16 June: Your race-riot triumph is my Orwellian nightmare

Today is 16 June, a public holiday (vacation to our American friends) commemorating the race riots of 1976 in Soweto. Every year I dread the arrival of 16 June, incongruously called “Youth Day”, because it represents the acme of the anti-white propaganda calendar in South Africa.

roodt_dan4Even the country’s biggest beer company, SAB Miller, participates in the onslaught, with an “artistic” rendition of the dead Hector Pieterson’s famous photo which you can see lower down here. I will save you the real photo, either because you have seen it many times already, or because we are all aware of how images are debased through constant repetition. You needn’t have read any of the theories of Walter Benjamin or Jean Baudrillard about the loss of authenticity or receding reality to understand that.

US First Lady Michelle Obama visits Hector Pieterson Memorial, 22 June 2011.
US First Lady Michelle Obama visits Hector Pieterson Memorial, 22 June 2011

To South African leftists, black nationalists, radical theologians and persons of that ilk, Hector Pieterson or his image represents common currency. There is even now a Hector Pieterson Memorial which is touted to tourists. It has already been visited by Michelle Obama and will soon be inspected by her husband, Barack, whose first visit to South Africa is imminent. It seems that Chinese tourists go to the Voortrekker Monument while American tourists prefer the Hector Pieterson Memorial. Probably, it speaks to them of their own race riots, as well as the interminable arguments around them and how whites are always, in the final analysis, to blame for black violence and mayhem.

Now get this: Hector Pieterson was shot by a black policeman., not a white one. To the crazed, left-wing propagandists on their crusade against the last vestiges of white or Western civilization, the race of the policeman is immaterial. It suffices that the previous white South African government “made him pull the trigger”, like whites always “make blacks do things” or by some intricate racial dialectic cause them to commit crime, not to do well at school or undermine their value system so they end up taking bribes in positions of authority. According to eyewitness reports, Hector Pieterson, who was supposed to be at school that day but sauntered along to see some of the protest action, simply “wandered into the line of fire” between a large crowd of stone-throwing youths and a small group of policemen defending themselves after the mob had not responded to earlier warning shots fired over their heads.

South African Breweries (SAB Miller) has just published this version of the Hector Pieterson image, as a "positive" message to the multiracial youth of South Africa.
South African Breweries (SAB Miller) has just published this version of the Hector Pieterson image, as a “positive” message to the multiracial youth of South Africa (Click to enlarge)

The photograph in question was taken by one Sam Nzima who worked for a black newspaper called The World at the time. It shows Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo after being hit by a stray bullet not intended for him. The shooter being black, you could call it “friendly fire” or black-on-black violence. Hector’s sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them and is obviously distressed. Here is the beer commercial version of the photograph which puts an entirely new “spin” on it, as being a message addressed to the multiracial youth of South Africa. Note also that Hector Pieterson has suddenly become white in SAB Miller’s “reworking” of Sam Nzima’s image.

SAB Miller became the second biggest beer company in the world as a result of two things:

  1. The thirst of black South Africans for its products.
  2. The fact that apartheid or white rule in the country placed enough buying power in the hands of blacks to afford so-called “clear beer”, as opposed to the African or “Bantu beer” traditionally consumed by blacks.

Not so long ago, I read someone’s Ph.D. thesis on the role of advertising in post-1994 South Africa and SAB, having the biggest “ad spend” in the country, also did the most “to shape our new identity”.

Until I saw SA Breweries’ appropriation of the Sam Nzima photograph, I had not been aware of how intimately the beer company had been involved in the whole Hector Pieterson cult! Apparently there exists a “shebeen route”, the Soweto equivalent of the Cape wine route, whereby one may visit “The world of beer”, showing a traditional (and in those days, illegal) black tavern or “shebeen”, and then move onto the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Winnie Mandela’s garage museum. After reading Rian Malan’s article in the latest Noseweek, one could safely say that Winnie Mandela has so many skeletons in her cupboard that she needs a garage to put them in. Unfortunately, the article is not available online, but perhaps someone needs to scan and OCR it to make a bootleg or “shebeen copy” available to enlighten the public on the real Winnie Mandela. Nelson Mandela’s wife (they have since been divorced) had 14-year old Stompie Moeketsi murdered but was protected by both the ANC and the dying National Party government from prosecution. Why? Because she was famous. And black, no doubt.

