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Mmusi, make an example of Helen Zille

By Prince Mashele | 2017-03-27 11:48:31.0

Helen Zille's praise of colonialism is an expression of a fundamental belief by an arrogant and representative white mind.

Its roots go back to the colonialists who settled in South Africa under the pretence that they were here to civilise barbaric natives.

Zille adduces modern infrastructure as evidence of the benevolence of colonialism. The idea is to polish and give colonialism a new glossy look. This is meant to erase the memory of black people, to make us forget that it is Zille's very same colonialism that facilitated the grand-scale land dispossession of Africans.

Today black people live like sardines in shacks and townships because of Zille's colonialism and apartheid.

Today white people live like kings. We black people clean their houses. We wash their laundry. We are nannies to their children. We serve them in restaurants and work for them on farms and factories - all because of Zille's cherished colonialism.

Zille's colonialism designed a permanent system that continues to reproduce the social enslavement of blacks by the descendants of white colonialists who never believed that a black person is human enough to deserve clean drinking water.

Go to a mine in SA today. You will struggle to find a white person underground.

Since it is dangerous to work underground, colonialism has contrived a system that sends black people to toil in the belly of the earth. Whenever there is an accident underground, it is known that only black people will die. This is Zille's colonialism at work.

Given that racism does not accord full humanity to black people, tweets praising colonialism never acknowledge the contribution of black people to the development of SA's modern infrastructure.

Were Zille to trace the water she drinks, she might find that no colonialist dug a single trench to install the pipes that transport water to her house. The scientist may have been white, but it is because colonialism denied black people access to quality education.

Behind Zille's colonialist exuberance lurks the racist intention to dismiss black people as a non-existent existence. When a sky-scraper has been built, only the white engineer takes credit, as if he was the bricklayer, cement carrier, cook and toilet cleaner.

According to colonialism, the millions of black people who worked for centuries with a white man to build our country's modern infrastructure must disappear into nothingness so that the white man alone can be praised by Zille's tweets.

The real offence here is not the deletion of black people from the story of how modern SA was created; it is the pain of being brutalised and dispossessed, only to be told that brutality was good for its victims.

Even in their worst moment of madness, the cousins of Adolf Hitler shall dare not suggest that Nazism was good for Jews. Say it, and you shall be skinned alive. Professor Adam Habib knows this. He wasted no time in kicking Mcebo Dlamini out of Wits SRC for admiring Hitler.

Helen Zille's temerity to suggest that colonialism was good for its victims betrays the worst disrespect for black people. That she has previously written some story about Steve Biko, or that she once postured as a defender of black people, cannot mitigate the gravity of her crime.

Zille's public sentence must be unambiguous and exemplary. We all know that she will be protected like Dianne Kohler Barnard, but we must henceforth treat her the same way we treat Penny Sparrow - a racist polecat.

People like Zille must be condemned by all decent South Africans for making the task of nation building more difficult. We have made progress since 1994, but racists are trying hard to take us back. We must never allow them to succeed.