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‘We reject humiliation,’ South Africa president slams inequality, racism in Human Rights Day address

SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the ‘legacy of colonialism and apartheid’ in a national address to mark International Human Rights Day.

Ramaphosa said Monday that the country must reject discrimination and inequality, together with xenophobia. ‘We are no longer going to allow anyone to humiliate us,’ Ramaphosa said. ‘We don’t want to be treated as subhuman.’

The remarks come amid continued reports of racist incidents in a country nearly 30 years into its democratic era. Despite the official apartheid policies being a thing of the increasingly distant past, Ramaphosa says racism in the country is not dead.

‘We are reminded of this even today when we hear of incidents of racism and intolerance in schools, in workplaces, in communities, in our universities, on the roads of our country, in professional sectors, and in many other places where South Africans interface with one another.’

Harking back to his theme of dignity, the president added that such incidents do ‘make [South Africans] angry, as they should, but much worse, they humiliate us.’

The World Bank estimates South Africa to be one of the most unequal countries in the world, with the starkest income gap between rich and poor on the continent.


CGTN Africa

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