Political parties condemn racism on Day of Reconciliation

2016-12-16 21:11

Johannesburg - Political parties have wished South African citizens well and called for an end to racism on the Day of Reconciliation.

The Democratic Alliance's Mmusi Maimane said South Africa's complex history tells a story of our collective past and the "great things" yet to be achieved. 

"Despite our different races, cultures, religions, sexes and languages, the common vein that runs through us all is that we are South Africans."

"While 2016 has seen a greater focus on our differences, I do not think that it is a true reflection of South Africa and the work that has been done in building bridges over the last 22 years. There are more among us who continuously work to ensure that our country's motto of unity in diversity is not merely a phrase but a call to build a non-sexist, non-racial and united country for all people," he said.

On behalf of the DA, Maimane wished all South Africans a "beautiful and reflective Day of Reconciliation".

The Economic Freedom Fighters' Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the holiday should focus on restorative justice.   

'A hated and despised people'

"On this Reconciliation Day, we reiterate that the most important and lasting solution to the colonial relations and anti-black racism that characterises South Africa is the radical re-organisation of property relations. [This includes] land expropriation, nationalisation of mines and banks and free quality education," he said.  

"Twenty two years into democracy, Africans remain targets of despicable racism motivated by the fact of white racism. Black people remain a hated and despised people, dispossessed of land and any grounds to call this country their home.

"Nowhere is evidence of hatred more evident than in the social media incidences like that of Penny Sparrow or in the coffin assault case. As blacks we remain a defeated people who live on their knees begging for existence from the white supremacist-driven capitalists," he said.

Ndlozi said that without economic freedom, democracy was destined to fail.

"The only true reconciliation that is necessary is where we reconcile our people to the means of production, in particular the land. Only then can we enjoy genuine social cohesion based on mutual respect and friendship," he said.

The IFP's Blessed Gwala called for South Africans to bridge racial divides.

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