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Why black lives remain cheap despite so-called freedom

A file picture of hundreds of Stellenbosch University students who gathered in protest over an alleged racist incident at the Huis Marais. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

A file picture of hundreds of Stellenbosch University students who gathered in protest over an alleged racist incident at the Huis Marais. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 25, 2022


Clyde Ramalaine

Pretoria - The adage goes that a leopard cannot change its spots. Another insult against black life, another vile abuse of those deemed lesser beings, another degradation of humanity at an institution of higher learning.

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The racist student Theuns du Toit explained his dastardly and demeaning act of urinating on a black student’s desk and belongings as “a boy white thing”.

He is not perturbed by the recording of his sickening act because his whiteness permits him to do this. His white privilege extends to him a right in the superlative to be entitled to serve this type of abuse on a black person. I wish I could say this act occurred in distant history. No, it did not happen in 1984. It is 2022, almost 30 years into democracy, and black lives remain cheap despite our so-called freedom.

I submit that Stellenbosch University will never be able to undo or expunge the ontology of its racist past. It is the institution of higher learning that defines the apartheid intellectual nucleus. The cradle of apartheid thinking finds it very difficult and awkward to separate itself from its original identity. It is this white thing Du Toit actualises when he abuses a fellow student, Babalo Ndwayana.

So this degrading act is in the DNA of Stellenbosch University. It is white supremacy on glaring display. The perpetrator of this despicable crime continued with a sense of entitled arrogance, as explained by his exceptional white identity. This depraved mind felt justified to act out his sick racist mind with a sense of impunity.

Following this dastardly act, news reports claimed Ndwayana’s willingness to forgive the perpetrator. At first pause, the victim’s thoughts, for some, attest to maturity, the better man’s psyche, and even that of a genuinely Christian ethic. However, veiled in this alleged forgiveness offer is the actual or more significant problem of this incident and what is wrong with Mzansi.

Clyde Ramalaine is a political analyst and commentator. He recently completed his PhD in politics and international affairs at UJ. Picture: Supplied

In Mzansi, it speaks of the black victim as always having to be willing to underwrite the reconciliation as normative. Blacks are innately expected to be the better person, conciliatory, what I choose to call the Mandela syndrome that prescribes to blacks an obsession with reconciliation as their natural disposition.

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Notice there is no coverage of Du Toit as a perpetrator seeking forgiveness, but he is offered such for free. Perhaps this is what is wrong with South Africa, the negotiated-settlement nation where whites outfoxed ANC leaders. These leaders offered apartheid and colonial benefactors and perpetrators forgiveness that they had not sought. Blacks stood ready to say we forgive you, when there was no appeal or genuine repentance for perpetrated wrongs.

They sacrificed truth for reconciliation. Blacks are scripted to be the better person, while whites are excused and offered forgiveness even if they do not want it.

Stellenbosch, in its known history, is the institution that provided the architecture of apartheid thinking. This is the very institution that former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, as invited by the self-appointed Boer-godfather Johann Rupert, joined. She was handsomely rewarded with a questionable professorship for her role in a DA-led state capture narrative.

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It is even argued that promotion at the academic level does not occur for outspoken black staff.

Stellenbosch will never transform; it cannot. How does anyone expect the womb of apartheid to change its original purpose and become a beacon of transformation? It is a contradiction by itself.

This is the very generation of whites who maintain that apartheid is in the time zone of their forefathers only; that apartheid died with their passing.

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Apartheid is a historical reality that warrants no mention or reference in this epoch since we are in a democracy. So expect more of what Du Toit, in colloquial and brazen arrogance, explains as “a white thing”.

Pretoria News