Nco Dube
Nco Dube

Open letter to all two-faced apartheid beneficiaries

Since it’s the open letter season, I thought I would pen a humble one to all unrepentant apartheid collaborators and benefactors who claim to love Madiba.

The love so widely professed for #Madiba by the former apartheid collaborators and benefactors should be shown in deeds. So many profess this undying love and admiration for #Madiba yet they continue to blissfully enjoy the fruits of the same ill that #Madiba so selflessly fought against without lifting a hand in the upliftment of the previously oppressed.

What Nelson #Mandela stands for is being deliberately twisted to suit certain sections of our society. #Madiba is now being touted as having sacrificed 67 years of his life for reconciliation. What a load of bull!

#Madiba sacrificed, fought and went to prison so there can be an end to apartheid, racism, injustice, economic exclusion and landlessness. The reconciliation comes as a result of an end to these things.

The hand of reconciliation that Madiba so generously extended is being undermined by a lack of commitment to transformation by the very same people who maintained, collaborated with and benefitted from apartheid. It’s now left only to Madiba’s party, the #ANC and the black society to bring about transformation to their own lives. Of course the #ANC as the ruling party has a huge responsibility to head up transformation, so are the formerly oppressed who need to rise from the ashes and be the change they want.

But above all, responsibility lies with those who perpetrated and/or benefitted from apartheid, to head the fight to erase the apartheid legacy.

Instead, they have become loud and critical bystanders who seem to revel in the failure of the #ANC to lead transformation while doing nothing to transform society themselves. They expect the #ANC to go it alone. This can’t be right.

It’s like invading a person’s home, striping it bare and burning it down. Bezixebulela umkhoma. All the fittings from the stripped home are distributed among yourselves to build your own homes. You exile, jail, kill and enslave the occupants of the home. When they finally rise up against you a settlement is negotiated.

Part of the settlement was that the occupants of the home need to be assisted, under their own leadership into rebuilding their house and that you are guaranteed not to lose your own house built from what was stripped from their home.

But then their leadership seems to be failing to help them rebuild quick enough while you fold your hands and carry on with your own life. Here is the confusing part, you then blame their leadership and the occupants themselves for being homeless. Fair enough, they should take the blame for continuously electing an inadequate leadership. Their fault is failing to rebuild but you are still responsible for them being homeless in the first instance! You still share responsibility to be involved and participate in the rebuilding.

The sad fact is that when the formerly oppressed rise up against the slow pace of transformation you will also be in the firing line because you are ultimately responsible for and/or are still enjoying the fruits of their suffering at apartheid’s hands.

The general feeling is that while the current government is fraught with its own problems that impede transformation, you are also not playing your part as agreed at Codesa.

You jump at embracing the reconciliation side of #Madiba so as to ignore what he expects of you in return for that reconciliation.

What are you doing to help black people rebuild? Are you forgetting that they still remember that the house you live in is built from their own home fittings? Yakhelwe ngamaqubu abo!

The point I’m trying to make is you can’t claim you love #Mandela while you are not, personally doing your part in transforming society. #Mandela’s struggle didn’t start with the fight for reconciliation among South Africans. It started with the fight against apartheid, injustice, racism, economic exclusion and landless ness. #Mandela was not born in 1994.

#Mandela was the commander-in-chief of Robert McBride, Solomon Mahlangu and many other MK operatives that you fight so tirelessly against just to even get streets named after. He led the same MK you claim was a murderous outfit. How could they be murderous when they were fighting against the same ruthless apartheid you claim to also abhor? We’re the Allied forces murderous for fighting against Hitler?

#Mandela fought against the Pretoria you fight tooth and nail to keep. How are you committed to reconciliation while embracing the remnants of apartheid, some of whom are deeply offensive to the black population.

It is hypocritical and disgusting to profess undying love for Madiba while you spitting on his face by impeding or not assisting in achieving the kind of society he dreamt of.

If you believe #AA and #BEE are reverse racism, then you have no business visiting #Madiba’s hospital to lay flowers.

