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Dear Mr Jacob Zuma April 2, 2009

Posted by baldricman in News.
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Dear Mr Zuma

Some of your recent comments to Afrikaner leaders in Sandton have left me quite confused, and I would like to try clear up a few things. Let us for a moment discuss the criteria for being called a “True South African”.

Firstly, what are the criteria for being called an Afrikaner? Does speaking the language at home make you Afrikaans? Or do both my parents need to be Afrikaans? Do I need an Afrikaans name? What about my grandparents? Perhaps I should have taken part in the Great Trek? Maybe I shouldn’t have been born in KZN… It might be good to put together some kind of simple Pencil (and paper) test that Whites can do at our nearest Home Affairs office.

Because I speak English, and I’m white, does that make me not a true South African? In fact, if I’m white, but I’m not an “Afrikaner”, what am I? I’m not sure I belong to any tribe, which I’m aware of. To be honest, I never thought I’d have to come up with a name for it, other than, well, just a “South African”. Should I instead try including all the “original” nationalities of my forefathers? (How many generations should I go back?) Perhaps I’m incapable of contributing to South Africa’s wealth anymore…

Is that really what you want? Is that really what South Africa needs?

I work hard, I pay all my taxes. I pay my speeding fines promptly. (And when I speed, I do so without the assistance of blue lights) I’ve never been convicted, charged, or even accused of a criminal offense, Mr Zuma.

I get involved, like many others, in charitable organisations. And I don’t mean the Lotto. I stand up against common, everyday racism – definitely not as much as I’d like, but I’m just not always as brave as I’d like to be. It might be rude for me to point this out, but you should know I have spent a greater percentage of my life on South African soil than have you, Jacob Zuma: I have never held a passport. But I need to know: will I lose my authenticity one day if I get a passport?

One of the greatest strengths of our proud Rainbow Nation is the acceptance of all cultures. Yet in your statement, your divine wisdom on the authenticity of South Africans, are you not, in effect, stating that only people with easily identifiable, easily traceable, and easily “nameable” origins are worthy of staying here?

Most of your comments to the Afrikaner leaders in Sandton, as reported, were very encouraging. Your acknowledgment of their efforts and contributions to South Africa were highly appreciated, I have to say. And I’m proud too, though as a rule I avoid congratulating people purely on their parent’s or kinsmen’s achievements, or their nationalities for that matter.

I just don’t understand why you had to polarise those views, completely unnecessarily, and “divide” the “whites”, with a silly statement like this. If it was on purpose, which I’m sure it wasn’t, I pray that White South Africans all see past this most base and primitive tactic of divide and conquer. But like I say, I don’t think this is what you meant…

 So, Mr Zuma, you say “Afrikaners are the only true white South Africans”.

How should I respond to that?

It’s interesting to ponder what would be said about me if I uttered any of the following:

“Zulu’s are the only true black South Africans”

“Durban-based Indians are the only true Indian South Africans”

“Hindu’s are the only true religious South Africans”

Because, Mr Zuma, none of these are any more insulting or ridiculous than

“Afrikaners are the only true white South Africans”


See this article for more info on JZ’s comments


1. Deems - April 2, 2009

Well said, mate – although I fear that you used too many complicated and long words – but for the rest of us, we get it – let’s hope he (or at the very least his entourage) does.

baldricman - April 2, 2009

hehe, thanks Deems. I kinda want all white South Africans to read it and “get it”: I think I’d be very disappointed if JZ managed to stir up the old English vs Afrikaner thing, which I fear is a possible long term result of this, if it isn’t identified immediately, ya know?
Maybe I’m just being overly-critical 🙂

2. Tacita - April 3, 2009

It is my opinion that it is an attempt to get Afrikaners to support him and/or the ANC. I think we are all real South Africans, irrespective of the colour of our skins or the language we choose to speak.

3. pappadre - April 3, 2009

I agree with Tacita. This is just more of the same old trick – trying to get support. JZ has in the past proved that his message is inconsistent, crafted to suit a desingated audience and contradictatry at best.

4. baldricman - April 3, 2009

@Tacita and ppapadre: thanks for commenting!
I agree that this is, at least on the surface, plain old Electioneering 101. But I strongly suspect there is a deeper agenda too: he didn’t need to label all other whites in SA as second class, to try rally Afrikaner votes. He could have stuck with the positive acknowledgement of Afrikaners’ contributions.

5. Allen - April 8, 2009

Zuma has always spoken to his audience. When speaking to zulus, he dresses up in animal skins and waves a spear about to remind them that he is also zulu. When speaking to business people, he explains how affirmative action must be reconsidered so as not to hurt business interests. When he speaks to trade unions, he complains about how business doesn’t take affirmative action seriously enough. When he talks to afrikaaners, he tells them how awesome their proud heritage is.

It’s why Zapiro always draws him with chameleon eyes. This most recent kerfuffle is really just about Zuma being typical Zuma.

What interests me, though, is that the ANC seem to be trying to engage the afrikaners, and I can’t imagine why. Zuma flattering them. Julius Malema visiting Orania (and behaving himself). Since when do they worry about minorities, when they have a secure vote in the majority of the rural areas, and are assured of victory in the next election? I would be very interested to know what has changed that they are attempting to engage afrikaners. It must be something more than mere electioneering. Perhaps paranoia (The whites are still trying to oppress us), perhaps something more pragmatic (We must stop the braindrain, although we can’t do it by compromising our core values).

6. Andrew V - April 8, 2009

Did you know that the ANC lost its 2 thirds majority recently. In fact, they say there’s a real chance of the dropping below he 50% mark. If that happens, it becomes a toss up between ANC, DA, and COPE. I reckon ANC are scared.

Also bare in mind that the recent court developments have only worsened the cloud over him. And lets not forget that immagrants (Hope I’ve got the right word) can now vote. My understanding is that all those people left this country ’cause they’re against ANC.

In conclusion, you’ve got three big reasons for the ANC to worry.

I seriously believe that we’re going to have a few big surprises this election.

baldricman - April 9, 2009

hi, thanks for commenting Andrew.
I think the word you’re looking for is “expatriates”.
And I would disagree that all expats are overseas because of the ANC. Many might be, yes, but there are those who are on long holiday or sabbatical, who are studying, who are away on extended business but still officially SA residents, those who are on gap years or working holidays, and of course those who just moved for better opportunities because of their field or company, or because of family etc.

Allen - April 9, 2009

The problem is that COPE wasted so much time bickering internally about who was going to have their face on the posters that they waited till the last moment to start campaigning. Current polls (well okay, three weeks ago polls) show they have only a few percent of the vote at the moment. So we’re back to an ANC vs DA race.
As for the Zuma Trial, the National Prosecuting Authority anounced on Monday that they would not be laying any charges against him after all. So that whole issue has simply gone away. His supporters are happy that he’s being left alone, his detractors are unhappy, but nobody’s going to change their vote over this.
Finally, the expatriates issue: There simply aren’t that many people who are out of the country but still have South African citizenship. I hate to call it a publicity stunt since it IS very important that all citizens rights be protected, but those few tens of thousands of votes aren’t going to swing the results when the ANC has such a significant guaranteed vote. It’s won some support for the Freedom Front (since they now give the strongest impression of fighting for individual’s rights), but I doubt many ANC supporters would have changed to FF 😉

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