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3) UOFS AKA KOFSIES

"n kaffir vir president - nooit!!"??

TRANSCENDENCE

T.G

8/8/202313 min read

UOFS - AKA KOFSIES

“n kaffir Vir president – nooit!!”???

This wasn’t the first time I had heard this emphatic statement. It was a fear that ran through white South Africa, particularly Afrikaans South Africa. At that time, they had taken over most of the civil service and very noticeable particularly in the small rural (plattelandse dorpe) towns like Middelburg EC was that state jobs were mostly only available to Afrikaans people.

Like today where white people cannot gain access to employment in state jobs, those were the days when English surnamed people couldn’t gain employment in state jobs – openly being told one needed to be ‘bilingual’. Irony being the only people who were bilingual was English speaking South Africa – especially in rural South Africa. But that was the excuse given to work the English out of the civil service and replace those positions with the ‘volk’ as well as create many more... And a black government would dismantle that ‘beautiful arrangement’...

I was in standard 7 (Early high school) and my father had brought me home from school. Just needed to get a few things in town before heading home. And of course, a ‘little drink’ at the club. Being a kid, I was given a coke & told to ‘go play outside or something’. No Nintendo or iPad in those days... The men’s bar was quite full, and something happened that thinking back was the single thing that made me proud of my father, not because of political point put forward, me still being politically naive, but the way he was bold enough to stand up to a group of men with differing opinion. A heated debate had erupted about politics. PW Botha had just been replaced by FW De Klerk, who had unbanned the ANC and started progressing reform. I watched from the doorway my father inform a whole group of men (still being a men’s only bar) that “if you don’t learn to share something you lose it, including your country” and to a group of men announcing that they’ll ‘veg’ (fight) my father saying to them “you’ll give your country away without one shot being fired and within 10 years this country will have a black president” to eruptions of NOOIT!– refer to the opening line emphasis in bold print. He looked across at me and said “come, let’s leave these idiots” to which we made our way home, to the expected utterance of ‘fokken dom soutie’.

The thing about sanctions against a country is not so much the initial economic hit it gives – inevitably to the wrong people, but the position of strength it puts the negotiating delegates in when that country seeks ways of lifting those sanctions. So, the incentives for example of people being able to compete in international sport again are used as a very effective carrot to persuade change. Along with other incentives like access to foreign markets etc. So, my father was right. And I guess it was more important for those men to be able to watch the Springboks Play the All Blacks and other international teams again than ‘veg’ for their country? Thankfully.

***

Now observing Afrikanerdom and its peculiarities from the periphery was one thing. Being engrossed in it brought a whole new level of insight and unfortunately disdain.

Due to circumstances out of Tristan’s control he stopped university after two years. We’ll visit the reasons shortly. He did however get a degree in Afrikanerdom – How the Volk think & operate.

***

1994 started. CODESA had been playing out for a few years on & off and was coming to a head with elections imminent. Politicians had been enriching themselves hob knobbing “negotiations”? And was obvious the National Party (white government) was way out classed, inexperienced negotiators & out of their depth during those negotiations. For all the upfront headlines of Rolf Meyer & Cyril Ramaphosa “negotiating” and Nelson Mandela along with F.W de Klerk (bought off with a Peace Prize) apparently averting civil war? (no one except hard-liner nut jobs wanted) it was the background players that had the most influence. Of all people in South Africa at that time (during CODESA) Jacob Zuma was arguably more deserving of the Peace Prize than both de Klerk and Mandela in my humble opinion? He had gone to Natal for the ANC and performed on the ground negotiations to avert a real civil war that was raging at the time. Sent to reign in the ANC war thugs. Remember the ANC “people’s war” was waged mostly against black South Africa and the Zulus in Natal were most resistant to this. They had little choice. During those years hundreds of chiefs and people in leadership roles were being murdered every year.

