The Political Miseducation of Lindiwe Mazibuko


Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA spokesperson, was addressing the Cape Town Press Club during the week and made very astonishing remarks around the challenge of transformation in the country. In her speech, Mazibuko suggested that in redressing the historical imbalances in the country, Africans should not receive preferential treatment. Mazibuko appears to believe that whites in South Africa, who benefitted from the skewed and discriminatory system of apartheid, somehow, need some sort of redress as well.

It is difficult to establish whether Mazibuko was expressing her own personal views or was merely towing the party line. In either instance, it would be tragic that an African, regardless of their current circumstances, would want to equate the socio-economic challenges facing the majority who are poor with those of the privileged minority. It is this sort of misguided thinking that delays progress and compromises the transformation agenda in the country. It is clear from Mazibuko’s utterances that the DA seeks to preserve white privilege to the detriment of the majority who clamour for the rapid pace of tranformation.

Perhaps Mazibuko and her DA are ignorant of the sobering facts on the ground. The Commission for Employment Equity has reported that 73% of top management positions in the country are occupied by whites. Unemployment among whites is below 6% when among the historical disadvantaged majority it exceeds 26%. The economy after 17 years of democracy is still largely controlled by whites, as evidence by their direct ownership of the JSE. The majority who are poor in the country are Africans. Treating them as of equal circumstances to their privileged white South Africans will not assist nor advance their cause.

Mazibuko wants the country to pretend that our history is not a history that is defined by colour; and that we must ignore that the present circumstances of South Africans are a sad reflection of that history. To address these historical injustices we cannot over look race. It is in fact on the basis of race, as allowed by the Constitution, that we must proceed to redress those historical wrongs. Africans should stop being apologetic when confronting their own challenges and attempt to placade irrational fears of others who use such fear to hold the transformation agenda and progress to ransom.

Mazibuko, as a young African leader, must stop making excuses for the preservation of white privilege in order to appeal to her white constituency. The burden of responsibililty to advance transformation in the country rests on her DA shoulders too. Failure to redress the historical injustices is an indictment on her as well. The sooner African leaders in the DA, like herself, realise that they are part of the problem of lack of transformation, the sooner we can all begin to move forward in one direction.

The DA claims to be running the most efficient and least ‘corrupt’ province, yet such efficiencies do not significantly benefit the majority in the Western Cape who are African, Coloured and poor. We still hear of apartheid-style forced removals of shack dwellers in the Western Cape. Income inequality in the Western Cape is staggering in spite of how ‘efficient and least corrupt’ the DA is.

These are the sad realities that we cannot ignore nor can we pretend they do not exist. They are the consequence of racist policies of the past; and to address them, Mazibuko, should acknowledge that race is an important factor and begin to challenge the ‘pro-white privilege thinking’ within her own party. We cannot afford to have beautiful young minds like her championing counter-productive and anti-transformation agendas. The DA will remain steeped its pro-white privilege traditions if Afrcan leaders like Mazibuko do not become architects of change from within. The attitude and mindset of those in the DA needs to transform in order that the broader agenda of transformation registers in their political conscience.

Mazibuko needs to wake up and smell the coffee!

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About Sentletse

This blog may contain views on any subject which may upset sensitive readers. Parental Guidance is strongly advised!!! View all posts by Sentletse

22 responses to “The Political Miseducation of Lindiwe Mazibuko

  • ongopotse

    Its sad, that she has such slow-to progress opinions. We cannot proceed to a place where we can scrap EE/AA, as long as DA or opposition keep blocking progress.

  • Thokozane

    It was through race that the economic scales were titled, and its amazing how other races cry foul when the same criteria is used to balance the equation.

  • Phoshoko Donald

    The likes of Mazibukos are a sad reality in SA.She confirms the notion that DA use African leaders in their party to parade them as advocating for transformation in SA.Luckily,majority of us are not misled by her and we will continue to defend and advance the liberation of Africans,blacks in particular for economic freedom.

  • Thapelo

    Good Sentletse, it’s diabolical to undermine black aspirations with whites fears.

