Speaking to Xolani on 702 about the recent racially charged incidents such as Zelda la Grange's twitter rant and the reaction that followed, Political Analyst, Steven Friedman said that the 'rise' in race related cases is not a rise at all but rather he has a hunch that the racially charged events have been happening all along.
Friedman also advised South Africans to change their views on leadership in this country, suggesting that the leadership is not the solution but that the citizenry "has to sort these problems out ourselves".
Very often when we have deep problems and people say we need deep leadership, I worry that what they're really saying is 'I can't do anything to solve the problem, I don't know what to do - we need another Madiba who'll come and sort the problem out'. Unfortunately there was only one Madiba and we have to sort these problems out for ourselves. So yes, leaders have a role to play but I think it would be a huge mistake if we sat around waiting for leaders to do things. All of us have influence over the lives of other South Africans.— Political Analyst, Prof. Steven Friedman
Friedman carried on to say that the first step in dealing with the racial tensions is to admit that we do in fact have a problem with race in this country.
We need to accept that if for 100's of years you have a situation where one racial group dominates another then that creates attitudes on both sides which don't go away immediately. On the one side it often leads to an attitude that some people are superior and on the other side people start thinking of themselves as inferior, even when they're not. That problem's been 100s of years in the making, and you don't get rid of it after 20 years but we need to start working at it, otherwise we're going to sit with it for another 100 years.— Political Analyst, Prof. Steven Friedman
Following Zelda La Grange's rant on Twitter over the weekend; and the rise in reporting over cases of racism in restaurants and suburbs, Cosatu General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi has added his voice to those of other South Africans who were offended by La Grange's tweets.
La Grange's tweets offended thousands of South Africans, which led to various 'Zelda' hashtags trending on Twitter from Saturday through to Monday afternoon as South Africans took to Twitter to express their anger over the inflammatory series of tweets.
Vavi spoke to Xolani on The Afternoon Drive saying that there is need for South Africa as a whole to continue confronting it's present in the context of its history.
South Africa is a divided country racially, and there is clash between the hopes of the majority who were oppressed and victims of apartheid versus at times the fear of the minority who feel that all of this transformation will be at their expense. There is a clash and competition at the economic level and that's why most of racism incidents happen among the poorest of the poor in society.— Cosatu Secretary General, Zwelinzima Vavi