/ 9 October 2007

Afrikanerbond takes issue with view of SA’s heroes

Those who fought against apartheid are not everyone’s heroes, the Afrikanerbond said on Tuesday.

”These heroes from the ‘struggle’ past are not the only heroes and definitely not everyone’s heroes,” said Afrikanerbond managing director Jan Bosman.

He accused the Education Department of portraying the struggle against apartheid as the ”only and material” history of South Africa.

Education Minister Naledi Pandor earlier announced that a memorial book honouring struggle heroes Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Robert Sobukwe and Steve Biko was to be distributed to schools.

Bosman said the department viewed the book as a method of helping the youth brush up their inadequate knowledge of the country’s heroes.

”A memorial book honouring only those from one history is ironically also not in line with the ideals of Albert Luthuli …,” said Bosman.

Luthuli described the aim of the struggle as neither black, nor white supremacy, but a common South African multiracial society based on friendship, equality of rights and mutual respect.

”Now more than ever, and with South Africa’s moral decline in mind, the youth of South Africa must be exposed to role models,” said Bosman.

”Today’s heroes can be found in business, sport, community life, entertainment and much more.”

Bosman said the government should consider setting aside a day — not necessarily a public holiday — on which South African heroes could be honoured and pupils could reflect on all the heroes in the country’s ”comprehensive and inclusive” history. — Sapa