South Africa 125


My last, flippant post on the death of Eugene Terre Blanche brought an interesting comment thread, in which not only did we attract some new South African commentators, we started up interesting disagreements along unusual fault lines between regular commentators. So I thought I might probe further with something less flippant.

I am not actually in favour of hacking people to death as a form of political action. But I am unrepentant at failing to be moved by the death of an out and out Nazi, who thrived in apartheid times in a system in which he was able to put his ideas of racial dominance into practice over his staff and black neighbours.

The apartheid regime killed many thousands, and dispossessed, disenfranchised and enslaved millions. Almost all white South Africans were implicated in it and enjoyed its benefits. Never forget that.

Through colonialism, apartheid and neo-colonialism, white people took control of Africa’s best farming land – in areas where white men could survive the climate – and its amazing mineral resources. Throughout Africa white people still reap the great majority of the economic benefit from African oil, gold, diamonds, rutile, bauxite, uranium etc. The backbreaking labour falls to black people and so does the pollution. That benefit that does come to Africans largely falls to tiny corrupt white-educated post-colonial elites.

In South Africa it is still the case that the large majority of the wealth of the nation. the controlling interest in the gold and other mineral resources and much of the best farmland still lies with white people.

There are some white South Africans who had a genuine moral abhorrence of apartheid and yet become unfortunate victims of violence whose root cause lies in massive disparity of wealth. There are however not many white South Africans lining up to shed their wealth meaningfully to black South Africans.

White dominance over African resources has been maintained brutally and often with the use of mercenaries – officered by the British upper classes and with South Africans doing the actual killing.

That is not to excuse corrupt African elites and misgovernment by the Mugabes of this world. But Mugabe being a dreadful old tyrant does not justify the continued white ownership of land stolen by force from the indigenous peoples. Indeed some of the worst white farmers are close to Mugabe, like Prince Harry’s appalling girlfriend’s family.

Even in a country like Kenya, the recent ethnic conflicts can be traced back to colonial land grabs by white farmers dispossessing one tribe into another tribes’ lands.

I cover all of this with vastly more depth and subtlety in The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. I do hope those commenting will read it.


125 thoughts on “South Africa

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Congo, Mozambique, Angola… across the continent it’s the same basic story. Read Craig’s book, read history. Any signs of real independence was systemically crushed and continues to be crushed. In Africa, the rapaciousness of industrial empire was laid bare for all to see. No niceties, no ‘cricket’, just blood and rape.

  • Charles Crawford

    Craig,

    As you know, I was posted at the British Embassy in South Africa as apartheid ended. I attended a rally of Terreblanche’s AWB movement once.

    The worrying thing about Terreblanche’s murder is that it seems to echo an insidious ‘Kill the Boer’ Africanist nationalist ethnic cleansing of the sort Mugabe has led in Zimbabwe, an achievement of sorts for African Pay-Back Time but at a cost which will leave most Zimbabweans unnecessarily impoverished for decades more to come.

    If that is the sort of fate which faces South Africa too down the road as the generation of township younghsters schooled in ANC/Communist 1980s ultra-violence work their way up the country’s demographic pyramid, prospects for the southern part of the continent are bleak indeed.

    My take on the issue is here:

    http://www.charlescrawford.biz/blog/when-i-saw-eugene-terreblanche

  • Ruth

    ‘That benefit that does come to Africans largely falls to tiny corrupt white-educated post-colonial elites’

    I don’t quite agree with this. I believe these elites actually work for the hard state. Of course, the elites benefit but the greatest reward goes to the secret government which controls the elite many of whom I beieve actually work for the intelligence services.

  • Jake Turner

    He wasn’t quite a Nazi or neo-Nazi even if his politics were repugnant and racist and he adopted an Nazi-like iconography. That word, and Fascist, are bandied about too freely.

  • writerman

    Craig,

    Whilst I agree with the basics of your description of the woes of Africa… and the role of white colonialism in establishing an economic system which was/is structurally… unjust, we are, where we are, historically speaking. I don’t believe we can turn back time, and undo the changes that have occured due to white intervention in Africa. Peoples, not just white, have been moved and new societies have been created.

    I think one can argue that a black ruling elite have adopted many of the attitudes and methods of the old white elite in relation to the great, impoverished, masses, who still remain poor, though nominally, “free.”

    Personally, I’ve never really been all that interested in the colour, religion, or nationality of the ruling elite that was engaged in oppression and exploitation. For me the central and important idea was the nature of the system that faciliated rule by a minority over the mass of humanity.

  • Ben

    Also, black groups within SA (and I would presume in Kenya as well) were displacing each other long before any white “colonialist” arrived… It was the way of life back then, get over it.

  • Craig

    Jake,

    I agree that “Nazi” is bandied too easily. But a white supremacist who adopts definitely Nazi iconography and banners at rallies of supporters ticks enough boxes for me.

  • Craig

    writerman

    “I think one can argue that a black ruling elite have adopted many of the attitudes and methods of the old white elite”

    err – I think I said exactly that. I said:

    “That benefit that does come to Africans largely falls to tiny corrupt white-educated post-colonial elites.”

