Maintain Madiba’s legacy
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.