In my last column, I went to the trouble of explaining what happened on 16 June 1976 and that none of the six rioting Soweto high schools had actually been forced to learn anything in Afrikaans, whereas a seventh studied only the subject of history by medium of Afrikaans.
However, the motley collection of so-called English-liberal whites do not like to be “bored with the facts”. Just today I read on the website of the leftist Mail & Guardian: “The issue of language has been a sensitive one since June 16 1976, when Soweto pupils rose up against Afrikaans as a primary language in schools.” No, the issue of language has been moot since 1806 when the British permanently set foot in South Africa and embarked on a drawn-out attempt to stamp out, first Dutch, and then its inveterate spoken variety, Afrikaans, a policy that continues to this day under the ANC regime.
There always seems to be one newspaper in Johannesburg that is vehemently anti-Afrikaans. A century ago it was The Star. When the first Afrikaans high school opened in the city in 1921 (my old school called Helpmekaar), The Star opined: “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.” In the 1960s and early 1970s it was the Rand Daily Mail where Helen Zille cut her teeth. The late journalist Chris Louw once overheard the editor of that paper, Alistair Sparks, during an aeroplane flight raging against the “sub-human” Afrikaners and how South Africa would have been better off if Britian had “finished the job in 1902 and killed them all”. The Rand Daily Mail ultimately closed down, with its business section continuing as the current Business Day. The present Mail & Guardian was in fact started as a replacement Rand Daily Mail. It regularly vilifies Afrikaners and tells us how ugly our language is, how reactionary we are, how we should disappear forever and just how backward our music, literature and art are. For good measure it keeps a few renegade Afrikaners – mainly because they are prepared to work for lower salaries – who now and again write about their identity crises and how they felt much better when they managed to forget their Afrikaans, including their horrible conservative upbringings.
However, some of the Mail & Guardian journalists have absconded to set up an online rag or electronic wet wipe known as The Daily Maverick. This is a complete misnomer as it should have been called The Daily Conformist. After all, the term “maverick” denotes, especially in American usage, exactly the opposite of a conformist. I could copy and paste a definition from any number of online dictionaries, but let me climb onto my little wooden step ladder and fetch the Shorter Oxford Dictionary off the top shelf.
According to the dictionary, the term may be traced to one Samuel A. Maverick, a “Texas engineer who owned but did not brand cattle”. Hence its two meanings: “1. An unbranded calf or yearling. 2. An unorthodox or independent-minded person, an individualist, US, a politician who will not affiliate with a regular political party.”
Obviously, there is nothing maverick about The Daily Maverick. It keeps us corralled or herded within the enclosures of South Africa’s tedious, second-hand and stupid leftist tradition. Every academic in South Africa, as well as many a journalist, especially the kind that writes for The Daily Maverick, dreams of becoming a British Marxist and being able to kiss Terry Eagleton or E.P. Thompson’s boots. Well, E.P. Thompson is dead now, but any old pommie commie would do.
The thing to understand about English-South African leftists, is that they are something like T.S. Eliot’s “hollow men”, a notion which may be traced back, appropriately, to the character Mister Kurz in Joseph Conrad’s great novella about Africa, Heart of Darkness. You probably recall the first lines of Eliot’s poem:
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Since 1994, with all the cultural Marxists in control of the media and the universities in South Africa, there is almost no debate possible. Just repeat all the tired clichés and propaganda after us.
However, as Oscar Wilde would say, there is one thing worse than a left-wing snot who fancies himself a journalist and that is a snot who writes about cricket. South Africa is a bit like Nero’s Rome: the worse it gets, the more fanatical people become about games, nonchalantly stepping over all the casualties that we learn about daily. Not sports casualties and not in The Daily Conformist a.ka. Maverick either. Just the men and women dying by the thousands every month, the human sacrifices to the god of political correctness.
Kenneth Borland is a cricket correspondent for a provincial paper, The Natal Witness, who also writes for The Daily Maverick, it appears. They are not keeping him properly corralled, for he seems to stray off the pitch sometimes, but then he keeps his comments firmly within the quasi-Soviet style of labelling any dissident or heretic on the misty horizon as a “Nazi, fascist, racist” or other imaginative terms. Oh, I left out “homophobe” and “white supremacist”.
Just yesterday Mr. Borland called me a “white supremacist” in the following passage from The Daily Maverick‘s comment section:
“As opposed to your evil, divisive, hate-filled propaganda Dan?
“As a member of the white middle-class I can safely say I am not under attack by the state, however appalled I am by Zuma, the corrupt political elite and the worrying signs of a return of oppression through state security apparatus.
“You and your shameful ilk are the biggest cause of ethnic conflict in this country. Your statement elsewhere that white South Africans are the nicest people in the world is laughable. I, for one, am extremely grateful that the majority in this country, oppressed for so long, have been able to show such magnanimous ubuntu that I do still believe there is hope for South Africa.
“You are nothing short of a white supremacist and you should be living somewhere like Nazi Germany rather than a country that is still striving for reconciliation and meaningful democracy.”
I do not intend entering into a literary analysis of this passage, which is hardly on a par with T.S. Eliot or Joseph Conrad. Nevertheless, I find it quite telling that the author admits that South Africa “is still striving for reconciliation and meaningful democracy” as no-one in his right mind would describe the current one-party state with non-existent boundaries between party and state as a “democracy” in the Western sense.
