Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ian Douglas Smith ....UDI ... Hero or Villain

Ian Smith … UDI Anniversary … was Smith a hero or villain?

November the 11th is the 50th anniversary of Ian Smith’s infamous Unilateral Declaration of Independence ("UDI").
The majority of Whites in then Rhodesia supported this audacious bid. The vast majority of Blacks, Coloureds and Indians did not.
The absolutely predictable subsequent failure of UDI and calm reflection over the last 50 years should have induced a general consensus among Rhodesians/Zimbabweans that, at least with the benefit of hindsight, UDI was no more, no less, an act of irresponsible folly, guaranteed to fail that cost the lives of thousands, causing human misery on a pandemic scale that is with us to this very day.

Alas that is not the case, with a huge chunk of mainly White ex Rhodesians who not only lament the failure of UDI but also postulate Smith's Rhodesia as having been a world beating haven for humanity and Smith as one of the greatest heroes of the modern age.  In addition Ian Smith penned two books in which he proffers much justification for the adoration that he is accorded by some.

So what is the truth about Ian Douglas Smith??  There is this quote "veritas oratio simplex est", i.e., the truth is ever simple. Sometimes truth is not simple. Fortunately, as regards Smith, it actually could not be simpler as I will set out in unarguable synopsis format.
Please note that I do not write as an "academic".  I was there, at every step of these events. This ended with a conversation I had with Smith at the Harare Show, in about 1987, where he correctly predicted that the Mugabe government would ruin the country completely as "these commie chaps love no one but themselves". .

1.  Smith's Rhodesia was great?
This is the first claim made by his fans. Romantic nostalgia about Rhodesia on social media is now pathological. All the "good" that Rhodesia had is attributed to Smith.
The simple reality, however, is that Rhodesia's greatness, (ignoring its systemic oppression) being its outstanding development, resource and infrastructure management, had virtually nothing to do with Smith. The country had been developed by his predecessors and he actually did nothing but plunge it into an unwinnable war that ensured that it started to slide into the mess that it is in today.
It all started with him being warned that the country would be sanctioned if he declared UDI. He declared UDI and it was sanctioned. The effects were devastating.  You were king if you had a packet of Smarties and cigarette lighters had to be refilled manually, just for a start.
The fantastic progress that the country had hitherto enjoyed under his predecessors was stopped in its tracks, never to recover.

2.  Smith had no option but UDI?
Smith's Rhodesian Front government was the legal government of the colony and constitutionally guaranteed non-interference by Great Britain. Indeed Britain had never interfered and was not threatening to do so.
So Smith could have pursued his professed agenda of stopping “communist rule” without rendering his government illegal if, of course, that agenda was honourable or underpinned by good faith that is.
The direct consequences of UDI were:-
a) His government immediately lost all legitimacy.
b) It conferred a right on Britain to intervene.
c) It conferred a right and duty on every citizen to take steps, including force, to remove Smith, his government and his support base.
d) It instantly converted all insurgents and otherwise treasonous agents into freedom fighters.
e) It divested Britain and all other countries, as signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR), from any capacity to assist his government whosoever the enemy.
f) It conferred a duty on all countries, as signatories to the UDHR, to take measures to remove his government.
As will be seen below it was quite unnecessary for Smith to declare UDI if his intentions were genuine. By declaring UDI he instantly converted a very good country into a pariah State. Why?

3. What powers did the Smith Government not have before UDI that it needed to get by UDI?
This one is critical.  In 1923 the Rhodesia was granted "full self-government" status with only ONE reservation. That reservation was that it could not pass laws that affected Africans without British government consent.
That was the only reservation.
In all other respects the Rhodesian government had all the powers that any government on the planet had.
So it is an obvious deduction that the only other power that UDI could have conferred on the Smith government was the freedom to enact laws that affected the African majority. Period!!
Note that not only had the British government NOT ever interfered, it had actually been complicit in permitting the passing of oppressive legislation such as the Land Apportionment Act.
But, as we shall see 1948 brought a paradigm change to all that.

