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On National Reconciliation Day, 16 December 2013, Khulumani calls for ‘a Revolution of Restitution’ as the basis for reconciliation

[Johannesburg, 7 January 2014] - In the many tributes to former President Nelson Mandela since his passing on 5 December 2013, attention has focused on Mandela's stated mission of liberating both the oppressed and the oppressor from the impact of racist rule in what has been interpreted as a "triumph of forgiveness". Sadly, the relationship between oppressor and oppressed remains largely untransformed at this time of Mandela's passing.

It is true that Mandela emerged from prolonged imprisonment without rancour and set about trying to unite people across social boundaries. This commitment led Mandela to compromise some tenets of the Freedom Charter that he had helped to construct. One of the political necessities Mandela faced was that of "sealing a deal with global capital" – a deal that has contributed to deepening poverty, widening inequality and the economic exclusion of almost half the country's population, all realities that Mandela abhorred. Mandela's government also compromised by agreeing to honour the apartheid debt of some R50 billion at a time when funds were sorely needed for reconstruction in South Africa. This action created a devastating precedent for the new incumbents of power in all subsequent political transitions since 1994.

The failure to deal with the deepening impoverishment of many contributors to the anti-apartheid struggle, has brought the focus back to the fact that Archbishop Tutu's call in the foreword to the 1998 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), for the emergence of a necessary "social dynamic that includes redressing the suffering of victims of apartheid injustice", has not yet been realised.
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On National Reconciliation Day, 16 December 2013, Khulumani calls for ‘a Revolution of Restitution’ as the basis for reconciliation

Last updated : 7 January 2014

 
 

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