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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Educating people about horrors of apartheid ‘incites violence’, says FF+

Freedom Front Plus says educational poster is racist because it blames apartheid for the violent crime in South Africa.

A poster, about the legacy of apartheid, in the 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria has raised the ire of Freedom Front Plus (FF+), with party leader Pieter Groenewald saying it incites violence in South Africa.

The poster says black people, in addition to facing brutal violence from the police and army, had to deal with a lack of food, water, medical care and education.

Due to this, according to the government poster, communities used weapons and violence to protect themselves.

The poster also claims that violence has since become part of South Africans’ culture.

These widely accepted historical facts, however, have angered the FF+.

“The poster is absolutely racist as it consistently blames apartheid for the violence in South Africa,” Groenewald said in a statement on Friday.

Justification to commit crime?

Groenewald said the poster provides justification for South Africans to commit crime.

He also claims that it will stoke racial tension.

“This poster is not only racist, but it also justifies violence against the backdrop of apartheid and disturbs racial relations,” said Groenewald.

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He said he will write a letter to Defence Minister Thandi Modise demanding that the poster be taken down.

Groenewald also said government must stop using apartheid as an excuse for South Africa’s social ills.

“Government must move away from its habit of blaming apartheid for everything, from poor service delivery to social problems that are actually the result of its own incompetence,” he said.

Contributor to high crime levels

Despite Groenewald’s statements, a report published by the NGO Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in 2010 said the violence and inequalities experienced during apartheid is a key contributor to the high level of crime in South Africa since 1994.

The report was compiled at the request of government.

It said the state-sponsored violence that swept across townships, in addition to police harassment and the migrant labour system, was a breeding ground for criminal behaviour.

“These uniquely South African issues nurtured a culture of violence that has reproduced itself ever since,” the report states.

NOW READ: ‘Afrikaners are tired of taking the blame,’ says FF+ leader Groenewald

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