legacy of apartheid cartoon

legacy of apartheid

Blaming the Legacy of Apartheid – Verwoerd Cartoon

In a recent radio interview, South African president Jacob Zuma blamed one of the architects of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd, for the current textbooks crisis in Limpopo. In today’s article Wonkie explores the legacy of apartheid, what has been done to address it and most importantly how much longer it can be used as an excuse to cover up government incompetence.

First off, all those that feel that apartheid was done and dusted in 1994 and that it is simply now being used as an excuse for everything need a slap in the face and a reality check. Apartheid is not done and dusted in South Africa. One need only to ask those negatively affected by the regime to discover that everything from behaviour, where people live and attitudes to other races, down to current skills and competence levels are part of apartheid’s lasting impact. For many, these attitudes are ingrained and are inevitably passed on to the next generation.

This long term impact is rarely acknowledged with more than lip service by the previously advantaged, the beneficiaries of apartheid. 1994 was not a binary switch into a new world with equal opportunity for all. There is a definite legacy of apartheid and it is not a pleasant one.

Of course, this begs the question that it is almost two decades on, so what has been done by the ruling ANC to dismantle that legacy? The answer unfortunately is not very much.

Some of the basic stepping stones of nation building have largely been successfully taken: changing the South African flag; creating a new anthem; adjusting the national languages to reflect the country’s diversity; and providing essential services to the poorest of the poor. The more important dismantling work – particularly the mental work, however, seems to be non-existent.

Given the 2012 Olympics are currently on, it would be fitting to use a related analogy: coaching. In successful coaching for improvement – be it for sports, life or business, one of the keys is a significantly reduced emphasis on the past. The focus lies firmly on how you would like things to be in the future. This is why athletes are coached to imagine themselves running their best possible race, not rehashing a past failure in their minds. From the past, only the lessons learnt are used as a resource to support that vision. What South African leadership is doing seems to be quite the opposite.

Instead of adopting the attitude “We are behind and we need to catch up”, the ANC leadership seems to have opted for the easier “We have been disadvantaged, so let’s find the lowest common denominator” option. This latter approach is equivalent to an athlete aspiring to be slightly better off than his worst competitor. If you consider that you rarely get more than you aspire for in life, the future for South Africa is not very promising with our current leadership.

Further, to aggravate matters, many of the previously disadvantaged in leadership positions appear to be more concerned with becoming currently advantaged themselves. So we have the odd road name changes to disguise the failing education system and rampant corruption instead of economic development. These mostly useless token acts, combined with a serious lack of government accountability, makes answering the final question easy. How long will apartheid be used as an excuse to cover up blatant stupidity and government incompetence? The answer is as long as humanly possible, as far as the current government is concerned.

Leave YOUR COMMENT on the ANC, South Africa and the legacy of apartheid here.

Ask the Guru image

* * *

Read the 888 casino review image
For those of you that are accepting responsibility for your lives and are refusing to blame everything on the legacy of apartheid, Wonkie wishes you the best of luck! Why not use this additional power to play UK lottery online from South Africa now or if you’re based in India use this excellent website instead. For those that are more daring and don’t already have a job in government, remember you can always blame any unfortunate losses at an online casino South Africa option on apartheid if that makes you feel better. Otherwise, be sure to check out Wonkie’s new 888 Casino Review and other unrelated but entertaining topics on Wonkie’s recommended sites page.

* * *
Related articles on the legacy of apartheid in South Africa:

  1. Gauteng Toll Roads – Entrenching the legacy of apartheid
  2. Tax the Whites
  3. Corruption in South Africa
  4. Jacob Zuma news

Leave YOUR COMMENT on the ANC, South Africa’s future and the legacy of apartheid here.

Bleh!2 Stars3 Stars4 StarsAwesome! (9 raters, Click a star a star to rate this article)


  1. Blaming apartheid has become a bit thin now, so what Zuma et al are doing now is blaming 300 years of colonialism and oppression. So to answer the question, it will never stop. Black governments will always be incompetent and they’ll always look for someone/something else to blame.

  2. Guys, Verwoerd not Verwoed. Know your history.

  3. Quite tragic that The Party assumes (on behalf of ALL SOUTH AFRICANS, sic!!!) ultimate control over virtually EVERYTHING including the mundane, cannot adequately perform the most basic services required. But even more tragic is that “the people” will keep re-electing The Party despite their huge failures, and the latter will continue to blame everyone else while they unselfishly stuff their own pockets and bellies and make a better life for themselves.

  4. @Pedro – thanks for the catch.. missed that in the edit. The article has been updated.

