Tuesday

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee

The South Africans did it right, at last. In fact they've been doing it right for a few years now. Perhaps we could date that back to the release of ntate Mandela and other politicical prisoners, black and white. Or perhaps even slightly before then: the ascension of F.W. de Klerk to power.

Things have gone on so well since then that they even won the rugby world championship and had a go at the football world cup on two occassions already. That's not such a piece of cake for a country that was politically locked for a long time.

These people all just came together and said, "We gotta get our shit together!" They released prisoners, held talks, argued, had some riots, held elections, designed a funky flag, agreed on a national anthem composed of at least four distinct languages (English, Zulu, Afrikaans and Sesotho), became rugby world champions, struggled to forgive more than 3 centuries of injustice, and are still going strong.

The South African capacity to do it blows me away.

Enter Lesotho, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Algeria. The peoples of these countries have more in common than the people of South Africa in terms of culture, language and "identity", whatever I mean by that. In Lesotho, there is one language that is spoken by the vast majority of the population. We all believe the same things, folklore, gods, poltergeists, and so on. We're the same people, yet we are the ones hacking away at each other.

You might be tempted to say, "Hey, your friends in South Africa killed each other for centuries, so there!"

Fair enough, but my point is, they can at least pretend to have had a reason! Skin colour, language, culture, customs, clothing, food, sun tan, sun burn, wealth, jokes appreciated.....these were and in many cases still are different. But they came up with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee [Read about it here: #1#2#3]

Let me get to the point: Basotho and Rwandans and Algerians and all these people who are killing their kin for political gain need their heads examined.

That is still not quite the point I wanna get to: I would like to know what happened to my brother, Khotsofalang Reaboka Masilo, who was killed by his own countrymen apparently for political gain.

Let me try again. Let me say it differently: No, I don't want to know what happened to my brother, although it would be nice. I want to know where he is, where his bones are, so I can go get them to bury him properly in Qoaling, where his grave is pregnant with his spirit and rife with his presence; but where his body is sadly missing. There, I said it. That's what I want. I want to see "people" who have the answers squirming in the hot seat, in front of a legitimate committee, not for my pleasure, but because I think that's the only way we'll ever get to find Khotsofalang. And the day I find my brother's body is the day I start cleaning out the darkest corners of my mind. And taking full advantage of my life today, with my lovely wife and wonderful children. And that day means some sort of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Lesotho style. That's what I want. We will not advance as a people as long as we still have grudges, and we will have grudges if we don't put our cards, all of them, on the table.

We and people from other countries where bullshit has been going on need to look at South Africa's efforts in terms of turning over a new leaf and feel ashamed for not doing the same or better. How can a country that has at least eleven languages and as many tribes (Dutch tribe, Zulu tribe, English tribe, Sotho tribe, and so on), how can such a country, that has officially fucked the larger majority of its people for centuries, how can such a country turn around and make peace, and we can't?