The University of Cape Town consented (as we expected) to the demands of a bunch of misguided fools believing that they could erase the shortcomings of their own existence, by the removal of a heap of bronze in the image of Cecil John Rhodes.
They feel contented now, because the statue, which reminded them of European achievement and contribution to the development of Southern Africa, is gone. Yet, when they go home tonight and realise that they are still poor, still hungry, still uneducated, still light years behind the rest of the world and still misguided and abused by a corrupt regime they elected to have over them – they will have achieved nothing.
At the University of Kwazulu Natal students started protesting about the removal of a statue of King George V on Campus. They will no doubt succeed in their demand. And when that lump of bronze in the image of a long dead foreign monarch is removed, they will go home and they will still be poor and hungry and badly educated and misguided and abused by a corrupt regime they elected to have over them – they will have achieved nothing of value or progress.
In Gauteng all schools bearing the names of officials from the previous dispensation (built through the hard work of these men) will be changed. And when the change has taken place, as it undoubtedly would, they will go home and realise that it doesn’t matter what a school is named, they are still poor and hungry and badly educated and misguided and abused by a corrupt regime they elected to have over them– they will not have changed anything, in fact.
In Cape Town they want to change the name of an airport to honour Chris Hani. It was called DF Malan airport once and hardly any black man could afford to make use of it then. Hardly any can today either. Peter Marais suggests it be called after a Khoisan leader. Hardly any coloured person could afford to use DF Malan airport, hardly any will be able to afford it under any other name. And when it is changed to Chris Hani Airport, as undoubtedly it will, they will go home and never set foot there again for only the corrupt officials they elect to rule over them will be able to afford a ticket for an airoplane.
And so they will carry on changing names and pulling down everything around them until nothing is left to destroy or change and then realise that they are still poor and badly educated and hungry and misguided and abused by a corrupt regime they elected to have over them – and they will still not be able to admit that their miserable state of existence comes not from statues and names of schools and from politicians and regimes and empires belonging to the ages now, but from their fundamentally flawed understanding of the world they live in.
And then it will be too late to change that, for there will be nothing left to strive for, nothing of beauty and achievement and higher development to pride upon. No, nothing will have been gained, and so much will have been lost….
Front Nasionaal Suid-Afrika