Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman

Those who hate Mandela

I have never thought harder about whether or not to publish a piece. I do not want to write this piece, but feel compelled because I cannot sit quietly by as Nelson Mandela is rubbished by people who would divide and rule us. We should not jump to their bait, but be aware of the threat they pose.

It takes a lot to shock one these days, but this did. NativeFox WaAzania Mbweha posted on Facebook a ‘poem’ calling for the death of “The Mandela”. The ‘poem’, which claims to be a reworking of “a classic” by black consciousness poet Don Mattera, exhorts: “His continued survival threatens the aspiration of the children…He must be destroyed! / Expose his lie.”

In bloodcurdling language, he incites the people to: “Burn him, beat him and crush even his blood when it falls!!” (The punctuation is not mine but the author’s, who felt it necessary to add the two exclamation marks to indicate his level of creative ability).

A dozen or so people “liked” the post and approximately the same number shared the little ditty. Some added messages of their own, such as, “Indeed, that dog of settlers must die.”

Yesterday, it was reposted in a political forum and quickly attracted 64 comments. A few were upset with the administrator for even airing it, especially given Madiba’s frailty. I think the administrator had a valid point; that those opinions are out there and are not being addressed. She wished to lance the boil and see what puss ran out.

Unsurprisingly, the ‘poem’ was seized upon by right-wing websites as proof of why white people should emigrate before it is too late. One site also posted a screenshot of a Facebook page with a comment by a man (apparently a member of the SAPS) who wrote: “When the black messiah [NM] dies, we’ll teach whites some lesson. We’ll comit a genocite on them. I hate whites (sic).”

I can’t quite figure out why he is waiting.

South Africa has always had some extremists. I recall headlines in 1990 after Madiba’s release – “Hang Mandela! – AWB”. A few years later of course extreme members of the Conservative Party murdered Chris Hani and nearly plunged the country into civil war, had it not been for the stature of Nelson Mandela.

The poem and attacks on Mandela are from extremist black consciousness movement members (according to their profiles). But extremists tend to be the same in the end. Malcolm X after all tried clandestinely to set up alliances with the Ku Klux Klan. In South Africa today, we similarly have some calling for “black apartheid”.

It is hard to imagine anyone baying for Madiba’s death, when so many in this country are praying for his health. An actor I know declined a major role offered to him in a movie when he discovered the plot involved the assassination of Mandela, something he felt too heinous to even contemplate.

But anger there is, from the left and the right. Two years ago, in a moment of poetic senility, Breyten Breytenbach launched into an emotional jeremiad and personal attack on Mandela in Harper’s Magazine. His complaint seemed to boil down to the fact that Mandela was not God.

Other commentators write that Mandela always intended black supremacy and merely hoodwinked the turkeys (the whites) to vote for Christmas.

Most commonly, critics of Mandela begrudge the praise lavished on him personally, where they feel the collective is responsible for his successes.

The more substantial attacks on Mandela from the far left allege he sold out. One might recall the hotly disputed interview in which Nadira Naipaul claimed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said Madiba had “betrayed” the people. When she denied this, Naipaul said, “No one has the courage to tell it like it is, and she did.”

That mistakes were made in the 1994 elite compromise is not seriously disputable. But to place the blame at Mandela’s door, whose priority was to keep the country from tearing itself apart, I think borders on arrested development. We should look more closely at the financial negotiators for the truth.

We have of course seen Mandela’s feet of clay. The dismantling of the legend and historical revision of his tenure began, if gently, with Professor Tom Lodge’s Mandela: A Critical Life. British writer David James Smith’s Young Mandela, an unauthorised biography, has been roundly criticised for its celebrity approach and elevating unattributed comment (gossip in other words).

Yet none of this has diminished his country’s love and respect for him. It is to his credit, that as idealised as he is, Mandela has always been approachable and has never demanded blind loyalty nor encouraged a cult following.

We tinker with the myth of Mandela at our peril.

When Khrushchev made his 1956 speech denouncing the previously infallible Stalin of crimes against the Russian people, a dozen delegates fainted during the address and at least one general had a heart attack two days later. Slavoj Žižek contends that the Soviet Union right up to today’s Russia, has never recovered. They lost their creation myth.

Žižek argues that the Chinese saw and learnt the lesson. Whatever criticism (more often apologies) are given by the Communist Party for the “excesses” of Mao, they keep the cult figure alive; Mao’s image remains on every renminbi, lest they destroy their foundation myth.

Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, though honest enough, was a collective endeavour. Mandela has quoted his fellow veteran Walter Sisulu as saying: “We want you to be a model around which we are going to build our organisation.” This is when the myth-making began in earnest.

