As the country marks the Day of Reconciliation, anti-apartheid activist and chairperson of the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice, Shirley Gunn has found that the so-called South African Rainbow Nation must be seen for what it is. The late Archbishop Desmond Tutu had coined the term to signify South Africa’s diversity, and that all races and cultures can live in harmony. But the prevalence of racism and discrimination persists nearly 30 years after the country held its first democratic elections. Gunn contends that rainbows, by their very nature, are illusions. She says however, that it is still an aspirational image. Gunn meanwhile notes that the country is becoming more violent, and it’s now life-threatening to enter communities and try to mobilize them to help create the South Africa envisaged during the anti-apartheid struggle.
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