Lebogang Mokoena


While driving this past Sunday to Witportjie in Roodeport with friends, we saw a white female beggar. We were on our way to a church gathering to cap off the day set aside by the Lord.

As the robot turned red, we stopped and the lady approached the car in front but quickly turned away on noticing the car was driven by a black man. She turned to us in the car behind, then quickly retreated on noticing our pigment.

Her face of desperation quickly turned to a smug grin. This was not only disrespectful, but it was a look that made us feel like lesser beings. To her we were nothing.

“It’s no secret, white people don’t respect us blacks.”

I can’t stop thinking about that Sunday drive.

I often wonder about racial undertones in society.  Racism still exists and is institutionalised so much, even a white vagrant on a corner looks down on darkies superior to her.

This is why I was very bothered when President Cyril Ramaphosa in the past week addressed the Afrikanerbond’s centenary ‘celebrations’.

There are mixed reactions to this and I have a strong opinion which I however will keep to myself.

“White people must examine themselves.”

It’s no secret, white people don’t respect us blacks. It’s not just in the older generation but the young ones are keeping the legacy alive. One only needs to take a trip to Krugersdorp to see what I mean.

There are dividing lines all around us. Look at the national rugby team, even with Siya Kolisi as captain division persists. Personally I feel white people are not prepared to change, not prepared to share what’s rightfully ours, not willing to learn, regardless of who they are. Heck, even the DA leadership laments the colonial past.

You don’t agree.

Most white adults in South Africa have been here their entire lives and have not bothered to learn one South African language, instead they parade the word ‘Ubuntu’ all over the place.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, why am I complaining when I don’t have a solution to this? While your observation is true as I don’t have a remedy, this isn’t one of those situations where it’s up to us to find common ground.

White people must examine themselves.

Image: GCIS/TechCentral


I can’t help but wonder if South African politics are a continuous trial and error loop. No political party seems to be clear on who they are or what they are doing. They resemble a nursery school playground, the ANC is the kid swinging from the brunches unaware of the danger below, the DA is the kid digging his nose and wiping it on his clothes while the EFF is that confused child who came in screaming but now lies silently in the corner. Where is the adult here?

With everything that had been happening in the last decade the DA has always seen itself as the sound alternative to the ANC. But the DA has very noisy racial quotas, noisy water rationing measures and very noisy mayors, small wonder Cyril Ramaphosa told them to shut up. A pacifier would do.

The ‘leader’ of the DA, Mmusi Maimane has been eerily quiet in the face of a DA going through a shakeup, I imagined he would be in the front line quelling fears by kissing babies, handing out free t-shirts and learning how to do the Vosho; instead he has been limited to his seat in parliament asking cyclical questions to the ANC. Come on Mmusi.

The ANC too is forever going through something, having ridded itself off ‘Zumalitis’ at face value, the phenomenon from Nkandla is reincarnating himself at every corner of the country. Zuma is like the fictional character Ra’s al Ghul in the Batman Trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan.

But there is some progress, although with many fatalities there are small wins. Supra Mahumapelo has left his North West post, it only took riots, burnt buildings and mass looting to get him out of office.

The EFF seems to have fizzled out, with no one to shout at in parliament, the party has had to do some soul searching, but with the elections coming up, I wonder if they are waiting to deliver a devastating blow, waiting for a struggle stalwart to die or the party has reached its peak unable to grow beyond the Zuma days. Only time will tell.

One thing is for sure though, we can expect much to unravel in the next coming months. Many promises will be made, many enemies will be created, many forced marriages will happen and many more children will be on the playground digging their nose.


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