A Pretoria resident, Herman Le Roux has written an open letter to Julius Malema about the nationwide H&M store protest the EFF leader is defending, Pretoria East Rekord reports.
The protest, which took place at the weekend, was in response to a picture of a black boy modelling a sweater written “coolest monkey in the jungle” that emerged last week.
The letter reads:
So, an advertisement with child with a shirt on has you and your party up in arms. You go and damage private property. Your followers make comments of murder, rape and burning humans.
You see Julius, the average white South African has moved on with their lives. They try within their means to make a living, they are not racist and they live decent lives. Yet you and your cronies think that white = racist. Yes, there are still those that hang their old flags and sing their old anthems – trust me, they annoy us as they annoy you.
You see Mr Malema, I have seen the suffering of people of colour, I see them in the public hospitals, the clinics – utterly poor. I have also seen the same suffering of white people.
My friends and I, we are blind to colour. When we do our outreach work, we assist anyone – black, white, male, female, human or animal. Are you aware of the pigment of animals? Of black lesbians that are raped to “correct” them?
Do you know the suffering of the mentally ill, children of all colours, the aged, gay people in this country? Do you care?
You see Mr Malema I refused to do military service, I refused to fight for a country that denied some people rights. I openly voiced against apartheid. I know more about the struggle than many of the people in your party because I was part of it. This country was not only liberated for you, it was also liberated for me. This country was liberated not by you, but by a combined international effort of people of all walks of life and all colours – for all of them.
One of your comrades, the departed Chris Hani said: “What I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists who drive around in Mercedes Benzs and use the resources of this country to live in palaces and gather riches.” That is exactly what is happening.
You see, you can look for racism and hate anywhere and you will find it. I totally approve of fighting it, but when you start using things that are not racist (the child’s own mother did not have an issue with the ad), so that you can get 15 minutes of fame, and in the process threaten and cause damage, then Mr Malema, you need not question those you hate, you need to question yourself.
The H&M ad was insensitive, should be removed and they should offer a public apology. The racial fallout of hate after that does not justify the original wrong – both actions are wrong.
Violence, hate, racism and the destruction of property has no place in South Africa.
So by the same principle, I as an animal rights activist can start trashing pet shops, the circus and the zoo? I will, however, not do that because I do not believe in violence. Have you ever considered the rights of animals?
Alan Paton once wrote a book called Cry the Beloved Country. Maybe you read it. If Mr Paton wrote that book today, I somehow think the title would be the same.
Your hate, promotion of violence, inciting of anger and racism is a blemish on the name of the country that we all love.
Some call you revolutionary, you are everything but. I am as African as you. My parents were born in Kenya, they speak Swahili fluently. I was born in South Africa, my ancestors have been here for hundreds of years.
I made a few memes on my wall, we had a few laughs. That is because some of us have moved above seeing hate in it all. Let that not deflect from the seriousness of this hate. We fight for what is important – children dying of hunger, pollution, poverty, actual racism and animal rights. Those are the important things in this lovely South Africa.
You will never be a great man, you will never lead a nation.
Do you love Africa as I do?