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Mbeki: Racism should be treated as national emergency

He says recent racial comments made by Penny Sparrow and others echo subjective racism in the country.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Thabo Mbeki says racism should be treated as a national emergency and he's warned against complacency.

Mbeki was speaking at an event in Midrand, marking the South African Human Rights Commission's 20 year anniversary.

The commission is holding a two-day seminar aimed at highlighting its role in society and addressing racism.

Mbeki says if the country is to fight racism, citizens must all agree to a common national agenda aimed at eradicating the legacy of apartheid.

"As a result of which we can all agree that the common national agenda, which would include a common fight to eradicate the legacy of apartheid."

Mbeki says recent racial comments made by Penny Sparrow and others echo subjective racism in the country.

The former president says it's a sad reality that 22 years into democracy South Africa still remains a divided nation.