Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said it is easy for students to forget how brutally the apartheid system divided South Africans.
Speaking at the lunch to celebrate Smuts Hall's 80th birthday on 10 August, Tutu said this could be both a good and a bad thing. Good, because not dwelling on the past helps us to become a normal society where skin colour is irrelevant. Bad, because it could also cause us to neglect the plight of so many that are still suffering the after-effects of apartheid, Tutu explained to the Smutsmen.
He said it was wonderful that the composition of students at the Hall in its 80th year reflected the diversity of South Africa.
Tutu called on the Smutsmen to work for the fulfilment of a dream: to give all people dignity.
Warden of Smuts Hall, Professor Danie Visser, said the best way for students to honour the work and sacrifice of Tutu and other freedom activists is for not them to fall victim to a culture of acquisition, but to continue striving for justice in their daily lives.
While a number of former Smutsmen attended the lunch on Sunday, a formal reunion for Smuts alumni will be held later in the year.
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