Topic-icon Apartheid and the Coloured people

16 years 3 months ago #15417 by titoM
I would like to share with some of your members a bit of history with regard to Coloureds and their role in the fight against apartheid. Seeing that we are reading about other people's perspective of us, I thought it would be worthwhile posting this article by Alex La Guma (one of us), who passed away in 1986. This is heavy reading I suggest those interested should cut and paste this article for reading at a later date.

All the "know it alls" maybe you should give this one a miss. All the others, try and read some of his other works, and also works by such poets as Adam Small, Arthur Nortje, etc. Their are some interesting tales about the Coloured people of South Africa, we just have to go out there and find them, then what other people think and write about us who'd not matter so much. "Know thyself", and nobody will be able to tell you who you are.

Just a quick fun fact: The first political prisoner of Robben Island, was, believe it or not, not Nelson Mandela, but Harry the Standloper (Autshumao), a Khoi Khoi leader, who can also be regarded as one of the first enterpreneurs in South Africa. He bartered with the Khoi people and the Dutch, and acted as an entepreter for Van Riebeeck, and even dined with him, as he could speak English, Dutch, as well as his native tongue fluently.

Thank you administrator for the opportunity!

by Alex La Guma

The indigenous African people, although subjected to the most intense oppression and exploitation, are not the only oppressed group in South Africa. The two million Coloured people, and more than a half-million Asian people, suffer varying forms of race discrimination, humiliation and oppression in the Republic. They are part of the non-white base upon which rests white privilege. As such they constitute an integral part of the social forces ranged against white supremacy. Despite deceptive and often meaningless concessions, they share a common fate with the African people, and their own future in a free South African society is inextricably bound up with the liberation of the African majority.
Minor concessions and dubious privileges, an illusory social superiority over the African population, have been embodiments of attempts on the part of successive Governments of South Africa to woo the Coloured people to the side of the whites in the confrontation with African opposition. However, the advent of the National Party Government in 1948 and its policy of apartheid soon revealed
to the non-white population as a whole the true nature of white supremacy. "Separate development" and apartheid meant the final negation of those already much-eroded minor privileges which the Coloured people possessed, culminating in the plans for the destruction of the last vestige of democratic process, the municipal franchise, in 1972. Thus apartheid finds little support in the
community, and even those Coloureds who do cooperate with the Government for one reason or another are today finding "separate development" a bitter pill to swallow.
But after more than twenty years of the application of their policy of apartheid, the rulers of South Africa themselves now find that they have arrived at an impasse vis-a-vis this community and a pretext for the implementation of the final objectives of apartheid, not only because of the opposition from the community and the basic falsity of the concept of white supremacy, but also arising out of the socio-historic background of the Coloured people, resulting in the difficulty of finding a "solution" to the problem or fitting them into the black and white jigsaw pattern of apartheid. While hoping to use the Coloured community to widen the anti-African base, (2) in the face of the people`s rejection of apartheid, the racists have instead run aground on the rocks of their own making...

