If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
—Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa
Those were Madiba’s dreams. They had earlier been M K Gandhi’s dreams as well for South Africa, long before he embarked on his historic return journey from that nation to India and became the Mahatma. But those dreams have today lost their way in the volatile tinder box of grudge and revenge. As parts of South Africa lie bruised and burnt, forgiveness and its constant companion, goodness, are two roads that are not to be seen. Of late the rainbow nation’s fragile social fabric has been exposed. The deep chasms that exist in a nation historically divided by the very reprehensible idea and practice of apartheid for 46 years have only widened. Crucially, the Indian community in this part of the world is tense and visibly agitated. Neither Nelson Mandela nor Mahatma Gandhi would have liked to see this day, their dreams have not come true.
Our cover story this time examines how Indians, particularly in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, are facing a social backlash following the arrest and imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma who belongs to the Msholozi clan from KwaZulu-Natal. He was arrested for contempt of the Constitutional Court that tried him for charges of corruption during his nine year tenure as South Africa’s President.
In early August a web-based interaction with the Indian diaspora in South Africa was organized by the India Empire Magazine—a publishing outfit that has tracked the diaspora since the inception of the erstwhile Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in 2004. Interacting with a section of the Indian Diaspora in South Africa during the web session Mr K J Alphons, Member of the Indian Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs, mentioned: “The situation in South Africa could not have happened overnight. This is a nation that has learnt how to forgive its oppressors from none other than the great Nelson Mandela with whom I’ve had the privilege of interacting twice in the past. Undeniably there have been social challenges, poverty being one of them. I’ve myself seen it during my three-day visit to South Africa as a Union Minister from India in 2019.”