Mandela, as his archivist Verne Harris stated, has become an inseparable part of the ‘creation myth’ of the new nation. Some whites fret that what is vaguely described as his ‘legacy’ is all that holds the country together. As far back as 1997, journalist Lester Venter brought out a book, When Mandela Goes.

There is of course no comparison between Mandela and the likes of Mao or Stalin. Unlike them, the ANC may use Madiba magic for votes, but Mandela has transcended his party long ago.

Those who rail against him offer nothing but hatred and the kind of extremism that makes life on earth hell in countries all over the world. Madiba’s hopes for a “society where people will cease thinking in terms of colour” is still far from realized. He remains a beacon of decency in a world almost thoroughly disenchanted with politicians. Long may he continue as an inspiration for a young democracy, whatever his mortal condition.

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  • 97 Responses to “Those who hate Mandela”

    1. Greg #

      Brent
      I’m curious to find out how far your love for Mandela stretches.
      Did you vote for Mandela in 1994?
      Most of the people who are disappointed in Mandela happen to have voted for him.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm
    2. Just me #

      Those who hate Mandela are probably the ones who saw him singing “kill the boer” with his terrorist buddies… meanwhile they are supposed to worship him…. LOL

      January 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm
    3. Dave Harris

      No blacks hate Mandela? How about Mbeki? What about his comments about Mandela’s shoe size, his quotations of King Lear, his anger at Mandela taking a different stance on Aids, his calling him “the only good black” in the eyes of whites, his refusal to take Mandela’s phone calls – to the extent that Mandela siad he could speak to any president in the world except his own?

      And Mbeki’s pal, Mugabe, apparently does not like Mandela either, according to various reports.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    4. TAFURA #

      It’s high time we all, especially us darkies, be suspicious and sceptical of every black who has become a darling to the whites, that one has off course worked with/for and actively aided white supremacy in this country. and those are the likes of Mandela. i think he is one man who has destroyed the black dream and aspirations. i cannot understand how he could sell out to the whites and dream that blacks, his own, live in and call dignified homes those rdp hellholes. i think it’s for better if he leaves asap

      January 16, 2012 at 10:08 am
    5. chantelle #

      Poor Mandela. Some whites feel he sold them out, and they’re now worse off. Some blacks feel that he sold them out, and they’re now worse off. No single person can ever satisfy everyone, I suppose.
      Ngakstar, thank you for taking the time to type the poem. An excellent poem for those who understand poetry and the symbolism of words. A terrible, terrible poem for the mindless masses of our country. The youth that can barely read or write, yet pass matric. go read most of the responses to articles in the Sowetan (online) ad you’ll see what I mean.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm
    6. Jan Rap #

      Your reaction is exactly the same as those delegates during Khrushchev’s speech, proof that you are just as conditioned. Mandela’s halo is a media fabrication.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    7. NativeFox #

      Strange how this poem was posted on FB, which means it is for the viewing of friends of the account holder and anyone in disagreement with a click can unfriend.
      Yet this poem despite being specifically copyrighted, has been pasted outside my FB, of which is not my responsibility! Anyway’s even if we were to accept that the poem is there to ‘hate’ Mandela, you can not hold me responsible for my ‘hate’ being aired outside from where I have placed it.@Brett. Just one thing,m you are not poetic inclined and you take things literally.Two you have deliberately misinterpreted the poem and have imposed the reader, without even affording them the chance to read it themwselves and come to their own conclusions. One you assume that “The Mandela” means Mandela personally, which is by itself incorrect, because we would not waste ink prefixing with ‘The’ if it were not relevant.”The Mandela” is the so called new South Afrika the neo-apartheid, it is given a male persona for two reasons.
      1.It is strongly patriarchal.
      2.The reference of a country which is often given a feminine persona to have signify love from and to it. While this new SA is the opposite of that. A land that does not nourish its own children.
      Hence set as a man. The black majority continue to live like the unwanted step children in this country, with “he” being reference to this evil step-father.
      Also the ‘burn him…’ is clearly in Ref to ‘the oppressor in the mind of the children’, unless you say…

      January 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    8. Brent #

      Dave (bald faced lier) Harris, I said: “Dont blame Mandela, all the writers must look into the mirror to see the culpret”. How does this make me hate Mandela? Please read things properly and I would appreciate an apology for your racist nonsense.

      Ngakstar – where did I say “Black Consciousness Extremists” it simply does not appear in my blog?

      Tofolux – agree truth sets you free, the ANC spent billions on arms which were not needed above education/health and housing – that IS THE TRUTH.