For land reform to happen, you need to lose some of the land taken from black people, for economic reform to happen you need to lose some of the directorships, management and ownership positions you hold to create space for black people. It can’t happen while you continue to build on the advantages you already have.

For black judiciary officers to be appointed, it means no white officers should be appointed! Why be against this if you love #Madiba and what he stands for?

Spare us your crocodile tears about #Madiba if you believe it’s time for black people to “get over it and move on” while you have never contributed personally to transformation.

We can only move on when all that #Madiba fought for has been achieved. And no, it’s not the responsibility of a black government only to do that. It’s a shared responsibility.

The reconciliation #Mandela preaches is a genuine show of Ubuntu from a person who believed you were also genuine about your agreements at Codesa!

The fact is that #ANC failures do not absolve you of your shared responsibility to erase the apartheid legacy.


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    • Muhammad

      I detest racialism because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
      ~ Nelson Mandela
      – Long Walk to Freedom (1995)

      You are correct to ask people to show their appreciation for Madiba by walking the talk. However, I think you may have perverted his cause. Much of the suffering we see in South Africa today can at the very least in some portion be attributed to the ANC. Land, affirmative action and judicial transformation are definitely important but this will not improve public education or healthcare.

      I think many whites are eager to help the ANC in fighting poverty. It is a trust issue. The ANC are weary of being manipulated, and the Whites are scared off by corruption and political scandal.

    • OneFlew

      Well, Mandela presumably means different things to different people. They are all free to choose how to respond to him. No one has a monopoly on the truth and no one needs to follow anyone else’s prescriptions.

    • Niel M

      Thinking South Africans are all very tired of mindless tirades such as this.
      Try building something instead of carping about what others have achieved through planning and hard work.

    • Adrianus

      We are all frustrated that our rainbow nation is fats disappearing over the horizon and that makes us ask questions. The promise it held of a bright future for all is almost a forgotten dream now.

      An uncomfortable truth we too willingly ignore and fail to recognize is that many of those that benefited from apartheid (especially those that stayed) are the very ones financing the policies and programs that aim to redress past imbalances.

      Whites who at every turn are again and again shown to earn the lions share of everything then also pay the lions share of taxes.

      It is taxes that pay for the programs our government (of the people) is implementing Not ANC gifts and grants.

      We feel and will continue to feel the affects of apartheid for a long time still BUT,
      What affects the lives of every South African most today! is not the legacy of apartheid, but how our taxes are spent.

      When our government spends more per child than any other African nation and many many world nations for that matte, but still we have the dismal results we have! we cant blame apartheid or whites or those not wanting transformation.

      We must blame ourselves, because we let our taxes be wasted, be stolen, be mismanaged, be unaccounted for, be spent of those not fit to hold office or provide “service”.

      We allow this to happen and we must take responsibility and ACT to change something we can TODAY!

    • Sankara

      ‘The hand of reconciliation that Madiba so generously extended is being undermined by a lack of commitment to transformation …’ Many valid points, and you are right that there may wel be many white people who are not committed to the future of black people. However I need to query the word ‘transformation’ carefully. If ‘transformation’ means equal rights and opportunities, and the advancement of black people , I think many people in SA (I hope and pray) would support this fully. The danger is that ‘transformation’ in ANC speak (I hate to bring parties into this but I have to) means something completely different. ‘Transformation’ as per the ANC entails the complete and utter criminalisation of the state – and I do not say this lightly. It means putting a Mafia gang of thugs, thieves, gangsters and cronies above the people – of all races – and plundering and destroying. It means bullying and threatening their own people, destroying jobs, stealing from the poor, driving big Benzes, and breaking every law ever made. ‘Transformation’ in ANC speak will untilmately result in the destruction of the livelihoods of many in SA – especially the poor. And I say this with a heavy heart because I fear that those who want real trransformation and real betterment of the lives of black people may be unable to achieve their dreams due to the criminality and utter destruction that this ‘transformation’ will bring.

    • http://Mail&Guardian JacobK

      I’m also tired of this drivel and mindless complaints. Maybe, as a white person, I have had the advantage of apartheid but you have 20 year advantage of BEE and AA. Are you making something out of your advantage?

