Nelson Mandela, the unquestionable hero? I am not so sure of that legacy. What did this man actually do apart from becoming a symbol? ANC is now the sole ruler of South Africa and you will have heard of the massive corruption and the ANC president’s private luxury compound. You will also know what happened to shanty towns and poor people who found themselves in the way of the football World Cup building of (no future need for) stadions – instead of decent homes. I have never heard Mandela speak out about all this injustice – or have I just missed it? And it does not seem like the poor have become much less poor, and the people any more equal. Now the upper class of blacks have joined the whites and left all the others behind. Is that the legacy? For me it is nothing but Orwell’s Animal Farm once again. And, this celebration of this “great liberator” of the poor and downtrodden reminds me that I never once saw Nelson Mandela speak out against his (still at this point) wife’s involvement in torture and suppression of dissident voices and others who didn’t toe her line. If I have missed it, please let me know. This admiration of a man who raised to fame only because he was appointed as a symbol and incarcerated for a number of years (under conditions which would have been envied by most US-American prisoners) does in fact sicken me. There are enough real heroes out there; we should better praise what they do – though many of them are forgotten and never reach celebrity status.
Reminded by the celebrations of this man’s life, I googled some old facts and found this on Wikipedia. But it is nothing new; it was known by the whole world; however, Nelson Mandela, to my knowledge, has never parted himself from this activity. What would I have done myself if I had found out that my wife had been active in a similar way in Northern Ireland during the troubles? It is completely impossible, but I would have been ashamed if I had taken the stance as “the great hero” did for years – sweep it all under the carpet.
” the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission found “Ms Winnie Mandela politically and morally accountable for the gross violations of human rights”, concluding that she had personally been responsible for the murder, torture, abduction and assault of numerous men, women and children, as well as indirectly responsible for even larger number of such crimes. …….. in a speech she gave in Munsieville on 13 April 1986, where she endorsed the practice of necklacing (burning people alive using tyres and petrol) by saying: “With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country.” Further tarnishing her reputation were accusations by her bodyguard, Jerry Musivuzi Richardson, that she had ordered kidnapping and murder. On 29 December 1988, Richardson, who was coach of the Mandela United Football Club, which acted as Mrs. Mandela’s personal security detail, abducted 14-year-old James Seipei (also known as Stompie Moeketsi) and three other youths from the home of a Methodist minister, Rev. Paul Verryn, claiming she had the youths taken to her home because she suspected the reverend was sexually abusing them. The four were beaten to get them to admit to having had sex with the minister. Seipei was accused of being an informer, and his body later found in a field with stab wounds to the throat on 6 January 1989.
In 1991, she was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault in connection with the death of Seipei. Her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine on appeal. The final report of the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission, issued in 1998, found “Ms Winnie Madikizela Mandela politically and morally accountable for the gross violations of human rights committed by the MUFC” and that she “was responsible, by omission, for the commission of gross violations of human rights.” In 1992, she was accused of ordering the murder of Dr. Abu-Baker Asvat, a family friend who had examined Seipei at Mandela’s house, after Seipei had been abducted but before he had been killed. Mandela’s role was later probed as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in 1997. She was said to have paid the equivalent of $8,000 and supplied the firearm used in the killing, which took place on 27 January 1989. The hearings were later adjourned amid claims that witnesses were being intimidated on Winnie Mandela’s orders.
so much for freedom struggle……