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Reconciliation: Cheap or costly by Dr. Marjorie Jobson - Khulumani Support Group


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A presentation by Dr. Marjorie Jobson, National Director of the Khulumani Support Group in South Africa & Juan Kariem, as part of a workshop 'Reconciliation: Cheap or Costly' in the Grahamstown Cathedral on 10 July 2014.

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Reconciliation: Cheap or costly by Dr. Marjorie Jobson - Khulumani Support Group

  1. 1. Reconciliation: Cheap or Costly? Marjorie Jobson & Juan Kariem
  2. 2. We still live in an Apartheid society • Apartheid structured our relationships with each other in South Africa. • The structural underpinning of these relationships still remains largely intact in the present. • Reconciliation is about committing to a shared future so that we can deal with our terrible past. If we don’t deal with it, we act it out. • We need to find the sacred meeting points where we can be fully human together. We need to tell the stories that hold our past, our present and our future within which we can all thrive. Sarah Crawford-Brown
  3. 3. The Second Level of Apartheid, Mr Floris Brown • How do we crush the 2nd Level of apartheid? When it has big smiles with an arm length distance • How do we destroy the 2nd Level of apartheid? When farm workers are chased straight into squatter camps • How do we extinguish the 2nd Level of apartheid? When the “dop” system is still alive and in place • How do we freeze the 2nd Level of apartheid? When education becomes: "Right of admission reserved” • How do we guillotine the 2nd Level of apartheid? When some people are asked "What are you people doing in our neighbourhood" • How do we handcuff the 2nd Level of apartheid? When front cover festivals remain 99% {…} 1% {…} • How do we stop this inhumane 2nd Level of apartheid? Reach out. Touch somebody’s heart. STOP! The heartache! ...
  4. 4. The Story of a ‘Reaching Out’
  5. 5. An introduction to a young man
  6. 6. An archetypal South African Apartheid town
  7. 7. The bombs that shattered the ‘peace’
  8. 8. A Reconciliation Activist: Mrs Olga Macingoane
  9. 9. A community debates the meaning of Stefaans’ attempts to ‘reach out’
  10. 10. Processes affecting ‘lifers’ in jail • Possibilities for engaging with restorative justice programmes • Learning to accept responsibility for the impacts of one’s crimes • Working to make amends • Preparing to reach out to one’s victims • Meeting one’s victims • Becoming eligible for ‘parole’ • Seeking a ‘pardon’ • Taking new steps beyond jail
  11. 11. Facing a long journey: Professor Jonathan Jansen • Reconciliation will take time because "we got into this mess over 350 years“. It is hard work, uneven work. Some will stay angry and will die angry, without forgiveness in their hearts. Reconciliation is costly work and in this work, victims must have priority and the focus must be on social justice. • Forgiveness gives you space to heal and takes the burden off your back, but never forget that people do not understand at the same rate. Remember, someone put things in Stefaans' head. • Reconciliation is necessary work. We are still in deep trouble in South Africa. We are a country of "kwaai bose mense" and we need a Khulumani Support Group to bring us together in this wounded country where we still hear calls to 'get the whites.'
  12. 12. December 16, 2012
  13. 13. Steps in a process • Working to find new ways to relate to each other – respecting the dignity of each person & valuing all people equally • Finding a way to give substance to “I am truly sorry…” through sitting with the pain of those harmed & dealing with the feelings of shame and guilt that accompany this pain; breaking through blinding boundaries of narrow group belonging; beginning a journey towards authentic compassion. (Wilhelm Verwoerd) • Prioritising actions to address the inequalities in society
  14. 14. Oswald Mtshali Man is A great wall builder The Berlin Wall The Wailing Wall of Jerusalem But the wall Most impregnable Has a moat Flowing with fright Around his heart A wall without windows For the spirit to breeze through A wall Without a door For love to walk in
  15. 15. Giving Substance to the Vision: South African Constitution To heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; To improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person. • So, is reconciliation cheap or costly?