Post-Apartheid Barbarism or Post-Conquest Azanian Civilization? A Race-First Pan-Africanist Critique.

Outgoing South-African President F.W. de Klerk (L) skakes hand with newly appointed First Deputy President Thabo Mbeki (R) as South African President Elect Nelson Mandela looks on at Cape Town Parliament May 6

 “There is a task which the Dutch-Afrikaner has in common with his English-Afrikaner compatriots as a bearer of white civilization, but there is also the special task which rests upon him in his own area, namely Dutch-Afrikaner culture…” (Die Burger as quoted in T. Dunbar Moodie “The Rise of Afrikanerdom”)

“The Afrikaner People was planted in our land by the hand of God, and is destined to continue to exist as a People with its own character and particular calling” (Die Volksblad as quoted in T. Dunbar Moodie “The Rise of Afrikanerdom”)

 

 

This paper is a critique of the persisting existence of white supremacy under the banner of “post-apartheid south Africa”. Thus, it is at the same time a call for the restoration of an Azanian civilization through a national liberation movement embedded in Race-First Pan-Africanism. It is an analysis which calls for a freedom from white supremacy and a freedom to concretise the slogan “Africa for the Africans those at home and abroad” as Marcus Garvey envisioned it. This is a vision of a future Africa without the white settlers (and the Arab settlers) which I subscribe to as a Garveyite.

The fundamental problem is the juxtaposition of different cultures (a chaotic cultural mosaic), especially that of the white settlers and the indigenous people, which is authorised by the current constitution in its recognition of group rights. The suggested solution to this problem is the foregrounding of African culture as the only culture created and defined as such by the indigenous people in a Post-conquest Azanian civilization (in other words, in this envisioned Post-conquest Azania there will only be African culture to the exclusion of all other cultures).

The fundamental object of my critique is the current constitution and its self-styled supremacy. My main point is that the current constitution and its supremacy are reflective of the white settler’s conquest; both physical in the form of land dispossession and epistemicide. This is because land dispossession in this regard is the condition of possibility for the imposition of a cultural and legal system. The supremacy of the current constitution is a continuation of European cultural Imperialism or warfare (which began in 1652 through settlement by the Dutch white strangers) in a benign form due to its false inclusion of the indigenous people conquered in unjust wars of white settler colonialism. This inclusion is false in the sense that while the indigenous people are granted formal recognition by this current constitutional framework, their structural material reality is still one of a conquered people and a racially dominated people who are regarded as not human. Thus, instead of the post-apartheid constitutional era constituting freedom for the indigenous people conquered in unjust wars of colonialism waged by the white settlers, it is a reiteration and reconfiguration of white supremacy which began in 1652.

As Dr Frances Cress Welsing once stated, “if you don’t understand white supremacy, everything else which you think you understand and know will confuse you”. Thus, it is important to bear in mind that for every critique of the conditions of the oppressed people, white supremacy, as a global system of white racial domination, should be the fundamental point of departure and return. This is to affirm the fact that white supremacy permeates every aspect of a racially dominated people (for example law and culture), in this case the indigenous people conquered in unjust wars of white settler colonialism.

In line with the analysis as explained briefly above, I will critique the predominance and supremacy of the current constitution as a clear manifestation of white supremacy in law and culture. Following Ngugi wa Thiongo, I will argue that the current constitutional framework is embedded in Eurocentrism and I want to move (eliminate) this centre of the Europeans as white settlers. The cultural and legal hegemony of white settler colonialism must be eliminated if the indigenous people are to attain their cultural freedom. My critique is informed by Jacob H Carruthers’ premise that white supremacy is a form of “intellectual warfare”.

And that since white supremacy is a form of intellectual warfare, the current constitution just like its previous versions is an instrument of white supremacy both in terms of law and culture. Thus, if the current constitution is an instrument of white supremacy as an intellectual warfare as I postulate, then the indigenous people should, in my view, reject this current constitution in its entirety. This, in my opinion, is the first step to freeing themselves from white supremacy and the illusion of post-apartheid south Africa and to restore Azania; a name which, as per its definition, excludes the white settlers (Azania just like Kemet means the land of the blacks). This paper is divided into two sections. I now turn to the first section.

