Advocate Dali Mpofu and DJ Fresh join Gareth Cliff for a conversation on the state of South Africa after a week of racial tensions. The former CEO of the SABC and National Chairperson of the EFF openly speaks about why he sees racism and economic exploitation as the same thing and explains why he views Marikana as a metaphor for where we are. Mpofu also touches on his involvement with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and his life as a family man. DJ Fresh makes provocative statements about his own politics and keeping your mouth shut some of the time. Listen to the wisdom of these powerful South Africans.


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Advocate Dali Mpofu & DJ Fresh


  • fredperks

    Very interesting and very sad. Racism has very deep cultural roots and is a psychologist’s nightmare. No two people are the same and never will be. Not even if you are black and white. But to believe you are better than the next is arrogant and pure stupidity. We need to curb over-population and rather grow the nation we do have, through first and foremost, education. As I believe (as of now) the government are bringing in criminal law for racism – long overdue and a good thing.

    I grew up in an environment where if you were English speaking you were rated as second class. I carry a lot of hatred for the crap that I had to endure. Advocate Mpofu carries himself well but I’d like to dig into DJ Fresh’s head – lots of empathy there but I wouldn’t want to be around when he explodes.

    We need to understand that to grow any nation we must stand together, whether black, brown or white. Our government is very weak but I do believe that next generation leadership is going to be extremely positive for us, only because tour next leader will be under 40 or 50. We are no longer patriotic. Let US change this.

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  • SayWhat

    Racism is not just a SA thing, I just dont get how we are expected to pay for things we never had a roll in. We should be focusing on creating jobs in this country to move forward. Everyone speaks about the middle class, well we need more jobs to create a working class. 5 years ago international companies would look to SA to setup a head office for Africa, now they are looking at Ghana and Kenya.

  • Trevor Moffatt

    Racist Whites probably enjoyed this conversation, racist blacks probably enjoyed this conversation but as a young man that just doesn’t want any conflict at all, this conversation hurts. According to the general consensus of this conversation, I HAVE to be involved in this racism/hate problem because somewhere down the line my great great grandfather was possibly a racist. Why do I have to be involved? Why must I be labeled and judged by millions of people who don’t know me at all? Do we all have to pay for our forefathers sins? How is this fair? Basically you are saying that I can’t live my life in peace and harmony with every living being, no I MUST PAY for my forefathers sins… I just want to live…. I want my children to live in peace and harmony….. but no, my children must also pay. You know what I dream of? I dream of a world where everyone is treated equally, where we don’t get judged for things we have no part of DOING. A world where I don’t get judged along side fools like Sparrow. All I can do is try and find a place where people are treated more equally than here. I know there is no perfect country but 80% of this country just hates me for no reason at all, no wait, 80% of the country hates me because a few hundred years back my idiotic ancestors came here to settle in Africa. I am and have always been the most easy going guy, a guy that sees every single human being as an equal but I am still hated no less than the biggest racists out there. Its that type of mentality that I will never understand.

    • Alex

      The thing is bro. We can’t continue living blindly. You want to be left alone because you had nothing to do with your fore fathers ensuring your financial stability and economic position. That’s fair, you didn’t bear arms and chase black people off into baren lands. I don’t think 80% of this country hates you. I’m black and I don’t hate white people. ( I know, you didn’t mean it like that, I’m good at forgiving, I forgive you for that racist generalization). What you’re failing to understand is that when Mandela said we should forgive AND reconcile, the forgiveness part was what you got out of that deal, the reconciliation part was what we got out of it. Fast forward 20+ years and most white people refuse to accept us for who we are. They look down on our beliefs and continue to make us feel bad for being too much of ourselves. We are encouraged everyday to be more white in everything we do. My question is why can’t white people accept that this will never be Europe. IT IS AFRICA, more specifically SOUTH AFRICA. We need to work together in finding a unified identity. White people in this country are not Europeans. When they go to Europe they should stand out as South Africans regardless of their skin. Pick any one of the indegenous languages and make an effort to learn it and Africanise yourselves. That’s goes a long way in telling us what you think of us. And don’t ask “why is it important what we think of you”. White people are superior in SA of course we care what you think of us. Help us!!! Don’t just carry on with your lives like your forefathers didn’t wrong us. That’s that white privilege being asked to be left alone. You can do better than that.

      • Spy Master Tokashi

        I can say the same thing about what happened with the white boers against the british. More white people were murdered and died during the British concentration camps than black people during the apartheid era. Why is it that the white boers managed to tower above all and managed to rebuild the country after what the British has done to the boers?

        It is easy to point back to your past and label yourself as being oppressed without looking what happened to the other race who ALSO was oppressed and suffered WORSE conditions.

