By Len Chan : South African Verne Harris is the Archivist for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He was the special guest at the Archives Society of Alberta event held at Glenbow Museum Theatre recently. He spoke of the changes in South Africa since the Truth and Reconciliation from the Apartheid Policy in the 70s and how things are moving forward.
Harris was a military conscript at age 18 and did not realize at the time, coming from a White South African family, that he would be taking a different path. Harris said the process of change has been slow and not progressing to where it could be. Race violations still continue in South Africa and for Harris it was painful to see how much damage was done by so many because of Apartheid and how much information was archived. As an Archives member you see all the atrocities that were presented during the Truth and Reconciliation, he said.
During question period Harris was asked how safe he feels in South Africa today. He said one must only go in certain areas and be careful where they tread. He said that following the fall of Apartheid quick changes were more difficult due in part because you must deal with so many people in so many districts. To read more please visit the website for the Nelson Mandela Foundation at www.nelsonmandela.org