Why I am ashamed of being South African

By definition, excess stands outside reason. (Georges Bataille)

South Africa is known as the rape and murder capital of the world. But that sounds almost anodyne, telling us nothing about the millions of psychos let loose by this crazy government and its many foreign backers.

Just this morning I learned about the macabre murder of a woman of Italian extraction, Vivien Ponté. She was tied up, presumably raped, then slaughtered (there were blood stains all over) and finally set alight upon her own double bed. The Johannesburg Beeld published a picture of her charred bed.

roodt_dan_wikiThe mainstream media in South Africa have long ceased to keep us informed of all the murders in the country, especially black-on-white murders. The 200 foreign correspondents from the world’s major news media based in Johannesburg generally eschew reporting on anything that would disturb their carefully constructed myth of South Africa as a liberal democracy with a “model constitution”. According to them, our pristine utopia is only occasionally marred by the presence of “die-hard white racists” and people who commit speech crimes like using the “k-word” or even just insinuating that all is not well in Mandelatopia.

Murder, rape, burning women on their beds? What’s that? These incidents almost never make it into print in international English and if they do, they are carefully sanitised so as to remove the grisly, unspeakable, dehumanising details. Currently there is almost a pandemic of child rapes. Even toddlers and babies are regularly subjected to sexual violence. In one case, the maniac of Thokoza, a 42-year old black man called Sifiso Makhubo, raped 34 underage girls and two adult women before he was finally arrested. Makhubo believed that raping girls as young as ten could cure him of HIV-Aids. Of course, in the process he infected many of them. The fact that he conveniently committed suicide on the eve of his trial, did nothing to expiate his crimes.

Sifiso Makhubo
Sifiso Makhubo

I must confess: I am ashamed to bear the South African nationality. I cringe whenever someone pronounces the phrase “We South Africans…” To me, everything about South Africa is tainted by the wave of sadistic violence, corruption and mediocrity that have swept the country since 1994. The flag, the anthem, the constitution, our very identity, have all been blighted by our “transformation” – that politically correct cliché – into a criminal, deviant society.

One cannot be proud of anything in South Africa, except perhaps the Drakensberg mountains and the Kruger National Park. Appropriately, the ANC government wants to rename the Kruger and inside its animals, such as rhinos, are being poached. So even there, decay has already set in. Maybe they will rename the Drakensberg too, after some terrorist like Magoo’s Bar bomber Robert McBride or Abu Bakr Ismail, the “commander” – so-called – of the Church Street bomb.

South Africa is a social and political Chernobyl. The disaster predates the leftist coup of 1994 and may be traced to the very foundation of the current state in 1910. Britain, too, committed war crimes and atrocities on our soil during the Anglo-Boer war, but those were swept under the carpet for the sake of “reconciliation between the two white races, English and Afrikaners” as it was put at the time. Boer women and children were harassed, raped and made to starve in the British concentration camps. Many of the atrocities were committed by so-called “armed blacks” that the English employed to terrorise Boer civilians.

So South Africa was more or less conceived in the British camps. It is the fruit of a forced union, then as now. The rape and rapine that Britain and its black helpers visited upon us in 1900 would become the sediment of the slimy and shameful compromises and forgetfulness of politicians. Alas, during the twentieth century we had few leaders of integrity. Verwoerd was a rare exception and without him we would not have been a republic now. For that he was vilified and finally assassinated.

Ruins of the Château de Lacoste in the Vaucluse department, home of the Marquis de Sade
Ruins of the Château de Lacoste in the Vaucluse department, home of the Marquis de Sade

Remarkably, South Africa has largely escaped war on its own soil for more than a century, even though we participated in both world wars on the Allied side. “Never a good deed shall go unpunished,” as the saying goes, and for our loyalty to Britain and the US we have been crucified, calumnied and finally incarcerated in this putative “New South Africa”. Except it is not new. It is old, very old, primitive, even primaeval. It wears the grimace of ancient rituals, killings, human sacrifices. If 1994 were a “liberation” at all, it was the liberation of Freud’s two primal drives: Eros and Thanatos, the latter being the death drive. When the two of them combine, as they have in South Africa, you encounter the set of impulses that still bear the name of an eighteenth-century French writer, the Marquis de Sade.

Every South African is a sadist. The utter perversity and complete lack of any moral compass in our society testify to the almost pristine state of amoral utopia that we have reached: a paradise of cruelty. Everything is permitted; everyone may be bought or bought off and everyone will look the other way, either because they are in on the deal or out of fear.

People often ask me: “If you are so ashamed and disgusted by South Africa, why don’t you leave?” I think the short answer is that, given the decades of slander directed at Afrikaners, most other countries would rather welcome a Rwandan war criminal than an Afrikaans writer, so no other state would have me. But then, I ask myself, if our women could “walk barefoot over the Drakensberg” as Susanna Smit famously put it, why should we simply abandon our land to these squads of sadists? The more complex answer is that a place as sick as South Africa needs a few psychiatrists, a few sane people to at least write up the manic convulsions of the patient.

It feels as if I have only broached the subject. There is so much more to say and to explain, of how we got to be inmates in this, our sadists’ castle.

This could well turn into a series, on the shame of being South African.