Motlanthe warns against spread of racism via social media

2015-02-03 15:01

Former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe today cautioned against cyberspace racism.

Motlanthe was speaking at a conference organised by the FW de Klerk Foundation to commemorate the 25th anniversary of former president FW de Klerk’s announcement that Nelson Mandela would be released from prison.

Motlanthe referred to a slew of racist remarks that have been published on social media platforms and said they undermined attempts of nation-building.

According to Motlanthe, racial insults are especially painful.

Social media platforms serve as a barometer or measure of the position of social togetherness or reconciliation in the country.

“It is regrettable, and it can be asked what went wrong for the Rainbow Nation.”

Motlanthe said it is sad that racism in cyberspace was being driven by young people who had no consciousness of apartheid.

“Racism in social media offers a weird look into the soul of post-apartheid South Africa. No country would be able to survive without questioning such an important national question.”

De Klerk also referred to issues of race.

He cautioned against comments from President Jacob Zuma and other ANC leaders, who incite racial polarisation.

Motlanthe added that when apartheid is blamed for things it doesn’t mean that whites are being demonised, but there is a certain historical context that is still relevant today.

The conference is still under way. Dr Johann Rupert is expected to address delegates on the country’s economic progress 25 years down the line.

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