The heightened tensions between Black and white South Africans could explode into an all-out race war in the new year if things keep up at the current pace. While anger was already simmering after a dispute over farming land, a reported policy to “not allow black people” who might be “criminals” at one of the country’s public beaches was likely worsening citizens’ already bad race relations.
Security guards were out in force at Clifton beach in Cape Town last week and “allegedly told black citizens to leave the site two days before Christmas in a bid to keep ‘criminals’ away from the droves of tourists who visit each year,” the Telegraph reported.
The report was confirmed with a variety of photos posted to social media.
While the mayor of Cape Town said the security guards “did not single out any race groups,” a simple look not too far back in time would quickly point to the country’s former apartheid rule that previously segregated South Africa’s public beaches. So the current prospects of law enforcement singling out Black citizens wasn’t a stretch of the imagination by any means.
One local activist contradicted the mayor’s claims.
“These private security guards are hired by the Clifton [residents], they are actually briefed to not allow black people who appear to look like they are from the townships or criminals onto the beach,” Chumani Maxwele said. “The offering of the sheep is calling on our ancestors to respond to our trauma at the hands of white people.”
Racial tensions in South Africa flared up at the beginning of the year when the country’s government voted to confiscate white farmers’ land without compensation. At the time of the ruling in late February, white South Africans owned 72 percent of the country’s farmland. That figure was obviously because of white colonization’s resulting apartheid law. The parliamentary vote was widely seen as a step toward reparations for the nation’s Black citizens.
But since then, things have seemingly gotten worse between Black and white South Africans, thanks in no small part to U.S. President Donald Trump, who (surprise!) falsely tweeted last summer that white South African farmers were being targeted for “large-scale killing” over the country’s land reform policy.
As expected, Trump’s unsolicited opinion has an adverse effect on the already toxic race relations in South Africa, which took another hit earlier this month when a local activist was accused of calling for violence against white farmers.
The entire situation has made many on social media post portentous tweets about what they say was a looming race war in South Africa.