Former Director of Media and Communications at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Ambassador Mdu Lembede, says South Africans must find each other and reconcile or they risk plunging the country into civil war.
He dismissed Belinda Magor’s derogatory and racist remarks as not reflecting the views of white people and urged South Africans not to waste their time on people who do not want the country to move forward.
After nearly three decades of freedom, South Africa is still struggling to rebuild and unite a nation scarred by racial divisions.
In 2020, black members of the EFF were attacked by mainly white parents of students at a school in Brackenfell in the Western Cape as they headed to protest alleged racism after a private children’s party, reportedly attended only by white Year 12 students .
That same year, in Senekal, Free State, farmers stormed the local police station and courthouse, wanting to shed the blood of a black suspect accused of murdering farm manager Brandin Horner.
And a week later, there was a tense confrontation in the city, when the EFF gathered its supporters for a march against the farmers.
Once again, South Africans have expressed disgust and anger this week following Belinda Magor’s racist rant in defense of pit bull bans.
But former head of media and communications for TRC ambassador Lembede urged South Africans not to waste their energy on bigots who do not want to see the country united.
“There are over 50 million South Africans, the words of one man should not determine the direction we take as a people. So when one white person talks bad about black people, we don’t have to take it as if all white people are fighting against all black people, or if a black person comes on stage and talks bad about white people, we throw our hands in the air and say we returned to 1994. No, that’s not true. We have to move forward, we can’t afford to be short-changed fanatics.”
He says that if South Africans cannot come to terms, the country could experience civil unrest – something that future generations will never forgive.
Lembede continues: “We as South Africans do not have the luxury of continuing to argue about whether we should find everyone and reconcile as a nation or future generations will not forgive us. Our children’s children will spit on our graves for failing them if we fail now, because if we don’t come to terms as South Africans, there is a greater chance of civil war in this country.”
Although seething with anger over Magor’s remarks, Azapo president Nelvis Kekema actually says she was just being honest about how she interacted with black people.
Kekema says: “At Azapo, we are not shocked at all. We expected that it wouldn’t actually happen because we said there was this institutionalized racism. Actually, the racist is honest. She says that what she embodies is her socialization at 60. She is still who she was even before she was born.
Black Consciousness Party leader Stephen Bantu Biko said “the long-term project of reconciliation in the country will never be realized as long as black people are treated as objects of ridicule”.
Kekama says the current constitutional democracy allows black people to be treated as lesser people. He claims that there is no reconciliation in the country.
“There is no reconciliation in SA. It never happened, it’s not even close to us, so we end up in South Africa, white racists make black people eat their own human waste. We are thrown into the lions’ den to be eaten and devoured by the lions, the racists force us to put them in coffins. This is a reflection of this constitutional democracy. In this society we are treated as God’s stepchildren, even our leaders do everything to appease the whites and despise the blacks.’
Meanwhile, South Africa will again celebrate National Reconciliation Day on December 16, and all eyes will be on President Cyril Ramaphosa as he once again presents the country’s National Reconciliation Scoreboard.
VIDEO | AZAPA is picketing near a house believed to belong to Belinda Magor: