Pledge demonises whites

The pledge revealed by Education Minister Naledi Pandor shows the extraordinary lengths to which the ANC government will go to deflect accountability for their own shortcomings and try to transfer blame to the "past".

It is a rather transparent attempt to maintain racial disunity by subtly laying this blame predominantly on the white population. The continuous rekindling of these racial undertones is the only way the ANC can ensure that the "previously disadvantaged" will continue to vote against whites, rather than for the ANC.

History will show that the tremendous goodwill that embraced the country in the early 1990s has been dissipated by the current regime's propaganda.

I believe that the government underestimates the intelligence of ordinary people, but its arrogant, despotic goals will be thwarted before we become another Zimbabwe.

This generation of schoolchildren have experienced all their education under this government, so the politically charged "past" is irrelevant.

A more appropriate but equally unacceptable pledge might therefore read:

"We the youth of South Africa, suffering the iniquities of the present, crime, unemployed parents, poor health services, a crippled education system, ineffective justice system, lack of infrastructure planning corruption in government, poor service delivery and continued racist policies, honour the few who attempt to defend democracy, equality and freedom in our country.

"We will respect the dignity of every person and demand justice.

"We sincerely declare that we shall uphold the rights and values of our Constitution and we promise to act in accordance with the duties and responsibilities that flow from these rights."

The implied apportioning of blame on racial lines is unacceptable if this country is to move forward and achieve its vast potential.

The future of South Africa lies not with the continued censure of whites, nor with the inept government of a former freedom movement, but with a united, non-racist movement dedicated to the good of the country which is capable of delivering services. May it emerge soon.

Councillor Marian Kemp, Johannesburg