Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has vehemently condemned the various forms of racism exhibited in the country. Minister Nathi Mthethwa maintained that the country will not entertain proponents of apartheid, especially in public spaces.
Mthetwa made this known while presenting his budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday. He also charged everyone to ensure that people occupying public offices are people who can be accepted by the majority of the people in the country.
“We call upon all members of society to speak out against racism and in all their stations of life to infuse the message that racism is wrong and can and must be stopped. In this way we are continuing our work in cultivating an inclusive society,” Mr Mthethwa said.
Making reference to Germany, he suggested that such people should be brought low as it was in the case of Adolf Hitler so that South Africa would have all-round reconciliation.
The minister however told the honourable members that his department have been working greatly to see that art in public spaces brings about unity in the country. And that the government has already revealed plans to tighten laws to deal with racist statements and behaviour.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa asserted that first PAC president, Robert Sobukwe’s statue is still welcomed in the state.
In addition, he told the house that racists should be disciplined and isolated. For him, South Africans ought defined by humanist attitude of uBuntu and not violence and corruption.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa said SA would also assist in the reconstruction of the mausoleum in Timbuktu in Mali. A radical Islamic occupying force systematically destroyed most of Timbuktu’s World Heritage-listed mausoleums in 2012.
But the minister’s assertions were countered by an Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) MP, who slammed the Arts and Culture department for still holding onto statues that remind the people about apartheid regime.
The opposition MP, Phillip Mhlongo said, “the Department of Arts and Culture sees no reason to remove these statues which remind our people of criminals invaded our land at gunpoint, raping our mothers and sisters, condemning us to inferior education.”
According to Mhlongo, South Africa is yet to be defined after 20 years of breaking loose from the shackles of apartheid rule.
Several racist comments have continued to rage around the country since this year. The latest of them all is that of Judge Mabel Jansen, who posted on Facebook while chanting with Journalist Gillian Schutte saying: “In their culture a woman is there to pleasure them. I still have to meet a black girl who was not raped at about 12. I am dead serious.”
DA MP, Allen Grootboom, also called on the minister to “deracialise our country and build social cohesion start in this house.”