The news from South Africa

...or the constant deferral of reconciliation

Last year we declared March White History Month.

This year it seems South Africa is in a hurry to get there.

Jared Sacks pointed out the logics of the Democratic Alliance’s move to rename Cape Town’s busiest highway, the N1, F.W. de Klerk Boulevard (despite the vociferous protests of the ANC and others).

Eugene de Kock, aka “Prime Evil,” the handmaiden to De Klerk’s duplicity in the treacherous 1980s, will receive parole this year, despite a sentence of two life-terms plus 212 years. But as De Kock himself has noted, he was jailed, rightfully, while others walk free with blood all over their hands.

The point about political elites being free while their henchmen serve time, suffer PTSD, and do the hard work of dealing with the violence they wrought, has been made again and again. The image of forgiving black South Africans, ruined Afrikaner scapegoats, and free-wheeling elites is getting old. How much more privileged reconciliation without justice can South Africa take before the rainbow fades?

Achille Mbembe put it this way recently in a Facebook post: “As long as South Africa does not put in place a set of coherent anti-racist laws, with institutional bodies endowed with robust investigative resources, deracialization will not happen. Racist incidents will not decrease. The cost of being racist has to steeply increase if any progress has to be made on this front. Unfortunately, the ANC seems to have lost the plot. Intellectually and morally bankrupt, it has dropped the ball insofar as racial justice is concerned. The new elites are happy to sleep in the former master’s bed, as Fanon rightly predicted.”

The bottom line is this: the ANC has made a pact with capital. All bets about when racial justice and equality will be delivered are therefore, sadly, off.

Further Reading

Just Us for Palestine

Africa Is a Country is proud to present a partnership with the popular South African podcast Just Us Under a Tree. On this episode, the Just Us crew analyze South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ.