Wipe away the tears, says Zuma

2011-12-16 14:45

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to participate in nation building by “wiping away the tears and covering the wounds” of a painful past.

Addressing the Day of Reconciliation celebrations at Freedom Park on Salvokop Hill in Pretoria, Zuma quoted excerpts of the Constitution to emphasise forgiveness, reconciliation and nation building.

Earlier in the day, Zuma and Rudolph Botha, the chairperson of the Voortrekker Monument board, cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of a road linking the Voortrekker Monument, a symbol of Afrikaner history which was opened by the then apartheid government under prime minister DF Malan in 1949, and Freedom Park, opened by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2007.

Zuma announced that the two historical sites have signed a memorandum of understanding as a symbol of “goodwill, reconciliation, social cohesion and nation building”.

He said the gesture indicated progress in the country’s reconciliation project.

“Reconciliation will succeed if it is a two-way process,” said Zuma, adding that South Africa was making progress in realising this goal.

Road to reconciliation

For democracy and reconciliation to work, the judiciary, the executive and the legislature had a responsibility to work together on nation building “regardless of the autonomous and independent roles we play and the differences we may have in the implementation of our respective programmes,” said Zuma.

He said the establishment of the department of military veterans within the defence department would ensure that government improved the lives of combatants of former liberation movements, including the defunct Apla and the uMkhonto weSizwe, which celebrates its 50th anniversary today.

He pointed to yesterday’s opening of the Gallows Museum in Pretoria as another milestone on the road to reconciliation. More than 134 political activists were executed here during apartheid and more than 4 000 “common law” criminals.

It was important to prioritise basic services for the black majority who suffered “profoundly” under apartheid, said Zuma.

“The more we invest in education and skills development the more we will reverse the legacy of apartheid and colonial oppression, and we will be closing the societal gap that was created,” said Zuma.

He reiterated that government was still focused on its priorities of fighting crime and corruption, job creation, education, health, and rural development to reverse the legacy of apartheid.

It was everyone’s responsibility, including business, unions, religious bodies a
nd all communities, black and white, to uplift communities and develop the country’s economy, said Zuma.

  • Henry - 2011-12-16 15:07

    Dear Mr Zuma...We will never be able to move forward if you keep bringing up the past...let it be..

      rbphiri - 2011-12-16 15:10

      I guess he wants history to repeat itself. mangaung might as well be June 16...A.N.C Africa's National Corrupters

      mundu.olewega - 2011-12-16 16:53

      Blackman speak with forked tounge.

  • rbphiri - 2011-12-16 15:07

    As long as there are incompetent people in power: "Cry the beloved the beloved country"...

      rbphiri - 2011-12-16 16:39

      But none of the personalities have brains.

  • Tertius Coetzer - 2011-12-16 15:18

    dear zuma if you ever made it to high school you would've learned that colonialism resulted in the deaths of more than 28 000 white civilian women and children, in only one of the two freedom wars the boers faught for everyone in this country!

  • mholthuysen - 2011-12-16 15:19

    Well Mr. Zuma then maybe start to govern and move your struggle movement from the dark ages. Maybe it is time to stop with populist chants, and raping the state coffers, bringing policies into gear that move South Africa and South Africans forward. Stop protecting your cronies and yourself and govern. This country needs a non-corrupt leadership - and a leader that can teach and lead the masses. This country Mr. Zuma is today more racist then it was during apartheid - due to failure to curb crime, corruption, social policies, investment policies, job creation, infrastructure replacement and up-keeping and a firm and strict governance. Nothing of which you or your cabinet has produced - stop talking Mr. Zuma and ACT! I have just returned from a country in Central Africa - Rwanda. 1 Million people lay dead in their streets during 100 days in 1994, the same time when we voted for freedom - in Rwanda you find a civilized, non-corrupt, achieving government who has vision and ideas. The country is clean and safe - 17 years it took them from a horror history to turn things around to prosper - I suggest you fly to Kigali and ask them how it is done. What you and your predecessors have created is a want want want society, who does not give a damn - as their leaders only want want want and also do not give a damn. Wake up - as right now in South Africa and abroad your party is just seen a bunch of clowns and thieves!

