Scars of apartheid can’t be washed or wished away: Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has hit-back on opposition benches in Parliament for criticising him in blaming the legacy of apartheid for the country’s social-ills.

Ramaphosa said this in his reply to the two-day debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) he delivered last week.

Most political parties have downplayed Ramaphosa’s regular references on apartheid for government’s failure to deliver on its mandate for the people.

Ramaphosa told the legislature that there is no way not to look at the past when reflecting on the present day.

“We cannot forget the past. Even if we had wanted to, the past that we have been through having gone through colonialism and apartheid over 342 years has left deep scars in many of our people and those scars are not going to be washed away or wished away. The past reminds us of the responsibility that freedom has placed in our shoulders to forge ahead as we have done as this administration to realize for all South Africans the promise of a better life.”

Video: President Ramaphosa’s response to the SONA debate

Ramaphosa has also told Parliament that the lives of many millions of South Africans have changed for the better under democracy.

The President says despite the many criticisms of his speech, there was no single party which refuted his claim that the majority of the people are living a better life than before 1994.

“Amidst all the contributions made in the debate, no speaker has been able to refute a fundamental reality that the lives of millions of South Africans have been transformed over the 30 years of freedom. This the reality, as I often said whether we like it or whether we don’t like it, it is the reality.”