South Africa: What Is History? Why Do We Study It?

Published on 15th August 2017

 “History is not defined as the study of the past of human kind, but as the construction of the future in the name of life.”

Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop taught us that for us to chart the future, we must reconcile the past with the present. The South African government has literally banned history from the school curriculum and crudely distorted and falsified the history of the liberation struggle. There is also no effort to help elevate a continental lingua franca which every foreigner will have to learn if they want to communicate with us. Yet the ANC government has introduced Mandarin in South African schools.

The ANC government also wants to commit the worst blunder of making the teaching of Mathematics optional in schools. How can this be when the ancient Egyptians taught Pythagoras and the Greeks what mathematics they knew? This could be because those who have led the ANC are dilettantes. They are dabbling with history and don’t appreciate the its importance.

This submission is meant to attempt to be the lighthouse to those who are wandering in the wilderness and to raise burning issues concerning the current imbroglio.

South African President, Jacob Zuma, is fairly or unfairly described as the most corrupt politician South Africa has ever produced because he is alleged to be looting state coffers with the Gupta family. However, Zuma cannot be viewed in isolation. Leaders of the ANC, National Party and corporations were equally corrupt. Corruption was there during the apartheid era and continued with the secret negotiations the ANC, NP politicians and corporate leaders such as Harry Oppenheimer held. Professor Sampie Terreblanche captures these secret meetings in his book Lost in Transformation. In a chapter titled Apartheid Did not Die in his book Freedom Next Time, John Pilger also reveals the secret meetings that were held in London with Anglo-American chairman Gavin Relly which was attended by Thabo Mbeki. Relly also met Oliver Tambo and Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia in 1985. In his Peaceful Revolution, former NIS operative Niel Barnard says he met Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Essop Pahad in secret in Switzerland. Thabo Mbeki is the common denominator in these shenanigans.

In his Inside the South African Reserve Bank: Its Origins and Secrets Exposed, Stephen Mitford Goodson laid bare the money FW De Klerk stashed in a bank in Switzerland and that in the early 1990’s, Nelson Mandela had 20 million Pounds at Barings Bank and continues to write that the Rothschilds obtained South Africa for petty cash.

Zuma is accused of looting but not of selling the country together with his other ANC comrades.

In December, President Jacob Zuma will relinquish the Presidency of the governing party and in less than two years after he quits, general elections will be held. One wonders what goes through the President’s mind. These points are raised here because there are powerful and dangerous forces that are arrayed against him. Those forces are the ones who, according to some white authors, plotted and assassinated former South African Prime Minister and one of the apartheid architects HF Verwoerd because he had crossed their path. Not because those who assassinated him did so because of his apartheid policies but because he wanted to put a stop to their monopolies. One important thing that needs to be noted, especially by President Zuma, is that Verwoerd did not join the Anglo-American empire, Oppenheimers, Ruperts, and Wieses and looted with them as it is alleged Zuma is looting with the Guptas.

The first attempt on Verwoerd’s life was in April 1960 when he was shot twice in the head by David Pratt but miraculously survived. Pratt was arrested, taken to jail and finally transferred to a mental asylum where it is alleged he hanged himself. It is not clear whether or not these powerful and dangerous forces had a hand in the first assassination attempt. 

These forces looked at all the options open to them including replacing Verwoerd with Anton Rupert but failed. They also considered a motion of no confidence which stood no chance of taking off the ground because Verwoerd’s Nationalist Party had in March 1966 whites only general elections defeated the parties sponsored by the British and Americans such as the United Party and Progressive Party. Those who are not suffering from amnesia will remember that the Democratic Alliance (DA) evolved from those two parties. The DA is currently in the forefront of removing President Zuma from office. All the eight motions of no confidence against President Zuma failed. The DA now wants to dissolve parliament after the 8th August no confidence motion which was voted through a secret ballot was defeated.

Verwoerd was regarded as intelligent by many white writers. The recent such writing was by the late Allister Sparks which was viewed as outrageous by many people including myself. Verwoerd and his successor John Balthazar Vorster respected and feared PAC founding President, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe more than any other of his contemporary fellow freedom fighters. I will soon revert to Sobukwe.

I wonder if President Zuma and the ANC ever ask themselves why Verwoerd, Vorster and the western world respected and feared Sobukwe. Have they asked themselves why Harry Oppenheimer hated Sobukwe with a passion? Yet Oppenheimer was portrayed as having been against apartheid.  Sobukwe’s speeches should make it clear why he was respected and feared by some and loathed by those who made money on the backs of the oppressed African people. The following 1959 Sobukwe quote will make it clear:

“The Pan Africanist Congress has been launched, and since it is destined to play a most decisive role in the struggle for national liberation, I think it is in the interest not only of South Africa but of the world, that its Policy and ultimate goal should be stated authoritatively and unambiguously. I intend to do so in this article. Let me begin by saying that we are quite aware of the fact that we are faced with an overwhelming combination of forces internally, in the person of the white ruling minority, and externally in the person of the forces of western capitalism and international imperialism.”

These forces killed Sobukwe because of what he stood for and in turn Verwoerd for trying to stop their monopolies and for fighting for the exclusive rights and privileges of white people. Sobukwe fought and died for everybody especially the oppressed indigenous people as the following quote from his 1949 Fort Hare speech attests:

“I wish to make it clear again that we are anti-nobody. We are pro-Africa. We breathe, we dream, we live Africa; because Africa and humanity are inseparable. It is only by doing the same that the minorities in this land, the European, Coloured, and Indian, can secure mental and spiritual freedom. On the liberation of the African depends the liberation of the whole world. The future of the world lies with the oppressed and the Africans are the most oppressed people on earth. Not only in the continent of Africa but also in America and the West Indies. We have been accused of blood-thirstiness because we preach "noncollaboration." I wish to state here tonight that that is the only course open to us. History has taught us that a group in power has never voluntarily relinquished its position. It has always been forced to do so. And we do not expect miracles to happen in Africa. It is necessary for human progress that Africa be fully developed and only the African can do so.”

“We want to build a new Africa, and only we can build it. The opponents of African Nationalism, therefore, are hampering the progress and development not only of Africa, but of the whole world.” Mr President, what have you, ANC leaders, white leaders and political parties that are represented in parliament learnt from history?

By Sam Ditshego

This article has been read 1,607 times