ISSUES AT STAKE: Unity needed as never before

WHEN South Africa entered the unchartered era of democracy exactly 23 years to this day, there was an unwavering sense of fear and anxiety that the country could quickly descend into anarchy following its violent legacy of apartheid. Many critics predicted the worst possible outcome.

But there was a multitude of South Africans who were passionate about driving the ideal of a rainbow nation and so unification was not such a far-fetched goal. When flyhalf Joel Stransky scored the drop goal that would see the Springboks win the Rugby World Cup in 1995, it was a defining moment in the history of our country.

Nobody saw colour. Race did not matter. Black, White, Indian and Coloured South Africans stood side by side and rejoiced in a victory that signalled the end of oppression and the sweet success that freedom brought.

If ever racial wars could have erupted to derail our new found liberation, this was the expected time. But patriotic South Africans persevered, placed their differences aside and worked towards reconciliation and peace – values that the then President Nelson Mandela preached and practiced.

Fast forward two decades later and South Africans have reopened the wounds of racial segregation and it is as if we are back to where we started.

We walk on eggshells in our places of employment, schools, churches and playgrounds for fear that a simple tiff on the road or a mere difference of opinion could easily boil over into a racial altercation when the persons involved are of different races.

Read full story in ZO Weekender!

  AUTHOR
Ronelle Ramsamy
Deputy Editor

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