Over the last few years Wonkie has been observing an interesting phenomenon in South Africa. There appears to be a growing misconception that black people are actually capable of racism in South Africa – can you believe it?!
Perhaps it is because of the numerous utterings of the likes of Julius Shoot the Boer Malema; or those of Higher Education minister Blade Nzimande’s comments about darkies in parliament. Perhaps, the misconception could have been aggravated by Jimmy Manyi’s recently misunderstood statements about the over-supply of coloured people in the Western Cape. Wonkie is sure that what Mr Manyi, the president of the Black Management Forum (BMF) and the previous Director-General of the Department of Labour, meant to express, was his grave disappointment that there were not more colourful coloured people in other parts of South Africa. After all, why should the Western Cape be the only province that benefits from them – it is simply not fair.
Following Manyi’s comments about coloureds and about the way Indian folk “negotiate” themselves into the upper echelons of corporate South Africa, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel, wrote Manyi a widely publicised open letter accusing him of the “worst-order racism” and tribalism.
Ironically, Mr Manuel’s letter comes after he himself, together with the rest of Jacob Zuma’s cabinet had already jointly agreed on amendments to the Employment Equity Act. These changes impose national demographic quotas on the provinces – precisely to avoid the coloured and Indian “problem” that Mr Manyi speaks of. Wonkie finds it interesting that the timing of the critical letter is so close to the local elections – certainly Mr Manyi will not have won the ANC many coloured friends in Western Cape, and one can but wonder what the underlying motive of Trevor’s open letter actually is.
So what’s the deal in South Africa with respect to racism? Can police commissioner Bheki Cele call an Indian, Shrien Dewani, a monkey with no repercussions just because Mr Cele is black? Is it now acceptable if rich white folk quibble about the vast over-supply of blacks in the country? Will there be a shades of black Plascon colour chart introduced as part of amendments to the Employment Equity Act to make it easier for employers to determine who is more deserving of a job? Wonkie would love to read your thoughts.
In other news, Julius Malema feels that taking over 60% of mining behemoth Anglo American is the most practical way forward to achieve economic freedom. Wonkie is not sure if Mr Malema meant economic freedom for himself, for the ANCYL or for the world in general. In 2009, Mr Malema expressed significant concern that the economic related cabinet posts were all occupied by non-blacks – this, he claimed, was preventing economic freedom of blacks in South Africa – for the related article, check out the post: Is Julius Malema a racist?
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