Far from the limelight and corporate sponsorship Jacob Zuma was the single biggest player at averting bloodshed in South Africa at that time. But then he also didn’t fit the profile of a black Jesus for Western media? Later his presidency was plagued with Rampant corruption. But it also instituted a far better HIV Aids policy (huge problem in SA at the time) than Mbeki or Mandela and because the ANC works on a patronage system, they will always be plagued by rampant corruption no matter who their leadership. Years later once president and either to maintain popularity or maybe just because he's a racist thug? Singing songs about ‘bring me my machine gun so I can shoot white people’ – Boers / farmers. (Look it up on YouTube for yourself if you dispute) Who wages intimidation and war on farmers anyway? Oh yes that’s communist playbook as it’s a good way of destabilising society. No, undeserving of any peace prize or statesman awards. That he years later boasted about his role in the Amanzimtoti bombing some two days before Christmas 1985, Yeah No, they were terrorists.

But then Barack Obama was awarded a piece prize during a time when USA was dropping near record number of bombs on a record number of countries, so one must wonder how candidates are selected? At least during his acceptance speech Obama did say it was a surprise and maybe there would be more deserving candidates – Indicative of good character...

Anyway, it says volumes of the current voter base in South Africa when any politician that wants to make a bit of populist headway comes out with some anti-white racist rhetoric? Although that’s starting to wear a little thin by now.

Back to CODESA: The communist party under leadership of Joe Slovo proposed numerous “breakthrough” ideas including the sunset clauses with an interim government for the five years after the election. They just had more brain power and persuasion. A clearer vision of their goals. The NP. negotiators being more self-serving. Even on TV the presence of Cyril Ramaphosa and Nelson Mandela far overshadowed that of Rolf Meyer and F.W. de Klerk who were at the time negotiating from a position of strength, though you wouldn’t have said so. The moral character of Nelson Mandela and people like Chris Hani before his murder (will be turning in their graves if they saw the level of corruption in South Africa today?) and brain power of people like Ronnie Kasrils, combined with a far more acute focus in their goals & objectives as well as pragmatic solutions meant the outcomes of negotiations were quite obvious even to a layman.

The thing about these 'liberation movements' that promote revolution along with great social upheaval & change – going all the way back to the French Revolution. Usually formed by intellectuals and Idealists, highly intelligent people who are driven to act by legitimate grievance. The moral character of the idealists like many of the founding members of the ANC and even the SACP together with injustice lending weight to the legitimate grievance gain the movement populist support which drives momentum and change. Yet throughout not just Africa, but the world the “change” often ends up being worse than the original grievance. This because the opportunists & thugs that get attracted to these movements gain control afterwards. So, after the ceremonies, back slapping, grandstanding, parades & balloons the thugs get down to business of what thugs do. Theft, corruption, intimidation & enrichment. What you expect thugs to do? Think of the prosperity of the people & country? Yeah right – keep dreaming...

This background because to witness the level of ignorance of Afrikanerdom 1st hand was quite something. A shock at how ignorant the most privileged kids in the country were. Raised in an insulated Laager & fed a diet of self-importance and grandiosity? Even to the point that their privilege was divine right. Preached in the Kerk (Church). Ja, ‘Die Dominee het gese... ‘Even as I write this decades later those self-important ‘me first & fuck everyone else’ attitudes still run deep. Economic migrants scattered to all corners of the earth, some do, but unfortunately many have not lost those laager attitudes - have not changed? Shame, A way of thinking is a very difficult thing to change. Changing the ways we think is so difficult because in order to peel back the layers of our own bias we're up against our own ego.

Later in this book we delve into why it’s important to control the way we think & redirect our focus and also some tips on how. After all the books title is Transcendence so we’ll get back on topic soon enough. This just describing the quagmire of shit we’re transcending from. It gets worse...

Even in 1994 with elections already scheduled most of the Afrikaans kids in Huis Karee could not foresee a black government and South Africa with a black president.

So, you guessed, Tristan arrived at UOVS, Huis Karee (university residence) – all the way from the UK. What a culture shock. Tristan had been fortunate enough to go on a rugby tour in the UK after leaving school. Had a great time with great people and had every intention of returning, Yeah No, fate had other plans...

The opening line of this chapter with the racist terminology is a quote said not once in hushed tone but exclaimed loudly to many and repeated loudly a number of times by a fair number of bystanders as if to affirm that if said with enough emphasis – reality would not happen, and their racist Laager fantasy would continue. Wasn’t long before Tristan withdrew himself from that res. Firstly, because he didn’t care for the company & refused the ridiculous prehistoric dress code & humiliating rituals, but mostly because I was now having to fund myself and couldn’t afford it.

