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Matanzima’s ghost lives on in Magashule and Zuma’s narrow vision


Matanzima’s ghost lives on in Magashule and Zuma’s narrow vision

Like the Transkei leader, theirs is a narrow black nationalism, and shows how low the ANC has stooped

Jonny Steinberg

People who end up on the wrong side of history get forgotten, their voices silenced by those who won. The result is that we fail to understand the ways in which they shaped our world. So it is with the founding premier of Transkei, Kaiser Daliwonga Matanzima.

If ever a man chose the wrong side of history, it was he. A scion of the AbaThembu aristocracy and a lawyer, he sold his soul to Hendrik Verwoerd, becoming the most esteemed black figure in the grand apartheid scheme. Demonised now, most of us barely know what he said in defence of what he did.

To learn that, one needs to return to the black press of the early 1960s – Drum, Golden City Post, The World – which reported the formation of the Transkei day by day. Going back to those newspapers and listening to Matanzima’s voice now is instructive and surprising, for so much of his vision lives on in a modified form...

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