Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 29-04-2019
The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation has told Radio Islam that while the freedom South Africans enjoy today came on the back of sacrifice, it also came as a result of a negotiated agreement.
With just over a week before South Africans head to the polls – 25 years after the first democratic elections, a quarter of a century after the end of the apartheid, large swathes of the population still aren't free given abject poverty and high unemployment and the scourge of corruption affecting the country.
These were the sentiments expressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa at a ceremony in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown.
Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Stanley Henkeman says freedom is a comprehensive package.
“The political freedom or the freedom to vote was just one aspect of it and an important component that didn’t really materialize for the majority of people was economic freedom. You talk about social freedom and in many aspects South Africa remains a divided society, it remains an unequal society and I think the comprehensive nature of that freedom is what people are not experiencing.”
Henkman says politicians and the leaders of the country need to show more humility.
“I think that one of the things we need as a society is from our government is an apology. An acknowledgement is not an apology and if you listen to politicians, is an acknowledgement that we have not done [enough], actually, we have failed in many respects."
Henkeman says South Africans should become active citizens and hold elected officials accountable for promises they made to take the country forward.
Listen to the interview with Stanley Henkeman