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

Authors

  • Ilana le Roux University of Pretoria, Faculty of Law

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29053/pslr.v15i1.3809

Keywords:

Covid-19, decolonial justice, Ramose, colonial conquest, social justice

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.

Published

2022-02-15

Issue

Section

Guardian's Contribution