50 People that stuffed SA up

with cartoons by Zapiro.

If you feel like some lighthearted heavy political reading, then this is a pleasant way to waste a Saturday afternoon. 1000 word short articles about various past and present idiots featuring in SA’s colourful political arena.

Full of little interesting factiods that I was unaware of (I’m not all that interested in politics aside from getting annoyed when they’re wantonly waste my tax money.)

From Jan van Riebeek to Steve Hoffmeyer, Mugabe to Malema, fun, factual reading, and of-course Zapiro in full swing with his cartoons.

i was working in the garden yesterday, and had a thought:
at the risk of sounding racist, i recon, the black nation must stop blaming the colonists for taking their land away from them, and blame the black chiefs of the day, for being greedy enough to give away land for shit like beads and booze. surely, if they had said, listen guy, i dont think so, then things might have been different.
okay, fair enough, the white folks came by with all kinds of shiny goodies. but, come now, the tribes have been trading with other tribes since forever, so surely they could judge the value of something? they werent exactly blown away by some insanely awesome piece of shiny? gold and copper and all kinds of shinies arent exactly a rare thing in our country.
or do i have my head up my poepol?

Bit hard to fight a gun with a spear…

In all fairness, our forefathers were’nt the nicest bunch, they did slaughter the natives on a grand scale and took many of them as labourers (read slaves). Keep in mind that the reason that they left the Cape for the Groot Trek was because the anti-slavery bill came into effect. They also didnt trade their land, it was taken from them, the white man’s arrogance was his undoing on many occassion, but they did have weapons which was more advanced than the average spear.

Thats the thing about this particular book, some really interesting factiods and is a fair mix of all colours in there. There were plenty stuff ups on both sides of the racial divide.

As for the colonialists, do some reading up, the Brits were a truly horrible bunch, the boer war comes to mind, and they saw their asses grandly until they started with their burnt earth strategy and stuck the women and children into the camps, its the only reason they managed to “win” that war.

We have a fascinating history, and its worth a read - not the popular mainstream stuff though, I’ll go grab some titles off my rack and post them here if you’re interested enough to go have a study.

Yup. South African history has always had me befuddled in trying to pick out a “good guy”. I failed. There were no good guys.

at least our forefather didnt murder the local tribes in their thousands. like in Australia, you are lucky if you spot an abbo there. they were hunted like animals. same with the native americans. it makes me very ill.

They did GCG…

Piet Retief wanted to canoodle old Dingane out of land and was killed for it (the other side of the coin is also very interesting, Dingane wasnt a very nice person), Andries Pretorius pitched up a couple months later with vengance on his mind and killed an estimated 3000 warriors at the Battle of Blood River. He had around 500 men in his party. See the reference of spear (assegai) and gun? And thats only the most popular tale, there are many similar tales.

the problem with our apartheid (Christelik Nationaal) education is that we only got the white side of the story, and a skewed one at that. There are wonderful historical books out there that tells a very different tale, read some of the old diaries that was kept, its moerofa interesting as its far more accurate than the (apartheid and current) government kept version.

Religion is not the only instance of indoctrination present in our lives.

The saying goes that he who wins the war writes the history. I have no doubt that historic accounts were biased during the pioneering, colonial and apartheid eras, and I have no doubt that it is being rewritten with the opposite objective now. You cannot get away from it that Piet Retief & Co were massacred while they were unarmed and that Blood River was a defensive stance by Pretorius & Co.

the spear vs gun argument is valid, BUT the natives had a knowledge of the land, as was able to move quickly and quietly, without wagons and horses and stuff and stuff. they had different tactics of fighting, and i think the whities saw their asses on more than one occasion.
if one could go back, and prevent the colonialists coming to the country and doing what they did, would we?
personally, i love my country to bits. and while the native contingent might argue against white opression and all the rest, did the colonialists not bring technology, science, medicine? is our country not a tad less third world than, say, congo? did the political and social structures the apardheid dogs put in, not made us more stable?
if you had to decide against colonialism, and leave the native nations be, would they be better or worse off?
I daresay, if there was no involvement of a firstworld country, south africa would not be what it is today.
while i regret bloodshed in any shape or form, and apardheid was disgusting to the extreme, if those people who died, knew what future was being built on their deaths, would they still have fought/invaded?

So, invading someone’s native land, claiming it’s your own, pillaging it (of gold, coal, for agriculture, etc…), making the natives slaves, or at best, oppressing them into becoming your own private expendable labor force, then using that labor to pilliage their native “country” (using the term loosely but hey…) to establish a first world infrastructure that is ACTUALLY only available to yourself, not the natives. Totally cool?

Even today I don’t imagine that whitey building private hospitals for himself really helps the black person on the street. Perhaps an elite few.

If I imagine a person living under a bridge in Jhb central in his own sewerage, begging for money and dying from all the glue and alcohol he abuses, Then I imagine a person living in the veld tending cattle… I dunno, it don’t sound right to me. Sure the natives fought lots of wars against each other. But it’s not like westeners really improved the situation when they arrived.

I have no firm grasp on this however, on one hand you have the above, on the other you have the benefits of modern science.

The main thing is these people had no choice, and were trampled on.

There is always “Us and Them”. If we have better weapons, better tactics or more people (canon fodder) we will take what we want from them. This is human nature. This is sometimes done by force but sometimes in more “PC” ways (read BEE for instance).

Judging historical events and characters according to our modern morality is both unfair and pointless. The best we can do is to link historical causes with outcomes, and let THAT be our guide to the future.

If I imagine a person living under a bridge in Jhb central in his own sewerage, begging for money and dying from all the glue and alcohol he abuses, Then I imagine a person living in the veld tending cattle....
An interesting and thought provoking observation. I would like to offer a slightly different view. Remember that you are considering two [i]different[/i] and seperate people. The chances of the very [i]same[/i] individual (such as the one you are witnessing living under a bridge) also existing after an alternate, colonialist-free history played out, are vanishingly small. This is because of the odds against his several sets of ancestors meeting up in a very different non-colonialist country. He simply cannot exist in your imagined, alternate country. It therefore stands to reason that a real comparisson cannot be drawn between a single person first considered as (a) a bridge dweller and then as (b) a cattle herder after a vastly different history . In other words, if you had the power to change history, you cannot offer this person a herd. You can only offer him non-existance. Such is reality. We must play from where it lies. But as a choice given here and now, I agree that most would pick tending cattle.


It therefore stands to reason that a real comparisson cannot be drawn

I think you are missing the point.

Not much is said about the poor Koi-San who were pushed to the brink of extinction by whites and blacks. This was their land thousands of years before the blakc colonialists and white oppressors.

So what is the point? That colonialism is a bad idea?