Does the ANC only march against racism if the victims are from the apartheid bequeathed ‘African’ identity marker?

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By: Clyde Ramalaine

– ANC ZF Mgcawu Speaker Moses Moalosi was not suspended for his racist remarks against Coloureds but temporarily suspended for an explicit video that he recorded for political ends-

 

Yesterday the ANC, the governing party, marched to the offices of eNCA to express its disdain for the repetitive racist acts of journalist Lindsay Dentlinger who last week shot to infamy for her distinct interviews of four white and three black politicians.  Dentlinger distinguished herself for her choice insistence to instruct black politicians to wear a mask and to even cover their noses before she interviews them. This while she on at least four occasions interviewed and entertained white politicians never asking them for their masks let alone instructing how they ought to be worn. Naturally what Dentlinger did translates to undeniable racist behaviour.  The less said about the pathetic and highly insensitive if not cheap defence for a response from a black leadership at the helm of eNCA, the better. We know in Democratic South Africa a black CEO does not automatically translate to transformative values of non-racialism or equality. Dentlinger’s behaviour confirms the notion that COVID-19 is a black identity virus.

While the ANC staged marches across the country news broke of the suspension of the ANC Speaker of the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality Cllr Moses Moalosi. He resigned as speaker following a temporary suspension from the ANC due to an explicit video that went viral, which is the product of  Moalosi himself.  Unfortunately, this video is not a recording of two lovebirds, but the video appears to have more than a precarious twist to it since it is claimed there are much deeper internal enmity political connotations vibrating louder in a season of an organisation preparing for regional and provincial elections.

The incident warrants the rightful condemnation from all spheres of society, for its manifold disturbing messaging it conveys. Messages among others of an older man abusing his political position to bed a young lady. A politician recording his sexual escapades less concerned with the act but more obsessed to ensure the camera functions. Chauvinistic male power on display barking instructions to a subservient female to look into the camera while he lord’s over in power. A perverted, sick and repugnant demon-possessed soul who plausibly is not doing this for the first time.

Whatever the reasons for his choices, whatever his testosterone led and political intentions were, Moalosi deserves more than a suspension and warrants to be expelled from the ANC accompanied with several criminal charges for this his dastard act that he ensured went viral since he was personally recording this detestable act.

All sane people welcome the ANC’s action of a suspension against Moalosi for the aforementioned since it is the right thing to do.

However, distinct from this incident, Moses Moalosi is now a resigned former Speaker of the ZF Municipality.  Moalosi is also facing a provincial disciplinary hearing that details three charges immanent in 1. Rule 25. 17.1  Acting in breach of membership oath, 2. Rule 25.17.6, Showing racism, political intolerance and regionalism and 3. Rule 26. 17.7, Behaving in a manner that provokes or is likely to provoke or has the potential to potential to provoke division or impact negatively on the unity of the ANC.

These charges emanate from a recorded telephone call that Moalosi is overheard in which he is audibly and undeniably heard saying whatever he does now is for himself since he is tired of serving others. He is directly heard accusing the former Mayor of Siyanda of having promoted Coloureds. He is heard saying in Afrikaans:  “…net ‘n Klomp  Coloureds, dai plek is vol coloureds’ … die plek is vol net bedek met Coloureds, about Siyanda  District.”   These must constitute racist remarks on the part of Moalosi, remarks he level against Coloureds in his convictions as not deserving the apparent promotions that are his cause for concern. Moalosi is wholly oblivious to appreciate the reality of basic demographics as standard across South Africa that details majorities.  Of course, the Northern Cape is demographically predominantly predisposed to the majority population of the apartheid Coloured identity, no dissimilar to how the Eastern Cape is predominantly predisposed to the apartheid legacy of African identity and more so specifically the  Xhosa tribal identity. Why would a Speaker in a district where IDP’s, EPWP and employment equity policies stand appears not to appreciate the basics of who lives in his constituency? Why should Coloureds not be in majority in any position as is the case in every other province where others are majorities?

