Pandemic exposes painful truths


SA cannot continue to turn away from the reality of its ugly and inhuman face. We can try to run from it, but we cannot hide. Former president Thabo Mbeki was correct back in 1998 – we are a country of two nations. The Covid-19 pandemic and our responses to it these past few weeks underline the painful truth of his words. If we do not take heed of his words today and tailor our responses to the pandemic to accommodate both these “nations” we will fail to halt its devastating march through our country.

In his May 1998 speech, Mbeki said we were making no progress towards nation building: “We therefore make bold to say that South Africa is a country of two nations. One of these nations is white, relatively prosperous, regardless of gender or geographic dispersal. It has ready access to a developed economic, physical, educational, communication and other infrastructure .....

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