On September 10th, 1840, at Bunkers Hill, Daniel Webster said:—
"When men pause from their ordinary occupations and assemble in great numbers, a proper respect for the judgment of the country and of the age requires that they should clearly set forth the grave causes which have brought them together, and the purposes which they seek to promote".
This evening, as I stand before you, 1 feel the force of this obligation. I shall in keeping with it endeavour, in my humble way, to place before you certain facts and suggestions which I believe are worthy of the study and consideration of all. I shall dictate to, and prescribe for, no man. The purpose of this paper is, not to convince or convert any one, but to stimulate in you a desire to seek the truth and facts and apply them. I shall state certain facts and interpret them according to what light I have as to their bearing upon the subject of our discussion. All are alike at liberty to reject or receive what opinions I shall express. I have neither desire nor design to offend the feelings of any, but I mean in perfect plainness to express my views.
I believe that a conference like this can be a success and justify its existence only if we can have the bare facts placed before us and bitter truths told us. We want facts, we want truth; we want a way out. Without the true facts, we have no way towards a just solution of our problem. Unless we know the truth, according to Paul the Apostle we are not free.
It must be clear to all that I have no pet prescriptions for the permanent cure of the ills of our race relations. I realise as well as any thinking person that there is no such a thing as "solving" the Native question once and for all even if it is on "Non-Party lines. "It does not stay fixed. It is a human problem and like all other human problems, it is ever changing. We must recognise its changeability and legislate accordingly. Above all there can be no just solution of this question as long as the chief factor in the problem, the African with his interests and opinions, is excluded from the Councils of the State.
Throughout our country to-day, there seems to be a spirit of excitement, of fear, of unrest, and of uncertainty. Everywhere our European community seems to have a nightmare of the rising black masses encroaching upon their position of privilege, hence we have had the "Black Manifesto. "The farmer presses upon the Government, to bind the Native down to the farms by restrictive legislation. The Mines are crying for more labour, more "Cheap Native labour. "The Municipalities are clamouring for more powers to deal with the unemployed, "redundant" Native in the urban areas. The Government, without asking why is the African leaving the farms or where the "redundant" urban Native must be repatriated to, feverishly introduces more restrictive legislation to give effect to these cries. "Colour Bar" legislation appears on the Statute Book in one form or another at every session. The idea seems to be to legislate in haste and to think and discover the facts and mistakes at leisure.
In all this, the African, for whom the Government legislates, has no voice. His part is merely to obey the law without protest or expression of even his most legitimate grievance. If he expresses himself he is in danger of being charged for sedition either under Section 29 of the Native Administration Act 1925 or under the Riotous Assemblies Act 1930; because even his most legitimate claims may be in conflict with the interests of White voters of whom alone the lawmakers must think in connection with the next election.
The African is dissatisfied with his present lot, uncertain and anxious over his future. He is disgruntled, sullen and has largely lost confidence in the justice of the White. He is now becoming the object and victim of agitators—why? What is the reason for this? Is there any justification for this attitude on any or either side of the colour line?
As we intend to build bridges between White and Black, we can dismiss the case of the Coloured man by stating that the missionaries fought and secured some of the rights for the Hottentot until the Coloured man of to-day is, in principle, accepted as a White man politically, industrially, economically, and educationally.
The Indian in South Africa does not fall within the purview of our discussion, because, according to the Rt. Hon. S. Sastri, the Indian cannot make common cause with the African without alienating the right of intervention on their behalf on the part of the Government of India.
While the missionaries were fighting for the rights of the Hottentots and later of the Coloured man, the colonists had more or less a free hand with the African—the Bantu. Our legacy is a different policy for each Province reflecting the attitude of the earlier colonists towards their Native population.
As a conference of Christian students in a Christian country, we should ask ourselves whether the practices of our country between White and Black are in keeping with our profession of the Christian faith? Would Christ, whose followers and messengers we profess to be, approve of our Native Policy in practice? Has the Black man a real grievance? Has the White man been just to the Black man? Why did Mr. Jansen, present Minister of Native Affairs, say, to a deputation that waited upon him, "I shall do all in my power to make life more bearable for the Native?" What have we come here for? In short, what is our part and share in this great task? How are we going to bridge the gap between White and Black?
