people that know their own set of rules: they were baffled and incensed when Zuma was sent to jail for his disdain for constitutionalism. According to them: Jacob Zuma should never be jailed because he was president of South Africa; it is therefore un-African to send him to jail. Questions came from across the continent asking why is de Klerk not in prison? This is a question coming 30 years too late to ask it today, valid it may sound.

"The African way is rule by kings, chiefs, and indunas in a setting of unwritten rules. Is there anyone who has seen a book of African customary laws"? As we write, KwaZulu Natal burns, gullible people are rioting against the state for incarcerating their near King "Jacob Zuma". The fact that Jacob Zuma broke the constitutional law is not taken into consideration. Emotions are high: cars, buses, trucks are set alight creating chaos like no other: all these emotions are a message of solidarity with king Zuma irrespective of factual reasons on the ground about his jail sentence; he broke the law. There is no law for Zuma and another law for the general population.

South Africa and South Africans, welcome to the African continent. You are Africans in the first place and not Caucasians. It took a long time to realize the fact that SA is an African state, and they must thank Zuma for giving them the shock of their lives to realize this fact. What is wholly disturbing is the gullible followers of #FreeZuma. Zuma never wanted people with investigative minds near him. He was not educated himself: hence he was suspicious of a commoner who raises questions about public money spent on I Nkandla, is just not Africa by African standards but wholly western thinking "unlawfully introduced to African settings".

The incarceration of Jacob Zuma brings to question conflict between two laws: the African customary laws and the constitutional law, one of which Jacob Zumba abhorred hence he sees himself in prison. "To ask a ruler to be accountable to the law is foreign to our African settings. Laws in African countries are changed willy nilly to serve the ruler. Zuma does not understand why rules are not bent to suite him – the near king of South Africa. "It is not the end of South Africa" per se but the beginning of realization that it is an African country that is not different from other African countries north of it beginning with Zimbabwe, its neighbour.

"South Africa will not look like Denmark or Sweden or Germany but will be nearer to Nigeria and Kenya in the near future", said The Sowetan Times. Indeed it is true that African leaders do not want enlightened and educated Africans because they think too much, and it means   trouble for the elite and their families: for this reason, the policy implementation on education in most African governments is minimal to stay loyal and provincial in our thinking.

Looking at the chaos that is happening KwaZulu Natal and the Gauteng provinces; "How else can you explain thousands of people who flock to stadiums to clap hands for a president who violented their country's constitution". Ordinary people have no idea about the constitution; they lack education. Customary laws are not documented: again they conflict with constitutional laws that demand academic knowledge to understand them.

"Zuma remains African. Those who are unsettled by the realization that South Africa is part of Africa need assistance". Some citizens in South Africa have this model and lofty ideas of Socrates, Hegel, Kant, the line of philosophers of democracy is long; such thinking is not African but very western. Western democracy and their value systems are not wanted in our continent of Africa. Africans who defend Zuma are true Africans, curiously they are also in the ANC, and in many parts of Africa including our Dr. Masimba Mavaza.

Not so long ago the Kenyan lawyer Patrice Lumumba of Kenya talked passionately about Africa and its own African democracy that should be formulated to replace the global one that has been incorporated in other countries even in East Asia: it is not wanted in Africa. God bless Africa and its sons and daughters.

South Africa, at the end of the day is an African state: thanks to Jacob Zuma for enlightening his nation that South Africa can never be different from the rest of it. The challenges remains for all those who live in South Africa: "Now that we have successfully reclaimed our place as another African country, we must reflect and come to terms with our real character, and to imagine what our future portends", Said the Sowetan Times. It was a beautiful read; factual and truthful.

Jacob Zuma et al must tell us who murdered Chris Thembisile Hani. Facts about his death are crucial to the country's development. Thembisile Hani and others of his socialistic thinking were the hopefuls of South Africa's future. The future of South Africa lies in the implementation of the freedom Charter and never these neo-liberal policies that gladly feed globalization at the detriment of the poor South Africans. How do their aquiline feathers and beauty help them if most of the population of SA are squatting squalor in their own country?

Zuma's age is nearer to 80 years and is leaving behind young wives. How old is Mantuli and the rest of them Mrs's Zuma at I Nkandla? Is it responsible to take a young woman to be his wedded wife: a woman who could be the same age of Zuma's own daughter? These are some of the African values we should never question because it is un-African to question actions of a person of Zuma's standing about his private life. God bless Africa and its sons and daughters.

Source - Nomazulu Thata
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.