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Ryan Roberts
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The Apartheid burden

03 July 2013, 18:01
Being born in South Africa in 1986, i was born into the Apartheid era! Fortunately i was too young to know the horrors at the time! In 1990 when FW De Klerk decided to abolish Apartheid & the last of the remaining Apartheid laws & free Tata,  i was but a young boy of 4.

Again when Apartheid truly ended in 1994, i was only 8 years of age and in Grade 3 (then std 1) in a School which was already multiracial, growing up side by side with children of all races. Some of my most cherished friends during my schooling where non-whites. 

It is now 2013, almost 20 years since Tata became president of our beautiful country. He lies in hospital on his death bed as i write this! His long struggle against Apartheid, saw him spend the better part of his life behind bars. His vision was to create a South Africa that combined as all under one flag! One country, one nation! But still we stand divided!

Almost 20 years later the effects of Apartheid can still be felt, by those who suffered both first hand and by "us" the younger generation who hand no part in it! Before i upset someone let me elaborate! As i said, i grew in a multiracial school and have had and still have friends of colour, i harbor no ill feelings to any race! Yet still people are taught that "us" whites should not be forgiven for what had transpired those many years ago! Why do i need forgiveness for something i did not do? That is the same as saying it is Mcdonalds fault you picked up weight from eating their burgers! 

When will the finger pointing cease? Once all the older generation have passed on and only the younger men and woman who did not grow up in the time of Apartheid? I hope not, i would like nothing more for those who struggled and fought for freedom to witness "true freedom" . When our future children (whites) are born, is it fair to still blame them for Apartheid? No it is not!

So why is it still "acceptable" to blame us now? Look i am not saying forget it happened! To say that is wrong, its a major role player in our history and its abolishment has made us a free country! But enough is enough, lets move on and build a nation, one Tata would be proud of! One he would willing leave behind knowing we are one! 

I fear i will not see in my life time, the day when the burden of Apartheid is lifted from our weary shoulders! I can only hope that my children and those of colour will one day live in a nation not bound by the crimes of our forefathers but in a nation united under one flag as Tata so dearly strived to achieve.   

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