Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 October 2022
On the momentous day when the National Peace Accord was signed, I said we on the Preparatory Committee had discovered that ‘we share a common humanity, that transcends sex, race, colour, creed, culture. And so, we made this fantastic scientific discovery, that we are all human beings’.
The peace committees spread across our beautiful land, and the opportunity to make the same discovery came to thousands of people, brought together for the first time to build this rainbow nation. Peace monitors from ‘black’ townships and ‘white’ suburbs trained and worked together. Former detainees and policemen who had held them prisoner found themselves serving together and shook hands. A new way opened for people caught up in bitter fighting to discover one another, resolve conflicts without violence, and build trust, understanding and peace.
In the months before the 1994 election, when political tensions ran high and violence still wracked some communities, the Peace Song and the symbol of blue and white Peace Doves took God's message of peace and hope into every corner. Doves flew on millions of T-shirts, badges, car stickers and flags, in newspapers, on TV, and on the bibs and jackets of peace monitors. The people mobilized for peace.
This book tells the story of this peace operation, a stage in South Africa's journey to freedom and democracy. It was facilitated by churches and business, negotiated by the politicians, and supported by the international community, but the people accomplished it.
May this story bring useful suggestions, hope and inspiration.
God bless you,
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