Apartheid Then: Apartheid Now?

As we watch history repeat itself in spectacularly barbaric and sophisticated ways through the ongoing rampant looting and violent #shutdownSA campaign sparked by the arrest of former South Africa president Jacob Zuma for being in contempt of court last Thursday. I can’t help but recall the words South African writer and novelist Andre Brink, meditating on the use of literature in Apartheid South Africa;

The first (use of literature) is quite simple – keep the people informed. In a country dominated by official lies and distortions and alarmingly, by an increasing silence among well meaning people who have lost their curiosity and who have allowed themselves to be coaxed and bludgeoned into accepting without question whatever happens, a growing number of (whites/*black elite) simply don’t know or do not want to know what is happening. Soweto (*Covid) has shocked most of them out of their complacency – but the human mind is remarkably effective in blocking out what is intorlerable or unpleasant. And the writer – among others can ensure that the terrible excuse of Nuremberg is not heard again” – Andre Brink (Mapmaker 152) from the politics and new humanism of Andre Brin by Isidore Diala

In my recent book SowetoTo Beirut (2021), I write about the personal and public effects of the Apartheid trauma on the South African black psyche, reflecting specifically on the campaigns to make South Africa (black townships) ungovernable. Instead of targeting institutions of Apartheid activists destabilised the townships, burning peoples homes and businesses, destroying infrastructure and blocking those who were able to, from going to work or accessing food.  While this behaviour was justifiable in the 80’s there is no reasonable justification for it now.

Supporters of such looting and destruction often justify their actions by quoting the words of  Nelson Mandela saying, “If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government,” which Africa Check  says can’t be verified. 

Personal Trauma Response

Because of the unresolved trauma (PSTD) which many South African’s continue to suffer from today –  we are easily triggered by events which are reminiscent of the Apartheid era, even when the situation as in the case the recent arrest of Jacob Zuma can be resolved without a violent response.  Covid-19 restrictions, along with declining economic sectors and lack of adequate social support for the black majority leaves many of us open to manipulation and hero worship. Our default programming from growing up in an effective war-zone means that we more often than not over-react in self-destructive ways. 

A lack of awareness of the impact of Apartheid trauma in our daily lives means we are slaves to our traumatic triggers which cause us to keep repeating the same mistakes again and again.

Obviously increasing hunger due to covid lockdowns means more and more people are becoming desperate, and have begun to self-destruct.  Still, logically speaking it does not make sense for those who are campaigning for Zuma’s release to destabilise the country to this level of chaos for a man who did nothing to improve their lot since he was elected president in 2009.

Socio-Political Subversion – Insurrection

The second explanation which is more plausible due to the fact that the events taking place in South Africa today are not a deviation from the narrative of failed democracies and governments throughout the continent and what we have come to know as the “global south” – is subversion through demoralisation or should I say, democratisation? These are sophisticated and systematic programs aimed to advance the destructive and profitable objectives of the “hidden” powers. 

According to a former KGB Propaganda specialist and Journalist Thomas Shuma (formerly Yuri Bezmenov) the tactic of subversion; or the undermining of the power and authority of an established system or institution has been the most effective tool of global espionage combined with a myriad of mind control systems embedded in religion, education, media, culture, social relations, internal politics, race, law and order and labour relations.

The first stage of subversion begins with demoralising ( or should I say democratisation?) of a target country or society. This process takes 15-20 years during which time one generation of students will be indoctrinated and brainwashed through various means including; influencing, infiltration and direct contact in order to achieve the end goals of the “invisible” enemy whose results include but are not limited to; a death wish, ignorance, unilateral myopia, various forms of addiction, a mistrust of the justice system, less individual responsibility, disunity, isolation, victimisation, alienation, hatred disillusion and a lack loyalty.

The  attacking entity uses existing movements which are in opposition to “established societal norms” and its institutions to further create a crisis and bring the country into a state of collapse and anarchy. 

Subversion tactics have 6 strategic areas of application:

Religion: By destroying and ridiculing existing spiritual beliefs and replacing them with fake religions, cults and sects whose aim is to disconnect people from the supreme being. In the African context as late Prof Wangari Maathai puts it in her book the Challenge for Africa (2009) “the banning of indigenous practices had little to do with maintaining purity, spreading civilisation or stimulating a love of Christ or for that matter warding off the temptation of satan, it has a lot to do with rubber, gold, diamond and cash.”

“Indeed through their strong power of suggestion, foreign cultures may reinforce a sense of inadequacy and nurture an inferiority complex in those constantly being exposed to them and urged to perceive them as “better'”. This is partly why foreign cultures play an important role in power politics and in economic and social control.”

Education: By distracting people from learning subjects which are pragmatic and efficient and make them focus on subjects focused primarily on race and identity politics. Or in South Africa, Bantu Education and the controversial  Open Education system introduced with the dawn of a democratic South Africa.

Social Life: By replacing traditional and established forms of connection, removing community and individual initiative and replacing them with artificial and bureaucratic forms of social engagement. 

Law & Order: by making people mistrust the justice system and removing individual responsibility by enforcing a victim mentality. 

Labour Relations: By destroying natural bargaining systems between employer and employee. Even though Labour unions were initially intended to improve working conditions and protect workers from exploitation – bargaining through strikes no longer results in compromise as we have seen with the killing of 34 striking mineworkers in Marikana almost a decade ago in 2012.

Instead, striking workers suffer as a result as do many others who are opposed to the expansion of extractive industries in their communities.

Power Structure: by substituting elected leaders and officials with unelected individuals and bodies such as the media who continue to have a monopolistic power over people’s minds.

A careful study of the decline of African societies and post-colonial democracies will show that much of what is happening in South Africa today is caused by both individual choices and a concerted external foreign efforts using local and national actors to block, erode and control human beings and lead them to their own destruction through indoctrination and propaganda.

Judging by the events in South Africa’s recent and ancient history it is clear to see that we are ( and have always been) at war. We are in a psychological and physical warfare of unprecedented proportions.

This war is also, believe it or not, spiritual. The question is, who or what do you believe?

*my additions


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