The Anglo-Xhosa politician and former South African president Thabo Mbeki says the legacy of Afrikaner rule still hangs over the country, and it’s now up to the youth to bring change.
According to media reports, the former head of state addressed matric history students at Westerford High School in Cape Town today.
The students heard Mbeki speak about the secret negotiations between the former Afrikaner government and the African National Congress (ANC) in the 1980s.
You could hear a pin drop as the small group paid close attention to every detail Mbeki shared with them.
The former president relived the late 1980s when the ANC held secret negotiations to take over the country with, among others, the Afrikaner organisation, the Broederbond, the then ruling National Party, the international community, and ultimately the government itself.
He also told of meetings in Switzerland and other parts of the world as part of the ANC’s quest for power and instituting radical Afrocentric rule in South Africa.
Mbeki says the legacy of Afrikaner rule is still prevalent and it’s up to today’s youth to change society.
The ANC has changed names of Afrikaner towns, ethnically cleansed Afrikaners from government service and state-owned companies, banned Afrikaans on campuses and incited its followers to “kill a Boer, kill a farmer”. It has also demolished buildings designed by Afrikaner modernist architects and removed paintings and books by Afrikaners from public collections.
But eradicating Afrikaner influence and heritage from the country seems to be more difficult than the ANC foresaw when it took control of the country.
At the same time, Mbeki says transformation is a national crisis.
Rhodes Must Fall member Chumani Maxwelewho was at the forefront of the removal of the Cecil John Rhodes statue, also attended the talk.
He asked Mbeki about the lack of transformation at higher education institutions.
And the former president said, “Things are changing; if you look at the teaching style it is not transforming fast enough. More needs to be done.”