All there in black and white and so-called coloured

The Mail & Guardian editor replies to Andrew McKenzie (Letters, August 13) by referring to its dark-skinned, South African Bantu-speaking readers as “black Africans”, offering just short of an apology for having referred to them as “African”.

The Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 enshrines these differences in law.

There are three recognised kinds of black people. Those who are now known as black used to be known as black, coloured and Indian.

Those who are now known as African are black people who are not coloured or Indian.

Therefore, those who are now known as African used to be known as black, but are no longer known as black, because what is now known as black includes coloureds and Indians as well.

Those who used to be known as white, coloured and Indian are therefore not Africans.

Therefore, although those who were known as coloured and Indian are not African, they are also now known as black, along with those who are now known as African (that is, those who used to be known as black).

Those who used to be known as coloured and Indian are still, however, known as coloured and Indian in addition to being known as black (although those who are now known as coloured were once briefly known as so-called coloureds, a term that is no longer used).

All those who used to be known as black, coloured, Indian and white are now collectively known as South “African” in the Constitution. We are all “Africans”. It’s just that some of us are more African than others. P Kuhn, Cape Town

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