Yesterday, Dr Blade Nzimande declared the government one of darkies during the debate over last week’s State of the Nation address. News24 reports him saying:
“If the matric results are bad, this is taken as proof that this government of darkies is incapable. If the matric pass rate goes up it means the results have been manipulated by these darkies.”
I suppose we have got to ask ourselves what Dr Nzimande means here. Can only a black person be a darkie? If so, then Dr Nzimande has forgotten that this is not a government of darkies, as two pretty pale members of his own party (the South African Communist Party (SACP)), Rob Davies and Jeremy Cronin, occupy cabinet portfolios. Davies is Minister of Trade and Industry and Cronin is Deputy Minister of Transport.
I am also not sure who is dark enough to be declared a darkie. Would Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel? Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan? Minister of Agriculture, Tina Joematt-Piettersson, and her deputy, the FF+’s Piet Mulder? Minister of Communications, Roy Padayachie? Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel? Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk?
The government is not one of darkies. From what I see above it has a pretty decent representation of South Africa. And what really irritates me is Dr Nzimande’s inference that only darkies play any part in government.
What Dr Nzimande is doing is reinforcing the ideas of people like Steve Hofmeyr, that modern-day South Africa is for black people only. That there is a cultural genocide going on. That white, coloured and Indian folks have been relegated to second-class citizens. That Wimbledon/Perth/Canada refugee status is the way to go. What utter crap.
The ANC, which the SACP party aligns itself to (without standing in any election itself) has always been a party that is open to all in South Africa. Being a freedom movement throughout the days of apartheid, it lends itself to support from the black majority of South Africa, but has never exclusively catered to this group of people. Dr Nzimande’s utterances – although he says government and not ANC (in many people's eyes these are the same thing) – seem to allude to the opposite.
The ANC has never declared South Africa only for black people. The ANC has never solely included black people in government in every election it has won. The idea that only black people have a role in leading South Africa is against the philosophies of the ruling party, and these ideals are being muddied with the aforementioned quote.
That someone of the intelligence of Dr Nzimande could go around peddling these ideas, indirectly – admittedly – is irresponsible. There are many people in government helping push South Africa forward who aren’t darkies alongside many who are. How dare you attempt to ignore them?