Fighting with bare hands

Mariechild, Jenna

SOUTH AFRICA'S HOMELAND POLICY KILLS AL Fighting...

...It has no electricity, no waterborne sewage, no telephone operator from KwaNdebele has already begun hospital, almost no agriculture...
...two members of parliament) address the gathering, and that To our left, on the cement wall, is a calendar from the...
...But we are not engaged The Black Sash, a South African women's anti-apartheid in tribal politics...
...By introducing a "homeland" for each outside the headquarters, three children are sitting by a fruit major black ethnic group, Pretoria could claim that while stand they have erected...
...Not one...
...That is the caliber of people who will be prepared to cooperate with the South African government...
...they, and will be denied religious freedom...
...The police drove into the meeting...
...We refuse to be resettled," Moutsie MP Godfrey Mathebe The homelands essentially serve as labor reserves for white told me...
...Pretoria insisted...
...South African police and room for all of them here...
...Their hired vigilantes and who use that power to enrich themselves...
...DRIVING over rutted dirt roads, we pay a call on Chieftain- On November 18, Minister of Constitutional Development ess M. Mashung, who rules over 3,000 persons in this and Planning J. Christiaan Heunis met with Moutsie leaders, area...
...Straight ahead, through a attending the gathering...
...Soldiers detained ninety-six people...
...their lack of any meaningful independence...
...withdrawal of troops...
...and return home at 10 P.M., spending up to five hours example, when Bophutatswana, the homeland of the Tswana commuting...
...That their chiefs will be dethroned...
...Homeland leaders are absolutely tyrannical," comments Ethel Walt of the Black Sash...
...Sitting in this room trate for the district of Moutsie, Paul Abraham Pretorius...
...She speaks...
...I ask him...
...and his counselors, all wearing suits, pose for pictures P Laughing bitterly, MP Mathebe, says: "They tell us a outside their headquarters near the kraal made of bare referendum would be too expensive...
...We are not going to agree...
...Commonweal: 104 The fiction that a homeland is a nation separate...
...February 6, forty people had been killed in protests over the "We are fighting with our bare hands and they are fighting incorporation...
...One homeland may ready suffered such violence, according to the Black Sash and consist of several distinct parts separated by areas where the Ekangala Action Committee...
...characterize the homeland policy as genocide...
...She does not smile or acknowledge our presence...
...Others resist...
...On weekends, they see their children...
...So want to be incorporated into KwaNdebele - but there is not Moutsie residents met in defiance...
...Nothing they could say could change that few, trees, people stopping to stare at our procession...
...At the The leaders took legal advice and again petitioned to hold a front is a cement stage with a line of chairs on it and a table at meeting...
...We can't breathe...
...Two days later, a nineteen-year-old from Moutsie, recogThe next day two cameramen working for the British nizing me from the UDF meeting and knowing I am a foreign agency, World Television News, were arrested and charged journalist, stops me on the campus of the University of with inciting unspecified violence in Moutsie...
...MP Mathebe, representing Moutsie in the Lebowa Assembly, points to KwaNdebele's Minister of Interior, Piet Ntuli...
...Ethel Walt, of the Black Sash, reports that community to help, to write letters of protest calling for a Phatudi's been offered the orange estates of Zebediela and a referendum in Moutsie, and to take it up with the United rail link from Zebediela to the Lebowa capital in exchange for Nations...
...Goats graze...
...he hoped, might care about the impending deaths in Moutsie...
...But "This apartheid regime is oppressing people...
...Mathebe laughs cynically when reporting that Ntuli was acquitted...
...Police teargassed the youth...
...Before the Transkei homeland About 90,000 Moutsie residents are Sotho of the baPedi took independence in 1976, it demanded that the Herschel and ethnic group, and 30,000 are of other ethnicities, including the Glen Grey districts be given to it...
...Impassive, he pretends he cannot hear the The people seated at table with me this evening are all white, conversation, which turns to the Catholic church in Zimlongtime residents here in Harare (formerly Salisbury), the babwe...
...We drive up an incline, make a difficult turn Mathebe's kraal on December 1 to report back to the commuonto a sandy road, and stop a short distance from the headquar- nity on their meeting with Heunis...
...The kraal encloses the graves of the Mathebe family, and, on occasion, cows, and will, within RETORIA devised the "homeland" policy in 1959, partly days, be filled with the tear gas of the South African police...
...Lebowa, for example, consists of six distinct areas...
...They went to areas like and the strife only broke out when Pretoria announced its plans Thornhill which soon became infamous because of malnutri- to consolidate the homeland...
