The Government of National Unity through indigenous lens

|Khaeb writes that with the presence of the DA now in national government, he foresees the approach by many of these indigenous peoples changing. The patience practised with the ANC will now no longer be as resilient. Picture on file

|Khaeb writes that with the presence of the DA now in national government, he foresees the approach by many of these indigenous peoples changing. The patience practised with the ANC will now no longer be as resilient. Picture on file

Published Jun 19, 2024


“(So-called) coloureds are sell-outs. They keep the (so-called) whites in power.” This is a statement I, for the longest time have despised. A mere 30 years after the dawn of democracy, and this statement is no longer just true for the not-very-welcomed third wheel in the negotiated social and political relationships in the Republic of South Africa.

Born and bred in ||Hui !Gaeb, now internationally known as Cape Town, the truth in this has been felt since the successfully-indoctrinated “coloured” demographic voted in favour of the National Party (NP) in the 1990s. Over the years, the Western Cape has, for the most part remained under the administration of the European-descendants. This was continued with the NP’s successor, the DA.

In response to the results of the 2024 national elections, the once mighty ANC has decided to forego any fresh attempts to consolidate (the so-called) black power. Instead, it has produced a moment of irony.

Within my brief years as an indigenous rights activist and advocate, I have been exposed to my fair share of indigenous peoples themselves driving the narrative of unity. Of course it is a sensible call and easily understood. The irony, however, is that this narrative/call was highly influenced by interactions with the democratic government, ergo, the ANC.

Highlighting an alleged disunity among the |Xam and Khoe nations was an excuse used by the the ANC government as to why there is a lack in advancing the indigenous peoples or our movement to develop our languages, culture or any other relevant social or economic structures. This from the very organisation that now either failed to or cared not to unite as black political parties. Where is that shining example of unity among themselves that they so quickly raise as a concern with the indigenous nations?

It is the formation of the Republic’s newest government that I care to focus on now though. Although I had personal reservations towards the much-advocated for coalition driven by the ANC, DA and mainstream media, there are exciting opportunities that comes to the fore.

Returning to the matter of unity, the inclusion of the DA in the government of national unity (GNU) has reminded me of a certain position held by many. To them, before the advent of democracy, African peoples had a common enemy. During democracy, with our own in political power that common enemy was no longer there. This can be further elaborated through the indigenous lens.

Within the indigenous movement, many activists had a close affiliation to the ANC. Not only was this because they too were part of the organisation before 1994, fighting to topple the apartheid regime, but there still remains indigenous peoples that campaigned on behalf of the organisation for the 2024 elections. From my observations, this relationship with the ANC stifled the progress of the indigenous cause. As with many of the voters, this is due to the emotional attachment to the organisation, and it is a reality we had to contend with.

With the presence of the DA now in national government, I foresee the approach by many of these indigenous peoples changing. The patience practised with the ANC will now no longer be as resilient. It is the ANC in the GNU that will have to respond to most of the invigorated actions to come. Through the indigenous lens, the GNU therefore has more to consider than the ANC government had to.

According to the DA, accountability within the ANC government is a major concern. It is a focus area that will apparently change because the DA is part of the GNU. I, for one, welcome such an outcome.

Like a kid in a candy store is an easy description of myself when jotting down possible strategies to be taken by the indigenous peoples. From an outcomes-based approach, I look forward to the GNU immediately having to address matters that the ANC received on its national government table. Will the DA continue to marginalise the indigenous cause as it does in the Western Cape? Would they choose where to hold the GNU accountable, and thus perpetuating the dire state of accountability with government?

From a national or international perspective is the DA really prepared for what might come their way, because of their decision to form part of the GNU?

For the indigenous peoples, this is an opportune time to bring fresh attention to our cause. Not only because the GNU has positioned itself to act better, for all, but we can also look to the official opposition to the GNU to assist in progressing our cause. Due to any cautionary stance attributed to the fact the both the ANC and DA have marginalised the indigenous peoples and our development to date, the opposition here has its own role to play.

Whether on their own or part of an opposition block, the MK Party should also be held accountable. As mentioned in a previous article of mine (Cape Argus, April 19, 2024 – elections 2024 through and indigenous lens), it is the MK that referenced the indigenous peoples the most progressively during their campaigning. It is therefore understandable that most indigenous expectations are placed on this organisation.

Considering the political environment and what is at play, the current structure of government, and by association Parliament, what has transpired out of the 2024 elections makes for a thrilling few months ahead.

* |Khaeb is an indigenous business leader, and CEO of The Khoeporation (SA’s first indigenous strategic advisory company)

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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