The Cape liberal tradition
Participation by Coloured people in the affairs of government, albeit on a limited and conditional scale, has its origins in the early days of colonial settlement. As far back as 1799 Coloured riflemen joined the British in putting down a rebellion of descendants of the original Dutch who turned against the administration for alleged partiality to the Coloured and Xhosa in the Cape.
The British Empire, which backed the emancipation of slaves, generally maintained an attitude of liberalism in the colonies. Cape liberalism, which stood for racial tolerance, however, was not a general characteristic of the white population. British immigrants rapidly absorbed the racial prejudices of the older white inhabitants. Nevertheless, as Simons points out, "liberalism took root in the Western Cape because of the region`s peculiar history, relative tranquility, racial composition and cultural cleavages." (3)
The policy resulted in minor concessions for the Coloured population, but did not manifest itself in any far-reaching uplifting of their conditions, material or political.
The constitution of 1853 gave the Cape a system of representative government and a franchise open to any man with certain economic qualifications. But the constitution was colour-blind only in form. The Coloured people made up the great bulk of the poor and, consequently, few qualified for the vote. Even in later years, when Coloured voters were marginally important in a dozen or more
constituencies, they never succeeded in returning any of their own people to Parliament.
In the general election of 1893 an attempt was made for the first time to put up non-white candidates. In Paarl in the Western Cape, moves were made to unite everybody in support of James Curry, the Coloured candidate. In Cape Town the Malay community prepared to nominate A. M. Effendi, who was of Turkish extraction. At that time there existed in the Cape a form of proportional representation known as the cumulative vote. Certain large constituencies returned more than one candidate and every voter was allowed to cast as many votes as there were candidates, and voters could, if they chose, cast all their votes for the same candidate. To prevent this from happening in the case of the non-white representative, a Constitutional Amendment Act was rushed through Parliament, which abolished the cumulative vote.
In Natal at the time of the Union, there was, as in the Cape, no constitutional discrimination between white and Coloured people from the time of a charter in 1856. There was, however, a hardening of attitudes even before Union and laws in 1865 and 1896 excluded Africans and Indians respectively from political rights.
In the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, the Coloured people had not enjoyed political rights from the time of the establishment of these republics to the time of Union. The Transvaal Republic laid down that no "bastard", up to the tenth generation, could sit in its meetings as a member or judge.
The South Africa Act of 1909, passed just prior to the formation of the Union of South Africa, finally removed the right of Coloureds in Natal and the Cape to stand and serve as elected or nominated representatives in both Houses of Parliament.
Before Union, some Coloured leaders decided that their interests were not fully safeguarded by the white political parties and in 1902, the African Political Organisation (APO) (4) was formed. Despite its name, the APO was composed of an entirely Coloured membership.
At a conference in 1905, Dr. A. Abdurahman, the first Coloured (Malay) member of the Cape Town Municipal Council, was elected President of the APO. In 1906, when the British handed power back to the Transvaal whites, the APO put forward a demand for the vote for Africans and Coloureds, and sent Dr. Abdurahman and two others to England on a deputation to present their case to the British public.
Coloured progressive thought was already turning towards an alliance with African organisations and opinion in the confrontation with the segregationist policies of the proposed Union. Already in 1907 the APO had attended a joint conference of Africans and Coloured people in order to discuss a common attitude towards the Cape elections the following year. An extract from an APO editorial, written on the approval by Britain of the colour-bar Act of Union gives an idea of how far advanced the APO in fact was. The editorial stated:
"The struggle has not ended. It has just begun. We the Coloured and Native
peoples of South Africa, have a tremendous fight before us... No longer must
we look to our flabby friends of Great Britain. Our political destiny is in
our hands; and we must be prepared to fight with grim determination to
It was of course not in the favour of the white People to see the Coloured people siding with the African majority. The whites meant to ensure that all power remained in their hands and every effort would be made to split the potential forces of non-white opposition. To this end the whites could make use of the Coloured people`s history and cultural affinity with them, in order to gain support. Hertzog told Parliament in 1929 that it would be "very foolish to drive the Coloured people to the enemies of the Europeans - and that will happen if we repel him - to allow him eventually to come to rest in the arms of the Native."
On the electoral front the fear of driving the Coloured people to rest in "the arms of the Native" lost intensity as successive measures disfranchised Africans and diminished the relative importance of the Coloured vote. The Women`s
Enfranchisement Act, which gave the vote to white women, at one blow halved the importance of the Coloured vote. It was further diminished by the Franchise Laws Amendment Act of 1931 which brought the white male franchise in the Cape in line with the rest of the Union by abolishing the property qualification and extending the franchise to every white male over twenty-one years.

Growing oppression and resistance
Teachers, students, university graduates, journalists and a handful of artisans produced a new generation of radicals in the Western Cape during the 1930s. Like Dr. Abdurahman thirty years before, they refused to take second place to the whites, but they turned their backs on his policies and strategy. Abdurahman had discredited himself and his organisation by clinging to the white liberals when
they followed Smuts into Hertzog`s camp. The younger generation disputed his leadership and authority and made a bid to create anew on their own account. By the 1930s, the APO had degenerated into hardly more than a benefit, burial and
building society.
In December 1935 the National Liberation League of South Africa was founded, with Mrs. Z. Gool, Dr. Abdurahman`s daughter, as president and James La Guma as General Secretary. Coloured radicals looked to Africans for mass support, and they drafted the League`s programme with them in mind, although they renewed pleas in the interest of all, black and white, calling on white workers to cut themselves off from the ruling class before it dragged them down to the "degraded position of the non-European."
At that period of its history, the African National Congress was sluggish and steeped in reformism, and it appeared that from then on Coloured radicals would strive to shape aims and strategy of activity in the Cape.
At that time as well, white politicians were preparing for battle in the impending general election and Afrikaner nationalists set the pace. Thundering against aliens, communists, Jews and men of colour they publicised the manifesto that was to form the basis of their legislative programme after 1948. The Government of the day was quickly alarmed and attempted to outmaneouvre them by
getting in first.
The Cape Provincial Council passed an ordinance giving municipal councils the power to enforce segregation in public places and residential areas. Stuttaford, then Minister of the Interior, gave notice of a scheme of "complete and parallel" segregation, a forerunner to the present policy of apartheid.
The Non-European United Front, which had been initiated earlier by the National Liberation League, replied with a massive demonstration of Coloured people in Cape Town on March 27, 1939. The police attacked demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament and continued to assault the residents of District Six, the Coloured quarter, until the early hours of the morning.
The Government vetoed the ordinance and dropped its own segregation proposals, a victory for the mass militancy of the Coloured people.
With World War II looming on the horizon, the Government also realised that it would need the full cooperation of the entire population, and it therefore shelved most of its anti-colour policies. The Nationalists, destined to become the party in power after the war, did not let up in their racism and pro-Nazism.
While several of those who are today rulers of South Africa were interned for siding with the enemy, Coloured men went off to war, hoping for a better deal for their people on their return.

