Open letter – Karl Cloete
Jimmy Manyi on Coloureds in the Western Cape
The reason why an apology from a colleague of Jimmy Manyi in the Presidency and an apology from our ANC and subsequent support from the ANCYL for the acceptance of Jimmy’s so called apology cannot be appreciated by non racists and democrats alike must be located in the following compelling historical factors;
- The Khoisan who is said to be the first inhabitants of the most southern point of Africa was attacked, violated, humiliated and annihilated by the colonialists who came to rob and rape our people of their birthright and who literally enslaved our people and in the final analyses chased them out of the Cape Colony. So Jimmy suggests.
- Colonialism of a Special Type (CST) acknowledges the fact that the subjugation of the “inferior natives” resulted most directly in the alienation and killing of the existence of our people, the language of our people and the culture and traditions of our people and therefore modern day eviction of the descendants of the Khoisan from the entry point of colonialists is no worse than what German Nazi’s favored on the humans they placed into concentration camps outside of civilization. So Jimmy suggests.
- When Verwoerd and his National Party came to access white minority power (enhancing the elevation of white monopoly capital) they too made the use of the Khoisan language and culture to be a foreign tendency and not civilized enough to be practised in open society and therefore, yet again, destroying whatever legacy existed of the ancestors and living indigenous peoples from which the coloured people originate. So did Jimmy.
- In the negotiations which led to the 1994 democratic breakthrough we had more accommodation for whites as can be seen in the (necessary compromise of a) sunset clause. This Jimmy ignores.
- The fact that in neighbouring Botswana the San/Khoi was kicked out of their natural birthplace in the PARK NATIONAL is testimony to the fact that a persecution continued from the early 1600’s to the year 2000. It appears there can be no resting place, sustainable livelihood and integration with the rest of modern society for the leftovers of the indigenous people of our land.
We must be reminded of the utterances of Blackman Ngoro in 2005, a then advisor to the ANC Mayor of Cape Town, which essentially ridiculed coloureds as useless and drunkards and therefore of no benefit to society. In those moments an apology came forward but conscious cadres of our national liberation movement insisted on his sacking from governance.
So said the ANC in 1969 in defining the togetherness of our struggle for a non racial society in the democratic RSA;
“The African, although subjected to the most intense racial oppression and exploitation, is not the only oppressed national group in South Africa. The two million strong Coloured community and the three quarter million Indian suffer from varying forms of national humiliation, discrimination and oppression. They are part of the non-White base upon which rests White privilege. As such, they constitute an integral part of the social forces ranged against White supremacy. Despite deceptive and often meaningless concessions, they (the Coloured and Indian communities) share a common fate with their African brothers, and their own liberation is inextricably bound up with liberation of the African people”.
Why would Jimmy make cheap on this solid perspective of our African National Congress? An apology is not good enough.
Did not Ashley Kriel, Colline Williams, Robbie Waterwhich, Anton Frans and many other combatants of Mkhonto We Sizwe demonstrated non racialism in action? Did not the ANC in 1979 declared that’
“Historically both communities (coloureds & Indians) have played a most important part in the stimulation and intensification of the struggle for freedom. It is a matter of proud record that amongst the first and most gallant martyrs in the armed combat against the enemy was a Coloured Comrade, Basil February. The jails in South Africa are a witness to the large scale participation by Indian and Coloured comrades at every level of our revolutionary struggle. From the very inception of Umkhonto they were more than well represented in the first contingents who took life in hand to help lay the basis for this new phase in our struggle. The stirring demonstrations of the fifties from the Defiance Campaign to the Congress of the People, to the general strike, and peasants revolt and mass demonstrations saw many examples of united action by all the oppressed people. Memory is still fresh of the outstanding response by the Coloured workers of the Western Cape to the 1961 call by the ANC for a national general political strike.
The question that arises for Jimmy Manyi and his apologists is why in the first instance is there ignorance of the non racial perspective of the ANC and why should they wish to become revisionists of our own national liberation movement?
I would be the last to agree with Trevor Manuel’s 1996 neo-liberal and discredited Washington consensus approach to the colonial character of our RSA economy BUT IF TRUTH BE TOLD what Trevor articulates in his open letter is spot on.
Jimmy must be sacked and join the queue of the unemployed in South Africa who are searching for decent work.
It is evidently clear, for me at least, that Jimmy Manyi cannot be the face and spokesperson of the ruling ANC government. It just cannot be.
How must mother and fathers explain this to their children?
Not every dismissal is an unfair dismissal.