We Need to move from Mandela’s era of reconciliation to economic justice,” says South Africa’s third largest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), in commemoration of the 2016 reconciliation day.
Releasing a statement to commemorate the event, the party leader, Julius Malema did his usual annual public charge by reminding party members and the entire citizens of South Africa of the need to move on from just reconciling to seeking economic justice for the sake of the country’s future.
“On this Reconciliation Day‚ we reiterate that the most important and lasting solution to the colonial relations and anti-black racism that characterises South Africa is the radical reorganisation of property relations in line with the EFF seven cardinal pillars which include‚ amongst others‚ land expropriation‚ nationalisation of mines and banks and free quality education‚” the EFF said.
Further in its message for the day, the party said that 22 years into democracy‚ “Africans remain targets of despicable racism motivated by the fact of white racism”.
“Black people remain a hated and despised people‚ dispossessed of land and any grounds to call this country their home. Nowhere is the evidence of hatred and despise evident than in the social media incidences like that of Penny Sparrow or in the Coffin Assault case.
“As blacks we remain a defeated people who live on their knees bagging (sic) for existence from the white supremacist driven capitalists‚
“We believe it is time the humanity of black people is elevated without any apology by implementing the demands of the African revolution for land expropriation. Any conception of humanity that is not based on material access to the means of subsistence is false and demonic,” says the EFF as it points out that the dominant idea of reconciliation that has been in function since 1994 is complicit with the dehumanisation of blacks because it does not demand the return of the land.
Without economic freedom‚ our democracy is destined to shatter. The only true reconciliation that is necessary is where we reconcile our people to the means of production‚ in particular the land; only then can we enjoy genuine social cohesion based on mutual respect and friendship‚ the EFF reiterated.
The reconciliation Day, which came into effect in 1994 after the demise of apartheid, is a day mapped out to reconcile national unity for the country. The date was chosen because it was significant to both Afrikaner and African cultures. Government chose a meaningful date for both ethnic groups because they recognize the need for racial harmony.
This year’s commemoration builds on the 60th anniversary of the women’s March to the Union Buildings in 1956.
It commemorates the bravery of women in 1957 in Zeerust, who revolted against the hated pass laws in the villages of Dinokana, Lekgopung and Motswedi.
Zuma is also expected to lead the reconciliation day celebrations in Gopane near Zeerust in North West on Friday amid shocking pockets of racial tension in the country.
“We salute the women of Gopane village in Zeerust who organised a march against pass laws, also in 1957. Their actions illustrate the active participation of women in the struggle for liberation, not only in urban areas but in rural areas as well. This serves as an inspiration as we continue building a new nation, founded on the values of human rights, justice and equality,” Zuma said ahead of the celebration.