The Nervousness Of Being White

You can play it down as much as you like, but there’s a kind of nervousness associated with being a white person in this country that goes through palpable peaks and troughs depending on the current social or political climate.



Generally though, I think we’ve learned to just let it be. There’s very little we can actually do to effect political change in this country except stand on the sidelines and shout the odds at no one, and so we go on with our lives and try to make the best of them because it’s easier to live in the moment than it is to live in fear of a future that may or may not come.

‘This country is going to the dogs’ is a sentence I’ve heard more times than I’d care to admit, and yet somehow this country hasn’t gone to the dogs.

The doomsayers have gotten egg on their faces more than once and it is for this reason that I generally steer away from South African politics and try to remain as positive as possible about the future of our beautiful country.

And yet, I couldn’t help but feel a fresh swell of anxiety when my aunt told me yesterday morning that Eugene Terreblanche had been murdered by his farm workers on the outskirts of Ventersdorp on Saturday evening.



The official story is that two of his labourers killed Terreblanche over a wage dispute and that his murder was not politically motivated, but try telling that to the right wing extremists that followed Terreblanche their whole lives and I’d wager you’ll be met with more than a healthy dose of skepticism.

The major problem here is that Terreblanche’s murder follows close on the heels of the charges laid against Julius Malema for leading students at the University of Johannesburg in singing the words, “Shoot the boere [farmers], they are rapists.”

At the time Malema sang those words, I admit I thought very little of them. To me, it was just another ploy on his part to get a few more front page headlines, something which he’s proven alarmingly good at.

But now that Terreblanche is dead, hacked to death by his farm workers, a very powerful message has been sent across South Africa, whether it was intended or not, and the repercussions of that message are what’s making me nervous.

More than anything, I hope this doesn’t escalate. We forget that there are still people that would give their lives for the AWB. They may have been under the woodwork for a long time, but they are still there, armed to the teeth and waiting for an excuse, any excuse, to fight for what they believe in.



It’s a tense situation though because if they don’t fight back in some way, what’s to stop Malema from spreading more hate speech and inciting another incident like this one?

I wish it hadn’t come to this. Sure, Terreblanche was a wretched bigot and was the cause of a lot of racial atrocities and tension in this country, but until now the most overriding public image most of ol’ ET was of him falling off his horse during a parade in Pretoria.

It was a seminal moment in his life because in it he was reduced from the feared and respected leader of one of the most extreme organisations this country has ever seen to a doddering old fart who couldn’t ride a horse if his life depended on it.

And that’s how he should have died, in his sleep, alone on his farm in the middle of nowhere and largely forgotten by the country he sought to control.

Instead, his violent death has instantly elevated him to the status of a martyr for a group of people who are the very worst examples of the old and bigoted mindset that caused this country untold damage in the past.

I strongly believe that South Africa has a rich abundance of intelligent and benevolent people who want nothing more than the very best for this country and everyone living in it, regardless of their colour or creed.

It is them, and not the Malemas of this world, who should be leading us, but they aren’t and who knows if they ever will.

At that same rally where Malema sang “shoot the boerre”, he also told students that Mandela had convinced blacks to forgive, but they should never forget what was done to them.



How sad it is to have the legacy of the greatest political figure this country has ever seen eroded by a careless individual whose words encourage everything Mandela has fought his whole life to prevent.

I don’t have all the answers, I wish I did, but I know one thing for sure, for as long as Malema is allowed to get away with inciting violent and hateful behaviour, we’re playing a political game of Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.

And the first casualty just fell.


8 Responses to “The Nervousness Of Being White”

  1. April 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Hi, thanks for your post. I’ve spoken to a couple of people today and it would appear that the majority is suffering from the nervousness of being South African at this point. It is totally ridiculous how this situation is being exploited by a small group of extremists (on both sides of the coin). I just wish everyone would sit back, relax, shut up and listen to reason, the way it has been put here!

  2. 2 Thomas
    April 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I’ve been reading this blog for near a month now and have enjoyed every article. Today’s entry just confirms, at least to me, that you have a very sharp grasp on the situation. Excellent work.

    I have no idea what will happen, although Malema on a fact finding mission about land reforms in Zimbabwe gives me little hope. Time to go get a visa abroad.

    • April 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for the feedback and for following the site, your support means a lot to me, and yes, Julius taking a leaf out of Mugabe’s book? Is that a good idea? Scary stuff I tell ya.

      Stop by anytime dude, I value feedback from people like yourself very highly.


  3. April 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Agree with you on most of it Slick. One thing though, don’t get caught in the same trap that the rest of the morons who call themselves jouralists are – linking Malema’s singing of dubul’ ibhunu to ET’s murder. They’re not linked and never have been.

    ET was the victim of a crime and not a political attack. Trust me, if Malema and his ogres wanted to make a statement using dubul’ ibhunu as motivation, they would have gone after a whole bunch of other character before old ET, who was for all intents and purposes dead to SA anyway after he came out of jail.

    It just proves the point that Malema is a bag of hot air – a snotty unsupervised school kid who’s acting as a smoke screen for the ANC at large.

    I hope you don’t mind me jacking your post – but here are my thoughts: http://www.callegari.co.za/?p=356

    • April 6, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      I’m with you, and yes, there probably wasn’t a connection between the two incidents, but man-o-man, the timing couldn’t have been worse.

      Going to check out your post now 😉


  4. 6 Toffee Boy
    April 7, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Hey Slick
    This may be a little long winded and angry at times but thought I would share and hear your take on it .

