IFP stalwart was no hero
IT is surprising how many people, especially those in parliament, want to portray Mario Oriani-Ambrosini as a hero of our people. Maybe this is because there are those who still hold the view that one ought not to speak ill of the dead.
Well, in this case I beg to differ as this will mean that we have blank pages in our history.
Oriani-Ambrosini was born in Italy in 1960. By 1991 he was not just any IFP member, but a close friend of Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
This put him in a position where decisions of the party were taken with his knowledge and participation.
The IFP was responsible for many deaths on the East Rand, in Joburg and in many parts on KwaZulu-Natal with the help of the apartheid regime in black-onblack violence. This mostly took place during the period of unbanning, Codesa and the run- up to the first democratic elections. The IFP, which OrianiAmbrosini was part of, refused to participate in the negotiations and had to be included on the ballot at the eleventh hour. I don’t recall any statement from him and his leaders condemning this.
The biggest problem with us South Africans is that we are too quick to forgive and forget, which is not a bad thing, but it is a problem when we think that our history began after the democratic dispensation.
We tend to assume that the events of before 1994 must be erased from our history books. But the democratic breakthrough did not come with blank pages.
I have a problem with people trying to portray him as a hero just because he was pushing for the introduction of new methods to fight cancer in the form of using marijuana for medicinal purposes. There is nothing heroic there as he stood to benefit from his own proposals. Why didn’t he push for this before he knew he had cancer? It is fallacious to use the word “hero” in the same sentence as “Mario Oriani-Ambrosini”. The truth must be told as it is. Tom Mhlanga Braamfontein
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