4. The reason for UDI?
But this (3 above) is NOT what the White electorate was told. Even to this day just about all of them are unaware of this fundamental truth and reality, i.e. 3 above.
What they were told was that a successful UDI was needed to prevent a Communist inspired takeover of Rhodesia with the resultant loss of their British/Rhodesian roots, heritage and way of life.
The World was indeed in the throes of what was known as the 'Cold War' and Smith extracted maximum political mileage out of this.
The dreadful reality was that his UDI actually embarrassed the West, in this cold war, and conferred an absolute right on the Communist bloc to take advantage of the situation, which it did with understandable enthusiasm.
Had he not declared UDI Britain, in particular, would have had no option but to prevent Communist intrusion into the domestic affairs of the country.  Symptomatic of this was that, in 1962, I was trained by British army officers at Llewellyn Barracks.

5. Smith's real agenda?
He more or less made this all too clear, i.e., to prevent majority rule in his lifetime. Of course he justified this on the basis that the majority was Communist inspired, because the Communist bloc had started arming the then sprinkling of African insurgents.

“Let me say it again. I don't believe in black majority rule ever in Rhodesia—not in a thousand years. I repeat that I believe in blacks and whites working together. If one day it is white and the next day it is black, I believe we have failed and it will be a disaster for Rhodesia.” Per WikiQuote

Smith had won the election of November 1962 on an election platform that was predicated on the notion that the then United Federal Party's road map to majority rule, called "Partnership", was a Communist inspired "sell out" strategy to deliver the country to incompetent African Communists. His was the equivalent of South Africa's "swaart gevaar" i.e. the Blacks will get your house, job and daughter. 
It was understandable that the White electorate were susceptible to this, given the then failures of some African governments in Africa and the aggression of the Communist bloc.

The reality was that the previous UFP had been on a road map to competent majority rule in continual negotiations with the then father of Black nationalism, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, in particular,  who was about as "Communist" as George Bush.
In terms of the UFP's road map non-Whites, like myself, were recruited into the Civil Service, sent on "Adventure into Citizenship" programs so as to ensure competence and race/ethnic unity in the advent of majority rule.
The only tension between the UFP government, Joshua Nkomo (leader of ZAPU) and Ndabaningi Sithole (leader of ZANU) was the pace of this change.
Smith stopped all that and no Blacks were recruited to meaningful posts in the Civil Service for over 10 years thereafter.  That is how, in 1973, I became the first and ONLY non-White judicial officer.

6. The problem with his agenda?
There could not have been a more fundamental and resolutive problem with his agenda.
In 1948 the whole world had signed off on the UDHR, after two (2) bloody world wars and the Holocaust.
There was simply no basis on which the World could now tolerate minority rule.  Such rule violates any number of sacred Articles of the UDHR. The UDHR, in effect, guaranteed the end of all colonialist and minority governments and Harold Macmillan told the South African Parliament as much in his famous "winds of change" speech of 1960.
It was for this reason that, on 12 June 1962, the United Nations passed a resolution that Southern Rhodesia constituted a "Non-Self-Governing-Territory under Chapter XI of its Charter".   Ironically it was the diabolical machinations of Adolph Hitler that induced the world to abandon the hitherto "might is right" culture that had subsisted from time immemorial and had driven colonialism.
It is important to realize that this finding by the UN, in effect, precluded any country from recognizing a minority government in Rhodesia even if the British government had granted this to the Smith government.
It is also pertinent to point out that Ian Smith had actually fought in the heroic Battle of Britain to ensure that his own homeland of Great Britain was not subject to minority rule by Germany occupation. In the circumstances Smith's gross irresponsibility and foolishness could not be more stark.
It was therefore not at all surprising that the very day after UDI the Security Council of the United Nations felt compelled to pass a resolution calling on all States not to recognize or provide any assistance to Smith's "racist minority regime". The UN really had no option.
That was its perfectly predictable duty, and all sentient humans should have realized this at the time and certainly by now.