  • Lynn - 2011-12-16 15:19

    Get rid of affirmative action and let the white people also have a chance to build the nation. How are we supposed to embrace this reconciliation when we are locked out.

  • George - 2011-12-16 15:48

    Soon the buffoon will be history, that will bring a tear to my eye A tear of happynessssssssssssssss

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-16 16:00

    This government is only good at hosting events of these nature and gather people and feed them with history lessons. I might be much fortunate to have studied history at school and I've reached an equillibrium point of these lessons. The knowledge of how much I suffered under apartheid regime cannot give me food on top of the table. I feel much more betrayed to be treated badly by my fellow blacks irrespective of my merits under democratic SA and I hope whites would have felt the same if they were treated badly by apartheid SA. I am surprised you are still encouraging youth to be educated when you know exactly that it does not count to educated any more, an ANC membership card is what they need to get a job or to be empowered. The military veterans association that you are referring was simply formed to consiladate power the way Mugabe consolidated his. These young folks, blacks or white that you are starving today are going to stand up against your hypocrisy one day. I am still surprised the roads, schools, hospitals, your offices etc that are still intact despite being built many decades ago by apartheid regime meanwile the ones you constructed two days ago are impregnated with potholes or cracks and new ones are needed to replace this. Your RDP houses that I never need of course have been turned to death traps. The history you seem to master was suppose to be used to your advantage and for further knowledge empowerment go and study how other states failed economically, nepotism, corruption, nationalism etc. I will always blame democratic SA for the suffering educated S.Africans are exposed to.

      dave.leverton - 2011-12-16 16:05


      Bardy - 2011-12-16 16:11

      @ Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - Well said!!!!

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 16:45

      You all see? I keep telling all of you whites that not all of us run after Malema. Go read Tshivhombela's post again and then stop crying about this government. Use the destructive time you spend on poisoning yourself with all the rubbish Zuma talks and sit down with your domestic and start explaining to her how a democracy works and what she should be voting for. Forget these brain dead types on here that defend Zuma and are still crying about Apartheid. They are crying about Apartheid because they can't do anything for themselves. They have to own something a white man owns because they are incapable of creating their own wealth. Feel sorry for them and forget them, like Zuma does.

      Bardy - 2011-12-16 17:01

      @ Ibhubesi - This country need more people like you!

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:25

      Yes now if all us like-minded folk who see through the ANC and their BS would just stand up and vote those fools out!

      Jerhone - 2011-12-17 10:46

      Tshivhombela Fhatuwani for president, a man who does not listen to ANC propoganda, but uses his eyes and head before commenting, your're so correct, this country could have been a super power on the African continent in the last wastefull 17 years, if we had used all those billions on education and housing that was wasted on stadiums, fancy cars, opulent parties, wastefull conferences, beeg chief aeroplanes and defence toys,now we are selling our raw materials to Chingtown and importing their inferior crap, our raw materials should stay here and be manufactured into products to creat jobs and wealth for all our citizens.

  • dave.leverton - 2011-12-16 16:01

    If we are wiping away the past, please confirm you will be withdrawing your appeal against the banning of your kill the boer song.

      Agedah Alex - 2011-12-16 16:05

      True! Boths sides have to fight the past

  • Comrade - 2011-12-16 16:05

    Take away the ANC and problem SOLVED.

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:21

      Yes I agree!

  • Willem - 2011-12-16 16:17

    That sounds like an excellent idea Phuti, it's inspiring to see how your education is working for you!

  • Ian - 2011-12-16 16:36

    Personally, I think everyone has been too harsh on Zuma. He's quite right! The last 17 years have been reason for much tears for all South Africans, unless of course you have been in the inner circle of ANC beneficiaries. The ANC cadres are the only ones still smiling with wide grins.

