AfriForum accuses ANC of distorting history

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Civil rights organisation AfriForum has released a report – conducted by think-tank Opinor – accusing the ANC of distorting history.

The report was in response to a section on historical context in the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture’s final report.

AfriForum’s head of research Barend Uys said historic events were used in the panel’s report as motivation for the amendment of the constitution to make expropriation without compensation possible.

“It is problematic if history is distorted to achieve ideological goals and to serve a political agenda,” he said.

“It is essential to deal with the past in an honest way so that lessons can be learned from it.”

But the panel’s spokesperson, Nkosi Zwelivelile, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, said disputes about the historicity of certain aspects of the report don’t change the reality of land ownership in SA.

“If there are any inaccuracies or questions of interpretation those must be addressed but landowners, the majority of whom are white according to the last land survey, must not play the fiddle while SA burns,” he said.

But Uys said the government cannot be trusted with history.

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“Cultural communities must take responsibility themselves and cooperate to discover the truth in shared history and then utilise insights gained to normalise the past and the future.”

He said the report pointed out several factual errors and found questionable allegations made without any sources.

Another issue is the impression created that Afrikaners are foreigners and what AfriForum described as an exaggerated generalisation about the history of land ownership.

Political analyst Piet Croucamp said the problem with the panel was no secret. “With regards to the argument that this panel was rewriting history, no one will understand it better than AfriForum, because they regularly rewrite history.

“If I had to choose between the report and AfriForum’s rewriting of history, then the report is still closer to the truth than AfriForum’s version of it.”

marizkac@citizen.co.za

Source: citizen