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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422

Herv. teol. stud. vol.73 n.3 Pretoria  2017 



The causes and nature of the June 2016 protests in the City of Tshwane: A practical theological reflection



Mookgo S. Kgatle

Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa





South Africa has recently experienced a series of public protests. The common element is that violence is becoming evident in these protests. This article uses the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane as an example to address the root causes of such protests. On 20 June 2016, the African National Congress (ANC) announced that the city of Tshwane mayoral candidate for the 3 August 2016 municipal elections in South Africa is the former public works minister and ANC National Executive Committee member, Thoko Didiza. Consequently, public protests in the city of Tshwane emerged immediately after this announcement. These public protests were very violent, such as protesters killed one another, burned buses, looted shops and barricaded roads. The root causes of these violent protests are identified as factionalism, tribalism, sexism, economic exclusion and patronage politics. The purpose of this article is a practical theological reflection on the root causes of June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane. The main aim of this article is a practical theological solution to the general problem of violent protests.




This article discusses the context, the causes and the nature of the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane. Firstly, the context of these protests is discussed using the reports on the same. Secondly, the causes of these protests, namely factionalism, sexism, tribalism, economic exclusion and patronage politics, have been outlined and discussed. Finally, the article discusses the nature of the aforementioned protests in the city of Tshwane.

The purpose of this article is to examine whether the root causes of the June 2016 protests, identified as factionalism, tribalism, sexism, economic exclusion and patronage politics, can be addressed by practical theological reflection. This is also done with a view to help the South African government to tackle the problem of public violent protests so that there is peace and harmony in the country.


The context of the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane

The context of the June 2016 violent protests in Tshwane is the announcement of the mayoral candidate, the former public works minister and African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee member, Thoko Didiza. This announcement came as a shock given the fact that there were already three names that were initially submitted by the region. As a result, violent protests emerged in and around the city of Tshwane.

There are so many causes for these violent protests; for example, Gumede (2013:11) says that the many public protests and confrontations between the police officers and the people are symptomatic of the challenge epitomised by skewed state-capital relations. Kruidenier (2015:5) lists extensive poverty, prolonged periods of unemployment and income inequality, gender inequality, patriarchal notions of masculinity, exposure to abuse in childhood and compromised parenting, access to firearms, pervasive alcohol misuse and fragilities in law enforcement as amongst the many factors inherent to the social dynamics of violence. A dominant feature of violence in South Africa, according to Seedat et al. (2009:1012), is the disproportionate role of young men as perpetrators and victims.

Other factors conducive to violence, according to Abrahams (2010:514), include poverty informed by a disparity in income between the rich and poor, poor service delivery, overcrowding in squatter camps, lack of housing and widespread unemployment. Abrahams continues to say that poverty and inequality are the most crucial social dynamics that have contributed to South Africa's burden of violent protests (see Abrahams 2010:514). This article has identified factionalism, tribalism, sexism, economic exclusion and patronage politics as the root causes of the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane. These root causes are discussed succinctly to give a practical theological reflection.


Causes of the June 2016 protests in city of Tshwane


The first view is that these protests came as a result of factional divisions in the ANC in Tshwane. The ANC stressed that there is no real opposition to Didiza's candidacy and that the violence erupted because of an ANC factional battle between the Tshwane regional chairperson Kgosientso Ramokgopa and his deputy Mapiti Matsena. The conflict has been long running and complex (Daily Maverick 2016). In fact, the announcement of Didiza as a compromise candidate was done to prevent a possible factional division between Ramokgopa and Matsena. Instead of preventing this factional division, it introduced another division between people who support Ramokgopa and those in support of Didiza. The ANC members on the ground still preferred Ramokgopa over Didiza.

Factionalism is the conflict between informal groupings within the party constituted around particular leaders, as the party's capacity to control public appointments and direct state contracting becomes ever more deeply entrenched and hence the power of party notables as patrons more pronounced (Lodge 2004:190). Factionalism has negative consequences for the organisation and can lead to dysfunction and breakaways (Sarakinsky 2015:66).

Political factionalism, according to Marshall (2005:10), has been identified as one of the most important factors leading to the onset of political violence and regime instability. Factional struggles rooted in patronage contests are nothing new to the ANC. However, according to Beresford (2015:238), the intensity of these struggles has increased since the ANC has held public office. The initial warnings raised in the mid-1990s have become much more alarmist in tone, arguing that factionalism has become 'parasitic' by sapping the life out of the ANC's structures. Another problem is the growth of such factional activity, and the violence that surrounds it, as heralding part of a 'transition to violent democracy' in South Africa.

Factionalism is more likely to cause other protests in the future other than the June 2016 violent protests in Tshwane. Cilliers and Aucoin (2016:15) predict that South Africa is likely to experience significantly increased social instability in the next 2 years, mainly in the form of higher levels of violence protests, as the factional battles in the ANC plays out. On the current path, violent protests will escalate, particularly high levels of violence within the ANC in the run-up to the December 2017 national conference as well as more general social and community violence in the run-up to the 2019 provincial and national elections.


Tribalism also played a role in the protests. Other ANC members discriminated against Didiza because she is not Sotho-speaking and did not grow up in Tshwane but in Durban (Daily Maverick 2016). In other words, they supported Ramokgopa because he is Sotho-speaking and Tshwane-born. They supported a behaviour and attitude that stem from strong loyalty to a specific social group. Sanou (2015:95) describes tribalism as the attitude and practice of harbouring a strong feeling of loyalty or bonds to one's tribe that one excludes or even demonises those 'others' who do not belong to that group. Tribalism, according to Nwaigbo (2005:137), prompts one to have a positive attitude towards those who are connected to them through kinship, family and clan, and it de facto (directly or indirectly) alienates one from people of other tribes who are not related to them by blood, kinship, family or clan.

Tribalism is the efforts of indigenous groups to define their political and cultural identity as separate from that of the larger nation-state (Tsosie 2003:359). Tribalism indicates a primitive stage of social development, in which loyalty was owed to a group with common descent. Indeed, ethnicity and tribalism have an important role in the conflicts, but emerge only as secondary factors (Paglia 2007:36).

The resilience of ethnicity as both politics and reality in the words of Karodia (2008:32) is one of the few apparent apartheid continuities since independence. Ethnic connections still challenge other relationships, fomenting arguments of internal secession or external irredentism, despite people in general wanting to be part of the broader geographic polity. Mackenzie (2009:72) argues that tribes in South Africa have been slaughtering each other since long before the advent of white explorers and settlers. This suggests that tribalism in South Africa existed even before racism. It also suggests that tribalism is one of the major causes of violence in society. It is therefore one of the root causes of the June 2016 violent protests in Tshwane.


There is also a view that recognises sexism as the root cause of the violent protests. Some ANC members made derogatory statements against Didiza because she is a woman (Daily Maverick 2016). In other words, they supported Ramokgopa because of his masculinity. They wanted to maintain a system whereby men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. These ANC members are not only sexist in their comments but are also patriarchal. Sexism, according to Horowitz (1997:75), is a pattern of behaviour perpetuated by society through gender conditioning which equally dehumanises both men and women. At one end of the pattern, women are socialised to occupy the role of victim or 'target' of the oppression. At the other, men are socialised to occupy the role of perpetrator or 'agent' of the oppression.

Sexism is the systematic oppression of women. Patriarchy is androcentric and male-centred, where men are the upholders of authority and power while women are deprived of any authority or power. In a patriarchal society, men are powerful and women are inferior, defective and less human (Modise & Wood 2016:287).

Sexism is prevalent in South Africa even with some of the most progressive changes and laws. Essof (2009:7) explains that many women are unemployed, continue to live in poverty, too few own land and are without houses of their own, and some struggle from the multiple effects of diseases like HIV and/or AIDS. Essof continues to say that for many, violence has become a part of everyday life. The deficit of justice to the thousands of women and girls whose rights to bodily integrity are violated through rape and other forms of violence keeps growing and threatens to erode the policy, legal and political gains women have made (Essof 2009:7).

In addition, there is a history of the double oppression that black women suffered in a racist, patriarchal society. Black South African women, according to Conradie (2010:104), were subjected to both racist and sexist discrimination, effectively withheld from quality education and professional employment opportunities in the homelands where they were depended on the wages of male migrant labourers. The double oppression Britton (2006:145) reiterates that it was exacerbated by the violence of apartheid, the social consequences of the migrant labour force and the impact of patriarchal authority. It made violence against women to become one of the most visible and destabilising vestiges of this complex history.

Women according to Pillay (2015:562) continue to experience racism, classism and sexism. They have come to identify the subtle and obscure patriarchal power in marriage, family, church and society. Women in the words of Sunelle (2016:431) are amidst various forms of oppression, often left with few alternative options but to bargain with various forms of gender relations as a means to obtain basic human rights. Although they are a majority of the South African population, African women in South Africa, according to Masenya (2012:205), remain on the periphery of the margins of our communities. They are women who, although a majority, mostly remain without a voice.

Violence against women in the words of Jewkes (2002:1424) has become a social norm in which men are violent towards women they can no longer control or economically support. Kretzschmar (2014:5) adds that women's lives are deeply affected by unemployment, family dysfunction, HIV or AIDS, and violence. Even when they do find employment, many women are part-time workers in semi- or unskilled employment which is not well paid. Therefore, sexism played a role in causing the June 2016 violent protests in Tshwane.

Economic exclusion

Among the tactics used to send people on the rampage was a false message that those employed through the Extended Public Works Programme1 (EPWP) in areas around the city of Tshwane would lose their jobs if Ramokgopa was no longer mayor (SAGovNews 2016). Although the National Department of Public Works issued a statement that none of the 94 projects of the EPWP will be discontinued at the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality after local government election on 03 August, the damage was already caused by the innuendo.

According to the report by South African government news agency, currently, the City of Tshwane and the EPWP are implementing the projects that have created more than 5000 work opportunities in various townships across the city. Other ongoing projects include street-cleaning projects, road and street maintenance, installation of storm-water pipes, maintenance of parks and home-based care. One of the most successful projects is a street-cleaning project in which participants clean up illegal dumpsites at various townships across the city. This project is implemented in several communities including Mabopane, Soshanguve, Winterveldt, Hammanskraal, Atteridgeville and Ga-Rankuwa (SAGovNews 2016).

The report continues to say that collectively the EPWP projects in the city of Tshwane have created 5734 work opportunities between 01 April 2015 and 31 March 2016. A total of 51.9% of the total number of work opportunities created were for young people, while women constitute a total of 54.9% and people living with disability had a representation of 0.69% (SAGovNews 2016). Whoever used this tactic knew that none of these people employed at EPWP can afford to lose their job given the current unemployment rate of about 26.6% (Statistics South Africa 2016). The tactic worked because if such people were to lose such jobs it will not be easy for them to be employed again.

The majority of the unemployed people in South Africa are young people. This is the age group that is more likely to be perpetrators of violent protests. This does not suggest that the older people do not engage in violent protests but the young people will be at the forefront of such protests. The more young people are sited at home doing nothing the more they take wrong substances like 'nyaope',2 which activates them to engage in wrongful activities like violent protests. Any government that is serious in dealing with high rate of public violent protests needs to address the high rate of youth unemployment. Notwithstanding the impact of unemployment on families especially when both parents are not working it can affect the children as well.

Patronage politics

The last view is that the protests in the city of Tshwane came as a result of patronage politics. It is a view that those who were opposed to the candidacy of Thoko Didiza were protecting their positions of power or a promise of such positions. They feared that Thoko Didiza will dismantle their feeding troughs. Those who supported other candidates to the powerful position anticipated to benefit from their appointment - at stake were, among others, positions for mayoral committee members, high-ranking municipal officials and bid committee positions (Pretoria News 2016).