  • bhubezi

    Madala I think you missed the gist of Lindiwe’s address about “Race Politics in South Africa” as badly a Khune missed that penalty in the Black Label Cup match.
    The brutality of apartheid affected everyone, in different ways, including its victims (predominantly black) and its perpetrators (predominantly white). So redress/healing is indeed required by all South Africans.
    In her address Lindiwe states that “The politics of South Africa is increasingly about the struggle to overcome our past in particular to undo the emotional and socio economic damage wrought by policies of racial and gender discrimination under apartheid”.
    She makes it clear that to her and her party redressing the imbalances of the past is about striving towards equality and diversity, in particular, equality of access to opportunity, resources and power; as opposed to creating a black ruling class which will be at the centre of every aspect of public life.
    Basically, like Nelson Mandela, she is opposed to swapping white domination for black domination
    In addition to seeking to redress the imbalances of the past she and her party also seek to better understand, defend and protect every citizen’s rights and freedom.
    Nowhere in her address does she advocate that race must be over looked to address any historical injustices. Frankly she say’s nothing different from what is contained in the preamble of the country’s constitution “Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights” “Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person”.
    By all means question her and the DA’s bona fides regarding transformation but don’t be liberal in your interpretation of her address.
    Hopefully her address points to a party which intends to move away from its current anti transformation agenda.

  • Nomalanga

    I dont think Sentletse in any way misunderstood Mazibuko’s article/ speech.

    Mazibuko invoked the idea of Black domination – whatever that is – in association with the idea of Black politics.

    In reality she was associating anyone with Black politics with Malema’s sometimes harsh rhetoric about white South Africans.

    In other words, Mazibuko’s speech, probably out of ignorance and cheap politicking, conflated the cause of Black Consciousness with the ‘race’ ranting of Julius.

    Black politics, at least, Black Consciousness, is entirely about everyone being equal humans.

    What Mazibuko’s speech was intended to do was shut down the space for Black people to talk about their own liberation and mark it as Black politics because that get’s to the racists in the DA.

    There has never been talk in Black politics about dominating anybody.

    What Mazibuko implies is that whites need some kind of redress.

    This is an inch away from being an apartheid denialist.

    But no suprises, the same thing happened in Germany after WW2, there was not one person who had ever been a Nazi.

    Mazibuko clearly has no intellectual conception of what Black politics is otherwise she wouldnt have gone so far as to conflate this with her new invention (and abuse of Mandela’s words) in the term ‘Black Domination’.

    Her use of the term Black domination, and the subtle conflation/ association of it with her misconstrual of Black politics – is really another form of appeasing white conservatives in her party, in other words, she’s just saying ‘Beware of the New Swaart Gevaar, and oh, I’m one of the good blacks’

    At this point, its clear that Helen Zille knows more about Black Consciousness/ the tradition of Black politics than Mazibuko.

    On commemoration of Biko’s death, Zille said that she understood that some Black people do consider Black Consciousness as a step towards non-racialism.

    And she said that as a form of acceptance, not in a hostile way.

    So right now, Mazibuko is just really guilty of ignorance, not reading enough in the Black intellectual traditions, or of being embarrassed to be associated with people that use the term Black unapologetically.

    I dont think Sentletse’s reading of her speech was liberal at all. It was pretty accurate I’d say.

    There was never anything about Black politics/ Black Consciousness that implied that South African whites had no piece under the sun.

    On the contrary – Black Consciousness insists that whites stop behaving and seeing themselves as a detached minority in Africa.

    But the DA – keeps going on about whites as minorities – no surprise then that they next thing they do is delegitimise Black politics so as to ensure that their ‘minority’ constituency keeps voting for them.

    It must be an interesting situation to be a Black spokesperson of the party that attracted most of the right wing conservative vote in the last elections.

    Th same right wing that attacked and distorted Athol Trollip’s email and accused him wrongly of insulting Afrikaners.

    Mazibuko’s speech was entirely dedicated to placating fictional conservative white fears.

    She can go read some Biko then maybe some Mudimbe or go back to school.

  • Morwa wa Afrika

    White people need t heal from apartheid? What nonsense! They bear no scars, they held the whip…and we must help them heal? Spot on Sentletse

  • Baer (@thisbebaer)

    There’s no point in engaging with the substance of the post- that never gets us anywhere- but I’ll comment on the tangent:

    Violence (in whatever form) hurts the perpetrator as much as it does the victim.

  • African2

    I’m most amazed that this is the viewpoint held by black South Africans (judging from the post and follow-up comments)..
    First point: when the white settlers arrived, how is it that they were able to take over the land?

    Second point: Why are black South Africans referred to as Africans now? Black South Africans are much more xenophobic than white South Africans, just look back at the Xenophobic attacks in the recent past. That was “african” against “african” violence. The “us” of the term “african” didn’t apply then – it was a different “us” against a “them” of the same colour but from another country – and who determined the border lines anyway? Don’t think it was black people, so why are they against each other?
    Following on from this, is a white South African no longer an African? Is a Black Brit no longer European? I’m sure those black people would not want to leave England and move here.

    Third point: Since Apartheid ended 17 years ago, surely there has been enough time for the democratically elected government to have made enough changes in the economy to ensure lower unemployment rates (especially amongst the people who voted for them)? Is this the same attitude that originally let the white settlers move in and take over?