...She incorporation of Moutsie into KwaNdebele...
...If the government pursues the KwaNdebele and warnings of bloodshed should the incorpora- incorporation, they are killing the people because we are tion proceed, Lebowa's chief minister, Cedric Phatudi, is prepared to die resisting...
...Dutch-descended whites...
...capital, which is built up, KwaNdebele is, from end to end, a That they will be ruled by men much less educated than resettlement camp of tin shanties and mud huts...
...Then the Chieftainess, regal and Moutsie into KwaNdebele shall be discussed...
...appointed, not elected...
...Seething with anger, the community demanded the know...
...there are three of us...
...So this policy To this setting in Moutsie, sixty miles north of Pretoria, the allowed Pretoria to treat blacks as foreigners with no rights in South African government promises to bring "development" 87 percent of the country...
...The headquarters is a one-story, one-room building...
...see what it is they are doing, how they are oppressing us...
...that no worn, stands open to the warm spring air of late November...
...As black Moutsie has been fighting the incorporation plans ever since youths wearing T-shirts proclaiming, "No Peace Under Apartthey were first proposed in 1979, but now, as the incorporation heid" and "The Future Is Ours...
...So the homelands weave around the white KwaNdebele cabinet ministers own most of the businesses in spots...
...and twisted tree branches...
...South African Police be permitted to attend the gatherThe Chieftainess and her advisors tell us, through an in- ing...
...I The dying has begun...
...It wants to strip after years of battling against Moutsie's incorporation into black people of citizenship...
...They may be refused incorporated into KwaNdebele, its people can be removed to admission to South Africa and, if admitted, may be deported as an area near Immerpan, fifty miles away...
...Like the characters in C. S. Lewis's novel, The Great Divorce, they maintain their dignity I N ZIMBABWE, the world has ended...
...industry...
...Only the men needed as migrant laborers are given Resettlement would mean losing their land and all they have permission to enter white areas...
...If three of us walk turns to us: "She does not even want to hear the word 'KwaN- together, the police stop us and ask where we're going and why debele,' she is so angry...
...The outside world must streets...
...Pretoria contri- That their children will be forced to receive their schoolbutes 76.7 percent of the budget of the "independent" home- ing in an alien language - Afrikaans, the language of the land of Transkei...
...The interpreter, Mohnamoiane, base," the teacher said...
...actions or counter-actions regarding the incorporation of We wait on the stage...
...By come to their aid...
...and that the walks to the stage and sits in the center beside her advisor...
...are the headmen who have come to say that they do not want to, Such conditions made an approved meeting to discuss the be incorporated into KwaNdebele...
...We are appealing to the international suddenly silent...
...Members of different groups in Moutsie are protest group, points out that there is a precedent for what is united in not wanting to be incorporated...
...The They picked up youths as young as eleven and twelve from the government is prepared to kill us...
...SOUTH AFRICA'S HOMELAND POLICY KILLS AL Fighting with bare hands JENNA MARIECHILD Pretoria has refused four times to hold a referendum allowing the people to vote on whether they want to be incorporated CHIEF T.G...
...The homelands umbrella to protect her from' the hot sun...
...For A.M...
...Was the Chieftainess angry at not being consulted on the prevent meetings...
...no turn to speak shall be allowed to any other person Grootekipat Trading Company...
...The high infant mortality rate and articles in the New York Times, Ms., Mother Jones, and other levels of malnutrition in many homelands, cause critics to journals...
...that no somber, appears in the doorway...
...But lawyers give them no hope...
...The headmen - them permission stipulated that they might meet on December one an old man with white hair and a beard, dressed in a bright 8 on condition that only four named persons (two chiefs and blue coat and leaning on a cane - sit on the bench facing us...
...down an incline and then, gingerly, through a creek at its Moutsie leaders attempted to hold a meeting at Chief shallowest point...
...Three cars containing Chief Mathebe and his counselors, including Chief Mathebe and Godfrey Mathebe, and told them youth leader Issac Mohnamoiane, MP Mathebe, and the four that plans for the incorporation were final and would take white visitors, drive past many goats, fields, mud houses, a effect in January...
...biggest objection by far is loss of their citizenship, but they In 1985, the Reverend Frank Chikane, a vice-president of also fear: the anti-apartheid coalition United Democratic Front (UDF), That vigilantes, some of whom are members of the urged homeland leaders to resign and refrain from participaKwaNdebele government, and the KwaNdebele police, will tion in the "evil" apartheid system...
...with guns," Makitla had told me on my visit to Moutsie...
...It is a nation without speak their own Sotho language...
...Lebowa has refused independence...