The support to other candidates was driven by the pursuit of material gain, not good governance. Ramokgopa, for example, has not run a squeaky clean administration. There have been endless reports of corruption involving a contract to install a meter-reading system, and concerts for international singers that never happened despite expenditure of millions (Dispatch live 2016).

Patronage is basically a relationship in which, as a special favour, a patron provides for his client access to scarce resources that are not universally accessible (Moxnes 1991:243; cf. Van Eck 2013:3). Patron client relations are social relationships between individuals based on a strong element of inequality and difference in power. The basic structure of the relationship is an exchange of different and very unequal resources. A patron has social, economic and political resources that are needed by a client. In return, a client can give expression of loyalty and honour that are useful for the patron (Blok 1969:336; cf. Van Eck 2013:3). Political patronage is an exchange relationship in which a variety of goods and services are traded between the principal and the agent (Mamogale n.d:2).

In the South African context, 'ethnic patronage' exists 'in the form of favouritism in bureaucratic appointments and state contracts awarded to business', and this 'produces a state-sponsored [black] middle-class whose commitment to the dominant party outweighs that to a neutral state or the need for opposition politics' (Mtshiselwa & Masenya 2016:4). This was an attempt by ANC leadership in Luthuli House to ensure that personnel loyal to the ruling party received key positions in government. The unintended consequence of this was the establishment of patronage networks that were loyal to the party and not to the state (Van Vuuren 2014:31).

It is through patronage networks that power and resources are allocated at every level, and the importance of these networks in shaping both formal and customary governance cannot be underestimated (Castillejo 2009:6). Women have little access to patronage networks and their supporters are mostly other women, who cannot provide much financial support. Consequently, they are disadvantaged in the political process (Kroeger 2012:13).

Protests erupt either because some elites crave a larger share of the spoils controlled by the leader or because those outside the leader's patronage-based coalition want access to resources to which they have been denied (Arriola 2009:1339). Patronage relationships are likely to cause protests because resources are scarce and patronage benefits only a few (Inman & Andrews 2009:6).


The nature of the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane

What started out as a structural violence3 caused by the internal battles of the ANC like factionalism, tribalism, sexism, economic exclusion and patronage politics in the city of Tshwane breaded another form of violence that affected the rest of society around the city. The structural violence became physical violence that spread around the townships of the city of Tshwane.

The June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane turned violent according to a report by Daily Maverick, vehicles were torched in Hebron and Atteridgeville and streets in Hammanskraal were barricaded. All streets leading into the area had been blocked with burning objects and barricades. There were also unconfirmed reports of a truck burnt in Hammanskraal with two buses also reported to have been set alight. The situation became so volatile, commuters were left stranded as buses and taxis lessened their services in fear of violence. Furthermore, there was loss of life and damage to property in several areas in the city of Tshwane (Daily Maverick, 22 June 2016).

In another report by African News agency, at least 20 buses were reportedly burnt and cars damaged as angry protesters took to the streets in Extension 5, Mamelodi East. The townships of Atteridgeville and Soshanguve in the city of Tshwane were widely considered to be no-go area as residents took to the streets to protest, blockading roads in the process. A group of protesters used live ammunition while trying to loot shops. A light truck carrying recycled material was emptied of its contents on the busy Tsamaya road. Three Tshwane metro police officers had to run for their lives after protesters attacked their marked service vehicle. The vehicle was overturned on the busy intersection of Francis Baard and Beckett Streets in Arcadia (African News Agency 2016).

The violent protests in the city of Tshwane are not in isolation but are a part of a bigger societal problem in South Africa. There were other recent violent protests prior to the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane like the Malamulele protests over municipal demarcation, Vuwani protests, whereby the community is refusing to fall under Malamulele municipality and the famous fees must fall student protests against a fee increase. The commonality between these protests is violence, for example, more than 20 schools were burnt in the Vuwani protests. Although the public do have legitimate concerns in these protests, one cannot find the rationality between those needs and the burning of schools, for example. It validates the point that the society has cultivated a culture of violence that is not easy to eradicate. It also proves the point that South Africa is slowly becoming a violent nation.