Had listened to a number of students just back from a right wing rally holding forth about the virtues of the AWB in the common room (shortly after getting their arses kicked in Bophuthatswana ‘nogal’ – Who goes to ‘war’ with a bakkie, hunting rifle and bottle of brandy and hurls insults at the SADF sent to monitor their movements by calling them ‘kaffir boeties’ anyway?) So Tristan in passing had commented on what idiots they were and that ‘before this year is finished Nelson Mandela will be president and you’ll never get your ‘Volkstaad’, another thing they seemed obsessed with. Volkstaad being Homeland – an Afrikaaner heaven where only the ‘pure’ would reside, with a few ‘unpure’ slaves to serve no doubt? A bit like the old South Africa? But on a smaller scale? More manageable? I didn’t say this to provoke. Merely to enlighten. It was so obvious and I couldn’t believe the level of ignorance. I remember wondering and asking where this Volkstaad was going to be? Asked if they were going to be uprooting their lives and moving? Was never answered. Of course, the torrent of abuse was relentless and actually quite amusing to watch. Now they had something to focus their rage upon. I was ‘n fokken kaffir boetie’, Soutie, Rooinek and every other swearword you could think of. One Andre Nel kept sticking notes on my door saying I had better change my political views – OR ELSE!!... I noted the lack of bravery by only using poster notes and not confronting me directly even though he was a huge growth, but obviously lacking the heart to go with the specimen. And what did he know of my political views anyway? At the time I didn’t care for any of it. Still don’t. Was just pointing out the obvious but as mentioned earlier some people don’t like truth because fantasy is so much more pleasurable than reality. True to form was told by an emboldened group (groups are always bolder than individuals) that I was going to ‘get moered’. ‘Moer’ is one of those interesting Afrikaans words. Versatile in use with an array of meanings contrary to dictionary definition depending on the setting. A moer is a nut, or to some a seed potatoe. Moerse is something huge. To say you’re going to ‘moer’ someone is saying you’re going to hit them, but not just a slap, a proper assault. Usually uttered as sabre rattling in order to intimidate. Something Afrikaners excel at – sabre rattling. And of course a 9mm shoved in my face & informed I was going to be shot because of being ‘n fokken soutie’. A ‘moering’ did happen. Some thugs got hurt. The 9mm wasn’t pointed again. A few years later Brent was welding a sprinkler stand on the farm and commented on some dried blood he noticed on a short length of steel pipe he had found & was using, ‘gee, this looks like blood?’. Tristan recognized it. Was the equalizer he kept while on campus after the threats. The author does not condone or promote violence. Quite the contrary. Most of his life preferring to turn away from confrontation. Being a victim of years of bullying over time conditioning to avoid conflict wherever possible. If you disagree then you haven’t been subjected to years of bullying and maybe shouldn’t have an opinion. Ask people who have suffered years of domestic violence for more insight into what years of ‘walking on eggshells’ does – not ever sure when the next eruption will happen, never able to properly relax, constant tension, living in a state of nervous fear always anticipating when the next attack would launch - better to just keep the peace?

Brandy & Coke makes people brave – and stupid. And weak. Especially as a group. Maybe because each individual isn’t fully committed? Who knows? To the group it’s their fun. Intimidating a ‘soutie’ for cheap thrills. But cornering any animal giving no avenue of escape each showing off to the others how Ra Ra tuff they are with the commentary of...? Yeah no, fuck that. They didn’t see the ‘equalizer’ coming until blood was flowing. Idiots. And that mentality ruled South Africa for all those decades?

As someone who hates conflict, another little click on that trauma dial had turned.

I acknowledge and apologize for the racist terminology and foul language. It is not how I think or speak. Unfortunately, I still hear murmurs of people longing for ‘the good old days.’ I write like this as a small sample foul taste of why South Africa needed change. That we don’t forget.

As mentioned earlier our sense of justice has relationship with our sense of disgust. Guess if you get an uneasy ‘distasteful’ feeling then maybe my writing is on the right path?

