When the human spirit triumphs

2015-04-30 16:56
Moeti Molelekoa Social Observer

Moeti Molelekoa Social Observer

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THREE decades ago I visited a dentist on the 4th floor of the Metropolitan Building in Welkom’s Central Business District. On my return in the lift, I was accompanied by a white woman with her son of about three years old. The little fellow lifted his hands indicating that I should pick him up. I obliged and picked him up. The little lad put his hands around my neck. Then the mother smiled awkwardly, hiding what I perceived was her racial hatred and being embarrassed by the unsuspecting and innocent toddler.

Our historic past bears testimony that as white children grew up (not all though), the more they were indoctrinated with hatred and intolerance of their black counterparts. The ten second elevator ride from the 4th to the ground floor must have felt like ten years looking at the mother of the innocent child.

I then asked myself why it had to take something so extraordinary to experience such an encounter between a fearless child and an adult mother.

One thing my eyes were opened to, is the fact that a human being is born free without sin and prejudice. It is the environment into which one is born that influences one’s life-style and religion. That means at that age, children were not yet fed an apartheid mentality or any ideologies for that matter. Their young and innocent hearts could not differentiate between black and white people.

I again thought of this incident recently while watching Against All Odds broadcast on e.tv.

It was about a white woman, Lilene van Hoolwerf, who dived on top of a wounded young black woman who was shot twice during an armed robbery in the Bedfordview Centre Mall in Johannesburg late in January this year.

The brave woman did that in order to protect the victim from being wounded further. The victim was later identified as Palesa Sebuyi, an accounting student in China. She was shot during an exchange of gunfire between the robbers and security guards.

The heroin Hoolwerf stopped the victim’s father DJ Sebuyi when he wanted to carry his wounded daughter in his arms and transport her to the nearest hospital. She was afraid he could aggravate the injury.

She (Van Hoolwerf) put her life on the line for a total stranger she never met before, protecting Palesa by covering her body from being hurt further after she was shot twice.

It is people like Van Hoolwerf with a true human spirit that will make us realize a Rainbow Nation. One such person also coming to mind, who is symbolic of the Rainbow Nation, is the late Father Jan Jansen, former priest of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in Thabong.

He too risked his life by making his church available for political meetings and memorial services during the dark days of apartheid. The forgotten Father Jansen risked his comfortable life and the love of the white community by accommodating struggle events.

The Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) held historical and memorial occasions here. The ANC and other political movements were banned organisations at the time.

Through Father Jansen’s efforts, several deserving students received bursaries and some of them are pharmacists, nurses, social workers nurses and doctors today. ) To comment on or express your views about the issue highlighted in the column, go to www.express-news.co.za.

) Express Goldfields andamp; NFS welcomes anyone interested in contributing to the weekly column as public observers or citizen journalists. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words) to teboho.setena@volksblad.com

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