  5. COLLITJIES says

    You are dealing with persons who cannot think further than their flat noses. It is far easier to blame apartheid than think of a simple reason for their total lack of the basics. Being totally incompetent is a qualification for African style leadership, it has taken at least 300 years for them to get this type of qualification from the ideals of communism which also failed. So once the majority start realising that they are only required when elections are conducted to keep the present morons in power giving them nothing but poverty in living standards. They the voters should have a complete turn about at the next election to get the present lot out and only then will the average person get proper service delivery.

  6. Some people just like to wallow in self pity and blame apartheid (1945 – 1994) for their apathy, instead of pulling themselves up by their boot strings to try to make a better life for themselves. One of the reasons why the present government is so useless is because they are so busy plotting and planning ways and means of getting more and more tax payers money into their pockets, that they cannot ‘apply their minds’ to doing their jobs properly. One of the criteria for staying in power is to keep the masses stupid, but I think they went a bit too far with this text book saga.
    Angie has got Zuma in a pickle. If he fires her he will anger the ANCWL and if he doesn’t, the ANCYL will run amuck.
    This is going to be interesting

  7. I agree with you article but what service delivery are you talking about, Wonkie? I often go to a squatter camp outside the city where I live. No electricity, one tap to hell and gone and at least the people living there have made their own pit toilets. Some of the tin shacks are so small that they can only put the mattress on the floor at night once the door is closed.

  8. creation of apartheid was the worst cruel public secregating tool I have ever heard about. it is not suprising to hear people still blaming this system. its results will last for decates, those who benefited from it cannot find a reason why some people still find it as an obstacle today. we should remember that its effects were not only physical but also phsychological.

  9. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Blaming Apartheid for the Limpopo Text-book debacle ?
    Why ? Were the books all supposed to be in Afrikaans – just like in the Apartheid era of Bantu Education ???
    Or are the Party Apparatchiks agreeing that their “new and improved” (after dumping OBE) “education” is no better than that old bogey, Bantu Education ?

    Wonkie asks what the ANC has done to dismantle the LEGACY of Apartheid. The answer is not “not very much”, but “nothing – instead it has magnified the ‘legacy’ by blaming Apartheid for everything they have failed to correct or improve”

    Very few – disgracefully few – of the ANC “leadership” show any shadow of the feelings for the “common people” that our only truly honorable ANC leader showed in those glorious and inspirational few years after his release from prison.

    Many wish for the “good old days” but few remember that the best of the “good old days” were between 1991 and 1999.

  10. @ gushie – I oppose all forms of oppression, including the way the current ANC is keeping the masses oppressed. but if they were taught history at school they could learn from the Jews on how to rise above the worst forms of oppression that lasted centuries that the world has ever know.
    But you know what. There is hope. I know several young people who were previously disadvantaged, who have risen above their circumstances and are very soon going to make a difference in this country. the old dinosaurs in the ANC will not last forever.

  11. can we blame your poor spelling of verwoerd on apartheid please?

  12. Yep, crunch time is upon us, black, white, coloured and asian. Whatever is goig to happen at Mangaung won’t change a thing as long as the ANC pretends to rule, unless a miracle happens and they quickly pull their dirty hands out of the cookie jar; open their eyes to other forms of crime and jack up services with the money that is not stolen or misappropriated, and that is unlikely to happen before the first advent…

  13. @tanni – service delivery is definitely quite a mess as illustrated by many previous articles on Wonkie. Still, compared to 20 years ago, many, many more people have basic services now.

    Perhaps if Jimmy Manyi stopped making statements emanating from his bum and bothered to communicate what the ANC has actually achieved he might increase his party’s credibility. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but for many it IS better than it was before.

    @david d – ok, if it makes you feel better.

    @a-maize-ingly-corny – we cannot say the ANC did nothing to dismantle apartheid. At least we have a nice flag, a funky multi-lingual national anthem, and a few black BBBEE millionaires now – not a bad start. Now let’s see what they do in the next 20 years.

  14. whatagain says

    So sad that our anger has made us all forget that the real victims of this debacle is another generation of illiterate and uneducated people. Why don’t these politicians want to take responsibility. If they just started to admit their inefficiency and asked for help the great public of South Africa (because we are great when we work together) would once again step up the plate and bring about transformation. Instead they are so intent on hanging on to their wealth and positions that they have ceased to care and ceased to have any ehtics or morals. It makes me cry. Are there no good men(women) left anymore? Are we doomed to end up like many other African countries. Please no. We need to rise up and fight this with all the might we fought apartheid.

  15. How long is apartheid still going to be blamed for the absolute mess that this country in and we all know that it is the ANC that is to blame, but they are to dumb to figure it out . Talk about apartheid in reverse, white kids that were born post 1994 are the victims of present apartheid, they have been discriminated by not being qualified and eligible for apprentiships and varsity entry’s because they are white, and called racist, so it really make sense for our president to blame Dr Vervoerd , it shows us just how dumb he really is.

