In my previous post I covered the period 1652 to 1994. The lack of questions and/or comments confirms that all readers now have a firm grasp of the history of South Africa during that period. Today we will move on to more recent events.

I split this period of history into two parts as, try as I may, there is no way I can fit the recent historical chaos into one post. (“I will try to be as even-handed as possible so that everyone has an equal opportunity to be offended.” Sarah Britten)

1994 to date: Part 1

On April 27th 1994 an autumn breeze blew democracy into South Africa. It happened with a lot of dignity and quite a few doom prophets considered suicide as the Armageddon they had predicted did not materialise. They have since resorted to do their predictions by chain-sms’ and have grown even more vague as to when doomsday will descend upon us.

All of a sudden black people were treated like…well…people. What a novel idea! For plenty a Boer this took quite a while to get used to. Come to think of it, it can’t be totally guaranteed that this novelty has actually dawned upon some of them.

Mandela came to power which was both a good and a bad thing. For the first time the world could see and fully appreciate an honest and transparent politician but it also lulled everyone into a false sense of expectation that all ANC leaders will be like him. Big mistake that one!

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed and they were so effective in their quest for the truth that one policeman, Eugene de Kock, now languishes in jail for all the crimes committed during the years of apartheid. He must be the only guilty one as no other person in South Africa has been prosecuted for gross violation of human rights to date. I’m hesitant to question such an important body as the TRC but I take the liberty to question some of their findings, or should I phrase it “non-findings?”

Sure enough, de Kock was a very naughty boy and his nickname “Prime Evil”, as given to him by his colleagues, had its reasons. Still, hard as I try to get my head around this one, could one single man really be responsible for all the chaos, mayhem and violations committed since 1652? That would really be an impressive feat. Counting fingers and toes to cover time, cross-border raids into the frontline states, the wars in Angola, Moçambique and Namibia, establishing and cementing apartheid as a government policy, well…need I go on?

Eugene de Kock is the only one incarcerated, in solitary confinement mind you. Could he really have been so omnipotent, so unaffected by orders from his commanding officers and government policy, that he could have pulled off a stunt like this all alone?

Or could de Kock be the symbolic scapegoat since someone obviously must answer for the crimes committed in the name of apartheid?

Why have all those who didn’t even bother to apply for amnesty not been approached and slapped on the wrist? Will that ever happen? Nah, I don’t think so.

Known perpetrators, including de Kock’s former colleagues and handlers, are today in most cases, wealthy businessmen, prominent physicians and leading members of the community. Ouch, democracy can really come with a price.

I urinate with tremendous force on that type of democracy.

A spin-off of what I’ve described above is that it has opened the doors for continued use of blinkers, amongst politicians and media alike.

That happens every day and no-one even gets upset over it any longer.

Mandela took to office and governed South Africa for one term. Thabo Mbeki is his successor and is now in his second term of office. However, no one has governed South Africa since Mandela.

Part two of this period of history will see the light soon.

Gerrie Hugo is a South African living in Sweden who considers polka dot suspenders with a belt and matching clip-on bow-tie the height of fashion. Visit his Blog: http://gerthugo.blogspot.com/

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