MOGOENG ON APARTHEID
CHIEF Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says the fact that apartheid is still a sensitive topic for many, is an indication that the country has yet to make progress confronting racial tensions that still exist in society. Mogoeng addressed a packed
Restitution Conference held at the Townhouse Hotel in the Cape Town city
centre yesterday. |
CHIEF Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says the fact that apartheid is still a sensitive topic for many is an indication that the country has yet to make progress confronting racial tensions that still exist in today’s society.
Justice Mogoeng addressed a packed restitution conference at the Townhouse Hotel in the Cape Town yesterday. “It’s like you’re accusing your fellow countrymen and women. It’s like you’re accusing them of racism and heartlessness.
“Therefore, we’d rather sit back and not rock the boat and assume that our progressive Constitution will somehow find its way into the hearts and minds of South Africans and cause them to automatically become what the Constitution says we all ought to (strive for),” he said.
Justice Mogoeng said compromises needed to be reached. “How do you address the problem without making anyone feel evil?” he asked.
He added that the country has been “tap-dancing around issues that we needed to confront for far too long” and went on to say “that’s why we’re not making progress and it is dangerous, by the way, to confront issues that are at the hearts of our lack of progress”.
On racism he said: “Let’s start at home – teach our kids right. Let’s develop solutions that are disseminated at that level.”
Speaking directly to the Restitution Foundation, Justice Mogoeng told its members: “It is going to be very difficult to realise the objectives that you as a foundation have set yourself to achieve, which we have set for ourselves as a country if we’re ignorant of what informs our limited progress or frustrates our renewed vigour to get to where we need to be.”
Justice Mogoeng paid tribute to anti-apartheid activist Fort Calata, a member of the Cradock Four.
He said implementation was crucial in achieving the goals leaders have set out for this country. “Find a group of friends. Be as worried as Fort Calata. Remember what they (the Cradock Four) did? Small cells which meant no evil but designed to help South Africa.”
Justice Mogoeng also highlighted that land restitution was an emotive issue. He said the Khoisan need to be prioritised and that women were still sidelined from the mainstream economy.