Black People Aren't Animals -
But That's How Liberals Treat Them
By Andrew Kenny in Cape Town
The Spectator - UK From Southern Africa in Crisis

In South Africa the news is so terrible and the response of our leaders so contemptuous and inept that something close to despair is seeping through the land. Every day there are on average 59 murders, 145 rapes and 752 serious assaults, and now a new crime is being reported: the rape of babies. (Note - these are only the officially reported crimes - ed) This month a five-month-old baby was raped by two men; afterwards the surgeon had to remove her bowels. Women and children are being abused and killed in high numbers within the family, and the response of our minister of safety and security, Steve Tshwete, has been to declare airily, "We cannot police this; there is nothing more we can do." Mrs Marike de Klerk, the ex-wife of the former president, has been murdered in her flat. The rand, which was at five to the pound in 1994 when the ANC took over, now stands at 17 to the pound. Unemployment is at 33 per cent.
The Actuarial Society of South Africa estimates that 12 per cent of the population is HIV-positive, but this is of little concern to the government because President Mbeki says that HIV cannot cause Aids. This month, at a Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting, the South African government gave its unqualified support to President Mugabeí s reign of terror and lawlessness in Zimbabwe. Emigration from South Africa (mainly of skilled people) is at its highest level ever.
So, is South Africa doomed to follow the rest of Africa into oblivion? No. There is a remedy, but it is a radical remedy. There is no way forward except by liberal democracy; that is, the rule of the law and a government elected on a universal franchise. It is true that black Africans were better off under colonial rule than they are now. It is also true that South Africa has the strongest economy in Africa simply because it had the most white people who ruled for the longest time. However, bringing back any form of white-minority rule is morally and politically untenable - and anyway no whites would want the job.
For liberal democracy to work in Africa it is essential that two principles should be put into effect. First, we must tell the truth in public. Second, we must treat black people as human beings. I realise that these are shocking and radical departures, but without them there is no hope.
The fundamental moral difference between a human and an animal is that the human can be blamed when he does wrong. When a dog behaves badly, we blame the human owner for not bringing it up properly. In Africa, when blacks behave badly, we blame the colonialists (or the imperialists or apartheid or globalisation or something) for not bringing them up properly. When panic-stricken policemen of the apartheid regime shot dead 69 black people at Sharpeville in 1960, the world rose up in outrage. When the minority Tutsi regime in Burundi set about the cold-blooded slaughter of more than 100,000 Hutus in 1972, there was utter silence. This is because the killers at Sharpeville were whites and so morally culpable, while in Burundi they were black and so not morally culpable. In both cases nobody cared a row of beans about the black victims.
In the 1980s President Mugabe, who regards ordinary black Africans with a degree of contempt unmatched by the worst white thugs of apartheid, systematically butchered some 10,000 black people in Zimbabwe without any objection from the world. Today the ANC, which screamed for sanctions against Ian Smith and apartheid, has issued not a single statement condemning the massive violation of human rights ó far worse than under Smith ó under Mugabe. Again, the reason is that Smith, being white, is a human who can be blamed, while Mugabe, being black, is a subhuman who cannot be blamed. This belief is the fundamental reason for the disintegration of sub-Saharan Africa.
In South Africa, we do not tell the truth in public (what we say in private is entirely different). This is because Thabo Mbeki, like Robert Mugabe, has perfected the technique of silencing all criticism by declaring all critics to be racists. It is very similar to the 15th-century Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) used to convict people of witchcraft. ëIf we say you are a witch, you are a witch,í has become, ëIf we say you are a racist, you are a racist.í Suppose you were to say, ëThere are too many traffic accidents in South Africa.í This would be proof positive that you are a racist: you would be giving out a ëcoded messageí that blacks cannot drive properly; you would be suggesting covertly that blacks are incapable of ruling the country; your agenda would be a return to apartheid; your criticism a veiled plea to protect the narrow white self-interest and deny advancement to the black masses. Such censure would stop any attempt to improve road safety.
In a country where millions of people are without running water and sanitation, the ANC has decided to spend R60 billion on gleaming new weapons, far in excess of our needs. Following an inquiry into corruption surrounding this arms deal, President Mbeki declared that its critics had ëthe racist conviction that Africans, who now govern our country, are naturally prone to corruption, venality and mismanagementí.
