Ramphele launches trust to heal SA

By Sibusiso Nkomo

South Africans have ceded authority and responsibility of governance to political leaders and the government, says social activist and businesswoman Dr Mamphela Ramphele.

Speaking at the launch of her trust, the Citizens Movement for Social Change, in Rondebosch on Tuesday night, she said: “We have to acknowledge the mistakes made in the past 18 years of democracy.
“Accountability mechanisms to ensure citizens remain stewards of the democracy and at the centre of governance have not yet been developed.
“Many citizens took the focus away from public life and occupied themselves with material and other personal interests.
“We have become a nation preoccupied with wealth accumulation as a status symbol,” she said.
Ramphele said she was launching the movement because South Africans carried the wounds of multigenerational humiliation at the hands of colonialism, apartheid social engineering, civil conflicts on both sides of the liberation Struggle and “ongoing humiliation of poor people in our unequal and status-conscious society”.
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission process in the 1990s scratched the surface of our wounds by focusing only on gross violations of human rights.
“There was an understandable but unwise political decision taken to strenuously avoid any attempt to address the wounds of socio-economic violations of human rights.”
Ramphele said: “We missed the opportunity to tell our stories of what it meant to live in a divided society.
“Our subject identities are at the heart of a vicious cycle of self-loathing, dependency, supplication, apathy and self-sabotaging behaviours including suicidal lifestyle choices, looting of public resources by those meant to be public servants, the destruction of public property in the name of protest and brutal violence at home, work and in public spaces.”
Ramphele said the movement’s supporters included leaders such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former science and technology minister Mosibudi Mangena, former UCT vice-chancellor Professor Njabulo Ndebele and businessman Bobby Godsell. - Cape Argus

This article was first published by the Cape Argus, an Independent Newspapers publication, on April 25, 2012.

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