Waar die kranse antwoord gee

11 April 2010, 2:06 pm

Following is the English version of a column published in Rapport today, 11 April. This is a translation of the submitted original, thus prior to sub-editing. There are minor variations in expression and a few editorial additions (for the sake of nuance or precision) to the English translation.

Every now and then I fall down a rabbit hole on the internet. A few months ago, I wandered through a maze of broadly white right-wing South African blogs and forums. Some present a dry, professional political image with historical and constitutional analyses, seeking legal precedent and constitutional justification for a white Afrikaans volkstaat. Some factions seek an all-white volkstaat, other factions feel anyone who speaks Afrikaans as mother tongue might be welcome.

There are many factions amongst this broad movement of white dissatisfaction with the New South Africa. Some talk about armed resistance, while others caution against such ‘irresponsible’ talk. Some blogs focus on recording violent crime statistics, especially where crime victims are white. However, some blogs have now started to include all violent crime, irrespective of the victim’s race, so as to avoid accusations of racism.

Read the rest of this entry »

National identity and xenophobia

29 May 2008, 7:41 pm

Some quick thoughts on this, orginally posted at BookSA:

Along with many South Africans, I too am despaired by the violence perpetrated in the main by poor people on other poor people, and that racism (racism!) is used or voiced as a justification for that violence.

As some commentators in the press have indicated, the roots of such xenophobia and intra-African racism is perhaps also more cultural than simply economic. I.e. South Africa is apparently deeply xenophobic and the violence that is occurring is not simply a matter of poor people misidentifying the cause of their own suffering. Indeed, we certainly engage in a further othering of the poor if we dismiss the attacks and its causes as simply the expression of the desperation of the poor (it is, to an extent), or simply a criminal wave that has found useful cover in its racism (which it also may be). It is too comfortable, and comforting, that we imagine this xenophobia to obtain only on the desperately poor margins of South Africa. In other words, if there’s a cause, we can locate it in the economic, and once located there, we can blame the government for poor service delivery, the root cause. Read the rest of this entry »

Racism in South Africa – a note on Irvin Khoza

23 February 2008, 9:45 pm

This past week has had South Africans return to that national sore, racism. On Monday, Irvin Khoza, chair of the 2010 Soccer World Cup Local Organising Committee, responded to a difficult question by telling the concerned reporter to “stop thinking like a kaffir”. The question reportedly concerned strained relationships within the committee, stories of which have also been popping up. Read the rest of this entry »


3 July 2006, 5:36 pm

SOME AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL reflection on the interplay and tensions between Afrikaans and English, published at LitNet.

Fuck Colouredness and the Coloured Voice

3 July 2006, 3:38 pm

(appeared in slightly-edited version in Chimurenga #1, 2002, pp.45-47)

ALLOW ME some biographical indulgence, editor and reader, black, white, ‘coloured’, or any of the other million identities for sale.

I spent 10 months in the USA, on a scholarship and just after I had voted in 1994. There were moments in that country where I longed for SA racism, more visible, less sinister. So I was happy to return to my own backyard of racism in 1995. Since then I have been following the buildup to our present, often hysterical discoursing on race and racism. And here I am: hysterical, tired of the even tones of reason, angry. An angry black man. Read the rest of this entry »


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