Thursday, April 9, 2009

Should South Africa's Politicians Be Obsessed with Race?

SHOOT: If they want to win, yes. because the ordinary citizen is very race conscious. Morally though, it is a device, a ploy that really amounts to a focus on finger wagging, rationalising and justifying and defending. There's not a focus on the merits of what needs to be done for all. South Africa, or any country, can't afford to operate in such a divided and divisive manner. But are unfortunately in the habit of doing so. Imagine an elections in the USA or Britain where one candidate effectively says: I represent the interests of blacks. The other says: I don't represent your interests, I represent the interests of my race group. Isn't it better to - as sincerely and genuinely as possible - represent interests, economic goals and civic values of service delivery for all?
clipped from

During a recent interview with Sowetan, DA leader Helen Zille, pictured, was asked about the continuing racial inequalities in Cape Town – a city which her party wants to project as a Mecca of racial harmony.

In response, she argued that she lived in Rosebank “a suburb which is more racially integrated than any other suburb in Johannesburg”.

“Johannesburg is much more segregated than Cape Town. I live in a black majority suburb – coloured and black majority suburb, and I have never found a place in Johannesburg which is as integrated,” she said.

Either Zille does not know Johannesburg and has a parochial view about it; or she ascribes to the dictum by a former Mpumalanga premier that it is okay for politicians to lie. I suspect the latter is the case. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Zille’s response about racially integrated suburbs is a manifestation of the DA’s even worse flaw – its superficial, and therefore racist, approach to non-racialism.

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