Yet, Moses Moalosi is not just a councillor and speaker but he is also believed to be a  chief lobbyist for a faction and group making up those who contend that the incumbent Regional Executive Committee (REC) is retained as such. This group again as factional personal interest politics in the ANC  leads is also backed by the Provincial Secretary Deshi Ngxanga who also hails from  Upington. The Provincial Secretary Deshi Ngxanga in line with this faction is in sync with the idea that the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in officials is wholly retained.  It is then plausible that this makes for the core reason why Moalosi who is an important cog for the retention group was not suspended for the blatant racist remarks against Coloureds for which he accuses the former Mayor of having erred to promoted Coloureds. It is also a known fact that Moalosi has the backing of the provincial secretary, Deshi Ngxanga who also drafted this interesting statement on Moalosi’s resignation. It is important to carefully read the Provincial Secretary’s statement on Moalosi’s resignation as Speaker, and member of the Council. It must be noted that Moalosi’s suspension as the official communique from the ANC leads is merely a  temporal one and restricted to the explicit video. It is, therefore, very possible that after his appearance on March 10, 2021, he may be a free man and not anymore suspended, which may pave the way for him to return as Speaker. This would not be a strange act, we have seen this with  Welkom Mayor Nkosinjane Speelman who hardly 90 days after his racist attacks on Coloureds was off the hook.

What is worrying on many fronts is this line in the Provincial Secretary’s statement,  “The ANC views his decision [to resign as speaker] as political maturity and willingness to bear the consequence of these actions.”  I cannot help but retort: What political maturity Mr Provincial Secretary? You have in Moalosi a confirmed racist who does not believe Coloured people should be promoted the same the African identity should. You have in Moalosi an abuser of his political office and speaker position who reduced a young woman to irrevocable shame by videotaping her in more than a compromising but stark sexual act which he taped, arguably in the aim of his blatant political agenda to settle a political score. As a close friend of mine remarked not even in the notorious  Mafia world is the code of family violated while you may cut your enemy up.

Moalosi does not deserve a temporal suspension he must be expelled from the ANC if the ANC is serious about its stance against racism, he must be expelled if the ANC’s code of serving the masses and not-self is the barometer of adjudication. He ought to be fired from a Speaker and Council member role, it should not even have been his right to resign and, therefore,  and to in a veiled sense be celebrated in empty claims of ‘political maturity’. He is deserving expulsion for his wilful and conscious necessarily repugnant act of gender-based-violence that he in political power position served on a young lady who was wholly oblivious to what his intentions were for videotaping her and instructing her to look into the camera. So Deshi what political maturity when you arguably know the politics behind this act or do you categorically deny not knowing the politics behind this depraved act?

Yet if the ANC Northern-Cape under the leadership of Zamani Saul sees no need to release a public statement of outright condemnation, insisting he as a leader is suspended for his attack on Coloureds, we must perhaps understand it in a wider space of racist practises in the ANC. Let us not forget how Deputy  Secretary-General Jessie Duarte in 2020 visits Soweto and dared to engage this racism in the ANC which thrives of an African identity in tribalistic tendencies that is wholly immune to the pain of Coloured people.

In another way, the hypocrisy of the ANC as ballot entrusted leader of society in staging marches yesterday against racism lays bare how little it has done to work for the obliteration of racism over the last 26 years of it in being in political office. The ANC in empty rhetoric continues to pontificate an empty non-racialism when it promotes a doctrine of multiracialism, meaning SA citizens are made up of many races. It continues to blame racism but has no problem with the notion of a race whom it strangely and automatically assumes is a benign innocent construct that has no negative connotation inherent to its meaning.

It does not trouble the ANC and its leadership that meaningful life in democratic South Africa is held carceral in totality as defined if not informed by the notion of race. Its reverence for a dogma of a multiplicity of races to explain the human race is extrapolated from the fallacy of a binary ‘white’ and ‘black’ races at the time even ‘nations’ as apartheid explained its Republic. With this binary context of uncritically appropriated black and white races the ANC fundamentally believes Coloureds are the products of miscegenation in a sense of what I coined the ‘in-between ones necessarily the product of Arian white and black distinct races respectively. It is no different to Marike De Klerk [former wife of apartheid SA’s last president FW De Klerk] who see Coloureds in the following articulation, “…But traditionally the Coloureds have no history of nationhood. They’re a different group, all different types of people. Between us and [our] small group when the press isn’t present. You know, they’re a separate group. The definition of a Coloured in the population register is of someone who is not a Black, and not an Indian, in other words, a non-person. He is… not … not. They’re leftovers. They’re people who were left over after the nations were sorted out.”

Is it not strange that there is such natural congruence on the part of those who self-define in whiteness and or blackness of identity markers on a coloured identity?

