Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.[1]  The news headlines that went viral on social media and news channels about racist comments. The post by Penny Sparrow about dirt in beaches caused by “Monkeys/Baboons referring to Black people”.  The case of the High court judge whose message was oozed stating: ‘All black men are rapists and they even rape kids and when they see a woman they just see a sex object.’ The Parys’ case where three Coloured male farm workers were brutally murdered by farmers claiming that they (accused’s) attacked one of the farmer thus death, where the mother of one the murdered chap alleged that the morning before the killing they (lad’s workers) were going to claim their three months’ wages from the deceased. The continual religious justification of racism by the guest house owners in the province of Kwa Zulu Natal, saying that black people are not allowed in their premises except as maids and gardeners. The availability of a vast quantumsssss of books propagating the white’s enormous contribution into civilisation.

The question that lays further on this essay paper, intends to seek and to know what might be the root cause for racism? To what extent has racism impacted on the psychological being of the victim and perpetrator? Is there perpetual factors that promote racism in the rainbow nation era? With this essay paper, I aim to enlighten victims and perpetrators of centurial imprisonment engineered through the doctrine of racial superiority and inferiority.

The proposed bill: combating of hate crimes and hate speech notice 698 can never be a solution to combat racism. In that racism, itself doesn’t have uniformed elements that can deterrent perpetrators. There are comments that one can make without intention to be racist.

My essay paper is mainly desk research based. Reconnoitring the various apartheid and international literature and visuals, which was aimed at promoting white supremacy. This essay will explore the inception of racism further strengthened by societal factors that is substance exist until to this day.



Colonial South Africa

The arrival of the Dutch settlers in the Cape in 1652 with the intention of erecting a refreshment post for the Vereeenige Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indiese Compagine (VOC)[2] was the commencement of enslavement of the San people. The constant inner land moving of the free servants of VOC employees led to the battle of the former employees and the Khoi San people. Albeit the Khoisan losing the battle because of the powerful weapons used by their opponents, some of the Khoisan retreated by moving away from the area meanwhile others were forced into labour by the conquerors. The labourers’ cultivated the farms which were then run by the Burghers, who were supplying fresh agricultural food, and meat from stolen cattle to the post shop.

When the first British occupation of the Cape took place in 1795, they had no intention to Anglicise the Cape and they left the Cape in later that year. However, upon the second British occupation of the Cape tremendous change took place in the Cape. The British imposed their laws, created British buildings to declare it a colony. Consequently, the burghers who were farmers and had their share of the economy decide to leave the Cape, which later became known as the great trek. In resisting to be absorbed into the British culture and they yearn to preserve their own culture and language to leave the Cape was the only solution.[3]

The inner land penetration of the burghers continued until they met with the Xhosa people, who were subsistence farmers and herders. Thus, in their cattle’s been stolen by the burghers whose numbers has increased in the cape. In 1780 a war broke between the Xhosa people and the British over land preservation which belonged to the Xhosa. The Xhosa people also witnessed the Boers trek and they also went into constant clash with one another as they (trek Boers) occupied fish river, where the Xhosa’s cattle grazed and drunk water.  In the latter era, the Bantu are caught in the middle of two rocks, meanwhile they are fighting for the protection of their ancestor’s belongings.[4] Another unphysical battle is approaching to annihilate their spiritual being.


In 1888, “European missionaries came to Southern African to save Africans from their own way of sin”. Meanwhile Africans had accepted defeat in the battle field, they began to be attacked spiritually. Imposition of Christianity upon their belief through the mass erection of churches in different parts of the continent.[5] The sacred valleys and caves like Modimolle, Thaba Bosiu and Thaba badimo were Bantu (a group of more than 500 languages of central and southern African, as kikuyu, Swahili,Tswana, and Zulu, all related within a sub branch of Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Kordofanian family.)[6] believed that their forefathers spirits live.

As one of the father of African literature puts it: “the beliefs held by a particular race constitute that race’s ‘ego’. It is therefore wrong for one race to force its beliefs on another. The beliefs of any race go a long way in determining the ultimate fate of that race in the arena of human history. Many a race has been lifted to the highest heaven or cast down into the deepest pits of hell by its beliefs alone.”[7] Yes! Western Religion swept all the African religious beliefs, the indoctrination of the bible, and the photo of the saviour whose skin pickmentation is different from that of African men or women. Who African elders started referring to as a ‘white man’s God’ whose merciful and forgives sinners.