    When you drive your car, you look forward, when you want to reverse you look back. Same in life – if you want to go forward, you can’t keep looking backwards. The only person who suffers by dwelling on the past and seeking revenge is that person. The negativity/resentment/hatred eats away inside yourself like an acid and it achieves nothing.
    If you don’t see this, I hope you will one day as it’s the only way to greatness in life.

    Oh and please don’t forget that there were white people who fought for the end of apartheid, some very actively, others in more indirect ways such as sending black children overseas to better schools.
    Of course there were those who did nothing, but that was on both sides (not all black people took part in protests or marches and so on).

    • Maxamed Ibrahim (@masaafur)

      I totally agree with point 2. much less with 3, but follow up is good point about some whites fighting against apartheid. But that is like saying that some whites fought against the US government massacre Native Americans (which there were those people in public & politics). this matters little. What matters is what actually happened in the master narrative.On point one settlers arrived and conquer with guns & disease, thats how they got the land. As much as I like Mandela, he and others like him obviously chose to appeal to a human connection. But you don’t ask the slave master for your freedom. You take it because it belongs to you.

    • Robert

      There are always those who believe they have been wronged. Some rightly so. Now things must be given to them to make it right again. I did not massacre native Americans and owe them nothing. I owned no slaves and owe them nothing either yet there is always a group demanding justice. Typically in the form of money. Irish were grossly exploited in America as were many other “white” ethnic groups. I believe the most vulgar and gruesome acts of violence on black Africans is and has been done by other black Africans. Get educated, get over it. It is the ignorance and stupidity that makes one vulnerable to exploitation.

  • African2

    Just as a point of interest, I’ve just heard a story of a university student who hasn’t received textbooks for the year – the shop won’t release them until paid for (around R5000.00) and the government departments are not getting around to paying for them as they were supposed to. Good job! This poor person is supposed to write exams soon and no text books? Seriously, if anyone posting here is big enough to help out a fellow South African and sponsor these textbooks, let me know. (I’m not sure of the exact amount needed or even the race/gender of the person involved, does this make a difference?)

  • Dudu

    I have to agree with bhubezi. I think anyone with predetermined views of a party or person will not see it for what it is.
    As a child of a White father and a black mother born in the 70’s I find it an insult to say that my father did not suffer at the hands of oppressors. He refused to give up the love of his life and today they are still together.
    People speak of Black politics and black conciousness and expect other races to feel included. How is that possible? You contradict yourself in that statement. Human conciousness is what we need.

    To quote Nelson Mandela “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” there is no mistaking what the man said. ‘live together jn harmony with equal opportunities.’ How did Lindiwe abuse his words?
    Does the economic divide between black and white have to be bridged? Absolutely!! How do we do that?
    Let’s quote Nelson Mandela again “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

    We’ve had 17 years of freedom yet our minds are still focused on what the the white people did. We are becoming victims of our thoughts.

    It would be easy for me dislike white people for what they did to my parents and so many others. But I can’t punish the child for the mistakes of their fathers. Thankfully I was raised in a household where everyone was considered equal.

    Unless we stop with our ‘them and us’ attitude it’s hard to move forward.

    Sentletse made the point that 6% of the white population is unemployed while 26% of the African population is unemployed. Let’s not forget that Whites make up 9% of the population and Africans make up 79.5% of the population.

    I will say it over and over economic empowerment is not going to come from the nationalisation of mines or ‘land grabs’ it is through education.

    My comments may not be all over the place but I speak from the heart. I think it’s tome we look at ourselves and see why we hold the views that we do!

  • mthobisi

    As Blacks we should be speaking about WEALTH CREATION not TRANSFOMATION. I Hate! the Idea Of Depending on Whites like We are Incapable, let them DO Their own thing & WE DO OURS, simple as that!!!

  • Pule

    AMEN MTHOBISI!

    while we are all busy arguing with eachother about POLICIES trying to sound clever by using big words we just googled to get our point accross our good friend malema has probably just received another big cheque for doing absolutely nothing because he has some policital connections. All this because his party (the one with all the GREAT TRANSFORMATION POLICIES) plays with the lives of the 35 odd million poor people in the country, by keeping up promises of policies that will somehow take from whites and give to blacks! K*K MAN! Even if they take everything whites have and give to blacks, it will not help. There are maybe 5.5million white people. Do you think taking their wealth and redistributing it to the rest of the 50million people in SA will make a difference to each of the 50million!?! Not even such drastic action will make a difference to each of the poor people in the country.

    We should stop obsessing about policies and politics and get on with life. Think about how many people (black and white) have died since 1994 without seeing ANY difference because they had this misconception that politics will make them wealthy or get them out of shacks because they voted for the ANC.

