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The South African Constitution & Its Critics: A Case of Mistaking The Map For The Territory?

The South African Constitution & Its Critics: A Case of Mistaking The Map For The Territory?

“I am quite frank: I do not pretend to love white people. I think that as a race they are the most selfish of any on earth. I think that the history of the world for the last thousand years proves this beyond doubt” (W.E.B. DuBois in Whites in Africa After Negro Autonomy).

There is no doubt that the final constitution is based on the epistemological paradigm of the European conquerors and this is the main problem. There is also no doubt that this constitution is the highest expression of the Freedom Charter, another problem. While these two documents written by white settlers and approved by Blacks are problematic, they cannot be reduced to the fundamental antagonism in the struggle for national liberation. They are just a “map” of white supremacy; the “territory” and real fundamental antagonism is whites themselves. This is what the current fashion of critiquing the final constitution from different ideological positions fails to understand and refuses to accept. The debate about the nature and origin of this constitution is an intellectual foray joined by an array of characters of Afrikan thinkers including many militant cowards, reactionary charlatans, and pseudo-radical liberals. The critique of this constitution has become an end in itself rather than a mere symptom of the inherently problematic nature of whites.

The critique of this constitution has become so bad that even the moderate liberal Congress Tradition of the civil rights movement spearheaded by the African National Congress held a conference to rethink the nature of this constitution. Of course, the ANC as the shameless epitome of the House Negro function of protecting and defending white supremacy in South Africa “debates” the nature of the constitution intending to counter the critique of the constitution coming from the pseudo-radical liberalism of the Azanian Tradition. Different schools of thought in this constitutional debate have now emerged. Constitutional triumphalism and constitutional abolitionism represent the two dominant liberal traditions, namely the moderate Congress Tradition and the radical Azanian Tradition.

Some famous Black liberals are even talking about concepts such as constitutional scepticism and constitutional nihilism. What this fashionable debate has demonstrated is nothing but what we can call the crisis of Afrikan intellectuals. This crisis is characterised by two things namely, the lack of theorization of the nature and origin of Europeans as white settlers in South Africa through conquest since 1652 in a barbaric series of race wars waged against the Indigenous people of the formerly independent Azania. The second characteristic of this crisis is the cowardly avoidance of categorising and confronting whites as the implacable and everlasting enemies of the Afrikan race since their disastrous emergence from their caves in the Caucasus mountains. Francis Cress Welsing once argued that “if you do not understand white supremacy then everything else you think you know will only confuse you”. The origin of the crisis lies in the naïve refusal to admit that the Europeans have been waging a race war against the Afrikan race for “two thousand seasons”. It is with this in mind that we can paraphrase Francis Cress Welsing and argue that “for as long as Afrikans, we do not understand the origin and character of the Europeans everything else, we critique especially their institutions and ideas will only confuse us”. This is interesting because Europeans have been studying the origin and character of the Afrikan race before they even waged the race war against them. Europeans realised the importance of studying the enemy in the context of war and invested years of time and energy to understating their enemy, namely the Afrikan race. It is this constant and consistent study which has resulted in vulgar racist statements such as the Bantu migration fallacy and Afrikans as a child-like race. Afrikans with limited exceptions have thus far failed dismally to return the favour to their white enemies.

This is because many Afrikans have naively refused to admit that the white race has declared a race war of ultimate racial extermination against them. This admission is of course very painful and this is why Afrikans prefer to engage in many diversionary activities including critiquing the institutions of their white enemies rather than the white enemies themselves. This is partly understandable because the evil behaviour of the white race towards Afrikans is so overwhelmingly unimaginable that it is shocking for the Afrikan race to think that the Europeans can do what they have been doing to us to this day. The Afrikan race urgently needs a radical paradigm shift if it is to survive in the next 100 years. The absurdly culturally lost generation of contemporary Afrikans must go back to the wisdom of the ancestors who first encountered Europeans and analysed their nature and origin.

The catastrophic encounter with these Europeans split the Afrikan race into two groups, namely Amakholwa and Amaqaba. While some of the current Afrikan intellectuals are not practising Christians, their critique of white supremacy and white power is premised on the humanism of missionary miseducation typical of Amakholwa. Their dangerous tendency to separate the enemy from the institutions of the enemy and then focus on these institutions as if they are the fundamental problem is a true reflection of Christian liberal and radical humanism. The wisdom of the ancestors as Amaqaba is what is urgently needed. Fundamental to this wisdom is the idea that Europeans are abelumbi which means wizards/witches who have to be returned to the sea where they came from. These uncompromising ancestors did not focus merely on institutions created by the white enemies amid a race war but focused on the origin and nature of the white enemy. This is many centuries before Cheik Anta Diop thought about the Europeans as belonging to the northern cradle which is aggressive, violent, and prone to conquest and destruction. This is also before Bobby Wright regarded Europeans as embodying a psycho-pathological personality. And finally, this is before Marimba Ani argued that the Europeans as Yurugu are characterised by a worldview and culture with a seed of control and domination. It is in this sense that the crisis-ridden Afrikan intellectuals fail to understand that whites are only willing to inhabit a reality in which they are in power and superior to everyone. The fundamental pitfall of the constitutional critique whether as moderately liberal ala the Congress Tradition or radically liberal ala the Azanian Tradition is that contrary to our Amaqaba ancestors, it assumes that “whites are here to stay”. This alien assumptive logic of humanism also called African humanism/Ubuntu underlies the naïve notion of nonracialism at the heart of the constitutionalists. The anti-black liberal non-racialists of the ANC want whites to integrate them on their terms while the Azanian non-racialists want to integrate whites on the terms of the Afrikan majority by converting them first. Ultimately both these nonracial constitutionalists dangerously refuse and fail to “return to the source” of the Amaqaba ancestors. Afrikans must begin to reimagine a world without the Europeans or perish while trying to appease them.

White people, are still masters of the world and do not have to yield. They have never changed their real attitude toward Black people during all the passing centuries, and there is absolutely nothing upon which to base the belief that they will change in the centuries to come (Chancellor Williams in The Destruction of Black Civilization).

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Masilo Lepuru

Masilo Lepuru

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