    • Momma Cyndi

      Whilst it is difficult to take anything serious that does the whole hash-tag twitter nonsense, there are some truths in the article. There are far more errors, but there are truths too.

      From the picture, Mr Dube looks well scrubbed, nicely clothed and most certainly well fed. Does that make him a collaborator or a benefactor?

      After working for 20 odd years to pay off a home loan and spending half my life in debt to educate my children, I resent being told that my property and my 15 year old couch is ‘stolen’

    • Call for Honesty

      This article is one long hash # of truths, half truths and distortions.

    • Robard

      Europe must take these whites back. In exchange they can keep their development aid.

    • John Smith

      £#Mandela was the commander-in-chief of Robert McBride, Solomon Mahlangu and many other MK operatives that you fight so tirelessly against just to even get streets named after. He led the same MK you claim was a murderous outfit. How could they be murderous when they were fighting against the same ruthless apartheid you claim to also abhor? We’re the Allied forces murderous for fighting against Hitler?”

      Really what about Quatro camp and the other torture centres run by the ANC?
      What about the necklacing’s murder and torture perpetrated by the ANC?

    • Littlebobpete

      What about glorifying the current crop who plundered the country under the guise of an arms deal right under Mandelas nose. He allowed it to happen.
      What about the hand of reconcilliation offered by De Klerk in setting him free.
      Dont prescribe to anyone who or how they should respond.
      Deal with Mandelas ill health how yo want and let others deal with it their way. Live and let live chap!

    • DeeGee

      @Muhammad is absolutely correct. AA can only really succeed (and succeed it must) when the skills gap brought on by Apartheid is narrowed. Angie is doing a terrible job at that. Also, not to flog a dead horse, but how is Nkandla justified in the context of what has been raised here? We’re all too quick to point fingers at the beneficiaries of Apartheid, but we turn a blind eye to the beneficiaries of our young democracy.

    • gksa

      You forgot a part in your “house rebuilding” analogy. Where the former perpetrator provides the resources for the house to be rebuilt. When those resources have been wasted, he provides the resources yet again. When, yet again, no house materialises from this, he provides the resources for the third time, only to see it wasted for a third time. I think it is round about this point where anyone would shake their head and walk away.

      Some of the resources I’m referring to, is taxes. If, indeed, as it is claimed, white South Africans still occupy a extremely advantaged position in our society on an economic level, then surely they are contributing a sizeable portion of government’s tax income? It is, in fact, a self-regulating system. The previously advantaged will continue to pay reparations for as long as they remain advantaged. The privileged are, whether they like it or not, involved in providing the resources for the rebuilding. Perhaps they are not as involved in providing the leadership for the rebuilding, but then, how can they be when their input is so enthusiastically and so angrily shunned?

      But the main problem is the lack of simple arithmetic involved in the whole concept of redistribution. The relative wealth that kept 10% of the population living in comfort cannot possibly elevate the other 90% of the population to the same level of wealth. To truly bring about a revolution, SA society needs to create, build & grow wealth.

    • gksa

      But we are too busy fighting over the scraps of wealth this country already has to focus on the wealth it could have if we started using every opportunity to create it.

      Your article is divisive rather than promoting cohesion and conciliation. Clearly you are no #Madiba.

    • manquat

      The answer to our problems is equal opportunity. Give everyone in SA a fighting chance to succeed. Unfortunately, there are huge barriers in place to equal opportunity. One of these barriers is poor education. Another barrier is a general lack of skills and motivation.
      The ANC needs to set up a platform for people to establish businesses and thrive. Instead of fighting for positions in government, our youth need to be trained on how to be entrepreneurs.

    • michael

      Whites have lost faith in the anc government that has usurped power on every level, excludes minorities vigorously and do as they please. whites don!t have the will and stamina to transform society, why will they willingly disenfranchise themselves at all levels.It is all going to end in tears.

    • Lamb

      So glad your article does not apply to me and mine for we are not Mandela fans.
      And I fully agree with you. All those bleeding heart liberal Mandela lovers should give away their possessions, land, etc. They should leave their jobs and stop paying taxes.

      It feels good to live an honest life.