        My grand father told me stories how the ZULU murdered the voortrekkers and how they burned down their houses (which they legally bought from the black tribes). He still helped the black people on his farm when they needed food and a place to stay during apartheid.
        My grand father told me stories how his grand father suffered during the Anglo Boer wars because of the British concentration camps. Yet he does not hate the English and show them respect.

        So why does the black people of this country keep on hating what the Apartheid has done and cannot forgive and move on?

        Really, the white people managed to build this country after they were ruined by another race. I just wish people would stop bitching about the past and look forward and rebuild the damn country. We have the potential to be a powerful country in Africa and even in the world.

    • Night&Day

      Dear Trevor,
      My son’s and my father’s name is Trevor, and I am black, my son black and my father white.
      I was on your side until “no wait, 80% of the country hates me because a few hundred years back my idiotic ancestors came here to settle in Africa”.

      You might not see it now or today, you might never see it at all, ever, but this is one of the problems with this country. You have just said something for incredibly racist maybe without realizing it. I wasn’t at Auschwitz and I am neither Jew nor German, luckily I have also not schooled myself enough to venture an opinion of the persecution of Jews by the Nazis. I accept conventional history which is that 6m Jews were slaughtered in concentration camps in places such as Auschwitz, the streets of Poland and other territories the roll Nazi armies invaded up to and during the WWII. I am also not an Afrikaner and was equally not alive during the Anglo Boer war but I accept conventional history from that period too that Afrikaner – sorry, I don’t know how many – were slaughtered in concentration camps in Irene etc.
      And I accept that due to our national history, we – you and I – carry some damage in the way we view each, which manifests in latent and overt feelings of hate towards each other. (By you and I, I mean black and white not necessarily the first persons to whom I referred.)
      So I will implore you, on bended knee, for the sake of our vaderland, accept too that blacks were slaughtered as recently as 1992 by apartheid sponsored terrorists – not “a few hundred years ago”. Accept too, as I do the atrocities I had no part in as mentioned above, that the best account of the hurt and annihilation will best be from the people who were annihilated.
      Lastly, if I, were to try to diminish the scale of the atrocities visited on the Jews, say I failed to include three people and said only 5million9hundred97 people were killed by the Nazis instead of the 6m accepted as conventional wisdom, I would be called an anti-semite. In Germany, France, Britain and Belgium, I would be prosecuted. So as a black moderate, it beats me why some whites who claim to be non-racists, would commit what would be a prosecutable offense in Europe (diminishing the Holocaust) by diminishing apartheid?
      Can you make me understand why diminishing the Holocaust is a crime and you feel it is acceptable to diminish apartheid?
      Mr Penny Sparrow was not a “few hundred years ago”, Barend Strydom was not “a few years ago”, the people who detonated bombs in Soweto and planned to kill ANC delegates in Manguang were not “a few hundred years ago”. This year won’t be out before we read of white person who shoots a black child and claim “I thought it was a baboon”. So why do you say “a few hundred years ago”?
      I can tell you of institutional apartheid suffering – that inherited by me – I am not an authority of direct apartheid suffering, I was not there so I defer to those who were. I hope nobody hates you, let alone 80% of the population (a proxy for blacks). But can I then ask you two rhetorical questions a) why do you fail to defer the account of apartheid suffering to those who actually suffered, b) have you ever wondered, if you didn’t diminish the suffering caused by apartheid, if the 80% would hate you?

      • TheZenOfZen

        Farm murders committed on white people is undeniable. It happens today still. I don’t even know the numbers, but 10 000+ since 94 would be ball-park. If you look at the way the crime is driven by hatred more than opportunity. Yet whites are continually reminded of the past blaming them for the sins of a very few.

        A 1 year old could surely not be held responsible for what his dad did, because he did not stop his dad from doing what he did. Logical right? but this is the constant barrage whites are getting from blacks.

        So who is wrong? Whites saying all blacks are thieves and murderers, or blacks saying all whites are responsible for apartheid. But yet, even as ridiculous as this sounds, this is what is happening.

        I am appalled at the witch hunt which is now happening on social media. I am sure this piece I am writing will get someone shouting.

        How could anyone with a sane mind, find GC’s comments on Twitter objectionable. Gareth was being objective and possibly that is the problem. Objectivity is not permitted. Any comment has to be on the right side or it’s off to court with you.

        How utterly STUPID people are. I’ve lost all respect for Idols management. They are lapdogs rolling over and letting the PC police sniff their privates.

        • Alex

          You ZenOfZen my friend, are racist. That’s what you are. Quick question, when did white people assume that we all hate them? You want us to continue living separately but together. Unfortunately bring separate wasn’t working for us so it’s time to live here together now. And for that to happen you need to get to know us. Hi, my name is Alex, I don’t want your shit, I want a free education. Unfortunately your gran dad killed my dad so I can’t afford one. that’s not your fault, you’re much nicer than he was, so be nice, just give it to me. Thank you!!!

          • TheZenOfZen

            Just as I thought the response would be. Quote a sentence from my previous message and let me know what you determine to be racist. Remember there is a big difference between racism (opinion) and objectivity (fact)

            Was it my mention of farm murders. Oh yes, this one needs to be swept under the mat.

            Or was it the FACT that whites are continually being reminded about the colour of their skin representing their sentiment? All whites are pro apartheid cr@p.

            Or was it the idea that there is clearly a witch hunt going on based on the incredible ability of sensitive people to dig between the lines to find something that isnt there?

            This just proves my point, anyone being objective is labeled a racist. Those who don’t side with black opinion are not welcome and, heck, let’s just go after them with court orders or remove them from their jobs.

            What utter nonsense. Time to grow up guys.

          • Mpumelelo 'Pumba' Mthethwa

            @TheZenOfZen:disqus i find it interesting how you make no attempt to engage in a proper dialogue/discussion. You ignore 2 separate points from people and continue on your diatribe.
            This right here is the problem with our beautiful country.

          • TheZenOfZen

            I find it interesting how GC’s tweets were deemed racist and he lost his position on Idols due to this. I won’t apologise for my diatribe. I haven’t said anything that is not truthful.

          • Spy Master Tokashi

            Yet, his great great gran dad were murdered by a zulu tribes man, and his grand dad just wanted peace and he had to work his ass off to make a living and did not ask anyone to give him free stuff.

            It is easy to beg for money because you were oppressed, maybe you should start work hard to get what you want.

        • Night&Day

          I think you may have replied to me by mistake because what you are talking about has nothing to do with what I raised.
          I was not offended by what Mr Gareth said by I understand why what he said was offensive in the context of what Ms Sparrow had said.
          I know he says he was referring to something unrelated, I have to take him at his word.

      • Trevor Moffatt

        and just like that…. I’m labeled a racist. You’ve only proven my point. By the way, the ANC murdering people at shopping centres with bombs among other murders was also not “a few hundred years ago” but only certain races are allowed to be the victim it seems. My mother laying in hospital in the 70’s with other burn victims from the Pretoria bombings was not “a few hundred years ago” If we are going to be blamed for our ancestors sins then we all 100% guilty of every sin that has been committed in history. You even take for granted that I am wealthy lol…… that my ancestors brought me wealth…. you don’t even know my circumstances. I truly do give up. haha, being called racist ALL the time for what you deem racist… as your comments just proved. The best I can do is say “I am sorry that I was born here in Africa, to all of you who call me a racist, I am sorry I don’t have the money to get out of here as you want me to. I am truly sorry that I am a part of this continent but for now, I can’t do anything about it. I will get out as soon as possible I promise that”

        • Night&Day

          It would be interesting to hear what point of yours you think I proved.
          You are the one who brought up the “a few hundred years ago” to diminish the brutalisation of black people under apartheid. It would seem you now want to undo the “a few hundred years ago” to claim the hurt for yourself.
          That is weird logic but not unexpected but I will not deny you the opportunity to flow with the wind. So let me agree with you: blacks were brutalised centuries ago but white were brutalised last year but they are not complaining because they are superior beings, yes.
          Did I give you the impression that I thought you were wealthy? I apologise, I am completely indifferent to your social status, wealth or otherwise so I would not have had any cause to mention it. But I know you will show me where I said you were wealthy?

  • Night&Day

    Someone for the SA race relations said something similar to what Mr Mpofu is saying: racism has no sting without economics, a proxy for the ANC has failed.
    Truth is, in France, there are race wars almost every two years. There’s no ANC there.
    The USA owes more than its GDP – $21-trillion. It would collapse tomorrow were it not for the raising of debt ceiling. More than 1300 black males killed by police. At least 1 race war a year. No ANC there. The point is, this is a world problem. If one were to follow the logic of lack is the cause of racism, then SA has always been a failed state. Yet you will hear apartheid apologists say their SA was better under PW Botha – schools, hospitals, economy, infrastructure functioned. If you say racism can be addressed by eradicating lack, then you are saying there was untold manifest lack under apartheid.
    There is no truth to “it didn’t happen to Afrikaners”. The British put Afrikaners through concentration camps. So they know what its like to be marginalised, ridiculed, tortured and killed because of who you are. The problem I pick up is there seems to be a trend that those who have been institutionalised, grow a hard skin and oft repeat the sins visited upon them. Palestine is occupied, the SA Afrikaner, apartheid. I have reservations that one day my own people will oppress too.
    Gareth asked an interesting question. Do you think I am racist? The answer was no.
    But racism is twofold and there is no way of knowing if one is the other racist or not. There are latent and manifest racisms. Latent racism is mocking someone for how they pronounce epitome (what entitles them is the superiority complex; but there is also the acceptance of this narrative by some blacks who will create songs mocking Chris Maroleng and Jacob Zuma because of their broken English yet they will never dare mock a white person who can’t pronounce Motshekga because there is an expectation that Andrew Barnes should bastardise Angie’s surname but Angie should not bastardise epitome) and manifest racism is someone shooting people on the square because they are black. If you asked Andrew Barnes if he is racist, he will truthfully answer no, and “his many black friends” will truthfully answer no. If you asked Barend Strydom the same question, he will answer no, and his many white friends, they will answer no. Both will tell you what had aggravated them.
    So by all, accounts, asking “I am racist”, is a stupid question. The question should have been, was what I said racist? Then the answer would not just have been about appeasing the person in front of you, its also about your own credibility.