The earliest schools in the Cape colony in the 17th century was done by the Dutch Reformed Church elders focusing more on biblical teachings, literacy, maths and the Afrikaner language(Afrikaans). Thereafter missionary schools proliferated after 1799[8].In 1841 the first missionary school was built in Morija followed by the eminent Lovedale 1857.In later years around 1902 fifteen learning institutions were open further fifty-six others around the southern African region. Children of members who attended missionary churches were now taught at the newly established schools by missionaries.  the curriculum comprised of English, Latin, mathematics and religious studies, performing arts and artisan. The subjects were never aimed at promoting African knowledge system, but to enhance European knowledge system, to let the child fantasy about the world which is unknown(Europe). Religious studies being centric subject of moral fibre that are distinguished from the African one. For instance, in African social morals and ethos a young person whether male or female must not look an elder person in the eyes when talking to him/ her because might look like you disrespect her or him. Looking down it’s a sign of humbleness and respect towards the person. In this contrast, western attitude gazing down speaking to an elder it is perceived as sign of being dishonesty.

Doctrine of religion

Calvinism is the protestant theological system of John Calvin and his successors, which develops Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone into an emphasis on the grace of God and centres on the doctrine of predestination.[9]Calvinist used the bible to perpetrator racial felony by labelling different races superior and inferior. To further advance their ideologies in society teaching that white people are the chosen ones and black people are sub-humans. The pastor’s indoctrination of racial discrimination by referring to the bible (1 Peter 2:9 “you are a chosen generation” later changed to “you are a chosen race” by Rev. G.J. Steenkamp of the N.G Kerk).[10] This creed became acceptable in white societies those times and justified their harsh treatment of the natives. In that they put themselves to be the Israelites who are spiritual obligated to pursue their dream of the promise of land. In all these Afrikaners were brought up to know they are the chosen generation by God and the closest relatives of the Israelites.


The voyage that was a contract of employment turned to be the search of residence in the unknown land. In later years, the dispute of language and cultural preservation led to the laager (mass movement of Afrikaners). Meanwhile the (Bantu) nation became faced with the invasion of aliens who presumed their(Bantu) land to be fauna and flora. Albeit the constant battles that disturbed the life of the indigenous nations in South Africa and land dispossession. The second face was the dismantling of a man’s spirituality which came in the form of missionaries. The third stage, was the education system at the time which focused more on developing people to be suitable for the system. The last stage, was that the foundation of the system is religiously based on Calvinism which justified segregation before the institutionalisation of the apartheid structure.

In the middle of the nineteenth century a black was robbed and destitute. He ended being a foreign in his ancestral land. Where now those who received, formal education was subjected to go labour at the established economies. The missionaries who were responsible for Christian fostering of a black man. Who was now taught that, to make an honest living he needs to go work in areas that are commercially active. Simultaneously missionaries were providers of cheap labour for the nurturing of the South African capitalism.

That today racism has psychology elevated a white person to a stage of superiority due to the mass possession of the productivity and control of the economy. In distinction to this, a black man has mental developed inferiority because he has enormous contribution to building the economy, but his status still lingers in the bottom social level of class. In instance pre-democracy, a black child’s first contact with a white person was either a doctor or factory owner. In the other, a white child’s first contact with a black person was either maid or gardener (historical garden boy) This by itself has victimised social cohesion and positioned a black person to be seen as academical incapacitated.

The revival and high participation of black people in the African knowledge system might be the solution to racism. If black people could build primary institutions and higher learning institutions with a curriculum that propels economic emancipation. Then promote the indigenous culture without marginalisation of one’s mother tongue which would allow the once divided south African nations (indigenous people) reunite and break the barriers so-called ‘tribalism’. These it will influence the appreciation of self-blackness, and the mass production of the African knowledge system. Thus, the youth self-identification within the system and breaking psychological inferiority incarceration. Twenty-three years in democracy in was spent more on treating the wounds cease to heal the society.

Social cohesion should be considered in the later years because the black people are economical and culturally delayed. Consequent, the current few black elite get to enjoy the benefits of white monopolist capitalism. Concurrently the black youth fail to identify themselves within the system of education and economy because it was never built to reflect them unless they forsake their blackness. As one South African poet Makhafula Vilakazi puts it ‘that black people are starving in the townships meanwhile whites are playing catch and throw with a boerewors again blacks who drop out of school become workers in the industrial firms while whites who drop out of school become industrial firm owners.’ The latter explains the intergenerational wealth which was created on the exploitation black peoples and secured possession and economic control by the white.

[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/racism(accessed (18 march 2017)

[2] Van Niekerk GJ and Wildernboer L 2010 The Origins of South African Law Pretoria University of South Africa.

[3] www.sahistory.org.za>colonial expansion in south Africa after 1750 (accessed 20 March 2017).

[4] Ibid

[5] www.sahistory.org.za › Missionary settlement in Southern Africa 1800-1925 (18 March 2017).

[6] www.dictionary.com/browse/bantu (accessed 20 march 2017).

[7] Mutwa VC 1964 Indaba, My children South Africa Blue Crane Books.

[8] countrystudies.us/south-africa/56.htm (accessed 20 March 2017).

[9] https:// www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calvinism (accessed 18 March 2017).

[10] http://wrfnet.org/resources/2009/01/calvinism-and-racism-south-african-perspective ( accessed 18 March 2018).

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