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#PoeticLicence: Much like with farm murders, there are two sides of a krugerrand coin

By Rabbie Serumula Time of article published Oct 18, 2020

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A lifetime ago in the 1990s, I was with my father in his red Nissan Langley.

I can not tell you the destination. Neither can I tell you our departure point or any other time and space related fact. But I can tell you he loved that car.

Perhaps not as much as he loved reggae music, but it must have been a very close second.

I was a boy, seven or maybe eight years of age.

I asked my father why would they not build schools anymore?

Why is it that all they will build is prisons?

Perhaps I had asked too many questions prior to these at that instant.

As a parent myself now, I understand how frustrating a bombardment through a series of never ending questions from a child can be.

He could have felt bombarded, all he said was; listen to the song, listen to the instruments.

Dad played the guitar in his youth. I can assure you what he heard from the instrumentals and what I heard were worlds apart.

Equally the understanding of what we heard Lucky Dube say in the song from the start.

We were listening to the late South Africa's biggest-selling reggae artist’s Prisoner song from his 1989 album of the same name, on cassette in the Langley.

I tell you this not to paint an uncommon, yet positive picture of a single Black father giving his son musical lessons on Black pride, on self love and a brief, dark history imposed on his people. Nor am I telling you this for an irrelevant trip down memory lane to a moment I remember nothing about beyond what is written above.

No, I tell you this because this moment in the Langley was the first thing I thought of amid the court case of brutally murdered 21-year-old Brendin Horner, in the Free State town of Paul Roux, which led to a fiery protest in neighbouring Senekal on October 6 2020.

The second track on the album, War and Crime, parked my train of thought at Horner’s killing;

“Everywhere in the world people are fighting for freedom/

Nobody knows what is right/ Nobody knows what is wrong/

The Black man say it's the white man/ The white man say it's the Black man.”

Much like with farm murders, two sides of a krugerrand coin.

The Black man say it's the white man killing workers in farms.

The white man say it's the Black man killing boers in farms.

None of them are wrong. There are killings in farms.

But there are more killings everywhere else.

I came across a Washington Post article from May 2019 when minority rights group AfriForum and other Afrikaner formations toured the United States on a media and lobbying campaign. Their aim was to draw attention to violence against white farmers.

The article, backed by numbers, said here’s no data substantiating the targeting of white South Africans.

Much of the international write-ups on the matter suggest a global campaign to portray South Africa's once dominant white population as a victimised minority under attack.

But when it is your own people dying at the hands of “the enemy”, numbers speak fallacies and fables. Wheels of police vehicles do not deserve to touch the ground.

Only to be tipped on their sides like wild Western Cape winds dismounting tires from the tar, tilting trucks off their axis.

None of them are wrong. There are killings in farms.

But there are more killings everywhere else.

I grew to love reggae too.

Through it, when I was seven years old my daddy taught me that they won't build schools anymore because Black boys were never meant to read.

At least not in their language. All they will build is prisons because all a Black boy is good for, is to bleed.

If he bleeds at the hands of “the enemy”, we too shall summon the force to tilt a truck off its axis.

The Saturday Star

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