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“STUPIDITY, Peculiar To SA” Themba Mdlalose. Must Read !

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South Africa is a very special country. There are categories of stupidity which are peculiar to this country. For that reason the English language is inadequate to discuss developments in the country. The situation is aggravated by the ban on the use of some South African words which are deemed to be racist. But then every word which is not complementary can be used as a racial slur.

I challenge the reader to name another country where parents think nothing of keeping their own children away from school to punish the government for failure to build a tarred road. Please tell me: In which other country do communities burn down their own schools to punish the government for demarcating municipalities in a manner that the communities do not like?

I say, there is no other country in the world where voters insist on voting for a party which will only respond to their needs if they burn down all community structures built and financed by the state. You would also be hard pressed to find a country where voters and MPs alike sing praises for a president who outsources the presidency to criminal syndicates and foreign vagabonds to facilitate looting of state resources.

Give me a country where communities will form a guard of honour and hail a foreign priest out on bail for sexually abusing the children of the community. South Africans think nothing of filling a huge church to capacity to listen to sermons delivered via cellphone and sound system from the prison cell of a bogus minister convicted for sexually abusing children.

These special categories of stupidity warrant a special terminology which we cannot expect the international English language to provide. Furthermore I think that most people would agree that such stupidity amounts to an unfair portrayal of the human species. In other words it is reasonable to expect that most humans would like to think that they are above such stupidity. This is another way of saying that most humans would consider such stupidity to be subhuman.

Now the arbitrary labelling of people as subhuman merely on the basis of their skin colour was the currency of the apartheid ideology. But is there no possibility that apartheid ideologues abused terminology which had more appropriate applications? Some of this terminology has since been banned and in doing so we may have thrown the baby out with the bath water.

What do you call an worker who goes out of his way to ensure the business he works for gets bankrupt? What do you call a politician who goes out of his way to ensure that the government of his country goes bankrupt? There is a word which originally referred to non believers. But lack of belief is in the eye of the beholder. A non believer is a person who does not believe what you believe.

The South African creatures I have described above certainly do not believe what normal humans believe. The label for non believers evolved to refer to those who were considered subhuman which is why it was banned in post 1994 South Africa. After all. As a country, we are supposed to be the home of UBUNTU. I must confess that I am one of those who consider the looters who are intent on destroying our country to be subhuman.

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