THE sad truth of South Africa’s second decade of democracy is that racism has prevailed. You see it in the vindication of those who once fought for white supremacy – to date not one apartheid general has been brought to book – you see it in the slur against Asian-Africans – so-called Chinese of South African descent, who by some weird twist of fate have now been reclassified “black” only to be scorned for not conforming to the original apartheid system which labeled them “coloured”. The list continues, as fellow South African’s fight each other over the meaning of these terms – black or white, African or not. For some, only those who belong to the two dominant Nguni clans – Xhosa and Zulu – deserve to be accorded status as black Africans. Those from minority groups, whether black or white, are now surely the next target of racist attacks, of the kind which has lead to the burning of human flesh in public.
There is nothing heroic in attacking ones fellow South African, and to call it Xenophobia only elevates the crime which is racism outright, plain and simple, finished and klaar. Others would call Xenophobia sheer stupidity, the inability to contemplate the South Africa of today in any other terms besides newspeak — a country in which so many have become mixed-up from birth. A place in which cultural affinity rather than tribal affiliation is what should identify us, as lovers of particular soaps, readers of certain books, listeners of particular radio programmes, all tellers of tales.