Thursday, 9 April 2015
RHODES AND ROBBERT
- two events to take notice of.
Two events have happened simultaneously in South Africa. Events that may prove very significant if not troublesome...
The statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes were removed from its place in front of the University of Cape town, after unruly student protests even involving the use of human excrement (nowadays seemingly one of the favourite weapons of the new kind of liberation fighters!) The senate of the university went out of their way to be political correct and please these hooligans but still doors were broken... (to be paid for by working South African taxpayers I suppose)
On the same day the notorious aged dictator of Zimbabwe received a more than warm welcome from the corrupt South African president, Jacob Zuma. (Zuma undoubtedly welcomed the shift of limelight to the Mugabe visit and Rhodes toppling, helping people to forget about his own Nkandla scandal.)
I have some understanding and sympathy for the removal of a man like Rhodes from public. He was largely responsible for the colonisation of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in a treacherous way. And he was by the way also no friend of my tribe, the Afrikaners. Rhodes was a sworn enemy of Afrikaner independence and instigator of the notorious Jameson debacle in the ZAR. What is disgusting however is the lack of historical knowledge and balanced debate on the side of contemporary student activists. There is no protest from their side to the visit of the despot and murderer Mugabe. He wrecked his country’s once prosperous economy by taking white owned farms by force. (with the consequence that Zimbabweans had to flee in their thousands to South Africa for survival.) And yes I could even understand that brainwashed students would not feel much for farmers (some of them are not academically so advanced as to know where food comes from), but what is shocking is their conspicuous short memories when it comes to very recent African history. Have they forgotten that Mugabe is a mass murderer guilty of genocide? Have they never heard about the Gukurahundi, the slaughtering of 20 000 civilian Matabeles by the North-Korean-trained Fifth Brigade?
It is these showings of lack of discernment and basic knowledge that worries me. Would it make any sense to try and debate with these uninformed students about interpreting history, the place of symbols and meaningful coexistence in a multicultural society like Southern Africa?