    • chris

      Congratulations on getting this published. It helps explain who someone like Jacob Zuma can become the president of this country.

      Who exactly are your addressing here? No doubt there are a few thousand white people in positions of power and influence and excessive wealth. What they hell, let’s make it a hundred or even two hundred thousand. So how should the other 5 million white people respond to your rant? What should they give up, when all they really have is, perhaps a decent home (with a fat mortgage), a financed car and a job, and lots of living expenses? What land, what senior positions and what directorships should they give up? And do you really believe that dishing out a bit of land and “judiciary officer” positions will change anything?

      Yes, poverty and economic equality are frustrating and degrading – in SA as in every other part of the world – and we all have the urge to rage against the machine once in a while. But if the solutions were that simple, then we really would not have this problem.

    • mika venter

      Nco is like the old conservative NATS of the 1940’s stuck in the 2000’s. He just can not move on and his own inbred racist ideologies comes through on every article he pens.

      Nco, most whites want a better SA same as you. And Mandela means as much to them. Whites have also been indroctonated and fed propoganda by the old regime. But you choose which atributes you want to racialise with Mandela and whites and that is very short sighted in deed.

      You truly are part of the problem in SA today and not helping one bit.

    • Graham

      Was this initially posted on Twitter? Why all the hashtags? #getsirratatingafterawhile

    • Joseph Coates

      Please give us a break, stop sucking lemons .Agree with some prevoius readers, that
      you obviously haven’t contributed towards a more democratic society. We are going forward even at snail space. Let’s hope we have greater , stronger opposition party
      soon emerging out of our splittered little parties and get this country to where it should be. No politician has ever in history of any country promised the average voter the promises they belted out during their campaiging.
      We the people maske the difference. Stop driveling.

    • Zeph

      Seeing you are going on about how selfish I am, as a BOA, let me spell it out for you. I started a company in 1996 from scratch, employ thirty people (of which by the way I am the only BOA) and pay my taxes. I have worked bloody hard at this. It is not easy and, against better judgment, I have not retrenched anyone in this downward cycle. Instead I have put in about R800K to keep the business afloat.
      And here you tell me that I must give away a percentage of the company, give away land and be happy for BBBEE which is threatening the livelyhood of my employees (believe it or not we are a leve 2 company – but we all know that means shit when BBBEE is actually being used to tailor tender for buddies – THAT IS WHY I DISAGREE WITH IT) and I.

    • http://Openlettertoalltwo-facedapartheidbeneficiaries proactive

      ……..”The fact is that #ANC failures do not absolve you of your shared responsibility to erase the apartheid legacy.”

      …quite right so, that is why changing gears into a more professional & honest approach in managing SA Inc. is required! Not by polemics!

      Accelerating away from squandering tax resources- more helpful to the poor masses than Kings, Chiefs & non performing Ministers- the required lethargic blind support, the toxic protectionism of the NEC laager, the unquestionable devotion and silence required to cover up the party & the Chief’s manipulative tracks.

      How is that done in a democracy? Of course not with crocodile tears!

    • Julian

      Personally, i am a beneficiary of apartheid, I was born white, I grew up and was educated within a white education system but I was too young to do anything about it. By the time I was old enough to participate in the discourse and to take action, apartheid had already come to an end. When I do attempt to involve myself in work to help those less privileged, I find myself accused of being an interfering white liberal. I want to help, but there is not much I can do without being demonised for my whiteness, fairly or unfairly.

      This leaves me feeling powerless to help, unable to participate and vilified by my peers for something over which I have no control. It is not a case of being unwilling to engage with this, it is that through engagement, I inadvertently uphold the bastion of white privilege that I do not care to be part of.

      I will not spend my life cowering before my own guilt, I will continue to engage where I can, but I cannot help but feel that there is a growing sense of desperation and a lack of accountability for the individual actions of the people in our society. I will also not apologise for being white, I was born this way and I cannot change that.

      When our society realises that the problem is much larger than just race, but is also a class struggle; when we throw off the shackles of racism and engage with the classism that defines our society in a meaningful manner, that is when we will begin to really change!

    • Petrus

      The writer makes many good points, and I think he is right in many ways that the positive reconciliation in the first 5 years of democracy has not been sustained. I thus appeal to all commentators to engage with his points and treat him and his argument with respect and dignity. So many racial conflicts are a result of people not treating others with basic dignity. This is a prayer that I am sure Mr Mandela would support.

    • Petrus

      I also think part of the problem is the SA economy is really battling now. During the Mandela and Mbeki years there was a huge boom driven by the lifting of sanctions, the opening up of the SA economy to global trade, the commodity boom, and some very wise policies by Manuel and Mboweni. We forget that SA had 6% growth, no deficit, low inflation and a big reduction in the number of people living below the poverty line. Since 2010 we have zero growth, high inflation, a large deficit and the mining industry has been severely damaged and has completely missed out the commodity boom – which is now over. Hence all races are now under siege economically. SA needs an economic NEW DEAL – which will also help with reconciliation.

    • Yaj

      The ANC was duped and/or sold out to the neoliberal macroeconomic policy framework which has only served the interests of the elite within the previously advantaged community and widened inequality in this country.

      In simple terms , the rich get richer and the poor get poorer under this debt-based money system of fractional reserve banking and compound interest.

      We need to change this monetary /banking system to serve the interests of the people as a whole in order to begin to address the legacy of dispossession in this country.

      We can start with a public banking system and a universal basic income grant.

      Then we can replace income tax and VAT with a LAND tax , a carbon tax and a levy on all financial transactions.

      BEE and affirmative action are ineffective tools -they only tinker at the surface of things and lead to cronyism and a corrupt political elite.

      We need fundamental yet simply implemented and radical changes in economic policy which will be effective in a systemic manner.

      Educate and liberate ourselves from debt bondage.

    • Brian B

      Another self appointed political analyst takes advantage of Mandela’s state of health in an obscene and tasteless attempt to polarize the community.
      Madiba tried his utmost to to make reconciliation a reality . Although the hierarchy have traded on his image they have not followed his example.
      Instead the blame game and the racial card have become the order of the day.
      Give us a break.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      @ Petrus

      There was no boom in the Mbeki and Mandela years – the money coming in was to buy existing assets (property and shares) not to establish new businesses. That is when all the parastatals and state land was sold.

    • bernpm

      @ Yaj #: brilliantly put! The world is are still a long way away from the positive money ideals. Positive money is worth an article on its own

    • http://N/A tarupiwa

      Mandela cant come back to life. We all end up dead – good or bad.
      Its time to reckon.
      What Mandela did, a few can match.
      But, to Deitify Mandela in the name of western expedience is serious robbery of African dreams.
      Choices must be made – we cant sustain the African dream by merely crinching on one son’s symbolic struggle. There is more work to be done. Africans are not free yet.

    • Gregg Clarke

      I wonder what our dear Madiba would think of this article., I wonder what his (Nzo’s) views are towards the dispicably corrupt behaviour of the country’s so called leaders. I am also curious as to his thoughts on what the ANC forefathers, the people who truly suffered the most, would think of this unforgivable behaviour. Talk about “spitting on his face”.

    • bizwe

      Its all about the ANC having failed to seize the opportune moment of effectively applying BEE and AA including partly nationalising land,banks and other strategic economic points,to address the economic imbalances of the past.Instead black people choose to be brainwashed by the ANC amidst wanton corruption and slate politics.We have the crown of freedom but its jewels remain with oppressive and exploitative beneficiaries of white minority rule.In the main we,black people are to blame for the sorry socio-economic state we are in for failing to keep our heads when we vote.The ANC is not at all interested in freedom,they even abandoned uMkhonto weSizwe a force that pulled ANC from the ashes in the 70s.How then can they respect me and you? Forget about voting for the ANC,choose another party.

    • Paul Scott

      I read it on twitter first

    • Paul Scott

      There is no rainbow nation and there was never one! Lets stop pretending.

    • Lucy

      If you claim to love Madiba, then you would know that he aimed for blacks and whites to work TOGETHER. Judging by your “letter,” it would seem as if you wish for a reverse Apartheid. Would Madiba want that? I think not.