7. Was Smith a racist?
Obviously the rest of the world regarded Smith and his regime as racist because of his obsession with minority rule.
However the real question is this -- was Smith personally possessed of a deep seated ingrained racist culture and ethos?
I have been astounded at how just about everybody has missed this fundamental issue about Smith. "The proof is in the pudding" as they say and the proof emerged with blinding clarity when he got Minister Mark Partridge to table a Bill titled the Residential Owners (Property) Protection Bill, ("POP Bill") and/or Residential Owners (Property Protection" Bill 1967. This was augmented by the Municipal Amendment Act.
These were his versions of then South Africa's infamous Group areas Act that guaranteed the separation of humans on race and ethnic lines because non -Whites were considered as inferior and de facto contaminants in semi human form.
Nothing could have been more racist.

What stopped Ian Smith in his tracks was that the Jewish Community joined hands with the Coloured
Community at the most successful event staged at the Arcadia Coloured Community Center and gave Smith notice that this racism would be fought "tooth and nail Given that his regime was already under pressure on all other fronts, Smith dared not lose the support of the powerful Jewish Community, especially as many in his camp imagined that ever beleaguered Israel would eventually come on side. The Portuguese, Chinese and Greek Communities also lent support in large measure despite the efforts of Kiki Divaris who came out all guns blazing in support of this racist legislation. This good lady later became a darling and patron of the tyrannical Mugabe regime.
Res ipsa loquitur (the facts speak for themselves) … Smith was a racist at heart. No question whatsoever!!
So it is obvious that his agenda and UDI had everything to do with ridding himself of the British veto on racist legislation and little to do with "preserving civilization and preventing a Communist takeover" for the very simple reason that he did NOT need UDI in order to fight on these fronts.

8. How did Smith manage to fool so many till this very day?
a)  Firstly the White electorate were very susceptible to being fooled because of the unhappy situations as regards some other African governed countries.
b)  Secondly the reality was that there was actually a cold War in progress and the Communist bloc were supporting "freedom struggles" in pursuance of spreading its influence globally. Smith exploited this with a passion.
c)  Thirdly Smith used the tried and tested "mushroom techniques; where you keep them in the dark and feed them on sh*t".  To this end he introduced censorship of the news media and this was carried out ruthlessly. In the result it soon became normal for the newspapers to appear with blank white spaces representing the handiwork of Smith's censors who were actually installed full time in these media houses.
The idea here was to feed the electorate the story line that there were just a few Communist inspired insurgents indulging in "terrorist incursions", not supported by the Black majority, and who would soon be knocked over.
I can never forget the cognitive dissonance that set in when members of the Judiciary were flown to the "sharp end" at Mt Darwin and briefed by Lieutenant-Colonel Derry MacIntyre who informed us in chilling detail, that the country was actually involved in an unwinnable war (for both sides), not simple "terrorist incursions" and that he respected ZANLA Commander Josiah Tongogara as a masterful tactician.
Smith's Rhodesian propaganda machine was very, very good at the business of political spin, propaganda, artful half-truths and plain bull crap. And of course, the more White troops and farmers that were killed the more psychologically entrapped the White electorate became.
d) Fourthly Smith was quite ruthless about suppressing dissension. The previous Prime Minister Sir Garfield 
Todd and his family were routinely persecuted “restricted and detained" so as to shut them up. This is well documented in Judy Todd's great book "Through the Darkness".  Restriction and detention was legalized under "state of emergency laws" and many sentient voices of protest and truth were silenced thereby.
Sentient voices of the likes of Dr Ahrn Palley and Alan Savory were subject to vicious attack and vilification with the latter more or less being eventually forced into exile.
Humans, such as Herbert Foya Thompson and Frank Berman,  actively involved in political organisations or those suspected of actively supporting the struggle for liberation, but did not commit any prosecutable crime under the Law and Order Maintenance Act, were detained as ‘saboteurs’, ‘agitators’, or ‘provocateurs’. The geographical location of these detention centres was striking because they were all established in remote and inaccessible parts of the country.
The news media was prohibited by law and censorship from reporting on these shenanigans of brazen oppression.

