Jacob Zuma: It’s still apartheid’s fault

2014-02-14 10:51

Anger and violent protests in South Africa can still be blamed on apartheid, President Jacob Zuma has said.

“The anger and violence that we see in society indicate that we have not dealt with the pain and psychological impact of apartheid,” he told The New Age’s business breakfast in Cape Town this morning, following his state of the nation address in Parliament last night.

“The protests become violent when there is no need for that as everyone has a right to express themselves,” he said.

“That is something we need to attend to as leaders and as communities to build a more socially tolerant nation. We don’t realise we are still angry from apartheid. You know in apartheid if you want something people were denied, it was destroyed. I don’t think we have moved away from that culture. In that culture we did not realise that we need to address that issue.”

Zuma urged South Africans to work together to build the soul of the nation.

He repeated what he had told MPs last night by saying protests happened because successful service delivery caused people to become impatient.

Zuma started his speech by blaming many of the current ills like poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa on the after-effects of apartheid. He said black people woke up one day to discover their land had been taken from them.

“Suddenly we had nothing,” he said. “If you forget that we come from institutionalised racism, then we get it wrong. Let us not deny our apartheid past.”

He said South Africans were still trying to deal with apartheid issues, not out of anger, because former president Nelson Mandela had forgiven.

Zuma said later in the speech that critics of the struggle against apartheid had said the ANC would never defeat apartheid and had accused them of being communists.

“Indeed we defeated apartheid, brought freedom,” he said. “Many people said it was impossible, and some are still writing that, some are not believing it.”

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