Genocide Watch returns South Africa to stage 5 “polarization” on its Countries at Risk Chart
By Genocide Watch
2 February 2012
After upgrading South Africa to stage 6 “preparation” in September
2011 due to the increasing power of Julius Malema, then the Marxist
racist President of the African National Congress Youth League, two
quite significant developments have occurred. The first was a South
African court’s ruling that Malema’s singing of the “Shoot the Boer”
song constitutes “hate speech” in violation of South African law. The
court issued an injunction prohibiting Malema from singing the song.
The second development is the suspension of Julius Malema from the
African National Congress (ANC) and his removal as President of the ANC
Stage 5 of the eight stages of genocide is “polarization”. Given the
history of Apartheid in South Africa, there is deep-rooted polarization
between whites and black in the nation. Part of the polarization in
South Africa is the legacy of Apartheid and the continuing dominance in
the economy of white owned businesses and farms. There is also
polarization from the black population, who feel excluded from real
power and jobs, even though the ANC now controls the government.
A response to this black polarization was Julius Malema’s call for
redistribution of wealth from the white population to the black
population, which Malema claimed to be a “correction of the injustices
of Apartheid.” The current socio-economical inequalities in South Africa
are leading to an increasing, rather than decreasing polarization.
Since poverty and unemployment among black youth remains, tensions
between impoverished blacks and wealthier whites is likely to increase.
This general polarization, which is normally non-violent, created a
fertile ground for political radicalization. That was the case with the
rise of Malema, former President of the ANC Youth League, when he and
his followers sang the old anti-Boer song: “Kill the Boer” at rallies of
the Youth League. Malema called for expropriation of white owned land
when he was in Zimbabwe visiting Robert Mugabe and called Botswana’s
racially harmonious society “neo-colonial”. These practices of Malema,
and the slowness of the leadership of the ANC to discipline him, made
Genocide Watch upgrade South Africa to stage 6 in September 2011. But
now that Malema has been removed from his position of growing power,
Genocide Watch is returning South Africa to stage 5.
It is very important to note that downgrading Genocide Watch’s risk
assessment, does not mean that the situation is safe now in South
Africa. Unfortunately, we still think Malema has a large following
among unemployed youth, and tensions between black and white people are
Genocide Watch continues to be alarmed at hate crimes committed
against whites, particularly against Boer farmers, an important early
warning sign that genocide could occur. Those who commit such crimes
must be promptly brought to justice, and denounced by the political
leaders of South Africa. Genocide Watch’s first six stages do not
constitute genocide. Genocide Watch does not believe that genocide is
currently underway in South Africa. Nevertheless, Genocide Watch will
keep a watchful eye on the situation.