Criminalise all racist apartheid acts
‘Genoeg is genoeg.” This was the banner under which farmers and supporters gathered nationwide to protest against farm attacks.
The protest was soon overshadowed by images of protesters flying the apartheid-era flag and some wearing T-shirts bearing images of the flag, which set social media ablaze.
As if that were not enough, a video of protesters singing the old national anthem, Die Stem, and burning the new South African flag caused mass outrage on social media.
But we’ve been here before, haven’t we?
It is 23 years since we attained democracy and majority rule ended the oppressive apartheid system. This milestone meant that any symbol which celebrated the past belonged in the past. But not in a democratic South Africa.
The government has not seen the need to criminalise displaying the apartheid flag in the same way that Germany has outlawed the Nazi swastika flag.
By failing to criminalise flying the apartheid flag and the singing of Die Stem, government is hampering the little progress that the country has made in social cohesion while subjecting apartheid’s victims to renewed trauma.
But our history is such that under the reconciliatory spirit of Nelson Mandela, we preferred to settle these transition issues through dialogue and consensus.
The laws banning these symbols could have been easily crafted then, but the approach was to reach out and make everyone and every group feel part of the new South Africa. But the #BlackMonday protesters are pissing on this reconciliation. They are undoing all the dreams and values that we hold dear. They are making the case for legislative enforcement of the new South Africa. That might just be the answer. Enough is indeed enough.