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:21

      Harsh, I think not. He doesn't do anything to change things. He sure spends a lot time pretending but actions do speak for themselves!

  • David - 2011-12-16 16:41

    All talk from another bloody anc person If they were sincere affirmative action would be scrapped and all groups could compete fairly for positions. RSA is the only country that has affirmetive action for the majority If corruption could be stopped and fairness in employment be a priority and only then can all South Africans embrace each other

  • 120over80 - 2011-12-16 16:46

    Wipe away tears, what utter crap....this idiot allows billions to be wasted, how does he expect starving unemployed South Africans to wipe away their tears when food is not on the table for their children!!

  • Ben - 2011-12-16 16:52

    Ibhubesi thank you once again for an objective contribution.

  • Chaapo - 2011-12-16 17:02

    What nonsense when he and his family live off the people who are struggling. In a devious manner by the constant reference to "lets get over the past", he and his cronies are always bringing up the past in order to detract from their incompetence to deliver and their corruption. SA is where it is now and soon it will be 20 years with this bunch in the driving seat (for those who get so sucked up by the party politics). Judge them on what they have done in those years and ask yourselves, apart from just having the right to vote, are you better off than you were then? The mantra is you have all the freedom of access to any place and to do whatever you want but if you cannot afford it, what is the value of that freedom except looking on with longing and envy?

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:18

      Exactly! Always playing the white card whenever things don't go their way! So tired of it!

  • bernardhill412 - 2011-12-16 17:07

    What you all seem to forget is, for us it may seem idiotic, but for them, it is their fear and culture. Chinese live for honor, if you don't do something, you are dishonored, it is their believes, and believe me, the government is using it to keep them in check. Ancestors in their afterife is their believes and some sort of relegion, so there is no point laughing at it, for them it is real as heaven and hell is for you. It is like saying to pull your head out of your a$$ for believing that you will go to heaven if you are good boy and hell if you are bad. Laughing at their believes actually angers them and brings them closer together. Just like they don't understand us, we don't understand them. Before you laugh something off and shout idiot, think long and hard about what really is happening. Have a chat to an African, take a time to learn their culture, and UNDERSTAND what it is. What JZ did there, is more powerful than you can imagine, he is just uniting them through their own believes, yet he is abusing it for his own gain, but it is more than what we have. You cannot compare two different cultures with each other, and THAT'S South Africa's problem. We need to understand and accept that we have different cultures, and RESPECT it, no matter how odd it may sound at times. If you want them to respect us, we should respect them.

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:11

      That goes both ways!

  • Cheryl - 2011-12-16 17:19

    Lets embrace this day as an opportunity to make peace with ALL our fellow south africans .....

      Peter - 2011-12-16 17:29

      Are you mad, this mob just wants everything for themselves at all cost they will just rape this country for everything and then end up overseas or in another black country when it really hits the fan, which is not to far away

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:10

      Peace? Oh please...until there's equality, there will never be peace!

      Henk - 2011-12-18 08:35

      Nikki, all people are not equal. To believe that were are is naive.

  • Peter - 2011-12-16 17:21

    This anc government for the past 17 years has caused more tears of dismay for their own people than all the years of apartheid supposedly did to the black population and others, at least as Desmond Tutu said a couple of months ago, we knew where we were with the old regime not like now with nothing coming our way, well you wanted a black government, if you are not happy with them get rid of them stand up and have some guts and vote them out of power, I just know that this will fall on deaf ears as usual, the masses are just to stupid to realise what a mess this country is in, and not enough brains or guts to do anything about it

      Thabani - 2011-12-16 19:55

      Peter, you are just a stupid racist.

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:06

      So true!

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:08

      Why because he speaks the truth? You must wake up man! Or even better, get educated!

      Thabani - 2011-12-17 09:52

      No Nikki, its not the truth. He's just a stupid racist, klaar.

