Hands off our anthem

2014-05-04 15:00

The FW de Klerk Foundation strongly rejects the view expressed by Mondli Makhanya, “Let’s ditch this national anthem” (City Press, April 27 2014), that we should abandon our beautiful national anthem.

It is a great pity that he chose Freedom Day?–?a day on which all South Africans should be celebrating the establishment of our new, nonracial, constitutional democracy?–?to air views so destructive to the national unity that we have been trying to achieve in the past 20 years.

Our national anthem is a compromise, but so was our new Constitution in many respects.

It was on the basis of painful compromise that all the negotiating parties had to make that we were able to reach agreement on our new society.

As former president FW de Klerk observed on Freedom Day: “April 27 did not constitute the victory of some South Africans over others. It was a glorious victory for us all.

“On April 27, all of us?–?whatever our race – enjoyed far greater rights and freedoms than any of us had previously enjoyed.

“It was our proudest moment as South Africans?–?regardless of our race, our gender or our background.

“To the astonishment of the whole world, we had succeeded in overcoming centuries of bitterness, conflict, repression and division to reach a historic agreement on the future of our country,” added De Klerk.

Our national anthem reminds us that we were all involved in creating our new society and that, as our Constitution proclaims: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”

This is evidently a truth Mr Makhanya would prefer to forget.

FW de Klerk Foundation

Via email

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