9. So why are there Rhodies who are still so blind to the real Ian Smith??
They have actually kicked me off 5 Rhodie Face Book sites for setting out just some of these FACTS above.
I imagine that the reason is to be found mainly in the cliché that humans never forget those that made them feel good about themselves.
When I visited Germany for the first time I found otherwise very sentient Germans who spoke nostalgically about Adolph Hitler. Both Ian Smith and Hitler made their followers feel very good about themselves.  Ian Smith fired up "White nationalism" in Rhodesia just as Hitler fired up German nationalism.

When this happens an irrational herd mentality kicks in and everyone also gets entrapped by Carl Sagan's bamboozle effect. We see this daily in social media comments as humans betray how firmly they are entrapped by the bamboozle effect be it politics, culture or religion in particular.
Wallowing in the bamboozle recreates the good feeling they once experienced. The brain is paralyzed by romantic nostalgia as endorphins are generated and its capacity to reason inhibited.

10. Smith was right?
Much mileage is made of the fact that the Mugabe government has proved to be a disaster for all, just as Smith predicted.
The harsh reality is that it was Smith’s intransigence that guaranteed the advent of that government.  Of this he was warned ad nauseam by many sentient voices. Mugabe was unknown in 1962, when Smith’s party came to power. Joshua Nkomo and Ndabaningi Sithole were the leading African nationalists. They were about as communist as George Bush.

For me 11 November 1965 was one of the saddest days of my life as I knew, with every neuron in my brain, that no good whatsoever would come of UDI.

What Ian Douglas Smith did was the first step on a disastrous path that plagues us to this very day.

To read an otherwise credible anlayst get it all wrong  go to -


Also go to -



Anonymous said...

One can not move forward if one continues to look at the world through the rear view mirror. The world has problems, and it is easy to point out the problems, but what the world needs is solutions. The milk has been spilt,what good is time wasted finding out who spilt the milk.

R Ablant

Chris N Greenland said...

True. But history is important. And leaders need to be held accountable, alive or dead.
Most Rhodesians are/were unaware of most of these facts.

Anonymous said...

While I acknowledge that you did not write this article as an academic I do challenge much of its veracity

Here are a couple of examples:

- Smith could not have won the November 1962 election as he only became prime minister in 1964.

- "Obviously the rest of the world regarded Smith and his regime as racist because of his obsession with minority rule."
Your article quotes Smith as saying: "I believe in blacks and whites working together. If one day it is white and the next day it is black, I believe we have failed". Hardly the words of a racist or a person obsessing on white minority rule!

- "Smith was a racist at heart". I have challenged many people over the years to produce anything that shows that Smith was a racist... all have failed. Instead most table answers that confuse the machinations of government with the values of the individual, much as you have. Smith, as an individual, respected people on merit and was open to advocacy, as well you know.

- As regards UDI, the International Court of Justice put out an advisory opinion in 2010 which stated that a unilateral declaration of independence is not illegal under international law. It is a pity that they did not look at this in 1964. What it means though is that many of the consequences of UDI detailed under '2. Smith had no option but UDI?' such as giving citizens the right to use force, conferring a duty to countries to remove the Rhodesian government, and that it legitimised terrorism, are invalid.

I could go on, but my point is made - this article deliberately misinforms.

However, in the spirit of the "veritas oratio simplex est" it would be good to simply invite people to compare Zimbabwe pre and post colonialism with the intervening 60 years of responsible Rhodesian government.

What they would discover is that Rhodesia maintained law and order; that the nationalists declared war 18 months before UDI; the country was economically sound; the constitution was non-racial (the 1961 constitution contained a clause for unimpeded progress to majority rule); that all citizens, black and white, enjoyed the highest standard of education, health, housing and security on the african continent, etc etc.

It would also be good for readers to compare and reflect upon pre and post colonial Zimbabwe - what they would discover is the same pattern of tyrannical rule, genocide, tribalism, xenophobia and mismanagement of resources etc etc. Actually they could also reflect upon the state of every African country granted majority rule.

That is the simple truth and why Rhodesians, four decades on, are proud of their accomplishments and the role Smith played. For them 18 April 1980 was one of the saddest days of their lives as they knew with every neuron in their brains, that no good whatsoever would come of independence as it was the day that terrorism won. The world made a grave error in not supporting Smith.

Chris N Greenland said...

