Mamphela Ramphele: White people must apologise for wealth they haven’t worked for
The former anti-apartheid activist has defended her owned wealth, which is reportedly estimated at R55m, saying she was not a beneficiary of BEE.
FILE PICTURE: Former Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele. Picture: Alaister Russell
As the public discourse on the notions of “white privilege” and “white monopoly capital” continues to be controversial subjects in the country, former Agang SA leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele says white South Africans should apologise for the wealth they have acquired unjustly.
“White people have to acknowledge that the colour-coded system of the past, privileged them, gave them advantages which the majority of the people don’t have.”
“Now the issue is not to take away what’s there, but to acknowledge, and then to work together to deal with the consequences of a country where the majority of people are unskilled,” Ramphele said in an interview with Jacaranda FM on Tuesday.
She told the radio station currently about 60% – 65% of the country’s wealth is in the hands of 10% of the population. However, 80% of that wealth is owned by 10% of whites.
“We need to start with the fact base, and then we say, how do we bring that down,” she said.
Ramphele also defended her owned wealth, which is reportedly estimated at R55 million, saying she was not a beneficiary of Black Economic Empowerment policies.
“I have spent 50 years working in this country. That R55 million is nothing compared to what you collectively have,” she charged.
“So, what’s wrong with that? I worked for it, and I don’t have any guilt. Wealth distribution is not about people who have worked hard like me, being asked to distribute, when people who inherited wealth just simply aren’t making a contribution.
“White people need to apologise for the wealth they have acquired without having to work for it,” she added.