So, some joker wants South Africa’s history re-written? Why? To delete some parts and add others? Therein lies the rub. What parts to remove? Probably what’s considered bad in the eyes of the writer – in this case a member of the governing party.
This presupposes the good parts will be skewed towards the incumbent.
The job of separating the wheat from the chaff will prove daunting. See, in our history there’s more chaff than wheat. Let’s start back with the Zulu wars. As a Zulu, would the notorious Jacob Zuma be pleased to see in print the atrocities committed by Shaka against the Ndwandwe? Easy answer. No.
Then there’s Winnie Mandikisela-Mandela and her soccer club involved in the murder of little Stompie. How will this come across? I bet It will be given the red pencil treatment because it would upset the sensitivities of our school and university scholars.
The kinship between the ANC and Zim’s Mad Bob Mugabe won’t get a mention. Who wants to know about a friendship with a tyrant who all but annihilated a tribe who stood up to him? Zimbabwe is still suffering over the monster’s legacy. Delete.
On the other hand, it’s a given that at least four chapters will cover the evil apartheid era, spelling out what the minority whites did to the blacks. The whites won’t like to be reminded, but tough cookie, they’re irrelevant in the present scheme of things. And, after all, they approved of the system.
Then comes a nettle to handle by the by now sweating historian. The Mbeki and Zuma eras (or rather, errors?). Will the writer give an honest account of these disastrous periods in our history? Mbeki, who scoffed at the HIV aids epidemic, and Zuma who plunged the country in deep trouble.
Will he name those who were fingered during the Zondo commission? If he wants to keep his job, he’ll by-pass Zondo, and rather concentrate on Ramaphosa’s daily walks with the people.
I would hate to be in the boots of this writer who has been given an unenviable task of re-writing a history of a country overflowing with chaff. He should call it a day and stick with the devil he knows. . .
But, at the end of the day, history repeats itself and historians simply quote each other. So, why bother?