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Nadine Gordimer Misquoted by Albert Brenner in an Argument Supporting Red October

No Time Like the PresentThe ConservationistLast month the Red October protest march was attended in Pretoria by a group of around 400 people “in protest against the inhumane slaughter and oppression of the white people of South Africa”. Led by Afrikaans singers Steve Hofmeyr and Sunette Bridges, the march was made up mostly of Afrikaans people, reports Haji Mohamed Dawjee in the Mail & Guardian.

Georgina Guedes from the Daily Maverick writes that many columnists took to their keyboards in response to Red October, with Sarah Britten writing on Thoughtleader to the Pro-Afrikaans Action Group‘s (Praag) Dan Roodt that the way in which the Red October protest was being positioned was “making it easy for most South Africans to position you as hardcore racists who deserve nothing but contempt”.

Albert Brenner wrote a response to these columns on Praag. He dismisses their views as the result of being “part and parcel of the upper-class British establishment in Mandelatopia” and then writes: “Just listen to Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer – a representative of the British elite in this country: Afrikaner women are lower than rats, closer related to plants, just fit enough to be raped in an act of genus preservation”.

Guedes picked up on this and, thinking it didn’t sound like Gordimer, decided to investigate. She managed to trace the quote to an open letter from Roodt to Gordimer, in which Roodt paraphrases what he believes Gordimer is saying in her book, The Conservationist. Brenner responded to Guedes’ findings by saying that, “Artistic interpretation of texts is a common practice,” and that he never said it was a direct quote. He also mentioned that Roodt had edited his piece before publication.

Guedes spoke to Roodt who said that while Brenner should have clarified that those were not Gordimer’s words he continued that “one must see Brenner’s remarks within the context of an ongoing semantic war between indigenous whites and what I would call the comprador intelligentsia like Gordimer, the Slovos, but also many academics from Wits, UCT and other campuses.” Brenner’s final statement on the matter: “You can kiss my sexy Boere butt”.

Read Guedes’ thoughts on Brenner’s attribution of the quote to Gordimer:

“Afrikaner women are lower than rats, closer related to plants, just fit enough to be raped in an act of genus preservation.”

That’s pretty denigrating stuff. It strays dangerously close to hate speech. The person who wrote those words must have a deep and abiding hate of Afrikaners.

So who wrote them?

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Image courtesy eNCA


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