But let’s not digress and keep to our main topic, which is the 1976 race riot, flatteringly referred to by journalists and academics as an “uprising”. An article in the New Age newspaper, written by Zwelinzima L Sizani, an ANC official, is subtitled: “How we lost our fear of the regime in the days leading to June 16 1976 and the events that changed history.” Like SA Breweries, Sizani is also busy appropriating the riot for his party which played a very marginal, if any, role at the time.

Within the mythology of the New South Africa – why our country’s name has not been changed during all the other name changes I do not know – the Soweto riots were the “turning point”. On 16 June blacks “rose up against the white regime” which was “forcing Afrikaans down the throats of black schoolchildren”. In response – or so we are told – the rioters went on the rampage, killed a Jewish doctor caring for their sick, looted some beer halls and burned down government buildings, including some of their own schools.

‘The recent slogan of “Kill a Boer, kill a farmer” represents a prolongation of the Jew-killing, school-burning mentality of 37 years ago.’

I know that in South Africa there exists a certain inversion of values, at least among our ubiquitous leftist commentators and historians. They consider terrorism, which is decried elsewhere in the world, as the apotheosis of virtue. Every time Afrikaans street names are changed, they ransack the lists of past terrorists and killers of civilians for “heroes” to name streets in Pretoria after, such as Solomon Mahlangu. Within this mindset it is perhaps understandable that killing a philanthropic Jew, Dr. Melville Edelstein, and burning schools are considered exemplary acts which we should celebrate every year on a national holiday. With SAB Miller and other big companies tossing in some ad spend to keep the propaganda going.

The recent slogan of “Kill a Boer, kill a farmer” represents a prolongation of the Jew-killing, school-burning mentality of 37 years ago. If the Gauteng education department under Mrs. Barbara Creecy could burn down a few schools, especially Afrikaans schools, they would consider it a great contribution to this country’s intellectual development. No functional school must be left alone, is the revamped version of the slogan of yore: “Liberation before education.”

The Soweto riots of 1976 are used retroactively to justify the extremist racism and chauvinism meted out to Afrikaners today. In 1976, only a small minority of blacks and white English leftists were anti-Afrikaans. Thanks to the constant stream of ethnic hatred and propaganda, a real hatred against Afrikaans exists at present, fuelling farm murders and ethnic attacks.

The notion that anybody in the history of South Africa – or Azania as the Left calls it – has ever been forced to learn Afrikaans or learn in Afrikaans is so preposterous, it is almost laughable. Yet it suits a lot of people to repeat this fallacy mindlessly every year, including the adherents to the creed that Azania is really a British colony that should speak English only. The multiculturalist, anti-Western British Council probably loves it. For 200 years Afrikaans has survived against all odds, being suppressed under the British Empire and now under its successor, the Bantu Empire.

The denial of language rights to Afrikaners is even more pervasive in the twenty-first century than in the nineteenth in the Cape Colony. English has always been “rammed down our throats”, together with the sickening propaganda that our children are forced to learn for exams at school. It includes history, which means ANC history and the biography of Nelson Mendala, and an idiotic subject called “Life Orientation”. Given the preponderance of English in business and in the media, Afrikaans has never been the dominant language in South Africa. Yet in the Life Orientation handbook at school it is stated: “Under apartheid Afrikaans was the dominant language in South Africa.” I suppose we wrote more books than anybody else in this country, which must have been a crime.

One of those prolific Afrikaans writers is Jaap Steyn, a retired professor of linguistics and one of the greatest minds to come out of South Africa. He wrote a 500–page tome on Afrikaans entitled Tuiste in eie taal (At home in one’s own language). The section on the Soweto riots contains some interesting facts:

  • In only one of the seven Soweto schools protesting against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in 1976 was the language used as such, and then only in one subject, History;
  • the English Academy of South Africa was waging a major campaign in black schools to get them to use English, whereas there was no such campaign by any Afrikaans organisation;
  • unlike a small coterie of white English leftists in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, blacks did not hate Afrikaans. During a competition for school choirs in Soweto, twelve of the sixteen choirs in the senior division sang in Afrikaans and only four in English.