      Brent

      January 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm
    9. Brent #

      Greg, no I did not vote for the ANC/Mandela in 1994, not for the DA or the Nats. My hope was a hung situation forcing the parties to sit down and talk to each other, putting SA first and not their parties. Yes agree, I am stupid but all my interactions over many years with SA’s of every hue, creed and ideology confirms that they overwhelmingly support cooperation/development to confrontation and narrow ideological views.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    10. Tofolux #

      @ Lyndall Beddy, could you for once debate and battle your ideas on the sybject under discussion. If you were writing your matric exams today, you would be disqualified and sent back for revision. Not only are you ideas malevolent, you have a totally distorted view of responding to the subject matter.
      I älso think that it is disingenuos to expect the author of this piece to respond to you because you comments simply because you drawn into his piece certain comments which he never made! Now ok, even for me thats like just wierd.

      Let me conclude by saying that we as South Africans are the most ungrateful nation that exists on the planet today. Mandela is not God. Mandela never promised ANYONE. yes ANYONE a rose garden. Mandela is a FREEDOM FIGHTER, a REVOLUTIONARY! Should I repeat that…
      He has played a pivotal role in South African history. He has fought tirelessly for his ideas, Ok, Lyndall…..for you it is meant that HIS battle of ideas WON…it WON the hearts and minds of citizens spread across this planet. He did this with dignity, self sacrifice and self belief. But remember there were others there with him and the ideas he so valiantly fights for in NOT his. It belongs to a movement, which has the longest hisory of any liberation movement on this planet. Now as South Africans, we are fortunate to have many, many disciplined cadres who fought for the same ideals. Any one of them could have taken centre stage.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    11. Brent Meersman

      NativeFox #

      I am very glad that you are concerned about the poem and that you do not wish for Mandela’s death.
      You have not read what I wrote properly and you are misrepresenting me.
      Read my blog properly please. I specifically use “The Mandela”; I too “would not waste ink prefixing with ‘The’ if it were not relevant”.
      I use your poem as a way to kick off a discussion on attitudes to Mandela and the power of his myth. That is all.
      I must also point out that your poem on Facebook is public and not set just for your friends. And when I last checked it was still a public post at 2:30pm January the 16th.
      You object to my alleged misinterpretation, but when some of your friends commented on the original post in September and took it as a literal call that Mandela the man must die you did not correct their misinterpretation. I believe you did it for shock effect, and the ambiguity you sought is a very effective poetic device.

      Lastly, when you posted that poem had been mentioned on Thoughtleader, here is what some of your Facebook friends had to say:

      “mandela must die literally speaking!! No ambiguities.”

      “maybe after his death people will finally wake up from his spell & delusion”

      “Fuck them, Mandela Must Die, there i said it too, now they mst go and interpret it in any way they like”

      “Mandela & all these other sellouts must die Period”

      “Mandela Must Die!!”

      All these posts are public and not for friends only. And that sentiment, not your…

      January 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm
    12. Tofolux

      Wow – you are really indoctrinated are you not?

      The original ANC was Democratic, anti-communist,believed in passive resistance, and their main aim was closing the borders to competing cheap labour from the neighbouring countries. These were all policies of Buthelezi and the IFP NOT of Mandela and the new-ANC.

      In Mandela’s “Unity Government” Buthelezi was Minister of Home Affairs. He warned there would be xenophobia if the borders were not policed, and was scorned and laughed at.

      Who was right, and who was wrong?

      January 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm
    13. Brent Meersman

      #Native Fox 2/2 continued…

      All these posts are public and not for friends only. And those sentiments, not an analysis of your poem is my subject.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm
    14. When people criticise Mandela, what they really mean is that Mandela was President at the time when the ANC sold South Africa out to big business, not that Mandela’s struggle for freedom was invalid.

      There is a lot of truth to the claim that the ANC sold out, although it is often overstated or trivialised, and since Mandela was president at the time, the buck stops with him. If you don’t like GEAR, and particularly if you think that the tax cuts and corporate-friendly policies which attended on it were bad, not to mention the huge emotional betrayal of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (which basically whitewashed the apartheid state while trying to criminalise the anti-apartheid movement) then you are unhappy about things which Mandela allowed to happen.

      So it’s silly to call it “hating Mandela”. Personally I think that the policies of the Mandela-Mbeki government in the 1990s were pretty much as good as they could be, but a lot of left-wingers violently disagree with this. Certainly, in the last decade, and increasingly under Zuma, these policies have proved themselves open to abuse by the rich and powerful minority.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    15. Tofolux #

      @ Lyndall, when one has a certain view that doesnt necessarily mean indoctrination it might just mean that one has done enough research so that one is convinced that certain ideals speaks to my morals and values. I woudnt accuse you of being a right wing indoctrinated racist, just by reading through your tirades.
      Remember, respect goes a long way, and tolerance of other’s views shows a sense of maturity and worldliness notwithstanding EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE!