The culture of violence according to Simpson, Mokwena and Segal (1992:202) is a legacy of apartheid. It finds its roots in the 1980s, when violence was predominantly political in nature. That is, 'where the dominant motivation (for violence was) based on political difference or the competing desire for political power'. Karodia and Soni (2014:7) concur that the culture of violence was perpetrated, aided and abetted by the apartheid intelligence and security apparatus, which continued and created instability, fear and chaos, leaving a political vacuum, the apartheid regime could fill. Hamber and Lewis (1997:8) described the culture of violence as a situation in which social relations and interactions are governed through violent, rather than non-violent, means. This is a culture in which violence is proffered as a normal, legitimate solution to problems: 'violence is seen as a legitimate means to achieve goals particularly because it was legitimised by most political role-players in the past'.

The culture of violence is not new to South Africa. In the words of Oliver (2011:1), it is partly the fruit of a historical harvest. The history of South Africa has been characterised by the occurrence of violence to a greater or lesser extent since the 17th century. Huber (2011:2) opines that South Africa is a paradigmatic case of the way in which the manifold faces of violence are intermingled. The 'oppressive violence' of the apartheid system is, in its consequences, still present. The 'reactive violence' in the upheavals of resistance is still commemorated. The 'repressive reaction' of the state security system violated the lives of many people, as some of the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made clear in a horrifying manner. Finally, 'destructive violence' is still spreading across South Africa from year to year.

It is not wrong to protest or demonstrate according to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which states that everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions4. It is equally not wrong to assemble together according to the Regulation of Gatherings Act of South Africa which states that every person has the right to assemble with other persons and to express their views on any matter freely in public and to enjoy the protection of the State while doing so.5

However, criminal elements in such protests should be condemned, and perpetrators of crime should be arrested. The people of the city of Tshwane have a right like all citizens to demonstrate their concerns to the authorities but that should not be done unlawfully. It is unlawful to burn busses or any other vehicle, loot shops, barricade roads without permission and burn tyres on the road.


Practical theological reflection on the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane

The violent nature of the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane can be stopped by addressing their root causes like factionalism, tribalism, sexism, economic exclusion and patronage politics. This article is a critical evaluation of the principles of a rainbow nation or inclusive human community. It is a practical theological reflection on the causes and nature of the June 2016 protests in the city of Tshwane.

Inclusive human community is a practical theological ideology that is built on the principles of a rainbow nation. After first being coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the metaphor of the rainbow nation has been hijacked by business, politics and social organisations, national and foreign media (Habib 1997:15). Tutu's symbolism of a rainbow nation is the ability of all South Africans to co-exist in spite of and because of difference (Gqola 2001:98). The difference here does not only refer to race but also ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, geographical locations, education and gender as well as perspective shunting between self and other (Wicomb 1998:367).

Tutu's image, according to Baines (1998:1), draws on the Old Testament story of the flood where the rainbow symbolises God's promise not to pass further judgement on humankind. For Tutu, the image probably also resonates with the symbolism of the rainbow in South African indigenous cultures. Dickow and Moller (2002:177) agree that Tutu's rainbow nation is the biblical symbol of peace, the rainbow, as a symbol of unity for South African people. Dickow and Moller continue to say that the symbol of the rainbow is the Old Testament symbol of reconciliation which affirms God's covenant with Noah after the flood. Tutu spoke not of a covenant with a Chosen People, but of a covenant with all South Africans, irrespective of origin, religion or colour (Dickow & Moller 2002:177).

Tshawane (2009:58) reiterates Tutu's definition of a rainbow nation as the theological model of inclusiveness. In Genesis 9:12-17, which is where the concept originates, the rainbow is the sign of the covenant between God, the human race and every living creature that is on earth. According to Peberdy (2001:26), the rainbow nation in Tutu's definition is the inclusiveness of South Africa. He identifies the government's commitment to human rights and democracy in a society which constitutionally protects its citizens from discrimination. At the same time, he constructs this new national vision by reference to a shared history, even if one of division, conflict, war, human rights abuses and suffering.

