Nation building fences in respect

The uproar over the razing of a historical Afrikaner monument in Standerton, Mpumalanga, is a sensitive issue with implications for the rest of the country.

The uproar over the razing of a historical Afrikaner monument in Standerton, Mpumalanga, is a sensitive issue with implications for the rest of the country.

The incident has obviously caused tension and polarisation in a province where people of all colour should be working together in building this country to be a better place for all.

We are mindful of the fact that the apartheid system imposed by the previous white minority regime created deliberate distortions in our history and encouraged a deliberate race-based bias in the erection of historical relics.

Since 1994, the country has embarked on a national building path that fosters respect for the history of all racial groups in this country. This respect extended to chronicles that reminded each race about their origin.

Therefore, the unilateral decision by the council to demolish a monument in Standerton commemorating the Great Trek goes against the notion of nation building.

Thorough consultations should have been conducted with all relevant stakeholders before such a drastic decision was taken.

Removing monuments and defacing statues, including that of Chief Makhado by people driven by racism, has no place in our society.

What happened in Standerton and Makhado is shameful and will alienate communities from attempts at nation building.

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