By Bonny Ibhawoh,

It’s been two decades since the end of Apartheid in South Africa. Today I encounter University students who know nothing about Apartheid or what the anti-Apartheid movement was all about. They were too young to remember the tumultuous years of the 60s, 70s and 80s when the repressions and violence of the Apartheid regime in South Africa made daily international news. They are blissfully unaware. Yet, it is important that the world remembers.
Remember that apartheid was not only a crime against the people of South Africa but also declared by the United Nations as a crime against humanity.
  • Remember that the fight against apartheid was won only because of the concerted and relentless efforts of ordinary citizens of all races around the world who coalesced in the anti-apartheid movement.
  • Remember that even in the darkest days of apartheid repressions, there were some within the Reaganite and Thacherite regimes and the profit-driven industries that benefited from apartheid who argued for a policy of continued “constructive engagement” with the apartheid state rather than boycotting and isolating it.
  • Remember that Nelson Mandela, seen today as a hero and moral voice, was for many years labelled a dangerous communist terrorist and considered persona non grata in many Western countries for his role in the anti-Apartheid movement.
  • Remember that “Apartheid-like” discrimination and repression continue to exist in many countries around the world and that the same arguments used to rationalize, justify and legitimize Apartheid in South Africa are still being used to justify these regimes.

We must remember for those who forget the past are condemned to re-live it.