    Why are we arguing? 🙂

  • Anonymous

    go to huffinton post and check out the wikileaks release of US forces in an Apache helicopter murdering people….

    shame on us and them

    please someone…what the fuck is going on, on this fucking planet

  • Alfred

    From you earlier post, it is apparent that the morality of a liberal is no better than that of a lynch mob and that the political grasp of a diplomat may be no better than that of a rabbit.

    To those living in a well regulated society, the attitude of settlers toward indigenous people whether the settlers are the Dutch and English in South Africa, Scots in Ireland or Jews in Palestine may well seem hateful. If crazy or needlessly brutal, a settler is bound to be viewed with particular horror. Yet, in human affairs, power has always trumped morality, decency and everything else, and the outcome of human struggle has determined not only the course of history but who exists on the face of the planet to make history.

    Man is a territorial animal and since emerging from the trees, men have fought for territory. How else account for the fact that the earth is covered with walled settlements, fortified towers, castles and nuclear missile batteries? Without a family history of murder, rape and pillage, how does a liberal think he or she came to occupy some spot on the surface of this planet?

    The British had their moment or imperial glory but their success was limited, doubling or tripling their population worldwide, but now facing encroachment and displacement in their own territory. The failure of the British to secure world domination can be attributed primarily to an anti-life liberal ideology. Thus, having grasped the North American continent, Australia and much of the most hospitable regions of Southern Africa, the British suffered reproductive failure. From families sizes limited only by the means to keep children alive until maturity, the British and their descendants around the world became obsessed with family planning, abortion, girls’ education and just about anything else that would guarantee reproductive failure.

    And still the liberals sneer and jeer at those who believe it better to survive than to die, better to protect one’s territory than to cede it to others.

  • arsalan

    Alfred

    you use man’s failures in the past as a justification of his failures in the present.

    Yes Animals behave in this way, but I believe humanity can choose to be above our animalistic instincts we can also choose to be beneath them.

    Some people are amongst the best of humanity, and there are others who are amongst the worst.

    Are these settlers you mentioned the best of us or the worst of us?

    Remembering that this was a man who was killed for refusing to pay a man for his work?

    It is not the richest who are the best of us, but those who spend their riches in the right way.

    It is not the strongest of us who are the best, but those that use their strength in the right way.

    And the right way is to help others, not to help ourselves.

  • anno

    Charles Crawford

    English aristocrats also did a good job of negotiating with Hitler not to invade the UK. Well done, Sir. When you pass GO, please don’t forget to pick up £200.00.

  • Clark

    Alfred,

    you’ve made a silly mistake. Those “British” genes are all over the world, propagating happily via people of all different colours, caring not one jot whether anyone calls them “British” or otherwise. Reproductive failure?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, Control. Everyone needs to watch the wikileaks video which Control posted. This is the sickening reality of US-UK imperialism. This is where our tax pounds go. Each bullet is paid-for by you and me. Each bullet is forged by our fingers. This happens daily across the occupied lands, that is, the lands which the West occupies by dint of its superior psychopathic power.

    Think of that girl in Vietnam, the one who burned and burned and ran along the road, naked and burning. Our pounds, our dollars. It’s been happening for decades across the occupied lands.

    And there are still people in this country, on this blog, who think it was a great idea to invade and destroy Iraq. There are still people who advocate the machine-gunning of human beings as though they were bacteria on a Petri Dish.

    This is what those people are advocating. Watch the video from start to finish.

  • mary

    Off topic – it’s official. May 6th.

    I have a note on my letter box.

    aa

    Please place all election literature/leaflets straight into the purple recycling box.

    Canvassers are NOT welcome.

    aa

    For the first time in my life I will NOT be voting.

  • Ben

    Thanks Alfred.

    Arsalan, “those white racists in South Africa” did not arrive there with a f16 and a nuclear bomb, cleaned out the country and took it over and populated it. They shed their own blood and tears for it and a lot of it too. All they wanted was a piece of land where they would escape the protestant massacre happening in Europe and be able to worship their God as they wished.

    That is why they trekked thousands of miles on foot and wagon, to find such a place, believing that they will find it eventually.

    Along the way the encountered people who wanted to kill them and steal their possessions, and they dealt with them in self defense.

    There were obviously complications that crept in as time went on, and of which the British were very much part of. The British motive was purely world domination, and they did not share the predicament of the Afrikaner in any way, so if someone is to point fingers at people “kicking” others off their lands, I think Craig and other Brits ought to be the last to throw that stone.

    My point is though that no-one “kicked” anyone off of their land. All through most of history, people fought for land, and the winner took it, end of story. The argument that the land actually belongs to so and so because XXXmillion years ago their ancestors lived there is a rather dead and quite frankly a stupid one.

    If everyone feels that way, then find out where all nations come from, open the borders, and let everyone go back home.

    Oh but wait, isn’t the so called “cradle of mankind” about 30km from my house? Then I am right at home, and my supposed ancestors walked this very land…why should I go anywhere then, this is MY land, and yours and yours and yours and yours and yours and yours and yours and yours……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  • Alfred

    Arsalan,

    You say, “you use man’s failures in the past as a justification of his failures in the present.”