According to Steyn, the economic damage of the riots included the following:

  • More than 100 buildings of the West Rand Bantu Administration Council were damaged or destroyed;
  • 250 liquor stores and beer halls were looted or destroyed;
  • 170 shops were looted or destroyed;
  • 25 health clinics were burnt down;
  • 8 banks were destroyed;
  • a number of libraries, post offices, hotels, churches, community halls, magistrate’s courts and gas stations were burnt down;
  • several 100 vehicles were burnt and up to a third of the 926 buses belonging to the Public Utility Transport Corporation (Putco) were attacked.

While liberals and leftists consider such acts of arson and wanton destruction as “heroic”, the question has to be asked: Why? After all, the ANC government announced only recently that from next year all children in the country will have to learn an African language at school, including white children. No predominantly white and Afrikaans school is preparing to riot and their teachers are not encouraging them to do so.

On 27 June 1976 the editor of the Zulu newspaper, Ilanga, Obed Kunene, wrote in the Sunday Tribune: “Blacks do not destroy facilities… They destroy symbols of the entire system devised by Whites for them… When riots come… all the institutions and services that bear the stamp of White authority become prime targets…”

By the same token, Afrikaners should now be burning every government building in sight, as the reverse holds true: Thanks to their demographic superiority, blacks enjoy political power over us at all levels and decide what is good for us, including what our children should learn at school and in what language they may study at university.

But seeing the Soweto riots as a merely black-white affair, as did the editor of Ilanga in 1976, is simplistic. For long periods white and black have been able to coexist more or less peacefully, but separately, in South Africa. Whenever there was outside interference or incitement of blacks, mayhem broke loose. A deeper analysis of the Soweto riots would reveal the role played by the British Churches such as the Anglican Church and by the so-called Christian Institute, funded by the German churches. They organised and encouraged the Soweto pupils, many of whom were in their twenties as blacks in those days started school at a higher age than whites, to protest and oppose even the study of Afrikaans literature.

'Affirmative shopping' as theft is euphemistically called in South Africa, takes places openly in a supermarket in Sasolburg
‘Affirmative shopping’ as theft is euphemistically called in South Africa, takes place openly in a supermarket in Sasolburg

The problem with the riot-as-revolt theory is that since the advent of black rule in South Africa, we have had as many, if not more, riots than ever before! When someone had stolen cables along the railroad tracks, making trains late, the historic Pretoria statioin was set alight by blacks. Other trains were burnt out too. Not a day goes by when one does not read about “service delivery protests”. Tyres are burnt and vehicles stoned, similarly to the riots of 1976. Blacks seem to be revolting against their own government and municipalities,  which they themselves had voted in. They also burn the same “symbols of oppression” as before: councillors’ homes, community centres, municipal offices, libraries, cars and still loot shops and liquor stores. In January this year, black South Africans exercised their right to loot in Sasolburg, south of Johannesburg and pictures again show burnt-out vechicles and a liquor store being ransacked.

In the United States too, race riots have been a feature of that country’s political life. When the four policemen who had assaulted Rodney King were acquitted in 1992, the Los Angeles riots ensued. During those riots, 53 people were killed and more than 2000 injured. In Britain, France, Sweden and elsewhere, burning and looting have become a way for their immigrant communities to express themselvesA recent modish term in South Africa has been the “grammar of blackness” on which I commented a few days ago in White guilt, Coloured faith. Perhaps riots are the grammar of blackness, as they often seem incomprehensible to the white mind. Winnie Mandela famously said: “With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country”, the “necklace” being placing a petrol-filled tyre around the victim’s neck and igniting it.

The point to understand is that the burning has never stopped and “liberation” continues to this day.

In the Johannesburg Sunday Times I discovered the following amazing pronouncement this week, on the subject of a name change for Pretoria, our capital: “What we should accept is that victors always rewrite history and ensure their dominance is not only felt but seen.”

I may be alone in this, but I refuse to accept that because we have been conquered by propaganda, we should perpetuate the disinformation ourselves. None of the leftist fairy tale of South African history, including the Soweto riots, will stand up to closer scrutiny. There is no continuous “march to freedom” performed by South African blacks. Between the Rivonia trial where Mandela and his comrades were jailed and the Soweto riots, we discern a discontinuity or “epistemological break”. The Soweto riots must be seen as a more or less isolated event.

