By Craig Nudelman
Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, the renowned British psychologist (not to be confused with his cousin, the comedian Sasha Baron Cohen) stated about reconciliation, “Empathy is a necessary step for truth and reconciliation”.
The Cape SAJBD regularly partners with various interfaith groups to find constructive solutions to improve the lives of our fellow South Africans in the Western Cape.
This was indeed the case on 16 December, when members of the District Six Restitution Walk Group (an interfaith organisation including the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative and other faith-based organisations and religious dominations) walked through District Six to understand the complex history, and necessity for reconciliation in one of the most contested spaces in Cape Town, if not South Africa as a whole.
The programme began with an introduction at the Holy Cross Catholic Church Hall by Laurie Gaum, a minister for the NG Kerk, and faciliator and project manager at Genderworks, who steered the group in prayer. Following a musical interlude, the group began its walk in stormy weather towards the Krotoa monument on Hanover Street, where a prayer of healing was read by Zebada January, for the indigenous people of the Cape on whose land we are still standing today.
The torrential downpour saw the group finishing early at the final stop — the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. There, our guide showed us the legacy of colonialism in the Cape and how we need to reconcile the past to move forward to a South Africa that is free of oppression and depression, and where hope can be found instead.
Finally, we were invited to write messages of peace and reconciliation on the blackboard in the conference room. It was an inspirational day, and we look forward to many more with our interfaith partners.
• Published in the February 2023 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.
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