Jessie Duarte has called on South Africans to speak up and stop pretending about land distribution without compensation in the spirit of Zindzi Mandela who on June 14 created a controversy on social media after her “apartheid apologists” and “land thieves” tweets caused so much commotion.
The AfriForum had lodged a complaint with the South Africa Human Rights Commission, accusing her of demonstrating “a hate attitude towards white people” and contributing to racial polarisation.
In a statement that was issued on Wednesday Duarte urged authorities to “Let Zindzi Mandela be,” adding that her statement was issued in her personal capacity and not in her capacity as the ANC deputy secretary general.
Speaking about the structural imbalance that was created under apartheid and the need to promote black economic empowerment, Duarte said, “It is said disturbing ownership of the minority will kill our already limping economy. But inclusion and creativity will spread the growth we need. More people who become employers will create more jobs.”
“We need more farmers and farmers need land. So let Zindzi Mandela be. She is not the enemy of our country nor the architect of land dispossession, nor is she holding back the growth of our economy.”
“The ANC, of which I am a member, has made a decision to see through the process of land redistribution without compensation. The ANC has also agreed that the process of changing the constitution to make this possible is the route best suited to achieve what must happen,” Duarte clarified.
Duarte cleared that it won’t be so easy for South Africa to forget the harm apartheid caused, when she said, “there has been an expectation since 1994 that, as the generations of adults and children who lived through the awful years of apartheid, we would simply forget it all”
She maintained that Zindzi Mandela must be allowed to be, recounting that it will be grossly unreasonable to expect Zindzi Mandela, in particular, to forget that her father was ripped away from their family for 27 years and she only really set eyes on him at the age of 16″.
So should she not be expected to forget the years of harassment experienced by her mother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
“Each incident that was negative in the lives of the childhood of Zindzi Mandela involved white South Africans.
“She cannot be vilified for speaking her mind, especially not on the land question. Granted, her words were harsh and the context of their meaning jolted many who would pretend that the issue of land restitution in our country is mere rhetoric that will go away,” The ANC deputy secretary general said.
Duarte said Zindzi Mandela “cannot and should not be expected to join the chorus of neo-liberals who simply want us to forget what has shaped the narrative for transformation in our country. We can only achieve non-racialism when we let go of the pretenses and speak plainly about what must change. Our voices may speak out in anger, but we cannot pretend that all is well now.”