  • Saksak Motsepe - 2011-12-16 19:20

    White South Africans like feeling sorry for themselves. Black South Africans don't understand how a race that already has great power in our country can want more control. It is this greed that we dislike

      Rob - 2011-12-16 21:29

      Take note what Saksak is saying...It is about control! Is it? I certainly hope not..maybe it is time to sell up and go!

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:06

      That's okay, we don't want your vote anyway!

  • Saksak Motsepe - 2011-12-16 19:24

    Black South Africans will never vote for people who carry the attitude of many white South Africans in this message board

  • Saksak Motsepe - 2011-12-16 19:29

    News24 just proves to me that white South Africans are just pretenders. I work with many white South Africans and all of them are nice people, I get along with just fine but I'm sure that many of them come to news24 and secretly expose their true selves

      Janine - 2011-12-16 21:10

      saksak, you are too funny, I'm white too, and I bet they do, lets have a good laugh at them together...

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:03

      Blah blah blah whatever! ANC can kiss my @ss!

  • TamaraSays - 2011-12-16 22:09

    What about the painful present, Mr. Pres? Living in the past, means you have no control over the present, or the future. Get over it, and start looking at what YOU and YOUR party are doing to destroy our country.

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:05

      Ja exactly! What a bunch of morons!

  • Jacques - 2011-12-17 01:01

    I find this insulting- how dare he still go on about ''wiping our tears'' when his administration, his buddies, and indeed he himself is living the high life with money meant for the very same people who used ti suffer in the past. It's an insult to the memory of people who gave their lives for freedom in this country. (How often can one use that last sentance to describe current affairs?!)

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-17 03:05

      Completely agree!

  • miyo27 - 2011-12-17 04:08

    "wiping away the tears and covering the wounds of a painful past"..first step - send Malema to China on a 25kg cocaine drug smuggling mission. Step 2 - get on with life.

      Peter - 2011-12-17 07:32

      There are more tears in this country since the anc to control of this country 17 years ago, we are on a trip to a black with people like zuma leading us down the sewerage drain, we really have no hope with idiots like this in power

  • Silvana - 2011-12-17 07:39

    I don't watch soapies, but I would imagine that The Bold and the Beautiful" has more credibility than anything this clown of a president has to say.

      Silver - 2011-12-17 07:54

      You assume that the speeches that Zuma “reads” (I use the term loosely) is what he wants to say and is written by him. You give him too much credit.

  • Silver - 2011-12-17 07:55

    Tell me Zuma, how do you wipe the tears of a painful future?

  • Etienne - 2011-12-17 08:44

    Wiping away tears is a useless idea as long as you keep making us cry.

  • braamc - 2011-12-17 08:51

    Make some time to cry about the present and future for it is looking bleak for most, besides the thieving polictians

  • Gerhard - 2011-12-17 11:10

    I get tears in my eyes when I see what the ANC and Zuma have done to my beloved South Africa

  • andreviljoenjoubert - 2011-12-17 13:31

    "South Africa is the only country in the world where affirmative action is in the favor of the majority who has complete political control. The fact that the political majority requires affirmative action to protect them against a 9% minority group is testament to a complete failure on their part to build their own wealth making structures, such that their only solution is to take it from others." London Times

  • Tobie - 2011-12-17 21:51

    @Phuti - Jan van Riebeeck tried education in 1652 and could not succeed, how the hell do you think 359 years later education will solve the problems, scripts from Jan van Riebeeck and later years by Paul Kruger reported both that the people were lazy, not honest....etc, I do not refer to everyone, but point is, nothing much has changed, why is our country on its way to a social state, purely because the people are to lazy to learn, work and earn a honest living, but rather depend (demand) on the Government to hand out grants of whatever form, give free housing, rates and taxes, electricity, water, unfortunately the money to supply this must come from somewhere, Government is not in a position just to print R100 and R200 notes!!!!

  • Cristina - 2011-12-18 06:06

    Thanks for destroying this once beautiful country...ok..thats where my tears lay!!!!...

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