The apartheid regime
When the National Party came to power in 1948, many of the subtleties which had attempted to disguise the racial policies of previous administration were stripped away and non-whites were faced with the naked hand of oppression. Apart from the fact that Nationalists were against the enfranchisement of non-whites, it was clear that the vote of the Coloured men in the Cape and Natal had gone against them, and this constituted a danger which in their eyes had to be removed. Likewise the potential strength of the total non-white vote was something Nationalists could not countenance, because it constituted an ominous presence in the body politic; only the white man should govern.
At the very first session of Parliament after the advent to power of the Nationalist Government, it introduced an Electoral Law Amendment Act (5) which provided that Coloured applications to vote must be witnessed and completed in the presence of an electoral officer, magistrate or police officer(6) The result was of course a serious drop in the Coloured voter registration in spite of the fact that the Coloured community had already acquired an apathy for white-controlled elections.
The next step was the Separate Representation of Voters Act (7) which removed the Coloured voters from the common roll in the fifty-five Cape constituencies. Coloured voters were then placed on a separate roll which would then elect four whites to represent them in the House of Assembly at five-year intervals and two white representatives to the Provincial Council.
The Coloured people replied to these proposals with a massive campaign organised by the Franchise Action Council, a united front of all elements, both white and non-white, who were against the removal of Coloured voters from the common roll.
In spite of widespread protests, including a general strike of Coloured people and court proceedings instituted against the Government, the Bill to remove the Coloured voters from the common roll was passed. This was only accomplished, however, when the Government padded the Senate with its supporters in order to get the required two-thirds majority of both Houses in order to amend the entrenched clauses of the Constitution.
While separate representation in Parliament had been a feature of Nationalist policy since early times, it became clear that even after their common roll "triumph," in the long run they would not be satisfied with even representation of Coloured people by white representatives. At each election under the Act, pro-Government candidates were resoundingly defeated. The Government was forced,
therefore, to contemplate another form of "representation" and this led to the Coloured Persons Representative Council.

Coloured Affairs Department
The basis for the present form of representation under the Nationalist Government had indeed been established by the previous United Party Government. It was the latter administration which, while claiming to champion the cause of the Coloured community, brought into being a Coloured Advisory Council (CAC).
Instead of finding plans to extend the rights of the Coloured people in return for their services in defeating Nazism, Coloured soldiers returning home discovered that the Government under which they had served was prepared to appease the Nationalists who had sided with the enemy. Shortly before the general election of 1943, Smuts had decided to introduce administrative segregation of the Coloured people. Coloured affairs henceforth would be dealt with by a special section of the Department of the Interior and by a permanent
council of Coloured notables.
An immediate and emphatic protest was launched by Coloured organisations, individuals and their supporters. Some 200 delegates attended the first National Anti-CAD conference in Cape Town on May 29, 1943. The conference decided to institute a political and social boycott of the Coloured Advisory Council, and to promote a united front against all forms of discrimination.
The CAC, functioning under the Coloured Affairs Department, was composed of members of the community appointed by the Government. It is supposed to advise on "matters affecting the Coloured people." However, when even these specially appointed "representatives" made urgent appeals to the United Party Government to extend the Coloured vote to the Northern provinces, they were turned down by the Government.
The CAC continued to function for nearly two years after the victory of the National Party at the polls, in the face of intense attacks from its opponents. The Nationalist Government, taking over from where the United Party had let off, extended the Council into a Union Council of Coloured Affairs (UCCA) (8) under a complete Ministry of Coloured Affairs which would control the future of the community via apartheid. In order to give this new apartheid institution a semblance of democracy, the Government allowed Coloured people to elect some members but the majority were still appointed by the Government. Again the Coloured people demonstrated their rejection of this travesty of political rights and boycotted the "elections". "Candidates" who stood in support of this institution were duly declared elected unopposed. They took their seats in spite of bitter opposition from the community, and such was the opposition that the authorities had to refuse public admission to sessions of the UCCA and all its meetings had to be held in private.

