LETTER: Not so new disadvantage A not so `new' South Africa

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The Independent Online
PRAISE to David Honigmann, your reviewer of Allister Sparks's Tomorrow is Another Country, for bringing into view the lash-up which is the "new" South Africa ("The Roelf 'n' Cyril show", Sunday Review, 11 June). Yet it isn't only South Africa's recent history that has been forged to black disadvantage.

Concealed by the whites and the ANC alike is the huge falsification of SA's history of racial settlement, entrenched in law in the 1950s, to pretend that blacks had no historical or property rights in 86 per cent of South Africa when in fact they first settled more than the rich 50 per cent of that country before the whites. Result? Almost 100bn rands worth of property profits still in white pockets, but almost none in blacks' pockets.

Some months ago a white South African friend passed on an allegorical comment: "I knock a man down and steal his wallet. I then make him my slave and claim that much of what he earns belongs to me, too. Eventually my neighbours force me to give the man his freedom. So I put my arms round him and say I am sorry. But I keep his wallet - now much fatter."

Len Clarke

Uxbridge, Middlesex

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