Ndebele launches peace plan

2008-12-16 00:00

KZN Premier S’bu Ndebele launched a government initiative for reconciliation at a provincial reconciliation and healing summit at Pietermaritzburg’s Royal Showgrounds yesterday.

He said the government is planning a centre to promote conflict resolution. The proposed venue is Stainbank Farm in Yellowwood Park south of Durban. The plan is to transform the farm into a “centre for reconciliation and dialogue, which will promote the resolution of conflict, be it at family, community, or society-wide levels”.

Ndebele said the name change for the December 16 holiday indicates the need to move towards reconciliation. “This day, which was called the ‘Day of the Covenant’, the ‘Vow’ or even ‘Dingaan’s Day’ used to celebrate conflict and division. Since democracy, it is called the ‘Day of Reconciliation’. It is a call by the government, and the people, that all should use this day and 364 subsequent others, reaching out, preaching reconciliation and building a new society. It was once a day that enforced apartheid, but now recognises the rainbow elements of our nation.

“We are here to consider the meaning of this day under the theme: ‘One province, one people, different cultures: understanding the past to achieve universal reconciliation in KwaZulu-Natal’.

“Through our deliberations today, we will seek to work together and build this province. It is this day when we all reach out to shake hands and make peace with a past which we cannot change, in order to give way to a future which we stand to design and influence,” he said.

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