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The
Nationalist government has frequently denied that it is a fascist government
inspired by the theories of the National Socialist [Nazi] party of Hitlerite
Germany. Yet the declarations it makes, the laws its passes, and the entire
policy it pursues clearly confirm this point. It is interesting to compare the
colonial policy of the Hitlerite government as outlined by the leading German
theoreticians on the subject. Dr. Gunther Hecht, who was regarded as an expert
on colonial racial problems in the office of the German National Socialist
party, published a pamphlet in 1938 entitled The Colonial Question and Racial
Thought in which he outlined the racial principles which were to govern the
future treatment of Africans in German colonies.

He declared that the German
government would not preach equality between Africans and Europeans. Africans
would under no circumstances be allowed to leave German colonies for Europe. No
African would be allowed to become a German citizen. African schools would not
be permitted to preach any “European matter” as that would foster a
belief among them that Europe was the peak of cultural development and they
would thus lose faith in their own culture and background. Local culture would
be fostered. Higher schools and universities would be closed to them. Special
theatres, cinemas, and other places of amusement and recreation would be
erected for them. Hecht concluded the pamphlet by pointing out that the
programme of the German government would stand in sharp contrast to the
leveling and anti-racial teachings of equality of the Western colonial powers.

In this
country the government preaches the policy of baasskap, which is based
on the supremacy in all matters of the whites over the nonwhites. They are
subjected to extremely stringent regulations both in regard to their movement
within the country as well as in regard to overseas travel lest they should
come into contact with ideas that are in conflict with the herrenvolk
policies of the government. Through the Bantu Authorities Act and similar
measures, the African people are being broken up into small tribal units,
isolated one from the other, in order to prevent the rise and development of
national consciousness amongst them and to foster a narrow and insulated tribal
outlook.

During the
parliamentary debate on the second reading of the Bantu Education Bill in
September 1953, the minister of native affairs, Dr. H. F. Verwoerd, who studied
in German universities, outlined the educational policy of his government. He
declared that racial relations could not improve if the wrong type of education
was given to Africans. They could not improve if the result of African
education was the creation of a frustrated people who, as a result of the
education they received, had expectations in life which circumstances in South
Africa did not allow to be fulfilled; when it created people who were trained
for professions not open to them; when there were people amongst them who had
received a form of cultural training which strengthened their desire for
white-collar occupations. Above all, good racial relations could not exist when
the education was given under the control of people who believed in racial
equality. It was, therefore, necessary that African education should be
controlled in such a way that it should be in accord with the policy of the
state.

The Bantu
Education Bill has now become law and it embodies all the obnoxious doctrines
enunciated by the minister in the parliamentary debate referred to above. An
inferior type of education, known as Bantu education, and designed to relegate
the Africans to a position of perpetual servitude in a baasskap society,
is now in force in almost all African primary schools throughout the country
and will be introduced in all secondary and high schools as from next year. The
Separate Universities Education Bill, now before Parliament, is a step to
extend Bantu education to the field of higher education.

Tuesday 14 June 2011 12:59

An inferior type of education, known as Bantu education, and designed to relegate the Africans to a position of perpetual servitude in a baasskap society, is now in force in almost all African primary schools throughout the country

In terms
of this bill the minister is empowered to establish, maintain, and conduct
university colleges for nonwhites. The students to be admitted to the
university colleges must be approved by the minister. As from January 1958, no
non-white students who were not previously registered shall be admitted to a
European university without the consent of the minister. The bill also provides
for the transfer and the control and management of the University College of
Fort Hare and of the medical school for Africans at Wentworth to the
government; all employees in these institutions will become government
employees.

The
minister can vest the control of Fort Hare in the Native Affairs Department.
The government is empowered to change the name of the college. For example, he
can call it the Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd University College for Bantu persons.
The minister is entitled to dismiss any member of the staff for misconduct,
which includes public adverse comment upon the administration and propagating
ideas, or taking part in, or identifying himself with, any propaganda or
activities calculated to impede, obstruct, or undermine the activities of any
government department.

No mixed
university in the country will be permitted to enroll new non-European students
any more. The mixed English universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand, and
Rhodes will thus be compelled to fall in line with the Afrikaans universities
of Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Stellenbosch, and the Orange Free State whose doors
are closed to non-Europeans.

