RACISM IS A DISEASE, IT IS TIME TO LET GO
By: Sthembile Shabalala
South Africa is labelled as a democratic state, where every citizen has the right to exercise their democratic rights as enshrined in our constitution.
It has been 20 years since South Africa gained its freedom from the chains of oppression and discrimination. However our country still has unresolved issues when it comes to the implementation of truly democratic principles and non-racialism.
It is clear that people have not come to terms with the fact that we are a new rainbow nation. There should never be an incident that is racially inclined. Our people are still caught up in the past, which goes against everything our heroes and heroines believed in- what our Madiba’s, Sisulu’s and Tambo’s died for.
Nelson Mandela said, ‘If people can be taught to hate, they can also be taught to love’. It is surprising how people fail to accept one another. In 1995 when the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) was established it aimed not at only finding the truth and granting amnesty to people who had violated human rights during the Apartheid era, but also to reconcile South Africa as a new rainbow nation.
Some people argue that we live in a democratic, non-racist nation. Maxwell Magoqovana, an employee at Meadow Meats, believes that racism does still exist.
“We will never be an equal nation. It is clear that whites will always have the best life, the best jobs and best houses. It is even more painful because we as blacks tend to oppress each other and step on other people’s toes just to get to the top,” said Boyce.
One of the greatest heroes who believed in black pride and self- reliance is Steve Biko, who once said, ‘we will never remove the ideology of superiority and inferiority unless we are psychologically minded. It is very saddening that after the years of struggle against Apartheid we have people who are still obsessed with such behaviour. We are still a divided nation where a people are judged by the colour of their skin.
Nomkhosi Cele, a security guard at DUT City Residence, says South Africa is now a better country than it was back in the days of oppression and discrimination.
“I could not sit in the same area with a white person; I could not even stand next to a white person. It was not allowed- if we were caught in the same line with them, we would have been jailed. Things are different now, I am proud of the people who fought for the freedom that we have. That period of Apartheid was a cruel time in our country, therefore it should stay in the books of history,” said Mrs. Cele
The time is now to let go of the past, to live together as one and be the kind of nation that the people who paved the way for our Freedom would be proud of. We owe it to them to commemorate and honor their memory by standing together ad celebrating their selfless contributions.