The stormy voyage of Bartholomew Diaz and the fitting name of his discovery which he called "Cape of Storms," which was later changed to Cape of Good Hope, presaged the conflicts and interracial "storms" which were to be almost the rule rather than the exception in South Africa. The Good Hope, like a rainbow, recedes as we move toward it.
It was however the arrival of Jan Van Riebeck and his fleet on April 6th, 1652, which began the history of contact between Europeans and the then Natives—Hottentots and Bushmen. The introduction of slaves to supply the shortage of labour in 1658 complicated the problem of race relations. A new mentality was acquired by the free Burghers, and a new outlook and attitude toward manual labour and the Non-European developed in their minds.
It was not until 1686 that the Europeans came in contact with the Bantu when the crew of the wrecked "Stavenesse" tried to reach the Cape by land. A series of wars was to take place between the Europeans and Bantu beginning in 1779.
The British occupied the Cape Colony first in 1795 and again in 1806. The largest number of British Settlers arrived in 1820—5,000 strong.
By this time the pioneers or burghers had become accustomed to the institution of slavery. There was bound to be a conflict of attitude and outlook toward the people of colour between the pioneers, on the one hand, and the new settlers on the other.
The passing of Ordinance No. 50 in 1828 which gave legal and economic status to the people of colour was an unbearable boil on the neck of the free burghers. The boil burst when slaves were emancipated in 1833 and under the same ordinance acquired the status of free persons of colour. These two incidents combined had much to do with the initiation of the Great Dutch Trek of 1836. The Burghers marched northward giving the following reasons for their trek, according to Mrs. Anna Steenkamp, a daughter of Piet Relief.
First: "The continual depredations and robberies of the Kaffirs (with unfulfilled promises of compensation for stolen property).
Second: "The shameful and unjust proceedings with reference to the freedom of our slaves, and yet it is not so much their freedom that drove us to such lengths as their being placed on an equal footing with Christians, contrary to the laws of God and the natural distinctions of race and religion. So that, it was intolerable for any decent Christians to bow down beneath such a yoke, wherefore we rather withdrew in order thus to preserve our doctrine of purity".
This great people, determined to have their way and freedom, trekked Northward and in 1858 declared their articles of freedom in the Grondwet (Constitution of the Republics):
"There shall be no equality between Black and White either in Church or in State".
Parallel to this, in the Cape Colony, the people of colour (Natives) were being granted the right of franchise with a property qualification—thus giving the non-European a political status.
Nominally the Native policy of Natal can be dismissed in a simple statement. "In the Letters Patent of 1848 by which Natal became a separate Colony, it was laid down that there shall be no interference with Native law and custom except in so far as these were repugnant to the principles of humanity, but Natal, though British in nationality, really developed the trekkers' attitude on the Native issue".
The tradition of segregation between Black and White more or less prevailed until the discovery of diamond and gold in 1867 and 1886. These discoveries were going to break down the barriers of segregation. Labour and cheap labour was necessary; and, consequently, Africans and Chinese were used.
The parallel but distinct policies on Native affairs continued to develop in each Province until after the Anglo-Boer war when one would think that the principle of the Grondwet would die a natural death. However, one finds, as the late Mr. Maurice Evans stated, that: "The Grondwet, which so clearly, concisely, and cynically laid down the relative positions of Black and White, disappeared as a defined policy at the close of the war in 1902, but the practice was not greatly changed".
As a matter of fact, a study of agreements and compromises on "Native Policy" affecting Africans, from the Treaty of Vereeniging through the Act of the Union of South Africa to the Miners' Phthisis Act Further Amendment Act passed on May 27th, 1930, by our last session of Parliament, shows that one may safely say that though the Republicans lost the war physically they won it morally, because much of our legislation on Native Affairs is a series of colour bars and an expression of the principle of the Grondwet.
The Union of the White races in South Africa through the South Africa Act, 1909, has meant disunion and loss of liberty to the Black—especially in the Cape Province where he had attained citizenship rights. From the Act of the Union on, the negative and restrictive legislation has left the African in an inferior position.