When General Eisenhower invited members of Congress and journalists to see the newly liberated concentration camps during WW2, camps he visited firsthand, it was foresight to document the cruelty that was so overpowering as to leave him and all those who witnessed it sick. “first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda’”.

***

Why I won’t use pseudonyms and ‘safe’ language, For F sakes Izak Labuscagne and his father either went around stealing livestock and defrauding people or they didn’t. Not allegedly or maybe. Yes or no. Writers of history don’t use pseudonyms or legal jargon like allegedly. They say who did what when and how. The why is speculation. As humans we can look upon the when and how and understand the why. We understand greed. Feelings. Lust. Love. Vengefulness. We see and understand those who embrace the lekkerkry (enjoyment) of their wretchedness. The novelty kick of Dopamine that accompanies the kick of sadism. We forget that the monsters of the past were / are you, me everyday people. We forget that there is an Auschwitz guard in all of us. Some of us are just further down that path of micro violations of our own conscience.

I witness people today, some of them friends dismiss Apartheid as ‘the good old days’ when ‘everything worked’. I pointed out earlier the huge amounts of money washed through ‘black development’ that enriched the chosen. But used as excuse as to benefits of the time? All the money in the world means nothing when individuals are being dehumanized and treated as second rate citizens. Speaking of memories of walking down ‘whites only’ beaches. Local ‘oudelinge’ passing laws of convenience backed by ideology. The chosen race would bring their maids / domestic servants with them on holiday. Their children ‘abba’ around on their backs a large part of the day and fed and cared for yet same servant’s forbidden from going to the beach. Or maybe a huge concession allowed on one small section, but only after 4pm. And not allowed to go deeper than knee height. My father pointing out the irony of their ‘superiority’ in the most jokingly scornful way. My father being a mobile joke shop, so took a lot to get him scornful. Afrikaans people originally descended from the Dutch settling at the Cape who as a nation tend to be tall and fair. But with a shortage of women. Some French Huguenots and a complete melting pot of other nationalities. Slaves imported by the Dutch East India Company notably from the Malay Peninsula, parts of India and the south sea slave market. With the shortage of women just mentioned cross pollination was inevitable. Looking at pictures of that side of my family noted the Dutch surname yet all short and dark. So, it came as no surprise when my father explained one of his mother’s cousins had been classified as colored when he was a child and the National Party had come to power in 1948 on the back of racial segregation policy. Horror stories of families and communities being torn apart and discrimination because someone failed a comb test, or fingernail test. Forced to sell property and move along with livelihood destroyed because you find yourself in a ‘whites only’ area. Colored people being particularly targeted at the time because the colored core served a vital role within the South African forces during WW2 and many within the newly elected National Party had been in support of Nazi Germany. Die Ossewabrandwag sprang up in South Africa shortly before Hitler’s invasion of Poland and with their paramilitary wing the ‘Stormjaers’ (Assault troops) with sworn oath ‘As ek omdraai, skiet my. As ek val, wreek my. As ek storm, volg my’. (If I retreat, shoot me. If I fall, avenge me. If I charge, follow me) engaged in sabotage against the country. Assimilated into the National Party who took over in 1948 so... been run by terrorists for so long. But then the British didn’t shy from atrocities and terrorism either. British media and history have somewhat sanitized their activities but when they controlled South Africa were so corrupt and the genocide, they committed during the Boer War was so atrociously disgusting we can begin to understand where the response of the ‘Stormjaers’ came from.

***

As an ‘English speaking’ South African coming from the Eastern Cape witnessed similar discrimination as the then all powerful National Party was for political reasons buying up farmland for the formation of the Transkei and Ciskei Homelands and viewed the area as expendable – being an ‘Engelse ness’. Many people in the area decedents of the 1820 settlers still regarded at the time as ‘Die Engelse Vyand’. There's a volume of books that can be written about discriminations of the time. An obvious and notable one was the way the state appointed assessors assessed the valuations of farms being purchased for the formation of homelands. If a farmer was blessed with an Afrikaans surname, was known to vote the 'right way' or attended the right church would receive exponentially more compensation than 'die fokken Engelse...'

***

Know we should not judge actions of history through today’s lens, but even a kid looking upon this society could see the ridiculousness of those laws passed by people who believed it their divine right.