An Open Letter to the carpet baggers, rogues, knaves, conmen, brigands, reivers, pillagers, scam artists, grifters and deceivers who pretend to be our liberators:

Part 1 of 2…

Dear Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa  (the 1st Magistrate) of our glorious Republic, we should have listened to our Mother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, our comrade Martin Thembisile  (Chris) Hani and our mentors, the collective conscience of this nation Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and Stephen Biko, instead we believed you the ANC.

1. When you said the white people (read the political leadership and captains of industry) are our partners in this negotiated agreement when no ordinary white or black man was present at the time of the negotiations.

2. When you said, we need a new constitution (read European), but that doesn’t reflect our African culture, our African history or acknowledges the full impact of Apartheid on our people.

3. When you said, “a better life for all” but only built 4-million cheap bachelor hovels, cruelly called, RDP houses, a heartless parody of the “Mandela'” version of the Freedom Charter, meant to equalise the economic inequalities between white and black people in South Africa but merely prolonged the bitter misery.

4. When you said, “we need new guns” and squandered R57 billion desperately needed cash on the purchases for a country with no natural or known enemies. 

5. When you said, let’s keep capitalism because it will eventually trickle down. Mmm, it did “trickle-down” through BEE. We now know that BEE is the exclusive reward and self-enrichment financial system dedicated to a cabal of comrades (and their families and friends) who agreed with the predators of our mineral, oil, industrial complex to keep the economic system of neo-capitalism.

6. When you said, stay indoors because potentially millions can die from a cousin of the flu family, but it was really just a trick to further impoverish and imprison us on a scale so impressive, so swift,  so grand and so audacious, Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd would’ve anointed you an “honorary Nazi” at the first state function. 

One day I met a wise, gnarled old black man and I gazed into the fading greyed out eyes, spoilt by a thousand African suns, touched the dry, leathery, parched skin and listened to a cracked, but barely audible almost rhythmic voice speak to me in slow English, not for lack of word choice, but because he wanted to make sure I understood him.

He spoke of bygone days filled with so much cheap work, so hard and without mercy, the builders of the Great Pyramids would’ve been astonished at their productive outputs with only a few items acquired over a lifetime to show for it. Most of his labour and ingenuity reflected in the modern architecture that rushes to hold up the skies in our modern cities.

Tens of thousands of stubborn natural landscape transformed into pristine farmland, as if by an alien race with machines too complex to comprehend, yet produces the varieties of foods that feed the denizens of these buildings and of having dug mines so deep, it defied engineering conventions both in terms of its stygian depths and the herculean stamina of the crews, proving mans might over mere earth and reducing what nature took millions of years to fathom and form into the most exquisitely crafted shiny objects that adorn the necks and arms of the world’s most beautiful people.

Of unruly forests being replaced with regimented trees fit only for the pen and paper in palatial homes and smart offices. Of dams so big, that millions of tonnes of sand were scoured from its familiar surroundings so some people can walk a few feet daily and cheat death by thirst, bathe in warm water and squander an average days water supply to keep their vehicles clean, only to repeat the ritual again the following weekend.

He reminded me that no liberation army freed us from the tyranny of Apartheid, but the combined efforts of every student, dissident, activist and protester who wouldn’t accept the falsity that the black man is inferior. He charged me to point out to him which piece of land the ANC had liberated, and I couldn’t point out one square inch. He gestured into the distance, as if trying to point to the Union Buildings and asked me something about the government that simultaneously made me a question and bristled the tiny hairs on my neck. 

He wanted to know if we are really being ruled by black men and women, and if my answer was yes, do they occupy those building he continued gesticulating to. Now before I could deliver my answer all already neatly packaged in my head, he casually reminded me that black people should rule with wisdom, understanding and compassion, and his eyes momentarily lit up when I said, “Ubuntu.” He flashed me a knowing smile and settled in as if he knew I was going to struggle with giving him an honest answer.

I began to measure our leaders by those criteria, I recalled the necrophilia around amassing vast fortunes for themselves and their kith and kin. The incredible salaries they arbitrarily reward themselves with, their voracious appetites for expensive European accoutrements, the cadrè deployment strategy, the uncouth spending patterns and how it is reflected in wasteful state expenditures and lastly, I reminded myself of their coterie of elite business people rapaciously stripping our country of its assets and the hollowing out of its precious resources in a manner mildly described as megalomaniacal in its frenzied activities.

I came to the inescapable conclusion that these aren’t black people……… be continued