THE LATEST rant from within SA academia points to a growing problem with the award of doctorates at these institutions. In February I exposed a fraudulent narrative issued by Dr Mandisi Majavu a ‘senior lecturer in the Department of Political and International Studies at Rhodes University’. (see link below)
This month, yet another senior lecturer in Political Studies, Dr Lwazi Lushaba from the University of Cape Town, demonstrates that there is a dearth of evidence-based intellectual inquiry at these institutions. Data analysis and empirical research should underpin philosophical and theoretical considerations, not the other way around.
If our academic institutions appear to have fallen prey to opinion-based, bigoted flights of fancy, which do absolutely nothing to further freedom of speech nor academic discourse for that matter, and which border upon hate speech, if not outright contempt for our constitution, then it may not come as a surprise, there is a global trend towards downgrading the prestige of the humanities and social sciences.
If jettisoning secular humanism in favour of radicalism for the sake of radicalism, or spurning history in favour of reductionist, ahistorical class analysis doesn’t get your goat, then perhaps the words uttered by Lushaba during a recent address to his students will.
The doctoral fellow has previously been taken to task by a religious studies PhD candidate and blogger James Bishop for issuing racist bile (see here). And was reprimanded for conduct that was “unacceptable, inappropriate and disrespectful” in 2019.
In the video Lushaba claims “Hitler committed no crime. All Hitler did was to do to white people what white people had normally reserved for black people.”
A syllogistic fallacy if any. In other words a flawed reasoning in logic. (Hitler is innocent. He only did what was normal. Therefore genocide of Jews/Whites/Blacks is normal).
Now I am not going to entertain you with galling details regarding the Final Solution and comparisons with previous and subsequent genocides, suffice to add that Lushaba is just plain wrong when he comes to attributing race to Jews (nations are not ‘races’, there is no plural in race, race is the child of racism not the father) and his utterances are best placed in the realm of speculative fiction, the crackpot section.
While the German Army under Lothar von Trotha did participate in a well-documented genocide of the Herero and Namaqua in Namibia, and the Rwandan genocide has often been compared to the genocides following from these atrocities, it is the denial of culpability, the attribution of innocence to the chief protagonist of the Final Solution, Adolf Hitler, and hence an impersonal, ahistorical, anti-morality based upon overly broad, reductionist and need one say, racist generalisations, (as in ‘let’s stick it to the whites’ and while we at it, ‘let’s stick it to the Jews’,) which is most troubling and offensive.
To remind readers who may have read my postings on Mcebo Dlamini, a Wits SRC leader who made similar remarks in 2015, and was subsequently forced by the SAHRC to apologise. The system we know as apartheid was both informed by and had its antecedent in the Nuremberg laws classifying Germans and Jews according to blood quantum and preventing miscegenation between ‘races”.
One need look no further than several examples of the former National Party of South Africa’s membership card which carries both the infamous swastika associated with the Nazis, and also the words proudly promoting affiliation: “The South African National Party emanates from the S.A. gentile National-Socialist movement and incorporates the said movement as also the SA Grey Shirts”.
It was Hitler’s brown shirts who engaged in what became known as Kristallnacht, a pogrom against Jewish-owned businesses while back in South Africa, it was John Vorster’s grey shirts and the government of D F Malan who succeeded in formalising what were until then informal race policies of segregation, in the process shutting down black owned business, which were relegated to the ghettos, ‘locations’ and so-called townships.
The rediscovery of the so-named Fischer tools housed at the University of Stellenbosch, used by apartheid doctors in their offensive project of race classification, further demonstrates the clear links between apartheid and Nazidom.
As I wrote in 2015, ‘A flurry of academic papers followed the 2013 rediscovery of the so-called ‘Fischer Tools’, used for race-classification purposes at the University of Stellenbosch.’
“The artefacts, it was immediately clear,” writes Dan Newling, “had been used to measure and classify physical differences between human beings of different ethnic origins.”
“An inscription on the back of one of the [objects] revealed their origin: they were the tools of Eugen Fischer, a notorious German eugenicist and Nazi whose theories inspired Hitler.”
You can read more from my original post on the Nazis, Mcebo Dlamini and DF Malan here.
And my expose of Mandisi Majavu here.
There are undoubtedly many valid criticisms of racism, however, a critique of racism which concludes that in order to combat racism, one has to suppress women, or homosexuals for instance, would not be a valid critique.
The statements by UCT SRC chairperson Declan Dyer in support of Dr Lushaba’s bizarre utterances about Hitler, fall into this category. Dyer has come out in support of Lushaba, stating that the comments were part of a larger critique of political science, and one should add, a critique of the anti-apartheid movement which took a non-partisan stance on the subject.
UPDATE: Dr Lushaba stands by his offensive idiotic statements, claims inter alia, that lectures at a public institution are somehow private, that the views of the person who objected are in the minority and that it is his ‘love of the black body politic’ that drove him.
If you follow his reasoning, then BJ Vorster, the head of the grey shirts movement affiliated to the Nazis, was innocent? Its a regular shit show. And worse, he appears to claim that the only peers who should be entitled to review his work, should be black etc etc, an apartheid headspace if any. In fact I remember similar crap emanating from my history teacher back in the day, ‘The English treated the Germans badly at Versailles, resulting in Hitler, similarly they treated the Boers badly, who only engaged in apartheid because they were mad at the British.’