...Many rise at 4 ferent ethnic groups at the hands of homeland leaders...
...Its cabinet ministers - one of whom was they must speak ill Zulu or the call will be disconnected...
...ethnic group, became independent in 1977, non-Tswanas livKwaNdebele has agreed to become independent in 1986 - ing there faced exactly the same harassment and discriminabut only if it gets Moutsie, a sixty-five square-mile-district tion as the baPedi of Moutsie now fear...
...If South Africa is tired of us, why don't they deport us to able way and there will no longer be a moral obligation on this another African state...
...Visiting journalists snap shots...
...Residents of "independent" homelands do not qualify for Pretoria has informed Moutsie that if it does not want to be South African passports or pensions...
...from South after the incorporation...
...He accused them of being loose a tremendous reign of terror against all non-Ndebeles guilty of the forced removals of Africans from their homes, 28 February 1986: 105 and the imposition of homeland citizenship, among other things...
...Waiting for us inside are her coun- meeting...
...In 1984, Ntuli was tried for the murder of a Lebowa legislator who had led resistance to the incorporation of his community into KwaNdebele...
...that the gathering shall only be long, narrow window slit, we see a cow grazing under a tree...
...The six-member KwaNdebele cabinet was appointed by the chief of state, assisted by white officials DURING my day-long visit to Moutsie with a Black Sash seconded by Pretoria...
...MP Mathebe reports that the tarred roads...
...We are trying to hold meetings behind They say, as everyone here says, that if Pretoria persists closed doors in small groups...
...there will not be one black man with South African citizenship...
...Gibson Mathebe of the baPedi ethnic group into KwaNdebele...
...Under a tree 24 million blacks...
...with the incorporation, there will be violence...
...utilized to convey the result of the discussions you had To our right the building's only door, its blue paint weather- with Minister Heunis to the people of Moutsie...
...Addressed to Chief Mathebe, the document giving its center...
...happen is that we have to die...
...refused incorporation...
...Its chief of state has a sixth- breaking in on conversations in Moutsie and telling people grade education...
...Moutsie from the recalcitrant Lebowa in 1980 and handed it "The South African government is trying to present this as over to the more cooperative KwaNdebele in January...
...We don't want to be in the `fertile future' of KwaN...
...The people in these districts Ndebeles, Zulus, Swazis, Tswanas, and Vendas...
...gives them no clues...
...Tens of thousands of Some residents pointed out that the people of Moutsie and people trekked to areas of the Ciskei, which at that time was KwaNdebele have lived side by side in peace for many years, not yet an independent homeland...
...relinquishing Lebowa's claim to Moutsie...
...terpreter: "Not a single member of the community wants to be The document, dated December 4, is signed by the magisincorporated into KwaNdebele...
...Abandoned by their In the following weeks, KwaNdebele vigilantes, beginning allies and offered scant hope by the law, they see no defense the feared reign of terror, abducted four hundred Moutsie but to fight desperately and call upon the world's people to residents, beat them up, and then returned them to Moutsie...
...Unlike blacks, enfranchised whites can and do That they will be discriminated against in the granting of refuse to be "resettled" to accommodate Pretoria's homeland pensions and trading licenses...
...Its apocalypse was the and the elegant manner that comes from good breeding, unarevolution against Ian Smith's Rhodesian government in ware that they now reside in purgatory...
...about to happen in Moutsie...
...They say that when the Ndebele tion and high infant mortality...
...When people gathered regardless of the ban, troops selors and headmen...
...The Moutsie...
...desperation to the struggle...
...We are asked to sit on the stage...
...It would be left for the masses to decide the price they would have to pay after liberation, said Chikane, who was one of the twelve UDF leaders acquitted of treason charges in December...
...Residents have referred to the homeland field worker and two other journalists, Moutsie leaders and leaders as gangsters who maintain their power with the help of residents explained why they oppose the incorporation...
...We are appealing to the international community," he Earlier, Moutsie leaders thought they would sue in court to said, as I scribbled down his words...
...Witswatersrand during a Christian youth conference...
...They burned down one home and two shops owned In Johannesburg some weeks later to attend a meeting on the by people they believed to be informers...
...What is going to boy was shot in the leg...
...tribal strife," said one youth leader...
...The result has not been a new heaven or a new earth, ing immaculately at the end of the table in his servant's jacket but a Marxist purgatory...
...We will close down to fight...
...Four have done so...
...A woman walks on the dirt road holding a red political rights in their own "homelands...
...They have received Women may not vote or hold public office...
...We are prepared to die...
...license plates were stoned...
...The black man stand1981...
