Jerusha Sukhdeo (UJ)
September 12 marks three decades since the death of black consciousness icon, Steve Bantu Biko. While many choose to reflect on Biko’s strength of character and iron resolve there is a lesson to be learned in the infamous response of South Africa’s Minister of Justice, James “Jimmy” Kruger. Kruger stated that Biko’s death left him “cold”.
The former Justice Minister and his ilk, felt nothing at the time of Biko’s death.
30 years on, it is disturbing to see that this sentiment remains. Even more disturbingly, this sentiment remains with the youth. Young people are increasingly ignorant and apathetic about the sacrifices made by men and women as recently as 30 years ago. Disinterest in politics, current affairs and even history is rife. While not everyone is political, an understanding of South Africa's political history and climate may lead to greater understanding and co-operation.
Dwelling in the past will certainly accomplish nothing. Ignoring it, however, may accomplish as little.
Apathy is our greatest curse.