The white settlers’ constitutional framework as a form of European intellectual warfare.

 

“In our land the law of the nation reigns supreme” (Mazisi Kunene)

“…. the whole Afrikaner cultural movement……many of the leaders…. refused to treat the constitution of South Africa as a political question distinct from their cultural commitments” (T. Dunbar Moodie)

 

In line with Koyana, my analysis begins from the fundamental premise that African Law as produced by the indigenous people, before white settler colonialism which began in 1652, was the supreme law of the land. In other words, before 1652, because of the sovereignty of indigenous culture, the indigenous people were able to exercise what Aime Cesaire designates “historic initiative” and construct a law that reflects who they are and advances their interest and, most importantly, solves their problems. 1652 in this regard marks the formative stage of white supremacy through settlement by what Kunene designates the “white strangers”. Thus 1652 marks a period when these “white strangers”, who are still in our midst today, imposed their epistemological paradigm through conquest. These “white strangers” imposed their European customary law (both common law and Roman-Dutch law) which they regarded, in their arrogance of conquest, as universal and superior. This led to the “white strangers” calling it “the common law”; which was certainly not common but strange to the indigenous people.

What is important in this regard is to comprehend that the condition of possibility for European customary law being made “common” was violent and unjust conquest. The idea of law as understood by the “white strangers” as unjust conquerors was violently imposed on the indigenous people. This violent imposition through conquest was informed by the racist illusion that the indigenous people are “lesser breeds without law” or “a nation without laws”.

Thus, the laws of the “white strangers” which constitute the substance of the constitutional framework starting with the Cape 1853 constitution were introduced through violent and unjust conquest. This violent and unjust imposition resulted, gradually, in the decline of African Law. African Law was distorted to serve the needs and interests of the “white strangers” as white settlers (through the system of Indirect Rule). This decline in the supremacy of African Law was because land dispossession eventuated in the vitiation of the sovereignty of indigenous culture and its people. Indigenous culture is the fundament and fountain-head of African Law. The two are organically intertwined to an extent that a decline in power of either one results in the simultaneous decline of the other. The point I am striving to make is that African Law is embedded in African culture. Precisely put, molao or mthetho is grounded in the philo-praxis of Botho or Ubuntu (the philosophy of Ubuntu or Botho as a practiced way of living and lived experience).

A constitutional framework is a mere organisation of a given law. Thus, a constitution can either be written or unwritten depending on the history and culture of a people. The fact that it is unwritten does not mean that it does not exist. Simply because logically speaking people think before they write, a writing process is just one process of storing or recording one’s thoughts. The oral tradition is another process of recording a given people’s thoughts over generations. The white settlers who defined humanity in terms of reason and the tradition of writing posited that because the indigenous people lack reason and did not codify their African Law they are not civilized. The imposition of European customary law was regarded by these white settlers as an incorporation of the indigenous people into white civilization. This meant that the indigenous people became human and civilized to the extent to which they accepted European customary law and white civilization. Civilization was defined on the terms of these white settlers so that white civilization is a form of redundancy (as whiteness and civilization became synonymous). Being civilized and being human meant being white.

In 1853 in the Cape colony the civilizing white settlers cultivated their first constitutional framework. Since the white settlers did not exterminate completely the indigenous people they conquered in unjust wars of settler colonialism, they were forced to create a mechanism to deal with the presence of the indigenous people. The British settlers in the Cape colony invented a constitutional framework to deal with the so-called “native question”. Because these British settlers to this day take their presence for granted they failed to realise that in fact it is the other way around. The actual problem is the “white settler question”. To “administer” the so-called natives they imagined, the British settlers incorporated into their constitutional framework a non-racial right to vote. Because of unjust conquest the Cape was a colony which meant that the indigenous people now racially subjects to the white settlers voted on white terms. Even though the right to vote was non-racial the only segment of the indigenous people which managed to vote was the westernised one. This is because to vote one had to attain a certain level of education (European colonial indoctrination) as defined by the white settlers and possess property as an individual in terms of the white settlers’ Individualism and materialism. Thus, the slogan “equal rights for all civilized men”, for Rhodes the infamous white settler initially meant “equal rights for all white men” as attested to by Makhosezwe Magubane in his book The Making of a Racist State.

