Apartheid never existed !

Apartheid never existed! – All those who defended it is dead, we only have Comrades against Apartheid left in SA

Just where are those who defended Apartheid? Almost two decades after apartheid the legacies of it remains glaring as it violently protests demise. Yet everyone who voted for Apartheid claim a liberation struggle role and credential that speaks to their non- involvement in this UN declared satanic system that have perhaps eternalized the polarized state of this country.

It is becoming sickening that there is no one who can boldly say I believed in apartheid as a system, I voted every time for its upkeep, I benefitted from it and have been afforded much because of it. Discourse in South Africa today is also skew because of this aspect, apartheid is dead killed by the democratic vote of 1994, and all those who voted for it also died so we are led to believe. Every time you talk or hear our fellow “white” brothers and sisters speak it is the same story, of how they fought against apartheid, how they opposed it, how they played this or that role.

It left me asking the question who then kept apartheid alive, who underwrote the draconian system with capital, who paid for its lunch if I may ask in such proverbial sense?

Listening and reading one is confronted with views from, there was never an apartheid only a separation of people informed by cultural preferences. Others contend apartheid is long dead and ought not to be blamed for the mess of South Africa anymore. Whilst I can agree that there are some serious blunders made in the post-Apartheid context for example the Arms deal, that an ANC led government must own up to.

Yet I cannot accept that apartheid’s legacies are obsolete, I cannot accept that apartheid’s influence on every visible and invisible aspect of our collective soul and being was almost in magic wand fashion waved away, when Nelson Mandela walked through the gates of Victor Verster Prison (now Drakenstein) in 1990. Nor when we voted the first time or when we crystallized a constitution later.

To argue it is obsolete its legacies in education, in land, in the economy and every facet of our society does not exist is to prove deceptive even mendacious. I have observed our “white” counterparts have their blood boiled when one seeks to blame apartheid, yet they claim they never defended it. I guess it’s glaringly cynical to argue apartheid is dead and all its legacies obsolete yet simultaneously argue that you fought against it when you have been a benefactor. I guess those who claim they did not defend apartheid, voted for it, but fought against it must tell us why their bloods boil when an enemy of theirs is blamed today later.

Perhaps if we admit and prove honest as to who kept the system afloat, then true healing may come.

So apartheid never existed it must be reduced to one of the African mythology stories equal to the story of the “Lost City”, Sol Kerzner’s invention. Apartheid never existed because no one in South Africa defended it, no one in South Africa ever voted for its parties and systems. No one ever benefitted economically from it that they still wealthy because of it.

I guess we truly fought, all 48 million of us against apartheid. I just want to know who then was the enemy who send our leaders to a banished life on Robben Island. Just, who arrested us, who locked us up to rot in jail?

Who smacked and kicked us when Kallie “die Bek van Boomstraat” Knoetze or Gerrie “pap handjies” Coetzee lost against a Big John Tate from Tennessee. Who doomed us to a race defined, infested, classified and driven education system. Who forcefully removed us from our District 6, SophiaTown, and all other places and dumped us in a Kaapse Vlakte?

Who invented the inhumane system that made all houses in Soweto owned only on  a 99 year lease scheme designated by numbers instead of street names? Who designed the roads of Mitchell’s Plain with 5 inlets of reinforced roadworks to ensure whenever there is an uprise the entire township is sealed off with militarized caspirs and nyala war equipment? Who ran the special branch police, who led Koevoet?

From where the budget for a Wouter Basson chemical warfare artillery? Who denied others to have access to the economy, who designed the public health system that we now struggle to fix? Who through the creation of economic arms like Spoornet, Telkom etc, ensured job reservation for one sector of our society?

Who killed Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mahlauli? Who manhandled our African sisters, aunts, goggo’s and nieces? Who tortured us and who kept us locked up under section 29 law?

I guess all the aforementioned is the figment of our collective erroneous imagination in typical Harry Potter fictional embrace, for apartheid never existed because we can’t find anyone who is willing to say I voted for it.

We only have comrades in Post-Apartheid sense. So we are lied to and deceived yet those who claim they never defended it equally get angry if we say we are dealing with apartheid’s legacy they remonstrate we must stop blaming “beloved” apartheid when they fought against it.

Yet the Jews keep telling us of a Auswich and gas chambers, and the death of 6 million Jews at the hand of a Nazi system led by an insane  and possesed Adolph Hitler who had Germans supporting him. In South Africa we are told shut up, stop complaining about apartheid, by the very ones who claim to have been diametrically opposed to apartheid yet they want us to forget. To them we retort  today, tomorrow and forever we refuse to forget, we shall not be brow beaten to belief apartheid never existed and that it was not supported by “white” South- Africans the same who today claim they opposed it and have struggle credentials. The same who all of a sudden know exactly how democracy works and want to dictate the meridian of such in constitutional sense.

Does it have to do with the invention and reinvention of self so as to always benefit?  For today in sunny South Africa, if newspaper comments are  interpreted one may know that apartheid’s defenders live today with a constitutional right and voice, and apartheid is locked up in two mundane low rank officers Eugene De Kock  and Ferdi Barnard, whilst the others tell us they were comrades, and equally become annoyed when one blame our history of apartheid to have a visible legacy, the same we are still trying to undo.

