Archbishop Tutu urges South Africans not to abandon commitment to reconciliation.
February 8, 2016
February 8, 2016
Responding to the laying of criminal charges last week against former President FW De Klerk and former police minister Adriaan Vlok by an organization called The Anti-Racism Action Forum, Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged South Africans not to abandon commitment to reconciliation. Tutu said the consequences of the TRC’s business being left unfinished included perpetrators of apartheid era human rights violations evading justice‚ victims being denied the closure they deserved – and cracks in the fabric of the nation emerging and being exploited by political opportunists.
Over the past few months‚ South African media had carried a stream of stories highlighting disturbing expressions of racism and prejudice on social media. Political commentators had increasingly and misguidedly blamed the country’s reconciliation process for its socio-economic and political woes.
“It has almost become fashionable to undermine the integrity of former President De Klerk‚ and even Madiba is being derided in some circles for ‘selling out’ in favor of white capital‚” Archbishop Tutu said.
“South Africans should not be fooled. The country is not in socio-economic trouble because its leaders led it down reconciliation road. While these troubles are partially ascribable to a challenging global economic environment‚ they are largely due to poor management. And among the issues that have been poorly managed is the post-Commission reconciliation process‚” he added.
Besides failing to hold to account those who didn’t receive amnesty‚ the State had elected not to follow critical recommendations in the commission’s Final Report to deepen the reconciliation process‚ including a proposed wealth tax. At the time‚ many wealthier South Africans would have been relatively open to the idea‚ the archbishop said.
“Let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater by casting aspersions on those who led us from apartheid to democracy. Our best chance of success is for all of our citizens‚ irrespective of race‚ to pull together towards a better‚ more inclusive‚ less inequitable future‚ “ he added.
Source: Times Live