Did ANC snub critic Tutu?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

WAS ARCH­BISHOP Emer­i­tus Des­mond Tutu de­lib­er­ately omit­ted from the of­fi­cial pro­gramme of Nel­son Man­dela’s fu­neral?

Tutu has a no-non­sense ap­proach to cor­rup­tion and is an out­spo­ken critic of the gov­ern­ment.

The boo brigade at the me­mo­rial ser­vice at FNB Sta­dium made their feel­ings ap­par­ent when lead­ers from across the globe came to pay their tributes to Nel­son Man­dela. This boo­ing in­ci­dent has em­bar­rassed Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and the coun­try, and def­i­nitely shows a grow­ing dis­il­lu­sion­ment with Zuma.

The Nkandla con­tro­versy is cru­cial in this con­text and per­haps the sur­vival of Zuma hinges on the find­ings of Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela’s re­port. The hall­mark of a vi­brant democ­racy is to keep its lead­ers on their toes.

Lead­ers must not be al­lowed to praise Madiba for re­mov­ing apartheid laws from the statute books while at the same time en­dors­ing the Pro­tec­tion of State In­for­ma­tion Bill, also known as the Se­crecy Bill.

What is the rea­son for such a bill? Are there so many se­crets that have to be kept away from the tax-pay­ing cit­i­zens who have ev­ery right to know that dra­co­nian laws have to be leg­is­lated to keep them in the dark?

Tutu was a close friend of Madiba’s. Af­ter Madiba was re­leased from Vic­tor Ver­ster prison in 1990, he stayed with Tutu.

Tutu presided over fu­ner­als of strug­gle fig­ures such as Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, Wal­ter Sisulu and anti-apartheid cleric Bey­ers Naudé.

Why was he side­lined and snubbed by not be­ing in­cluded gen­uinely in the pro­ceed­ings?

If one of the rea­sons is that Tutu is a critic of the rul­ing party and is fear­less in high­light­ing their de­fi­cien­cies and short­com­ings, then as a coun­try we are not liv­ing up to the ideals em­bod­ied by Tata Madiba.


GREET­INGS: Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Des­mond Tutu and ex-pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki at Nel­son Man­dela’s fu­neral.

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