‘Use rel­e­vant facts in quizzing Madiba’s legacy’

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - ZODIDI MHLANA zo­didim@the­newage.co.za

THE Nel­son Man­dela Foun­da­tion said that peo­ple in­clud­ing Robert Mu­gabe who want to ques­tion for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela’s legacy should do so us­ing rel­e­vant facts and ev­i­dence.

The foun­da­tion was re­spond­ing to re­cent at­tacks that Zim­babwe’s Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe has lev­elled at Man­dela’s legacy.

“It is with weari­ness that we re­spond to his re­hash­ing of an old nar­ra­tive that ei­ther ig­nores or plays fast and loose with the his­tor­i­cal ev­i­dence. While it is true that Madiba ini­ti­ated ‘talks about talks’ while he was in prison, from its ear­li­est phase the process of ne­go­ti­a­tion be­tween the ANC and the apartheid regime was driven by a col­lec­tive lead­er­ship within the move­ment,” a state­ment from the foun­da­tion said.

The foun­da­tion fur­ther said that “those who find fault with Madiba’s strat­egy for mak­ing democ­racy a re­al­ity in the 1990s need to reckon with the ex­tent to which the ar­ray of spe­cial in­stru­ments for resti­tu­tion and repa­ra­tion he put in place have been in­ef­fec­tive due to fail­ures of im­ple­men­ta­tion in the longer term”.

At a re­cent Zanu-PF rally, Mu­gabe who has been in power for nearly 40 years since that coun­try at­tained in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain claimed that Madiba pri­ori­tised his per­sonal free­dom over the eco­nomic free­dom of black South Africans.

Ear­lier this month, New Zim­babwe web­site quoted Mu­gabe say­ing: “What was the most im­por­tant thing for Man­dela was his re­lease from prison and noth­ing else. He cher­ished his free­dom more than any­thing else and for­got why he was put in jail.” Mu­gabe also said that white peo­ple in South Africa were still in con­trol of the economy 23 years South Africa be­came a demo­cratic state.

The crit­i­cism of Man­dela’s legacy prompted ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Gwede Man­tashe to lodge a for­mal com­plaint with his Zanu-PF coun­ter­part ask­ing Mu­gabe to stop at­tack­ing Man­dela.

With Zim­babwe’s high un­em­ploy­ment at around 80%, mil­lions of Zim­bab­weans have been forced to make a liv­ing in for­eign coun­tries in­clud­ing South Africa. Man­tashe also chal­lenged Mu­gabe to ad­mit that he had de­stroyed that coun­try’s economy.

Robert Mu­gabe

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