The Nelson Mandela Foundation has called for a public debate to determine whether the old South African flag, which is viewed as a symbol of apartheid, should be banned.
This is after it was flown at large predominantly white anti-crime rallies around the country recently. The rallies were staged to raise awareness at the surge of violent attacks by criminals on white farmers.
“Is it time to criminalise displays of the old flag?” the foundation asked in a statement.
It questions whether there are connections between the protests and the deep well of rage which underlies individual cases of murder on white-owned farms.
“How do we foster a collective revulsion at the murder of any South African, regardless of categorisation? Can we turn our country from one defined by violence into one inspired by Nelson Mandela’s dream of freedom?” it asked. It also notes that the protests have deepened racial divides in South Africa.
Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters, said police should have shot the protestors.
“It was an opportunity for them to test the skin of the white people with a rubber bullet. They missed an opportunity,” he said.