Tim Knight, Muizenberg
Some 220 years ago, the British defeated the Dutch in the battle of Muizenberg and seized the Cape Colony for their king across the water. It was really more of a skirmish than a battle. Just a couple of soldiers killed. Even so, the battle of Muizenberg is a hugely important event in this country – the beginning of the end of Dutch rule in South Africa.
On a cool and windy April 7 morning, I joined South Africans of all races who came together in the second battle of Muizenberg to demand the end of Zuma rule in South Africa.
This is no traditional, nasty, bitter political party rally threatening violence, demanding an end to white monopoly capital, the start of radical economic transformation (whatever these things are) and foreigners go home.
No TV cameras, politicians, riot squads or rent-a- thugs here on this Muizenberg morning.
Instead, it’s a rare and joyous celebration of togetherness, of ordinary people coming together to say we are South Africans, we are citizens, this is our country and we want it back.
Standing out there on this morning between the two cannons last used in the first battle of Muizenberg, I look around and see all these faces alight with resolve and that most essential or all human emotions – hope.
And I join in that hope. And I think back to that day 23 years ago when Madiba stood there in front of the Union Buildings and everything was possible and hope shone through the land when he put his hand on a Bible and swore:“ to obey, observe, uphold and maintain the constitution and all other law of the republic; to discharge my duties with all my strength and talents to the best of my knowledge and ability and true to the dictates of my conscience; to do justice to all; and to devote myself to the well-being of the republic and all its people.”
And then I remember that Jacob Zuma took that same oath of office and I look around me at all the hopeful, shining faces, and tears well in my eyes.
But the tears don’t last. Because in this second battle of Muizenberg,;South Africans of all races laugh and sing and hold hands and their energy, generosity and hope are real and persuasive and will surely last.
And I know, truly know, that in the end – however long it takes and whatever the odds – we shall overcome. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.