AS a preface, let me recite a real incident which happened a few weeks ago. I was interviewed as political analyst on a national radio station. The theme of our discussion was “the rising tide of racism in the country”.
A listener called in to say: “The escalating incidents of racism are pushing our country towards a perilous precipice.
And the DA, as guardians of white privilege, is proudly silent about that. Are you aware that the DA will bring back
apartheid if it may win political power?”
Stunned by that listener’s justified fear, I replied: “Although I’m not an expert in absolute prediction, I’m somewhat
convinced the DA could reinvent apartheid if it could win general elections. There are some flashing paradoxes which
attest that the DA is modelled on neocolonial racist ideology.”
Actually, my reply was a sequel to a newspaper article i once authored in 2015 titled, “DA is not a political home
for black people”. That article extremely infuriated then DA spokesman, Mmusi Maimane. In a fit of rage, Maimane replied to that article but he failed to disprove the principalities of my keynote arguments.
There are multiple warning indicators which attest that the colonial apartheid consciousness is still alive and running amok in our country.
Racist rants and colonial bigotry are unmistakable symptoms of deeply entrenched racism. For the past 23 years, many black South Africans lived under a convenient illusion that racism and apartheid died in 1994. That wishful optimism was both misplaced and farfetched.
With the ushering in of democracy in 1994, racism magically vanished from public arenas and sought comfort in the hidden closets of the mind. The 1994 socio-political reinvention enabled many ultra-conservative racists to morph into silent transmitters of racism.
The evolving power of social media has afforded racists an opportunity to showcase their racist inclinations. Former leader of the DA, Helen Zille has awakened us to colonial racism in our country. Some weeks ago, Zille unleashed
her deranged convictions on colonialism and racism: “Would we have had a transition into specialised healthcare and medication without colonial influence? Just be honest, please… For those who claim the legacy of colonialism was only negative, please think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water, etc.”
There are three paradoxical implications applicable to that condescending statement. Firstly, Zille has exposed herself as another prophet of Eurocentric colonial racist mythology. Secondly, she appears indifferent and
insensitive to the horrors, sufferings, deprivation and brutalities that were visited upon black Africans during the
Thirdly, she is no longer qualified to serve our nation and our democracy in any capacity. Ultraconservative racist miscreants like Zille possess a toxic verbal poison that could infect and paralyse our mellowing socio-democratic
dispensation. In the 18th century, Western European philosophers authored tons of biased manuscripts on white supremacy and black inferiority.
In one penned in the mid-18th century, white philosopher Emmanuel Kant charged: “The Negroes of Africa have not received any intelligence from nature that rises above foolishness. David Hume (Scottish philosopher) challenges anyone to suggest even one example of a Negro who has displayed any talent.
“Among the hundreds of thousands of blacks who have wandered far away from their homelands, even though many of them have been liberated, not one exists who has succeeded in anything great, either in arts or the sciences or in any other noteworthy thing. On the contrary, among the whites, people continuously rise above average and they evolve through their superior
qualifications and great minds, and ultimately attaining worldly fame.”
Zille is neither a great mind nor a prolific ideologue; she is nonetheless trapped in the doldrums of Eurocentric
colonial mythology and racist bigotry. Zille’s racist remarks are also testimony to the DA’s pursuit of racist politics and neo-colonial liberalism. In the DA, white members and leaders are only allowed to harbour racist sentiments secretly and privately.
It only becomes a punishable offence when party member shares his/her racist inclinations in a public space. Few years ago some black members of the DA in Limpopo complained to the media about the practice of racial segregation at the party’s provincial office.
Those members reported that there are separate toilets and restrooms for blacks and whites at the party’s provincial headquarters. There are hundreds of incidents and testimonies of anti-black racism engulfing the DA. Maimane is trapped and stuck in a complex political quagmire.
The public expect him to prove the DA is not an apartheid-worshipping party. Interestingly, Maimane does not wield
any decisive power to rein in Zille. The real power-brokers and decision-makers in the DA are predominantly white and are extremely loyal to Zille.
It was Zille who plucked Maimane from obscurity a few years ago and moulded him into a politician. Could Maimane really transcend personal loyalty and swiftly act against Zille? If he does he will be damned within the party but if he doesn’t he does risk losing the moral, ethical and political credibility. My impression is that the DA is not yet an authentic political home for black people.
Elvis Masoga is an independent