Ramaphosa tells Maselspoort victims not to be afraid of white peopleJanuary 8, 2023
African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is not a place for racism following the Maselspoort Resort incident.
Ramaphosa delivered the ANC’s January 8 statement at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Mangaung, Free State on Sunday.
The celebrations marked ANC’s 111th anniversary since its formation in 1912.
‘Racism is rearing its ugly head’
Addressing the crowd alongside the two boys who were allegedly the victims of a racially motivated attack on Christmas Day, Ramaphosa yet again expressed concern over racist incidents in the country.
“Racism is rearing its ugly head in our national life and threatening the foundations of our constitutional democracy, fuelling anger and frustration that can result in retaliatory violence,” he said.
He sent a clear message, saying South Africa was not a place for racism.
“The spirit of our forebears who fought against the apartheid system must fill you with courage as it does all of us.
WATCH: Maselspoort CCTV footage shows white people scatter as black teen gets in pool
“But we also want to send a clear and straight message to those in our country who still want to perpetuate racism, we say South Africa today, we do not want racists here in South Africa. If you want to practice your racist tendencies, South Africa is not the place to come and practice them.
“If you practice racism we will make sure you feel the might of the law because the people of South Africa will never allow racism to reign our country again,” Ramaphosa continued.
‘Apartheid is over’
The president further told the boys not to be scared to stand up to white people.
“It was such a shameful act to see old white men trying throttle these young men, to drown them in a pool under water and that’s why I have have them here as my guests today,” he said.
“I thank you boys, you must be strong and not be afraid of white people. They don’t have the strenght anymore… apartheid is over,” Ramaphosa said in Sesotho.
READ MORE: Maselspoort Resort: Charges upgraded to attempted murder
Ramaphosa added there would been no rainbow nation without sacrifice.
“The spirit of resistance against apartheid and colonialism and the courage struggle for liberation and democracy remains present and powerful.
“This spirit calls upon us to recorgnise the injustices of the past, it also calls upon us to honour those who suffered and sacrificed for freedom in our land,.”
Three men have since been arrested in connection to the Maselspoort incident, which was captured on CCTV footage.
The footage shows adult white men attacking the two teen boys in a bid to get them out of the resort pool.
READ MORE: Third Maselspoort racism suspect Kobus Klaassen released on R20K bail
Johan Nel, 33, from Bothaville, and Jan Stephanus van der Westhuizen, 47, from Brandfort, were arrested and appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court last week.
The two appeared in court on charges of assault common and crimean Injuria and the matter was postponed to 25 January 2023.
They were released on warning.
The third accused, 48-year-old Klaassen, from Bloemdal in Bloemfontein, was charged with attempted murder and was released on R20,000 bail.
Additional reporting by Faizel Patel