Without the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), South Africa would be in more trouble than it is now, says advocate George Bizoz.
Bizoz was reflecting on 20 years after the TRC in a lengthy, and emotional interview with Chriselda Lewis when he said that the TRC had avoided a bloody civil war, and that every cultural grouping in South Africa now enjoys equal rights under the Constitution, thanks to decisions made by former President Nelson Mandela and processes like the TRC.
This statement, in turn, was made in the context of the on-going statue defacing debacle.
But Bizos also condemned recent xenophobic attacks which, at the time of the interview, was limited to KwaZulu-Natal, but has subsequently spread nationally.
He says foreigners have the right to the same freedoms as South Africans under the Constitution, even regardless of whether they entered the country legally or illegally.
“I was once a refugee. A war refugee,” reminds Bizos. “I was oppressed by South Africa”.
In the interview, Bizos speaks about emotional times in the TRC, success and failures of the Commission, and his own struggles during the process.
He also speaks of the leadership of the late President Nelson Mandela at the time, and how we need to look back at history, such as that of the Boer wards and Paul Kruger and how he too, in his own way, was a freedom fighter.
For the full interview by Chriselda Lewis with advocate Bizos, click below.
– By Chriselda Lewis