Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, No. 25. October 8, 1968
NZUSA South Views Africa
NZUSA South Views Africa
On the left, David Shand, International Vice-President of NZUSA, replies to a letter from the Afrikaanse Studente Bond, the largely white pro-government students' association, asking for support.
To clarify our position on South Africa I am enclosing 0) a statement of NZUSA's policy on South Africa. (2) a copy of my letter of 2nd August, 1967 to the Afrikaanse Studente Bond.
NZUSA has no interest whatever in establishing contact with any student group supporting apartheid in the field of education. We are totally opposed to any forms of racial discrimination and therefore totally opposed to any groups supporting it. There is no way in which we could have any sort of a meaningful dialogue with the A.S.B. On the other hand we do maintain close relations with the National Union of South African Students, along with other members of the International Student Conference. On various occasions we have protested to your Government and its Consul-General in New Zealand on its continued harassment of NUSAS, well illustrated by the banning of Ian Robertson. Any student organisation worth its salt and adhering to the basic principle of freedom of speech would have protested about such a happening, but not the ASB! It gives the impression that the ASB is little more, than a student division of your Nationalist party. We have also assisted NUSAS by raising money for some of its programmes, for example the Prison Education Programme.
I have myself met representatives of NUSAS at International Student Conferences and have learned of the persecution they have suffered, merely because they hold contrary views to your Government, something that it seems is not permissible in South Africa.
In considering the attitudes of New Zealanders towards South Africa, you should realise that we are proud to call ourselves a multi-racial society. About eight percent of our people are of Maori or Polynesian race and a much larger number of New Zealanders have varying degrees of Maori blood in them. This is not something of which we are ashamed, but something we are proud of. We do have some racial problems but basically race relations are harmonious. We therefore find it very strange that any group of people should become so obsessed with the idea of maintaining racial purity (whatever that is) that they are prepared to deny their fellow countrymen the most elementary human rights, such as the right to vote and the right to live where one chooses, merely because they are of a different race. In particular we find the police state methods used to enforce this idea, such as the suspension of the rule of Law and the stifling of free speech, appalling to say the least.
If you would like to raise any further questions I will do my best to answer them.
David A. Shand
South African Replies
On the right an anonymous S.A. student replies to Dave Shand, supporting the A.S.B.
The President.N.Z. University Students Association.
Your letter to the Afrikaanse Studente Bond says: "I regret that I cannot wish you luck". Could any remark about the question of survival as a race be more fatuous and childish? I am a supporter of NUSAS but I recognise that the ASB leaders, however misguided they may be in certain respects, are earnest men and are men. We have no use for "luck" in Southern Africa. What we need is some medium of understanding of the vast and intricate race problem we have on our hands. When the thousand million Chinese start breathing heavily down your necks in Australasia you too will need a bit more than luck. If, via the Tanzania-Zambia railway the Communists reach Durban and Cape Town, I would not give tuppence for your survival as a white people and little more for your continued existence as half-breeds, the Chinese not being exactly tolerant of non-Yellows.
The Europeans of Southern Africa are very proud of being a white people and of our European heritage. We are also very proud of what we have managed to do so far for Southern Africa as a whole. We have no wish to change our appearance, outlook and habits and will therefore not accept integration and thus encourage mongrelisation. There is nothing wrong with bastards, but we just happen to want to stay the way we are and our forefathers were. After all, no reputable farmer would encourage his Charolais and Aberdeen Angus herds to breed indiscriminately. So we stand or fall by apartheid. However, what particularly bedevils this decision is the inefficient and thoughtless way the Nationalist government goes about things in practice, and its deadly fear of losing power. But that phobia is not unknown elsewhere, for example You-Know-Who at No. 10 Downing Street. However, for the sake of all the races in South Africa. We and many of the non-Whites are prepared, much as we dislike it in theory, to accept a semi-fascist regime if that means avoiding what has recently happened to so many countries in Africa. In NUSAS and generally dangerous liberalist elements easily exploitable by Communism have been ruthlessly axed as we are not prepared to suffer another Sharpesville. But please not that NUSAS itself has as an organisation not been banned. This would not cost more than a stroke of Mr Vorster's pen.