Tutu was of the conviction that as far as South Africa as a nation state was concerned, there could be 'no future without forgiveness'. He has drawn upon some aspects of their cultural values and attitudes to enable the country to move beyond its violent past (Murithi 2006:26). The non-racial, multicultural spirit of the achievement of the early 1990s was captured by the phrase associated with Tutu - South Africans had created a 'rainbow nation' (Guy 2004:69). It is agreed here that Tutu's symbolism of a 'rainbow nation' is a practical theological one that envisions a South Africa that recognises unity in diversity, diverse cultures and the coming together of the people of many nations with a bright future.

In this article, rainbow nation is an inclusive human community that is capable to fight factionalism. It is an ideology that unites people with different political affiliations and ideologies. The same way with the earliest church of the Apostles, people can come together and have things in common. They can share what they have with other people in need (Ac 2:44-45). Rautenbach (2010:143) agrees that there can be no doubt that the expression 'rainbow nation' was, and still is, a spoken metaphor for South African unity, intended to unify the greatly divided South African nation at a time when strict divisions existed between racial groups, especially between white and black people.

Rainbow is also an inclusive human community that is capable of addressing tribalism because it believes in diverse cultures and recognises all ethnic groups. It believes that South Africa is rich in diversity with 11 official languages. The rainbow, according to McAllister (1995:12), symbolises a range of cultural groups represented by discrete colours and hues which blur into one another, none of which is completely distinct but each is essential to the composition of the entire spectrum. The rainbow is incomplete without each of the colours, but none of the colours or strands is dominant over the other.

Adam (1995:459) points out that it rejects an ethnic nation in favour of a civic nation, based on equal individual rights, regardless of origin, and equal recognition of all cultural traditions in the public sphere. Freemantle (2007:47) concurs that rainbow promotes South Africa as a multicultural and vibrant country dedicated towards peace and reconciliation, an ideology which led to the country's transformation being branded a 'miracle'.

The rainbow metaphor projects the image of different racial, ethnic and cultural groups being united and living in harmony. It has thus become a symbol of unity amongst the diverse population of South Africa (Bornman 2006:384). Rainbow nation is an inter-communal understanding that would preserve the distinct identities of separate cultures (Herman 2011:12). The term 'rainbow nation' represents nationality, identity and that the nation's differences are immaterial; the nation is united in diversity (Buqa 2015:2). It is an image of a country united in its diversity (Teeger 2015:232). In the 'rainbow nation', the three core concepts of nation-building, non-racialism and reconciliation were to express the consensual alternative to the previously imposed separation and interracial antagonisms (Moodley & Adam 2000:51).

Finally inclusive human community is capable to address sexism because it is an ideology that recognises both men and women as the perfect image of God. Rainbow is an ideology of equity and equality that is able to afford all its citizens opportunities regardless of race, age and gender. Rainbow nation is an ideology according to Beall, Gelb and Hassim (2005:697) that is concerned with forging a national identity based on equality, irrespective of race, ethnicity or gender and runs the risk of glossing over socio-economic fractures and inequality. Raedt (2012:7) agrees that the idea of the rainbow nation is a picture of a society characterised by equity when it comes to economic opportunities. Furthermore, Harris (2002:178) says that it conveys notions of reconstruction, development and upliftment.

The symbol of a rainbow nation is an inclusive human community that is able to address the root cause of violent protests in Tshwane. It addresses factionalism because it unites people of different political affiliations and ideologies. Rainbow nation is able to address tribalism because it is an ideology that believes in diverse cultures and cultural diversity. It recognises all ethnic groups in South Africa. It believes that South Africa is rich in diversity with 11 official languages. Inclusive human community is capable to address sexism because it is an ideology of non-sexism that recognises both men and women as the perfect image of God. Rainbow is an ideology of equity and equality that is able to afford all its citizens opportunities regardless of race, age and gender.



