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You wrote a very biased story two days ago. It has the potential to destroy the unity of South Africans and revive xenophobia on a whole new level.

I am referring to this: http://ntsikimazwai.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/dear-white-south-africans/

I am an Afrikaner. I am of Africa. Admittedly I claim as my descendants some Europeans, but also the Khoi, San, Malay slaves, Xhosa, other imported cultures and indigenous nations. The blood of the first nations of Africa pump in my veins too. My genealogy and modern post-apartheid academic research confirms this.

I do not understand your claim that I have “grown” white people. I have however grown tomatoes and sweet potatoes in the African soil, after preparing the soil with my own hands, and weeding the fields myself. I once needed an ash pit, so I took a pick and a spade, and worked hard to get what I wanted. I admit that when I could afford it I hired help on other larger project, and I paid them for their labour.

I am not the descendant of the facist pig called Hitler, and I do not honour the crown of Elizabeth that built her legacy on stealing lands and making people slaves. Please do not compare me to them.

Indeed, ours is not necessarily a history one would be proud of, but it is what it is. As witnessed in the Truth Commission the old apartheid government is not the only party with blood on their hands. Even the liberation movements have blood on their hands. Let’s think of Stompie to name one. Go read the TRC archives if you want more.

Indeed there are “certain behaviours which provoked the hell out of oppressed South Africans” in the past. This is understandable. Fortunately Tata guided us all into a peaceful transition about two decades ago. It breaks my heart that even today the ruling government still centres around SELF importance. Have we as the South African nation learned nothing from our past?

What is it about humanity that makes us think that our own thoughts, ideas and existence are more important than other races?

I share your confusion. We built empires together in the past, and admittedly in recent years with indentured labour. Why can we not build together again, but this time to the benefit of all?

Those of us that knew what was going on stood up when the injustices of Apartheid were happening, in unity with the oppressed. I recollect three Afrikaner struggle heroes: Oom Bey (who became an activist around the era of Sharpville, left the Afrikaner Church and was banned from the country by the apartheid regime), Bram Fisher (who was imprisoned by the apartheid government, and died shortly after his eventual release – probably preventable if he had proper medical treatment during his incarceration), Max du Preez (the renegade Afrikaner reporter that started the Vrye Weekblad amidst strong opposition from government – who tried and often prevented him from telling the Afrikaners what the apartheid government was doing behind their backs) and John Harris (who was executed for crimes against the apartheid government).

Let’s also remember Ruth First – killed by a parcel bomb in Mozambique while in exile. And Ruth did not even have African connections, she was pearly white. Reminds me of another pearly white Swede presently incurring the wrath of the new fully democratic government for doing things similar to Ruth First. Both have a proud communist heritage.

The white liberals would have been up in arms, but in all honesty, apartheid government was very effective in hiding the atrocities of their regime. Even today Cuito Cuanavale is still shrouded in mystery and controversy.

You are correct, white liberals did not have to carry Dompasses, they could go wherever they pleased and the very same white liberals benefitted from white privilege except when murdered, imprisoned or exiled by the apartheid government. Yet somehow I doubt if that was the greatest atrocity of apartheid. Did white Afrikaners partake in the struggle? More often than current political correctness would like to presently acknowledge.

Like you, the Afrikaner have been on the southern tip of this continent for about 500 years – about the same time as most Nguni tribes. We started out as Europeans, but we interbred and became indigenous. Yes, few of us have learnt a Nguni or other “black” language. Please don’t allow this to fret you too much – most of us cannot speak French or German either. Like our black brothers we were also forced to speak the language of the British colonialist oppressor, who have committed more human rights abuses in this land than any other nation. But somehow after the Anglo-Boer war in which Britian tried to oppress black and white alike we made peace with them and went on with our lives. We do not hate them anymore.

What you call ‘stupid’ English could be considered a dialect, a linguistic phenomenon. Think about it: If I am to converse using the purest of Queen’s English, addressing an illiterate tribesman of Nguni origin in a vernacular beyond his comprehension he may just take offence and will surely be befuddled. As a matter of fact many white Afrikaners will not understand much of it either and they certainly don’t talk that way.