Neither is there continuity between the riots and the National Party’s ultimate capitulation and absorption by the ANC. FW de Klerk and Roelf Meyer betrayed their own electorate and supporters in all but surrendering to the ANC. Perhaps they were bribed or influenced by foreign powers, but they took that decision by themselves and for peculiarly idiosyncratic and personal reasons.

Like schoolchildren are fond of saying: “It’s random!” There is nothing in South Africa’s past that made the present nightmare a necessity. The Soweto riots could have been triggered by some other event that may have had nothing to do with Afrikaans at all. Like a Rodney King or soccer violence or the presence of foreign Africans in Soweto. Currently, we are seeing a lot of looting and killing around so-called xenophobia. The shops of Somali traders in black areas are regularly attacked, looted and their proprietors assaulted or murdered. So “liberation” continues.

Michelle Obama has already reaffirmed the myth of Soweto by visiting the Hector Pieterson memorial and no doubt her husband Barack will do the same during his coming visit to South Africa. He has already booked a visit to Mandela’s prison cell on Robben island, off Cape Town.

As in the dystopian novels of George Orwell, we are living through a powerful artificial consciousness, a pseudo-reality fabricated by the mass media, academia and the advertising industry. In this story the rioters are the heroes and Dr. Melville Edelstein or the Afrikaner education officials of Soweto are the villains

It constitutes rule by propaganda, domination by (dis)information. We have seen how Tony Blair lied to the world about weapons of mass destruction in Irak. The truth is what you can get away with. Or as it is bluntly put by the Sunday Times:

“What we should accept is that victors always rewrite history and ensure their dominance is not only felt but seen.”

I wonder what Orwell would have thought about that axiom.



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  • Pieter

    Ek het in Sebokeng gewerk in 1977. Ek het sokker gespeel teen van die
    swart kinders in die straat. Hulle storie wat hulle vertel het ten
    opsigte van die 1976-Onluste was een van haat teen die drank-sale van
    die destydse Department van Bantoe-Administrasie en Ontwikkeling, of
    kortliks bantoe frustrasie en agteruitgang. Hulle vaders het as
    gevolg van die goedkoop drank dronk by die huis gekom, in verskeie
    gevalle kinders sowel as moeders aangerand. Nie een het Afrikaans as
    rede aangevoer nie. Hulle het hierdie drank-sale as boos gesien.

    ‘n Ander rede, en dit is een waarop later meer lig gewerp kon word, en
    is heel later ontwikkel na die opstande in ander lande met ‘n jeug
    wat net soos in Soweto in getalle gegroei het, meer geletterd was as
    hulle ouers en dus ‘n beter lewe verlang het, ontleed was. Hierdie
    opstande het later as die Arabiese Lente opstande bekend geword.

    Soweto was ‘n produk van ‘n geletterde jeug, swak ekonomiese vooruitsigte,
    en ‘n politieke stelsel wat nie hierdie stygende verwagtings kon
    hanteer nie, en dus die voorganger van die Arabiese Lente opstande.
    Lees meer oor die Egiptiese en Arabiese opstande hier,

    Die globale ekonomie was uiters swak in 1976. ‘n Swart jeug wat in
    getalle ‘n oormag gevorm het, met stygende ekonomiese
    verwagtinge. Verkrummeling van die gesin struktuur as gevolg van
    die toepassing van die bewysboekstelsel. Hulle ouers kon hulle van
    geen alternatief as opstand oortuig nie. Die wrede
    bewysboekstelsel en die drakoniese toepassing het hulle na die geweld
    gedryf. Hulle was soos leeus in ‘n hok, met geen uitlaat klep. Daar
    was geen beter lewe gewaarborg deur die geletterdheid nie.

    Die opstande was in die begin spontaan. Dit het later gekoördineerd
    geraak, en uitgeloop op meer intensiewer opstand. Organisasies soos
    die PAC kon die vlugtelinge na Botswana huisves en versorg nie. Die
    ANC kon, en het so gegroei. Verskeie kriminele het hulle ook vanaf
    1960 as vlugtelinge van die gereg by die ANC aangesluit.

