South Africa needs a heritage to be proud of - Maimane

Adam Wakefield, News24

Johannesburg - South Africa must form a new heritage to be proud of as it celebrates its 20th Heritage Day, Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane, said on Thursday.

"Twenty years into our democracy, this is still a work in progress. We share the dreams of Mandela, Sisulu, Kathrada, Joseph, Suzman, Leon and Zille for a non-racial future of opportunity for all, but we have not achieved them yet," Maimane said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Old High Court and synagogue in Pretoria.

Political freedom had not yet translated into economic freedom, Maimane said, and South Africa was still divided along racial lines. Blacks were generally still poor and whites wealthy.

"I can’t live with that, but I also can’t live with those who take the cause for equality and turn it into a race war," he said.

Maimane said he believed the unity in purpose during the anti-apartheid struggle needed to prevail now more than ever.
He said when he listened to the African National Congress speak in Parliament, they appeared to miss the divisions of the past, and blamed the country's electricity problem on Dutch colonial administrator Jan van Riebeeck.

This was while Police Minister Nathi Nhleko asked why anyone should be held accountable for spending on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, when there was no accountability for such things during apartheid.

"The effects of our painful past are still with us but they can’t hold us back anymore from building a better tomorrow," Maimane said.