  16. sadly, as long as you have people, you will have apartheid! well, this is in this life. i believe in life after death and the only place you will never find apartheid, is in Heaven. hell will be rampant with it as well!!

  17. Blame ZUMA and ANC Policies for failure in Education and the destruction of the South African Economy.
    South Africa had a booming and VIBRANT Economy and most had Jobs LOOOONG after Verwoerd under the Despicable word Apartheid. The Good old Days, instead of De Klerk just Giving the country to UNPREPARED people and instead of bringing or letting the National Party and the ANC running the Country in Tandem to give the ANC time to be trained and teach them Responsibility and Common Sense and PRIDE.

  18. @Boerkie! well said, Boerkie! well said…

  19. OutofAfrica says

    I’m tired of listening to victims of history who blame others for their own dysfunction!
    Most of the earlier settlers to ZA left behind persecutions and other adverse circumstances and endured hardships to build a new life from little.
    Not to minimise the indignity of apartheid suffered by black people; and the fact that there were also whites who felt the effects, the ANC inherited lots in 1994; a progressive and highly functional infrastructure with one of the highest standards of education. They have now squandered it all and failed as a government.
    While they choose to blame Verwoerd or anyone else from that Jurassic era for their own ineptitude, nothing can change and ZA will continue to regress. It is time they get over themselves.
    I do not share Tanni’s hope; the sheer numbers with a low IQ and EQ who support the comrades and cadres, are too overwhelming.

  20. UmXhosa WaseAfrica says

    “Mayibuye iAfrica” means Africa must come back… From where, what & who? I think all you guys know

  21. The s.a. government have an inferior complex, so it is lekker to start, the blaming game. By doing so, they think that the white south africans will be
    come more complex about apartheid, and agree with what they are saying.
    I suggest that we get employ physologist on the pay roll of the a.n.c, because
    shame these poor undeducated £££££holes need a kick in the ass.

  22. lize ferreira says

    Something is very wrong here. Should we all just enjoy our head clowns jokes OR should we pitty him? I have never met such idiots like in this idiot squad(ANC). What dont they understand?????????????? I am 40 now and even our generation had nothing to do with apartheid. The ANC are lazy and stupid idiots who thinks they can perform. I must admit, in APARTHEID we had some frustrations but never ever IDIOTS!!!!!

  23. It is Absolutely amazing that Black Africans finds it impossible or do not want to leave the STONE AGE seeing that the 21st. century is being spoon fed to them.
    Us as the 21st century age developers and users worked our selves out of the Stone Age era 10 t0 15 thousand years ago and we are still developing but, NO, the Black African can not Comprehend and take the advantage being fed to them on a plate instead of evolving over a further period of 10 thousand years. For “Christ” sake,,, Get the SH!T out of the bush and become part of the 21st. century and stop using human Baby`s as MUTI and Superstition.

  24. OutofAfrica says

    @Boerkie; there are black SA’cans of good will who desire unity and who are not aligned with the ANC. It is not helpful to alienate and insult them.

  25. Hear what you say but there is such a few that has used the opportunity that it cant really make much difference to the present situation but let us Hope and Pray that the Malema intellect does not do the worse.

  26. Apartheid in reverse,all we ever read in the papers is how much they are stealing,they even lined their pockets from the texbooks, new cars houses.and bee is a joke,getting money for nothing.With this lot we have no chance.Zuma is a uneducated joke.

  27. Zuma was not blaming Hendrik Verwoerd, he was blaming Henry Tshabala Werwoord a procurement official in some obscure Government department. You must get your facts right and stop blaming the ANC For the complete stuff up they have caused in South Africap

  28. Sorry that’s South Africa. You see grammatical and spelling errors are catching”

  29. Do Not lie for Zuma. The whole world heard and saw him on TV and show us the Black Man with the Surname WERWOORD. There are DEFINITELY Intelligent People in South Africa for your Limited Knowledge and Intelligence. Ha Ha Ha !!!!

  30. Blaming apartheid for all the failures of the ANC is a wonderful way to fool the masses and get their uneducated ignorant votes at the next election. Zuma has learnt well from his colleagues in Africa. Keep the people in poverty, keep them uneducated, blame colonialism or apartheid, label anything you don’t like (or don’t understand) as racist and you will get their vote. Unfortunately some of what they do entrenches racism, apartheid, and a failure of Government.

  31. TYPICAL and there PLAN of Action and STRATEGY is exactly what you explained above Garth.
    My Avatar (Baboon with spear hanging) Implicates Malema,”The Failed Spear of the ANCYL”

  32. Boerkie, your avatar is indicative of your racially blinkered imbecility. You (and a large majority of posters on here) are a perfect unwitting (or lack thereof) example of what the wonkie ed was describing ala the legacy of apartheid. You and your cohort are dinosaurs (never made the stoneage….).

