White, black must share apartheid stories - Zuma

2015-12-16 15:42
Reconciliation Day event. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Reconciliation Day event. (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth - The stories of life under apartheid appear to have been suppressed because we felt these would not promote reconciliation, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

"We were wrong. We must tell the stories of suffering and apartheid brutality. Our youth and children must know what this country went through.

"We must tell the stories of bravery and resilience, of fighting a mighty apartheid state with almost nothing, and the triumph of good over evil," he said at a Reconciliation Day event at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. 

Zuma also called on white South Africans to share their stories. 

"Those of our white compatriots who were forced to undergo compulsory military service or conscription and were deployed in townships as young people to defend and entrench an evil regime, need to be able to share their stories so that they can find healing," he said. 

"We should also tell the story of the non-racial struggle, of how many white compatriots joined the struggle for freedom, because they believed in equality, justice, human rights and freedom."

Healing was a process, as was reconciliation, Zuma said, stressing that it would not be achieved overnight.

"We must work hard at it. Indications are that while we have done a lot to transform and rebuild our country, we still need to do much more to promote healing."

Zuma said over the next year, the nation should prioritise the promotion of healing.  

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  port elizabeth

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