SA history being used as a weapon - AfriForum

2016-05-20 17:08
(via Web)

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Pretoria - South Africa's one-sided retelling of history must be changed for the country to heal, AfriForum's Deputy CEO Ernst Roets said on Friday.

"In South Africa, history has become a weapon, a weapon vengefully used to eliminate political opponents," Roets told people attending an AfriForum conference in memory of the victims of the Church Street bombing in 1983.

He claimed that it was being said that those who were outside the ANC should not be listened to because they wanted to bring back apartheid.

On May 20, 1983, two Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) operatives detonated a car bomb near the SA Air Force headquarters in Church Street, central Pretoria. Nineteen people were killed and 217 wounded. The dead included the two operatives.

Roets said there was unhappiness regarding the bombing's commemoration, and that they were trying to open old wounds. The MK Military Veterans Association had called the gathering a celebration of apartheid.

He argued that they were merely trying to start a dialogue on dealing with the country's history.

"It's as if the country was suffering from a broken leg and what we did was to put a band-aid on the broken leg. We need to go back and look at what we can do to move forward," he said.

Wounded country

Roets said they were concerned that those within the ANC were automatically called heroes, while everybody else was a villain and was removed from the history books. History should not be selective, he said.

"The country is wounded and the way we deal with history is not conducive to healing those wounds. As a matter of fact, it's exacerbating those wounds," he said.

People needed to be honest and have a discussion, where opposing views could be acknowledged to end the "single narrative" of history.

Read more on:    afriforum  |  mk  |  history

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