The Dutch settlers who left the Cape colony, because they couldn’t practice their version of white tribal culture and law, continued with unjust conquest by creating their so-called Boer republics. It was in these so-called republics that they also created their own constitutional framework which reflected their culture and law. Their constitutional framework was characterized by the slogan “no equality in State and Church”. As Dutch settlers they chose this slogan to “administer” the natives. Despite their disparity in legal and cultural temperament, the white settlers were and still are today agreed on the racist idea that they are superior human beings with law(s) which are superior. This means that an ontological Great Chain of Being is complemented by an epistemic Great Chain of Episteme/Knowledge. If they are superior beings then what they produce or create must reflect their ontological status (by being superior as well). This is a self-portrait which is false but makes the white settlers feel good about themselves and rationalise their exercise of power over the indigenous people.

In 1910 after a devastating tribal warfare between the Dutch settlers and the British settlers there was a reconfiguration of the initial constitutional framework. This time around the Dutch settlers and the British settlers suspended their “white family fight” and decided to “administer” the so-called natives as a united white family of conquerors. This time even the “civilized indigenous people” were not allowed equal rights as there was “no equality “in the south African Unitary State called south Africa. Only “civilized men”, that is white men, had equal rights, as south Africa became through this reconfigured constitutional framework called the Union Act a “white man’s land”.

Afrikaner Nationalism triumphed officially in 1948 when the Nationalist Party won the elections held within a white democratic dispensation (a democracy in which only whites can vote). In 1961 the Dutch settlers who called themselves the Afrikaners, as if conquest indigenized them, decided to break away from the British Commonwealth and distance themselves through white tribal nationalism from their fellow British tribe. Afrikanerdom reached its apex with the 1961 constitutional framework. This time this constitutional framework was reconfigured not by the British settlers as in 1910 but by the Dutch settlers. In line with their Calvinist fantasy of being the “elect” or the “chosen ones”, the Dutch settlers posited that their “ungodly white God” has planted them on the land of our forefathers to rule over the indigenous people as their white trustees. This reconfigured constitutional framework excluded the indigenous people, their culture and law.

The Dutch settlers through this reconfigured constitutional framework wanted to fully express their “Afrikaner national spirit”, which is overtly anti-African. It is anti-African in the sense that it is premised on these Dutch settlers treating the Africans as children whom they have a duty to lead and civilize. It is also anti-African because it takes for granted their presence which was made possible by land dispossession. For them, since conquest, they regard the land of the indigenous people as their “fatherland” even though their forefathers got this land through genocide and rape of the forefathers and foremothers of the indigenous people.

The rape of our foremothers resulted in the birth of the coloured people. The resistance against conquest and economic exploitation by the indigenous people led to the presence of the Indians in the 1860s. The 1983 constitutional framework was reconfigured again, this time to make room for the coloured people and the Indians. This reconfigured constitutional framework took the form of a “pyramid of Being”. This manifested itself in a form of an ontological stratification which consisted of the white settlers occupying the apex of the pyramid, followed by the coloured people and then the Indians. The indigenous people were nowhere to be found in this constitutional and ontological arrangement. The constant spirit of this ever-reconfigured constitutional framework of the white settlers was that the indigenous people are not human and are thus “lesser breeds without law.”

Following Dr Frances Cress Welsing in her Cress Theory of Colour Confrontation, one can posit that the white settlers incorporated both the Indians and coloured people to compensate for their numerical inadequacy to maintain white domination. The constant reconfiguration of the classificatory framework of white supremacy explains the dynamism of this system of white rule. Who counts as white or black is constantly changed to meet the dictates of survival of this system of white domination.

