Main­tain Madiba’s legacy

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

MAN­DELA’S dif­fi­cult vi­sion – as your edi­to­rial (“Man­dela’s dif­fi­cult vi­sion is ours to ful­fil”, Week­end Ar­gus, July 16) cor­rectly pointed out – is in­deed ours to ful­fil.

When he held sway we were the won­der of the world. We were the mir­a­cle na­tion. His gen­eros­ity of spirit, his long-range view and his ex­em­pli­fi­ca­tion of mu­tu­al­ity al­lowed a smooth tran­si­tion from op­pres­sion to democ­racy.

The prob­lem lay with the un­re­con­structed racists and ex­clu­sion­ists of the past. They ei­ther failed or re­fused to re­cip­ro­cate when the hand of friend­ship was of­fered.

In the words of Tal­leyrand “they had learned nothing and for­got­ten nothing”. They in­hab­ited en­claves where racist ideas and be­liefs in­flu­enced their mind-sets and gov­erned their racist rants.

After be­ing dis­cov­ered they protest they are not racists. How­ever, the harm they do to them­selves, the race they be­long to, race re­la­tion­ships in gen­eral and South Africa, is in­cal­cu­la­ble.

Their racist rants will un­for­tu­nately serve as an ex­cuse to load our statute book with new leg­is­la­tion to pun­ish those who did not seek re­demp­tion and who failed to em­brace the other in keep­ing with Man­dela’s vi­sion and Man­dela’s hopes.

Many of those who have con­tin­ued to har­bour no­tions of racial su­pe­ri­or­ity found refuge in the DA when the NP mar­ried the DP and the DA was born. The DA is em­bold­ened to use Madiba’s voice in an ad­vert, but re­luc­tant to take for­ward his legacy and ful­fil what Madiba en­vi­sioned for South Africa.

Those who re­mained in their laagers while prof­it­ing from the new dis­pen­sa­tion failed Nel­son Man­dela and South Africa.

They lived their old lives, en­ter­tained their old be­liefs, pur­sued seg­re­ga­tion and looked back with nostalgia at what was. They did not buy into what is and what could have been.

To ful­fil Nel­son Man­dela’s vi­sion it is im­por­tant to sub­scribe to so­cial democ­racy so that gen­uine democ­racy in prac­tice is guar­an­teed, the con­sti­tu­tion up­held and qual­ity so­cial ser­vices de­liv­ered to all of the peo­ple.

The need to re­verse apartheid ge­og­ra­phy has be­come very ur­gent.

We in Cope are fully com­mit­ted to tak­ing for­ward Man­dela’s vi­sion and per­pet­u­at­ing his legacy. We will not fail him. That is a prom­ise. I WON­DER what Madiba’s re­sponse would be to South Africans in­ter­nal­is­ing his in­valu­able legacy of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, for­give­ness and peace in our beloved coun­try.

Madiba in­vited chil­dren from the Red Cross Memo­rial Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal to his 79th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions held at the thenCulem­borg Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre in Cape Town and he in­sisted on en­ter­tain­ing them. Such was his im­mense em­pa­thy for chil­dren. Chil­dren and those most vul­ner­a­ble were of paramount im­por­tance to him, com­mit­ting a third of his salary to the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund.

The self­less­ness and reach­ing out to the most marginalised is an in­te­gral com­po­nent of Tata Madiba’s legacy which we must never for­get.

Lip ser­vice is not enough. The time to live out and ap­ply Madiba’s ex­am­ple is now, and the gov­ern­ment must im­pose po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment to hon­our the legacy of the iconic Nel­son Man­dela. RANJENI Munusamy wrote this week: “Man­dela Day should not just be about char­ity, but the essence of Nel­son Man­dela.”

What a dis­grace that the ANC basks in the legacy of Nel­son Man­dela’s vi­sion of a non­racist, equal op­por­tu­nity so­ci­ety when the ex­am­ple it sets is the op­po­site, with mi­nor­ity groups hav­ing to de­fend them­selves against the of­fen­sive speech of the ma­jor­ity party.

Racism is con­spic­u­ously used for po­lit­i­cal gain, greed and in­flu­ence. Merit, qual­i­fi­ca­tions and re­spon­si­bil­ity have no place here. The poor are only vot­ing fod­der, fed by false prom­ises. Let us not then for­get “the essence” of Man­dela so quickly, nor his vi­sion of a non-racial, equal op­por­tu­nity coun­try, run by a com­mit­ted, re­spon­si­ble non-cor­rupt gov­ern­ment.

Maya An­gelou said: “When peo­ple show you who they are, be­lieve them the first time.” The ANC has shown us, time and time again.

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