Friday 21 May 2021


A shocking Amnesty International report has revealed that rescue and evacuation operations in the recent Mozambican terror attacks prioritised white people over blacks.

The report alleged that white contractors were airlifted from Palma, a town on the north-east coast of Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, before its black inhabitants, after conducting interviews with 11 black survivors of the siege.

However, this has been rejected by Dyck Advisory Group, a South African company hired to help the Mozambican government evacuate those still trapped in the town’s Amarula and Bonatti hotels.

The report quoted a number of witnesses saying during rescue operations the manager of a hotel that people took refuge in was seen taking his two German Shepherd dogs in the helicopter, using space meant for locals.

The Steve Biko Foundation said it was concerned with the lack of psychological transformation and race relations in South Africa, decades after the dawn of democracy.

Foundation spokesperson Bokang Pooe said Amnesty International’s allegations highlighted that humanity must still contend with the depraved belief that black lives are inferior to those of whites.

“The survivors’ experience during the rescue operation speak of prejudice and racism, attitudes that have contributed to the needless and unjust deaths of many black people.

“It is essential that society does continuous work on dismantling these attitudes, both collectively and as individuals. This would mean white and black people reflecting on and appraising the meaning of their own humanity.

“Steve Biko spoke of looking forward to a non-racial, just and egalitarian society in which colour, creed and race shall form no point of reference,” Pooe said.

President of the Pan African Psychology Union Saths Cooper said South African leaders and communities were deeply scarred by apartheid.

He said public policy and the education system had to be corrected to ensure that white and black South Africans can see each other as equals.

Cooper said it was ironic that white people constituted a small minority, yet the greater population still lived according to Western norms.

He also said the country’s media were also under the veil of subconscious racism, citing that the media made a big issue of the raids in Mozambique when big corporates and white victims were involved.

“Essentially we have not dealt with our past effectively and we have not engaged the elephant of racism that plays a part in our lives and our education and public policy fails to address this,” Cooper said.

He said the destructive apartheid system was also lodged in the leadership of the country, especially those who often would hire white lawyers to fight their legal battles.

“Black lawyers were only taken seriously when they started complaining that they were not being used,” Cooper said.

He added that while the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a watershed moment, the hearings had not done much to dislodge apartheid in the mind.

 Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said he was shocked at the findings of the Amnesty International report.

“Generally speaking, when people deal with disaster, they don’t check white or black, they don’t say, ’Wait a bit I want to save a white person first.’

“Racism is a sickness where you don’t look at the human being as a human being but you look the colour,” he said.

Lekota said the country was in a rush for political freedom, however, the socio-psychological work was never properly dealt with.

“We were concerned with giving everyone equal rights, were saying ’we are human like you’ and this is why we said its more a way of life, we should be treated like human beings,” added Lekota.

The Star


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