Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mbeki: We all need heroes

Say it with a sting.....

South Africa's heroes and heroines serve as a source of education and inspiration in addressing the challenge of social transformation, President Thabo Mbeki said on Friday.

Delivering the annual Raymond Mhlaba memorial lecture in Port Elizabeth, Mbeki said a people without heroes and heroines would find it very difficult to achieve social cohesion and define its national identity.

"We need our heroes and heroines, such as Raymond Mhlaba, because they help us to define a national identity that affirms our humanity and our human dignity."

He said South Africa constituted a community emerging out of three-and-a-half-centuries of division and racial conflict.

"Informed by the concept and practice of national reconciliation, we are at work to achieve national and social cohesion, and the birth of a new South African national identity, with all of our citizens inspired by a new patriotism," he said.

To achieve these objectives -- central to the success of the country as a non-racial and non-sexist democracy -- heroes and heroines were required whose sacrifices communicated the message that "what we seek to achieve is practically realisable, provided that, at all times and in all circumstances, we will remain loyal to principle".

Mbeki said Raymond Mhlaba was celebrated as a national hero because his life and the example he set were central drivers of the process of defining a post-apartheid national identity.

This would, among other things, enable national reconciliation to be achieved, the objective of national unity in diversity realised, and unite the diverse nation behind the realisation of the goal of creating a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous South Africa.

"What this means is that we revere our heroes and heroines because they serve as a source of education and inspiration as we strive to use the political victory of the democratic revolution to address the challenge of fundamental social transformation -- focused especially on the eradication of poverty and underdevelopment and the elimination of our inherited racial and gender imbalances," Mbeki said.

Comments by Sonny

Fourteen years of ' democratic revolution ' has done virtually nothing for the poor in SA.
This is only 'illusions of grandeur' coming from a false prophet!
Johnny Walker was more of a Hero for me!



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