    The government must keep the roads, schools and public health in order and crime under control. They must make it safe and give everyone a fair chance to generate their own wealth. If we hope government will create wealth for us then we are lazy or corrupt, or both!

    as an aside: senletse, be more careful when finding big fancy words on google! you know, you can’t always trust what you read on the internet.

  • Hagen Engler

    Feeling what you say, mostly,
    But mainly the way you say it. Fact is, whites will be benefittin from apartheid for the next 2-300 years. Politically, the whites who participate don’t understand that, and those who do understand that don’t feel entitled to join the continuing quest for emancipation. ultimately, as a white person your political choices are either passive support or paternalism.

  • Sasmart Suidafrika

    The person best qualified should do the job. Why not be the best country that we could possibly be? Let everyone strive to be the best qualified, rather than make excuses for the lazy. First you have to walk, before you can run. Until you can run, keep practicing!!

  • Thabo Nyakale (@Pantsular)

    common sense if not self love(black consciousness) should dictate to that misguided african sister. it is impossible to reverse the effects of apartheid without using race as a primary tool, especially because race was the main tool in creating the current socioeconomic situation. it is too early for her suggestions given that South Africa had been raped and colonised for over 300 years(since 1652) before we became independent(94). Mazibuko, stay black and let the rich minority defend their ill gotten riches

  • Buyongo

    I also want to throw in my 2c. South African politics will always be tinged with hatred and racism. The actions of white South Africans need payment, this is not because I preach violence towards others it is because white South Africa made it so. Africans are stuck in poverty and will not be able to move out of poverty so long as our economic future is determined by the minority race. We as Africans have been fighting minority rule for hundreds of years and it wasn’t until “The scramble for Africa” when Europe came together to conquer Africa. I believe this is even celebrated and white people (Europeans) took on the role of our saviours(“white man’s burden”). Now in South Africa minority rule placed Africans into the role of labour. The extent of this is such that Apartheid South Africa would even import Africans from as far as Malawi. They went as far as separating people(Group areas act) like had been done with the “Scramble” in most cases and this is similar to Natzi’s and Poland, United States of America and it’s African population where they promote violence and drug abuse in the communities in order to subdue them. The effects are alcoholism in our communities, low quality of education, poor social services, and more. Now remember this is a white created problem because they wanted to dominate us and make us subservient. Generations of defiant Africans has led to liberation but we still remain with the same “white created problem” so you can not say in anyway that race must be ignored when it is race that made it so. The current way of doing things where people murmur and talk in the shadows will eventually turn to a situation where African anger will boil over and politicians like the above will have no bearing. I do not think we should be protecting white imperialism when it is white imperialism we have been fighting for so long. Transformation will happen through peace or violence as long as we continue to maintain protectionist behaviour of a white minority’s economic interest, our options only become bleaker. I believe we have only one viable solution for South Africa and SADC as a whole and that is a massive increase in expenditure directed at investments in infrastructure and human capital, focus on increasing training and development of our youth in order to lift them out of poverty. The people need jobs otherwise we will strike at anyone we consider different from us who we think is a threat (Mind you the biggest threat Africans have always had is their white population!). Frustration will continue to grow so long as our leadership continues to ignore the youth, the youth will grow to continue resentment of our former oppressors who like the system just the way it is because they can continue to maintain economic control. Transformation shouldn’t even be on debate as it is a given. The way I see it is continue to beat about the bush about transformation and Africans will get very angry and take by force. Even if all they will find is scraps from a white mans table that we need to share with our large families!

  • James Last

    As long as we keep recriminating the past we will regress to the dark ages.
    Time to stop recriminating and time to roll up ones sleeves to better SA for everyone.As long as we keep on pointing crooked fingers we will get nothing but unproductive destructive vitriol thrown back on both sides of the fence.Time to stop stirring the pot with articles like the one above , they are counterproductive ego massaging execises that try to promote by sensasionalism

  • Ruth

    Yes I am white, self-employed, and a recovering Catholic so could have quite likely have missed something but are our current issues predominately about race? Were we not fcked properly by multi corporations exploiting us in every way way before the ANC came into power? I don’t think there is good management in dealing with the high unemployment rate, police that don’t give a flying **** (first hand experiences talking) and education – I am also fully aware of the challenge to educate all children with the shameful infrastructure that was in place at the time is an ENORMOUS task – but we are more resourceful than throwing our hands in the air, facepalming and tut tut tutting. I think we all lose the plot and have very little hope when we focus on history that we can do nothing about instead of dealing with what is. South Africa is yet to be ‘well managed’ which in my opinion means ensuring the rights to all.

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