You say “I don’t know if its ignorance, arrogance or a desire to be asked to go back to your lands which makes you disrespect our Heritage Day.”

I have a suggestion for you. Pack all the pearly whites in a boat, ship them back to Europe. The Malay slaves that kept their blood lines clean – send them back to Malaysia. The Indians become trickier – you will have to deport them by caste to prevent mutiny on board. Anyone that is not of pure blood – line them up at Kerkplein and execute them for their crime – please remind me to join that queue. When you are done, all genetically pure ‘blacks’ can take the great trek North to go and claim their original lands back from the Arabs that started their great migration South by oppressing and enslaving them (go read your politically correct black consciousness history books before you get upset). None of us have any entitlement to Southern Africa as original inhabitants.

Then when we are all gone (including you), we can give Southern Africa back to its original owners: Those that had little to none of a perception of personal property, who did not understand how man can ‘own’ land. Those people have been oppressed, gang raped, their men were sodomised because they were not seen as human, murdered en masse by the Xhosa, the Zulu, the Swazi, the Afrikaner, the white settler. They are only Southern African genetic group that proved in their own original handwriting that they were here first.

I am speaking of the Bushman: The San, The Khoi, The Batwa, and many others who are gone now and whose names we do not know because we were all too ignorant to bother.

If you feel my suggestions somewhat impractical, I have an alternative for our mutual dilemma: Why don’t we acknowledge that which we have in common. How about we consider the number of chromosomes we have in common. How about we stop focusing on our differences and start building South Africa into the special gem it once was and can still be?

Let’s all just start being firstly human, secondly South African and finally acknowledging whatever cultural or genetic heritage we choose to pay homage to.

Anyone that want to republish this in commercial media or for profit? Please speak to me first.

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53 thoughts on “Dear Ntsiki

    • Dear Sesberry, wena ukhuluma isiZulu? Mina khuluma isiZulu gancane. Please, lets stick to english. Its your second language and mine. and then the rest of the audience also understands you.

  1. A beautifully and eloquently argued point Franz. I applaude you in your diplomacy and unrelenting academic facts. You have in no way insulted or generalized the people of this country into tiny, ignorant boxes of the past where all one could be was ‘black’ or ‘white’.

    The atrocities of the past (committed by blacks and whites alike) have to be understood in order for them not to be repeated. With a point of view like the one you have just (outstandingly) replied to is one that keeps this country in the past. I fear that even twenty years of democracy and there are still people out there who are set on being considered pure in their cultures, religions or the like. Have we not accepted globalisation as a societal norm? So why can we not globalise our heritage? I would like to meet one South African who is, by definition, a ‘purebred’ as this is no longer the norm in this global village we now all live in (regardless of heritage or culture or language).

    We, as a country, have accepted the concept of being a ‘Rainbow Nation’ as a way to rationalise a country based on difference, yet when looking at any rainbow in any country, the colours blend…. Just as we have done in this country. Ntsiki, if you are reading this i would like to point out that if people like you continue to approach this country with a ‘us vs. them’ attitude we will never blend. South Africa has been subjected to enough oppression, stereotypes and racism… Surely your prejudices only set us back instead of move us forward?

    Yes, we have a messy past and a very racist one too. But can anyone name a country whose hands are free of blood? Of racism? Or general crimes against humanity? As an avid history lover I can honestly say I have not yet stumbled across such a country in my studies.

    Let us, as the new South African generation, progress beyond this foolishness and start seeing fellow South Africans instead a racially divided country.

    Regards
    A fellow South African

    • Thank you fellow South African. We must never forget our past. If we do, we will simply repeat our mistakes over and again. Yet like you mention, we must be able to release ourselves from our past too, if we want to move forward. We have much more in common as South Africans than we care to acknowledge. Its time to dig deep and explore than commonality. Its time to move forwards. Viva.

  2. Thanks you for such a great response 😀

    South Africa needs to move forward – while respecting our History but not holding onto it…

    The Jews do not blame Current Germany for Hitler’s hatred…Europe does not hold Italy accountable for the Roman Empire…

    The World needs to move forward and it can only do this when the majority begin to think like this…

    I will try read the books Franz posted up – I don;t do well if there’s no dragons and wizards (not harry potter >< ) involved…hahaha!!! But it's ALWAYS good to have knowledge 🙂

    Thanks again guys for such a great response 🙂

  3. Magnificently written piece. Well researched and insightful. But, I fear, beyond the desire to understand of the author of the original article!

  4. A very eloquent, informed and poignant piece. There is no such thing as a “pure” race anymore, and how wonderful, we are citizens of the world, all with the same hopes, dreams and fears. Perhaps one day that will be the way we all live our lives, in pursuit of a common good. Spread the knowledge and keep educating…

    • Hi Celine, Thank you for reading. I will keep on spreading knowledge and making an effort to contribute to a peaceful and sustainable world. The more of us that spreads a message of harmony and peace the better. Like Lennon said: “All we need is love.”

  5. Dear Franz, unlike the person you are writing to, you make me proud to be South African. Proud to have borne white South African children who have the humility and good manners to honor all people in their country, who have lived solidly in post apartheid SA and who don’t see colour or race but talent and opportunity. Unlike the person you are writing to who sounds angry – you have, as a white South African made me feel more patriotic, even with or especially with, a beer and boerie for lunch.

  6. Dear Franz, thank you so much for an eloquent and captivating response to what I would consider an extremely out of touch initial post. I do believe the writer is eating humble pie right now and realising that her amount of homework was beyond inadequate and that her opinion is one that she needs to take ownership of and think, think, think before babbling off like that. What are we going to be braaiing next Heritage Day?

  7. Good stuff Franz .. I up there with you on this . Freedom Charter starts by saying SA belongs to all who live in her. No one has any more rights or entitlement than anyone else…. we have all oppressed and been oppressed, we are all immigrants here, and its high time to move on from this obsession with race and the past .. As long as we dont let this go we are slaves to this past ..like long term prisoners who cant make it on the outside…I dont like braais and dont drink beer but most of all I dont like being typecaste or stereotyped …Im a South African .. its that simple

    • Thanks Michael, thanks for contributing, I forgot the Freedom Charter!
      I agree with you, we do not need to like Braais and Beers to be South African. And to celebrate our diversity we must allow those that like it to enjoy it!
      Somehow or another we must un-imprison our minds to achieve true emancipation. We can share these concepts with everyone around us, and make it contagious.

  8. I replied to her piece on Friday in such sadness that such an opinion could be formed! That could poison what we try so hard for. Franz thank you!!! thank you for reminding me again that there is hope for this country and ALL its people, thank you for restoring my faith that I am not the only one who feels this way. Beautifully written piece!!!

    These words of yours I will carry with me..

    “Let’s all just start being firstly human, secondly South African and finally acknowledging whatever cultural or genetic heritage we choose to pay homage to”

  9. To all those people who are able to separate their natural tendencies to side with their own, thank you for seeking the truth. Until we can be completely honest with ourselves, we cannot heal and we cannot go forward.

    • My pleasure Stuart, I think its natural for most people to side with their own. And that is fine, as long as we dont try to do it to the detriment of others. SA needs to heal and move forward.

  10. Thanks so much for this reply, Franz. Unlike Ntsiki, you have not sidelined a big part of our country – the majority of us, I believe: those who are of mixed descent. Our rich, sad, but yet triumphant history, is what makes our South Africa so beautiful and special. As my younger sister puts it, “I am a descendant of the slave owner & the slave, of the indigenous people and the colonialists. I am fully & uniquely African.”

  11. Thank you for your post Franz. Loved the read and you certainly know a hell of a lot about OUR past. The sad thing is that there are too many living with and in the past and they will never progress beyond that. It’s up to the rest of us to change the mindset.

  12. Well said …. I read her post …. It made me angry , I am also a “MIX” , English speaking afrikaner … With a Jewish great grandfather and more coloured ancestors than I can shake a stick at …. We were lucky I guess … able to pass for white …where precisely does she want someone like me to go …. my great great grandfather was what was at the time referred to as “hotnot” , does my genealogy give me more claim to the land than her ? I don’t particularly care , but I am not leaving , this is my land too and people like her are no better than the apartheid government of old .

