south africa’s human spirit
an oral memoir of the truth and reconciliation commission
Ladies and gentlemen,
It’s my honour to thank the Truth Commissioner, Yasmin Sooka, on behalf of the SABC and SABC News that you agreed to come and be our guest of honour tonight and you agreed to this without any hesitation. Yasmin is an incredible woman, ladies and gentlemen. She is sensitive, caring, intelligent, dedicated, strong, vocal and uncompromising in her beliefs and views whether they are popular or unpopular. The past four years taught us more about you, Yasmin, and we believe that we are still going to learn more about you and you are still going to make more contributions to the country. The people of South Africa thank you and honour you for your contribution in protecting human rights. You are a person who has blossomed and bloomed into a remarkable human being. We thank you that you were willing to switch the last lights of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [off].
It wasn’t only you, Yasmin. I want to thank all your colleagues who participated in this task and those that … who were quietly behind the scenes.
I want to thank those who were praying for this process.
I would like to thank the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation, the Norwegian Embassy and the people of Norway themselves. We are eternally indebted to you for funding our radio coverage of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I want to thank [former SABC Radio News and Current Affairs Editor] Franz Krüger in particular. You are the one who told me that I shouldn’t omit these people … uh … because they were important for our live coverage. They allowed us to do this without any editorial interference or demands. Our six-hour and 12-minute CD collection south africa’s human spirit would not have been possible without your generous funding, silent support and immense trust. It is because of people like you that South Africans now have a shared, common understanding of where we come from and what we have been through and who we now are. And we believe that we are ready now to shape our new society.
I also want to thank Hylton Appelbaum of Liberty Foundation for his financial token of support to south africa’s human spirit. Hylton, you too have proven that it is possible to be both big and caring in business. Thank you very much. I hope the other businesspeople are listening so they can do likewise.
I now have the pleasure of thanking every single person, particularly my colleagues, who were involved in this [south africa’s human spirit]. You have demonstrated that the SABC can make a meaningful difference to society and the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank Angie [Kapelianis] and I would like to thank Tim [Modise] and I would like to thank all of you who are present here tonight and I would like you to celebrate the human spirit. And it is true that the human spirit will not manifest itself through trees, grass and other objects, but it will manifest itself through human beings like us. Be good and be reconciled, including unto yourself. Enjoy the evening with us.
Reverend Hawu Mbatha
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