How Could You Have Let This Happen?

Joe Slovo and Ruth First were leaders in the African National Congress, and murdered by a parcel bomb during South Africa’s apartheid era. It was sent by the South African police force.

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Since apartheid ended, their daughter, Gillian, has travelled extensively across South Africa, seeking to help in her country’s healing and restoration. In the process she has come across many of the children of White South Africans who had been active in the oppression on non-whites.

One woman, a journalist of similar age to Gillian remarked to her: “I know it must have been hard for you to be your parent’s daughter. I know that there are many costs to be paid by the child of heroes. But imagine how it feels to be me: to have to look at my parents, and to ask of them – how could you? How could you have witnessed all this and said nothing. How could you have let it happen?”

Source: reported in Gillian Slovo,  “Making history: South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission”.

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