Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa says that 26 years after the start of democracy in South Africa, the country’s wealth is still in the hands of a few, mainly white people, while the poor and unemployed are overwhelmingly black people.
Ramaphosa spoke in his capacity as ANC president on Friday night at the launch of the ANC Alliance’s anti-racism campaign.
“Apartheid is something of the past, but the legacy of inequality and poverty, the imbalance of what life offers to one, is perpetuated in how people see themselves and others.”
Ramaphosa says this situation needs to be reversed and rectified.
“It is the feeling of a natural order of things that makes white South Africans racist outbursts, which makes white South Africans think they have the right to call black people monkeys and let black people in our country as animal caricatures image. “
A brawl recently broke out when one Danie Herselman posted a condescending photo of the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on Facebook in response to another social media user’s entry. In the post, Herselman compared the minister to an animal. This post was condemned as humiliating, derogatory and racist.
Ramaphosa says worldwide injustices are being committed against people. He believes the injustices are fueled by the logic of colonialism and that something that should belong to another can be expropriated simply because it belongs to someone of a so-called inferior race.
The president says it must be recognized that racism and other forms of intolerance infiltrate institutions, communities and societies.
“This is what enables the death of a black man by a white police officer on a US street.”
Ramaphosa said this notion of a so-called natural order also extends to households, where men abuse women. He says that inequality is very evident when gender is also taken into account.
Ramaphosa says in some circumstances the face of poverty and inequality is black. “That face is that of an African woman. Economic inequality reinforces other forms of inequality. It has a psychological effect that few people are willing to admit. It gives the rich a sense that they have a right to certain things and to others, without it, a sense of constant inferiority. ”
Ramaphosa said marginalization and discrimination also emerged in violence against those who are seen as different and that those in a position of power violate the rights of others.
“The death of Collins Khosa and ten others, presumably due to the actions of security forces during the seclusion period, is something I deeply regret. When the secession period was set in motion, I spoke to our security forces and told them to go out with love in their hearts not to treat their fellow citizens as the enemy.
“Unfortunately, to my great regret, a number of our citizens lost their lives. It makes me very sad. ”
Khosa, a 41-year-old resident of Alexandra in Gauteng, died in April after soldiers entered his yard and allegedly assaulted him. He was accused of violating the seclusion regulations.
Ramaphosa argues the deaths are being investigated and that no stone will be left untouched to ensure those responsible for cruelty are indicted.
“Although it does not have the obvious racial dimensions of the murder of George Floyd, it rests on the same contempt for the human value of the victim and such action must be strongly rejected,” Ramaphosa said.
According to the president, this applies not only to those who commit violence, but also to those who steal money intended for the poor and those who serve them.
The ANC, SACP and trade union federation Cosatu started the campaign, asking South Africans to get involved in the fight against racism.