Deputy President David Mabuza says South Africans will realise true healing once the land is restored to the black majority and the wealth is shared among all people.
Mabuza, who was addressing the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations at Gert Sibande District in Mpumalanga yesterday, said that in pursuit of the ideals of the Freedom Charter, “we must bring to life the resolutions on radical socioeconomic transformation.
“To build this society, land reform and redistribution is key to genuine national unity.
“Coincidentally, as we celebrate the centenary of these icons, our country is engaged in a process that will see the return of the land to the people from whom it was taken.
“This we will do precisely because we need to heal the divisions of the past.
“We must attend to the original sin of land dispossession of the black majority,” Mabuza said.
To truly unite all South Africans, the country must give effect to all the clauses of the Freedom Charter, he added.
The charter states that the country belongs to all who live in it – black and white, that the wealth must be shared and that the land belongs to those who work it.
The charter, which was drafted at the Congress of the People in 1955, also promotes equality before the law, opening of the doors of learning and culture to all and the nationalisation of mines.
The deputy president said both Mandela and struggle stalwart Albertina Sisulu, who were being commemorated on their 100th birthdays, were exceptional individuals.
Both had lived lives of absolute dedication to the struggle for freedom of the oppressed and all humanity.
“Their unwavering ability to be empathetic with ordinary people indeed makes the case that they were exceptional human beings. They and their generation in more ways than one represented our complete hope for a better society.
“We vow to never betray the struggle to which they committed their lives until the very end,” Mabuza said.
He said Mandela fully appreciated the social development challenges the nation faced that produced orphans and child-headed households. In most cases, children from such households were taken care of by their grandparents, who are mostly pensioners.
As a leader who believed in the liberation of women, Mandela would have been happy to see the notable advances to protect the rights of women.
But the continuing killings and violence against women made a mockery of what Madiba stood for, said Mabuza.
“Women are callously and violently abused and murdered by people they have in the past been romantically involved with.
“This is betrayal of the highest order. As a society, we must condemn it with all contempt it deserves.”