Anonymous: --- even if I were to concede every single point that you have tried to make you seem to be simply ignoring the "big ticket" issues that:

a) because of the UDHR minority was off the table even if Britain had "granted" such rule. So the gambit was a very foolish non starter ab initio.

b) Smith tried to introduce his version of the SA"s infamous Group Areas Act, proving the real reason for UDI, and proving beyond all doubt that he was a racist.

c) there was no other power that a "successful UDI" could have got him except the freedom to enact laws affecting Africans without British government assent.

d) he actually fought in the heroic "Battle of Britain" to prevent German minority rule of his own country.

Now please deal with these resolutive points???

Anonymous said...

Why try to cloud the simple truths? However, you asked me to deal with your 'resolutive points' so here goes.


Ratifying the UDHR is not a measure of good government and not doing so is not proof of racism. Zimbabwe has signed the UDHR but nothing has been done by the UN for its plethora of human rights violations and abuses (including genocide) that continues to this very day.

Other signatories were complicit in supporting the nationalists knowing that they were backed by Russia which was not party to the UDHR and China which, although a signatory, had and still has an appalling human rights record.

Incredible double standards and certainly not a strong argument against Rhodesia. Anyway Britain lost the opportunity to grant anything when Rhodesia declared UDI.

b. Group areas act

Even if I concede that Smith did author or advocate for a Rhodesian version of the Group areas Act, then it is testament to the integrity of the Rhodesian parliament that it did not pass. That would be an excellent example of the checks, balances and non-racism inherent in Rhodesia that does not exist in Zimbabwe.

The fact that it did not pass, also proves beyond doubt that the proposed Act was not the real reason for UDI as you have stated.

c. Reason for UDI

Your statement that a "successful UDI" only afforded the rhodesian government the freedom to enact laws affecting Africans without British government assent is ludicrous and deliberatley misleading. UDI granted Rhodesia sovereign status and the right to govern itself and enact laws that affected all its citizens, black, white and coloured, without British interference.

One just has to look at Britains failed attempts to divest itself of its african colonies at any cost, to know that was a good thing.

d. Smith fought to prevent German minority rule.

What a beautifully twisted way to obfuscate the truth.

Of course Smith fought against the Germans - they represented everything he was opposed to, tyranny, xenophobia anti-semiticism, genocide etc.

And true to his principles, he stood against the scourge of black nationalism for the same reasons he fought the Germans. History has shown that his fears were well founded.

Chris N Greenland said...

a) You have missed the point by a mile and gone off on a tangent. So let me spell it out VERY VERY simply. The UDHR rendered minority rule an IMPOSSIBILITY!!! The World was never going to accept it ... even if Britain had conferred it.

b) It was not a testament to his party or Parliament.. It was never put to the vote. It was Jewish opposition in the main that stymied his racist plan.
And you are simply ignoring the reality that the fact that he tried this proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was an absolute racist.
It is not a matter of you having to "concede". It is a matter of fact and the reference links are provided.

c) Lol. I can give you the categorical assurance that the only power that the Rhodesian government did not have after 1923 was the freedom to enact laws affecting Blacks. If you want to check this out please contact the Constitutional Law Department of either Oxford or Cambridge Universities.

d)It is a simple truth that Smith fought to prevent conquest and occupation of his country by Germany, i.e, domination by a foreign migrant minority. Now what is it that you don't understand about that???
He realized his fears as the principle causal factor, i.e, he brought about the advent of a Marxist-Leninist Mugabe government when none of this existed in 1965 when he declared UDI.

Anonymous said...

There are no shades of grey in your world, are there? Anyway here goes -

a) What nonsense - the UDHR did not render minority rule an impossibility. South Africa joined the UN in 1948 which organisation did next to nothing to address apartheid and minority rule. South Africa did not even sign the original UDHR. I

In fact it wasn't until 1986 that America, the EC and Japan eventually imposed sanctions in protest to apartheid. The UN? - The silence was deafening.

So much for the omnipotence of the UN and UDHR to render minority rule illegal and their right to judge Rhodesia.