Elections to the Coloured Persons Representative Council
The Coloured Persons Representative Council (CRC) was established by the Coloured Persons Representative Council Amendment Act of 1968. It consisted of 60 members - 40 to be elected (9) and 20 to be nominated by the Government.
Every Coloured man and woman in South Africa over 21 was compelled to register as a voter under pain of a fine of R 50 ($70) or three months` imprisonment. The establishment of the CRC gave rise to a spate of political parties among the Coloured community, organised in the main by those who supported the apartheid policy of the Government one way or the other and saw themselves as
participating in their own "Parliament". The anti-apartheid Coloured Labour Party had been established by moderates who hoped to fill the vacuum caused by heavy Government repression against such organisations as the Coloured People`s Congress and the Non-European Unity Movement (of which the Anti-CAD was a unit).
This party had originally been under the leadership of Dr. R.E. Van der Ross. It was formed in order to "use the instruments available to us," because "that was the only way the Coloured people can organise themselves under the present system" and the Coloured people were not "given to working underground". (10)
Even though the Labour Party was speedy in giving assurances to the authorities that everything they did would be above board and that they had no objection to Security Police surveillance, no sooner had it been established than leading members were arraigned before magistrates and warned that they could be banned and proscribed for "furthering the aims of communism." Some of the founders then resigned.
The first election of the Coloured Persons Representative Council was held on September 24, 1969. Six parties contested the election, of which only the Labour Party stood on an anti-apartheid platform. There were contests in only 37 of the 40 seats, three candidates of the pro-Government Federal Coloured People`s Party, led by Tom Swartz, (11) were returned unopposed.
Perhaps the worst insult of all to the Coloured electorate and the people at large, was the Government`s appointment of Tom Swartz himself as chairman of the Council executive. During the elections Swartz was heavily defeated by the Labour Party candidate and got even fewer votes than the Republican Party candidate who came second. Yet this man is being presented to the world as the so-called Prime Minister of Coloured South Africa.
The CRC is totally subordinate to the central Parliament, and its powers are even narrower than those of the Transkei Assembly. It may draft laws on the limited and specified range of matters entrusted to it, but no proposed law may be introduced unless it has the approval of the Minister of Coloured Affairs.
The entire budget of the CRC is voted by the all-white South African Parliament which can for its part legislate on any matter concerning the Coloured people as it sees fit.
The then leader of the Labour Party, M.D. Arendse, was not exaggerating when he told the annual conference of the party in Cape Town in April 1970 that the Nationalist Government had by devious means deprived the Coloured people of all democratic voting rights on every level, thus stripping them of the last vestiges of democratic processes. As a result of the new political dispensation that had been engineered by the authorities, he went on to say, "we find ourselves now virtually a voiceless people in the land of our birth."

Campaigns against apartheid
One of the first campaigns launched by the Coloured people against the Nationalist Government`s apartheid policy centred on the introduction of racial separation on suburban trains in the Western Cape. Here again it was discovered that the new Government`s implementation of apartheid on local railways was in fact a follow-up of the previous administration`s plans. All the technical and
organisational wherewithal had been prepared by the United Party administration and it fell to the Nationalists to merely put them into effect. In 1949 widespread protest against this violation of long-standing rights of the people was led by an ad-hoc Train Apartheid Resistance Committee. Apartheid on local buses was introduced in 1955 and a massive boycott of buses was organised by the Coloured Peoples Congress (CPC). (12)
After the collapse of the National Liberation League in the late thirties, some of its former members had regrouped after World War II, and had initiated the Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM) which embraced the Anti-CAD and the Teachers League of South Africa as its main Coloured affiliates. The NEUM pursued an isolationist attitude and relied mainly on propaganda rather than active struggle. With the Government pressing relentlessly on with its apartheid policy and with the most militant sections of the non-white population emerging under the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Indian Congress, mass participation of the Coloured community was essential for a united struggle. The Coloured People`s Congress provided that participation.
Apart from mass campaigns against the implementation of Group Areas Act, Act No. 41 of 1950 and the Population Registration Act, Act No. 30 of 1950 the CPC also participated in the nation-wide campaign for the Congress of the People in 1955, which formulated and adopted the Freedom Charter. From 1956 to 1960, several of its leading members were among the accused in the notorious Treason Trial which resulted from that campaign.
When the ANC called for a national day of protest following the Sharpeville massacre, the CPC was instrumental in organising the support of thousands of Coloured workers who struck in alliance with the Africans, reiterating their own demands at the same time. The entire CPC leadership was detained during the resultant State of Emergency proclaimed by the Government, the only section of Coloured leadership to be thus imprisoned. Similarly when the National Action Council of the All-In African Conference at Pietermaritzburg called for demonstrations in support of a National Convention for a new constitution, in reply to the establishment of the white Republic, thousands of Coloured workers again responded to the leadership of the CPC. In the Cape Peninsula alone, between 35,000 and 40,000 Coloured workers engaged in commerce and industry stayed home and virtually crippled the clothing, building, engineering, leather and baking concerns. In Port Elizabeth where the second largest concentration of Coloured people lives, 75 per cent of the Coloured labour force supported African strikers. For the first time, Coloured workers participated in the
stay-at-home in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, Natal.
In 1961 a National Convention of the Coloured people was called in order to examine their status in South African society and to formulate common demands which would provide for their future in a democratic State. A wide section of the Coloured population, conservative, moderate and militant, joined in the preparations for the Convention through the participation of political, social, religious, sporting, cultural and trade union organisations, as well as a number of personalities. On the night of July 6, the Minister of Justice invoked the Suppression of Communism Act Act No. 44 of 1950 and banned the holding of the Convention within a radius of thirty miles around Cape Town. The organisers moved the assembly to two farms at Malmesbury, just beyond the limits of the Minister`s prohibition. In spite of the difficulties entailed by the last-minute ban, all provinces were represented and the Convention proceeded on the 8th and 10th July.
Among its findings it stated:
"The only policy that can succeed in South Africa is one of complete equality
for all people... the total abolition of the colour-bar in every sphere, and
full citizenship for all the peoples of South Africa."(13)
Faced with widespread opposition to their policies, the Government resorted to wholesale intimidation of Coloured leaders and organisations. The provisions of the Suppression of Communism Act were invoked in order to ban, confine and house-arrest individual activists. The CPC became practically immobilised by the banning of its most active cadres, and although technically still a legal organisation, today its activities have to be carried on underground.
After dealing with Congress militants, the Minister of Justice turned upon such Coloured bodies as the Anti-CAD and the Teachers League of South Africa, banning their foremost spokesmen. Coloured members of the Cape Town City Council, the only institution of direct representation for Coloured people, were prohibited from attending gatherings. Members of the District Six Action Committee which had been campaigning against Group Areas proclamations, were arraigned before magistrates and warned that they would be dealt with for "furthering the aims of communism" if they persisted with their protest campaign. The widespread activities of the Security Police and the Minister of Justice have since that period been used in an attempt to eliminate opposition to apartheid.

