APARTHEID was better than democracy and its promise of a "better life for all". Yes, I said so. How dare I say this, you may well ask. Yes, I dare because it is true.

APARTHEID was better than democracy and its promise of a "better life for all". Yes, I said so. How dare I say this, you may well ask. Yes, I dare because it is true.

Before you get hysterical and give a knee-jerk reaction to what I have said, think about what the ideology of apartheid stood for and contrast it with this tired platitude, "a better life for all".

Morally, the apartheid ideology failed dismally. But it had clear plans and goals and by Jove it achieved these with great aplomb.

This racist dogma of the Afrikaner nationalist was unequivocally and unapologetically designed to create the cultural, political, economic and military hegemony of white people at the expense of black people.

The apartheid regime was uncompromising and resolute in its endeavour to ensure that white people, especially white Afrikaners, succeeded while black people toiled under the burden of unemployment, inferior housing and an education system designed to keep them ignorant and poor.

Such was the temerity of the Nats that they wagged their corrupt and immoral fingers at anyone who questioned them. They were neither embarrassed nor deterred by the international outcry that followed this systematic impoverishment of their fellow countrymen and women.

We as black people were never promised a better life under apartheid and we knew where we stood in relation to the government of the day. There was no ambiguity.

What a relief to know that you have an enemy and how empowering to know the intentions and mind of your enemy, because only then can you plot his downfall.

After the second Anglo Boer War, Afrikaners were battered by poverty and disease.

Their leaders vowed to lift them from the abyss and ensure the Afrikaner nation took its place among the most powerful in the world.

I often marvel at the short and selective memories of critics of Black Economic Empowerment and Affirmative Action. It is not the ANC that first applied these policies. After this war the leaders created a conducive environment for Afrikaners to control all means of mineral and agricultural production.

The main thrust of the post-war recovery plan was to put the Afrikaner at the helm of economic and political influence. Conveniently, they forgot that they shared this country with a black populace.

I err. They knew black people were here but they saw them as slaves to be exploited, imprisoned or pushed into exile. Of course the "good blacks" were rewarded with homelands.

But then the white folks had a dilemma. They needed to have some blacks around because someone must clean their houses, offices, parks and generally make sure that their lives were comfortable. Solution? The dompas.

And with this hated documentation the poor blacks could be forcibly removed to townships that were often far from the centre of economic activity, but close enough to travel to white areas.

Thus the apartheid policy succeeded in creating an utopia for the white man and digging a hell hole for blacks.

It must get 10 out of 10 because that was its intention in the first place.

I am sure the pain of apartheid and the emasculation of generations of black people was a heavy cross to carry.

But looking at the corruption and looting that goes unpunished in this so-called democratic state, I cannot help feeling it is better to be punished and suffer at the hands of an enemy than a friend who purports to care about your well-being.

Political freedom means nothing without a visible improvement in the lives of people. When our current leaders misuse funds, uplift themselves and their friends and basically milk the system, it is far worse because they, of all people, should know the pain caused by a system that cared for only one race.

They promised a better life for all. Why are they now using their positions to advance their own careers and amass wealth for themselves? They should have promised a better life for "some" and like the apartheid government, they would get 10 out of 10.