South Africa The Struggle Continues

January 15, 1998


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South Africa The Struggle Continues
South Africa The Struggle Continues
dated January 15, 1998

South Africa The Struggle Continues
The struggle to rebuild South Africa is continuing in a different form according to South Africa's High Commissioner to Canada, Billy Modise.
He told the members of the CAW Council that the struggle has moved from defiance of the apartheid authority to one of reconciliation. Modise says this attempt to heal the wounds of apartheid however is asking a great deal from his people

Bill Modise
South African High Commissioner to Canada
"How do you reconcile the worker with the employer, when the employer was one of the chief instruments of Apartheid, and we come from a moral high to say to the worker love your employer? How do your do that with a clear conscience?"

To do the job South Africa created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Modise says the Commission is still experimenting to find the most effective way to deal with the anger and hatred left over from Apartheid. After decades of fighting the government, the people of South Africa now have to trust their elected politicians.

Bill Modise
South African High Commissioner to Canada

"You gave the power to those leaders you have just elected to do certain things. After giving them that power, respect what they have done. You can't have it both ways. You elect me to the position and then tomorrow when I use that position you challenge me. No!"

South Africa's constitution enshrined the workers Right to Strike, but it did not give employers the right to lock out workers. Modise said the two are not comparable.
The High Commissioner thanked the CAW for its continued solidarity with South Africa, and promised the Mandela government would not forget the role of unions in an open and democratic government.

Bill Modise
South African High Commissioner to Canada

"The ANC can't use the same tactics which the Apartheid Government did to shut up the unions. We can't do that, even if it is uncomfortable when the unions, at times, tell the government off, We were with the unions to fight for that right of the unions to say it as it is and we want to retain that right."

Following Modise's speech the CAW Council donated $5,000 to a charitable foundation established to help poor children in South Africa.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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