The root causes of the June 2016 violent protests in Tshwane have been identified as factionalism, tribalism, sexism, economic exclusion and patronage politics. South Africa as a nation needs to revisit the principles of a rainbow nation-inclusive human community in order to deal with factionalism, tribalism, sexism, economic exclusion, patronage politics and any other form of discrimination. These are the principles of the unity of diverse cultures, the coming together of the people of many different nations, hope and a bright future.

Although the rainbow metaphor remains a powerful construct and national vision, it cannot operate alone or otherwise it will disappear into thin air. The principles of justice, restitution and redistribution are to be considered in order that the rainbow metaphor may achieve peace, reconciliation and nationhood.

In order to live as a rainbow nation, Meylahn (2013:10) suggests advents of a rainbow nation that are true understanding, communication, reconciliation and forgiveness. They are the advent of multilingual understanding, intercultural or multi-cultural communication, the advent of receiving forgiveness for the unforgivable, the advent of reconciling the irreconcilable without a code forcing the reconciliation. Thesnaar (2014:7) suggests that there is a need to embody reconciliation and peace by, amongst others, respecting the human dignity of all involved in the conflict, especially the 'other', and emphasising justice and not revenge. Louw (2016:325) adds that cooperation and co-existence of all races are necessary for rainbow nation.

There should be a replacement of the ideas of liberation and justice with forgiveness and reconciliation in order to achieve the objectives of a rainbow nation in South Africa (Delport & Lephakga 2016:8). True forgiveness should be premised on an authentic call to the perpetrators to own up to their atrocities, show remorse and repentance, and be prepared to journey with the victims in their struggle to make ends meet after the loss they have suffered (Kgatla 2016:60).

The first step to an inclusive human community is to make black people discover their identity by pumping black life, pride, dignity and worth into their life. Secondly, the affirmation of black culture should become a major component in the building of an inclusive human community. Thirdly, in an inclusive human community, members of that community should be empowered by technology without being dominated by materialism but keeping their spiritual dimension intact. Lastly, the priority of the new South Africa should be education, economics, culture and religion (Tshawane 2009:281).



Competing interests

The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationships which may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article.



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Mookgo Kgatle

Received: 25 Aug. 2016
Accepted: 20 Dec. 2016
Published: 24 Apr. 2017



1 The EPWP in South Africa has its origins in Growth and Development Summit (GDS) of 2003. Launched in 2004, the programme has created more than 7 million opportunities since its inception. The programme is a key government initiative, which contributes to government's policy priorities in terms of decent work and sustainable livelihoods, education, health, rural development, food security and land reform, and the fight against crime and corruption. EPWP is politically non-partisan and serves to uplift lives of disadvantaged communities through providing work opportunities and skills training so that the beneficiaries can be self-sufficient. The EPWP is one of the key government programmes that is aimed at alleviating poverty and unemployment in the country. As a poverty relief initiative, the EPWP, in partnership with local municipalities, creates short- to medium-term work and training opportunities for the poor, unemployed and unskilled South Africans.
2 Nyaope is a highly addictive drug used by youths and is often called by different street names that are area specific. Some popular names are 'Sugars' in Durban (KwaZulu-Natal), 'Ungah' in Western Cape, 'Pinch' in Mpumalanga and 'Nyaope' in Pretoria (Tshwane). Nyaope is a mixture of heroin, dagga and other substances (Masombuka 2013:22).
3 Structural violence refers to a form of violence wherein some social structure or social institution may harm people by preventing them from meeting their basic need. It refers to the avoidable limitations society places on groups of people that constrain them from achieving the quality of life that would have otherwise been possible. These limitations could be political, economic, religious, cultural or legal in nature and usually originate in institutions that have authority over particular subjects (Galtung 1969:167).
4 Section 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
5 Regulation of Gatherings Act, 1993 (no.205 of 1993).

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