Acting Chairperson of the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Trust, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, says the defacing of Tutu’s mural in Cape Town casts a racial slur on our country.
This comes after derogatory words, namely “Ek is ‘n k****r”, were penned on the mural. Cape Town videographers Wesley Fester and Saamwiet Moos made the shocking discovery on Saturday afternoon, September 25.
“For this hatred to be repeated, decades later, by someone scrawling, ‘Ek is ‘n k*****’, on a mural of the Archbishop in central Cape Town, casts a slur on our democracy. It speaks to the work still ahead to complete the journey, his journey, to restore our humanity,” said Ramphele as per IOL.
“Racism is a curse South Africa must escape. We have enough problems on our plate, including radical inequality in wealth and living standards still largely tracking the social, economic and environmental hierarchies of the past.
“We must work through unresolved reverberations from the past to build an inclusive nation at peace with itself and its humanity. A nation of conscious, critical thinking and educated citizens. That is an objective worthy of pursuing to honour the Arch on his 90th birthday, and to honour ourselves,” said Ramphele.
She went on to say that Tutu was no stranger to this type of treatment, citing the incident in 1989 at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle where Tutu was regularly threatened by hatemongers, including the security police. “His family received horrible phone calls, he was the target of graffiti — and in one unsavoury incident, in 1989, a baboon foetus was hung outside their home in an attempt, police later said, to bewitch him,” Ramphele adds.
Good party’s mayoral candidate, Brett Herron agreed and called for the culprit behind the slur to be identified and prosecuted, adding that the person was most likely captured by the city’s security cameras.
“There is no place for racism anywhere in the world, but specially not in postapartheid SA, one of the most unequal societies on earth where inequality is still defined largely by race. Acts of racism undermine precious unity and cohesion in a country that can ill-afford further division,” said Herron as Times Live reports.