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There is no doubt that to end racism we need economic justice

I HAVE promised readers to deal with three key issues: democracy, equality and economic transformation.

Today I wish to complete the discussion by focusing on economic justice. These topics are linked.

For instance, failure to realise economic justice, where politicians use their influence to enrich themselves, inevitably leads to inequalities.

Also, the failure to transform the apartheid economic structure means that anti-black racism continues. Whites continue to wield disproportionate power in all areas of life.

Apartheid is not dead. How do we explain that 17 years after so-called liberation we can have a situation where a rugby player, one Bees Roux, can murder a black traffic officer and then get a suspended sentence?

It is said that Roux will pay the family of the man he killed R750000 and that they have forgiven him.

In Xhosa there is a saying that indlala inamanyala (poverty has no shame).

This is similar to the Reitz Four deal at the University of Free State, where black people were shut up with a little bit of money.

Then consider that another white man, Bradford "Bad Brad" Wood, also walked free from the case of murdering four illegal miners at Aurora Mine.

We must remember that there has been a systematic killing of illegal diggers at that mine for a while now.

The "lion man" case also comes to mind, where a black man was fed to lions and the white man accused of taking part in or leading the process was allowed to walk by our courts.

Finally, Robert McBride, the former freedom fighter turned policeman, was recently sentenced to five years in prison.

This sentence seems spiteful, excessive and revengeful if we consider that no one died in his drunken driving accident.

But we must remember that McBride's activities as an MK operative led to the death of white people.

The same happened to OJ Simpson in the US, who was acquitted of murdering his white wife but later found guilty of assaulting people he believed to have stolen his memorabilia.

He was sentenced to 15 years for the latter offence.

It seems that if you are black and have wronged whites they will find one way or another to punish you. Many people don't see the connection between economic power and privileges.

I don't blame whites for the privileges they continue to enjoy. I blame the ANC which has rendered blacks a powerless majority.

The ANC has been in power for 17 years and has not transformed South Africa. Today we are at the mercy of extreme right-wingers while our leaders are fighting over tenders and positions.

There is no doubt that to end racism we need economic justice. The call for nationalisation by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema must be engaged.

The danger is that nationalisation under the ANC is likely to lead to more suffering of the poor.

Malema seems to be concerned with building state capitalism, where politicians become the new capitalists. As the September national imbizo suggests, we need an urgent national dialogue on how to democratise the economy to benefit all.

Dialogue on economic democracy must not be left to politicians and businessmen.

The imbizo will be held in Durban from Friday to Sunday and will discuss, among others, nationalisation.

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