Confronting Racism

The problem with South Africa's reconciliation process

Should we be more militant in the how we deal with racial tension, or should we still follow Mandela's non-violent strategy?

In this new episode of the Confronting Racism podcast series: The Road to Transformation and Reconciliation, Koketso Sachane chats to Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and activist Lovelyn Nwadeyi about navigating the complicated and complex journey towards what we need in order to live in a non-racial democratic society.

We see in our country, younger generation carrying the burden of this pain of the past. These 'memories' of the past are known to be passed down from generation to generation. We don't only speak of the victims of Holocaust, we speak of the children of the victims of the Holocaust is an example of this. It's very important to underscore the continuation of dialogue in our country. In South Africa, we live side by side with people who benefited from apartheid.

Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research professor in trauma, memory and forgiveness at the University of the Free State

What's missing from this conversation is acknowledgement on a wider scale by those people who benefited from this oppressive past, that is to say, white people.

Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research professor in trauma, memory and forgiveness at the University of the Free State

I think that the expectation that suddenly people must 'get over it' is problematic and it is mainstream - not just a small group of people. We need to acknowledge that our supposed reconciliation/ transition process was very abnormal. In what alternate universe does the perpetrator dictate the terms of forgiveness?

Lovelyn Chidinma Nwadeyi, Political Science graduate and activist
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