    Boere hardkoppigheid kan geblameer word, as blaam uitgedeel moet word. Ons
    ouers was te harde-gat en kon nie dink dat politieke verandering
    belangrik was nie. Geld, rykdom en persoonlike gewin was belangriker
    as ‘n politieke oplossing. Die Afrikaner het te laat besef hulle gaan
    alles verloor en te laat met radikale onderhandel in plaas van vroeër
    met gematigdes.

    Die res is geskiedenis.

  • Boerseun.Z.A.R

    SAB Miller are scum,greedy slave masters of the worst order,I suppose when you have a war-chest as large as theirs it makes sense to protect what you got through misleading liberal propaganda.Same goes for Anglo american, Obama.& the E.U.

  • Boerewitman1

    Die probleem is nie die taal storie, of enige iets anders. Die probleem is die ANC het ‘n rede gesoek, asook ‘n plek en gewillige karakters om hul vuilwerk te doen. Hoe laag het hul gedaal om ‘n opmars te begin met kinders. “Kinders” 20 en ouer. Tereg hulle het nie die vermoeë gehad en ook nie nou nie om vroeg 6, 7 jarige ouderdom skool toe te gaan nie. Stteds is die ANC slapgatte, want hulle gebruik nou stakings om hul vuilwerk te doen. kyk wat gaan gebeur met die Amco, Numsa storie. Dit gaan die begin wees van ‘n ongekende unie verskil , soos Suid Afrika nog nooit gesien het nie. Die ding kan dan lei tot burgerlike konfrontasie, wat weereens aangestig word deur die regering. Waarom hou Zuma sy bek, want die konfrontasie dra sy goedkeuring weg, dit is hoekom hy vir hom en sy gevolg ‘n bunker laat bou het met ons belasting geld. Hy is mos ‘n lafaard en sal gaan wegkruip.

  • ShannonVoyager

    Dan Roodt,

    indeed all you say has merit. But what then is the solution ? Or is this not a debate aimed toward finding a solution ? Are we simply accumulating lamentations for posterity ?

    Don’t get me wrong, as said I sincerely concur with most of what you say. But it all seems somewhat dead-ended and at the same time never ending and futile. Twenty years from now we will still sit and agree with one another on these page while lifting a bitter pint to toast each other for ‘knowing the truth’.

    Regarding the name change of Pretoria, perhaps ’tis not such a bad thing at all ….

    Let’s see, in the last referendum Pretoria proved itself yet again to be a stronghold of the National Party (the by then NNP). And as such the electorate came out with flying colors and let the world know they wanted to have peace, harmony and a New South Africa. Most of all, they did not want their lives upended through possible financial instability or by being ostracized even further by Hollywood. And, to this day, the reality is that most of the white citizens there vote DA.

    Now you could argue the old National Party trick and claim that they do so out of fear … that somehow if they don’t then the ANC will take over ?? Rubbish ! Primarily they do so because they’re comfortable in doing so. And they shall remain comfortable with it right up until the last little dorp in the rest of the Transvaal has undergone a name change. It’s called the Ostrich syndrome and most people in Pretoria suffer severely from it. So, rather let it go and let it amalgamate into a homogenous township with Soshanguve and Mamelodi to form the greater Tswane. Let’s see how those Blue Bulls go with that.

    Yes Dan, all valid. But frankly, as was the case with the Conservative Party just prior to the NP plucking the pond out from under the ducks with group areas legislation, you are essentially defending old NP policy.

    Again, is there a goal ? Even just a milestone ?

    • Arnieann

      Ek het ‘n stukkie van jou skrywe gesteel.

    • Boerseun.Z.A.R

      I was never a friend of the N.P or the later day D.A.They can both go to hell.

      • Kalin Vermaak

        Leave a message…And by the same token, i passionately maintain the desire to see the anc and all its demented minions, go to hell.

        • Boerseun.Z.A.R

          Do you classify the DA as one of the ANC’s demented minions?

        • Guest

          Ek vat d DA enige dag BO die anc. Die Wes Kaap as d land se model provinsie bewys dit.

