Mhambi has been redeployed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pallo is a Bok for sports but no treason

Mhambi is getting a bit tired of serving up stories about Bok van Blerk, but the plot thickens, and I have to do my duty.

The South African Ministry of Arts and Culture have no doubt stoked the fires with this statement that claims the De la Rey song could become "a rallying point for treason."

James Myburg reports that a statement issued on Tuesday the Ministry warned that the song was "in danger of being hijacked by a minority of right-wingers who not only regard De la Rey as a war hero but want to mislead sections of Afrikaans-speaking society to think that this is a struggle song that sends out a call to arms."

But to be fair to the department, Die Huisgenoot - an Afrikaans magazine - asked for an opinion from the department on the song. And much of the rest of the statement is sensible. Mhambi wants to bet his bottom dollar that smarty pants Pallo himself wrote it:

As the Ministry of Arts & Culture, we want to state it categorically that the Minister Dr. Z. Pallo Jordan together with countless other unsung heroes - spent his entire adult life and much of his adolescence and youth fighting for the right of freedom of expression.

Whatever the intentions of the composer, be they to mobilize White Afrikaans-speakers, or "the Boers" as the singer calls them, to oppose the democratic government, provided that opposition is within the terms of our Constitution, we as the Ministry see no problem.

However, there are two very important considerations which everyone must weigh. Firstly, during the time the song refers to, the White Afrikaans-speaking communities of the then Oranje Vry-Staat and Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek were at war with the British Empire. Unless the composer, performer and his audiences regard themselves as in a state of war with the rest of the population of South Africa, the song is merely a historical curiosity.

Secondly, today, in terms of our Constitution, every citizen of the country, irrespective of race, colour, creed, gender or home language has equal rights. As such even the most discontented White Afrikaans-speaker has the untrammeled right to organize a political party, to go into the hustings and persuade fellow citizens to his point of view, and contest elections. Provided he/she commands a sufficient number of votes, they will win seats in the national, provincial or local legislature and they have an equal opportunity with all fellow citizens to make their concerns known. We would have thought that the taking up of arms was superfluous in such circumstances.
Z Pallo of course knows full well that as a minority Afrikaans speakers do not stand a chance when organising in this fashion and contesting an election. But he is technically correct. He continues:
If there are White Afrikaans-speakers who feel they are besieged by crime, it will not help matters for such persons themselves to engage in criminal activity. Taking up arms against a democratically elected government, no matter how much one dislikes that government, is a crime, and a grave one at that.

...but z Pallo - i'm sure - is being disingenuous and aware that one of the first duties of a state is to protect its citizens. The point is that Afrikaners want more state involvement not a non-government.

Pallo continues:
The oft heard complaint that Afrikaans culture and the language are under threat is a nonsense, disproved by the very existence of journals like "Huisgenoot", "Rooi Rose", "Sarie Marais", and a host of others plus at least two daily newspapers. Are there equivalents of these in the largest language community, isiZulu? Are there equivalents of these in the smallest language community, shiVenda?

Afrikaans speakers, White, Coloured, African or Asian, have exactly the same rights as other South Africans. It would be a terrible shame if a handful of misguided individuals hope to use an innocent song as a rallying point for treason.

The law on the issue of treason is clear, as the accused in the current "Boeremag" Trial are discovering. Those who incite treason, whatever methods they employ, might well find themselves in difficulties with the law.

It is significant to note that Van Blerk himself has denied that his song has any contemporary relevance.

Mmmm.... Pallo has conjured up the spectre of the Boeremag.

Boeremag ghosts
Let me let you into a secret. Mhambi knows some of the accused in the Boeremag trial. I was a junior student in the same residence as some of them at university. The Pretorius brothers and their friends relished ******* on our ****** when we could not remember their names, room numbers and girl friend's names, which in my case, was often. I had a good visual memory but trouble remembering numbers. The Pretorius brothers had particularly firm hands.

They harrassed me because my hair style offended them. I must admit that I had a pretty bad hair style, but I thought it was pretty over the top of them to get so upset. At least my hair style changed. Their hair was shockingly ordinary day in day out.

One night hooded men stormed into my room, demanding I cut my hair and to stop being so stubborn. I had to endure a few more *******. I imagined the Pretorius boys were there that night.

Yes, they are a pretty unpleasant lot these Pretorius brothers. Not just because I say so, others would agree. They together with characters like a certain Cristiaan van der Merwe, made a hell of a comotion when Nelson Madela was about to give a speech - in Afrikaans nogal - at the university. I did not get it, Nelson's hair was short and neat - he was fresh out of prison.

When the Boeremag was caught, they had little sympathy from the vast majority of Afrikaners. The whole criminal justice system that is dealing with their case is made up of Afrikaners. This did not surprise me one bit. It is not such a big community. Allot of us knew them or knew about them. The type of people that would not be out of place in stereo-typical Hollywood portrayals of Afrikaners - and we don't like bad movies.

The Boeremag would not have been going down, without the support of the Afrikaans population at large. But they are going down.

But I digress. I forgot to mention Z Pallo's coup de grace.
As the Ministry of Arts & Culture, we wish the singer, Van Blerk good luck with his song, and who knows, if it's really good, it might even become an international hit, like Solomon Linda's "Mbube"."
Ouch! Pallo - that hurt. What a bitch slap!

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gv said...

Yes, 'bitch slap' is a very good way to describe Pallo's comment, and he always seems to be doing that kind of thing.

For a long time, Jakes Gerwel seemed to be the ANC's unofficial spokesman to the Afrikaner. He was patient, never unpleasant, though perhaps a bit long-winded sometimes.

Now it seems Pallo is the man to do that job, and how unpleasant that is!!!

gv said...

Oh, and the existence of 'journals' such as Hello magazine also proves that English is doing very well!