No equality, no peace - Ramaphosa at Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture

2018-10-08 21:21
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the annual Desmond Tutu Peace lecture in Cape Town. (Jan Gerber, News24)

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the annual Desmond Tutu Peace lecture in Cape Town. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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WATCH LIVE: Ramaphosa delivers Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture

2018-10-08 19:26

President Cyril Ramaphosa is delivering the 8th Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture. The focus of the address is restorative justice in South Africa, 20 years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.WATCH

"Peace is not possible in an unequal world," President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the 8th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture in Cape Town on Monday night.

Ramaphosa did not say a word about under-fire Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, but focused on the topic at hand and emphasised economic and gender inequality as a means to achieve peace.

"We cannot speak of true freedom when 10% of the population has more wealth than 90% combined," Ramaphosa said.

"Until we build a South Africa where the wealth is shared among all the people and the land is shared among all who work it, we will not have lasting peace," Ramaphosa said.

He said efforts to radically transform the economy to make it more inclusive, was located within the restorative justice Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu dedicated his life to.

"Truth and reconciliation will not be complete until we acknowledge inequality and take steps to remedy it."

Ramaphosa added that, when he pointed out that those who benefited from apartheid had a responsibility to help to address inequality, some of them went and hid in dark corners. 

The president referred to income inequality between black and white, and men and women, saying the issue must be addressed.

The land question must also be addressed so that there is peace and prosperity for all, he added.

"The taking of land from our people was not a peaceful process. It introduced violence."

Ramaphosa said that, when the land issue reared its head, some people suggested it was manufactured by politicians.

But he added: "No, its time has come."

"So, it is in the interest of social justice and economic development that we ensure that the land is shared among those who work it and need it."

Ramaphosa also said gender relations in the country must be fundamentally reformed.

"We cannot tolerate social norms and traditional practices that diminish the equal rights and equal worth of women."

"We must rid ourselves of gender violence."

He said discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation should not be tolerated.

Ramaphosa said he remained concerned about the "scourge of violence" affecting various communities.     

"Peace should be about justice and fairness," Ramaphosa said. "Peace should be about respecting the human rights of every human."

The packed Artscape theatre gave Ramaphosa a standing ovation.

The lecture was delivered a day after Tutu's 87th birthday. Due to his ill health he was not in attendance, but it is believed that he watched proceedings in hospital.

Read more on:    desmond tutu  |  cyril ramaphosa

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