Leon Lemmer oor Helen Zille se outobiografie

Deel op

Daar is al baie kritiek op sowel kommunisme as fascisme uitgespreek. Maar sulke ideologieë sou nie aanhang geniet het as daar nie ook voordele aan hulle verbonde was nie. Deesdae word slawerny, kolonialisme, imperialisme, rassesegregasie en apartheid wyd veroordeel, maar elkeen van hulle het sowel positiewe as negatiewe kenmerke gehad. As dit op die regverdiges reën, drup dit ten minste op die onregverdiges.

In Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië het die Duitse koloniale bewind aan die begin van die 20ste eeu ‘n spoorlyn van Swakopmund na Otavi en van Lüderitz na Aus gebou. Die Herero’s en Namas was die opstandigste etniese groepe, gevolglik is hulle soos krygsgevangenes of prisoniers aan gedwonge arbeid of slawerny onderwerp ten einde die spoorlyne vinnig en suksesvol te voltooi. Moeilikheidmakers is dus konstruktief besig gehou. Tot op hede dien die resultate van daardie slawe-arbeid ‘n nuttige doel en word die Namibiese bevolking steeds daardeur bevoordeel. Selfs die nuwe Suid-Afrika is nie net sleg nie. Al die blankes is nog nie uitgemoor nie, hulle het ook nog nie al hulle besittings verloor nie en wat die blankes opgebou het, is nog nie alles vernietig nie.

Helen Zille (gebore in 1951) het in 2006 die burgemeester van Kaapstad geword. Sy was van 2007 tot 2015 die leier van die Demokratiese Alliansie (DA). Sedert 2009 is sy die Wes-Kaapse premier. Vroeër vanjaar het sy ‘n voor die hand liggende waarheid kwytgeraak toe sy getwiet het dat kolonialisme ook voordele gehad het; dus ook goeie gevolge, bv wat infrastruktuur betref. Haar opmerking het egter ‘n storm van protes uit swart geledere ontketen. Sy is deur haar eie party in ‘n staat van beskuldiging geplaas. Na bewering strek haar standpunt die DA tot oneer. Om alle positiewe opmerkings oor kolonialisme te probeer onderdruk, is myns insiens dwaas. By implikasie word die reg op die uitdrukking van objektiewe waarheid, wat ‘n elementêre mensereg behoort te wees, hiermee ontken. Voorkeur word aan subjektiewe waarheid gegee; dus aan dit wat die meerderheid, in hierdie geval die swartes, as die waarheid wil vestig.

Die volgende boek van Zille is in Oktober gepubliseer: Not without a fight: The autobiography (Century City: Penguin Books, 2016, 560p, R380; Amazon Kindle $13,67). Hoewel die outeur polities onredbaar links is, staan daar heelwat in haar boek wat toon dat sy nie sonder meer aan die meerderheidsmening uitgelewer is nie. Vir ‘n politieke party om die regerende party te word, moet hy hom egter na die wense van die meerderheid skik. Om in hierdie sin as politikus te slaag, sal Zille bereid moet wees om met populêre leuens saam te leef. Dit is onder meer om hierdie rede dat ek beweer dat die grondslag waarop die nuwe Suid-Afrika funksioneer, foutief is.

Zille kamoefleer geensins haar Duits-Joodse agtergrond nie. Heel aan die begin word dit duidelik dat haar familielede verspreid oor die Westerse wêreld woon. Van die “tattoos of memory” (Kindle 180) is dat haar familie geneig is om anti-nasionalisties (222, 435) en liberalisties (654, 724) te wees. Met daardie milieu as agtergrond moet dit nogal vir haar moeilik wees om deurgaans by die Suid-Afrikaanse politiek se oorheersende, of ten minste onderliggende, kraalmentaliteit in te pas. Van die ANC en die Nasionale Party skryf sy: “In essence, they were racial nationalist movements” (2618). Later verwys sy na “the ANC’s brand of racial nationalism” (3130; ook 3302). “Freedom, to my mother, meant a sense of belonging, a shared identity, based on values; and being able to be herself” (401). Vir my as Afrikaner is dit eintlik onmoontlik om patrioties oor die nuwe Suid-Afrika, eens my vaderland, te voel. My identiteit is heeltemal onversoenbaar met die soort nasie wat glo in wording is. Selfs om myself te wees, ten spyte van beweerde individuele regte, word al hoe moeiliker weens bv beperkte veilige bewegingsvryheid en die sabotasie van Afrikaans. Vir die ANC is ‘n kommersiële boer ‘n Boer en Afrikaans is ‘n sinoniem vir die Afrikaner.

