4 pm - 6 pm
In the decade of resistance against the apartheid state prior to 1990 when Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were released, "BLACK UNITY" encouragingly incorporated all of the racially disadvantaged groups. These included the segments that were designated as: "African (9 ethnic groups), Coloureds (people of mixed descent), and Asians (particularly people of Indian origin). There was hope and expectation during the 1980s, as the collapse of apartheid appeared imminent, that there would be no distinction between these three designated groups. The landslide victory of the African National Congress (ANC) in the first general election on27 April 1994 saw the appointment of a pleasantly surprising mixed race national cabinet that included people from all racial categories. By the end of Nelson Mandela's first of office in 1999, the politics of appointment to political offices and in employment began rapidly changing in favour of the African under the veil of "positive discrimination". As the term "Black" began taking on more exclusivist reference to Africans only, Coloureds and Indians were being increasingly marginalised to the point of being totally ignored. While the pattern still persists, in numerous public and private sectors there are still appointments that reflect tinges of diversity. This talk addresses a crucial question about transformation in post-apartheid South Africa viz: "IS POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION ANOTHER NAME OF REVERSE DISCRIMINATION?"