Incidentally, what of a practical nature have you people done to promote democracy and prosperity and to prevent Communism and mass slaughter in Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, the Congo, etc., most of them your brother countries in the Commonwealth? What have you done tor the starving oppressed million adjacent to you? We, at least, provide employment for something like 6 million South African Bantu (Africans) in While South Africa, and for hundreds of thousands more we have no direct responsibility for. In the region of 50 thousand a year continue to enter our country illegally from such countries-Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi. Zambia, and even from Tanzania and the Congo.
The tragedy about most people who are so fully informed about our affairs ("NZUSA is fully aware of the situation in South Africa") is that they apparently cannot conceive that the basic setup in Southern Africa might well be very different from that in their country and, in fact, in most others. Your statement quoted above was immediately contradicted in your next paragraph-"the vast majority of your countrymen are denied the most elementary human rights". The Bantu are not-and who should know better than we-'"our fellow countrymen". Their presence in While South Africa future Republic of Good Hope) is little different from the masses of workers from Southern Europe employed in France and Germany. As such they enter and remain in our country on our terms which include non-integration and better pay, housing, medical attention, education and justice, etc. than any other workers in Africa enjoy. The Egyptian worker is a serf in comparison. Nevertheless, we know only too well that too many are too often too hungry and too cold. This in my opinion requires the most urgent attention, but even we cannot build Rome in a day. How, do you think, does the richest nation in the world and a century ahead of us in industrialisation measure up in these respects? We would prefer permanent white settlers or even migrant Italian labourers, but a well established practice cannot suddenly be reversed. The Bantu are not South African citizens (have you any right to tell us who are and who are not citizens?), but citizens of the embryo countries to the north. Many of these groups will obviously later amalgamate, for example the Zulu, Swazi and, in Rhodesia, the Mata-bele. While it is true that the Bantu of the Republic now have too little land, bear in mind please that little land was taken away from the Bantu in the way that the North American Indians were dispossessed. The Whites in Southern Africa occupied in general only land then unoccupied by Bantu peoples. The 13% story is also a delusion —much of White S.A. is the poorest land in S.A. and much of the Bantu land, now extensively damaged because they and their cattle prospered greatly under our protection, the best. That's why they settled there.
Souh Africa is no more one country, though governed as such since 1910, than Great Britain and Ireland was and is one country. Eire has already broken away, Ulster is semi-independent, and Scotland and Wales will sooner or later be granted or obtain (UDI?) their independence. But these five politically independent countries will no doubt continue to function as an economic unit despite the relatively disproportionate strength of England. Unification in Southern Africa did not advance as far as in the area mentioned above. Rhodesia decided in 1923 not to join the Union, and Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland were not incorporated as provided for in 1910. South West Africa, though conquered by S.A. forces, was not incorporated in the Union. As far as it went the process of unification is now being reversed. It is quite possible that Southern Africa may in due course consist of the following "states":
White (and Coloured and Indian): Western Province, Eastern Province, Northern Cape, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Rhodesia and the white stale in S.W.A.
Bantu: Xhosa, Lesotho, Zulu/Swazi/Mata-bele group, Marshonaland, Sotho/Tswana group, Damaraland, Hereroland, and one or two smaller groups. These countries will have to unite in an economic unit and will probably also have in the end a multiracial federal type central government. Of course, the White stales are likely to retain their central government - Republic of Good Hope.
The crying need in practically every Black African country (and many others) is for employment. Many of the worst off are your brother Commonwealth countries. How about N.Z. providing work (and houses, hospitals, schools, etc.) for, not 6 million, but only 4 million Africans at a time in White N.Z.? If you don't do this your whole attitude to White South Africa is a sham and a lie. Will you, do you think, give them the vote and enforce integration. Of course, if you consider the Africans are somebody else's trouble, how about 4 million Indonesians or Chinese or Indians?
Finally, I cannot but hope that you slip on a banana skin, fall flat on your arse, and thereby get your ideas and views down to the level of practical politics. Do recent events in France perhaps mean anything to you? To me it is abundantly clear that the backbone of the country has massively rejected student blue-eyed liberalist antics which were immediately exploited by the Communists.
Unlike you, I have learned that my ideas and opinions about countries I have not lived in are often, if not usually, erroneous. For example, to me it appears that N.Z. is a bit of a backwater politically and otherwise, her main claims to fame being pretty good rugby and a welfare state which encourages vast illegitimate families.
Fairly Typical White Southern African.