OPINION

Raceballs 5

An occasional feature celebrating the wit & wisdom of the colour-blinded and racially obsessed

At about 2.15 pm [15 February 2016] a group of protesters moved towards Smuts Hall and Mr [Masixole Mlandu], the second appellant, climbed up to the roof and spray- painted the bust of Jan Smuts, that stands above the entrance to the residence, with red paint. The protesters applauded this action… At about 2.00 pm on 16 February Mr Mlandu, painted a number of slogans on the War Memorial that stands above the rugby fields and commemorates persons with a connection to UCT who had died in or were affected by the First and Second World Wars. The slogans on the front of the memorial read ‘F*** WHITE PEOPLE!!’ and ‘F*** BLACK EXCLUSION’, while those on the reverse read ‘1652 MUST GO!!’, ‘UCT IS A SITE OF CONQUEST’ and ‘UCT IYAKAKA MOER!’….

Mr Mlandu said that he defaced the statue of Jan Smuts because it represented colonial oppression, white supremacist views and racial hatred. He accordingly regarded his actions as constituting legitimate forms of protest. As regards the slogans on the War Memorial he said that they were political terms and intended to debate racism both within and outside the university. His view was that he was ‘entitled to a political speech intended to trigger legitimate political debates about racism and the university’s tolerance of it’.From SCA judgement in the case of Hotz vs UCT dealing with the Shackville protests of February 2016.

On 10 February 2016 when some students were in a dining hall on the campus and it came to the university’s attention, as a result of postings on social media, that Mr [Slovo Magida] was there wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘KILL ALL WHITES’ written in large letters with a marker pen on the back. In response to these reports [UCT’s investigations manager] Mr Ganger left a message for Mr Magida to come and see him and when he did so told him that he had received complaints about the message on the shirt and that it constituted hate speech and incitement to violence. Nothing seems to have come of this save that Mr Magida allowed Mr Ganger to take a photograph of him wearing the shirt. An insert of that picture is as follows:

There is no evidence that Mr Magida was seen wearing the shirt during the Shackville protest. Mr Magida’s affidavit said that he had told Mr Ganger that the slogan on the shirt in fact read ‘sKILL ALL WHITES’ and that this was an artistic form of expression. He said that what was intended was that if anyone came closer they would have realised that this was the wording of the slogan and in coming closer and seeing this ‘the opportunity for dialogue and/or debate about the living standards of marginalised people and the constant fear of black people by white people is realised’. Mr Ganger’s response was that even from extremely close the ‘s’ was barely visible. It is certainly completely invisible on the photograph taken by Mr Ganger. - SCA judgement again.

 “My reaction [to the burning of pictures during the Shackville protests] was why would they leave the buildings and burn only the paintings. Shacks burn all the time in this environment we live in, and no one cares what’s inside the shack. Black people they just get up and they knock the shack again. So it is not a shock to me when colonial paintings are being burnt, structures of white people are being burnt. I wish they could actually do more, burn more.” – eNCA interview with Slovo Magida ahead of the judgement.

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The second creature is even more dangerous than the first one, it also has a human-like face. It hides in boardrooms and economic chambers of the world. It owns, lands, mines, farms and factories. It chains human souls into permanent slavery. In South Africa and most parts the world, this creature has a white humanlike face. It is a soulless cold calculating ruthless animal incapable of empathy. When the children stand at the foot of the Union Buildings and shout "Futzek Blade, Voetsek Zuma, Voetsek ANC,” they must know that their job is not done until they have said Voetsek to White Power and the preservation of white privilege. - Pastor Xola Skosana, Fallist spiritual advisor. Facebook.

In the same way that there is Solidarity for white workers and other Broederbond front organizations in media, in religion, sport and culture, Blacks everywhere, including in the police, among prison warders and in the military, must be ready at this hour for activation for the Black cause. With all our internal contradictions, we have a shared lived experience under white supremacy and harbour common aspirations of liberation from white domination, and this, we make no bones about it. White power in South Africa is like a wounded animal, if it cannot seduce into its fold, it becomes vicious and ruthless, it kills mercilessly and decimates everything that seeks to threaten its entrenched hegemony. If we don't learn this lesson quick enough, and we allow ourselves to get diverted by all manner of political side-shows playing out in mainstream media, we are bound to see the repeat of history. - Pastor Skosana again. Facebook

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So, to begin to solve the student/fees/brutality crisis that has infected our body politic, the VERY FIRST THING we need to do is get the cops off campus. Take the heat down. Why are university managements not standing by their students? They appear more worried about protecting property than lives. If management committed to firstly take the cops off campus, reign in private security to only deal with access control and commit to talking to students in a safe space, much violence could be defused immediately. – David Forbes, Rand Daily Mail

The response to this embarrassing history [of racial and colonial science in the 19th Century] is often to reassert the superiority of science, to claim that the self-correcting nature of scientific methodology led scientists to overcome past false theories. But this is wrong. It was not science that led to the fall of such practices, but shifting values that drew out the abhorrent aspects of colonial scientific methods and beliefs. We are kidding ourselves if we pretend that colonial attitudes are not still affecting the way science works today. This is why a deliberate effort to decolonise science is valuable and South African universities have the opportunity to lead the charge. – Stuart Theobold, City Press.

There is a very good reason South Africans across the board are thinking of race when they talk about economics: it reflects reality. It is not those who see race as the central divide who are deluded — it is those who pretend it is not. As this column and other voices have pointed out repeatedly, 22 years of democracy have not ended the racial pecking order and so racial division remains the central South African reality. – Steven Friedman. Business Day.

A national restorative approach may be the only way to curb the criminalisation of student protesters, the racial profiling of black students and black staff, and to rebuild many damaged relationships in our institutions. Students and scholars have worked hard to put the concepts of decolonisation and epistemic violence into everyday discourses and debates, and forced us as a nation to confront the flaws in the narrative of Rainbowism. We see this work of transforming higher education as ongoing, and we commit to continuing to open spaces for the re-imagining of our public universities as spaces of inclusion and African critical scholarship. – Statement by UCT’s Black Academic Caucus on the Fallist protests.

What is Fees Must Fall? Since the inception of Fees Must Fall in 2015, we have maintained the clear call for a Free Decolonized, Afrocentric education. This call is rooted in the liberation of Black people and the total dismantling of the anti-black system that maintains black oppression. We want a decolonised education in a decolonised society. Fees Must Fall is an intersectional movement within the black community that aims to bring about a decolonised education. This means that the Fees Must Fall movement is located as a part of the larger struggle to eradicate the western imperialist, colonial, capitalist patriarchal culture. – Fees Must Fall Western Cape. Facebook.

With apologies to Private Eye.

raceballs@politicsweb.co.za