The South Africa Act yields to the Republican principle in that in the former Republics the African by provision of the constitution shall neither exercise the right of franchise nor sit as representative in the Union Parliament even for the Cape Province. A Colour,Bar in the legislature! Besides, though the Cape franchise seemed entrenched under section 35 of the South Africa Act 1909, yet, any day, it may be abolished "if the bill be passed by both Houses of Parliament sitting together and at the third reading be agreed to by not less than two-thirds of the total number of members of both Houses. "Thus we see that the very Act of the Constitution of our country was conceived and born in an atmosphere charged with Colour Bars and prejudice. All hope for liberty and justice for the African was dimmed. This was his first grievance which was to be followed one after another, by a series of further disabilities and colour bars, thus making the African a promising and well prepared hot-bed for the nurture of the seeds of agitation.
If we compare certain portions of the constitution of the Union of South Africa with that of the United States of America, we find that the Constitution of the latter country was based on a code of morals and ethics recognising liberties for all citizens of the country as expressed in the preamble, and the XIV and the XVth amendments.
The preamble recognises all the people in the United States, including the former slaves and their descendants, in the following words:—
"We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide from the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States".
Sections 1 of both 14th and 15th amendments respectively give full citizenship rights to all "persons" without regard to colour or any other distinction as follows:—
"All persons born or naturalised in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws".
". . . . The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race or colour, or previous condition of servitude".
Thus we see that whatever may be the practice in certain sections of the United States, the principles of liberty and justice is the foundation stone in the law of the land. It gives hope and citizenship rights to all alike. Besides, in test cases of serious consequence the Supreme Court of the United States has, often, if not always, upheld the spirit and the letter of the Constitution.
Now coming back to South Africa, our land of colour bars and differential legislation and treatment, we find that following the South Africa Act 1909, the Land Act of 1913 is a constant, caustic irritant to the African. Through the provisions of this Act over 80 per cent of the land in the Union of South Africa went to the 1,500,000 Europeans and less than 20 per cent was left for the 5,000,000 Africans. The Beaumont Commission reported in 1917 that twice as much land was necessary for the immediate needs of the African community. It is now 13 years since this report but nothing has been done by the Government to relieve this tense situation. Through evictions of the Africans from European farms the Native reserves are crowded to overflowing. Many Natives have lost their stock; they are landless and poverty-stricken. Economic pressure is one of the many causes which drive the Natives into Urban areas.
Section 7 of the Native Administration Act of 1927 on "Land Registration and Tenure" makes land tenure for the individual African extremely insecure and yet, as Mr. A. G. Fraser has said, "Land is to the African (he might as well have said to every race of mankind) what the sea is to the fish; it is essential to his life. Without it he becomes detribalised. More harm has been done to African life and morals, except in West Africa, by European land hunger than by any drink trade".
If we look into the United States land policy, or practice, we again find no comparison but a striking contrast to South African land policy. Land in city or country can be bought by any citizen of the United States. For instance, there are today over 1,000,000 Negro farmers most of whom own their land; others rent or plough on shares. These people were, only 70 years ago, so poor as slaves that they did not even own themselves. Today, some are landlords owning millions of acres with full title deeds to the land in the same way as any other American citizens. In the cities, the Negroes buy and reside on their own property in any part of the city, notwithstanding the fact that in certain sections individual Whites had protested. In test cases on this principle of residential segregation, the Supreme Court of the United States has handed down its most considered and reasoned judgment that residential segregation cannot be upheld under the constitution of the United States. Thus we see the striking contrast between a country whose foundation is principle and the other whose structure is expediency.
Ejected from the farms, pressed by hunger or heavy taxation, the Black man enters one of the Northern cities (in the Transvaal or the Free State) and finds himself arrested for a new criminal offence; that is, failure to produce his "pass" or "exemption" pass on demand by any constable and by even plain clothes men, anywhere and at any time. Every African, no matter what his standing may be, is not exempt from this indiscriminate stopping of African males on the street or "night raiding of Native dwellings and locations. "If a professional African man or another African in independent business produces his business cards or any other personal papers for identification instead of the prescribed pass, he is under arrest and must pay a fine or be locked up. It is the question as to whether one has the particular pass the constable happens to demand—Poll Tax receipt? Night special? Service Contract Pass? Special to seek employment? Or any other. Failure to produce any of these there and then when demanded constitutes a criminal offence with a penalty of a fine or imprisonment. Thus many a man has been introduced into our prison system and initiated into a criminal career by such trivial and technical offences. Criminals are thus manufactured by many of our unnecessary restrictions.
