Two white callers on The Eusebius McKaiser Show, Matt and Stephanie, disagreed on how white people should respond to apartheid and Eusebius facilitated.
“As a forty-something white South African, how lacking in our society an apology is.”
” I find so few white people are willing to apologise for apartheid and for what happened and for the benefits that we reaped from it”
Stephanie says it’s like white people want everyone to move on and get over it.
“There were wounds and injustice and little apologising and acknowledgment over what happened, for me that is where we are somewhat stuck.”
She adds that we can’t move forward because of people aren’t willing to apologise.
“I am sorry that happened to you; I am sorry we were part of it; I’m sorry that we benefited from it and it is a very healing thing, an apology.’
She adds that she thinks that people, in general, are reluctant to acknowledge their faults.
“And far too many of my contemporaries, our standard line is, well it wasn’t me; I was only ten or I was only 12.”
“But their parents did benefit and if they didn’t benefit, they were silent beneficiaries.”
Matt, another caller, disagrees with Stephanie and says he wasn’t instrumental or even allowed to vote during the apartheid system.
“The apartheid system was implemented by people a lot older than you, and you had no control over it as I did”
“I had to go into serving in the defence force and do all sorts of things that the government told me, thinking that I was doing the right thing”
“Sure apartheid was a wrong thing, and it can be looked at in the same light as the holocaust. But why should we be apologising when the people who should be apologising are out of power or dead.”
He adds that he thinks it is time for South Africans to put the past behind them.
Stephanie challenged Matt’s thought process and asked how his thinking helps South Africa?
She says as much as she wasn’t the instigators, they were part of it.