I thought it apt to ponder the use of the word kaffir by putting it in a mini poll. It wasn’t meant as a joke.
FYI, for foreigners, in the South African context the word kaffir has a historical meaning. It was once a blanket term for black southern Africans exclusively used as an ethnic or racial slur.
The original meaning of the word was 'heathen', unbeliever or infidel, from the Arabic word ‘Kafir’. Portuguese explorers used the term generally to describe tribes they encountered in southern Africa, probably having misunderstood its etymology from Moslem traders along the coast. European colonists subsequently continued its use.
It is now an illegal expression in South Africa and racially slanderous although, like the word nigger in the United States, when used by blacks, it is deemed perfectly acceptable but may not be used by the other races. Double standards, of course, but that is an argument for another day.
I think the meaning of the term may have evolved. When an influential public figure (Irvin Khoza) and a parliamentarian (Butana Komphela) used the word recently, they used it in the context of describing an act, that is, “stop acting like a kaffir”. In other words, stop being lazy and stupid.
That implied that blacks have separated themselves into a caste kaffir 'system' and do not view themselves as all being 'kaffirs'. Others may have a different reading but that is also a subject for another day.
I interpret the word kaffir now to include the dregs of society regardless of their race. Y’know, white trash could be considered kaffirs really. Come to Australia and you will see plenty of white kaffirs.
Corrupt officials, the Zooma army of lunatics are all kaffirs and so is FW de Klerk and his crew of sell-outs.
To me, FW de Klerk is southern Africa’s biggest kaffir because he sold out his race. Mad Bob and Mpeki may be stupid and useless but you can never accuse them of selling out their race.
FW de Klerk did sell out his race and for that act, I crown him, forevermore, Southern Africa’s Biggest Kaffir.