Hardening attitudes
The application of apartheid has been seen as the ruthless continuation and development of the segregation and colour-bar policies of past South African Governments, and has emphasised for the non-whites that other parties in Parliament hold no promise of redress for their grievances against the Government, nor agreement to equality for all in South Africa.
The main opposition party in Parliament, the United Party, has for generations made use of the Coloured people`s old preference for the British connexion, and in the guise of having the interests of the community at heart, exploited the Coloured franchise for its own parliamentary ambitions. The concern over growing Coloured antagonism to white supremacy as a whole must be seen as anxiety of
that section of the whites over the imminent loss of support from a large section of the non-African population in a potential front against the black majority.
Sir De Villiers Graaff, leader of the UP, stated in 1965 that the United Party was still "prepared to accept the Coloured people as part of the Western Group in South Africa," but he "prayed that their conduct will not make this
impossible for us." (14)
Today the United Party accepts the principle of the system of separate representation first introduced by the Nationalist Government. On June 9, 1971, De Villiers Graaff said:
"The Coloured people should be represented in the central Parliament by six members of Parliament who could be either Coloured or white persons. They would be elected on a separate roll. The Coloured Persons Representative Council should be transformed into a wholly elected communal council...
Coloured people should not be deprived of the municipal vote before adequate alternative rights are available." (15)
The more radical of the Coloured political groups have always warned against the basic racist allegiances of the opposition parties. However, today even moderate elements, as well as those who had favoured United Party policy in the past, have rejected that party and have come out in favour of full equality for Coloured people. Even the pro-apartheid groups in the Coloured Persons Representative Council (CRC) have stated this position.(16)
"Coloured leaders of the Labour Party told the United Party in strong terms that their political plans for the Coloured people were unacceptable, i.e., plans for separate institutions like communal councils."
The Coloured leaders were also reported to have told United Party Members of Parliament that they objected to the continual stress on the fact that the United Party stood for white leadership and was in favour of separate Coloured areas.
The United Party`s policy was rejected by the leaders of both the major parties in the Coloured Persons Representative Council. Tom Swartz of the Federal Party was reported to have said that the Coloured people would never be satisfied with inadequate measures but that they want "full equality".

Growing opposition
Outside the deliberations of the CRC and official meetings, the Coloured community has continued to reveal its rejection of apartheid and a hardening of opposition to colour-bar attitudes from all quarters of the white front. This is taking place even in spite of the atmosphere of intimidation by the Security Police and the Minister of Justice.
Among the intelligentsia, scholars and students, opposition and protest have been developing openly. During the Government-organised celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the Republic in 1971, reports revealed that the majority of pupils arranged to participate through their schools, refused to turn out. On another occasion, when the whites only Cape Peninsula Arts Board performed at a
high school, Coloured students created disturbances or ignored the performers.
At the Coloured University of the Western Cape, students have been consistently resisting a "quisling" Students Representative Council.
The poet and philosopher, Adam Small, has written:
"Racism is a phenomenon of inferiority. Our blackness is a phenomenon of
pride... We can no longer care whether or not whites understand us. What we do
care about is understanding ourselves, and in the course of this task, helping
the whites to understand themselves. We are rejecting the idea that we live by
their grace (i.e., that they have the right to decide our future). We may live
by the Grace of God, but we do not live by the grace of the whites." (17)
When Dame Margot Fonteyn, the British ballerina, announced her intention of giving special performances for Coloured people when visiting South Africa, Mr. Small said again:
"Here it is all over again - the sickening phenomenon of the patronising white man or woman graciously condescending to `do something for us non-whites.' The business is doubly sickening because it is all happening in the name of art." (18)
The London Guardian`s Cape Town correspondent later reported that Dame Margot`s action had angered the community and that they were planning a boycott of the performance.
A Coloured Anglican priest has said:
"The black man in South Africa knew no existence but oppression and
incarceration." (19)
The Reverend Clive McBride, speaking at a symposium at the University of Cape Town as part of Human Rights Week, said:
"I cannot distinguish between Nationalist or Progressive. All I see is that
there is manifested against me a power, an evil, stunting power - a white
power that mercilessly oppresses."
He went on to say that although the non-white had the aspirations and the appearance of a human being, the dignity that made him a human being was taken away.
After the shooting at Gelvendale, Port Elizabeth, in May 1971, serious unrest continued for about three weeks. Buses were stoned, and attempts were made to set up road-blocks. More than 40 persons were subsequently charged in court with various offences, such as public violence or malicious damage to property. The Gelvendale community also set aside one day on which they wore black rosettes and armbands to "mourn the loss of our people`s rights".
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the general secretary of the Trade Union Council of South Africa urged that a top-level enquiry be instituted into the future of the Coloured people. It was evident, he said, that the community was "becoming increasingly resentful of the treatment they are receiving, and their frustration is moving towards an explosion point." (20)

