Trans­parency is the key to in­tegrity

Business Day - Business Law and Tax Review - - BUSINESS LAW & TAX REVIEW -

ed­i­tors be­fore you Mr Bruce, were tested with an­other cri­sis of con­science around the con­duct of Abe and Solly Krok. They failed. His­tory records that these ed­i­tors spurned the ef­forts of the Black Con­scious­ness Move­ment. The red alert that Abe and Solly Krok were sell­ing poi­sonous skin whiten­ing creams that phys­i­cally dam­aged and po­lit­i­cally de­hu­man­ised Black peo­ple fell on deaf ears. The pro­pa­ganda of White Su­pe­ri­or­ity had to hold and the Krok broth­ers played their part. They ob­structed the de­vel­op­ment of Black self-worth. Most pub­li­ca­tions will­ingly car­ried their mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments that concealed the truth about skin whiten­ing creams. Noth­ing has changed. On your watch, Busi­ness Day con­ceals the truth about The Apartheid Mu­seum — an­other fab­ri­ca­tion of Abe and Solly Krok.

The an­gle of the story that Mac­Robert and ENS chose to high­light on the Con­sti­tu­tional Court mat­ter of Stain­bank vs The South African Apartheid Mu­seum at Free­dom Park is a self serv­ing triv­i­al­ity and largely ir­rel­e­vant to the broader national con­cerns around trans­for­ma­tion of the ju­di­ciary. We be­lieve that the specifics of this case pre­sented a per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the Con­sti­tu­tional Court to ex­am­ine the pre­sump­tion of im­par­tial­ity in the con­text of our his­tory: recog­nise the in­jus­tices (machi­na­tions) of the past. Out­side of court­rooms, in our daily liv­ing, we’re forced to en­dure many pre­sump­tions about White peo­ple; such is the ob­vi­ous residue of four hun­dred years un­der the White Su­prem­a­cist Model.

And when an editor, given all the facts, fails the test of im­par­tial­ity, it is dif­fi­cult to ap­pre­ci­ate what ex­cep­tion di­vines the pre­sump­tion of im­par­tial­ity on the part of a ju­di­cial of­fi­cer.

Our cur­rent cam­paign: To­ward a cog­ni­tive un­der­stand­ing of Racism, seeks to con­tex­tu­alise, ed­u­cate and con­sci­en­tise an other­wise trust­ing pub­lic into re­mem­ber­ing, ex­am­in­ing and ac­knowl­edg­ing racism — post 1994. Our fo­cus is on the covert, in­sid­i­ous, sys­temic and in­sti­tu­tion­alised type of racism that goes un­no­ticed, pre­cisely be­cause we tend to ac­cept pos­i­tive pre­sump­tions, even as the facts show other­wise. Typ­i­cally, a gen­eral pub­lic im­pres­sion of the Krok’s as orig­i­na­tors of The Apartheid Mu­seum, ab­surd as it maybe, is but one suc­cess of South African me­dia hell-bent on re­tain­ing no­tions of white su­pe­ri­or­ity.

Racism sweats through ev­ery pore of ev­ery life in South Africa. And still — not a sin­gle national pro­gramme il­lu­mi­nates a cog­ni­tive un­der­stand­ing of racism. We have very lit­tle doubt that the hard­ship that Black peo­ple cur­rently en­dure will, even­tu­ally, give rise to re­volt. We hope that our ef­fort to­ward a cog­ni­tive un­der­stand­ing of racism will bring South Africans to the re­al­i­sa­tion that rec­on­cil­i­a­tion is an un­nec­es­sary at­tach­ment to truth. Only when truth is sup­pressed, and jus­tice is dis­graced, does it be­come nec­es­sary to vig­or­ously mar­ket rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. Mike Stain­bank Founder: The Apartheid Mu­seum®

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