    No, I say that man’s past brutalities explain why you and I, not some other, perhaps kinder gentler people, are here on earth today.

    You say “Yes Animals behave in this way, but I believe humanity can choose to be above our animalistic instincts we can also choose to be beneath them.”

    There are two points here. First, I don’t understand why you differentiate between man and animals. Mankind is an animal species subject to the same laws governing survival as all other species. Second, it is true that we can choose, but if we chose a course of conduct that leads to selective failure, we give our place on this earth to people more realistic.

    You ask, “Are these settlers you mentioned the best of us or the worst of us?”

    To which I respond with a question: which would have been better, that your ancestors chose the path of survival in accordance with the morality of the settler or that they turned the other cheek when confronted by violence and thus and left no heirs?

    You say, “It is not the richest who are the best of us, but those who spend their riches in the right way. It is not the strongest of us who are the best, but those that use their strength in the right way… to help others.”

    These statements will receive very general assent. Yet, who among us actually express such beliefs in our actions, particularly in actions that we might be inclined to take in dealing with those outside our own family, community or country?

    What I said was intended less as a statement than as a question. What morality, if any, which is consistent with our own survival, could supercede the two-faced morality so clearly expressed in the first five books of the Bible: i.e., to treat others as you would have others treat you, provided they are of your tribe, but view other nations of the earth as yours to deal with as most profits you.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “My point is though that no-one “kicked” anyone off of their land. All through most of history, people fought for land, and the winner took it, end of story.” Ben.

    Can’t have it both ways, people. Either it’s right – natural, perhaps – for the whites to have fought for the land and kicked the blacks off it, in which case it’s right for the reverse to be happening now. Or both acts were and are wrong.

  • anno

    ” Also, black groups … were displacing each other long before any white ‘colonialist ‘ arrived.”

    Also, white groups in Europe, brown groups in Asia, Chinese in China, Russians in Russia, were displacing each other all the time. In fact, one of the benefits of the world’s roving emperors was the spread of Islam.

    It is to the very great shame of white colonialists that arriving in Muslim Africa and finding highly civilised people in white robes, that they reported back to Europe that they had found only savages in Africa. The slaves whom they transported after they had slaughtered all other occupants of their lands, i.e. as many again, were submitted to brutal apartheid and forced to abandon their civilisation and religion.

    The humiliation of South African apartheid followed. But I agree with Arsalan, that the worst humiliations of these three separate periods of apartheid were/are always reserved for the Muslims, i.e. the present day Palestinians and the African American slaves. It is truly shocking that a former British Prime Minister should instruct the world to bring the Palestinians of Gaza to submission to renounce Hamas, by refusing to give the aid pledged by the international community a year ago. Resistance is part of Islam, and Tony Blair’s cruelty is on a par with the Slave Trade. Maybe after 500 years he’ll say sorry again.

  • Alfred

    Clark,

    According to Bryan Sykes, author of “Vikings, Saxons and Celts,” there are around 160 million British people in the world. If you count those who are of mixed origin, in proportion to their genetic composition, i.e., counting someone who is half British and half something else, as half a British person, what is your estimate of the number of British persons in the World?

  • Ben

    Suhayl: Agreed. However, they did not win back “their” country (a protest in Sharpeville is hardly a freedom struggle worthy of the attention it receives), they received it back. A sign that the times are changing…or are they? Apparently they are not, it’s war as always.

  • arsalan

    Alfred I am not a pacifist. So I don’t have a problem with people defending themselves.

    But when it comes to the settlers, I believe the people fighting them are the ones defending themselves.

    The reason why we judge the likes of settlers is we want to decide who is in the right or wrong in conflicts to decide who we support.

    You are correct that some others choose other criterion. Such as Zionists.

    They couldn’t careless who is in the right in their conflict, and they say so openly, “Israel right or wrong”.

    Instead all that matters to them when it comes to picking sides is tribalism, nationalism, sectarianism and racism.

    Others try and pick the winning side to obtain material benefit.

    You can see this in the Capo, Jews who joined the Nazi in exterminating other Jews because they saw self benefit in it.

    Or Arabs who join the Israeli Army to kill their own people. Or Iraqis and Afghans who join the puppet governments America installed in those countries.

    If I have to fight, it would be for the side I thought was in the right, not the side who I share the closest kinship with or the side with which I can obtain material benefit for myself and my family.

    And most of the people in this site feel the same. So we are all against the British and Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. Against the Zionists in all of Palestine and against the pillage in Africa.

    But I do disagree with Craig somewhat.

    I don’t believe in original sin. the ones that stole the land were the sinners. Not their sons.

    Only the sinners should be punished for their crimes, because crimes are not inherited.

    the wealth gap needs to be reduced.

    And the reduction has a price.

    But punishing the innocent is too high a price.

    So another way needs to be found.

  • arsalan

    anyway, Eugene wasn’t punished for the sins of his father. He was punished because he refused to pay someone for work he hired them to do.

    Note to self: Pay people you hire!

  • Clark

    Alfred,

    I have no idea. Lots. Who cares? it’s only a label, and not a particularly meaningful one.

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