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Opinionista

The EFF analysis is correct: Most white people don’t see themselves as Africans

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Sandla Mtotywa is former Wits SRC spokesperson (2018), currently studying for a BA Degree in History and Media Studies at Wits University. Also a member of the Wits EFFSC Student Command.

The column by Ashley Mabasa and Siphokazi Mbholo was a frail attack on the EFF and a scrawny analysis of the Settler-Citizen apparent dichotomy in 21st Century Africa.

The danger of neo-liberal propaganda disguised as an intellectual opinion – that is the main gist I got from your opinion piece. You show that you have never even attempted to exhaustively read the progressive People’s Manifesto of the EFF. The 170-page document of the EFF explains meticulously what needs to be done in the next five years to alleviate our people from poverty. But I’m not responding to speak about the manifesto, the CIC has done so many times, and the manifesto is also online. You are both researchers, you can read for yourselves.

According to you: “In the EFF’s politics, white people are not treated as citizens and are continuously referred to as settlers in the EFF’S narrow discourse of African nationalism, even under conditions of post-colonial democracy.” This is a lie. You furthermore go on to misquote Mahmood Mamdani to try and justify your agenda that the EFF hates white people and sees them as inferior.

Your opinion is an idealism that is surrounded by laziness and amnesia or lack of analysis of the last 25 years in South Africa. You must understand that it is also a waste of time to beg someone to identify with something they don’t intrinsically identify with. Most white people don’t see themselves as Africans or South Africans. And we can’t blame them, they don’t live in the same country the black majority lives in, they don’t use the same mode of transport our parents use to get to work, they are nor charged the same interest rates the bank charges black people. Their South Africa and your South Africa are not the same. That is why when we demand that the wealth of the land be redistributed equally to the people who are the backbone of the economy.

They cry that investors will leave or they’ll relocate to Australia or New Zealand. Here’s an analogy, they are like that guy who owns the soccer ball when we were growing up, he always threatens to leave when he is in the losing team, and when his team is out, he threatens to leave with the ball again and we must beg him because we still want to play. I’m sure you are following that the ball in this instance is the wealth of the country.

It is easier for them to leave and go to another continent. They don’t feel the sense of pride you feel for the country. I don’t even think white people are even worried about being called settlers. They themselves claim the word, they coined it themselves, they tell us their family histories beating their chests as to how they left Europe and came to “settle” in the colonies. In essence, black people are the only people that believe in the Rainbow Nation. We are not living in a post-colonial democracy, but in a neo-liberal democracy, where most of the wealth is sucked out of the belly of the country by multinational companies who don’t give back anything and are taxed almost nothing.

You also mentioned that the EFF is “antagonising when the country is trying to heal the social fractures that replicate injustice and inequality”. Let us use some common sense. What is to heal? To heal is to mend to restore, right? What is to restore? To restore is to store back what was taken away? What was taken away? Our cultures, languages, land and most paramount, our identity. And why do we demand all this back? To find confidence in ourselves and to imagine and live in a future that is determined by us. And us only. The social fractures that exist now are also from the economic displacement black people find themselves in. So to claim that the EFF is antagonising when in fact it is telling our people the truth is disturbing. DM

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