      January 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    16. Tofolux

      I am not interested in how popular Mandela is or isn’t.

      I am interested in accurate historical facts, and I think it unjust for the reputations of people to be blackened with incorrect facts.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    17. Tofolux #

      @Brent, I am left wondering why you are so taken aback by this poem and why you feel the need to take this author to task. If he is providing clarity and seeking to correct misinterpretations through your column, then why are you not allowing him that space. I also have a problem with your stance, ie ‘the teacher’ and treating this author as a perpetual ‘student’.
      I also think that under this freedom of speech, we have allowed many many a tirade to pass without challenging it. Also its not the first time that someone has made these allegations against Madiba. This author is therefore not the sole proposer of this idea and I wonder why you havent gone to the source of this accusation and broken it down there.
      Also, of late there has been so many ridiculous utterances made, in public, eg. the one about Helen Zille. calling citizens of this country “professional blacks” I mean that utterance is the most ridiculous direct racist utterance, and yet no opinionated person like yourself raises issues with this.
      Finally, I think that we seem have yet to identify our role and relevance in society. I think there are some amongst us who cannot live by the principles of the freedom fought for by the likes of Madiba.
      I think you need to go back to the drawing board and understand what it is we mean when we talk about freedom. There is responsibility of that freedom but it doesnt necessarily make us policeman of others when they are exercising this freedom. Ideas are never…

      January 17, 2012 at 7:36 am
    18. NativeFox #

      @ Brent
      This is strange, having read the responses of the 64 comments just now, I am deeply dissapointed at the level of call it ‘poetic illiteracy’ in this country (or more precisely in that forum, cause it is clearly non-representative). This is expressly a poem but people choose to read it literally like a letter from their grandmothers.
      Indeed you are correct to say that the ‘shock’ device has been used, however this is meant to have people go deeper in the poem, however it seems people are too shocked such that they gross over what is actually written in the poem and infer things from their preconcivied notions. If I the scribe of the poem say it is not a hate poem, nor does it talk anything of Mandela, however Mandela’s name is borrowed as he is the finding father of the current dispensation. Cause the same poem could have been written during Apartheid and would be titled “The Verwoerd Must Die”, as he is the founding father and architect of that era. Yet people insist on imposing their mindset and want by all means to preserve their image of Mandela as a ‘messaih’, there is very little I can do.
      Also there is a play on the Rivonia speech here where Mandela proclaimed to be “prepared to die” for freedom. However my feelings is that in the end he was prepared to negotiate for freedom, not to die for it. Because in my view this is not the kind of freedom many died for. It is a call on…….

      January 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm
    19. NativeFox #

      ….It is a call on him and all of us to put ourselves in the shoes of a dead man, those who died for freedom and question, is the kind of freedom they died for?
      My view not, and I am not alone. Another general comment on the subject of death, ultimately it is those who negotiated for freedom, and not those who died/fought for freedom that deceided what type of freedom we were to have. However their role is often underplayed as you rightly point out, why are only celebrating the dead and not them? Cause they went in and lost the negoitaitions and wether deliberately or mistakely their efforts amounted to a sell-out of the struggle in its entirety. These people often draw on the ‘dead’ to gain legitimacy, its a call on them to call it ‘die’ and decide if indeed they would still make the same concesions, they did not understand the gravity of the sacrifices made it would seem.
      The poem speaks of justice of the crime of Apartheid, that all stories must be told none should be muted, it speaks of return the land, that the kind of freedom that people die for must materialize, the population must decolonise their minds, education, call for greater respect for women, another world basically.
      In order for this to be materialize the status qou must be rejected and hence “Must Die”, many agrre with this however they do not want to admit that what Mandela gave us, is not the best there could be, this stuns effort.
      One of the greatest qoutes is a “more human face” this is…

      January 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    20. Brent Meersman

      I have carefully read all comments and thought about each one. Thank you all for reading the piece and responding.

      Firstly, some observations. Comments were made by about 1% of those who read the article
      Many comments are based on a single line and are very unbalanced. Misrepresentation occurs in other ways too – poor comprehension, superficial readings. This slippage happens all the time in language of course, but some are so wide off the mark it is not possible to respond.

