South Africa’s president on Friday noted the “naked racism in the United States” and said he firmly believes that “this is a moment we should regard as a turning point with regard to tackling racism around the world”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke as the ruling African National Congress launched a Black Friday event in response to the “heinous murder” of George Floyd and “institutionalised racism” in the US, at home and “wherever it rears its ugly head”.
Ramaphosa said human dignity is a universal aspiration and respect for it is “the only guarantee of any nation’s prosperity”.
He pointed out South Africa’s enduring racial inequality a quarter-century after the end of the racist system of apartheid, and he expressed his “deepest regret” at the death of nearly a dozen South Africans allegedly at the hands of security forces during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown.
While he said the deaths “do not have the obvious racial dimensions of the murder of George Floyd, they do rely on a similar contempt for the intrinsic human worth of the victim” and must be condemned “just as vehemently”. The cases are under investigation.
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