Rejection of apartheid institutions
The predecessors of the CRC, namely such bodies as the Coloured Advisory Council, the Coloured Affairs Department, the Council of Coloured Affairs and the like, had all been given the cold shoulder by the majority of the Coloured community. As has been pointed out, the majority of the electorate did not participate in the election of the CRC in 1969. In the prevailing atmosphere in South Africa, aggravated by consistent rejection of the demands of the oppressed groups, it is inevitable that those who did believe that redress might be sought within the institutions of apartheid are themselves becoming rapidly disillusioned with this approach. Thus inside the CRC the realisation that nothing can be achieved for the community within the framework of the Government`s policy, has been growing.
Sonny Leon was reported to have said in Pretoria:
"The CRC should be scrapped and replaced by Coloured representation at all levels of Government in South Africa, based on a common roll." (21)
He went on to say that the Council was a puppet of the Government, without real powers and that even some of the nominated members were beginning to see that the Council is little more than a shop window intended to reflect the progress of the Government`s separate development policy.
On February 1, 1972, the Rand Daily Mail quoted Mr. Leon as saying:
"The CRC has become an acute embarrassment to the Nationalist Government because its nominated majority had lost control."
Because of defections, Mr. Swartz could count on only 29 votes from among 60 members. At the last session of the Council a resolution requested that the Council be converted into an all-elected body, because the 20 Government-appointed members "do not necessarily represent the views of the Coloured." It stated that the Coloured people had lost confidence and the Council its credibility.
At the proceedings of the Council in 1971, Mr. Curry was reported to have said that the Labour Party considered the Government`s policy of separate development to be "pure hypocrisy - a cloak to maintain white political domination. The traditional pattern of South Africa`s racial policies," he went on to say, "was not going to be changed by decisions made in the Coloured Persons Representative Council." In addition, at the start of the session Mr. Leon introduced a motion calling for the abolition of the Council and the inclusion of its 40 elected members in the House of Assembly as representatives of the Coloured people.The Labour Party boycotted the official opening of the Council in August 1971 by the Minister of Defence and the Cape leader of the National Party, P. W. Botha.
It also boycotted the budget debate after proposing an amendment that the budget was unacceptable because the Council had no power to change it.
Inevitably disillusionment with the apartheid measures must compel their participants to consider complete non-cooperation. Thus a decision to call upon the Labour Party to abandon participation in the CRC was taken by the Transvaal region of the party in March 17. It called on the Labour Party to quit the CRC and to work independently of all apartheid institutions. The national leadership was however not prepared to go so far. The Rand Daily Mail reported Mr. Leon as having said that the resolution adopted by the Transvaal region reflected the general consensus of opinion that the CRC was a "meaningless institution." He claimed nevertheless that the Labour Party should remain in the Council to "expose it for what it was" and that their presence was essential as it provided the party with "a legal instrument to express the desires of the people." Rand Daily Mail, March 14, 1972
Within the ranks of the pro-Government Federal Party, too, disillusionment is taking root. The leader of that party in the Eastern Cape, Mr. P.E. Kievetts, resigned in August 1971, stating that he could no longer join in any defence of the apartheid policy. (22)