    Absolutely agree with your post on most counts, especially about Terreblanche and Malema.

    I do however want to raise a point that seems to be getting overlooked by the majority of South Africans and specifically white South Africans.

    Because the vast majority of us live in the city we tend to be ignorant of farmers and where and how they live. This article mentions 1600 murders and 10 700 attacks on Farmers and workers since 1991. http://www.newstime.co.za/rs_articles_contributors.asp?conid=16&recid=1523&pcurr=1

    These numbers are nothing short of mass murder and the response of the ANCYL indicates that they are in favour of this continuing.

    I personally know more than 10 people that have been victims of violent rape and assault with no consequence whatsoever for the perpetrators of these acts. Sadly many South Africans share my statistic.

    Unfortunately, I have decided that there is no longer a place for me in this beautiful country that I love most dearly. The reason is not that I fear for my life but that I fear for my children’s lives. I fear for their education and well being and I don’t think that they will get a decent crack at life like I did if they are to remain here.

    I hear many people laughing at the panic some of us feel and I hear the ridicule of people like Gareth Cliff (who I respect) saying things like “there is nothing wrong with SA”, “you are fools to run away” and “look how many people have come back”.

    All these people that are so positive about this country and I include the posters above, are people that usually don’t have children and only have themselves to worry about.

    I respect that.

    My guess is that maybe Thomas above has kids, hence the visa comment but Nanuschka and Nicolas don’t. I did say guess 

    Parents have a different kind of fear especially fathers.

    I have an obligation to protect, educate and nurture my kids to become wonderful happy adults that will live life to the extreme with as few regrets as possible.

    My eldest daughter has just completed her first year of Varsity with a 92% average.
    Her question to me the other day scared me because of my answer.

    She stated that she was on course to finish her degree with honours but that she was concerned that other students were being pushed through having just failed their year. (Friends of hers)

    Her question was that when it was all over and it was job time and she was in an interview with one of the students that were pushed through would the other student get the job based on her colour rather than her marks and my reply was that there was a good chance that it may turn out that way.

    Her next words were, I think I will be joining you in Canada. Something she said she wouldn’t be doing less than 6 months ago.

    It saddens me that we have allowed this great country to dissolve into a pit of deceit and corruption in all avenues of life. We are not confident to call the police if we are affected by crime because they are part of the problem. It saddens me that many South Africans are being murdered every single day and all the rest of us can say is “thank god it wasn’t me”

    We live each day in fear whether we will admit it or not. We have become a violent society and that is evident in peak hour traffic with the abuse we give each other in the lawlessness on our roads. We have stopped following simple rules on our roads because there is no policing unless of course there is a money making opportunity for our “lawmen”. It has become the norm to break the law because if we get caught there is an easy way out as long as there is some cash available.

    Soon, people will walk into our houses and take what they want because there is nobody to stop them and our wives and children are raped as the ultimate act of vengeance and hatred.

    Our society has lost its moral fibre and when our last line of defense which is the police and our government has decayed into the self enriching corrupt cesspool that it so nearly is already we will be left with nothing unless people stand up for their beliefs and rights now.

    The problem is, I think it is already too late.

    • April 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      Hey Toff,

      If there’s one thing you, or anyone else posting on this site for that matter, needn’t ever apologise for, it’s expressing their thoughts and feelings, especially when done in such an honest and heartfelt way.

      What to do about this beautiful and fucked up country of ours Toff? What indeed…

      Having no children of my own, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a father raising kids in SA. As I mentioned, the nervousness I feel living in this country goes through peaks and troughs, but mostly I’m able to push it aside and not let it get to me. Would I be able to do that if I had kids to look after? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many, many times and to be honest, I try to believe that I could raise them here, give them a good life and that they wouldn’t come to any harm.

      Is that a realistic outlook? Pick up any newspaper on any day and you’d be called a fool for thinking you could raise a family in this country without them falling victim to some crime or other at some stage of their lives.

      But it’s exactly as you said, the overriding thought that strikes me when I read about violent crime is “thank god is wasn’t me” and on the occasions when I’ve been a victim of crime (luckily never violent, touch wood) I default to the second most commonly spoken sentence in this country “it could have been so much worse”.

      There’s a flipside to that statement that I think most South African’s choose to ignore. My sister moved to Holland two years ago and is currently enjoying a life free of violent crime or the relentless paranoia we feel living in this country and as a result, her kids have never been happier, more confident or more carefree, which is exactly what kids should be.

      It’s for that reason that I would never pass judgement on anyone who leaves this country for fairer shores. It was hard to say goodbye to my sister and I miss her a lot, but she’s living a much better life now and I’ve got an amazing place to stay in Holland when I visit 😉

      Sure, it could be too late already for South Africa, but whatever happens, I think I may be in this for the long haul because I won’t let this country go without a fight.

      At face value, this site is a piece of entertaining fluff, populated mostly with ‘Dick Cupcakes’ and okes who like to klap gym boet. But underneath it all, I’m connecting with a wide audience of likeminded people, good people who share my sense of humour and (in some cases) believe in the same things I do, and as crazy as it sounds, that gives me hope.

      So thank you for your comment and for supporting this site, it means a lot. Let me know what happens about your decision to emigrate and if you do take that bold step, be sure to stop by the site (it even works overseas!) and tell the people wherever you end up that there’s still one or two humans left on the internet, and a couple of tigers too 😉


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