Allister Sparks’ comments are a gift to those of us calling for radical change in higher education, says Xolela Mangcu.
In the greater scheme of white revisionism in South Africa, journalist Allister Sparks’s description of Hendrik Verwoerd as a smart man is not entirely surprising.
Over the past couple of decades, several prominent white politicians and journalists have found it easy to speak about the apartheid past with similar carelessness. Not long ago, FW de Klerk told CNN that apartheid was not all that bad, and that black people enjoyed democracy in the homelands. More recently, white students and members of staff at the University of Cape Town have been telling us how wonderful Cecil John Rhodes was for black people, his clear racist policies and murderous actions notwithstanding.
What Sparks said in public is the stuff of suburban dinner table conversations – Xolela Mangcu.