Sun Dec 04 12:12:01 SAST 2016

Former apartheid-era minister of law and order apologises for ‘hurting’ Mbeki family

TMG Digital | 2016-01-12 17:24:02.0
Adriaan Vlok in a Casspir, Thokoza in 1990
Image by: Robert Botha

Former apartheid-era minister of law and order Adriaan Vlok has apologised on air for “hurting” the Mbeki family‚ adding that there is no place for racism in South Africa.

He made the apology on Jacaranda FM’s Complimentary Breakfast Show on Tuesday morning while Rian Van Heerden was interviewing former President Thabo Mbeki's younger brother‚ Moeletsi Mbeki.

In an unexpected turn of events‚ Vlok‚ who had been listening in to the interview‚ called in to share his views on the show. Vlok who is now an advocate for reconciliation indicated that there is no place for racism in South Africa.

He subsequently used the opportunity on air to express his regret. In an unanticipated public apology to the Mbeki family he said: “…I was responsible for hurting him and his family in the past and I want to see him‚ I want to visit him‚ I want to speak with him. Because if we deal with it in this way‚ we can prevent racial problems."

During the interview‚ Moeletsi Mbeki‚ who is a political economist and deputy chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs as well as current chairman of Endemol South Africa‚ raised some of his views on the topic of racism.

He also answered some burning questions from listeners on racism‚ the #FeesMustFall campaign‚ farm murders and corruption in South Africa.

On racism‚ he said: “We have to be careful on the significance of the opinions being expressed and on what basis they have been founded on. SA has a long history of conflict‚ it is important to understand that. You can't manage a problem if you don't know where it comes from.”

He added that despite the recent uproar on social media‚ South Africa did not have any racial tension or conflict as no white people or black people had been killed.

"Everything on social media is magnified and this is what we need to be careful about when coming to the platform‚" he said.

He conceded that South Africa had bigger problems than racism‚ and that there were a lot of underlying issues that the country should address‚ with a lot of the tension being related to the economy‚ unemployment and suffering.


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