The President, Jacob Zuma is today, leading the reconciliation day celebrations at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. And yes, this is happening alongside the Zuma Must Fall protest. After a brief chant for the ANC, and many other things to live long, the president addressed the crowd that gathered for the occasion.
“On this important day of the country’s national calendar, the day of national reconciliation,” he began, “we’ve come to the right city for this event, giving heroes and heroines that lie buried…who dedicated their lives to freedom, justice equality and human rights…we salute them all on this important day.
“The day of National reconciliation enables us to reflect on the painful history of our country. We went through a system of government that promoted divisions and hatred and which sustained its rule through violence and subjugation. It was a system of rule that traumatized millions of people in various ways, and caused untold pains and suffering among the people.
“When the ANC government came into power in 1994, Zuma went on, “we immediately set out to build a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous society. National reconciliation became one of the key policies of the democratic government. Our message to our people since 1994, which we repeat today is that we are one nation. We are one people, united in our diversity.
“We must tell the stories of suffering and apartheid brutality. Our youth and children must know what this country went through…We must tell the stories of bravery and resilience, of fighting a mighty apartheid state with almost nothing, and the triumph of good over evil…”We should also tell the story of the non-racial struggle, of how many white compatriots joined the struggle for freedom, because they believed in equality, justice, human rights and freedom.” He said.
“Those of our white compatriots who were forced to undergo compulsory military service or conscription and were deployed in townships as young people to defend and entrench an evil regime, need to be able to share their stories so that they can find healing.”
Zuma In his speech, tanked and praised the black community. For according to him, “despite the terrible injustice melted out against them, the black majority made the choice not to seek revenge. They choose to build a country, that belongs to all who live in it, black and white…This was not a sign of weakness, it was a bold and courageous act of patriotism which puts the interest of our country first.”
The president was applauded at this point, and people throughout clapped to demonstrate their approval and appreciation of what the president was saying, and the Zuma Must Fall chant was never heard again.
Inspired, the president went on to state that; “we exaggerate our problems and make people think that South Africans are funny people, whilst in reality people envy to be South Africans. We must work hard…while we have done a lot to transform and rebuild our country, we still need to do much more to promote healing.”