Dear David Masondo,
Your recent article in the Daily Maverick refers.
YOUR heartening statements about African identity, an inclusive identity which defines all South Africans, remains an “aspirational definition” out of reach of many.
As you correctly state “who is an African cannot be reduced to race or ethnicity because it would be tantamount to the colonial racist classification that we seek to correct.”
To which you verily conclude: “The inclusive and non-racial definition of who is an African should be used to reimagine a non-racial South Africa … without ignoring the past. Economic growth and transformation are essential in building a truly non-racial South Africa in which both black and white Africans will be Africans, in real terms.”
This may serve as a welcome start to the painful process of healing which must coexist within a broadening focus on economic and cultural inclusion.
Yet it remains to be seen if anything will ever come of such lofty statements, since clearly this debate has arisen, not from within the politics of the 1994 election roundabout, but rather the context of a painful two-decade failure by your party to deliver on the non-racial context of our Constitution.
That we have a recidivist system, which treats the constitution as a ‘carrot-on-a -stick’, an optional extra, whilst maintaining apartheid race privileges is clear. This at the same time as it denies persons such as myself who fall between the gaps, human agency, deploying definitions of personhood that are anything but humanist and non-racial — in effect a denial that I am a person for the purposes of law in particular the Employment Equity Act.
To summarise your corrupt party associate, AJ Halton Cheat in his disgusting decision of 2010: not only have I made absurd statements regarding my purported race (a denial that I am white), but I am thus ‘an absurdity’ who has apparently passed himself off as a human being in order to gain employment, and therefore also according to the court, a non-Jew (or Jew in breach of his religion) who has attempted to cast himself as Jewish in order to seek an award for unfairness in terms of statutes making discrimination on the basis, whether via policy or practice, unlawful.
The jingoistic and irregularly-gained Labour Court decision (framed by the perjury suborned by the fraudulent counter-case against me) is anything but South African, and subject to ridicule, since it takes up a moral position consistent with a minority version of a major religion.
An anti-Enlightenment canon which proceeds to trivialise the TRC, insinuating that race segregation is somehow divinely sanctioned by the Catholic Church — in effect promoting anti-secularist 1994 denial — and worse, a categorical denial that there ever was a policy of separate development impacting upon the demographics of the Cape.
As South Africa continues to struggle with itself, examining and even criticising your motion, to move away from the politics of exclusion, in particular the petty apartheid race classification which characterised the past regime, one must restate the case.
It is rather under your government, and attorneys acting on behalf of the state, that both the TRC ‘transitional justice system’ and our nonracial constitutional framework, has been broken and broken, in some instances, even shot down by racists sitting on the bench.
I refer you to the recent decision handed down by AJ Bernard Martin of the Western Cape Division of the High Court in March of 2019, denying legal aid to similarly-situated persons such as myself in a matter affecting the status of both the TRC and its final report.
Blatantly trivialising and bashing the TRC report, and in the process squashing a case brought before the Equality Court in 2015, seeking to uphold the findings of the commission at the same time as we all struggle with extra-curial evidence of wrong-doing. Evidence following the astonishing campaign against the commission by one of the perpetrators of the apartheid system.
Furthermore, I point you to what appears to be more than opposition by state attorneys acting on behalf of former Justice Minister Michael Masutho, (who have, through their failure to defend, similarly bashed the findings of the commission), and likewise statements by Legal Aid South Africa’s John van Onselen, who in effect are assisting the perpetrators in their campaign, instead of helping the victims. A stark failure if any, to uphold the status of the report before the courts, and in conjunction with an ugly multiracial and multiregionalist version of reality consistent with the regime of PW Botha.
That we have to read your words under the rubric: “Are Indian, coloured and white people really African in post-apartheid South Africa?” is surely evidence that your own government has had cause on occasion to not regard us all as Africans and equals, but rather, to use the tired narrative of former racialists such as one Dr Piet Koornhof, that there exists, ‘a separate, and distinct species which spontaneously arose in Europe, not Africa.’
That the question of whether or not I am an African, is still the subject of legal debate and policy wrangling, speaks to the many failures of your government in addressing this question. Your article is thus a welcome addition to my case file in support of the motion to abolish and rescind the racist decision handed down by AJ Cheadle and Co.