He also acknowledges that there is some kind of “ethnic conflict” going on in the country. When our “good democrats” are not assaulting or killing foreign Africans (a little “xenophobia” here and there), they are elsewhere engaged in farm murders, house robberies, hold-ups, rapes and other mayhem. Sometimes the police force join in too, in full uniform! Recently there was a case in Naboomspruit where two black policemen committed a robbery in full uniform, using their service pistols. They are out on bail but have not been suspended. Their weapons having been retained as court evidence, they have simply been issued with other pistols and are back at the station.
This is South Africa, the leftist utopia. Anything goes. From gay unions to policemen moonlighting as armed robbers.
But according to Borland – and he probably speaks for the entire pack of hounds yapping away every day at The Daily Conformist, in their pompous imitations of British-Marxist cool – “me and my shameful ilk” are somehow responsible for all the violence and lawlessness in the country, apart from relegating me to “Nazi Germany”.
I have news for these mauve Brits or would-be Brits, merrily uploading their daily wet wipe which wouldn’t even clean my screen without leaving an opaque layer of obfuscation. I don’t need to time-travel back to Germany in the thirties. This is Nazi Germany already! Except that we Afrikaners are being treated like Jews. If we are not being attacked by your daily Einsatzgruppen, torturing, killing or raping us, we are vilified, smeared, labelled and blamed as scapegoats for the mess known as the “New South Africa”, or Mbeki’s “youngest black republic”. This is a failed state and its failure was planned so that it would either drive us out of here or we would simply be eliminated during a protracted uhuru, realising Alistair Sparks’s dream of a final solution for us.
Afrikaners, as educators, engineers, administrators, farmers and founders of industries such as Sasol over which the Rand Daily Mail and “its ilk” once guffawed as “sheltered employment for stupid Afrikaners”, have always tried to bring development and stability to South Africa. Not so the destructive, know-it-all uitlander opportunist and pompous purveyor of revolution, “transformation” and other radical concepts.
The present Zimbabwe is entirely the result of Briitsh foreign policy that saw Ian Smith as just another intractable white patriot to be eliminated. Regime change was needed. Ten years later a reforming South Africa was seen as a threat to the Marxist-revolutionary ambitions of the ANC and the South African Communist Party. So we got regime change too. After us it was Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt and other countries of the so-called Arab Spring where the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood was deemed preferable to the more secular, modernist but autocratic Arab regimes. We now have civil war in Syria, another country destroyed by Anglo-American foreign policy and support for Al Kaida-type “rebels”. Among other things, the British-supported “rebels” are destroying churches, portending an end to religious freedom in Syria.
South African leftism, of which The Daily Maverick is but one of the many mouthpieces that have mushroomed and grown like weeds since the South African revolution, is also a form of fundamentalism. Its creed, like every strain of communism during the twentieth century, is “equality at all costs”. Except the very people who propagate this utterly totalitarian idea do not themselves believe that they are equal to anyone else. In Orwell’s famous phrase: “Some animals are more equal than others.”
It follows that even a low-life cricket commentator like Kenneth Borland believes himself to be far above the average middle-class Afrikaner, concerned about his children’s education and the safety of his family while revolution rages about him. Borland and his coreligionists are part of a British-Marxist nomenklatura egging their ANC storm troopers on. Go kill some Boers, go take their land! Go rape their daughters and teach them not to be “racist” in their choice of a sexual partner. After all, in Soweto “forced sex” is not considered wrong, according to opinion polls among the enlightened youth of that conurbation, so why should we conservative, Calvinist, “Nazi” Afrikaners object? “Corrective rape” already exists for lesbians in South Africa, so why not introduce it for “white-supremacist women and girls” too?
I could expatiate on the peculiar, almost racial (Nazi?!) sense of superiority that one encounters in Natal with its virulent anti-Afrikaans chauvinism. Despite Natal, or KZN as it is now known, being one of the poorest provinces in the country, its inhabitants believe that somehow the British Empire is not dead. As long as Britain can still bomb a few Iraqi children or supply weapons to Syrian Islamists, I suppose there is life in it yet. Small wonder then, that the ANC and the SA Communist Party have recruited some of their most pliable white “cadres” from that most English of South African provinces, who will serve the Bantu Empire with a zeal once reserved for the British one.
The Natal Witness cricket commentator, Kenneth Borland, hails from Pietermaritzburg, the smaller of the two KZN cities. Need one say more? Hence the pregnant “you and your shameful ilk”, implying that to be descended from the Dutch, French Huguenots, Germans and Scots as we are, is somehow beyond the pale.
Reading an e-wipe like The Daily Maverick, I sometimes get the impression that this whole tragic, violent revolution slowly consuming our country, is based not on Karl Marx – although he is in there somewhere – but on some imitation or simulacrum of English snobbery. I imagine that Baron David Owen or Lord Carrington condemned Rhodesia to death over gin and tonic while boasting about his new Jaguar. Likewise, South Africa’s demise was concocted as some act of upper-class insouciance. People were just tired of PW Botha’s hat that he wore sometimes at a time when it was no longer fashionable, whereas now it would have been perfectly à la mode.
I think author Nadine Gordimer – she got her anti-Afrikaans attitude from Lithuania, not from Natal – summed it up when she said in an interview: ““We were naive, because we focused on removing the apartheid government and never thought deeply enough about what would follow.”
Gordimer makes it sound as if she cares. However, none of the South African leftists care about this country. If it had to descend into a Zimbabwean abyss of hyperinflation and famine tomorrow, they would simply pack up and leave, with a shrug.
Besides smugness, they are also motivated by Schadenfreude. The notion that they are powerful enough to destroy and dilapidate all that Afrikaners managed to create in 360 years, gives them a tremendous sense of satisfaction.