  13. As someone who was riled up and somewhat hurt by Ntsiki’s article I wanted to write something in return. Luckilly I came accross your article first and found someone with the same stance as i have and someone who did not let his emotions control his writing, something I was afraid I would have done. If each and every South African can read this, from the most racist to the most liberal… It would at very least get them to think in a new way. Thank you!

  14. Thank you so much for this post, Franz. When I read Ntsiki’s post I was left feeling extremely upset. The fact that someone my age still sees colour and still believes there needs to be something done to equal the playing field is extremely heart breaking. I am a white South African who was NEVER touched by Apartheid, much like Ntsiki herself, and find it very difficult to comprehend her understanding that she, and others, have the right to mention that they want a Zim situation to right the wrongs. Thank you for the very fair, well written post in response to someone who clearly didn’t give her’s much thought. The last sentences of your post will stay with me forever!

  15. I Do not dispute anything that any one of my fellow south africans would like to say about Ntsikis Article. But what Ntsiki was address was the fact that, the one day that has been allocated to celebrating our Heritage as South Africans be it the Nguni, Xhosa , Shagaan/Tshonga or Pedi or Afrikaner is being devalued by trying to replace it with Braai day. Let us celebrate our Heritage but let us not allow our Heritage to be lost to the Grill and the Braai stand. Let us celebrate our fore father journeys to south Africa and remember what they Fought for let us raise them from their graves in our Dress Code and Celebrate together. And show them how they should have done things. But let us not every over shadow each others Heritage by wanting to own this Heritage Day to one culture or practice of culture

    • While I do see your point, and completely understand that you cannot link Heritage Day to one particular culture, as we are in fact a rainbow nation, I do think that the notion of braai day was one which was aimed at including the essence of South African gatherings. I feel that the notion of the braai is something that touches on many different cultures, religions, races and classes, something that we as South Africans all have in common, something we all enjoy and something that brings us all together. While I get where you are coming from I also think that braai day was something aimed at bringing all walks of South Africans together as we cannot say that a braai is only for whites, as we have seen that a braai is a truly unique South African experience 🙂

      • I agree with Nkosinathi and think Ntsiki’s article was very hateful and mean spirited. Samantha, I hear you…yes we all braai but historically, braaing was associated with a certain group of people. Furthermore, braaing is part of our heritage but to call heritage day braai day just doesn’t make sense to me. Can we just celebrate our South African heritage nje and yes, we can braai but it’s not braai day, it is heritage day. We braai on many occasions but those aren’t called braai days. Let’s not justify this braai day thing, it’s just disrespectful.

    • Big up to Nkosinathi, Samantha and Anon. Now we are dealing with the thing in a way that would make others jealous! There is sense in all your logic, and constructive debate.

      Personally I am not for, or against “braai” day, which is why I didn’t mention it in the article. But I do remember some time ago a TV add with a fictitious rags-to-riches story of a guy and the wors he braais (and the beer he drinks or something like that). Anyone else remember this? May this be the origin of ‘braai’ day?

      I do love the concept of Heritage day though!

  16. Very well written Franz. I too read Ntsiki’s blog and was rather irate after doing so. I don’t expect her to reply or understand the above after visiting her private facebook page only to find out she was educated at a white private school and is a big ANC activist, I now realize that there is just no reasoning with a racist who has actually never known any struggles in her life at all. I invite Ntsiki to walk a day in my life and she will find out what it really is to struggle.

  17. Incredible read, thank you! Although I feel Ntsiki is free to have her opinions, and applaud her for feeling so strongly about something so close to her, reading your blog makes my soul feel at peace. I love knowing I share my South Africa, with people like you.

    • I agree, Melissa. Ntsiki is free to have her opinions. That freedom also applies to me and you. The South African constitution makes special mention of our freedom, and also sheds some light on discrimination, guiding us on the topic.
      That being said, I think we need the whole spectrum of South Africa in South Africa. That includes the far right, the far left, and everybody in between. I also love the idea of sharing this South Africa with you, and everybody else!

  18. Frankly Marellus, it has been flowing in South Africa since pre-1652. And unless we make a drastic change it will continue. So, are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

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