Nelson Mandela is remembered as one of the greatest people to have ever walked the surface of the planet. Most South Africans also view Madiba as the father of our nation.
Madiba led South Africa into a brave new age of democracy and he had a vision in which South Africa belonged to all of the people who live here. Madiba’s concept of a rainbow nation helped keep the country from tearing itself apart in the years leading up to 1994.
Yet his concept of a rainbow nation has by enlarge failed to materialise in the 24 years since democratic freedom. Social and racial tensions have, unfortunately, become a part of daily life in modern South Africa.
Briefly.co.za takes a look at five reasons, according to Pieter Howes, why Madiba’s concept of a rainbow nation has failed to become a reality.
1. White people carried on as if nothing had happened
Howes said the rainbow nation concept allowed white South Africans to carry on as if apartheid never happened, the white population was largely absolved of responsibility and shielded the average person from atonement.
2. The negative effects of apartheid is not taught in schools
Germany went to great lengths to educate their youths about the evils of World War 1 and in particular World War 2 and the Nazi’s. Schools teach young people why those acts were evil and should never be allowed to take hold again.
3. White society never atoned for apartheid
While a very very small number of people who were directly involved in apartheid and its atrocities were prosecuted the vast majority of society did not apologise for the part that it played in allowing the evils of apartheid to happen.
4. White people feel like they can use the ANC as a scapegoat
Because white society never took responsibility for what happened during apartheid these same people now feel like they can blame all of South Africa’s current problems on the ruling ANC.
5. White privilege
Most white people in South Africa still start life with a huge advantage compared with black people. This is particularly evident in areas such as housing and education.
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