The only probable but most irritating excuse for continuance of the pass system is that stated by a former member of the Native Affairs Commission on May 9th 1930, at Johannesburg. This gentleman admitted that the pass system was no longer serving the purpose for which it was intended. "But," said he, "I personally believe that where there is a highly civilised minority in the midst of a backward majority, the pass system is a necessary means of control by the civilised minority over the backward and less civilised masses. "All one can say is "He who is convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still".
None of us would object very much if there was only a single "pass" which was demanded by a uniformed constable with a warrant for arrest, or when one was under suspicion of having committed a crime or disturbed public peace.
Let us now suppose that this Black man secures employment before he is arrested under the Pass laws, he then finds out that, under the Masters and Servants Act, "breach of contract is a criminal offence for him but not for the European employer. "Under this same law, "a strike of Native workers is a criminal offence".
Because this African carries a "pass" which is required by law, he finds this a disability against him in that he cannot be legislated for under the Conciliation Act 1924. Besides, the pass system limits his freedom of movement and thereby destroys his bargaining power in a free labour market. He must therefore take such wages as are offered where he is.
Further, we find that any African over 18 years or "apparently" over 18 years of age with or without income must pay his annual Poll Tax of £1 or must suffer a term of imprisonment for failure to do so. A European, on the other hand, must not pay income-tax until he is actually 21 years of age with an annual income of £300, or £400 if he is married. Upon the strength of these facts, I ask you to draw your own conclusions.
The next question is a delicate case in social legislation—The Immorality Act of 1927. The object of this Act is "To prohibit illicit carnal intercourse between Europeans and Natives and other acts in relation thereto. "The penalty is a term of imprisonment not to exceed five years for the offence. We do not intend to criticise the provisions of the Act; but, we are disturbed over the one-sided way in which it sometimes operates against the Native women and in favour of White men concerned. Cases have come to our notice where African women had been charged, sentenced and served terms of imprisonment under this law while the White man concerned in the case was acquitted by a jury or discharged by a Magistrate. The cases of Nogale Gwemba who was sentenced to nine months imprisonment at Grahamstown and that of Nellie Mofokeng who was sentenced to six months imprisonment in Johannesburg prove the truth of our statement. This is another colour bar and preferential treatment in favour of the White man.
I believe we all realise that no parliament can make people more moral by legislation. The sex impulse is stronger over the individual than social and racial loyalties. It knows no racial repugnance, it even challenges the law. It is a known fact that White men are strong advocates of race purity and are dead against intermarriage, but Black women and even slave Black women continue to give birth to children of mixed parentage. We protest strongly against the "double standards of morals in regard to race. "We would urge that all women be protected and safeguarded irrespective of race or colour.
The last Bill on Native Policy was the Miners' Phthisis Act Further Amendment Act, passed on May 27th, 1930. "The amendment was designed to legalise the payment of compensation calculated on the basis of actual wages only. "This is really legalising a wrong because when one complains that the Native wages in the mines are low, one is, at once, told that the Native miner receives more wages in kind, in the form of food, shelter and medical services. However, when the Native miner becomes a phthisis victim, the wages in kind are never included in the calculation of the compensation; consequently, the Native miner never receives his full compensation.
The compensation paid the Native is indeed small. "Since 1919 the compensation paid," according to Sir Robert Kotze, "had been £25 for the anteprimary, £55 for the primary stage, and £72 for the secondary. "It is well to remember that these small sums of money are often the last earnings of men, many of whom may have families of from one to ten children. These dependants get no further benefits of any kind should the breadwinner die after the full amount is received and spent. The statement made by Mr. MacMinamen showed the disparity between the compensation paid the European and that paid the African. He "pointed out that of the £10,000,000 paid in compensation the Natives had received £600,000 although they out-numbered the Whites by 20 to I".
