The party that introduced apartheid and enforced racial segregation in South Africa for nearly 50 years disbanded and apologised for its racist policies on Sunday, after an attempt to reinvent itself failed.
The New National Party, renamed from the National Party in 1997, voted itself out of existence after several electoral defeats. The once mighty and arrogant party ended its days with an apology for its apartheid policies.
“The National party brought development to a section of South Africa, but also brought suffering through a system grounded on injustice,” its former leader, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, told the party’s federal council on Saturday, while putting forward a motion to disband.
The move passed by a margin of 88 in favour, two against and three abstentions. The meeting was of the NNP members who joined the African National Congress (ANC) when the two parties merged last year. Now they will simply be members of the ANC.”
No party … could hope to successfully atone and move ahead in the same vehicle,” said Van Schalkwyk, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister in President Thabo Mbeki’s Cabinet.
He said that by dissolving, the party was throwing off the yoke of history and contributing to finally ending the “division of the South African soul”.
From : Mail & Guardian Online
Posted by Brian V Moore
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