The main
purpose of the bill is to extend the principle of Bantu education to the field
of higher education. Non-Europeans who are trained at mixed universities are
considered a menace to the racial policies of the government. The friendship
and interracial harmony that is forged through the admixture and association of
various racial groups at the mixed universities constitute a direct threat to
the policy of apartheid and baasskap, and the bill has been enacted to
remove this threat. The type of universities the bill envisages will be nothing
more than tribal colleges, controlled by party politicians and based upon the
doctrine of the perpetual supremacy of the whites over the blacks. Such
colleges would be used by the government to enforce its political ideology at a
university level.

They will
bear no resemblance whatsoever to modern universities. Not free inquiry but
indoctrination is their purpose, and the education they will give will not be
directed towards the unleashing of the creative potentialities of the people
but towards preparing them for perpetual mental and spiritual servitude to the
whites. They will be permitted to teach only that which strictly conforms to
the racial policies of the Nationalist government. Degrees and diplomas
obtained at these colleges will be held in contempt and ridicule throughout the
country and abroad and will probably not be recognised outside South Africa.

The decision of the government to introduce university segregation is prompted
not merely by the desire to separate non-European from European students. Its
implications go much further than this, for the bill is a move to destroy the
“open” university tradition which is universally recognised
throughout the civilised world and which has up to now been consistently
practised by leading universities in the country for years. For centuries,
universities have served as centres for the dissemination of learning and
knowledge to all students irrespective of their colour or creed. In multiracial
societies they serve as centres for the development of the cultural and
spiritual aspects of the life of the people. Once the bill is passed, our
universities can no longer serve as centres for the development of the cultural
and spiritual aspects of the entire nation.

The bill
has aroused extensive and popular indignation and opposition throughout the
country as well as abroad. Students and lecturers, liberals and conservatives,
progressives, democrats, public men and women of all races and with varying
political affiliations have been stirred into action. A former chief justice of
the union, Mr. Van der Sandt Centlivres, in a speech delivered at a lunch
meeting of the University Club in Cape Town on 11 February this year and reported
in the Rand Daily Mail of the 12th of the same month, said: “I am not
aware of any university of real standing in the outside world which closes its
doors to students on the ground of the colour of their skins. The great
universities of the world welcome students from other countries whatever the
colour of their skins. They realise that the different outlook which these
students bring with them advances the field of knowledge in human relations in
the international sphere and contributes to their own culture.”

The attack
on university freedom is a matter of vital importance and constitutes a grave
challenge to all South Africans. It is perhaps because they fully appreciate
this essential fact that more people are participating in the campaign against
the introduction of academic segregation in the universities. Students in
different parts of the country are staging mammoth demonstrations and protest
meetings. Heads of universities, lecturers, men, and women of all shades of
opinion, have in speeches and articles violently denounced the action of the
government. All this reveals that there are many men and women in this country
who are prepared to rally to the defence of traditional rights whenever they
are threatened.

But we
cannot for one moment forget that we are up against a fascist government which
has built up a massive coercive State apparatus to crush democracy in this
country and to silence the voice of all those who cry out against the policy of
apartheid and baasskap. All opposition to the Nationalist government is
being ruthlessly suppressed through the Suppression of Communism Act and
similar measures. The government, in defiance of the people’s wishes, is
deporting people’s leaders from town and country in the most merciless and
shameful manner. All rights are being systematically attacked. The right to
organise, to assemble, and to agitate has been severely fettered. Trade unions
and other organisations are being smashed up. Even the sacred right of freedom
of religious worship, which has been observed and respected by governments down
the centuries, is now being tampered with. And now the freedom of our
universities is being seriously threatened. Racial persecution of the nonwhites
is being intensified every day. The rule of force and violence, of terror and
coercion, has become the order of the day.

Fascism
has become a living reality in our country, and its defeat has become the
principal task of the entire people of South Africa. But the fight against the
fascist policies of the government cannot be conducted on the basis of isolated
struggles. It can only be conducted on the basis of the united fight of the
entire people of South Africa against all attacks of the Nationalists on
traditional rights whether these attacks are launched through Parliament and
other state organs or whether through extra-parliamentary forms. The more
powerful the resistance of the people, the less becomes the advance of the
Nationalists. Hence the importance of a united front.

The people must fight
stubbornly and tenaciously and defend every democratic right that is being
attacked or tampered with by the Nationalists. A broad
united front of all the genuine opponents of the racial policies of the
government must be developed. This is the path the people should follow to check
and repel the advance of fascism in this country and to pave the way for a
peaceful and democratic South Africa.