Defend Truth


Dear Penny Sparrow and Velaphi Khumalo… Let’s talk frankly


Dr Onkgopotse JJ Tabane is the Editor of Leadership Magazine and Anchor of Power to Truth on ENCA. He holds a PhD in media studies from Wits University. He is CEO of a communications company Sgwili Media Group and is Author of Lets Talk Frankly. He is also a trustee of the Love Life Trust, The UWC Foundation as well as Chair of the UWC Media Society.

Velaphi and Penny are birds of a feather. They set us back, way back to a time before Nelson Mandela vowed to die for an ideal of a non-racial society, one that worships neither white or black domination.

Ahh…. You have made our 2016 to start on a rather monkey note, both of you. I know it may not have entirely been your intentions to end up looking like the monkeys you are accusing us all of being, but oh you put your foot in it indeed. Velaphi, do bear with me as I speak a little bit to Penny – they say sparrows of a feather do flock together – so do listen also as what I have to say to her, as it applies to you too

Oh Penny – if you lived anywhere else other than under a rock of prejudice, you would have realised a little number called 1990. On this year something called apartheid – where blacks were routinely murdered by your ancestors – was abolished along with institutionalised racism. I know that for a mere property agent who it should now be assumed sold houses mainly to white and rich people, this may be something you might not entirely appreciate. But indeed atrocities happened probably to aid people like you who otherwise would stand no chance to survive in a competitive world and a tough market.

By the way, one of the big compromises of the negotiations for a democratic South Africa was a so called property clause (otherwise called the sunset clause). I am trying hard to make sure your brain does not set over these complex terms. Essentially this clause meant that white people would hold on to their property, and will not have it confiscated without pay – despite the historical theft of the land, and so on, by your ancestors. It is ironic that a person who calls blacks monkeys is in the property industry that is known for its scant or non-existent transformation.

In fact, one can venture to say having been in the property industry all your life you may well have lived under the illusion that there was nothing that should change for a new South Africa to be born, and that white people should frankly carry on in their merry way as if Nelson Mandela was still in prison. One can call you the very direct fruit of the sunset clause. I know, I know, it can’t be easy for you to grasp such a complex concept. After all, you prefer to simplify things to monkey-level for understanding. But I am sure your daughter or any of your five ex husbands can help you understand it all, let alone Mmusi Maimane, who I am sure you did not vote for in his recent election as your leader. I can’t imagine you want to be led by a monkey.

There are many like you, Penny, who still live in the bubble of white supremacy. Where you truly believe that your race makes you somewhat cleverer, somewhat superior, you are not. I know you think that this whole storm around you is so unfair cause “some of your friends are black”. We have all heard that before. I am not sure where those friends are and whether at this point of your infamy they would really stomach you, or even want you to go around telling people you know them. You are an embarrassment to all South Africans.

It is the moments like these, when you force so many to go back and question the trajectory that our country took of wholesale forgiveness for the atrocities of your forebears. Many like Bra Veli over here had this idea that we should ask you to proceed from your white only beaches into the sea and find your way back to Europe. By the way, I am sure you have seen the beaches of the European summer and how equally filthy they get when a couple of your cousins decided to go out and enjoy the rare summer sun over there. I am sure you have not travelled overseas much to appreciate that the filth on Durban’s beach after a couple of thousand people have had a swim could look like a beach anywhere else in the world.

But look, you are only Penny, and not too much must be expected of you to realise the world has changed since the days of the Ku Klux Klan, where blacks were only good for slavery. But look, let me not digress too much. Your utterances have no space in our country where blacks and whites have done so much to live together. I am sorry you have had to switch your phone off, but when you do switch it on again you will find my sms along with thousand of others simply asking: How could you? After all these years of trying to get along as a people, you just had to go and spoil it all with your monkey business. I doubt you are gonna have any peace, even in Port Elizabeth, where you are rumoured to be running off to, and just maybe, as monkeys make your life miserable, the penny will finally drop into your pitiful brain.

And now, mr Velaphi, what got into you? I mean soon after all of us are described as monkeys there you go behaving so badly. So like a monkey really. I mean, I suppose only a monkey will yearn for the “killing of the next person” and will glorify Hitler’s fascism with such ease. A decent human being can hardly bring themselves to call for a repeat of the Holocaust. You deserve to go to prison, and be kept away from society let alone work for the state. I know it sounds a bit harsh, but I am not sure you understand what Hitler did to the Jews for you to use it as an example of what must happen here.

You think the whole thing is a joke, ne? “Oh lets just do what Hitler did and we can sort out the likes of Sparrow”. I assume your hatred of white people is what you teach at home over breakfast? Or is your unbridled fascism not home-brewed? Is it reserved for your Facebook friends perhaps?

It is clear to me that there is a need for the re-education of people like you in our society; people who believe that other races are being done a favour by being allowed to exist. They are people who have no appreciation of what struggles we have all suffered over the last 300 years. They are people who have no idea of what Mandela meant when he vowed to die for an ideal of a non racial society – a society that worships neither white or black domination. It is shocking that you actually work for the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation. You have embarrassed them much, because you have neither the culture in your vein nor can you be entrusted with our heritage for one minute. Or maybe you have been attending some lectures from some pseudo radicals who lied to you that blacks can’t be racist? Look, that’s a lot of rubbish. You clearly are worse than racist if you think fascism is a play thing.

I do hope you get fired so that you can have enough time on the unemployment queue giving you enough time for detoxification and meditation.

Meanwhile it must come with some trepidation to your good selves that a hatred law may be introduced, probably to be nicknamed the “The Veli-Sparrow law of Citizen Hatred”. The Deputy Minister of Justice John Jeffery, I am told, will be conspiring with Dr Mathole Motshekga to draft the harshest of texts. You do remember if you do, in-between being so hateful, that Motshekga recently berated the Deputy President for kissing Homo Naledi. He is an angry man, and you can just imagine what he is going to legislate.

The silver lining is of course that both gentlemen will get to give a break to the public protector for a few months while they get busy with this law to deal with the likes of you. It’s not looking good for you guys. I am told that this law may be made to apply in retrospect just to accommodate suing you both. Veli, you are somewhat lucky that politicians don’t have much of an attention span, and this may just sommer disappear. I mean Zizi and Mzwandile have not yet pressed charges against you at the Marabastad police station?

Quite frankly, you and Penny, and anyone who thinks remotely like you both, need to recite the following litany of prayer to whoever is your God as a step to atonement:

Lord help me to understand that you have created every human being in your own image. Even me… despite my hatred for my fellow human beings. For being so hateful to your creation Forgive me Lord.

Lord help me to understand that everyone is born equal in your eyes – that there is no Jew nor Gentile in your eyes but all are equal human with a right to be here, children of your Universe. For yearning for a “laager of racist exclusivity” – Forgive me Lord.

Lord help me to understand that all your people are worth more than many sparrows. For treating them like Animals and thereby behaving like one – Forgive me Lord.

(Best you paste it on your fridge door and recite twice before breakfast and once before dinner) DM

Tabane is author of Let’s Talk Frankly: Letters to influential South Africans. In this book he has written a scathing letter to Steve Hofmeyer, known for paddling racist twaddle.


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