It was better under Apartheid — many black South Africans

It was better under Apartheid — many black South Africans. By Koos Malen.

“Apartheid, that is, the white minority regime prior to 1994, was better than the present messed-up dispensation the ANC has been dumping on us over the past 29 years.”

This type of remark and the numerous variations on it are the order of the day. What is significant is that they are made mostly by irate black people — the very people who most acutely needed to escape from apartheid and who were supposed to benefit from the new dispensation.

Cannot abandon their religion:

The ANC are deeply upset by these kind of statements, so much so that at their recent election conference they decided to pay particular attention to convincing the public (or trying to do so) that, after all, apartheid really was not better than the present dystopia. …

On close analysis, there is an essentially religious reason for the intense dismay. The advent of the new constitutional dispensation in 1994 was accompanied by pontificating a doctrine of salvation — a soteriology — that has become the South African state’s civil religion, which since then has been sermonised with so much zeal.

Therefore, the mere thought that apartheid in any respect was better than the present dispensation is even worse than simply condemnable. It means renunciation of faith and religious desertion, making a mockery of the gospel of the civil religion. …

Reality is intruding:

The doctrine of redemption’s well-doer image of human rights, democracy, peaceful co-existence and development opportunities for all turned out to be a false figment of the imagination, and its simplistic view of the unqualified evil past, likewise, was false.

Eventually, the 1994 transition turned out not to be some singular salvation. It did indeed herald significant improvements, but these were accompanied by unprecedented degeneration and failure of a neo-primitive oligarchy.

The conclusion is that the unprecedented new civil religion that was born in 1994 is now at its burial site. It cannot be resurrected from the dead by the indignation of ANC and other confessors of this religion.

The foundations of their faith have crumbled.

hat-tip Stephen Neil