While December heralds the end of the year festivities, and we take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy festive period, there are also some very important and thought provoking events that we need to consider as we celebrate. Among these are the 16 days of activism against women and child abuse. We as South Africans need to gather in numbers to raise awareness during these 16 days to condemn any form of violence as violence only begets more violence and it is destructive. The 16 day of activism must be the incentives for us to work harder to stamp out violence from our societies so that we can begin to be proud of being South Africans.
Another important date is 1 December. This is World AIDS Day and as we remember the many bodies we have burried during this year and the many orphans that need care and the many grandmothers who are struggling to care for themselves and their grandchildren, let us pledge responsibility towards ourselves and our community by preventing HIV from spreading any further. Let us do this with dignity and steadfastness.
Another important date is 16 December. This is the day of reconciliation. This is not a day for any one of the various ethnic groups in South Africa to come together in unity, but a day when we can all declare our proudly South African nationhood and pledge as a nation to unite and create a better South Africa and a better world. Any rot in any one section is bound to affect the others so let us not be divisive. Let us unite and come together beyond ethnicity and class caste race and cultural divides to be proudly South African. South Africa has been a beacon of hope for many countries. The impeccable record of our leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Chief Albert Luthuli, Bram Fischer, George Sewpershad and so many others should bind us together as a proud nation. Let the day of reconciliation indeed bring us together and bind us in a knot of friendship and love. Chiara Lubich, the leader of the Folkolare movement in Italy says, “When love is enkindled and alive in the hearts of those who make up the family, impossible problems do not arise, insurmountable obstacles do not present themselves, irremediable failures do not occur. The family returns once again to being beautiful, united and healthy as God intended it to be.”
December is also a time when the African National Congress goes to its conference. As the ruling party in power we are concerned about its deliberations. While the rumblings of the past few months does not bode well let us all pray that the focus at the conference shifts from self aggrandisement to the real goals of this powerful and once revered organisation of the people of South Africa as postulated in the Freedom Charter. Let us pray that the efforts will be towards team building and not divisiveness, goal orientated and not self orientated and that the Conference emerges with a stronger, morally upright and ethically bound organisation.