Racists, black or white, have no place in Rainbow Nation

19 September 2018 - 08:40
By Kenneth Mokgatlhe
Image: Thinkstock

South Africa has experienced a different type of colonialism based on the policy of segregation, dubbed apartheid, a policy advocated by Afrikaner nationalists.

It excluded the majority of African people from social, economic and political activities. African people did not have suffrage, they were barred from entering many places, including accessing quality education. Thus Africans were enslaved in their own country.

The post-apartheid dispensation promised what was to be known as the Rainbow Nation, which was to bring all people together after experiencing one of the most tragic humanitarian crises.

The government, under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, pursued an inclusive agenda as well as affirmative action as a mechanism to correct past injustices as the constitution proclaims in its preamble.

Adolf Hitler used the race card to win support of his fellow Germans by claiming that the Jewish people were stealing the fortunes of native Germans. That resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe known as the Holocaust, where millionsof people were killed, the majority of whom were Jews. Other ethnic groups also fell victim to the political grandstanding.

The legal system in this country should be applauded for upholding the rights of minority groups. If there is one thing we can be proud of in this country, it is the judicial system because it has not yet been politicised and can act independently. We have seen few racists being dealt with by our courts. We have seen Vicky Momberg being punished for her racist behaviour.

Trade unionist Tony Ehrenreich made war remarks in which he claims that the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) is complicit in humanitarian crimes committed against the people of Gaza. He made a threat to members of the SAJBD by claiming that there would be a violent reaction by South Africans against the organisation.

It was unnecessary to incite violence while showing support to those you believe are oppressed or downtrodden. Incitement of war or violence is the last thing we need as South Africans.

Politicians and unionists often use the race card to entice voters to support their cause; the poor innocent masses fall prey to that trap of demagogues because they are made to think that a certain group of people is the cause of all their problems.

Andile Mngxitama of the Black First, Land First is always using the race card as his rallying point, there is absolutely nothing which his party is offering to South Africans. He has brainwashed his followers into believing that our immediate problems are caused by white people.

We cannot have such people perpetually dividing the citizens for their greedy ends.

One of the most charismatic leaders of our time, Julius Malema, often uses the same race card tactic to woo support for the EFF.

He recently talked about "cutting throat of whiteness" when he was promising to remove Athol Trollip from his mayoral position in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in Eastern Cape.

Malema also took swipe at the Jewish community when he claimed that they were training white people to use sniper rifles in Pretoria.

We are living in times where politics is being used to peddle divisions within our society. This must definitely stop.