 Clyde N. Ramalaine


10 comments on “Apartheid never existed !

  1. Nieamtullah Rakeep says:

    Great piece, very power precise and carefully thought out, I could not have done better. It gave me a knot in my throat that someone could say it just the way it was and still is today!

  2. Prodehl says:

    Stop worrying about the past.

    On that note, thank goodness I only voted last year. Does that mean I’m part of the apartheid movement?


    • Prodehi, it is not your prerogative to dictate what others must forget, i think you just confirmed the article for not understandging our collective history nor the fact that you as you claimed as ‘whitey’ nor accept that you grossly benefitted from such system. irrespective when yopu started to vote. You determine what you are part off, i refer to ‘whites’ in inverted commas for i do not think anyone is black or white, apartheid lied to whites’ making them belief they are superior and it equally misled ‘blacks’ to think they inferior. However you have no right to advocate STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE PAST, i will worry about it for i lived and is still experiencing the legacies of such apartheid.

  3. matlala says:

    de person who wrote diz article mst b a youngster who grew up in de 90s.m encouragin her/him 2 read more about de history of apartheid n how it hs passd tht were ment 2 suppresd de africans.and also hw de land hs been taken 2 de black people

    • Matlala, in your haste to prove you know better you got misled with the caption APARTHEID NEVER EXISTED , it is clear that you never read the article for you would never have advanced such view, i implore you read it again and you will find the writer of this article is poking fun at’ white’ people who claim to have been fighting against apartheid, yet want us not to remember apartheid. Please read again and then analyse and then respond. maybe you too can learn something from all of this.

  4. For me it’s today that is important, not the things of the past. The past is only there to give us lessons for the future.
    I remember getting together with a group of both black and white American students in the cafeteria at the University of CA, Davis. We’d just been to a lecture on African Americanism given by a very emotional African American Professor on the loss of their African languages when their ancestors were brought to the USA as slaves. These modern American young people were questioning why they had to live in the past and continue the prejudices of there forefathers. They simply just wanted to be Americans.
    When I grew up it was the struggle and hate between English and Afrikaans whites. IT WAS STUPID! When I rode on the bus to High School it was Florida Park High School who sat on one side and Florida Hoerskool on the other.
    The job reservation then was for Afrikaans whites! Now the job reservation is for blacks! We should learning a lesson from the past and creating jobs for ALL South Africans regardless of race. And there is a ray of hope in this in President Zuma’s speech. Hope this time he will turn his talk into action.

  5. Just more from my side. As I said the issue in my day was white Afrikaner vs white English, which I have long since put to bed in the past. Apartheid for me at the time was never an issue, because it never negatively effected me directly. I used to vote United Party because it was against the Nats. Helen Suzman and the Progs were too radical for me.

    Then things started changing. I was living in Durban and I had some new friends who were Indian and started learning from them the impact of apartheid on them. The Nats started opening up to the English, Especially when the UP MP for South Coast Natal crossed the floor to the NP. He could hardly speak a word of Afrikaans. In the following election his constituents still voted for him now as NP. Then the NP started talking about giving the vote to all and then the New South Africa was born.

    I used to hate Dr. Verwoerd with a passion. Later I met somebody who knew him well and I got to know another side of him. Then I read a book about him and came away with a completely different picture of who this “monster” was. I have also read up since on some of the anti-apartheid activists of the past whom I equally hated, but now have a different picture of them,

    I used to hate Nelson Mandela, even when he became our President. It was only during his Presidency that I grew to respect him. I long for another President like him.

    I think the point I want to make here is that not all whites were supporters of apartheid and you can’t put all whites into a box with a label. And you can’t do that with blacks either. Julius Malema has a lot to say against whites, but not all blacks think like him. I have some very good black friends that disagree with him.

    Last thought. You questioned the budget that paid for some of the atrocities of apartheid. It seems to still be happening even in our present government. There are recent reports of involvement is supplying riot equipment form China to the ousted president of Madagascar.

    And the very last thought: why are we no longer talking about the atrocities of street courts and necklacing?

    I want to go into the future. We have incredible potential as a country to move forward together as South Africans. Our President has put onto the table a map of where we could be going and offering great opportunities, ironically including our rail network. I hope it’s not going to be another job reservation exercise.

  6. lynn says:

    what a powerful article..you have raised the exact questions i have had for a long time… Blacks who were oppressed, exploited, lost lives, and discriminated, etc, etc against forgave in order to build on this democracy…but what did we get ‘dont blame apartheid’, ‘you should not dwell in the past’, ‘apartheid cant be blamed for everything’, etc, etc and in that very same sentences they say ‘you must understand that we were conditioned’ …’its gonna take some time for us to get use to’, ‘excuse us for language use…we have been taught like that’…so yes im sick and tired of hearing all that…apartheid was real..it left deep rooted painful memories, it left us with poverty, serious socio economic conditions…the list is endless….we are in the process of re-building and developing, but how can we do that if we are constantly told apartheid is in the past…

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