What the hell is wrong with Jacob Zuma? Doing the rounds in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek municipalities on Friday 20 August, he claimed to be shocked by the squalid living conditions of township residents in these areas which are regarded as top tourist attractions. You could guess that he expects the same sympathetic reactions he had from the public ahead of the 2009 general elections after similar incredulous exclamations of shock at the sight of poverty for poor whites in Pretoria.
Anyone with an introductory knowledge of the challenges facing transformation in South Africa should be well aware that the historical super exploitation of African workers and poor peasants is without measure. It is so deeply entrenched that it now appears ‘natural’ to both the beneficiaries and the victims. Poverty is poverty, Mr President; it is not black or white. Only racism defines it in those terms, with the mistaken belief that superior whites could not be poor and that inferior blacks should be pleased with their lowly station in life. In the lexicon of revolutionary Pan Africanists, Zuma’s interpretation is called colonial mentality of a special type.