Letter: Boycott of event selfish

The Uitenhage Massacre Foundation’s decision to pull out of the national Human Rights Day commemoration in King William’s Town (“Friction over focus on Biko”, March 20) is short-sighted, selfish, divisive and counterproductive.

This does not reflect the opinions of the majority of citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay, of which Uitenhage is part.

There is no place at this juncture in our democracy for boycott politics, especially when at the centre is struggle icon Steve Biko.

He paid the supreme price so that all South Africans might be liberated from the scourge of H F Verwoerd’s grand apartheid ideology.

Biko belongs to all South Africans, irrespective of race or political persuasion.

This is aptly demonstrated by the annual Steve Biko Memorial lecture hosted by NMMU.

This silo mentality represented by Nicholas Malgas and the foundation is not progressive, and undermines nation-building and social cohesion.

This verkrampte decision is an insult to all progressive South Africans, Biko and his family, and to his friend, Daily Dispatch editor Donald Woods, who with his family had to flee via Botswana into exile in UK.

Shame on you, Uitenhage Massacre Foundation, for your ill-conceived boycott of Human Rights Day in the year we commemorate the centenary of O R Tambo’s birth in Bizana in the Eastern Cape.

-D R Galloway, Nelson Mandela Bay

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