Eish, this pamphlet AfriForum has unleashed.
I wasn’t going to write about it until our Facebook page exploded with comments about it. Comments I found ignorant and unhelpful.
If you haven’t seen the pamphlet, it’s been posted on the Perdeby Facebook page as well as the Perdeby Twitter feed (@perdebynews). It is basically a parody of a DASO poster (which had a white man and a black woman embracing and was commenting on the attitudes towards race prevalent in a South African society). The AfriForum pamphlet, which as far as I can tell is a petty revenge pamphlet, produced because they’re angry about being politically outmanoeuvred, has a black man and a white man embracing, one representing Sasco, the other DASO, and is commenting on the alliance between the two parties on UP campus; an alliance which effectively kept AfriForum from any power seats on the SRC.
AfriForum’s gripe is that the alliance between DASO and Sasco created an SRC which doesn’t represent the true wishes of the students. Because, they say, the majority of students voted for AfriForum in last year’s SRC election, democracy has been thwarted – outwitted by this evil alliance.
I’m not going to go into the irony and hypocrisy present in the fact that AfriForum did exactly the same thing last year: they formed an alliance which kept Sasco from power. The detail of that is dealt with in an editorial written by Carel Willemse, our editor-in-chief, responding to the pamphlet, which you can find on our webpage. Or mention that I have it on very good authority that AfriForum themselves were ready to jump into bed with Sasco this year (you can read our investigative news piece on this issue later in the week), but Sasco withdrew and instead allied themselves with DASO. Sasco probably did this after it was revealed that AfriForum’s candidate for the SRC Presidency, Nikke Strydom, had told The National newspaper that, amongst other things, she thought Apartheid had been a good idea. That article can be found here http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/africa/inside-south-africas-last-bastion-of-apartheid. Strydom says her comments were taken out of context, but quite frankly she sounds like a racist to me. I don’t know that this is why Sasco changed their minds, but if it is, I think this is a perfectly legitimate reason for doing so, don’t you?
The other implicit irony here is that AfriForum is whining about democracy thwarted when, in fact, the “45%” of the vote they received was from students who actually voted, not from the entire student body. Only about a quarter of students voted in last year’s election. Truth be told, the current SRC seems to be a much better representation of the student body as a whole than was actually produced from the election process.
But all of that pales in comparison to the fact that the pamphlet is so blatantly offensive. The negative rhetoric surrounding homosexual relationships notwithstanding, the white male figure on the pamphlet is an obvious caricature of an actual UP DASO member. This kind of campaigning, which AfriForum finds “clever”, actually reveals a deep and disturbing truth about the nature of AfriForum’s politics. AfriForum will deny that they are political, which is ridiculous: they are completely embedded in the political machinery of this campus, and this pamphlet is clearly a political move. One designed to … actually, now that I think about it, what is it designed to do? Maybe if it had any other purpose I might have been able to muster some respect for it. But it’s the equivalent of a self-righteous temper tantrum. It’s a prime example of why politics on UP campus remains a joke. It’s a pity AfriForum had to offend people in order to feel they were still part of the circus. Ag, shame.