God is in the details…

Apartheid was legalised corruption

South African public discourse is rightly preoccupied with corruption, particularly this week after the anti-corruption marches in Joburg and Cape Town.

Our discussions and responses, as robust as we would like to believe they are, exhibit significant gaps which, by their existence, are to the benefit of the status quo.

The biggest of these is the perception that corruption is particularly a post-1994 public sector phenomenon, which is inaccurate.

Our discourse, even in the way in which we teach the history of apartheid, conveniently seldom articulates apartheid as grand corruption, which it was in every way. And this is how we end up with many confident assertions that things were better then and that the apartheid administration was cleaner than the current administration.

 While I believe we shouldn’t compare ourselves with apartheid, a time so deliberately and calculatingly atrocious and on such a grand scale that almost anything would be better, it is this inability or unwillingness to accept apartheid as corruption that informs a lot of apartheid nostalgia, even by self-styled lovers of justice, because it is unfathomable that what they are hankering for is a time of corruption.
In a recent Business Day column, Hennie van Vuuren wrote: “The baffling silence on apartheid corruption benefits the powerful and carpetbaggers in the new and old elite. Any attempt to pick at this issue is a threat to the status quo and thus a threat to the interests of politicians and businesspeople across the political spectrum.”

Moreover, the silence on apartheid and the manner in which it was legalised corruption is intentional, and to break it would not only implicate those who benefited from it, but demand a recognition of the humanity of the people who were broken to achieve it.

Part of the way we talk about contemporary corruption relies on the often racist “face of corruption” fat-cat trope. This is in stark contrast to the grand corruption of the apartheid era, which apparently had no face or beneficiaries – that’s a lie. That many white people benefited and continue to benefit and then use the “we didn’t know” defence is terrifying (the National Party was adept at covering up the extent of its criminality and theft, particularly when it came to defence and property).

As we try to grapple with current levels of corruption, our discourse has to stop the lie that the previous dispensation was a shining example of clean governance. It was a corruption so grand it seemed invisible.


Gugulethu Mhlungu 


It was a corruption so grand it seemed invisible – this about sums up the above article for me. I for one do not believe that the evils of the past should be erased or forgotten about. Apartheid was a system devised by men who were either determined to stay ass in the butter or feared becoming an oppressed minority.

Western Cape turning into new Orania – Joemat-Pettersson

Western Cape needs to be freed – minister

The above links are from articles that appeared on news24 over the weekend 3/4 October. The ANC’s rhetoric is fast becoming something that concerns me, as it doesn’t sound like a party that interested in keeping SA as a democracy.

Apart-hate isn’t dead, it’s just under new management. The Looting and the Lying has reached EPIC proportions. Now there’s talk of JZ serving a third term….

Gugulethu, News24 used to allow us peasants the opportunity to comment on articles like yours, but they shot themselves in the head and then turned off this feature – so this is my reply to you and your ‘article’ – pull your head out of your ass, SA is in a very bad place – and set to get a lot worse if people don’t wake up to just how bad the party that replaced the Nats is. The heady days if Madiba are gone, courtesy of Jacob Zuma and his team of flunkies we are a democracy in name only. The ANC is allying itself with the communists as it knows its hold on power is slipping and will need their backing when it eventually loses. And if you think the answer is Julius Malema – then you need a brain scan.

United we can do so much more than we can divided – and divided is exactly how the ANC wants us, so that when we vote, we vote with our Anger, our Fears and Prejudices – and not our brains.


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