It's H-time. No, not "hammer time", HYPOCRISY time!
Related post: White men retake Cape of Good Hope
By James Myburgh
Helen Zille's appointment of the Western Cape provincial cabinet has been heavily criticised over the past week. The main objection has been that, regardless of the merits of the individuals concerned, far too high a proportion of her provincial cabinet possess male genitalia. A subsidiary objection is that too many of her appointees are ‘white'. These two objections have coalesced into the complaint that Zille has appointed a ‘predominantly white male cabinet.' This is, according to the ANC and various commentators, intrinsically ‘racist.'
In a speech last week ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe observed that Zille's appointments did not reflect the racial demographics of the province. "In a province where the coloureds are 54 per cent, Africans 24 per cent, Whites 22 per cent and women 50 per cent, Helen Zille's cabinet is 60 per cent, White males. It is actions of this sort that must be taken up. The racist and right wing content of the DA programme must be exposed on a constant basis."
In his response to the controversy COPE's parliamentary leader, Mvume Dandala, also statedThe Sunday Times meanwhile described Zille's executive as a "circa '70s Nat-looking cabinet" (simply because six of its ten members were white men.) that "the racial make-up of the [Western Cape] Cabinet is also not adequately representative of our society."
Funnily enough, it was the avowedly Africanist City Press which exposed the hypocrisy underlying these complaints about the lack of racial ‘representivity' in the Western Cape government. As it pointed out in an editorial (and news report) on Sunday, the cabinets of Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Free State, and North West "are all black [African]. That is hardly representative either, but no one was making an issue of that."
Indeed, the ANC has only appointed two white MECs - both women - in their eight provincial cabinets. In other words, ANC premiers have not appointed a single white man to any of the eighty MEC positions they control. Whites thus make up 2,3% of the provincial cabinets outside of the Western Cape, and white males 0%.
White South Africans constitute between 11% and 12% of the electorate. Across the whole country there are 99 provincial cabinet positions - including premiers. Nine of these positions (or 9,1%) are currently occupied by whites, and 6 (6,1%) by white men. This means that, according to the sacred principles of racial bean counting, whites are actually marginally ‘under-represented' in provincial government.
If Zille's opponents get their way - and her democratically elected cabinet is replaced by a demographically representative one - then there would be only one white male (or 1% of the total) in all the provincial cabinets of South Africa.