Mamdani suggests that the real crime of colonialism was to politicise indigeneity by granting civic rights to non-natives and denying them to natives who were compelled to live under customary rule. Mainstream nationalism continued this colonial tradition but subverted it, tying entitlements to indigeneity. This led to the continuous political disenfranchisement of yesterday’s immigrants, even though they were the product of what he termed “the dynamism of the commodity economy”.

To decode for our Marxist leaders in the EFF: playing the politics of race and hate inevitably degenerates into a politics of ethnicity and tribalism, the ultimate consequence of which is war, division, poverty and continued economic and political disempowerment. Mamdani's solution: to challenge the automatic link between indigeneity on the one hand and political identity and rights on the other.

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