As I understand it, first-time inmates in the American prison system figure out very early on that while on the outside activities and survival may depend on which gang you belong to (and there are thousands of them), on the inside your choices become constrained by a simple reality, and that is everything is based on race and controlled by far fewer groups. There are exceptions, of course, such as a wild and drug-obsessed eccentric white South African I once met, who at some point did time in a California prison (the LA area if I remember correctly) for a bunch of offenses I can’t specifically recall, but which were very likely a mixture of narcotics and immigration law contraventions.

The way he told the story, when he was asked about his race in a prison admission questionnaire, the guy wrote “African” instead of “White” or “Caucasian”. As anybody with minimal knowledge of the American prison system (such as myself) will tell you, that’s suicide. Maybe he genuinely misunderstood the question, but I think it’s more likely he just wanted to mess around with the officials. Whatever his reasons, and I never got a clear answer, that’s what he did. Obviously this presented a serious problem for the prison administration because given the realities of the system, the whites would see him as a “white nigger” and “race traitor”, the blacks would see him as a white guy pretending to be black and the Latinos much the same as the blacks. In other words, there was a three-way green light on this guy and the paperwork that would come after his corpse was a nightmare.  The way he told it, the administration came up with a solution- a huge black guy who had an interest in all things African was moved to his cell and somebody paid him to protect the silly, skinny white dude from the storm that was just itching to unleash itself on him from all sides. This went on until he was released and then deported (alive and in one piece, with rectum of the same size when he went in) from the U.S.

Much as a lot of politicians strive to deny it, South Africa’s reality has been and continues to be based on race too. Of course, there are those who genuinely do not care about such a distinction, but they are in the minority-and SA president Jacob Zuma had something to say about minorities… For most South Africans who engage in relations of whatever type across race lines, the only way such relations can succeed is if they studiously ignore the enraged combination of 400 pound gorilla and elephant in the room.

Such pretense works for many, but there are those who neither feel nor see a need to pretend, and for the most part, no matter what “Progressive” propaganda may say to the contrary, they ain’t white. In the “old days” during apartheid, the social pecking order from top to bottom was white men and women, coloured (equivalent of mulattoes) men and women, Chinese men and women, Indian men and women, and at the bottom, black men and women. These days, the order is slightly altered, in that the blacks and whites have switched places while the middle stayed the same and for purposes of gender politics, government policies and legislation have paid lip service to the empowerment of women but deny them access to real power.

Another form of pretense was that engaged in by the conservative elements of the left and right wings of the South African political spectrum. These people were so stuck in their ideological silos that they refused to have anything to do with their opponents. However, what they failed to understand is that if systems are created in order to halt or even reverse entropy, it is an inescapable part of their nature to seek and maintain balance within and at least immediately outside their spheres of control. In other words, even these extremes of the spectrum had some elements that were attempting to seek some semblance of equilibrium in order to stabilize the situation and prevent explosions that would bring down the whole edifice.

These efforts to create a framework for race relations found a measure of vindication and support during the first five years of post-apartheid democracy while Nelson Mandela was president of the country. The man is widely credited with a miraculous saint-like ability to rise above the effects of his personal history and in the process reconcile himself with his former enemies. Knowing what I know of human nature, I think this was more a matter of public relations in order to advance an agenda which sought to prevent an all-out race war, as well as encourage foreign investment among many other goals. Whatever Mandela’s personal motivations were (I was not and am not privy to them), there’s no denying the man did far more to bring South Africans together than all the other subsequent presidents combined, and at least for that brief period whites appeared to have a place under the African sun. What nobody outside the decision-making circle realized until much later, was that while Nelson Mandela was the symbol around which South Africans of all races united, he was just a figurehead and ideas man. Behind the dazzling charm and repeated calls of reconciliation for the sake of a non-racial future was his deputy president Thabo Mbeki (one of two, the other being F.W. de Klerk), a man who specialized in system implementation and who was the eminence grise (grey eminence) behind the colorful façade of the Rainbow Nation proclaimed by then-Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Broadly speaking, Mbeki is the product of three things- the mid-twentieth century realization that education is key in defeating an enemy who seeks to keep one ignorant in order to rule him, and his father, Govan Mbeki, who not only understood this but bought into the idea and passed it onto his children. As such, while Thabo made some mistakes as president which had lethal consequences (his denial of the link between HIV and AIDS was blamed for causing over 330.000 deaths, while his refusal to adequately fund the military combined with ambitious peacekeeping operations and a treaty with the Central African Republic led to the deaths of 15 Parabats during and after the Battle of Bangui along with dozens of other military fatalities over the years), by and large he proved that an educated leader who is surrounded by (mostly) educated colleagues can lead a country to prosperity even if the organization they represent lacks any previous national governance experience.