      What does astound me is how some commentators based on their (often incorrect) reading of an opinion piece leap to incredible assumptions about the writer; people who do not know one at all, ascribe all kinds of “hidden” agendas and beliefs to one, which one does not hold. This kind of labelling (including the use of “white”) is unhelpful, especially from people who so obviously don’t know a thing about me, my work, my politics or my upbringing and background. I will attempt to respond to them with more respect than they have shown.

      A great many of the comments defended the opinions I expressed against the more strident critics.

      Many simply restated very loudly the criticisms of Mandela I already listed in the piece – he sold out blacks; he hoodwinked whites; or they elaborated on the dominant Mandela narrative I summarised.

      I feel WSM # got it right: “why one can, must, see Mandela’s feet of clay, while nurturing the ideals he held and fostered.”

      January 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm
    21. NativeFox #

      Another thing Mandela is part of the sell-out brigade that remains a fact.
      The majority continue to suffer with no prospect of betterment because of his concessions, offcourse not just him. Infact Joe Slovo is probably more blamable, however as the leader Mandela is to assume responsibility.
      Strange how people will on one hand accord all the praise solely to Mandela, but the failings are accorded to ‘a collective’. The current despansation is strongly anti-black and supports black poverty which lives in the same house as white privilege as we have come to accept. This so called ‘extremist’ charge will apply cause the truth is extreme, thus those who speak it will be labelled extremists.
      Mandela has not and is unlikely to be my hero, but his mortal end must be decided by his ancestors not anyone else, no should anyone wish to interupt this sacred process.
      In the end more people than they themselves realize agree with the poem, though this might not be how they put it. Black people were not made to remain landless, poor, un/miseducated and dehumanised!! Now this important fight has been abondoned and left to an unwilling government, all because were are now allowed to put an X on a useless ballot box.
      We died for ‘a more human face’, this state is still as inhumane as ever, now using more quiet forms of voilence. All well hidden in a farce called a rainbow nation, but where are the rainbow table, because more than half the nation is starving

      January 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm
    22. Brent Meersman

      ngakstar # and Goolam Dawood # Please read my earlier response to Native.
      Don Mattera’s poem was actually about the preservation of life. I did not mean to implicate him. As for Malcolm X, a very good new biography has come out by Manning Marable, 20 years research, and it overturns much of the Alex Haley biography on which Spike Lee based his film. He remains a remarkable character though very deeply flawed.

      Tofolux # You make many presumptions about me Also in what way have I denied Native space in an open forum to comment?? You also take offence on his behalf where none was meant. I am a writer, and by the way a published poet, (including in Botsotso); “teaching” has nothing to do with me.

      I have to say the tone of the discussion is improvng, and maybe using this comment space is not the best facilitation. Please try and understand exactly what I was objecting to (rightly or incorrectly), but don’t assume I have no understanding of the present struggle.

      #Native I think you are coming up against the limitations of the idiom you chose for that poem. In both our cases, my column and your poem, given the way I am being misinterpreted by some, perhaps we must accept Roland Barthes was correct when he said “the author is dead”!
      By the way, Mandela really was prepared to die and the death sentence was a very real possiblity. He even prepared himself for that. There were no negotiations for more than 20 years after. The man suffered, no one can take that away…

      January 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm
    23. NativeFox

      Verwoerd did die – and his assassin was not executed, just like Mandela was not, but also given life imprisonment.

      Ever ask yourself why the Afrikaner treated political crimes differently to ordinary murder?

      January 18, 2012 at 7:04 am
    24. NativeFox

      Stand on your head and howl at the sky – but FACTS are that Africa was the land of the browns, not the blacks who migrated here from Asia and killed off the browns.

      The ONLY place the browns survived was Botswana and the Western Cape, which was their only “Homeland” left in Africa, which is why it was a coloured preference homeland during Apartheid.

      Instead of developing the Eastern Cape, where the blacks had not been dispossed, when blacks came into power they bussed in blacks from there to the Western Cape to finish off their destruction of the browns and their culture which had started a few thousand years earlier.

