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UCT vice-chancellor praises student for work signed off with ‘one settler‚ one bullet’

07 November 2018 - 09:56 By Nico Gous
Mamokgethi Phakeng.
Mamokgethi Phakeng.
Image: Esa Alexander

University of Cape Town (UCT) vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng has congratulated a student on his honours project in which he ended his acknowledgements with the phrase‚ “ONE SETTLER‚ ONE BULLET!!”

Phakeng tweeted on Tuesday evening: “Congratulations dear son on completing this paper! I would like to study it at some stage. In the meantime‚ let me be kliye [sic]: I am proud of you! Way more than you can imagine! Welldone! [sic]”

Phakeng later withdrew some of her praise on Wednesday morning after some were outraged.

“Of course I can never be proud of promises of bullets‚ what [I] am proud of is the fact that you did the paper and completed it! I know how hard you worked. I am definitely proud that you finally clicked it off for assessment.”

On Tuesday evening‚ Masixole Mlandu tweeted a couple of pages from his politics honours research project‚ titled “The Coloniser/Colonised dialectic: A look into the Settler-Colonialism as a socio-economic order of South Africa”.

In the acknowledgements‚ he thanked friends‚ family and his advisor‚ Professor Lwazi Lushaba‚ before ending: “Lastly‚ let me thank the Pan Africanist student movement in occupied Azania. Your fight for the total emancipation of Black people will never be forgotten. Izwe Lethu‚ iAfrika!! (Our land‚ Africa!!) ONE SETTLER‚ ONE BULLET!!”

Mlandu told Phakeng: “Thank you‚ mother. This paper would not be possible without your words of encouragement. We are moving on to MA [masters] now.”

Phakeng replied: “Yasss! MA here we come!”

According to the abstract‚ the project argues that South Africa is a settler-colonial society that was built and maintained through conquest.

“The settler and the natives’ relationship is a construction which orders its identity through violence‚” writes Mlandu.

The paper aims to understand how this relationship is sustained. Mlandu argues that “there is something that sustains the relationship between the native and the settler apart from the economic disparities between the two.

“This is not to say that the material inequalities between the two are not important‚ but it is to say that‚ that is not sufficient enough to explain what governs the two portraits of the coloniser and the colonised.”