'We're past blame game on apartheid'

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's comments on Wednesday that we cannot stop blaming those who caused apartheid are "regrettable", the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation says.

In his tribute to mark the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of former South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, Zuma said the damage done by apartheid would be with the country for some time.

"To suggest we cannot blame apartheid for what is happening in our country now, I think is a mistake to say the least.

Two in one

"We don't need to indicate what it is apartheid did. The fact that the country is two in one, you go to any city there is a beautiful part and squatters on the other side, this is not the making of democracy and we can't stop blaming those who caused it," Sapa quoted Zuma as saying.

His comments came a week after Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel told a government leadership summit in Pretoria that it was time for government to take responsibility for its actions. "We [government] should no longer say it's apartheid's fault," Manuel said.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe also commented on the issue, telling a media conference in Pretoria on Wednesday that people must not think apartheid will disappear in just 20 years.

“Anyone who wants us to close the chapter on apartheid is being unrealistic,” he said.

According to Beeld, the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation found Zuma's comments on apartheid regrettable.

Never forget

"I think we must never forget about apartheid and the damage it caused, but I think we are past the stage of blaming one another," said the CJR's Fanie du Toit.

"I think nation-building means we accept one another’s bona fides and we build towards the future together - and that does not mean we are forgetting what happened in the past,” Du Toit told Beeld.

Zuma told the wreath-laying ceremony on Wednesday that the best way to honour Hani would be to usher in a better life for all and the type of society that he had lived and died for, but it was impossible to see a complete change in just 20 years.

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