“White Genocide” is Not Underway in South Africa

“White genocide” is not underway in South Africa

Dr. Gregory Stanton, Genocide Watch

19 August 2015


To get a basic understanding of the Ten Stage model that Genocide Watch uses to map the genocidal process, please read http://genocidewatch.net/genocide-2/8-stages-of-genocide/ .

Our rankings of countries are based on qualitative readings of open source news reports and reports from on-the-ground observers in the Alliance Against Genocide and other reliable reporting groups.


In the case of South Africa, they are in part based on my own annual visits to South Africa. I taught Constitutional Law in Swaziland in 1989 – 1990, and worked with leaders of the United Democratic Front such as Van Zyl Slabbert in the anti-apartheid movement. I participated in many UDF conferences that considered requirements for a new Constitution for South Africa.


For my most recent appraisal of the situation in South Africa, made December 5, 2014, please read:

http://genocidewatch.net/2014/12/05/genocide-watchs-dr-gregory-h-stanton-press-release-from-south-africa/ .Note that in the very first sentence, I stated clearly: “Dr. Gregory Stanton, Founding President of Genocide Watch, warned that early warnings of genocide are still deep in South African society, though genocide has not begun.”


Genocide Watch became quite concerned about the escalation of racism in South Africa when Julius Malema was still President of the African National Congress Youth League. We even raised the danger level from Polarization to Preparation. We returned it to Polarization after the ANC expelled Malema and kicked him out of the Presidency of the ANC Youth League. We remain concerned about his new EFF party, and remain convinced that his ideology is “Marxist” and “racist.” The criminals who are inspired to commit hate crimes by Malema’s racist incitement may or may not be Marxists. But their desecrations of bodies are definite signs that the murders are racist hate crimes.


Polarization is characteristic of societies in which racial, ethnic, religious, national or political identities deeply divide different sections of the the society. Unfortunately, although South Africa has made great progress since majority rule, the country remains a divided society.


67 people were murdered on South African farms in 2014. The majority of the victims were white. Since the government will not release statistics about the race of the victims, we have had to rely on AfriForum for this figure. We believe it to be accurate, since every victim has been named in AfriForum’s calculations.


We currently think that xenophobic murders of immigrants have also become a major problem in South Africa. Many of these murders are also hate crimes. We will update our 2014 chart this autumn.


One of the false uses of Genocide Watch’s model for genocide prediction is the claim by some South Africans, racists in the United States (like the mass killer in Charleston and David Duke), and a few South African expatriates, that South Africa is undergoing a “white genocide.” Genocide Watch has never said “white genocide” is underway in South Africa and in fact South Africa is not even close to stage nine, which would legally be called genocide. Hate crimes fall short of genocide.


Genocide Watch’s model is based on many years of study of the genocidal process. It is not a linear process. Many of the stages in the process occur simultaneously, and out of order. Genocide Watch’s model is a logical model of the processes that may lead to genocide. It is a structural model, much like Piaget’s model of cognitive development or moral development in children. Structures are systems of transformations. Many phenomena can be more scientifically explained by structural models than statistical models — e.g. photosynthesis, the life cycle of human beings, the structures of human languages.


We do not claim that our model of the genocidal process has reached the level of sophistication of models developed after study by thousands of scientists. But it has proven to be a good descriptor and predictor of the development of genocides.


Yes, we have predicted genocides, often with considerable accuracy. In 1989, I met with President Habyarimana of Rwanda in order to try to persuade him to remove the “ethnic” identification on Rwandan ID cards. He defended the symbolization on the cards. I told him near the end of our meeting, (and wrote a colleague at the time with an account of our meeting), that Rwanda would have a genocide within five years. It did. The early warning signs were unmistakable.


In 1999, alarmed by the rise in the “Ivoirite” movement in the Ivory Coast, and having lived in the Ivory Coast for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Ph.D. field researcher, I got in contact with Benoit Scheuer, who had formed a Belgian anti-genocide organization called Prevention Genocides. Scheuer took a film crew to Cote d’Ivoire to make an important documentary film, “La Poudriere Identitaire,” about the classification of Ivoirians into “true Ivoirians” and “foreigners” – whose grandparents had come to the Ivory Coast as laborers during the colonial era. An atrocity by Ivoirian police that left 56 bodies of such “foreigners” in a dump in Yopougon, at the edge of Abidjan, was filmed in graphic detail by Scheuer. On 16 August 2001, Scheuer got the official television station in the Ivory Coast to show his film. It was immediately followed by a “debate” by “scholars” who tried to deny there was a problem. But Scheuer didn’t stop there. He took his film to the French Elysee and Foreign Ministry in Paris to warn France, which still had a military base at Port Bouet, that the famous harmony of the Cote d’Ivoire was about to blow up. It did.


France was therefore prepared, when northerners in the Army mutinied, declared themselves Les Forces Nouvelles, and took over the northern half of the country. Ethnic killing along the border regions between the two halves of the country and in the southern villages against northerners began quickly. But France moved to establish a ‘cordon sanitaire’ between the two halves of the country, and quickly destroyed all three planes in the Ivoirian air force, after they bombed a French base in Bouake, near the middle of the country. It took years of diplomatic pressure, but finally President Gbagbo was forced to leave office, and his elected successor, Alassane Ouatara, a northerner, became President. French diplomats have since told me that it was Scheuer’s film that first alerted them to the great danger in the Cote d’Ivoire, and that prepared them to prevent mass killing.


Although most of our preventive work is behind the scenes, and it is always more difficult to prove prevention than action, there have been other situations in which it can fairly be said that Genocide Watch, working with other key anti-genocide organizations and governments, has successfully predicted potential genocide and taken action to prevent it.


Ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo were spilling across the border into Macedonia in 1999, after China vetoed extension of the 1995 UN Preventive Deployment (UNPREDEP) in Macedonia because Macedonia had foolishly recognized Taiwan’s independence. Macedonia had a delicate balance of Albanian and Macedonian citizens. Genocide Watch and many other organizations got involved in the effort to get the Macedonian government to request assistance from NATO to replace the UN force. NATO promptly set up a no-man’s land between Kosovo and Macedonia to stem the flow of refugees, while NATO bombing of Belgrade brought Serbia to the negotiating table to end the war in Kosovo. The Albanian Liberation Army was disarmed and an ethnic war was averted.


Our action after the December 13, 2003 Ethiopian government massacre of over 1000 Anuak civilians in Gambella province helped protect Anuak who had fled to refugee camps in Sudan. We keep a Google number on our website that rings all our phones. One night in the middle of 2004, I got a satellite phone call from Pochalla Refugee Camp in Sudan, telling me that the Ethiopian Defense Forces had crossed the Sudanese border and were going to invade Pochalla and force all the refugees back into Ethiopia the next morning. I woke up the desk officer at the State Department and asked him to call our gutsy Ambassador. She marched into President Meles’s office and told him to get his troops out of Sudan and not to attack the refugee camp. The troops withdrew into Ethiopia.


There have been many other examples of prediction and prevention, not just by Genocide Watch, but by policy makers and NGO’s nobody ever heard about. The reason you don’t hear about them is that the atrocities didn’t happen.


Copyright: Genocide Watch 2015

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