If we now turn to education, we find that in the Cape Colony, the earlier educational curriculum was identical for both Europeans and Bantu. Lovedale Mission Institution was opened with a class of 9 Europeans and of 11 Bantu students. From the time of the Rev. Mr. Govan through the period of Dr. Stewart, European and African students studied side by side. None seemed the worst for it. As a matter of fact, these generations of students produced some of the ablest and most prominent men in South Africa on both sides of the colour line. The Africans suffered no disabilities by this arrangement. The Europeans lost nothing in prestige by it. They were all being prepared and trained to play their part as citizens in their common country. It was in these generations that the best leaders among the Bantu were produced without any special system of education adapted to African mentality and for the African mind. (I often wonder if there is such a thing anyway.) No one would deny that men like the Rev. Tiyo Soga, pioneer missionary, Mr. John Tengo Jabavu, editor and journalist, the gifted Rev. Walter Benson Rubusana, and the versatile Rev. John Knox Bokwe, were leaders of thought of their day without regard to race or colour. They were educated to be full citizens, able to stand alone, as men, in church, in the school, in public affairs and not to be assistants to someone else. The point worthy of note is that these boys when they began their schooling were raw "Kaffir boys. "They were primitive men so-called, not a day removed from savagery or from the life of barbarism, and yet side by side with White boys, they mastered the White man's education without special adaptation to Native mentality and needs and above all made the best use of their education for the good of their country.
Later on, however, the schools became separate and the change extended also into the quality arid content of the curriculum as well as the qualifying certificates; so that to-day we have what are known as "N.P.L. "and "N.P.H.," meaning "Native Primary Lower" and "Native Primary Higher," perhaps signifying that Africans in South Africa have a different mentality from that of other races.
It is, perhaps, from the point of view of finance that "Native Education" suffers most. In most civilised countries, the financing of education is the responsibility of the State. In South Africa, however, this is true only in so far as it affects the Europeans, Coloured, and Indians; because, under the Durban Agreement of 1923, the African in education was to be treated differently and exclusively. The Union Government spends over £8,000,000 for the education of the children of the 1,500,000 Europeans and only £500,000 for the education of the children of 5,000,000 Africans. Even this amount of £500,000 is taken from a direct tax imposed upon the Africans for the purpose, over and above what he pays indirectly, in customs duties and low wages. The consequence is that only less than one-third of Native children of school age (7-14 years) can attend the elementary schools, the other two-thirds are not and cannot be provided with any schooling under this arrangement. The funds are too small, and hence, no expansion or progress is possible in Native education.
Professional education for the African here at home is not provided for. Only in the last session the Union Parliament turned down an offer of £65,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation for the erection of a medical school for Africans. Why? We Africans, as in other things that concern us, are kept in the dark. For the present, we shall reserve our observations on the Government's decision to reject the proposed offer. We, however, venture to express the view that, until such time as the Government would deem it fit to make provision for the medical training of Africans here at home, the State would be making a friendly gesture as well as assuming its proper responsibility if a system of bursaries and loans were introduced to assist properly qualified African students to proceed overseas in order to complete their medical training.
Twenty-one years since the Union of South Africa was established, the Union Parliament created a Joint Select Committee to consider the so-called "Prime Minister's Native Bills. "What are these Bills for? "To solve the Native problem once and for all," we are told. How? By taking away the Cape franchise for any substitute or nothing as the Joint Committee and joint sitting of both Houses may deem fit by two-thirds vote of all members of both Houses. Why is this necessary? Has the African ever abused the privilege? No, that is just the reason, he uses it so intelligently that he becomes a factor to be reckoned with in those constituencies where he exercises the right. Representatives of such constituencies must study his interests as well as those of the Europeans. Where he has no vote he may be treated in any way or ignored because he has no means for redress or remedy for the wrongs committed against him.
The Union Parliament would have a clear coast to establish a "White South Africa" if they could remove this last stumbling block, the "Cape Franchise," and thus consummate their unparalleled and unexcelled series of colour bars. I still believe that our Parliament will soon discover its wrong course and rectify it.
The African protests strongly against this violation of the last vestige of his Cape citizenship. He knows all too well that without a vote he cannot maintain the ground he holds. He has no hope to gain new ground or even to regain lost ground. He is at the mercy of those who alone exercise this right. To use the words of Mr. J.H. Oldham, "Deprived of political influence an unfranchised class find themselves helpless to obtain redress or defend themselves against injustice. Without the franchise Natives of South Africa have no hope of obtaining a fairer share of the land...... .A class excluded from all share in political power is condemned to permanent subordination. It becomes a servant of the interests of others, having no share or partnership in a common life".
Here and there the African begins to express himself. The pressure is getting too great. He must express his hopes and despair. Instead of finding out what his real grievance is, the Government has tried to muzzle him by Section 29 of the Native Administration Act 1927 and finally by the Riotous Assemblies Act 1930. Through this legislation freedom of speech and the airing of even the most legitimate grievances and expression are driven under ground after the ostrich philosophy. It were better that we suffered both fools and the wise to speak; because, as the Most Rev. Dr. Carter, Archbishop of Cape Town, has said, "repression can only lead to reaction later on, and this is not so very much later on".
If anybody wishes to know whether justice is being done to the Native, I say to him "Study our Union Legislation. "Who is the cause of agitation and unrest among the Natives? Is it the Communists? In reply, I would say in the laconic style of Colonel Denys Reitz in answer to Mr. Jansen, Minister of Native Affairs, "Your kind of legislation".
In Chapter X of the "Union of South Africa" entitled "The Natives," the author, the Hon. R. H. Brand, says:—"One may freely admit that a great deal of our South African opinion is ignorant, unintelligent, and crude. The man in the street and the man on the veld seldom realise even the elements of the stupendous problem with which they are faced. The policy which attracts them is often one of simple repression. Take away .......from the Native the land which he possesses, and there will be more compulsion for him to work for the White man (hence Land Act 1913). Do not educate him, or else he will become too independent (hence no adequate budget for Native education). Keep him in his place. That is the simple creed of the average White man. He fails to see that in his own interest it is fatal. For, if the Black man sinks, he will inevitably drag the White man down...... .By raising in their breasts a sense of wrong the White man will merely be digging his own grave. "This "simple creed of the average White Man" is often the policy of "simple repression" of the man in the street and man on the veldt, and has become the approved policy and practice of our Parliament; because, under our Northern system of manhood franchise whose only qualification is that a man or woman must be 21 years of age with a White skin, it is the "man in the street" and "the man on the veldt" who elects and sends Parliamentary representatives. These representatives are responsible to them and they must carry out their policy, however crude it may seem, or else they are not again returned. In this connection the words of Schiller seem to be sound advice for my country when he said:—
"Majority—what does that mean? Sense has ever centred in the few. Votes should be weighed not counted. That state must soon or later go to ruin where numbers sway and ignorance decides".
When one studies and ponders over these legal disabilities of the African one is less inclined to blame him for little or no progress. His position is fixed by statutory bonds. One's feeling is expressed best in the words of John X. Merriman who said, writing from Kingwilliamstown:—
"What I regret most is the bitter feeling of race hatred which is being sown broadcast, and the terrible sacrifice of life which must take place before this wretched business is ended. Then what a task will be left for those who have to take up the reins of Government to evolve order out of chaos and by justice, honesty, and fair dealing try to remove some of the bitterness and animosity which will long survive the futile effort to establish the supremacy of the White man by might and not by right. "Thus we have seen that the restrictive, repressive Union legislation has created more new problems than it has solved in our difficulties in race relations; because, this legislation has been based on the idea that the 1,500,000 Whites must for ever remain supreme over the 5,000,000 Blacks.
Although I emphasised the ascendency of Grondwetism in our Union legislation, I should not be understood to put the whole blame of race prejudice on the Dutch-speaking section. This section has no monopoly of colour prejudice. The Britons in South Africa, especially in Natal and in the former Republics share and fan the flame of these colour bars. To support this my conviction, I shall quote Mr. Maurice Evans who says in one of his books: "It is notorious that persons born and brought up in England, in the traditions of race equality are often more prejudiced when they come to live in a bi-racial country, than those brought up amongst a backward people. It is the rule and not the exception that those from Britain, who have been supporters of missions, and hold orthodox views on religious matters, who land in South Africa with these ideas undimmed, soon absorb the racial opinions current in the country of their adoption".
