At Madik­izela-Man­dela’s grave­side

The Witness - - OPINION - R. MUNISAMY Isipingo Hills

THERE is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us. And so my mind wan­ders back to the grave­side of Mam’Win­nie Madik­ize­laMan­dela who died re­cently.

The close fam­ily mem­bers rev­er­en­tially, solemnly and gen­tly threw roses and soil into the grave of their mother, sis­ter, grand­mother, great-grand­mother, friend of the poor, and pro­found leader whom South Africa has called Mother of the Na­tion.

We were bom­barded with plat­i­tudes, praise, hon­our and com­pas­sion for this brave, tena­cious and coura­geous ANC leader. Al­beit bor­der­ing on irony?

Gra­ciously and in char­ac­ter, Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa ex­pressed his grief and an apol­ogy for leav­ing her alone for long pe­ri­ods to suf­fer the worst form of cru­elty imag­in­able. He warned those guilty of cru­elty, hate, den­i­gra­tion and tor­ture that their con­science will haunt them.

Op­por­tunis­tic grab­bers and rob­bers rest­ing on self-made plat­forms were felled mer­ci­lessly by Julius Malema. He cut to lit­tle pieces their mouthing of gob­bledy­gook and smelly balder­dash, many among the ANC in­cluded. Where were they? he asked. And then an­swered his own ques­tion — they are here. In­deed they are the ones who failed to give her roses when she was left to suf­fer alone, were the thoughts run­ning through the tor­tured mind of the sor­row­ing daugh­ter when she spoke.

And Sir, there were many whose con­science stabbed them fe­ro­ciously.

Go well, Mam’Win­nie. May your soul rest in peace. You have left us with mem­o­ries that will sus­tain, strengthen and lead.

All those who loved you and even those who hated you will now “stand up and say to all the world: ‘This was a woman’,” (Shake­speare).

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