The third and perhaps most important contributing factor to Mbeki’s character was the fact that unlike many other ANC members, he was protected. His parents were Govan and Epainette Mbeki, and they were “ANC royalty”. Thabo was a pain in the ass by 1962 as far as the newly born apartheid regime was concerned (South Africa became independent in 1961), but back then it was his father who mattered more- and if the government couldn’t get Govan after it banned the ANC, then killing his most promising son was the next best thing. The ANC recognized the danger and impact any harm to Thabo would have on Govan and Epainette, so they smuggled him out of the country as part of a soccer team. After that, Thabo Mbeki would spend the next 28 years “in exile”, a lot of it in the United Kingdom, where as far as I know he got a degree in economics- unlike Jacob Zuma, who only has four years of primary school education. Beyond that, he also underwent military training in the USSR and spent the following years in a succession of African countries, all the while fighting a political communication war against the apartheid regime.

In my view, these circumstances conspired to create a man who was sufficiently sheltered from reality on the ground to think the theories he’d learned in academic tomes actually worked as advertised. Coupled with the protection he received, a superficial superiority university education bestowed upon him apparently led Thabo to think his theoretical models had an unshakeable basis in reality and that everybody else was wrong while he was always right. To throw more gasoline onto the fire that raged eventually, serious losses he endured (an earlier girlfriend and son which resulted disappeared at some point, assassination by unknown parties is suspected) coupled with the treacherous nature of faction-riven ANC politics and psychological warfare efforts of the apartheid regime turned him into an apparent insecure control freak with borderline narcissistic tendencies who strongly prefers a wonderful façade plastered sustainably over the incredibly high-stress and complex swirling mess underneath.

Sometimes the edifice cracked a little, like when he had some sort of argument with Winnie Mandela and barred her from a political rally. She showed up against his wishes and Mbeki had a small outburst which lasted perhaps three seconds, after which he got himself under very tight control once again. The second instance I remember was when then-police commissioner Jackie Selebi was under investigation for corruption and expected to be arrested. Contrary to prior orders to the media, a reporter dared to ask when Selebi would be arrested, and Mbeki’s response was angrier than usual.

Another story goes that the idealistic Mbeki went to Moscow for a chat with former Soviet communists about how to make South Africa a communist country. Apparently the former communist politicians laughed in Mbeki’s earnest face and explained what he believed was due to Soviet propaganda, that it was all a failure not worth repeating. Back in South Africa during Mandela’s presidency, Thabo Mbeki was the man who dealt with the practicalities of the president’s ideas and began to implement legislation such as Affirmative Action (AA), Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Employment Equity (EE), as well as help drive the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) which Mandela had promised impoverished black people would build 5.000.000 houses in five years. That number was impossible given South Africa didn’t have the capability to build that much so fast, and worse, it turned out the whole process was a mess of corruption and incompetence due to AA and BEE which stipulated building contracts should be given to “emerging contractors” and the “previously disadvantaged”, ie. black people who had no idea what they were doing. In the end, it took about seven years to build 1.100.000 houses which on average lacked foundations, water and sewage connections and whose walls tilted and cracked six months after they were built. The whole program cost an estimated R70.000.000.000 and to repair the damage caused by such incompetence, the same amount again- something the national government has no money or desire to do, and instead has dumped the responsibility on city and provincial administrations who tackle these issues on an individual basis for houses built until a certain cut-off date. Considering these RDP houses are smaller and more poorly built than the ones the apartheid regime once offered to build for poor black people (but which the ANC refused and derided the National Party for even offering), corruption regarding placement on the housing waiting lists and illegal occupation of homes, the whole thing is a mess which really upset many of the poor blacks who make up the ANC’s voter base.

Beyond that, Thabo Mbeki waited for Mandela’s term to end, then after he became president, began to alienate the whites. To that end, all one has to do is look at lists of generals in the military as well as the police to see there were whites in leadership positions during Mandela’s presidency, but after Mbeki took over, they were replaced by blacks and it has stayed this way ever since with only a few exceptions- former air force chief general Carlo Gagiano being one of them, who lasted until Zuma’s first presidency. This is evident across most, if not all government departments. The aggressive drive to implement AA, BEE and EE found traction and began to have an impact on the economy, but these policies were unrealistic in their expectations that getting black company directors and CEOs was merely a matter of legislation. This put big, traditionally white-owned companies in a quandary, because they had to find black leaders fast or risk legal repercussions. Since directors and CEOs take at least two decades to train and groom for leadership (with many failures along the way), there were only a handful available and this led to the practice of one black guy having five or more directorships in as many companies. At the same time, it also brought about “fronting”, which was the desperate measure some white company bosses resorted to by making an illiterate gardener or handyman a supposed company director just so they could say on their BEE certificate application that yes, they did have at least one black company director…

Another multi-faceted problem traces its roots to the “Mandela era”, and that is the state of agriculture. South African farmers (mostly white Afrikaners) used to get subsidies and technological assistance from the government. This lasted until 1996, when the state stopped paying subsidies, and in 1998, when it disbanded the Commandos, who were army-related rural security units. When one adds to it increasingly anti-white policies and utterances of government figures, what you get is tens of thousands of farmers who left agriculture, changed to wildlife farming (lions, cheetahs, antelopes and such), were murdered (nearly 4.000 dead since 1994) and God only knows how many emigrated to the greener pastures and 99 year leases of the DR Congo, Angola, Zambia and other places which appreciate their hard work, competence and dedication to feeding an entire nation. Please keep the farm situation in mind, because it has an important role in what comes later.

During Mandela’s administration, South African government policy was investor-friendly and directed towards Western nations. Under Mbeki, this began to slowly pivot towards the East, specifically Russia, China and Iran. It was very likely driven by the agendas of communists in the ANC and was aided by the Global War On Terror (GWOT) that followed the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The enablement came about because by necessity the political and economic eyes of NATO countries shifted to Afghanistan and Iraq, which left Africa in an economic and political limbo that was taken advantage of by Russia and China to a spectacular degree. There was no other way for the West. They had to take their eyes off this strategic ball for over a decade because the majority of their resources went to fight those two wars and their spin-off conflicts, but it proved to be disastrous for much of Africa, especially the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The events and leaders’ decisions in the period from 2001 until today led to increasing economic hardship for South Africans and deterioration in relations between the black-dominated government and whites, mostly through ill-inspired national economic policies, the unsustainable bloating of the government machinery with well paid (usually 30% more than in the revenue-generating private sector) but incompetent bureaucrats who have pretty much rendered ineffective almost every department except the South African Revenue Service (SARS). That’s not surprising. After all, if you’re going to waste and/or steal money, you must first have a very good system of revenue collection to get as much as possible, and if SARS excels at anything, it is collection… As an example, the Labour Department is a damned nightmare. During apartheid, the department used to pay out unemployment insurance fund (UIF) benefits by the end of the first month of unemployment at the latest. These days, a pregnant woman will go on a three-month maternity leave she’s entitled to and only receive her UIF benefits a month or two AFTER she returns to work. That is a fact I know from a woman to whom this happened, and every once in a while stories of Labour Department inefficiency and incompetence surface in newspaper alongside the enraged rants of people frustrated beyond belief.

