- Candice was barely one years old when her father was brutally murdered by Eugene de Kock
- She got the opportunity to confront he man that killed her father
- Instead of hate she felt only love and penned an emotional open letter about forgiveness
When an apartheid assassin brutally murdered her father Candice Mama could have allowed herself to become consumed by hate but instead, she experienced love and it was so moving that she penned an open letter encouraging others to forgive.
When Candice met Eugene de Kock and he apologised for what he had done, he became human.
He said: 'You know, I am sorry for causing you to grow up without a father. He would have been so proud of who you have become'.
She was so moved by these words, her dad was murdered when she was barely a year old and never got to opportunity to meet him.
She asked if he had forgiven himself and he said:
'How do I forgive myself for what I did?'
An excerpt from her open letter reads as follows:
“The African National Congress’s strategic objectives are to build a united nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous society. I believe in order to do that and fulfil the vision of the greats like Nelson Mandela, we have to go through the reconciliation process as a country, because there can be no progress without reconciliation.
As was the mantra within the struggle: “The main enemy is the system and those who continue to support the system.”
Therefore, should we not extend a courtesy of fairness to a man who was ordered to commit those atrocities in the same way we extended a courtesy of fairness to those who ordered him to commit them?
This doesn’t make Eugene de Kock a martyr in any way, shape or form. It does, however, mean we remove the venom in our system as a country to move forward uncrippled by the past.
As former statesman Nelson Mandela said: “Forgiveness liberates the soul.”
She realised that she could not hate De Kock because love and hate cannot operate in the same space.
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