Let op hoe radikaal Zille se siening van myne verskil.

“The story that remains to be told is how the majority of Afrikaners (and whites in general) made the [1994] transition, within the space of a few years, from defending an exclusive and oppressive ethnic nationalism to supporting a rights-based constitution, guaranteeing individual freedoms – and then surrendering exclusive power peacefully through the ballot box” (1823).

Dit is verregaande dat Zille ons onlangse geskiedenis in so ‘n mate doelbewus wanvoorstel. Die waarheid is dat die blanke kiesers nooit ingestem het tot magsoorgawe aan die swartes nie. Hulle het ook nooit die oorgangsgrondwet (1993) of die grondwet (1996) goedgekeur nie. Wat die meerderheid blanke kiesers wel gedoen het, was om in die 1992-referendum ten gunste van onderhalings met die oog op politieke magsdeling te stem. Zille sit soos volg die seël op haar wanvertolking: “FW de Klerk’s leadership in navigating [wangling/concocting?] our transition has yet to be adequately acknowledged” (1850). Sy noem De Klerk “South Africa’s patron saint of strategic compromise” (3518).

‘n Bewonderingswaardige eienskap van Zille is haar taalvermoë. In haar ouerhuis het sy Duits en Jiddisj geleer. Daarna was sy in ‘n Afrikaanse laer- en ‘n Engelse hoërskool. Heelwat later het sy Xhosa in so ‘n mate baasgeraak dat sy dit met die korrekte intonasie/stembuiging kan praat. By geleentheid het sy ‘n voordrag deels in Sepedi gelewer (9433). Sy reken dat sy ‘n “slight Afrikaans accent” het (708). Daar is Afrikaanse woorde waarvoor sy nie Engelse plaasvervangers het nie: aspris (338, 493, 1270), nogal (479), slap chips (1576), luisgat (5577), klaar (8899); dalk ook pondok (440) en selfs skinner (8674).

Na haar skoolloopbaan het Allister Sparks, haar mentor (1016) en redakteur van die Rand Daily Mail, haar beïnvloed om ‘n joernalis te word (761). Sy het in 1970 aan die Universiteit Kaapstad studeer (UK – 801) en daarna aan die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand (Wits) (889). Sy het by die National Union of South African Students (Nusas) aangesluit (894). Daarna was sy “the national youth co-ordinator of the Progressive Party” (905), een van die voorgangers van die DA. Anders as die Progressiewe Party (voor 1978) was sy toe reeds ten gunste van (ongekwalifiseerde) algemene stemreg (922); iets wat uiters destruktiewe gevolge in die nuwe Suid-Afrika het. Sy het mede-linkses, soos Helen Suzman, “whom I revered,” ontmoet (905). Haar denke word ook deur Steve Biko beïnvloed (917). Zille se betrokkenheid by die Black Sash kom van haar ma af (793). Later: “I joined the End Conscription Campaign” (1941).

Maar Zille eet nie alles vir soetkoek op nie. “I often wondered what some white lefties were smoking that caused them to radiate such a self-righteous sense of moral superiority” (917). “The Progs always assumed, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that people were basically rational, decent and fair-minded” (1238). Soms verlang sy na die goeie ou dae. “In those days, when newspaper exposés of corruption were confirmed, politicians resigned” (1222). By implikasie bevestig sy dat die DA die ANC lite is: “Nelson Mandela’s vision still resonated, and the Democratic Alliance had become its heir” (10611). “Our party was becoming a mirror image of the ANC” (3589). “Die DA had to grow. And to do so, we had to extend our support among black voters” (4134). “The ANC’s claim of ‘ownership’ of black people’s political allegiance, and its determination to prevent them from exercising free political choice, is patronising and racist in the extreme” (4382). Die lysstelsel laat die bestuur van politieke partye, nie die partylede nie, toe om kandidate vir poste te benoem en te prioritiseer. As gevolg daarvan “politics became a cesspit of self-serving expedience” (3804). Diegene wat om opportunistiese redes van party verander, word “crosstitutes” genoem (3982).

