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May we not sanitise the truth

“Freedom did not fall from the sky, but was fought for with blood, sweat and tears,” struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada once said.

These are the real struggle heroes who sacrificed their freedom, sacrificing years that could have been spent with their families while they languished in prisons for pursuing freedom for a collective. These are the people we really need to mourn when they die because it creates a void that cannot be filled by the calibre of leaders that we are cultivating today.

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The South African political space has become so clouded with scandals, succession battles, and power plays that the nation hangs its heads in shame because, we cannot in the now believe in the quality of leaders we must present to the world.

Imagine the pain felt by those who sacrificed so much when they see the direction in which this country is headed… we have let down those who thought about us even without knowing us… parliament is one monkey short of a circus; the judiciary has become the defender of the South African population against its government and a game of monopoly played with the country’s sovereignty and economy.

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And now, with the death of Inkatha Freedom Party founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, we are brought back to the question of who are the people whom we should celebrate.

Others remember the elderly statesman that he became in the twilight years. But, for many people who lived in Gauteng, a different version is painted, one where bullets and ethnic violence were the order of the day.

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The bullets that were the soundtracks to everyday life in townships are the memories that most also remember. There are now two versions of one man, etched in the memories of a rainbow nation that never fully brought about the hope and peace promised.

One thing is clear: our history is not as clear as the history books would like to believe. My only request is that in our retelling of stories about the history and the figures in this history, may we not sanitise the truth; may we be as honest and as real as the bloodshed and lives lost through this complicated history.

ALSO READ: History will judge Mkhwebane harshly

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/opinion/may-we-not-sanitise-history/

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