In spite of this conviction, I am not unmindful of the fact that there is a group, and thank God, an increasing group of fair minded, sympathetic and just people among both Boers and Britons. I, personally, have many friends in both sections. Some of these people will go any length to see that the scales of justice are held evenly between White and Black. Messrs. Fischer and Marquard, both Dutch-speaking Europeans, have, through their work as leaders of the Bloemfontein Joint Council of Europeans and Bantu (one of the best) and through their private night school for Africans, shown a devotion to the cause of the African which can hardly be excelled and is worthy of emulation by all. No more convincing evidence of this noble spirit can be found than the presence of, the interest and attitude of our delegates here. It is the hopeful sign of a better day between White and Black in South Africa.
I would not be fair, I would not be honest, I would not be just, if I did not mention two institutions which are a credit to South Africa and compare very favourably with the best of their kind anywhere in the world. I refer to our Bench of Judges and to the better class newspapers in South Africa.
By their impartiality, by their "blind justice," by their disregard for colour even in cases between White and Black, our Judges have kept faith with the African. To the African our Judges are the final hope and safety valve especially as they have more than once upset judgments of lower Courts and declared certain differential and preferential legislation ultra vires. May they always uphold the high standards and ethics of their esteemed profession for the preservation of the best in the world-civilisation namely, justice. So great is the African's faith in the justice of our Bench that I would not mind having to appeal against a judgment under the Liquor Law 1928 and appear before Mr. Justice Tielman Roos, its author, now one of our honoured Judges on the Bench. One can realise, therefore, how disturbed and agitated the African's mind is when the Riotous Assemblies Act 1930 eliminates our Bench as a Court of Appeal, in preference for one man, the Minister of Justice, with absolute power.
Besides, most of our leading newspapers have elevated journalism in South Africa. They have shunned "yellow-journalism" by refusing to play upon the African's weaknesses and foibles. They have steadied public opinion and kept it sane and civilised when political demagogues were undermining the foundation of the very civilisation they profess to build.
These two institutions are the pillars by the aid of which and upon which we hope to build our bridges.
Our task then, is to build our bridge between White and Black by pointing out and emphasizing the danger of a restrictive, repressive policy such as the "Union Native Policy. "Such a policy leads to a spirit of discontent, sullenness, and suspicion on the part of its victim, instead of contentment, good-will, and co-operation, which only justice and due consideration can bring about. While South Africa must be persuaded to realize that only through the path of justice and fair dealing can it be hoped to establish and preserve the Western civilization, whose "true signs," according to Lord Russell, "are thought for the poor and the suffering, chivalrous regard and respect for woman, the frank recognition of human brotherhood, irrespective of race, or colour, or nation or religion, the narrowing of the domain of mere force as a governing factor in the world, the love of ordered freedom, abhorrence of what is mean and cruel and vile, ceaseless devotion to the claims of justice. "Do our European friends, who talk so proudly of protecting "European Civilization," ever realize as Mr. G. P. Gooch has well said, that, "Civilization is a co-operative achievement. The civilization which we praise so highly is the result of the co-operative efforts of men and women known and unknown through all the ages belonging to all countries and all races and creeds. It is the most wonderful thing that the world has ever seen and it is the result of the common efforts of the human family".
What we need most is a revolution of the people's thoughts, their ideas, their ideals, and their spirit to recognize the African as a human being with human desires and aspirations which must be satisfied, to concede to the African "his reasonable demand to be considered a human being with full scope for human growth and human happiness".
The educated African is our hope, our bridge. He is an asset that responsible and thinking White South Africa cannot afford either to ignore or to alienate without disastrous results in the long run. He should be brought into close contact and co-operation with the thinking European. He must be consulted in all matters affecting the African community. It is he, and he alone, who can best interpret the European to the African, and the African to the European.
In our humble efforts to accomplish this task may we always remember the words of J. H. Oldham, who says, "Christians may help infuse the right spirit—the spirit which seeks the truth, is afraid of no facts, harbours no prejudices, condones no injustice, and sets the common good above all sectional and selfish interests".
May I, in conclusion, suggest that our aim, our motto, our ideal should be, therefore, "Freedom, liberty, justice to all and privilege to none. "Then, and not until then are we justified in saying, "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, and Man our Brother".
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