A short thread about the rise of racial nationalism in SA. King Zwelithini recently threatened a Zulu uprising. Fadiel Adams in the WC leads a group calling on all those not born in the WC to sell their assets and “go home”. The Khoi-San king says he has seceded.
— Gareth van Onselen (@GvanOnselen) July 19, 2018
A short thread about the rise of racial nationalism in South Africa
by Gareth Van Onselen (Originally published on Twitter on 19 July 2018)
King Zwelithini recently threatened a Zulu uprising. Fadiel Adams in the WC leads a group calling on all those not born in the WC to sell their assets and “go home”. The Khoi-San king says he has seceded.
There is an ever-increasing political drive against immigrants and omni-present xenophobia. KwaZulu-Natal is devolving into ever-more ethnic politics. Farm murders, and government’s intransigence towards it, is isolating Afrikaners.
Parties like the EFF, which have turned viciously on “whiteness” and generate phrases like “the Indian question”, are symptomatic of a prevalent racial hostility towards minorities, one long since facilitated by the ANC. Increasingly, if not subtly, the DA also pandering to fear.
SA is fragmenting, economically weak, the state without any discernible authority and, in the absence of any unified moral centre than holds, the country is dividing into groups. Each hostile to the other. They were always there, but whatever held them together is breaking.
Unchecked, these are the conditions for civil war. Unofficially, we already effectively have one, albeit it informal, low grade and attritional. Citizens are rising up against the state, turning to violence, mobilising around identity. Anarchy reigns in many, many areas.
If all these things reach their zenith, the future is dark indeed. The state can only ever respond by becoming more authoritarian, people turn on scapegoats, of which minorities and immigrants are the easiest targets, and power turns not on principle but brute force and populism.
South Africa is on the cusp of something terrible. All the signs are there. We have not yet reached a tipping point. But you feel you can now see one, and it is coming closer and closer, almost in slow motion.
If that moment ever gets here. If something big enough snaps, the destructive chaos and hate that will stream forth from that chasm will consume not just the prospect of a new South Africa, but the very idea of it.