      Brent

      You have 2 choices – either Mandela, O R Tambo and Bram Visser knew SA law, in which case they knew they did not face the death penalty, or they were as dumb as ditchwater and , despite their qualifications, did not know the law. What they were expecting, according to Bram Visser’s biographer, was about 5 years in prison befor the communist revolution happened.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:26 am
    25. Tofolux #

      @Brent, now that you’ve go that out of the way, I’m sure you feeling a bit better. But that should not the point simply because any discussion is not meant to stroke anyones egos.
      When one provides analysis on someone else’s piece. That analysis is surely based on your own frame of reference and your interpretations is based on your own (and ) experiences(!). These interpretations might not speak to another’s interpretation. Hence when you draw the ire of others simply because you have another view. then is that necessarily wrong? I mean you are inviting other views in order to be influenced and/or influence others.
      Not all of us have this special gift of analysing and interpreting poems. Some of us have been influenced by very basic education and certainly did not have the luxury to expand our minds on satire etc, hey we are too busy trying to survive.
      The point I am trying to make however is that we respect this hard for right to freedom of speech. We need to allow different dialogues and different point of views. Why do we necessarily have to be adversarial in engaging in our responses? If we are going to respond then do so with respect for the other’s point of view and allow yourself to be influenced or if you are able, then seek to influence others. One does possess a trigger (gut feeling) that some information is just plain nonsense. Hence allow everyone their space to be informed by anything and everything and never attempt to sanitise the info.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:35 am
    26. Peter Win #

      Goolam,
      That’s a bit rich ! To use your own definition of the word “Liberal” and then lambaste all us liberals with your definition !

      By your logic, I could associate the word “criminal” with the ANC and then blame them for being criminals ! It just doesn’t make sense…

      If you’re concerned about the poor black youth, then spare a thought for the ANC’s clarion calls in the ’80s and ’90s :

      a) “Freedom before education ” Yeah right… and of course the chickens are coming home to roost for the idiots who bought into that call !

      b) “Pass one, pass all” Fantastic ! Everyone with a certificate that is meaningless.

      The ANC people responsible for thoose calls committed crimes against South Africans.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:42 am
    27. Tofolux #

      @Lyndall, please prove your fact ” Africa was the land of the browns” and please define brown!

      I do not want to get into this with you and once again you have thrown everything except the washing machine into this debate. But this “fact” needs to be contested.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:05 am
    28. “How does this make me hate Mandela? Please read things properly and I would appreciate an apology for your racist nonsense.”
      Brent, I said “your warped views of hatred for Mandela”. This does not mean that I said that YOU personally hated Mandela, but your VIEWS of this “hate for Mandela” is derived from your experience growing up in a society where most whites were indoctrinated to hate the ANC and Mandela during apartheid. Your views are colored by this experience. In reality, you will be hard pressed to find ANY blacks that hate Mandela.

      Projecting your warped views onto blacks with the hope of creating divisions for political gains is shortsighted and futile.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:48 am
    29. Brent Meersman

      In case some people are confused, comments from the author of the post are Brent Meersman and on a beige backgorund; comments by Brent # on white background are not mine and not by anybody I know.

      Dave Harris # Tofolux # etc Please specify if you are referring to Brent # or Brent Meersman #.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:28 am
    30. Tofulux

      That the brown monogamous Bushmen were the original people of Africa, who migrated out of Africa before the Sahara Desert formed (about 60,000 years ago), and the polygamous blacks migrated into Africa after the end of the last Ice Age about 10,000-5,000 years ago has been proved over and over again – by linguists, antropolgists, historians etc etc etc

      Are you new to Thoughtleader, because this has been discussed MANY times?

      January 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm
    31. Tofolux #

      @Lyndall, a discussion does not a fact make…!

      1. To respond properly to your “fact” please verify from which reference are you drawing your fact that the bushmen are the first inhabitants of AFRICA.

      2. Also from which reference are borrowing when using the classification of brown. I do not agree that Bushmen are brown, but please verify this information in order to justify my response to you.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    32. RLBaloi #

      The big question for liberals such as the author of this article is do they think that the deliberate taking away of land by a minority with guns in the late 1800 and early 1900 and the subsequent confinement of the majority (blacks) into enclaves for use as cheap labour was just? Okay i hope the answer would be no, if no then do they think that the equal distribution of land to everyone including those who came and took it by force from others would be a perfect start when reconciling? I would say yes but liberals would differ with me because since the 50s when some of them infiltrated the anc as “communist” they have attempted succesfully to make sure that a fair redistribution of land never happened. Subsequently by their own hard work and mostly using cheap black labour whites created the infrastructure we see and ensured that the first act that gave them a headstart against all (the forceful taking away of land) is never revisited and the market they created must not be tampered with and that way for the next million years no one can touch them because you must use the free market which they already monopolise to compete. then mandela and the anc said its okay, keep all your illgotten rich slices of the pie and we will try and bake another pie for our people, bull!! then the same system run by whites deliberately excluded blacks all along must suddenly willingly address their problems and all live happilly ever after! Bull! the anc has benefitted whites so far! PERIOD!