  • TheZenOfZen

    How are you going to resolve economic inequalities? You can’t just share out. You cannot take from the haves and give to the have nots. What do you think is going to happen? Let me tell you. The have nots will not have the education or skill to do with the hand out they just received.

    If you want a great economy and empower poor people, you have to stop stealing billions to your own end, and spend on skills development and education.

    The Japanese did a miracle turn around after the second world war becoming one of the top 4 economies in the early 60s in less than 20 years. We’re talking devastation and death far beyond anything that has happened here. They did not have to “redress” the past. They put it behind them and got on with it. I am going to be flippant here. It’s been 20 years, get over it, move on. If you are going to continually look back in your rear-view mirror you’re going to crash into the concrete mess that you’re helping create.

    • Night&Day

      Shakespeare says it is better to have had and lost than never to have had at all; obviously paraphrased, if I should be flippant.
      I don’t care what you do with your kitty but you seem to mistakenly think the havenots care what happens a few days, weeks, monthly or years after they have taken from the haves. They don’t give a hoot.
      To be even more flippant, don’t you think if the havenots squander everything they have taken from the haves, that will take them back to a level playing field? It is after all what the haves and the havenots say they want, yes.

  • Alan Short

    Interesting discussion and useful.

    However, I want to call out Dali Mpofu for his statement that previously 99% of the middle-class was white and now it’s “maybe 90%”. That is patently false. The black middle class has expanded significantly and now equals or exceeds the white middle class.

    What IS correct is that the proportion of blacks who have entered the middle class is relatively small and the majority of blacks are still struggling. Half the middle class is black. But only about 10% of blacks are middle class.

    The distinction between those two statements is critical.

    As long as those sort of stats are bandied about without fact checking, we cannot have a constructive discussion on race in South Africa. We are importing the race discussion from Europe and America where whites dominate demographically, economically AND politically. That is not the case in South Africa. Whites do not dominate politically. Whites still have a substantial advantage in inherited wealth which the new black middle class has not had the time to accumulate, but whites do not unequivocally dominate economically; a substantial number of large black-owned businesses have been established in the last twenty years, including JSE-listed companies. And we most definitely do not dominate demographically.

    But the major points raised in this discussion are still valid. The biggest thing for me was reading this piece

    Basically, black people talk about “our” experience and whites almost universally respond with “my”. We talk past each other and whites immediately come up with a personal life history which exonerates the individual.

  • Alan Short

    The rhetoric of “whites have done nothing for the new South Africa” needs to change.

    In my earlier post, I mentioned how blacks talk about “our” experience and whites talk about “my” experience. So now I’m going to talk about “our” experience.

    In the last twenty years, we have established or joined NGOs that help underprivileged children. We have worked with schools, churchgroups, community groups in townships and rural areas. We have set up bursaries to put underprivileged kids through school. We have paid for the educations for the children of our domestics. We have started business partnerships, mentored black graduates and helped to set up ownership structures and businesses for our black employees and connections. Our students were on the front lines with their black classmates of the fees must fall campaign. We arranged feeding schemes and clothing and funded orphanages. We have campaigned in court for communities and individuals to get redress for wrongs committed by corporations and individuals and government. We campaigned for school textbooks, for anti-retrovirals, for better health care, for ending domestic abuse, for the rights of immigrants. We did all this alongside our our black compatriots. And we did this in the courts and in meetings with government departments and in parliamentary committees, not just on social media.

    You want to tell us that’s not enough? We can discuss that.

    You want to tell us we’re using a few good deeds now to wash away the sins of the past? We can discuss that.

    You want to tell us that the good deeds of the few do not absolve the sins of the many? We can discuss that.

    You want to tell us we’re going about it the wrong way? We can discuss that.

    You want to tell us it’s a liberal platform to feel even more smug? We can discuss that.

    But saying that whites have made no effort to engage in this “new South Africa project”? That immediately wipes out all discussion before we’ve even started.

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