The difference between history and tradition – why balck and white South Africa is fundamentally different.
(Daniel – Front National South Africa) In the last day or two I’ve had my fair share of interesting conversations (and in fact one or two serious arguments) about the interpretation of history. Whenever I quote the historical fact that Europeans reached the African shore South of the Equator as far back as 1482, one or the other black South African or liberal counters with the claim that black people were already living here – followed by the tedious “…and the white man came and stole the land…” In fact, a certain mr Sikhafundana from Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape tried to convince me last night that Van Riebeeck and all the other Europeans never brought vineyards along on the ships, but found it here, all ready for stealing! I kind of expect him to tell me soon that Autshomao, the Khoisan, showed Van Riebeeck the Cape driving on the N1 in his black Audi with Krotoa behind the wheel as well! The same gentleman is fully convinced of the fact that the International Monetary Fund sent the missionaries here to enslave the black man and steal his land. He simply could not understand that the IMF could not do such a thing 2 centuries before it existed – which boils down to an understanding of the concept of time. I shall return to this.
It is historical fact that Herodotus, the father of history, already recorded in 600 bC that the ancient Phoenicians managed to sail down the east coast of Africa, round the Cape and back to Phoenicia through the “Pilars of Hercules” (Gibraltar). In the late 1980’s the remains of a possible Phoenician galley was discovered under a cricket pitch in Maitland, Cape Town. The Cape Town attorney, Bernard O’Sullivan sent samples of the wood to a laboratory in Zurich which confirmed that it was wood from the Mediteranian area and between 1800 and 2200 years old.
It is a historical fact that Diogo Cao reached Africa south of the equator in 1482. We have the log of his ship and his written reports of his discoveries. In 1486 he planted a padrao (Stone Cross) on the coast of the Koakoveld, the remains of which was unearthed 426 years later. In 1488 Dias sailed around the tip of Africa and reached Aguado de Sao Bras (Mossel Bay). He left a padrao on 12 March 1488 at the mouth of the Bushmans River where prof Eric Axelson unearthed it in 1938 and transported it to the library of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1529 Jean and Raoul Parmentier of Dieppe sailed around the Cape. In 1591 George Raymond sets foot on South African soil. In 1592 the Dutch brothers, Cornelis and Frederik de Houteman arrives in the Cape to take in refreshments and hunt for fresh meat. This journey is carefully recorded by Jan Huyghen van Linschoten in his “Itinerario ofte Reijsboek naar Oost”. . It is a fact the the English sea captain, John Roberts left a message scratched into a stone in Table Bay in 1622, because the dated stone is in the South African Museum in Cape Town.
As early as 1613 the English decided to establish a settlement at the foot of Table Mountain. They actually hoisted the English flag on Signal Hill and proclaimed the Cape in the name of King James I. It could well have happened that England could be the first to colonise the Cape, if the Dutch East India trader, Nieuw Haerlem, did not run aground in Table Bay in July 1647. Sixty men under the leadership of Leendert Jansz stayed behind to await the return fleet from Batavia, which arrived on 15 March 1648. Of these 8 months Jansz, Matthijs Proot and Wollebrandt Geleijnsen de Jongh (The admiral of the return fleet) kept full record and even wrote a document called “De Remonstrantie” in which they advised the Dutch East India Company to establish as settlement at the Cape because the land is uninhabited and sparsely populated by a few Khoi groups. On 6 April 1652 Jan van Riebeeck therefore arrived at the Cape to set up his refreshment station.
Why do I tell this? Because this is history. This is factual, proven history of which sufficient evidence exists.
History is fact with names, dates, places, cause and consequence. It is not oral tradition which can never be objective.
I seriously objected to the wrapping up of the statue of Paul Kruger on Church Square in Pretoria in shining foil to indicate a “cool capital” last night. This is, in my opinion, a disgrace and disrespectful to the sentiments of the descendants of Kruger’s own people. When I therefore argued that the evidence of a nation’s history, such as his documents in archives, his buildings and monuments and statues are untouchable, because it shows where he comes from; a liberal conservationist from Pretoria informed me that I have a Eurocentric outlook because in the African custom heritage is something which you live with every day, it is alive in your existence and never changes.
And I agree with him. That is the reason why the white South African, which originated from Europe and arrived here more than a century before the black South African, which originated from the area of the great lakes in central Africa, can never be one nation. Because the Afrocentric approach to the concept of time is one of not recognising where he came from, thus being incapable of defining his destination. In the Afrocentric approach yesterday, today and tomorrow is exactly the same and therefore we just exist and do not need to make provision for the future – the future will provide for itself. The Afrocentric approach is one where anticipation does not exist. And to such an approach we can never conform.
The usual accusation we hear is that the history was recorded by Europeans and therefore subjected to European interpretation. What I quoted at the outset are facts, they are not interpretation. The history of the black man has never been recorded – he justifies it by quoting stories, rhymes, dances and songs. It is quite obvious that such a record cannot possibly be reliable.
In that lies the difference between history and tradition. And by definition the difference between white South Africa and black South Africa. White South Africa can prove where it came from, it can prove that it has a right of existence in this country. The face of modern Africa, which is largely an imitation of Western civilisation, is testimony of the accomplishment of European values, not of African values, for if so, we would all now live in mud huts, hunt with spears and wear animal skins. Instead, we drive cars, have electricity, mobile phones and Facebook. In fact, without the benefit of the so despised Western education, Nelson Mandela would never have progressed past the point of herding cattle.
It is a known fact that a nation must know where it came from in order to know where it is heading. If you do not have a history, where do you recognise your mistakes and shortcomings from? How do you know not to repeat them? And therefore a nation without a history is a doomed nation.
In Asia we find the record of history of the ancient Oriental poets, the Indian holy scriptures etc. In the Americas we find the structures of the ancient peoples such as temples and pyramids and totem poles. In Europe we have palaces and cathedrals and libraries and archives and museums. In Africa the black man has nothing, – no record at all, apart from stories and songs. Is it possible that this could be the reason why Africa remains a third world continent while all the rest are self sustainable? Because of the simple fact that the black South African does not know where he came from and therefore has no idea where he is heading to and thus desperately despises the white South African who does…
Some time ago I was accused by a certain Ntsiki Mazwai (African Queen – some sort of poet/singer something) of forcing black South Africans to adopt a European way of life. I did not even respond to that. As far as I am concerned no white person would stand in her way if she wants to slip back into the Iron Age. She is welcome to erect a hut from mud and straw somewhere in Kwazulu or Transkei, make a clay pot and fill it with maize and live happily by her fire, ignorant of anything beyond the thorn three on the horizon. But I’ll be bloody damned if I’m going to join her there.
And with that argument, on top of my historical right, I demand a piece of this country, proportionally big enough to allow the South African of European descend to lead his first world lifestyle in peace. Give us, we demand from black South Africa, with our recorded history, self determination and you can carry on singing songs and making rhymes and believing in your own concept of time and history for as long as you like…