...We've been here for over two centuries...
...It was as if the youth, grim stop the incorporation...
...Wearing a blue speaker shall be allowed to incite, instigate, intimidate jacket and skirt, she stands, a dark blue turban enclosing her or by any other means influence any person to oppose the hair...
...tried for murder in 1984 - recently took literacy classes...
...soldiers dispersed this second meeting with tear gas...
...One "What will happen now...
...Moutsie has been converted into a military incorporation...
...The government banned the ters of the Chieftainess...
...KwaNdebele, the last and smallest of the ten homelands, is That even on the telephone, they will not be allowed to the "nation" Moutsie refuses to join...
...According to eyewitnesses and newspaper accounts, on Commonweal: 106 December 16, youth in Moutsie held an open-air meeting predict that from March onwards, there will be no business in under a thatched roof...
...We rise...
...forbidden to bring their wives and children with them...
...Pretoria excised who are their enemy...
...The missionary orders have stopped sending new men nation's capital...
...Pretoria agrees, despite the adamant rejection sie residents speak bitterly of the homeland leaders, who are of the idea by the overwhelming majority of Moutsie residents...
...Every black man in South Africa will eventually be debele," Moutsie salesman Elias Mputle Makitla, forty, told accommodated in some independent new state in this honorme...
...KwaNdebele insists that Moutsie be turned over to it before While the people of KwaNdebele are not the enemy, Moutindependence...
...They live in grim hostels, built up in Moutsie over the years...
...Let them do it openly so the world can parliament to accommodate these people politically...
...The Herschel and Glen Grey chiefs originally trekked to this area in the 1920s, Chief people are still living as impoverished refugees...
...But the 120,000 people of Moutsie fiercely reject ment" policy, the homelands must accept "independence" incorporation...
...once Moutsie is incorporated into the homeland of KwaN- For full implementation of this racial "separate developdebele...
...in his territory...
...Moutsie leaders allege that the consolidation plans...
...The the homeland and practice nepotism in the granting of financial dependence of the homelands on Pretoria also reveals licenses...
...The people of Ekangala tp,ivnship, Africa is vividly exposed by-the fact that a homeland is not who also resisted incorporation into KwaNdebele, have alnecessarily even a geographical entity...
...People keep from starving by working in the neighboring There are precedents for what happens to members of difindustrial centers of Pretoria and Johannesburg...
...We drive decision...
...citizenship, the status of aliens in the land of their birth, and Connie Mulder, then Minister of Bantu Administration and rule by a people - the Ndebeles - to whom they gave Development, explained in 1978: "If our policy is taken to its hospitality in the 1920s and have ever since considered their logical conclusion as far as the black people are concerned, subjects...
...in order to defuse international criticism of the apartheid Chief Mathebe, heavy-set, places his hat on his head for one system of racial segregation under which 5 million whites rule photo...
...which would provide the new "nation" with its only hospital, In expressing their fears over the incorporation, Moutsie fifty schools, large, well-established farms and commercial residents emphasized that it is not the people of KwaNdebele firms...
...Earlier, they had the support of the homeland Lebowa...
...dispersed them with tear gas...
...Cars with KwaNdebele violence in Moutsie the day before...
...The and urgent, were addressing a world he had never seen outside white power structure wrote the laws, they point out, so the South Africa, an unknown territory inhabited by people who, laws are on Pretoria's side...
...whites live...
...It would mean the loss of their South African from South Africa...
...It topples and they, laughing, fall with blacks had no vote in South Africa, they could exercise their it...
...Back in the homelands, where few jobs are available, women and JENNA MARIECHILD is a pseudonym for a writer who has published children often go hungry...
...Mathebe's grandfather sheltered them, allowing them to live The Moutsie deal is exactly the same, the Black Sash notes...
...POLITICS & RELIGION IN ZIMBABWE A tangled revolution ROGER PARKER and they act just as they did before...
...Anything associated crisis, Makitla recognizes me on the street and tells me of the with KwaNdebele was attacked...
...pass around us, he tells me relentlessly proceeds despite their protests, there is a particular of the recent violence...
...He smiles...
...if they were aliens...
...cover only 13 percent of South Africa's area...
...youth ran...
...They do not know the world ended in 1981, - unfairly - all present at table agree, except, perhaps, the 28 February 1986: 107...
...We would have invited the incorporation impossible, a young Moutsie teacher reported at whole community who would tell you the same - they do not a meeting of the UDF in Johannesburg December 11...
...Except for its a notice to that effect from KwaNdebele...

Vol. 113 • February 1986 • No. 4


 
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