The South African pivot towards the East which began during Mbeki’s administration pretty much destroyed the local textile and electronics manufacturing industries while allowing increasing quantities of poorly made goods from China to flood the market. At the same time, the lack of subsidies and security for farmers along with a few droughts and decay in water infrastructure has reduced South Africa to importing food, whereas it used to be not only self-sufficient during apartheid, but also more than able to export. Coupled with the effects of increasingly entrenched corruption in both government and private sectors and the unfortunate global financial crisis which began in 2008 but only hit locally in 2010, South Africa’s economy is just a few fractions of a percent above undeniable recession and has been so for at least two years. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Zuma’s corrupt antics and far less educated Cabinet colleagues (compared to Mbeki’s) have placed added strain on an already faltering economy. But wait, there’s more!

The situation gets even worse. Jacob Zuma has said that “ANC will rule until Jesus comes” and his colleagues are desperate to make sure that remains the case. The only way they have is to buy as many black votes as possible, because they most assuredly have no competence to keep any other promises. The problem with that is there’s far less available revenue than before and such expenditure is unsustainable, especially when one considers only about 5.000.000 out of a population of 54.000.000 pay income tax and a lot of those are white… Why is that a problem? Simply stated, whites have been watching helplessly for 23 years how their hard-earned money is taken through taxes and squandered by successively incompetent governments.

As bad as that is, the whites have also found themselves under increasing attack by the black-dominated government and blamed for the country’s problems as if they’re the ones in charge. This has scared enough of them, especially since Zuma began to say “You have fewer rights because you are a minority. Absolutely, that’s how democracy works.”, that many wealthy people have left the country and took their money with them. It didn’t happen all at once, though this type of emigration tends to spike when there are anti-white incidents, such as the latest of Zuma’s statements of intent. To whit, around three months ago, Zuma began to go against published ANC policy and threatened white ownership of agricultural land by advocating nationalization without compensation. Now this was initially one of the main campaign promises of Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters party, but for some reason Zuma has decided to jump on this potentially disastrous bandwagon.

As soon as he said it, emigration agencies’ phones began to ring off the hook and thousands upon thousands of queries about emigration to the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia began to pour in. Added to the financial bloodbath  that followed Zuma’s sacking of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene which wiped over R150.000.000.000 off bank stocks’ value within the first day (the economy lost an estimated R550.000.000.000 in the end) and downgrade of sovereign debt to junk after Pravin Gordhan was recently fired on the basis of a dubious intelligence report which alleged Gordhan wanted to tell foreign investors the truth (as opposed to the fairy tale he told them during last year’s confidence-building tour) about South Africa and Zuma’s policies, and the country finds itself standing on the edge of a socio-economic precipice for which “white monopoly capital”, “imperialists” and “colonialists” are being blamed. In other words, hardworking white people are being blamed for the failures and corrupt waste of a black-dominated ANC government and the possibility of a race war along with a Zimbabwe-style nationalization drive is appearing increasingly likely.

Dear readers, this is the end of Part 1. In Part 2, I shall endeavor to explain how the promise of a non-racial South Africa was betrayed by black supremacist and communist-racist factions of the ANC who currently control the party and by extension, the South African government, as well as give more detailed explanations about why the number of farm murders began to happen and have increased since the late 1990s, why “white monopoly capital” is a race-baiting myth and whites feel increasingly insecure in the land of their birth. This isn’t television, but as they say, stay tuned!

Mircea Negres

Port Elizabeth

South Africa