  33. Thanks “PHRED” What Planet you from or are you a member of the Congo Branches.

  34. OutofAfrica says

    Please watch it guys! Personally insulting and accusing one another is uncivil and an indication of an inability to master the art of language. The enjoyment of reading Wonkie is that people are generally polite to each other; but not necessarily to the subject of the topic.

  35. Outof (maybe you should get out of…). My mastery of language aside… you should really not point fingers. I engage civilly when dealing with those who demonstrate a reasonable degree of cognitive function. When dealing with trolls… I quite enjoy the wonkie cartoons, their tenor and the generally balanced comment from the editors. The “forum” on the other hand has degenerated into a love fest that would make news24 proud. Lets leave it there shall we?

  36. Phred. your Vocabulary and Language is beyond Criticism, Not like our “Clever “Friend Julius Malema,,,”Even when I am DRUNK, I don`t think of becoming the PRESIDENT of SOUTH AFRICA” The Lack of Intelligence leaves much to DESIRE.

  37. Why are we digressing from the point and insulting one another. The cartoon blames Hendrik Voerwoerd for the text book debacle. We should be blaming JZ and his awfully corrupt and incompetent party. The country is becoming a bloody mess; people demonstrate against the people they voted for and continue to vote for because of poor service delivery and the Government has no answer, even Hendrik could do better.

  38. Revered by many, reviled by most.
    H.F.Verwoerd will be placed by historians alongside scum such as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. but cannot be directly blamed for the text book saga. Only the ANC can be held responsible for the tragedy that they, through their incompetence, inflicted on the black pupils of South Africa.
    Verwoerd must however take the blame for convincing many whites of low intelligence or intellect that the bible’s dictum that the offspring of Noah’s son, Ham, would forever be hewers of wood and drawers of water. Therein lies the rub.
    Ham’s curse could not extend to modern black persons for whom education would be the natural key to liberation. A slow transition to democracy in Verwoerd’s time would have spared us of all the iniquities inflicted upon our fellow brethren and by now would long have been transformed into the society that many of us dreamed of 50 or 60 years ago.
    F.W.de Klerk might have attempted the transition but believed that his negotiations with intellectual blacks (including the moronic intellectual, Mbeki) required a rapid handover, never foreseeing that an uneducated dolt would be the third democratic president. A president whose self-seeking backers would ensure that the illiterate masses would ensure their claim to the spoils and thereby deny us our true democracy.

  39. Fact is that the ANC was established in 1912 to fight the “apartheid” of those years (introduced by windsor castle in 1902) …meaning Verwoerd was not the founder of apartheid but windsor castle was!

  40. Dirk, you are an idiot. Racism was the tool of the colonists and settlers to corner the best resources (agricultural, mineral, trade opportunities) it goes back centuries whenever two ethnic or race groups met. The group with the most fire power won that battle. The other resource the colonists wanted was labour, hence slavery, migratory labour, indentures, job reservation etc. What they did not want was that labour to be in your face hence separate areas, separate amenities and most of all the did not want miscegenation, hence the mixed marriages act and the immorality act. It was all there before they called it apartheid. The Nat regime just legislated this racism and had to entrench what they could not legislate, hence they quoted scripture and entrenched their church, and co-opted the military and police to maintain including the brainwashing of thousands of white conscripts. Do not blame the Windsors’ It was all started long before that.
    However we now have a situation where the current regime has discovered that to undo the legacy of apartheid it no easy task and that much of the rationale for apartheid still exists because low economic growth means that the resources cannot be shared thus the government has to maintain apartheid by other means. Bad education, poverty, excessive law making, promotion of anachronistic cultural practices, lack of service delivery, emigration of whites (and indians and coloureds), EE and BEE. Dirk take a look at history racism began at the end of a cannon.

  41. Sorry, I forgot unemployment.

  42. Racism is a world wide phenomenon that will continue for centuries irrespective of how many worthy people attempt to discourage it.
    South Africa under the United Party did not have the Mixed Marriages Act even though many people would have frowned upon any that desired inter-racial marriage. The Immorality Act of 1927 prohibited sex between whites and blacks. When the National Party, under D.F. Malan, won the elections in 1948 the segregation of the races became policy and the Mixed Marriages Act was promulgated in 1949 while the Immorality Act was amended in 1957 to include sex between white and all other races. H.F.Verwoerd introduced draconian measures to ensure that the legislation was strictly enforced and was also instrumental in the banning of the ANC and PAC. Dimitri Tsafendas should be honoured for limiting Verwoerd’s reign as prime minister to 8 years, not that J.B.Vorster or P.W.Botha were much better.
    Strangely, it was the Afrikaners who were most often found guilty of offences under the Immorality Act, including a Dominee Theron and one can be certain that it was not only Piet Koorhof that married a non-white once the legislation was repealed.

Speak Your Mind