Speech by Minister Dlamini Zuma on the
Occassion of the Reply to the President's State of the
Nation Address, 9 February 2000
I am sure the President will respond to the crazy allegations
made by the apartheid general, Honourable Holomisa yesterday.
Mr President, you raised the issue of racism and fascism
very sharply. Much as apologists of racism would have
us believe otherwise, it is still very rampant in our
Racism was used in Africa by both the explorers and
colonisers for two main reasons.
Firstly, to justify their barbaric deeds against the
peoples of the African continent, claming superiority
and treating us as sub-human.
Secondly, to divide and rule. They divided us into
two categories, the inferior and the
superior races, tribes or ethnic groups.
A lot of serious and catastrophic conflicts on our
continent can be traced to the artificial
divisions that were imposed on our people by The colonisers.
In our struggle for a better
world we cannot ignore the monster of racism within
our borders and
In the developed North, racism is still very deeply
rooted. Historically it was based on
bogus scientific notions about racial differences.
In the 1930s respectable scientists mainly physical
psychologists and geneticists contributed to Rassenkunde,
literally translated means race
science. This provided a basis for racist assumptions
being widely acceptable,
particularly in Europe.
One of those extreme race scientists was Hans Gunthur.
Though after the war he was
stripped of his University posts he continued writing
his racist views until his death in
Contrary to popular belief, fascist ideas did not die
with the fall of Adolf Hitler. They
continue to be celebrated by small obscure extreme
right-wing groups like the Northern
League, which was established by a British Anthropologist
Roger Pearson. His idea
was to create a rallying point for Nazi intellectuals
in a hostile post-war environment.
The October/December 1971 editions of the Northlander,
proclaimed that the Northern
League stands for; "The preservation of the identity
and values of the North so that our
nations can have in the future white, blond and blue-eyed
Regrettably these ideas are not only confined to the
Northern league. I would be very
surprised if they did not exist, not only in South
Africa but maybe even in this Chamber.
In January, 1998, CNN carried the following headline;
"Fascism in the German army
reminiscent of the dark past. Military shaken to its
The report contained the following; "A vein of
fascism, hate, bigotry, anti-Semitism and
senseless violence has been uncovered in the German
armed forces, reviving images of
another era when such attitudes turned all of Europe
into a slaughter house."
"Right-wing extremists incidents in the
German armed forces
doubled last year. According to statistics from the
German Parliament there were 171
neo Nazi incidents involving at least 200 German soldiers."
It is a well-established fact, that extreme right-wing
parties base their political
interpretation on race science. The National Party,
a break away from the National Front
in Britain believes in the following:
"Nationalists believe that intelligence is mainly
genetically determined, and so the differences in intelligence
and other mental abilities between the races are inborn
and hereditary. Therefore we believe that the World
intellectual leadership shown by the white race is due
to our unique genetic heritage, whose dilution by mixing
with alien stock would be an irreversible catastrophe
for all mankind
A number of European countries do have extreme rightwing
parties in their parliaments, including Denmark and
The EU has recently imposed sanctions against the Austrian
government, which has a neo-fascist party, the FPO (Liberal
Party of Austria). It is interesting that about a third
of its voters are under 30, and almost 50% are workers.
Speke in his journal "Fauna", had this to
say about Africans;
"The true curly-haired, flat-nosed, pouch-mouthed
He continues; "He works his wife, sells his children
and unless when fighting for the property of others,
contends himself with drinking and dancing like a baboon,
to drive dull care away". This was the inferior
Living along side this sorry "Negro" Speke
found a "superior race". "A race of men
who are unlike the natives by virtue of their fine oval
faces, large eyes and high noses, denoting the best
blood of abyssinia." These were the Ethiopians.
Laeger wrote: "There are few people in Europe
among whom one finds these three factors of national
cohesiveness, one language, one faith, one law."
This was Rwanda.
In order to divide the Rwandan people, they dispatched
scientists with measuring tapes and callipers and went
about weighing Rwandans, measuring cranial capacities
and conducting comparative analysis of relative protuberance
of Rwanda noses. They used the nasal index to try and
differentiate between Hutu and Tutsi.
If the nose resembled the white mans long and
narrow they were defined as aristocratic Tutsi and if
it was flat and broad they were bestial Hutu.
When this was found not to be a perfect tool, Rwandans
were asked how many cattle they had. If they had 10
or more they were Tutsi and if they had 9 or less they
This helped the Belgians to perfect the administration
of an apartheid system rooted on the myth of Tutsi superiority.
This was the beginning of a slippery slope which culminated
in the 1959 genocide and eventually the 1994 wholesome
slaughter, where almost a million people were massacred
in about 100 days.
This is but one example. We, therefore, can only ignore
racism to our own peril.
Mr President, indeed we have to engage this monster
of racism deliberately and systematically, and not like
the Honourable Tony Leon, who would like us to believe
it does not exist.
His problem in acknowledging its existence is that
he will have to do something about it, even if it is
just to carry the burden of guilt.
The stubborn reality is, racism does exist in our society
and within the Democratic Party.
The Anti Racism National Conference is therefore welcome.
It is indeed appropriate that the International Conference
on racism will take place on the African continent.
Africans are grappling head-on with questions of ethnicity,
tribalism and racism.
These concepts were alien to our communities until
they were introduced by the colonisers.
We are the only ones who can liberate ourselves from
the scourge of racism in our country. Internationally
this has to be tackled with a lot more determination,
for the sake of future generations.
Thank you for your attention.