Discussions and honest attempts of all South Africa’s residents to respect each other’s feelings are needed to rescue the issue regarding cultural historical monuments, Dr. Pieter Mulder, Leader of the FF Plus says.
Dr. Mulder today also said during his speech as Freedom Park in Pretoria today that while moving amongst people he experienced how much of the goodwill which had been built up over the past twenty years has been lost over the last three weeks through the destructive politics of breaking down and damaging other people’s historical symbols.
The conference at Freedom Park was organised by the minister of Arts and Culture, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa, to give all the role-players an opportunity to voice their opinion about the issue.
According to Dr. Mulder, the ANC’s Freedom Charter reads that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, white and black, but the message which is now being sent out is that the contribution and taxes of minorities like the Afrikaner is good enough, but not their heritage or culture.
“An example of this unilateral or selective take on history is the Durban Airport which was named the King Shaka Airport. King Shaka would not get a Nobel Peace prize today, but as founder of the Zulu nation, I have to respect his position in history.
“I regard Paul Kruger as founder of the Afrikaner Nation and one of my heroes. He was a freedom fighter against European colonialism and imperialism and I ask the same respect for him,” Dr. Mulder said.
Dr. Mulder mentioned five proposals to solve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction:
Defacing of statues and cultural treasures is a crime and the Police should re-act swiftly to it.
Leaders on all sides play an important role in building harmonious relations and should set an example for their followers through the comments they make.
Education of our history of all South Africans should be balanced and reflect all sides.
Adding statues to ensure a balance and to the satisfaction of all is important. Removing existing statues would not achieve this.
These issues should be discussed in tolerance to accommodate each other.
The time has come for wise and responsible South Africans from all communities to stand together against radicalism which aim is to set the country alight.
People who damage and destroy statues and cultural treasures which are important to some communities are not interested in a peaceful future for all South Africans.
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