No, black South Africans were not better off under apartheid: IRR

The Institute of Race Relations has distanced itself from a tweet by council member Unathi Kwaza claiming that black people were 'better off under apartheid'.
The Institute of Race Relations has distanced itself from a tweet by council member Unathi Kwaza claiming that black people were 'better off under apartheid'.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Institute of Race Relations CEO Dr Frans Cronje has distanced the organisation from a comment made by Unathi Kwaza that black people were "better off under apartheid".

Kwaza was elected to the IRR council earlier this year.

In a tweet two days ago, she said: "Black people were better off under apartheid. It's time we admit this - at least those of us with honour."

Cronje said there were no grounds in principle or in fact for arguing that SA was better off under the "depraved" system of apartheid. He was responding to inquiries following Kwaza's tweet.

"The broader IRR has always harboured a diversity of opinion among its structures and staff. However, the tweeted comment that apartheid was better than democracy does not accord with the position of the organisation or that of the great majority, almost without exception, of staff and office-bearers. Furthermore, the comment does not accord with the facts," he said.

Cronje said apartheid was an evil and depraved system that the organisation bravely fought against for its entire duration in order to bring about democracy, and there could be no comparison between the present dispensation, for all South Africa’s contemporary challenges, to the racist establishment of the past.

Cronje added that the apartheid system denied the vote to 80% of the population.

"Fighting that system was one of our greatest successes. Provable data reveal that there are no grounds for arguing that apartheid was a better option."


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