 

In 1993, with the so-called Interim constitution, the white settlers and strangers recruited from the indigenous people what Tsenay Serequebeharn designates “westernised Africans”. These “westernised Africans” are nothing but “irredeemable” victims of the white strangers’ intellectual warfare. They are race-traitors who have fully accepted the white strangers’ and settlers’ epistemological paradigm; which has always been the basis of the white settlers’ constitutional framework since 1853. These race-renegades willingly became witness to the reconfiguration and reiteration of the white settlers’ white supremacist constitutional framework around the 1980s through their secret meetings with these white conquerors.

With the cooperation of the race-traitors, the white strangers reconfigured their constitutional framework to include the indigenous people. Without of course overthrowing the asymmetrical power relation between the white settlers and the indigenous people, they introduced a Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights, or rather Bill of Whites, classified the indigenous people as merely “everyone” (in line with Liberalism and abstract and universal Individualism). The indigenous people were stripped of their unique humanity as Abantu or Batho and were assimilated into some abstract idea of individualism which is a cultural tradition of the white settlers.

In praise of their cultural alienation, the race-traitors through the illusion of Liberal non-racialism participated in the refinement of the reconfigured constitutional framework of the white settlers. As obedient slaves they were concerned more with pleasing the white masters than with “returning to the source”. In their cooperation in the reconfiguration of the constitutional framework, these westernised Africans didn’t deem it “strange” that Abantu or Batho are not in the 1996 reconfigured constitutional framework they helped to refine. Because these race-renegades are “estranged” from their Setso or Isintu, they accepted a reconfigured constitutional framework based on the white strangers’ epistemology of domination.

Instead of “returning to the source”, that is restoring the supremacy of African Law of their ancestors, these culturally alienated race-traitors chose in 1996 to be witnesses again to the continuation of European intellectual warfare, as the epistemological paradigm imposed through domination was used (with their help) as the basis for the so-called final constitution. These collaborators with the white strangers participated in a “ceremony” (the so-called negotiations) during which the strange laws of the white strangers were used to reconfigure the constitutional framework to be the now supreme final constitution. In terms of this so-called final and supreme constitution the so-called customary Law is regarded as “subject” to this supreme constitution and has a very low status. This word “subject” also reflects the status of the indigenous people. The indigenous people are still a conquered people both culturally and legally. Because they are not sovereign their law is also not sovereign, they are merely a “subject race” under white supremacy with its self-styled constitutional supremacy over African Law. And this marks the triumph of the Democratisation paradigm over the Decolonisation paradigm. With this, I now turn to the last section of this paper.

 

 

Let the “Ceremony” be found for the Decolonisation paradigm to triumph.

 

“It is to the advantage of both native and European, Hertzog declared, that the white man guarantees his own ‘national existence and his civilization’…. In south Africa European is synonymous with civilization, and the extinction of the white man must inevitably be the extinction of civilization” (Herzog as quoted in T. Dunbar Moodie)

“It was Mgobhozi, the great hero, who stood up and said:’ My lord I hear your words and their truth I respect. I know too, your wisdom has seldom erred; Yet I feel it is wiser to kill at once the fearful vermin. Destroying it now before it devastates our lands and race…. Each story I have heard about this nation fills me with terror…. Have you judged correctly these bloodthirsty foreigners? Such people dig deep into a nation’s life. They strip the wealth and power that once was its greatness.” (Mazisi Kunene)

 

 

By Post-apartheid barbarism, as the title of this paper suggests, I imply the illusion of the so-called “new south Africa” which consists of different cultures which are juxtaposed to create and propagate the fantasy of the “Rainbow-nation”. Under the tyranny of Liberalism, and its hypocritical myth of tolerance and equality, these juxtaposed cultures (chaotic cultural mosaic) are deemed to be equal and deserving of respect. These cultures cannot be harmonised because within the system of white supremacy the culture and laws of the white strangers are regarded as superior and are therefore hegemonic. Thus, the supposed equality of these juxtaposed cultures of the “Rainbow people” is merely an abstract formal recognition that is granted by the white settlers’ reconfigured constitutional framework.

