The following are some excellent letters (in my view on a recent visit to the beautiful Mother City of South Africa) from The Cape Times of Wed April 1 2015. So thought I’d share.: A debate and divergence/diversity of opinion (that a “democracy” allows)
CRY, cry the beloved readers,.
Were they here to witness it, Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela would be weeping bitter tears.
They stood for tolerance of all cultures, including previous opponents. Their land is awash with intolerance,
They stood for non-racism. Their own people are proving more racist than their previous oppressors,
They stood for intelligence, learning, academic endeavour and the upliftment of the African mind. The academic institutions of this land left as a legacy to all our peoples have been overrun by mobs of mindless crude barbarians bent not on upliftment but on destruction.
They stood for respect for other human beings, other cultures and the ancestors of this country. The children they have spawned spit on their values, and on their elders and ancestors.
They dreamt of a prosperous and successful land. Their successors have destroyed the economy of their country in their narrow greed for personal gain.
They dreamt of the upliftment of their disadvantaged and suffering people. Those of their own people whom they have fought to benefit have grabbed for themselves and ignored the plight of the poor and the disadvantaged who have been left behind.
Learn from the past
Those attending university to so presumably to improve their future prospects and, hopefully, the prospects of others who are not so privileged.
Unruly and threatening behaviour does not bode well for the future. The old axiom “United we stand, divided we fall” still holds true.
We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it.
Build a Positive Nation
South Africans have the power to heal our collective past.
As South Africans have shown that we have what it takes to come together and deliver in tough times. We have the collective power to dig deep and bring out the ositive attitudes we all possess.
The recent irritation with the protest around the removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes revealed that deep under the surface of our individual daily existences there remains so much discontent and disempowerment.
The anger and the call for action that erupted these past few weeks has ignited responses from all corners of or land that sadly are mostly bringing out the worst in us. The racist accusations and assumptions and negative responses have been so disappointing and completely pathetic.
The anger that has been projected to a few students is totally not in the spirit of South Africa. he comments like “go back to your studies” and “be appreciative of your bursaries” are not useful at all in building our nation and healing our hearts. We are acting as if we are in denial and in so doing are burying the past suffering and the real feelings of collective subjugation and loss of privilege.
It would be far more beneficial and in line with the spirit of of nation-building to find it in our hearts and good natures to celebrate that we are not accepting mediocrity, and will answer to the call of of allowing transformation to be explored further rather than to be swept under the carpet.
We thank the students who have woken South Africa from our slumber and got us to begin to work out a solution. Well done to Dr Max Price and his team for recognising the need to answer the call.
We are babies at this work and the energy that we need to repair and heal our youth is huge. We need to stop wasting our energy on destruction and hate and rather ask: “What can we do to build bridges and repair the damage apartheid wrought on our nation?”
Cape Times April 1 2015
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