Maar dit is absoluut onbegryplik hoe sy met reg verering vir iemand soos Ebrahim Rasool, voorheen die ANC se Wes-Kaapse premier, kan hê. “Because of my own history, I sometimes felt a greater affinity to certain people in the ANC than I did to some in my own party” (6022). Oor haar onsuksesvolle poging om Mamphela Ramphele as leier by die DA te betrek, ‘n geval van “rent-a-black-leader” (9118), skryf Zille: “I have often reflected on why I allowed the DA (and me personally) to be messed around to that extent by a single person pursuing a deluded agenda. I would never have tolerated it had she been white … I asked myself whether this wasn’t actually a pernicious form of inverted racism, to which white liberals are particularly prone” (8876). Dit is sekerlik ‘n geval van dubbele standaarde; dus van ongelykheid. Eintlik erken Zille die ongelykheid van mense: “All human beings are social animals who have the capacity to understand and respect hierarchies” (10849).

Toe sy haar man, Johannes Gerhardus Bester (Johann) Maree, in 1981 ontmoet, het hy sy politieke gesindheid met ‘n “Afro hairstyle” uitgestal (1450). Reeds in 1969 het Maree as ‘n anti-apartheidsaktivis, beurshouer van die Wêreldraad van Kerke (1608) en student aan Oxford University in Engeland teen die blanke Springbokrugbyspan betoog (1614). Hy is allermins ‘n “Boerseun” (1602), maar wel die kind van ‘n mediese dokter op Dealesville. Voorgraads het hy blykbaar aan Rhodes University in Grahamstad studeer. Daar was aksentverskille in die linksheid van Maree en Zille. “He saw class as the major fault-line in our society; I saw race” (1456). Maree se kommunistiese neigings (“socialist instincts” – 1520) is sekerlik versterk toe hy magisterstudie aan die University of Sussex, naby Brighton, gedoen het (1494); Thabo Mbeki se alma mater.

Maree “refused to attend anything that was segregated, which meant, for example, no movies” (1541). Die “apartheidsregime” het van hom geweet en meerdere kere geweier om ‘n paspoort aan hom uit te reik (1581). Hy was ‘n kort rukkie ‘n dosent aan die Universiteit van die Oranje-Vrystaat, maar toe die rektor, Benedictus Kok, van sy linkse politieke gesindheid kennis neem, onder meer dat hy toe ‘n lid van Beyers Naudé se Christelike Instituut was (1701), is hy ontslaan. Maree het hierna ‘n dosent aan die UK geword (1746) “and began a one-man campaign for an international academic boycott against the University of the Orange Free State” (1768).

“Of far greater significance to him was his involvement, between 1973 and 1977, in the effort to resurrect the black trade union movement” (1784). Die Wiehahn-kommissie het in 1979 allerdwaas die wettiging van vakbonde vir swartes aanbeveel. Maree het sy doktorale proefskrif oor hierdie onderwerp geskryf (1818). Reeds voor dit het Maree aktiviste vir die “struggle for change” gewerf vir opleiding in die “‘education for liberation’ approach of Paulo Freire” (1921-1997) (1801). In 2010 is hierdie marxistiese benadering deur Russel Botman aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch ingevoer onder die vaandel van sy Hoop-projek sonder dat ‘n haan daaroor gekraai het. Toe Zille die burgemeester van Kaapstad was, is na die Maree-egpaar as “the Mayor and the Mayonnaise” verwys (8779).

Maree het voor sy troue ‘n swart gesin in sy woning gehuisves (1818). Zille het in 1982 weer aan die UK studeer (1547). Hulle is aan die einde van daardie jaar getroud (1581). “Leftie weddings in those days were low-key affairs” (1587). Dit was Maree se tweede huwelik (1493). Na die geboorte van hulle eerste kind was meertaligheid in hulle huis aan die orde van die dag: “Johann spoke only Afrikaans to Paul, I spoke English and Eunice spoke Xhosa” (1974). Met die tweede kind was daar minder sprake van Afrikaans in die huis. “We made one final attempt to get Tom bilingual, at least, by sending him to an Afrikaans pre-primary school” (2002).

“Eunice’s family became more and more involved with ours, especially her youngest daughter, Grace, a bright [?] young girl who battled to pass exams. She was at her happiest in our home, playing with Paul and Tom (and especially cooking for them). I can’t recall exactly how or when it happened, but at some point she stayed on, and has been with us ever since. She married Abel Mputing, one of Johann’s university students, and had two wonderful children, Chulumanco and NgoweNceba, who have been part of our family from the moment they were born” (2242). “Grace gave birth to Chulumanco on 27 December [1999]. His name means ‘joy’ in Xhosa, and rarely was a baby so aptly named. I cannot recall ever hearing him cry. Grace was a natural, relaxed mother to her ‘Joy Boy’, who brought a new and extra dimension to our family” (3049). “I brought Grace and her family to live in Leeuwenhof when I became premier” (8779).

Reeds as joernalis het Zille kennis gemaak met wat sy noem “the brutal edge of apartheid. I became increasingly radicalised politically” (1033). “I had become a fervent ANC supporter” (1049). Een van die hoogstepunte in haar herinnering is die stigting van die United Democratic Front (UDF) in Rocklands, Michells Plain, in 1983 (2007). “I was active in the Black Sash and regularly went to support shack dwellers (who were deemed to be in Cape Town illegally under the pass laws) to resist arrest and forced removal” (2007). By geleentheid was sy sonder ‘n permit in ‘n swart woongebied en is sy ‘n opgeskorte vonnis opgelê (2013). “Johann and I never comtemplated leaving … I did not fit comfortably anywhere. Even the Black Sash was riven by debates about how to respond to the growing Marxist ideological hold on the resistance movements, increasingly characterised by intolerence for alternative views and a justification of random violence” (2109). “Jill Wentzel, a long-time Sash member, sparked a timely and sometimes acrimonious debate when she wrote a paper criticising ‘the liberal slide-away’, about our collective failure of nerve to challenge acts of brutality and intolerance when they came from the liberation movements” (2114).

“Our home became a meeting-and-eating place for young struggle activists” (2029). “As young men tend to be, they were always hungry. I used to cook double portions of everything. And an extra pot too, so that they could take food with them when they left for their meetings” (2034). “The political discourse of resistance politics at the time was dominated by Marxist analysis” (2077). Zille se huis is dus in ‘n soort uitreikende losieshuis vir kamerade omskep. In hierdie verband word die name van Mcebisi Skwatsha (2029), Nyami Booi en Lizo Ngcokoto (2034) genoem. “One day in July 1987, Johann said to me, ‘Lizo and Mcebisi want me to rent a car for them. They need it for two weeks'” (2045). Die oorverligte Maree-egpaar het hulle dit laat welgeval. Die twee swart kamerade “handed the car to two young men [Leremo Kalako and Mike Coto] who wanted to join Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the ANC’s military wing” (2056). Reeds in Gugulethu was die motor in ‘n ongeluk. By die Lesotho-grens het die twee kamerade, seker as ‘n blyk van dankbaarheid aan hulle naïewe weldoeners, die Maree-egpaar, die motor eenvoudig agtergelaat.

Dit is die soort oorverligte blanke dwaasheid waarop die nuwe Suid-Afrika gebou is. Zille skryf: “This little vignette was part of the normal course of our lives during those successive states of emergency during the 1980s” (2066). Beyers Naudé het op ‘n soortgelyke manier aspirantterroriste oor die grens gehelp. Hierdie mense is medeverantwoordelik vir die dood en verwoesting wat MK gesaai het, maar dit lyk nie asof dit die Marees en Naudé ooit gehinder het nie. Zille soek regverdiging vir hulle onregverdigbare gedrag in ‘n opmerking soos die volgende: “Surely we should use whatever [!] means we could to prevent state institutions being entirely captured for the purpose of authoritarian and racist rule?” (2082).

Maar die Maree-egpaar het verder gegaan. “It was clear that we were being asked to provide safe havens for people who were on the run from the security police. I felt this was the least we could do in those times” (2120). “Soon we had Mama Dorothy [Shoes] Zihlangu and Mama Dorothy [Gogo] Mfaco staying with us” (2125). Daarby het dit nie gebly nie. “They lived in our cottage for a while and then spoke to me about needing space for more people. So Mama Mfaco and Mama Zihlangu moved into the house with us and vacated the cottage for use by others. They never told me who, and I never asked. We trusted [!] them enough to give them the gate key, so that they could use their discretion [!] in letting people into the garden to spend the night in our cottage. I often saw movement outside the window and knew they were bringing people in. I never asked questions. The less I knew, the better, I thought” (2130). In louter onskuld kom Zille later tot die gevolgtrekking: “Our house … had probably [!] been used as a hiding place for MK operatives” (2146). Die kamerade wat gratis van die Maree-buitehuisie vir hulle onwettige dade, soos terrorisme, gebruik gemaak het, sluit in: Cameron Dugmore (2130), Max Ozinsky, Tony Yengeni en Basil Kivedo (2221), die MK-vegter wat deur Jacques van der Elst geloof is omdat Kivedo bomme in Afrikaans geplant het (LitNet, Boeke en skrywers, 8 Maart). In die 1990’s het Zille Thandeka Kunene, ‘n opgeleide MK-soldaat, gehuisves. “I suggested she come to stay with us – which she did for three years, in the little cottage that had been the MK hideout during the states of emergency in the 1980s” (2688).

In 2008 kom Zille vir Bulelani Mfaco, ‘n kleinkind van Mama Gogo, teë. ‘n Mama het per definisie, of ingevolge haar naam, kinders. Die huislike opset van die Marees in die 1980’s word soos volg deur Zille onthou: “We ate together, laughed together and conversed like friends do. The only thing they did not share with me was the depth of their political engagement, and I did not go there. Whatever, we knew we were in it together” (2272). Om so ‘n diverse, multikulturele, uitgebreide familie te huisves, kan myns insiens kwalik tot ‘n kerngesonde gesinslewe bydra. Ek sou die een senu-ineenstorting na die ander kry. Johann Maree had “a severe bout of depression which had seen him take off work for several months to recover” (2999). Met Mamphela Ramphele het die Marees ook saamgeboer: “Our sons spent many a night sleeping over at each other’s homes” (2649). Oor haar seun Paul se multikulturele troue met Gretl skryf Zille: “Thomas and Chulumanco were best men, and Megan, Gretl’s sister, the bridesmaid, and little NgoweNceba, with Gretl’s young nieces, were flower girls” (9505).

Soms is daar groot nugterheid by Zille:

“Today, [black] youngsters who were born long after the transition to democracy, and even some who have enjoyed excellent education and great opportunities, weave ongoing pain and victimhood into their narratives. Is it inevitably part of identity politics? Pain is for public display, not private processing. Perhaps [black] people have discovered just how powerful a weapon it is in a context of restitution and compensation for past disadvantage” (2278). Let op hierdie objektiewe waarneming van Zille tydens ‘n byeenkoms: “Many of the ANC members arrived dressed to the nines, with their envelopes containing the papers for the meeting (if they had them at all) still unopened. They sat through the meeting doing everything except concentrate on and debate the issues at hand” (3009). “At the break, my disillusionment with the rest of the parliamentarians turned to anger. A food trolley was wheeled into the meeting area, laden with delicacies, and I watched as members who had done absolutely no work all morning piled their plates. There was plenty left over. I then observed how several of them took the parliamentary table napkins, loaded them with as much food as they could, folded them up and then deposited them in cavernous handbags, along with several cans of cold-drinks. I was frankly gobsmacked at this literal feeding at the government trough” (3014).

In April 1989 oud-senator Dick Clark “convened a conference in Bermuda to bring together representatives of the ANC-in-exile with leading members of internal political parties and other organisations, to analyse the country’s political challenges and discuss options for the future” (2173). Die Maree-egpaar is daarheen genooi, wat toon dat albei in linkse politieke kringe gereken is. “Johann was a paid-up member of the ANC” (2607). Daar het Zille vir Thabo Mbeki ontmoet en met hom gesels (2189). “This conversation was to be the foundation of a long-term relationship of mutual understanding and respect … Many years later, I also got to know and respect FW de Klerk” (2194). Sy glo sonder meer die volgende fabel: “South Africa avoided a civil war by the serendipitous confluence of two great leaders” (2205), De Klerk en “an ANC leader with the stature and extraordinary moral authority of Nelson Mandela” (2200). “Like [Abraham] Lincoln, Mandela wove together the core values of freedom and equality with the sacrifices required to achieve them” (2580). Van Zille se kant is daar geen veroordeling van Lincoln en Mandela se gewelddadigheid en die dood en verwoesting wat albei veroorsaak het nie; daar is net bewondering.

Zille se familie is ‘n nes vol linkses. In 1990 “my brother Paul, who had spent fifteen years in voluntary exile in England, wanted to return to South Africa to support the transition to democracy” (2297). “He moved in circles that included South African exiles in the UK” (2335). Hy het ‘n huis in Johannesburg gekoop en dit aan Mac Maharaj verhuur, wat die kelder in ‘n plofstof-arsenaal en “weapons cache” met die oog op Operasie Vula omskep het (2308, 2346). Sy medepligtige was Siphiwe Nyanda, die hoof van MK en later die hoof van die Suid-Afrikaanse weermag (2324). Albei het die land via Swaziland binnegesypel (2357). Maharaj “knew about my mother’s role in the Black Sash, about her volunteering as an observer at political trials, and about my journalistic and political involvement” (2362). Op hierdie maniere het liberaliste voor 1994 geweld in Suid-Afrika aangehelp.

Die wapens is veral via Botswana en Swaziland ingesmokkel met die oog op ‘n “people’s war” wat voor die 1994-verkiesing so baie skade veroorsaak en derduisende lewens geëis het (2379). “Between FW’s historic speech in 1990 and the first democratic election in 1994, 14 000 South Africans died in politically related incidents, according to the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Chapter 7)” (2539). Hierdie mense is nie dood weens apartheid nie. Hulle was grootliks die slagoffers van die magshonger ANC. ‘n Mens sou dink sulke dade sou mense soos Maharaj en Nyanda vir aanstelling in enige hoë pos diskwalifiseer. Die teenoorgestelde het gebeur toe Nelson Mandela sy aanstellings in die “bevryde” Suid-Afrika gedoen het. Desnieteenstaande is terselfdertyd op hoë moraliteit aanspraak gemaak. In 1991 het diegene betrokke by Operasie Vula gedeeltelike vrywaring van vervolging van die De Klerk-regering ontvang (2405). Iedere ding wat die blanke regering afgetakel het, sien Zille as ‘n “step the country took in the right direction” (2411).

In die 1990’s was Zille aan die spits van die “One City initiative” in Kaapstad (2417), waarvolgens party inwoners (veral wittes en bruines), soos tot op hede, vir munisipale dienste en eiendomsbelasting betaal terwyl ander (by uitstek swartes) dit nie hoef te doen nie. Daar word van blankes verwag om sonder meer met hierdie en baie ander nuwe soorte “geregtigheid” vir lief te neem. Zille was bv die voorsitster van die Grove Primary School in Claremont (2705). “We introduced a bursary scheme which enabled middle-class parents to pay double fees to subsidise a child whose parents could not afford to pay any fees at all” (2710). “We appointed our first black teacher, Miss Busi Bout, and I ensured that my Thomas was in her class to signal to the school that the governing body had full confidence in her. We employed black graduates to do internships with our most experienced teachers to give them exposure to the best professional practice we could offer” (2715).

“I had now become irrevocably identified with one side of the conflict, and my continued role as mediator was impossible” (2500). Zille het ‘n vergesogte siening van die Afrikaner-Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) se instorming by die Kodesa-onderhandelings: “Looking back, I think of this as the forerunner to the ‘poo protests'” (2585). Maar dit is sy wat vir Chumani Maxwele, die ontlastingstrooier by die Universiteit Kaapstad, regshulp probeer kry het (10250). Sy skryf ook van die “famous Regina Mundi church” (2671) wat terrorisme sterk ondersteun het.

Oor Stuart Saunders, die rektor van die Universiteit Kaapstad, skryf Zille: “Long before apartheid ended, he desegregated the university residences and initiated pioneering work in the field of student recruitment based on tests to determine a student’s inherent capacity to succeed at university, rather than merely measure their school-based knowledge (which severely compromised those students emerging from inferior apartheid education)” (2644). Hierdie ignorering van swart studente se akademiese skoolrekords word deesdae slaafs deur al die eens blanke universiteite nagevolg, met as resultaat ‘n buitensporig hoë uitsaksyfer teen groot koste vir die belastingbetalers. Verwant hieraan is die kwessie van die finansiële toestand van swart studente, ten spyte van die blatante rasgebasseerde voorkeur wat hulle by die toekenning van studiebeurse geniet. By geleentheid is die leë drankbottels, -blikkies en -bokse van ‘n koshuis van die Universiteit Kaapstad bymekaar gemaak en die volgende berekening is gemaak: “Over a single weekend, the students of Liesbeeck Gardens had spent R330 000 on alcohol” (2661). Zille skryf van ‘n UK “moving boldly towards inclusivity … We had just adopted a mission statement committing UCT to being ‘flexible on access, active in redress and rigorous on success'” (2904). Deesdae is dit baie duidelik wat hierdie beleid akademies en beskawingsgewys vir die UK in die sak gebring het.

Daar is verwysings na korrespondensie wat tussen Theuns Botha, toe ‘n DA-minister in die Wes-Kaap, en Dan Roodt gevoer is (5547, 5582, 6017). Zille word tereg as ‘n bedreiging vir die heil van Afrikaners beskou (5536, 5567, 5637). Vir my was die insiggewendste aspek van Zille se boek hoe die polisie hom openlik aan die kant van die ANC skaar, bv in die swart woonbuurte tydens verkiesingsveldtogte. “I had become accustomed to the provincial SAPS behaving as if it were the coercive arm of the ANC” (6151; ook 6294). Zille se foonoproepe is afgeluister (6909). Politici wat die ANC teenstaan, verkeer in ‘n lewensgevaarlike situasie. “The DA took out hefty life insurance policies for me and my children” (5734).Volgens Zille gaan haar volgende boek handel oor “how to build a ‘capable state’ in South Africa” (5207; ook 6597).

In die situasie waarin sy nou is, in ‘n staat van beskuldiging in haar eie party, sal Zille seker dink oor sekere passasies in haar boek. Sy verwys na haar “occasional indiscretions” (8695). Voorheen was daar al ‘n “Zille-gate” (6238). Aan haar is gesê: “You have to apologise” (6481). “‘No’, I replied. ‘What I said was true, and I am not going to withdraw it. Or apologise. I would rather resign'” (6486). Later erken sy iets kan “unforgivable (even if it was true)” wees (6870). “I put my head down, as I always did in a crisis” (6524). “I had a lot of explaining to do” (6250). “I knew I would just have to grit my teeth and get through this dip myself” (6427). “It is often important in life to stand for principle rather than seek popularity” (2490). Zille se ma het aan haar verduidelik “how a reputation could be destroyed overnight and take years to rebuild” (692). Zille verwys na ‘n “great bumper sticker”: “Rather be historically correct than politically correct” (1157, 8258).

“I believe it is best to acknowledge mistakes and seek to rectify them” (8557). “In politics a scandal can be created out of smoke and mirrors” (6111). “Your opponents are ceaselessly on the outlook for anything that can possibly be used against you, seeking any opportunity to manufacture outrage” (1186). Hierdie opponente/vyande kan uiteraard partygenote insluit. “There are no permanent friends in politics, only permanent interests” (3949). “In politics, friends come and go, but enemies accumulate” (5383). “The DA is tough on its leaders. You have to earn their respect. You have to justify your proposals and ideas. They call you to account when things go wrong” (7027). “Intentions don’t count in politics. Only results do” (7173). Later skryf sy egter: “Well-intentioned mistakes were seldom fatal in politics, just as success was never permanent” (9199).

“I thought my leadership was approaching its sell-by date” (7385). “The tough thing about politics is the insecurity. No position is ever secure. You can be in one day and out the next – not because you did a bad job, but because the terrain shifted” (7562). “Twitter is an away game – the crowd is largely hostile and willing you to make a mistake so that they could pounce” (7689). “It truly amazed me how many people are out there, searching cyberspace for any opportunity to feel insulted. Or to manufacture outrage … nowhere are race classification and double standards as entrenched as they are on Twitter. I started on Twitter without realising any of this. I strode forth where angels fear to tread” (7700). “My constitutional assumptions represented colonialism writ large, aggrevated by the fact that I was white” (7873). “It is cold outside” (1763). Zille kan nog ‘n “beached whale” in wording wees (5974). Dan word haar lot ‘n voorbeeld van “the unfairness of life” (2283, 8652).

Hier bo het ek nie oor die voorlaaste hoofstuk in Zille se outobiografie geskryf nie. Dit handel oor die kwessie van witheid. Dit is die onderwerp van my volgende rubriek.

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