I also couldn’t help thinking about an experience I had recently with ‘family’ through marriage. For want of a better word, a ‘brother-in-law’ made racist comments on a Facebook status of mine.
Ultimately, I was the victim of a physical assault by him, and unfortunately I was surprised at the support he received from my parents-in-law, even though we are both married into the family.
To me, it said that they supported, not only his violent ways but also his racist ways. I believe this idiot and anyone supporting him represents that closed minded racist, white middle class section of this country, and it’s not just Julius Malema [the expelled ANC Youth League President] who is to blame for this surge in race conflict.
In fact, I think Julius was really just hitting a nerve that goes to the truth of the state we are in – we still have major race issues to deal with in this country.
My view on this is that it was a bit of a mistake to mask those issues with Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “rainbow nation”. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the Arch. He happens to also be a patron of our charitable trust, but he got it a bit wrong. Again, said with the utmost respect.
Issues need to be dealt with head-on and with vigorous debate, in a mature way, but head-on nonetheless. We left a lot of unfinished business by masking everything with this rainbow nation nonsense.
I believe it is for that reason that things are now starting to surface on all sides. So what do we do now? I have no idea. It certainly doesn’t help that we currently have a weak leadership in the country, and no, Helen Zille, [the leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance], is definitely not the answer!
We seem to have some potentially great old and young leaders who are currently sitting on the side-lines. Or so it seems. The young ones are debating on social media sites like Twitter, but they aren’t stepping into the ring for the good fight.
So why am I not getting involved? Well because I am a political orphan so to speak. A white guy like me doesn’t feel all that welcome to join the ANC right now. Maybe it is something they should think about. That statement would probably have me labelled as a racist and I don’t think it would matter what my family’s ‘struggle credentials’ are.
I think my father’s path ended badly when doing a similar thing, so I am hesitant, especially as some may see him as having done the right thing, but his family was left out in the cold ultimately by his party Swapo, in Namibia. So that is my reason for not going back to Namibia and also joining Swapo.
Yet on the other hand, with my background, upbringing and unsheltered exposure to apartheid South Africa (and their influence on my country of birth Namibia), I can’t see myself in a party like the DA. I don’t believe they are the answer, and no matter what they say, they still represent a lot of the old South Africa, and that’s not just because at some point they merged with the NNP [New National Party]. So an alternative would be a new party and yes you are thinking what I am thinking – it’s hard to start one and do we really need it right now? So exactly, you get my point.
Currently, I believe in social activism, changing some things about South Africa by just getting involved a bit, doing something for the less fortunate in our communities.
So, I suggest you get involved in a charity or start your own initiative. We started one in my father’s honour and as a family, we thought we wanted to carry on his legacy in some way, so I think that was a good enough reason to start it from scratch. We focus on that one thing that our government has somewhat failed in, but yet is so important for this country – education.