Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

There's a way to get things done...
...and a way to ensure that nothing gets done. The white farmers' union TAU SA has chosen the latter route, releasing a statement yesterday appealing to the ANC to refute affirmative action in the agricultural sector with the rationale that "South Africa's blacks were advantaged because of the presence of whites, not disadvantaged".

This is arrogance and political naivete of the highest order, which I suppose is par for the course with these clowns. By way of example, here is more from their statement:

"They (blacks) can live decent lives thanks to the people whom their government wishes to destroy through affirmative action, farm harassment and heavy taxation. After the wave of 'independence' which swept through the continent in the sixties, seventies and even the eighties, black Africa declined, spectacularly so. In many areas it has regressed to what it was before whites came. The imposition of Western 'civilisation' on the continent allowed it to flourish, with cities built mostly by Western colonialists."

Stirring stuff indeed.

It is incredible that the TAU feels that this is a methodology that will force the ANC's hand and enamour them to readdress the issue of affirmative action within the agricultural sector. It borders on extreme arrogance that they regard the ANC as a uncivilised lot that don't deserve to be in government and who will undoubtedly fail like the rest of Africa's governments if they don't heed the wise words of the 6000 white farmers represented. And it borders on racism that they hold the views in this statement anyway in the first place. It's an old apartheid apologist philosophy, believing in the barbarism of the blacks who are "saved" by white civilisation, and thus should accept their lot in being second-class citizens. The status quo has changed fellas, and your side lost.

The way to influence the ANC is to push transformation internally, prove your endeavour, and then use that as a platform for discussion on sunset clauses. No-one escapes their past, and all the strength of Mandela's humanism does not exclude white farmers from paying for the sins of the fathers - or themselves for that matter.