I don’t like blacks – top Afrikaans author
27 November 2010 Leave a comment
Annelie Botes is the often painfully outspoken, best-selling Afrikaans author of evocative books such as “Trippel Sewe’ about her own gambling addiction; “Raaiselkind‘ describing the world of a child’s autism, and ‘Thula-thula’ about incest. She also said she doesn’t like blacks – but fears them because of the crime.
And this week she rattled all the politically-correct cages in South Africa by admitting in the Afrikaans Sunday weekly Rapport that she neither liked, nor understood South African blacks – and was terrified of them because of the crime. She has stood by her comments after kicking off this storm: “I don’t want to back pedal over my comments. It’s the truth,” she told the Mail & Guardian. A friend of mine had a saying: sometimes you chop wood and you don’t consider where the splinters will land.” But she added: “Maybe it was impulsive … and maybe it’s unfair to put all black people under one umbrella. Naturally, there are a lot of black people that I like very much. But I certainly meant what I said.”
She’s also received some 1,000 emails supporting her comments thus far. Crime lies at the heart of Botes’s – perceived ‘racial paranoia’ ( in the Mail & Guardian’s opinion).
- “I’m scared,” she told the Mail & Guardian. “In my daily life there’s no one else that I feel threatened by except black people. If a courier comes to my door and he’s white, coloured or Indian, I’d have no problem inviting him in for a glass of water. But I would feel threatened by a black man.” Botes said she would also never appoint a black gardener.http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-11-26-author-anneli-botes-stands-by-racist-comments
Her interview in Rapport:
“I don’t know why my books are popular,’ she kicked off her Rapport interview which started the public row. “Perhaps because I never write a lie.’ She admitted to having a highly-developed sense of justice which has dropped her in hot water over the years, for instance with her church hiring black cleaners at unbearably low wages. “Whenever I hear of any unjust situation yet where I remained silent, a nauseous feeling falls over me. ” And when she does speak up, she usually gets into trouble.
- And boy is she in trouble now… after she was asked by interviewer Hanlie Retief what kind of people she didn’t like. “She sniffed. Folded her hands. Thought about it, and said: “I’m going to be terribly honest. I know it will shock the nation. But I don’t like black people.’
“I don’t understand them,” she continued. “Where I was raised in Uniondale there were no black people except the occasional escaped prisoner and then you were told to run for the hills….I know they are people just like me. I know they have the identical rights to mine. But I don’t understand them.
My neighbour was murdered cruelly. For what?
“And then, I don’t like them, I avoid them because I am afraid of them. My neighbour was murdered cruelly. For what? If black people are hungry, why don’t they just like they did in the old days, break into the house, plunder the fridge and just go? I know where the anger comes from. But it no longer has anything to do with apartheid. The blacks are just furious about their own in-com-pe-tence…’ she said.
The black kids are running wild, can’t write their names or count to 100…
“After 16 years (under black rule) the roads are buggered, the hospitals, the schools, everything. And who did that? They did. I am horrifically bloody angry for the black government which closed down every little farm school too. Now those black kids are running wild. They can’t write their names and can’t count to a hundred. What will become of them? They will become criminals.
“Yes also look at everything we did to them before 1990. The white government stole just as much, those ministers with their slick cars and their farms. They stole from other places, from customs, from land-taxes.
- “It’s just wrong to steal from poor people, old-age pensioners and hospitals…”
- “However – it’s just plain wrong to go and steal from poor people and old-age pensioners and hospitals, as is being done today.’ (She’s not wrong: even highly-placed black ANC-commentators complain that BEE is legalised theft, that the ANC-elitists are stealing from poor blacks)
She continued her Rapport interview: “I don’t understand it. If I could understand why (they do all that), then I could like them… I’ve never been a hateful of racist person. I was raised during apartheid. You sleep in your own house. you drink from your own cup, that was life, with patterns. Sundays in church, psalms, patterns. But on weekends I only had coloured play-friends. At Grootfontein I was not allowed to address coloured workers such as Outa Willem and Aai Ragel in the familiar terms of ‘you” (“jy, jou” in Afrikaans) – I had to use Thou (U in Afrikaans). I had to ask: Outa Willem can your pocket-knife blade get that thorn from my foot”. No ‘jy and jou’ was allowed because he was likely to give me a hiding and then dad would give me another hiding because Outa Willem had found it necessary to give me a hiding…’
Why no books about the humanity shown by white farmers towards the workers?
Botes also felt that ‘someone who isn’t white should also write a book about the genuine humanity with which so great many white farmers treated their workers. Nobody ever tells those stories: how the black workers were driven to the doctors to have their babies. Or that whenever we canned our fruit theworkers always got their fair share. Those amiable relationships between whites and blacks have been lost forever.
Nobody tells those stories. There’s this disinformation that we (whites) were only bad and suppressed and beat them.’
She tells of her own experience just recently, waiting in line at the Port Elizabeth municipality to explain the calculation error in her water-bill.
- “I said to the black woman behind the counter; “Mammatjie there’s a problem here…’ and she replied ‘Oh we’re offline. I can’t help.’ … ‘I should have stood in line at the counter with the white or coloured clerk’, I am thinking to myself. But I try again… Mammatjie, look…’ behind me the line is growing. She looks at me with calves-eyes. So what happens after half an hour of frustration? I blurt out to her: “Are you a baboon, huh, can’t you sort this simple thing out?’ She shakes her head: ‘that’s the way we whites are’ you can see her think. So what happens to that woman? She feels humiliated to the depths of her soul. And the guy behind me gives her just as much hell. We whites now have this built-up aggression inside us don’t we, our government has been taken away from us. Finished and klaar. Without spilling a drop of blood. That poor woman doesn’t have a chance, she’s just as defenceless – shoved into a job for which she didn’t get enough education. And she has to cope? Ha!”
Botes slammed the ANC-regime for “pushing so hard to carry out their black-economic-empowerment programme without first having the skilled people to carry these out”.
- “I suspect that black people aren’t angry for white people but rather with their own government – but they are taking it out on white people.”
‘I don’t want to be raped at the age of 84 by thirteen blacks…’
She has decided that when her husband Chris retired, they are going to emigrate to the UK. “I would rather sacrifice my Afrikaans culture then to be raped by 13 blacks at the age of 84 years. I cannot even walk to the cafe nearby to buy a tomato without endangering myself. “This isn’t our country any more, the country I used to salute. And it has fokkol to do with racism,’ she insists.
- “I don’t want to live in fear. I just want to live.’
Her latest book, Tabernakel has just hit the bookshops when its first 10,000 copies sold out.Her books sell very well in a community of 6-million Afrikaans-speakers.
“There’s a very big wrong going on in our country. And nobody stands up and says listen here, to get our country up and running again we will all have to go through a psychological and emotional healing together.’ “Forgive and forget? That’s not how people’s heads really work…’
She quotes from her elderly, nearly-blind character Mama Thandeka in her book Thula-thula: “I hear what the wireless and the television says about rainbow people, but I wonder if they understand that people can’t grab colours from the clouds and push them together yourselves. A rainbow makes itself…’
TABERNAKEL: AFRIKAANS INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR