South Africa's Afrikaner community optimistic about future after Mandela

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Although Nelson Mandela preached tolerance and reconciliation, there are still divisions within South Africa. Some have warned that without his presence those divisions may spark violence.

But even members in a poor Afrikaner enclave appear cautiously optimistic about their future.

“At the end of the day we should listen to what Mandela taught us. And he was like always letting us join together and not be racist. And we must take that example. And people must take that example all over and just try and follow it,” said resident Sandra Batha.

When Mandela was elected the country’s first black president in 1994 many Afrikaners were uneasy about life under a black-majority government after decades of white rule.

But his talk of a united South Africa has commanded respect among wealthier Afrikaners such as Jan Bosman, Chief Secretary of the rights group Afrikanerbond:

“There are certain things wrong in this country at the moment and we must fix it. As Afrikaners, and I speak from the Afrikaner community we are more than willing to assist and help build this country and make it what it can be. I think. I think that is what Mr. Mandela wanted.”

But some Afrikaners say they just want to be left alone with their own culture and language. They believe as long as they are law abiding they should not need permission to act as they do – an ideal they say Mandela himself respected.

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