The UDHR might be an ideal standard in a perfect and homogenous world, but it was wielded by hypocrits who judged themselves by their intentions and Rhodesia by a misinformed and poorly understood assessment of its actions.

Keep it simple, Chris - despite all your bluster there is no getting away from the simple fact that there were and are infinitely more human rights violations in Zimbabwe and some UN member countries, than ever in Rhodesia.

b) As I pointed out, this case is an excellent example of the non-racial nature of the government. The lobby groups rallied against the bills and prevailed! Wouldn't happen in Zimbabwe, would it? You have to give credit where it is due.

As for this proving that Smith was a racist - that is a joke, as we both know that Smith agreed to your appointment as a magistrate, against the advice and wishes of his minister. Furthermore, he did so after meeting with a delegation headed by gerry Raftopolous that advocated for you and agreed to your appointment on merit - hardly the actions of a racist.

Keep the truth simple Chris, and it will set you free.

However, none were without sin and it was Gerry Raftopolous who exposed the racist nature of the coloured community when he urged 'coloureds to uproot all traces of racial prejudice against Africans and work with them'.

Why did he ask this? - not because of any respect for human rights but for political expediency because 'Our destiny lies with the African people whether we like it or not'.

And that was in 1976. Sadly, despite this attempt at expediency, coloureds are still marginalised in a free Zimbabwe. He backed the wrong horse!

c) Again you are wrong - the Rhodesian government sought sovereignty which is a lot more than what you would have others believe. I suggest you look into it.

d) Re-read my comments - Smith fought against the germans for the same reasons he opposed black nationalism and history has proved him right.

Contrary to what you think, the advent of a Marxist-Leninist Mugabe was very real in 1965 - mugabe made his aims clearly known in the 1950's - do your research. The spectre of black nationalism raised its ugly head years before UDI and was one of the principle reasons the Rhodesians fought so hard to oppose it in favour of a responsible majority..

All these words, Chris - for what? To cloud the simple truths that history endorses - that Rhodesia, with all its shortcomings, looked after its people and promised them a way forward towards a fully integrated and prosperous society, where people like you and I would still be living!

Twist things anyway you want Chris, the truth is inescapable.

Anonymous said...

... pointless debating with either white Rhodesian nationalists or black Zimbabwean nationalists - they both immediately distort the glaringly obvious failures of their two (nearly identical) heroes, Smith and Mugabe, by calling on a whole lot of arbitrary minutiae to cast doubt. This is essentially a "trolling" strategy - just throw a heap of partial truths and convolutions to distort the obvious picture.

Smith was a first class arse and Rhodesia was nothing to be proud of.

Mugabe is a first class arse and Zimbabwe is nothing to be proud of.

Chris N Greenland said...

I think you have summed it up quite eloquently.
You put FACTS in front of them and they act like when you play chess with a pigeon. It shits all over the board and struts around as if it has won the game.
I had sent this article to the administrator of the Smith fan club site 3 weeks before publishing explaining that I was doing so as to afford the an opportunity to have the thing "fact checked" They were unable to dispute anything in it.
Smith and Mugabe are indeed two sides of the same coin.
Neither has/had any love of human beings other than their support base.

Anonymous said...

The mind boggling thing is that despite having endured profound betrayal, Smith and Mugabe's supporters have become the most virulent of sycophants. Smith not only established a hopelessly untenable agenda on which he could never deliver, but the sheer idiocy of his "lunacy masquerading as policy" shaped the very organisations and people who would ultimately take power when Rhodesia (inevitably) transitioned from white minority rule. Smith's supporters like to smugly pull out the "told you so" card and compare "Mugabe vs Smith"; this is a ruse that detracts from the true underlying dynamic which is "Mugabe because of Smith".

And you see exactly the same narrative with the various reactions to Jacob Zuma and the ANC today. All the people that voted for the hopelessly untenable National Party agenda today want to screech from the rooftops about Zuma's incompetence as a governor and the ANC's failures as the government in a modern democracy. And when you point out to them that given that today's realities were planned and prepared for in the 60's and 70's, this outcome is fairly benign, that same sharp analytical skill that vindicates their underlying racist self-interest when criticising the current government is suddenly dull and myopic; somehow they can't figure out that depriving people of proper education might result in incompetent administrative skills or that using violence and repression to respond to political organisations might shape those organisations in ways that are not ideally conducive to functioning in modern open democracies.

