The political settlement of 1994- which ushered in the democratic dispensation had political hypnotized many of us to believe that democracy was the anti-thesis of apartheid. Many of us thought that the evil (apartheid) was finally buried when the good (democracy) took over in 1994.
However, the truth be told, the evil did not die nor buried. More like the same wine in a different bottle it just took a new form to co-exist with the good. As it currently still ravages and dehumanizes those whom it was originally designed for in contemporary South Africa.
And this is the basis of Dr Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh’s new book titled The New Apartheid.
In The New Apartheid, Dr Mpofu-Walsh not only provide substantive arguments about how apartheid has find new evil ways to thrive in our space, law, wealth, technology, and crime and punishment, but that poor Black people are still the victims of this iniquitous system as they were when it was still a legal state project.
Inside the pages of this book, Dr Mpofu-Walsh reminds many of us who still lives in the new bantustans in the form of provinces, and those of us who are faces of poverty, landlessness, and still confronts anti-black racism on a daily basis that indeed the old enemy is still very much alive.
Perusing through the pages of this book, I couldn’t help but agree with many of Dr Mpofu-Walsh’s substantive arguments on every page of this book.
However, it was particular on his proposal that we need to have more amendments on our constitution or even have a new constitution altogether to defeat the old enemy- where I find myself totally agreeing with his thesis.
The current constitution continues to be the protector of economic freedoms enjoy by beneficiaries of the old apartheid. While for the poor people, it remains just a document they hardly even see themselves despite the plethora of rights it contains.
The New Apartheid is a fresh reminder that the enemy of the poor and disenfranchised masses is still very much the same as it was pre-1994. It still dominates our living spaces, still decides and divide wealth on the basis of skin colour, still police and punish the Black skin harshly than ever before, and its legal mechanisms favour those who have the means than the poor.
I really need to give credit to Dr Mpofu-Walsh for the great work he has done in producing this commendable work that speaks to the root cause of our socio-economic crisis in contemporary South Africa.
This is a book that will help equip many of us with a better knowledge on how to defeat the evil and monstrous system that not only took the lives of our ancestors, but continues to dehumanize, degrade, depress, and ravage the majority in the democratic dispensation.
I think the only disappoint for me is the fact that I had hopes the book will tackle the issue of economic apartheid in its full entirety- because at the heart of this new apartheid is the economic injustice experience by Black South Africans and the economic freedom enjoys by the minority.
Despite that, this is a piece of work that can help us to build a new egalitarian country if we know how to deprivatize that which the new apartheid has privatized.