SA not better off under depraved system of apartheid – IRR

Institute distances itself from remarks by council member, Unathi Kwaza

South Africa was not better off under the depraved system of apartheid – IRR 

1 June 2020

Institute of Race Relations (IRR) CEO Dr Frans Cronje said today there were no grounds in principle or in fact for arguing that South Africa was better off under the depraved system of apartheid.

He was responding to inquiries arising from a post on Twitter on 30 May by Unathi Kwaza, elected this year to the IRR Council, which said: ‘Black people were better off under apartheid. It's time we admit this. At least those of us with honour.’

Dr Cronje said: ‘The broader IRR has always harboured a diversity of opinion among its structures and staff. However, the tweeted comment that apartheid was better than democracy does not accord with the position of the organisation or that of the great majority, almost without exception, of staff and office-bearers. Furthermore, the comment does not accord with the facts.

‘Apartheid was an evil and depraved system which the IRR bravely fought against for its entire duration in order to bring about democracy, and there can be no question that the present dispensation, for all South Africa’s contemporary challenges, can be compared to the racist establishment of the past, and the system that denied the vote to 80% of the populace.’

Dr Cronje added: ‘Fighting that system was one of our greatest successes. Provable data reveal that there are no grounds for arguing that apartheid was a better option.’

Issued by Michael Morris on behalf of IRR, 1 June 2020