SOCIAL JUSTICE AND COVID 19 IN THE 'NEW SOUTH AFRICA: INVOKING RAMOSEAN MEDITATIONS IN PANDEMIC TIMES

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29053/pslr.v15i1.3654

Keywords:

decolonial justice, social cohesiveness, social justice, Ramosean meditations

Abstract

In this contributory essay to the 2021 Special Section of the PSLR spotlighting ‘Social Justice and COVID-19’, I attempt to challenge portrayals of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as an ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘equal opportunity’ assailant. In doing so, I endeavour to bring to the fore a reading of social injustices experienced during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that implicates not only systemic disadvantages inherited from apartheid but also the legacies of unjust colonial conquest. By underscoring memory as the possibility condition for restorative social justice within a progressively unjust South Africa, I draw on philosopher Mogobe Ramose’s counter-discourse meditations problematising the pervasiveness of colonial-apartheid conquest in a post-1994 liberal democratic polity. Accordingly, I align myself with perspectives that consider substantive social justice in a stratified ‘new’ South Africa to be a decolonial justice carved out by an African experience and memory, with the restoration of unjustly dispossessed land as a possibility condition for social cohesion.

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Published

2021-11-08

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Guardian's Contribution