In the April Council meeting Cllr Fourie FF+ was verbally abused by the DA and ANC for suggesting that colonialism and Apartheid contributed to our existing material benefits. Since this was not the first time that Cllr Fourie said this, what was interesting was the reaction of other Cllrs in the chamber.

From the ANC perspective, our history is one of pain and anguish. Cllr Fourie’s in return suggests that the infrastructure created by colonialism and Apartheid has not been aptly acknowledged.

Ironically while there are many Councillors in the DA that were actively part of the former National Party agenda, they remain mute about Apartheid. Only Cllr Fourie – Freedom Front Plus {FF+} and Cllr Williams – New National Party South Africa {NPSA} has the chutzpah to suggest that our political history is not entirely regrettable. Cllr Fourie often states that “when Fidel Castro asked the President of Ethiopia why Ethiopia was so poor compared to other African nations, the President replied that Ethiopia was the only African nation that was not colonised. It was this quote which advocated that colonialism was necessary for African progress that angered Cllr Xolani Sotashe {ANC}.

Beyond the racial issues, that Africa remains sparsely modernised without industrialization is obvious. What remains of colonial infrastructure have been ruined thru neglect. Ironically some colonial era boats remain engaged on the Great Lake Region. Why Africa’s new leaders did not improve surviving infrastructure left by colonists remains unexplained.

In the local context, during Apartheid the regime spent billions to establish Bantustans. Though the agenda was “divine and rule” and to create cheap labour, what happened to monies allocated and who was held liable for the missing infrastructure in the homelands remains unresolved.

Since we agree that Apartheid and colonialism were crimes against humanity, is that the end of the story? By relegating our experience to a historical footnote, is that fair? South African history is made up of events and people who must be held liable just like the culprits of the Holocaust.

The Israeli’s continue hunting those who partook in the Holocaust and Jews continue claiming assets and property stolen. Jews do not allow the guilty to escape more than 60 years after the war ended.

I am not suggesting that those who abused others during Apartheid must be hunted down. What is proposed is that those who profited, including Bantustan leaders and business must be held liable for benefits accrued during Apartheid.

If the Israeli’s can locate a 90yr old German camp sentry in Argentina, why can our government not uncover and recover monies from those who benefitted unduly during Apartheid?

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress