Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, Ronald Lamola, says there is a need for the nation to resolve class and race challenges that continue to haunt the country.
Lamola said this when he participated in a debate on Black Lives in Parliament on Tuesday.
“When we speak of #BlackLivesMatter, we must understand that it is part of our historical legacy. We live in a world where colonialism, the legacy of racist capitalism and its pervasive racial inequality still persist.
“These are also the experiences of black professionals in South African boardrooms and in all the commanding heights of the economy. These are the class and race contradictions we must resolve as a nation. Generations after us should not be debating this matter; they should be counting the progress we’ve made,” he said.
Lamola’s remarks come not long after former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini stunned the nation by revealing how isolated he used to be from his white teammates when on tour with them, including an incident where he opted to jog to a game to avoid feeling lonely in a team bus.
Shortly after being named SA Men’s ODI and T20 Cricketer of the Year at Cricket SA’s awards last month, Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi made headlines when he called on his teammates to discuss issues of racism in sport.
Other sportsmen, who have since joined Ngidi in his #BlackLivesMatter stance include, Boks captain Siya Kolisi, who in a touching video on Instagram revealed that he also felt isolated long before he joined rugby.
During the debate in Parliament on Tuesday, Lamola said Ngidi reminds the nation that the road to total transformation is incomplete, “moreover when some amongst us are committed to the status quo”.
“Who can, with a clean conscious, disagree with Ngidi when he says, ‘As a nation, we have a past which [is steeped] in racial discrimination’. We need to take this very seriously and like the rest of the world is doing, take a stand.”
“Faf Du Plesis, our former Proteas national captain, could not have said it better when he said, ‘We cannot assert that all lives matter unless black lives matter’.
“The black lives protests in cricket yearns for our solutions. The cries of retired world renowned cricketers, such as Makhaya Ntini, call for close scrutiny of the underlining systematic racism in sports and society in general,” Lamola said.