Heritage Day also about those who negotiated a better SA at Codesa - Maimane

2018-09-24 12:39
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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The Democratic Alliance says it is important that the new generation of South Africans continue to build on the legacy of all the political parties that took part in the Codesa negotiations.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday celebrated Heritage Day with his party at the Convention for a Democratic SA (Codesa) walk in Emperors Palace, Kempton Park.

It's the site where multi-party negotiations took place in the early 1990s for a new democracy in South Africa. 

Maimane said it was important that South Africans reminded themselves that it was possible to sit down and talk, just like it was done during the negotiations, for a better nation. 

"This is always a gentle reminder that even the worst of enemies, where there was a system of racial oppression, people could sit around the table and negotiate a future for all," Maimane said.

It was therefore also a reminder for the current generation to understand that Heritage Day was not only about one's culture, but also about those who negotiated their way through for a better South Africa. 

"If we can remind ourselves about that, there's nothing that will stop us from sitting around the table and negotiate our future," he said.

'New sense of division'

Maimane was accompanied by Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga, member of the Gauteng provincial legislature Makashule Gana and other members of the party.  

The DA leader added that today's celebrations however, should also be a reminder that there was still a sense of division in South Africa. 

"Too many of our people are still poor and unemployed. A new sense of division has arisen in our country," he said. 

Maimane said it was important that South Africa united again to charter a way forward for the country. 

Msimanga meanwhile said the Codesa walk memoriam should be a reminder of what could happen if people sat around the table and talked to each other.

"I look at the history that got us to a point where we said we need to be together and talk to each other and not at each other, and it looks like we have moved away from that.

"We are instead fighting each other.There is a class and racial war," Msimanga said. 

In a statement later on Monday, Maimane acknowledged his own story, as a son of Tswana and Xhosa parents, he married a white woman.

"We [my wife and I] together hand over to our children our legacy, which is in many ways the story of South Africa. A story of pain and triumph, success and failure, the privileged and the poor.

"The solution is bringing our people together."

The party launched its election campaign this weekend under the theme, 'One South Africa for All'.

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Read more on:    codesa  |  mmusi maimane  |  johannesburg  |  heritage day

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