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‘SA remains one of the most divided countries in the world’

Thabo Mbeki says the current racial climate still resembles what he encountered during his time in office.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Thabo Mbeki says South Africa still remains one of the most divided countries in the world, 22 years after the birth of its democracy.

Mbeki was speaking at an event in Midrand yesterday, to mark 20 years since the formation of the Human Rights Commission (HRC).

The former head of state says the current racial climate still resembles what he encountered during his time in office.

"To say that South Africa is a country of two nations, and one of these nations is white and relatively prosperous."

He says the lack of discussion about the reality of racism in South Africa has resulted in recent comments by the likes of Penny Sparrow.

"Remarks made by Miss Sparrow 15 years later, supported by others, confirm the persistence of subjective racism amongst some of our fellow citizens."

Sparrow referred to black beachgoers as 'monkeys' in a Facebook post, which sparked national outrage.

Criminal charges were laid against her by the public.

Mbeki says a national dialogue involving all sectors of society is required in order to find credible solutions to tackle the challenges facing the country.