Alliance with the African people
The "extra-parliamentary" mass movements and campaigns against injustice and racial discrimination have been the methods by which the whole people demonstrated in uncompromising terms their rejection of the colour-bar and segregation or so-called separate development. The struggles against the destruction of the franchise, against Group areas, against poverty and cultural and educational discrimination, as well as support for the Freedom Charter of the Congress movement, a National Convention and the like - all have registered the Coloured community`s rejection of the generations-old system of racism in
South Africa.
Most important, these struggles and campaigns were always conducted in cooperation with the African people and emphasised the fact that, in spite of different historical and cultural backgrounds, success for oppressed minorities lay only in alliance with the national liberation movement of the African majority.
In a very real sense, the future of the Indian and Coloured people and their liberation as oppressed groups is seen as being intimately bound up with the liberation of the Africans. Coloured and Indian people are increasingly seeing their liberation as an integral part of the liberation movement and not as a mere auxiliary.
Events such as the distribution of underground literature and leaflets from the Coloured People`s Congress and the African National Congress among the Coloured people are evidence of the fact that new cadres are emerging within the community to work for strengthening the democratic alliance, following the suppression of known militants. Indeed, the public demands made today by all non-white oppressed groups are reiterations of the demands unfolded by the liberation movement since its inception.
Coloured youths appear to be preparing for and joining the guerrilla movement of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC. A young Coloured man, Basil February, a member of this armed force, was killed by security forces in Zimbabwe in 1967 while making his way to South Africa. In 1971 another Coloured member of Umkhonto, James April, was arrested in Natal while bringing arms into South Africa and sentenced to 15 years` imprisonment.
Generations of experience show that the ruling white minority has no intention of according the Coloured people any genuine democratic rights in South Africa and is rapidly brining about the final acknowledgement that only the overthrow of the racist State can lead to the just participation of all South Africans in an altogether new society.
Of the little over 600,000 compulsorily registered voters only 48.7 per cent went to the polls. Polling of up to 75 per cent was registered in some of the rural areas, where Coloured voters had reportedly been subjected to great pressure by employers and the police, and permission to address meetings in the Coloured reserves was usually refused to anti-Government candidates. In the Cape urban constituencies, where Coloured people had previously had the vote on the common roll, the polls were low, some areas showing a mere 13 per cent, 16.4 per cent, 19.2 per cent and 20.2 per cent.
Nevertheless, the community`s rejection of Government policy was shown by the outcome of the election, in which the anti-apartheid Labour Party topped the polls, winning 26 seats. The Federal Party won 11 seats. The Republican Coloured Party, the National Coloured People`s Party and the Independent Federal Party won one seat each.
To secure control of the Council, the Labour Party had to win 31 seats, which it failed to do. The Government then proceeded to appoint Federal Party men to fill the remaining 20 seats of the Council, including 13 candidates who had been defeated in the elections. This gave the Federal Party the necessary votes to control the Council.
(1) From "Notes and Documents", No. 18/72, September 1972
(2) Early in 1971 the Afrikaans Calvinist Movement suggested a "three-stream"
policy patterned on Hertzog's "two-stream" policy for the sharing of political
rights by white English and Afrikaners.At the end of July 1971, ten Transvaal
professors and 19 lecturers from the University of South Africa and the
University of the Witwatersrand issued a public "declaration of faith",
appealing to South Africans to think again, especially about the eventual
achievement of full citizenship by the Coloured people. The Coloured people
would have to be accepted as a full and equal element in the "Western community"
in South Africa, they said.
(3) Simons, R. E. and H. J. Class and Colour in South Africa 1850-1950 (Penguin,
1969), p. 20
(4)Later the African Peoples Organisation
(5) Act No. 50 of 1948
(6) Previously a voter could complete a form without supervision.
(7) Act No. 46 of 1951
(8) CCA after the declaration of the Republic
(9)28 in the Cape Province, 6 in the Transvaal and 3 each in Natal and the
Orange Free State
(10) Mr. Van der Ross, writing in The Cape Argus, November 14, 1965
(11) Mr. Swartz had formerly been Chairman of the Council of Coloured Affairs
(12) The Coloured People`s Congress, initially the Coloured People`s
(13) Contact, Johannesburg, August 10, 1961
(14) Cape Times, April 24, 1965
(15) Survey of Race Relations in South Africa, 1971
(16) The Rand Daily Mail reported on March 6, 1972:
(17) Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg, July 13, 1971
(18) The Guardian, London, March 17, 1972
(19)The Star, Johannesburg, April 1, 1972
(20) Ibid., May 17, 1971
(21) Rand Daily Mail, September 10, 1971
(22) Ibid., August 21, 1971

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16 years 3 months ago #15434 by Alchemy
I dont get this post, how does it differ from what guys like Critikill, Jayk, Blackstar and many others have said before. Seems we are caught on a racial wormhole on this site.:(

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16 years 3 months ago #15453 by titoM

All the "know it alls" maybe you should give this one a miss. All the others, try and read some of his other works, and also works by such poets as Adam Small, Arthur Nortje, etc.

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16 years 3 months ago #15456 by Alchemy
Another user as JayK has pointed out who creates himself a username for one intent only, a cheap pot shot then backs into the shadows again. Then they really must be know it alls cause most of the stuff in your post has been covered in some way by the pople mentioned. You draw your own conclusions to the significance of this post.

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16 years 3 months ago #15460 by titoM
Read the first couple of my paragraphs carefully again. That's my only contribution, no mention of the significance of the post, just a sharing of an article for those who want to use it, otherwise just move on, that's the beauty of the internet.

Apologies to those who have already made similar contributions, I have not got the time to read every post that was created from day one.

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16 years 3 months ago #15463 by Spell Jammer
How, but didnt you accuse the know it alls to steer clear?

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16 years 3 months ago #15469 by titoM
A suggestion was made, not an accusation!!

My perceptions of this site (rightfully or wrongfully) have been that, there are a lot of people out there who think that Coloured people have been sitting around idly doing nothing about their situation and have not made any significant contributions to the demise of apartheid and the upliftment of the peoples of South Africa.

I am merely trying to plant a seed for those who want to know more, so that they can go out there and find out for themselves about the history of our people.

Once again apologies if this has already been covered. About the significance or insignificance, don't you think if 1 of the 4200 registered user find something useful, it may have been worth their while. "Knowledge is power".

Some things are worth repeating.