I gave up arguing with these people long ago; the only reason I remain engaged in the debate is to keep some sense alive for the sake of the record.

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Anonymous said...

This article is about South Africa but applies equally to Central Africa, Zimababwe in particular

Chris N Greenland said...

Thank you for your comments.
The reality is that nothing has emerged that changes the checkable FACTS that I have set out in the article, as any reputable University history department will confirm.
Whatever else par 7, Was Smith a racist? should actually resolve the issue about Smith in the mind and heart of any good human being.
Only a racist bigot can have any respect for a leader who was prepared to introduce this type of racist social engineering.
Enuff said!!!!!!

Anonymous said...
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Chris N Greenland said...

Lol ... now can you please explain par 7 of my article in plain and simple language because what he tried to introduce was a cut and paste version of South Africa's infamous Group Areas Act???
There can be NO wriggling out of this one.
So please try???

Anonymous said...

With reference to Para 7, you have failed to provide any evidence that Smith was the driver, author or co-author of the Property owners (Residential Protection) Bill.

To quote from your source (which is a reasonably well written book, despite the obvious bias of the author):

"Encouraged by the extremists in the RF, such as Denis Divaris and Mark Partridge, The Minister of Local Government and Housing, these white residents demanded the exclusion of Asians and Coloureds from European suburbs."

Note that Smith was not mentioned as an extremist and that the bill was proposed at the demand of the white residents encouraged by Partirdge - NOT Smith.

The second quote from your source:

"Confronted by mounting pressure from the white public, the Minister of Local Government and Housing decided to act. At the beginning of June1967, Partridge proposed the introduction of the Property owners (Residential Protection) Bill."

Again, Smith's name is not mentioned - only Partridge's who is on record as acting on his own initiative.

So your allegation that Smith got Partridge to table the bill is misleading and untrue.

Further down the page the author states:

"...the bill was not approved in parliament and was eventually shelved in 1971 after numerous attempts to reintroduce it..."

The RF had a majority in parliament and could basically pass anything they wanted. This bill was not passed - why because the majority of RF members voted against it on many occassions!

Hardly the outcome one would expect expected from a racist government.

Sadly this is all about politics and does not support any allegation that Smith, the man, was a racist.

Now this is where it really gets difficult for you - Smith certainly had the fortitude to do what he believed was right and even went against his own Minister of Justice Lardner Burke to appoint you a magistrate.

The argument that "it was hypocrisy - intended to augment his case to the world that his government was not racist - a ploy to deceive and obfuscate" (quoted from your book) is ridiculous and laughable. Think of it - had it been a set up, then the RF would have carefully selected a pliant and pro RF puppet - they would certainly not have appointed someone whose allegiances were unknown, with your attutude and with whom they had no relationship and over which they had no control!

Seriously Chris - think about it.

You struggle to understand Smith's decison to appoint you because your fundamental belief was that Smith was a racist. It is the whole basis of your article. Your dillemma is that his actions prove otherwise - that he was an approachable man willing to give anyone reasonable a chance, regardless of colour.

If you want to know more about Smith, read Alex Smith's biography. He hated his fathers politics and actually brought a well known nationalist to Smith's house for him to meet. Smith spent time with him and was impressed. This is the same Smith who went to mugabe's house the night before the election alone and unaccompanied and who encouraged the whites to remain in the new Zimbabwe.

I hope the language is plain and simple enough. Smith was not a racist.

Chris N Greenland said...

Lol .. lol .. lol .. lol .. lol ... are you flipping daft???

Are you REALLY suggesting that the POP Bill was a product of an in house maverick Minister or Ministers ... and that Smith had nothing to do with this???

You really have to be as thick as two bricks to imagine that. REALLY!!!!

In any event, I was there .. and can confirm that Smith was fully behind this racist crap and publicly spoke in support of it.

don't propose to continue this conversation with you as I now know beyond any doubt that I am dealing with racist bigot.

Free counters!