Yesterday was the anniversary of our shame, for a year has passed since violent outbursts against foreigners broke out across South Africa.
Locals frustrated by poverty and poor services blamed equally desperate immigrants who had sought a haven among them, lured by Africa's richest economy.
Our dream and theirs almost died as sickening photographs of violence festooned front pages of newspapers here and abroad.
We can never live down the horrific image of Ernesto Alfaberto Nhamuave burning alive after his neighbours turned on him merely for being a Mozambican.
But as the photograph of a dying Hector Pieterson galvanised millions in the fight against apartheid, so the image of a dying Nhamuave has spurred countless decent and humane South Africans to live up to the promise of a liberated South Africa.
Many foreigners who fled their homes in terror have been welcomed back with the traditional hospitality of our nation's poorest of the poor.
As a new administration takes the reins of government with promises of providing a better life for all, this is a fitting time to take stock of our successes and failures.
We can never give up hope that our nation will achieve our dreams - and those of fellow Africans who we grant a place under our sun.