The poet and philosopher, Adam Small, has written:
"Racism is a phenomenon of inferiority. Our blackness is a phenomenon of
pride... We can no longer care whether or not whites understand us. What we do care about is understanding ourselves, and in the course of this task, helping the whites to understand themselves. We are rejecting the idea that we live by their grace (i.e., that they have the right to decide our future). We may live by the Grace of God, but we do not live by the grace of the whites."

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16 years 3 months ago #15471 by Spell Jammer
Thats very true, but heres a suggestion when you make a statement like the know it alls should steer cleer you are generalising. Do you think that particular statement was entirely neccesary.

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16 years 3 months ago #15476 by Cjoe

Once again apologies if this has already been covered. About the significance or insignificance, don't you think if 1 of the 4200 registered user find something useful, it may have been worth their while. "Knowledge is power".

I'm down with that. - Thanks for the article.

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16 years 3 months ago #15484 by Herbsta
JayK....if the sandal fits....

TitoM....thanks a lot, post more if you have!

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16 years 3 months ago #15485 by Spell Jammer
Herbsta, you really dont read my friend!

"Thats very true, but heres a suggestion when you make a statement like the know it alls should steer cleer you are generalising."

This means I enjoyed the article! Case and point Cjoe! People just dont read on this site!!

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16 years 3 months ago #15491 by Babyjuice
Yes some people dont read and they tend to take things as it is stated. How about reading between the lines.

This is a very interesting topic indeed. Thanks a lot

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16 years 3 months ago #15493 by Alchemy
Eish no, Iraan please come back, and bring ASP while you at it. This is pathetic, not the post but individuals inability to comprehend what others are saying anymore. Its a sad state of affairs I tell you.

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16 years 3 months ago #15495 by Babyjuice
What's your beef Alchemy?

The author of this post apologised or am I seeing things, strange things?

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16 years 3 months ago #15497 by Spell Jammer
I sit in utter bewilderment! What did I actually say to the author except agree with his post? Im thinking of taking up Latin Alch, maybe its more comprehensive. My mind is in great turmoil due to the extreme amount of theory beeing posted. It is very difficult for my mind to process it all without wanting to lie down and sleep. There was that better? Awake me when sanity has actually prevailed.

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16 years 3 months ago #15500 by Likwidzoe
titoM wrote:

The poet and philosopher, Adam Small, has written:
"Racism is a phenomenon of inferiority. Our blackness is a phenomenon of
pride... We can no longer care whether or not whites understand us. "

As reluctant as I was to mention anything on this topic as I had decided tp be a spectator and just sit back absorb and learn .... but well done titoM on that ekse......

Lemme reminded you all today that real power comes from being proactive... It comes from walking away from unacceptable shite. It comes from confronting head on the kak you can and want to change. It comes from the realization that as much kak as we may talk about what other mufuckas have done to us mense and how it has damaged us, how we are still healing as bruin mense, we still have ultimate power over ourselves, our moods, our happiness ekse...

Plus couizins power oso comes from accepting that sometimes you just have to give up............ver-understand julle?

nuff sed.....

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16 years 3 months ago #15502 by Platinum
OUSAN !!!!!!! :woohoo: :woohoo: Dat a Man LIKWEIRDO !!!!!


The fear of loosing is far greater then the HAPPINESS of success

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16 years 3 months ago #15504 by Likwidzoe
Yip Plat hun, u mus check the posturing a coupla lines down under this post ekse....... Well it's fascinating in an awful sort of way how easily we misunderstand each other. The slightest nip and tuck in phrasing could invite a veritable shitload of wrong impressions.........

nuff sed.....

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16 years 3 months ago #15509 by Alchemy
Ya ou Likwid, i reckon a new dialect should be started ek se bra. Ive have never seen as many communication breakdowns as I have in this past week.;)

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16 years 3 months ago #15511 by leolady


Now let's get down to some serious discussions now that I've got that off my chest.

You quote some good articles for reading and discussion BUT as indicated in my previous discussions, lets find solutions to the problems at hand and work together as a team "THE Bruinou TEAM", instead of carrying this past load/vendetta around with us. You come across as a well learnered individual, good for you but how about putting some of that vent up anger to action.

Discuss the good you've done to assist some of our fellow Bruinous. What further plans you have for them and ask the fellow forumees to discuss/relay what they done to improve the life style of "BruinouS".

This is what I do for our "Bruinou YOUTH":

On a daily basis my various contacts in the SETAS, Dept of Educ, Recruitment Agencies, etc. email me when there are major employment opportunities for "disadvantaged people/youth" which I forward onto various "Coloured" contacts (Bruinou.COM can confirm this), because I want to see our youth flourish with opportunities some of us were deprived of.

What do you do????

Another thing, you have this major chip on your shoulder about welders, boilermakers etc. - it's a job sweety - they are earning an income instead of standing in welfare lines waiting for handouts. They chose this career, it was not forced upon them - yes back then this was one of the only means of employment available but they could of carried on furthering education to obtain better employment "like some of us" but some chose not to. So why should I feel sorry for someone who dwells in his/her sorrows. Hell no man, I don't recall my mother telling me I had a twin.

Think about it, sleep on it, do whatever you wish about it BUT remember:


:P :)

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