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Justice minister Ronald Lamola calls on South Africans to be antiracism ambassadors

28 May 2022 - 12:00
Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola says South Africans 'cannot replicate the indiscrimination of the past in any way'. File photo.
Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola says South Africans 'cannot replicate the indiscrimination of the past in any way'. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

This year marks 25 years since the birth of the constitution, and justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola has called on South Africans to be ambassadors for antiracism.

Speaking at the SA National Conference to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Lamola said SA’s generation cannot replicate the indiscrimination of the past in any way.

We need to be ambassadors of antiracism to the world. Our generation needs to be different in every way. We cannot replicate the indiscrimination of the past in any way. We have inherited a dysfunctional society but this constitution is ours to prosecute,” said Lamola.

“The inherited psyche of racial, gender and sexual orientation prejudice and stereotypes that lead to a breakdown in values, gender-based violence and femicide, inequality of opportunity and widespread poverty must not be what defines our national identity.”

He said parliament was finalising the prevention and combating of hate crimes and hate speech bill which will give the state a wider reach against hate crimes.

“We need to be more deliberate about our next 25 years. We need to be that generation that uproots racism in everyone’s hearts, every home, our classroom, workplace, supermarkets, queues, restaurants and sports teams and stadiums.”

Lamola said the constitution should not be treated as a bandage to cover racial injustice, but rather as a basis to undo deep-seated racial prejudices that continue to play out in our communities.

“Our constitution is not just a document we revere. Our constitution is a social contract that binds all of us not to forget our past but to create an inclusive SA, which at its core is non-racial and non-sexist,” he said.

Previously, Lamola called on parents to “teach their children love” after an alleged racist incident involving white student Theuns du Toit, who urinated on first-year student Babalo Ndwayana’s laptop, desk and books. 

The minister called on Stellenbosch University to investigate the incident.

“I would like to take this opportunity to condemn the racist incidents that continue to raise their ugly heads in some high schools and at the University of Stellenbosch.

“The university must leave no stone unturned when investigating the incident. All of us must send a clear and unambiguous message that there is no space for racism in our country. Parents must teach their kids love and to embrace diversity and not racism,” he said.

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