Zuma: Reconciliation helps build a better future

2014-12-16 19:42
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Reconciliation does not mean forgetting or trying to bury the painful history of conflict, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

"It means that while we remember the pain of the past, we will not allow it to stop us from building a better tomorrow."

He was speaking in Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal to commemorate the National Day of Reconciliation.

Zuma said colonialism of a special type continued to deprive the African people of their land and made them pariahs in their motherland.

"Owing to the deep divisions of the past, 16 December before 1994 had a different meaning to different people, depending on their racial or ethnic background or even their ideological orientation," he said.

He said for some, 16 December was a symbol of triumph, for others, the symbol of resistance and pain, or alternatively a bitter experience of wars and dispossession.

"For the Afrikaner people, the 16th of December became the Day of Vow or the Day of the Covenant, remembering the success over the Zulu Nation.

"For the Zulu people and the African people in general, 16 December became known as Dingane's Day, symbolising resistance against colonial aggression."

He said the ANC launched Umkhonto we Sizwe on 16 December 1961.

"For many decades, 16 December became the day on which to remember and celebrate the armed struggle against apartheid colonialism."

In April 1994, a journey to rebuild a new nation began.

"We began to work towards peace, and harmonious co-existence."

He said under the leadership of President Nelson Mandela, government gave a new meaning to 16 December, changing the day to the National Day of Reconciliation.

"This big idea of reconciliation was first introduced in the make-up of the South African government after the 1994 elections. This was the government of national unity."

He said the aim was to have an inclusive Cabinet that contained leaders from the opposition parties.

"This was one of the most difficult undertakings in the history of humankind.

"We had no choice but to work together to bring peace, stability and a common future to ancestral land."

He said 20 years later, South Africans looked back with great pride at what had been achieved.

"It took the political acumen and astuteness of our leaders of all political formations led by the ANC to champion the idea of reconciliation."

He said generations to come would testify that people who lived through the period of transition from apartheid colonialism to a new non-racial, democratic society, were a truly wonderful and remarkable generation to have been able to overcome fear, hatred and pain to build a new non-racial future.

Read more on:    jacob zuma

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.