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The Struggle For Nation Building And Reconciliation

The Struggle For Nation Building And Reconciliation

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The Struggle For Nation Building And Reconciliation

Lunghezza:
162 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 11, 2021
ISBN:
9781005890438
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

This book is my first ever to be published. It goes without saying that there are a number of people and situations which provided the inspiration for this accomplishment. My wife, Rehlotswe and my children, Lesedi and Naledi who were always by my side offering advice and glimpses into the future to get the work done. My late father, for introducing me to reading and turning me into a precocious and inquisitive baby. My late mother for admonishing my late brother to spend his reading time on worthwhile ventures. My entire family with whom I experienced the pain and demise of apartheid. My former ministers, Director-Generals, and colleagues in South Africa’s Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for their support and willingness to share. All my friends for the motivation and support they gave me. And my generation for boldly declaring “Freedom or Death: Victory is certain”. I also thank High Commissioner Kayihura of the High Commission of the Republic of Rwanda and Ambassador Park of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea for their kind assistance in the production of this book.

It is my fervent wish that my humble contribution will assist the course of nation-building and reconciliation in South Africa in particular, and the world in general.

Pubblicato:
Jan 11, 2021
ISBN:
9781005890438
Formato:
Libro

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The Struggle For Nation Building And Reconciliation - Khotso De Wee

THE STRUGGLE FOR

NATION BUILDING AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Khotso De Wee

Copyright © 2020 Khotso De Wee

Published by Khotso De Wee Publishing at Smashwords

First edition 2020

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without permission from the copyright holder.

The Author has made every effort to trace and acknowledge sources/resources/individuals. In the event that any images/information have been incorrectly attributed or credited, the Author will be pleased to rectify these omissions at the earliest opportunity.

Published by Khotso De Wee using Reach Publishers’ services,

P O Box 1384, Wandsbeck, South Africa, 3631

Edited by Pauline Fogg for Reach Publishers

Cover designed by Reach Publishers

Website: www.reachpublishers.org

E-mail: reach@reachpublish.co.za

Khotso De Wee

Khotsodewee@yahoo.com

Contents

Author’s Note

Introduction

1. South Africa’s Truth And Reconciliation Commission: The Beginning

2. Implementation Of The TRC’s Recommendations By The RSA Government

3. Key Issues In The Transitional Justice Literature Regarding The Implementation Of The TRC’s Recommendations

4. The Role Of Civil Society In Implementing The TRC’s Recommendations

5. The Impact Of Current Socio-Economic Indicators In RSA On The Nation Building And Reconciliation Project

6. Why The Nation Building And Reconciliation Project Is Worth Pursuing

7. Nation Building And Reconciliation In Rwanda: Lessons For South Africa

8. Nation Building And Reconciliation On The Korean Peninsula

9. The Struggle For Nation Building And Reconciliation In South Africa

10. Implementing The Recommendations Of The TRC: A Personal Journey

Bibliography

Author’s Note

This book is my first ever to be published. It goes without saying that there are a number of people and situations which provided the inspiration for this accomplishment: My wife, Rehlotswe, and my children, Lesedi and Naledi, who were always by my side offering advice and glimpses into the future to get the work done. My late father, for introducing me to reading and turning me into a precocious and inquisitive youngster. My late mother, for admonishing my late brother to spend his reading time on worthwhile ventures. My entire family, with whom I experienced the pain and demise of apartheid. My former Ministers, Directors-General and colleagues in South Africa’s Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, for their support and willingness to share. I also want to thank Dr Percy Mahlati for introducing me to Reach Publishers, and Prof Netshitangani for her guidance on the available literature. All my friends, for the motivation and support they gave me. And my generation, for boldly declaring Freedom or death: Victory is certain! It is my fervent wish that my humble contribution will assist the course of nation-building and reconciliation in South Africa in particular and the world in general.

Introduction

The year 2020 marks the 26th anniversary of the establishment of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic form of government in the Republic of South Africa. The achievement of this milestone demands that all who care about the future of our country reflect on where we come from, and how what we have learnt about the past influences and shapes the future.

One critical aspect of such a process of reflection is the reconciliation and nation building project initiated by the new government under the leadership of former President Mandela, when he became South Africa’s first democratically-elected president. The fledgling democratic government established after the elections on the 27th of April 1994 inherited from the apartheid government a country characterised by, amongst others: racial, class and gender divisions, political violence, and poverty induced not only by the balkanisation of South Africa into racial and tribal enclaves but also by an economy devoid of relevant skills and investment due to South Africa’s global isolation. In short, what President Mandela’s government inherited was a powder keg that could easily be inflamed by any considerable amount of racial and class hatred.

In seeking to resolve these challenges, the ANC outlined its vision as a future ruling party in a document titled ‘Ready to Govern’, which articulated the basic objectives of the ANC’s policy as:

To strive for the achievement of the right of all South Africans, as a whole, to political and economic self-determination in a united South Africa;

To overcome the legacy of inequality and injustice created by colonialism and apartheid, in a swift, progressive and principled way;

To develop a sustainable economy and state infrastructure that will progressively improve the quality of life of all South Africans; and

To encourage the flourishing of the feeling that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, to promote a common loyalty to and pride in the country and to create a universal sense of freedom and security within its borders.