          • Guest

            There is no difference between the DA and the EFF

  • Arnieann

    “Twenty years from now we will still sit and agree with one another on these pages while lifting a bitter pint to toast each other for ‘knowing the truth’.”
    Presies: Ek het julle mos gesê dit gaan gebeur, en “julle” wou nie luister nie.!!!
    Groot woorde uit die monde van leunstoel soldate wat dinge wil reg praat ipv. reg doen.
    Met die klem op “DOEN”
    Almal wil ‘n “Profeet” wees, en almal moet na almal se pype dans.
    Elkeen van van die hordes Afrikaanse “vryheids organisasies” het ‘n plan wat al jare en jare swoeg en sweet, mense probeer opsweep om “iets” te doen, en dit is waar dit vashaak.
    Nou word dit afgemaak dat “Afrikaners” nie kan saamwerk nie. Dalk is dit so.

    Afrikaners moet maar leer dat hulle nie ander Blankes wat as Nie Afrikaners beskou word, moet ignoreer in hierdie stryd nie. Daar is dalk meer “Nie Afrikaners” wat hierdie selfbeskikkings idee steun, as die sg. “egte” Afrikaners.
    Dit gaan oor “Blanke” selfbeskikking, en onafhangklikheid.

  • Arnieann

    Ek merk ‘n persepsie onder Afrikaners dat hulle onder die indruk is dat dit net hulle is wat te na gekom word. As hierdie swartes plunder, dan plunder hulle almal se eiendom.
    Die foto in die skrywe bewys dit.
    Dit is mos dan logies om af te stap van hierdie Afrikaner/ Boer Volkstaat storie.
    Kry eers Blanke onafhanklikheid in plek. Om daarna ‘n Volkstaat in plek te plaas, indien nodig, sal dan baie maklik wees.
    En ook veiliger.

  • Amanda

    Dr Roodt, I would also like to comment on your colum which I found very interesting but there is some things that are a bit questionable to me. Like for instance and I quote
    “In only one of the seven Soweto schools protesting against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in 1976 was the language used as such, and then only in one subject, History;”
    With reference to this I also did some reading up and the following was said in the wikepedia ”
    Black high school students in Soweto protested against the Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974, which forced all black schools to use Afrikaans and English in a 50-50 mix as languages of instruction.[7] The Regional Director of Bantu Education (Northern Transvaal Region), J.G. Erasmus, told Circuit Inspectors and Principals of Schools that from 1 January 1975, Afrikaans had to be used for mathematics, arithmetic, and social studies from standard five (7th grade), according to the Afrikaans Medium Decree; English would be the medium of instruction for general science and practical subjects (homecraft, needlework, woodwork, metalwork, art, agricultural science).[7] Indigenous languages would only be used for religion instruction, music, and physical culture.[8] ” – I would like you to comment on this.
    I would also like to add that I am an advocate in teaching kids in their mother tongue and ask myself the question, can we really blame those kids? Yes killing another human can only be condoned but the circumstances these kids had to attend school (and tragic enough there is still rual areas in our country where things have not in change a wee bit) was terrible, does not matter from what viewpoint we look at this matter. Furthermore I think it is great that the goverment has now brought that an african language is compulsary at school level, it can only be good for the kids, although I do realise that implementing it will not be easy.

    • Boerseun.Z.A.R

      What do you say about less africans speaking their own language- 2013 than in 1976. They are not revolting now whilst being taught in english in most medium c schools?

      I have heard the argument that english is an international language but how many of these kids will ever get to go abroad & enjoy the queens commonwealth

    • Amanda, there is a whole issue around the policy which actually came from the fifties and was not being implemented in Soweto. At some point the schools could apply to derogate from the policy if it was difficult to implement. In early 1976 or thereabouts there was a circular with contradictory wording between the English and Afrikaans ones, creating ambiguity and reminding them that derogation was not automatic.

      However, the facts as stated in my article are correct: none of those schools had any Afrikaans classes except the class where the language itself was being studied.

      The English journalists and academics are a pack of liars and propagandists who have been smearing us and our language for almost 40 years now. They saw this as a propaganda opportunity and today use it to justify their suppression of Afrikaans, such as the odious Barbara Creecy, MEC for Eduction in Gauteng, who are attacking Afrikaans schools.

      Why do our children not riot? Or will they be blamed for rioting, because they happen to be white and only blacks have the licence to riot as a result of a circular with ambiguous wording?