The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) Howard College chapter of the Black First Land First Student Movement (BLF-SM) is aggrieved by the Facebook status update made by Annie Epstein, a lecturer and academic of the campus. The said status update, which supposedly advocates for African scholarship, reads as follows:
“A question to BLF/EFF/ANC POLITICIANS AND VOTE SEEKERS… Once the LAND has been returned to its WRONGFUL OWNERS (I.E not the SAN and not the KHOI) who is going to pay the rates on it? THAT COOKIE JAR IS GETTING EMPTIER BY THE DAY”.
BLF-SM is an ANTI-RACIST movement. We condemn the manifestly racist remarks of Epstein. We have an unwavering commitment to expose and fight racism wherever it shows itself both within and beyond this University. Epstein’s racist utterances comes as an insult not only to our movement but to the just struggle for liberation of our people via the return of the stolen land. To this end it demeans the collective pain of blacks that the legacies of our forebears, our ancestors, our youth, our students and our revolutionary leaders like Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and Steve Biko bear testimony to. Epstein’s naked racism is an insult to the black students who are taught by her.
Miss Epstein makes the maliciously racist remark that Africans (Black People) are the “Wrongful Owners” of this land and that in fact the San and Khoi are the rightful owners. She deliberately ignores the fact that the Khoi San are Africans and have been living with the rest of the Africans peacefully on this land, until white settlers colonized this land and divided our people in Africa.
To this end there is no justification for why 80% of the land in South Africa is in the hands of white settler colonizers. BLF-SM is clear! All land in white hands is stolen land. We want our land, all of it! This means everything on it, as well as beneath it which includes the ocean, the air and all the mineral wealth. All of the land belongs to the landless black people who continue to live in sub-human conditions today because of white people.
We shall not allow white racism to run freely in Howard College. We call on the University management to suspend Epstein pending disciplinary action which it must take against her failing which we shall shut down the campus without hesitation. From the outset we demand a clear apology from Epstein.
Epstein’s apology must translate into a commitment to employ her status as a lecturer to correct the colonial situation that her racist utterances serve to promote and justify.
To this end Epstein must commit herself to destroying the basis of racism which is land theft from the black people. In order to correct the historical injustice, all this land must be returned to the black majority without compensation. Epstein must, because she spoke for all white people when she made her racist comments, tell whites to return the stolen land to blacks.
Epstein must also demonstrate her commitment to correcting the historical injustice of land theft by whites, by returning all the land in her hands.
This is the most appropriate penalty to be imposed on Epstein who is via her racism causing a division between black people by casting the Khoi and San outside the African people as a collective. We note that individual acts of racism by the likes of Epstein will not on its own disappear so long as society is organized within the reality of white power. Racism will only be eradicated via the return of the land to the black majority.
To deal with the white ignorance and arrogance of Epstein, she must be made to submit to a re-education process on white supremacy, slavery, colonialism, racism and apartheid by black people.
BLF-SM shall be approaching the Equality Court for the appropriate relief including the imposition of the above penalties on Epstein in relation to her naked racism.
Issued by BLF-SM Howard College Branch Coordinating Committee
5 November 2017
Cell: 082 936 9196
Projects and Campaigns
061 674 1696