The British settlers’ culture, values and legal thought are the basis of the current constitutional framework. The current constitutional framework proudly regards itself as informed by Liberalism which was brought to our shores by the white settlers through conquest. The Dutch settlers also wanted to express their own white tribal spirit as the Afrikaner nation or “the People”. During the “ceremony” of the 1980s these Dutch settlers “negotiated” for their cultural rights as an Afrikaner people. They didn’t want to be swallowed by the cultures of both the British settlers and the so-called natives. Their relentless pursuit of group rights paid off as the reconfigured current constitutional framework does allow them to practice cultural self-determination. It allows them to teach in Afrikaans.

Thus, with the Democratisation paradigm which is the basis of post-apartheid non-racial dispensation, “everyone has a right to practice one’s culture”. Even if the practice of one’s culture leads to anti-African consequences. But south Africa does not consist of “everyone”. It consists of nations; the conquering nation of white settlers and the conquered nation of the indigenous people. And these two nations have cultures which are not only antagonistic as a result of the history of conquest and racial domination but also cannot be harmonised by mere legal declaration of cultural equality.

The existence of the cultural practices of the conquering nation of the white settlers makes it impossible for the indigenous people to practice their culture in an authentic manner. The celebration of the so-called “great trek” by the Dutch settlers and blood river commemoration, the statue of the arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes are examples to the indigenous people of their national and racial humiliation and dehumanization at the hands of white settlers. These must be eliminated completely if the indigenous people are to negate the Maafa that was visited upon them by both the Dutch and British settlers. The Afriforum case about the renaming of street names is a case in point. The Dutch settlers objected to the changing of street names bearing the names of their so-called heroes, such as Paul Kruger.

The cultures of the Dutch settlers and British settlers are anti-black. Their very symbolic architecture and semantic field are derogatory of the indigenous people. The idea of blackness as symbolic of evil, words such as blacklist, black market are just examples of the racism inherent in the culture of these settlers. These are not merely words and symbols, but they have a powerful, though taken for granted, impact on how these settlers see themselves and their relation to the indigenous people. This impact is not only conscious but also unconscious so that even if these settlers were to try to abandon the use of these words and symbols they would still have to deal, I think unsuccessfully, with their unconscious influence.

In other words, due to the history of conquest by these white settlers, their practice of culture is contrary to healthy and authentic indigenous existence and dignity. This is to imply that the culture of these white settlers including the Indians they brought to our shores in the 1860s are not abstract and neutral. But are embedded in a history which reminds the indigenous people of their humiliation at the hands of these white settlers and junior partners from India. The conquest of the civilization (the Dravidian civilization) of our ancestors in India and the creation of the untouchables by the Hindu caste system is part of Indian culture which explains Indian Anti-Africanness. These cultures are a reminder of the barbaric nature with which the white settlers conquered the indigenous people.

As a Garveyite, I posit that, since both the white settlers and Indians have their motherlands, they should leave our continent and practice their cultures in their motherlands. In that way our motherland will consist of an African culture which is created and defined as such by the Africans themselves under conditions of cultural freedom and self-determination. This means that Orania, Liberalism and the Hindu caste system mentality will be eliminated in our motherland to give way only to the culture of the Africans those on the continent and abroad. As a Race-first Pan-Africanist, my point of departure is race self-respect and race power. My aim is not to convert the Indians and white settlers into Abantu or Batho. I want them to keep their cultures and race in their respective motherlands.

This is how I suggest we eliminate the current chaotic culture mosaic which is celebrated by the current constitutional framework as though it benefits everyone in post-apartheid south Africa. Conquest resulted in the presence of white settlers, Indians and coloured people. Thus, the current chaotic cultural mosaic of the “Rainbow nation” is because of the barbaric and violent settlement by the white conquerors in 1652. Because the indigenous people are a majority in this country called “post-apartheid south Africa”, as an Africanist, I argue that African culture as created and defined as such by the Africans should not only be the dominant culture but the only culture. All the debates about different culture groups seeking recognition and hoping that the law of the white conqueror, called the constitution, will rescue them will fade away as soon as a supreme African constitution constitutes an African society based solely on African culture by the Africans for the Africans those at home and abroad.

