Time to for­give Eu­gene de Kock

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

IT IS hoped that the rec­on­cil­ia­tory spirit of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s speech at the open­ing of the gal­lows me­mo­rial will be noted by those who will ad­dress the ap­pli­ca­tions re­gard­ing pa­role for Eu­gene de Kock, Ferdi Barnard and oth­ers.

Pres­i­dent Zuma re­minded the rel­a­tives of those who died at the gal­lows that we were all vic­tims of apartheid in one way or an­other. Peo­ple like De Kock and Barnard were also vic­tims. They were just soldiers who had be­come de­sen­si­tised to what they were do­ing and why. They were no dif­fer­ent from to­day’s sui­cide bombers who are brain­washed into be­liev­ing that par­adise awaits them. It’s all part of the same sick­ness. In war time you don’t see peo­ple as hu­man be­ings, but as the en­emy.

Noth­ing can change the past, but we can change the fu­ture by ex­tend­ing the hand of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to those who lost their way dur­ing those trou­bled years. Re­leas­ing De Kock and Barnard would be a small step.

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