President Cyril Ramaphosa has put his weight behind the ongoing campaign to remove monuments glorifying the apartheid past.
In his Heritage Day keynote address, Rampahosa said that “monuments glorifying our divisive past should be repositioned and relocated”.
“This has generated controversy, with some saying we are trying to erase our history.
“Building a truly non-racial society means being sensitive to the lived experiences of all this country’s people. We make no apologies for this because our objective is to build a united nation.”
The president acknowledged that South Africa comes from a history of prejudice and exclusion and the country had worked to transform its heritage landscape.
He said that the naming and renaming of towns and cities formed part of this, as well as the erection of new statues and monuments.
“Any symbol, monument, or activity that glorifies racism, that represents our ugly past, has no place in democratic South Africa.”
“The struggle against apartheid was first and foremost aimed at ensuring that all our people should reclaim their dignity, black and white.
“Restoring their dignity is the preoccupation of this administration.”