Thus few dare to criticise the ANC in public, and this lack of honest criticism is crippling our economy, shutting out the normal signals that feed information into a healthy democracy, and condemning millions of blacks to brutal, grinding poverty. Our dreadful crime levels are caused partly by our dreadful unemployment, which is caused by our dreadful labour laws. These laws make it so difficult to fire anybody that employers are too scared to hire anybody. The Employment Equity Act requires compulsory racial classification of workers using apartheid definitions such as ëColouredí and ëIndianí. ëAffirmative Actioní requires you to make appointments on race, not on merit. Our business leaders donít attack these ruinous measures for fear of being called racists or losing government contracts.
Instead they smile, nod their heads and quietly shift their businesses and money overseas. Anglo-American and other major South African companies have already moved to London, and more would love to follow. In the companies still here, cynical white senior managers implement the Affirmative Action policies as they prepare for their retirement. Eskom, the public electricity utility, has a ëspace-creationí policy whereby white engineers and managers are encouraged to resign to make way for blacks. The main criterion in a managerís ëperformance appraisalí is the percentage of blacks he has working under him. The education ministry had a policy of ëredeploymentí to get rid of white teachers.
The fact that jobs are awarded on the basis of skin colour has many evil consequences. Blacks getting jobs this way feel humiliated, while the excluded whites feel resentful. Some blacks, knowing that employers are desperate to fill their racial quotas, demand far more than a white would for the same job. Some blacks become rentiers who feel entitled to high pay and fancy company cars simply because of their colour. No matter how poor the performance of some blacks, employers dare not dismiss them, and can get rid of them only by giving them enormous severance packages. The competent blacks are associated with the incompetent blacks and they, too, get caught up in the cycle of frustration and resentment. Business efficiency falls, race relations suffer, and whites leave the country. Affirmative Action applies only to a tiny elite of educated blacks, while the vast majority live in desperate poverty and the huge black army of unemployed keeps growing. And if you say, ëGet rid of these terrible laws that are shutting millions of black people out of the economyí, you are condemned as a racist protecting white privilege.
The outstanding achievement of the ANC government has been financial management. Our debts are small and inflation is low. Unfortunately, the phrase ëOur economic fundamentals are soundí is always followed by the phrase ëThe rand drops to a new lowí. There are all sorts of silly explanations for this, including ëspeculationí and ëracismí, but the simple reason is that the South African economy is less efficient than that of other countries and is becoming worse. To produce a unit of added value in South Africa costs more than in other countries; rand costs cannot be reduced because of restrictions such as those caused by the trade unions; and so the rand drops against other currencies to compensate. The inefficiency is caused by lack of investment, low levels of skills, low morale, the labour laws and a poor infrastructure of communications, health and law enforcement.
Amid the gloom there are two recent examples of how things can be made to work well. The official opposition in South Africa is the Democratic party, which had an impeccable history of fighting apartheid and included the wonderful Helen Suzman. It is now led by Tony Leon, a tough, articulate liberal. The ANC loathes the DP far more than it loathes any of the former supporters of apartheid. Two years ago, the DP formed an alliance to rule the Western Cape province. And, lo!, they were able to solve problems thought to be insoluble. They distributed free anti-retroviral drugs to all poor pregnant women with HIV and to women who had been raped ó something that has never been done in any province ruled by the ANC. They rapidly stopped a wave of assassinations against black bus-drivers and black passengers. They provided a measure of free water and electricity to the poor. Their education minister, a dedicated and courageous woman, Helen Zille, provided proportionately more funding to the poorer schools (which happen to be black), and made sure that the pupils rather than the atrocious black teachersí trade union were the primary consideration. Things improved markedly. Of course, the ANC vilified them for this, ceaselessly accusing them of racism. Unfortunately, for disgraceful reasons, the coalition has broken up and the ANC will now rule the Western Cape.
South African newspapers are free, but almost all are craven supporters of the ANC and feel that their civic duty is to protect the government from the people, especially people such as Tony Leon. They do not allow any potent criticism of President Mbeki ó with one conspicuous exception: Aids. Here they constantly condemn Mbekiís stance. This has given courage to civil organisations, and one of them, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), has taken the government to court for its refusal to provide poor people with anti-retroviral drugs, and won. It is an inspiring triumph for South African democracy.
South Africa has huge resources and many talented, industrious people. We can make our country safe and prosperous, but to do so requires great moral courage. We must condemn Mbeki when he does wrong. We must get rid of callous idiots such as Steve Tshwete. We must say what is true, no matter how loudly we are called racists for doing so. We must appoint, criticise, praise, pity and punish black men in exactly the same way as we appoint, criticise, praise, pity and punish white men.
If we carry on with the lies, smiles and silence, we are surely doomed.

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