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At the end of apartheid and the arrival of democracy in the early 1990’s, we all thought it was the end of race being the determining factor of our society. How disappointing to realise that it was not. For a few years we celebrated the ‘rainbow’ nation; but not anymore. Race is brought into the national debate on a scale last seen during the height apartheid. South Africa is fast becoming the most racially defined society in the world. But like all social re-engineering experiments, this experiment will also fail. The only question is: at what cost?

When COSATU threatens to dismiss ‘whites’ on a large scale in the Western Cape if the ANC wins the election in that province, it can only be received with a feeling of sadness and huge concern. Sadly this is not a Western Cape or an election issue, it is a national issue.

It’s time to throw this debate wide open and let’s call it what it is: RACISM. It was wrong in the ‘old South Africa’; it is wrong in the ‘new South Africa’. Let’s debate this issue openly, not holding back. But not in a spirit of hate, because racial prejudice is always wrong, no matter the source, no matter the excuse.

– Gerhard Papenfus