Lindiwe Sisulu – A Future Leader of a Non-Racial South Africa?

2017-05-10 12:35

I was pleasantly surprised to read news reports quoting what Lindiwe Sisulu had said at a recently-held ANC briefing at Luthuli House.

The gist of what Sisulu said was that she believed that the time had come for South Africans to find their identity beyond simply race and to start thinking of themselves as South Africans, as opposed to thinking of themselves as Blacks, Whites etc.

Sisulu was reported as having said:

“Racism is what defined the past. Racism is not what is going to define us in the future. What is going to define us in the future is a common identity; a common consciousness of who we are as South Africans to deal with the issue of racism.”

She went on to say:

“We have to move away from any exclusionary practices that discriminate one group from another in any form.”

I wondered to myself: “Do we at last have a senior ANC person who can lead our nation back to honouring the principles that are prescribed in its Constitution?”

I’m a White male who lived through the Apartheid era. I experienced South Africa being shunned by the rest of the World in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and then, in 1992 – 94, I witnessed the miracle of South Africa’s peaceful transition to a Constitutional democracy.

At the time, I was convinced that, with our new Constitutional democracy, all Blacks and Whites would link their arms with one another and forge ahead, ensuring a strong and prosperous country for all South Africans to work and live in – a sort of “united we stand, divided we fall” approach. I also naively believed that this would be the end of all official racial classification (with all of the problems associated with that) … how wrong I was to be on that one!

Since 1994, we’ve had racial classification… “BIG-TIME”!!

It’s been contained in B-BBEE and Employment Equity legislation and we have the morally-indefensible race-based sports team quotas. Aggravating the situation, we also have Whites being blamed for most of the ills within our country; Whites who bought their land with hard-earned cash being accused of stealing land from the country’s Black people; and we are reminded daily of the evils of “White monopolistic capital”; etc.

To my Black compatriots out there, I can assure you, it’s not comfortable being a White person in post-1994 South Africa.

I suspect that most of my White compatriots feel something like me, being a second-class citizen in his/her land of birth! And this feeling is certainly aggravated by having the country’s Apartheid past continually thrown at one! It’s seems to be a case of all Whites having to forever bear the guilt of the White perpetrators of Apartheid!

However, I do get renewed hope for a better, non-racial, South Africa when I hear comments like those attributed to Lindiwe Sisulu - clearly, a potential leader in the “Mandela-mould”.

May Lindiwe Sisulu rise from strength to strength and become a serious contender for the ANC/South African Presidency … and let’s hope that support for her from moderate, fair-minded Whites, like me, doesn’t prejudice her chances of success – it will be tragic if that does!

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