The truth is for some of us race, regardless of its second life of social constructionism as a post-World War 11 reality,  is and remains the product of a racist mind, meaning any attempt at red carding racism without engaging race critically is a farcical exercise. I have in my recent seminal dissertation argued for as long as the ANC, who was responsible for the democratic State’s handle on policy formulation, talk non-racialism in political sloganeering when it refuses to critically engage its appropriation from the toolboxes of the predecessor colonial and later apartheid states in racial identity marking we will never win the fight against racism.

The ANC’s hypocrisy is its worship of apartheid racialised classificatory identities which it argues for in administrative functionality a need to uphold when it fails to critically engage the meaning of these as led by the State. It refuses to heed the advice and counsel of the intellectual revolutionary Neville Alexander, when he in arguably his last published work in 2013 contends, “…societies and the global village have changed so radically that to continue to analyse and describe things as though we were still in 1848 or 1948 or even 1984 is to be woefully blind and self-defeating”. With the permission of Alexander, I want to add, to speak of human beings still in ‘white’, ‘black’, ‘coloured’ and ‘Indian’ borrowed kaftans and terms albeit for the administrative aspects of measuring progressing is so outdated. It is my conviction that had we afforded ourselves to engage in a State-led process we would by now have developed the necessary vocabulary and means to explain our past, present and future free from the suffocating and ever constricting notion of the race for social identity marking.

The ANC’s reluctance to prove consistent and red-carding racism anywhere and everywhere is not just troublesome but it is known. It instead appears uniquely obsessed to stand up for the questionable  ‘African’  identity and uniquely ambivalent on racist ANC leaders who have over an elongated time felt it their inalienable right to insult Coloureds because it rewards racists like Nkosinjani Speelman. One can, therefore, expect Moalosi to be quiet for a while, hardly six months, before he resurfaces in another position because his friends higher up in the Province will ensure their lobbyist for the retention of current individual members at both REC and PEC levels will ensure he is returned.  Shall we ever forget Jimmy Manyi, then an ANC member and leader and his bold racist assertion of Coloureds being in oversupply in the Western Cape? Manyi’s mind sees  Coloureds as a commodity that can just be shifted, the same he does not equally demand of Xhosas, Ndebeles. Zulus etc.

The irony is  Moalosi is not suspended for these racist remarks, instead, he is summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing.  The provincial leadership nowhere publicly condemned the behaviour of Moalosi as it relates to his now most regretted telephone call in which his racist attitudes towards Coloureds are more than tangible. This is my contention; it appears the ANC has a specific interest to be sensitive for racist behaviour only in as far as it affects the apartheid bequeathed discursive hitherto not yet critically engaged ‘African’ denotation.

Marching against eNCA and Lindsay Dentlinger is more than necessary, eNCA is a racist platform that thrives on stereotyping black failure, celebrating corruption in black identity frames. It is a factional platform that serves the interests of a faction in the ANC.  Let me not venture into the fact that the statement delivered was in full appreciation of the owner Johnny Copelyn whom we all know has been very generous in contributions to the ANC over an elongated period.  It is very possible that he was called and appeased before the march,  he may even have received a call from Ramaphosa to say don’t bother too much with the march its part of politics as you know we must be seen to do something.

Yet, as necessary as the march against eNCA’s Lindsay Dentlinger is, it simply is not more important than to march against ANC racists such as Moalosi and many other hidden ones who easily spit non-racialism in the emptiness of content when they hellbent to rule from the false African identity as the new apartheid whites. The same ANC make demands on what should happen at eNCA when the ANC is not recommending the same for their leaders such as Speelman and Moalosi among others. The same ANC leadership cleared Speelman after he was given a slap on the wrists. These double standards of the ANC on the crucial issue of racism as lived experience raises grave concerns as to how serious the ANC is to deal with racists regardless of their apartheid classifications which a democratic state uncritically adopted.

My challenge, it appears you only a racist if the injustice is against the apartheid borrowed questionable “African“ identity marker. You need not take the ‘miscegenated’ lot serious because they neither white nor black in the superiority of race classifications. When the apartheid classified “Coloureds” are served an injustice the ANC is as calm as a cucumber and stage no march.

Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
A Lifelong Social Justice Activist Political Commentator & Writer is a SARChi D. Litt.et. Phil candidate in Political Science with the University of Johannesburg. Chairperson of TMoSA Foundation – The Thinking Masses of SA