There's still no unity in democratic SA

We believed that apartheid was dead, buried and all racial groups were going to live harmoniously side-by-side ever after 1994, the writer says.
We believed that apartheid was dead, buried and all racial groups were going to live harmoniously side-by-side ever after 1994, the writer says.
Image: 123RF/rawpixel

“We are free at long last.” We shouted our lungs out when we ushered in the new democracy in 1994. We believed that apartheid was stopped, dead, buried and all racial groups were going to live harmoniously side-by-side ever after.

We were embarking on a new country, a rainbow nation was born, the old racial chapter closed and a new inclusive era with equal opportunities opened. It was exciting and challenging. We knew it required hard work, but we were prepared and looked ahead with joy.

This utopian memory was jogged by one of the DA’s election posters: “Verenig en wen”. I asked myself, who must unite? We are not united in cricket, rugby, swimming and the economy. Transformation is still an issue 27 years later.

I wonder if the black Soweto Rugby Club is still powerful. In 2011 they walloped the white Edenvale Panthers Rugby Club 29-7. The whites had been badly bruised by the defeat and couldn’t accept it with good grace. Their players and fans stormed the field and assaulted the black players from Soweto towards the end of the game.

Their opponents suffered serious injuries as a result. Whites have now gravitated towards black foreign nationals. Perhaps unity is aimed at them. Or is it the re-enforcement of white supremacy? Where did we go wrong? SA was regarded as a prototype and a beacon of hope for the entire world.

The Mandela magic touch has dissipated into thin air. The pain is indescribable to the black majority who still bear the scars of apartheid. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Thami Zwane, Edenvale, Ekurhuleni

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.