Thanks for our brave hearts
We were a country on the brink, with human rights abuses going for one a penny.
Black life was cheap, like when minister of justice Jimmy Kruger told the world the killing of Steve Biko in prison "leaves me cold".
Blacks were to be squashed into remote corners of the country, called homelands. Here, by and large, civilization seemed a lifetime away.
And as Hendrik Verwoerd decreed, black education was to be monitored: they should never be as clever as the white folk.
Luckily some of our brave hearts would have none of that.
That led to the armed struggle and, eventually, the ushering in of the new South Africa on April 27 1994.
The world looked on as the country apparently tottered towards a civil war, with negotiations for a new dispensation striking one discord after another.
In fact, we should count our blessings, even as we fret over what should be a better South Africa for all South Africans.
Eminent scholar Shadrack Gutto insists the world had "justified expectation that South Africa would at the very least provide some kind of leadership in redressing the consequences of racism and combating reincarnations or mutations of the virus".
It makes April 27 such a milestone.
The day must be celebrated by all those who fly the South African flag.
We have seen it all and conquered, thanks to a Constitution with Utopian traits.