GNU talks expose the omnipotence of white supremacy

Published Jun 30, 2024


The unseemly spat between the African National Congress (ANC) President Ramaphosa and the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) comes as no surprise.

This partly has to do with the fact that they represent different agendas that respond to opposing interests.

The DA, once dubbed “a party of white bosses and black stooges” is seen as fundamentally opposed to the aspirations of the majority who remain landless in the country of their forebears.

For the DA, a Government of National Unity (GNU) made up of black parties would be anathema. In its arrogance, the DA has described such a possibility as a Doomsday eventuality.

This historic fact has not deterred the ANC of Ramaphosa, who has made a Faustian deal with the Democratic Alliance. In doing so, it has chosen to trade its soul and the mission of advancing the total emancipation of African people from socio-economic bondage.

Such pacts are unsustainable. The exchange of letters between the ANC and DA representatives reveals as much. For his part, Ramaphosa was quick to remind the leader of the DA John Steenhuisen that the ANC found the letter from the DA’s Federal Chairperson to be “offensive, condescending, and inconsistent with the Constitution”.

The condescension and disdain meted to President Ramaphosa and the ANC from the DA leadership is commonplace. It is about putting a black person in his place. No black person is immune from such treatment. And no exalted space or borrowed robes can protect one.

Even as a president of the most powerful nation on earth, former US President Barack Obama could be “asked to fetch coffee at a black-tie dinner and mistaken for a valet”. In his own words, Obama had this to say: “There's no black male my age, who is a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car, and somebody didn't hand them their car keys".

Beyond driving a hard bargain, Zille has been consistent in her views. What did Ramaphosa expect from someone forced to apologise for having tweeted? “For those claiming the legacy of colonialism was only negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water, etc.”.

It is the same Zille who once described Africans as refugees in their own country. This form of racial attitude is what the ANC is signing up for. It says more about the ANC than about Zille or the DA.

Former President Nelson Mandela was unequivocal on such matters. “We were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority or to defy the Government. … The lack of human dignity experienced by Africans is the direct result of the policy of white supremacy. White supremacy implies black inferiority.”

For all the pretence, it needs to be stated repeatedly that the ANC is still led by black folks who cannot imagine a future without supervision by whites. Biko describes this type of black man as someone who has lost his manhood. “Reduced to an obliging shell, he looks with awe at the white power structure and accepts what he regards as the ‘inevitable position’.

“Deep inside his anger mounts at the accumulating insult, but he vents it in the wrong direction - on his fellow man in the township, on the property of black people.”

Rob Hersov, who has become infamous for his acerbic remarks, describes self-hate as follows. “The mutual hatred that all ANC and former ANC guys have for each other surpasses any supposed enmity they claim to have towards us (White people). That was always our guarantee that they would never work together.”

The ANC’s preference for the DA is worrying. At one level it is about venting its anger in the wrong direction. At another level, it is an expression of a party suffering from an acute form of Stockholm syndrome – “a condition where hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors”.

Stockholm syndrome is an outcome of decades of conditioning and indoctrination. Its victims are identified early and nurtured accordingly. Ramaphosa’s socio-political sensibilities and proclivities are indicative of such grooming.

It is precisely for that reason that the former apartheid president FW de Klerk could boldly say that, “Everything is not dark in South Africa, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If the ANC wins and President Ramaphosa keeps his promises, things will get better.”

True to form, Ramaphosa has given life and impetus to the centuries-old colonial strategy that enables a minority to assume the role of perpetual masters. The anti-blackness strategy is to project Africans and parties that are pro-poor and call for radical socio-economic transformation as enemies of the Constitution and the rule of law. Mainstream media has gone into overdrive to characterise both the EFF and MK Party as such.

It does not take much to expose the embedded falsehood behind this characterisation. The refusal by the DA and the ANC of Ramaphosa to challenge the NPA regarding the malfeasance involving the Phala Phala scandal rules them out as true defenders of both the rule of law and the Constitution.

The EFF and the MK Party have appealed to the courts to raise their sense of grievance on several matters. People who do not believe in the rule of law would not even bother. Both have also accepted the outcomes and findings of the court, albeit at times begrudgingly so.

The EFF manifesto repeatedly refers to using the Constitution to amend some of its clauses. Plainly stated, the EFF manifesto promises. “The EFF government will introduce legislation, either through an amended Constitution or within the context of the current Constitution, to make the State custodian of all South African land.”

It also states: “The EFF government will work with traditional leaders, religious leaders, and civil society to lodge a Constitutional Referendum to rectify the constitutional dispensation, which is anti-poor and marginalised. The EFF believes and affirms constitutional supremacy.”

This has not stopped some pseudo-constitutionalists from accusing both parties as a threat to the Constitution. For lack of better words, this is utter nonsense. First, there is nothing unconstitutional about challenging the Constitution. Regarding this, Obama intelligently opined.

“Much of the time, the law is settled and plain. But life turns up new problems, and lawyers, officials, and citizens debate the meaning of terms that seemed clear years or even months before.”

Second, the very Constitution anticipates constitutional challenges. In doing so, it regulates how such amendments are to be given practical expression. Third, and perhaps the most obvious, is the fact that the Constitution exists to serve the people, not the other way around.

The former Judge President of the Western Cape, now MK Party MP, John Hlophe, was equally unequivocal about the party’s position regarding the Constitution. When asked whether the MK Party intends to amend the Constitution, Hlophe responded: “Let’s deal with that. It is easy. A Constitution is there, and it is binding upon all of us. It is the supreme law of the land.

“Indeed, laws or conduct inconsistent with the Constitution cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny. We intend to act within the law and then the National Assembly will act within the rules and practices here in the National Assembly.

“We’re not hooligans. We are going to act within the law and fight for our cause within the law. When you say you want clause 25 of the Constitution to be changed which makes provision for expropriation of land without compensation it doesn’t mean you're going to start looting.

“That’s what we'll be canvassing for. We will be canvassing in a civilised manner within the law to have the law changed. What is wrong with acting within the law to have the law which is unjust which does not benefit the majority of the people of this country” [to be changed?].

To conclude, the pact of the ANC of Ramaphosa and the DA would mark a Doomsday of historical justice and liberation.

* Professor Sipho Seepe is a Higher Education and Strategy Consultant

** The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Independent Media or IOL