In his quest to implement this vision, President Mandela identified the cathartic process of nation building and reconciliation as necessary to heal the wounds of the past and build a common nationhood amongst all South Africans.

In President Mandela’s own words:

"From the moment the (1994 election) results were in and it was apparent that the ANC was to form the government, I saw my mission as one of preaching reconciliation, of binding the wounds of the country, of engendering trust and confidence. I knew that many people, particularly the minorities, Whites, Coloureds and Indians, would be feeling anxious about the future, and I wanted them to feel secure. I reminded people again and again that the liberation struggle was not a battle against any one group or colour, but a fight against a system of repression. At every opportunity, I said all South Africans must now unite and join hands and say we are one country, one nation, one people, marching together into the future" (Mandela, 1994: 745).

Coincidentally, the most Reverend Archbishop Desmond Tutu saw forgiveness and Ubuntu as powerful instruments in uniting a populace that was divided by the system of apartheid. In his words…

"To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self-interest. What dehumanises you, inexorably dehumanises me. Forgiveness gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanise them.

Ubuntu means that in a real sense even the supporters of apartheid were victims of the vicious system which they implemented and which they supported so enthusiastically. Our humanity was intertwined. The humanity of the perpetrator of apartheid’s atrocities was caught up and bound up in that of his victim whether he liked it or not. In the process of dehumanising another, in inflicting untold harm and suffering, the perpetrator was inexorably being dehumanised as well" (Tutu, 1999: 34)

He added that: "Apartheid had succeeded only too well in dehumanizing both those who implemented it and its victims" (Tutu, 1999: 23).

Allister Sparks (1994) similarly observed that:

"Slavery debases master as well as slave. The warder becomes a prisoner in his own jail; he is never free from the business of oppression and confinement. So too, in apartheid South Africa where white and black had been bound together in a web of mutual destructiveness. Apartheid, brutalizing the whites as it destroyed the self-esteem of the blacks, robbed both of their humanity" (Sparks, 1994: 227).

President Mbeki, in his speech to the National Assembly in 2003 accepting the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), also observed that:

"In the larger sense, we were all victims of the system of apartheid, both black and white. Some among us suffered because of oppression, exploitation, repression and exclusion. Others among us suffered because we were imprisoned behind prison walls of fear, paralysed by inhuman beliefs in our racial superiority, and called upon to despise and abuse other human beings. Those who do such things cannot but diminish their own humanity.

To be true to ourselves as human beings demands that we act together to overcome the legacy of this common and terrible past. It demands that we do indeed enter into a people’s contract for a better tomorrow.

Together we must confront the challenge of steering through a complex transition that demands that we manage the historical fault-lines, without papering over the cracks, moved by a new and common patriotism" (Mbeki, 2003:p.8).

In this context, the Mandela government in 1995 enacted the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, and established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Informed by South Africa’s 1993 Constitution, the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995 acknowledges that:

"… the pursuit of national unity, the well-being of all South African citizens and peace require reconciliation between the people of South Africa and the reconstruction of society; and that... there is a need for understanding but not for vengeance, a need for reparation but not for retaliation, a need for ubuntu but not for victimization".

Both these premises are in line with both Mandela and Tutu’s sentiments and attitudes towards nation building and reconciliation.

Several administrations under different presidents made their contribution to the achievement of nation building and reconciliation. These included the Mandela administration, which governed between 1994 and 1999, and was subsequently succeeded by the Mbeki administration (1999-2007), the Motlanthe administration (2007-2009), and the Zuma administration (2009-2019).

Despite the efforts of these administrations most South Africans, for a variety of reasons, have mixed opinions regarding whether or not the nation building and reconciliation project has been achieved.

This book will argue that the nation building and reconciliation project is critical to the achievement of common nationhood in South Africa, given our divided past, and we should therefore do all we can to seek to achieve its objectives. This is particularly important in the current phase of consolidating the democratic achievements of the last 25 years of democracy.

In pursuit of this objective, this book will seek to achieve the following:

Chapter One will assess and reflect on the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and comment on its successes and failures.

Chapter Two will critically reflect on the bureaucratisation of the implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Chapter Three will examine key issues in the transitional justice literature to enable further reflection on the implementation of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations.

Chapter Four will assess the role of civil society in assisting the state to implement nation building and reconciliation.

Chapter Five will examine the impact of current socio-economic indicators and assess the extent to which they enable the nation building and reconciliation project.

Chapter Six will examine why the nation building and reconciliation project is worth pursuing.

Chapter Seven will propose lessons that can be learned in South Africa regarding the promotion of nation building and reconciliation in Rwanda.

Chapter Eight will draw lessons from the Korean Peninsula.

Chapter Nine will reflect on the struggle for nation building and reconciliation in South Africa; and

Chapter Ten will be a consideration of a personal journey to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Chapter 1

South Africa’s Truth And Reconciliation Commission: The Beginning

The establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was deemed a political necessity and a critical bridge over which South Africa had to travel from the hatred, pain, and oppression of the apartheid system to the newly established non-racial and non-sexist democracy.

In replacing the system of apartheid with a non-racial democracy, South Africa in the early 1990s had

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