So I’ve had a chance to get over the shock of Nelson Mandela’s death somewhat and it really just got my brain thinking.
Mandela was associated with acts that are, and should be, classified as terrorist acts during the fight against Apartheid. I know that and I think people should be aware of the fact. He was not a saint, he has blood on his hands.
And you know what, he HAD to get that blood on his hands. I’m not saying it was okay or right but it was a necessity. It was the only way at the time to confront the NP, it was the only way to get their attention, to get them to listen, to show them that what they were doing was wrong. Because treating people as less than human because of the colour of their skin is wrong. Blood was paid by both sides, atrocities were committed by both sides. It was a dark and horrible time and I hope that it never happens again.
Mandela rose above this. He rose above the carnage and chose the path of peace and equality. How many of us can say that after suffering ourselves under similar circumstances, watching our people suffer for so long we could do that? It takes a special person to put aside the anger, the desire for vengeance, the desire to make the oppressors suffer as the oppressed have suffered and forgive them instead. How many revolutions have ended in more bloodshed once power had been claimed? Mandela was that special person. I do not believe that South Africa would be the place it is now if anyone else was in his place. The end of Apartheid could have resulted in catastrophe.
But it didn’t and for that I am thankful. Because of what Mandela did I can say that my country is a beautiful one. We have so many cultures, so much diversity that should be embraced by all who live there. This is a country that was torn apart by inequality finally being given a chance to stand together. And it did.
I am using the past tense because the government is not following Mandela’s vision. We do not have equality, yet again we find ourselves standing in a country that is divided even if that division is shrouded under the term of empowerment. Our government now is a joke and it pains me to even think about what Mandela thought about the disintegration of his dreams in the years following his retirement. He was flawed perhaps in his loyalty to his party. The ANC of today is not the ANC it was under his rule. Our president shouldn’t even have been allowed to come into power with his past, he should have spoken out against Malema long before he did… there are so many things that I could point out. Our current government is corrupt, its individuals focused on themselves not on the people that are holding onto the image that the ANC is their saviour, waiting for promises to be delivered even when nothing has been done. Crime is running rampant, we are the rape capital of the world, we are becoming divided again.
I don’t want to see that happen. I believe that we can be the nation that Madiba wanted us to be, the nation that he paved the way for. One of forgiveness, of equality, of ubuntu. We need each other. We need to stand together in this. We need to say that enough is enough. We need to find that bit inside of us that is Madiba, because he has become one with us.
I once believed that this would be the country I grew up in. That I would raise children in this beautiful, diverse culture that is South Africa. Time has corroded this view but hope is not that easy to kill. I know that dream is still there.
I know it is in the hearts of the majority of South Africans.
The death of the father of our nation has been a great loss. Even though I am not there I know the whole country is in mourning, his loss has affected the world. I hope that it will rekindle that sense of unity we felt when Mandela was elected. I hope that the dream of a unified South Africa will rise from the ashes that the ANC has created over the decade.
I hope that it will not fade.
RIP Tata, may you never be forgotten