Struggle against racism, related intolerance must be a relentless struggle: Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa
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President Cyril Ramaphosa says race remains a defining feature of many societies and South Africa is a country that has been defined by a racial and unequal society.

Ramaphosa says the government will ensure that those responsible for the death of Collins Khosa will be brought to book and face the full might of the law.

He was speaking during a virtual launch of the ANC’s ‘Black Friday’ campaign to show solidarity with African Americans, as global outrage continues over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police in the US.

The African National Congress (ANC) president says the world must continue to strive for a just and tolerant global community that does not define a person by the colour of their skin, their sexual preference or religious affiliation.

“As the world acknowledged at the UN world conference against racism in Durban in 2001, the struggle against racism and related intolerances must be a relentless struggle. We must develop systematic programmes to tackle it both nationally and on a global level as well based on an understanding that all human beings are created equal and must be seen as being equal before the law.”

The ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday launched the Alliance Anti-racism Campaign: 

In his speech, Ramaphosa says: “We bow our heads in memory of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer in the US city of Minneapolis on Monday, 25 May.” He sent his deepest condolences to his family and friends, also to his community, adding that the death of Floyd is not just an American tragedy, it is a global tragedy.

Cities across the United States have witnessed mass protests over several days and nights, some of which have been violently suppressed.

In the video below, SABC News correspondent in New York, Sherwin Bryce-Pease, gives an update on the situation in the US:

MEDIA STATEMENT AND THE LAUNCH THE ANTI- #RACISM CAMPAIGN BY: The Alliance Political Council and Secretariat deepened Alliance engagements & consultation in the face of the #coronavirus #COVID__19 pandemic, especially following confirmation of the first positive case in SA. pic.twitter.com/T9A2E2hfsg

— African National Congress (@MYANC) June 4, 2020

‘Fight against chains of capitalism’

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi has called on workers to fight against the chains of capitalism especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic when he says workers are sacrificed by employers for profit.

Losi says workers are facing extremely difficult conditions, “Workers can’t breathe when inequality persists and there are no consequences for employers that blatantly disregard the employment equity act workers cant breathe the equal pay for work of equal value which is a convention 100 of the ILO which has been domesticated in our country under the employment equity act workers can’t breathe when convention 190 relating to eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work still has not been ratified.”

SACP  decries transformation

Communist Party General Secretary Blade Nzimande says racism in South Africa is structural and largely influenced by the economic conditions of citizens.

Nzimande was one of the panelists at the launch of the ANC and its alliance partner’s virtual anti-racism. He has decried what he says is the unwillingness of some sections of the private sector to contribute towards transformation.

“Our economy is still largely white-dominated not just in terms of ownership but also in terms of skills. And some of the very important skills that keep any economy going like engineering, like finance, like legal still dominated by big law firms. Government has done a lot to foster changes in this regard but unfortunately, the reality is that that sphere of the private sector that is not dependent on doing business with the government very little has changed.”