Why attempt by South Africa to get justice for her black people may endanger the lives of blacks elsewhere in the world

Expropriation of land without compensation is a phrase becoming synonymous with South Africa. The phrase refers to the current political debate pitying majority poor and landless blacks against minority wealthy white landowners. The racial debate has existed since way before the end of apartheid era administration. It was one of the pillars of the ANC liberation movement. It however ebbed off after the liberation struggle was ‘won’. Mandela did not want to soil his good name among the white community by doing what was inevitably necessary to bring justice to the nation i.e. oversee a fair redistribution of land among all South Africans.

After the fall of apartheid, there was naturally overwhelming demand for land and integration of blacks in the government and mainstream economy. Rapid capitulation by the new government to the black masses would have led to almost an immediate exclusion of whites. It did not happen.

It took a splinter in ANC and emergence of EFF party in 2013, almost 20 years after the fall of apartheid regime for such ideological discussions to reemerge in South Africa. Like any new political outfit looking to endear itself to the populace, EFF knew both what the masses wanted and needed. It adopted a more radical leftist and socialist agitation agenda and expropriation of land without compensation became its central rallying cry. Mr. Julius Malema, the founder of EFF at the time had little political influence and would have been easy to dismiss as mere Marxist radical whose vision of South Africa was intangible with aspirations of Nelson Mandela the first black president.
ANC has been reeling from falling populism within its base as a result of numerous scandals by former president Jacob Zuma and failing economy. It decided to hijack Malema’s restitution agenda to re-energize its base. Just last month, South African parliament in a motion sponsored by EFF and fully supported by ANC passed a law that would legalize Expropriation of land without compensation.

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The law requires all South Africans including mainly majority large scale white farmers to surrender their land to the state without compensation and the state in turn to devise a policy for fair redistribution of the same to its entire citizenry. This is a political powder keg. The historical context of landownership notwithstanding, many whites consider themselves the direct target of this legislation. The ensuing debate on how the implementation of the law will actually happen especially should the whites resist, has led to claims of impending violence against them.
The potential case for violence against a white minority by a black majority in South Africa has led to serious concerns by whites elsewhere in the world. This week, Australia was the first white majority government to publicly indicate their solidarity with the whites in South Africa. It wants to fast track the visa processing under special category for whites in South Africa to encourage them to leave the country for settlement in Australia. Alarming claims of ongoing political violence and a potential genocide against the white minority in South Africa is also quickly spreading in Europe and America.

A number of right wing online media with huge following are already sharing some horrific witness accounts of what is happening to the whites in South Africa. This is accompanied by anti-African and sometimes racist commentaries in attempt to roundly vilify the black people everywhere and justify a potential retaliatory violence against them.
There are already calls by American right wing radicals for the government to admit white South Africans as political and economic refugees and instead deport black people including US born black Americans back to Africa. While the possibility of such action is remote, the black America still remains vulnerable. Many blacks in America are likely to support the actions of black South African government to recover the land. If they express such support publicly, the white nationalists are likely to interpret this as a tacit approval of violence against the minority whites in South Africa and are likely to retaliate violently by targeting blacks elsewhere in America. Such a response especially if large-scale in nature may trigger a strain in relations between the west and Africa.

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While a full scale world-wide race war is unlikely to happen, the events in South Africa may have life altering experiences for blacks everywhere in the world.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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