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Response to the open letter to the ANC by the Afrikanerbond

27 April 2011

Dear Mr. Vorster,

After 17 years of freedom all South Africans must celebrate what has been achieved over a very short period. We must celebrate the extension of basic services and rights to all the Citizens across the historic racial divide. Organisations like the Afrikanerbond must be part of the efforts to deepen this democracy rather than seeking to blame the victim. We must uphold and defend our Constitution to ensure that ideals enshrined therein become reality. This cannot be achieved by defending priviledges that historically accrued to certain sections of Society.

The open letter by the Afrikanerbond is falling into the common mistake committed by the Oppressor and Colonisers, that of equating their fears to be constitutional rights. In their eyes there are no black aspirations. Those who were oppressed for years must not have the desire to be equal Citizens. They should celebrate their views being subjugated to the views of the minorities. The Afrikanerbond sees that as non-racialism.

Any intervention that seeks to instil confidence among the Black majority poses a threat. Affirmative action, BEE and the term transformation are seen as derogatory by the Afrikanerbond. Their wish is that we must forget that JOB RESERVATION was specifically meant to deprive Blacks in general and African in particular any access to any work that required basic skills. In the workplace any technical work was reserved for "Scheduled Persons".

When I joined mining in 1975 with Matric, I could not access a blasting certificate. The "Scheduled Persons" had unhindered access to this basic qualification purely on the basis of the colour of their skin, irrespective of their education level. Many of the miners were literally illiterate but had an overriding qualification, the fairer complexion. When the government intervenes to increase the pool of skills across the colour lines, the Afrikanerbond sees this as being offensive. In the open letter there is no suggestion directed at helping Black South Africans continue seeking to achieve what their aspire to. The letter comes through as wanting us to be satisfied with the status quo. It is not possible in 2011

Non-racialism and non-sexism are only possible where citizens are equal and the playing field is level. Sensitivity about levelling the playing field communicates a message of dishonesty on the part of the Afrikanerbond.

The Afrikanerbond takes the liberty of distorting the National Democratic Revolution, as the programme of the ANC. They equate it to destruction. They ignore clearly outlined objectives:-

  • Building a United, Non-Racial, Non-Sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
  • The liberation of Blacks in General and Africans in particular.
  • Resolution of three interrelated antagonistic contradictions in Society of Racial Opression, Class exploitation and patriarchical power relations.

Regarding ownership of the means of production, be it land mines, banks or any other sector must reflect society. We cannot be happy with land ownership being 87% in the hands of 10% of the population. Nor can we be satisfied with 72% of all managerial posts being held by white males. The Afrikanersbond must be part of finding solution to this distortion.

The values enshrined in the constitution is what we fought for, for decades against the Broederbond designed system of Apartheid. It is therefore ironic that the AfrikanerBond turns around and give the ANC a long lecture on these same values.

Let me conclude by reminding the Afrikanerbond that every time they asked for a meeting we readily agreed. We remain open to engagement by any organisation in South Africa.

Issued by:
ANC Secretary General
Gwede Mantashe