In the current post-apartheid non-racial dispensation, the constitution regards itself as a document which is value-free and universal enough to be able to harmonise the chaotic cultural mosaic through granting recognition and equality to all cultures in south Africa. It declares that “everyone” (instead of Abantu or Batho who are not even mentioned by this document, settlers and Indians) has a right to practice one’s culture. What the current constitutional framework evades to confront in its abstract Liberal universalism is the fact that the practice of culture by the white settlers means the continuation of conquest of the indigenous people. As argued above, the history of their culture in south Africa, as they call it, is one of conquest and the dehumanisation of the rightful owners of this land; the indigenous people.

This is not to suggest that the culture of these white settlers became anti-African as soon as they landed on our shores to take by force our land. As Ani Marimba has demonstrated in Yurugu, the culture of the white strangers (Europeans) is aggressive and obsesses about domination and control over the cultural Other, in this case the indigenous people. Marimba’s exposition is corroborated by Vulindlela Wobogo’s explication of Diop’s Two Cradle Theory. This Theory demonstrates the cultural origin of racism. In terms of this Theory, the Northern cradle, which is the cradle of the white strangers, is xenophobic and violent due to their nomadic origin in a European cold environment as explicated in detail by Diop in The Cultural Unity of Black Africa. This is manifested very well by the current constitutional framework which states that indigenous law is “subject” to the constitution. As we already know, the word “subject” has connotations of domination and control. As Fanon in Racism and Culture puts it, “there are therefore cultures which include racism and cultures which do not”.

In other words, the hypocrisy (which Marimba calls the Rhetorical Ethic) of the current constitution as an instrument of European intellectual warfare lies in stating abstractly that “everyone”, including the indigenous people who are said to be included in the constitutional framework, has a right to practice their culture. But their law which emanates from their culture is subject to this supreme constitution. Even their culture in a way is subject to this constitution in terms of the so-called limitation clause. This is because, within the system of white settler colonialism, the indigenous people and their culture are regarded as barbaric. Thus, the indigenous people can practice their culture and law to an extent that this is in line with the current constitutional framework (informed by the norms and values of the white settlers).

The hypocrisy lies in the fact that structurally the indigenous people are regarded as not human by the white settler colonialists; thus “everyone” doesn’t really include them. Because to be “everyone” (who really counts), one must first attain the status of the human. But this cannot happen within the structure of racism/white supremacy, since the non-humanity of the indigenous people is the very basis of white supremacy. In other words, the system of white supremacy is coherent to an extent that whites are superior human beings and the indigenous people are their exact opposite.

The settlement by force by the white strangers since 1652 and everything they created to buttress their delusion of inherent superiority is the fundamental problem of the indigenous nation in its struggle for national liberation. As Cesaire in Culture and Colonisation puts it, “but it must be realised that…. solution is impossible under the colonial system because such a mingling cannot be expected from a people unless that people retains the historic initiative, in other words unless that people is free”. In other words, the solution is Decolonisation. Decolonisation in this respect implies Post-conquest in the form of the elimination of the white settlers and the restoration of land and sovereignty.

This restoration of land, which must be renamed Azania, is the first step of national liberation. The renaming of this land Azania is in line with Fanon who in Racism and Culture states that “a plunge into the gulf of the past is the condition and source of liberty”. As soon as the land is restored and renamed Azania, an Azanian constitution in line with African culture, as explained by Chancellor Williams in The Destruction of Black Civilization, will be restored. This Azanian constitution will constitute an Azanian society based on African culture so that this Azanian constitution, unlike the current one of the white strangers, will serve as a mirror only for the Azanians. It will do this by reflecting their culture, law, values and aspirations as an African nation.

In line with what Williams, in the book referred to above, calls African constitution, the Azanian society of the Post-conquest era will be based on an African constitutional framework. In the spirit of what Serequebeharn, in The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy, calls an indigenous reorientation, the sovereign Azanians will have to reconfigure or critically update the African constitution as discussed by Williams in his book. It is my postulation that the African constitutional framework must be restored and reconfigured along two lines. The first line is the organising ethical maxims of our Setso or Isintu. These maxims are the pillars of the philo-praxis of Ubuntu or Botho. The primary thing which this African constitutional framework will have to address is the question of who belongs and why?

The only members of the Azanian society will be Abantu or Batho, that is the people of African ancestry and who are loyal and proud of their Setso or Isintu. Thus, this constitutional framework will clearly exclude whites and Indians. This is because it will be based on Race-first and not Race-only Pan-Africanism. The relation between the members of the Azanian society will not be premised on abstract rights and individualism (as is the situation within the current constitutional framework). But amalungelo and ditokelo within this Azanian society will be granted and distributed together with the attendant responsibilities and duties based on motho ke motho ka batho /umuntu ungu muntu nga bantu and feta kgomo o tshware motho. This means that the granting of rights and the enjoyment thereof will be on condition that, in line with motho ke motho ka batho, you demonstrate your humanity by recognising the humanity of others within the Azanian society. Thus, if you choose to behave like a phologolo (like an animal), which is the opposite of motho, the Azanian society will exclude you from the realm of Abantu or Batho (the pale of humanity) thus strip you of your rights. As far as Azania as land is concerned, the sharing of the land will be informed by the ethical maxim feta kgomo o tshware motho. This means that, as Ramose puts it in Globalisation and Ubuntu, “in a situation where you a confronted with the choice between property and human life, ethically speaking you must choose human life”. As Kunene in Shaka Emperor The Great puts it, “for indeed life among foreigners is not like that of the Palm Race (indigenous people). People kill their own friends and relatives for land! But the Palm Race has never heard of such things. How can one man possess land as though it was life itself? Is land not the vast endlessness where man lives?”

Another line on which the Azanian society must be organised, in terms of African constitutional framework, is the African Nation. The idea of the African Nation will be based on what Ramose calls Triadic ontology. This is the notion that being consists of three levels; the living, the living-dead and the yet-to-be-born. This is in line with what Marimba and Carruthers call the African worldview which is premised on cosmic interconnectedness. This accentuates the spiritual nature of being and the cosmos. Thus, in this spiritual sense, an African Nation will not consist only of the living but of the living-dead, who fought for the living, and the yet-to-be-born, for whom as the living we must lay down a foundation for their future. Both the spiritual idea of the African Nation and the philo-praxis of Ubuntu or Botho will restore our African culture and insulate us from European Individualism and materialism. And this is how we defeat European intellectual warfare and restore our African personality and historical personality as Cabral calls it. And what Manganyi calls our mode-of-being-in-the world.

If the above is not accomplished, the current constitutional framework will persist in its arrogance of arrogating to itself the role of a “doctor” who seeks to “cure” the indigenous law and culture which are declared unconstitutional, thus “sick” (in need of being aligned with the white settlers’ culture and law which are regarded by them as progressive and advanced in terms of their logic of Evolutionism). It is only after restoring Azania that as blacks (Azania means the land of that blacks, so by definition excludes whites and Indians) we can restore African culture. This African culture, as Cesaire posits, is “above all a unity of artistic style in all the manifestation of a people”. And this will eliminate barbarism which, as Cesaire puts it, “is a lack of style or a chaotic mixture of all styles”.

This lack of style or a chaotic mixture of all styles is what I designate “post-apartheid barbarism in the form of the fantasy of the “Rainbow nation”. Post-conquest Azanian civilization will be based solely on African culture, by the Africans, only for the Africans those at home and abroad. But for this fundamental objective of the struggle for national liberation to be realised, “revolution” is the “ceremony” that must be found only by the indigenous people, to paraphrase Sylvia Wynter.

 

By Masilo Lepuru

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