LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Two letters in response to 'Heritage Day is not about braaing'

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News24 has received two letters from readers in response to the opinion piece, titled: Heritage day is not about braaing, by Siona O’Connel. Read the letters below: 

A well-articulated article

I am writing to support the fact correctly raised by Dr S O'Connell, to refresh the reader's mind on the definition of heritage. It is defined as something that is handed down from the past as tradition: a national honour, pride and courage, or a heritage of poverty and suffering.

In law, it means something that has been or may be inherited through legal descent or succession. Any property, especially land, that is given by right of inheritance (www.dictionary.com).

As a middle-aged black person I subscribe to the definition that highlights inheriting poverty as opposed to property and suffering, in contrast to honour and pride. This will be shared by the majority of the former oppressed people.

It's not only living property that I am not able to inherit. I don't even have a right to inherit land where my parents are buried.

As I grew up in the township, I did not inherit iBheshu (traditional Zulu attire) from my father to wear on this great Heritage Day because he was wearing jeans and takkies, just like me.  

In essence, I have neither cultural nor property inheritance to celebrate on this great day. But in the spirit of Ubuntu, I wish all those who have inheritance to celebrate a jubilant day.

 - Siphiwe Amos Mthembu, Pinetown

It is time to move on

We did not ask to be born. We were created.

We did not ask to live in the era of apartheid but we faced it. Many died as a result thereof.

I am sick and tired of hearing of apartheid. The more you focus on it, the less the goalposts will reposition.

I am also sick and tired of all blame placed on apartheid.

My siblings and I faced horrendous physical and emotional abuse as children during that era.

Do we blame this one and that one? No, we did not ask to experience that part of our lives as innocent kids.

As adults, we took that experience and tried to migrate to be successful adults. We struggled but we made it. 

The lesson from this is if you bury the hatchet and together, think positively and stop the blame game, you move on.

Spirituality plays a key game in this too.

I leave you with this question: If we look at South Africa pre-1994 and we look at South Africa today, what's the difference?

 - Anonymous News24 reader, southern suburbs, Western Cape

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