No place for 'arrogance in reconciliation'

2011-02-25 17:39

Bloemfontein - Reconciliation in South Africa cannot be approached with arrogance, former chief justice Pius Langa said on Friday.

"There can be no arrogance, we approach reconciliation with humanity and soul searching," said Langa while opening a seminar on reconciliation at the University of the Free State.

"It cannot be easy, because we all carry so much baggage."

Langa was opening the seminar co-hosted by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the UFS, which forms part of a two day reconciliation programme related to the so-called Reitz Four video.

The reconciliation events follow an out of court settlement between the different parties.

The Equality Court charges relate to the students humiliating the five black workers in an initiation-type ceremony in 2007, which they filmed while living at the university's now-closed Reitz men's residence.

The workers Emmah Koko, Rebecca Adams, Naomi Phororo, Mittah Ntlatseng and David Molete asked that the former students apologise to black people generally and pay them R1m each.

Langa said despite the baggage carried by all, South Africans also know that they have a responsibility for the future.

"We either build South Africa together or we inherit a legacy of destruction."

The former chief justice said discussions on reconciliation were held because the country was aware of its past.

"We see the ugliness of our past and we must move forward."

Langa said reconciliation meant for him that the country's people commit to talking and acting against those issues that remind it of its past.

"Our commitment to reconciliation must never fail," he said.

On Friday night a reconciliation ceremony would be held where the former students would read their statements of apology and the workers would respond with statements of acceptance and acknowledgement of the pleas of the students.

Former students RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler were sentenced to a R20 000 fine each, or 12 months in jail in July 2009 after pleading guilty to a charge of crimen injuria.

They were later granted leave to appeal their sentence, which would be heard in June this year.

  • v3 - 2011-02-25 17:52

    Pity that Pius Langa forgot that the SAHRC is amongst the most arrogant collection of people outside of Luthuli House in SA.

  • Roxy - 2011-02-25 18:12

    what commitment to reconcilliation? Ask Malema....

  • Eugene van Potch - 2011-02-25 18:21

    Pity Pius ignores racially comments made by prominant politicians such as Julius Malema and Andre Visage. The Reitz incident is not about equality, but more of humiliating young men who have already shown remorse for their stupid actions. Its been 4 years now. Let's focus on what really matters: the bettering of public services and the prosecution of grredy and corrupt politicains. Where is the accountability?

      Umfubi - 2011-02-25 18:52

      Give the man a break. He was speaking in Bloemfontein, at the University - so the Reitz incident was highly relevant. You want he should fix all the world's problems in one go? The Reitz incident isn't about humiliating young men, etc. It's about justice and redress and allowing victims to be heard. Pius Langa is right, and wise in what he said - take the trouble to listen to him. You might learn something.

      Zipho Mthethwa - 2011-05-16 13:37

      Chief you must learn to shut up if you are suffering the emptiness of your brains while you are in front of the computer.Your comments are rather devoid of proper intellectual analyisis since the Judge is not addressing the question of corrupt polititians but the reconciliation process and how it should be approached.

  • 106106sa - 2011-02-25 19:06

    Yes Pius...agreed!!!Pius...have you noted how arrogant and racist the ANC and all their sub structures have become???They are our leaders, but, offer nothing but inhumane useless guidance follow.....

  • horst.o.muller - 2011-02-25 20:02

    Yes, he has made a good point. If he could get Malema and the other racists in the ANC to shut up and if we could get the racists in these forums to ease off, the rest of us could make an effort and turn this into a successful country. May I also point out that we were well on our way to reconciliation after 1994, but that process got stopped and reversed by the racial policies of the ANC.

  • Mundu - 2011-02-25 21:34

    These 4 kids got much more punishment than they deserved. More than real criminals like Shaik & yengeni and much more than Zuma and Malema really deserve for their abuse of public funds.

      Great White - 2011-02-25 21:48

      Absolutely, just for a tongue in cheek video. The punishment must fit the crime.

      Benzo - 2011-08-17 16:18

      ..and now the girls want a million each!! Volunteering for a prang (they were all having fun at the time), then leak it to the press, et voil...court case, big drama b politicians and 4 years later you demand a million for your stardom. R250000 a year is not bad money for a cleaning girl.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-02-25 21:38

    No place for Arrogance. No place for Nepotism. No place for Corruption.

  • abandonedbluehondanw2 - 2011-02-25 22:49

    Judge Langa has made an excellent point. He is correct. Now, someone, please give the man a Bells.

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