Imperialism, apartheid and the white minority in South Africa

Rukobo, Andries Mutenda (1988) Imperialism, apartheid and the white minority in South Africa. UNSPECIFIED.

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The situation in South Africa continues to attract extensive world wide attention. Certainly, no day passes without the mass media throughout the world highlighting the events within South Africa. Most of these daily events have to do with the brutality of the apartheid regime against its defenceless black population and its destsbilisation activities of independent African countries in the region. These events have increased in tempo and intensity over the last two decades. With the escalation of the conflict, condemnation of the apartheid regime has become louder and clearer. Yet despite this focus and world-wide condemnation, the racist regime defiantly and desperately clings to power and continues to deny the black majority basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. Instead blacks are shot, maimed, killed and imprisoned for no reason other than that they demand their inalienable right to democratic rule. Though the whole world has condemned apartheid, governments in the west have tended to be circumspect in their attitude to the regime in South Africa. In particular, they have been fundamentally ambiguous with regard to the questions of armed struggle and the imposition of sanctions. In a sense, the west have connived with apartheid, preferring to condemn only the excesses of apartheid and not the entire system. Just how and why the whites in South Africa have come to dominate the blacks and why the Western countries acquiesce and connive with the apartheid regime is the main task of this paper. The paper therefore seeks to highlight the coincidence of interests between the West and the South African regime. Many explanations have been advanced concerning this relationship, in particular the 'kith and kin' syndrome which is regarded as critical in influencing and shaping the perception of events within South Africa by the Western countries. The root cause here, it is therefore argued, is racism the sympathy of the west with the white race in South Africa. It is argued here that while this maybe true, this indeed is a partial explanation. On the contrary it is argued herein that imperialism is the root cause of the symbiotic relationship that has historically developed between the west and apartheid South Africa. Clearly, too, the continued existence of apartheid in South Africa has been facilitated by imperialist interests. In other words, South Africa does not exist outside the realm of imperialism, but is an extension of it. It is part and parcel of the world capitalist system, and therefore logically an adjunct of that system. However, it may be worthwhile to note very briefly some of the theoretical approaches that have been used to explain the South African situation. Among the dominant explanations are those related to theories of race relations. South Africa and, until most recently colonial Zimbabwe, were considered typical cases of race relations situations in Africa because of the domination of the African majority by a white minority. Political relationships within such societies 1s then viewed primarily in terms of intergroup relations. Such analyses tend to use the concepts of 'race' and 'ethnicity' to explain the process taking place in South Africa. This approach approximates the kith and kin syndrome already alluded to above.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: imperialism,apartheid,white minority rule,South Africa
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > University of Zimbabwe
Depositing User: Mr. Edmore Sibanda
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2015 14:17
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2015 14:17

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