      January 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    33. Sello #

      As always, some of you will spew hatred unceasingly on the blogosphere with no hindrance whatsoever, because it is what the angry do nowadays. You would not say these things if we could see your faces. Instead, you resort to this hate campaigns where you say the most hateful and hurtful things from the safety of your ‘dark rooms’, where you cannot be seen. I do not believe there is a higher cowardice than this. Rest your heads on your pillows with this thought in mind tonight and make peace with it: you are cowards. But despair not, the internet made you that way…just go with it.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    34. Tofolux

      This is ridiculous! Are you American? Africans don’t have the history of American slavery and the “one drop” law, so know the difference between brown and black.

      To make it simple for you – what did Jimmy Manyi mean when he said there were “too many coloureds in the Western Cape”. Why have Cape Coloureds been refused jobs on the basis that they are “not black enough” in the Western Cape? Who do you think their ancestors were? Why do they not speak Bantu languages? Why is coloured classified different to black by the ANC for Affirmative Action and BEE?

      The ONLY people in the Western Cape in 1652 when Van Riebeeck arrived were the San, the Khoi, the Griqua and the Hottentots. They all descend from the original Bushman, and none of them are Bantu/Negro/Black.

      Blacks and whites only met at the Kei River in the 1770s (which is why the Trans-kei is called the Transkei!)

      January 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm
    35. RLBaloi #

      Sello, you must be smoking socks! Good luck with your mission to eradicate the freedom to express our world outlook!

      January 19, 2012 at 9:56 am
    36. Lennon #

      @RLBaloi:

      I could be wrong, but I believe that Sello was speaking about trolls in general.

      He is not calling for a ban on free speech, but rather stating that any fool can “talk big” online without fear of reprisal.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:29 am
    37. RL Baloi

      Are YOU American as well, or just uneducated?

      Far from “taking away land from blacks” in the 1800s, which is maybe what they should have done, since the blacks had taken the land off the browns only a century before, they gave them half the agricultural land.

      And far from getting cheap labour, they had to import indentured Indians and Chinese because black men refused to farm or cook (both being seen as women’s jobs).

      January 19, 2012 at 11:36 am
    38. Jean Wright #

      Really, is it entirely necessary to drag in Platetechtonics and Archeoanthropology into this discussion? Briefly while on this (totally unrelated topic) the original inhabitants of Scotland were the Picts who disppeared from record in c. 5AD. They were swamped by the Scots (from Ireland). Does that matter? (I am Scottish however I came to be.. or British if you like. So what?)

      Unfortunately, I believe the Khoi, San and Hottentots were generally decimated or even wiped out through the scourge of Smallpox to which they had no resistance, unlike other African Tribes who had been subjected to it through the North African trade routes. Same in Australia with the Aborigine. Wars with invaders also of course. Human beings are horrible.

      Mandela and his colleagues had an awesome job to cobble together a workable agreement for democracy in South Africa. So many conflicting interests. They deserve every credit for doing so. It seems to me that S.A. is unique in that they have a ‘white tribe’. They cannot ‘go home’ anywhere as the English, French, etc. could from their colonies. So here they are, and it is such a pity we who live here cannot build on the strengths and talents we can all bring to make the country a really wonderful place. Mandela was already past ‘retirement’ when he became President after such a long incarceration. The deal was not all to all, but can be built upon surely without ‘hatred’.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm
    39. Israel Matjila #

      I thought by now the article would have long been buried. @Brent, I think you aroused a long time sleeping bear within South Africans. Everyone wants to know what will after the icon of the new South Africa has passed on. Most unfortunately, no one has a soft manner of expressing it as it is emotionally based.

      No matter what we do Brent, the time will come, and believe me when I say, some of those wishing the worst- will cry their hearts out. Let us just leave nature to take its course. We do not think that we were sold out nor short changed. We believe that we had an unfrotunate occurance “when things happened the way we did not expect”. No one thought of reconciliation and the forging of this democratic dispensation, i really think there was an unkown power that influenced those who bore the responsibility to solve the problems that South Africans were to encounter.

      We are living and truelly being an envy to many countries I have beento. It is examplary to many countries that have messed things up beyond repair because of using textbook politics. South Africa did not. All those who think we as a country don’t have what it takes-just wait and see. We have a long way to go and solutions are there to tackle fears that lead to comments and poems like these. Anyway Brent, thank for the article and hope you bring lots more that will keep us arguing and saying what is exactly in our hearts to expose our fears.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    40. Tofolux #

      @Lyndall, I see that you have fallen into that age-old trap and judging on your grasp of history I am left wondering with amusement as to what history books your were given actually which version of history was forced upon you. In fact its a sorry state really because you couldnt be further from the truth.
      In fact, I dont think I will assist you. The fact that Khoi, San or Bushmen has now been given a racial classification (which by the way was not there before 1945) by you and et al is a shame. Why cant you just allow them their dignity to be Khoi, San or Bushmen(?)
      Also let me refer to back to the history books you are drawing this incorrect information from and ask you to remember that you also learnt that these very human beings were treated like vermin. Yes, thats the word that was used in your history books and the very settlers that you so proudly learnt about shot and killed them like dogs and these were also proudly depicted in pictures in the very history books you so proudly regurgitate. (yoh)

      January 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm
    41. Jean Wright

      It is a comfortable American myth that smallpox wiped out certain populations like the Native Americans- one repeated by Jared Diamond, the Californian writer.

      You are right that the blacks had resistence to smallpox, and the browns did not, but the reason is that smallpox is a disease related to cowpox and cattle owners build up a resistance.

      Tofolux

      I did refer you to a book that I thought would help you the most – but it was edited out of my last comment, so I look like an idiot don’t I?

      Hopefully that will not happen again. The book I suggested was “The Wind Makes Dust” which is a collection of about 300 extracts from books written by African explorers and others over a period of 400 years.

      No one was ever treated like vermin in South Africa – both Dutch and Brit were Protestant Christians, not Roman Catholics like in the USA and Australia. They thought black and brown inferior but NOT sub-human. There is a vast difference! No-one seperated their children and sent them to school, no-one forced them to convert etc etc etc

      January 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm
    42. Tofolux

      The Afrkaner, as Calvinist Protestant Christians, believed in a rational explanation for everything, and also that the Bible had all the answers

      When they came accross a culture which lived in mud huts with multiple wives and had developed no technology at all, not even the wheel or any system of writing, they looked to the Bible for an explanation. They decided they must be “the Children of Ham” being punished by God for the sins of their ancestors.

      But even “the children of Ham” were human and descended from Abraham!

      This belief in the Bible as a source of all knowledge had its funny side. Paul Kruger, in the teeth of all the evidence that the world was round, refused to believe it was anything but flat – because of the Bible says the world rests on “the pillars of the earth”. He told one bemused visiting American that he could not have travelled around the world but must have travelled across it!

      January 20, 2012 at 10:15 am
    43. Joe Soap #

      Brent, I think the word ‘hate’ is too strong and emotive. There are many people who are probably a bit disappointed in Mandela, due to the huge myth built around him. The reality is that he was a conciliator in SA during a time of trouble, but part of a party that has always been totalitarian, much like Gorbachev in the USSR. However where his image was untrue was the huge ‘global statesman’ view of all the trendy Westerners who used his name in rock concerts and trendy lefty events the world over. If you look carefully at his values and positions in global conflicts, he has often taken very dubious positions, tended to side with parties that are not terribly virtuous, had a soft spot for 3rd world dictators, and been very comfortable with liberation movements that are anti-democractic whilst holding the Western world to a much higher and more critical set of values. The simple fact is that Mandela’s global myth was created by a Western world still guilty about the Holocaust and how little it did, and determined to champion the cause of a leader who seemed to be anti-racist and for the underdog. That global myth is probably just that.

      January 21, 2012 at 10:51 am
    44. Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf” in prison and explained his theories of Germanic Aryan racial supremacy and how the Jews should be eliminated – the Brits and everyone else simply ignored what he himself had written and fawned over him to avoid war.

      When Mandela came out of prison he was explicit that he was still a communist and his first speech was the opposite of reconciliatory as well (ref:”People’s War”). No one listened to him either.

      People WANTED to believe the myth!

      January 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm
    45. Tofolux

      Another book which might interest you, which gives an even older history of Africa than the one I quoted before, is the book “Indo-Africa” by Cyril A Hromnik.

      The Arabs were in Sub-Saharan Africa for 1000 years before the Europeans worked out how to build ships which could navigate the Atlantic Ocean (the most inhospitable of the major oceans).

      But before even the Arabs the Chinese and Indians were trading aacross the Indian Ocean with Africa for hundreds of years earlier.

      Which is why you only find workings in metal and constructions like Greater Zimbabwe off the East and not West coast of Africa. Also why both the cattle of the blacks, and the sheep of the browns, are of Indian origin. They traded cattle, cloth and beads in return for the blacks working gold for them. And the oldest domesticated sheep in Sub Saharan Africa (about 20,000 years old) was found in a Strandloper cave near Hermanus in the Western Cape.

      January 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm
    46. Samza #

      Haters are those who say he sold out, they don’t know prison.

      July 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm
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